Sunday, February 3, 2008

Valentine's CYOA, Chapter 3

From now until Valentine's Day, the Manuscript Mavens are running a Choose Your Own Adventure® story, in which YOU vote on what happens next! Every morning brings a new author, from the Mavens to the just-sold, to the best-selling. And every night brings a new twist!

Get your Choose Your Own Adventure® votes in by 7:00pm EST (4:00pm PST) and you'll be eligible for random prize drawings, where you can win books by our Guest Mavens! Vote every day, and you'll even be eligible for the Grand Prize. (More info: here.)

For yesterday's installment, click here. To read the previous chapters in order, click here.

Chapter Three

Before he could answer, a car slammed into the back of ours, giving me Alias Season 4-finale flashbacks and probably whiplash at the same time.

All I’d wanted was some chocolate and maybe…maybe a dozen roses. Instead, I’d been propositioned by the stripper from hell, shot at and now I had a seatbelt trying to finish me off. I blinked, forced my eyes to focus and forced my shaky hands to free me.

The car rocked, and I glanced through the back window. A tank of a car straight out of a B-52’s video was backing up, the shooting stripper at the wheel.

“Dude.” I grabbed his shoulder and shook, whimpering when his head flopped around like a bobblehead doll. Blood was dripping a steady trail from a nasty looking head wound. The Buick crashed into us again, throwing me into the dash. Maybe taking my seatbelt off had been a bad idea. “What the heckity kind of savior are you?”

The car backed up again and my little Valentine surprise showed no signs of coming to life anytime soon.

Crapity, crap, crap, crap!!!!

I reached between his legs and grabbed the lever, grunting as I shoved the seat back. David Lee Roth eat your heart out. Climbing over the console I straddled his tree trunk of a thigh. The steering wheel was practically in my chest and the emergency break was working it’s way up my rear. I hit the gas and turned back toward the safety of town, praying for a cop, or MacGyver or hell, at this point I’d take Danny DeVito.

We sped down the four-lane highway playing a ruthless game of bumper tag. The emergency brake shifted with every bump and swerve of the car. I didn’t even want to think about what it was doing to my nether-bits but at this rate, I’d never have kids.

“What the hell—“ came from behind me as I flew past the Dairy Queen.

“Don’t move.”

He grabbed me by the waist and shifted me onto his lap. This was worse than crawling through the hallway! “I hope like hell you know where you’re going.”

The Buick bumped us again, shoving us into the oncoming traffic. I swerved, darting between two pickups, waving at the long horn blasts that followed us. “I’m a little busy.” Hello, car chase!

“Look, Imelda—“

“Cara! My name is Cara! You are the dumbest hot man I ever wished I’d never met.” And where in hell’s half acre was a cop when you needed one? Probably back at the Dairy Queen enjoying the Friday fish fry.

“All right. I’ll play. Cara.”

“Why couldn’t you have been a stripper?” I sighed. This time the Buick hit us hard enough our heads connected and I saw stars. By the time my vision cleared, four huge black SUV’s were coming our way in the opposite lane.

“What do we do, Valentino?”


The back window exploded, and frigid air rushed in. Screaming, I ducked, and my seat cushion swore, shoving me out of the way. The car spun out of control, and I ended up ass over tea kettle, head in the floorboard.

“What do they want?” I demanded, struggling to right myself. The passenger headrest exploded. I didn’t even want to think what that bullet would have done to my poor toes.

“I told you. The package.” The car spun around again throwing me back down before I could right myself. “And they’re highly motivated.”

No, really?! “Great. Killers with goals.” My feet flapped around, searching for purchase. I couldn’t hold back a grin when one connected with Valentino’s shoulder.

“God, my head hurts.”
“Weenie.” I finally managed to shove myself upright but not without a few more well-placed accidents.

“Weenie?” He glared at me.

“Yeah—“ More glass exploded, and I screamed again. They’d shot out one of the passenger windows. “Do something!”

“Where’s the package, I…Cara.”

“In your pants, okay!”

One of the Suburbans pulled along side us and the passenger side windows rolled down. Two very long, very ugly looking guns appeared.

“Dude.” I shook his arm again and the car swerved toward the SUV.

He shook me off, glanced to his left and pulled a gun out from behind his back, shoving it at me.

“What am I supposed to do with this?”

The “are you kidding me” look he gave me was priceless. If it hadn’t been for the guns pointed at us, I might have whipped out my cell phone and taken a picture. Except, of course, I didn’t have my cell phone. It was in the kitchen, on the charger.

A) “Shoot them.”

“You so owe me some chocolate when we get out of this mess.” I aimed and squeezed the trigger.

B) “Shoot them, shoot me, shoot yourself for all I care, but shoot something!” I aimed the gun at his head. “Stop the car. Now.”

C) “No way. Not in a million Martian years.” I rolled down the window and tossed the gun out onto Highway 82.

D) “Are you out of your ever living mind? These things are dangerous,” I said, thinking of my poor pool. “I’m not…using this.” I threw it back at him. “Guns don’t kill people you know--”
“Men in black Suburbans do. Would you like to trade places with me? I didn’t think so.” He shoved the gun at me.

YOUR TURN: You decide what happens next! Leave your vote in the comments by 7pm EST (4pm Pacific) every day between now and Valentine's Day---Tomorrow's story continued by Deb Dixon with the twist YOU choose!

Today's installment brought to you by Amie Stuart. Vote to win one of Amie's books!

Don't forget to join the Manuscript Mavens' quarterly newsletter on the right for advance notice of other exciting upcoming events!


tetewa said...

I'm having so much fun with this, my pick for today would be D!

Anonymous said...


Erica Ridley said...

Thanks, Amie! Now to choose...

I'll go A!

I like Cara doing what she has to do, even when the situation calls for an action she's not comfortable with.

CM said...

C. But only because Cara knows that the gun is actually a grenade disguised as a gun.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Hmmm... Today is A.

Keep up the good work, everyone. This is so much fun. =oD

Writer & Cat said...

I pick A. With the caveat and warning that it doesn't stop zombies when you shoot them, I think you have to chop them to bits *heh*

Jody W.

Isabel said...

“Where’s the package, I…Cara.”

“In your pants, okay!”

OMG, I almost expired from laughing so hard.

For me it was between A & D. I agree with Erica, it's time Cara takes action and matters into her own hands. I'll go with A.

I vote for "A".

Amie, that was FUN! I loved it.

KimW said...

hahaha! Great chapter! I choose A

LeeAnn said...


Amie Stuart said...

Erica I just hope his gorgeous nose doesn't get in the way LOL

I'm voting B...can I vote?

Thanks Isabel. I have to say that was my fave line.

Jackie Barbosa said...

This is just fabulous, Amie.

I think I'm going with A, although it was a hard choice.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings :)!

Amanda said...

I'm going with A. Great job Amie!

Bill Clark said...

Definitely A this time. I like both chocolate and alpha females. :-)

Darcy Burke said...

I'm torn between A & B, but think I'll go with A. Cara needs to take charge!

So awesome Amie!!!

lacey kaye said...

A!! Get 'em, girl!

T.D. Kearly said...

I like A, 'cuz there are days when I'd shoot a loaded gun at an unknown target for the promise of chocolate...fer sure!

Mary said...

I seem to be in the minority at the moment, but I vote B.

Jill James said...

I have to vote A. Go git 'em, girl.

Stephanie Dray said...

A "Shoot them" would be good if it weren't for the whining about hot chocolate.

B "Shoot them, shoot yourself, shoot something" is better because she's taking control of the situation and not just doing what she's told.

C "Not in a million martian years" loses points for dragging aliens into this, but it also defies expectations. On the other hand, I don't think it accomplishes anything

D Wins on political points, and ultimately accomplishes the same thing as A without the whining, so I vote:


Holli Bertram said...

Great chapter! I vote for "A".

Lynn said...

I vote for A. Way to go, Amie!

Maggie Robinson said...

I'm too late to vote, but just had to report in that I laughed out loud a whole bunch of times.

Amie Stuart said...

LOL thanks Maggie and everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Carrie said...

I totally love it! Great job!

anne said...

A - This is great!

Natalie Damschroder said...

I'm a little late getting here, but immensely enjoying the story!

I'll vote A. I like my heroines to take charge and be brave. :)

Natalie Damschroder said...

Whoops, I forgot about the time deadline. At least it looks like my vote won, anyway! LOL

Stephanie H. said...

lol, I'm too late to vote! But I'm glad A did so well :) Can't wait for the next chapter tomorrow!

La Belle Americaine said...

I vote B!

Vicki said...

That was great! I'm going with A.

aBookworm said...

D it is - such fun!

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