A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.
Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.
I asked Lauren to tell us about one of her character’s typical days. Over to Lauren or rather Julia Sullivan, travel writer!
A Day in the Life of Julia Sullivan, October 2013
6:30 am – Up, shower, and dress. Grab bag, suitcase, phone, and keys. Make a Starbucks Run!
7:30 am – Hail a cab while lugging suitcase. Drink lukewarm hazelnut latte. Close my eyes for the stomach-wrenching taxi ride to the Getaways Office. Monday morning traffic in the City is crazy!
8 am – Meet with boss, David, and review the itinerary for Cozumel, Mexico. Confirm e-ticket for flight and choose seat. Find sunglasses that have been missing for three weeks (bottom drawer of my desk). Answer fifty emails. Gossip with Marietta about my father’s latest romance with Aubie Jordan. Email itinerary to Shug. Eat only half a scone so that I can still fit into my new bikini.
9 am – Put the finishing touches on my New Zealand article. Loved that place! I kept hoping the characters from Lord of the Rings might appear. Spell-check, make corrections, and hit send.
10 am – Yawn, refill coffee, text Shug. Read Cozumel information. Remind myself not to drink the water in Mexico! Wonder if I packed sunscreen and a hat. Check Facebook. Eat the other half of the scone and decide that I can wear my tankini instead. Tweet about my next assignment and add Arnold Schwarzenegger’s "Hasta la vista, baby."
11 am – Realize that if I don’t leave the office now, I will miss my flight! Grab bags, knock over coffee, almost trip into the elevator full of business executives. Smile!
12 noon – Get to JFK, run to security and wait in line while a feisty min-pin growls at me from her hot pink carrying case. Where are dog treats when I need them? Finally, I reach the conveyer belt, take off my shoes, belt, sunglasses, and jacket, and put them in plastic bins. When I walk through scanner machine, it buzzes like I’m carrying an AK-47. I repeat the process and walk through again. The buzzer blares again.
12:30 pm – Everyone in the terminal is staring as I’m escorted over to the TSA pat-down corner. The grim-faced worker determines that the metal wire in my new push-up bra is setting off the alarm. (I refuse to get on the airplane sans undergarments). The agent tells me I am free to go. I sprint to the gate.
12:45 pm – The plane taxis and takes off. My seatmate, Bob, is a nineteen year-old social media expert. He’s pimple-faced and scrawny, with an Adam’s apple that bobs up and down. For the next two hours, I am drilled on my Facebook practices and Twitter techniques. I consider swiping liquor and spiking his Coke while he’s in the bathroom, but listen politely instead.
2:45 pm – My seatmate falls asleep. With nothing but the hum of the jet engine to listen to, I close my eyes and start to dream about Cozumel, the blue ocean waters, and the shoreline at sunset. I think about dolphins, sea turtles, and snorkeling along the area’s coral reefs.
2:55 pm – A woman screams. The sound is more agony than fear. I jerk awake. About twenty call buttons go off. I half-stand to see what’s happening. The commotion centers around a pregnant woman near the front. A flight attendant takes one look at the situation and passes out. I step over my seatmate and race down the aisle. There’s a pool of liquid under the woman’s seat.
3:01 pm – "Qué se necesita de un médico?" I ask the dark-haired lady clutching her mounded belly. She nods and reaches for my hand, squeezing in a death grip. I turn and wave wildly at the other passengers. "Is anyone a doctor? A nurse?"
3:03 pm – There’s silence. "I’m a medical resident," a shaky voice finally says.
3:06 pm – The medical student and I half-carry the woman into first class and put her into a reclined seat. The medical student shouts for towels. The lady sweats and murmurs in Spanish, still hanging onto my fingers. She might break them off.
3:30 pm – We get the woman as comfortable as we can. I mop her forehead with a damp towel. The medical student is timing her contractions. Six minutes apart.
4:30 pm – The jet descends, bumping through the clouds. The pilot is given clearance for immediate landing.
4:45 pm – Her contractions are coming faster. Every two minutes. The medical student coaches the woman to push. She’s straining and squeezing her eyes shut. Around us, passengers pray and whisper words of encouragement. A baby’s cry pierces the air.
5:00 pm – The pilot greases the landing in Cozumel. Not one bump.
5:30 pm – I text Shug and let him know that we’ve arrived. "Helped deliver baby. Am fine. Call u soon. xoxo."
5:31 – My cell buzzes with a message from Shug. "What?"
6:00 pm – I’m on the phone with Shug when the woman’s family finds me and the medical student in baggage claim. I am hugged and kissed so many times I lose count. The family whisks the woman and her new baby girl out of the airport, the medical student says goodbye, and I am alone, at last, with my suitcase.
8:15 pm – The sunset from the hotel patio is spectacular. Brilliant purple and red streak across the sky. The sound of the waves lull me into a delicious state of relaxation. The restaurant staff lights candles, adding to the ambiance. A mariachi band begins to play.
9:00 pm – I’m exhausted. I have loads of work to do tomorrow. I pick up my bag and meander toward my room, taking one last glance at the ocean. I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I love to travel. I love my job. I was part of a miracle today.
CONTEST: Lauren is giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour. To increase your chances of winning, follow the rest of Lauren’s tour! Tour details are here.
Answer this question to go into the draw. If you could send travel writer Julia Sullivan on any assignment, where would it be and why?
Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.
With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she’s offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.
Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia’s story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?
Visit Lauren’s website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.
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