Monday, November 14, 2011

Heather Talks Cars

Lydia made her way down the poorly lit stairs to her little Karmann Ghia in the parking lot. Gunther sat there waiting for her faithfully and she had to smile. Her brothers had rebuilt the engine and painted it for her, after picking the car up at an auction five years ago. Despite their overprotectiveness, she liked the reminder of them that Gunther represented.

After unlocking the car, she plopped into the driver’s seat and stuck the key in the ignition, wondering what felt “off” about Gunther this morning.

Turning the key, all she heard was, “Errrrt.”

“Don’t say that Gunther, baby.” Sometimes it helped to sweet-talk him a little.

With the sinking feeling that something was really wrong, she turned the key in the ignition once more.


“Oh, no. Come on Gooonther,” she begged, drawing his name out like a porn star. “Give it up for me, baby.”

“Er–er,” he replied negatively. She pulled the key out of the ignition and lifted herself from the seat, suddenly realizing what was wrong. In the dark, she hadn't noticed. This day was going to hell already.

She gasped in dismay when she saw the damage done during the night. Her tires had been slashed. Going around the car, she could see all four of them were gutted.

Now she wasn’t even at square one anymore. Less than zero. She felt like fate was determined to keep her in this town. She balled up her hands and stomped her feet angrily.

“Motherfucker,” she growled to herself.

Something went “tsk,” beneath the engine door at the rear of the car.

She patted the engine door and said, “Not you, baby. It’s not your fault.” She looked around, wondering if anyone was watching her have a chat with her car.

Don’t fib and tell me at some point in your life you haven’t had some sort of conversation with your car. Maybe it was while you were in college, paying your own way, trying to figure out how you were going to eat and have money for gas. Maybe it was when you were stranded in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night…alone. I’ve always had conversations with my car, often with my kids buckled into their car seats. that's how my kids learned some of the interesting words they know. I drive a more reliable vehicle than I did when I was in school or on my own so the conversations have lost their beseeching, pleading tenor, but we talk nonetheless.

My first car was a 1975 Chevrolet Camaro. Yes, I was in love. New paint, new tires, clean interior, “new to me." I adored that car, but learned soon that I had to croon just right on cold mornings because the carburetor would stick and the engine would die if I didn’t feather it just right. No matter what we did, it always gave me trouble with that one issue. The problem became a permanent issue one night during a raging thunderstorm when I rolled out into an intersection and didn’t hear the telltale flutter of the engine. It died, in the literal sense, when my sister and I were broadsided by a jeep that didn’t see us in time.

Many years, and several cars later, I am once again driving a Camaro, only this one is new and has no issues with obsolete things like carburetors. But I still talk to her. I even named her. Sexy cars need names...

Back to what I was talking about before I started reminiscing... I could have given Lydia a newer vehicle, I suppose. When I was writing Lydia's Twin Temptation, I asked my husband, "What is the quintessential ‘chick’ car?" As a product of his generation, my handsome hubby replied, “That car Molly Ringwald drove in Pretty in Pink…or was it Sweet Sixteen. You know the one I mean?”

Yup. The pink Karmann Ghia.

As I wrote that scene, I figured all you girls could relate to it. My heroines have driven Hondas, Toyotas, and other practical vehicles, but many times the vehicles themselves tell a lot about a heroine. In Spurs and Heels, Juliana Meyer drove a white, late-model Camaro. That was just me gratuitously giving her my dream car, not knowing that Santa already had me on his list for one that Christmas. But the vehicle also said a lot about Juliana as a person. Classy, well-kept and hard to keep up with. Lydia lived in much humbler circumstances and I couldn’t imagine a worse situation than being trapped in Fort Stockton, Texas, in the dead of summer, driving a car that didn’t have air-conditioning and a questionable life span at best. Needless to say, she finds her way to Divine and so does little Gunther.

I enjoy giving my heroines notable, memorable cars. The heroine in Their Divine Doctor, the next installment of the Divine Creek Ranch Collection, Doctor Emma Guthrie, drives one of those horrendous Pontiac Azteks, which were only made from 2001 to 2005. With a bold Yellow and Black paint job, it looked like a giant bumblebee going down the road. Not sexy at all, but it worked for her character. I’m not ruling out a gremlin for some poor, helpless heroine down the road.

So…what was the quirkiest, funniest or most exasperating vehicle you’ve ever driven? Leave me a comment telling me about your funniest or scariest experience. I’ll also be blogging on the release day for Lydia’s Twin Temptation, November 25th. Leave a comment on that blog post as well. I’ll throw everyone’s name from today's blog and the 25th's in a hat and do a drawing. The winner has their choice of any of my titles in e-book format. Please make sure to leave your contact email with your comment. I’ll do the drawing on the evening of the 25th and let the winner know that weekend.

I’m feeling the need for the wind in my hair and a little Nickelback blasting until my eardrums bleed. So if you are tooling down the highway, minding your own business and a sexy as hell Dark Red 2011 Camaro flies by you with “Shakin’ Hands” blasting out of open windows, make sure and wave to that crazy Heather chick. If I ever go for a ride with someone besides my hunky husband, it would have to be Vin Diesel. Couldn't leave y'all without at least one handsome guy picture. See how much I love ya?


Brandi Reynolds said...

My first, and my favorite, car was a '63 Ford Falcon. My grandfather bought it for my mother and when I got my license it was passed down to me. I loved that car and when I was in high school, it was up to me to drive my friends around in it. Bench seats front and back, carried a lot of teenagers. I miss that car. My ex husband ragged out the tranmission and his cousin was supposed to fix it. The transmission was left outside in the rain for a week. Needless to say that when it rusted out, it was no longer fixable. The gremlin is a good idea, and maybe she can be used in the twins' book. You did tell me that the heroine was gonna be a handful.

Dragon Momma said...

Heather, my all time FAVE car was my 1973 Plymouth Fury. Yes, she was red and HELL YES, I named her Christine! I loved that car! I pampered her. Washed 3 times a week at the local drive in do it yourself car wash. Waxed, too.

One time, while at a stop light in my Fury, a bunch of guys pulled up in a brand new Trans Am. They looked at me, a single lady in a huge assed boat, and started to rev their engine and laugh. Well, the light went green, they hit the gas, and so did I. That MOPAR 316 went into RAAAAAAAAAAACE mode and beat them not only off the line but to the next light before it went red. The looks on the faces of all 4 in that car never fail to make me grin, even now, nearly 25 years later.

Stacy Wilson

dragn_lady at yahoo dot com

SheriV said...

My first car was an 86 Toyota Camry named Betsy by my younger sister since she was my mom's car first. By the time she made it into my 18 year old hands she'd been sitting for a year in a half baking in the Nevada sun. But Betsy turned right over an purred for me, she even taught me to drive stick. And then the unthinkable happen we are shifting onto the highway and she refused to go into 5th, I pull off at the next exit only to realize after I parked in a spot where I couldn't pull forward that when 5th went so had Reverse. Thankfully that old tank was willing to let me throw her into neutral and back her up while pushing her. :P She was a great car who was shortly after traded in for my current 4 banger Chevy Classic, think Malibu with no get up and go, and her name is Buster. Buster is trying to drive me insane with her blinker clicking even when not on, but we understand each other, she stops when I'm at my last nerve and she saved my ass when I went off the road one night when it was snowing. :) So I put up with her quirks and she promises to keep me safe.

I love my car. And thank you for the yummy picture. Vin Diesel is a personal favorite eye candy for me.

smurfettev @ gmail dot com

MiaAshlinn said...

Do I still get to be put in the drawing in spite of the fact that I have had the dullest cars? No remarkable cars. No remarkable colors. Just good, solid, dependable cars. LOL.

My hubby tells me that my cars say something about me because I am a loyal Subaru driver. According to him, Subaru owners are a very specific type of person. (Side Note: His favorite car was a WRX that was totalled in a storm). Anyway, that is neither here nor there.

I have had four cars since I started driving. The first was an older than dirt, beat up, clunker of a Subaru Legacy Wagon. Yes, I drove it to school at 17. That was Suzie. She was notorious at my high school, needless to say. I sold her a few years ago for $500 - she was twenty plus years old with over 200k miles. After her, I bought three more "Subbies." I have had an Outback, Forrester, and Legacy Sedan. Loved them all. Probably will still be driving a "Subbie" when I am old and gray. :)

Oh, I thought of an interesting fact! I named my first two cars after evil stepmothers that I didn't know. Hehehe. Evil, I know.


Courtney said...

My favorite car was my first car, a 87 Chrysler New Yorker. Sure it was was a ole biddy car but it was tricked out with all burgundy leather and shinny rims, just what a girl needs to drive around the college campus. :)

Actually I was really fond of my car because my grandpa had one just like it, and he was one of my favorite people and one of my heroes. I wanted to be just like him, car and all. To this day when I think of that car I think of Grandpa and smile (He passed away almost five years ago and still think of him daily.)

Bookwyrm369 said...

I've been fortunate to have two fairly new cars that haven't given me any trouble but I learned how to drive stick on a POS 20 yr old Ford car that had such a touchy clutch than I'm still surprised to this day that I learned anything other than how to curse while driving :-)

smaccall AT

Heather Rainier said...

Thank you for posting everybody! Keep them coming. I won't do the drawing until the weekend of the 25th so tell your friends to come and add their comments for a chance to win. Please make sure to leave your email in your comment or make sure I have it already. It's hard to get in touch if all I have is a screen name. If for some reason you are unable to post in a comment here, you can go to my Facebook profile at and post under the status update for the blog

Shaseli said...

My first car was a '72 Chevy Impala that I paid $200 for from a junk lot. My father was a mechanic so he fixed /replaced the engine.BUT every time I went more than 15 miles from my house it would stop running and my father would have to come get me (this was well before cell phones! I carried a lot of quarters.)

Celtie said...

My first car was given to me by my brother and it was a Mercury Capri. I am not sure of the year but it looked like crap. He was in the process of rebuilding it and he didn't have time for the cosmetic parts when he gave it to me. It may have looked like crap but he had dropped a racing engine in it and it out ran everyone else in their new cars.
I had a '85 Dodge Ram Charger named Big Red Truck. She had all kinds of quirks but I loved her. I had for 15 years but she literally was falling apart. Her passenger seat was not even attached when I got finally had to give her up.
I now drive a grandma car but I am hoping to get something cute soon.

Luna Wildwood said...

I've never owned a car. I get severe motion sickness and can't function to drive one because of it[it's a variation of migraine that runs in the family]. :( So the only convo I've had with a car while as a passenger is telling it to stop making me feel nauseous :P

Eunice said...

Eunice Welborn
The car that I loved most was a 1965 Volgswagon Bettle. I paid $250 for it in 1979. I kept seeing it sitting in the yard of a house I went by every day on my way home from work. I finally stopped and asked to buy it. No one had driven it in a couple of years. I drove it for several years. I loved that little car. I drove it through two pregnancies and the stering wheel would rub my belly because I would have to pull the seat all the way to the front. My husband finally sold it to the mechanic who kept it running. I cried for days afterwards.
I just parked my Toyota Previa van a month ago with 410,000 miles on it. I got a Volvo that is a Turbo(whatever that means). I still have my Toyota because I don't know if I trust the Volvo yet!

Stormy said...

Like many of the others my favorite car was my first car. It was 1989 Nissan Maxima and I got it my senior year in highschool (1992). I had an all digit dashboard, sunroof, CD player and the speedometer flashed up on the corner of the windshield. For being the youngest child and having to wait until my Sr year to get a car I was pretty darn happy! I drove that car for nearly 8 years. The dashboard had gotten to the point that the part that would show was the speedometer up on the windshield and the gas light would come on when I was close to empty. What more do you really need, right?:D I traded it for my first brand new car in 2003 that was also a Maxima. I cried when they drove my car off, though.


Susan Bloomingdale said...

Fell in love with Starsky and Hutch's car!!! Ahhh, then it was Eddie Capra's car, then those Dukes General Lee, then Magnum PI's hot Ferrari and now, hmmm none of my hotties have a car I can think of....wonder what George Clooney drives? Besides anything he wants too!!! Thanks for the drive down memory lane!