Visiting today is author Vida Li Sik, author of sweet South African romances Remember Me, Caught and Bowled, and Bowled Over. She’s here to tell us a bit about love in the Rainbow Nation, and share the story of her latest release, Curveball.
Some things you can’t duck by Vida Li Sik
Here in Africa, there is an interesting custom to pay lobola—a dowry for the bride based on her education, job and skills. This age-old tradition is meant to build a bridge between the two families, but it’s a process that can become quite stressful when the woman’s family sets the “price of cows” too high. These days, there is even an app to help you calculate how much a bride is worth!
Thankfully for my characters, there’s no anxiety over lobola in Curveball, the second book in my Sweet Spot series featuring stories about female sports writers. This story is more about family, and doesn’t focus as much on cricket as the first story in the series did (where a female cricket writer reconnects with an old flame, who is a star player at the world championship, against the backdrop of match-fixing rumours).
Curveball tells the story of Sharda Govender, a cricket writer whose best friend Arya, asks for her help in finding a wife to fulfill the stipulation in his father’s will. She is eager to play matchmaker, but they are both surprised by the results of her efforts.
Sharda and Arya are both workaholics who excel at their jobs, but not so much in the romance department. I think readers will relate to Sharda who faces the stress of restructuring at work, fears that she might be losing the chance of ever finding a mate, and who always puts the needs of others before her own. Arya faces family pressure to get married—something many can relate to as they get older.
While not an account of real life events, Sharda and Arya’s conflict over work vs love reflect some of my own personal experiences. When I was a bride for only four months, my husband was asked to help out with work in the Ivory Coast (west Africa). Up until then, I worked at a newspaper, first as a sports reporter and then as a news journalist.
The move meant I had to resign from work, put our belongings in storage, and leave to live in a new country where I didn’t speak the language… in the space of three weeks! As a new bride, there was no question that I would follow my husband, but it was tough to give up my career that I crafted over five years. On the upside, I learned to speak French.
On that note: I had an older Indian couple help me with a few words and phrases in Hindi, and the food and customs of India, for this book. One interesting thing I discovered was how the Hindi word for uncle, chacha, clearly tells you the uncle is the younger brother of the father. Isn’t language amazing?
What Vida’s up to now: I’m telling the story of the villain of my YA romance, Remember Me. This second book, Remember Us, will focus on Emma’s mother, and explore why she did what she did to thwart her daughter’s love for Marc in the first book; it will give her a chance to redeem herself and discover her own HEA. A number of readers told me they disliked, but also felt sorry for her. I plan to finish and release it in early 2022. I am also in the planning stage of book three in The Heart Series. This one, Waiting Heart, tells the story of Daouda, the son of a cancer survivor, and who has a sister who is a former prison inmate. Daouda has sacrificed a lot for his mother and sister and is looking for his own HEA.
Curveball by Vida Li Sik
Some things you can’t duck. When Sharda’s childhood friend Arya asks her to help him find a wife, she agrees, eager to test her match-making skills. But as they spend more time together, she realises she wants the position for herself. Arya needs to fulfill the stipulation in his father’s will–get married or lose the family fortune. He turns to his best friend for help. But what if the solution to his problems is right underneath his nose? And, as their cherished careers crumble, will these two workaholics take a chance on love?
Curveball is a standalone novella in the Sweet Spot Series.
About the author
Vida Li Sik is a wife, mother, award-winning journalist and multi-genre author. She grew up in a small town, Nigel, in sunny South Africa, and now lives with her family in Johannesburg, the City of Gold. She has no pets and has yet to find a weird and wonderful hobby. In the meantime, she loves to write about people, real ones and imagined.