#Reminder – #HugeSale – #SwampGhostsExcerpt – #AlertTheMedia

I‘m back, this time to share an excerpt from my first Riverbend book, Swamp Ghosts.  Yep, the big $.99 sale is still going on, and I hope some of you will be intrigued enough by this excerpt to take advantage of this most excellent price! Oh, and please feel free to pass the news of the sale along far and wide, too.  Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement. 



EXCERPT FROM SWAMP GHOSTS: Riverbend Book 1

THE CAR BUMPED and rocked as he drove down the rutted dirt road, steering by a wash of silver light from the gibbous moon. Only a few more nights until it was completely full, making the road nearly as bright as it would be by day, but there was still enough light tonight to see that the way ahead was clear—except for the tall grasses and weeds, indicating no one had driven the road in a long time. That was all the visibility he needed. Not much chance of meeting anyone along such a remote stretch of river, anyway, especially since the state had bought this entire tract of land a few years ago, and chained off all the roads, posting No Access signs everywhere. Still, he wasn’t going to tempt fate by turning on his headlights. Not with what he was carrying in the back on this summer night.

Should be nearing the old canoe launch any time now.

He squinted, peering at the road ahead, waiting to see moonlight on water, and sure enough, there it was. Slowing down, he pulled the SUV into the small turn-around, cut the engine and climbed out, stretching his arms and rolling his shoulders to release the tension from the long drive.

The drive’s always the most dangerous part. Too many ways for something to go wrong. Too many things I can’t control. But no need to worry about that now. No one stopped me. No one even noticed me. And here I am. Just me and the mosquitoes.

Of course, that wasn’t true. There were plenty of other things in his immediate vicinity, but he paid no attention to the sounds of a Florida river at night. Green tree frogs and narrow-mouthed toads sang in a shrill chorus, punctuated now and then by the loud “Kronk!” of the much larger pig frogs. Small animals slipping through the palmettos and underbrush rustled here and there. The high-pitched chirps of flying squirrels sounded from the trees, until the soft trill of a screech owl made them take cover. The night was full of noises, all ignored, as he walked to the rear of his vehicle and opened the tailgate. He eyed the bundle inside with irritation.

Hate hauling that dead weight, dammit! May as well get to it, though. It’s not gonna get any lighter while I stand here wasting time.

And with that thought, he dragged the bundle halfway out and lifted it up over one broad shoulder, bending slightly under the load. Then he walked down to the water’s edge and stopped for a brief moment, considering.

Nope. Way too shallow here. Too easy to spot, in case someone ever does paddle this way again.

Instead, he turned to his right and made his way down a narrow and heavily overgrown path that followed the curve of the stream. It was slow going for a hundred yards or more, with branches and palmetto fronds slapping him in the face and scraping at his arms. Sweat trickled down into his eyes, stinging like fury, but even as hot as he was, he was glad he had thought to wear long sleeves. They at least afforded him a bit of protection from scratches and the relentless mosquitoes, which swarmed his head in a hungry cloud. Repellent kept most of them from biting, but it was hard to breathe without sucking them into his mouth or nose, and their humming grew louder with every slow step he took.

Gritting his teeth, he shifted the weight on his shoulder, and plowed ahead.

Seems to be a longer haul each time, but it can’t be much farther now.

He pushed his way through the worst of the underbrush, and there it was—a small open area on a raised embankment, about four feet above the water. He walked to the edge and dumped his burden on the dirt beside him. Taking a deep breath, he stretched his arms, rolling his shoulders once more.

Damn. Ought to be an easier way to do this. Probably is. But not likely to be as efficient.

Untying the lengths of white rope from each end of his bundle, he opened up the blue plastic tarp. For a moment, he admired his handiwork, once again congratulating himself on his hunting skills, and his ability to outsmart the law. Those clowns had no idea who they were up against.

Snickering, he dragged the tarp closer to the water’s edge. He snapped it sharply toward himself, lifting up on the edge of the plastic, and spilling the contents down the bank, where they landed with a splash in the shallow water below. He stood there, folding up the tarp and watching the moonlit surface of the creek. Within seconds, ripples appeared on the other side, rushing toward him, but slowing as they neared his offering. He waited just long enough to watch the huge head come out of the water, jaws wide, before he turned and walked away. The sounds of thrashing and tearing followed him halfway back to his car.

Alligators. Nature’s best garbage disposals. Soon, there won’t be much left of that little package for anyone to find.

He tossed the folded tarp into his car, and climbed in, just as the first fat raindrops began splatting against his dusty windshield. Within seconds, the water was coming down like only a Florida rainstorm can, heavy and fast. It would be over just as quickly as it started, but not before wiping away all traces of his visit.

He snickered again. Right on time, and thank you, Mother Nature. No need to worry about evidence left behind now. It will all be washed away.

He turned the SUV around, and headed back to civilization, smiling the whole way, and wondering how much longer it would be before some sharp-eyed detective or reporter began to connect the dots. He almost wished they would hurry it up, so he could find out what they would call him.

After all…Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, The Night Stalker…all the good ones have names.


DOWNLOAD SWAMP GHOSTS HERE


Hope you enjoyed that little trek through the Florida swamps! To find out more about what’s lurking there, head right on over to Amazon and download your copy of Swamp Ghosts today! Thanks so much for reading along today!

Don’t Forget: $.99 Sale on All #Riverbend Books – Last Six Days!

… to download your copies today! All three Riverbend books are still on sale for the ridiculously low price of $.99, so don’t miss out!

“Swamp Ghosts is an intriguing mystery filled with monsters, both on two legs, and four–or none at all.” – 5 Star Review
****

“Gut-Wrenching, Heartbreaking, and Soul-Warming!” – 5 Star Review
****


“Marcia Meara keeps the twists coming in this book! You think you have the story line figured out and BAM!!! A wonderful read!!!!!” – 5 Star Review
***

So there you have it, folks! Hope you’ll take advantage of this sale today, before they’re all gone. Oh, wait.  That’s right. These are eBooks. They’ll be around a long, long time–but NOT at this price!  😁 So run, don’t walk, right on over to Amazon and download your copies today! 

#Sale – #TenDaysOnly – #Riverbend eBooks 1, 2, and 3 – $.99

Still celebrating my escape from the world of Breakthrough COVID. Thought I’d offer another sale for you guys, only this one is going to last through 10/15, or ten days. So, if you’ve been curious about life in this little Florida town, replete with all the weird folks who live there, now’s your chance to download these books for $.99 each, or under $3.00 for all three!

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.

RECENT REVIEW

Strange people make wonderful stories.
Verified Purchase

I don’t actually read romances, but was drawn to this one. The author is a nature lover, much like myself, and knowing she was placing this tale in what amounts to her back yard appealed to me. The swamps of Florida are foreign to a westerner like myself. The depictions and descriptions are wonderful.

What I found was a wonderful murder mystery that lands squarely in these same swamps. It’s intense, thrilling, and scary. I pegged the killer early on, but that didn’t detract from the story. He’s so wonderfully creepy, Meara gets this across like she lived some of it.

I walked in knowing it was a romance, and that part was well done. I admit it was the nature tours, and the murder mystery that called to me. I’m giving it five stars, because it was that wonderful.

Download Swamp Ghosts HERE
~~~

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.

RECENT REVIEW

5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Inspirational Story

The characters who populate the small town of River Bend come to life in this story about the power of love, from the inspired imagination of talented author, Marcia Meara. A truly wonderful novel, this story features two minor characters from Ms. Meara’s previous novel, Swamp Ghosts. Hunter, an introverted, hapless, but troubled writer who carries a load of family problems on his shoulders, and has no idea of the talent he possesses. And Willow, the selfless, caring extrovert, who adores him and tries her best to point out how valuable his life is.

This story is rather unusual as it’s the reverse of the standard romance novel. It begins with the romance, expertly written by the way, and works up to the events that threaten to end it forever.

The short poems at the beginning of each chapter add a bit of suspense to the story as you can’t help but wonder who’s thoughts they are. But eventually everything is revealed. The story pulled me in from the very first page, and kept me reading well into the night. I highly recommend this novel.

Download Finding Hunter HERE
~~~

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.

RECENT REVIEW

5.0 out of 5 stars This book has it all – Suspense, Romance, Tragedy and Humour
Verified Purchase

Download That Darkest Place HERE
~~~

Hope some of you will decide to take advantage of this ten-day only sale, and if you do, will let me know your thoughts on the good (and not-so-good) folks of Riverbend, Florida. I also hope you’ll  consider sharing the news of this sale  with all your online friends, far and wide.  It would be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks for stopping by today, and here’s to a great rest of the week!
Happy Reading!

#ReblogAlert – Swamp Ghosts featured on Smorgasbord Today!

Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of one of Sally Cronin’s newest features, Sharing an Excerpt from a Previous Book.  I hope you’ll stop by and check out the excerpt I’ve chosen, part of the Prologue from my second book, Swamp Ghosts. It was a trip to write this scene, and I hope you’ll enjoy it. But rest assured, the entire book is not a walk through this guy’s mind. It’s an introduction to a small, Florida town, filled with mostly friendly, though often eccentric folks, who have no idea what’s lurking in the shadows. And oh, yeah, there IS a love story, too, as the wonderful review Sally included mentions.  

Hope you’ll head over and see for yourself, and will remember that this is an offer open to all, as well. Sally includes instructions on how to submit YOUR own excerpt from an older book, and you really should take advantage of the opportunity. 

My heartfelt thanks to Sally for all she does to help us promote our work! And to see what’s afoot in Riverbend via her wonderful post, click HERE. 

THANKS!

#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!