Monday, January 28, 2013

Please give bestselling author M. S. Spencer a big welcome! 

 M. S. has graciously offered a giveaway, to one randomly chosen  commenter, a beautiful rose-decorated key chain.

Please leave a comment for her and your email address and she will contact you.

Why don't you start off by telling everyone a little about yourself.

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five continents, the last 30 years have been spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, chair of a large volunteer program, and non-profit director. She is blessed with two fabulous grown children, and the company of Iggy Pop the cat.

Ms. Spencer has published six contemporary romance novels. Lost in His Arms is set in the spinning world of 1991 when countries fell like flies and a CIA fixer had his hands full.

In Lost and Found we follow a desperate wife searching the wilds of Maine for the husband who disappeared.

Losers Keepers is a tale of love, lust and treachery set on the island of Chincoteague.

In Triptych legend, history, and romance intertwine in a triptych of suspense high above the Potomac River.

Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders.

Her latest release is Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance). Set on the Florida Gulf coast, it follows the adventures of Tessa Diamond as she deals with new love, old love, murder, sea turtles, big fish, smugglers, parrots, pigs, and the Russian mob, not necessarily in that order.

I'd love to hear about your latest book, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance).

Book Blurb:

When Tessa Diamond rescued a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull, her good deed led her into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages, confronting murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and big fish, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.

She is drawn to Cameron Mason, tiger-eyed and handsome, but before she can drop her longstanding opposition to marriage and accept her true love, she must face the possibility that he could be a thief, and even a murderer.

Book Excerpt:

“Do you work here?”

Tessa jumped. A man stood next to her. Distracted by her ruminations on life and death, she at first only gave him a cursory once-over. His trim body and broad shoulders encased in a finely made dark suit hinted at strength. He wore a nametag, but the writing was too small for her to decipher without getting up close and personal with his chest. Once her eyes traveled up to his face, though, she wanted to. Very badly. Talk about hot.

He reminded her of a dream she’d had a few weeks earlier, in which a stranger held her in his arms and crooned a love song. Here in the flesh was her stranger. Dark blond hair feathered with gold, the mysterious tawny eyes of a stalking tiger, gently tanned skin drawn taut over the arched cheekbones, a nose…well, the nose could use some work. It tilted at an odd angle, presumably due to a collision with a blunt instrument sometime in the past. Tessa found it endearing.

“I repeat, do you work here?”

“I…uh…no. I don’t.” She indicated the nametag. “Do you?”

“Technically yes, only not in this building. I’m hoping you can tell me which door I use to get out. I mean, now that the aquarium’s closed.”

“It is? Oh damn.” She checked her watch. Sure enough, the minute hand showed ten minutes after five. “I guess we’d both better leave.”

Together they made a circuit of the doors, finding them all locked. Finally, the door to the gift shop gave to the combined pressure of four hands. Feeling like mischievous children, they crept past the ancient man counting money from the cash register. At the main entrance, her companion grinned at her. “Shall we make a break for it?”

Tessa smiled back and legged it out to the parking lot. She was rooting around in her bag for her keys when he caught up with her. “Hey, I didn’t catch your name.”

“Well, catch your breath first.” She waited, thinking he didn’t seem in very good shape despite his physique. Good. Otherwise he might have been too perfect. She didn’t want any complications in her life right now.

“Sorry,” he puffed. “I guess I haven’t entirely recovered from that bout with pneumonia.”


“So, are you going to tell me your name? After all, we’re partners in crime now.”

“Tessa Diamond. And you are?”

“Cameron Mason. At your service.”

“Nice meeting you.” Tessa turned to her car. He cupped her elbow with a big, warm hand.

“Say, Ms. Diamond, can I interest you in a drink?”

“I don’t think...”

“You see, I was supposed to meet with the Lab director at five and he called in sick. Since I live up in Bradenton I really don’t want to schlep all the way back during rush hour. It would be nice to while away some time.” His lips curled in a tentative smile and she knew she’d have to give in. “You’d be doing me a favor. How does Tommy Bahama sound?”

Tessa gazed deep into his eyes, the green and brown intermixing in a steamy jungle of color. She woke up with a start when he touched her elbow again. “Miss Diamond?”

“Uh, sure. That would be fine.” Can you act any lamer, Tessa? But those eyes…

“My car or yours?”

“Er, why don’t I follow you?” She should at least make an attempt at keeping her distance. Anything to get away from that scent of his, a combination of dark rum and cinnamon, Very…tasty.

“Okay. I’m the tropical blue hybrid over there. The one with the I Love Caviar bumper sticker.”

“And I’m…” she stopped.

“The red Porsche. I know.”

Shut up, Tessa.

Wow, that sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it. I have a couple fun questions for you.

1. Coffee or tea? 

     Both. I have one strong cup of coffee in the morning, then a nice cup of Darjeeling about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. If I have a cold, I take a cup of Red Zinger with rum and a few other secret ingredients. In our family, we call it “the elixir.”

2. Tell us about your upcoming writing projects.

    Slated for release in May is Lapses of Memory, in which two people meet every few years as both their love and flight technology grows. The principle romance—between two journalists as they compete for scoops in international hot spots—is intertwined with that of their daughter’s present-day predicament—having to choose between a reserved American and a dashing Frenchman. I’m currently working on The Mark of Love and Death, another romantic suspense/murder mystery, this time set in Alexandria, Virginia at the landmark George Washington Masonic Memorial. If you’re interested in international intrigue involving renegade freemasons and black ops, long-lost papers of George Washington, and great romance, this is for you.

3. How do you choose the character's names?

Hoo boy, that’s a process. I now have several lists of possible names to which I refer when I begin a story. Somewhere around the third chapter, when the character has begun to develop, I take a second look at the name. It’s almost never right; in fact, I may go through three or four names for the principles during the course of drafting the story.
        In several books I’ve tried to incorporate names with meanings—in Triptych, a tale of lost artworks, jealousy, sex, larceny and genius set high above the mighty Potomac, my hero calls himself the Chevalier du bon Arnaque—which is French slang for a good scam artist. In Mai Tais & Mayhem, an extraordinary number of characters have fish names. I plan to have a contest to see who can find them all!

4. What's next for you? 
    My last child having announced that he’s moving away, I’m thinking of dragging up my roots in the Washington DC area and moving—possibly splitting my time between Maine and Florida.
5. What do you enjoy most about writing? 

     Finishing the second draft! I also enjoy story telling—tossing something wild and crazy and unexpected into the mix, some of the time based on something that actually happened to me.

6. How many hours a day to you spend writing? 

      Around five, depending on what I’m working on.

Buy Link:

Author contact information: Blog:
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Thank you and I wish you great success!


  1. Thanks so much for having me Sharon. I hope your readers enjoy the interview. M. S.

  2. And thank you for stopping by. I'm sure they will.

  3. I love that you gave the characters fish names. That's so clever. I also like your titles. I can't imagine how you got from saving a puffer fish to the seedy side of crime. Very inventive.
    I wish you the very best, Meredith.

  4. Wow, sounds like an adventure and a half. A road filled with characters and plots. And I did enjoy the interview.