Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

Last Few Days to Win a Paperback Copy of After Wimbledon!

After-Wimbledon_Goodreads Giveaway copyJust a reminder that my Goodreads giveaway of a paperback copy of After Wimbledon will end on 31 October, so get your requests in now if you haven’t already.

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to the giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!

Good luck everyone!

 

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Win a Paperback Copy of After Wimbledon!

After-Wimbledon_Goodreads Giveaway copyGuess what?  I’m running a giveaway through Goodreads of a paperback copy of After Wimbledon!

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to the giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!

The giveaway will run 1-31 October 2014.

Good luck everyone!

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After Wimbledon Sale!

After-Wimbledon_99c-saleThe ebook version of After Wimbledon will be 99c everywhere (assuming Kobo play ball) on 23-24 August 2014

 

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Last Few Days to Win a Paperback Copy of After Wimbledon!

Just a reminder that my Goodreads giveaway of two paperback copies of After Wimbledon will end on 30 April, so get your requests in now if you haven’t already.

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to my giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!

Good luck everyone!

*** Special Offer ***

If you don’t want to wait, I’m also offering a code for $2 off the paperback when you buy through CreateSpace.  (I would offer one through Amazon if I could).  Just enter DZFBPFEL at the checkout.  It’s valid all the time the giveaway is on.

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Win a Paperback Copy of After Wimbledon!

Guess what?  I’m running a giveaway through Goodreads of two paperback copies of After Wimbledon!  It’s the first time I’ve offered a chance to win the paperback, which is on sale through Amazon.

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to my giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!

The giveaway will run 1-30 April 2014.

Good luck everyone!

*** Special Offer ***

If you don’t want to wait, I’m also offering a code for $2 off the paperback when you buy through CreateSpace.  (I would offer one through Amazon if I could).  Just enter DZFBPFEL at the checkout.  It’s valid all the time the giveaway is on.

Amazon does discount paperbacks off their own bat from time to time.  Right now (1 April 14), Amazon.com has After Wimbledon at 10% off.

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Lucy on… (Deleted Musings From ‘After Wimbledon’) #2

A few more paragraphs cut from After Wimbledon.

Lucy on… Making Decisions

Showering off later, I debate the pros and cons of staying on the tour and decide I should.  Then I debate the pros and cons of staying with Joe and decide I shouldn’t.

There, that’s decided.

Then I start debating them again and come up with different answers.

How do people make these decisions?  How can I know what the right thing to do is?  I can argue both sides convincingly, so which wins?  If my feelings on two given days are directly opposed, which are the true ones?

Christ, why is life suddenly so complicated?

I run my fingers through my hair and bring a few strands round to look at.  Maybe I should dye it.  Go blond or something.  Or cut it.  After years in a ponytail it deserves a change.  Maybe if I look different, I’ll feel different too.

And maybe I’ll be exactly the same, only with different hair.

Maybe I could go see a psychic and they can tell me what to do.

Except, what if they’re wrong or just making it up?  What if I did what they said and it was all wrong for me?

Still, at least then I’d have someone to blame.

Oh, forget it.

Lucy on… Her Looks

I dry and dress in shorts and a T-shirt and then set about drying my hair.  It really does need cutting.  It grows so fast I blink and I’ve turned into Rapunzel.  Am I the only one who thinks that someone climbing up your hair would really hurt?

The wall is mirrored, so I’ve really got no choice but to look at myself.  Have you ever looked at your reflection and thought, ‘Is that really me?’  Like your inside isn’t quite reflected in your outside?  Maybe it’s just me.

It’s not hard to guess I’m a tennis player, or an athlete anyway.  5’10” in my socks and I’m far from the tallest on the tour.  Slim, but muscular not delicate.  A fusion of power and speed.  Fit and strong.  Always in trainers, hair flattened back.  Makeup rarely touches my skin, sun cream does in abundance.  Round my neck I wear a silver tennis racquet charm – a present from my dad.  Sports watch on my wrist, diamanté stud earrings.  No other jewellery.  I’m no beauty, but on court I don’t care.  There, I belong.  I look the part.

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Lucy on… (Deleted Musings From ‘After Wimbledon’)

Just a few paragraphs cut from the final version of After Wimbledon, where Lucy muses.

Lucy on… her career

I’m not a bad player.  I’ve won a few titles, made a reasonable amount of money.  I’ve won one grand slam – The Australian Open – when I was 23.  I’d been slowly climbing the rankings since I turned pro, getting further every year, and there I was: the champion.  Next stop, Wimbledon.

But I never made it.  That was my best year.  Second round at the French (always was useless on the clay courts), quarters at the US Open, fourth round at Wimbledon.  I never got any higher.  Though Christ knows I tried.

There are lots of things a champion needs: dedication, first-class coaching, incredible fitness, self-belief, mental strength.  All these things can be possessed by anyone if they put the work – and money – in.  But there’s one thing that can’t.  Talent.  That spark of brilliance.  You only get given so much.  And if it’s not enough, there’s sod all you can do about it.

I don’t have enough.  And now I have three decades of wear and tear to overcome as well.  There are too many other players – younger, more talented, less injury-ridden and more dedicated than I am these days.  It’s over.

~~~~

That’s how I won the Australian Open – luck.  I’ll be quite frank about that, to myself if no one else.  It was a bad tournament for the top players, so bad that virtually none of them were there.  Everything that could go wrong, did.  Glandular fever, a broken leg, a nasty dose of food poisoning, a positive drugs test, a pregnancy, an imploding marriage.  Close relatives dying in droves.  Suddenly, the underdogs were in with a real chance.

We took it.  By the quarters, all the seeded players were out.  The final was me and a Czech girl at only her second grand slam, who’d been playing brilliantly but went to pieces at the last minute.  I won.  I was the champion.

On paper.

Lucy on… Wimbledon

The number one event in tennis.  Grass courts, rain delays, curtseys to the Royal Box (only required now if someone from the Royal Family is there – criminal), full titles for the ladies (Advantage Miss Bennett), Pimms, strawberries and cream and umbrellas.

~~~~

All these years fans have gathered on the hill outside Centre Court to watch matches on the big screen and cheer on the players.  Its name changes for whatever player with (GBR) after their name is on Centre Court.  Henman Hill, Rusedski Ridge.  Once or twice it was even Bennett Bump, a name which in all honesty always made me cringe.  I wonder what they’ll call it for Sam:  Pennington Pouffe?

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Missing Scene From ‘After Wimbledon’ #2

Another scene I cut from the published version of After Wimbledon.  The first part of the book went through quite a lot of reworking, so this scene doesn’t quite fit into the book.  In the final version, Joe plays on Centre Court in the first round so this conversation became irrelevant.  Prior to this scene, Lucy is chatting with Sam and that conversation was absorbed into one of the book scenes.

~~~~

I’ve just got back to practising, and I’m actually starting to feel pretty good, when Joe appears.  He’s striding towards me at full pelt, racquet clenched in one hand, his shoulder-length hair swinging around his neck and dark eyes flashing.

‘Honestly,’ he says, as he approaches. ‘It’s blatant favouritism.’

Here we go again.

‘What is?’ I ask wearily, stopping practice again.

‘Haven’t you seen the schedule yet?’

Yes, I have.  That’s how I knew this was coming.

‘They’ve put me on Court 1 in the first round, while Pennington is on Centre!’

‘They’ll have wanted you both playing last up so you’re on prime time TV.  They probably flipped a coin to decide who got which court.  Why do you always have to take it so personally?’

Joe glowers.  ‘Of course I’m taking it personally, when it’s a personal insult.  When I win the tournament I’ll be world number one again and this time I’ll be staying there.’

‘Of course you will…’ I start to say, then stop.  I can’t announce Sam’s retirement, least of all to Joe. ‘…you’re the better player,’ I finish quickly.

‘Of course I am.’

Excessive modesty is not a problem for Joe.

‘Well, all you have to do is to go onto Court 1 and play brilliantly and then they’ll probably put all your other matches on Centre,’ I say, trying to sound supportive.

Christ, I’m sick of this routine.  I must be crazy to even fantasise about dating another tennis player.

Mind you, I bet Sam doesn’t get himself worked up over crap like this.

‘Of course I’ll play brilliantly.  I am brilliant.’  Joe looks quite insulted.

I have to agree about Court 1.  He shouldn’t play there, his ego won’t fit.

‘Yup,’ I say, starting to bounce the ball again.  ‘So why don’t you go be brilliant on your own court so I can practise?’

Joe isn’t listening, he’s staring intently into the distance.  ‘Did I see Pennington sniffing around you before I arrived?’ he demands, eyes snapping back to me.

I can’t help rolling my eyes.  ‘He was not sniffing around, he just said hello.  We belong to the same club, that’s all.’

Joe’s eyes are narrowed.  ‘I don’t trust him,’ he says.  ‘He’s probably trying to get to me through you.’

I doubt it would work.

‘That’s crap, Joe,’ I say, resisting the urge to bounce the ball off his head.  ‘And you know it.  He doesn’t play dirty and I wouldn’t let him.’

‘Good,’ Joe says.

‘I need to practise.  Later.’

He strolls off.

I could stay on the tour and break up with him.

I go back to serving.

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Missing Scene From ‘After Wimbledon’

I cut quite a bit from the first draft of After Wimbledon, so I thought I would post one of the missing scenes.  In this one, Lucy is helping her cousin Maddy get ready for her date with Sam – the man Lucy dreams of for herself.

####

Maddy’s bedroom looks like a tornado has been through it.  There are clothes everywhere.  On the bed, over the chest of drawers, across the chair and on the floor.  Various sparkly accessories hang from doorknobs, off mirrors and under the lampshade.

All this for a drink?  She must really like him.

‘Lucy,’ she says, flopping backwards onto the bed, ‘I’m having a crisis.  What in the world do I wear?’

I look at her.  She’s wearing black underwear with pink ribbons threaded through it, black high heels and a look of utter dejection.

‘Well, more than that,’ I advise, sitting beside her on the daisy chain duvet cover.  ‘Although you’d definitely get his attention.’

An image of Sam eyeing her slides in front of my eyes, like in one of those pairs of fake binoculars with the pictures.  I close my eyes and will it away.

What I need to do is to forget who she’s going out with.  Just focus on supporting her.  Then everything will be fine.

‘You know him better than me,’ Maddy says anxiously.  ‘What do you think Sam would like?’

It was good in theory.

‘Oh, you know,’ I say, waving my hands around.  ‘You should just be yourself.  Wear what you want to wear.’

‘But which me should I be?’ she asks, sitting up and clenching her hair in her hands.  ‘Sophisticated me?  Smart casual me?  Girly me?  Or sporty?’

I am so not cut out for this.

‘Smart casual you,’ I say, picking one at random.  I wrack my brain for what little I know of fashion.  ‘Something that emphasises your best features.’

Maddy looks worried and goes over to her wardrobe.  I’m astonished to find that it’s still full of clothes.  She turns back to me.  ‘What are my best features?’ she asks, biting her lip.

‘Legs,’ I say confidently.  All the Bennetts have good legs, even me.  Which is fortunate, since no tennis outfit will hide them.  ‘Wear a dress.’

That should narrow it down.

Maddy pulls a little black number out of the wardrobe and holds it against herself.  She looks questioningly at me.

‘Great,’ I say, giving her a thumbs up.  ‘And it matches your shoes.’

She doesn’t look convinced.  She puts it back and gets out another.  Dark blue lace.

‘That’s nice too,’ I say, nodding.  I bounce on the bed a little.  This is a really springy mattress.  Will Sam end up jumping on it?

I’d give anything not to have thought that.

Another dress is produced.  Pink cotton.

‘Also… good,’ I say.

I get the impression that this could take a while.

~~~~

Maddy has 27 dresses in her wardrobe.  I know, because I’ve seen all of them.  And which one has she decided on?  Yup, you guessed it, the original little black one.  The dress is on, her hair and makeup are done, a handbag has been selected and her taxi is here.

‘Do I really look okay?’ she asks, as she puts on her coat.

‘Gorgeous.’  And she does.  Already the best looking of all of us, she really knows how to make the best of herself.  Christ knows what she wanted my help for.

‘Have a great time,’ I say, as she climbs into the taxi.

‘Are you sure you don’t want a lift home?’ she calls out the window.  ‘We’re going that way.’

‘I’m sure,’ I call back, already a step away.  ‘I want to stretch my legs.  Bye.’

‘I’ll call and tell you all about it when I get home,’ she says and blows me a kiss as the taxi drives off.

Wonderful.  Then my life will be complete.

I trudge off in the direction of home.  The heartache starts after one step, the tears after two.

What’s wrong with me?  I’m behaving like some love-sick teenager.

Except I wasn’t like that when I was a teenager, because then all I cared about was tennis.

Maybe adolescence has finally caught up with me.  Maybe I’ll break out in acne and get into alternative dressing.  I could become an EMO, although I’m still not entirely clear what they are.

Right now I just need to get back home, get some dinner and forget all about this.

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Chick Lit Books and Short Stories for Tennis Fans

I’ve had a look round at what else is available for fans of chick lit and tennis, besides my own After Wimbledon.  Here’s my list, in no particular order:

Tennis Dates by Colette Freedman

Grand Slam by Samantha Brenner

The Tennis Party by Sophie Kinsella

Game, Set, Match by Nana Malone

Love-40 by Anna Cheska

Love Match by Amy J. Bates

Queen of the Court by Melanie Howard

How’s My Timing? by B.K. Moradeyo (short story)

The Team by Pat Cunningham Devoto

Games People Play by Louise Voss

I’ve put together lists of these on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Goodreads for your convenience.

Have I missed any good ones?  Comment and let me know.

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