Now, rather than starting with a plot of my own devising, I had to come up with one related to someone else’s theme. Here’s the part where an image flashing across your brain comes in. Sitting quietly in what I optimistically call my lotus position, I mulled. “Planes,” I said to myself. “Love in the air…snakes on a plane (nah)…old planes…my first trip on a plane…” Yeesss! On a recent visit to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum I had seen an enormous, bulbous silver bird hanging from the ceiling with EASTERN painted in red across the side. I remember it made me feel old, since the aircraft was, in fact, the very first plane I’d flown on at age four. A Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, one of the first to make the transatlantic voyage a regular event, it allowed—with its sleeping berths and formal dining—for luxurious air travel in the 1950s.
I decided that my heroine, Sydney, would take that plane. And so would the hero Elian. Everything was going swimmingly until I realized that, this being a contemporary romance, Sydney and Elian would be too young in 1958 to fall in love. So I was forced to make them suffer through an intermittent romance as they (and airplane design) matured. I made them journalists so I could subject Sydney and Elian to assorted world catastrophes, like Egyptian/Israeli tensions, the Iranian revolution, and the civil war in Lebanon. They held up rather well considering.
One lucky reader with a story about a plane ride they’ve taken will win a pdf of Lapses of Memory. Enjoy!
Lapses of Memory, by M. S. Spencer
Secret Cravings Publishing, May 10, 2013
Ebook, 70,000 words
Romance, Action/Adventure, M/F, 3 flames
Buy Link: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=595
Lapses of Memory is a story within a story, in which Sydney Bellek relates the story of her life to her daughter Olivia. Every few years from the age of five Sydney meets her true love Elian Davies, but while he remembers her, she doesn’t recognize him. Only after surviving wars, revolutions, and years of separation does she realize they are meant to be, but this time it is Elian who has lost his memory of her. While Olivia chronicles the ups and downs of her parents’ romance she must also deal with her own dilemma, choosing between the rich and dashing Rémy de Beaumec, who wants to take her around the world, and the strong, silent, American-to-the-core, Benjamin Knox, who only wants to make her happy.
EXCERPT (PG): The Lady Doesn’t Remember
Several beers later they wobbled out to the lobby holding hands. Sydney had learned enough to know this Elian was a complex person and really, really cute. When they reached her room he backed her against the door. She could feel his penis throbbing through his jeans and took a minute to revel in the desire the friction ignited before pushing him away. He set his arms on either side of her, and regarded her with serious eyes. “You still don’t remember me, do you?”
She shook her head. She didn’t really want to recognize him. Placing him in some other context could only be deflating. She liked him now, a tall, thin, russet-haired man with a pulsing member and inviting mouth, currently blowing a tidal wave of pheromones in her direction.
He continued to stand there, making none of the moves she wished he’d make. Finally she took a step toward him and held out her lips. Leaning in, he took them with his. The link pulled the rest of their bodies together. Arms went around waist and neck, bellies ground against each other, thighs intertwined. Sydney fell into a long, dark, winding tunnel that squeezed her, taking her breath away. She no longer felt corporeal, but more like a soft piece of quivering tissue, the bones dissolving, reduced finally to a pool of liquid heat.
He broke away, panting. “Now do you remember me?”
Her arms empty, she tried blinking to drag herself back to the present. Elian swam into view. His azure eyes shot signals, signals that she couldn’t decipher. What does he want of me? Why can’t we live for the moment? Just be in the here and now? For an instant she thought of lying, but somehow she knew he would see through it, that it would only push him farther away. “I’m sorry.”
He lifted his arms, and dropped them in frustration. He gazed at her, pleading. She couldn’t help him. Bits of him seemed familiar—as though those features belonged to someone else she’d known a long time ago. Other bits, like his deep, gruff voice and his air of insolence, were strange and new. A fleeting sense of abandonment passed through her. Whoever he reminded her of had left her once before. She didn’t want that loneliness again. She turned from him and put the key in the door. He caught her arm. “We’ll meet again, Sydney.”
She tried to match the hope in his voice. “Perhaps we will.” She ran inside and threw herself on the bed. After a good cry and a call for room service, she paced the room, trying to get a grip on her emotions. Something deep in Elian’s eyes drew her. She didn’t recognize his face, but she felt a linkage, a bond with him. An affinity shared, but long ago. She understood him, knew him. A face rose before her, but all jumbled as though she looked at it through a kaleidoscope. Eyes, chin, nose, cheeks, all split up into triangles and rhomboids, making the face as inscrutable as a Picasso painting. She gave up.
Halfway through the chicken cordon bleu she stopped, fork stalled two inches from her mouth. Why does he care whether I recognize him? What is this rapport I sense? Is there some deep, dark secret I should know? Oh my God, is he my long lost brother?
Although I’ve lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), the last 30 years have been spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. I’m about to heave the entire ho to Florida, leaving behind the cherry blossoms, the monuments, and the political hacks.
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