My guest today is fellow Wild Rose Press author M.S. Spencer, whose latest romantic suspense Whirlwind Romance released August 17, 2016. Ms. Spencer is a very busy and prolific author, and she's going to tell us a little about past and upcoming releases. Please welcome M.S. Spencer!
Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book you’d like to share?
Paraiso, the island in Whirlwind Romance, is based on a real island in the western Caribbean that I discovered—how else?—mucking around on the internet. Called Providencia, it forms an archipelago with two other islands, San Andres and Santa Catalina, and five uninhabited atolls. Currently under the Colombian flag, it has been the ruled by an incredible variety of groups, from Henry Morgan the notorious buccaneer, to Spanish Conquistadors, Dutch traders, even English Puritans. The Puritans were the first to settle there in 1629 (native tribes only visited), eventually turning to the slave trade and smuggling for survival. I wonder how the fire and brimstone Puritan ministers dealt with that?
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
No odder than most writers, I’ll wager. I pace a lot; scratch at imaginary bits on my arms; dust way more often than I need to; and play 1000s of games of Solitaire when I should be writing. Or surf news sites.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I’m pretty comfortable with my cozy mysteries & romantic suspense stories. I have some lovely unpublished children’s stories I’d like to find homes for someday.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Always. Started writing poems with sidewalk chalk at maybe the age of three.
Do you work on more than one book at a time?
Only if I’m waiting on an edit or galley & it’s taking awhile. Right now I have 3 books in draft. If I’m in a new setting I’m sorely tempted to start a story based on that setting. I was at a book event in Amelia Island, Florida and loved the history and culture so much I whipped off a first draft before I forgot the feel of the place. I had to set aside the Ghost Hotel, a wonderful mystery set on Longboat Key, to do it. But hey, strike while the plot is thick, eh?
When were you first published and how did that happen? Was it a long or short journey?
I wrote the first draft of my first book long-hand in I believe 2006. Since I was first an editor, I edited that darn book until it cried. I submitted it and 6 months later a Harlequin affiliate rejected it. Thank God. My second try produced an acquisitions editor who took the time to edit my book. Even though she couldn’t accept the manuscript, she gave me hope and the third try was a winner. Who knew that it would take two more years to see the book in print?
How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?
I wrote one full novel years ago—a murder mystery set in Yorktown, Virginia. I like to think that it was not the reason the agent who reviewed it decided to leave the profession. Although one must wonder about karma when my husband threw out the ONE copy I had of it. By mistake. Right.
Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?
I live most of the year on the Gulf Coast of Florida, on a barrier island, and the rest in a tiny village on Penobscot Bay in Maine. Yes, it is idyllic and I count myself extremely lucky, even though it means my children are far away. I began writing when I was first able to pick up a piece of chalk and haven’t stopped. My first book was published in 2009.
Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
I have had many pets in my life—at one time counting a dog, 3 cats, a gerbil, a goldfish, and a snake as part of the household. I’m mainly a cat person, because dogs, while lovable companions, make me feel guilty. Am I walking him enough? Paying him enough attention? Training him properly? I would have a cat now, but I can’t let him outside and that, to me, is cruel and unnatural.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?
Probably in Edrigu’s castle, where Lacey & Armand hide and make love in Whirlwind Romance, my new romantic adventure. It is perched on a hill above a tiny Caribbean island far in the western Caribbean and has a rock-hewn pool. And turrets. And coral reefs.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
I try to vary the physical characteristics of my hero and heroine from book to book, and keep a file to make sure I haven’t made them too much alike. My first draft usually has /name/ throughout until I get a real sense of who the characters are. I have a list of names I like, and check those; also I check ethnic name lists for suitable names. Each inhabitant of Paraiso in Whirlwind Romance sports 4 names—from 4 of the many cultures that passed through the island leaving progeny. I try to connect the meaning to the character—thus the farmer is named Gorka (Basque for farmer) , and the First Secretary of Paraiso is named Edrigu (Council Commander) Boudewijn (Princely Friend) Proctor (one of the Puritans who settled Paraiso).
How can readers reach you or find you online?
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MSSpencerauthor
Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor
Amazon Author Page:
Romance Books 4 Us: http://romancebooks4us.com/Romance%20Author%20M.%20S.%20Spencer.html OR
Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
I’m in the final draft of a murder mystery romance set on Longboat Key, Florida. Tentatively entitled The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel, it takes place on the spot where John Ringling began building a luxurious hotel in the 1920s. Left to slowly disintegrate over the decades, it inevitably came to be called the Ghost Hotel.
Here’s the blurb:
At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a splash and a scream. Eighty-five years later workmen uncover a skeleton. Who does it belong to, and how did it get to the bottom of an old elevator shaft? To find out, Charity Snow, reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, must team up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author whose arrogance nearly exceeds his talent.
Along with a drop-dead gorgeous editor and a publisher with a dark family secret, they discover an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.
Tell us about your next release.
Lapses of Memory will be released in early 2017 by The Wild Rose Press. It’s a novel in which two romances intertwine as a mother recounts her life-long love affair while her daughter juggles two lovers.
Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s on a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser when she is five and he is seven. They run into each other every few years after that, but while he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese civil war. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.
Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but this time, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?
Meanwhile, her daughter Olivia has her own dilemma—how to choose between the rich and dashing Rémy de Beaumec, who wants to take her around the world, and the steady, quiet, American-to-the-core, Benjamin Knox, who only wants to make her happy.
Here's M.S. Spencer's most recent release (she's a very busy writer!) WHIRLWIND ROMANCE:
Pirates, Puritans, propaganda, and princes—pieces of the puzzle in the whirlwind romance between a beautiful jelly maker and a mysterious castaway.
Wild Rose Press, 8/17/2016, Champagne Rose imprint
Contemporary romance/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames
Ebook 89,905 words; Print: 358 p.
In the aftermath of a hurricane, 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. With the help of her son Crispin and a cadre of loyal followers, she and Armand must face down pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue, if they are to restore the once idyllic tropical island to its former glory.
The full moon shone through the window, illuminating Lacey’s nodding head. Armand touched her cheek. “I think it’s your bedtime.”
Stung, she shot back, “I’m taking care of you, remember?”
He held up a hand. “Sorry! I’d forgotten.” After a moment, he asked, his tone diffident, “Can you help me up?”
Lacey put an arm around his back and together they limped to Crispin’s room. She took his pants and shirt off and folded them neatly. As she turned to leave, he touched her arm. “Stay a minute?”
How could she admit she had to get out of there quickly or she wouldn’t be able to go at all? His handsome face—the strong chin covered with stubble, the pearly teeth contrasting with his tan skin, not to mention the long, graceful fingers he held out to her—all conspired to lure her closer. Her heart led the way, propelling her to his side. She sat down. “What is it?”
Her body tensed as desire fought to get out, and she fought just as hard to keep it in. I have to go. I have to…go. “What?”
His words came out in a rush. “Lacey, the other day—the first night—when you rescued me. When we…we…”
Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Christ.
“I…uh…want you to know I don’t do that on a regular basis.”
His air of shy ambivalence gave her courage. “I see. You don’t have sex on a regular basis?”
“No, no, it’s not that.” He stopped, flustered. “Er, I mean… I don’t sleep with women indiscriminately.”
Should she let him off the hook? Nah. “But you do sleep with a lot of women?”
“No! Lacey, you’re being difficult on purpose. I meant, that I didn’t mean to…you know. It just happened. Forgive me?”
Armand interrupted her. “Not that it wasn’t enjoyable.” He seemed distracted, running a finger down her arm. “Wonderful. Fantastic. Too short.” He peered at her. “Lacey, you must know how beautiful you are. You have the most perfect cheekbones I’ve ever seen.”
“Cheekbones?” What the hell is he talking about?
“I’m an amateur photographer. Those cheekbones could belong to a supermodel. Perfectly sculpted. And your nose…” He tapped the tip. “A little pixie nose. It even turns up slightly. Your long, fine hair is the russet-gold of burnished copper pots I once saw piled high in a shop on Martinique. Your eyes…” He closed his. “Your eyes are the blue-green of a freshly mowed cricket field, of the emeralds that grow deep in the mountains, of the lagoon near my home on a blustery day.” He touched her hand. “Then there’s your body—as I remember it—a soft, comfortable, pillowy—”
“Hey!” Lacey shook her head to break the spell. “I think you’ve said enough. Get some sleep.”
She tried to rise, but he slipped his arms around her and drew her close. She wanted to struggle. She tried to struggle. It was no use. The long kiss filled her with a warmth that matched a fire on a cold night, a cup of cocoa, or a hot bath. When he lay back, the warmth turned to blazing passion. The power of it frightened her. I’ve got to go. She ran out of the room before he could stop her.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whirlwind-romance-ms-spencer/1120206448
About the Author:
Although M. S. Spencer has lived or travelled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ms. Spencer has published ten romantic suspense and murder mystery novels. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
Other Books by M. S. Spencer:Whirlwind Romance
Lapses of Memory
My calendar of events can be found here:
Romance Books 4 Us: http://romancebooks4us.com/Romance%20Author%20M.%20S.%20Spencer.html OR