Blurb: Dear Ava,
How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?
Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can’t remember the last time she had a second date. It’s a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.
Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two – she’s in love with someone else. Someone she’s never even met
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer…but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.
Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she’s determined to unmask Mr Writer…and find out once and for all if he’s Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!
Today I’m thrilled to welcome the wonderful Lynsey James onto the Book Nook, with a fabulous guest post for you all about best friends. Enjoy! xxx
Aside from romance, Just the Way You Are also covers friendship, particularly between Ava and Gwen. I didn’t have to look far to find inspiration for their friendship; I’m lucky enough to have an amazing best friend in Jennifer Marston. This post is all about us and how we became friends.
They say good friends are like stars, you don’t always have to see them to know they’re there. With my best friend Jennifer Marston, this is something I know to be true. We live approximately 400 miles apart (I’m in Scotland, she’s in Essex) yet I know she’s there for me when I need her, day or night. She knows the same is true of me too. I’ve known her for almost 18 months and I can safely say she’s the best friend I’ve ever had.
Our friendship started with a Twitter conversation about dogs on Christmas Day (henceforth known as our hoemance-versary). We inexplicably clicked and soon began having long chats about hot actors we love, Chinese food, fluffy white dogs and other topics close to our hearts. I went to stay with her last year and was welcomed by her and her amazing family. So much so, in fact, that I’m going back in August! She doesn’t know this yet, but I’m going to subtly move in… Just kidding!
Friendship was an important topic for me to cover in Just the Way You Are. Not just because I wanted to add another layer to the main themes of romance and second chances, but because I wanted Ava to have a friendship similar to the one I have with Jen. It was quite important to me to convey a little of our unique and special friendship in the story. Ava and Gwen’s isn’t a carbon copy of ours, of course; for a kick-off, I haven’t had any love letters from a secret admirer! Neither is Jen a ditzy fashion designer; she’s a witty and intelligent blogger. However, there are pretty clear similarities: Ava and Gwen would do anything for each other, as would Jen and I, and they talk to each other in a similar way to us.
My favourite qualities about Jen are her kindness and honesty. If I’m being a complete idiot, she’ll tell me but she’s one of the kindest and most generous people I know. She made me a scrapbook of the memories we’d made so far for Christmas and welcomed me into her home after only knowing me a relatively short period of time. There have been times when I’ve been in a total flap about something, I talk to her about it and soon forget what I was worried about. We’ve made loads of great memories together; we’ve laughed so much we’ve cried, shared secrets and built a friendship I know will last forever.
Sorry Jen, you’re pretty much stuck with me now!
Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)
A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.
When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…
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