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

Friday, August 16, 2019

Orion's Foot: Myth Mystery & Romance in the Amazon: COVER REVEAL

Coming soon!

Petra Steele is wallowing in self-pity after being dumped at the altar, when her brother Nick invites her to come to the Peruvian Amazon. Before she even sets her suitcase down, she's confronted with a murder victim. Mystery piles on mystery in a research station peopled with a quirky assortment of scientists.  She is drawn to Emory Andrews, the ornithologist, a gruff, big man with a secret past, until his beautiful ex-wife shows up. More murders, more secrets, more mysteries ensue, all in the deeply romantic, sizzling jungle.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Karen Bartell & Her New Release The Keys: Voice of the Turtle

Please welcome Karen Hulene Bartell, author of several paranormal romances. She’s going to introduce us to The Keys: Voice of the Turtle, which releases today from the Wild Rose Press. It is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Karen, can you tell us about the book?

Thank you, M. S. Spencer, for inviting me to your blog! It’s a pleasure to chat with you and your readers any time, but especially today, the day The Keys: Voice Of The Turtle is being released.

The setting for this mainstream fantasy is the Florida Keys, specifically Marathon and Key West. Why the Keys? Their raw beauty, magnificent sea-turtles, colorful buccaneer history, as well as the lure of buried treasure and the Keys’ bigger-than-life residents, like Earnest Hemingway, all captured my imagination, and all would play a role.

Key West is a town that doesn’t sleep. The city island is a continuous party that starts at breakfast with cafe con leche, Cuban toast, and mimosas. The festivities runs throughout the day in bistros, pubs, brasseries, or beside food-carts vending conch fritters and pink shrimp scampi. It reaches full swing at Mallory Square’s Sunset Celebration with to-go cups in hand and then continues long into the night on a Duval Crawl.

Key West is a wide-open town that’s historically attracted pirates and wreckers. Today, the island’s sheer beauty, tropical vibes, and distinct culture draw vacationers, sailors, sun-lovers, and mavericks, as well as real-estate developers and hoteliers, who also play dark roles in The Keys: Voice of the Turtle.

The Keys: Voice Of The Turtle, by Karen Hulene Bartell

Date of release: August 14, 2019
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Series: Sacred Emblem
Genre: Mainstream Fantasy
Pagination: 328 pages
Heat rating: Sweet


Hours after arriving in the Florida Keys to help her cousin Keya create a turtle preserve, Ruth discovers a washed-up body and not one, but two apparitions—Maita, the angry victim's spirit, and Bart, a swashbuckling ghost. Ruth's curious ability to connect with the ghosts may help them move on, but how?

Keya is in a probate battle over her turtle-nesting beach. Land-hungry relatives want it bulldozed and developed. Like Ruth, she has a special gift—she can talk to animals. Between Ruth's help and Keya's unique ability, they work to save the property, but is it too late?
Can Keya save her beloved turtles? Can Ruth find Maita's murderer or help Bart solve his 400-year-old mystery? There's more than meets the eye to Keya's land. Add in a dashing sailor who believes in her, and Keya may have more than she bargained for…


 ~ Key West—Cayo Hueso—Island of Bones ~

“Conveying this land to the turtles would be my way of leaving the world a better place.” She turned toward Ruth. “Does that make sense?”
Ruth nodded and gazed at Keya as if for the first time. Her cousin’s intentions were clear. “But legally, how can you will the property to the turtles?”
“Easy. I leave it to the Turtle Refuge.” Keya laughed inwardly as they meandered along the beach. “And this is where you come in. When you’re writing the brochure, add a few paragraphs about planned giving and charitable bequests…” Her words broke off as Keya stared as if in a trance.
Ruth looked at her. “What’s wrong?”
Her hand shaking, Keya pointed to a shady patch of beach half hidden by sand dunes. A lifeless hand lay tangled in seaweed, its fingernails broken and bloodied.
Racing behind the sandbanks to help, Ruth skidded to a halt, her heels digging into the sand. A woman’s bloated body lay staring at the sun, her eyes opaque and unseeing. “Do you recognize her?”
“No.” Keya shook her head as the cat gingerly approached, sniffing and meowing. “But Earnestine said she smells familiar.”
Two hours later, the police left, and Keya turned to Ruth. “How about a mojito?”
Earnestine cocked her head and stiffened as she growled in her throat.
“Knock, knock,” called a man’s voice.
Ruth flinched at the sound.
“Who’s there?” called Keya, her tone curt.
A tall, thin man wearing khakis and a nautical polo shirt waved from the property line next door. Then he stepped over the low row of pilings and picked his way through the thorny pyracantha bushes that served as a boundary between the properties. After pointing to the house behind him, he brushed his salt-and-pepper hair from his eyes. “I’m your next-door neighbor, Gerald Granger, but call me Gerry. Hope this isn’t an inopportune time to introduce myself.”
“I didn’t realize anyone lived there.” Her smile stiff, Keya stood, seeming to gather her shaken nerves about her like a flowing kaftan.

Amazon eBook: https://amzn.to/2XV2wO1
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2yfSB7b  
Barnes & Noble NOOK Book: https://bit.ly/2YFHWgQ
Barnes & Noble Paperback: https://bit.ly/2yuBEWO

Karen Hulene Bartell
About the Author:

Author of the Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life. She writes multicultural, offbeat love stories steeped in the supernatural that lift the spirit. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Wanderlust inherent, Karen enjoyed traveling, although loathed changing schools. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Hill Country with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Spencer A Surfeit of Pills at Writers Who Kill

Writers Who Kill

Come find me at Writers Who Kill today—I’m talking about The Pit & the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel, and how much fun it is to describe quirky writers.


M. S. Spencer Featured in August MFRW Newsletter


Please visit the wonderful Marketing for Romance Writers magazine. Just released is the August issue featuring—are your ready?—ME. I’m talking ME...oh, and about Triptych, my romantic suspense set on the Potomac River and The Mason’s Mark, mystery romance set in Old Town Alexandria. Here’s the link:

I’m talking a little about my works-in-progress and my background. Then you’ll be treated to a taste of two of my books:

In the worst first day at work ever, docent Claire Wilding’s carefully rehearsed tour is spoiled by the discovery of a dead body. As she deals with a smitten detective, a hunky Senator, black ops agents, and eccentric mothers, she's learns all 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.

And Triptych:

Take lost masterpieces, brilliant inventors, and stolen prototypes. Add the Three Sisters, Indian spirits who guard the Potomac River. Stir in three sisters and their lovers. Result? Jealousy, sex, genius, larceny and love. Who will end up with whom, and will the Three Sisters take another life as the legend demands?

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Mason’s Mark at the Bingeworthy Book Festival Today

Okay, so today’s the day! The Mason’s Mark: Love & Death in the Tower, makes its debut on N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Binge-Worthy Book Festival! 


The Mason's Mark arose in part out of a true story. Starting in the 1940s an Italian named Licio Gelli embarked on a lifetime of bizarre scams and crimes. Alternately linked to rightists and leftists, he bilked or used people from Italian politicians, to the Nazis, the Communists, the CIA, even to Juan Peron, dictator of Argentina. His exploits cross the globe and spanned four decades. At last check, he was still alive, in his nineties and writing poetry from prison. In 1996 he was even nominated for the Nobel prize in literature.

Gelli is most famous for founding a Masonic lodge called Propaganda Due, a renegade group that was first dissolved, then reinstated, then erased by the Grand Orient de Italia. He had ensnared many prominent Italians into P2, which ultimately led to several huge scandals.  As the model for the shadowy puppetmaster in The Mason's Mark, I've saddled him with yet another—this time fictional--scandal. But you'll have to find your way through many plot twists and red herrings to discover just what that scandal really is.

Enjoy an excerpt at the Binge-Worthy festival on me!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Binge on Books August 1-30, but especially August 2

Celebrate your love of books all month long at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Binge-Worthy Book Festival. 43 books, 30 bestselling and award-winning authors, 5 Amazon/B&N gift cards plus authors share what their first binge-worthy book they read and recommend. Join in the fun!

August 2: Read all about Spencer’s The Mason’s Mark: Love & Death in the Tower.

The Mason's Mark, a murder mystery/romance, set in Alexandria, Virginia at the Masonic Memorial. If you’re interested in international intrigue involving renegade Masons and black ops, long-lost papers of George Washington, and great romance, this is for you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Bingeworthy Books All August--I'm on August 2

Calling all readers! 

Feed your book addiction with N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Binge-Worthy Book Festival. 

43 books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, The Mason’s Mark: Love & Death in the Tower, will be featured on August 2

I even talk about my first binge-worthy book I read. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this get-together and tell your friends:

Monday, July 29, 2019

Tonight's the Night! Rave 3 of Summer Review Wars

Tonight's the Night! 
Rave 3 of Summer Review Wars and I'm up FIRST!

It starts at 7 pm EST and features 10 fabulous authors

I'm going to talk about the book up for review in Summer Review Wars, Flotsam & Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair.

Then I'll talk a little about MOI and Lapses of Memory.

Then a teaser about my upcoming release Orion's Foot: Myth, Mystery & Romance in the Amazon.


OH!!! I almost forgot:


OMG A Great 5-star Review for Spencer’s Whirlwind Romance!

In the aftermath of a hurricane, jelly maker Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on an island on the Gulf coast of Florida with a mysterious man. They are immediately drawn to each other, but before Armand can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken to a tiny island in the western Caribbean. There, Lacey finds herself faced with pirates, fanatical ideologues, and palace intrigue, not to mention the advances of three men, only one of whom she loves.

Tootling around, I came across this enthusiastic review from John Cretcher for Whirlwind Romance. Here’s part:

“I think I could make jelly from her recipes. Fast, exciting, and plenty of romance. I have purchased a second book that I am just starting.”

He’s referring to the recipes which head every chapter for jelly made from native Florida plants. Try some!
Here’s the link:

Buy Whirlwind Romance here:

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

New Five-Star Review for Flotsam & Jetsam!


I just found a fabulous five-star review for Flotsam & Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair right there on Amazon!

KC writes:

 "Spencer must have a magic wand that makes all of her characters so good. Sometimes they stumble a bit, especially when it comes to interactions with others but that's what makes them so believable. This tale is no exception. And the mystery keeps you guessing all along the way. Makes you want to wander into the park to see what else may be going to happen. A very good job."

Thank you KC!

Here's the link:


Friday, July 19, 2019

At Wicked Dirty Girls Tonight! Come on by!

cover photo, Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Do come by Wicked Dirty Girls 2.0 today at 5 to 5:30 pm EST. I’m entertaining at a Sip—you can ask me questions about my writing and about the book that’s up for the Summer Review Wars: Flotsam & Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair. Or anything that piques your fancy!

Games! Prizes! Fun! Feel free to put me on the spot!

Here’s the link:

Flotsam & Jetsam is ON SALE 99 cents

In honor of Moonlight & Mystery's Summer Review Wars, Flotsam & Jetsam--featured book up for review--is on sale for 99 cents. Get your copy now!

It's also available elsewhere at reduced prices:


If you're a participating reader, you will get your copy free:

Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer Review Wars--Gentlepeople, Start Your Engines!

cover photo, Image may contain: one or more people and text

Join this group to join in the fun! Meet over 50 authors, play games and grab some giveaways. Even if you are not a reader for SRW join in the fun! If you are a reader you don't want to miss this. It's where we post the book links

This challenge starts at πŸ•›12:00 A.M. July 15 &
Ends August 15th at 11:59 P.M. EST
SoooooπŸ‘‰While everyone else is sleeping, YOU could
Get a JUMP on Read & Reviews with My Super Special
Summer Review Wars Reviewer Cheat Sheet!
πŸ‘‡Follow the linkπŸ‘‡below
Then download the spreadsheetπŸ“Or PRINT IT so
YOU can keep track of what you read & review.
It lists all the books with links to where you review
😲 ⭐️STAR your favorites⭐️...and if they are
πŸ™ƒFREE on Amazon NOW
😍Download and Go-Go-Go❗️

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Great Review for The Penhallow Train Incident


"A good book, engrossing and entertaining....The plot is well developed, the characters fleshed out and the mystery keeps you guessing."

In the sleepy Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, setting off a chain of events that draws Rachel Tinker, director of the historical society, and Griffin Tate,  retired professor, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. Before Rachel can unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust, they must find the map to the Queen of Sheba’s tomb, and solve not one, but three murders.

Check out the review here:

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Readers! Join Moonlight & Mystery's Summer Review Wars

July 15 to August 15, 2019

Calling all Readers πŸ“šwho love great books with aπŸ”₯touch of romance.πŸ’ž

Be excited…be very excited! 

🌜Moonlight And Mystery Authors are thrilled to announce our hot, new epic event


🌹Our Review War events will change your reading experience forever!
πŸ‘‡For More infoπŸ‘‡

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Brenda Whiteside and Sleeping with the Lights On With Us Today

Please welcome Brenda Whiteside, author of Sleeping with the Lights On. Brenda, Sleeping with the Lights On was your first full-length novel. Can you tell us how it came about?

Ten years ago, this month, I signed my first contract for book publication. Sleeping with the Lights On was actually the first full length novel I’d written, although it started out as a short story. And the story is now an audio book. I’m thrilled. Lily Dubuque did a fantastic job of bringing my characters to life.

I love to tell the journey of this novel took.

One afternoon, hanging with my sister, she complained about her last disappointing date. She was divorced, and sick of dating and being single. I always told her, jokingly, you've had more men in your life than any one woman deserves, so buck up. I suggested her dating life would make great fodder for a short story. I sat at my computer and told her to recite a characterization of every man she'd dated, starting with the ill-fated relationship with the G.I. in Germany who took her on a date to the Black Forest and didn't get past the first tree, so to speak. I titled the file "Of Men and Bullshit."

Over the next few weeks, that story grew. I had so much fun telling the tale of a fifty-year-old woman who’d not found Mr. Right or a career. I added a few fictional escapades, but the men who appear in the book are real enough. And by the way, I couldn’t fit in all of them.

Once I finished, I decided to enter it in a small regional contest. A few weeks later, I decided to submit it to The Wild Rose Press for publishing. Thank goodness I submitted before I got the contest results back. They trashed my baby. I might have been too discouraged to continue. But TWRP loved it! Publisher wins out over contest judges every time!

In the ten years since publication, the cover has been updated once, and now it’s available on audio in addition to eBook and print. It’s a great summer read.

My sister and I at my book launch

The Wild Rose Press, May 21, 2010
Audio Release date: May 1, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
242 pages
Heat Rating: Sensual

A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire have thrown Sandra Holiday on a dangerous path.

After two failed marriages and countless relationships, Sandra thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans, but also left her single and broke.

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again. As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?

Excerpt: Moon Shadows

“When do you go back to Vegas?”
Carson hesitated. “In a day or two.”
Pulling me around, we stopped, facing each other. My head said run like hell, but my legs wouldn’t respond. Mushy from wine or Carson and moonlight. I couldn’t be sure which.
“Have lunch with me tomorrow, darlin’.” His fingers slipped from mine to gingerly brush along my forearm. The moonlight caught in his eyes. “Another hour of your time with a long-lost friend?”
“Yes.” My voice went all husky and come-hither. I wanted to kick myself for being so easy.
“Good.” Grasping my hand again, he led me toward the door. “What’s the address of your office?”
I struggled to shake off the moon shadows and to remember where I worked. Once inside the building, I took a scrap of paper from my purse and wrote the address.
“I’ll walk you to your door and say goodnight,” he said, tucking the scrap of paper in his pocket. “Unless you want to have me in for a goodnight drink.”
I didn’t answer. If he’d only known the extent of my uncertainty at that moment, a little persistence might have made me cave.
“Okay, then—” His mouth gaped.
I followed his bewildered look to my apartment door and the pinned sheet of paper.

Buy Links:


Brenda Whiteside
About the Author
Brenda Whiteside is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure romance. Mostly. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have decided they are gypsies at heart. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo while splitting their time between Northern Arizona and the RV life. If you enjoy stories by Linda Howard, Sharon Sala, Calle J. Brookes, or Amanda McKinney, you’ll enjoy Brenda’s romantic suspense.

Visit Brenda at