Monday, February 4, 2013

Mai Tais and Mayhem are served up on Gladiator's Pen by MS Spencer

Glaidator's Pen welcomes Meredith Spencer to the ludis today. She's going to be talking about her latest release Mai Tais and Mayhem. Add a little more sweet to that tea and enjoy! Don't forget to leave a little comment love :) 

Mai Tais and Mayhem by M.S. Spencer

My latest romantic suspense novel is set on the balmy shores of the Florida Gulf coast. Readers looking not only for romance, but for encounters with the exotic birds and animals to be found in that tropical paradise, not to mention a murder or two, will find it here.

I chose the setting because the Gulf coast is blessed with an enormous variety of wildlife, from rays, sharks and dolphins, to pelicans and roseate spoonbills, to the sweet lumps of manatees. Five of the seven species of sea turtle live in the Gulf of Mexico. Wetlands covering nearly five million acres are home to the “walking trees” called mangroves, alligators, and anhingas. In Mai Tais and Mayhem, our heroine Tessa Diamond confronts a wide array of the denizens of the coast—from sea turtles to sturgeon to feral pigs. Besides her work counting sea turtle nests, she volunteers at the famous Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida.  Founded in 1955 by Dr. Eugenie Clark, the “Shark Lady,” today it conducts research on sharks, red tide, marine mammals, sea turtles, coral reefs, coastal ecology, and sustainable fish farming. One project that is featured in Mai Tais and Mayhem is their public-private effort to save the American surgeon, funded by sales of fabulous caviar. If you want to find out more about Mote Marine (and the caviar), here’s a link: To buy the caviar (which is really yummy!), go to:  or

Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance)
Secret Cravings Publishing (January 2013)
eBook 65,000 words (208 pp)
Contemporary romantic suspense/mystery, M/F, 3 flames

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

She is torn between Cameron Mason, tiger-eyed and handsome, and Dugan Trevally, sexy and dangerous, but before she can drop her longstanding opposition to marriage and accept her true love, she must face the possibility that one of them could be a thief, and even a murderer.

EXCERPT ~ An Unexpected Surprise (PG)

The alarm woke her at seven. Tessa threw on the Mote polo shirt and black golf skort she’d laid out the night before, grabbed the bagel and can of V8 she’d left on the counter, and shot down Gulf of Mexico Drive as the sun came up. The road for once was deserted and she could revel in the breeze blowing her long black hair and the scent of frangipani in the air. The soft gray sky held only a hint of the deep blue to come later, and the gulf lay becalmed by the evaporating night. She sang a country song as she drove. In her bones she knew this would be a glorious day, the first in a long time where she felt free of any guilt or sadness. If only she could whistle. If only I could carry a tune.
She parked in the aquarium lot and walked across to the Goldstein Center. Pulling out the key Pilchard had given her, she let herself in by the ticket booth. Pale, blurry light seeped in through the plastic sheeted tanks to her right. She went up the stairs and around the gift shop to the dolphin pool, rattling doors as she went. All was quiet and locked. A snort came from the pool. One of the dolphins raised his head and peered at her before diving back down.
Looks okay here. She checked her watch. Eight-twenty. The support staff should be arriving soon to open the gift shop and ticket counter. She walked back down the stairs. The turtle tanks lay to her right—two large shallow pools that at present held four sea turtles, one leatherback—Fred—two green turtles, and a loggerhead. She leaned over Fred’s tank. “Fred,” she called, “how are you? Feeling better?”
A black mass floated at the other end of the pool. Oh dear, I hope he’s not still sick. Worried, she skirted the other tank and ducked under the gate. The mass didn’t move. “Fred?” She reached out a hand to touch his shell and instead encountered something soft and mushy. “Fred?”
At that moment the overhead light flashed on. She swung around. From the hall came the voice of Henry Stillwater, the coordinator of the dolphin training program. “Who’s there?”
“It’s Tessa. Tessa Diamond. I’m the volunteer. I was checking on Fred, but something’s wrong.”
Tessa turned around to look into the pool again and screamed.

I’d love to hear from you!

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M. S. Spencer said...

Elise--I always love to visit here--hope your readers enjoy the excerpt and maybe even some caviar! M. S.

Melissa Keir said...

All the best with your release! It sounds like a wonderful read!

Jillian said...

Sounds wonderful. As a gulf coast resident myself, I'm very intrigued. Lots of luck with sales numbers.

Jillian said...

Sounds wonderful. As a fellow gulf coast resident, I'm intrigued by the concept and the setting.

M. S. Spencer said...

Hi Jillian--I love the Gulf coast! Although I've yet to have a Mai Tai to celebrate the release. M. S.