I don’t know about you, but the world seems to be getting pretty (insert your favorite colorful word here) intense. While I like to stay informed, I also like to laugh to deal with stress. And, I need some chuckles these days.
Today, the wonderful Carsen Taite is here to help us laugh with an embarrassing story. Also, Carsen is giving away 1 ecopy of Out of Practice. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Carsen.
Palm Trees, Thai Food, and Rental Cars
Believe me, I have plenty of embarrassing moments to share, but since this one happened while I was attending a book event, it seemed the most appropriate even though it has nothing to do with books or writing, but rather the time I developed an aversion to white rental cars.
Years ago, I attended a festival hosted by Bold Strokes Books in Palm Springs. I was accompanied by my wife, Lainey, and our good friend and fellow author, VK Powell. When we arrived at the airport, the rental car company gave us our choice of five different white sedans. I remember remarking that they all looked the same, so we picked the first one we came to on the lot, loaded up our gear, and headed to the hotel. Throughout the week, my offhand remark about the cars became a running joke because every time we exited a store or event venue, and went looking for the car, we had to sound the car alarm to figure out which one was ours.
Aside from the opportunity to mingle with readers and reconnect with good friends, one of the highlights of each of these trips was eating Thai food at Peppers (followed by a quick trip to See’s Candies). We usually dined at Peppers at least twice on every trip, and after a couple of years, upon approaching our table, the waiter would ask if we wanted the usual, starting with the mouth-watering crab Rangoon.
I was craving Thai on the last night, but we had an evening event and didn’t have time for a sit-down meal. We called in our to-go order, and the three of us piled in the ubiquitous white car. Lainey drove, VK rode shotgun, and when we pulled up to the restaurant on Palm Canyon Dr, I jumped out of the back seat and went inside to fetch the food with the understanding they would make the block and come back to pick me up.
I didn’t have to wait long for the food and was back out on the street in a few minutes, scouting for my ride. It was Saturday night and there were a ton of cars driving by. I blame the heavy traffic and the distracting aroma of the spicy food for what happened next.
A white sedan stopped by the curb right in front of me. I grasped the door handle for the back door, but it wouldn’t open. I knocked on the door to let Lainey know to unlock it for me and tried again. Still wouldn’t open. I laughed. We’re all prone to play pranks on each other, so I figured they were jacking with me. I made sure I had a good hold on all the food with one hand and rapped my fist against the window, over and over, pausing only to try the door again to find it still locked.
At this point, I was no longer laughing. Traffic was building up behind the car and the sound of car horns honking made me desperate to gain entrance. Oh, and there was the matter of Rangoon that was surely getting soggy with this unnecessary delay. Not cool. Not cool at all. Finally, I decided to switch from knocking on the back window to the front one, where the driver was seated, and this time I added a yell, “Open the damn door!”
As the words left my lips, I focused on the face looking back at me through the tinted window. The woman’s eyes were wide, and her mouth was open in what appeared to be the beginning of a terrified scream. But most noticeable of all was that she wasn’t Lainey. Or VK. Or anyone else I knew.
At that moment I heard a yell “Over here!” and my head snapped to the right. A few cars down was another white sedan. It took a second for me to recognize Lainey and VK, heads stuck out their respective windows. They were laughing hysterically. I mouthed “I’M SO SORRY” to the stranger who most certainly thought I was trying to carjack her and ran to the correct white car, hopped in, and listened to gales of laughter all the way back to the hotel. They’d watched the entire incident play out, but had been laughing so hard at my attempts to get in the wrong car, they hadn’t been able to muster the strength to holler out to me until I’d almost committed a felony.
I still love Palm Springs and Thai food, but now the first thing I say when I’m renting a car is “tell me what colors you have available.”
by Carsen Taite
Attorney Abby Keane’s vacation is perfect, especially her steamy interlude with a beautiful stranger. But her newfound zen crumbles when her biggest client, a chain of bridal stores, leaves hundreds of brides without dresses. As if reentry isn’t bad enough, a new wedding blogger is doing her best to stoke the anger of the already unhappy brides, and has chosen Abby as the villain.
Roxanne Daly’s blog has finally hit the sweet spot, and her popularity is soaring. With a regular TV spot on the line, she’ll do whatever it takes to impress the network producers. Running point for a horde of angry brides against a hotshot lawyer seems like the perfect plan until her crusade collides with Abby, the woman she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since she left her in a tropical paradise.
Legal Affairs: one law firm, three best friends, three chances to fall in love.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Carsen Taite is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing fiction to practicing law because she has more control of the outcome. She is the award-winning author of over twenty novels of romance and romantic intrigue, including the Luca Bennett Bounty Hunter series, the Lone Star Law series, and the Legal Affairs romances.
CONNECT WITH CARSEN TAITE
Thanks so much for stopping by today.