Love, travel, enduring friendships, alcohol & drug culture and life’s all too common relationship dilemmas is ‘Bacon Sleep Sex’ as it spans eight years and ten countries. Join two friends from London, Natalie and Joe as they embark on journeys through their twenties and through new, never to be repeated experiences across the world.
A comedy of timing errors sees Natalie, initially disillusioned and in a detrimental and doomed relationship finding freedom and enlightenment by accidentally sleeping with her best friend Joe. This changes everything – but not in the happy-ever-after manner. Cue a plentitude of sexual adventures for the newly single and ‘free’ Nat including a particular unforgettable episode with an older pseudo-relative of Joe’s: ‘Uncle’ Dave. Joe, formerly the male slut and womanizer had been intent on following his infamous uncle’s advice on the key to a happy and better life – the Holy Trinity of bacon, sleep and sex! though now finds himself struggling emotionally with his secret, unrequited love for his former ‘just best friend’ Nat.
Both embark on years of travelling their own respective paths through Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, China, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru yet keeping their passion alive long-distance via email. Joe’s nightmare finally comes true when Natalie and his Uncle Dave finally becomes a couple. Shortly after this news, an upcoming reunion for the three loved ones is planned to take place in Bali. Joe is set to tell all and confess his true love for Nat after his own enlightening experience in the Peruvian highlands, which has transformed his ingrained perceptions and outlook on life.
An unexpected event during a debauched night out results in Natalie finally recognizing her own true feelings and ultimately having to choose what and who she really wants and needs in her present and in her future.
Targeted Age Group:: 18 to 50
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was inspired to write this book due to years of extensive traveling and different experiences I’ve had all over the globe. I wanted to write the kind of book that I would love to read poolside or on the beach while travelling. This is my debut novel and if you like reading about travel, holidays and sex, or you like sex on your holidays, then this will be your cup of tea too.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters are based loosely on people I have worked with, travelled with, lived with and loved over the years. This is definitely a work of fiction however, and no one character is true to life: they are simply inspired by different people I have met.
Stag party. Elderly couple jetting away on retirement (aka ‘grey nomads’). Honeymooners. Businessman. Flirty, single, sexy traveller man. Oh wait, he was joining the previously sited stag party and oh yes, wearing a matching t-shirt. She took back her initial assessment of the blond, surfer-looking dude currently giving Natalie a wide smile and wait for it, yes, a cheeky, knowing wink.
Nat blushed and returned the smile. She took a leisurely sip of her chilled sav blanc and breathed out with contentment. Sat in a busy bar-cum-bistro adjacent to London Heathrow’s many departure gates, she was a lone, smiling, radiating ball of energy mixed with anticipation and a few feel good nerves and adrenalin, as she contemplated life, love and her recent excellent decision to go travelling. By herself! Newly single and feeling like she’d returned to life. As clichéd as she knew it must sound, she’d just been feeling so alive lately. She had to fight back the urge to down her wine (although embodying lightweight status these days, this would no doubt floor her – not a good look prior to a long-haul flight) stand on her bar stool and announce to the bar and world ‘I’m ba-ack!’.
Thinking that the sort of vibes she must be giving out judging by some of the glances and smiles that had been coming her way, were doing the job just fine, she resumed her quiet people-watching, happy to let the hour or so before her boarding time gently tick by.
She’d surprised herself by still getting to the airport much too early (a usual occurrence whenever she and Chris would travel, yes, but mainly due to his stressing, panicking and unfaltering desire to be in control: of time, of Natalie, of everything.) However, when left to her own devices she found she wanted to get there with plenty of time to spare, to do just that: have time. She had a lot going on in her mind, most of it good and she was relishing this time to let the recent weeks, months, events and choices replay for her as she enjoyed one of her first, relaxing drinks in ages. This was her new beginning, her fresh start, her rebirth and her finding herself again.
‘Fucken hell’ she blushed again. Half a glass in and a sexy stranger are all it takes for the whole barrage of clichés to fill Nat’s mind.
‘Well, you’ve done it,’ She thought to herself. Exceedingly proud of many things recently, Nat was quietly brimming over with a renewed sense of self-loving, all but banished her former habit of self- loathing and definitely had a new gained confidence. She felt great most days. She felt sexy too. No doubt helped enormously by her total body makeover in the last month or so: a newer, fitter, more toned Natalie, fresh with just-highlighted, subtlely layered hair ready for her journey, was sat in the bar that day, exchanging occasional sly grins with Mr. Sexy Surfer, from what she was sure must be a stag weekend. The dead giveaway was the matching t-shirts, each featuring a different nickname splashed across their varying sized, oft heaving with laughter, backs. Surfer dude’s read ‘Cat Lover’. Hmm, Nat wondered why, accidentally catching his eye again. He raised one eyebrow and his perfect blue, sparkling eyes smiled back, gently mockingly, as if he could read her thoughts.
She coughed hurriedly and looked away, towards the bored looking barman busy wiping already dry glasses and almost glaring at his happy patrons. She couldn’t really blame him: stuck there in his own tedium while everyone else was off to (probably) far away and exotic places, all there to celebrate, to spur on their already palpable excitement, or for a few, to submerge and douse a few phobias about the forthcoming flight; while he was definitely not. Sympathetic but not overly concerned (thinking that you never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life) Nat couldn’t be brought down today. Not even if she allowed her thoughts to travel back to what was only six weeks ago now? Surely the break-up and entire relationship with Chris felt like it must have been years ago, she was such a different person now and in such a different place. Correcting herself, as she knew it was still quite recent really, a fact that Chris hadn’t hesitated to point out when she mentioned (over what was to be an ‘amicable’ evening at a neutral-ground tapas and wine bar, to discuss their finances and flat etc.) her imminent plans for departure.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me,” Chris had said, shaking his head simultaneously.
Natalie with an amazing degree of calm and patience, slowly sighed and replied.
“Chris. I’m not doing anything to you. I’m just letting you know that I may not be that contactable at times as I will be away, out of the country and yes, we still need to sell the flat or for you to buy me out, or whatever we decide…” She attempted a friendly, ‘amicable’ smile.
Chris’s head still shaking, as his eyes bore into her.
“But this is too fast, please,” he began, “What about the other night? Come on Nat, don’t do this to me.”
She sipped her soda water (yes, no wine for her tonight, she affirmed) and felt her own guilt clamouring inside her and shouting a reminder about her regretful behaviour the other night. Well, nobody was perfect and when Chris had asked her to come over to discuss the flat and their finances over a ‘cuppa’, she had thought ‘great, we’re on the same page, things can start to move on’ and had felt optimistic and relieved all at the same time upon ringing her own doorbell (yes, even though she could have used her keys, although she didn’t know which would have felt more strange).
Chris had opened the door, a look of calm resignation on his face, she’d thought and of being the amicable ex that she thought he’d wanted to be when he’d arranged this meeting. She’d followed him into the kitchen whereupon he’d immediately placed a large glass of chilled sav blanc into her small, stiff hand.
“Oh Chris, thanks, but I’m not drinking at the moment, bit of a health kick…” and she smiled back at him nervously.
He seemed to take a moment to step back and really look at her, before smiling and nodding.
“And it’s showing Nat,” he said genuinely, “You look great, really fit and healthy: you’re glowing.”
And didn’t she just. Since her recent healthier days and detoxing, combined with multiple gym visits and of taking up running outside, Nat had never felt better. Always slim and skinny, usually owing to partying more than anything, she was now slim and toned and she felt great, felt strong, like she could take on anything, least of all a meeting with her ex over their money and ‘stuff’.
“But come on,” he continued, “It’s your favourite. I got it in specially. For old times’ sake?” He gave her a poignant look.
Suddenly she felt awful. She saw Chris before her in a different light. The guilt and sadness was almost too much to bear. She lost her resolve, thinking of all the happier times in the early days of their relationship and all that young Nat and Chris had lost over the years. She felt terminally sad for Uni-Nat and Uni-Chris and although knowing they could never go back there again, this did little to relieve the sudden sadness she experienced when faced with a newer sad and patient and yes it seemed, understanding Chris, offering her what he knew to be her favourite wine as they discussed the ins and outs of their separation.
On one level, she was amazed at his calmness and the way he had come around seemingly so quickly. She didn’t want to make this any harder than it would surely end up being.
‘One glass isn’t going to kill you’, she chided herself.
So, she took the wine and Chris joined her. He gestured towards the breakfast bar where, predictably, a spreadsheet conveying all their worldly possessions and a break-down of the flat and its value versus their mortgage and loan details lay glaring up at them. Mercifully they had both ignored it and sipped their wine instead. And then another glass was poured. And they talked about things, many different kind of things, not their jobs for once. Nat discussed her recent love of running. Chris mentioned places he’d seen on a recent documentary that he’d like to visit. It was actually, well, nice. Nat hadn’t expected that. So, they drank another few glasses of wine.
“I picked up another of your favourites”, Chris began, smiling confidently, “Fancy a round one?” His eyes twinkling as he’d dangled a small plastic zip-lock bag filled with 4 sky-blue pills. “For old times’ sake?”
Nat’s stomach lurched and flip-flopped at the sight of the pills.
‘Well’, she thought, all warm and relaxed from the multiple glasses of wine, ‘I probably won’t be getting up for my morning run now, may as well have one pill too, for old times’ sake…’
They’d had a pill each and some more white wine and things continued to be nice. So nice and warm and familiar. Nat missed this. She wasn’t sure if it was the comfortable feeling of being with someone who apparently knew you so well, or if it was the warm, fuzzy, loving feeling from the pills that she’d missed.
They’d carried on drinking and talking and Nat had started to get to that happy, arm-rubbing stage, as had Chris it seemed, who began rubbing her knee. It still felt nice.
His hands found their way up to her stomach. Again, it felt nice.
Somehow Chris’s hands were then caressing her naked breasts (how had her top and bra come off?) It felt nice, but ‘No – Nat, what are you doing?’ Something inside of her fired up and she mentally bitch- slapped herself. She must go. This is all wrong. But she was so blurry and confused: why? Oh yes, that’s right: she was drunk and she’d had a pill.
Chris briefly stopped caressing her breasts in order to reach for the bag of pills again where the remaining two, innocent looking pills sat waiting for them to consume them and continue their messiness.
“Have another Nat,” Chris had urged. This straightened her up. Slightly.
“No Chris. I’ve got to go.”
“Come on Nat,” He pleaded, “Have another, this is great, just you and me, just like we’re meant to be!” That did it.
‘No!’ She shouted inside her head. Instead, her physical body set about retrieving her top and bra from over near the fridge (had they been thrown there? She couldn’t recall). She had to get out. Now. She saw the evening for what it was now: Chris’s attempt to ‘lure’ her back with her old favourites: drink and drugs. And yes, she admitted, it had felt nice, but she knew it was all wrong and now she was furious with herself for giving in.
Chris’s look of resentment and smugness had returned now, now that it was clear she couldn’t be kept and persuaded to stay by either himself or of drink and drugs, any trace of the previous calm and ‘nice’ persona evaporated. He had simply sat at the breakfast bar and despondently watched her grab her bag and leave, amidst a hurried, “Sorry Chris, I have to go”
That had been that then.
The guilt and remorse had plagued her for days – she’d been furious with herself. She’d felt like she’d taken two steps back and she felt so very ashamed. So ashamed that she didn’t even confide in her best friend Joe to get his take on things. He’d seemed in a world of his own lately still and she’d struggled to catch him alone in their busy shared haven anyway.
She’d eventually let it go and reminded herself that nobody was perfect and that this was all new territory for her, so she should really cut herself a bit of slack and stop beating herself up. Then when she’d had to meet Chris to discuss her departure (woohoo!) it was one of the first thing he’d mentioned, causing her guilt and shame to come crashing back down, as she sat sipping a soda water and nibbling on some patatas bravas.
‘Geez,’ She thought, “It’s not like I slept with him, not like some others recently who shall remain nameless”.
She was briefly reminded of her very boozy leaving party from work at the bank and of waking up the next morning in decidedly unknown surroundings and of making the hastiest of hasty exits from her former boss’s very swanky Chelsea apartment – oh yes, while he still slept and with the remnants of their late night line and nightcap adorning his glass coffee table. (One of her last debauched boozy/druggy nights ever, she’d affirmed to herself). This memory caused her to stifle a giggle and smile however, as she recalled the amazing hidden and surprising oral talent of her former boss and berated herself for not having discovered this sooner (after all, she’d been ‘single’ for weeks now). She must email the other temps there and share this surprising but she was sure, welcome, news. Just as soon as she was safely out of the country.
While she’d thought she’d had fun with her boss and he was very experienced and great with his tongue, amongst other bits, if her memory served her correctly, she couldn’t help but compare him to her recent ‘Dave experience’. Wow. There was no comparison really, although both were proving valuable daydreaming material as she eagerly awaited her flight.
First stop: Amsterdam, where she was to wait for four hours to get her connecting flight to begin her solo travels in South-East Asia. Her excitement was now obviously palpable and she all but gulped back her last dregs of wine, shot one last smile towards sexy-surfer and rose to go and find her gate (yes, still with thirty minutes to spare). She wondered what Joe was doing right now and if he was also feeling like this as he set off on his own travels.
Oh Joe. Her beautiful, best friend Joe. Nat was now convinced they must be more psychically in tune and connected than she’d previously given credence to, as what were the chances that upon her
announcement that she was going off travelling, that Joe’s response was “Oh wow – me too! Me and Maria are heading back to Argentina for a while.”
So, why, she thought briefly, did his smile not quite reach his eyes as he told her how excited he was – for both her and himself? Why was he not that apparently outwardly excited? Nerves maybe? Worried about cash? Nat was sure that now today was the day for both of them (in another weird twist of fate and coincidence, Joe and Marie were leaving London for Argentina on exactly the same day that Nat was flying off to Amsterdam and beyond) his and Maria’s excitement must surely be through the roof, just like her own.
‘Yes,’ thought Nat, as Surfer-boy gave her one last departing wink. ‘I’m ba-ack! Bring this on!’
About the Author:
I am a thirty year old female, currently living and working in China as an English teacher, together with my husband and our dog. I am originally from the UK, however I migrated to Australia in 2006, and later became an Australian citizen, and now hold dual citizenship.
My passions in life include: travelling to new places, having new experiences, running, reading what I like to class as ‘trashy novels’, and enjoying good food and wine.
I am a qualified nutritionist, however as well as this I have a mixed bag in terms of work experience, having worked in: investment banking, a pathology lab, a food lab, a financial planners and accountant’s office, to name just a few. I am currently working as an English teacher in China, where my husband and I have been living since August 2012.
I love to run and regularly record my passion for this and all the trials and tribulations that go hand in hand with it, on a website where I write about my running experiences here in China thus far.
Having travelled fairly extensively (through Europe, South America, South Africa, parts of Asia, and Australasia) I wanted to set this novel in a number of different locations, conjuring up some similar life experiences to my own and to some friends’ experiences (although everything written in this novel is definitely fiction and is based on no real people or events) in London and beyond, resulting in the sort of fast-paced, ‘trashy’ novel that I would relish reading whilst poolside or whilst lounging at the beach on a holiday: high octane – lots of sex, drugs and travelling; an erotic/romance novel with drug culture and travel themes throughout.
I have loved writing this, my first novel: ‘Bacon Sleep Sex’. I am going to continue to write fast-paced, erotic, humourous novels, aiming to reach readers such as myself who may enjoy the work of: Emily Barr, Ben Elton, Robert Barrett and Megan Gray, for example.
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought!