Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Feature: Author M.S. Spencer on finding Inspiration, and an #excerpt from LAPSES OF MEMORY

Today I'm thrilled to welcome multi-published author M.S. Spencer, with an excerpt from her latest release LAPSES OF MEMORY. She's talking today about the inspiration behind this story, and how the kernel of an idea became this intriguing new romance. 

Thanks for being here today, M.S., and sharing with us!

Thank you so much for having me, Sydney, and Elian today, Katie. I’d like to talk a little bit about my new romantic suspense novel, Lapses of Memory.


A few years ago, a former publisher tossed out the idea of a series based on “love in the air” and the kernel of Lapses of Memory was born. Sitting quietly in what I euphemistically call my lotus position, I mulled. “Planes,” I said to myself. “Love in the air…snakes on a plane (nah, overdone)…old planes…my first trip on a plane…” Eureka (or aha, whichever you prefer)!  I saw before me an enormous, bulbous silver bird with EASTERN written in red across the side. I’d recently seen it at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and remembered because seeing it there made me feel old, since the plane 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.
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. In the excerpt below, they’re in their twenties when they meet again—and the romance that begins to build fizzles out once more. Sigh.

Wild Rose Press, 3/15/2017, Imprint: Champagne Rose
Contemporary romantic suspense/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames
Ebook (70,560); Print: 296 pp.

Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s when she is five & he is seven. While he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.

Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the
old one?

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 kindled 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 cerulean 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 hands, then 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?

Buy Links:

About the Author

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Ms. Spencer has published ten romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.


My calendar of events can be found here:


  1. MS, the premise of your story really grabs me and I have to say your resume is just as thrilling! Best wishes for mega sales!

    1. Thanks Charlotte--it was fun to write (and live)! M. S.

  2. MS, I loved the excerpt. It really sells the book. Good luck and great sales for Lapses of Memory.

    1. Thanks Sandra. A neighbor who reads voraciously (usually thrillers) said he couldn't put it down! But he won't write a review on Amazon because he says they know too much about him already :). M. S.

  3. Thanks Katie for having me and letting me share both my story and Sydney's and Elian's. I hope your readers enjoy! M. S.

  4. Looks like an exciting read, MS. Your excerpt really catches the attention. Good luck with your release. Happy sales.

    1. Thanks C. B. btw, I have posted lots of excerpts, but there are still LOADS of story left for you to read :). M. S.

  5. I remember my first trip on a plane without my spouse or family. The plane had to be changed because of a bird strike. :) Scary!

    1. I love airplane adventure stories! Were they Canada geese? It amazes me that we haven't yet worked out how to share the skies :). M. S.

  6. Snakes on glad you decided not to go that route! LOL. Thanks for sharing another interesting interview! Claire Marti

    1. LOL! Actually I happen to love snakes--but not roaming free down the aisle! M. S.

  7. Sounds like a great read! Best wishes for many sales!

  8. Great excerpt! Best of luck with sales and promotion.


Go ahead - leave a comment! You know you want to! But don't be Anonymous - that'll just get you deleted. And who wants that?