Friday, September 4, 2009

Tracy Wolff Shares Her Top Ten Things She Learned on Summer Vacation

(I'm always glad to welcome author Tracy Wolff...I've loved both of her Harelquin sure to read this whole post for contest goodies!)

Thanks, Amy, so much for having me back. I love blogging here—you’re fabulous and so are your followers.

So, when I was trying to come up with a new and exciting blog topic for today, my mind kept circling around vacation spots—as the location for my serial killer suspense novel, Tie Me Down, is New Orleans, a pretty hot vacation spot even now, after Hurricane Katrina. So what I ended up with as a subject is a top ten list for the things I learned from my summer vacation this year—in Egypt.

  1. Yes, Harlequin Presents novels do know what they’re talking about—while visiting Siwa (the Oasis), two Bedouin sheiks and a Barbour merchant (on separate occasions) tried to buy me from my husband for a mixture of gold and livestock. While he turned them down, he did mention that I commanded quite an impressive price.

    9. Traffic signals are really more like loose suggestions—even in cities the size of Cairo and Alexandria. You only stop at red lights if you want to.

    8. Never play chicken with a Tuk Tuk—you’ll lose, even if you’re in a bus. (Tuk Tuks are tiny, illegal vehicles that roam the side streets—teen-agers and pre-teens convert motorcycles into four seater vans and decorate them in wild and outlandish ways.

    7. The U.S. embassy in Cairo is not nearly as helpful as one would imagine when its citizens are in trouble (don’t ask how I know this).

    6. Cleopatra had a fixation with public bathing—all up and down the Mediterranean are special places where Cleopatra bathed—complete with stone thrones that have lasted millennia.

    5. There are nine pyramids at Giza, not 3, but six of them are so small they don’t show up in pictures.

    4. Climbing the pyramids is just as hard as it looks. Maybe harder—but I did it J

    3. Camels growl—once again, don’t ask how I found this out. It’s not a pretty story.

    2. Visiting the Mountain of Death is actually a good thing.

    1. At night, the Sphinx talks.

So, did any of you go on vacation this year? Where to? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my June Superromance, From Friend to Father.

Oh, and one more thing—I’ve included an excerpt of Tie Me Down here, as part of my Tie Me Down Contest Extravaganza. So head on over to my blog, to get the scoop on the contest. There are daily prizes and the Grand Prize (given away next Tuesday) is a $100 gift card to the winner’s choice of bookstore.

His name was Cole Adams. Genevieve shook her head in disbelief as she stared at the report in front of her. The Cole Adams—American documentary maker and Academy Award winner extraordinaire. How had she failed to recognize him?

Maybe because she rarely paid attention to that stuff—even on her good days. Not to mention that his reclusiveness was the stuff Hollywood legends were made of.

Feeling her cheeks heat with embarrassment, Genevieve did her best to convince herself that Cole’s profession accounted for the file she’d found at his apartment that morning. Her gut had told her all along that he was innocent, but her brain still wasn’t ready to lay it to rest.

If it was something as easily explained as research for a new documentary, why was he hiding it in a bedroom drawer? And why hadn’t he said something to her about it right away?

Genevieve read the brief report one more time—seven years before, he’d been arrested for misdemeanor assault, but the charges had been dropped, as the other guy had instigated the fight. Other than that, his record was clean—nothing there to show any signs of sexual or homicidal deviance. With a sigh, she put it aside. She didn’t have any more time to waste on this, even though she didn’t believe for one moment that he’d sat beside her at that bar last night and not known who she was.

No, that was entirely too coincidental for a woman who didn’t believe in coincidence.

Going back to the file she’d started on her latest case, she reviewed everything she’d managed to accomplish that day.

Missing persons had popped on the victim’s identity that morning, so she’d started her day by breaking the news to the girl’s devastated parents. Her name was Jessica Robbins, and she’d been a freshman at Tulane. Her roommate had reported her missing three days before, when she hadn’t come back to the dorm after her evening jog through the Garden District.

Jessica’s parents had flown in as soon as she’d disappeared, had hired a private detective to look for her even as they staked out both the Tulane and the Uptown police stations in a desperate attempt to find out what had happened to their daughter.

Once she had a name, Genevieve had called the Tulane Police Department and gotten the parents’ information. She’d called them in, told them as gently as possible that their only child was dead.

Not that there was a gentle way to deliver that kind of news—it was the part of her job she hated the most. And the part that haunted her when she lay in bed at night, the lights off and the city finally silent around her. How the people left behind looked when she shattered their world.

In an effort to spare them, she hadn’t told Jessica’s parents everything she’d discovered. She hadn’t told them how the bastard had kept her around for a while. How he had toyed with Jessica almost endlessly in an effort to maximize the pain.

Still, they hadn’t taken the news of their daughter’s rape and murder stoically. The mother wept uncontrollably while the father simply stared blankly ahead, as if the facts were just too much for him to comprehend. He’d been the one to identify his daughter’s body, and he’d been the one to escort his wife from the station when her sobs had died down to occasional whimpers.

And he was the one who had looked straight at Genevieve and demanded to know who had killed his child. She had told him the truth—that she didn’t know, but that she would find out.

And she would.



Sandy Nawrot said...

What a perfect way to start my morning, except that I almost spit out my OJ! Hilarious! Public bathing????!!!! Sounds like a bad dream I had a few nights ago!

Chrisbookarama said...

Love that post! Yes, I did go on vacation. I'll be blogging about it over the next few weeks. I took a cross country road trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Camels spit AND growl? Heard they had tempers.
And what's a vacation? Haven't been on one of those in years...

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

Tracy Deebs said...

Chris-- sorry about the OJ ;) It does sound like a bad dream, right?

Chris, Wow, a cross-country trip. How exciting. Niagara Falls is gorgeous.

Hey Diane, we have almost the same last name-- cool. Ad yes they spit, growl, kick and bite. Such lovely animals. And this was my first vacation in years. Oh joy.

chey said...

Wonderful post!
I didn't go on a vacation this year.

gigi said...

I didn't go on vacation this year, I had surgery.
I don't know if I would ever want to go to Egypt.

Maybe England or somewhere European.

Loved the excerpt.
I hope my blog entry shows up. I am having a hard time posting on some of the blogs.

Fedora said...

Hi, Tracy! We did go to Pennsylvania this summer--it was wonderful to see our friends, and they showed us some of the sights, including of course, the Liberty Bell :)

Tracy Deebs said...

Gigi, Hope all went well with the surgery. Chey, maybe next year for vacation???

Flchen1-- I love Pennsylvania. I have lots of family there and we used to visit a lot when I was young.

Marilyn said...

What a fun post, it made my day! Have a grand weekend everyone!


Beth F said...

What a fun post!! Too funny about the camels, I understand they can be quite mean. In Peru, once you get out of any kind of city or town, staying on your own side of the road seems to be optional. Let's just say that taking a bus ride through the desert requires much medication.

Tracy Wolff/Tessa Adams said...

Oh Beth, is that not the truth? I can't tell you how many times we came close to dying. Buy the end I was just kind of numb to it all.

Marilyn-- thanks! Have a great weekend yourself.

Mint said...

I stayed home and played with my grandkids this summer. Loved the excerpt. Will have to read the book.

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