Guest Post by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski + Giveaway

Look who's on the blog again today. It's Jennifer Salvato Doktorski and she wrote a guest post about the meaning of road trips for Miss Page-Turner's City of Books. She was also kind enough to offer a copy of HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES and three signed bookmarks to give away. Thank you very much Jen!

Standing in a Cow Pasture in Amarillo, Texas

Cadillac Ranch, photo by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Ever since she was three, we’ve been charting my daughter’s growth on the doorframe of her bedroom closet. Tiny marks etched into the wood; a date beside each. The big jumps from one pencil mark to the next always surprise us both. We don’t see physical growth while it’s happening, but at least it’s easy to quantify.

As we get older, intellectual, spiritual, or emotional growth can’t really be measured precisely. We can’t stand straight with a book or ruler on our heads while someone draws a line on the wall behind us. Often, we don’t even think about whether or not we’ve made some tiny step or big leap forward in any of those areas unless something prompts us to do so.

I think that’s why I’ve always loved road trips so much. Whether it’s a four-hour car ride home from college or a trek across Canada, there’s something about being on the road, away from regular life, that makes you stop and think about where you are.

When I was in my twenties, I took a cross-country road trip with a guy named Kenny. He was a friend of a friend and I didn’t know his last name until a few days before our trip, but he was willing to travel west with me and fly home. I was going stay on near Phoenix for a few months and live with my college friend. I was at the proverbial crossroads, contemplating my next life move and thinking about making Arizona part of the plan. The route we took from New Jersey to the west coast was similar to the one traveled by the characters in my debut novel HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES. Unlike my characters, I did not have a very detailed itinerary. Aside from visiting friends in Pennsylvania, Texas, and California, the only other stop I wanted to make was at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. I saw it in a travel book and thought it looked like a road-trippy kind of place stop.

Located in a cow pasture off Interstate 40, Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation consisting of ten Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground. Visitors are allowed to spray-paint or write graffiti on the half-buried cars. I didn’t, but Rosie, the main character in my novel did. She wrote “Why?” Maybe because that’s what I had been thinking years ago when I stopped there on that cold January day. At that point in the trip, Rosie and I were both trying to figure out where we were going next. And just like Rosie, I couldn’t see at the time all the ways that road trip had already transformed me.

Sometimes we need distance to recognize our moments of growth, and sometimes it is the very thing that sparks them.


First she lost her heart. Then she lost her mind. And now she’s on a road trip to win back her ex. This debut novel’s packed with drama and romance!

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But her determination starts to dwindle with each passing mile. Because Rosie’s spark of anger? It may have just ignited a romance with someone new…

Summary by Goodreads

* You enter for a chance to win 1 copy of How My Summer Went Up In Flames. 3 people will win a signed bookmark.
* The giveaway starts on May 12th and will end on May 31st
* Enter the rafflecopter form!
* Good luck :)

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