Road Trip Frights by Vicki Reese – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Vicki Reese who is celebrating today’s release of No Tears for Darcy.

Hi! My name is Vicki Reese and I would love to extend my thanks to Marianne and Judy of Long and Short Reviews for hosting me today.

Have you ever been on a road trip and ended up on a road that scared the crap out of you? Or lost your brakes on a steep hill? I’ve been on both – and used these instances in several scenes in my book No Tears for Darcy.

The most scared I’ve ever been in a non-accident situation was on a dirt/stone road (hah!) going up a canyon outside of Wenatchee in Washington. Hubby and I were driving across country from Pennsylvania to meet our newest grandson. When my son said he lived in a canyon, that didn’t mean much of anything to me. Until I got there. The road was one car wide with steep cliff on both sides – one up, one down. And no guardrail. I have to tell you, I was not made for that kind of road trip. When I asked son what they did if one of the other residents was coming the opposite direction, he shrugged and said, “someone backs up”. I couldn’t imagine driving frontward on that road let alone backward!

The other time was as a young teen on a road trip with my parents. I was in the front seat with my dad while Mom and little brother slept in the back. We were coming down out of the mountains of North Carolina into a little town, towing a camper. I noticed my dad pumping the brakes – a lot. But we didn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, we went faster. He downshifted to the lowest gear, which helped, and did a bunch of other stuff I didn’t understand then (but do now!). We finally drifted into town and Dad pulled into a small shopping mall and got out, leaning down with his hands on his knees. It was only much later (years) that I found out what had happened. Thank goodness my dad was a cop and knew what to do in emergencies. But it was a little touch and go there.

One other scene was loosely based on a combination of Duluth, Minnesota and a small town here in Pennsylvania. In both cases, there is a straight road on a steep hill leading to water. In icy conditions (normal in Duluth!) or without brakes, you have no choice but to end up in the water. Which I’ve seen happen in the small town in Pennsylvania (not naming names).

And people wonder why I don’t like road trips! LOL

Letting love pass them by would be a crime.
Former forensic accountant Cameron’s lost nearly everyone he’s ever loved, and now his vintage clothing shop has been broken into and trashed. When town police chief Will Carson asks an out-of-town cop friend of his for help, Cam takes one look at the dark-haired, blue-eyed detective and knows he’s in real trouble—and it has nothing to do with vandalism or murder.

Pete Minchelli is on leave from his job in Philadelphia due to a gunshot wound, but he figures he can help an academy buddy with some light police work. Plus, he’ll have a chance to experience small-town life. He’s tired of the big city and all its corruption. But he quickly discovers that not all the bad stuff happens in cities. What he doesn’t expect to find is death, treachery—or love.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Although it was barely past eleven, the streets were almost deserted in the small town. He had to smile at the difference. Back in the city, things were just getting started around ten or eleven. Here, even the two bars in town were close to closing for the night.

He slowed to a stop at a red light and noticed that his brakes seemed a bit soft. “Have to get Zeb to check them.”

He chuckled. The lights were another difference between a small town and the city. At midnight, all the traffic lights here went on flash so those few individuals on the main drag didn’t have to stop the entire length of town. The cross streets flashed red, turning them to virtual stop signs instead of full red lights.

It was an interesting contrast between the two places. Here, on nice weekends, families and groups picnicked and played at the municipal park. A wide river formed one boundary of the park and gave access to swimming or fishing in the summer and skating in the winter. It was all very idyllic, like something out of a fairy tale. Oh, he knew the small town had its problems—all towns did—but between the two, he thought he preferred the peace and quiet to the noise and bustle of the city.

He got to the intersection where he needed to turn to go to the club and lightly hit his brakes.

There was no responding slowing down. Pete pumped the brakes with the same result. Nothing. The car continued to pick up speed as it traveled down the steep incline that led to the river. Pete downshifted and kept working the brakes. It slowed the car some, but not enough. He turned off the ignition and pulled the emergency brake on. He was still moving in a relentless line for the river and the small fishing dock.

Pete looked around for something cheap to run into that wouldn’t cause too much damage. Buildings and parked cars bounded him on both sides. The park ahead was clear. The tree-shaded picnic areas were too far to the left. He judged his speed and distance. When the car hit the flat grassy area of the park, it slowed more, but again, not enough. He watched as the river grew inexorably closer. With the recent rains, the water was almost as high as the dock.

He judged the speed. With the grass to land on, he could make probably handle a jump. He yanked at the door handle, but nothing happened. The door was stuck. Nor would the window go down. The car reached the edge of the dock and splashed into the muddy water. He dug under his seat for the nightstick he kept there and swung it at the windshield. Water seeped into the car. He kept smashing at the front window as the water crept upward. Outside, it was midway up the windows. Finally the glass shattered and water rushed in. He climbed out over the dash. His shin caught the edge of the window, and he swallowed more than a mouthful of dirty water when he gasped. He was already several dozen yards downstream from the dock in the fast-flowing current. He climbed onto the roof and propelled himself toward the bank.

About the Author:Vicki Reese has been married forever to the one person who accepts that she lives in a fantasy world most of the time. She’s even been seen at the beach building worlds for her stories. In addition to creating suspenseful situations or fantasy worlds, she is very good at boring things like writing procedures manuals and continuity spreadsheets, both of which she actually earned money doing. With a master’s in library science, she likes things organized. Okay, so her family thinks having the spice rack alphabetized is a bit much, but she has no problem finding what she needs when she needs it. And just because her extensive library is catalogued and organized by the Dewey Decimal system doesn’t mean she’s obsessive. Honest!

When not writing, Vicki can be found in the kitchen cooking up gluten free/lactose free/allergy free goodies for her family, or just watching the world go by from her front porch swing.

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