top of page

Welcome to

Mary's Tavern

Learn about me, my books, enjoy photo galleries from my travels, view the blog, and stay up to date regarding news and events.

Spotlight #Author Interview and #NewRelease ~ LAPSES OF MEMORY by M.S. Spencer

Please make welcome to the Tavern another sister Rose from my publisher The Wild Rose Press, M.S. Spencer! We're celebrating her new release, Lapses of Memory!

I'm serving champagne and strawberry tarts, so grab a comfy chair and read what M.S. has to share with us today.

MM: I'm delighted you could join us today. Congratulations on your new release. Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

MS: Morning. In fact I really am worthless after about 1 pm for anything. I get up and take a good walk, then crawl back under the covers for 15 minutes to get my strength back. Breakfast, after which I work (write), often forgetting my coffee until it’s cold. Lunch, beach, nap and, oh hey, it’s cocktail time! I love being “retired.”

MM: Sounds wonderful! Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

MS: Indeed. I have a book with Wild Rose Press in its first edits—Passion & the Pit: Murder at the Ghost Hotel:

At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later workmen uncover a skeleton. Who does it belong to, and how did it get to the bottom of an old elevator shaft? To find out, Charity Snow, reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, must team up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author, whose arrogance nearly exceeds his talent.

Along with a drop-dead gorgeous editor and a publisher with a dark family secret, they discover an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

I’m also working on a murder mystery romance set on Amelia Island—one of the Sea Islands. It has pirates and conspirators and drug smugglers and Geechees and characters way too caught up in their family legacy. Lots of fun.

MM: Fantastic! Sounds mysterious and exciting. What inspires you when you’re writing?

MS: Usually a setting. I was at a book event on Amelia Island and the wacky, convoluted, colorful history of the place begged for a story. The Ghost Hotel was a real hotel—built by John Ringling of circus fame in 1926, it was never finished and lay in ruins for over 40 years. Had to find a ghost there, right?

MM: When I visit old places I'm often creating a story, or two. The hotel sounds intriguing and a place I would love to visit. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

MS: Four things: a photo of my daughter with her newborn daughter that rivals Michelangelo’s Pieta; a mug my son made of family pictures; a clay box of crayons my daughter made in kindergarten, and a small porcelain Ganesh (Hindu elephant god) with a mouse running by him. It sat on my father’s desk forever, and now it’s on mine.

MM: Lovely! Now for the fun questions. Do you prefer...

Champagne or Beer? Champagne! I love beer, but after my first child was born I had a craving for champagne that I haven’t been able to shake. Luckily I can usually find a good, cheap one (I recommend Barefoot Bubbly Brut). But I’ll take a good red or brown ale—or even a Wee Heavy—any day.

Southern drawl or Scottish burr? Scots burr! My grandfather was a Black Douglas, so it’s music to my ears.

Kilt or Leather pants? A kilt—duh. :)

Print book or e-reader? I like them both. I have an old Kindle I can read in the sunlight. It’s good for traveling, so I don’t have to leave half-finished books behind.

Wishing you all the best, M.S. with Lapses of Memory!


Thanks so much for having me at your wonderful site, Mary! I’d like to talk a little about my new romantic suspense, Lapses of Memory.

Lapses of Memory follow the exploits of two journalists, Sydney Bellek and Elian Davies, as they travel the globe reporting on various world catastrophes. The first time they meet as adults, Elian is about to infiltrate a fictional Greek revolutionary group, and Sydney is off to Cairo to study Arabic. The next time they are both covering the initial stages of the revolution in Iran and only barely escape. Again a few years later we find them rivals in the search for a scoop on the Lebanese Civil War. With all the absences and crises and competition, it doesn't seem that a happy ending can ever happen, but then this is a romance.

Since I lived through these same events, I wanted to convey both the excitement and the trepidation associated with being in the midst of a world-shattering crisis. As reporters Sydney and Elian sensed that something important was going on, but couldn’t know the extent or the consequences of it. To add that dimension, Sydney tells the story of her life to her daughter. I hope you find it as romantic as I do.

Wild Rose Press, 3/15/2017, Imprint: Champagne Rose

Contemporary romantic suspense/Action Adventure; M/F; 2 flames

Ebook (70,560); Print: 296 pp.

Blurb ~

Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s on a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser when she is five and he is seven. They run into each other every few years after that, but while he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese civil war. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.

Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but this time, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

This excerpt takes place in Old Town Alexandria, where Elian and Sydney are trying to get reacquainted after a long separation.

Excerpt ~ Old and New Love

They left Landini Brothers and wandered down past the Torpedo Factory to the pier. The late spring weather had brought out both the ducks and the humans. Other people’s laughter and conversations filled the silence that lay between them. A man set up a table with wine glasses and began to run his finger around the rims, creating an eerie, silvery tintinnabulation. Sydney, lost in her thoughts, tossed bits of the roll she’d brought from the restaurant into the water. A wedge of American coots scooted over, their white bills pumping back and forth as if they believed the movement would help them go faster. Elian hung over the railing.

“Sydney? Can I ask you something?”

“Uh huh.”

“Would you have picked me up that day at the Smithsonian if you didn’t think I was this Elian of yours?”

She started to say something flippant but noticed his eyes glimmering in the feeble yellow light. “I…”

He continued to stare at the water. “Sydney, these last two weeks have been…special. I never thought…I mean, I know it’s strange. And me with no real background—nothing to offer you, no…me as it were. I—”

She stopped his meandering with her lips. His arms went tentatively around her. For a minute, they floated in a cocoon of mist, the voices and music fading into the background. She drowned in a mixture of new feelings and old memories, of hope and despair, of the past and the possibility, hitherto unanticipated, of a future. He stepped back, holding her at arm’s length. His voice steady, he whispered, “The moment. Let’s live for that tonight.”

Resolved to accept his wish, at least for now, she followed him.

Buy Links ~


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.


My calendar of events can be found here:

bottom of page