Thursday, February 20, 2014

Going The Distance

I’ve never been interested in a long distance relationship. Why would I want to date someone I can’t actually date? Texting is fun and all. Chatting on the phone is fine. I enjoy composing a heartfelt email as much as the next person, maybe more. I am a writer, after all. But there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction, looking a person in the eye, reading their body language, and hearing not just what they say, but how they say it. Don’t get me started on listening for what they avoid saying.  

I’m a big fan of pheromones and chemistry, too. I think two people can connect and bond all they want over some well-chosen words, but when they come together the attraction needs to be there. Despite my beliefs, I’m fascinated with mail-order-bride stories, tales of couples torn apart by circumstance, and my favorite, forced into marriage romances. Lovers separated by miles, strangers forced to bond due to events out of their control, soul mates searching for one another amidst chaos and conflict. Yet, I’ve never written a long distance romance.  

I throw my heroes and heroines together for a night, a week, a month, however long it takes and they never part. I decided to test the long distance waters with Stroke of Midnight. Ian lives in Las Vegas and Marley’s life is in the Pacific Northwest. After one night together they must decide if their attraction is strong enough to pursue. 

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? Would you consider it?   


Marley Arbuckle is looking for a little payback, closure,  and a boost to her confidence after being cheated on by her fiancé—not necessarily in that order. Choosing a 1Night Stand date in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve to exact her revenge, she’s planned the affair down to her perfectly styled hair and every last manicured fingernail and pedicured toenail. But what she didn’t count on was meeting Ian O’Keefe.  

Ian has his own dark reasons for contacting Madame Evangeline for a no-strings-attached night of desire with a beautiful stranger. He’s got something to prove to himself and a long road to recovery after losing his wife. His redemption may begin with Marley, but can she teach him to love again?




Marley turned ever so slightly, peeking over her shoulder to make sure Mr. and Mrs. Byron were keeping a safe distance, but her eyes got hung up on the hunk sitting atop the bar stool next to her. 

His dimpled smile nearly knocked her clean off her perch. His eyebrows shot up. “Hi.”  

She looked him up and down and came to the conclusion that he was pretty much Adonis in a tuxedo. “Where did you come from?” Actually, he resembled 007 and moved just as stealthily, since she hadn’t noticed him sit down next to her. She damn sure would have noticed him when she’d sat.  

“I’m from right here in Vegas. You?” 

Great. Another guy who thinks I’m a hooker or a horny tourist looking for a good time. So he wasn’t too far off base. Determined to stay true to her 1Night Stand hook up, like she’d been true to Peter all those years, she said, “I’m waiting for someone.” Would you consider being my backup plan, just in case?  

He leaned in close and whispered in her ear, “Eve sent me.” His breath bathed her neck in warmth, but she shivered all the same.  

“Who?” Was that the woman who took my ticket? The one who assured her she wouldn’t be alone for long. Maybe she’d told people Marley was an escort. Or desperate and lonely. Again, not too far off the mark.  

“Madame Eve?” One of his eyebrows quirked up above the other. “1Night Stand? You are Marley, right?" 

Quick! Say no. Get up. Walk away. You can be back in Portland by morning.




Renee Vincent said...

Kelli, what a lovely cover!!!

Tina Donahue said...

That's a tough question, Kelli.

Don't have an answer for myself.

I really like the premise of your story, and agree with Renee - wonderful cover! :)

jean hart stewart said...

Great excerpt...Love being tantalized....

Fiona McGier said...

Why on earth would she walk away? Sometimes a one-night stand is the best option, and just what the doctor ordered! I don't know why so many women think of them as nasty or weird. Must be all of the years of slut-shaming we lived through in school. I always just ignored it.

Nothing takes the fun out of it for a shamer when they say, "Hey, you're a whore," and you nod, smile and say, "So what?"