Happy Saturday. My guest this morning is M. S Spencer. Welcome to Living the Dream.
Thanks so much for having me, Susanne. In my latest romance, Triptych, my heroine Miranda wrestles with the question of true love. She also wrestles with recalcitrant sisters, mysterious machines, and art thieves.
I probably spent more time choosing the perfect subtitles for my chapters than actually writing it (a slight exaggeration for effect). Each refers to a family crisis or the relationship between siblings. I do hope my readers will take note of them and enjoy the hints at what is to come in the chapter. Here are a couple of my favorites:
The thing about family disasters is that you never have to wait long before the next one puts the previous one into perspective.
~ Robert Brault
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it’s just possible you haven’t grasped the situation.”
~ Jean Kerr
Triptych, by M. S. Spencer
Ebook 67,300 words; Print 213 pp.
M/F, 2 flames
Take lost masterpieces, brilliant inventors, and stolen prototypes. Add the Three Sisters, Indian spirits who guard the Potomac River. Stir in three sisters and their lovers. Result? Jealousy, sex, genius, larceny and love. Who will end up with whom, and will the Three Sisters take another life as the legend demands?
Triptych is available in both eBook and Print-on-Demand
The Cabot family—three sisters—sees its share of crises.
Excerpt (G) : Captured
Miranda waited for the footsteps to die away and for her heart to stop vibrating like a Chinese gong. She couldn’t believe her luck. In a stroke of providential stupidity, Pongo had tied her hands in front of her. Considering his scintillating conversation, I should have expected no less. She bent from the waist until she could reach the rubber band with her lips and pull it off, reflecting that those endless crunches were useful for more than energetic sex. She untied the rope around her ankles and rubbed the raw skin while she looked around. They were in a small room about four feet square. Mops and pails were hung on the wall, and sponges and bottles lined the shelves.
Luc hadn’t moved. Please let him not be dead. A glimmer of light filtered in from the hall and Miranda shunted toward him. She managed to untie the rope on his feet, but couldn’t tear the duct tape wrapped tightly around his wrists. Still he didn’t move.
She brushed her lips over his. He stirred at last and opened his eyes—and just as quickly shut them again. “Ooph.”
“Oh, Luc, you’re alive!” She kissed him again. “Are you okay? What hurts?”
He smiled, but kept his eyes closed. “Besides everything else? I have a splitting headache. Where are we?”
“In a closet. In Crandall’s house. Luc, I think he’s insane.”
He chuckled. “Yeah I got that feeling too. One doesn’t cross Mr. Adolphus T. Crandall the Fourth.”
“What do we do now?”
“Give me a minute, will you, mon désir? I am not at my best just now.”
Miranda bit off the tart reply, telling herself they weren’t going anywhere anyway. She sat as patiently as possible, listening to his labored breathing and for any outside sounds.
It seemed only a minute later that she woke. A sunbeam crept in over the threshold. I must have slept, but for how long?
“My watch says almost nine. We’ve been asleep about five hours.”
Miranda jumped. “Luc!”
“Shhh. Maybe they’ve forgotten about us.”
“No…” She lowered her voice. “I don’t think Crandall knows we’re here. The two thugs talked about letting us go when he went to bed. I wonder what happened.”
“Letting us go? Why?”
“I’m not sure, but they mentioned the ransom. Pongo said—”
“I’m not responsible for his name,” she retorted crossly. “Anyway, he said something about not getting the money if we were dead.”
“Hmm, I wonder. Considering the frenzied paroxysms of young Mr. Crandall last night, maybe there’s a rebellion brewing among the rank and file…”
Miranda put a warning hand on Luc’s arm. “Someone’s right outside.”
An unfamiliar voice spoke. “No, sir, I don’t think the storm caused it. I saw no evidence of a simple blown fuse. Someone tripped the alarm yesterday evening. Whoever did it was not a professional burglar.”
“What difference does that make?” came the high-pitched reply. Evidently Crandall had not yet slept. Or maybe he was always in a tizzy. “I don’t care how much it costs to fix—I want it repaired now.”
“Well, that’s just it, sir. The intruder made a real hash of the wiring. It’ll take me a couple of hours to untangle it and replace the fuses.”
Miranda glared at Luc. “Can’t you do anything right?” she hissed.
He grinned at her. “Let me get this straight—you wanted me to do a professional job dismantling the alarm so it could be easily reset?”
She stuck out her tongue.
“Oh, very mature. Now, shush.”
They heard the repairman say, “Okay, I’ll get right on it then.” The voices faded away.
“They’re gone. Hopefully the coast is clear. Can you get this duct tape off me?” Miranda plucked at the tight plastic clinging to Luc’s arms. It came off in long strands, but held firm. “Use your teeth.”
“All right.” She managed to tear a section of the tape and pull the rest off.
He rubbed his wrists and touched a palm to her face. “Thanks. Can you stand?”
“I think so.”
Holding each other tightly and trying not to knock anything over, they hoisted themselves to their feet. Luc turned the knob. Miranda thanked the makers of closet doors everywhere for not bothering with inside locks. He stuck his head out. “I don’t see anyone.”
The door to the outside stood open. Luc grabbed Miranda’s hand and tiptoed toward it. They saw sunlight glinting on a white van parked in a cobblestone courtyard. Birds twittered in the pines and a train whistle blew in the distance. Miranda felt like Dorothy as she ran out of the woods toward the Emerald City. That is, until something smashed into her skull. Before she blacked out, she heard a nasty, scratchy voice, saying, “Going somewhere, my pretty?”
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, one fabulous grandchild, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
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Check out another of M. S Snencer’s Books, Dear Philomena, on You Tube: https://youtu.be/kOhbiKV1Pw0