SWERVE -- Audible givewaway!

Audio lovers, SWERVE is now out and available via Audible! The narrator is Kate Rudd (who is fantastic!) and to celebrate I’m giving away ten audio copies of the book. All you have to do is leave me a message here, telling me about your worst road trip ever (okay, if you don’t have a worst, then tell me where you love to go or would like to go–that works, too!). That way it’s like we’re swapping “worst of” stories, right?

You have just over a week, until September 4th, to enter and that way I can get the audio book to you for the long Labor Day weekend. Sound good? (No pun intended!)

Remember, if you want to hear me, rather than Kate, talk about SWERVE, I did a quick and fun interview with CrimeFiction.FM about the book, writing in general, and what it takes to become a ten-year overnight success story.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of “inspiration” photos from one of the road trips I took in order to research SWERVE (What? You didn’t really thing I made all that up, did you?)

First up, the road trip:

Road Trip

For those of you now familiar with SWERVE, the above photos are of the Rock-a-Hoola waterpark, the entrance to said park, the rollercoaster and parking lot at Buffalo Bill’s and, finally, the rest stop that started the whole thing.

Lake Arrowhead

And this is all Lake Arrowhead. The lakeside home on which I based the Hawthorne family estate, the lake itself with the homes tucked away in the trees, a pool room cast in red that I stole from a real estate brochure (yes, the picture itself spawned an entire scene) and Fourth of July fireworks above the lake…if you look closely you can see the boats dotting the lake below. Good times, right?

Finally, just because I had such great time this summer (and because it’ll likely be a while before I get out on the road again) here are photos from my SWERVE tour:

Swerve Tour

That’s me reading from Taylor Stevens’s book at our joint signing. She said she couldn’t stand to hear her words read aloud, so of course that just made me torture her more. I’m a Big. Fan. The other two are of me signing and reading from SWERVE in Las Vegas. I love my hometown. It was a great turnout, and I made cookies that didn’t make even one person sick. A success all around!
The middle photo is of me with Kelly and Crystal … yes, that Crystal, for those of you familiar with SWERVE. I use people as well as places for inspiration too, yanno.

Good luck with the audio giveaway–I can’t wait to hear your stories!

55 thoughts on “SWERVE — Audible givewaway!

  1. Scott Romanski says:

    worst road trip….Long Island, NY to Daytona Beach, Florida driving south INTO a blizzard as it came north…..9 or so hours of near white-out conditions before it cleared up

  2. Karen Krack says:

    Worst road trip ever: Drove from NJ to VA with my husband & three of his friends. The fellow driving had a stick shift. While in VA, he twisted his ankle and couldn’t manage the clutch for the ride home. So we all took turns on an over night trip back. My shift was around 2 a.m. Everyone was asleep, I’m driving in Maryland past the chicken farms, miles of straight, unchanging road, radio cranked up, windows open, eating sour balls and trying to stay awake! Not fun…

  3. Linda Henderson says:

    I think my worst road trip ever was driving back from Eureka Springs Arkansas with my oldest daughter and my granddaughter who was about 2 1/2 months old and she screamed and cried ALL THE WAY HOME!!! It was terrible. We couldn’t get home fast enough. That child NEVER liked riding in the car when she was a baby.

  4. Connie Williamson says:

    All my road trips are “worst”… I don’t travel well, unfortunately. But I LOVE to go to Memphis, TN to visit my son and 3-year old grandson! He is just so darned cute and lovable. We go to the zoo, the Children’s Museum, and the Botanic Gardens and have a grand time. .

  5. Larena Hubble says:

    I can’t think of a worst but one of the best ones my husband and I went on was driving from Arizona to Virginia and Washington DC and having a stop over in Memphis. That was an amazing trip and going through several states I hadn’t been too and seeing the history and sites was great.

  6. Kim Martin says:

    The worst road trip ever was one trip to Gen-Con in Milwaukee. We needed to stop for gas in the middle of no where Illinois. We pulled off on an exit that billed a gas station. The actual town was miles from the highway and the entire town was done up in a circus theme. The corner trash cans were clowns with huge mouths. There were life size animal statues in the trees. It was very creepy and surreal. We got our gas and made a run back to the highway. We told people about the town and when we returned to Gen-Con the next year, the friends that were with us wanted to see the circus town. We never could find it again.

  7. Gary Bronstein says:

    My Worst road trip ever was when I was caught in an Ice Storm on the PA Turnpike…I decided to exit the Highway and try my luck with local back roads…Did not have much Luck and had to sit in my car till the weather cleared

  8. Cindy Ashforth says:

    My worst road trip ever was when my husband and I were taking my son down to meet his his father for the weekend and my car died on the way back and we had to wait for hours for somebody to come tow us home. My ex-husband knew we were having car trouble and didn’t care.

  9. Christina Winton says:

    My worst road trip was from Florida to Michigan for my grandfather’s funeral. I was 20 at the time and as it turns out in the beginning weeks of pregnancy, although I didn’t know it at the time (this explains the horrific nausea I then attributed to elevation sickness). We cut through West Virginia to leave my stepson to visit with his grandparents for the week and continued north to the ohio line and got a motel room. I then decided I wanted to dye my hair so we found a pharmacy, on the way back we stopped to walk along the ohioriver for a bit. Upon returning to the car (which was my brother in law’s ) my husband discovered he had lost the car key and we were locked out of the car! We searched along the river for what felt like hours, eventually a man who ran the welcome center came out to see what we were doing. We explained the situation and he let us use his phone, we called a locksmith but since the car was not ours we could not get a key made. We then had to get his brother to call the dealership to get a code and call us back with it, $75 later we had a key! We then returned very gratefully to our room and continued on to Michigan in the morning.

    On the way back home we stopped over at Falls creek Falls, Tennessee where I decided to swim, even though it was actually too cold, resulting in an upper respitory infection and a trip to the hospital upon returning home.

  10. Marie says:

    My worst road trip is a sky trip actually. When I joined the Peace Corps I was excited, scared, and young….. a bad combination. So the airport bar in Los Angeles where many of us met for the first time became a competition as to who could drink the most and I was the female champion. Oh God, I had a 16 hour plane flight from Hell to be very sick, very hungover, and very sorry. Even 30 years later I remember that trip. Love your writing Vicki.

  11. Peggy R says:

    Hi, Vicki!!
    I actually have 2 road trips that I took that weren’t the greatest. They were both camping trips. For the 1st one, my Husband wanted to surprise me, and had reservations at a couple of campgrounds. When we arrived at the 1st one, little did he know it was a horse campground, which means it’s where horseback riders camp with their horses!! I laughed and told him I felt like Mary and Joseph, since we were surrounded by horses, but it wasn’t funny as it was getting dark, since there was no electricity, and our dog was petrified of campfires. We turned in a bit early that night, to the sounds of horses snorting and some picking fights. When daybreak fell, my Husband, who was not amused by his choice, couldn’t pack up soon enough!! ha It didn’t bother me that much, since I love horses, and found it fascinating!! On the 2nd trip we had, on one morning of our trip, I woke up to find one side of my face swollen!! Nothing had bit me, and there were no marks. I had no pain, just the swelling, which continued during the day. I remember it well, since it was Sept. 11, and I happened to put our little tv on, as my Husband began to pack up our camper for the trip home. Needless to say, it was a very eerie drive home, of about 3 hours. I had to go to an oral surgeon, after seeing my Doctor, and I found out that I had a bad abscess, which had to be taken care of immediately!! I was told the infection had traveled to my brain, and if I had waited any longer, I would have died!! It was the worst one they had ever seen, and here I never had any pain, which was strange. Thank you so much for the e-mail, and for reminding me about your book, since it was one of the books that I really wanted to read!! Thank you also for a chance at getting a copy, and an audible one at that!!

  12. Paul Harker says:

    My worst road trip was the flip side of my son and his fiancee’s worst air trip which left them stranded in Michigan after a snow storm hit New Jersey.

    Flights were backed up days, and to get them home in time for work the following week it was decided that I would drive them.

    The roads themselves weren’t so bad, but the urban fantasy audiobook I had selected because it was reviewed as “hilariously funny” turned out to be a poor choice. It turned out to not only be funny, but also quite ribald. Not quite the impression I wanted to make on my son’s bride to be.

    But that was just a minor hiccup compare to what followed. Arriving safely in New Jersey I drove my son to the airport to retrieve his car. Simple enough.

    But leaving the airport? Seems the plow that cleared the access road to the highway hadn’t quite colored between the lines. Accelerated to nearly highway speed, I was about to merge with traffic when I hit a curb hidden under the snow which nearly sent the car airborne. I limped the car to a safe location and called my son to warn him. Too late. He too had fallen victim to the creative stylings of the plow operator.

    Two tow trucks, four tires, and dual front end alignments later we were back on the road.

  13. Tera Ashmore says:

    A happy fifteen year old enjoying summer vacation, when told that family was going to be visiting us in Germany. Knew it was going to be a good one when I got kicked out of my room to the basement. Now would not be so bad but German basements are not attached to the house it was down two flights of stairs as we lived in apartment building. As they arrived and decided where they wanted to listen the fun really began. Traveling through five different countries with eight different opinions was a challenge. On that trip I cried, yelled and could not wait for school to start. Even now looking back at it, I still have nightmares.

  14. Roswita Hildebrandt says:

    My worst road trip was with my sister and brother-in-law. My sister and I had been enjoying the summer exploring the province and looking for waterfalls that were written about in a book I found at the library. It was published in 2009, and the directions were horrible (turn left at the second oak tree on the right) so we had as much fun finding the waterfalls as we did seeing them. One weekend my brother-in-law decided he wanted to tag along. The only problem with that is that he is retired military and is incapable of doing anything without a map and a schedule. His constant whining and fussing about the poor directions and how long it was taking to get there (are we there yet?) made the trip so horrible I have since refused to go on another trip if he is planning to go as well. He’s actually a very nice man, but he does not function well without a plan :-)

  15. Donna A says:

    I drove from Tucson to Yuma AZ in the summer in a car with no ac. Got my first speeding ticket.

  16. Kat Vickers says:

    We were traveling from Dallas to Galveston for a week at the beach. We had rented a cabin that was pet friendly and taking border collie. He was anxious in the car, and going in circles. We had a Volkswagon Thing at the time. Anyway, he finally had enough and took a big juicy dump right inside my new beach stray hat. I lost the hat, but didn’t have a mess to clean up in the car.

  17. Kimberley Coover says:

    My worst trip ever….Picture this a Jeep CJ7 2 door, no air. It’s summertime. Family trip YAY!!!!! Then the actual trip…Husband, wife, 2 daughters (10 & 9)…Day 1…she’s on my side, she’s looking at me…she’s breathing my air – am not are too am not are too! This is constant for the first day 10 hours, 12 hours. Hubby decides to stop at a rest stop (no use wasting money on a hotel room for a few hours rest…who rests? not me. Day 2…bickering starts again after breakfast break. Then…I’m going to get sick, I’m gonna get sick!!!!Pull over to side of road everything ok?? yes 90 minutes later, I’m gonna get sick, really this time really. Honey pull over – NO open your window and let her stick her head in the fresh air….then explosion all over me the jeep and the girl… Felt so bad for her, myself and really really resented my husband who thought this was sooooo funny. Sad thing, we hadn’t made the halfway mark in our trip yet. Husband refused to stop and wanted to drive straight thru 16 more hours with a 9 year old who was car sick. Needless to say Worst trip ever!

  18. lorraine clayton says:

    Two weeks ago I decide to travel 8 hours to Canada to visit a friend. Going to New Jersey give me anxiety but I did it. Canada was wonderful and I learned to relax like never before. On the way home I stop at the duty free store – huge mistake. I was 8 cars away from US soil when they closed the boarder. No clue why, couldn’t leave your car, what the heck is going on -all I want to do is go home panic sets in. 3 1/2 hours I waited before we were allowed to continue. I had 8 hours left to drive. I made it to Pennsylvania before I was just too tired to continue and got a hotel. Next morning I had to wake at 4AM to make it to work on time. I made it but won’t be trying that again any time soon.

  19. Kelly Fauer says:

    I was deer hunting with my dad in Del Rio TX. I really had to go pee and we’ll ya know it is the woods. So I climb down the deer stand and pop a squat when I’m literally face to face with a 8pt buck. I ended up spooking ot and not even 10 min later my dad got it. Ever since then he calls me his lucky charm. But hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go right?

  20. Melissa Tabon says:

    Well, let’s see. There’s the time we were driving from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. We left late, at like 7pm. We were thinking we’d get there at about midnight or 1 and stay with a friend of my husband’s until morning, after which I would meet his parents for the first time (long story). Except we hit a monsoon on the way, and our 4.5 hour drive took until 4am, my husband’s friend was no longer home, and we ended up sleeping for 2 hours in the car in his grandmother’s driveway because we didn’t want to wake anyone up.

  21. CATHY HARLAN says:

    WE WERE Driving to DISNEYLAND FROM EDMONTON, AB. MY car haD NO air conditioning AND it was 100 F in Washington. In my small car my sister, myself and my two children tried to kewp cool by wetting cloths from melted ice in the cooler. IN Waldeport Oregon, my car broke down. We were stuck there for two days. Trying to keep my 8 year son who has Tourette Syndrome 2was a chore. In Disneyland, my son walked out of a show and got lost WE LOOKEDfor him for 6 hours and finally he was found. In addition, my son set off the fire alarm in our hotel. This was a trip from hell but at least we enjoyed Disneyland.

  22. Don McClure says:

    My worst trip was when my VW cut off in a long tunnel in Baltimore.

  23. LINDAB/HOTCHA1 says:

    HI VICKIE, ON MY WAY TO AN ALASKA CRUISE OF A LIFETIME MY DAUGHTER PAID FOR I WAS STUCK ON A PLANE AT DALLAS AIRPORT WAITING FOE ASSISTANCE FOR OVER AN HOUR. WE MISSED OUR CONNECTING FLIGHT AND AMERICAN WANTED TO FLY ME BACK TO SR. LOUIS! THEY LOST MY 14K ELECTRIC CHAIR AND MY LUGGAGE WENT TO SEATTLE.

    WE FINALLY LANDED IN ANKORAGE AT 3AM AND HAD TO BE UP BY 9 TO TAKE A BUS TO A TRAIN TAKING US TO OUR SHIP. 3 DAYS INTO THE CRUISE I WAS ONE OF FIFTY PEOPLE WHO WAS INFECTED WITH DIRRAAREAH ANDNCONFINED TO NY ROOM FOR REMAINDER OF THE CRUISE

  24. Karen Hansen says:

    I have a couple “worst road trips” . The worst was probably when I was 17 and a few friends and I were going to a lake for some swimming. We were on route 81 in upstate NY and a policeman pulled us over. He said one of us had given him the finger (don’t know how he came up with that) He impounded the car and left us on the highway to walk. I really don’t know how he got away with this, I know it couldn’t happen today. The car was legal and everything (it was one of my friends).

    If you want an adult “worst road trip” it was a trip from around New York City back to New York City . It was snowing but during the trip an unexpected blizzard hit. We had a toddler in the car with us and all we had to eat was a banana. We hadn’t expected to be stuck on the road for hours. Not fun but we sure did learn to prepare for anything.

  25. Tisha Reynolds says:

    My worst road trip was several years ago my daughter and I were on our way to Knoxville, TN for a book signing by Randy Owen lead singer of Alabama country band. Within 20 minutes of Knoxville my husband called us and told me that my mother had passed away from a heart attack. So we made a U turn on the highway and came straight back home crying the whole way home. Road trip I hope to never have one like that again.

  26. Lottie Duff says:

    My worst travel experience occurred when traveling from Raymond, New Hampshire to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I was alone except for my 5 month old special needs daughter. Husband was working in Boston at the time, so we all had agreed to gather at my mom’s house, in NH. Pleasant visit. After a few days, my daughter and I flew from Boston to Atlanta… and took a cab to the airport parking lot, located outside of Atlanta. I discovered that I had my husband’s keys. He had mine, and I had no car key. At eleven o’clock at night. In a deserted parking lot outside of Atlanta. I stood there, diaper bag on my shoulder, and tiny daughter in the little car carrier/picnic basket-like thing that she traveled in…and…(with apologies to Dave Barry)…I promise I am not making this up…it began to rain. I will forever have the image in my mind of the lone guy in the tiny toll booth structure. It was like a beacon…the only light visible anywhere, except for the far off interstate. I hiked over there, lugging the infant princess. (Her car carrier provided a pop-up sunshield that worked admirably as a rain guard.) When I told the attendant, dripping water from my face, that I had no car keys for my car…he stared at me, slack-jawed. I asked if I could park my daughter in his booth while I called the locksmith. Nope. The guy reeked of pot, but was too afraid of breaking the rules to allow my baby ganster inside. Well. OK. Four hours and $225 later, we were on our way home. And very, very grateful for cellphones and locksmiths.

  27. Debi Murray says:

    Hubby, me, and two teenage boys with gas problems from eating Sonic Cheese fries, stuck in a car driving from Missouri to Dallas. The air was blue and I was hanging my head out the window like a Cocker Spaniel. We travelled from Wisconsin to Texas to New Orleans and back to Wisconsin on that road trip. It was not pleasant. Never did that again.

  28. Ruth Bousquet says:

    Always had great road trips (lol). Would love to listen to your book as we drive to the beach on 9/6 for a week…love love love audio books and Swerve sounds thrilling.

  29. Juliette says:

    We were traveling from Tucson, Arizona to New York with a three-year-old and two cats. In El Paso Texas, our car died. We had to rent a car, and drive to Dallas where our friends lived, then leave most of our stuff with them and fly to New York. Luckily we had a giant jar of change, which our friends used to mail back all of our stuff…slowly! On the upside, we stayed in a motel, and took our daughter to the El Paso zoo!

  30. Nicole says:

    I don’t have a worst road trip story; however, I do have a favorite destination. Cove Palisades in Culver Oregon. If you’ve never been you should, it’s beautiful!

  31. Laura Shangraw says:

    I am planning to take a road trip on Route 66. There is a charm about the “old days” and the unique sights along 66. They represent a way of life that has been taken over by the fast track.

  32. Gail Siuba says:

    I’ve always loved a road trip. Road trips, long or short were always a fun trip, with few bathroom breaks and lots of snacks in the car. We’d just bought a new Jeep Cherokee, anxious to put this new ride to the test. Me, my husband & daughter hopped in the car and drove from Northwest Indiana (just outside Chicago) to Phoenix, AZ. It was fairly uneventful trip into AZ. We arrived in Phoenix, in late afternoon and since we were blessed with being in the middle on monsoon season, we waited until morning to set out & meet friends and hang out at the pool. Our room was on the ground floor, but we decided to walk through the hotel property to the pool which meant going to the third floor, and the open walkway though the hotel. As we got about halfway there, there was a very large puddle taking up most of the walkway which promoted me to say, watch your step (we all had flip-flops on) it could be slippery. No sooner had I said that and my husband fell, slamming into the wall that protected us from the open center of the walkway and busted his head open and dislocated his shoulder. It didn’t cut the vacation short, but it was a portent to things to come. Fast forward to driving home, The hubs was one armed, but determined to drive as far as he could. We were in New Mexico and near the Texas boarder when we ran out of gas. The question was how the hell had we run out of gas? Surprise, the gas gauge wasn’t working, and with all the worry of my husband driving, we didn’t pay attention to the miles driven. We got the car to the side of the road. It was near dusk. My dear husband is worried someone may careen into us, so he has us stand off the road a bit in the grassy area. Then we hear a rattler. OK, back to standing on the shoulder of the road. Several nice people stopped to help, and they were able to contact the caretaker at a rest stop about 3 miles away. We were lucky & grateful she had gas, about a gallon left in her gas can. We asked which way would be closest to a gas station, she told us Texas at first, but remembered they closed early. So we back tracked almost 35 miles. We rolled into that gas station on fumes. We never again got 35 miles out of a gallon of gas. Thankfully the remainder of the trip home was a bit smoother, with the exception of my husband trying to sleep with one eye open while I drove. :-) Oh yeah, the car dealer got an earful the day we got home. LOL

  33. Nancy B says:

    My mother, sister and I were driving my new (for me) truck from Calgary Alberta to Mission B.C. to watch my sister’s boyfriend drag race. We stopped in Three Valley Gap just outside Golden B.C. for the night in a hotel that, from the highway looked a lot like the Overlook hotel in the Shinning. I couldn’t sleep and was listening to music in the truck around three a.m. When I manually unlocked the door and got out the alarm started to go off. Three a.m., dead calm in the middle of nowhere, surrounded, as the name suggests, by three mountain peaks and I don’t know how to shut off that stupid alarm. I tried starting the truck and then I tried ripping out wires, which my mechanic at home laughed about since he told me “don’t you think thieves try that too”. It woke up my family and they came to check on me. Finally it stopped on its own but as an added bonus now my truck wouldn’t start because it turned out that I had knocked it out of park. We stopped at the same hotel on the way back because in the daylight it really was beautiful but the story still wasn’t all that funny but we did chuckle. I think it was my mechanics laughter over the story that just pushed it over the top.

  34. Linda says:

    Love road trips! Havn´t got any worst stories, but my latest was last summer when we planned to go early morning camping, 500 kilometers up north, and neither me or my hunny could go to sleep so we ended up going in the middle of the night LOL Packed up all dogs and gear and left by midnight. Gorgeous sunrise with the mist and all *happy sigh*
    Can´t wait for my next trip <3
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Tuesday!
    //Linda

  35. Debra Schwartz says:

    Back when I was in the Air Force I had to fly from Rapid City, SD to Seattle to pick up my car at port (it had been shipped back from Okinawa) and then drive it back to SD. First the battery was dead. Then the mountain pass was closed; I spent the first night at a truck stop sleeping in my car. I had just gotten back from Okinawa where there was no snow, no mountains and the island’s top speed was about 30 mph – driving on the left side of the road. It was an interesting trip to say the least. I did see a lot of our beautiful country, it was good to be back in the USA, and by the time I was back in SD my winter driving skills were in great shape.

  36. Cathy Brown says:

    I use to drive and deliver trucks with my father. One one occasion, which also happened to be my 5th wedding anniversary, my husband and I were both helping my dad with trucks going to Texas. My dad didn’t believe in getting motel rooms so we pulled over at 1am to what turned out to be the red light district and we were in a prime location. Not only that, but the gear shift was so big and the seats so small we couldn’t really lay down to sleep (separate trucks of course…miserable night, miserable location, not how I had planned on spending our anniversary….we were suppose to get to stay in Texas to make up for it, but that didn’t happen either…Now we can laugh …..42 years later.

  37. Crystal Parnell says:

    For hurricane Katrina, when everyone thought it was coming straight for Houston and everyone evacuated. And I mean everyone. Stuck in the truck with my mother and two nervous, yappy, ankle biters for over 12 hours on our way to Denton. All of that and it didn’t even hit us. We don’t evacuate anymore.

  38. Elise Skidmore says:

    We were driving from Long Island (NY) to Virginia Beach. I was a newlywed and my husband was waiting for me at our new apartment. Since the cost of a U-haul trailer being left at a different destination was way over our budget, my sister volunteered to drive down with the trailer on the back of her car so she could take it back to the same place we rented it. My mother rode with me so my sister would have company for the trip back. (Mom was also helping with expenses) Normally the drive took us 8 hrs, however, they tell you with the trailer you’re not supposed to go over 45mph. My sister was following me and I was trying follow the rules, so we knew this was going to take longer than usual. We get to the NJ turnpike, I go through the toll, but my sister is forced to turn off because of wind conditions. Now this was long before GPS and cell phones and my mom and I are freaking out because we have no idea where my sister is going to end up, though we assume she’ll try to find her way back to the NJ Tpke. As soon as we get to the first rest area, we call home to tell them what happened and to have them tell my sister if/when she calls that we’re going to stop at every rest area on the turnpike to see if she’s there, and if we don’t find her we’ll wait at the last one until she gets there. We waited at the rest area for a little and then struck out for the next one. Luckily, we ran into her there and were back on the road as before, following the rules. As I said,the ride is normally about 8 hours, we’ve already been on the road for 4 hours and aren’t even out of Jersey. The first sign you see for Norfolk, VA say 230 miles. It’s now starting to get dark. We pass the sign and I say to my mom, “Watch. As soon as Susie sees that sign, she’s going to pass me and start speeding up.” Within moments, that’s exactly what she did. We ended up crossing the Cheasapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel at 1:00 am–it was high tide a pretty scary. By the time we got to our apartment it was nearly 2:00 and had taken us something like 14 hours. My husband greeted us with a casual “What took you so long?” and if looks could kill, I don’t think we’d be celebrating our 39th anniversary come October.

  39. Ailish was about 4 years old and the two of us were making the 3 hour drive to the airport. We were flying from Pennsylvania to Mississippi for a family visit. As we pulled up to the ticket booth in the long term parking lot, Ailish spewed vomit all over herself and the back seat. I had to ask the attendant to let me make a U-turn. I drove to the closest motel, checked in, bathed her and changed her clothes. I just threw the others away. Thirty minutes later I checked out and drove back to the airport. It’s a good thing I’m pathologically early for everything.

  40. pam howell says:

    2 friends and I went to Atlanta for booksigning. We left WAY too early – basically so we could stand/sit in line for hours and hours.
    on the way home driver got ticket – failure to move over. She dropped padded (in my opinion) estimate for gas contribution. Go by myself now

    no blood or mayhem — but I would LOVE Swerve audiobook

  41. Penny says:

    We had a flat tire once while traveling with our 2 toddlers on a trip and just to change the tire we had to take out everything from the trunk.. It was full of baby stuff.. Since traveling with little ones is not light.. So I sat on the side of the road in the summer heat with 2 fussy toddlers and everything stacked up while the tire was changed.

  42. mark kkendall says:

    I was in new Orleans visiting friends and staying with a friends family. Woke up with a frantic phone call from my daughter with relationship issues about a boy I didn’t really care for. During the hysterical tears I realized i didn’t feel and needed to go immediately. So I hung up on my crying daughter and ran to the bathroom. Yep for poisoning from bad crawfish and oysters.
    About 30 minutes later I realized how bad everything smelled and I still had to call my daughter back and explain what happened.
    She was not happy with me
    Thank God no one woke up.

  43. Reesa says:

    Long story short. Stitches, police and melted crayons

  44. Susan Mahaffey says:

    When I drove cross country and I had to go to the bathroom but there were no rest areas!

  45. Stephanie says:

    My worst trip was when I was about 19. My boyfriend and I were on a road trip to FL from IL with 5 other people while I was on Spring Break. On the way down, the couple we were driving with were fighting and yelling at each other most of the way. I thought it might be a rough trip and had begun regretting it already. When we finally got to the city we planned on staying in, I learned that the person who claimed to have gotten a hotel room decided to wing it when we got down there. We drove hotel to hotel for HOURS trying to find somewhere with an opening, thankfully one of the dads back home found a room for us around midnight.

    The next day we went to the beach, where one couple didn’t understand the importance of sunscreen and got burned so badly that they couldn’t even leave their hotel room that night or the whole next day.

    On day 4, we went back to the beach in the evening, and that couple was able to join. The couple that had been fighting incessantly got into a horrible fight while my boyfriend and I had gone to find a bathroom. We got back to learn that they had gotten in yet another fight, and the girl had decided she was going to leave to go get food, wanting the other two girls to join her, but had left with out me – which I was thankful for as I had begun to not be able to stand being around her. While the other two girls went to get food, the guys decided to see how far into the ocean they could swim. They ended up having a shark follow them back to shore, but thankfully it was just hanging out and didn’t bite anyone. I have a phobia of sharks, and never went back in the ocean.

    The guy with the sunburn ended up getting hypothermia because the water had been so cold, his sunburn had gone from red to purple and he couldn’t stop shaking. Cell phones had zero signal, so we couldn’t call anyone, and the other two girls decided to hang out and complain about their boyfriends – they didn’t come back till after sunset. We had absolutely nothing to warm up the guy since all of our towels were wet, so my boyfriend and I had to cuddle him to try to get him warm, the two other guys didn’t want to help because they thought it was weird. When the girls finally decided to pick us up – without food – they thought I was just trying to make a move on him and started screaming at me. When they finally realized how bad off he was, they didn’t even appoligize.

    When we finally were on our way home on day 5, we stopped in MI to drop off the single guy at his parent’s house and stay the night before driving the last few hours home. I woke up the last day of the trip, a near hours from home, to learn that the two other couples decided without any input from me or my BF that we were all going to stay a few more days in MI at this guy’s parent’s house so the guys could all go on a fishing trip and the girls could just find something to do. We ended up in an argument with the couple that fought constantly, my BF and I managed to get tickets for a train ride home, just in time for me to take my dad to the hospital because he was having a stroke.

    We never talked to the angry couple again, though we did stay friends with the other couple for a few years until they moved out of state and lost touch.

  46. LisaJo885 says:

    My fiance-at-the-time was driving me to college in our old, hatchback Honda. My college was a couple of hours away, and so he had a family friend check out the car before we left. We were given a clean bill of health, and set out on the road. About halfway through the trip, the car started smoking heavily from the engine, and we pulled off to the side of the road. This was in the fall of 1994, and neither of us had cell phones. I don’t remember how we ended up getting towed, but I do remember that while we were waiting, I desperately had to use the bathroom, and had to get very creative about how to do this and conceal the evidence. At the repair shop, they told us we were out of fluid and had a cracked transmission, which was not a quick, easy or cheap fix. We were delivered to a nearby cheap hotel, and we called my parents to swing by the next day to pick us up, as they were supposed to be coming up with the majority of my bags for the dorm. Lots and lots of stress on that trip.

  47. Pam Blome says:

    In college, my fiancé, his sister and I were headed back after winter break, and got caught in a blizzard and ended up in the last room of a roadside motel. It would have been perfect, but for the third wheel!

  48. Kai W. says:

    The worst road trip was driving to Richmond, VA from Los Angeles, CA back with my brother in August 2003. This is also the worst time to travel especially with so many tornado warnings that year. On the way going there, we ended up having a flat tire about 5 miles from Flagstaff, AZ. My brother tried calling AAA for roadside service but couldn’t get any reception. My brother has LA Cellular (it’s now AT&T). I had Verizon but I had to pay for the roaming charge in calling AAA.

    We had a closed call with the tornado. We have just decided that we were going to stop in the next town instead of Oklahoma City since there were still daylight left. As soon as we checked into our room at the motel, I turned on the television to check what was happening in the world. The news was about a tornado that just hit Oklahoma City. Since it was dark, the news couldn’t captured any damages until the next day. My brother and I was just lucky that we decided to stop in the next town about 25 miles away.

    We did reach Richmond, VA.

    On the way back, we ended up having another flat tire out in the booney, in the middle of Texas. Again, my brother couldn’t get any reception and I ended up calling AAA again. This was unbelievable to have two flats in a single trip. My mind was flashing to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. OK, my imagination was really taking off. The only thing I was asking was where are the Texas Rangers when they are needed. My God, a police car did passed by. They didn’t have the courtesy to stop to see if my brother and I were OK like they do in California. I am really having a bad day. All I can think is Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    AAA eventually did show up and helped change the flat and we were on our way home.

    By the time we reached Barstow/Victorville, CA, daylight was gone. Highway 15 was under construction and the highway wasn’t well lighted. It didn’t help when some idiots are honking us to speed up. I was getting irritated on what part of safety do they not understand in driving under poor visibility.

    My brother and I did get home. I was thinking where was the fun in this road trip.

  49. Stacey Michaels says:

    Well there are plenty of entries here but here it goes. My worst road trip so far was this past summer. Well, it was just 2 days of a 2 weeks road trip. The rest was great. I had finished ‘Swerve’ and we were headed home from Ohio. My husband had chosen the Lincoln Highway, highway 80, to head west, OMG. It is perhaps the most boring, flat and desolate highway I have ever been on, and I’ve driven the 95 to Reno!! This highway cuts across lower Wyoming into northern Utah, Salt Lake, Bonneville Salt flats ( aka surface of the moon) and into Northern Nevada. After a stay in Winnemuca, yes you heard right, we headed west and south into California. A looooong 2 lane road through so much nothing it’s mind numbing, not even a rest stop to break up the boredom with terror. Had we broken down our bodies would have been found naturally mummified on the side of the road. We reached Mono Lake at last and our lives were saved. We now have a family story to tell for ages…but I’d have liked to go through Denver. :)

  50. Steven Stone says:

    I live in Vegas and have made the trip from Vegas to LA many times. I can vouch all the places are real and the Desperado roller coaster is as every bit as scary as portrayed in the book. The thermometer in Baker is also as portrayed. The diner with the great cherry pie must be The Mad Greek although the name is not mentioned. Great book but it kept me up till 1 am to finish.

  51. judy says:

    All my trips have been great. Would like to go to Alaska, but that is just a dream now.

  52. Walt Wallmark says:

    The Vacation from Hell – 1996: Summer of ’96 and my wife (Gwen), our 12-year old daughter Sarah, 10-year old son Adam, our friend (Sue), and Sue’s 14-year-old daughter Heather drove from Virginia to Florida for a week at Disney World. An hour away from home our van stopped running – serpentine broke and the radiator boiled over. Got towed to a nearby dealer ($) for repair ($) and rented another van ($) to continue the vacation. We couldn’t carry anything on the roof of the rental, so we were packed in. The week was fun, but two middle-aged women and two teen-aged girls plus Adam and me in a small cabin wore on the nerves. One the way back, a truck in front of us kicked up a large rock which cracked the windshield of our rented van ($). We spend the night at a famous tourist trap on the border of North and South Carolina – it was run-down and depressing. Next day I got a speeding ticket just over the Virginia line – the state police officer was not impressed with my federal credentials. Stopped and picked up our repaired van, paid for the damage to the rental, and finally got home – to discover that my 19-year-old son had had a 3-day party in our absence that was raided by the police and caused $10K+ damage to the house. On the plus side, I really enjoyed Disney World.

  53. Kat Barnes says:

    Worst road trip was when I got the flu at Disneyland on Thanksgiving weekend. I was sprawled on the back seat of the car, sick as a dog, as we started home to NorCal on I-5 that Sunday. Turns out that a “perfect storm” of accidents and weather had conspired to almost completely shut down the freeway. It took us almost 13 hours to get half way (with no hotels/motels available because of the problems). It finally opened up around midnight, but I literally spent the entire trip just waiting for the next off ramp to either get something to drink or, ahem, “leave something behind.”

  54. Brenda Hyde says:

    One year, after we had the transmission fixed for a thousand bucks on our motorhome, we packed, planned and then took off for a much needed camping trip. We don’t even make it 100 miles and the motorhome is leaking. We call a tow truck, and the driver agrees it’s not going to be making the trip. We grab some fast food, jump in the Ford Explorer that we luckily had decided to bring, and head home. Worst and shortest trip EVER.

    We did plan another road trip, with a hotel, and had a great time, but no camping was involved.

  55. Anne says:

    I’m not sure where we went or how old I was (somewhere between 11-13), the cat urinated on me in fear as I was putting her in the car and even though we were still HOME, my dad wouldn’t let me wash off and change my clothes. He was ready to go and that was it. The warm wetness and the STENCH. When I was a kid, we camped and every one, pets and all, went. I bailed on family vacations as soon as I could. I date myself a bit, but we didn’t have a car with a/c until my mid-teens, so it was 6 humans, a dog and up to two cats in an un-air conditioned car with those plastic seats that seared your flesh because they got so hot in the summer. What a vacation!

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