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, February 28, 2013

A True Turkish Delight Served Up Today

Please welcome Liz Crowe. Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. Years of experience in sales and fundraising, plus an eight-year stint as an expatriate trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry), has prepped her for life as an erotic romance author.

When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Having spent 2 ½ years in Istanbul, Turkey, she became enamored with the country, its people, and its history. So, when she was working on a concept for Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series, her mind went straight to Turkey and its many delights.

Set in Istanbul, Las Vegas, and Southern California, Liz’s series Turkish Delights has it all—heat, heart, intrigue and a deep, family connection that transcends all barriers.

A sweeping saga of family, love, loss and recovery, the Turkish Delight series begins with a special sort of magic. Madame Eve works her miracles for the Deniz family, but even she can’t overcome the harsh realities that force this Turkish/American family to deal with tragedy when one of their own is ripped from their close-knit circle. Turkish Delights consists of five books: The Diplomat's Daughter, Turkish Delights, Blue Cruise, Tulip Princess, and Flower Passage. It is now available in a one-volume print anthology and an e-book bundle. You can download the e-book bundle FREE from February 27 through March 1.

Today Liz has given us the first chapter of the first book in the series, the Diplomat’s Daughter to savor. The story, set in 1960s Istanbul, and tells a tale of pre-destiny, passion and the rebellious power of true love.

Here’s the blurb:

When Vivian Kincaid's eyes meet those of a hunky local at the Turkish university her father forces her to attend, it only takes her a split second to recognize her childhood friend. Levent Deniz was the servant boy who taught her to run the streets of Istanbul years before, giving outlet to her wild streak even as a child.

Now face-to-face once again as adults, the only thing standing between them and happiness is her father. The newly appointed Consul General for the United States has other plans for his only daughter, ones that do not include a former servant, now successful entrepreneur and businessman. He will do everything in his power to keep them apart.

The Diplomat’s Daughter by Liz Crowe
Chapter One

Vivian tore her gaze from the large windows, and tried to ignore the tedious professor. She tugged a lock of her dark hair over her eyes. The stupid, frumpy outfit her father made her wear to school chafed every inch of her skin. She glanced around, not finding anyone interesting to stare at in the stuffy economics classroom. Frowning she looked over her shoulder, bored, angry at her circumstances, and itching to get out of the confines of the room. It was stifling hot already. Her thoughts wandered to her plans for the evening with her friends.

They’d discovered an old Roman cistern that had been transformed into an illicit nightclub. Precisely the right amount of danger, served up with imported whiskey, local cigarettes, and attractive Turkish men plus a few daring tourists—the very thought of the place made Viv smile. Sneaking out of the consulate residence was a snap. Her father never paid attention to her anyway. Istanbul in the late 1960s was awash in tourist money and development. Plenty of trouble could be found if a girl knew where to search.

When her gaze met that of some hunky local staring at her like she was a water mirage in the desert, her skin prickled. His eyes were dark, his features sharp and striking. The dark tie and light blue shirt hugged his obviously strong torso. Her eyes narrowed. Two can play the stare down game. When he smiled, she gasped and her heart lurched into her throat. She whipped around and clutched her hands together on the desk.

Oh God. It was Levent Deniz. Her childhood friend. The boy who’d made her early years as the daughter of a busy diplomat in this teeming city bearable. They’d spent countless hours playing in the parks by the Bosporus, daring each other through various mazes of dangerous boat docks, across rickety bridges through neighborhoods and streets where she had no business.

How could it be? She snuck a look back. Noted the unique color of his eyes—a soft, unusual, midnight blue—and that scar at the corner of his mouth, when he’d fallen and gotten injured trying to protect her from the feral dog that had chased them the last day she ever saw him. Yep. It was Levent all right. She turned again to face front, her heart pounding. It was a life-changing split second that she would never, ever forget.

It never failed. Every time Viv felt even a little bit close to her father, that stupid simpleton of a wife would insert herself. She’d made a point to be on time for dinner in the lavish Consulate dining room for the express purpose of asking him about the family that had served their former diplomatic home in Istanbul. But her stepmother was there, too, and their sniveling toddler, which always distracted him. It was as if he had short attention span problems with his kids. Could only focus on one and right now he loved that bratty little boy he’d spawned with his former secretary, the shiny new Mrs. Consulate General.

Vivian stared at the snot-nosed little kid who got all the attention. The spitting image of her father really: nearly hairless, red-faced, and complaining. She sighed and sipped her wine. After about twenty minutes of brainless baby-talk between the three of them she interjected. “Father, do you remember the Deniz family?”

Her father tore his gaze from the kid and frowned at her. “There are a million Deniz families. Which one are you referring to?” He took a bite of rich lamb stew.

“You know, from before. When we lived here.” She shot a significant glance at her father’s wife. “With Mother?”

He cleared his throat. “Oh, yes, right, well….” He made a show of remembering. “Ah, the boy who got cut, when you two were running around like a pack of wild dogs in the streets.”

“Yeah.” Viv let that one go. She needed the information worse than she needed to argue with him. “Him. What happened to them? Do they still…you know.”

“I heard something about the boy. What was his name?” He waved a hand, deeming it unimportant. “He is co-owner of one of the construction companies here now. Don’t know where he got the money.”

“Levent.” Vivian tried to keep the eagerness out of her voice.

“What? Oh yes, Levent. He was quite the trouble maker if I remember correctly.” Her father shot Vivian a withering stare. She returned it in kind. “Why do you ask?”

“I thought I saw him today. In class.”

“Hmm. That’s odd. Perhaps he’s getting an advanced degree.”

“No, he probably never went to university at all and is only now getting one.”

“Yes, one would suppose, wouldn’t one.”

Vivian rolled her eyes as her father returned his attention to his miniature, who’d dumped food on the floor. Vivian sighed. Her audience with the great man was obviously over. She tossed back the last of the one glass of wine allowed with a meal, stood and spoke. “I’m going out.” Her father and his wife looked up as if surprised she was even still in the room.

Levent stared out the window of his car at the massive construction site that would someday be the newest, fanciest hotel in the ancient city. He grabbed his hard hat and safety glasses and strode to the foreman’s temporary offices. His head was not right. There was a disquiet in his gut, something he was wholly unfamiliar with, and he could trace it right back to the moment today when he’d locked eyes with her.
The controlled chaos of the site and especially the office did nothing to dispel his anxiety. As the subcontractor for the larger construction company in charge, Levent and his business partner spent a lot of time sucking up and placating, serving as go-between for the contractor and the actual workmen. He’d spent nearly ten years as a lowly tradesman, learning all he could about building, from the smallest homes to large apartment buildings, office towers, and now resorts. He felt most comfortable amongst the actual workers as opposed to behind some desk. Heaving a huge sigh, he clapped on his hard hat, and headed out to see what fires needed putting out today, his mind still foggy with memory.

Get all five books bundled for Kindle Prime members FREE between February 27 and March 1 here:

All five books are also available in a single-volume print anthology here: http://www.amazon.com/Turkish-Delights-Liz-Crowe/dp/1613334478/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360946767&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=liz+crowe+turkish+delights

Finished here? Leave a comment, then hop on to the next sites on Liz’s grand tour. Today you can visit her at: www.literatiliteraturelovers.com and tomorrow, March 1 at www.sevensexyscribes.blogspot.com and www.cindyspencerpape.com.
The final stop: www.decadentpublishing.blogspot.com is a contest that consists of 5 questions plus a bonus round. All answers can be found in various posts throughout the tour.

The commenter who gets the most answers correct AND leaves an email address in their comment wins: 1 signed print copy of Turkish Delights and $50 Amazon gift card. And if they answer the BONUS question correctly as well the prize is a Beer Wench tee shirt from Liz' brewery. (Dibs!)

Liz would love to hear from you:


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beyond Romance: Swimming in Caviar

Beyond Romance: Swimming in Caviar: By M. S. Spencer (Guest Blogger) In my new romantic suspense novel Mai Tais and Mayhem , our heroine Tessa Diamond volunteers at the famo...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Secret Life of Sturgeon--and a Juicy Excerpt

Most people know that sturgeon produce the best caviar in the world, but may not know how odd and huge the fish is, nor of its illustrious history right here in the United States. Come find out more about what used to be called “Albany Beef” at Lisabet Sarai’s Beyond Romance today. A little lagniappe: a juicy excerpt from my FIVE STAR romantic suspense Mai Tais and Mayhem and a prize! Drop in here: http://lisabetsarai .blogspot. com.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Log Line Blog: Mai Tais and Mayhem

The Log Line Blog: Mai Tais and Mayhem: Mai Tais and Mayhem Murder at Mote Marine A Sarasota Romance M. S. Spencer Secret Cravings Publishing Secret Craving Publi...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What Do You Think of the Tag Line for Mai Tais?

Do drop by Lynn Crain’s Log Line Blog and read my tag line for Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine, my new romantic suspense mystery. I’d love comments, thoughts, advice!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Free Read! First Chapter of Mai Tais

The first chapter of my new romantic suspense Mai Tais and Mayhem, is up at D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapter today. I hope you enjoy it!  http://drb1stchp.com/2013/02/mai-tais-and-mayhem-by-m-s-spencer/

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Woolfish Interview

Would you like to know how a writer spends her day? At least in her fantasy world? Then visit me at Cynthia Woolf’s Wednesday, February 13. I get to talk about my first rejection (whoopee) and other juicy gossip. Here’s the link: http://cynthiawoolf.com/blog/an-interview-with-m-s-spencer/

Monday, February 11, 2013

Even more about sea turtles at Raine Delight's

Turtles and Mayhem…or is it Mai Tais? I’m visiting Raine Delight on Sunday February 10 to talk about the glories of the Florida Gulf coast, the setting for my new romantic suspense novel, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine. Tune in for some interesting facts about sea turtles. Here’s the link: http://authorrainedelight.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/welcome-m-s-spencer-today-5/

Mai Tais and a Prize at Tina Donahue's Today

Come visit me today at Tina Donahue’s lovely website. I’m talking about the Florida Gulf coast, sea turtles, and my new romantic suspense/murder mystery Mai Tais and Mayhem. Here’s the link: http://www.tinadonahue.com/contest-and-guest-blog-with-m-s-spencer/

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Firsts for Seconds:Or, The Heroine's Not the Only One Who Gets a Guy

Welcome to the First Ever MFRW blog hop! Click on the button here to move from fabulous blog to blog.
A few years ago several authors got into a discussion about what kinds of excerpts readers liked the best.  The general consensus was the scene in which the hero and heroine first meet.  That little twinge, that spark, the pulling sensation as though a wire were drawing them together, may be the most exciting part of the whole romance. To be sure, the happy ending is always satisfying, but does it give you that thrill that only occurs the first time two people destined to be lovers come in contact?

The intoxicating first encounter doesn’t always happen to the hero and heroine, however. Often, they don’t recognize their destiny right away, and may even actively dislike their soon-to-be lover. Sometimes they have to be nudged a little, or even learn from example. So here I’ve presented two excerpts that illustrate how a secondary love affair can be just as romantic.

The first is from my latest novel, Mai Tais and Mayhem. The heroine Tessa has discovered a dead body, the police have been called, and the detective, Sculpin, is taking names and numbers from the witnesses.    He turns to the heroine’s friend, Esther.
“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.

My second example comes from my fourth novel, Triptych. This is the story of three sisters. The principal romance is between the middle sister, Miranda, and Luc, a mysterious Frenchman. However, the other two sisters, Honor and Sybil, manage to find true love while Miranda and Luc work out their differences. As the story begins, Honor, the eldest, is a recluse who spends her time in her tower writing listless tragedies, but when their old friend Dieter begins spending more time with her, romance blossoms. Miranda, caught up in her own troubles, has no clue:

“Honor, you spent all last evening with Dieter. I presume you came up with a plan.” Miranda looked out over the tops of the oaks and hickories occupying the ground between the houses. A slight breeze jiggled the wisp of smoke coming from Dieter’s chimney. He always had a wood fire going, even in the dog days of a Washington summer. Must be a German thing. “He acted as though he had one this morning, anyway.”
“Oh dear.”
Miranda swung around. “Oh dear? What do you mean, ‘Oh dear’?”
Honor blushed. Miranda didn’t remember ever seeing her older sister blush. She also noticed that her normally pale face and limp braid seemed somehow more vibrant this morning. The gray’s gone, yes. But there’s something else…“Honor? What’s going on?”
Honor spoke confidentially to her computer. “We…we had such a pleasant dinner. Dieter cooked it himself. Sausages and peppers. And a nice wine—he said it was Alsatian. Very gris…We—”
 She ignored the interruption and continued to address the keyboard. “We ate in his sun room. He’s put in a huge skylight. Did you know you can see the whole sky from that room? Orion was right over our heads! Then he built a lovely fire.” She must have heard the rumblings from Miranda’s throat and her words tumbled out faster. “Anyway, we got to talking—about my book, about Dieter’s family in Germany…all kinds of things. He’s been away so long, I’d forgotten what a good listener he is.” She looked up at Miranda to reveal a heavily flushed face and radiant smile. Unfortunately her sister had neither the time nor the inclination to understand their significance.
“So, you didn’t even discuss what we’re going to do about Luc?” Hysteria crept into her voice. He’ll disappear along with the paintings and I’ll never see him again. I mean, we’ll never learn the truth about him. I mean…
“I told him about Polly and the Hals, Miranda.” Honor could barely muster her defenses. “But…you see…well…I’m afraid we became a bit…er…distracted.”
“Distracted?” Who is this woman and what has she done with my sister? “Distracted? What on earth are you talking about, Honor? We’ve all agreed this is serious business. If Luc is a swindler we need proof.”
“And figure out what we’re going to do about it. Yes, I know.”
“Do about it? Why, call the police, of course. We’ve no other choice.”
Honor blinked. “I suppose.”

If you enjoyed these, please be sure to click on the covers in the left sidebar for full information. One lucky reader here will win a copy of your choice: Mai Tais and Mayhem or Triptych.
To continue the hop, click here: http://is.gd/mfrwbloghops

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Want to know more about the tropical paradise known as the Florida Gulf Coast—and how to buy caviar for a good cause? Visit me at Elise VanCise’s wonderful blog Gladiator’s Pen today:

Friday, February 1, 2013

M. S. Spencer Tale Spinner: POETRY

M. S. Spencer Tale Spinner: POETRY: This is about my daughter. Emma Deep deep hazel eyes Thick thick auburn hair The innocent look of the newly reborn Of the believer i...

Poetry Page

I've added a Poetry page to my blog. I'll be adding poems now and then. I hope you take a moment to read them. I decided they shouldn't sit in that dusty old file any longer.