Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Paranormal Swamp Ghosts (Riverbend Book 1) by Marcia Meara

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.

©Marcia Meara

One of over 100 outstanding reviews for the book

C. S. Boyack 5.0 out of 5 stars Strange people make wonderful stories.  Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2020

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.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Marcia Meara

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

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

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. 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

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.


64 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Paranormal Swamp Ghosts (Riverbend Book 1) by Marcia Meara

    • Thank you so much, Viv. Hope you’ll get a chance to check out the rest of the story one day, and that you’ll enjoy it if you do. I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts. (It’s not ALL scary, I promise.) Thanks for taking a moment to comment, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this scene from Swamp Ghosts, Sally! I really appreciate the opportunity to share part of the prologue with your readers, and hope some of them will decide to see what else happens in this one. And love the review you chose to share, too. One of my favorites!

    This feature is a great opportunity for us to let others see a sample of our earlier books. I hope everyone is taking advantage of your offer, and I’m very happy to be here today!

    As always, you rock! In fact, you are a STAR! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahaha. I love that the mosquitos worry you more than the alligators. 😀 My kinda person! Truly, sometimes when you are in the swamp at night, that’s just how thick they are. CLOUDS of tiny winged vampires will be on you. I swear, without protection, they could probably drain you dry before morning! 😯

      But rest assured, all of the book isn’t filled with alligators and mosquitos, I promise. There’s a lot of the beauty of Florida’s rivers and wildlife, along with that love story mentioned in the wonderful review above. Hope you’ll check it out one day, and will enjoy the read. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

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  3. I have several of Marcia’s books on my Kindle and follow her wonderful blog as well. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time… Thanks, Sally, and good luck to Marcia!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This was the first book I read by Marcia. Her ability to describe landscape, characters and emotions is superb and when you add those to some sinister goings-on plus a sparking romance you end up with a story that grips, wrenches and ultimately satisfies. I’ve read all of Marcia’s books
    now! Thanks for showcasing this, Sally. And I’m with Elizabeth regarding the mosquitoes – I’m not likely to encounter an alligator on the Isle of Skye but the midges are formidable!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for such kind words, Trish. I’m truly happy you enjoyed Swamp Ghosts, and have read all of my books. That’s amazing! And I thank you so much for letting me (and others) know you’ve liked them.

      As for the mosquitos, when on LAND, I’ll take my chances with the gators first. As for when in the water, well … you know my rule about swimming: I do NOT swim in any body of water that isn’t enclosed in turquoise concrete. Period. And I even double check THAT. 😀

      So good to see you here, and I appreciate your comments HUGELY! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Alex, still working my way through Marcia’s books and loving them.. I remember the midges from touring the Highlands in the summer and we have here on the west coast… Mosquitoes we had in Spain until we let the swallows nest where they liked year after year…hugs


    • Thanks so much, Darlene. So nice of you to say that! And yes to the review from Craig. It’s one of my very favorites, especially since Romantic Suspense is not his favorite genre. But I lucked out via how much he loves nature and that I tossed in the serial killer for shivers. 😀

      I really appreciate your stopping by this morning! THANKS, again! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Sally, thanks for sharing this. Marcia, what a deliciously creepy and sinister scene! The book sounds terrific and well-written, and is now on my tbr list. I started writing at about the same age as you, Marcia. Good for us “mature” girls, I say!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I second that “good for us” thought of yours, Maura. After all, who needs to spend years in crocheting doilies from our front porch rocking chair when we can be creating wonderful characters living in other worlds, with fun and exciting things happening to them? Not me, at least, and not you, either! Nice to meet you here at Sally’s, and thanks for your kind words! 🙂 I’ll be most interested in hearing your thoughts when you get to Swamp Ghosts in your TBR pile! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Marcia, when I read it I will post a review to Amazon. About the crocheting doilies.- my good friend is always telling me about how hard she works cleaning and sometimes I feel guilty that I spend so much time NOT cleaning (🙄) but writing or keeping up with social media. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just published my second novel and I have been obsessed for weeks! Still, much better than doilies or cleaning!

        Liked by 1 person

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