Today I am delighted to share with you a guest post from Author Kelly Florentia
When I looked up the word friend, the definition included someone you enjoy the company of, someone who supports you, and someone you have a bond with. I think that a good friend can be all these and more. I’ve always valued friendship and believe everyone needs a good friend or five in their lives. Someone to have a laugh with, someone to go and see a girlie film with, someone to pour your heart out to (tissues and wine style), or even someone to spend two hours on the phone with (or is that just me?). A good friend can be your companion, therapist or someone you can have a good old giggle with, and, if you’re lucky, they can be all three.
My friends come in all shapes and sizes. There are no rules in the Kelly F spectrum when it comes to friendship. We don’t have to be the same age. We don’t necessarily have to have things in common (although an interest in scoffing cakes and necking wine helps), nor must we have similar backgrounds. In fact, I love contrast. I believe that you glean different things from different people. But one thing that I think is imperative in a friendship is that ‘spark.’
Unlike Emma King, the protagonist in my debut novel, The Magic Touch, I make friends quite easily. But it isn’t always so fluid for others. Having grown up with a very strict father and then rushing into a marriage that turned into a living hell, Emma, quite understandably, is cynical about trusting people. In fact, she can count her friends on one hand and still have digits left over. But friendship isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality. And one friendship she values dearly is that of her ninety-three-year-old neighbour, Alistair.
Apart from their love of Scrabble and gin and tonic, Emma and Alistair have little else in common. But Emma loves spending time with him. Yes, she does do all the neighbourly things – brings in his wheelie bins, takes parcels in for him when he’s out, she even does a bit of shopping for him when he needs it. But she also finds him incredibly funny, clever and entertaining. Emma sees Alistair as a bit of a father figure. He’s one of the first people she turns to for advice when she’s in trouble, and you see this quite quickly in the story when she confides in him about the text messages she’s spied on her partner Harry’s mobile phone from a female colleague. And likewise, it’s quite clear that Alistair sees Emma as a third daughter, particularly as he doesn’t see as much of his own family as he’d like to these days. He knows how lonely some old folk can get, even ones with big families like his, and he’s grateful to Emma and Harry for including him in their lives with such sincerity.
Emma and Harry bring vitality, companionship and vibrancy into Alistair’s otherwise lonely existence, and he enriches Emma’s life with his humour, wisdom and warmth. And he plays a mean game of Scrabble. With a fifty-four year age gap, it is an unlikely friendship, but it has that spark. It works.
Marriage isn’t high on 39-year-old Emma King’s list of priorities; after all, she’s been there and done it once. So there are no big surprises when, yet again, she turns down her long-term partner Harry’s marriage proposal. They’re a solid, secure couple – a piece of paper won’t make any difference. That is until she accidentally stumbles across a flirtatious text message from one of his female colleagues on his phone. Overcome with suspicion and an impending fear of losing Harry, Emma goes on a quest to get to the bottom of his secret affair with the help of her ninety-three-year-old neighbour, Alistair, her best friend Ola, and Harry’s sister-in-law’s psychic app, The Magic Touch.