Candis Terry knows a thing or two about road trips: Her newest novel, Perfect for You, takes our hero and heroine on a 15-hour ride up the coast. Here, Terry shares her very best road trip tips and tricks (say that five times, fast) and pairs her tidbits of wisdom with some of her favorite romance reads. You can’t go wrong with the books on the list, so buckle up: It’s going to be a fun ride.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought of just jumping in a car and driving up a gorgeous coastline, through a peaceful mountain pass, or along the serene shore of a large lake. I see you and I’m right there with you, which is why I decided to have a little road trip fun in my latest book, Perfect For You. In doing my research (and sadly realizing it’s not all about the snacks), I discovered fiction can be a lot more fun than fact. Allow me to use a few of my favorite road trip-themed romance books to illustrate what I learned.
Staying on course
In Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Heaven, Texas (my all-time favorite book), mild-mannered Gracie Snow is tasked with not only delivering the reluctant hero, former NFL wideout Bobby Tom Denton, to a movie set several states away, she’s tasked with actually keeping him in the car. Staying the course on a real road trip can be equally challenging when you find those little out-of-the-way places you’re dying to stop at. If you want to eventually reach your destination, ignore the intriguing signs that boast Largest Ball of Twine 13 Miles This Way. Chances are that side trip will end up 13 miles of dirt road and your patience might be rattled right out of your brain along the way. Stick to the temptations you can see from the main highway.
Beware of hitchhikers
In another of my favorite Susan Elizabeth Phillips books, Natural Born Charmer, the hero stops and picks up a girl in a beaver suit. Some might think: Why would anyone pick up someone wearing a beaver suit? They’re obviously off-kilter. Luckily for the hero, the girl in the beaver suit turns out to be just what he’d been looking for. Facts and real life, however, can be the polar opposite. So for safety purposes, just keep your foot on the gas pedal and keep looking at the scenery when you pass by the person with the outstretched thumb.
Travel solo or with a partner
Depending on your reasons for the trip, flying solo can definitely give you some time to think or rock out to your favorite tunes, while traveling with a partner can always be deemed safer than traveling alone. And if you’re a romantically inclined couple like Shane and Isabelle in Erin Nicholas’ road trip book It Takes Two, you can explore the road in a whole other way–like each other… in a car wash. Gotta keep the travel buggy clean, right?
Ultimate snacking experience
You knew I’d get here eventually, right? In my book Perfect For You, Brooke, the heroine, detours Declan, the hero, into a gas station convenience store boasting that the entire food pyramid can be found and experienced within the concrete walls. She proves herself quite the expert and health conscious Declan walks out with pork cracklins’, Swedish Fish, and a few other things he doesn’t really want to get to know up close and personal. Personally, I’d suggest you forgo the calorie-laden items that might not agree with you in favor of those charming little diners and cafes along the way. Side note: There’s one thing my daddy always taught me, if you see a lot of semi-trucks parked outside, it means there’s good food inside.
Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push-and-pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily-ever-after.