Bridesmaids and Julie Cohen’s writing workshop…


Debbie and niecesAn interim blog for you – come back again this week for news of my mini-break to Monaco!

In this blog…

– Funniest film of the year, Bridesmaids – out on DVD

– Writing in Reading!

– Your chance to win a copy of Julie Cohen's novel Getting Away with It

– And Arthur Christmas with the nieces!

Got to kick off this week with what has to be one of my favourite films of all time – and definitely one of the funniest this year – if not THE funniest – Bridesmaids! From the opening scenes, which include escaping a tragically funny one night stand by straddling an opening electric gate, and the ensuing banter scene with her best friend (yes women DO really talk about things like that!), heroine Annie, the "maid of dishonour", lurches from one mishap to another whilst supposedly planning her best mate's hen do.

BUT there's enough pathos in the form of a truly believable love interest (the traffic cop – didn't you want to mother him?) to balance out the slap-stick and set-pieces to make it truly memorable and original. Actress Kristen Wiig actually co-wrote it too, what a talent! Sooooo highly recommended and one of the few films I'll actually be buying on DVD – to add to other all-time faves as listed below. Got to be a proper 9 and a quarter out of 10 for me, that one!

Saw it in the cinema in early summer when I was going through a bit of a 'moment' in my social life, so it really resonated with me! Gonna get my lovely sister to watch it with me – might even make it a girlie evening – I know we’ll have a fabulous laugh together! Absolutely loooove the Megan character too – brilliant!

It's been called "The Hangover for girls", and is from the producer of the 40 Year Old Virgin which is also highly recommended! Some of my top chick-flick films I actually own include the obvious like Pretty Woman and Working Girl and Bridget Jones, to others like It's Complicated, Roxanne, Up Close and Personal, and First Wives Club to name but a few –  and of course Mamma Mia! They are all must-own DVD/Blu-rays! What’s on your shelves at home that you love to keep watching?

Debbie and Julie CohenWRITING IN READING

Now it might read weirdly, but yes, I was writing in Reading this week – courtesy of one of my favourite book-type-peeps, Julie Cohen and her advanced novel writing course! It was very eventful – and as I know my literary antics aren't that scintillating to everyone (!) I thought I'd give you a chance to win one of her books – the most recent paperback, Getting Away With It. All you have to do, as usual, is leave a comment below, about anything, or about your fave book of the moment, and it'll be a randomly selected winner chosen just after the closing date of Tuesday 29th November.
It's autographed by Julie Cohen (her name only, but in the book itself, not on a name plate!) It's a hilarious and heartbreaking story about a stunt woman running away, living someone else’s life, and finding her way home again.

Getting Away With It“A good twin, a bad twin, a hot bloke and an ice-cream business…What’s not to love?” Heat mag.

We had a fab time discussing our plots and synopses and inciting incidents and darkest moments – in our novels, not in our lives! – and then went for a pub supper together. Julie’s very good – more info and a fascinating blog at, where you can download a sample of the first chapter of Getting Away With It!

I know a couple of you have already read my recommendations for some of her novels, so let me know what you think of them! Leave a comment for me below! I would regale you with stories of my previous night in the hotel, but suffice it to say it involved a very noisy couple in the room next door, till 3am! Goodness me! Whoever was in room 20 at the Great Expectations Hotel in Reading on Friday 11th November, you really need to turn down the volume if you know what I mean!! Good job I'm a night owl, and was writing until late anyway! ; – )


Debbie and nieces at cinemaWATCH – ARTHUR CHRISTMAS!

When my kids were little, we'd always take them along with their many cousins en masse to the new kids' films. Well now they're 24 and 22 you can imagine, it's a while since I've been to the cinema to see the latest releases! So it was with great pleasure that we accompanied little niece Lara to Epsom on Sunday to see Arthur Christmas – with some wonderful British voices like James 'XMen/Atonement' Mcavoy, Bill 'Love Actually' Nighy and one of my faves, Jim 'Bridget Jones' Broadbent. I think I even spotted Matt Lucas in there somewhere!

Anyway, it was really really funny! If you have any youngsters to take, do add this film to your list this xmas – and for little Izzy, it was her very first trip to the cinema – you should have seen her face as she entered the big dark room and saw the "massive telly"! She watched much of it bless her, and it definitely got the thumbs up from sister Lara.

My most favourite bits were Bill Nighy's 136 year old retired "grand-santa" – mischievous and hilarious. For instance, someone said "That’s impossible!", and he replied "They used to think it was impossible to teach a woman to read…" in a way only Bill Nighy can get away with! As far as kids' films go I'd give this one a good eight and a half out of ten!

Sorry not to have brought you other film reviews lately – including Anonymous – the story of whether Shakespeare was a fake, and Machine Gun Preacher neither of which were actually shown in my local Odeons! Shame on them! If you saw them, do leave your thoughts below! Will have to wait for the DVD release.


Near miss of the week – just had to tell you about this one! I got invited at short notice to a reception I would have killed to go to – by a new pal who’s a film producer and member of BAFTA.  I had to tell him I couldn't go cos I was on air, but imagine my reaction when I got this text this week – "would you like to come to a George Clooney reception"!!!

Whilst my pal Terry was in Brighton schmoozing George (who was very "cool" apparently!) I was on air selling Bobbi Brown and Quacker Factory! Oh well, it was a first for me to get an invite like that – perhaps that should be my TiFFT (first time club) item for the month! I was chuffed to even be asked, after all!… Have you ever met your pin up? Gorgeous George is mine, alongside Colin Firth and Paul Rudd. Oh and a new one I've added to my list – Henry Cavill, who was the Duke of Suffolk on The Tudors – remember him? Apparently he's just got the new role of the new Superman on the big screen! Loooovely!


Gosh, what an amaaaazing meal pal Carolyn and I had on Friday night. Apparently we found the "best food in Reading" and what must have been the most good looking waiter! Called Faz (short for Farouk?) – tall, dark and handsome personified! Lol. Well I WAS in Mills and Boon mode, so what do you expect? ! I would have taken a pic of him, but Carolyn forbade me, so I took one of the delicious pomme tartin-type dessert instead – I shared a little of hers, honest! Don't want to be undoing any of the good work I've been doing through the summer – all those squats and lunges – plus of course Freedom eating (anyone remember that?)

Well I freedom ate my way (!!) through their  mouth-watering goats cheese and caramelised onion puff pastry tart starter amongst other things – so moreish that Carolyn asked what goats' cheese it was – so mild and creamy – it was "rosary" from a local dairy apparently – just in case you fancy trying it, or you have already! What's your fave tip for a dish with goats' cheese?

Debbie in Cydney Mar dressQVC – THIS WEEKEND

Watch out for the new fashion hours at the weekend – I'm on with Anttony Fashion designs amongst others, on Saturday evening, followed by Hair by Michael di Cesare (5pm and 6pm) Sat 19th, when the lovely dresses by Cydney Mar also make their debut through the day (9am and 7pm). If you caught me wearing this dress a couple of weeks ago it’s a Cydney Mar so watch out for it on the weekend shows! Lots of other fashion specials too!

I'm on air from Thursday through to Sunday, because I'm away with Goody the model in Monaco looking at boats and jetties and whether there's enough room for a hunky man to dive into the sea down the side of a moored yacht in order to rescue a handbag in distress… Well it is a Lulu Guinness one! (I'm talking of course about my own novel – more news in the next blog!)
Have a fab week! And don't forget to leave a comment below, on any topic above, to be entered into the comp to win a signed copy of Getting Away With It!



  1. Caz J November 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    I’ve not read anything by Julie Cohen yet, but ‘Getting Away with It’ sounds right up my street! I have a very broad taste in books as you may have gathered. I’m currently reading (for the 4th time) ‘I Am – A Journey to Enlightenment’ by the lovely Stephen Shaw, and have just finished Jacky Newcomb’s latest book that she co-wrote with her sister Madeline Richardson called ‘Call Me When You Get To Heaven’ all about their father and his contact with them after he passed away. It’s a fabulous book and I found it very uplifting and comforting. The last novel that I read was ‘The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake’ by Aimee Bender… a very interesting book indeed! I’ve been catching up with your blogs tonight as it’s the first chance I’ve had for ages, and I really wished we’d had more time for a proper chat at the DQ event, as we do seem to have quite a lot in common…
    Have fun Debs, and much love
    Caz xxxxxx

  2. thestarparty1 November 18, 2011 at 6:48 am -  Reply

    This article sounds great, but how everything is related together? Great work. Regularly I do not make comments on blogs, but I have to say that this post really acted me to do so. Really awesome post. Really fantastic and I will be coming back for more information at your site and revisit it! Thank you.

  3. Emma November 20, 2011 at 10:12 am -  Reply

    Haha Debs just reading your blogs makes me feel exhausted- I am so impressed with how much you manage to fit into your life and in particular I read with interest your literary pursuits- I daydream about developing my creative side when my children are a bit bigger and no longer occupy all my waking moments and most of my nighttime ones too!! I have a rare day off work on Monday without the choldren for a few hours so you have inspired me to take an indulgent trip for one to the cinema- what a treat- the cleaning can wait!! Thanks for the inspiration Debs, take care and keep the blogging – we love it! Emsx

  4. debs f November 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Caz – how are you hon? Nice to hear from you as usual!
    interesting book choices! If you like a cleverly written story, definitely try a Julie Cohen if you get the chance! Honey Trap is a good fast one to start with if you’re not sure.
    Call Me When You Get to Heaven sounds a good one. Will have to look out for it on amazon…
    ps am sure we’ll get to meet up again sometime!

  5. debs f November 21, 2011 at 9:33 pm -  Reply

    Dear The Star Party 1!
    What’s your actual name hon?!! What a great nickname!
    So happy you like the blogs! I do put a lot of effort into them – probably more than i should to be honest! but hey, I love writing so what can i say!
    Do come back and comment some more – maybe I can get you into a new habit! lol

  6. debs f November 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

    emma – oo, oo, what did you see on monday at the cinema?! Am intrigued! So glad the blog’s inspired you to take some time out for you – it’s so important, and not enough mummies do it regularly. I was guilty of that too when my kids were young.
    Am very happy you took the time out to comment, thank you!
    look forward to hearing what you got up to!
    ps and even if you just dream about it, visualising will also help you get round to writing one day too. I only really got back into it when my youngest Lauren went off to uni, so don’t feel too bad! There’s a lady called Pia Courtney at the RNA who writes romance novels. She started writing when she left work to have her daughter, and she just got published. The daughter’s just gone off to uni! Takes all sorts! Never give up! you know what they say – what the mind can conceive, the body can achieve. 🙂

  7. Caz J November 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    I’m fine thanks hon and hope you are too? I’ll have a look for Honey Trap cos I do like cleverly written stories, so ta for the tip :o) Call Me When You Get to Heaven was a fab read…I bought it from Jacky Newcomb’s website ( cos she signs her books before she sends them out, and her sister Madeline Richardson also signed it as it was co-written by them both.
    Lyn and I are coming down to London again on Tues 29th on the 11.30 train from Manchester so will be there around 1pm-ish I should think. We’re having another trip to Whole Foods so that Lyn can stock up with sourdough bread and we can both get some more pumpkin pies! We’re coming back on the 11pm train from Euston so we should have plenty of time for a look round!
    Have a fab week hun, and hope to see you again soon,
    Love and hugs
    Caz xxxx

  8. Alison November 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    A quick update about what I’ve been reading recently! I read Victoria Connolly’s book “The Perfect Hero”-a chick-lit novel with a nudge to Jane Austen’s books. This had references to Persuasion by Jane Austen which I realised I’d never read-so I downloaded it onto my Kindle! What a treat it was to read!! Now I’m reading a Lee Child novel-from the sublime to the ridiculous!
    Great to read your blog as usual-I frequently dip in to read what you’ve written and am often envious of your very full life. You have a warm style of sharing all (or almost all) of your life with us-thanks very much!!

  9. debs f November 25, 2011 at 1:08 am -  Reply

    hi caz!! Book sounds great! shame i’m not around on Tuesday 29th, I’d say come across for a coffee at the Q!
    enjoy the trip!

  10. debs f November 25, 2011 at 1:10 am -  Reply

    Oh Alison, bless you for commenting and thanks so much for your kind comments! Yes it is ‘almost’ all – I promised myself!”
    Actually there’ve been a couple of events I’ve done lately which didn’t make it onto the pages for obviously guessable reasons, but am glad you’re enjoying the ones that do!
    thanks for commenting and entering the comp!

  11. Gail Aldwin November 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Deb
    I remember you reading the ‘handbag’ moment with Chris at Arvon. Glad you’re still writing – keep at it – love Gail

  12. debs f December 2, 2011 at 1:59 am -  Reply

    hey Gail – ta for leaving a comment on here! Hope you’re still writing too? Chris contacted me recently actually to join a local writing group with him – that’s jogged my memory! I must respond – and must stop reading stuff when i’ve just woken up cos I forget everything! lol.
    Yes am still writing – even if it’s my blog instead of putting the final touches to my story! Nearly there tho!
    Guess who’s coming down to stay this weekend – Liz! From York! Should be fab fun! Keep in touch ok? you’re a member of our yahoo group aren’t you?

  13. Debs December 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi all,
    Thanks for your comments – I’m pleased to say the winner of ‘Getting Away With It’ signed by Julie Cohen is… Emma!
    Hope you manage to grab enough time away from the kids to read it!

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