Title:3,000 Miles to Eternity: A True Internet Love Story
Authors:Duane & Selena Pannell
Published: by CFI(Imprint of Cedar Fort) July 14th 2015,
Genre: LDS Non-Fiction/romance
FTC, FYI: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
But What if?
What if two people who were meant to be together for eternity had to live their earthly lives separate for many years? And what if when they did finally meet, they were a little broken and the miles apart helped them ease into their destiny together?
Years before online dating became a respectable option, two broken and imperfect souls digitally crossed paths as they tried to find their way back to God. This fascinating true story, told through journals and emails, will have you smiling from start to finish and shedding a few tears along the way. Engaging and entertaining, it’s the perfect reminder of the power of love, redemption, and hope.
October 25, 2000
I had breakfast this morning with one of the guys from the bottling plant. We see each other a couple of times a day for a few minutes as I make my way back and forth to my warehouse and we have become friends. Mark is a big man and really opinionated. He probably knows a lot about some things, but I don’t think I’m going to take relationship advice from him.
I told him that I had been on the Internet for the past few months looking for a potential wife. He thought that was outrageous. “You know women lie. You’re liable to end up with some crazy chick that’ll strangle you in your sleep, or . . . or worse, take all your money and leave you with a bunch of kids that don’t even belong to you.”
I asked, “Well, Mark, how do you suggest I meet a good woman?”
“I met all three of my ex-wives in a bar,” he said, “That’s the best place to look for a woman ‘cause when they have a few drinks, they can’t keep a secret—they got anything bad, it’s comin’ out!”
I think I’m just going to stick with my current plan.
October 16, 2000
Having a weekend away has been a needed break for me. Kristine, another of Paige’s friends, came over and all our talking and laughing took a decidedly unexpected turn. Paige was telling her about Donna’s news and apparently during the phone call between them, she had also told Paige about being on a single’s website. She said she saw Paige’s sister Jacqueline on the same site. Paige, with her little “tee hees,” thought it would be great fun to sneak into single’s world and have a look at her sister’s profile. We tried to do that, but the way the site is set up didn’t allow random people to just come on in and gawk. Someone had to sign up.
Well, guess who got this dubious honor? My dear friend Paige said, “Selena, you’re almost divorced. You do it.” Almost divorced? Are you kidding me? I only filed two days ago! But I was a good sport (sort of) and did the deed. While those two giggled among themselves, I zipped through the “sign up free for seven days” registration. I couldn’t help but mutter under my breath at how ridiculous this whole thing was, all these silly people shopping for love. It seemed kind of pathetic and made me want to gag. As I was grumbling, Paige and Kristine were having great laughs at my expense and my obvious discomfort with the whole crazy idea.
And so we entered the forbidden zone, wandering around singles’ world and peeking here and there. Satisfied that we’d stealthily invaded Jacquie’s privacy and seen all there was to see, we signed off. This little adventure, however, has not changed my mind.
I’ve decided I will never marry again, ever, under any circumstances.
As a divorced woman I’ve contemplated jumping into the Internet dating scene, but I’ve not done it yet. After reading this book, maybe, just maybe, I’ll give it a shot. It truly speaks to the hopes and fears of single/divorced people that are looking for love, but may be hesitant because of not wanting to get hurt again.
I do want to say, this is not a dating “How-To” book at all. This book is a look at two people who go through so much soul searching as they befriend each other almost 3,000 miles apart. They have both been through their own kind of hell and are tired of it all. They are single parents trying to do their best. I enjoyed reading about their friendship that did eventually end up in love, but it took some time. There was a lot of purging of the souls, and taking some good hard look at themselves and how they view life.
This book made me think long and hard about my own life. I think it will make other readers do the same, whether divorced or if you’ve been married for 30 years. This book will show lessons of having faith and hope in your life, as well as forgiving others and yourself. It’s entertaining and reads like a novel with the journal excerpts and emails. It’s based on the life of LDS people, but I think anyone of any faith will enjoy reading this.
Duane & Selena Pannell
DUANE AND SELENA PANNELL ‘met’ online while living in Virginia, USA and Alberta, Canada respectively. After a complicated long-distance relationship spanning four years, they married and have a son together. Their first book is borne of yet another separation in their lives when Selena was in Alberta for several months in 2013 with her dying father.
Duane was going through their old correspondence because he is a “mushy man” and thought this was a story worth telling. After some coaxing, he convinced Selena and with a little help from googledocs they began their collaboration on 3,000 Miles To Eternity.
They have just completed a three year mission in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program, where they served as group leaders and led two 12 Step meetings a week in Vernal, Utah. Duane is putting the final touches on a manuscript addressing addiction recovery while Selena homeschools their son and teaches archery in her spare time.
Book Website 3000milestoeternity.com
******A Note From the Authors******
“Reading it will be like peeking over the shoulders of two individuals who have, through an unusual twist , stumbled across each other on a single’s dating website. One is sincerely seeking a mate, the other determined never to marry again. Both have an agenda and because neither expects in a million years to meet the other, they feel free to be uncommonly candid. This snapshot of an unlikely online relationship combines honesty and humor as themes of divorce, addiction, pornography, depression and matters of spiritual import are explored. While some themes are heavy, they are handled sensitively and should not be offensive to any reader. We tried to keep this in mind as we considered young adult relatives or friends who will be reading 3,000 Miles…”