Here we go!
The first post in our weekly appointment with an Author.
The choices I gave to the signing-up authors were between telling us the worst new year resolution they ever made, the craziest one they made and of course didn’t follow up OR the one resolution she followed up with, and it changed her life, or it did something small to make life better anyway.
Here’s what Meredith told us. Which, spoiler alert, involves falling in love with my Florida, a feeling a certainly understand. And yeah, there’s some weird goin’ on down here….
And thank you, Meredith, to be here!
Change in Latitude, Change in Attitude
by M. S. Spencer
The topic of January’s blogs is Resolutions—ones you didn’t make, ones you shouldn’t have made, ones you’re glad you made.
For me, my New Year’s resolution of 2013 was of the latter type. I had been married more than twenty-five years when we agreed to separate. In 2010 I bought a townhouse in Alexandria, Virginia. A few months later my husband died. My children were adults. I was retired and writing novels. Most of my friends had moved away.
Three years later, on a cold January, I lay on my bed staring at the ceiling, wondering why I hung on. I thought of the Florida bungalow we had inherited from my parents-in-law. It was on a Gulf key in an older, small community. I’d only been to Florida a couple of times and, while I loved the blue skies and warm breezes, I wasn’t sure what it would be like to actually live there. All the weird news stories seemed to come out of Florida. Would I fit in? Was it safe? Leaving the DC area, where I’d grown up and had my family, was scary. I told the ceiling that my New Year’s resolution was to change my latitude and see if it could change my attitude.
So I did it. In May, I packed up the house and hightailed it to the Sun Coast. Why? Mainly because of the bungalow was mortgage-free. Also because of the low taxes and cost of living. And the beach. Steps from my house. A beautiful, empty beach.
I spent six months renovating the house, decorated in Early-Cheesy. Then, emerging from the cocoon, I ventured to community event. The chairman of the board, a wonderful red-haired woman, met me at the door, took my hand, and found me a seat at a table. I was home.
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Meredith came along with her latest book, Flotsam and Jetsam, her eleventh novel. It’s a murder mystery/romance set on Amelia Island, in the farthest north-east point of Florida.
Flotsam and Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair by M. S. Spencer released mid December in the Cozy Mystery, romantic comedy genre.
Who’s littering the park with corpses? State Park Rangers Simon Ribault and Ellie Ironstone are used to dealing with messy campers and ravaging raccoons, but when three bodies wash up on the beach, they mobilize all their powers of deduction. Who are they and how did they get to the shore of Amelia Island? Are they connected to the secretive League of the Green Cross? Or linked to a mysterious Jamaican drug ring?
Ellie, new to Amelia Island, must penetrate a close-knit community if she wants to find answers to the mystery, all while deciding between two rivals for her affection: Thad, the handsome local idol, and Simon, the clever, quirky bookworm.
Simon, for his part, will have to call on his not-so-well-honed romantic prowess to lure Ellie away from Thad and at the same time use his wide-ranging research skills to solve the case.
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He refused to even consider the subject he knew everybody assumed he was dwelling on. Not that he was scared. Oh, no. But he had to admit doting on Ellie from afar had felt nice and safe. Now that the relationship had evolved, he found himself harried and unsure. And scared.
Marriage? Marriage had never been in the picture, mainly because he was positive no one would have him. Who wants a fellow with knobs on his nose from constantly rubbing it inside books? He’d had a few short-lived girlfriends, but after college, he’d been too obsessed with mastering every subject that came his way to waste time on amatory pursuits. His mother always said he should have been a librarian. He had obliged her by collecting yet another master’s degree, this time in Library Science. Yes, that’s where I belong. Snug inside four wood-paneled walls lined with shelves filled with other people’s stories.
What does she see in me?
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, 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. She has two grown children and a perfect granddaughter. Ms. Spencer has published thirteen mystery/romantic suspense novels, and currently divides her time between Florida and Maine.
Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor