May 10, 2013

Airplanes: Or, You Can Learn the Weirdest Stuff While Writing Romance- Plus a Giveaway!

My new release, Lapses of Memory, is the story of love on a plane. Sort of. It does follow the adventures of hero and heroine as they meet every few years flying to exotic places.
In our story, Sydney Bellek’s love for Elian Davies is reignited each time they meet, but in the long years following each encounter she forgets him. For his part, Elian knows from the age of seven that they are meant for each other, but when she finally understands he has lost his memory—literally.  Can she make him remember her? Will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

Meanwhile,  her daughter Olivia chronicles the ups and downs of her parents’ romance, making it difficult to concentrate on her own dilemma—how to choose 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.

Since the story is spread out over about forty-five years, I had to do quite a bit of research about aircraft—i.e., which planes would be in service and routed to my required destination in any particular year. The characters generally met every six to eight years, and I wanted to coordinate that both with world events and with advances in airplanes. Amazingly enough, it all fit very well.  It was fascinating to discover how quickly airplane technology and design had evolved. And each airplane came with a colorful nickname, just like a boat.

Sydney’s first flight in 1958 took place on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. Based on the B29 bomber, the Stratocruiser, known as the “Ocean liner of the air” epitomized luxury air travel in the 1950s, complete with sleeping berths and lower level lounge. Eight years later the Boeing 707, the first civilian jetliner, harbinger of the Jet Age, took to the skies along with our Sydney and Elian. There are many myths surrounding the naming of the 707 (based on the prototype called the Dash 80)—the most likely being that the marketing department thought Seven-Oh-Seven was catchier than plain old 700. Only seven years later, in 1974, Sydney takes the DC 7C, the “Seven Seas,” to Egypt. McDonnell Douglas' largest and last aircraft powered by piston engines, the Seven Seas was one of the first airliners capable of nonstop transatlantic crossings. 

Five years after that Sydney boarded the brand new Boeing 747-100, the “Queen of the Skies.” The first wide-bodied airliner and at the time the largest and heaviest, the Queen of the Skies opened up international travel to millions with its great carrying capacity and fuel-efficient turbofans, allowing our heroes to arrive in Iran just before the revolution breaks out. In 1983, they take the “the Big Top” (Boeing 747-300) named for its stretched upper deck, to Beirut to cover the civil war in Lebanon. The new version could reach  much longer distances at twice the speed as the 747 they’d flown in 1967. On the return trip she tries the new Airbus—a big lumbering plane, the workhorse of the skies. By 1987 the supersonic transport—the Concorde—took her to Paris, and her last trip finds her on the 787, the “Dreamliner.”

I hope everyone enjoys the excerpt. I’d like to offer a pdf of Lapses of Memory to the reader who comes up with the most imaginative name for an airplane. Be sure to leave your email address in the body of the comment.

Lapses of Memory
Secret Cravings Publishing (May 2013)
70,000 words (244 pp)
Romance, Action/Adventure, M/F, 3 flames

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EXCERPT (R): Gurney Sex 

She walked into a small storeroom. A wheeled gurney sat in the middle and the walls were lined with shelves of medical supplies. “This must be the first aid closet.”

Elian picked up a box marked TONGUE DEPRESSORS and hefted it. “Let’s hope no one needs these for a while.”

She sat on the gurney and bounced. “Seems comfortable enough.”

He said nothing. 



“I might remember a boy in Tangier. He had a cowlick, and pointed ears like an elf’s, and…and…a sharp chin. And he smelled like licorice.”

He moved toward her. “Anise.”

“All right, anise.”

Their eyes locked. “Sydney?”


“Kiss me.”

She floated toward him, fetching up against his chest, where she rested, bumping gently. Her head rose like a helium-filled balloon, her lips drawn inexorably toward his. She hesitated, suddenly afraid. What if this is real? 

“It is real, Sydney. It’s always been real. You just refuse to recognize it. Or me.” His hands went to either side of her face. 

The wall crumbled. Tears falling, she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him. They stood swaying, holding on only by mouth, only breaking apart to allow a frenzy of kisses to rain on each other. Hand between her breasts, Elian bent Sydney back and gently pushed her onto the gurney. He kissed her throat and planted kisses down her sternum as he unbuttoned the safari blouse. Motionless, she concentrated on the burning spots where his lips had touched her skin. When he reached her belly button he undid the zipper and continued on.

She writhed on the bed, hoping, hoping he wouldn’t stop. Her pussy dribbled, soaking the silk panties. She said not a word. He tugged at the pants, letting them drop on the floor and buried his face in her vagina. She felt the orgasm approaching, a fast train on a slow track, and pushed his face away. “Come to me.”

He lifted his head to look at her face, his own muddied with desire. In one swift movement, he tore his jeans off and threw them aside. He climbed up on the gurney. As in her long ago dream, his cock pulsed red, beating against her belly. With one hand he spread her thighs and let his penis run up along the inner flesh and deep into her. The gurney began to roll but neither of them paid any attention. He pressed into her, a steadily accelerating motion, reaching ever closer to her heart. She closed with him, so near her nipples grazed his chest, her knees touched behind his back.

They rolled back and forth, a symbiotic wave crashing against the shore, until she whispered, “Elian, we’re there…oh….Elian.” Her clitoris trembled and gave in, just as the gurney hit the wall with a crash. They heard a shout. 

“Quick, quick.” He tossed her clothes at her and quickly pulled on his jeans. Except for a slight puffing, he showed no evidence of what they had just done. Sydney stifled the stab of pain his cold dispassion gave her—blue-lined by Elian—and followed his orders.

The shouts had died down, and the two quietly left the room, sidling along the wall until they reached the main terminal. “You have your ticket?” he murmured. She nodded. “The Middle East Airlines counter is down to the left—now run!” and he gave her a mighty shove. She didn’t have time to argue. Behind her a uniformed brigade marched into the terminal, singling out foreigners and checking their passports. She handed the stewardess her boarding pass and hurried out to the plane. 

As she reached the bottom step of the airstairs leading up into the plane, she felt a hand on her shoulder. “Elian!” She turned in relief, but before her stood a stranger, a young Iranian boy. He held out a folded note.
She took it and read. “Sydney, I forgot something in the room. Go quickly, don’t look back. 

I’ll find you again. I’ve always remembered you. Someday you’ll do the same.”

I’d love to hear from you!


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  1. I'm here! Hope people come and visit. Thanks so much for having me, Clare.

  2. Loved that excerpt, thanks for sharing. As for a name for a plane, about Aerobus, Skytrain, I'm not very imaginative ;)


    1. Glad you liked the excerpt--there's more of that in the rest of the book! Thanks for reading. M. S.


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