Whirlwind Romance

A rush of emotion dropped a veil over all but the tiny world of the two people in seats 11A and 11B, in a jet plane floating somewhere over the Atlantic, in a still moment in time.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel is Nearly Here!

I am SO excited! The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel will be my next release from the wonderful folks at The Wild Rose Press. They have just approved the blurb so it's on the way to galley stage. It will be my first new release since we published second editions of all my backlist. 

The Ghost Hotel

Here's the blurb. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash.  Eighty-five years later, workmen uncover a skeleton in an old elevator shaft.  Who is it, and how did it get there? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, teams up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. A college ring they find at the dig site may prove to be their best clue. 

Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, Charity soon discovers a warm heart beating under Rancor’s handsome exterior. While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be a villain, a publisher with a dark secret, and an irascible forensic specialist, Charity and Rancor unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Captured: Luc & Miranda in a Tight Spot--Excerpt from Triptych

Set in Washington DC above the three rocks known as the Three Sisters, my romantic suspense Triptych weaves three stories in and out of legend, modern romance and past intrigue.


Take lost masterpieces, brilliant inventors, and stolen prototypes. Add the Three Sisters, Indian spirits who guard the Potomac River. Stir in three sisters and their lovers. Result? Jealousy, sex, genius, larceny and love. Who will end up with whom, and will the Three Sisters take another life as the legend demands?

Triptych, by M. S. Spencer
Ebook 67,300 words; Print 213 pp.
Romantic suspense/Adventure
M/F, 2 flames

Remember that wonderful scene in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man, wake up and run joyously toward the Emerald City? Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well for Miranda and Luc, as you’ll see in this excerpt.

Where Luc & Miranda are held


Excerpt (G): Captured

Miranda waited for the footsteps to die away and for her heart to stop vibrating like a Chinese gong. She couldn’t believe her luck. In a stroke of providential stupidity, Pongo had tied her hands in front of her. Considering his scintillating conversation, I should have expected no less. She bent from the waist until she could reach the rubber band with her lips and pull it off, reflecting that those endless crunches were useful for more than energetic sex. She untied the rope around her ankles and rubbed the raw skin while she looked around. They were in a small room about four feet square. Mops and pails were hung on the wall, and sponges and bottles lined the shelves.
Luc hadn’t moved. Please let him not be dead. A glimmer of light filtered in from the hall and Miranda shunted toward him. She managed to untie the rope on his feet, but couldn’t tear the duct tape wrapped tightly around his wrists. Still he didn’t move.
She brushed her lips over his. He stirred at last and opened his eyes—and just as quickly shut them again. “Ooph.”
“Oh, Luc, you’re alive!” She kissed him again. “Are you okay? What hurts?”
He smiled, but kept his eyes closed. “Besides everything else? I have a splitting headache. Where are we?”
“In a closet. In Crandall’s house. Luc, I think he’s insane.”
He chuckled. “Yeah I got that feeling too. One doesn’t cross Mr. Adolphus T. Crandall the Fourth.”
“What do we do now?”
“Give me a minute, will you, mon d├ęsir? I am not at my best just now.”
Miranda bit off the tart reply, telling herself they weren’t going anywhere anyway. She sat as patiently as possible, listening to his labored breathing and for any outside sounds.
It seemed only a minute later that she woke. A sunbeam crept in over the threshold. I must have slept, but for how long?
“My watch says almost nine. We’ve been asleep about five hours.”
Miranda jumped. “Luc!”
Shhh. Maybe they’ve forgotten about us.”
“No…” She lowered her voice. “I don’t think Crandall knows we’re here. The two thugs talked about letting us go when he went to bed. I wonder what happened.”
“Letting us go? Why?”
“I’m not sure, but they mentioned the ransom. Pongo said—”
Pongo?”
“I’m not responsible for his name,” she retorted crossly. “Anyway, he said something about not getting the money if we were dead.”
Hmm, I wonder. Considering the frenzied paroxysms of young Mr. Crandall last night, maybe there’s a rebellion brewing among the rank and file…”
Miranda put a warning hand on Luc’s arm. “Someone’s right outside.”
An unfamiliar voice spoke. “No, sir, I don’t think the storm caused it. I saw no evidence of a simple blown fuse. Someone tripped the alarm yesterday evening. Whoever did it was not a professional burglar.”
“What difference does that make?” came the high-pitched reply. Evidently Crandall had not yet slept. Or maybe he was always in a tizzy. “I don’t care how much it costs to fix—I want it repaired now.
“Well, that’s just it, sir. The intruder made a real hash of the wiring. It’ll take me a couple of hours to untangle it and replace the fuses.”
Miranda glared at Luc. “Can’t you do anything right?” she hissed.
He grinned at her. “Let me get this straight—you wanted me to do a professional job dismantling the alarm so it could be easily reset?”
She stuck out her tongue.
“Oh, very mature. Now, shush.”
They heard the repairman say, “Okay, I’ll get right on it then.” The voices faded away.
“They’re gone. Hopefully the coast is clear. Can you get this duct tape off me?” Miranda plucked at the tight plastic clinging to Luc’s arms. It came off in long strands, but held firm. “Use your teeth.”
“All right.” She managed to tear a section of the tape and pull the rest off.
He rubbed his wrists and touched a palm to her face. “Thanks. Can you stand?”
“I think so.”
Holding each other tightly and trying not to knock anything over, they hoisted themselves to their feet. Luc turned the knob. Miranda thanked the makers of closet doors everywhere for not bothering with inside locks. He stuck his head out. “I don’t see anyone.”
The door to the outside stood open. Luc grabbed Miranda’s hand and tiptoed toward it. They saw sunlight glinting on a white van parked in a cobblestone courtyard. Birds twittered in the pines and a train whistle blew in the distance. Miranda felt like Dorothy as she ran out of the woods toward the Emerald City. That is, until something smashed into her skull. Before she blacked out, she heard a nasty, scratchy voice, saying, “Going somewhere, my pretty?”


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Triptych is available in both eBook and Print-on-Demand.


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Rachel Gets a Noseful--The Penhallow Train Incident

A corpse on a train, hidden treasure, and the search for the Queen of Sheba’s tomb make for romance and adventure on Penobscot Bay.


In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, drawing Historical Society Director, Rachel Tinker, and curmudgeonly retired professor, Griffin Tate, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. With the help of the victim’s rival, they set out to locate the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Their plans are stymied when a war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man for different crimes. It’s up to Rachel to solve a mystery that includes two more murders, if she wants to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust.

Poor Rachel! She tries to be nice to the shady lady and for her trouble gets a punch in the nose. A scene set at the famous Penobscot Marine Museum from my romantic suspense mystery, The Penhallow Train Incident.



Excerpt (PG): Noreen, Angry

Without thinking, Rachel blurted out, “Are you after the money?”
Noreen’s eyes opened wide. “Me? Money? What money?” Her expression morphed into sly. “Nah. I broke up with John back in Belize. He wouldn’t share. Said I’d run through all his cash, but I didn’t believe him.”
“So why did you come up to Maine?”
Noreen dropped Rachel’s arm. “It’s here. I can feel it. His stash.”
I’m thinking consistency is not her strong suit.
As if sensing Rachel’s sentiment, Noreen shook her head. “I had nothing to do with any robbery anyway. John told me he’d inherited the money. I’m entitled to half his stuff, you know. I’m his wife.”
“What about Hannah Sundstrom?”
“She’s dead, ain’t she?”
The fact that Hannah wasn’t yet dead when Noreen married Pinkney didn’t appear to enter into her calculations. She’s waded so far into the swamp of lies she doesn’t know she’s drowning. “What about John?”
“John? He’s still in the slammer, ain’t he? I have a free hand.” Her face darkened. “Or I did, until you and your precious Marx started sticking your honkers where they don’t belong. Damn you! Now I’m on the sheriff’s radar again.” She reddened. “If he lets John out, I’m screwed.” The woman grabbed her arm again and squeezed painfully. “It’s all your fault. Why couldn’t you just let well enough alone?” Her voice rose. “Why are you persecuting me? I never did nothing to you. You Yankee snobs and your self-righteous hi-de-hos. I hate all of you.”
Rachel took a step back and Noreen lunged forward, baring her teeth. “Don’t you run away, bitch. You need a lesson in minding your own business, you do.” She drew closer, her hands balled into fists. Rachel took another step backward, but her right heel hit a stack of wood and she fell over. As she tried to push off from the rolling logs, Noreen loomed above her. “This’ll teach you.” She drew her arm back and smashed her fist into Rachel’s nose.
Everything went black.



The Wild Rose Press, 3/30/2016, Crimson Rose Line
Contemporary romantic suspense/Cozy Mystery; Sensual (PG-PG13)
Ebook 79,665 words, Print 334 p.

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Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press:
The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel




Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm Featured at Awesome Bewitching Authors Today!

Drop by Awesome Bewitching Authors today, where I’m talking about how a life of adventure can turn into fodder for stories. I’m a featured author here:


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Whirlwind Romance--First of Many Escapes





In the aftermath of a hurricane, Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on an island on the Gulf coast of Florida with a mysterious man. They are immediately drawn to each other, but before Armand can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken to a tiny island in the western Caribbean. With the help of her son Crispin and a cadre of loyal followers, she and Armand must face down pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue, if they are to restore the once idyllic tropical island to its former glory.





Want another taste of Whirlwind Romance? Here’s a funny excerpt.

Excerpt (PG): Tommy’s Tree House

She climbed quietly, hand over hand. As she reached the last board, a soft, but menacing voice purred, “Well, my sweet, you’ve found me.”
Okay, here’s where we find out if he’s a bad guy. “Give me a hand up, will you?” Other than a slight intake of breath, he complied without a word.
Lacey’s head rose up over the floor to find a cubicle lit by a small pencil torch and cluttered with toy guns, candy bar wrappers, and crushed Dr Pepper cans. And Armand. Who took up most of the rest of the space. He still held her hand, but he had stopped pulling her. “Where did you plan to sit, on my lap?”
At least he’s toned down the threat level. “Or you could come down. I don’t think Tommy Forster allows uninvited guests in his palace.”
His jaw dropped. “Palace?” After a brief interval, he said, “Oh. I see. I can’t.”
“Can’t what?”
“Come down.”
“Why not?”
“I…I…think I reinjured the ankle. I can’t put any weight on it.”
Lacey toyed with the idea of leaving him there for little Tommy, but his mother would have been appalled. “All right, just a minute.” She climbed down and went back to her house, grabbed a coil of rope from the shed and sprinted back up the street.
“Armand?”
“At your service.”
“I’m bringing up a rope. I want you to tie it to something, then you can shimmy down without using your feet.”
“Um, what about when I get to the ground?”
How much did he say he weighed? Twelve stone? Lacey calculated swiftly. Must be over a hundred sixty pounds. “I’ll try to ease you down.” She threw the coil into the darkness and backed down the tree.
A few minutes later the rope tumbled down and Armand emerged. “For the record, this was my worst sporting event in public school.” He held on for dear life and inched down the rope. Five minutes later he’d descended a foot.
“Come on, Armand—hurry it up.”
“I’m doing my best.” By dint of a lot of swearing and some wild swinging, Armand made it into Lacey’s waiting arms. He sat on the ground, legs splayed out in front, panting. “Now what?”
Lacey hadn’t really thought that far. If he’s a fugitive, I can’t trust him. And I have no way of contacting the police. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea. “Er, I guess we’d better get you back home. Then you can tell me what this is all about.” He didn’t argue, but when he tried to stand, he fell over. She considered the situation. “What we need is some kind of transport. Like…like…what was that thing the Indians used?” Lacey cast about for the word.
“Travois?”
“That’s it—aren’t you clever. A sort of triangular thingy to carry a wounded man. Made of logs and deerskins.” She stopped, not—as one might assume— due to the lack of readily available logs and skins, but to savor the picture in her mind. An injured warrior, lying spread-eagled before her—bare-chested, sexy, bravely enduring the pain. Wow.
Armand didn’t seem to notice her heightened color and pointed at the carport across the street. “Could we use that little red wagon?”
She followed his gaze. Story of my life—instead of Geronimo I get Ralphie. “That’ll do. Wait here.”
“Yes, I think I shall.” Armand kept a straight face. Lacey brought the little wagon to him, and he lay down in it, arms and legs hanging over the sides.
“You’ll have to lift up your extremities if this is going to work.” And so, with Armand looking like an upside down turtle and Lacey with tears of laughter streaming down her face, they staggered along the road to her house.


Whirlwind Romance
Wild Rose Press, 8/17/2016, Champagne Rose imprint
Contemporary romance/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames
Ebook 89,905 words; Print: 358 p. 

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