Guest Author: Ann Voss Peterson


Please help me welcome the fabulous Ann Voss Peterson, author of over twenty Harlequin Intrigues. Not only is Ann a great writer, she’s extremely creative, as well. So I expect that she’s going to try to explain away this photo as research. Having partied with her before, I tend to believe it’s a real arrest photo after we closed the bars down at RWA. But hey, this is her blog post and we’ll let her tell the story the way she wants to 🙂

Whew! I’m so glad to be here at Riding with the Top Down. Thanks for inviting me, Kylie! The wind in my hair. The open road in front of me. No worries.
You see, lately I’ve been scrambling. My life has gotten away from me. This fall has been chaos. And to top it off, I spent the last few weeks running from the law.
Literally.
At first I simply had a revoked driver’s license. When the sheriff’s deputy pulled me over, I panicked and dashed from my car.
But then there was the time I was wanted for strangling someone. That time the deputies chased me. Some of them caught me. Some of them I managed to escape. One of them yelled at me so loud, my bones shook. And then he pulled his gun.
It was exhausting.
Now, before you toss me out of the convertible, call the cyber police and turn me in, I can explain.
It was all pretend.
The past few weeks, I volunteered to role play in training scenarios for my county sheriff’s department. I was a speeder who’d had her license revoked…and ran. I was a speeder with an unregistered vehicle and a revoked license…who ran. I was a stranded motorist wanted for a violent felony…who ran…and was chased. I did a lot of running in those days. And I learned a lot about how law enforcement officers are trained to think.
1. Before giving chase, decide if the charges are worth it.
2. When giving chase, remember to notice street signs and other landmarks so you can tell dispatch where you are.
3. Don’t rush in. Take cover, observe and wait for back up.
At the same time all this volunteering was going on, I had a few other challenges. My oldest son’s school was taken over by mold over the summer, so his return was delayed by two weeks. My youngest son’s school started on schedule and was clamoring for my volunteer time and fund-raising attention. I had too many writing projects, speaking engagements, promotional opportunities and family obligations demanding my time. And my

house was a complete disaster.
So I decided to think like a deputy.
Before I chased after every interesting project, school obligation, promo op, I sat down and looked at each, deciding whether it was worth the time for me. I had to get my kids set up for school, help them with adjusting and homework, but I didn’t have to sell wrapping paper for the damn PTO fundraiser. And the house? Clutter isn’t deadly, usually. It’s okay to say no…it’s okay to say no….
Instead of rushing in, I called for back up. I don’t have to do everything myself. I don’t. I really don’t. I can ask others for help (as you can see, I’m still working on this…well, on all of it.)
So my life is a bit more under control. At least I hope it is. I have writing to do! But I have to remember to have fun, too. To refill the well with research opportunities to cool to miss, like being part of the sheriff department’s training scenarios. And with fun, like riding with the top down.
Now, you didn’t see flashing lights in back of us, did you???
What are your tricks for organizing your life? Share. Please, please, please. I need all the help the help I can get! And I’ll be giving away two books from my backlist, names drawn from commenters.

And if you want to see other cool adventures I’ve had in the name of research, check out the Ann’s Research Adventures page on my website: http://www.annvosspeterson.com . Or pick up my October Harlequin Intrigue,
A COP IN HER STOCKING.

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