Author Interview: M.S. Spencer

by Lori, @lorisizemore on 12.07.2016

in author interview

author-interview-msspencerPlease welcome author M.S. Spencer to the blog as I ask her a few questions about herself and her story, Whirlwind Romance.

Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

I’ve lived or traveled in five of the seven continents (Antarctica and Australia still on the bucket list), but the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional committee staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, non-profit director, and parent. After way too many years in academia, I worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in both public and academic library systems, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. I hold a Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College, a diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in both Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago. I co-chaired one of the largest used book sales in the country, which regularly netted $100,000 for student scholarships. We used to call it “Seven Days in May.”

Since 2009 I’ve published ten romantic suspense or murder mystery novels. I enjoy two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter, and divide my time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Wow, that is an impressive history. And ten books in seven years? Color me flabbergasted.

Are you working on another book?

Yes, I sure am; in fact, two. One, which I just submitted, is 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 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. You’ll like it.

The second, set on Amelia Island, Florida, is in the final drafts. It’s a murder mystery romance with a historical twist. As it turns out, Amelia Island (the only one of the Sea Islands in the state of Florida) has been held by at least eight different entities—from the French, to the Spanish, to a cabal of patriots planning to swipe Florida from Spain, to a Scots mercenary, a French pirate, and finally both Confederate and Union soldiers. In an odd turn of (fictional) events, many of the historical players figure in a contemporary plot that ends (as these things do) in murder and betrayal. But it’s really fun—trust me!

Sounds like I’d love them both. All that history is fascinating. 

Have you written any other books as yet unpublished?

I have one long children’s story that has been waiting for many years for the right publisher. It’s called Lila’s Island, and it’s an allegorical tale based on the story of Noah’s Ark in the book of Genesis. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the dove that Noah released to see if the waters had ebbed, you’d like this story. Everyone who’s read it has loved it, but it doesn’t fit easily into any genre or category.

I hope you’re able to find this story a publishing home some day.

Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?

Oh my, having had rather an eclectic career, I have assorted odd skills or bits thereof—I studied Arabic for almost 8 years but I can speak French. I’ve grown almost every herb, vegetable or fruit possible in Zone 7. One weird thing: strangers like to confide in me. I’ll be idly shopping or walking, and a person will come up to me and launch into their life story. I can spell almost every word you can throw at me. If I can sing, it’s WAY too hidden a talent.

Those are some pretty cool skills, but I love the strangers confiding in you one. I bet you get some great story fodder that way.

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?

Well, I worked on Capitol Hill for a few years and met many famous people—Senators, congressmen, Cabinet members, movie stars. I had my picture taken with the Secretary of the Interior…and Charlton Heston. I made a totally inappropriate joke to Paul Newman (a good sport) and cut in line in front of Bill O’Reilly. I have autographs from Sam Donaldson, James Carville, and the guy who drew the Road Runner cartoons. I shook hands with Prince Charles, President George W. Bush, and Luciano Pavarotti (my fingers still tingle). Bottom line is they were all pretty cool.

Okay, you’ve met so many famous people, you’re practically famous by association. Having just finished writing some stories set in the 1950s this year, I find Charlton Heston and Paul Newman most interesting.

Let’s find out a little more about M.S. Spencer’s current release, Whirlwind Romance:

perf5.000x8.000.inddPirates, Puritans, propaganda, and princes—pieces of the puzzle in the whirlwind romance between a beautiful jelly maker and a mysterious castaway.

Whirlwind Romance
Wild Rose Press, 8/17/2016, Champagne Rose imprint
Contemporary romance/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames
Ebook 89,905 words; Print: 358 p.

Blurb

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.

Excerpt (PG): Slipping Briskly

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?”

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?”

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?”

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?”“Lacey…um.”

“Lacey…um.”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?”

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?”

“What?”His words came out in a rush. “Lacey, the other day—the first night—when you rescued me. When we…we…”

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.

Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Christ.“I…uh…want you to know I don’t do that on a regular basis.”

“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?”

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.”

“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?”

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?”

“No! Lacey, you’re being difficult on purpose. I meant, that I didn’t mean to…you know. It just happened. Forgive me?”“I—”

“I—”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

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

“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.

Buy Links

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Kobo | Bookstrand | iTunes

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About the Author

m-s-spencer-author-3Although 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, 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:

Coming 2017:

  • Lapses of Memory

Contacts

Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Goodreads | Google+ | Pinterest

My calendar of events can be found here:

Romance Books 4 Us

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori, @lorisizemore
Twitter:
December 7, 2016 at 12:46 pm EDT

Thank you so much for joining us today, M.S. It was wonderful to learn so much about you and your fascinating story.

CB Clark December 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm EDT

Wow! What an interesting life, MS. You should consider writing your autobiography. It would be a fascinating read. I’ve enjoyed reading your romantic suspense books. Good luck with your current release.

M. S. Spencer December 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm EDT

Thanks so much for drawing me out, Lori! What are you working on set in the 1950s? A very interesting era and not well known except to us who lived in it. Charlton Heston was the most gracious actor I’ve ever met–a true gentleman. As to Paul Newman, he was set to testify before our committee & called my home. I’d been harassed by a bunch of solicitors, so when I answered the phone, I said “Joes’ Racetrack & Speedway. Place your bets.” There was a pause and this voice says, “This is Paul Newman.” And to my eternal shame I laughed & hung up.
M. S. Spencer | The HIghway Cafe Christmas Blog TourMy Profile

Lori, @lorisizemore
Twitter:
December 7, 2016 at 10:01 pm EDT

I’ve written a trilogy of 40k novellas set in 1958 Las Vegas. I absolutely love that era and I so enjoyed writing them.

I even mentioned one of my favorite Paul Newman movies, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, as part of my storyline in the first book.

That’s an awesome anecdote. I probably would’ve hung up, too!

Anni Fife December 8, 2016 at 5:56 am EDT

Loved the interview MS and Lori. Your life is fascinating, and I wanted to know more. OMG, you hung up on Paul Newman!
Good luck with your new release.
Anni xx
Anni Fife | Silence is GoldenMy Profile

Ilona Fridl December 8, 2016 at 10:37 am EDT

You’ve led an amazing life! No wonder your novels are so interesting. Great luck on this one!

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