“Jeff found scuff marks on the windowsill.”

“Yes, from your shoes.”

“I wasn’t wearing shoes.”

“You weren’t?”

“No. I was in my stockinged feet. Cassidy, someone climbed in that window before I fell out of it.”

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Coming Soon! Hidden Gem: the Secret of St. Augustine

Approved! The official blurb for my upcoming mystery from The Wild Rose Press, Hidden Gem: the Secret of Saint Augustine:

Aviles Street, St. Augustine, where Philo lives.


Barnaby Swift is in St. Augustine, Florida, to teach a college seminar in historic methodology and plans to use The Secret, a treasure hunt book, as a framework for his class. He enlists Philo Brice, owner of an antique map store, to aid him in seeking clues in the historic sites of the ancient city.

The Secret: a Treasure Hunt by Byron Preiss



Together they face murderers, thieves, thugs, and fanatics, heightening their already strong attraction to each other. Can they solve the puzzle and unearth the treasure before the villains do? Philo and Barnaby must follow several twisting paths and false leads before arriving at a startling conclusion.

Sound intriguing? I'll keep you posted on publication date!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Randy Overbeck & Scarlet at Crystal River are with us today

Please welcome Randy Overbeck and the latest addition to his Haunted Shores mystery series, Scarlet at Crystal River.



Darrell and Erin thought they were heading to Florida for a carefree honeymoon, but the ghosts of two immigrants children haunt them, pleading for help.

In 2019, the Wild Rose Press launched the Haunted Shores Mysteries with my story about Darrell, the teacher and coach who sees ghosts and the ghost of a huge black student haunting a high school. Blood On The Chesapeake was so well received by readers and reviewers that it became a #1 Amazon best seller. Then, last year, the publisher released Crimson At Cape May in the middle of the pandemic, a story featuring the specter of a bride murdered on her wedding night, who stalks Darrell, still bleeding in her white wedding dress. This second entry has won three national awards and, by now, the series has amassed more than a dozen 5-Star reviews from national and international reviewers.

As I pondered the third installment, I realized I wanted to keep all the critical elements of the series—cold case murder, ghost, romance and resort—but I also wanted to give my readers something different. On a break from my brainstorming, I was thumbing through family pictures and came upon a photo of my grandkids playing on a playground. Staring at the images of the smiling faces, it hit me. What if the mystery was about the death of two your kids? Two kids whose ghosts haunt Darrell to find justice for them?

The rest, as they say, is history. Our last trip—pre-pandemic—was to the Florida Gulf coast to find a suitable location for my narrative and I found a great one. Thus, Scarlet At Crystal River was born. Well, that and hundreds of hours of writing, revising, re-writing, editing, re-writing…well, you get the picture. I’m pretty happy with the end product and I hope readers are too.

 

Blurb

All Darrell Henshaw wanted was to enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife, Erin, in the charming town of Crystal River on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. Only a pair of ghosts decide to intrude on their celebration. And not just any ghosts, the spirits of two young Latino children. Unwilling at first to derail the honeymoon for yet another ghost hunt, Darrell finally concedes when a painting of the kids comes alive, weeping and pleading for his help.

When he and Erin track down the artist, they discover the children’s family were migrant workers the next county over. But when they travel there, their questions about the kids gets their car shot up and Erin hospitalized. Torn between fear and rage, Darrell must decide how far he will go to get justice for two young children he never even knew.

Excerpt: There and Not There

           Darrell ran harder, finishing the loop and circling back to Erin. She was so engrossed in her paperback he managed to sneak up behind her. He leaned and in and grabbed another long kiss.

She kissed him back, smiling. “Now that’s better than a little fictional romance.” She got up and stretched her long legs.

 “You ready for some waves?” he asked.

“If you’re up to it, let’s do a mile or so on the sand first.”

“You’re on.” Darrell gave a gentlemanly wave of his hand.

“I’ll race you.”

Erin took off like a shot, and Darrell hurried after her. Since the beach was small, they covered the same ground Darrell had a few minutes earlier, passing the family sandcastle builders, another jogger, and the same strolling couples. As usual, she was quick, and he had to hustle to keep up, using some fancy footwork to sidestep sunbathers as they ran. When they got to the north end of the beach where Darrell had turned to double back, Erin headed for a little spit of land that strutted out into the water. He looked beyond and saw what she was headed for. Accelerating, he passed her.

Ahead, at the far end of the beach, a pair of young kids, he’d guess about six, sat in the sand as the waves rolled over their legs. Their small hands busied with a primitive sandcastle. One had long, brown hair tied into pigtails, and the other had a full head of brown hair, unkempt and in need of a trim. He came up to them and stopped, Erin a few seconds behind.

The kids wore street clothes, not swimsuits, but he didn’t think much about it. Then he noticed something about the young boy. His right leg was stuck out at a grotesque angle, as if it had been broken and never set. Both kids giggled at the gurgling water that rolled up around their bare feet and pooled in the makeshift moat they’d dug around their sand creation. The castle was crude, a nearly round construction with seashells sticking up like turrets. The two kids glanced up, caramel eyes wide and pleading with half smiles of white teeth.

In unison, they said, “Ayudaños?”

“Huh?” Darrell said.

“Cute castle, huh?” Erin stared at the sand and looked up at Darrell. “I wonder who made it?” Her eyes roamed around the area. “Out here on this spit of land it isn’t going to last very long.”

“Those kids—” he started, pointing to the pair. When he looked down, the sandcastle sat alone, the gulf water flowing around the construction and into the crude moat.

His glance darted out to the waves, thinking they’d abandoned their work and ran into the water, even in their street clothes, though he wondered how the boy could have run.

No girl or boy.

Oh, God! The same two kids? “You vill have two visitors.”

“What’d you say?” Erin asked, her gaze meeting his.

The ghosts. Erin hadn’t seen them!

Shit, he couldn’t tell her. Not now. Not here.

“Nothing,” he managed around the lump in his throat and glanced back down at the sand.

There at his feet, the crude sand construction they’d been working on, complete with the three blue seashells sticking out of the top, sat alone on the sand. He reached down and grabbed one of the small seashells as the prickle on his neck returned and sizzled. Then he sensed something else, something ominous. No, not ominous, malevolent. More of Natalia’s warning came back to him.

“I see a malevolence, a great danger lurking nearby.”

A big wave rushed in, rolling over their ankles and leveling the mound of sand, leaving the beach empty. As if nothing had ever been there.

Ayúdaños!”

 

Wild Rose Press (September 13, 2021)

Paranormal mystery

364 pp.

 

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 


About the Author

Dr. Randy Overbeck is an award-winning educator, author and speaker. As an educator, he served children for four decades in a range of roles captured in his novels, from teacher and coach to principal and superintendent. His thriller, Leave No Child Behind (2012) and his recent mysteries, Blood on the Chesapeake, Crimson at Cape May, and Scarlet at Crystal River have earned five star reviews and garnered national awards including “Thriller of the Year--ReadersFavorite.com, “Gold Award”—Literary Titan, “Mystery of the Year”—ReadersView.com and “Crowned Heart of Excellence”—InD’Tale Magazine. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck contributes to a writers’ critique group, serves as a mentor to emerging writers, and participates in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville, and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next novel or sharing his presentation, “Things Still Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.

 

Social Media

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YouTube

Tik-Tok

 

Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous new mystery with us today.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Wild Rose Press Wednesday Promos Features The Mason's Mark

 


Come one come all to the Wild Rose Press Wednesday Promos! Today, September 1, I’m talking about my Old Town Alexandria mystery romance The Mason’s Mark: Love & Death in the Tower. It will be on Wild Rose’s Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/8650773462

I’ll be giving away a copy of The Mason’s Mark. I’d love to hear your questions about this or any of my books! See you there!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Orion's Foot at Long & Short Reviews Birthday Bash Today

Drop into the Long & Short Reviews Anniversary Blogfest today, Friday, August 27, for a dip into my exotic mystery set deep in the Peruvian Amazon, Orion’s Foot: Myth, Mystery, and Romance in the Amazon.

 


Orion’s Foot: Mystery lurks deep in the Amazon—a tale of monsters, passion, and obsession.

 


http://www.longandshortreviews.com/guest-blogs/lasr-anniversary-scavenger-hunt-orions-foot-myth-mystery-romance-in-the-amazon-by-m-s-spencer

 

LASR is giving away lots of Amazon gift cards, including TWO $100 cards! All you have to do is read my blurb, answer a question on the Rafflecopter, and win! Easy peasy and great fun.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Mrs. Spinney's Secret at Long & Short Birthday Bash Today

Drop into the Long & Short Reviews Anniversary Blogfest today, Thursday, August 26, for a taste of my Maine mystery/romance Mrs. Spinney’s Secret.(It goes live at 7:00 am.)

 


Mrs. Spinney’s Secret: Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood comes to Amity Landing, trailing corpses.

 


http://www.longandshortreviews.com/guest-blogs/lasr-anniversary-scavenger-hunt-mrs-spinneys-secret-by-m-s-spencer/

 

LASR is giving away lots of Amazon gift cards, including TWO $100 cards! All you have to do is read my blurb, answer a question on the Rafflecopter, and win! Easy peasy and great fun.