Hissy Fit: A Novel

Hissy Fit: A Novel

by Mary Kay Andrews

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061746826
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 2,339
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels, most recently The Weekenders, as well as 10 critically acclaimed mysteries. A former reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hometown:

Atlanta, Georgia

Date of Birth:

July 27, 1954

Place of Birth:

Tampa, Florida

Education:

B.A. in newspaper journalism, University of Georgia, 1976

Read an Excerpt

Hissy Fit
A Novel

Chapter One

If it had not been for my fiance's alcoholic cousin Mookie I feel quite sure that my daddy would still be a member in good standing at the Oconee Hills Country Club. But Mookie can't drink hard liquor. She can drink beer and wine all day and all night and not bat an eyelash, but give her a mai-tai or, God forbid, a margarita, and you are asking for trouble.

It was my rehearsal dinner, which the Jernigans were hosting, and I was the bride-to-be, so I don't believe I should have been the one responsible for keeping a grown woman and mother of two away from the margarita machine, even if she was one of the bridesmaids.

Nonetheless, I was the one standing there when Mookie went spinning out of control across the dance floor, and I was the one who got sprayed with a good six ounces of strawberry margarita. And across the front of my blue raw silk Tahari dress too.

"For God's sake," snapped GiGi, my mother-in-law-to-be. She of course had neatly sidestepped Mookie, leaving her own pale pink beaded gown spotless. "I told you not to have her in the wedding. You know how she gets."

"Keeley," Mookie yelped, lunging at me with her half-empty glass. "I am sooooo sorry. Let me help you get cleaned up."

She proceeded to dump the rest of her drink down my back.

"It's fine," I said, gritting my teeth. "Just a little spot."

Mookie's mother, who is used to this kind of behavior, snatched her up by the arm and started dragging her toward the door so she wouldn't cause any more of a scene, and all the women closed ranks around me, dabbing and fussing until I wanted to scream.

Actually, I'd been wanting to scream for several weeks now.

Enough! Enough parties. Enough presents. Enough luncheons and teas, enough sappy wedding showers, enough family and friends oohing and aahing over the perfect couple.

A.J. had had enough too. "Can't we just go somewhere and screw our brains out for a couple weeks, then come back and be normal?" he'd asked the night before the rehearsal dinner.

It had been a busy week. I'd already endured the "Sip 'n See Tea," where everybody in the county came by my daddy's house to paw over my wedding loot, and the bridesmaids' luncheon where GiGi let it be known that she thought it was awful my mama hadn't been invited to the wedding. As if I even knew where Mama had been living for the past twenty-some years.

And that was just the solo stuff. That very night A.J. and I had suffered through the "His 'n Her Barbecue Shower" given by one of his former fraternity brothers.

At the time he asked this question, A.J. was modeling the Hot Stuff! barbecue apron and padded oven mitt, which had been a shower gift from his Aunt Norma. To be perfectly honest, A.J. was naked under the apron. And he wasn't wearing the mitt where his Aunt Norma had intended.

I had A.J. backed into the corner with the barbecue tongs, and then one thing led to another, and pretty soon we were rolling around on the floor of his apartment, and my chef's hat came off along with the rest of my clothes, and the next thing you know, A.J. was having one of his attacks.

"Hee-upp! Hee-upp." His whole body arched backward. I pushed him away, not startled really. A.J. gets like that sometimes when he's, uh, in the throes.

"Breathe, baby, breathe," I instructed, slithering out from under him.

"No," he managed, between hiccups. "Don't stop, Keeley." He tried to pull me back down. "Come on. I'll be all right."

"Hee-upp! Hee-upp! Hee-upp." His body jerked violently with each hiccup. I was afraid he'd hurt himself. Hell, I was afraid he'd hurt me. Not to mention that I don't find fits of uncontrollable hiccups much of a turn-on. Not even when the hiccupper is the love of my life.

I scrambled to my feet, ran to the sink, and filled a cup with water. "Come on, A.J.," I said, helping him to his feet. "It's better if you stand up. Come on, sugar, drink some water for Keeley."

"I (hee) don't (up) want any damn hee-uppp! water," A.J. stuttered. But he took a sip anyway.

"Another one," I urged, rubbing his bare back. He caught my free hand and slid it down his belly. The man never stops trying.

"No, now," I said, giggling and moving away. He pulled me back toward him. I held out the cup. "Not until you drink all this water."

He frowned but started sipping.

"Go slower," I said. "You know it's the only thing that works."

"I know what works," he said, getting that look in his eye again. "Come back over here and rub on me again."

But I'd picked up my clothes and was already hurrying into the bedroom to get dressed.

"Hey!" he called after me. "That wasn't the deal."

I pushed the button on the doorknob. "I know," I called through the locked door. "I tricked you."

By the time he found the key to the bedroom door I was just zipping my skirt.

"Aw, Keeley," he said, his lip thrust out in that adorable pout of his. "I wanted us to do it one more time tonight."

I tried to kiss the pout away, but he wasn't having it.

"A.J.," I said, pushing his hands away from the button he was unfastening.

"Now, really. The wedding's just a few days away. I have an early morning meeting and a ton of stuff to do. I can't be staying over here fooling around with you all night."

"Come on, baby," he whispered, sliding the zipper on my skirt down while pushing my skirt up toward my waist. "Once we're married, it won't be as much fun as this. We'll be all legal and stuff."

Hissy Fit
A Novel
. Copyright © by Mary Kay Andrews. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Reading Group Guide

Introduction

The night before her wedding, in the middle of an oh-so-smart rehearsal dinner, interior decorator Keeley Murdock chances upon her fiance and maid of honor in flaming flagrante delicto. Keeley throws the hissy fit to end all hissy fits and storms out.

The next day, though, she has to deal not only personally with a broken engagement but also with her business being shut out by folks in a town financially obligated to her ex. Rescue comes in the form of the new owner of the local bra plant. He hires Keeley to redo the broken-down antebellum mansion he's bought for the woman of his dreams. So Keeley dives in, scouring for antiques and searching for clues to her mother's puzzling disappearance. Keeley finds out that things can work out even for those who throw humdinger hissy fits.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think of Keeley's reaction to her fiance's behavior at their engagement party? Does she do the right thing? How would you react in a similar situation?

  2. Do you find it surprising that Will Mahoney is so determined to impress a woman he's never met? Why?

  3. Is the picture that Mary Kay Andrews paints of life and business in a small town a realistic one?

  4. When Keeley gets underneath the facades of some people she's known all her life, what does she discover? What does this novel say about how well we ever really know each other?

  5. What part do antiques play in this story? Are Keeley's questions about her own past reflected in her search for enduring old furnishings and her wish to create beautiful homes for her clients?

  6. Do you feel any sympathy for A.J.? Does he get the comeuppance he deserves? Does Stephanie?

  7. What secrets does Keeley unearth in her search to find out about her mother's disappearance?

  8. The novel, which begins with a broken engagement, ends with a wedding. Is the identity of the happy couple a surprise?

About the author

Mary Kay Andrews is a native Floridian who learned to love junking and antiquing at an early age in St. Petersburg, Fla. She has a journalism degree from The University of Georgia. She worked as a newspaper reporter for 14 years, the last ten years of which she worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her first Callahan Garrity mystery, Every Crooked Nanny, written under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck, was published by HarperCollins in 1992. A veteran of countless estate sales, flea markets and junk shops, Kathy turned to antique picking when her "finds" threatened to take over her house . The mother of Andrew, 18, and Katie, 22, Kathy and her family now make their home in a vintage 1925 cottage in Raleigh, N.C.

Customer Reviews

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Hissy Fit 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 280 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If I could do 3 1/2 stars, I would. This book is predictable, but enjoyable. I would have preferred more development of the main characters romance - you'll know when you read it, but I laughed out loud on occasion and it left a good feeling when I finished it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious! I found myself laughing out loud! Not to mention, the characters were so vivid and endearing. The plot was by far, her best and most in depth thus far. I loved this bok and would reccommend it t anyone who loves a little Southern sass. Truly one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great lite summer book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was recamended this book when i was in kind of a reading funk. This book is laugh out loud funny. Very easy read and perfect for a raining day or when you just need something to make u laugh.
Merrie Campbell More than 1 year ago
Great fun. A must read summer novel..
Patski More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. One to read without putting it down. No sex, not gorey. Fabulous.
KCGrandmaMO More than 1 year ago
A southern mansion to restore and decorate, a trashed wedding, an old mystery 25 years in the making and a father who has a more active social life that his daughter. Fun book. I would read more of this author. A good book for a snowed in kind of day.
Jennifer Frantz More than 1 year ago
I am so happy that I purchased this book! I am a big fan of the chick lit genre in general, but Mary Kay Andrews attention to detail and full character development make this a must read. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!
Lea2949 More than 1 year ago
This was the first of Mary Kay Andrews' novels that I read. It was not the last. I have now read all of her novels and anxiously await the next. They are just plain fun to read!
Julie Rusk More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I have read by this author and I will continue to read more books by her. It was easy reading and also entertaining.
MnMgirl More than 1 year ago
I have read all 3 of this author's books and loved them all. They are all modern funny southern tales that will keep you entertained. Being a southern girl myself I could really relate. Wish she would write more! Oh and the price is great, much less than I paid for the books.
csp1987 More than 1 year ago
ok so i got tjis book because it sounded good from the back but there was more about antique furnishings then nething else which should be put on the back to warn you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first Mary Kay Andrews book and I was disappointed. I found it very hard to like the male lead. The "girlfriend" character was way over-the-top and unbelievable. She also stayed around way too long for me. I ended up not wanting the lead male and female characters to end up together, even though you knew it was going to happen. The ending was disappointing and anti-climatic also. I got to the last page and moaned in disgust. It felt like she decided the book should end in 20 pages or less so she wrapped everything up without it fitting together or making sense. All that being said, the lead character was a great character and the book was very well written. The interwoven plot lines were beautifully coordinated and all the minor characters were a great addition to the book. I will read other M.K. Andrews but this one is on the "Do not read again" list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very cute,perfect for the beach! The story line is very entertaining. Some parts were hard to read as they dragged on. but i would recommend as a summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is a great book to read, it's fast reading, and disapointing when it comes to an end. Great humor with a little romance.
TiffanyAK on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This is a fun, humorous, and entertaining book. I enjoyed myself while reading it, and found many laugh-out-loud moments. There were several parts that I didn't care for much, but overall it was well worth the time taken to read it.
dianaleez on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Mary Kay Andrews wrote Savannah Blues, a book that I really really liked. Hissy Fit is the book that has convinced me to strike Andrews from my reading list. Briefly, it's the story of interior designer Keeley Murdock, who throws a 'hissy fit' when she finds her fiancee and her maid of honor doing the deed at the country club rehearsal dinner. This seems to be a book that tries to capitalize on the current interest in decorating and shopping that fuels HGTV. It's page after page of descriptions of furniture, rooms, shoes, clothes, food....I love all that....but this is more than even a dedicated shopper, gourmet, home decorator can take. My suggestion? Find yourself a chocolate cupcake and a glass of milk, and just go on and turn on HGTV.
debnance on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Summer's always been a time for me torelax by the water and devour pure escape fiction. Mary Kay Andrewswould be a good name to add to your summer reading list. Hissy Fit,Andrews' latest, has interior designer Keeley Murdock discover, onlyminutes before she is to say, "I do," that her scum-bucket fiance hasshamefully snuck beneathe the sheets with her best friend. Keeleydistracts herself from the disaster by helping a rich newcomer totown decorate his home and by trying to locate the mother whodeserted her twenty-five years earlier. A great beach read.
dawnlovesbooks on LibraryThing 6 months ago
if i had read this book instead of listening to the audio, I don't think I would've finished it. I thought it was boring. some of it was funny and some of the characters were delightful, but overall i got really tired of hearing about the renovations of the house and didn't really care about what happened.
madamejeanie on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Ok, this is strictly chick lit, but it's well written, and has a lot going on with the plot. The mystery of Keeley's mother's disappearance should have played a much larger role than it did, I think. But I liked the feel of this book. I like "southern" novels and this one was well written. Mary Kay Andrews writes one of my favorite mystery series under the name of Kathy Hogan Trocheck, and her voice is obvious in her stand alone chick lit fiction, as well. I liked this and give it a 4.
im2883 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
When I need to be uplifted, this worked
jendoyle2000 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
O.k., granted, this isn't exactly great literature; nor was it the best written chick lit I've ever read, but it was a fun, quick, good read, which was exactly what I was looking for. (Warning: some spoilers in this review)From the back cover: "The night before her wedding, in the middle of the rehearsal dinner, interior decorator Keeley Murdock finds her fiance and her maid of honor in a compromising position. Keeley throws the hissy fit to end all hissy fits and storms out."Since this all happens in the first pages of the book, it should come as no surprise that there's another guy out there and that there will be a multitude of barriers in their way. Although it was obvious who she would end up with, I have to say that I didn't buy the chemistry or get the appeal of the new guy in the beginning. Over the course of the book, he becomes much more appealing. There isn't a ton of tension between the two -- or maybe I should say that it isn't exactly electric -- but it's certainly a fun ride. The best part of this book for me was the background -- the interior design part was quite enjoyable, and the bra factory part wasn't bad either. The main character came in a close second. Her reactions seemed a little bit out of place in some cases (not the hissy fit -- I could totally see that one happening), but she was a lot of fun as were most of the secondary characters. The subplot about her mother didn't seem entirely necessary -- its resolution seemed to come out of nowhere. Overall, however, the weaknesses didn't matter. I'll be seeking out Andrews' other books and will tell anyone that if they're looking for a light fun read, this is an excellent prospect.
pupylov on LibraryThing 6 months ago
LOVE this book! Super funny and has a smart mystery that keeps you going.
Anonymous 7 months ago
That's all that needs to be said.
buckeyeaholic on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This one somehow must have jumped into my grocery cart while I was shopping one day. Definately NOT a normal read for me. I must have been really desperate. But I was a little surprised. Predictable at times but not as much as I had always assumed those 'harliquin-esque' books were. I love the way she takes care of that slimy, no-good, 2 timing, 2 faced, butt head of a fiance when she finds him the night before the wedding.... you gotta read it to find out.