At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.
Today, the wonderful Wendy Hudson is here to share a story. Also, Wendy is giving away 1 ecopy of The Island Between Us. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Wendy.
Three Little Words
When I turned thirty I made a rather ambitious bucket list.
One of the things on that list was to learn to ski.
I mean how hard could it be?
I decided I was going to master this skill in no time and make my dreams of elegantly shoop-shooping my way through the French Alps come true.
Week after week during a damp and dreary Glasgow autumn, I threw myself down dry ski slopes, undeterred by the bristle burns that soon covered my knees, my elbows, my chin, my arse…
I snow ploughed my way to parallel turns and eventually graduated to the “big slope” where I was trusted with a set of poles. I picked myself up again, and again…and even when that one metal barrier rendered me incapable of making a right turn and repeatedly brought me to a crashing halt, I wouldn’t give up.
The laughter from the rest of the class only spurred me on.
Many bruises later I finally conquered that damn barrier and my fourteen-year-old teacher put a certificate in my hand.
I was ready.
“All the gear and nae idea” came to mind as I stood at the top of my first real mountain, the piste sparkling in the sun before me.
My knees turned to jelly, my palms started sweating, every ounce of misplaced confidence was gone. Every lesson I’d suffered through turned to “blah blah, blah blah blah, blah…” in my mind. What were these poles for again?
It turns out when I crash, I am spectacular at it and will essentially explode. My skis and poles will fly in multiple directions while I swear and sprawl across the slope like a dramatic star fish.
The first time this happened, I had no idea what to do.
Should I crawl around in search of my gear and hope I don’t wipe anyone else out? Should I try to stand and walk in these ridiculous boots that bend my legs at an angle that burns every muscle in my thighs? Or should I just give up and lie there in the hope someone would take pity and collect me on one of those snow-mobile things?
I am utterly convinced the only reason I made it to the bottom of that first run in one piece, was because of the countless skiers who collected the debris I scattered in their paths and helped me back to my feet.
Every time one of them offered me a hand so I didn’t have to try to haul myself up, a halo appeared behind their helmeted head and I swear I would have given them an organ if they’d asked.
I felt like the whole ski community had my back. It was as if they were collectively holding my hand, while I held my breath and prayed to the mountain gods for the run to finally end.
At last, the village came in to view and with relief I once again gave into gravity, abandoned my last shred of dignity, and scooted the final stretch on my arse.
But as I reached the safety of a café where I was promised multiple rum spiked hot chocolates, the adrenalin started to fade, and I realised one of my boots had turned vice-like around my foot. No matter how I fiddled about with the clips, the pain could not be eased, and I was sure I was about to lose a toe.
Panicking that I would be trapped in these awful contraptions for the rest of my life and convinced that the poor toe had indeed now been severed, I bundled my way into a small repair shop and unceremoniously plonked myself down in the middle of the floor.
A young French woman peered at me curiously over the top of her counter and through the beginnings of tears, I tried to explain to her the horror of my morning with the four words of French in my vocabulary and many over the top gestures.
Without a word the woman joined me on the floor and rubbed a tear off my cheek, before carefully removing my boot. After a few thoughtful turns of a screwdriver, she nodded in triumph and assured me it was safe to put the boot back on again.
It was like gliding my foot into my favourite pair of slippers! My toe had been saved!
Once again a friendly hand was offered, and she pulled me to my feet.
As I fumbled for my purse and asked, “how much do I owe you?”, the woman shook her head slowly, softness in her eyes, and reached to still my hands.
“For your smile.” She said, then gave me one of her own.
I won’t lie, I melted on the spot.
She was so calm and assured as she fixed my problem, but she knew it wasn’t just about the boots. It was bigger than that and she clearly wanted to make me feel better about everything that had turned me into a blubbering mess on her floor.
Those three little words, so simple and lovely, echoed in my head the rest of the day and have stayed with me all these years and many more ski trips later.
Those three little words made me go back up to the top of that mountain.
by Wendy Hudson
Lesbian romance and adventure collide in this gripping story of survival and second chances.
Georgia Hamilton is an adventurer. After a life spent exploring the most remote places on earth, she’s found her way back home to Scotland, where she teaches her expert survival skills.
Kelsey Campbell has spent her whole life acting, both personally and professionally, and has had it with the pressure of keeping everyone else happy. Craving somewhere far from the glaring spotlight, she signs up for a two-week team survival course.
It’s not just the remote island location that appeals to Kelsey. There’s the fact she met the course leader years ago and always regretted how they left things.
However, just as Georgia and Kelsey are renewing their long-lost connection over bushcraft, a storm hits, leaving them stranded. With the group’s lives now in Georgia’s hands, the race is on to find a way home.
As the reality of survival kicks in, their battle becomes about more than just facing the elements.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Wendy Hudson is an award-winning author of four novels, based in Scotland where all her books are set.
Turning 30 was the catalyst for finally getting stuck into her debut novel “Four Steps” and she hasn’t been able to put her pen down since.
Wendy has a love for reading and travel, skiing, and football, as well as camping and hiking through the stunning Scottish landscapes that first inspired her to write.
CONNECT WITH WENDY HUDSON
Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Miranda & TB