Related to: 'Deep Heat'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

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The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club: the perfect laugh-out-loud romantic comedy

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Funny, warm and engaging; this year's must-read! 5****' By the Letter Book ReviewsIn the quaint seaside town of Newbay, a beginner's cookery course is starting. And three very different students have signed up...Liz's husband has left her for a twenty-something clean-eating blogger, and she's determined to show the world - and her daughter - she's just as capable in the kitchen. John, newly widowed after fifty years of marriage, can't live on sympathy lasagnes forever. To thirty-year-old workaholic Bella, the course is a welcome escape from her high-pressure job. Their only common ground: between them, they can barely boil an egg! Enter talented chef Alex, who is determined to introduce his pupils to the comforts of cuisine. As Liz, John and Bella encounter various disasters in the kitchen, the unlikely trio soon form a fast friendship. Their culinary skills might be catastrophic - but could the cookery club have given them a recipe for happiness?The wonderful new novel from bestselling author Chrissie Manby is perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Trisha Ashley, Cathy Bramley, and The Great British Bake Off.Praise for The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club:'A lovely book which brought a tear to my eye in places' - Broadbeansbooks'Heartwarming' - The Book Bag'Funny and emotional...a MUST READ this autumn' - On My Bookshelf'A very warm tale full of different kinds of love; just delicious!' - Netgalley Reviewer'If you want a funny, emotional read that will leave you wanting more then you need this book in your life!' - Goodreads'I loved this book... the perfect place to find a recipe for happiness!' - Goodreads'What an absolute joy to read...such a lovely story' - Goodreads'A winning recipe of a story... I devoured it from cover to cover!' - Goodreads 'Just the breath of fresh air that I needed... I could have kept reading for many more pages!' - Netgalley'I adored this hilarious book!' I Read Novels'Chrissie Manby has cooked up a fine tale' Cultural Wednesday'What a wonderfully lighthearted and uplifting novel, one I couldn't put down' - Bloglovin'An absolute joy to read - highly recommended for when you need a little pick-me-up!' - Brew and Book Reviews

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A Fairy Tale for Christmas: a funny, feel-good, glorious Christmas romp

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

'Fabulously funny and festive. An absolute treat full of warmth and romance' - Alex Brown, author of The Secret of Orchard CottageA wonderful, heart-warming Christmas novel from Chrissie Manby, perfect for curling up with in front of the fire.What could be more magical at Christmas than a fairy tale come true?It's the festive season and the members of the Newbay Theatre Society, more commonly known as the NEWTS, are preparing to put on a show. Being cast as Cinderella is the realization of a dream for newcomer Kirsty, not least because she hopes starring in a panto under the direction of her boyfriend Jon will bring them closer together. But Kirsty soon learns that it's not all glitter and good cheer behind the scenes at the amateur theatre as bitter rivalries nurtured through decades, wardrobe mishaps and suspicious near-fatal accidents threaten to derail the production. And then there's Prince Charming himself. Will working together with Jon bring Kirsty her happy ever after... or reveal their love to be nothing but a 'showmance'?With Christmas just around the corner, it's going to take more than a Fairy Godmother to get Kirsty and her cast-mates to the ball.What readers are saying about A Fairy Tale for Christmas:'Filled with Christmas cheer...a captivating story!''A lovely, warm read...highly, highly recommended!''A beautiful sparkly warm festive book that will have you feeling ready for the Christmas season!''A warm, funny, festive read... an unmissable festive treat''A gorgeous, funny, touching story... I was hooked from the first page!'

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A Wedding at Christmas: a gorgeous feel-good romance to curl up by the fire with

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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A Proper Family Adventure

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

A Proper Family Christmas

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Christmas comes but once a year . . . thank goodness! So keep calm this festive season and treat yourself to the warm, wonderful new novel from Chrissie Manby.Take one Queen Bee: Annabel Buchanan, with a perfect house in the country, a rich husband and a beautiful daughter, Izzy . . .. . . and one large, loud family: the Bensons.What happens when their worlds collide?When Izzy suddenly falls dangerously ill, adoptee Annabel has to track down her biological family to see if they can help her daughter. But can she see past the Bensons' brash exteriors to the warm, loving people they are at heart?With December just around the corner, is it too much to hope that the Bensons and the Buchanans can have a proper family Christmas?

Hodder & Stoughton

A Proper Family Holiday

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
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What I Did On My Holidays

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Sophie Sturgeon can't wait for her annual summer holiday. Not only will it be a week away from work, it will be a chance to reconnect with her boyfriend Callum.So this upcoming trip to Majorca is a big deal. Sophie's spent a lot of time getting ready. She's bought a new wardrobe. She's been waxed to within an inch of her life. She's determined she and Callum will have the best time ever.Then Callum dumps her, the night before they're due to leave. In a show of bravery and independence, Sophie says she'll go to Majorca alone - but in fact, she hides in her London flat. But when her friends, family, and even Callum seem so surprised and delighted at her single girl courage, Sophie decides to go all out and recreate the ultimate 'fake break' . . . with hilarious results.

Hodder & Stoughton

Writing for Love

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Practical, inspiring, and filled with her trademark wit and charm, Chrissie Manby describes the writing process - from where she gets her ideas to a practical guide to planning the structure of a novel. A must-read for chick-lit fans and aspiring authors. EXCLUSIVE: contains chapters 1-4 of Chrissie's new novel WHAT I DID ON MY HOLIDAYS.

Hodder & Stoughton

Kate's Wedding

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Getting Over Mr Right

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Marrying for Money

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

When the glamorous Grosvenor sisters arrive in the exclusive Hamptons beach town of Little Elbow, they can't help but cause a stir.Gorgeous Grace and Charming Charity are soon hot favourites on everybody's guest-list. Except that of their neighbour, Marcella Hunter. Heiress Marcella doesn't want the competition and when Grace starts dating Marcella's 'Plan B' man - dull but extraordinarily rich Choate Fitzgerald - the gloves are off. Marcella determines to find out where the sisters really came from. And exactly how they can afford to rent a six-bedroom beach house in this millionaires' playground. In the process, however, it's discovered that quite a few of the people spending that summer in Little Elbow are not exactly what they seem . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Seven Sunny Days

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

The Matchbreaker

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby
Hodder & Stoughton

Getting Personal

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Why is it that your best friend always seems to end up with men who treat her badly? Why is that your best male friend seems intent on dating the kind of girl who thinks that Nietzche is an STD? Why is it that your own little black book looks more and more like the non-celeb client list of the Priory? Why can't any of you find someone quite right?Ruby, Martin and Lou are three old friends who have spent too much time talking about the ones that got away. Facing another summer without love, they decide to approach the dating dilemma in the way they approached finding flatmates. They're going to place personal ads. For one another.Will it tempt their dream date/soul mate? Or is it a recipe for romantic disaster?

Hodder & Stoughton

Girl Meets Ape

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Dr Jennifer Niederhauser is a brilliant but uptight zoologist. As new head of the chimpanzee project at Prowdes Animal Sanctuary, she thinks she's got it made. But the regime is ramshackle, the chimpanzees uncontrollable and her first meeting with head keeper Guy Gibson finds him naked and covered in baby oil.Worse still Prowdes is virtually bankrupt. Then a TV documentary crew arrives. Exposure could be their economic salvation but there's a problem. The show's presenter, chimpanzee expert Dr Timothy Lauder, is Jennifer's ex-boyfriend. Things could get hairy . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Ready or Not?

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Every bride is entitled to some pre-wedding jitters. And what girl wouldn't think twice about marriage when her fiancé gets his eyebrows shaved off just in time to look horrendous for the photographs?But what if it's not the ceremony that freaks you out but the happy ever after? Heidi Savage is wondering whether she can really forsake all others for macho, beer-swilling Ed. And how can a couple who've never even been baby-sitters be ready to start a family of their own?Will the answer come in the form of her ex-boyfriend Steven? Grown-up, gorgeous and good-with-children. Is Heidi's dilemma simply a case of right shoes, right dress, wrong husband?

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Flatmates

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Have you ever shared a flat with your so-called friends? Do you remember with a shudder the squabbles over the itemised phone bill, the cleaning rota and whose turn it is to do the washing up? If so, you'll sympathise with the three troubled occupants of No. 67 Artesia Road.Fiona, who's been offered a glorious job in New York, but can't bear to leave Tim, her brilliant - but none-too-devoted - fiancé.Kerry - who's fed up with spending Saturday night alone in front of the TV, fantasising about her devastatingly handsome - but homosexual - boss.Linzi - who won't be tied down by any job or man.They think they've got problems. But nothing can prepare them for the chaos which ensues when Linzi's latest boyfriend arrives on the scene. Gorgeous but feckless, Gaetano spells trouble with a capital 'T'. And soon events are spiralling out of everyone's control . . .

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Second Prize

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Dashing, dishy and utterly uninterested. No one else can compete.Lara Fenton is all washed up. Single at 25, she's desperate to find a man, especially since her best friend Julie got engaged. Salvation arrives in the divine form of Hugh Armstrong-Hamilton.Yes, Hugh has his faults, but who doesn't? So what if he never picks up the bill? Big deal if he cancels dates at the last moment. And who cares about a few insults from his snooty friends? Hugh is a god - her god, and any other man would seem like second prize in comparison. Or would they . . .?

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Lizzie Jordan's Secret Life

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Five years after leaving university, Lizzie Jordan considers herself one of life's failures. Unlike her highflying friends, Lizzie works as a lowly typist, shares a grotty flat and 'makes do' with her accountant boyfriend. She's never really been able to get over Brian, the handsome American student she dated at university, who is now a hugely successful Wall Street banker. Lizzie still corresponds with Brian by email. But the life she describes to him, with its extravagant parties and million-pound business deals, bears little relation to reality. Lizzie is overjoyed when Brian announces he's coming to stay. But how can she conceal from him the fact that the glamorous lifestyle she's been describing to him all these years is based on a tissue of lies? Ever resourceful, Lizzie comes up with a cunning plan. But the best-laid plans have a habit of going horribly wrong.

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Running Away From Richard

Chrissie Manby
Authors:
Chrissie Manby

Just graduated from drama school, Lizzie Jordan is looking forward to a glittering career at the RSC. She's also looking forward to becoming Mrs Richard Adams (Lizzie just knows that her live-in artist boyfriend is about to propose any day now). So how come, just one month later, Lizzie finds herself sharing a cockroach-infested house in Venice Beach, California, working as a waitress in a notorious transvestite bar, and pretending to be the fiancee of one of the hottest directors in Hollywood; a man who just happens to be gay? Why does life never seem to work out the way Lizzie Jordan planned?