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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Purple (Pant Pant) Prose at RB4U

Purple Prose—what is it? Drop by RomanceBooks4Us blog today to find out. While there, you can savor two juicy excerpts (Adult) by way of illustration.  One lucky reader will win a beautiful calendar mouse pad!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Find Out What I did in Bed at Hallee Bridgeman's Today

Do drop by Hallee Bridgeman’s special feature, Readers Write to Know Wednesdays today.  She polled her readers for the questions they'd ask their favorite author given the chance, and then she interviews an author with those questions. Find out the weirdest place I’ve had an inspiration for a story, and what I think my readers are like. I’ll see you there!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Contest winner!

Thanks to all who stopped by my contest--I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Joye--even though I'm not sure diamond tetra qualifies (although very impressive)--you still win a copy of Mai Tais & Mayhem! I'll email you separately with the pdf. Have fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

We're Celebrating My New Release with a Scavenger Hunt!

Win a copy of my latest romantic suspense mystery, Mai Tais and Mayhem! All you have to do is read the excerpt and find all the names of the characters that are actual names of fish. The contest will run from January 21 through January 25. I will choose one winner at random from the entries with the correct answer. Don't forget to leave your email address in the comment. By the way, this PG excerpt only has some of the 23 fish names in Mai Tais and Mayhem. You can find them all when you read the whole book. Buy Link: Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine

EXCERPT (PG) : Murder Investigation

Chapter Three
Moon over Mullet Bay

“Okay, ma’am, once more, with feeling, please. Tell me exactly what you did from the time you entered the building.”

By this time, Tessa sounded like Tallulah Bankhead with laryngitis. “All right, Lieutenant Sculpin,” she rasped. “Could I have some water first, please?” The detective crooked a finger at a big uniformed cop, who handed her a bottle. She took a large swallow, and recapitulated her movements of the morning for the fourth time.

“And the dolphins didn’t seem agitated?”

“No, everything appeared calm and quiet.”

“You heard no noise?”

“I told you. I was alone in the building. That is, until Henry came in.”

Sculpin, a stiff, straight-shouldered man in his mid-fifties, overdressed in a wool suit and Macintosh, mumbled, “Well, not exactly alone.”

Tessa shivered again and took another sip of water. Stillwater and Esther hovered anxiously over her. The director of Mote Marine Labs, Elver Johnson, sat by the turtle pool, his face a closed book. He’d only arrived a few minutes earlier, and had already succeeded in irritating the detective to the point that he’d been ordered to sit down and shut up. Bad publicity and an upcoming audit seemed uppermost in his bureaucratic mind. Leslie Pilchard stood at a distance, arms crossed. His clothes were rumpled, as though he’d slept in them. He did not look happy.

“Detective Sculpin, do you know who the…the dead man is?”

“I was about to ask you the same thing, Miss Diamond.”

Tessa threw a lightning quick glance at the corpse lying on a stretcher. Forensics staff milled around it, measuring things and popping items invisible to the naked eye into plastic envelopes. She shook her head.

Sculpin asked the other four lay people. No one claimed to recognize the victim. “Okay, Mister Johnson has given me his particulars.” He glared at the lab director, who glared back. “According to him the desk assistant—a Miss Weever—has all your contact information, but before you go, I want your name, title, and whereabouts at the time of the discovery.” He held his pencil up and gazed inquiringly at Henry.

Stillwater began to bluster, but a look from the detective quelled him. “Henry Stillwater, Coordinator of Resident Dolphin Training and Research. I’m the one who turned the lights on. I came in at my usual time. Eight-thirty. As usual.”

The detective jotted it down. Henry melted back into the group. Pilchard spoke up. His sharp little eyes darted back and forth and he wiped his beak-like nose in a way that suggested he often had to do so. “As you already know,” he sniffed, “I’m Leslie Pilchard, director of the turtle rehabilitation hospital. When Stillwater called me I was at home. Eating breakfast. As usual.”

“Okey doke.” Sculpin seemed unaffected by the tension. He turned to Esther. “And you?”

Esther blushed deeply and took off her heavy, black-rimmed glasses. When she brought her dark green eyes back up to meet the detective’s, Tessa felt a jolt of electricity cross the short distance between the two. She watched her friend carefully, glancing at the detective now and then for any evidence of reciprocity. “Esther Williams, Volunteer Coordinator. I’m the one who called the police.”

“Esther Williams.” He looked toward the ceiling. “Why is that name familiar? Oh yeah—the swimmer. Esther Williams.” He gave her an inquiring glance.

The blush deepened to an unbecoming purple. Tessa rescued her friend. “Yes, she gets that a lot. No relation.”

“I see.” As Sculpin kept his gaze locked on Esther, her complexion gradually paled to a more attractive pink. Tessa noticed that without the thick lenses her eyes sparkled like well-cut emeralds. “Uh, could I get your phone number, Ms. Williams?”

She whispered it. He leaned toward her to hear, his shoulder brushing hers. A hush fell over the group, the corpse and technicians forgotten in the little scene unfolding before them. The detective broke the spell. “Thanks, Miss Williams. Okay, the rest of you can go, but not too far.” At his words, the kind of sigh you normally hear at the end of a particularly romantic play drifted from the gathering. Sculpin must have missed it, for he continued in a brisk voice, “Now, is there a night watchman or janitor I can talk to?”

Pilchard said, “We don’t have a security guard. John Dory is the jack-of-all-trades here. He goes home at midnight. I’ve already put in a call to him.”

The detective swung around on Tessa. She cringed involuntarily, due partly to his cigar breath and partly to the menacing gleam in his chocolate-colored eyes. “You said you arrived around eight? So the place was left unguarded for eight hours. Pretty big window of opportunity for mischief. Joe?” He patted the CSI man on the shoulder. “Any ideas on time of death?”

“We’ll have to get confirmation from the ME, but we’re looking at closer to midnight than eight. Considering the extent of decomposition, the victim had likely been in the water six, seven hours when she found him.”

“Did he have any ID on him?”

“No wallet, no license.”

One of the lab technicians approached and handed him a plastic bag. “We found an overcoat on the floor behind a metal cabinet. These were in an inside pocket.”
Sculpin peered into the bag. “Looks like about sixty dollars and some change.” He jiggled the bag.

Tessa thought, there’s something wrong here.

Sculpin shook the bag again. “Wait, they aren’t coins. They’re chips. Gambling chips.”

That’s it. They didn’t clink.
The other technician called, “I’ve got something else.” With a pair of tweezers he pulled a soggy piece of lined paper from the dead man’s shirt pocket.

“What is it, Carl?”

The man brought a magnifying glass close. “All I can see are some letters and numbers. It’s in some kind of code.” He dropped it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sculpin.

As Carl turned back to the body, an object fell out of the corpse’s trousers and clanged on the floor. Sculpin picked it up with a gloved hand. “Key.” He turned it over. “Looks like an ignition key to an outboard motor.” He peered at Stillwater and Pilchard. “Could he have come here by boat?”

Pilchard shook his head. “There’s a small boat ramp in the back of this lot, but the gates are always locked. Only a Mote scientist can use it and then we have protocols.”

Sculpin dropped the key into a plastic bag and headed outside, the little group trotting after him, not sure of their obligations to the investigation. He walked around to the back of the building and surveyed the area. To one side lay a huge commercial shipyard, to the other a park, cut off from the Mote building by a tall, chain-link fence. Sculpin waved at the expanse of water before him. “Is that the Bay? Or a bayou?”

Henry said, “We don’t have many bayous here in Sarasota. That’s New Pass. It connects Sarasota Bay to the Gulf.”

“Oh, yeah. This here’s City Island, right? So what’s that piece of land across from us?”

“That’s Quick Point. It’s a nature preserve.”

“But it’s part of Longboat Key, right?”


The detective walked toward the boat ramp and inspected the gate. “So, if a boater didn’t want to be conspicuous, where would he come from?”

Both Pilchard and Stillwater stared at Sculpin, clearly doubting his intelligence. Pilchard spoke first. “Er…anywhere. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but we have lots of marinas around here. And lots of little keys.”

Sculpin harrumphed. “Hey, I’m from Orlando. I’m new to this landscape.” He gestured at the mangroves crawling over the beach like huge spiders. “Seems like there’s more water than solid ground here. Weird.” He smashed his hat on his head and gestured at his sergeant. “Okay, I think that’s all for now. The building must remain closed for the time being.”

Johnson pushed forward, nearly knocking Esther over. “But—”

The steely brown eyes stared the lab director down. “Good. I’ll be in touch.”

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Author Kristen Beairsto Visits Tale Spinner

Please welcome contemporary romance author Kristen Beairsto. Besides her daughters and husband (and sports teams) (and writing!), she says she loves collecting purses, jewelry, and shoes. Going after the Heart, published December, 2012, is her third contemporary romance. Her first two, Love Like Krazy and Sugar and Spice, were also self-published in 2012. Going after the Heart has an intriguing story line and promises to be a great read.

     Lizzy Bergstrum thought she finally reached a point in her life when she could honestly say she had it all. A thriving writing career. A wonderful daughter. And a marriage to the love of her life. But looks can apparently be deceiving, because her husband has just walked out on her and their eight-year-old daughter hates her.
     Gavin Bergstrum can’t handle the direction his life has taken. Not only did he get laid off from his job, but his wife seems to barely remember he exists. Convinced he’s tried his best to change things, he begins to wrestle with the possibility of divorce. But he can’t think straight in the same house as Lizzy. Although he hates to leave his daughter, he needs time to think and come to terms with what he feels he needs to do, so       Gavin decides to return to his small home town in Oregon and stay at his family ranch with his father and brothers.
     In shock, Lizzy gives Gavin his space. But as time passes and he doesn’t say a word about their marriage, Lizzy decides it’s past time she takes matters into her own hands. Without a word, she follows Gavin to Oregon.
     Now facing a daughter who blames her for everything, an irritated husband, and a small town that feeds on the drama, Lizzy finds herself trying to figure out how to convince Gavin to give her another chance, teach her daughter it takes two to make a successful marriage, and overcome her own insecurities – all without compromising who she is.

Excerpt (PG) ~ Going After the Heart

   “Here’s the keys to the cabin. The round one is to the front and back doors and the square one is for the shed.” Ray’s voice sounded clear and even behind him.
   Turning, Gavin watched his father hand Lizzy a small set of keys.
   “I had Clare clean it up for you. Like I said on the phone, it’s not the newest place in the world, but it’s still in pretty good shape considering its age."
   Lizzy gave his father a small smile as she took the keys from him. “I’m sure it’s great.”
   Her gaze moved to him and resentment swelled watching her smile fade. Although, what did he expect, she hadn’t smiled at him for months prior to him leaving. Why would she start now?
   But the indiscernible look settling on Lizzy’s features startled him. After ten years of marriage and five years together before getting married, Gavin would have bet big money he knew every single one of his wife’s expressions. But this one, he realized dumbfounded, he didn’t recognize.
   Her gaze dropped down to Sky. “Come on, Sky, we’ve got to go up to the cabin to settle in.”
   Beside him, Gavin felt Sky’s shoulders tense.
   “No!” She shouted the word venomously. “I don’t want to go with you,” she spat before turning pleading blue eyes up at him. “Dad, can’t I stay here with you and Papa? I don’t want to go with her.”
   Apparently he missed the memo about today being Surprise Day, Gavin realized, as he could only stare at his daughter for a moment, never having seen this side of her before.
   “I tell you what, little missy, no little girl is welcome in my house that sasses her mama the way you just did. No matter what injustice you think she’s handed you, a child never speaks to their parent that way.” Ray delivered his little speech with an even look and matching tone.
   Sky’s cheeks turned bright red. Gavin frowned down at her. “Your grandfather’s right, you know better than to talk to your mom that way.”
   Looking up to his wife, he arched a brow. Apparently the statute of limitations for surprises for the day hadn’t been reached yet, he thought silently in disbelief when Lizzy didn’t scold, or even comment on, Sky’s behavior.
   Rather than say anything, Lizzy looked away and her back stiffened so much he thought her spine would snap.
   What the hell is going on? His bewilderment bothered him.Seeing Lizzy wouldn’t say anything, Gavin looked back down at Sky. “Honey, since I didn’t know you were coming, I don’t have anywhere set up for you to sleep. I’m sleeping on a cot in one of the extra rooms. I’ll try to look at setting something up tomorrow so you can stay a few nights with me. How does that sound?”
   A stubborn look Gavin recognized all too easily surfaced on Sky’s face, but she remained silent, temporarily mollified and nodded. Turning away from him, Sky made her way back to the car and climbed in without so much as a single glance in her mother’s direction.
   Gavin returned his gaze back to Lizzy, but she completely ignored him as she turned to climb back in the car.
   That, at least, he’d grown used to.

Book Information
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary
Ebook and Print; 234 p.

Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/U9Pncg
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/XRFDBi
Kobo: http://bit.ly/Z7S8hj
Createspace: http://bit.ly/132neqJ
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/VNpyuL

Author Bio

Living in Southern California, Kristen enjoys her crazy life with her daughters and husband. When she's not reading or writing, she's cheering enthusiastically for her favorite sports teams.

Website: www.KristenBeairsto.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorKristenBeairsto
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorKBeairsto

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Interviewed by Babette James

The lovely Babette James interviews me on her site : http://babettejames.com/2013/01/15/interview-with-m-s-spencer-author-of-mai-tais-and-mayhem/. You’ll hear about what it was like o get “The Call,” what I like to eat (well, some of it), and get to read an excerpt from my new release Mai Tais and Mayhem. Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's all about the New Releases!: Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder atMote Marine (a Saras...

It's all about the New Releases!: Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder atMote Marine (a Saras...: Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance) By M. S. Spencer Romantic Suspense/Murder Mystery Secret Cravings...

RELEASE DAY Mai Tais and Mayhem

So many romances, so many crooks: can Tessa Diamond, turtle protector and amateur sleuth, keep them straight and still find true love?

Read all about it in my new release Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance)
Contemporary romantic mystery, M/F, 2 flames

Tessa Diamond, newly arrived on the Florida Gulf Coast and looking for something to occupy her time, rescues a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull. Her good deed leads her to the famous Mote Marine Laboratory of Sarasota, and she volunteers to help at the turtle rehabilitation hospital.

When she discovers a dead body where a live turtle should be, she is swept into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages. She confronts murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and big fish, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.

She is torn between Cameron Mason, tiger-eyed and handsome, and Dugan Trevally, sexy and dangerous, but before she can drop her longstanding opposition to marriage and accept her true love, she must face the possibility that one of them could be a thief, and even a murderer.

Buy Link:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Site Honored!

I've been honored! Lynn Crain at her log line blog announced that she has been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award--which, by the way, is well-deserved--and to make it even better, listed other blog sites worth visiting--including mine! Here's her post:


For Something New AND Naughty Stop Here!

Naughty? New? A combination of the two? Welcome to the Something New Something Naughty Blog Hop. It will run from January 10 through the 13. Lots of prizes will go to lots of happy readers. Questions: here’s the main link to the hop: http://authorjenwright.wordpress.com/something-new-something-naughty-blog-hop/

One lucky winner will receive the grand prize of a $60 gift certificate to EdenFantasys.

Two other winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to their choice of the following book sites: Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Barnes & Noble, or Total-E-Bound. I’ll be giving away a gorgeous calendar mouse pad to a lucky winner. Commenting on any of the sites makes you eligible for all the prizes. Remember to put your email address in your comment!

Lessee…something both new and naughty…hmmm…

How about an excerpt from my upcoming release, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine? Mai Tais and Mayhem is a full length novel of romantic suspense, action, adventure, and murder. Set on the Florida Gulf coast, Mai Tais and Mayhem features sea turtles, true love, Russians, parrots, murder, and money, not necessarily in that order.  I just got the buy link: http://store.sweetcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=121

Here’s a blurb:

When Tessa Diamond rescued a baby pufferfish from the jaws of a hungry gull, her good deed led her into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages, past murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, big fish and pigs, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, but not for her.

Along the way she would have to confront the collapse of her well-constructed defenses against love and marriage, but not before coming face to face with the suspicion that her true love could be a thief and even a murderer.

EXCERPT (R) ~ Makeup Sex

     They pulled into her driveway. She’d become so used to uninvited visitors she half expected to see a strange car parked there, but only oyster plants and wild poinsettias filled the sandy yard. Cameron came round to open her door, an act which usually made her uncomfortable. As she straightened, his arms went round her and he pulled her to him. His voice came huskily in her ear. “God, Tessa, I’ve missed you.” She felt his lips touch her earlobe and slide down her neck. She shivered, her vulva squeezing out a drop of liquid in anticipation.
     “M…me too.” She turned around and climbed the stairs, knowing he could see her long legs disappearing into the short skirt and that he would soon be tracing their path up to a warm, wet nest. She swayed her hips to tease him.
     “Tessa, if you value my sanity, don’t do that.”
     She turned around at her bedroom door. Licking a finger she cocked it at him. “Do what?”
     By way of answer he lunged. They fell against the bed, Cameron ripping her blouse open and fastening his lips on one of her nipples. He rolled it in his mouth, pulling and licking at it. She felt it stiffen, and offered her other breast. While he worked on that, her hand slipped down between them to unbuckle his belt, then slithered under the shorts to find what she’d been thinking about way too much. His penis hardened under her touch. “Take my pants off,” he whispered. She rolled off the bed onto her knees and tugged the khakis down to the floor. His pole bobbed out, offering a delicious target. She tried to catch it with her mouth and missed. He leaned over her and, raising the skirt over her hips, pulled her up onto his lap.
     “I thought as much. No underwear. You sexy broad, you.” His fingers snuck between them and he guided his thick rod into her vagina. She settled by degrees onto it, rocking gently back and forth. He leaned back on his elbows and watched her face. After a minute the tickling sensation grew unbearable, and her rocking more frenzied. She threw her head back and pushed her hips down on him, her pussy swallowing his prick all the way to the hilt. It touched off an explosion of pleasure and she rose over him, rising and falling, grunting in ecstasy. She felt his penis freeze, then warmth flood her cave. She fell on him.
     Brrrnnnng. “What the h—” He pushed her off a shade too quickly and reached for his pants. The phone continued to ring while he felt in the pockets for it. Dropping it once, he managed to click Talk just before it went to voicemail. Panting slightly, he said, “Mason…Yeah? Okay, where are you? Oh really? All right, give me five.” He pulled on his clothes, blew her a kiss, and took the steps three at a time. Tessa barely had time to get to the window before a long, black limousine pulled out of the driveway.

Once your breathing’s back to normal after reading the excerpt, you might want to visit some of these other wonderful authors and discover even more naughty and new things!

Adriana Kraft
Adriana Kraft
Alisha Paige/Ruby Vines
Addicted to Genre Bending
Ann Cory
Ann Cory
Cassandra Carr
Hot Blogging with Heart
Cherie Noel
Great Expectations
Diane Thorne
Diane Thorne - Erotic Romance Author
Donna George Storey
Sex, Food, and Writing
Donna Michaels
Romaginative Fiction-Donna's Dish
Elise VanCise
Gladiator's Pen
Harlie Williams
Harlie Williams, Writer
Helena Harker
Open the Door to Your Fantasies

Wright's Blog
Justus Roux
Where Love and Erotic Know No Boundaries
Kayelle Allen
Unstoppable Heroes

Kendall McKenna
Love and Dog Tags
Lisabet Sarai
Beyond Romance
Lisa Carlisle
Lisa Carlisle's News
Lyndi Lamont
Lyndi's Love Notes
M. S. Spencer
M. S. Spencer Tale Spinner

May Water
May Water's Erotica
Michelle Moon
Ink Dipped Moon
Mona Karel
Mona Karel
Naomi Bellina
Naomi Bellina Adventurous Erotic Romance
Nicole Morgan
Bringing Passion To Life
Rose Anderson
Calliopes Writing Tablet
Roz Lee
Roz Lee
S. Dora
S. Dora
Sapphire Phelan
Sapphire Phelan's Passion Corner
Stormie Kent
Stormie Kent's Musings
Suz deMello
Fearless, Fast-paced Fiction
Synithia Williams
Synithia Williams
Victoria Pinder
Victoria Pinder Romance Author
Virginia Nelson
Virginia Nelson, Author

Friday, January 4, 2013

Secret Cravings Second Anniversary Cruise

Yay! We’re celebrating the second anniversary of Secret Cravings Publishing today through January 6. Welcome! You’ll be cruising through the sites of thirty authors, who are “vacationing” in their favorite locations in this glorious world. Your job is to find at least 25 of the 30 locations. They’ll be named somewhere in each blog post. These fabulous prizes will go to the lucky winners:

A beautiful 2013 Calendar Mouse Pad from M. S. Spencer
Grand Prize: IPad2
First Prize: Kindle Fire
Second Prize: $50 Gift Certificate to SCP
Third Prize: $25 Gift Certificate to SCP

While you’re here, let me tell you about Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders and give you a taste of my upcoming January release Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine. Don’t worry—they’re not just murder mysteries; there’s romance and hot sex to keep you turning the pages.

Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders (an Old Town Romance).
Recently widowed Milo Everhart, needlepoint artist, isn’t prepared for the handsome and mysterious Tristram Brodie, who wants not only her beloved Torpedo Factory Art Center but her heart. Nor is she prepared to find a dead body that snowy December night.  Can she set aside her grief and fall in love before the murderer strikes again?

To order Artful Dodging, click on the cover in the left sidebar.

Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance). When Tessa Diamond rescues a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull, her good deed leads 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.

Although the heroines in these books don’t go to my location, PARIS, the heroine of my upcoming May release, Lapses of Memory, will. It’s a novel in which two romances intertwine as a mother recounts the vicissitudes of a life-long love affair while her daughter juggles two lovers. In fact, she’ll spend a LOT of quality time in PARIS, my favorite city.  Where I am (in spirit) now. Hint, hint.

Once you’ve found your locations, email your list to Dawne Prochilo at reviewcoordinator@secretcravingspublishing.com. Winners will be contacted January 11. You’ll find more information at http://secretcravingspublishing.blogspot.com. I’ll contact my winner by January 8, so BE SURE to add your email address to your comment!
Remember to leave your email address in your comment, and click here: http://secretcravingspublishing.blogspot.com/ to go find where the other authors are hiding. Good luck!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome to New Year's Blog Hop

Welcome to the New Year’s Blog Hop! I’ll be here from January 1-6. From here you can link to the over 200 other authors participating, all talking about New Year’s traditions, customs, and fun. You as a reader can go to each blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win THREE grand prizes. Yep, you can enter over 200 times! Winners will be announced January 7.

One wonderful commenter here on my site will receive a beautiful pen or key chain (your choice) (be sure to leave your email with your comment).

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!


I’d never had much truck with New Year’s Eve even as a twenty-something. Not being a night owl, it usually meant a tortured wait just longing for bed. That hasn’t changed much.

It’s supposed to be so romantic, right? Not so. My first New Years with my husband-to-be) was another long drawn out agony. I remember sitting outside on his back steps hoping the cold air would keep me awake and listening to the tick-tick of my watch. Finally, the moment came. I went back in and found Gary snoring on the couch. I shook him awake (none too gently), drank a glass of champagne by myself (he didn’t care for it), and we went to bed with grateful hearts that it was over.

The situation didn’t improve once the kids came, but at least by then we had support from our playgroup. Playgroup consists of a core of 4 to 5 mothers who have met once a week for coffee from the time our children were babies, more than twenty years ago. That’s right: we still meet. And yes, we still call it playgroup. Anyway, our families liked to celebrate New Year’s together. We had a huge spread with lots of cheer, and by mutual consent, the hats and confetti and champagne came out precisely at 10:30.

I think to this day our children believe that the year changes in Virginia one and a half hours earlier than in the rest of the country.

My characters Milo Everhart and Tristram Brodie in Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, have an even worse New Year’s, since they’ve decided to take a break from each other to deal with murder investigations, arrests and runaways. Milo’s friend Morgana asks her what her plans are:

Milo waved a thick volume before stuffing it in her bag. “Jane Austen, Isis, and I will spend a cozy evening by the fire.”
“No champagne?”
“Of course, but only for me. Isis gets Fancy Feast, and Jane gets my undivided attention.”

If you want to find out why it didn’t turn out that way—click on the cover in the left sidebar. You can read an excerpt under the tab Excerpts here.

If you click on the link below, it will take you to the list of participating authors. Have fun, and Happy New Year!

Or go to the main site: http://carrieannbloghops.blogspot.com/