We're all thankful for something in our lives. I am thankful for family, friends and health. But I'm also so grateful that I am able to live in Florida. I write about the myriad fascinating sounds of Florida in this Thanksgiving blog at Redzworld today:http://redzworld.blogspot.com/2014/11/ms-spencer-thankful-blog.html
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday—revolving as it does around food and family (and football and beer). It helps that it can be celebrated in any climate or country—unlike the 4th of July or Christmas. I've enjoyed many a Thanksgiving in New England, buried under red and gold leaves, roasting chestnuts, and drinking hot buttered rum before a flickering fire. I've also (more recently) spent Thanksgiving in sunny Florida.
I have come to cherish Florida—its colors, its sounds, its people, its extraordinary history, its varied geography. But today, for Thanksgiving, I'd like to focus on the sounds of Florida and why they make it so special.
Most of Florida's sounds come from nature, but not all. My island, a flat barrier key twelve miles long, is a mecca for cyclists. Every morning long lines of them race along the single highway. I can hear them coming behind me—a few shouts as they encourage each other, a thrumming of pedals revolving, and then the whoosh as the fleet passes, speeding on.
Offering its share of sounds, the Gulf of Mexico lies steps from my home. My favorite is the snap, crackle, pop seashells at low tide make when the waves flood over them. Then, if you listen closely as the wave recedes, you can hear the thrip thrip of dozens of coquinas as they bury themselves in the sand. Chasing after them, bills pistoning in and out, are the sanderlings and plovers, their high-pitched chittering filling the air. Above them comes the euphoric shriek when a tern snags a silvery minnow for his lady love.
Some days the din of bird cries can be deafening—the crank of the great blue heron flying low across the sand to land with a fluffing of feathers, the squawk of laughing gulls, and the chip chip of an osprey, his call resembling more that of a toddler searching for his mother than a merciless raptor.
In the bayous of the island you can hear the booming rap-a-tap-tap of the pileated woodpecker long before you see him, and the raucous squeals of a black-headed parrot troupe infesting a sabal palm. A soft whuffing from a canal tells you a manatee has risen from his feast of turtle grass for a breath of air. Then there's the splash of mullet leaping high out of the water for no one knows what reason—followed by the splat as they strike the surface.
Here in Florida even the plants talk. We have many palms—sabal, coconut, Chinese thatch, silver, Royal, Queen. Their fronds continuously die and slough off—making a walk in a palm forest a symphony of cracks and rustles, as the brown fronds slide down the trunks to make way for the new leaves. As they fall, they send thousands of brown and green anoles skittering into the underbrush.
Behind my house is a mangrove swamp, which teems with muggy sound—whistling tree frogs, scrabbling mangrove crabs, the slurp of fiddler crabs as they are sucked back into the mud. The eeriest music comes from the mangroves themselves as they bend and scrape each other when the tide comes in. In the quiet you can sometimes hear the tap tap of an ibis or a yellow-crowned night heron stepping delicately among the red mangrove roots to catch tiny fish.
The sounds of Florida are both exotic and comforting. They remind me of the crazy diversity of life on this planet, and the joy that all God's creatures have in the gift of that life. For these, as for my own life and family, I am thankful.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
She’d catch the demon tonight if it killed her.
Thus spake Garnet McAnna, heroine of Flossie Benton Rogers new installment in the acclaimed paranormal series, Wytchfae.
Please welcome my friend and wonderful author, Flossie Benton Rogers! Not only does she want to talk about her new book, but she is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate, a signed copy of Dark Lords, and three Lord of Fire ebooks! Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.
Hi! Flossie Benton Rogers here. Your website is lovely, and I appreciate your poetry so much. Thank you for featuring Lord of Fire today. First, I thought we’d take a look at the Wytchfae world that permeates each book in the series, as well as examine the definition of a Wytchfae.
The World of Wytchfae: Closer to us than a hair’s breadth are the realms encountered in the Wytchfae series of paranormal romance / urban fantasy novels. These mysterious places are populated with faeries, witches, demons, angels, goddesses, dark guardians, ghosts and other magical beings. The beings dwell in multiple dimensions parallel to our own earth dimension. Some of the worlds are welcoming, others dangerous and forbidding. Through the darkest night and the fright of unchained chaos, love will always shine.
Wytchfae: A Wytchfae is a trained witch who has at least a drop of fae or faery blood thrumming through her veins. This bloodline back to ancient Celtic times heightens her powers over what mere training can do. A Wytchfae resides on the human earth plane but sometimes has occasion to travel back and forth in time and also to visit the Underworld and other parallel dimensions. A man can be a witch and have fae blood but is not called a Wytchfae. He is usually called a male witch, warlock or sorcerer. Different Wytchfae have different skills and various levels of power. Garnet McAnna, the Wytchfae heroine in Lord of Fire, has great tracking ability but also likes to play with knives and guns.
Fascinating, Flossie. Would you tell us a bit about your new release, Lord of Fire – Wytchfae 5?
When The Hawk meets his Wytchfae, the result is spontaneous combustion.
Garnet McAnna chases the demon responsible for attacking and enslaving innocent fae familiars. She never expected to run headlong into a mesmerizing stranger known as The Hawk. Nor did she anticipate the way his masculine power kindles a womanly flame within her.
Exiled from an elite warrior's brigade, Lord of Fire Gabriel Hawk guards his heart and his solitude. He wants nothing to do with the world of men or the realm of fae. Then a beautiful Wytchfae bursts into his life, stirring desire and sparking need. Garnet is on a dangerous mission, and he can't let her face the evil alone. What else can he do but fight beside her? When she disappears, he raises hell to find her. Will he be too late? Will darkness conquer this couple or will love burn their souls into one?
Wanting to disturb his personal space as little as possible, she breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of an ice-blue button down dress shirt on a hanger. It fell to her knees but covered all the pertinent areas rather like a robe. It would do fine.
Only after buttoning it did she catch the smell that lingered on the shirt—his scent—lime and the clean outdoors with an undertone of erotic male. He had worn it recently. Her nipples puckered. Damn, she wasn’t used to having such an immediate attraction to a man.
Stuffing her mutilated clothes into the bathroom trash, she was standing at the counter refilling her cup with coffee when he returned.
His gaze raked down her legs to her bare feet and then swept back up to meld with hers.
An electrical spark surged between them.
He moved closer. The heat he generated encircled her, making her ultra-aware of her body and the sinfully handsome male standing beside her. His nearness had a hypnotic effect on her.
His fingertips tugged at the collar of the shirt she wore. “You’ve taken a bath.”
“A quick wash. I hope you don’t mind…I borrowed…” The breath left her.
“I don’t mind.” His voice slid like rough silk over her skin, brushing the nerve endings into action.
She should take her coffee and sit down, but her legs refused to move.
A warm finger traced the curve of her chin. “No more smudges.” His fleeting smile melted something in the region of her heart.
Video Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTifE-174mE
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1nzt1Bs
Secret Cravings Publishing: http://bit.ly/1FKwWBu
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wytchfae-5-flossie-benton-rogers/1120627377?ean=2940046361803
About the Author:
Flossie Benton Rogers is the author of the Wytchfae paranormal romance series. She is Sagittarius with a Libra ascendant and Taurus moon, or a fifth-generation Floridian and freedom loving mystic. She pursues her passion for mythology by writing romances about mysterious magical beings. A former teacher and library director, she enjoys spending her time with family and friends, and seeking out new stories to uplift and entertain.
Connect with Flossie:
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6553203.Flossie_Benton_Rogers
Amazon author page: http://amazon.com/author/flossiebentonrogers
Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate any comments. Please enter for a chance to win prizes here:
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Great news! JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS! All of my print books are now available for order at Books-a-Million! Here's a link that takes you to all of them. You can order on line or at the store (there is a discount for ordering on line).
For individual copies, here are the links:
The Mason's Mark: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Masons-Mark/M-S-Spencer/9781631051814?id=6160893910917
Lapses of Memory: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Lapses-Memory/M-S-Spencer/9781618858566?id=6160893910917
Mai Tais and Mayhem: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Mai-Tais-Mayhem/M-S-Spencer/9781618856623?id=6160893910917
Artful Dodging: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Artful-Dodging/M-S-Spencer/9781618853264?id=6160893910917
Losers Keepers: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Losers-Keepers/M-S-Spencer/9781618850812?id=6160893910917
Saturday, November 15, 2014
"M.S. Spencer sweeps in and delivers a unique romantic story that jumps [straight] in to the action and never lets up. Lacey Delahaye is definitely not the average heroine in a typical romance, however she quickly won me over in this suspenseful adventure. After all how can you not be impressed by a woman who heads out into the Florida wilderness during a hurricane. Armand is like a fairy tale prince come to life, only with real flaws and virtues. His speech pattern was endearing and I could "listen" to him for hours. I enjoyed the accompanying information with this story as I love learning about new things. If you are looking for an entertaining romantic suspense with some fantastic characters then this is a great choice."
Posted 10/12/14 in Night Owl Reviews: http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Reviews/Paulinemichael-reviews-Whirlwind-Romance-by-M-S-Spencer
I am looking forward to a third, unless there's one already lurking out there...
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I look at the cloud-scudded skies and see shadows
Of heavy wings
Slowly beating away from me
The face is turned away
You go to greet Lilith the first wife of Adam
Then you turn back to me
Your wing-tipped hand slowly rises
As you take hers
And sink back into Hell.
A tiny flame flickers at the spot
And is gone.
What is that?
A booming laugh from heaven
God is satisfied that
I am inconsolable.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Check out my five star review for Whirlwind Romance!
"Oh, and let's not forget romance. Lacey is definitely caught in a whirlwind, and you will be, too--one you can't put down. Clear the decks before you pick up this book. I recommend Earl Grey, hot, with crumpets, butter, and red currant jelly whilst you read it."
Monday, November 10, 2014
A kickoff of two new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield
and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund
When Inspiration Strikes
One question I’m often asked is where I get my story ideas.
Here’s the answer: Everywhere!
I’ve yet to go on a trip with my husband, Captain Cavedweller, and not come home with a list of story ideas. They’ve sprung to life while sitting in traffic, working in the yard, and grocery shopping.
I also find inspiration in experiences. If I hear a hilarious story from a friend, I will probably jot down some notes. You never know when it might end up in a story. Likewise, don’t behave badly around me because you could end up as some despicable jerk in a future story.
The idea for my contemporary holiday romance, The Christmas Cowboy, invaded my thoughts while CC and I sat in the Las Vegas airport after the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, waiting for our flight home.
Indulging in some serious people watching, I couldn’t help but notice the sea of cowboy hats and friendly smiles. “What if,” started playing loudly in my head. What if there was a cowboy, a rodeo cowboy? What if he met a girl at an airport? What if they fell in love? What if she was a driven career woman? What if she despised cowboys? What if…
Fortunately, I had my laptop with me and began madly typing my ideas for the two main characters. By the time we landed, I had a basic storyline and the main characters in the story were starting to take shape.
Keep something handy to jot down notes at all times. You never know when or where inspiration might strike. I keep notebooks in my purse, in the car and, if all else fails, I can also capture a few notes on my phone.
Don’t go looking for inspiration because the very best moments are the ones that catch you by surprise.
Excerpt from The Christmas Cowboy
Tate surprises Kenzie by showing up on her doorstep late one afternoon…
Standing on her front step, he rang the bell and listened to her footsteps hurrying toward the door. The smile on her face forced him to catch his breath.
“Hey! What are you doing here?” Kenzie asked, kissing his cheek then stepping aside so he could come in out of the cold.
Curiosity got the best of her when he stood staring at her, his good hand still behind his back. Trying to look around him, he turned so she couldn’t.
“What are you hiding?” she asked, her eyes warm and inviting when he stepped inside and nudged the door shut behind him with his boot.
“I couldn’t help but notice you’re missing a very important component of proper Christmas décor,” Tate said, sounding all knowing and official.
“What could I possibly be missing?” Kenzie asked, looking behind her and sweeping her arm toward the living room that did look particularly festive, thanks in part to Tate. “I’ve got a poinsettia, a beautiful Christmas tree, garlands, pine boughs, sugary treats, and a blazing fire. Did you bring me some chestnuts to roast? If you did, I’ve got no clue what to do with them, so you’re out of luck.”
Laughing, Tate raised his arm and held a bunch of mistletoe over their heads. “It seems to me this is the most important decoration of all.”
“Possibly,” Kenzie said, reaching out and looping her arms around Tate’s neck, pulling his head down to hers. Teasing and gentle at first, their kiss soon gained momentum until he dropped the mistletoe on the table near the door and she pressed as close against him as his thick coat would allow.
Where to Find The Books
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
Now through Dec. 24, Shanna will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.
You’re Invited to PARTY!
You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty
The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994
In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!
To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.
About Shanna Hatfield
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
Find Shanna’s books at:
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