For those that don’t know what these new featurettes will be about, here is the scoop! “You’ll Never Believe…” will feature the weirdest questions or encounters that authors have been asked/had. Might be about their books or random things, like meetings in a bathroom where someone asked what brand of toilet paper they normally use. Fun stuff and inside scoops that an author would not normally share.
Today’s “You’ll Never Believe…” celebrates the release of Jillian Neal’s latest book, Gypsy Love: A Gypsy Beach Novel (she’s a famous author with an ex that just blabbed her “preferences” and he’s a divorce lawyer, and both meet on this “Gypsy Beach” vacation…)
In this installment of “You’ll Never Believe…”, the author tells us how she and her family were on vacation once and she… “had a foreboding feeling. My feelings are never wrong. I chose not to listen to myself. Never choose that.” <— LOL!!! Oh I love her already!
You’ll Never Believe – Family Edition by Jillian Neal
This past winter my sexy hubby and I decided that it was high time we took ourselves and our sons on a real vacation. Sure we’d been to the beach and to Disney World before, and we even took a fateful road trip from Nashville to Kentucky when I was one week from delivering our second child. Honestly, that was for a funeral, but the trip involved me riding for an ungodly number of hours with a nine pound human being performing jujitsu on my bladder therefore I feel it bears mentioning. Anyway, our sons were now 11 and 13 and had never been on an airplane. How had this happened?
About this time the edits on my sixth book, All but Lost, were going on. A large portion of that book takes place in Hawaii on the island of Kauai. I’ve always been fascinated with Hawaii, and when hubs suggested a trip there, I jumped at the chance. We saved and planned and saved some more. We bought new luggage. I loaded approximately four-hundred and seventeen books on my Kindle, for the flight and all. We talked about nothing but our trip until our friends and family members starting coming up with bizarre ailments to avoid hanging out with us. We might’ve been just a little obsessed. Having decided that we would go to Kauai first and then spend the next week on the Big Island, we did in-depth research to determine where we wanted to stay and what we wanted to see. We weren’t going to stay in Hilo or Kona where there are things. No, no, we wanted to be out in the land. No touristy stuff for us. That was for wimps. We picked the boys up for their last day of school before winter break, and we were ready. This was going to be epic.
After spending what felt like might’ve been two and a half weeks on a myriad of airplanes, we landed in Kauai. I was immediately in heaven. Oh the scenery, the mountains, and the ocean, and the perfection of it all. It even smelled good. And the coffee. Oh my word, the coffee! We spent several days basking in the glory that is Kauai.
I was a little sad to leave to head to the Big Island, but I told myself I was being silly. I had a foreboding feeling. My feelings are never wrong. I chose not to listen to myself. Never choose that.
Anyway, we took two quick flights and landed in Hilo. The feeling went from a slow churn in my stomach to an all-out raging panic that took over my entire body. I broke out in a sweat. My heart couldn’t locate a steady cadence, but my husband and kids were so excited I couldn’t speak up. Never choose that either.
We secured our rental car and headed out. Before we’d made two turns out of the airport, we’d been pulled out in front of twice with a complimentary flip-off on the side. It was the kind of pulled out in front of where hubs slams on the brakes, swerves, and uses the might of his sexy jawline to dam back the curse words. Yeah, that kind.
By this point, my internal mother’s barometer of bad things are going to happen was blaring constant warning signals. I wanted to gather my boys, whom, mind you, are taller than me, hold them in my lap, and rock them back and forth to assure them that I wouldn’t let anything bad happen to them. It was like that.
So, we drove towards what we’d been told was a stunning rental property on acres of lush land where there were fruit trees that we were welcome to pick fruit off of to eat, and to relax there at the house, or go out and see all there was to do in the nearby town. Yeah. That’s what it said.
Well, we drove, and we drove, and we drove some more. The only thing we noted besides masses of black volcanic boulders, that I’m sorry are not in any way attractive, was that we were ascending the treacherous landscape quickly.
Finally, we arrived, according to Siri, at our vacation rental. DH typed in the assigned rental code number to open the gate, and I was trying to do labor breathing to calm myself. Slowly, hubs guided the car down an embankment. It was then that I saw an old truck with a pair of jeans slung over the side. My brow furrowed. That was very odd. I finally spoke up. “Uh, sweetheart, this seems weird.”
“Yeah, I know, but the guy said there was a caretaker. Maybe that’s his truck.”
“Well, whose jeans are those?”
“I was just wondering that myself.”
I managed another nod as he edged the car onwards towards the house. Suddenly, he hit the brakes. In one horrifying moment that seemed to stretch on into eternity, we sat there shocked. It was indeed the caretaker’s truck. The very caretaker that was standing completely naked on the porch staring back at us… waving.
Yup. I saw it all. Now, let’s preface this with the fact that I’m a romance author. I write HOT. I’ve been “accused” on more than one occasion of making my reader’s Kindles smoke or even catch fire. I write about naked dudes all the time. I’ll go toe-to-toe with you on sexuality and appreciation of the human form endlessly. A prude I am not. Naked does not frighten me. Being behind a locked gate, with my children, on a strange island, and being stared at by some guy that didn’t seem all that concerned that we were viewing his lackluster junk, that did frighten me.
DH quickly managed to turn the car around. My sons were snickering. DH and I were too dumbfounded to speak at this point, but trust me, as soon as DH located words, the people that owned the rental property got an ear full. Our entire deposit was refunded. But that was after we’d made our escape. See, the naked dude had located a pair of shorts and chased after our car.
Despite my incoherent grunts and gasps that he is supposed to understand, DH rolled the window down to speak to naked dude. Something about having to get back out of the gate and needing that code or some other such nonsense.
Anyway, naked dude did seem rather harmless, and he apologized, kind of. He gave us directions to find food, as we hadn’t eaten in many hours. Still trying to verbalize our understanding of what had just happened we drove on debating what to do. We drove for over an hour. There. Was. Nothing. No restaurants, no hotels, nothing. We did manage to find a Marriott to stay in that night, on the other side of the island. It was not a good night. Let’s just say we spent a grand total of two and a half days on the Big Island before we secured flights back to Kauai and resumed our epic vacation there.