Another Blog Tour Stop! Earlier this week, we were the end. Today, we’re the first stop! First = the best, right? We’re winning on both sides! 😉 Anyway, we’ve got debut author Ruthie Knox here today! I really enjoyed her post, and I’m sure you will too.
My debut novel, Ride with Me, releases in eleven days, and I’m excited to be kicking off my blog tour with Limecello! Because my novel has a bicycling theme–the hero and heroine are cycling across the United States along the TransAmerica Trail–here’s a list of Five Things I’ve Done on a Bike.
(5) I’ve Cursed Mormon Founder Joseph Smith. You may have heard of Smith, but did you know that he was born in Vermont? And that his birthplace is at the end of the steepest motherfrakking series of hills in all of creation? Yeah, me neither. But then one day, my family was riding in Vermont, and my husband suggested we out the spot where Smith was born. We’d already covered sixty exhausting miles that day, but how bad could it be?
When we finally got to the visitor’s center, I’m fairly sure I collapsed in a heap of spent muscle fibers and wept. I (mentally) shook my fist at the heavens and (silently) rained curses down upon Joseph Smith, officially disqualifying myself from ever becoming a member of the Mormon Church.
But on the plus side, I hit 40 mph on the way back down to the main road.
(4) I’ve Hit a Dog. Yes. It’s true. When I was about thirteen, I was on a ride in rural Ohio somewhere, flying downhill, and there was a dog in the road right in my path at the bottom of the hill, barking its head off. Now, common sense says I should have swerved, right?
But see, I had this science teacher in the seventh grade–an incredibly strident man who would go off on these tangents during class and end up screaming impassioned directives at us–and he’d made quite an impression on me with his speech titled “When You Get Your Driver’s License, You Must Never, EVER Swerve When There Is An Animal In the Road.” Run that animal down, he’d told us. If you swerve, you will DIE.
I didn’t intend to run the dog down. I put on my brakes and slowed to a crawl. But I did feel pretty confident that if I headed straight for the dog, it would move out of the way.
(3) I’ve Checked Out the Unabomber’s Digs. Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, was living in remote cabin outside Lincoln, Montana, when he wrote his famous manifesto and mailed it to the New York Times. Because I rode there on my mountain bike, I can tell you just exactly how remote that cabin was: Reeeemote.
The Unabomber’s shack had long since been removed by the FBI by the time I visited, so I can’t speak to its many charms. But I can tell you that the ride past where it used to be was one of the most apeshit insane descents I’ve ever done in my life. Fun, though. Or it was, until my husband ran off the road going downhill on a gravel “road” at thirty-odd miles an hour. He managed not to kill himself, but it was a close thing.
I suppose we all have our own personal brand of crazy.
(2) I’ve Achieved Inner Peace. Speaking of insane descents, I rode downhill along this logging road on that same Montana trip. Or it had once been a logging road anyway, before some of it fell off the hillside into an abyss. By the time this road and I met up, there were trees growing up in the median and two sketchy, now-they’re-here, now-they’re-gone lanes on either side. And rocks. Lots of rocks. Plus the aforementioned abyss.
Flying downhill, hands on the brakes, dodging tree branches, weaving from lane to lane, there was no headspace to think and no time to do anything but react. It was exhilarating. Ecstatic! The closest thing to pure being I’ve ever felt. It was my own personal moment of zen.
(1) I’ve Discovered What I’m Capable Of. At the age when most kids put their bikes aside and start yearning for their driver’s licenses, my parents bought my brother and I really excellent bikes, and we spent quite a few weekends riding as a family, some of them on organized rides in other parts of the state. The one I remember best was called the Top of Ohio Hundred. It was famous for being among the hilliest, most challenging routes in the state.
About fifteen miles into our sixty-odd-mile day, I was ascending a hill and psyching myself out. My dad was riding beside me, and I remember telling him that I might not be able to do this. I’d ridden up a lot of hills before, sure, but they weren’t Top of Ohio Hundred hills. I was out of my league.
My dad told me his philosophy of hills, honed over thousands of miles in the saddle: They’re all the same. You shift into a lower gear, you keep pedaling, and you get to the top. There’s no magic to it, and nothing to worry about. I had strong legs and a good bike. If I could climb one hill, I could climb all of them.
It was an astute observation, for riding and life, and it stuck with me. Since then, I haven’t encountered a single hill I couldn’t climb.
Ride with Me, available from Loveswept on February 13, 2012! (And I’m including the cover one more time just for good measure… ;))
In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!
When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?
BIO: Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use.
These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes.
GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Ride with Me. Winners will pick up their copy through Net Galley. Good luck to all!
How about you — ever done anything interesting on a bike? Or ask Ruthie your own question, and she’ll drop by to answer.