Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Girly Books Blog Hop: Location, Location, Location!


 
The giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much for stopping by, commenting, following my blog and entering to win. Congratulations to Stephanie Haefner for winning!!!
Thank you so much to Libby Mercer for organizing another fantastic Girly Books Blog Hop! I'll be giving away a $5 gift card for Amazon and one ecopy of Finding Lucas. Be sure to check the list of amazing bloggers at the bottom of this post and swing by their blogs to read where they might be taking you. There are some incredible giveaways on this hop and one HUGE grand prize!

Who doesn't love a road trip? Well, when you're stuck in a car with your boss, trying to hunt down your ex "friends with benefits" who you haven't seen or spoken to in ten years, the journey might not be the thrilling, fun-filled car ride a road trip usually brings to mind.

In Finding Lucas, Jamie Ross is sick of her toxic relationship. When her job as the associate producer of Chicago's sleaziest daytime talk show (think Jerry Springer for the new millenium) lands her a segment on reuniting lost loves, Jamie remembers Lucas. And goes on a cross country hunt to track him down. 

A business assignment with her new boss, Andrew (and a secret desperate search to find Lucas), turns into a hilarious and revealing road trip. From Indianapolis and Milwaukee to Detroit, talking, arguing and soul-searching fill the hours in Andrew's small, messy Honda Civic until Jamie can fulfil her fantasy of finding and getting back together with Lucas.


We're on the highway, and with the cool breeze coming in from the window, the tension in my body dissipates and I relax. Derek was always so concerned that someone might nick his car that we never talked or enjoyed the scenery. Now, though the scenery from Chicago to Indianapolis leaves much to be desired (flat, barren nothingness), the ease of being with Andrew is making the long drive ahead of us seem more pleasant. The smooth, smoky voice of Norah Jones fills the car, and as I listen to the lyrics, tears spring to my eyes.

"So I guess you like this?" Andrew asks and reaches over me to grab some Kleenex from the glove compartment. He hands me a tissue, and I quickly dab at my eyes.

"You know, I never cried until a few weeks ago, seriously. Now, even the long distance telephone commercials make me want to bawl. But, yeah, I do like this. It's, hmm, what's the word? Soulful."

"Yeah, I think so too. Kelly prefers Top 40, but I like the more eclectic stuff better. The right music just makes you think about things you might otherwise push to the back of your mind. So, what's on your mind that triggered the tears?"

I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear and smile at him. "Are you sure you're a man? You really want to know what I'm thinking about or are you making polite conversation?"

"Jamie, we've spent enough time together by now that I don't need to make polite conversation. And when a woman is crying in my car, and she'll be in my car for hours, I think I kind of need to ask or it'll be one tense ride."

It's not the scenery or the spots they hit, but the heartfelt conversations along the way that make this one memorable car ride. Often it isn't the destination but the journey that will change your life.

I'd love to hear about your road trips! Enter to win a $5 gift card for Amazon and one ecopy of Finding Lucas by following my blog and leaving your email address and a comment about your craziest, funniest, worst or best road trip! The giveaway ends on January 21st at midnight EST. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Winners will be chosen at random old school style out of a hat (okay, a bowl, but I'll wash it first) and announced on January 22nd, 2103.

One lucky winner will win the ultimate girly books goodie package. Unbelievable prizes to be won so don't miss out! Click HERE to enter!






59 comments:

  1. I love the idea that a journey is also a location. Thanks for the reminder, Samantha.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post. Glad my entry is going in the clean bowl! I once toured the Netherlands, France and Belgium by motorbike and we stayed in a hostel attached to a soup kitchen and a genuine French chateau with a four poster water bed. Worlds apart! Sooz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll write about those travels, Sooz!

      Delete
  3. Well, I just finished reading FINDING LUCAS and loved it, so it was nice to be reminded of one of the best parts of the book - the road trip! I've always thought that road trips bring out the best (and worst) in people. Lord knows they did in my family! I still have nightmares about my family's cross-country trip from SoCal to North Carolina. Two parents, two kids, a dog, and a cat in one car if you can imagine!

    No need to enter me in your contest as I already have FINDING LUCAS. I highly recommend it to everyone! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't want to imagine that! Yikes, Tracie. Thanks so much for loving and recommending Finding Lucas!

      Delete
  4. Even though I get motion sickness and can't do much in a car beside sit there, I do love road trips....well....when they're 6-8 hours max! LOL! But anyway, there are two things I love about road trips. One is the really deep conversations hubby and I have....that we just don't get the time to have otherwise. And the music. Yeah...we put on fun dance music and dance around in our seats. It's fun and hilarious and another thing we just don't get to do often at home.

    The books sounds awesome!! :)

    haefner919 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stephanie! Oh, motion sickness is never a good thing. I so know what you mean about having the chance to finally connect. We throw on some DVDs for the kids and chat away. If they fall asleep, we actually get to listen to our music!

      Delete
  5. I loved Finding Lucas! Enough said :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Worst road trip was going with the family to a wedding in Palm Springs...it was so hot (in January!), and we kept getting lost.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always get lost! Thanks so much for stopping by and entering to win!

      Delete
  7. My craziest road trip is when our family thought it would be fun to rent an RV and take our 4 kids (one of which was special needs) on a road trip from NY to Virginia. The worst part was when the toilet of the RV over flowed and left one inch water puddle throughout our (rented) RV. Not to mention, it happened more than once during our lovely vaca!!!

    Marlene Engel
    mengel2@nycap.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That just might be the worst road trip story I've heard! I hope you've all recovered by now. I'm so curious if you attempted another trip in the RV after that!

      Delete
  8. Ooh, now I really can't wait to read Lucas! One of my favorite 'road' trips was a train trip through Italy. My destination was Rome, but Tuscany looked so inviting I almost disembarked in the middle of nowhere, just to see it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went to Italy as a teenager on a backpacking trip, and I'm dying to go back as an adult. Thanks for commenting, ST, and for wanting to read Finding Lucas!

      Delete
  9. Ever try renting a car while in Montreaux Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland? In college, with my best friend, Beth, by my side, we waltzed into a car rental place and tried speaking Italian/French/who knows what else to the (b*tch) behind the counter. She politely (in very good English) asked us to "turn around, go out those doors, turn left, walk one block, and ask someone else." Well. Apparently, we had no choice. So we turned around, walked out her doors, turned left, walked one block, and found a Hertz (Avis? Can't remember). With no Swiss driver's permit, no Swiss booklet of road signs, no nothing, we drove off in a small white sedan en route from our location at Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva to Zurich. We were 19 years old. We were giddy. We were on top of the world. And you know what else? We got lost. Horribly lost. We had the car for 25 hours (a detail we still talk about today - why 25 hours? Why not 24?) So we had exactly one day to get to Zurich. We had no concept if we could actually do this; I mean... how big IS Switzerland? We asked the man at the car rental place if Zurich was within a 25-hour drive and he politely informed us it should take about 2.5 hours. We said, "Oh. Okay. Well then...maybe will circle Switzerland first, and then head to Zurich." So we set off in our white sedan with 25-hours stretched ahead of us. We went up a mountain. Then we went down that mountain. And then we went up that mountain again (by accident). We figured out it was the same mountain because all of our spots for taking photos looked exactly the same and we saw a girl sitting at the edge of a meadow reading a book in front of the most amazing views. The second time up the mountain, we stopped to talk to her. Then we walked away, crying, because we knew our lives would never be as magical as hers was. Here she was, reading a book on a Swiss mountain top. So then we drove down the mountain. Had to get to Zurich. But then, damn it. There's that same girl again. This time we sped up, driving past her without stopping. We didn't want her to know we were on our third trip up the mountain when she was so obviously, well, "cool". You know, hip. In a Swiss sort of way. We reached the top of the mountain, drove down it, struggled to find our way onto the autobahn, thought we had done it, when BAM! There we were again, climbing the same damn mountain! Tired and hungry, we stopped at restaurant that looked more like a house and when we asked for a menu, the woman said all they had in the kitchen was lasagne. So we ordered it and started eating, when through the front door - in walks THAT GIRL! What was she doing here? Turns out, it wasn't a restaurant afterall. We had knocked on a private residence - her residence, and her mom had taken us in to feed us. We climbed and descended that damn mountain a half dozen more times, arriving in Zurich 24 hours and 55 minutes later. Well, maybe 23 hours later... We're not stupid, you know.

    P.S. I am LOVING Finding Lucas. Keep writing, girl. The book world needs you.

    Contact info: Julie Valerie @JBValerie julievalerie1@gmail.com blogs at julievalerie.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Julie, thank you!! That's one of the nicest things I've ever heard. And I am snorting with laughter over your comment. That girl!

      Delete
  10. I love the idea that a journey is also a location. Thanks for the reminder, Samantha.

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Finding Lucas looks like a totally fun read! Nice work...
    ;)
    livrancourt (at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Finding Lucas sounds like fun read. :)

    My best and worst road trip tie into one - two other friends, cross country to Boston for the hell of it. We had some good times, but there was car problems and ultimate drama on the way back. Wouldn't change it for the world.

    missmichb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I need to hear about that drama, Michelle!

      Delete
  13. Ah yes.... the infamous road trip! I remember that part of your book well! I've actually had some pretty good times in cars. (Not what I mean, dirty girl.) My husband and I have discussed everything from politics to naming our kids. But I have to admit, I adore driving long distances on my own. It's the only time I can really think, you know? No distractions. No Internet or phone. Just bliss! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did you know exactly what I was thinking? :) Oh, a long distance drive on your own? That is bliss!

      Delete
  14. Excellent post, Sam! Loved reading the excerpt. Finding Lucas is such a fab book. :-)

    Now I've been on many memorable road trips but one that stands out is my trip to New Orleans from St. Louis during spring break, my senior year of high school. My friend Nanette and I had our hearts set on New Orleans because back then the drinking age in Louisiana was 18! Ha! But the trip down was so much fun. We stopped off at Graceland and left a jelly doughnut on Elvis's grave because we heard that's what die-hard Elvis fans do. And we went many miles out of our way so we could stop in Bruce, Mississippi. For some reason, we were fascinated by this guy, Bruce, that we went to school with. No idea why. We didn't have a crush on him. He was a nerd but not a super nerd. Anyway, we felt we had to stop there and took tons of pictures of ourselves standing in front of Bruce Carpets, The Bruce Cafe and other "Bruce" places. We were a bit odd... :-)

    Thanks so much for participating in the hop!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Bruce trip is hilarious, Libby! You should write a post about that! Thanks so much for organizing yet another fabulous blog hop!

      Delete
  15. Hi, Samantha! I love the premise of your book. Very cute cover, too. I certainly enjoyed stopping by your fun blog. My novel GRACE UNEXPECTED was inspired by a road trip, believe it or not. So, I can relate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just added GRACE UNEXPECTED to my TBR list, Gale, and I adore the cover. Thanks for the kind words. The cover for FINDING LUCAS was a labor of love!

      Delete
  16. I guess my best road trip was with a friend going up to Monterey, CA. I got to see some beautiful coastline.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I would love to go to California again.

      Delete
  17. There's nothing like a road trip! It must be the possibility of the open road in front of us that still makes it alluring.
    E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! Always great to hear from a Goddess.

      Delete
  18. I like your post. It's true that the journey is important too. My most memorable trip was when I was in my first year in college. My friends and I decided to walk for miles to reach a certain destination just to save our money. We gave up walking in the end after some times because it was too hot and tiring and we decided to fetch a taxi instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, ha, ha! This is so funny, Nash. At least you saved some money on that walk.

      Delete
  19. I've gone on more road trips as a child than as an adult. The last road trip I did was a short one from Jackson, MI back to Chicago last Memorial Day. I drove 80 mph, having never gone above 70 before. The car was a Chevy Malibu with a V8 engine. My childhood best friend and I also discovered these two amazing chocolate shops off highway 94. We even recommended them to our other friends who were coming back that way and they loved it as much as we did! If you're ever out that way, please check out The Chocolate Garden and Vineyards Gourmet Chocolate. They're on the same street, and if you're a chocolate lover, you won't regret it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must have chocolate now! Thanks, Chanpreet, for stopping by. I will absolutely check out those amazing places.

      Delete
  20. The last three summers I have hit the road with my four kids - by myself! Hubby flies to meet us when he can. First summer - 30 days - second summer - 34. Last summer...42 days on the road! Gearing up for this summer. It’s honestly the best of times and the worst of times:)...But good or bad we bond and we’re seeing this amazing country we live in! 32 states (and two Canadian Provinces) and counting! And do I have stories:)!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You travel on your own with four kids? My God, I admire you. I can't imagine doing that with only two! I hope you've written down those stories.

      Delete
  21. Hmm. So many road trips with my family growing up. Some terrible, some amazing! Some with exes that I would prefer not to remember enough details to describe them (yes, that bad!. And one crazy trip to Niagara Falls to try and trick someone into stamping my form so that I wouldn't get kicked out of the country, because my 90 days were up and I just couldn't bear to leave. That was probably the craziest! Ah well, he was worth it ;)

    dreammie_angel at ahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume you managed to trick someone into stamping that form? Need to hear more of that story, Celina!

      Delete
    2. I can be very convincing ;) I no longer have to fear border agents and the man was so worth it that I decided to marry him.

      Delete
  22. we drove from Pa to Fla for my brothers graduation and our car overheated cause our oil cap fell off not fun
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not fun at all. Thanks so much for commenting, Kimberly. I hope it wasn't too hot that day...

      Delete
  23. I took my grandsons from OK to NC to see the ocean for their first time. It was a great trip for just the 3 of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love this, Nancy. Time with your grandkids is so special, and I'm sure they'll never forget the trip. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  24. Mine would have to be while on a cross country trip from FL to CA and we couldn't find out traveler's checks. We were on the side of the road tearing suitcases apart looking for them!

    shan4178 at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ack! They would be awful! Did you find them, Shan?

      Delete
  25. So happy to see you on the Hop, Sam! I don't get to do road trips very often anymore now that I live in Berlin and don't have a car, but when I do get to it makes them that much more special. Last summer, actually, the hubs and I did a PCH tour from LA to San Fran and it was gorgeous. The most stunning highway I've ever wandered along. The slow speeds and very curvy roads around Big Sur were a little terrifying and could make you car sick, but the scenery is so worth it. XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Savannah! So happy to see you on the Hop, too! I have only been to San Diego and loved it. Your road trip sounds glorious, and I can't wait to see more of California.

      Delete
  26. Oh...road trips. Too many good (and bad) in my lifetime. Nothing better than being stuck in the car with your family for 18 hours straight! Finding Lucas sounds great, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 18 hours straight? Ugh, Chantel, that would not be a fun time. Thanks so much!

      Delete
  27. I have a funny road trip story! I live in Indiana and grew up here but decided I would move to Colorado. Well it was a flop and I was desperate for home. I decided to pull my daughter out of school for a week and drive back home to start looking for a house so we could move back. Well on the way I got pulled over and the cop decided I had kidnapped my daughter. I was put in the back of his car and questioned for about an hour while another officer sat with my daughter questioning her. I only laugh now but at the time it wasn't quite as funny. She looks identical to me so there is honestly no possible way for someone to not know we are related. I wish I wasn't so scared then so after they finally realized she was my daughter, I could have asked WTF??? This happened in Kansas and I will definitely never be making a trip back there!

    Thanks so much for being a part of this hop,
    Marlena
    charmedpoms(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my God, I can't believe this story, Marlena! Your daughter must have been terrified! Why would he possibly think you kidnapped her? I don't mean to laugh, but the story is so outrageous! Thanks so much for commenting!

      Delete
  28. When I was a junior in high school, my family drove to San Antonio for my mom's cousin's wedding. Six of us in a station wagon, from Wisconsin to Texas. Not. Fun. I am the oldest of four, and my brothers were 15 and 12, and my sister was 10. The drive was horrendous. We drove straight through. By the time we got there, we were all (my parents included) ready to kill each other. Happily, we didn't. We had a fun week, but I honestly don't remember the drive home. I must have blocked it out :)

    bjoneill@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Oh, wow, Bridget, the oldest of four and stuck in a station wagon for endless hours together? So not fun! Thanks so much for commenting!

      Delete