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:
Amazon Paperback:  
Barnes & Noble NOOK Book:
Barnes & Noble Paperback:

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.