Monday, 10 October 2011

The White-Knuckled Ride

Please help us welcome Cassie Exline today.

~ ~ ~ ~

Hello to all. My name is Cassie Exline. I write tales of romance and mystery, always with a dash of humor. To those of you who don't know what I do for a living, I work full time for a weekly newspaper. In this day and age of the Internet, it's scary as to how long we'll last in the business. So far, we're hanging in there. The part of the USA I'm from prefers reading a real newspaper before using it to line the cat litter box. lol

Any seminar/lecture I can attend, I go. One never knows what will happen. My first seminar was great. On most loop groups, I'm more of a lurker but at that seminar, I raised my hand and participated. My heart almost jumped out of my chest, but at least I said something.

So recently when the chance came up to go to another seminar in our state capital, I was onboard. I'm not a big city driver but no worries, a coworker volunteered to drive all of us.

The seminar whooped my butt. It was a long day. Actually, truth be told, it was the coworker who drove who wore me down. I'm lucky to be alive, although I may take up drinking.

She's 20 and knows everything (remember that age?). She had a GPS and was going to blaze a trail to the seminar. Except she didn't know the address, which was on the forms we received. Thank god I was a Boy Scout in a previous life and had printed out directions and a map. She programmed in the address, turned the radio full blast and her mouth shifted into gear. That girl talked non-stop. Within minutes she had us barreling down the Interstate -- going the wrong direction.

We got her turned around and she tailgated in the right direction. Be still my heart. I thought my ticker was going to jump out of my chest. Keep in mind, our boss is riding with us in the backseat (the coward). I was riding shotgun, which had had one.

Barb (boss) kept asking, "Aren't we too close to that car?"

To which, Laura would say, "Oh, okay." She'd backed off for a split second and then we're in someone else's trunk.

Luck be a lady and we arrived, shakened and stirred. No open bar to be found, like who cared if it was only 8:45 in the morning! I survived and wanted to celebrate. Bartender!!

Sad to say, the seminar was boring. The speakers were hyping their own books. Yes, I said books! But when one male speaker started dropping the "f-bomb" I woke up. My boss was chewing nails. She has strict rules about behavior. We're not even allowed to smoke, technically she'd prefer if we never spoke, but she can't have everything. lol

But all good things must come to an end and for the return trip, I was the navigator. We were heading in the right direction. Several times that menace tried to get off the Interstate and take the wrong road. We're yelling, "NO!"

Fortunately the traffic was widely spaced so her chances were limited to ride someone's bumper until our exit from the Interstate mere miles from home base.

Even after we got to a small town, which is close to ours, a town she has traveled a lot, Laura tried to turn the wrong direction.

By now it was dusk. Five cars in front of us slowed and stopped, brake lights beamed bright red and we were zooming in for the crunch. At the last minute she slammed on the brakes and said, "Didn't see that. Maybe I should let some space and pay attention." Ya think?

That decision lasted for nano seconds. We were once more stalking a bumper. Never was I so glad to see the office and my car. I leaped out of her car and fought the urge to drop and kiss the pavement.

Did I learn anything from the seminar? Yes, never ever ride with Laura and "f-bombs" are a stimulant.

~ ~ ~ ~


An old college friend begs Sheryl to help find her missing cousin, Opal, who may have been kidnapped by a mysterious mountain man. When all leads are exhausted, Sheryl concocts a dangerous plan—she becomes bait for the kidnapper and alleged murderer.

But will she survive her plan? Or is this Sheryl's last mystery?


~ ~ ~ ~

Cassie works for a small town newspaper along the east coast of the United States. Writing has been her passion. She writes romance to melt the heart and mysteries to chill the spine. Her stories have been published at Ruthie's Club, The Erotic Woman, Justus Roux, and Erotic Bookworm. Her three ebooks in the Sheryl Locke Holmes Series, Amber's Mysterious Death, Ruby's Deadly Secret, and Opal's Disappearance can be purchased at Wild Child Publishing. Next book in the Holmes series is Dragon's Pearl. Cassie also has a story, Fire & Ice, published in the anthology Coming Together: With Pride, available in ebook & print at Amazon and All Romance. She's a member of Erotica Author's Association, Erotica Readers & Writers Association and Desdmona's FishTank.


Anthology Authors said...

Oh, Cassie, you would have loved my grandfather. (g) I remember riding with him in his car during a visit. It was the scariest car ride of my life, and he was only going 25 mph. He's never been a great driver, but it turned out he needed a new prescription for his glasses. (He hadn't had one in 20 years. Eep!) So, yeah, I relate. (g)

Starfox Howl said...

In the age of the Internet, newspapers can still make ends meet by giving the reader NEWS. Go back to the roots of journalism, WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW.

Stop spinning the news to fit the paper's political agenda and leave the OP-Ed to the Op-Ed pages.

Have ridden shotgun with drivers like you described and have had my bumper ridden by crazy drivers that think they should be allowed to shove you into the ditch so they can get where they are going faster.

Cassie Exline said...

Marci, I can certainly imagine how scared you were. At least we lived through it.

Cassie Exline said...

I agree, Starfox. In a small town, one must stick to facts only. No fluff, nothing embellished. Rule one is not to let our personal opinions influence our reporting. Which is why I write fiction. lol

Starfox Howl said...

Hi Cassie: I wish more "journalists" followed those simple rules. I sit out here (out here being in Afghanistan) and see what happens, then I hear on Fox, CNN, and the other networks what they REPORT what happened and wonder what sort of stuff they're smoking because they are off in a different world.

Wish you good luck and many sales on your fiction.

Cassie Exline said...

Thanks Starfox!

Jaime Samms said...

You're tale makes me thankful my husband is the primary person who drives me around, Cassie! (and good timing, too, since it's Thanks Giving Day here in Canada) He's a superb driver, and good thing, too, since he'll be driving me tot eh airport tomorrow for my flight to New Orleans and GayRomLit!

Cassie Exline said...

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Jaime, have a great time at the Con. I'm going to at least one of those conventions in my lifetime. Hope you have safe drivers while you're there.

Patricia said...

Hi Cassie and thanks so much for the funny story about your trip to the seminar. Well, I mean, it was funny to ME; but I'm sure you weren't laughing at the time. Your book sounds mysteriously delicious and I'd love to read it. See you around.

Cassie Exline said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Patti. I was scared on that trip and you'll enjoy the book.

Janice said...

My daughter is that age too and just got her drivers licence. She took me over to rent a truck and I was using my brakes on my side of the car, which there isn't any.

Slow down, I kept telling her.

Cassie Exline said...

Janice, my son still drives like that and he still knows it all. lol

Stephy Smith said...

Funny story! I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like kissing the pavement when the ride is over and we're all safe. lol

Cassie Exline said...

Hi Stephy! You're so right, that pavement looks real good after we've arrived. lol

Faith said...

Cassie, my oldest son is 20 and he drives the same way. And he has one speed: light speed. I don't ride with him unless it's a dire necessity, and if something happens were he's required to drive the younger kids somewhere, I threaten to tie his ass cheeks in knots if he goes over the speed limit.