I always like to introduce you to new authors and I’m really please to have debut author Linda Grimes here on the blog today! Read along to learn about her personal experience with summer camps and a chance to win her book, In A Fix!
Ahhh, summer camp. The fun, the frolicking, the fearless festivity of shared … misery.
Okay, okay. Maybe that's a little harsh. I'm sure summer camp isn't always miserable.
For the campers.
Most of them, once past the initial homesickness (and once they figure out that an adequate supply of bug spray and the proper ratio of sweet to salty snacks hidden in their locker can turn misery into a budding commercial enterprise) will get along just fine.
But for the counselors? It's purely a survival game.
Because, honest to God, those campers will kill you.
Think about it. Which are the kids most likely to be sent off to summer camp by their parents? The darling little angels, so cooperative and pleasant they are a joy to be around? Or the horrendous little demons Mommy and Daddy can't wait to shed for a week or two?
Yeah. My point precisely. It's like training camp for the extras on the TV show Supernatural.
Granted, I'm only going by my own experience as a horseback-riding instructor at a sleep-away camp the summer between high school and college. Your mileage may vary.
See, that was my last summer as a "kid," and I didn't wanted to waste it on a real job. But I needed the cash. So, my brilliant plan was to get a job doing something I absolutely adored--riding horses! What could possibly be better?
(Here's where I take a moment to scream to my past self: ANYTHING! For God's sake, Former Linda, DO ANYTHING ELSE!!!)
Huh. I still have the memories, so I don't think Former Linda got the message.
The first week was actually okay. That was the week the three other riding counselors and I were there by ourselves, before the campers came. We had a whole dorm to ourselves, and we got to ride all day, getting the horses settled into their summer routine.
Sure, one of the horses stomped on my foot and broke my little toe, but it wasn't really his fault. A bee scared him. A little tape, and remembering to wear my sturdy boots when cleaning the stalls, and all was well.
(Okay, so that horse was kind of an A-hole. He bit one of the other counselors, and was fond of waiting until we'd just mucked out his stall to take big dump. But at least he didn't throw any of us.)
The evenings that first week were ours to relax and read and chat to our hearts content, and we were all pretty cool with that. It was when the campers descended that terror started.
Oh. My. GAWD.
I swear, each and every one of our little charges left their ears at home, because none of them listened to a darn thing we told them. Important things, like how not to get stomped by the horses, how not to spook a horse into bolting--with you on them--and how to not fall off the frickin' horse when it's just standing there, for Pete's sake!
Um, yeah. They were newbie riders. Scary, scary newbies, and we were responsible for their safety. If anything happened to them, it was our tushies on the line. And, believe me, once they realized that, their favorite game was "Give Your Counselor a Heart Attack!"
By the way, do you know how many ways it's possible to fall off a horse?
Let's see…there's off to the left, off to the right, a bounce off the horse's butt and over the tail (when horse takes off too fast), and flipping over the horse's head when it stops suddenly (because you yanked back too hard on its frickin' reins after you kicked the heck out of it to make it gallop--against all rules--and then got scared), just to name some of them.
Fortunately, small kids tend to bounce when they hit the ground, so nobody died. In fact, nobody was even seriously damaged on my watch. One girl landed on her face and knocked out a tooth, but it was a baby tooth, so she wasn't too upset. The camp counselors took up a collection, and the Tooth Fairy came off looking really good, if you get my drift.
And then there were the pranks. Who wouldn't be amused by short-sheeted beds and switching the labels on the deodorent and hairspray cans? (Hint: two letters, starts with "m" and ends with "e.") Oh, and the ever popular Baby Ruth candy bar floating in the pool? Uh-huh. Not what you want to see when you're trying to cool off after a long day herding campers on horses under the Texas sun.
But, in the interest of full disclosure (or possibly full "dis-clothes-ure"), I have to admit it wasn't all bad. There was that one day when the farrier came…
A farrier is and expert in hoof-care for horses. He's the guy (or woman, but ours was definitely of the male persuasion) who puts shoes on the horses. Which is, in the middle of a Texas summer, a hot and sweaty job. So hot it would be *cough* downright silly to wear a shirt.
And, see, making horseshoes and fitting them individually to horses is hard work. Takes muscles. Lots and lots of hot, sweaty muscles …
(Excuse me while I drag myself out of the memory. Better yet, wait for a minute while I wallow in it …)
There. I'm back. So, my fellow horseback-riding counselors and I did have at least one fun day at summer camp.
Hmm. Thinking back, I'd say it was a pretty good trade-off.
More about In A Fix :
The start of an original new urban fantasy series starring human chameleon Ciel Halligan
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.
This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.
Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.
Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.
Thanks to Kensington I have one (1) copy to offer one lucky winner!
To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
Open to US & Canada
Ends Wednesday, August 5th, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal Summer Camp giveaways)
Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they’d have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity’s sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait” to hook a man for a lifetime.)
Like IN A FIX's globetrotting main character, aura adaptor Ciel Halligan, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.