In the spring of 1999, Margaret, a spinster from Illinois, went on a business trip that spurred the adventure of a lifetime.
She wasn’t supposed to go to California that year. One of her co-workers was scheduled for the trip, but had to bow out due to family conflicts. In Newport Beach fate stepped in. Margaret’s business card was pulled from a hat, and she was awarded a trip to yet another conference.
Fast forward to the fall of 1999.... Our heroine boards a plane at O’Hare bound for Washington, D.C. Over six hundred miles away, a dark eyed man boards a plane in Little Rock, Arkansas and takes off in the same direction. Their gazes meet across a stuffy conference room in Virginia and... Oh no!
At thirty, I was the last of my friends to find a special someone, but I wasn’t pining away. I embraced my spinsterhood. I had my family and my friends, a career, an apartment of my own, and money in the bank to do as I pleased.
You often hear tales of people who find love right under their nose, but it doesn’t always happen that way. By the end of the week in Virginia, I knew I had met THE ONE.
Oh God, he was sweet. How could I resist those big, bittersweet chocolate eyes? And the drawl! Not the twangy, annoying kind, but the soft, slow slurring of syllables that was just enough to make a northern girl melt into a puddle of goo....
Now, I will admit I wasn’t exactly pleased with this turn of events. Falling hard and fast for a stranger seven hundred miles away from home was not part of my plan. It was supposed to be a harmless flirtation. Some laughs, a few stolen kisses, a little excitement to break up the monotony of eight hours of seminars each day over the course of five long days.
I knew right away I was in trouble. I also knew deep down in my heart that resistance was futile.
Sometimes we get lucky and fall in love with the guy or girl next door – or almost-almost-next-door. In my novel, Paramour, Camellia Stafford finds love at her fingertips. Literally.
What could be more convenient than having a hunky ghost of Frank DeLuca haunting the light fixture above your bed? Okay, admittedly the whole ghost thing throws a wrench into the works - but lucky Cam! She also has handsome Brad Mitchum from two doors down trying to win her heart.
But we can’t all be that lucky. Sometimes love can be terribly inconvenient. I didn’t want a long-distance relationship. I couldn’t imagine leaving my family and friends behind and moving to Arkansas. I was terrified by the prospect of becoming a step-mother. But I plunged in anyway, and what an adventure it’s been!
In my short story, Concourse Christmas, Ellie Nichols is a girl from Chicago who runs a hotel in Little Rock. Jack Rudolph is an FBI agent born and raised in Florida, but living and working in Oklahoma City. They meet when they’re stranded at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport by a Christmas Eve snowstorm, and feel the same undeniable tug.
Now, Jack and Ellie must learn the same lessons I took to heart once upon a time.
Long-distance love affairs are intense and intoxicating. Everything moves in double time. Time together is relegated to long weekends crammed into packed schedules. Hours are spent burning up the phone lines, mining every tiny detail of each other like diamonds. Far less time is spent necking on the couch and extra effort must be expended to make the relationship work.
Falling in love means taking a chance, but if you’re lucky, really and truly lucky, the reward far outweighs the risk. I should know. I am an extremely lucky woman.
Jack and Ellie’s long-distance love story starts in Believe and continues in the free reads on my website and in TMP’s new Valentine’s Day anthology, Be Mine, Valentine. If you prefer your love a little closer to home, be sure to check out Paramour.
Thanks for listening to my story. Happy reading!