#OnSale #Promo – Entire Riverbend Series – $1.99 each

Good Morning, Everyone! Hope your Christmas was Merry & Bright! Today, I’m offering a Happy New Year special, in the hopes that something fun will get the new year off to a great start. If you haven’t checked out my Riverbend series, now’s the time! Each book will be on sale for the (ready?) “low, low, LOW” price of $1.99 from today through December 31. Riverbend is a fictional small town in central Florida where anything can happen. And does. Unlike my mountain series, there’s nothing paranormal going on here because the folks who live in Riverbend are weird enough all by themselves. 😀 Hope you’ll check it out.  Happy Reading!

SWAMP GHOSTS: Riverbend Book 1

BLURB:

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.


FINDING HUNTER: Riverbend Book 2

BLURB:

Before, I never thought about taking a life. Not once.
Now, the thought fills my mind day and night, and
I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need,
As an old car swings to the shoulder,
And stops.

~ Traveling Man ~

Hunter Painter’s darkest fears have shaped his offbeat personality since he was a child, crippling him in ways invisible to those unable to see past his quiet exterior. In a sleepy Florida town known for its eccentric inhabitants, he’s always been a mystery to most.

Only one person sees beyond Hunter’s quirky facade. Willow Greene, the new age herbalist who owns the local candle and potpourri shop, has secretly loved him since they were in high school. When, sixteen years later, she discovers Hunter has loved her just as long, Willow hopes her dreams are finally coming true.

Willow soon learns that Hunter fears happiness at her side isn’t in the cards for him. With her natural optimism and courage, she almost convinces him he’s wrong—that they can really have that life together they both long for—but even Willow can’t stop what Hunter knows is coming.

One by one, his worst nightmares become reality, culminating in an unthinkable tragedy, which devastates everyone it touches. Willow’s battle begins in earnest as Hunter is plunged into a bleak, guilt-ridden despair, threatening to destroy not only their love, but Hunter, himself.

Finding Hunter is the story of a lost man’s desperate struggle to make his way home again, and one woman’s unshakeable faith in him and the power of their love.


THAT DARKEST PLACE: Riverbend Book 3

BLURB:

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.


And there you have my last sale of the year. Hope you’ve found a new book or two that appeals to you. Thanks so much for being such a lovely group of followers. You’ve made my life richer throughout good years and not-so-good ones, and I appreciate every single one of you! Here’s to a much better year ahead!

 

Finally! #NotesFromTheRiver is Resuming!


This Guy Would Love to See You There!
(Note: This is an alligator, honest. No crocs up here.  😀 )

I’ve been unable to keep up with all my blogging due to everything that’s been going on since Irma came a-calling, but I am starting back up with one of my favorite things: my nature blog for St. Johns River Eco Tours. Today’s post on #NotesFromThe River is about an upcoming event a week from Saturday. (January 13) Hope you’ll check it out and share far and wide, and if any of you are in the central Florida area, hope you’ll consider coming to see Doug and I at DeBary Hall Historic Site for this fun program.  Thanks for helping spread the word.

#NotesFromTheRiver – Presentations, Photography, and Information, Oh, My!

#MidWeekPOV #wwwblogs Recharging Creativity

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Ever sit down to write and discover your creativity has closed up shop for the day? Oh, I don’t mean the so-called writer’s block, wherein you don’t know what to write next. I’m thinking more in terms of knowing exactly what you want to write, but the words showing up in front of you are looking really tired and uninspired. Maybe that IS a type of writer’s block, but whatever you call it, it’s darn annoying. Especially when you’re on a deadline, and you’re already running behind.

What do you do? How do you recharge and forge ahead, happy with your day’s writing again?

I have several old standbys that usually seem to work. I find great comfort in my garden. My backyard was a large, empty canvas when we moved into this house twelve years ago. Thanks to my husband’s beautiful brick pathways, it is now a series of patios and beds, with nary a blade of boring (to me) green grass anywhere.  Two years ago, before I started to spend every waking minute writing, it was really very pretty. Roses, salvias, honeysuckle, jasmine, and hanging baskets full of color were everywhere. Now, it’s a disaster, but I find cleaning it up and restoring it still works wonders for my creative renewal.

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My garden, BEFORE I decided to become a writer!

Getting out on the St.  Johns River is always good for my soul, too, and restores some equilibrium when my days have gotten out of control, and my brain feels fried. These days, I’m more apt to go out on the Naiad, the eco-tour boat that was my inspiration for the Undine, in Swamp Ghosts, rather than in my own canoe. (Old back, new pains.) But a boat ride with Captain Jeanne Bell, and her photographer husband, Doug Little, goes a long way towards sorting out my head.

boat on tourThe Naiad, plying the waters of the St. Johns River

And last, but by NO means least, I read. Losing myself in someone else’s fictional world is still my very best escape, and always will be, I expect. And the more complicated the real world gets, the more fantasy I lose myself in. For the first time in my life, I find myself moving past even URBAN fantasy, and into the epic stuff. I’ve been reading Brandon Sanderson and Robin Hobb for the last year, having decided magic in other worlds is just what my heart needs at the moment. And dragons, of course. Who knew how much I’d love them? I’m currently in the midst of reading our own Deborah Jay’s The Prince’s Man. Yep, fantasy is a great way to think about things far removed from the day’s headlines.

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Escaping into fantasy, and loving it!

I’m leaving shortly to do lunch with a new friend, which is in itself, another way to restore humor and sanity to my life. But, before I go, I wanted to ask what you folks do when your creativity gets sluggish? How do you recharge? Your turn! Come on, tell us. Inquiring minds wanna know.

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare #Florida

To make up for being gone so long, I’m taking you on a short photo tour today. Enjoy!!
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Inspiration can come from anywhere or anyone.
I’m inspired by lush habitat and scenery. 

Wekiwa_IMG_6363-EditWekiva River – Dark and Mysterious

I’m equally inspired by wildlife and birds.

800px-Prothonotary_Warbler_Prothonotary Warbler

IMG_3001Little Blue Heron and White Ibis

0003-72-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Purple Gallinule

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Baby alligators, last year’s and newer hatchlings.

0013-82-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Not such a baby, this time.

Sometimes I’m inspired by things I’ll probably never see in the wild.

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Albino alligator. Wanna dance?

new-orleans-22-e1345389323223Blue-eyed Leucistic Alligator (My inspiration for Big Blue, in Swamp Ghosts)

Inspiration! It’s all around us!
All we have to do is open our eyes and unstop our ears.
😀

"Kelly Park, Apopka, Florida"

Building a Local Readership

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DeBary Nursery
61 S Charles Richard Beall  Blvd
DeBary, Florida 32713
386-668-4466

It’s not a large nursery, but it’s a great one, crammed full of wonderful things for plant lovers, and employing folks with friendly faces, happy to answer any gardening questions you might have. I discovered it quite by accident a few years ago, while on my way to lunch at Highbanks Marina. Little did I know then that both the marina and the nursery would play such a big part in my life, one day.

The marina was part of the inspiration for my second novel, Swamp Ghosts. The little town of DeBary was, too. And of course, Captain Jeanne Bell and her husband, photographer Doug Little, inspired my main characters in the book, since I fell in love with their Eco-Boat tours, and decided to build a story around a similar enterprise. But that’s not the surprising part of this story I’m sharing today. No, that came after my book was written and published.

It happened one afternoon, as I was plant shopping at DeBary Nursery. I got into a conversation with the owner, Bev McCain, about books. I gave her a couple of my bookmarks, with Wake-Robin Ridge and Swamp Ghosts pictured on them, told her a bit about the books, and she promptly decided she wanted to read them both. So she did. And she enjoyed them. A lot, apparently (thankfully), because she started passing out bookmarks to all her customers and recommending them. And some of them read, and enjoyed them, too.

Before long, Bev decided she’d like to sell the books in her nursery gift shop, so we set up a little counter display. She’s very much into local businesses helping each other, and she wanted to be sure everyone knew I was a local author, and that Swamp Ghosts was set in a fictional version of DeBary, and featured a fictionalized version of Highbanks Marina. Done, and done, with a printed sign in an acrylic counter “frame.”

And this is where it gets good. Bev started by ordering 5 copies of my first two books. In a few days, she wanted more. Now, she orders from me nearly weekly, and has sold just over 100 copies of my books in just a few weeks…from her nursery. I don’t know about you, but I find that astonishing. She doesn’t have a book store, and other than a few pamphlets and whatnot on gardening, doesn’t sell books. But she sells the heck out of mine. Partly because she really liked the books and it shows when she tells people about them, and partly because she’s a dynamite sales person. (I once saw her sell a copy of Swamp Ghosts to a woman who told her up front that she didn’t read! “Aw, that’s too bad,” Bev told her, “because this book is really a fun read, and you’ll recognize so many central Florida places in it.” The woman decided her husband might like it, and left the store carrying my book!)

Will I get rich on the sales of 100 books? No, of course not. But just last week, a customer came into the nursery, walked straight up to the counter, and asked to see the book set in DeBary, adding that she’d heard from several people how good it was. Now THAT kind of word of mouth is gold.

The moral of this tale is, you never know where you might find an opportunity to sell your books, get your name out there, build a group of fans, meet your readers face to face, and take another step up that ladder to writing success. I highly recommend keeping your eyes open when you are out and about. You never know where your next chance to find readers will come from. It could be anywhere, even in the gift shop of a local plant nursery.

If you live in central Florida and you love to garden, I also highly recommend stopping by DeBary Nursery. Tell Bev I said hello!

One Week to Go!

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I’m really getting excited about these river tours, now, and I’m going to throw myself on your mercy yet again to share this post everywhere you can. I want to be sure we fill the boat for Captain Jeanne and Doug. Thanks so much for any help you can give me. Next week at this time, we’ll be about halfway through our river tour, having no doubt spotted all sorts of wildlife and birds, and learned some of the river’s history from Captain Jeanne. Maybe Doug will have called up some barred owls to amuse us, or maybe we’ll have spotted something rare and unusual along the way. I will have done a short reading from Swamp Ghosts at the start of the tour, and probably spent a few minutes talking about the fictional town of Riverbend, Florida, or even explained a bit about the differences between albino and leucistic reptiles, which comes into play in my book.  (Contrary to what Ned Hickson would have you believe, I will NOT have wrestled any gators for you, albino or otherwise!) I will, however,  be open to some Question and Answer time, and we also have a surprise or two in store, as well, for some lucky passengers.

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Leucistic Alligator (We won’t see any of these on the St. Johns, but we will probably talk about them.)!

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Black bears have been spotted on the tours.

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Bobcats, too.

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You never know WHAT might be waiting for you! Even this is possible. Highly doubtful, to be sure, but…possible!

If you are in the area, please join us. If not, please let others know, so they might be able to come along for the ride. The river is bursting with life this time of year, and you just never know what you might see. To book a tour online, go here: St. John’s River Eco Tours. Even if you can’t go on the Meet the Author Tour next Saturday or Tuesday, you really should do this some time. It’s fabulous! And so relaxing!

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So come join us on the Naiad. You’ll be glad you did!

Swamp Ghosts Meet the Author Tours, Please Share!

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Come have fun on the  St. John’s  River! Meet Marcia Meara, best-selling Amazon author of #SwampGhosts,  on Saturday, April 25 or Tuesday, April 28. Tours depart Highbanks Marina in DeBary at 1:30PM.

Experience the eco tour that inspired the book, accompanied by the real life counterparts of Maggie Devlin and Gunnar Wolfe. Enjoy the peace, beauty, and wildlife of the  St. Johns river, and enter to win a $50 gift basket, containing, among other things, Books 1 and 2 of Marcia’s Wake-Robin Ridge series. Don’t miss out! Book your Swamp Ghosts Meet the Author tour today.

Swamp Ghosts Meet the Author Tours:
Saturday, April 25, 1:30PM
Tuesday, April 28, 1:30PM

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Graphics Goodie

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Taking a break from yard work. It’s so stinkin’ hot out there today, I was getting dizzy. So, came in and made this, just for fun. Please feel free to share! 🙂 In fact, if you haven’t shared anything in recent days, I encourage you to scroll through the last week’s posts and share to your heart’s content. We will all appreciate it, and we’ll do the same for you. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Meet the Author Eco Tours Coming Up!

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Great Egret
Photo by Doug Little

If any of you guys are going to be in central Florida on Saturday, April 25, or Tuesday, April 28, maybe you might have time to come for a fun trip on the St. Johns River. Captain Jeanne Bell and her photographer husband, Doug Little, have invited me to do a Meet the  Author tour with them, at 1:30 both days. Here’s the way the press release reads:

“Best selling Amazon author, Marcia Meara, will be conducting a Meet the Author talk onboard the Naiad, her inspiration for the Undine, in her novel Swamp Ghosts. Accompanying her for a tour of the scenic St. Johns River will be Captain Jeanne Bell, a/k/a/ Maggie Devlin, in Swamp Ghosts.  

At 1:30 PM on Saturday April 25, and again on Tuesday April 28, the Naiad will leave from Highbanks Marina, located at 488 W. Highbanks Road, DeBary, FL.  We will retrace the tour that inspired the author to write Swamp Ghosts, accompanied by the individuals who are characterized in the book. Enjoy a beautiful, nature-filled afternoon aboard the Naiad, and find out how it all came about.  

After the tour, Marcia will be available to autograph copies of her books. Sign up for her monthly newsletter, and you’ll receive a free download of Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Don’t miss out on a relaxing, fun-filled afternoon on the river. For reservations, call St. Johns River Eco Tours at 386-626-9004.”

I’m really looking forward to this. I’ll be doing a reading at the beginning of the tour, and another at the end, and then just chatting with everyone about the book, and some of the things featured in the story, like the difference between albino and leucistic reptiles–or whatever the good passengers want to talk about. Plus, we’ll be stopping to view alligators and birds, and any other interesting wildlife along the way.

Of course, I know most of you probably can’t do this, even if you’d like to, but I wanted to share, and I hope you’ll pass the info along to your followers everywhere, in case some of them can. And even if you can’t come along on this particular tour, believe me, the regular narrated trip is fantastic, and well worth the price of the tickets.

You can book tours any time here: St. Johns River Eco Tours Click on Book Now. Scroll down to the Swamp Ghost tours (in red) to book one of mine, or stop on any other day that fits your schedule to book a “normal” tour.

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