My fellow Wild Rose Press Author M.S. Spencer is here to celebrate the release of a brand new humorous romantic suspense/romantic comedy. This one sounds like a real hoot! Please welcome M.S. Spencer.
Thank you so much for letting me talk to your readers about my new mystery romance The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel. Set on Longboat Key, Florida, it features an unexpected skeleton, a quirky romance between an arrogant though talented writer and a beautiful reporter, and a complicated set of clues that lead to a deadly secret long hidden by the most famous circus family in the world.
I love bringing the secondary characters in my stories alive. In The Mason’s Mark: Love & Death in the Tower, I have two old ladies who the heroine calls the Marples for their sleuthing skills. In Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, the heroine’s best friend is a wild-haired Russian artist who sculpts enormous metal objects. In The Pit & the Passion, the hero’s Aunt Gertrude is the quintessential Mainer—a rock.
At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later, workmen uncover a skeleton in an old elevator shaft. Who is it, and how did it get there? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, teams up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. A college ring they find at the dig site may prove to be their best clue.
Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, Charity soon discovers a warm heart beating under Rancor’s handsome exterior. While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be a villain, a publisher with a dark secret, and an irascible forensic specialist, Charity and Rancor unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.
The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel
The Wild Rose Press, January 22, 2018 (Crimson Rose)
Mystery, Humorous/Romantic Comedy
418 p.; 97370 words
Rancor comes from an old Maine family, and as families go, this one is quite colorful. Gertrude, Rancor’s aunt, is a remarkable person—custodian of the family records, compiler of family foibles and accomplishments, and stickler for proper form. Rancor calls on her to help with their search for the owner of the ring they found in the pit, and she comes through.
“Is that you, my boy? Where are you? I can’t hear you.”
“I’m here in Florida, Auntie.”
“Florida? I don’t want you staying in that godforsaken place, Rancor. That’s where your grandfather met that hussy and abandoned his wife and family. Come back here to Camden where you belong. You hear me?”
“Yes, Auntie. I will soon, Auntie. Now, were you able to answer my question?”
“Question? Oh, yes. Now where did I put that note…” A loud clunk sounded, then a lot of rattling. “Hello? Hello? Rancor? Are you still there?”
“Yes, Auntie. I asked you if any men with the initials RB went to the University of Maine.”
“Yes, yes. You don’t have to ask me twice. I’m not deaf. Or feeble-minded.”
“I know that, Auntie.”
“Well, all right then,” she huffed. “I checked with the chancellor, who is an old friend of the family’s, although considering the circumstances, I don’t know how we remained on cordial terms.”
Charity squinted at Rancor.
Gertrude went on with her monologue as though there’d been no interruption. “He was most gracious and looked up the student rolls from the 1930s. He found Basses, which doesn’t come as a surprise to me. I mean—”
“So Basses went to the University of Maine?”
“Of course. In fact, your great-great-grandfather Robert graduated in the very first class of the Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts in 1873. He was a handsome man. I have a picture of him here. He’s standing next to his sister, and—”
“Auntie? Any others?”
“Of course. Basses were among the most celebrated graduates of the university—possibly because we donated masses of money to the endowment fund. Until your grandfather, that is…”
“Well, Robert’s son, Robert Junior, finished in 1903 and his son, Robert the Third, three decades later. They both managed to avoid serving in the Great War, which was a real comfort to the women of the family, I can tell you. The Bass men have been singularly lucky—why, the last Bass to carry a gun was Robert T. back in the French and Indian War. Of course, he shot himself in the foot. Come to think of it, most of the Basses were not accepted into the armed forces for one reason or another. Gerald Bass—my cousin—had flat feet, and Elmer…well, let’s just say he was rather a dim bulb. Then there was—”
“Aunt Gertrude? What happened to my grandfather?”
“Robert the Third? You know what happened to him. He ran off with that tramp. It’s not something we’re proud of, but I don’t hold with keeping secrets in a family, so I made sure you children all heard the story, if only as a cautionary tale. At the time, my grandfather, Robert Junior, blamed it on the intemperate social life at the university, and he cut the school out of his will. That’s why Rupert didn’t go.”
“So the last Bass to attend the University of Maine was my grandfather Robert?”
Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5533-the-pit-and-the-passion-murder-at-the-ghost-hotel.html
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-pit-and-the-passion-m-s-spencer/1127750685?ean=2940158925351
About the Author:
Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled 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, 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.
Ms. Spencer has published eleven romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. 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.
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MSSpencerauthor
Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor