#Bold&BlatantSelfPromo – #Excerpt – #SwampGhosts – #RiverbendBook1

Time for another Bold & Blatant Self-Promotion post. This time around, I’ll be sharing Book 1 from my Riverbend series, Swamp Ghosts. While my Wake-Robin Ridge books have some mountain legends and mildly paranormal goings-on, there’s nothing like that in this series. (Mostly because the folks who live in Riverbend are weird enough all by themselves. ) If you haven’t yet read these books, I hope the following blurb and excerpt will pique your interest. Enjoy!

Riverbend, Where the Most Dangerous Animal in the Swamp
Walks on Two Legs.


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.


Southern Comfort Cafe

Riverbend, Florida

I sat at a small table outside of Southern Comfort Café, staring open-mouthed at Gunnar, who was finishing up the last of his lunch, oblivious to my chagrin.

“Are you freakin’ kidding me? You’ve never been in a canoe before?”

He glanced up, surprised at my expression. “Nope. Never have. Is that a problem for you?”

“You mean to tell me you plan to canoe all over Florida, in and out of the most hidden and inaccessible backwaters in the whole state, with no experience paddling a canoe at all?”

“Well … I’ve seen people paddle them. I think I understand the principle behind it all. Surely you can teach me the fundamentals before we set out?”

“We spent two hours yesterday, going over the areas you wanted to be taken to, and you didn’t think this was something you should mention? When were you planning to tell me?”

“Just now, obviously. I didn’t realize you’d be quite so alarmed by the fact.”

I huffed in exasperation. I even considered getting up and leaving. But then I thought about how much I needed the money. I guess when you are raised on the river, as I had been, you just take for granted that everyone knows about boats and canoes.

“Are you mad at me again?” Gunnar asked, head cocked slightly to one side. “I don’t think I’ve ever made one lady mad so often in such a short space of time before.” He looked genuinely puzzled.

I stared at the table, thinking about this whole venture, then I shook my head in resignation. No point in being a complete bitch about it, I guessed.

“We aren’t getting off to the best of starts here, are we?” I finally asked. “Look, Gunnar, if we are going to do this, we need to be able to communicate well with each other, and we should try to get along. I’m not used to working with anyone else, so I tend to be a bit … umm …”

“Bossy?” He offered.

“I was going to say used to doing things in a certain way, but I guess it might seem bossy to you. I’ll try to be less so. But you need to be open with me about things like this, and you need to trust my judgment about what’s important for these trips and what’s not. Whether we find your birds or we don’t, we’ll be spending some long days out on the river, in areas so remote, an accident could cause real problems for us. We need to work well together, understand each other, and focus on the goal of each trip.”

“Okay. I can understand that. I’ll try not to keep anything from you about my skill on the river, and I’ll trust your decisions when they concern navigation and safety.”

“What exactly are your skills on the river, Gunnar?”


“I’m sorry, what?”

“My friends call me Gunn. And to do this, I think we should be friends. Or at least not enemies.”

“Okay, Gunn. What are your skills on the river?”

He considered his reply for a minute, then gave a rueful shrug. “None.”


“Nope. Not a one I can think of. Never been in a canoe, can’t remember the last time I was in a boat. I think it may have been back in Minnesota. Don’t fish. Don’t hunt. Wouldn’t know a garter snake from a water moccasin, or a bass from a gar. Pretty much no river skills at all.”

I was speechless for a minute. “But … what about all those gorgeous pictures of the river and the birds and alligators and stuff? Your wildlife photos are some of the best I’ve ever seen.”

He grinned. “Thank you, Margaret.”

“Maggie. If I’m to call you Gunn, you may as well call me Maggie, I guess. Everyone else does.”

“Deal. Thank you, Maggie. But if you look at my pictures more closely, you might realize that every single one of them was taken from the shoreline of nearby lakes and rivers—or from one of the bridges around here. All of the birds are common waders, seen everywhere, and you can’t pass by a drainage ditch that isn’t home to an alligator or a log full of turtles. I’ve taken all of my photos from dry land. Never been out on the water, even once.”

I digested that in silence for a moment, then had a sudden thought. “You aren’t afraid of boats, are you?”

“No, of course not,” he replied immediately. “Well, I mean, not as far as I know. I’m not afraid of the idea of boats, anyway. But having never actually been out on the river in one, I can’t say with absolute certainty whether I’ll like it or not.”

He must have noticed I was looking dismayed again, because he hastened to add, “Don’t worry, though. It doesn’t matter whether I like it or not. It’s the best way to find what I’m looking for, and I’ll adapt. I’m committed. Count on it.”


Download on Kindle for Just $1.99
Available in Print for  $13.99

 Author Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big cats.

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?

Buy Marcia’s Books Here

Wake-Robin Ridge: Book 1
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

Riverbend Spinoff Novellas
The Emissary 1
The Emissary 2 – To Love Somebody
The Emissary 3 – Love Hurts

Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love

Reach Marcia on Social Media Here:

Blog: The Write Stuff
Email: marciameara16@gmail.com


35 thoughts on “#Bold&BlatantSelfPromo – #Excerpt – #SwampGhosts – #RiverbendBook1

    • Aw, thanks, Trish. It’s a long one, I know, but it’s one of my favorite moments between these two, so I went with it. I’m glad it makes you want to re-read the book. From time to time, I have to do the same with books I’ve really enjoyed, even if I’m always behind on new ones. It’s fun to revisit characters I connected with, kinda like calling on old friends. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by to help me get the week off to a good start. Hope yours is heading that way, too. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy you took a moment to endorse this one, Craig, and that it contained enough adventure and drama to pull you in. I really appreciate your stopping by to let folks know it worked for you. Thanks!! 😀 Have a great week! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Awww, thanks so much, Debby! I’m so glad it’s one of those books that has stayed with you. It was great fun to write an adventure set in my backyard, so to speak, and Riverbend is a place dear to my heart, for sure. Thank you so much for stopping by today, and here’s to a great week ahead! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nancy! That’s a lovely thing to say, and I’m so glad you feel that way. Swamp Ghosts was my second book, and I like to think my writing has gotten a bit stronger in each of my seven novels. That’s certainly my goal, anyway. As for catching up, I’m not sure any of us will ever get to that stage, but as long as we keep reading and enjoying new books, we’re on the right track, anyway. 😊

      Good to see you here today, and thanks for taking the time to comment, too! Have a super week! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you enjoyed Swamp Ghosts, Gwen. It was tremendous fun for me to write, being the wildlife lover that I am. (Or as a friend says, “Bird Nerd.” Thankfully, he admits to being one, too.) I’ve been in love with the life on Florida rivers for a very long time now, and it was extremely gratifying to use it as a background for this story. Some of the bits and pieces were things that actually happened to me when canoeing! I’ll have to do a post on those some day, but rest assured, I never discovered human bones while out there. 😱 Thankfully!)

      Thank you for stopping by today and I’m wishing you a wonderful week ahead! 😀 ❤


    • Thanks, Diana, and I’m enjoying sharing some excerpts, etc. What I need to do next is get busy with some actual marketing (ads & the like), something I’ve never done before. I hope to have a few things figured out in that regard soon, and I also hope to finish my first CC&D spinoff with Rabbit & Company soon, too. If I’m restricted in what I’m allowed to do physically right now, I may as well put my time to use doing something less demanding in that regard. 😀

      Thanks for stopping by today and hope you have a great week ahead! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s always so much to do! I made myself a to-do list,and it ended up 7 pages long! Eeek. I figured if I could delete one task a day, I’d be good. And I haven’t even had time to do that! I’m rooting for you, my friend. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m sorry for that, but at the same time, glad to know I’m not the only one who can’t keep up! It’s astounding how much we try to cram into each day, and a wonder we don’t all just throw in the towel and run away from home! 😂😂😂

          Liked by 1 person

            • Oooh, hiking trips! I hope by the time our weather cools down in the fall, at least enough to not give me heatstroke, my doctor will let me go hiking again! I’ve missed being out in nature, and now that I can no longer canoe, short, shady hikes are probably my best bet.

              Hope you have a wonderful time on your trips! Your blog will keep until you return.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Denise, and thanks for the lovely compliment! I have a 4th book in this series more than half done, but have shelved it while I consider a few problematic things. In the meantime, I’m working on a spinoff novella featuring Rabbit & Company, otherwise known as Cole, Cole, & Dupree. We’ll see how that goes.

      Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you have a super week ahead! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like the title of the series, Sue. Figured I’d call it like it is! 😂Also glad you enjoyed this excerpt. It was a light moment I really enjoyed writing.

      Thanks for stopping by today, and hope your week goes great! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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