As a reader, I love that moment when I first open a book, having no idea where I’m headed, but anxious to enjoy the ride. Let’s face it, in fiction, the unknown is an irresistible force. If you’re like me, you are full of anticipation as you turn that first page, settling in to discover the unexpected curves in whatever road the author has placed her characters on.
In real life, I can think of a few scenarios where unexpected curves could turn out to be a nightmare. Like all of you, I’ve rounded a few and thankfully, most have sent me on inconsequential detours; side trips on my daily drive that brought small changes to my existence, but eventually dumped me right back onto my familiar, comfortable course.
Like the day I answered the door to find a neighbor holding the cutest little ball of fur and a wagging tail. Explaining the toy Pomeranian was a stray and had wandered into his yard, the neighbor asked if I would keep the itsy bitsy cutie until his “people” were found—because the little guy was terrorizing his poodle. I snorted in disbelief. I’d seen bigger squirrels for crying out loud.
His "people" never did show up (personally, I think they hit the road for Canada the moment the door shut behind him) and I wasn't in the market for a dog, but I’m a sucker for bulging eyes and fluffy tails, and my neighbor knew it. So, I found myself on an unexpected detour with an annoying little yapper who never missed a chance to hump my blind cat, but it didn’t take long for the little demon to become part of the family.
Then there are the curves that are less detour and more re-route. These curves leave you gripping the steering wheel and wondering if you’ve blown a tire. The most notable re-route for me happened on the day I learned I had become a grandmother—seven months earlier. Yeah, that’s not a typo. I found out about my granddaughter when she was seven months old. What can I say? My son rocks at keeping secrets. Either that or I’d taken a wrong turn and gotten lost in Peyton Place. Seriously, I thought this kind of thing only happened in soap operas… Or romance novels. Boy, was I wrong. But ultimately, the road straightened out and soon I was whipping along on a re-routed path. These days, my fabulous G’girl rides shotgun as we head down the road on our girl trip adventures.
Unfortunately, there are those rare curves that are not only hair raising, but potentially deadly. A stage III breast cancer diagnosis is like having all four tires blow out, in a blizzard, on a sheet of ice, on a hairpin curve, on the top of a mountain beside a five thousand foot drop off. That type of curve doesn’t lead to a detour or even a re-route. It’s a game changer. The game changer curve shoots you into the unknown on two wheels while you cling to the steering wheel with white knuckles. I highly recommend avoiding this type of curve at all cost. Then again, as with many traumatic experiences, travelling the game changer curve strips a soul down to the bare basics, allowing them to see what’s truly important in life without all the distractions that hold us back from achieving true happiness.
I love a good game changer romance, don’t you? My most recent favorite is WRECKED by Sarah Grimm. Seriously intense. I highly recommend it. So, what’s yours? Come on, please share.
When Mac isn’t busy maneuvering her own curves, she spends her time weaving HEAs for her characters, like those in her Players series from KensingtonBooks.