Saturday, June 14, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger, Multi-Published Author Judith Rochelle!

The Oh Get A Grip crew is thrilled to welcome today's guest blogger, multi-published author, Judith Rochelle:

Vacation? Vacation? Not this one

Many years ago my father-in-law remarried and his new wife fame complete with two full-grown married children. And their children. The son was smart enough to live in Albuquerque but the daughter lived in Michigan, where we were living at the time. And the newlyweds thought it would be wonderful if---let’s call them dick and Jane---went on a vacation with my husband and me. Over Christmas. To Puerto Rico, where we already had made vacation plans.
Going on vacation with Dick and Jane was like traveling with—well, what can you say, for example, about a woman in her thirties who brags about buying her panties in the children’s department and they all have the day of the week on them.

So, okay. We rearrange our plans and we’re off on vacation. Right. Also, from Michigan to Miami we had their children who were being delivered to the grandparents for two weeks. We pick up Dick and Jane and their kids and head for the airport. Only to get there and realize Dick has left his wallet on his dresser. At home.

“I’ll be back before the plane leaves,:” he assures us.

“Sure,” we say. Meanwhile Jane and the kids are about to become hysterical.

Dick leaves us all at the airport and speeds off to retrieve his wallet. We have the pleasure of escorting to Miami three people who have never flow before and are hysterical the minute we enter the waiting area. Then they refuse to get on the plane until Dick gets there, but the plane is loading so we are now dragging the three of them, kicking and screaming, onto the plane. And as we pull away from the gate, there’s Dick, plastered to the window, looking out at the departing plane. Now there are some real hysterics to deal with.

We land in Miami as I’m about to slit my throat and hand the kids over to the grandparents while my husband tries to find out what happened to Dick-who it seems is now being routed through New York. At Christmas. And everyone insists on sitting with us in the airport until the plane for San Juan leaves.

So we get on the plane for San Juan, with only Jane by now, who proceeds to drink four glasses of wine because she’s so upset. Which we paid for. We land in San Juan and can’t find a cab to take us to our hotel which is too short a ride for them unless we pay double the fare. And of course, to make things better, when we go to check in, the one thing Dick and Jane were responsible for got screwed up. Instead of changing the reservations, they cancelled them.
Did you ever see a wilds woman screaming at the top of her lungs waving a confirmation in the air and turning the air blue with every profanity known to man? I think they gave us rooms just to get us out of the lobby.

Of course the restaurant isn’t open---it’s Christmas Eve---we haven’t had lunch OR dinner, and Jane is now not only hysterical but drunk. And Dick has not shown up. We enjoy a fabulous meal from the vending machines sitting in the lobby, because Jane won’t go to her room until Dick arrives, and she’s getting weepier by the minute.

We finally, at three in the morning, persuade her to go to her room and we are just settling into our beds when we hear Bam! Bam! Bam! next door. Dick has arrived! Yay!

From there things only got worse, including Jane hailing police cars as taxis because they had lights on top, and Dick taking them on a motorcycle ride to the rain forest, only to have Jane fall off and Dick not notice it for an hour.

So here’s my advice to you. Since you can’t choose your relatives, at least you can choose not to go on vacation with them.

Judith, can you tell us about one of your books?


Blurb: Lisa Mallory’s marriage from hell ended with her husband, Charles’s, unsolved murder. Once a suspect herself, she barely survived the scandal that erupted when his secret life was revealed. Four years later, her life finally back on track, her eight-year-old son is kidnapped and not returned, despite the ransom payment. Every public and private agency has failed to turn up clues to Jamie’s whereabouts or the identity of his kidnapper. Now she’s left with just one option- Ethan Caine, a friend of her brother’s and a burned-out Special Ops warrior for whom she has nothing but contempt. When he turns up evidence that Jamie is being held somewhere in Mexico, she insists on going with him, over his strong objections. But in the exotic environment of the lush Quintana Roo jungle, passion explodes between them, and they wonder if it’s possible they could dare to hope for the future.


Of course it was raining. How fitting, Lisa Taylor Mallory thought, as she shifted on the folding chair provided by the cemetery, carefully not to move out from under the umbrella the funeral home attendant held over her. Next to her, four-year-old Jamie snuggled closer to here, needing the assurance of his mother’s warmth.

Dr. Howard Devol, pastor of Alamo Baptist Church, under his own umbrella, was intoning passages from the Bible. He had already eulogized Charles to the point of sainthood. Lisa had clenched her fists and swallowed the nausea the insisted on rising at the back of her throat.
Let it be over. Please, please, let us just get this over with.

She let her gaze travel over the crowd of mourners. The cream of San Antonio society and the financial world gathered in their best funereal attire to mourn a man whose sins were swept in fire at the foot of a mountain. Everyone had come, afraid of the fallout if they stayed away. The abundance of black umbrellas nearly formed a canopy of the assemblage.

The funeral was for Jamie, for whom this had all been so frightening. He needed, even at his age, to have closure and known his father would be on a path to Heaven. He could say his prayers at night and feel he had a direct link to him.

Beside her, she felt her brother, Josh, squeeze her arm, a signal that said everything will be okay.

Okay wasn’t exactly the word she’d have chosen to describe the current state of her life. She clenched one gloved hand in her lap. No, okay, wasn’t even in the ball park.

At last the interminable ceremony was finished. Josh rose and nudged her to stand with Jamie. The pastor signaled her to come forward. With Josh’s arm supporting her, she stepped forward to the casket and took the white rose the pastor held out to her. She stared at the casket for a long moment, then dropped the rose on its mahogany surface.

In a voice so low only her brother heard it, she said, “Rot in hell, you son of a bitch.

Check out Judith's website at


  1. Judith, thanks so much for being our guest today. And everyone, Redemption is one of those books you'll read over and over again. My paperback is already showing signs of wear. Wonderful, wonderful book!

  2. OMG...Judith this just cracked me up. I can SEE IT. Jane in her days of the week panties falling off the motorcycle and Dick not noticing for an hour. Her drunk and hysterical. Talk about your vacation from HELL.

    Thanks for stopping by to give us all a laugh for the day!

  3. Heh. I loved the story. Reminds me so much of my relatives. Vacations should hardly ever be with relatives!

  4. Oh dear! That is just awful. You're far too kind. Wouldn't have done it. Not even allowed them to think they were welcome to try to horn in on their own.

  5. What fodder for a book! Not just falling off the motorcycle, but hailing cop cars! They both sound like are permanently tipsy. hahahahahahahahahaha

    Big laugh at your expense. Thanks for sharing.

    And the book sounds good too.

  6. Too funny. So what was Jane doing for an hour alone in the rain forest with no one to scream at?

  7. Hey Judith. Thanks for stopping in to play with us! Sounds like a vacation handful. Ahhh memories.

  8. I'm waiting for the book of the same may have been the trip from hell for you,but the way you write it would make the sweetest read. ME? I'da shot 'em.
    You can lose lotsa stuff in that rain forest-shame he found Jane and his way back.

  9. ROTFLMAO! You are a much better person than I am. I would have left Jane et al in the airport in Michigan waiting for Dick! *cackle*


  10. OMG, Judith, that's worse than the time my sister took the car and left me (along with my little girl) at Disneyland. She was angry because I didn't want to go on a ride with my screaming nephew. At the time, I didn't know she'd split and we searched all over Disneyland when she didn't show up at our meeting place. Luckily, I caught the last bus of the night back to the hotel.

    I've learned NEVER to vacation with extended family again.


    Tara West
    Whispers, the series
    YA paranormal romance

  11. Hi Judith,

    I enjoyed your vacation from hell story. Very entertaining. I've had family vacations that were also NO VACATION, and that I needed to rest up from before I went back to work.

    Best to you!

    Maggie Toussaint
    IN FOR A PENNY coming June 18

  12. That vacation tale was hilarious, although I'm sure it must not have felt too good at the moment when such things were actually taking place!

    I have noticed, that it is our most frustrating moments that give us the most hilarious tales in retrospect!

    The blub is very interesting & the excerpt is wonderful!

    " He had already eulogized Charles to the point of sainthood. Lisa had clenched her fists and swallowed the nausea the insisted on rising at the back of her throat."

    That feeling is so familiar!!

    We have a saying in India : " nobody knows the prevaling conditions inside the grave except the corpse".

    That seems to describe Lisa's condition here!


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