Family vacations are usually boring, right?
Well, not always.:::grin::: When I was 16, my dad decided he would enter a poker tournament in Las Vegas and my mom and I would go with him for our annual summer vacation. A week in Las Vegas in July? Can you say “hot?”
Yep, it sure was. Our first full day there, I dove into the Olympic-sized hotel pool at the deep end, swam a length and climbed out at the shallow end. I was dry by the time I walked back to my lounge chair, which I had oh-so-innocently chosen because it was right next to the lifeguard station, currently occupied by a beached-blond surfer dude named Bradley. Not plain Brad…Bradley. He was 18 or 19 and I was naïve enough to think he’d be dying to talk to a chubby 16-year-old in a one-piece who looked not a day over 14.
Needless to say, he wasn’t. When it got too hot by the pool (112 degrees that day, I think), I went back to our room in the hotel and took a nap.
Yawn city, I know. But that night, my dad surprised my mom and me with tickets to the midnight show in the casino showroom. No dinner, but drinks were included. That would be a Coke for me, please? Plus, by the time we got back to our room, it’d probably be 2 a.m. I’d never stayed up that late before.
Walking through the casino with my mom to get to the showroom was the coolest part. Did I mention that I looked about 14 at the time? The security guards sure noticed. It was a trip to see them watching me go from one side of the casino floor to the other, ready to pounce if I looked like I was going to lay even so much as a fingertip on a roulette wheel or a one-armed bandit.
Remembering that summer, I knew exactly how my main character, Malden, felt when her mom insisted she come along for a two-week stay at a Virginia family inn, in my Young Adult novella, Ghost Writer. Here’s what she had to say about it:
“When Dad flies home from Europe in three weeks, he’ll be forced to come looking for us. And all he’s going to find are our dried-up old bones scattered by the side of the road. A few more hours of baking out here and we’ll be ghosts, roaming the countryside for all eternity.” Malden Montgomery wiped away the perspiration on her upper lip, and then swatted at a ginormous green and black dragonfly as it dive-bombed toward the open passenger-side window of the SUV. “And why is it as hot as hell in Virginia when it’s only the middle of June?”
Honestly, forced to leave her friends behind in New York City, who could blame her? But when she arrives at the inn and meets a to-die-for cute Southern boy named Jackson, and they meet a ghost, and then…well, if you’re curious about what happens next, and I hope you are, you’ll just have to download a copy of the novella and find out the rest for yourself.
All I can is that her days in Virginia turned out to be anything but boring!
About the Author: Vala Kaye grew up in Texas as a history buff, as well as an avid reader of romance and science fiction. After graduating from college with a double major in Communications and History, Vala now works in ad sales support in southern California. She is addicted to movies, word games, and salsa dancing. In Ghost Writer, her first published YA novella, she explores what happens when the human “spirit” meets modern computer technology.
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