Flotsam & Jetsam

What set Ellie off anyway? A thought intruded. No, couldn’t be. He checked her profile. Nah. But his mouth formed a hopeful smile, and he leaned back, humming his favorite tune. Flotsam & Jetsam

The dashing Frenchman or the handsome handyman? Who will she choose? For the Love of a Spy

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

January Schedule: Excerpts from The Mason's Mark: Love and Death in the Tower

Great news! The Mason's Mark: Love and Death in the Tower, my new romantic suspense, will be released January 7 by Secret Cravings Publishing. To give you a taste of this novel set in Old Town Alexandria, I'll be publishing excerpts and talking about the background of the story at lots of wonderful sites this month. Here's the list:
January: Check out my blog in the fabulous new newsletter from Secret Cravings Publishing, Cravings. I'm writing about how real people have influenced my characters—with a few juicy tidbits. http://cravingsmagazine.weebly.com/january-2014-cravings-e-zine.html
January 7: Tuesday Coffee with Colette (http://colettesaucier.blogspot.com);
January 7: at Andrea Cooper's (http://www.andrearcooper.com).
January 9 at Victoria Adams (http://victoriaadams.blogspot.com);
January 10 at Smile Somebody Loves you (http://sslyblog.wordpress.com).
January 13 at Anne Lange's (http://authorannelange.com/), then
January 16 finds me at the creatively named http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/ (Vicki Locey's site).
January 17 Tamara Faye Rudkin Monteau hosts me at http://havensrealm.wordpress.com.
January 18 I'm at Jennifer Simpkins' lovely site: http://www.jennifersimpkins.net
January 19 at Alexis Walker's www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com.
January 20 Linda McLaughlin's site http://flightsafancy.blogspot.com
January 21 at Dorothy Thompson's wonderful site http://www.asthepageturns.blogspot.com.
January 27 you can catch me at Romance Books 4 Us for a scintillating interview (http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com).
January 28 it's off to another fun interview at Helena Fairfax's place: http://helenafairfax.com/
I won't get into February yet....:)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gorgeous Cover for The Mason's Mark, My Upcoming Romance

Get a load of the cover for my January release, The Mason's Mark: Love and Death in the Tower (an Old Town Romance). Dawné Dominique has outdone herself this time!

The Mason's Mark is a romance/mystery set in Alexandria, Virginia. Here's the blurb:

In both the best and worst first day at work ever,  docent Claire Wilding meets the man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial falls apart when she discovers a dead body. Together with Detective Ernest Angle, she's drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons, of secret cabals and hidden treasure. Also cloaked in mystery is her new love Gideon Bliss.  A George Washington expert, he haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she'll fall in love with him only to learn he's a thief or even a murderer.

Juggling eccentric mothers and an increasingly smitten Ernest, our heroine must find answers in a complex web of intrigue, including which black ops agent to trust, whether our first president strayed, and if she and Gideon will ever be together.

Look for it in January!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guest Author at Romance Lives Forever Today

Do drop by Romance Lives Forever today http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/romancelivesforever/conversations/messages/55183  for a peak at my latest romance Lapses of Memory. Lovely Kayelle is hosting a guest author day, so you can read lots of authors there, and participate in lots of contests. If you leave a comment here, you'll be entered for a free copy of Lapses of Memory.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm at 25 Days of Christmas with Raine Delight Today

Find out which of my characters I'd love to meet under the mistletoe at Raine Delight's 25 Days of Christmas and be treated to a lovely excerpt about a makeup kiss from my romantic suspense/mystery Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders. Find it here: http://authorrainedelight.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/m-s-spencer/ 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Backlist Bonanza Strikes Again: Artful Dodging Takes the Stage

Alrighty then, are you ready for the fifth installment of my Backlist Bonanza? This would be Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, recently the recipient of a glowing review (see: http://www.amazon.com/Artful-Dodging-Torpedo-Factory-Murders/dp/1618853260/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1385420383&sr=8-2&keywords=Artful+Dodging and Mark Love's blog: 11/28: http://marklove024.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-quick-review-artful-dodging.html).

Murders, mistrust and miscreants--needlepoint artist Milo Everhart has her hands full. Can love blossom amidst it all?

In Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, we meet Milo Everhart and her merry band of artists. Milo creates delicate needlepoint and her friend Tekla Spirikova creates large metal objects. Together they fight City Hall (literally), which wants to give their beloved Torpedo Factory Art Center away. Things get complicated when their greatest adversary turns out to be the man Milo loves, and even more complicated when too many murder victims turn up.

Secret Cravings Publishing (April 24, 2012)
eBook, 65,000 words, Print (July 2012), 202 pp.
Contemporary romantic suspense/Murder mystery, M/F, 2 flames
Buy Links:

Excerpt (R): Christmas Lights and Lovemaking
“Exactly what I was thinking.”
Across the river the lights of Fort Washington dotted the water with pinpricks of phosphorescence. Behind the couple on the bench the strings of silver bulbs outlining George Washington’s home shone brightly, creating long black shadows down the lawn. Two heads nestled together. Milo purred.
“Are you cold?”
“A little.”
“You want to go in?”
“No. I’m too content to move.”
She heard the chuckle in his voice. “It’s been a…nice day, hasn’t it?”
She snuggled closer under his arm. “Very.”
He kissed the top of her head tentatively. “Do you mind?”
“Uh uh.”
He pulled her chin toward him and softly kissed her lips. She was too relaxed, too happy to argue. Tristram peered at her. “I can’t see your face. Are you smiling?”
For an answer, she reached up and pulled him to her. A few minutes later he placed a gentle hand on her breast and tickled the nipple through the layers of fabric, making her heart spin.
“Let’s go home.”
The familiar words brought her back to reality. “What about Ursula?”
“Ursula? What about her?”
“Don’t you live together?”
He paused. “No.” The unspoken words were clear. No more questions.
On the drive back, her tranquil state gave way to anticipation. Tristram whipped his Jaguar in and out of the sleepy parkway traffic, never overly reckless, but enough to get her heart beating faster. He didn’t speak. For some reason, his silence aroused her even more. What is he thinking? Is he going to make love to me or drop me off like so much used tissue?
They pulled up in front of Tristram’s townhouse on Lee Street. The last time they’d been together, the surroundings had paled before other, more pressing needs. Now, as he handed her out, Milo paused to survey the park that lay between them and the river. The sky opened up here, a change from the tall, impendent row houses and narrow streets of Old Town. Stars flashed in the Milky Way, and the moon grinned at her as she shivered in the chill breeze.
Tristram took her arm. “Do you think we’ll have a white Christmas this year?”
The question first hit her as so unromantic, she worried her little dream would dissipate into the night, but then the words took on a cozy kind of comfort, like the chitchat of an old established couple. “I don’t know.”
He sniffed the air. “Smells like snow. Come on, Milo.”
She followed him, stifling both the disappointment and her desire. He’s going to offer me a drink and send me home. And that’s okay. I’ll be fine. Oh, but look at that butt and those shoulders. Is he sexier in Armani or L.L. Bean?
He closed the door behind her, ran his arms around her middle, and kissed the back of her neck. The little hairs rose to meet him. Electricity shot through her like a high-tension power line. He touched the top of her head and slowly spun her around to face him. His eyes burned into hers, and her mouth went dry.
“Yes, Tristram?”
“Do you know where you are?”
“Um…your house?”
He grinned. “Just checking. You didn’t remember much about our last…encounter, and I want to make sure you are conscious during every single minute you spend here.”
Yeah, right. Forget the small talk and take me to bed, you big gorgeous lug.
Oh my God, I said that out loud! Shit.
It was too late to take back. He didn’t appear to be listening anyway. He dropped her coat on the floor and lifted her, taking the stairs two at a time. Translucent shafts of light from a recessed panel illuminated the California king that took up most of the room.
Tristram lit a tall, white candle on the bureau and touched her shoulder. “Milo? May I?”
One hand went to the buttons on her blouse, and he undid them carefully. Why did he have to be so polite? Why didn’t he just rip her clothes off like he did the last time? Not that I remember. She let the blouse fall, her breath coming in short gasps. He reached out and cupped one of her breasts, encased in delicate orchid lace. He pulled the lace down with his index finger, allowing the nipple to lift its hungry head. He flicked at it until it stood up hard and ready for something more substantial. Obligingly, he leaned down and licked it. Then he gently unhooked the bra and licked the other nipple. Milo didn’t think she could stand much more.
His hand moved to the button of her jeans. She tightened her abdomen as he unzipped them and let his hand reach in and cup the mound. She fought the urge to press against it but gave in when he started to knead. Her vulva inflamed, releasing the juices like slow-moving lava, soaking the thin material of her bikini.
He pulled the jeans off and knelt before her. His fingers wormed their way under the panties and tickled her yearning lips. Her mind emptied of everything but the aching in her vagina. He rolled the bit of lace off, tossed it in a corner, and began to suck. Slurping and swallowing, he twisted the sensitive flesh and sent his tongue to palpate her clitoris. Milo spread her legs wider, her pussy riding his mouth like a rodeo cowgirl. The candle flickered, shimmering on his desire-glazed eyes. She shouldn’t have looked at his face—it brought her to instant orgasm. She held a hand to her mouth to stop the scream. He pulled away from her, dribbling wet kisses down the inside of her thighs.
Then her lover moved lightning fast. He tore his clothes off, pushed her onto the bed, and moved up to close with her. His cock, hard and healthy, inserted itself into her. She folded her legs around his back and began the delectable climb to climax. He slid in and out, his penis scratching the itch inside her vagina. There. Almost there. Almost…arggggh.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The New Cravings Ezine Has Arrived!

Secret Cravings Publishing has released its first issue of Cravings Ezine. Chock full of interviews and articles, it's a great way to be introduced to all the wonderful authors and books (including mine!) at Secret Cravings. And it's free! Here's a link to the first issue: http://cravingsmagazine.weebly.com/december-2013-cravings-e-zine.html.

If you'd like to continue receiving issues (did I mention they were free?), you can register here:  http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/. On the home page, click on Log In. At the bottom you can sign up for the newsletter. Have fun! And be sure to check out the January issue, in which I expound on the influence of real people on my characters.

Monday, December 2, 2013

And Now a Blog in Praise of Artful Dodging

Such a wonderful blog about Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders by  Mark Love! He says: "Spencer wastes no time blending personal and professional conflicts, with flashes of jealousy, intrigue and deception.  Mix in a dash of the local scenery, various culinary delights and the right amount of passionate interludes and you've got a fast paced, engaging tale." Read the whole blog here:

When you're done, check out Mark's wonderful books. I'm reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Devious, the first Jamie Richmond mystery. Here is his website: http://marklove024.blogspot.com and author page at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Love/e/B009P7HVZQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1385998581&sr=8-2 and at Secret Cravings Publishing: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=602

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Four Stars for Artful Dodging!

Four stars for Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders! Thank you, Mark Love, who says: "Spencer's characters are so real, it's easy to get drawn into their lives. About the time you think you've figured things out, she throws in a curve or two to keep you guessing."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Welcome Sharon Kleve and Jennifer Conner

Today we welcome best-selling authors Sharon Kleve and Jennifer Conner as they stop to rest here on the Furry Friends Christmas Blog Tour. They'll generously share with us not one each but TWO excerpts from their newly released Christmas stories. This should get you all in the spirit of the season.

For The Love Of Our Furry Friends Christmas Blog Tour
November 20th-30th
Best-selling authors Sharon Kleve and Jennifer Conner adore animals. That's why they collaborated on this blog tour together. To showcase their Christmas stories celebrating our beloved pets. They hope you enjoy reading them as much as they did writing them.

Book Title: Halo's Wish (Book one in the Dreams Come True Series)
Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 9.13.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet

Book Blurb:
Halo Ann Carlyle wishes for a home, family, and a boat-load of pets. What she gets is a bruised hip, a lump on the head, a broken ankle, and her new yellow Honda Civic is demolished.

Rich McFarland, a sexy veterinarian, keeps showing up in the most unexpected places, promising everything she's ever wanted.

Halo believes she only has time to pursue her career as a pet detective and must ignore her growing attraction to achieve her dreams.

Will Halo trust her heart, and find a way to get both for Christmas?

She'd just placed another call through to Pemsky's office, which went straight to his voicemail, when the office door opened. Halo smiled and looked up into dreamy, gold-flecked green eyes, short sandy brown hair, a slight cleft chin, and full lips set in a hard line. Even with the stern look he had on his face, my hormones jumped into overdrive.
Mr. Dreamy cleared his throat—she must've been staring. In her most professional voice she said, "Good morning. How may I help you?"

He removed a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and unfolded the sheet.
"I was parked in front of the Beacon Hill Ale House and my driver's side mirror was sideswiped by one of Pemsky's Security's SUV's Friday night."

Halo loved the Beacon Hill Ale House. Every Saturday night the Ale House allowed local bands to jam together. That's where she'd met her last loser boyfriend. She'd had a lot of loser boyfriends. She's currently on a hiatus from dating, but she wouldn't mind jumping back into the dating game for this dream-boat.

He handed her the piece of paper. "I wasn't able to get a look at the driver, but I got the license plate number of the vehicle that hit my car and drove away." He emphasized the last part.

"I'm very sorry about your car. I'm sure Mr. Pemsky will be happy to cover the damage." Halo checked the company log and Pemsky's name popped up as the driver—she gulped.

Buy Links:

Book Title: Brenda’s Christmas Desire (Book two in the Dreams Come True Series)
Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.20.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet

Book Blurb:
Like any child Brenda Howser loved Christmas until her parents were killed by a drunk driver during their annual shopping trip.

Brenda went to live with her aunt, who blamed their death on everything that represented Christmas; the gifts, the tree, and all the decorations. The festivities' Brenda once cherished became something she dreaded under the shadow of her parents death. She lived in fear of something happening to the people she loved during Christmas
Christmas approaches and Brenda has to decide if she’s going to let the past hold her prisoner for another year or if she can finally enjoy what Christmas used to mean to her—love.

DEA agent, John Smith knows the significance of December fifteenth to Brenda, but when the head of the Nuevo Cartel escapes federal prison he's forced to let her face the day without him, but not quite alone.

Can Daisy, a golden Labrador puppy, a huge sale on decorations at the hardware store, and a gift from her aunt restore her love of Christmas?

December 2013
The weather forecast for the Western Washington area, specifically North Seattle, predicted a good five-to-six inches of snow. Brenda Houser watched the flakes float like cotton balls from the sky as she dipped a tortilla chip into a bowl of thick and chunky salsa and popped the morsel into her mouth.

Her boss, Corny Myers, tapped her pencil on Brenda's reception desk to the beat of The Little Drummer Boy, which streamed from the Green Hornet Investigations Bose speakers.
"Hey, Brenda. I have bad eating habits but I've never started the day with chips and salsa.

 What's up?" Corny asked.

"You know how I feel about all the holiday hoopla. I'd rather stick my head in the sand and pull it back out in January."

"Do you really think Mexican food is going to make you feel better?"

"Probably not, but a couple margaritas might help."

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.
Sharon is a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other's arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.
One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.
When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.
Social Media Links:

Book Title: Central Bark At Christmas (Book one in the Dog Tails Series)
Author: Jennifer Conner
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.09.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet

Book Blurb:
When Tennyson’s boyfriend left her for her best friend from high-school, all Tennyson received in the break up was her dog. She’s sworn off men and now is rebuilding her life. The only thing Par does is work. He barely has time to do anything he wants for himself other than take his dog to the dog park. When Par and Tennyson find an abandoned dog at the park named Duke. Will they find room in their hearts to take him in? And can this Christmas season weave some special magic for the two of them?

Book Excerpt:
 “I’m happy this wasn’t your worst date ever, because I had a great time.” He lifted her chin with the tips of his finger. Slowly he lowered his head until she thought she would die of anticipation. He clamped his hands to her waist and gazed into her eyes. “You’re so beautiful…” There was depth and sincerity in the tone of his voice. She felt special. Desired. He dropped his head and kissed her.

Gentle at first and then deep. She couldn’t breathe. He’d sucked all the air from her lungs, but there was no way she wanted him to stop. As she brushed his firm lips to hers, she relished the feel of her blood simmering in her veins. Par slid his fingers through her long hair to cradle and position her head to kiss her even more thoroughly.
His lips pulled away from hers and he stepped back. She reached for the roof of the car to steady herself. Oh. My. God… could this man kiss.

“Not bad for a first date,” he whispered and then kissed her gently again.

Okay… so it was a date. After that kiss it turned into an ‘official date’ and she had no regrets at all.

Buy Links:
Book Title: Christmas Gift That Keeps Wagging (Book two in the Dog Tails Series)
Author: Jennifer Conner
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 11.06.2013
Length: 50 pages
Heat Rating: Sweet

Book Blurb:
Julian Barrows has his hands full working full time and being a single dad to his kindergarten, special needs son, Gabe. Gabe’s teacher convinces Julian he doesn’t need to do everything on his own and introduces him to a seizure dog trainer, Hanna Acker.
Hanna and her sister grew up without any ‘Christmas Cheer’. She’s trying to get her sister through college and doesn’t have time to let anyone too close, especially the handsome single dad with a kid.

But, Christmas has a way of changing what we thought we wanted… especially when Santa and an adorable four-legged ‘elf’ are involved.

Book Excerpt:
“What’s this?” Hanna asked, as she ran a hand over the grocery bag wrapping paper. Julian took her coat and hung it by the door so she could follow Gabe into the living room.

“Daddy saw this in a store window and said that we had to get it for you. Open it!” Gabe said. “I wrapped it myself,” he added proudly.

“But it’s not Christmas.”

“No. This is a before Christmas gift. You have to open it now.”

She pulled off a half-pound of scotch tape and finally the paper fell away. Hanna stared at the gift in disbelief. “A Christmas sock… with my name on it.”

Julian came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. “You told me that you’d never had a Christmas stocking of your own when you were growing up. Gabe knew  Santa wouldn’t know where you were if you didn’t have you sock hung somewhere.” He winked. “So you needed it.”

“You can take it to your home or you can hang it here!” Gabe shouted almost tripping over Cody.

Buy Links:
Author Bio:
Jennifer Conner is a best-selling Northwest author who has over thirty short stories on ebook and three full-length books in print. She writes in Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, and Erotica.  
Shot in the Dark hit Amazon at #1 in Romantic Suspense and Christmas Chaos was #2 in the Romance category. 
Her novel Shot in the Dark was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests.  
Jennifer is an Associate Publisher for the indie e-book company Books to Go Now that resides in the Seattle area. Books to Go Now offers professional editing, cover design, multiple book format file creation, and most important--publicity. Their staff works to help make our author books a success one book at a time. 
She lives in the same hundred-year-old house in which she grew up. Her semi-small town holds an interesting mix of resident hillbillies, yuppies and Navy Seals. And of course Seattle, only a few miles away, is the birthplace of Starbucks so coffee is always on the check list. She blows glass beads with a blow torch (which relieves a lot of stress and people don't bother you).

Social Media Links:

Publisher: Bookstogonow@gmail.com www.bookstogonow.com

Direct Link:
Legal Information:
- Entering this contest means you have read, understood, and agree with all rules and regulations stated.
- Entrants must be 18 or older (or age of majority in your country) to enter and to win.
- No purchase necessary.
- Void where prohibited.
- All stated rules are subject to change without notification or reason given.
- Chances of winning vary widely based on the number of entries received.
- Prize is as stated. No substitutions or exchanges.
- Contest host/organizer is not responsible to misrepresented/mis-typed email addresses, spam filters, mailer demons, and other internet wackiness that may crop up at the time of winner notification.
- Winners are final.
- Contest Starts 00:01EST September 15, 2013 and Ends 12:59EST October 16, 2013 and open to International participants.
- Winners will be notified via email, Twitter, or Facebook no later than 12:00EST October 18, 2013
-Respond by date to collect prize is 14 days from notification date.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Backlist Bonanza Continues with Triptych at Number Four

Triptych is my fourth romantic suspense novel, in which legend, history and romance intertwine in a triptych of suspense, now with 3 five-star reviews!

Both Miranda Cabot and her sister Honor prefer their solitude to romance, Miranda having watched her husband die in flames on the Potomac River rocks called the Three Sisters. Not so the youngest, Sybil, who invites a mysterious Frenchman calling himself the Chevalier du bon Arnaque to stay with them in their mansion overlooking the Sisters.

Misgivings about the stranger’s intentions lead Miranda and Honor to ask their neighbors Dieter Heiliger and his grandson Corey to chaperone. Three beautiful, strong-willed women living in a house with three handsome, virile men results inevitably in an intricate web of jealousy, sex, and intrigue. Add in long-lost master artworks, stolen prototypes and a resident genius and you have a recipe for romance. Who will end up with whom, and will the Three Sisters take another life as the legend calls for?

Secret Cravings Publishing November 2011
eBook, 70,055 words, Print (206 pp)
Contemporary romantic suspense, M/F, 3 flames

Tied for Best Cover and for Best First Chapter at D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters (November 2011), and three five-star reviews.

EXCERPT: First Meeting (PG)

Miranda heard the pounding of excited feet on the stairs. She checked her hair and dress and prepared herself not merely to meet the Chevalier du Bon Arnaque, but to dislike him intensely.
She called to Honor and stepped sedately down the long formal staircase to the central hall where Sybil was taking the coat of a very tall, black-haired gentleman. As she stood on the last step, he turned and glanced up at her. A long pause ensued. Did my heart just stop beating? The house, the hall, Sybil, everything but the man faded into the background. She examined his face minutely, as though she had all the time in the world. Ringlets of thick, glossy black hair twined over his forehead, the light catching highlights of silver at the temples and deep in his ebony eyes. Tanned skin stretched tight over his high cheekbones, reminding her of the portrait of a Highland chieftain that hung in her study. She could just make out a tiny upturn at the end of his nose that lent a fanciful air to his appearance. Perhaps not a clan chief but an elvish prince?

Purchase Links
Buy Links:

Book Strand: http://www.bookstrand.com/triptych

To have your ebook autographed, click on Kindlegraph at my blog.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm Featured at Michel Prince's 30 Days of Books Today

Do drop by Michel Prince's lovely website and read a juicy excerpt from my latest romantic suspense, Lapses of Memory entitled The Lady Doesn't Remember. Here's the link: http://www.michelprincebooks.com/1/post/2013/11/lapses-of-memory-30-days-of-books.html? 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Marksmanship--My Eighth Romance Accepted for Publication

Yay! Marksmanship—Love and Death in the Tower (an Old Town Romance) has just been accepted by the wonderful people at Secret Cravings Publishing.  Here's the story:

In the worst first day at work ever, newly minted docent Claire Wilding’s carefully memorized spiel is interrupted by the discovery of a dead body. As she deals with a smitten police detective, a hunky Senator, shadowy black ops agents, and two eccentric mothers, she learns more than she ever expected to about jewels and pennies, renegade Italian Masons, and our first President’s family secrets. Along the way she discovers that first love is not always the right love.

Marksmanship is a full length romance/mystery and is scheduled for release in January 2014. Look for it!>

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wow! Reality Imitates My Fiction

Reality imitating art?  Triptych, my tale of legend, history and romance intertwining in a triptych of suspense, eerily foreshadows this intriguing news item.

Julian Radcliffe, chairman of the London-based Art Loss Register, calls it "the biggest cache of illegally stored art since the end of the [[second world] war." He's talking about the discovery in Munich, Germany of more than 1400 artworks, including previously unknown paintings by Matisse and Chagall. The paintings were found in the apartment of an 80-year-old man whose father had acted as an agent for the Nazis to collect art and sell it abroad. It's not yet clear whether the man was protecting the art or wanted it for himself. At any rate, his son kept the paintings, only selling one now and then to live on. One investigator described the collection as "professionally stored and in very good condition." So the mystery continues.

The only thing missing in this story is romance. That's where Triptych has the upper hand.

Miranda Cabot lost all interest in love after her husband Edward crashed into the Potomac River rocks called the Three Sisters. Her sister Honor likewise prefers her tower and her writing.  Not so the third sister Sybil, who longs for romance with a dashing Frenchman.  She advertises for said hero on Craig’s List and is rewarded with the Chevalier du Bon Arnaque, who comes to Washington from Alsatia claiming to be an art dealer. Miranda identifies one of his paintings as a previously unknown masterwork and begins to suspect the Chevalier is a crook.

 She asks her neighbors Dieter Heiliger and his grandson Corey, to act as chaperones. With three beautiful, strong-willed women in a house filled with three handsome, virile men, the inevitable result is an intricate web of jealousy, sex, and intrigue. Add in long-lost master artworks hidden from the Nazis, stolen prototypes and a resident genius and you have a recipe for romance. Who will end up with whom, and will the Three Sisters take another life as the legend calls for?
You can read more about the German discovery here: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GERMANY_ART_FOUND?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-11-05-15-04-49. Triptych is available in ebook and print here:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Backlist Bonanza Part 3: Losers Keepers

Crime and punishment, cops, detectives and correctional officers--strong arms of the law! You’ll find it all in Losers Keepers, the story of a romantic triangle enmeshed in murder, set on the Atlantic barrier island of Chincoteague.

Chincoteague is actually a small inhabited island nestled in the arms of Assateague, which protects it from the predations of the Atlantic Ocean. The famous ponies live on Assateague. Assateague is also home to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and a gorgeous beach. Wildlife abounds—migrating waterfowl like snow geese and marbled godwits, Sika elk, and the endangered Delmarva squirrel. My family has been visiting the island for several decades, and it was inevitable that I set one of my stories there. If you love marshes, bird watching, and beaches that stretch for miles, be sure to visit…after you read my book!
Dagne Lonegan, aka Dear Philomena, advice dispenser extraordinaire, hoped that spending a year on the Eastern Shore island of  Chincoteague to write her novel would clear her sinuses, if not her heart, of any feelings for Jack Andrews, erstwhile lover and long-time jerk.  It’s just her luck that her first week on the island she’s in the right place at the right time to be involved with a murder.  Only she doesn’t know it.  Unfortunately, the murderer doesn’t know she doesn’t know.  Strange and dangerous things begin happening to her, interfering with her new romance with Tom Ellis, the handsome manager of the National Wildlife Refuge.  Complications ensue when her Jack arrives to take charge of the murder investigation.

Will Dagne stick with the tall, cool glass of a Ranger or fall back into the arms of her first tempestuous passion?

EXCERPT ~ First Mating At Least in This Story (R)
A young woman shuffled toward them, stopping to pick up two large leather-bound menus. “Anywhere.”
They took that to mean they had a choice of seating and picked a table by the window. Dagne ordered the flounder and Jack chose crab cakes. They stared out at the choppy gray water, faces studiously averted from at each other. The waitress brought glasses of wine. Dagne took a large swig, but still couldn’t think of anything to say. She didn’t have a clue where they stood or what Jack was thinking, not to mention how she felt about things. His profile was, as usual, sphinx-like. Impassive. Unreadable. And so handsome. She could see his long black lashes and the glint of cyan from his eyes. She could smell his scent, always fresh and clean, from across the table. He turned to face her, and she felt the blood rise hotly to her cheeks.
He sipped his wine, studying her. “I’d forgotten how beautiful you are.” He said it simply.
Dagne waited for her heart to stop thumping and finally emitted a squirrely “Thank you.”
He continued to canvass her features.
A broad face, heavily made up, came between them. The query “Crab cakes?” came out along with a puff of Marlborough.
Jack accepted his plate with a wry grin. The waitress set trenchers of coleslaw and hush puppies on the table, and slid a platter eclipsed by an enormous fish bulging with crabmeat under Dagne’s nose. It smelled wonderful.
An hour later, Jack paid and they walked arm in arm out to her car. Both Dagne’s stomach and heart were replete. Night had fallen. “The traffic should have cleared by now. Why don’t I give you a ride back to…I’ve forgotten where you’re staying?”
“It’s a B and B in New Church. Not far. Thanks.” They got in. As Dagne searched for her keys, Jack’s arm settled on her shoulder. She backed out of the parking lot and headed down the dirt road. His hand rubbed her neck gently. She pressed back. It felt so good. She didn’t even mind when his other hand began to wander down toward her breast but thought it prudent to suppress the urge to help him. His breath came huskily in her ear. “Dagne, I want you. Now.”
“Jack, we’re in a car!”
“On a deserted road. Out in the wilderness.”
“It’s a farm. Somebody’s farm.”
“Yeah, I know. Perfect. Pull over.”
Anticipation clouded her judgment. She could feel different parts of her body begin to tingle—whether at the secret thrill of the exotic location or the nearness of him, she couldn’t tell. He pulled her out of the car, opened the back door and pushed her onto the back seat. His hot breath seared her belly where he’d pulled up her sweatshirt. A tongue tickled her navel, then licked upwards till it reached her bra. His hand moved on her back and an instant later, she felt the sweet release of her breasts from the underwire. They weren’t free for long. His mouth fastened on her nipple and began to suckle. Dagne writhed in ecstasy. “Jack, no. You are too bad. No, don’t.”
For answer, he moved to the other nipple. When he lifted her skirt something cold and hard ground into her. The seat belt buckle gouged her naked thighs. Fortunately fingers distracted her from the pain as they pulled her silk panties aside—“Mmmm, silk. You know what that does to me, Dagne”—and pressed inside her. A second later, they were replaced by a mouth that began to massage her labia, blowing softly on the engorged lips. She felt his tongue dart inside, licking and sucking, setting the tender flesh on fire. Her orgasm crackled upward and sucked all the oxygen out of the tiny space.
“Jack…Jack…oh my God…Jack.” She fell to earth. As she lay panting she heard the sound of a zipper. Where his fingers had roamed there infiltrated a most welcome, rough, hard cock that beat up her thigh and entered her. It moved in and out, hardening with each thrust, faster and faster. She fell into the rhythm and they rocked, the car rocking in tandem with their motion.
Jack’s voice came urgently, muffled in her hair. “Dagne, come with me, come with me.”
“I will.” What else could she say? She rose to meet him and in a great whoosh they met and melded into one perfect creature, undivided. He let his body gently settle on hers and they lay quietly. Just as Dagne began to drift off to sleep, a light hit her eyes and the sound of a truck engine broke the stillness. “Jack, Jack, get off me! Quick! It’s the tow truck!”
Jack scrambled to the side, pulling his jeans up. He let out an oath and she heard a sucking sound. “Damned zipper.” Meanwhile she pulled both her sweatshirt and her skirt down, scrambled out the door and dove for the front seat. Just in time for the driver to pull off the road behind the Subaru.
“You the one needing a tow, Lady?”

Losers Keepers, by M. S. Spencer
Secret Cravings Publishing, 2011
eBook: 72,000 words; Print: 200 pp.
Contemporary romantic suspense, M/F, 3 flames