Prizewinner – @LynnSteblecki
“It’s a romantic, highly-charged story which sweeps you up into the drama of its hero and heroine; it’s touching and funny and sexy and exotic – and paints a very alarming picture of South Africa today” – Taken from the foreword by Simon Callow, CBE Actor-Director-Writer
PrizeWinner is a contemporary novel that brings passion, romance and danger together; taking you to the very heart of South Africa…
When freelance fashion photographer Chantelle Swanepoel wins a competition she discovers it’s a date…with Stephan Erasmus; a South African swimmer training for the Olympics.
He finds her “on” switch and she doesn’t know how to turn it off.
When Stephan’s Olympic hopes are endangered, Chantelle is devastated.
In an attempt to discover her own desires, she uncovers Stephan’s deep secrets.
The risk she takes determines her fate…
“This is the way to Sun City. Are we taking a light chartered aircraft there?” I hinted, hoping this was the case as I was starting to feel a bit uneasy.
“Nope!” he continued smiling as we drove past the turnoff to the airport.
My breathing and heart rate increased when, without warning, we slowed down in the middle of nowhere. Before long he turned left onto a narrow road, with scraggy bushes that littered the landscape of the deep red earth. A rusty, mud-splattered bus, with cages of flapping and squawking chickens tied on the roof, drove past us. The midday sun was beating hard and relentlessly now. I was sweating, was agitated and kept shuffling around because my bottom was numb from sitting in one place for so long.
“Where are the mountains like we have in the mother city?” his eyes drifted to the monotonous dry and dead bush.
“Where the hell are we?” I shook my head, wiping beads of sweat from my forehead as I kept remembering the dreaded black pistol in the cubby hole.
When Stephan did not reply immediately, fear consumed me. I’ve made a bad decision. Kirsty’s the only person who knows I’m on a date with a total stranger. However, she’s not aware that I’ve driven off into the wilderness with this man. I wish I’d reached her on my cellphone earlier on. Surely he wouldn’t pull the trigger on me, dump my body in the bushes and drive off
“We’re between Joburg and the Hartebeespoort Dam. We’ll be there in half an hour or so.”
“I’m not happy not knowing where I’m going,” I pursed my lips
“Chantelle! Relax, I promise you’ll be chuffed when we get there. But if it makes you happier,
I’ll tell you,” he said in a soothing voice.
“Give me a hint,” I swallowed hard as my mouth was dry
“A hint’s too obvious. It’ll give the surprise away,” he answered
“Something for you to photograph, hence bringing your camera,” he glanced across at me with a sparkle of mischief in his eyes.
“Huh? What photograph the bush?”
I was puzzled, irritated and afraid. If I screamed for help, nobody would hear me. If I could not run barefoot on the scorching dirt road, where would I go? I was trapped and longed to be back with Mavis in the safety of my own home.
Stephan looked concerned
“I can’t guess. I’m too thirsty, too hot and sweaty to think straight,” I glared back at him.
“Shall I tell you?”
“I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but if we’re not there within half an hour, then take me back to Joburg.”
“There’s a market coming up, so I’ll stop and get us some cold drinks,” he gently patted my knee.
My cellphone bleeped with a new text message. I fumbled for my phone in my bag and checked who the message was from. It was Kirsty.
WTF! Are you crazy girl going out of town with Stephan? You only met him last night. Keep me updated and look after yourself. K xx
I could see Kirsty’s disapproving face. Her words, ‘you only met him last night’, sounded a warning to me. I must tell her where I am. I tried to reply, but lost the network connection.
“You won’t get a signal from here on,” Stephan said.
About the Author
Although disabled by Scleroderma for fifteen years, she was determined to show her gratitude and fortitude to her wonderful family, friends, and the medical staff at the Royal Free Hospital London; who all encouraged her to write PrizeWinner, which is her first novel.
A donation will be made to Scleroderma research from the profits of the sales of this book.
Looking forward to my first chat with you. You have been to some of the places I would to go. We have both had scleroderma effecting us for about the same amount of time. My husband died when I was 42 years old. He was a Vietnam vet. So I have been trying to get by on such a small amount of money that I could never afford to go to places like Zimbabwe. and South Africa. I am lucky to afford mcdonalds once a month. I have also thought of places closer like Gettysburg. I recently broke my hip (60 ys old). and went into rispatory arrest from the surgery. The surgeon says I'm a walking marical . Frankly not feeling like such a maricle right now. they said I need a lung transplant but I just don't think I'd survive it. Anyway you are the author tell me about the places you've been make me see it in my mind. God place sclera warrior!