What do pirates, princes, Puritans, and propaganda have in common? Lacey Delahaye, forager and jelly maker, finds out in this romantic suspense set in the western Caribbean. I'm talking today about how Lacey became a jelly maker and will give a copy of Whirlwind Romance to a comment with the most interesting recipe!
Secret Cravings Publishing, 9/2/2014
89,000 words; M/F; 3 flames; Adventure/Romance
Up until my thirties, I traveled a great deal, living in many countries with amenities that many would consider below standard. So it wasn't until I married and settled down in an old farmhouse with an acre of land that I could indulge my fantasy growing my own food. We planted apple, plum, peach, fig, hazelnut, and cherry trees; gooseberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries; all kinds of vegetables, including an ill-fated attempt to grow artichokes; and finally, lots and lots of herbs. I built a formal herb garden and planted thyme, lovage, rosemary, chives, tarragon, sage, and lemon balm. The one thing I couldn't get to grow was mint. Yes, the gardeners among you will scoff, but it took me years to get a plot to flourish. When it did, I had to do something or it would take over the entire acre.
So I called upon my sister-in-law, to whom Whirlwind Romance is dedicated. She directed me to an old recipe for mint jelly. Once the mint invasion was under control and I'd mastered the technique, I spent whole summers working up recipes for herb jellies. It was great fun. Despite the fact that I'm not really fond of jelly, they made excellent Christmas gifts.
As I started Whirlwind Romance, I thought about what my heroine, Lacey Delahaye, would do for a living. She lives alone in Florida, her one son grown. What could she do? I thought of the innumerable ecosystems in Florida, from pine uplands, to coastal plains, to palm hammocks—all of which are host to many wild fruits, most of which can be made into jelly. Ah hah! She'd be a jelly maker.
For fun, I added the recipes to each chapter. I hope you enjoy them as much as you do Lacey and Armand's love story.
In the aftermath of a hurricane, Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on the Gulf coast of Florida with a mysterious man. They are immediately drawn to each other, but before Armand can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken far from civilization to a tiny, remarkable island in the western Caribbean. With the help of her son Crispin, a small, but proud young boy named Inigo, and a cadre of extraordinary characters, Lacey and Armand must confront pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue if they are to restore the once idyllic tropical paradise to its former serenity and find lasting happiness.
Excerpt (R): A Wet Reunion
The whisper wafted across the ripples. “So you have come back to me.” For a horrible second she thought Damien—or worse, Traficant—had found her. But then a wet head rose next to her and shook the glistening black locks out of a dear face.
He swam a lap around her. “Who did you expect?”
Dazed, she touched his face. “I’d about given up hope for tonight.”
“I’ve been waiting here for you. Come to me.”
If this were a scene suitable for children, the next few minutes would allude to sighs and chaste kisses. Or there would be a scene break with the words “romantic interlude” accompanied by a little light music.
But it’s not.
Lacey rolled over in the water, placed a hand on Armand’s head and ducked him under. He came up spitting and laughing. “That’s no way to treat a prince.”
“That’s the way I treat my princes. Where have you been, anyway?”
Armand didn’t answer. He ducked under the water again. In the dark Lacey felt something gently touch her thigh, then pull it to the right. Bubbles rose up under her, tickling the lips of her vagina. She twisted, trying to cross her legs to get away from the sensation. A hand grabbed her other thigh and dragged it to the left. Lips replaced the bubbles, then a tongue speared her unprotected channel, darting in and out, prodding the nub of her clitoris. She took hold of Armand’s shoulders and pulled his head closer. The orgasm kindled. Just as she slid over the edge, Armand’s head came up. He gasped and sucked in a mouthful of air. “Armand, I was almost there! Why did you stop?”
He panted, “If you want more, you’ll have to allow me to breathe now and then.”
“All right—go ahead and rest a bit. Catch your breath.” She dropped below the surface, circling around to Armand’s rear. Reaching between his legs, she hefted his balls and rolled them in her hand. His fingers gently pried her hand away and pulled her between his thighs. His cock, hard as a shillelagh, bobbed before her. She caught it with her mouth and ran her tongue around it. Armand kicked his feet and rose to the surface, bringing Lacey with him. He held on to the coping with one hand to stabilize them and let Lacey finish her work. “Oh God, Lacey, that’s it!” Warm, creamy semen spurted out, dissipating in the water.
Armand swung her around so her back was to the pool wall and straddled her.
“Have you caught your breath yet?”
“Oh, yes.” He held her waist and let the still rigid penis slide into her waiting pussy. The soft water cradled them as they moved in rhythm, making their own waves. In the dark Lacey could make out little except the saffron flashes in Armand’s eyes. She kept her gaze locked on them while his thrusts lifted her almost out of the water. Like dolphins mating, they breached and plunged until the moment when man touched the innermost part of woman and fused. The wire connecting them across the miles, a wire that had been stretched almost to its limit, recoiled into its natural shape—a spring tightly coiled around them as they clung together.
Armand wrapped Lacey in his arms. “It’s been so long,” he whispered. He kissed the top of her head, her forehead, her nose. “I’ve imagined this moment—”
“Every day, every hour—”
His lips fastened on hers.
About the Author
Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
Ms. Spencer has published nine romance novels. The first two, Lost in His Arms and Lost and Found, were published by Red Rose Publishing. The other six—Losers Keepers, Triptych, Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance, Lapses of Memory, and the Mason's Mark —were published by Secret Cravings. Whirlwind Romance, her ninth, was released September 2014.