Jill Mansell's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

Have we mentioned that we are LOVIN' this new feature?  We've been blown away by the funny and poignant Do's and Do-overs of our favorite authors and we hope that you guys are enjoying it as much as we are. Today we're thrilled to have beloved Chick-Lit Brit Jill Mansell, an international bestselling author with 21 novels and over 5 million copies sold worldwide. Her latest, Staying at Daisy's(out TOMORROW, March 1st) is a fun, delicious read!

Hotel Manager Daisy MacLean sees a lot of people come and go; unfortunately it always seems to cause chaos.The arrival of her friend Tara's ex-boyfriend Dominic doesn't seem to worry Daisy-after all Tara promised nothing would happen, as he's getting married at the hotel. His best man, on the other hand, Dev, is the one guest Daisy could do without.  He is arrogant and sarcastic-but also incredibly sexy.  Daisy tries to steer clear of him, yet soon realizes he is the one guest she can't bear to see leave.

In this fast-paced novel with multiple lovable characters, Daisy learns to look past first impressions and that most people are not who they seem to be, whether for better or worse.

Sounds fun, right?  We've got FIVE copies to give away!  Y'all know the drill-leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  We'll choose a winner on Thursday night after 6pm PST.  Good Luck!


Hello Liz and Lisa, and thank you so much for inviting me back!

5 Do's

1.  The first of my five fantastic moments is the time we bought the bear who lives in our fireplace. Last year our family visited a shopping village and saw a bear on sale, five feet tall and with a very cute face. (He isn’t real, I hasten to add.) I fell in love with him at first sight and my husband asked me if I’d like the bear as my birthday present. Of course the answer was YES. The ensuing ten minutes are a memory I shall always treasure – my teenage son had to carry the enormous bear on his shoulder through the crowded shopping village whilst EVERYONE stared and laughed, and dogs danced around him barking like crazy.  My bear only just fitted into the car, but we managed to get him home. He now stands guard in our fireplace and is one of my favourite possessions. He doesn’t have a name, apart from Bear, but he does like to dress up a bit for Christmas and has a collection of jaunty hats for the rest of the year. He also likes having his photo taken...

2.  Another brilliant memory is the moment I knew writing had changed my life. After years of having books published but not selling very many of them and struggling financially, we were having a cheap few days’ holiday in a pretty grotty caravan (trailer!) in Cornwall. I was standing outside on the steps of the trailer when my agent rang to tell me my publishers had just offered a life-altering amount of money for my next contract. I vividly remember gazing around at our not very picturesque trailer park and thinking: I am never EVER going to stay in a caravan again...

(Except we did, because our children loved those holidays and pleaded with us not to stop!)

3.  Here’s a must-do that doesn’t cost money. Organ transplants feature in my new book, and when I worked in a hospital my work was often connected with transplantation. I’ve been on the organ transplant register myself for many years, and also the bone marrow register. Four years ago I was contacted by them and told that I appeared to be a good match for someone currently very ill with leukaemia. I then went for further tests and waited for the results from the lab...

Unfortunately I wasn’t a good enough match and they weren’t able to harvest my bone marrow for this patient, but the reason I’m talking about it now is because I hadn’t anticipated how thrilled and honoured I would feel when I thought there was a chance I might be able to help someone in this way. It was a highlight of my life and I really recommend it to all of you. I’m still on the register and would love another chance to make such a difference to another person’s life.

4.  At the risk of sounding like an advert, having my eyes lasered is something else I’m really pleased I had done. Contact lenses are a nuisance and I didn’t enjoy wearing glasses. Like most people I’m squeamish about eyes and the thought of having laser surgery made my toes curl, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined. The next morning I woke up and could see perfectly. It was a truly wondrous moment. My handy hint though, if you’re considering it, is not to have it done the week before Christmas, like I did. You aren’t allowed to wear ANY eye make-up AT ALL for a fortnight afterwards...

5.  My new book, Staying at Daisy’s, is set in a country house hotel in the Cotswolds. The hotel and setting are based on the Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe. It must have been twenty years ago now, but we’d read a stellar restaurant review of the place and decided to go there for the first time, for a lunch to celebrate my birthday. The sun was shining and the hotel, the dining room and the food were all sublime, like nothing we’d ever experienced before. At one stage during the meal I remember I almost burst into tears because it was all so amazing and I was so happy to be there.

Since then I’ve become more accustomed to excellent cuisine, but the Manor House is still my favourite place to go. Here’s a link to the website so you can see what I’m drooling about: www.manorhouse.co.uk (And no, they aren’t paying me to say this either!)

So if you read my new book you can now see where the story has been set...


And finally we reach my Do-over. Equally memorable but in a less lovely way, it was a visit to another restaurant. This was when I was single and still working in a hospital, counting every penny to get by. On the way back from a medical conference in London, our consultant psychiatrist boss announced that we should stop somewhere for dinner and pulled into the car-park of a nice restaurant. I had about three pounds in my purse and no credit card. Appalled, I knew I couldn’t afford this. But if I told him that, he would feel obliged to pay for my meal. So I had to pretend I wasn’t hungry and ordered the very cheapest item on the menu, which was a minuscule potato pancake on the starter menu. I had to visit the bathroom to count all the change in my purse and make sure I had enough money to pay for it. Then I pretended I was too full for a main course and sat there sipping tap water while the others all ate their way through the menu and ordered bottles of wine.

At the end of the meal, needless to say, my boss announced that he was taking care of the bill and charging it to expenses...

Thanks Jill!  xoxo, L&L

To read more about Jill, head on over to her website or find her on Twitter and Facebook!