Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Other Florida Keys—Mai Tais and Mayhem by M. S. Spencer

Tessa Diamond, newly arrived on the Florida Gulf Coast and looking for something to occupy her time, rescues a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull. Her good deed leads her to the famous Mote Marine Laboratory of Sarasota, and she volunteers to help at the turtle rehabilitation hospital.

When she discovers a dead body where a live turtle should be, she is swept 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.

In the past, Ms. Spencer has taken us to the Eastern shore of Maryland; the rapids of the Potomac River; Alexandria, Virginia; and the Alsace/Lorraine area of Europe which has been contested for centuries by France and Germany and is the ancestral land of my ex-husband’s family who have French libidos and Teutonic stubbornness.  But, I digress as usual.  Now she’s taken us to Sarasota, Florida.

I always thought Florida had one set of Keys—the ones at the bottom tip of the state Bogie and Bacall immortalized in their movies together, sung about by Jimmy Buffet, Rupert Holmes, Kenny Chesney and others.  But there’s another set of Keys on the West Coast of Florida extending into the Gulf of Mexico from Sarasota, and that’s where the Mai Tais accompany the Mayhem.

In a place with so many little bays and islands, there are plenty of places where people can smuggle all kinds of things and commit all kinds of crimes—even murder, and they certainly do try to get away with it.  But who is smuggling what?  Who killed the guy and dumped him into the turtle’s pool?  For that matter, who got the turtle sick by feeding it caviar?  Who can Tessa trust?  Her neighbor and sometimes lover of the past few months Dugan?  Or handsome, secretive newcomer Cameron who makes her melt on sight?  And since he can read Russian is he a good guy or part of the Russian mob?  If he’s a good guy, why won’t he tell her what agency he works for?  She found the body. She was with him when they met the Russian mob boss at the police station.  How much more dangerous could it be for her if she knew which agency he worked for?

As usual, the writing is tight and the characters well-drawn.  There are plenty of suspects to choose from and red herrings to follow with interesting little sub-plots.  Ms. Spencer will keep you on the edge of your seat guessing right up to the exciting end.

Length:  220 Pages

Price:  $5.99

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file I created on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting.  RIW

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful coincidence! M. S. Spencer is the Featured Author in the May edition of the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter, upon which I am currently working. I am shooting for a May 1 release (fingers crossed!). Watch for it at The address is: