We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.
In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.
Today Marcia Meara shares an excerpt from the first of her Riverbend series – Swamp Ghosts.
About the book
Marcia Meara, author of the popular Wake-Robin Ridge books, sets her second series in the sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida, where the hungry creatures swimming in the dark waters of the St. Johns River aren’t nearly as dangerous as those walking along the quiet neighborhood streets.
Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.
On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s able to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them.
An excerpt from Swamp Ghosts –
He turned to his right and made his way down a narrow and heavily overgrown path that followed the curve of the stream. It was slow going for a hundred yards or more, with branches and palmetto fronds slapping him in the face and scraping at his arms. Sweat trickled down into his eyes, stinging like fury, but even as hot as he was, he was glad he had thought to wear long sleeves. They at least afforded him a bit of protection from scratches and the relentless mosquitoes, which swarmed his head in a hungry cloud.
Repellent kept most of them from biting, but it was hard to breathe without sucking them into his mouth or nose, and their humming grew louder with every slow step he took.
Gritting his teeth, he shifted the weight on his shoulder, and plowed ahead.
Seems to be a longer haul each time, but it can’t be much farther now.
He pushed his way through the worst of the underbrush, and there it was—a small open area on a raised embankment, about four feet above the water. He walked to the edge and dumped his burden on the dirt beside him. Taking a deep breath, he stretched his arms, rolling his shoulders once more.
Damn. Ought to be an easier way to do this. Probably is. But not likely to be as efficient.
Untying the lengths of white rope from each end of his bundle, he opened up the blue plastic tarp. For a moment, he admired his handiwork, once again congratulating himself on his hunting skills, and his ability to outsmart the law. Those clowns had no idea who they were up against.
Snickering, he dragged the tarp closer to the water’s edge. He snapped it sharply toward himself, lifting up on the edge of the plastic, and spilling the contents down the bank, where they landed with a splash in the shallow water below. He stood there, folding up the tarp and watching the moonlit surface of the creek. Within seconds, ripples appeared on the other side, rushing toward him, but slowing as they neared his offering. He waited just long enough to watch the huge head come out of the water, jaws wide, before he turned and walked away. The sounds of thrashing and tearing followed him halfway back to his car.
Alligators. Nature’s best garbage disposals. Soon, there won’t be much left of that little package for anyone to find.
He tossed the folded tarp into his car, and climbed in, just as the first fat raindrops began splatting against his dusty windshield. Within seconds, the water was coming down like only a Florida rainstorm can, heavy and fast. It would be over just as quickly as it started, but not before wiping away all traces of his visit.
He snickered again. Right on time, and thank you, Mother Nature. No need to worry about evidence left behind now. It will all be washed away.
He turned the SUV around, and headed back to civilization, smiling the whole way, and wondering how much longer it would be before some sharp-eyed detective or reporter began to connect the dots. He almost wished they would hurry it up, so he could find out what they would call him.
After all … Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, The Night Stalker…all the good ones have names.
One of over 100 outstanding reviews for the book
I don’t actually read romances, but was drawn to this one. The author is a nature lover, much like myself, and knowing she was placing this tale in what amounts to her back yard appealed to me. The swamps of Florida are foreign to a westerner like myself. The depictions and descriptions are wonderful.
What I found was a wonderful murder mystery that lands squarely in these same swamps. It’s intense, thrilling, and scary. I pegged the killer early on, but that didn’t detract from the story. He’s so wonderfully creepy, Meara gets this across like she lived some of it.
I walked in knowing it was a romance, and that part was well done. I admit it was the nature tours, and the murder mystery that called to me. I’m giving it five stars, because it was that wonderful.
A selection of other books by Marcia Meara
Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and one small dachshund.
When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.
Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?
Thank you for visiting today and I know that Marcia would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.
How to participate in this series
In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.
The aim of the series
- To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
- Gain more recent reviews for the book.
- Promote a selection of other books that are available.
- Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.
I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.
- This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
- I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
- If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
- I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
- As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
- Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to firstname.lastname@example.org
N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.
Look forward to hearing from you.