Friday, September 11, 2009

Guest post by Jill Mansell, author of Millie's Fling (with giveaway)

I'm thrilled to welcome Jill Mansell to Diary of an Eccentric today! Mansell is the author of Millie's Fling, Miranda's Big Mistake, and An Offer You Can't Refuse (click to read my reviews) -- all fun chick-lit novels brought to the U.S. by Sourcebooks.

Here's what Mansell had to say about her latest novel, Millie's Fling and why her heroines aren't stick thin (I just love how she keeps her characters real):

Hi, it’s lovely to be blogging here – I don’t have a blog of my own, so I feel like a cuckoo, borrowing other people’s! Ah, now wondering if you have cuckoos in your part of the world...OK, a cuckoo is a bird that occupies other birds’ nests because it’s too lazy to build one for itself. But I’m digressing already. I’m actually here to talk about my new book, Millie’s Fling. It’s set in Cornwall, in the UK, and is hopefully fun and frothy with plenty of laughs and some dramatic twists. I write feel-good fiction in the manner (so I’m told) of Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes. I like to make people laugh and cry. If you like to laugh and cry, try my book! You might like it!

I’ve also had some lovely comments from readers over the years, but one arrived this morning that made me extra-happy and I’d like to share some of it with you. I don’t know who wrote it, but I’m really grateful to her for doing so. (I have a Google Alert on my name, which is how it came to my attention.)

Anyway, here it is:

One word (or several) in general about Mansell's books. They will appeal to you if you relate to Sex and the City through compassion for the girl's difficult struggle. And I highly recommend them to teenage girls. The reason for the last statement is that Mansell's characters are often, though not always, a curvaceous 14 or a dazzling 12. These physical looks are always talked about in a positive light with Liz the largest of the characters always being the sexiest most desirable one. Personally when I was a teenager this was the only input on the side of bigger than a size 8 is beautiful and sexy and I truly do acknowledge that this input gave me a healthy respect for my natural body and meant that I had very few image problems.

Isn’t that great? And that’s just one reader. I’ve sold over five million books, so who knows how many other girls out there might have taken that message and gained comfort from it? I’ve always deliberately avoided talk of diets and thinner-is-better in my novels, simply because I find it tedious beyond belief and not what you need when you’re wanting to escape from the real world into a happier one. I don’t diet myself. I flirted with dieting once or twice but it just made me think about food in the wrong way. I’m medium height and medium weight. I’m apple-shaped, in that my legs are skinny and my waist is not. (My nickname at school was Matchsticks – wow, listen to me, I’m in a confessional mood today!) But I do hate the endless pressure on girls to be thin and that’s why I’ve never promoted it in my books. I’d like to thank the girl who wrote that review – I now feel as if I’ve made a tiny difference to someone’s life. And if she’s out there reading this blog, I’ll say it now. Thank you!

About the Author:

Jill Mansell is one of the UK’s premiere contemporary authors who has written nearly 20 romances with multi-generational appeal and has sold nearly 4 million copies of her books in the UK. Releasing her latest novel this Fall, Millie’s Fling, Mansell’s writing style can be best described as Sex & the City meets Bridget Jones’s Diary.” She worked for many years at the Burden Neurological Hospital, Bristol, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

For more information on Jill in the UK, please visit, and for info on her US releases, go to!

It's Giveaway Time!

If Millie's Fling sounds like a good read to keep you warm as fall sets in, you're in luck! Courtesy of Sourcebooks, I have 2 copies to give to my readers. Here's what you have to do:

Leave a comment with you email address AND tell me the name of your favorite chick-lit heroine. (If you've never read chick lit or don't have a favorite, you can tell me your favorite female protagonist from any genre.)

The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada only, as the publisher is shipping the books. You have until Sunday, Sept. 27 at 11:59 pm EST to enter.


Serena said...

No need to enter me in the giveaway; I've already read and reviewed this book.

I wanted to stop by and say that I wish more authors would take her advice to heart and not write about dieting and thinner being best. I like that.

traveler said...

Thanks for this lovely giveaway. It sounds delightful. The heroine whom I enjoy greatly is Valentine Roncalli. A unique and strong minded woman who is fun loving as well. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Tricia said...

My favorite female heroine has got to be Elizabeth Bennett. This book sounds delightful!

bookblogsonning at gmail dot com

The Book Chick said...

I have to admit that I'm kind of sad that Jill Mansell doesn't have a blog. I've been following this particular book tour closely (stalking, perhaps?) and have found all of her guest posts quite enjoyable!

I would love to be entered into this giveaway, as I am so excited to read Jill Mansell's latest book! One of my favourite chick-lit heroine's would have to be Cannie from "Good in Bed" and "Certain Girls". I love that she's a very real character, with very real flaws.

CherylS22 said...

My favorite heroine is Evelyn Dixon from Marie Bostwick's novel "A Single Thread".
Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

Sandy Nawrot said...

I think she would be an excellent blogger...what a personality! It is nice to read about women who aren't a size 2. I have plenty of those around me anyway, to remind me of my curves! I would love to get my hands on this book! rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com

Jo-Jo said...

This one is kind of a tough question for me, and although I didn't read Bridget Jones I did see the movie and I loved her. So she is definitely my favorite.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

bermudaonion said...

I love this post and totally agree that there is too much focus on looking a certain way these days. My favorite chick lit heroine is Becky from the Shopaholic books. milou2ster(at)

Anonymous said...

My favourite chick-lit heroine is Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice.

Jeannie said...

Hi Anna! No need to enter me. I just wanted to say it is very refreshing that the author is "keeping it real" with her characters.

Hope you're doing well, Anna. Miss ya!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Is Jane Eyre chick lit? If so, I pick her. If not, I'll go with Becky Jack from Shannon Hale's The Actor and The Housewife.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Bridget said...

No need to enter me; I've just posted this on Win A Book.

renee said...

My fav is shopaholic book- Becky, i think i have reread that book 10 times.
reneetaylor at sympatico dot ca

cqueen2 said...

My favorite heroine is Evelyn Dixon!


wadesherry@hotmail dot com

Pam said...

I also love Becky and Cannie. I also love Lizzie Nichols, Queen of Babble.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Jenny N. said...

My favourite chick-lit heroine would have to be Bridget Jones. I loved the book and loved Renee Zellweger in the movies.


donnas said...

My favorite is Bridget Jones. The movies were great but the books were better. There is something about her that I just relate to.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Linda said...

I can't come up with a particular name but I've admired all the independent, saucy heroines of Dorothea Benton Frank's southern chick lit novels. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm anxious to read some British chick lit.

M. said...

Recently I read 'B as in Beauty', which read like Latina chicklit to me (the heroine is Cuban-American) and since that was a first, I'll stick with B (who calls herself that because she doesn't think the full name, Beauty, applies to her. At least, at the beginning of the book).

Also: Ms. Mansell's cover is very pretty.

mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

Debs Desk said...

I love Lizzie Nichols in Queen of Babble. Please include me in your giveaway.

Staci said...

This was really fun to read. I've tried to get her books from the library but they don't have any of them. I would love to win one!! :) Favorite chick-lit character...hmmmm. Toss between Bridget Jones and Cannie.

Gaby317 said...

This sounds great!

My current favorite heroine is Deirdre from Mia King's Good Thing and its sequel Table Manners. She's flawed but tries hard to improve her situation. She's kind, generous, and creative, too.

Thanks so much for the entry

gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

Alyce said...

My favorite chick-lit heroine is Emma from Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Mari said...

I have given you an award!

Happy Sunday!

windycindy said...

Hi, Great book giveaway drawing!
It certainly sounds like a great book to read fireside this fall.
I have always loved Agatha Christie's
Miss Marple. Thanks, Cindi

Beth (BBRB) said...

Probably Betsy from the Undead books. She's so fun!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

"Savannah" from Denise Hildreth's series of books.

karen k

Anonymous said...

Mine is Elizabeth Bennet.


Melody said...

Hi, I want to say hello after reading Serena's post about your blog!
Happy BBAW! :)

Sue said...

Becky Bloomwood. Nobody has ever made me laugh so hard.

This looks so great! Thanks for sharing it.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Beth said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. My fav is Elizabeth Bennett.

M. said...

I very much like the cover of 'Millie's Fling'. Very pretty colors.

I recently read 'B as in Beauty', and to me it felt like Latina chicklit. Beauty was an unusual and memorable heroine.

mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

heatherzilla said...

Sounds like a good book. Becky Bloomwood makes me laugh.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I would love to be entered! This sounds great and I think my mom would like it too. As for my favorite's not chick-lit but I LOVE Jane from Nice Girl's Don't Dead Men by Molly Harper.

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Misusedinnocence said...

Becky Bloomwood without a doubt. :)

Rebecca N. said...

My favorite is Bridget Jones for sure! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

mrsshukra said...

Another Bridget Jones fan here!


Sarah Z said...

I love Stephanie Plum!
believedreamcourage (at)

Esme said...

Claudia from Baby Proof

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dto com

April said...

This looks and sounds like such a great book! Please enter me. The first name that came to mind was Stephanie Plum from The Plum Series by Janet Evanovich, but I'm not sure if that falls into chick lit, so my next one would be Becky from the Shopaholic series!


DCMetroreader said...

I love Bridget Jones!


nomadreader said...

I've heard so many good things about this book, and I'd love to win!

My favorite heroine is Claudia from Baby Proof by Emily Giffin.


Megan said...

What a great giveaway! Count me in! My favorite heroine is Stephanie Plum. She is so quirky and fun. The situations she gets herself in are so hilarious.


cherdon said...

The name of my favorite heroine is Cas in Game Over by Adele Parks.

Anna said...

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered and to those who publicized the giveaway in some form. I'll be announcing the winners soon!

Mari: Thanks for the award!

Melody: Thanks for stopping by!