Guest Author Vanessa Kelly: Road Trip From Hell

Vanessa’s new historical release—just in time for the holidays! Click the picture to read an excerpt.

I love introducing our Magical Musings readers to new authors, so today I’m introducing you to two! Vanessa Kelly—a.k.a. VK Sykes—(one person/two names) writes both sexy Regency historicals and action-filled contemporary romances with heroes to die for.

Vanessa’s on the road today, so she’ll be commenting back to folks this evening.  I asked her to share some perspective on road trips and boy… did she EVER. If you’ve got some family holiday travel coming up, gird your loins and read on!  Bonus: Vanessa will be giving one randomly selected commenter a $10 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of her newest contemporary release BIGGER THAN BECKHAM.

**Update:  Our winner is Ami Todd!  Thanks so much, Ami. I’ll email you and put you in touch with Vanessa for your gift certificate and book. It looks like everyone had a great time with Vanessa. I hate to admit it, but I was on a cruise ship in the Bahamas.  Now, there’s a cure for road trips–a designated driver on the high seas!

Road Trip From Hell 

Every November my husband and I stuff our car full of crap and drive from Ottawa to Florida.  We love that part of the world, so we’re both ridiculously excited about returning to the land of palm trees, oranges, and hanging chads.  And, truthfully, the road trip itself isn’t that bad.  The tricky part comes before, when we’re packing and organizing our belongings.

At that point, Kitty bar the door because all hell breaks loose.

Now we all know that men and women have different ways of preparing for trips.  I’m sure most men like to think of themselves as more organized than their better halves, and hubby is no exception.  Not that I’m disorganized—just the opposite.  It’s simply that I don’t see the need to start writing to-do lists months in advance, or keep permanent, running lists from one year to the next.  But hubby does.  He’s so organized that he has notations about things like dental floss and Lysol wipes, as if there isn’t a pharmacy or convenience store anywhere along the road in that wilderness known as the east coast of the U.S.

And I do have lists—ones for clothing, books and research material for whatever project I’m working on, and odds and ends that we tend to forget.  Every year I faithfully make notes of what we already have in Florida, so I don’t pack duplicate items for our return.  There’s just one problem—I usually end up forgetting where I put the darn lists.  Sigh.

Hubby, of course, never forgets where he puts his lists because he stores them in a file on his computer and also duplicates them in hard copy.  And I admit that his careful habits make him a handy person to travel with.  Still, it can get pretty annoying because I do occasionally forget something, which tends to drive him a bit crazy.  When you’re that organized, having a wife who lets out a huge gasp when she remembers what she forgot—45 minutes after leaving the house—can be rather irritating.

Of course, things could be worse.  Hubby’s brother—literally a rocket scientist—once planned how to pack a car trunk by cutting out scale sized pieces of paper to represent his suitcases and boxes.  I think we can all agree that no one in the history of the planet has ever been that organized.

When I think about getting ready for a trip, I really wish I could be more like Martha, the heroine of my latest VK Sykes book, Bigger Than Beckham.  In one scene, Martha is about to jet off to England with the hero, a wealthy British soccer star.  She packs a small bag of toiletries and frilly underthings in the certain knowledge that she can pick up whatever else she needs in the posh shops of London.

Well, maybe someday I’ll be that lucky.  But for now, I’ll continue to write up my lists—and lose them—and be grateful for my own personal hero who is organized enough to remember the dental floss.

What about you, folks?  How organized are you when you travel?  Do you have a travelling companion or husband who is so organized that he drives you crazy?  One person who comments will win a $10 gift card from Amazon, and a copy of Bigger Than Beckham.

Vanessa Kelly writes award-winning, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra.  Her latest book, His Mistletoe Bride, is now in stores.  She also writes award-winning contemporary romance with her husband under the pen name of VK Sykes.  You can find her on the web at and

Thanks, Vanessa!  Gang, I’m on an Internet-free vacation for a few days, but I’ll select a winner from the comments left on this post through Thursday, Nov. 14th night.  I’ll post the winner’s name here at the top of the blog on Friday.  And, of course, I’ll contact the winner and put her/him in touch with Vanessa!    

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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29 Responses to Guest Author Vanessa Kelly: Road Trip From Hell

  1. SheriV says:

    I’m the more organized one and even with that you have me beat. lol I always forget something.

    smurfettev AT Gmail DOT com

  2. Heather says:

    i love road trips unless my husband is riding along other wise it’s WW3 over the map steering wheel and radio sometimes all 3 at once! 😯

  3. Ann S. says:

    I’ve travelled with my mother who was a meeting planner and travelled extensively. She is a bit high strung and if you thought she was bad before 911, all I can say is wow. I have sat in so many airports for hours waiting for a flight because we need to be there early, her idea of early is like 4 hours before the flight is scheduled. I love her to death, but really how much of a time window do you really need to make sure you won’t miss a fight. Maybe I am less organized, but I get more sleep before a trip, lol

  4. Edie Ramer says:

    What a fun post! Thanks for being our guest today. I’m going to check out your Bigger Than Beckham book.

    When I travel, I’m more like your book’s heroine than your husband. I start writing my list (not plural – just one) a day or two before I leave. My husband doesn’t write any lists. That makes me the more organized one, which is scary.

  5. Nicole Laverdure says:

    Vanessa! My husband does the same thing as yours..lists stored in files well organized!
    When we go on a trip, since I like to add my comments lol and he is the trip planner, lists, maps roads, schedule at airport, I share my ideas as where to stay, because I’m fussier than him for accomodation lol. I love to travel with him, because I feel secure and I know everything will go smooth.

  6. Pen Mettert says:

    I traveled with a writer friend to conferences. She always had lists. And her own wheeled cart to haul things like laptops and other writerly stuff into the rooms. I just followed her and hoped I remembered the basics. 😉

  7. May says:

    That is too funny. 🙂

    I am not as organized as your husband or his brother. LOL. 🙂 But I do write lists after I have kids with us. It’s always a BIG emergency if I forget anything!

  8. ellie says:

    We are both organized and very neat when we go on a road trip. Highly necessary and important.

  9. Ami Todd says:

    I found a cure to all family travel! I drive with the kids to our destination provided it’s within a couple days. I fly my husband to the destination and we meet him there! There tends to be no fighting and the trip doesn’t cost much more. One flight is much cheaper than 6! It seems that the fighting only occurs if we are all in the same vehicle at the same time. I can tune out the kid noise and just drive. I learned that it was my husband that was driven crazy by the kids!

  10. Love Florida! I’m not at all organized, I just shove the suitcases into the car and am ready. My husband, on the other hand, always has some sort of mental map as if he’s playing a game of tetris. Have a great trip!

  11. Shelle says:

    Our road trips consist of last minute packing and overnight driving to our destination (overnight because the kids sleep thru the ride, less bathroom breaks and less boredom!).

  12. Kimberly says:

    I am not so organized, but I have gotten so much better at packing. I used to try and take everything with me……about 10 yrs ago my best friend and I decided to take a 7 day cruise. We had no idea how small those cabins really are nor did we realize that we really only needed a few dressy things…..between the 2 of us we had 7 suitcases! I swear one was shoes only and then we had a bag of snorkling gear. We laughed so hard at trying to find enough spaces to stuff all the suitcases!

  13. Amy R says:

    My husband has recently become a list person with all the list apps out there so we can keep track on our phone or computer. We currently use Remember The Milk and have tons of lists on there. When we go on trips we make the list together but then I seem to be responsible for packing and he is responsible for getting it all in the trunk or back of the van. There is always one thing we need that is in the middle of the suitcase that is in the middle of the stack of suitcases and bags in the trunk and we realize this about 45 minutes after we leave. So, I guess while we usually have everything we need because of our list, I should make a list of what goes in each bag. Ha ha. Great post! Now I am ready for a road trip.

  14. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi and welcome to the blog.

    I’m the organized one in the family and when I travel I usually drag 4 kids along. So not much fun these days 😉 as it used to be. Lol.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Update on books, just released, in progress, and upcoming

  15. blodeuedd says:

    I am..organized, I think. I check and then I check again and take too many things with me
    blodeuedd`s last blog was …Book Spotlight and giveaway: Waltz with a Stranger – Pamela Sherwood

  16. Jacque H. says:

    In this past I had to travel frequently for work. So I sorta have a system – everything goes into the suitcase in the exact same place and it’s easy to tell if I’ve forgotten any of the necessities. Now those things that don’t merit travel every trip are more difficult to remember. Do I make lists? Yes. And pretty much all night the night before I wake up and remember to add another thing to the list. Every once in a while, I would love to get a good night’s sleep before a big trip!

  17. Ladies, hubby and I are going to grab a bite, and then I’ll be back!
    Vanessa Kelly`s last blog was …Rock*It Reads: Heating Up The Holidays Blog Hop!!

  18. Barbara Elness says:

    I’m pretty organized when I travel, but I don’t usually make lists. I just keep a running commentary in my head of what I need to bring, and I start packing a couple of days ahead with everything I can possibly pack ahead of time. I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten anything I needed, so I guess my method works. 😀 I don’t have anyone else to drive me crazy, so I get to do it my way.

  19. Lori H. says:

    Hi, my hubby and I don’t travel very often however he organizes his stuff and does a great job. I like to be organized as well but I pack for my 5 kids and me. So I make sure we have cell phones, meds, and maps and I don’t worry about the rest because just about every city has a Wal-Mart. I figure if we forget something we’ll be ok.

  20. Vanessa,
    It’s wonderful having you visit on MM!!!
    Between my husband and me, I’m the more organized person when we travel…so I deal with most of the details ;).

  21. lisagk says:

    Love the road trips. I’m not organized at all but Hubby is. We actually do quite a few roadtrips… some short ones, and at least one long trip each year. Thanks for the story. lisagk@yahoo

  22. Cynthia Eden says:

    Vanessa, you’re in Florida?!!!! Does this mean that I might get to see you soon? Perhaps for that Mardi Gras date we’ve talked about before?

    I love the cover of your book! Can’t wait to read it!
    Cynthia Eden`s last blog was …THE BETTER TO BITE– “Spread the Word” Contest!

  23. Janet Kerr says:

    I like to be organized when I leave & then see where the journey takes me.


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