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Born In Lancashire, Judy Astley has lived for most of her life in Twickenham, and was a dress designer and painter before writing her first novel, Just for the Summer, in 1994.
She has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in Twickenham and Cornwall.
Thea's parents decide to host a big family Christmas in a house by the sea...even though they are, in fact, about to split up. Thea herself is newly single - her sister and brother are both settled, with children, homes and a future. But Thea's boyfriend has ditched her in favour of his pedigree dogs, and Thea can't decide whether or not she minds. There will be copious food and drink, holly and mistletoe, lots of bracing walks and a wintry barbecue on the beach. If it seems an odd way to celebrate the final break-up of a marriage and the Moving On to new partners, no- one is saying so. But then no-one had anticipated that the new partners might actually turn up to complicate the sleeping arrangements. As Cornwall experiences the biggest snowstorm in living memory, the festive atmosphere comes under some strain. Will Thea manage to find some happiness for herself? Will the mistletoe work its magic on them all?
A family Christmas in Cornwall for the newly single? Thea's parents have split up but still seem to be together. Both her younger sister and her brother are Smug Marrieds. But Thea is newly single and very much wishes she wasn't. When her mother and father plan a great family Christmas in a big house by the sea, the idea is to make it all great fun and tremendously civilised - not remotely complicated despite the fact that what they will really be celebrating is the final break-up of their marriage and the Moving On to new partners. And the new partners will also be there - and why not? It's what they do in Sweden, apparently, and it all works out fine. But will they move on? And will Thea manage to navigate her way through the forced jollities and family disasters to find some happiness for herself?
It's twenty years since Miranda, then sixteen, holidayed in Cornwall and her life changed forever. Now she's back again - with her mother Clare and the ashes of her stepfather Jack, whose wish was to be scattered on the sea overlooked by their one-time holiday home. The picturesque cove seems just the same as ever, but the people are different - more smart incomers,fewer locals, more luxury yachts in the harbour. But Miranda and Clare both find some strangely familiar faces, and revisit the emotions they both thought had disappeared.
Viola hasn't had much luck with men. Her first husband, Marco, companion of her youth and father of her only child, left her when he realised he was gay. Her second, Rhys, ended his high-octane, fame-filled life by driving his Porsche into a wall. No wonder her family always believes she needs Looking After, and her friends think she really shouldn't be allowed out on her own...Which is why, at the age of thirty-five, she finds herself shamefully back at home, living with Mum.
A writer with her finger well and truly on the pulse of modern family life. This takes us on holiday to the Caribbean with a group of friends who have been holidaying together for years, nice comfortable stuff until sex raises its ugly head. I think she is very good, astute, easy to read and infectious.Comparison: Jill Mansell, Wendy Holden, Mavis Cheek.Similar this month: Pauline McLynn, Tony Parsons.
Funerals are strange things. Kitty hadn't really wanted to go to this one - a old school friend she hadn't seen for years - and she hadn't bargained for the way it made her think of the past. In particular, it made her think of the baby she had given birth to when she was eighteen, the baby her parents had insisted she give away for adoption. She'd called her Madeleine, and she remembered her every day, what she was like, if she was happy. But now, reminded of how cruelly short life can be, she had to see her - just to make sure she'd done the right thing. Life had turned out pretty well for Kitty. Secure in her marriage, with her two teenage children and a house within sound and sight of the Cornish surf, she counted herself among the lucky ones. But the hole left by that first baby wasn't getting any smaller, and she decided to make the first, tentative steps towards filling it - although she, and all her family, were quite unprepared for the upheaval which followed.
Have you ever wondered what your ex is up to? When Nell was a student, she and Patrick were a serious item. They were inseparable, and she really thought he was The One. But then Alex came along...the safer, more restful option, and thanks to her over-controlling mother she opted for him instead. Now nothing is going right. Alex has left her to live in New York with a younger, blonder woman. Escaping to the Caribbean for a recuperative holiday, she is mugged at Gatwick and her bag is stolen. It's crisis time - and she makes two decisions: First - she will take lessons in self-defence. Second - she will try and find Patrick again. Is she trying to put the past behind her- or setting out to ruin her future?
Hochzeitsplane in Cornwall. Seit neun Monaten sind Sean und Thea ein Paar. Die Hochzeit soll an Weihnachten in Cornwall stattfinden, wo sie sich vor einem Jahr kennen- und lieben lernten. Das Paar will eigentlich keinen Firlefanz, ein paar frhliche Weihnachtslieder und ein paar Mistelzweige als Dekoration sollten gengen, denn fr Thea ist es nicht leicht, von London aus alles zu organisieren. Doch leider haben sie die Rechnung ohne ihre turbulente Familie gemacht, und so hufen sich die Katastrophen, bis die Organisation allen ber den Kopf wchst und das ganze schne romantische Fest zu kippen droht.Ein warmherziger Roman, dessen Figuren einem so ans Herz wachsen, dass einem die kalte Winterzeit nichts anhaben kann.
Nein, nicht schnulzig, sondern richtig schon romantisch! Schlielich ist bald Weihnachten ... Theas Eltern wollen die ganze Familie zu Weihnachten nach Cornwall einladen, in ein groes Haus am Meer, dabei sind sie eigentlich dabei, sich zu trennen. Thea selbst ist gerade Single geworden, denn ihr Exfreund hat sich gegen ein Kind und fr die Welpenzucht entschieden - was fr ein Kotzbrocken. Whrend es drauen wie verrckt schneit, wird drinnen heftig Weihnachten gefeiert. Der riesige Mistelzweig, den Sean, der schwule Verwalter des Hauses, aufhngt, sorgt zustzlich zu den neuen Partnern der Eltern, die pltzlich auftauchen, fr Verwirrung. Sean ist einfach toll, das finden Thea und die Leserin, und vielleicht ist er ja gar nicht schwul?Nicht umsonst werden gerade zu Weihnachten Filme wie "e;Tatschlich Liebe"e; und "e;Whrend du schliefst"e; im Fernsehen wiederholt - genau so wunderbar romantisch ist dieses Buch, mit dem sich frau mit dicken Socken, Tee und Keksen aufs Sofa verziehen kann. Jetzt kann Weihnachten kommen.
'Elegant, witty writing, endearing characters and a wonderful romance. What more could you want?' Katie Fforde, bestselling author of A Christmas Feast It is almost a year since Sean and Thea met and it's been a roller-coaster ride: they're getting married on Christmas Day! Neither Thea or Sean want a big fuss - a simple wedding, with Christmas lights and just a few sprigs of mistletoe for decoration is all they need. But before they know it, things begin to get complicated. Trying to manage a long-distance relationship in the build-up to their Christmas wedding is one thing, but as one challenge after another comes their way, the happy couple begin to wonder if they'll ever make it down the aisle . . . With unforgettable characters, charming romance and lots of laughter, A Merry Mistletoe Wedding is a gorgeous Christmas read - perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson.
Every July, the lucky owners of Cornish holiday homes set off for their annual break. They close up their desirable semis in smartish London suburbs - having turned off the Aga and turned on the burglar alarm - and look forward to a carefree, restful, somehow more fulfilling summer. Clare is more than usually ready for her holiday. Her daughter, Miranda, is hitting adolescence bigtime, and her husband Jack is harbouring unsettling thoughts of a change in lifestyle. No wonder that Clare is contemplating a bit of extra-marital adventure, possibly with Eliot, the successful, heavy-drinking author in the adjoining holiday property. Unexpected disasters occur, revelations are made and, as the summer ends, real life will never be quite the same again.
If you like Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, you'll love this funny and touching novel from Judy Astley about life after marriage . . . Melanie finds herself single again after years of being one half of a couple. Her friends predict loneliness, frustration, disaster. Her parents are convinced she's a failure in life. But Melanie is overwhelmingly excited to be able to do her own thing - she plans a programme of behaving badly, after a lifetime of behaving properly. With her daughter off to university and ex-husband Roger married off at last - to his lamentably young girlfriend - she has a Free House, and she intends to make the most of it. But is the single life quite all it's cracked up to be? Readers love Judy Astley: Warm, funny and unerringly true to life Katie Fforde A laugh-out-loud read Woman's Own A light, enjoyable, read you won't be able to resist warming to Daily Mail
Sara's mother told her that she shouldn't marry Conrad - that the twenty-five-year age gap between them would tell in the end. The end is now (apparently) approaching fast. Conrad, a famous painter, has decided that it would be good to die before he gets seriously old and so spends his time sorting out his chaotic life. Sara, teaching art at a local college, finds that she has plenty of male company - other people's husbands, ones she tells Conrad all about, who are just good friends to her. But there's one she, somehow, doesn't get round to mentioning...
Sorrel is about to go off on her Gap Year. She sooo wants a home to come home to. Ilex, her brother, is trying to upgrade his flat and marry his smart girlfriend Manda. He'd like some immediate equity. Clover, the elder sister, has plans that involve a bijou second home in France. And she wants it now. If only their parents would be sensible. If only they would sell their large, rather grand but somewhat dilapidated home and hand over their inheritance. But parents aren't always as sensible as their children. They are planning on blowing the lot...
Big and beautiful? Or thin and miserable? Jay has always envied her cousin Delphine. While Jay was brought up in a large, noisy and chaotic family, Delphine was indulged, perfectly dressed with a co-ordinated bedroom, an immaculate wardrobe, dancing lessons and monogrammed silver-backed hairbrushes. Now Jay lives happily with her architect husband and their three teenage children, running a successful cleaning company and trying to keep some kind of order on her disorderly household, while Delphine has long since disappeared to Australia with her second husband. But Jay does sometimes wonder whether she should be more like her cousin - utterly well-organised and with a size ten figure. So Jay decides to diet. But what should it be? High carb, no protein? High protein, no carb? High fibre? Wheat free? Fat free? Food free? She tries them all, with a variety of successes and failures. But then Delphine reappears, with a third husband in prospect and the same old air of apparently effortless superiority. Jay never considers that perhaps Delphine is the envious one...
If you like Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson, you'll love this delightful, light-hearted read from ever-popular Judy Astley Alice has a scrupulously organised, comfortable life in West London with Noel - her second husband whose main ambition in life is to sharpen his golf handicap in time for retirement. But when her mother Jocelyn, residing in shabby splendour in a crumbling house on a clifftop in Cornwall, becomes ill, Alice and the family goes to look after her. What she finds there appals her: her glorious childhood home falling into decay. Noel, helpfully, thinks Jocelyn should offload the house ('She's sitting on a goldmine, you know') and move into sensible sheltered accommodation. But their children love the freedom and beauty that they discover in Cornwall, and Alice begins to wonder whether her chosen way of life is necessarily the right one . . . Readers love Judy Astley: Warm, funny and unerringly true to life Katie Fforde A laugh out loud read Woman's Own Wickedly funny Daily Mail A lively laughter-packed riot of a story Heat
Jess has just waved goodbye to her darling son, off backpacking to Oz. She's left with two teenage daughters and husband Matt - all of whom find themselves regularly featured in her popular and lighthearted newspaper column in which she conveys to her readers an enviably cheery muddle of family life. Things become less rosy when Matt, after twenty years with the same firm, is made redundant. Only Jess sees the potential calamity in this. Matt is delighted with his new freedom and takes to hanging out at the local bar with others of the male barely-employable tendency, drinking and drifting and dreaming up hopeless schemes to make them all rich. Daughter no. 1, meanwhile, has taken up with a mysterious boy living in an abandoned car on the allotment, and her younger sister is over-burdened with a surfeit of secrets. For Jess, trying to hold everything together and missing her first-flown child, it becomes ever-harder to maintain the carefree facade for her readers. Of course she could just tell them the truth...
After twenty years of marriage, Nina had offloaded serial philanderer Joe and was happy enough, thank you, coping alone with their two demanding daughters and her own hectic life. It felt like freedom, not having to wonder constantly where Joe was, who with and up to what. But into Nina's new, carefree life some disturbing elements began to appear. A flasher had been accosting young girls on the nearby common, leaving every man in the area under suspicion. Home, to Nina, no longer felt so safe. And Joe, during one of his oh-so-civilised monthly lunches with Nina, revealed that the new love in his life, pin-thin, power-dressed Catherine, had decided that she now required a baby. But babies, Joe told Nina, were what he did with her: a remark that Nina found oddly unsettling...
The residents of the Close were much concerned with crime - preventing it, that is. With all those out-of-work teenagers on the nearby council estate hanging around, stealing, joy-riding and goodness knows what else, it was just as well that Paul Mathieson was setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Not that the inhabitants of the Close did not have their own little activities, of course, but these were hardly the same thing. If Jenny and Alan's daughter was caught travelling on the underground without a ticket, and their son was doing a little experimenting with certain substances, and Laura didn't see the need to declare her earnings from hiring out her house to a film crew, and Jenny drove home only just over the legal limit - well, these were quite different matters, not to be compared with what went on in the Estate. And then there was Jenny's discovery, when she advertised flute lessons, that she could work up quite a nice little earner in a rather unexpected way... As the leafy London street resounded to the efforts of its citizens to keep crime at bay, Jenny realised that it was her marriage, rather than her property, that needed watching.