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Lapses of Memory by M.S. Spencer

Please welcome M.S. Spencer to the blog. She’s here to share her new release, Lapses of Memory.

I’m a relatively seasoned traveler, but M.S. Spencer puts me to shame, and I bow at her place-hopping prowess. 🙂

In any case, I’m glad she’s here.

Lapses of Memory can be purchased at the following retailers:

The Wild Rose Press / I Tunes / Amazon
Barnes and Noble / KOBO / Bookstrand


Lapses of Memory

Wild Rose Press, 3/15/2017, Imprint: Champagne Rose
Contemporary romantic suspense/Action Adventure; M/F;2 flames
Ebook (70,560); Print: 296 pp.


And Here’s M.S. Spencer…

Old Town Alexandria


Thanks for having me at your wonderful site, K J. I’d like to talk about my new romantic suspense Lapses of Memory, in which two romances intertwine as a mother recounts her life-long love affair while her daughter juggles two lovers. The setting is Old Town Alexandria, one of my home towns, where both Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, and The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower take place as well.



Every few years from the age of five Sydney Bellek meets her true love Elian Davies, but while he remembers her, she doesn’t recognize him. Only after surviving wars, revolutions, and years of separation will she realize they are meant to be, but this time it is Elian who has lost his memory of her. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

In the frame narrative of Lapses of Memory, Sydney Bellek’s daughter Olivia is writing the story of her parents’ life together.  While Olivia labors to get her mother to cooperate, she has little time to concentrate on her own dilemma.

Poor Olivia! Forced to choose between two handsome, accomplished, loving men. Men who represented polar opposites. Rémy, dashing, rich, world traveler—French. Benjamin, dependable, reasonable, domestic, American to his Pilgrim core.


Excerpt (G):  Sydney Interferes

Olivia opened the door to the dining room and stopped. A tall, thin man stood awkwardly by the table, his long, patrician fingers nervously tapping the back of the chair. He stared at Olivia, mouth twitching in what could have been a rare attempt at a smile. Olivia spat out, “Benjamin!” Hands on hips, elbows out, she swung around, barely skimming her mother’s solar plexus. “Mother!”

Alice appeared from the kitchen door with a tray. “Dinner is served.”

The meal couldn’t have been jollier. Olivia spent most of the time scowling at her mother whenever she thought Benjamin wasn’t looking, and Benjamin spent most of the time examining his plate. Sydney gave up on small talk after the first ten minutes. As Alice cleared the dishes, she poured coffee into her grandmother’s delicate Wedgewood cups.

“Shall we take our coffee into the living room?” The other two diners nodded mutely. Sydney reflected that perhaps she had miscalculated the teeniest bit. She preceded them and surreptitiously poured a thimbleful of brandy into her coffee before turning to face them. “Well, it’s so good to see you, Benjamin. How’s the senator?”

Benjamin sat on a spindly chair as far from Olivia as possible. “Look, Mrs. Davies—”

“Sydney, please.”

“Uh, Sydney. I appreciate your invitation, and I’m ready to talk, but I think”—he glanced at Olivia—“she feels differently.”

Olivia’s eyes grew wide. “Me? It’s you who told me, and I quote, ‘I guess there’s nothing more to be said.’ ”

Benjamin stood and began to pace. His light gray eyes glinted in the lamplight. He dug under his mop of rich brown hair with a finger. “But you said—no, you announced—that you intended to go with Rémy.”

Olivia flounced onto the sofa, spilling her coffee. “I did no such thing. I asked you what you thought, and you—”

“You could care less what I felt, Olivia. You’d made your decision. I know only too well that there’s no changing your mind once you’ve settled on a course of action.”

“Well, I—”

At this point, Sydney slipped backwards out of the room, taking care to grab the brandy bottle. Her work was done. With luck, not temporarily.


About the Author

Although 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.

Ms. Spencer has published ten romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. 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.

M.S. Spencer Online

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Her Calendar of Events can be Found at:

Romance Books 4 Us



A Kiss to Build a Dream On by Katie Baldwin

Please meet Katie Baldwin and her debut novel, A Kiss to Build a Dream On, to the blog. Katie is a writer after my own heart – she’s obviously got great taste in subject matter. 😉 Plus anyone who has a “ferocious passion” for Nutella is okay in my book!

A Kiss to Build a Dream On can be purchased at the following retailers:

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / Barnes & Noble

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2017
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

ISBN# 978-1-5092-1316-0

Rating: Hot (R)
Number of pages: 252
Word Count: 59190

About the Book

Bethany Michaels leads a fairly isolated existence, but she longs to be an outgoing and sexually confident woman. When her celebrity crush comes to town, and literally falls at her feet, her prayers seem to be answered. But can she protect her heart while still experiencing true passion?

Hollywood celebrity Aidan Shannon, drunk and lost in small-town Virginia, finds himself in the home of a beautiful woman, and he finds her more than just a little alluring. Bethany is voluptuous and nurturing, fragile, yet steely. And that is a problem for a man who never wants to be tied to another woman again.

Living in the now is good enough for Aidan and Bethany for the short term. When the universe steps in and shows them what’s important, will Aidan take a chance on love a second time around when his girl needs him?



Well, either she was a crazy fan about to poison him or she was a shapely woman who was about to save him from a diabolical hangover. In for a penny, in for a pound. He eyed the tea one more time before making a decision.

Aidan carefully sipped the tea, unsure what to expect. Before the liquid touched his lips, his stomach clenched. This was going to be dreadful. Not even someone with his acting skill could pretend this tasted good.

“Drink it all, Mr. Shannon, or it won’t help,” the sweetly militant voice cautioned.

“It tastes worse than it smells,” he said, trying not to whimper. But then he realized she had said “Mr. Shannon.” He sighed. “It appears you know who I am.”

“Are you kidding?” The woman before him giggled softly. “The entire town is in ecstasy because you guys are filming your movie here.” She paused as she narrowed her eyes. “Wait a minute. Don’t try to distract me; drink your tea. How about this…? If you drink it, I will make you some eggs.”

He considered arguing but drank the whole thing down like a shot of whiskey.

“Good!” She looked as if she were trying not to laugh when he immediately grabbed the bottle of water and drank a giant slug from it.

“I left a towel and a new toothbrush in the bathroom. Why don’t you take care of yourself, and I’ll meet you in the kitchen.”

“Well, thank you, Ms…?”

The woman smiled. “I’m Bethany Michaels, Mr. Shannon. You are in my home. I found you singing away last night on a bench by the library where I work. I didn’t recognize you right away, I’m sorry to say, but once I did, I tried to get a cab to escort you back to your hotel, but you refused to go. You see…” She paused, as a sweet blush bloomed on her face. “You apparently thought that you and I were going to…to…well, you know. After convincing you that I did not want to “ride the Aidan train,” as you so delicately put it, you somehow convinced me to take you to my place—I’m still not sure how you did that—and you ended up asleep in my guest bed.”

Aidan grimaced. “Ms. Michaels, I—”

“Call me Bethany,” she said, patting him soothingly on the shoulder.

“Bethany, thank you for taking care of me. It means more than you can possibly know.”

“You’re welcome. I admit I’m a fan and am happy to help. I’ll give you some privacy now.”

“Bethany, you’re to call me Aidan then, right? I’m terribly sorry about the ‘train’ remark. Whiskey makes me incorrigible,” Aidan said, smiling.

“Let’s pretend it never happened, shall we? I’ll leave you alone so you can shower.”

“No need to leave, I mean…”—he glanced beneath the sheets at his unclothed body—“you’ve seen me naked so…”

“No! Mr. Sh—I mean Aidan, I most certainly have not! You disrobed yourself after I had already closed the door.” Then she paused, her face reheating. “I mean, well if you don’t count seeing you naked in Robot Warrior. But of course, you don’t mean that. I should go.”

“Bethany, a movie or last night, you’ve already seen me. No need to leave.”

“Are you still drunk? Because you still seem pretty incorrigible to me.”


About the Author

Katie Baldwin has a secret life. During the day she is a mild-mannered administrator at a University. By night she writes fantastical tales of romance and mystery. When she is not pacing her home working out dialogue in her mind, she is baking scones and working out dialogue in her mind. Aside from writing, she has a ferocious passion for the Green Bay Packers and Nutella. She can be found on twitter waxing eloquently about all of her passions. Go Pack Go! She can be reached via twitter @katiebwrites.


Katie Online



Happy Valentine’s Day!

For someone who peddles in romance, I kinda suck at pulling together a thoughtful post about it. More a planning issue than a celebratory issue. 🙂

So…I hope everyone has a wonderful day and enjoy the love.

And Erasure… because even unrequited love deserves a nod. 🙂

Who Brings a “You Suck” Sign to a Concert?

Hey guess what?


Last week, I started back on my supplements to at least try to get some of my energy back and I had a pretty good run of about a week and a half – that’s the longest stretch in a while.

But today… today I’m jumpy and anxious and already tired—I’ve only been up for just over 4 hours—and I’m trying not to be disheartened because there has been years of this crap and it’s annoying and stressful and just blah. So, I soldier on with my belly aching from being tense and try not to jump at every little noise because it’s one of those days where I’m easily startled and everything seems much louder than it actually is.

When I get like this I’ll purposefully either stress eat or gravitate toward things I know make me laugh—more likely both. And right now it’s all about making myself laugh because the thought of food is just ugh!

On Sunday evenings I go over to a friend’s house to watch The Walking Dead. Like many other fans of the show I’ve been waiting for what seems like years for the new season to start. I’m excited they started Season 6 out on a chaotic note because, zombies and Badass Carol, and Wolves, and the addition of Ethan Embry (which ultimately turned out to be a disappointment, but no spoilers…)

Anyway, this past Sunday night I was over for my usual hang out time. Chicken wings and Chex Mix and veggies and dip. I stuffed myself silly and was glued to the TV the minute the show started. Usually my friend and I talk about the show during the commercials, but for some reason I stopped when the commercial for Guitar Hero Live came on.

Now, I’m not a gamer. I’ve never played Guitar Hero, ever, and I don’t really have any intention of doing so, but it’s Lenny Kravitz and James Franco, so I watch. And I don’t see anything after James Franco asks, “Who brings a ‘you suck’ sign to a concert?” because I’m laughing hard enough to make my bellyache, which is a far better reason for a bellyache than stress.

See, I’m the person who takes a “You Suck” sign to a concert. I allude to this in my essay “Ten Steps for Befriending a Rockstar” in Fractured: essays on love, friendship, and the nightmares in between, and while I won’t name names or say where the show was or mention any other particulars because I keep my own secrets (barring a few select people who know) and my friendship with the person involved is more important than spilling the beans. But I did hold up something akin to a “You Suck” sign, I did almost stop the show as a result, and I did pretty well created a ration of shit, however good-natured it may have been, for my friend. I vividly remember the giddiness and the giggles and the looks on faces and the sheer terror I felt when I thought the show was going to stop. And none of this includes the real possibility of getting pummeled until I was bloody by hordes of ardent fans.

What can I say? It seemed like a great idea at the time.

So, the next time someone asks you, “Who brings a ‘You Suck’ sign to a concert,” now you know.

It’s Experiment Day 2 and I’m Dreaming Big

Robin Sharma Dream big. Start small. Act now


Today didn’t start off all that great – haven’t been sleeping well lately and that seems to make everything worse. But I managed a couple hours of sleep after waking up at 3:30am, which doesn’t always happen. Initially things didn’t seem to be that different after dragging myself out of bed.

I should probably back up a bit and explain exactly what the experiment is and why I’m doing it. In short, unhappy has been my mode of being for a long time thanks in part to a chronic health problem, a general malaise, and a complete lack of motivation to do anything. And by “anything” I literally mean anything. It’s gotten to the point that even getting out of bed is considered a win.

To be fair, most of it is related to the health issue (chronic Epstein Barr [CEBV] and chronic fatigue, in case you’re interested), but I have a feeling it’s exacerbated by outside factors. At the top of the list? Continually watching/reading the news and getting sucked into the online comment sections where hatefulness seems to be rampant. And it’s horrifyingly addicting.

I think my addiction to the news is overcompensation for my parents letting me be a kid when I was a kid. News was for adults and my brother and I watched very little TV in general. As a trade-off I was navigating the streets, buses, and trains of Frankfurt, Germany, on my own by the time I was 14. Plus, back in the 80s, when I was a teenager, we didn’t have 24-hour cable news. We did have bomb and terrorism threats to be mindful of, but it wasn’t a drum that was continually pounded on. On one hand it’s great to be able to find out what’s going on whenever I want, but I’m not entirely convinced the constant barrage of bad news, the beating of every dead horse possible, and the general tomfoolery of the talking heads has done anyone any good. As a result, I decided to impose a news moratorium and by extension comments sections.

My theory is that it’s hard to dream, and dream big, when bad news is the main focus of the information you take in. And have no doubt – I’m a Big Dreamer. Always have been. Until about 1999 (when I suspect the CEBV kicked in) I’d wake up every day excited about whatever adventures the day held in store and I made sure there were adventures aplenty. And despite the slow start to the day, I was reminded that my adventuresome spirit isn’t gone for good, but only buried underneath all the crap I’ve piled on it.

There’s one thing that always scares me (in a good way) and that’s the thought of people who don’t know each other doing the same thing at the same time. It happens at concerts when everyone joins in singing along with the band and that’s an amazing feeling, but even more overwhelming is the idea of people scattered throughout the world doing the same thing at the same time without occupying the same general space. I actually wrote about the first time I experienced it in an essay called “Connection: Temporary” I wrote for Fractured: essays on love, friendship, and the nightmares in between:

I’m sitting in the Louisiana mid-day heat melting to the vinyl of my parents’ day-glow orange Vega — the one with the twice-rebuilt engine, courtesy of my father. My family is beyond technologically challenged, so I’m outside listening to the radio. Waiting. Crickets play their own brand of music while I swat at flies with lazy flicks of my hand. Finally, the familiar strains of the tune I’ve been not-to-patiently waiting to hear come tumbling out of the speakers. The absolute joy I feel makes me want to laugh and cry, all at once hysterical and calm. In the few seconds before the vocals come in, I think to myself:

Tons of people are listening to this song at exactly this moment.

It’s such an overwhelming thought, the feeling it evokes frightening in its intensity. The world seems so big, and I feel so utterly small — a modern day Thumbelina in a giant’s world. Dissolving further into the seat, the contradictory emotions cascade through me, over me, under me, around me. My entire body tingles until I am nothing but the song.

The year is 1981, and I’m ten years old. The song I’ve been waiting to hear is Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.”

I can’t explain exactly what happened this morning without making this more of a novel than it already is, but it was enough to set the butterflies going and make the sunshine seem brighter and send me into giddy laughter. It was just a moment, but it was a moment of unmitigated joy. A moment to remind me that no matter how dismal life has seemed over the years there’s still hope for adventures and dreaming big once I clear out all the clutter.

Secret Cravings Publishing #SummerReadingList Sale Today

10559943_955093831224726_4868669566586760873_nSecret Cravings Publishing is having a 50% off sale today – this includes books at

That pretty well covers the gamut of genres, so go peruse and find something that strikes your fancy!