Congratulations to Louisette Lépine and Ali Spooner, the winners of this drawing.
Jen Silver is with us again! She’s celebrating the release of Running from Love by giving away two copies (ebook or paperback). Drop a comment below to enter the drawing. We’ll pick the winners on Friday July 21.
The first time someone suggested I take up golf I laughed. No, golf wasn’t for me. I didn’t think I had any interest in playing a game that involved hitting a small ball around a field. Then one year, while on holiday, my partner and two other friends were going out to play and I tagged along.
Shortly after that I bought my first club, a second-hand 7 iron. A friend took me to the driving range and showed me the basics on how to hit the ball. Imagine my surprise when I actually hit it and it went up in the air and landed, oh, ten feet away. But I was hooked. That was over twenty years ago. Sometimes, in my dreams, I think that if I had learned to play as a youngster I might have been playing on the professional tour. Then I wake up and realize how much dedication and hard work that requires.
So I wrote a story instead. Running From Love was published in June but it had its genesis many years ago when I was sitting in an office with not much work to do, so I would spend part of the day writing. I could pretend I was writing a report if anyone came into the office. The story was a fantasy involving a pro golfer having a liaison with another golfer on the LPGA tour that I fancied at the time.
Plotting a story out before starting work on a novel isn’t something I do normally. When I began writing Running From Love, I had three characters in mind, the love triangle of Sam, Beth and Lydia. (And a Siamese cat called Hermione who chases fish on the aquarium app on Sam’s iPad.) But after the first chapter it became clear that this wasn’t working out as a novel length story.
Then I remembered the hand written pages lurking in a drawer and the character I had created back then…a Canadian pro golfer called Andrea Mihajlovic, the dream on paper. And I thought, why not resurrect her? She’s older, but possibly not any wiser when it comes to committing herself to long-term relationships.
This led to forming an actual plan for the novel. I now had a structure I thought would work. There is a prologue, which sets up the conflict between Sam and her wife Beth. Chapters one and two then take the reader back six months to find out what led them to the brink of divorce. It’s not really a spoiler to let potential readers know that the Sam, Beth and Lydia are destined to end up at the same place, learning to play golf. As I couldn’t resist using some golfing terms in the table of contents, Part One is named, Practice Round.
Parts Two and Three take place at the golf resort in Cornwall and are named, Temperley Cliffs – Front Nine and Temperley Cliffs – Back Nine, respectively. The final and fourth part is called Match Play. Although these titles may not mean much to non-golfers, they fit the story nicely, in my opinion.
My pro golfer is sexier than I had originally imagined her. She still hasn’t settled down with anyone but her current lover has lasted longer than most. This is the owner of the golf resort, Lady Freya Temperley. Andi thinks she’s safe from making a commitment to Freya as they are both tied up in marriages of convenience and only meet up when her tour commitments allow. She can enjoy their time together with no fear of having to say “I love you”.
So, here’s a short excerpt to show that although golf is an integral part of the whole story, there’s plenty of romance involved:
Andi watched the ball as it flew past her and landed softly in the bunker.
“Fuck! That was supposed to land on the green.” Freya’s language deteriorated the more frustrated she became when her game was off.
“You lifted your head. There wasn’t anywhere else it would go, once you did that.”
“I hate you.” Freya slammed the pitching wedge back into her bag.
Andi glanced around to make sure they were out of sight of anyone else on the course before pulling the smaller woman close and kissing her. Freya’s lips parted readily to let her tongue explore. They broke apart to come up for air and Andi grinned down at her. “I love it when you hate me.”
“I’ll show you just how much I hate you when we’re finished here.” Freya’s teasing tone was accompanied by a squeeze of her buttocks, and Andi wanted to finish the round then and there.
“How about we skip the next few holes? I think there might be a storm front moving in.”
Freya looked up at the blue sky with only large fluffy cumulous clouds drifting slowly above their heads. “I think you might be right.”
Andi moved quickly out of her grasp and ran over to the bunker. She retrieved the ball, gave the sand a cursory once over with the rake and raced back to their buggy.
“Let’s get a move on before we get wet.”
Freya started the cart moving forward. “I’m already wet.”
“Can’t this thing go any faster?” Andi slid her hand up Freya’s thigh.
Whether or not you enjoy knocking a small ball around a field, I hope you’ll check out Running From Love. As the back of the book blurb says—“Find out what happens when this diverse group of people find themselves together—sport, betrayal, jealousy, and love form an unforgettable fusion of emotions.”
And don’t forget to enter the draw for the giveaway.
Jen lives in West Yorkshire with her long-term partner whom she married in December 2014. Reading, writing, golf, archery, and taking part in archaeological digs all form part of Jen’s everyday life. Her novels, published by Affinity Rainbow Publications, include the Starling Hill Trilogy: Starting Over, Arc Over Time, and Carved in Stone. The Circle Dance, Christmas at Winterbourne, and Running From Love are standalone books.
For the characters in Jen’s stories, life definitely begins at forty, and older, as they continue to discover and enjoy their appetites for adventure and romance.
Photos: Book cover / Golf course / Jen at golf course / fish