Hello everyone! I’m very excited to announce that on July 27 Secret Cravings Publishing (www.secretcravingspublisher.com) released my latest romantic suspense novel entitled Losers Keepers. It’s the story of a romantic triangle enmeshed in murder, set on the Atlantic barrier island of Chincoteague. Our heroine, Dagne Lonegan, advice columnist, moves to the island to write a novel and escape a painful love affair. But her column, Dear Philomena, begins to mirror her life in eerie symmetry when a murder is committed her first week on Chincoteague Island. While the killers try to frighten her off, she must decide who to trust: Tom, the handsome Refuge Manager or Jack, the lover she wanted to forget.
Losers Keepers, by M. S. Spencer
eBook, 72,000 words, M/F (3 flames), contemporary romantic suspense
ISBN 978-1-936653-95-9; ONLY $5.50!!!
Also available from All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-loserskeepers-581754-149.html
Someone knocked at the front door. She checked the clock. 8:00. A bit early. Maybe it’s the milkman. She clucked at her little joke, but took a moment to smooth her hair and flip off her fuzzy slippers. Halfway down the stairs she peered through the glass door to see a tall, broad-shouldered silhouette. Someone new? And handsome! Panting only slightly, she tripped on the last step and almost fell flat. Ingesting a couple of ragged gulps, she called, “Who is it?”
“Miss Lonegan? It’s Tom Ellis. I’m the Chincoteague Refuge Manager. I’d like to ask you a couple of questions.”
Questions? Dagne opened the door and took a step back. A tall, remarkably handsome man in the tan uniform of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stood on the mat. His dark brown eyes flecked with cream reminded her of the Sika elk that roamed Assateague. The flat-rimmed ranger hat obscured his hair but his tanned face sported a bit of five o’clock shadow, which only served to highlight the straight Roman nose. He smiled a dazzling smile and stuck his hand out. “Miss Lonegan?”
“May I come in?” Dagne realized she was still holding his hand and gazing hungrily into those chocolate eyes. She shook her head to clear it.
“Of course, of course.” She led the way into the living room and indicated one of the easy chairs patterned in blue ponies. She sat on the sleep sofa, only to jump up hastily to clear the coffee table of half-filled take-out boxes and bits of underwear, her face burning. The ranger sat quietly, hat in hand, while she bustled about trying not to stare at his large, strong hands. A full head of rich brown hair too—is there anything that isn’t gorgeous about him? “Sorry. I’ve just moved in and I haven’t had time to organize or even grocery shop.”
“I understand. Cora Anne said you’re staying for a year?”
Chincoteague sure was a small town. “Yes. I’m trying to write a novel.”
“That’s wonderful.” He didn’t seem surprised at the news. The pause lengthened. Dagne finally settled down on the sofa. “Well…Mr. Ellis, is it? What can I do for you?” How about a big, wet one?
“Miss Lonegan, as I mentioned, I supervise the wildlife refuge. I don’t know whether you’ve heard, but there’s been a murder.”
Dagne took a moment to pull her jaw back up and her eyes back in. “A what?”
“A murder. We found the body Saturday morning. On the refuge.”
“No, I had no idea. I haven’t talked to anyone yet today.” Wait a minute. When was I trapped on the Woodland Trail? “Saturday? The day before yesterday?”
“Yes.” He studied her, his eyes sharp. “I heard you were there the afternoon before. I mean, on the refuge. On Friday. Nick, one of our volunteers, said he talked to you.”
Dagne tried to think. “Yes, that’s right. I stopped in at the visitors’ center just at closing around four. I’d seen a fawn with a broken leg on the Swan Cove trail and wanted to let them know.”
“And where did you go after that?”
“I decided to walk the Woodland Trail.”
He sat forward eagerly. “You did? Did you see anyone else on the path?”
“There were a few people, yes. But they were heading back when I started walking. I was alone for most of the hike.”
“Did you see anyone in the parking lot?”
“No. No one. By the time I got back to my car everyone had gone.”
“What made you decide to go so late in the day?”
Why was he grilling her? She hoped she didn’t sound like a person with something to hide, but his close scrutiny made her nervous. “I…I didn’t really think about the time. I’d been working and thought I’d take a break and get some exercise. To tell the truth I’d forgotten how long the trail was. When darkness fell the place spooked me a bit and I ran most of the way back.”
“Hmmm.” He sat back. A couple of minutes ticked by while he seemed lost in reverie.
“Mr. Ellis? Who was murdered?”
“What? Oh, please, call me Tom. The victim? A local girl, name of Terri Aster.”
“Oh dear. And have you caught the murderer?”
“No, ma’am. We’re just following up leads, looking for possible witnesses. That sort of thing.” He looked grim.
“I see…Tom. And you can call me Dagne.” God, he’s cute. Did I just simper?
“Dagne. Nice name.” He smiled, and a little tingling sensation trickled up her back. “Anyway, we don’t have much to go on yet. We’re questioning anyone who visited the refuge on Friday or early Saturday.”
Curiosity getting the better of prudence, Dagne ventured, “So, how was she killed?”
Tom stopped smiling. “I’m afraid it would be inappropriate to give out details at this stage.” He stood. “Here’s my card. I may have to interview you again. Since we found the body on federal property I’ll be in charge of the investigation. Make sure you get in touch if you think of anything else that might be of interest. For example, if you saw or heard anything unusual.”
It was on the tip of her tongue to make a flirtatious reply, but she bit it instead. Talk about inappropriate timing! But he was so handsome, so different from Jack. Maybe, just maybe….
~Lost without Love ~ Romance in Suspension from M. S. Spencer~
COMING IN NOVEMBER, ALSO FROM SECRET CRAVINGS:
Triptych: Three sisters, three lovers, and three spirits guarding a dangerous river. Add long-lost master artworks, stolen prototypes and a resident genius and you have a recipe for jealousy, sex, love and a little larceny.
M. S. Spencer ~Lost without Love ~ Romance in Suspension
AVAILABLE NOW: Losers Keepers from www.secretcravingspublishing.com
COMING November from Secret Cravings: Triptych
Author of the bestsellers Lost in His Arms and Lost & Found from (www.redrosepublishing.com/books)