Swamp Ghosts… A Riverbend Novel ~ #Fiction #Romantic Suspense ~ @MarciaMeara

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.

About the Author

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. 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. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three years later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go! Marcia has published six books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format: Wake-Robin Ridge A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3 Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love You can reach Marcia via email at mmeara@cfl.rr.com or on the following social media sites: The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/ Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com Twitter: @marciameara Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/ To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here: https://marciamearawrites.com/mail-list-win-free-stuff/

Excerpt from Swamp Ghosts

The stream, clear and wide at first, rapidly became darker, and then narrow, as it disappeared into the trees. Lined on both sides with ferns and crinum lilies, it curved along its crooked way for three miles, before connecting with a slightly larger stream. That stream connected to another stream, larger still. This progression went on, each stream getting wider, before the last emptied into the St. John’s River. Even that last one was navigable only by canoe, the rest being too shallow and overgrown for anyone to explore. It was highly unlikely, if not downright impossible, that anyone could ever find their way upstream this far.

As Whitey walked along the narrow, shady path, he knew he was well protected from both the burning rays of the late-day sun and the prying eyes of strangers, which suited him just fine. No one will ever find out what’s back here. My treasures will always be safe, and my secrets, my own. He could hear the burble of the water rushing up out of the ground, and a smile spread across his face. Whitey loved his home and property, loved his snakes, and most of all—more than almost anything in the world—he loved Big Blue. He rounded the last curve of the narrow path, and a concrete block building came into view. Squat and low, it was painted a drab olive color to blend with its wooded surroundings. There were no windows on the back side. Just a door, heavily padlocked. He walked around the area for a moment, inspecting his handiwork, and making sure everything was still secure. He was, as always, a careful man…

Our Review

I have long been a fan of this author’s writing, especially the Riverbend series.

So it came as a shock to discover I had missed Swamp Ghosts, the very first book in this series.

I expected another gentle mystery laced with suspense. I also found romance, a serial killer, and enough suspense to keep me awake at night!

I loved some of the characters, including the wildlife, which I won’t describe, as you need to meet them for yourself.

There are ghosts in this story. I loved meeting Lester Purvis and his rare and unusual creatures. A very special man with an extraordinary hobby…

I recommend this series; every incredible story will stay in your heart forever…

Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge…

#TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 326, 6/27/23

This week the words to choose synonyms for are ; 

Close & Open 

to you
I feel your
breath on my neck
I am undone, lost
my world is now crowded
the tightness around my heart
squeezing the air from my body
why did I let you go, shut the door?
think how we used to be when love held us…


Image by Elden Miller from Pixabay

#Repeat Review of The Necromancers Daughter by Diana Peach ~ #Asian Myth & Legend @Dwallacepeach

cover image of The Necromancer's Daughter

A healer with the talent to unravel death. A stillborn child brought to life. A father lusting for vengeance. And a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.
A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for Lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.
Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.
As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the Leas to cleanse the land of evil.
To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

My Review

I took my time reading this book, wanting to savour every word and emotion.

I was not disappointed.

The first intriguing chapters ensured that I would be enchanted until the end. Gone are the days when I could immerse myself in a book, forgetting all else until the end, but this story resisted being put down. The magic drew me in and would not let me leave.

The tension gradually increased until my nerves stretched to breaking point (I am desperately trying to avoid spoilers here), but by the end, I was sobbing like a baby.

A truly inspiring fantasy made real by such wonderful characters.

Definitely, one I will be reading again!

About the Author

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind-the-scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Ready for an adventure?

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch

The Sorcerer’s Garden


The Bone Wall

The Melding of Aeris

Unraveling the Veil Series:

Liars and Thieves

Allies and Spies

Lords of Chaos

The Shattered Sea Duology:

Soul Swallowers, Book I

Legacy of Souls, Book II

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:

Catling’s Bane, Book I

Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II

Farlanders’ Law, Book III

Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:

Myths of the Mirror, Book I

Eye of Fire, Book II

Eye of Blind, Book III

Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

#Silent Sunday… Well, almost!

This week has been a bit depressing, and not just because of the relentless heat.

In the bird world, it is time for fledglings to leave their nest. Only most of them seem to be doing this a little early, creating a sad scenario for the mothers. Mother Blackbird started her distress call earlier this week, the sad, plaintive note repeated continuously until the baby in question managed to convince her that he/she can fly. The feeling of joy when she stops calling, is fleeting until the next fledgling takes the leap of doom and ends up on the ground.

Late last night, at dusk, I went for a walk in our slowly cooling garden. I was not alone. Mother Blackbird was sitting on the gutter above my head, her cry feeble and pathetic as she called to her baby. I hoped this would be the last of her brood, as she was breaking my heart as well as her own…

If there weren’t so many cats out there, I wouldn’t worry so much, but we have already been gifted with the sad body of one unlucky baby bird. For some reason, Milo, our own cat, thought we should have it. I don’t think he hurt it, as it was undamaged. I just don’t want any more; thank you, Milo…

We are learning so much about our crazy cat now he has introduced himself to the great outdoors. He still can’t use the catflap to leave the house, so that’s an ongoing story.

I was busy preparing supper the other day. Mother Blackbird calling just outside my window when I heard an answering call. Instant panic descended as I realised the fledgling could be close, and Milo was out there too. I reached the back door and stopped in my tracks. Milo was lying in our yard; he was answering Mother Blackbird with a sound I had never heard him use before. Every time she called, he answered, and it was the saddest conversation I ever heard…

This poor mother seems to have run herself ragged looking after her offspring…

Power… in waiting…

Image by Miran Lesnik from Pixabay

I couldn’t resist this image this morning… the powerful majesty of that incredible sky, and the brooding patience of the waiting boats…

In a way, this image reflects the state of my mind at the moment. Hopefully, I can sort it out to start the week with a clean and possibly happy slate…

Throwback Thursday: Not My Life… #Mystery #Fiction

Dreaming sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

All too often, it can be anything but. Not exactly nightmarish, but many weird, confusing images that can make you feel uncomfortable.

You find yourself worrying about them; what do they mean? Is there a message there somewhere? Why do we dream?

Doctors and psychologists have come up with some interesting theories over the years, but do they really know?

Common sense would seem to suggest that it is just the brain sorting through the day’s images when we are asleep, and most of the time, it does sound likely. But what about all those dreams that seem to mean something? Or those that seem to warn us of danger?

Then there are those that appear to predict the future, which then come true. What are we supposed to think about those?

Personally, I don’t dream much, not that I can remember anyway. The odd romantic fantasy about whomever I fancy at the time, but these are getting rarer. (unfortunately!)

Sarah Curtis, the lead character in Not My Life, is being driven slowly insane by upsetting and confusing dreams where she seems to be someone else entirely. Someone very real and in a lot of trouble.

This excerpt picks up the story when Sarah has wandered into the woods and gets lost…

I didn’t know where to go, so I let fate lead me off towards the woods. I walked for a while, trying not to think of anything. I told myself I should be feeling the beauty of the place.
The trees in their splendid autumn colours. Leaves fall here and there, making little drifts under the trees. I had heard somewhere that catching a falling leaf was supposed to bring good luck. I tried, but it was impossible. They seemed to fall gently towards you and then, at the last minute, darted away on a capricious breeze.

Trying to catch one frustrated the hell out of me. I gave up and sat for a while on a dry log, eating some chocolate I found in my pocket. Then I realised I had no idea of where I was and it was getting dark. I should have brought a loaf of bread with me to leave a trail, like Hansel and Gretel.
I didn’t feel too afraid; they would find me sooner or later. And later might be better. I walked on between ever-thicker undergrowth, hoping it was the way out. That a path, any path, would appear soon.

I found myself in a clearing with a pool, large rocks and slow-running water. My throat was dry enough for me to scoop up a handful, and it was surprisingly good. Deciding I was definitely lost and too tired to walk any further, I gathered up as many fallen leaves as I could to lie down in and buried myself for the night.

The temperature had dropped considerably, and my bed of leaves gave little warmth. I slept fitfully, dreaming of who I really was. A girl called Kelly. And Tommy, my four-year-old brother, who once again had been sent to the coal cellar as punishment for wetting his bed. It wasn’t his fault. Father had made him drink far too much water; he must have known he would wet the bed. And mother, she did nothing to stop his cruel games.
There had been times in the past when she did, only to be cruelly beaten herself, without saving Tommy or myself from whatever punishment he saw fit. I knew the house I was in, these people, my parents, as well as my own skin. Yet there was another place with gentle people I could sense but somehow couldn’t reach.

Soft cold rain washed the dream away, and I awoke alone on a bed of wet leaves. Lost, waiting to be found. Too tired to move. Too dark to try to find my way out. Morning couldn’t be too far away; I would try again then…

We would love some feedback for this book…