Monday, December 17, 2018

M.S. Spencer Creates a Cozy on the Island #mystery #romance


It's cozy mystery romance day for Muse Monday. Please welcome, M. S. Spencer to Discover...

Flotsam & Jetsam is a cozy mystery romance set on a barrier island in north-east Florida.
I first visited Amelia Island to attend the Amelia Island Book Festival, and was struck by the crazy quilt of events it had survived. Known as the Isle of Eight Flags, it had seen wave after wave of conquering armies, some big, like the Spanish, and some tiny, like the Patriots of Amelia Island who mustered nine gunboats and maybe a hundred men. Timucuan Indians, French, Spanish, pirates, Scots mercenaries, Confederate and Union soldiers, all occupied the tiny island at one point or another. It also has a sizable Geechee (Gullah) community. Faced with a setting like that, who wouldn’t want to craft a nice little murder mystery that drew on the island’s history?

Three corpses strewn across the sand. Who are they and how did they get to Amelia Island?  State Park rangers Simon Ribault and Ellie Ironstone must find the answers while contending with a secretive group called the League of the Green Cross. Are the deaths linked to it? Or could they be tied to the colorful history of the island, which was won and lost eight times? Mucking up the investigation is the crucial question—who will Ellie choose: Thad, the handsome local idol, and Simon, the clever, quirky bookworm?

Ellie rotated the phone to allow them both to listen. “Simon and I are at the fort. There was an event here last night, and Hosea sent us to check out what, if any, mess the participants left before we reopen to the public tomorrow.”
“Oh, right. Betty Lawrence told me it was some sort of cult initiation—torches and secret handshakes and masks and stuff. I doubt they’d leave anything behind. Wouldn’t want to divulge any clues to their Circean rituals.”
Simon whistled. “Did she just say ‘Circean’? Cool!”
Ellie put a palm over her phone. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“Circe. You know. Greek goddess of sorcery. Well, minor goddess to be precise, but she did land a pretty good gig in The Iliad. When Odysseus and his men…” Simon petered out in response to the look on Ellie’s face.
She took her hand off the phone and spoke into it. “We’re not sure our little emergency has anything to do with the attendees. The inside of the fort was reasonably tidy, but outside the walls—” 
“Get on with it, Ellie. You’re just like your father. What have you found?”
Ellie brushed the criticism aside with a wave of her hand. “A bit of unexpected flotsam washed up on the shore.”
“You don’t want to know what it is first?”
“I need coordinates if I’m to send out reinforcements.”
“Okay, the body is on the stretch of sand facing St. Marys River. Northeast of the fort.”
“Body, huh. Dead?”
“I’d probably call it a man if it wasn’t.”
“Good point. Does it look pruny?”
Ellie checked out the corpse, lying supine on the sand. “Not really. So that means he died recently?”
“It means he wasn’t in the water long. Stiff?”
“Stiff, vic, cadaver—whatever you want to call him, he’s dead.”
Simon sensed the increasing threat level and, on the off chance Ellie didn’t, intervened. “Hold on a sec.” He prodded the dead man’s jaw, then tried to lift his arm. “Tell your mother rigor mortis has set in. Body’s cold. I’d say he died maybe eight to twelve hours ago.” 

Mainstream Mystery, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense
Rating: Spicy (PG13)
Paper 430 p.; Ebook 97,578 words 
Buy Links (ebook and print):

Will also be available at Walmart.

About the Author:
M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents and has published twelve romantic suspense or cozy mystery novels. She has two children, a wonderful granddaughter, and divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.


  1. Thank you for having me and Simon and Ellie here today. Flotsam & Jetsam releases today, so I'm very excited and I hope your readers are too.

    1. Release day is always the best! Good luck with what sounds like a good read.

  2. This sounds like another successful story, M.S.! Wishing you all the best!

  3. Wonderful excerpt! I wish you many sales and congrats on your latest release!

  4. M. S. best of luck with your release!

  5. Great excerpt! Sounds like a terrific read. The setting is also unique. Best of luck with your release.

    1. As I recall, you like history, right? You'll love this one.

  6. Thanks for reading, everyone. There's more where that came from :) M. S.

  7. This sounds like the sort of book I would enjoy reading, the atmosphere of the place sounds wonderful. Many congratulations

  8. Congratulations on your new novel!

  9. Thanks again all. I had fun writing about Amelia Island. Definitely worth a visit.

  10. Nice Article.Thanks for sharing the article.really in the world there are many mysterious places.

  11. Island have many mysterious stories.really Best adventure travel blog have an mystery in the world.