Please welcome Jill Mansell who is touring the blogosphere with her latest book, Three Amazing Things About You!
Enter to win a copy of the book below (open to US residents only)
About the book
Hallie has a secret…doesn’t everybody?
Hallie doesn’t have long to live. And to make things even more complicated, she’s in love with a guy who’s seriously out of bounds. She’s never going to let him know, of course; she’s just going to enjoy every remaining moment of her crush. She’s also determined to spend her last months helping those who write into her Dear Rose column with problems of their own. Her doctors can’t fix her, but maybe she can fix a few other people’s dilemmas before it’s too late.
All our lives are full of choices, for better or worse. The amazing thing to see is how connected we all are—in ways we don’t even know. On occasion, we have the chance to see the ways we change one another’s lives for the better.
With over ten million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible, funny, poignant, and romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, and Jojo Moyes. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.
Excerpt from the book
Hallie had set up the website during a prolonged and particularly tedious hospital stay. Didn’t everyone enjoy reading advice columns? She always had. She loved them, and loved coming up with solutions to problems too. When the columnist neglected to mention a useful suggestion, it always killed her not to be able to jump in and add a reply of her own.
The answer to this particular dilemma had, therefore, been to create the web page and begin dispensing advice herself.
She hadn’t done it as poor-tragic-Hallie-with-the-manky-lungs-and-limited-lifespan either. This would only have inhibited questions; she’d known that from the word go. No, when people had problems in their lives, those problems were overwhelmingly important to them and everyone simply had to respect that. They certainly mustn’t feel as if they couldn’t compete with the person doling out the advice.
So she’d been anonymous from the start and had remained so. All her readers knew was that she was female. The website was called ThreeThingsAboutYou.com, and everyone writing in for advice with a dilemma was asked to include three things about themselves. Whether they chose to reveal big or small details was entirely up to them, but it was always an interesting indicator of character, and Hallie used them to more fully understand the people who were asking her to advise them.
Of course, for the first few weeks there hadn’t been any readers, nor any problems being sent in, simply because no one knew the website existed. She’d had to make up dilemmas, borrow and adapt some from old magazines and reply in her own words to people who’d never confided in her in the first place.
But before long, interest had started to grow. Thanks to the power of social networking, people slowly discovered the website and, deciding they liked it, spread the word to their friends. The number of hits steadily increased, and readers began submitting their own problems, which was good of them and freed Hallie up to spend more time researching the relevant issues and compiling the best possible answers.
Since then, the popularity of the website had continued to grow. Hallie was known to her readers as Rose, which was her middle name. Visitors to the site were welcome to contribute their own advice, but she was the one who decided whether or not it was posted. It was generally agreed that Rose’s replies were great and her rapport with the contributors second to none. She had warmth, wit and compassion, and the readers appreciated this.
Almost as much as Hallie appreciated them in return.
She clicked on the first email:
I’m a fireman.
I play rugby.
I’m afraid of the dark.
I’m forty-six, married for almost twenty years, and my wife doesn’t know I like to wear women’s underwear. Well, no one does. My problem is that last week my mother-in-law took it upon herself to wash and clean my car while I was out at a works event. Being the thorough type, she took out the spare tire in the boot and found the bra and knickers underneath.
She has now accused me of having an affair and is demanding I confess all to my wife. I know what my mother-in-law is like—she won’t rest until I do. So which do you think I should admit to being, Rose? An unfaithful husband or a transvestite? I honestly don’t know which option she’d find easier to accept.
The second email said:
I hate my life.
There’s this boy in my class and I really like him but he never looks at me. I thought it was because I wasn’t skinny enough because he seems to like only thin girls, so in October I stopped eating and now I’ve lost three stone but he still isn’t interested.
What’s wrong with me and how can I make him fall in love with me? I just want to be happy. Do you think it’ll happen if I lose more weight? Help me, Rose, I’m so miserable I just want to die. Please please tell me what to do.
Hallie’s heart went out to the desperately unhappy teenager. She would answer this one first. Poor girl, a bit of love-bombing probably wouldn’t go amiss.