My husband—Dmytry Karpov, AKA The Sexy Russian Prince, AKA my writing partner—and I are about to celebrate our wedding anniversary on July 2. It’s an epic day for us, because we are living an epic love.
And it all started with a kiss. Here’s the story of our first kiss, and how it led to Kiss Me in Paris, our first book baby.
It was like a scene from a movie. Our eyes met across a crowded airport. We were drawn to each other like magnets. (Or something more romantic than magnets. Also, something more romantic than moths to a flame, because that simile sounds painful.)
The air between us sizzled with desire and unmet need. When he reached for me and pulled me to him, when my breasts pressed against the muscles in his chest, my heart beat faster and butterflies swarmed my stomach. His lips found mine, and as he deepened that kiss, our essence mingling as we breathed in each other, I knew I’d spend the rest of my life loving this man.
How could I know so soon?
Well, there is a backstory. You see, we may have just met that moment in the airport on New Year’s Eve, but we’d been anticipating that meeting for months.
Dmytry and I first got to know each other on Twitter. Through a series of fortuitous tweets, we discovered a shared love of writing.
What started out as writing partners grew into something more, but we weren’t ready to call it love. Not yet.
We were scared. Scared of how we would make it work when we lived in different countries. Scared of what the world would say to our age difference, to the fact that I already had three children.
But it didn’t matter, because the love we had was stronger than our fears, stronger than our demons, stronger than anything the world could put in our way to stop us.
As Winter says in Kiss Me in Paris, “Airports hold their own kind of magic. They are gateways to other worlds, in the most real sense. An airport is a portal, taking you from one life to another. When you fly, you’re suspended in time and place, not existing anywhere fully until you land.” And she’s right.
That day, in that airport, with that kiss, we traveled from one life to another.
I traveled from the life of a single mom struggling to make ends meet, to a married woman working full time with her husband to live both of our dreams as writers.
And it’s a trip I’ll never forget.
When Winter and Cade kiss for the first time, they get fireworks in Paris, but when Dmytry and I kissed for the first time, we got a whole new life.
Happy Anniversary, my love. I could never imagine my life without you.
Kimberly asked, “Will we kiss, at the airport?”
And I typed, “We will. I’ll kiss you.”
Then she replied with a <3 or a
I don’t remember. But I do remember that from that moment I started to plan our first kiss.
I’d kiss her forehead first. Now, I’m not sure why I thought that. Perhaps because I’m taller than most people and foreheads are mostly what I see. So I imagined: I’d lean down and kiss her forehead. Good.
Next, I’d cup her face in my hands, look her in the eyes, and say, “I love you.” That would be our first in-person ‘I love you,’ and it seemed fitting that it should come before our first kiss. Now, I know that’s not the way things usually happen in real life. In real life, people kiss, then say I love you weeks or months later. Right. Right. Right. But it is the way things usually happen in the movies. And I like movies. So do most people. Often, they’re more romantic than real life. So my life would be like a movie.
Once all the forehead kissing and the eye staring and the love speaking was done with, then, and only then, would I kiss Kimberly. That sounded perfect to me.
Of course, I knew it would never happen. Things never happen as you expect.
Days later, I got ready to leave.
I packed one backpack. I left early in the morning. A few hours later, I arrived at the Los Angeles airport. There were a great many people there, and I walked alone for a long while. My greatest fear became that I would not recognize Kimberly the first time I saw her. Or perhaps, that I had already seen her and walked by. Terrifying thoughts, really. How did I expect my plan to ever work?
Eventually, I noticed a group of children. And they noticed me. And then they smiled and charged at me.
I knew them to be Kimberly’s kids. And looking over their cute little heads, I knew that I would see the woman of my dreams.
And I did.
She stood before me, though she was still a few feet away, radiant and glowing and warm like the sun.
I gave the kids at my feet a hug.
And as Kimberly walked toward me, I walked toward her.
We hugged. And I kissed her forehead. And I cupped her face and stared at her eyes, big, blue and beautiful, and I said, “I love you.”
And I kissed her.
After that, I don’t remember much. We walked to the car I suppose. But I do remember what I learned.
That sometimes, things do turn out as you expect. And sometimes they turn out even better. And that from that moment on, my life turned out even better than I imagined.
Our love for each other is made out of memories. And that first kiss may be the most powerful memory of all. When I think of the human experience, I can think of nothing more powerful than falling in love. It’s something everyone should experience.
And I want to help them. So I wrote a novel with Kimberly, now my wife, about falling in love. It’s called Kiss Me in Paris, and it captures all the wonder and excitement I felt that day at the airport.
I hope this novel helps people experience love and remember their own. I hope, reading it, they’ll remember their first kiss.
And how they planned it.
Or how they didn’t.
And how wonderful it was.
Happy Anniversary, my love. You taught me that things do work out. That good things do happen. Thank you for that. And thank you for everything. I love you. And always, will I remember our first kiss.
OUR BOOK BABY
If reviewers can be believed—and OF COURSE they can be—then Kiss Me in Paris is an epic tale of love, romance, family, friendship and forgiveness. For those of you who might think this book is just another insipid romance, not so my friend.
You will pee your pants laughing and cry your eyes out weeping. You will become so angry you might need to punch something, and you will sigh in pure happiness. One reviewer even left part of her soul IN THE WORDS OF OUR BOOK.
Yes, this is the power of Kiss Me in Paris. It’s SOUL STEALING, and we are not going to apologize for that.
This week, in honor of our wedding anniversary, Kiss Me in Paris is on sale for only $2.99. That’s $2 off launch price and less than the cost of a cup of coffee.
And it’s fat free, gluten free, calorie free and won’t stain your teeth.
It will also take you longer to read than a cup of coffee takes you drink, and it will give you an entire adventure in Paris. Unless you’re drinking your coffee right there in the city of love, no coffee is going to do that for you.
If you are drinking your coffee in Paris right now, then firstly, we’re jealous (send us a postcard, mmkay?), and secondly, still read this book, because PARIS. And LOVE. And EPICNESS.
Here’s the part where we tell you about the book, but it’s really not enough to do it justice. So let us first say that there is just so much in Kiss Me in Paris. Layered themes and a sexy cowboy studying to be an architect, and a girl who’s a dreamer with a dark past, and gargoyles and Notre Dame and mazes designed by futuristic architects (because that’s an actual thing, and Cade will tell you what that means), and heartbreak and love and happy endings and evil and just SO MUCH.
So go learn more about Kiss Me in Paris on Amazon, B&N, and wherever ebooks are sold (Except iBooks, sadly, because they are taking FOREVER to publish books. So if you have an iPad, iPhone or iAnything, get an Amazon app for free and you’re set). Look for the paperback and hardback coming soon.
You can even get a FREE SAMPLE on these sites. FREE! How can you resist?
Add it on Goodreads at: http://bit.ly/XPBKCZ
And don’t forget to enter our romantic Kiss Me in Paris swag giveaway. Because. PARIS. And LOVE. And EPICNESS. Remember?