Confessions of a Cougar is actually creative nonfiction - Names have been changed, but 95% is true.
The book is creative non-fiction. 95% of it is true, and believe me, some of the incidents couldn't have been funnier if they actually were fiction.
It takes place in the 1980s, when the word "cougar" generally meant a mountain lion. Calling an older woman with a younger man a cougar wasn't in wide usage back then-- but I learned first hand what it meant to be one. I've been told this story also has great potential for a romantic comedy movie.
HERE IS HOW OUR ADVENTURE STARTED. EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 2
We piled our luggage into a London taxi driven by a man who didn’t have a clue how to get to Upper Warlingham, but said with complete confidence he could find it. A bobby in full regalia approached us just as the driver was about to close what he called “the boot”.
“Where would ya be goin’ ladies? Did I hear you say Upper Warlingham?”
“Why that’s right. I didn’t realize we were speaking so loud. Do you know it? Could you tell this driver where it is?”
“Did ya fix a price wi’ him?”
Sue answered, “No, we didn’t since he didn’t know where it was.”
The Bobby lifted his hand to his mouth, placed two fingers in his mouth and whistled so loud it could have been heard at Buckingham Palace. He signaled another taxi and the driver pulled up beside the one holding our luggage.
He smiled. “This here bloke isn’t authorized to go out of London. Simon will take you to Upper Warlingham.” He motioned to this new driver. “Why’nt ya transfer their bags and fix a good price for ‘em?”
As the man reached into the taxi to switch our luggage, the bobby said, “He’s a good man, Simon, and he’ll charge you a fair price, not like this bloke.” He turned to the first driver. “For shame, tryin’ to take advantage of these women. Off with ya now and I best not be seein’ ya tryin’ this again.”
He turned back to us. “Stayin’ there are ya? Strange place for two Yanks to be goin’ unless you’ve got business or relatives there.”
I felt a little shiver inch up my spine. “Strange? Why do you say that?”
Judging by the tone of his soft, comforting voice, I guess I sounded alarmed. “Nah, not to worry. Just that’s it’s a wee village. Not even a steakhouse. Gotta go to Whyteleaf for a bite when the pub’s not servin’, although it’s not too far. They do have the one pub in the town square.”
During the taxi ride we marveled at the rolling green hills, a shade so rich that it made California look dull. Brilliant yellow fields of mustard brightened the old façades of centuries old homes and townhouses. We wanted an adventure and we were about to get one. However, what we got exceeded anything our active imaginations might have conjured.
A little more than an hour later the driver pulled up in front of what should have been the charming cottage we had pictured. Instead, it looked as foreboding as a haunted house nestled in high grass and weeds. The windows were covered in such a heavy layer of dust and dirt they appeared opaque and a few loose shingles made flapping noises when a light breeze lifted them. Simon’s concern was very obvious. “I’m not sure I should be leavin’ you ladies here. Are ya sure you’ll be alright?”
We had become quite friendly with him during the drive and I could see he felt responsible for us. I truly appreciated his concern, but how bad could it be? We had the keys to the house and there was a car in the garage.
Before I could say anything, Sue said, “Don’t worry. We’ll be just fine.” She handed him the pre-arranged fare. He put it in his pocket, but seemed reluctant to leave. “If ya don’t mind, I’ll just be waitin’ to make sure you’re alright.”
Hey, smart, independent women shouldn’t need a guardian angel, so with more confidence than I really felt, I said, “That’s so kind, but we’ll be just fine. It’s okay for you to leave. After all, you have to make a living.”
He drove off, and we hefted our cases into the jungle-like growth. To our relief, hidden beneath a portion of the overgrown lawn we discovered there actually was a path leading to the front door. Right about then, a machete would have been welcome.
We finally made it to the little porch, but that’s when panic spiked our fear. The key didn’t fit. We tried sliding it out slightly, pressing it in, jiggling it and every other trick a person can use to make a key work, but it made no difference. Sue said, “Maybe it’s the key to the back door, not the front. Did Bob say anything about that?”
My track record of published works speaks for itself. I have several published books, short stories and over 300 published articles related to writing and the writers' community. It is important for me to launch this book on time.
I think it is a testimony to having fun and staying attractive over 40. Remember 95% is true and this scene is in that 95%. At one point we met a man from Beverly Hills who was the houseguest of a popular British actor who had invited us to dinner. Definitely middle-aged, he bragged about his young girlfriend and insisted that any woman over forty should give up all hope of ever attracting a man. He had thrown down the gauntlet and literally declared war, completely unaware that we were 42.
This book proves you can have fun and adventures at any age and is uplifting as well as funny.