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, June 30, 2016

More from the Penhallow Train Incident: We Meet George

Hidden loot, the Queen of Sheba, and too many corpses equal romance and adventure.

In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, drawing Historical Society Director, Rachel Tinker, and curmudgeonly retired professor, Griffin Tate, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. With the help of the victim’s rival, they set out to locate the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Their plans are stymied when a war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man for different crimes. It’s up to Rachel to solve a mystery that includes two more murders, if she wants to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust. 

An unlikely visitor to sleepy Penhallow is George Hamdani, a portly Lebanese archaeologist. He reminds me a bit of an old friend, a larger than life personality whose bulk belies his intelligence and agility. This particular George has a secret—well, as Rachel and Griffin discover to their chagrin, more than one secret.

Excerpt (PG): We Meet George

            As she trudged up the cellar steps to her kitchen, she noticed light coming from under the cellar door and smelled something alien—cigar smoke? When the cat wasn’t at his usual post by the Friskies, Rachel felt a frisson of fear run up her spine. Too many deaths, too many conspiracies floating around. She didn’t need any more mystery. Her throat constricted, she croaked, “Who’s there?”
From the living room came a deep voice. “It’s me, Rachel. Didn’t you see my car?”
“Griffin!” She went in. “I came in the back way and—”
Sitting on the couch was her erstwhile lover, in a beautifully tailored navy suit that rendered her breathless. Next to him sat an enormously fat man, his olive brown face concealed by a magnificent moustache, his small, black eyes both cold and anxious. A large cheroot smoldered in a saucer on the coffee table.
One man jumped to his feet. The other, with much groaning and wheezing, pushed himself off the couch and extended a mammoth paw. Griffin said, “I’d like you to meet George Hamdani, of the Institut français d’archéologie. He’d like asylum.”


“Pardon me?”
Hamdani looked from Rachel to Griffin, confusion writ large on his face. Griffin coughed in vexation. “You heard me, Rachel. You do know what asylum means, don’t you? If not, may I direct you to the dictionary?”
Rachel kept her own irritation on a tight leash. “Griffin Tate, I do not appreciate your tone. Nor do I appreciate being treated like some sort of…of church.”
“Church? What are you talking about?”
“You know, sanctuary.”
“Sanctuary is different from asylum.”
“In what way?”
“Well, for one thing…wait a minute. You’re just trying to distract me from the issue at hand. Are you or are you not going to take George here in?”
Rachel surveyed the mountain that was George Hamdani. Perspiration beaded his forehead, and he seemed to be having trouble catching his breath. “No.”
Hamdani latched a pleading hand on Griffin’s arm and spoke with an unfamiliar accent. “My dear professor, cannot you be more agreeable? I am in great need of this beautiful lady’s help.”
“I’ll try.” Griffin made a herculean effort and produced something approaching cordiality. “Forgive me…Miss Tinker. I guess I wasn’t making myself very clear. I meant only that George here needs a place to stay for a bit. Until we sort things out.”
His forced smile did not fool Rachel. “Things?”
“Before we get into that, he hasn’t eaten in two days.” Griffin nodded toward the kitchen. “As you may have surmised, he’s not equipped to fast for very long.”
Really? I’ll bet he could go a year. “Certainly. Can I get you something to eat, Mister Hamdani?” With any luck the sarcasm dripping from her lips would puddle under Griffin’s feet and he’d slip in it.
Griffin deftly avoided the trap. “Thanks. I’ll have a sandwich. George? What can Rachel get you?”
Hamdani nodded enthusiastically. “You are very kind, Miss Tinker. I am devastated to be coming to you in this precipitate manner. When my circumstances improve, it will be my very great pleasure to make it up to you in any way you desire.”
Well, when you put it that way…“I may have some chicken salad. I’ll go check.” She opened the refrigerator and took out a Tupperware container, lettuce, and bread. Griffin came in and retrieved two plates from the dish rack. As he carried napkins and glasses from the cupboard, he whispered to Rachel, “Thanks for doing this. You’ll understand why it’s important in a minute.”
She punched him to hide the mushy smile that crowded out her aggravated scowl. “Beer?”
Rachel opened three bottles while Griffin took the sandwiches to the dining room table. One glance at the delicate Duncan Phyfe straight chair and another at Hamdani’s humongous behind and she pushed the ottoman toward him. “You’ll be safer on that.”
Hamdani nodded gravely and sat down.
She waited while the men wolfed down their food. “Okay, spill.”
Griffin wiped his mouth with a napkin. “George is from the Institut—”
“You told me that. He’s not French though, is he?”
The big man beamed. “No, no. Although French is my second language. English, alas, is only my third. No, I’m from the most beautiful country in the world, the land of the spreading cedar, of blue Mediterranean waters, of snow-frosted mountains.”
“And that would be…”
“Lebanon, of course.”
Not one to let a paean throw her, Rachel addressed Griffin. “And?”
“Oh right.” Griffin gulped down his sandwich. “I’ll cut to the chase. He witnessed the murder and is afraid if he comes forward he’ll be considered the prime suspect.”
“Which murder?”
His eyes popped. “Which…Oh right, I forgot about the woman. No, I mean Omar Masri. George saw him shot.”
“Does he know who did it?”
“No. He was watching Masri through the window and saw him fall.”
George's beloved cedar tree


The Wild Rose Press, 3/30/2016, Crimson Rose Line
Contemporary romantic suspense/Cozy Mystery; Sensual (PG-PG13)
Ebook 79,665 words, Print 334 p.

Buy Links:
Pre-order as of 2/6/2016; release date 3/30)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Artful Dodging Available for Pre-Order

It’s just before Christmas, and Milo Everhart has two needlepoint stockings, a cross-stitch purse, and three canvases to finish for her clients. Waiting out the rain in a pub, she is captivated by the handsome man next to her, but blocking the road to romance are two mysterious corpses who turn up in the tower of her Torpedo Factory Art Center. As if that weren’t enough, a second crisis erupts—a proposal to gut her beloved Art Center. 

Tristram Brodie, hard-driving corporate lawyer and former Marine, is focused on his plan to convert the Torpedo Factory into a box store. He is drawn to the beautiful woman sitting next to him, but their mutual attraction will be frustrated by both the murders and his intentions. As they edge closer to love, they must find a way to overcome not only their differences but also the still-fresh memory of her late husband. 

Miss the rush on July 20 and order your copy of Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders today!

Find it here:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Big Sale at All Romance E Books

All Romance E Books is having a huge summer sale--all my books, both I Heart and The Wild Rose Press, are 25% off, so most are less than $4.00! Here's the link, then search on M. S. Spencer and all eight books come up: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/

Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders (Pre-Order)
A Widow's Walk: Catherine's Dilemma
Dear Philomena: Love, Lust & Murder on Chincoteague Island
Exquisite Christmas: 2015 Holiday Anthology
Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine
The Mason's Mark: Love & Death in the Tower
The Penhallow Train Incident

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Leap of Faith Comes to Tale Spinner

Welcome Nell Castle and her first Wild Rose Press romance, A Leap of Faith. Tell us about your book and how you came to write it, Nell.

I’d be happy to. Two years ago, when I made up my mind to quit deferring my dream of writing a novel, I decided to try my hand at romance. To prime the pump, I asked my friends to tell me the most romantic moments of their pasts. One of them, the person who inspired the character of my heroine, Sophia, had worked as a special events director in a major department store in northeastern Ohio. The first scene in A Leap of Faith is based on her experience of cooking pancakes for customers in a twelve-foot frying pan. She shared some poignant memories of pining over a man who was absolutely wrong for her, a man I villainized in the character of Christopher. Jackson is my own idealized creation of the perfect guy for Sophia: a spiritual man who would see past fluctuations in her weight to the beauty shining from within. The fun part was entangling the three characters in a love triangle. What woman doesn’t like the idea of two men fighting over her?

Special events coordinator Sophia Anton is an old-fashioned girl. She wants a family by the time she’s 30, and she’s set her sights on an old friend. She just needs to lose 40 pounds, fast. But Jackson Thomas, the handsome new minister in town, turns her head to unexpected possibilities. Trouble is, Jackson’s taken a vow of celibacy, while Sophia’s scheme to snag the “man of her dreams” is working like a charm. So why does Jackson’s face haunt her when she closes her eyes? And how can Jackson dream of a future with Sophia after he’s shut the door on love?
Ebook: 68,000 words; Print: 270 p.
Sweet (PG) Romance

Buy links:

Excerpt (G): Jackson and the Kids
Jackson picked up one child after another, gently lifting the shyer ones and dangling rambunctious children by their ankles.
Sophia had never seen him so relaxed.
“He's like the Pied Piper,” Kate said in her ear.
Transfixed by Jackson and the kids, Sophia hadn't noticed Kate’s arrival.
“Too bad he's sworn off having kids. He'd be a great dad.” Kate slid plates to the back of the table as she nodded toward the minister.
Emotion clogged Sophia’s throat as she collected plates from the lower shelf. Alone at the dessert table, she felt her pulse quicken as she watched the minister, still gazing at the baby, make his way toward her. His gentle expression when he looked up from the baby made her knees weak. “You're good with babies,” she faltered. Lame.
Forgetting the awkwardness she’d felt a moment before, she cooed as the baby wrapped tiny fists in her hair. When she felt him pull her hair toward his mouth, she whispered a gentle reproof. “No, no.” She extricated her hair and planted kisses on the soft top of his head. Closing her eyes, she inhaled the scent of powder and baby lotion as she rubbed her cheek against his downy scalp. Jackson’s tall figure harbored them from the noise and commotion of the hall. Lowering her eyes as she hummed, she stole a glance at the minister.
He stood close enough for her to smell his aftershave and feel the warmth radiating from his neck. She blushed, her gaze averted until he backed away with the child. Crossing her hands over her chest, she rubbed her arms, feeling more barren with each step he took.
Kate joined her by the wall as a line formed in front of the table. “You like him, don't you?” Kate asked in a low voice.
Sophia fiddled with the hem of the apron protecting her blouse. Was Kate just fishing, or did she suspect Sophia had feelings for the minister? She swallowed hard. “He's good with kids.”
“He's good with adults too,” Kate said.
Sophia's face flamed. She studied her fingernails to avoid Kate's stare.
“So how'd the weekend go with Christopher?”
 “Fabulous.” Sophia stood next to Kate in tense silence as Franny’s guests selected plates of pie. Pulling her cell phone from the pocket of her slacks, she showed Kate her new screensaver. “Tiffany, from ladies fashions at O’Grady’s, helped me pick my outfit.”
Kate whistled. “Wow. You look like a princess.” She touched the screen, enlarging Sophia’s image and pushing Christopher into the margins.
“I rocked that dress.” Sophia’s voice was smug. They both laughed.
“So—did Christopher approve of the way you looked?” Kate handed back the phone.
Sophia looked at her feet, tapping her toe against the linoleum. “Yeah.”
After a long pause, Kate said, “'Yeah'? Can you tell me more?”
Looking up, Sophia saw Jackson had found another playmate. He held on to a little boy’s hands as he bounced the child on his knee.
The boy giggled uncontrollably, sliding side to side like a rider whose saddle was slipping off the horse.
Sophia dragged her attention back to Kate. “Christopher thought I looked beautiful.” Right now, Christopher felt very far away.
“And...?” Kate prompted.
“And, he told me how glad he was I'd come. And—we kissed,” Sophia finished.
“You kissed?” Kate’s voice was loud as ever.
Her cheeks reddening, Sophia shushed her friend.
“Are we talking about more than his usual European cheek kisses?”
Sophia nodded again.
“With tongue?” Kate wrinkled her nose and shuddered.
“We made out, okay?” Sophia whispered in vexation, drawing Kate from the table. “I’m twenty-nine years old, Kate. I’m allowed to kiss.” She glared at her friend, knowing Kate would insist on hearing the whole story. Fine, then. She may as well hear it all. “He’s broken up with April. He wants us to take our relationship to the next level.”
“The next level, huh? And what's the next level?”
She braced herself. “We’re thinking about getting married.”
Kate’s jaw dropped. “Getting married and having kids is the next level?” she sputtered. “Don't you think you're skipping a few steps? Like, maybe, dating a while? Finding out if you're compatible?”
Sophia threw back her shoulders. “We know each other inside and out. I told you I’m the only woman Christopher’s ever considered committing to. And after this weekend, he feels like he's ready.”
“Why this weekend?” Kate countered.
“Because I'm more confident. I'm willing to take chances. I'm not so eager to please as I used to be.” Sophia lifted her chin, feigning ignorance to what Kate’s question implied.
“Right. His sudden interest in you has nothing to do with you losing weight.” Kate ground her bottom lip between her teeth, shaking her head.
Clenching her fists, Sophia forced herself to keep her voice low. “I'm sure losing weight helped, okay? Is that what you want to hear? Then yes. Christopher did like the way I look. Why can’t a man admit he’s attracted to thin women?”
Kate threw her hands in the air. “What happens if you gain back the weight? Will he still want you then?”

About the Author
Nell Castle
 Nell Castle grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in English literature from Temple University in Philadelphia. Since then, she’s lived in Key West, Anchorage, Sarasota, and Virginia Beach. She moved back to northeastern Ohio to raise her kids closer to family but looks forward to moving to a gentler climate after her youngest graduates. Until then, she revisits white powder beaches and craggy mountain tops only in her writing. She’s submitted a new manuscript to her publisher, The Wild Rose Press, and is currently at work on a novella.

Contact links:

All That We Are Comes to Tale Spinner

Please welcome Holly J. Gill and her fabulous new romance, All That We Are!

Trust Series (Book 1)
Holly J. Gill, June 1, 2016
Adult Contemporary Romance
256 p.

Holly knows that sitting behind her computer isn’t going to bring one of her romance heroes to life. And despite her matchmaking friend’s attempts, she’s still lonely, looking for her Mr. Perfect. Fairy tales happen, right?

As a bestselling author, Ashton Noir doesn’t need anyone or anything in his life other than his imagination. That is until he comes across Holly’s Promotional Services’ website. Further exposure for his books can’t hurt.

Communicating through the Internet and then phone calls, professional interests turn personal. Realizing they lack trust and confidence in different ways, can they have a future as a couple? Or are their dreams forever going to be their safe haven?

 Excerpt (G): Why Me?

Holly read through the material, thinking of promotional tactics, banners, teasers, etc., one file was full of teasers, brilliant for her to work with and design.
Shocked, she was still trying to figure out why on earth he’d turned to her for help, when he could go massive, go for the larger blogs and networking sites. Her little site was nothing compared to the larger companies he could have chosen. Why the heck did he pick me? Surely he’s after something else!
She popped back to their messages and found a reply.
Before she replied to his original message, she had to ask a question.
 Are you really Dean McClough?
 She watched him typing.
 Yes, yes I am, I am the real man himself, the man behind Jordan Hale, mastering and enjoying the female form.
 Her jaw dropped. Holy crap! She was starstruck. A large lump filled her throat; unsure how the hell she could continue the conversation without him thinking she was a freak.
 He typed.
 Are you okay?
 Yes…I cannot believe I am talking to Dean McClough, have you anything to prove you really are him? Sorry, but I cannot believe it is really him, you are him, my words are messed up…lol.
 She hit send not having a clue how he’d react or what he planned to show her to prove he was him.
 Okay…just give me one second…would my office and pictures on my wall do the job? Never done this before…lol
 Yes, that is fine…I think!
 She waited a few seconds, to see a picture uploading. The picture arrived, and there was his office, laptop, notes, his books, pens, pictures framed on the wall of his front covers, and to finalize, their conversation on his laptop. Stunned, speechless… He was a typical author, notes and research all over the place. She laughed and then sucked in a deep breath, releasing it slowly. She shook her head, going through so many emotions, her tummy tied in knots, not believing a bestseller was on his laptop talking to her. It didn’t make sense.
He typed.
 Was that okay?
 Yes, thank you, just shocked that you’re talking to me…why?

Buy Links


H J Gill

About the Author
A wife and a mum to three grown up children and recently became a nana to twins and lives in the UK. Holly J. Gill is an author of contemporary romance, exploring many new channels, paranormal, action, sweet, erotic, wherever her imagination takes her. Holly has been writing since being a young girl, having characters talking to her constantly, and longing to get their stories written. Finally, her dream came true over two years ago, when getting her first contract with Secret Cravings Publishing for her erotic Desires series unfortunately they closed their doors, leaving Holly to go Indie. In Holly’s spare time she loves spending quality time with her family, camping with hubby, seeing friends, listening to music, watching movies and travelling around England visiting the beautiful countryside.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Man, a Woman, and a Bear

Want to find out how a big old black bear can stir a human’s libido? Read it here at Beverley Bateman’s site:

Here’s the blurb: 

Catherine Killean is a woman on a mission. When her new husband disappears, leaving a suicide note, she is determined to find out why. She follows his tracks first to the North Woods of Maine, then to Florida, and back again to Maine. Along the way, she meets the tall, dark, gruff Holden Taggart, a Maine guide.

In her doubt and loneliness she is drawn to Holden, leaving her confused and adrift. What will happen when her questions about Jonathan are finally answered? Will old loyalty or new love triumph?

In this new excerpt, Catherine gets up close and personal with a bear and Holden comforts her in my new romantic suspense, A Widow’s Walk: Catherine’s Dilemma, available at all fine online book stores in ebook and print-on-demand. Get your copy now! 

Buy Links:

Monday, June 6, 2016

RELEASED!! A Widow's Walk: Catherine's Dilemma

“Women’s hearts are like old china, none the worse for a break or two.” W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick (1907).

Release Day! A Widow’s Walk: Catherine’s Dilemma, by ME out of I Heart Book Publishing.

Catherine Killean is a woman on a mission. When her new husband disappears, leaving a suicide note, she is determined to find out why. She follows his tracks first to the North Woods of Maine, then to Florida, and back again to Maine. Along the way, she meets the tall, dark, gruff Holden Taggart, a Maine guide.

In her doubt and loneliness she is drawn to Holden, leaving her confused and adrift. What will happen when her questions about Jonathan are finally answered? Will old loyalty or new love triumph?

Buy Links:

I will award a copy of A Widow's Walk to one lucky commenter. Remember to leave you email address! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Penhallow Train Incident Featured at Lydia Michaels with Giveaway

How does an Egyptian archaeologist end up dead on a train in the middle of Maine? Rachel Tinker and Griffin Tate aim to find out—if they can keep their minds off each other, that is...

I'm among several fantastic authors showcasing their stories at Lydia Michaels today:

I'll be giving away a copy of the Penhallow Train Incident to one lucky entrant.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Authors Bare All Featured Author!

I’m the featured author today at Authors Bare All, Casi McLean’s fabulous website. I’ll be talking about the research I did for the Mason’s Mark, a romantic suspense/murder mystery set at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Old Town Alexandria. The villain, who never actually appears in the book, is modeled after a fascinating man who managed to create chaos in the world for almost seventy decades. Come read about him!
Licio Gelli