Update on Audio Version of Swamp Ghosts

Good News!!

Thanks to an interesting and encouraging post by Don Massenzio, I decided it was time to make my work available as audio books. I signed on with ACX, put up a sample from Swamp Ghosts (the one I’ve had the most requests for), and found a reader whose voice I thought would work. Yesterday, I got the news she has finished recording, and now it’s up to me to listen to the entire book, suggest any changes I feel are necessary, within guidelines, upload the cover resized for a jewel case, and voila! It will be ready to finalize and publish.

So far, this has been an easy process, though with books as long as mine, it does take some time to get them both recorded (on the reader’s end) and proofread (proofheard?) on mine. I have to find 9 hours and 44 minutes in which to sit back and listen, chapter by chapter, author’s notes, acknowledgements, and all. That’s a big chunk of time for me, which I will have to tackle in bits and pieces, but in the long run, it will be worth it.  Audio books are growing at an unprecedented rate, and I believe it’s important to be sure readers have that option.

When this is all over, I’ll post about the entire experience, but I just had to share that the longest portion–reading a 400-plus-page book aloud–is over! I listened to the prologue tonight, and think it sounds darn good, so I’m really excited to see how my narrator has done with the rest, and very much looking forward to being able to offer all of my novels in audio form!

What about you guys? Any of you thinking  of producing audio books? Have you started yet? Do you like to read them, yourself? Have you had experiences you’d like to share? We’d like to hear from you.

Blow-out Sale Ends Today!

Today is the final day of my 4th of July book sale. Last chance to download That Darkest Place for $1.99, saving $3.00. And you can still download all my other novels for the rock bottom price of $.99. That includes all three Wake-Robin Ridge books, and the first two Riverbend books. Don’t miss out!

Go here to download your copies today:

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

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

#4thOfJulySale – #Blowout!

After offering up That Darkest Place for a holiday sale, I decided to go all in! I’m putting all the rest of my books on sale, too, for a mere $.99 each. Yep. You can get all three Wake-Robin Ridge books and the first two Riverbend books for $.99 each. If you’ve been waiting to check out either of these series, now’s your chance. Three days only, though: July 4, 5, and 6. (Unless they go live later today, of course.)  So, knock yourself out, folks! And spend part of your holiday getting to know the things that go bump in the night on Wake-Robin Ridge, or the eccentric characters who make up the sleepy little Florida town of Riverbend. (And don’t forget to let others know, too. I mean, really . . . why should you have ALL the fun? 😀 )  THANKS!


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

Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

#SwampGhosts Audio Book Update

Wow. Things are moving right along. After listening to quite a few audition tapes, I found one reader I believe will be perfect. The tone of her voice is exactly what I wanted, and her southern accent isn’t over the top. So, I made her an offer, and she accepted. I just sent her the manuscript, and the next step is that she will record the first 15 minutes of the book, and submit for my comments, suggestions, and approval. Once we’ve covered that, she’ll read the rest of the book, and submit for my final approval. At that point, I should only be looking for small mistakes. We should be able to iron out everything else from the first 15 minutes.

I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it. Will keep you posted as this process continues.

#AudioBooks #MondayBlogs

Soon To Be Available in Audio Format

Yep. You read right. I’m finally done talking about it and taking steps to get my books out on audio. I started with Swamp Ghosts, because local folks have been asking me about this for a long time, so I figure I’d start with the Florida series. I uploaded snippets from the book for auditions, and have been surprised at how many responses I’m getting. Now to pick just the right voice for Maggie, since in this first book of the series, she’s the only character whose point of view is written in first person. The rest are each in third, and will have to settle for Maggie narrating the whole ball of wax.

How many of you have done this? I’d love to hear from those of you who have, so I hope you’ll share your experiences with us. I know of a couple, for sure, so while I’ll be posting about my experiences as things progress, please tell us what yours has been.

My first thought: it was rather surreal, hearing someone I don’t know reading my words. But also, pretty cool! 🙂

#SwampGhosts Presentation at DeBary Hall 5/20/17

“Big Blue”
Opening Slide from My Swamp Ghosts Presentation

On May 20, 2017, I’ll be doing my favorite presentation at DeBary Hall Historic Site, and if you are in the area, I’d love to see you there. This talk features many beautiful photographs of the St. Johns River basin habitat, including birds and wildlife of the area. There is also a brief introduction to albino and leucistic alligators, and a section on the easiest way to ID the very few snakes in our area that you do not want to handle. The last section covers a bit on how I write, my inspiration board photos, and the challenges of starting a brand new career at a time when most are thinking about retirement.

I always include plenty of time for Questions & Answers during and after the presentation, and I can pretty much guarantee that there will be a whole lotta laughin’ going’ on! 🙂 This is a fun event, and if you can possibly come, please do! Meeting new readers is my favorite thing in the world, next to writing books for them. Here’s the pertinent information for those who’d like  to  attend:

Location: DeBary Hall Historic Site, 198 Sunrise Blvd, DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-3840
Time: 2:00 PM, Saturday, May 20, 2017
Cost: FREE, No Reservations Required


Last Day! $.99 Sale On All #WakeRobinRidge and #Riverbend Books! #TuesdayBookBlog


Don’t miss out on this one! If you haven’t downloaded your copies yet–RUN, don’t walk–to Amazon.com, and take advantage of these rock-bottom prices. Offer good for a limited time only, as they say, and that time ends tonight.

This is your chance to read Books 1 and 2 of the Riverbend series, before Book 3 is released next month.  That way, you can move right from the shocking ending of Finding Hunter to the even more shocking beginning of That Darkest Place. No waiting required! 😉 And if you haven’t read any of these, what are you waiting for? Grab ’em today!


Wake-Robin Ridge, where ghosts walk, ancient legends abound, and things still go bump in the night!

51vxpu-or9l-_uy250_  51y55bnkuzl-_uy250_  Harbinger

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


Riverbend, where the beasts that lurk in the dark river waters are never as dangerous as those that walk the quiet neighborhood streets!

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Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 (Coming Soon)

$.99 #ValentineSale All #WakeRobinRidge & #Riverbend One Week Only! #TuesdayBookBlog


Don’t miss this opportunity to grab any and all books in either of my series! This is your chance to meet Wake-Robin Ridge’s MackKenzie Cole, Sarah Gray, and the amazing little boy named Rabbit. Or, if you prefer something a bit less mystical and ghostly, there’s always Riverbend’s Maggie Devlin, that Viking of a man, Gunnar Wolfe, the wise and beautiful Willow Greene, and all three of those  mostly lovable Painter brothers, Jackson, Forrest, and Hunter. Go for it! And please let the world know about this great deal. THANKS!

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

Some Exciting #News – #StJohnsRiverEcoTours – #NotesFromTheRiver Weekly Blog


As many of you know, my Riverbend series is based on a fictional small Florida town, located not very far from where I live, and peopled with the eccentric characters who dwell in my slightly warped brain. The first book in the series, Swamp Ghosts, was inspired by my real life friends, Captain Jeanne Bell and her photographer husband, Doug Little. Sadly, we lost Jeanne a few months ago (see my post here), but Doug has decided the very best way to honor her memory is to continue with their extremely popular Eco tours aboard Jeanne’s custom-built boat, the Naiad.

doug-smallDoug Little

Doug is an excellent wildlife photographer, and is filled with interesting and often amazing information on the habitat and history of the St. Johns River. He’s eager to share all of it, and to that end, Doug has completely revamped the St. Johns River Eco Tours website. Let me tell you, it is looking SHARP! There are lots of new features, including sections on local authors, exploring the river, downloadable bird and wildlife checklists, and tons of other goodies.

One of the brand new features is a weekly blog, and I’m extremely proud to say I’ve been asked to author it. I’m both honored and excited! Every Wednesday, I’ll be posting about wildlife, birds, new things spotted on the river, and any other topic that fits the theme of the blog:  “Notes From the River.”

I’m hereby inviting ALL of you to check out the “New and Improved” St. Johns River Eco Tours Website, and explore all the cool new things you’ll find there. Navigate the site via the links at the top of each page, most of which include dropdown menus.

You’ll be able to learn about the history of the river, ecology, local authors, the SJR Team, and more. PLUS, you’ll be able to book a tour, so you can see the wonders of the St. Johns River for yourself. It’s a fantastic, beautiful, and entertaining experience you’ll never forget. I know. I’ve been on the tour many, many times over the years, and I can honestly say it changed my life. It might or might not inspire you to write a romantic suspense novel like I did, but I can guarantee you’ll never have a more relaxing and enjoyable afternoon. 

While you’re on the SJR website, don’t forget to click on the Blog button, and check out Notes From the River. Please take a moment to read my introductory post (click on the Continue Reading button at the bottom to see the whole post). I hope you’ll leave a comment to let me know what you think, and that you’ll follow the blog, as well. (You can follow each post individually and/or use the RSS Feed button at the top of the page).

I’m really thrilled to have this chance to share a bit of Florida with all you good folks, so I’m looking forward to reading your comments, and answering questions on many of Florida’s  nature-related topics.

Please help us get this website and blog off to a  great start by sharing with the Immediate World. THANKS!

Can’t wait to see you there!

“Mine! Go get your OWN turtle!”
Photograph by Doug Little

St. Johns River Eco Tours
Notes From the River Blog
Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2


#ExcerptWeek – Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara


Since we got such a rush of excerpts at the end of last week, I extended it for another one, but now it’s gone quiet again. You know what THAT means, doncha? You’ll be getting more of MINE, again. 😀 Starting with this one from Swamp Ghosts, which hasn’t been feeling the love around around here, and demanded that I give it equal time. Maggie Devlin and Gunnar Wolfe have just met, when Gunn hired Maggie to canoe him into some remote waterways to photograph rare birds. Turns out, Gunn knows nothing about canoes or boats at all. Hence, the early morning lesson before their first foray into the black waters of the St. Johns. And did I mention, prickly Maggie doesn’t much care for the big guy. So far. 🙂 Enjoy!


SUNDAY MORNING ARRIVED looking like a picture out of a travel brochure. A buttery yellow sun beamed down from a cloudless swath of blue sky, and the trees along the river were that jewel-like shade of green you only see in early summer. I watched Gunn as he surveyed the boat launch. “You sure you don’t want to do a dry run on land first?”

“Maggie, I’d feel silly standing over there under a tree, getting in and out of the canoe, instead of just launching it here, like anyone else. I’m sure I can do this.”

“Okay, Thor. Your funeral,” I muttered.

Gunn’s eyes widened. “Excuse me? Thor? Did you just call me Thor?”

I looked up from the cooler I was arranging in the stern of the canoe in order to offset his weight in the front. “Oh, please don’t tell me I’m the only one to ever call you that.”

He was put out. More so than I expected, though to be honest, I had been trying to get a rise out of him. His perpetual good humor was getting on my nerves this early in the morning.

“Actually, you are.” Now he had a definite scowl on his face.

“You’re kidding, right? I mean, look at you.”

He was growing redder, and his smile was ancient history, now. Hmmm. This was a different, and unexpected, side to Gunnar Wolfe.

“I beg your pardon? Look at me? What are you talking about?”

“Gunn, for Pete’s sake. You look just like the guy. You know? The guy from the Avenger movies?”

His mouth dropped open in astonishment, as though such a thought had never crossed his mind. “I don’t look like that guy!”

“Yes, you do. Exactly.”

“I do not!”


“Oh my God, Maggie. Just because we are both blond . . .”

“And huge.”

“And … big … doesn’t mean we look alike!”

He stomped back to the truck to get our floating seat cushions and paddles, muttering to himself every step of the way. Damn. I may have been trying to needle him a bit, but I didn’t expect it to be quite so successful.

We carried the canoe down to the area designated for launching smaller craft, and I pushed it nose first into the water, leaving the stern on the sand. I could tell he was still annoyed with me, but I figured it would be best to just ignore it.

“Watch how I do this.” I stepped into the canoe. “You have to be sure your feet are in the dead center, one right behind the other. You want to bend at the waist and hold onto the gunwaling—this aluminum edge around the top of the canoe—with each hand. Then you carefully walk forward bent like this, but remember to keep holding on for balance. Step over each thwart—these braces here—then step over the bow seat, and sit down. Once you’re sitting, I’ll push the canoe out, and we’ll talk about paddling. Remember, don’t let go of the gunwaling while you’re walking. Oh, and be careful to keep your feet centered directly over the keel. That’s this indentation right here that runs down the middle of the canoe.”

I straightened up, turning to get out and realized Gunn had that look on his face. You know … the one guys get when they are staring at your butt and don’t think you will catch them? But then you do, and they get this stupid, wide-eyed look of fake innocence that makes you want to smack them with a two by four? Yeah. That look. Continue reading