Friday, 7 November 2014

A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby Blog Tour Interview and Review

Today I am on the tour for A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby 
We are lucky enough to have this talented author talking to us
on the blog today and also my review for this 
beautiful, sparkly book.

Work by photographer Michael Pilkington

1) I was so excited about the release of A Proper Family Christmas because I loved A Proper Family Holiday so much, when you began writing A Proper Family Holiday did you have in mind that you would write a sequel? (or was it us pesky bloggers pestering you!)
The Christmas sequel was planned at the time I wrote Proper Family Holiday and I was still scribbling it as that book came out so I was hugely relieved that the Bensons got such a warm welcome on their first outing. I’m not sure what I would have done had Proper Family Holiday been slammed! 

2) The cover for A Proper Family Christmas is stunning, sparkly and festive, do you have much input when it comes to the covers of your books and what do you think of this cover? 
I was absolutely thrilled when I saw the finished copies of A Proper Family Christmas because it really looks just like a beautifully wrapped gift. I don’t have a great deal of input into book covers because decisions on how a book should look are so complicated. You need to make sure you’re targeting the right market and often an author doesn’t have as strong an idea of what’s working well as the marketing department at the publishing house does. I’m very lucky that the art department at Hodder is full of seriously talented people. I think the covers of A Proper Family Holiday and A Proper Family Christmas are both lovely and original. 

3) The characters in your book have a large family Christmas together, how do you typically spend your Christmas?
I usually spend Christmas with my family on the South Coast. My sister has two children and it’s great to spend at least part of the holiday season with them. They are always so full of excitement and that’s wonderfully infectious! One of my favourite parts of the day itself is going for a long walk by the sea with the whole gang after lunch. 

4) What did you do to get yourself in the Christmas spirit to write this book seen as it wasn’t written in the festive season?
I bought some mince pies. Fortunately, the supermarkets don’t seem all that bothered about sticking to the calendar. As I put the finishing touches to A Proper Family Christmas in August, it was already easy to find all the mince pies I could eat! I also read Christmassy novels, such as Michele Gorman’s Christmas Carol, and listened to carols on YouTube. That said, a huge chunk of my novel isn’t actually set at Christmas time. The action takes place over a whole year so there were summery bits to write as well. 

5) I am a Beauty Therapist when my nose isn’t in a book and I find when it comes to Christmas presents I can guarantee I will get a blunt manicure tool set every year!
What has been your best and worse presents that spring to mind and do you tend to get writer themed gifts? One of my best ever Christmas presents is writer-themed. It’s an elegant pen from Dupont, engraved with a secret message on the clip. I take that with me wherever I go. I wouldn’t say I have ever had a bad present but I do get a lot of tea-related gifts because I drink about ten cups of the stuff a day. I am a tea fiend. 

6) The big question is this where we leave the characters of The Proper Family Books or do you have more planned for them?
The Bensons and their friends will indeed be back. I’m about to start writing a third book in the series which will be set on a cruise. Granddad Bill has won the lottery. It’s not a big win, but it’s enough to treat the whole gang to a trip around the Med. Expect more family drama and mayhem and a big starring role for little Jack.

 Thank you for featuring me on your blog, Rea. I know it’s still early but I’d like to wish your readers a very merry Christmas indeed!


I remember earlier in the year reading A Proper Family Holiday and being fit to burst as I was trying to write my review because I loved it so much but I had so many questions still at the end so I tweeted the author straight away to say I sure do hope she is at home locked away writing a sequel! What a little diamond of an author Chrissy Manby is because not only has she written the sequel I longed for but it is also a Christmas sequel I bow down and thank you Chrissy!

We meet a new family in this book the Buchanans who are wealthy and live in a grand house and they are polar opposites of the much loved, loud down to earth Bensons. The Buchanans family has been rocked by the author news that daughter Izzy is dangerously ill and with neither her parents Annabel or Richard able to help it turns to Annabel with their only option left which is to find her birth mother to see if they can help. When the two families meet will it be with open arms or will emotions be running high?

What an amazing sequel this was the author has done us proud yet again. This time the book is a little deeper with a heartbreaking subject matter but of course there still has to be a touch of humour when our little Jack and his sonic screwdriver are around. The Buchanans and the Bensons couldn’t be more different if the author had tried! It was quite comical to see both of the families opinions of each other and as usual it is the adults that are childish about it, it really tickled me. Ronnie still comes across a spoilt and insecure woman but I love her character because she is such a natural, believable character. Annabel is prim and proper and although I didn’t warm to her as a character (mainly because she is like an ice queen) I still really felt for her in the situation because I am sure as a mum all you want is to protect and look after your child and you would do anything for this to happen so I did sympathise with her and I felt like her character was mellowing as the storyline progressed. Other than Jack my favourite character in A Proper Family Holiday was Chelsea and although she wasn’t a main character in this book I was so glad that she did appear at times so we get an update as to what is going on in her life now.

Whilst some parts of the book were predictable there were also parts that I didn’t see coming so my interest was piqued all the way through. I found this book really enjoyable and I am so glad that the author did write a sequel and a great one at that. I do think this could easily be read as a standalone book but you would be missing out on so much because A Proper Family Holiday was a great read and really made the reader get to know the family really well so treat yourself to both.

For those of you who loved A Proper Family Holiday you must read A Proper Family Christmas too you will not be disappointed.

Festive Cover
Festive Storyline
Overall Rating

Kindle                     Paperback

A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby,
Out 6th November published by Hodder, £6.99
© Chrissie Manby 2014

1 comment:

  1. I have actually read another one of Chrissy Manby;s books, and I believe it was called Getting over Mr Right. I loved it and found it light hearted and funny. I would love to read another of her books ^^