The Pit and the Passion

She held her gaze steady, mainly so she could delve deep, deep into those chocolate eyes. Together with his sharp, angular nose and intense, almost predatory, expression, he reminded her of a peregrine falcon on the hunt.

The Pit & the Passion

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Next Big Thing(s) Right Here & Beyond!

I’d like to thank Erin O’Quinn for inviting me to join this blog hop and giving me cover for droning on and on about my latest WIPs. The origins of the hop seemed to be lost in the mists of time (along with the true nature of Richard III and who ate the first oyster), but it’s already given hundreds of authors a chance to talk about their babies. I've tagged five wonderful authors to follow me next week: Zoe Dawson, J. A. Garland, Donna Shields, Lila Hart, and Beth Caudill. Be sure to check their sites (links below).

I have three WIPs in various stages of editing. Lapses of Memory, slated for release May 2013, is
a story within a story of a couple who meet every few years on a plane. Journalists, they become embroiled in all kinds of international crises, from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese Civil war. Along the way they get to fly in the latest aircraft as it goes on-line.  The story is intertwined with the contemporary romantic troubles of the heroine’s daughter, who must choose between a reserved American and a mercurial Frenchman.

I’m in early edits of The Mark of Love and Death: Murder at the Masonic Memorial (an Old Town romance). Her first day as docent in the George Washington Masonic Memorial, Philippa Wilding finds a distinctly non-Masonic item: a dead body. As she deals with a smitten police detective, a handsome George Washington expert, faceless black ops agents, and two ruthless mothers, she learns more than she ever expected to about jewels and pennies, irregular Masonic lodges, and George Washington’s family secrets.

The book I'd like to talk about today is Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine. A full-length novel of romantic suspense, it is set to be released by Secret Cravings Publishing in January, 2013. Here's the blurb:

When Tessa Diamond rescued a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull, her good deed led her into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages, confronting murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and big fish, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.
She is drawn to Cameron Mason, tiger-eyed and handsome, but before she can drop her longstanding opposition to marriage and accept her true love, she must face the possibility that he could be a thief, and even a murderer. 


What is the working title of your current/next book?
Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance).

Where did you get the idea for that book?
I spend a lot of time at Mote Marine, an internationally renowned marine science laboratory, when I’m in Florida—it seemed a perfect place for a murder. And no, the dolphin didn’t do it.

What's the genre of the book?
Romantic suspense/Murder Mystery

If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick?
The heroine Tessa Diamond—Long black, silky hair, jet black eyes, Gypsy features, long neck, long, long legs: how about Penelope Cruz?

The hero Cameron Mason—Golden brown wavy hair, swimmer’s build, hair on his chest, tawny eyes: Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, James Marsden, Josh Duhamel, or Paul Walker?

Dugan Trevally (one of the villains)—reddish hair, bright blue eyes, wiry: Simon Pegg is perfect.

How would you describe your book in one sentence (10 words or less)? Boy meets girl, crisis, crisis, crisis, boy gets girl.

How will your book be published, submitted through the traditional route to a traditional publisher or will you be handling it yourself through Indie Publishing methods? Mai Tais & Mayhem will be published by a traditional e-book publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book? About three months. But the first draft for me is really a glorified outline—usually runs about 30,000 words. I lay it out, then go back two to three times to fill in the meat of the story, build the characters up, and track the consistency of the plot.

What other books within your genre are similar to yours?
All five of my previous books—Lost in His Arms, Lost and Found, Losers Keepers, Triptych, and Artful Dodging—are romantic suspense. I’ve begun adding a dollop of murder mystery lately, with a bit more complicated plots.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I have a house on a barrier island near Sarasota and Mote Marine Labs and love the area. Mote Marine does a bang-up job in all kinds of oceanic research. That, and long white sand beaches, gorgeous weather, flora, fauna, food—I had to write about it!

What about your book will pique the reader's interest?
A reader will find quite a bit about sea life, about exotic birds, and even caviar to entice him or her. I think the twists and turns of plot, intrigue and romantic ups and downs should keep the reader glued to the book.

Next week please join the following authors at their sites, and continue the tradition.
12/ 24: Zoe Dawson at
12/24: Lila Hart at
12/24: J. A. Garland at
12/27: Beth Caudill at
12/ 28: Donna Shields on her blog


msspencerauthor said...

Welcome everyone--I hope you found your way to the site and enjoy! M. S.

Audra Middleton said...

Question for you - do you know the origins of this blog hop?

msspencerauthor said...

Like I said, lost in the mists of time. It's been going on at least a couple of months.Don't know who started it.If you find out, let me know! M. S.

Audra Middleton said...

Lost in the mists of time - gotcha! Mai Tai's & Mayhem sounds good!

laura troxel said...

I love finding new authors and books to read.

msspencerauthor said...

Thanks for visiting! M. S.