Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

Novel Magic-Orion’s Foot

Thank you so much for your warm welcome to the Universe! I’d like to talk about my latest release, Orion’s Foot: Myth, Mystery, and Romance in the Amazon, and about cryptids. I will be happy to present one lucky reader with a copy of Orion’s Foot. Please see the Rafflecopter link below.

The Amazon—where monsters and mystery lurk. Orion’s Foot is a tale of passion and obsession.

Most people have never heard the word “cryptid” and indeed, Petra learns of the term for the first time when she’s researching the Mapinguari, a Bigfoot-like beast rumored to live in the Amazonian rainforest. A cryptid can be any of the following:

  • A creature from myth and legend
  • A supernatural or paranormal entity
  • An extinct animal who may still inhabit a specific area
  • An animal found in an area it doesn’t normally inhabit
  • An animal of an unusual size or appearance
  • An animal that doesn’t resemble any known species
  • A hoax—stuffed, photoshopped, false accounts

The Mapinguari, which the team of scientists in Orion’s Foot have come to find, is a beast who lives in the forests of the Peruvian Amazon. It is huge and hairy and has a hole in its stomach, into which it sucks unwary villagers.  It resembles creatures found in other parts of the world—Bigfoot, the Yeti, Sasquatch. It is not nice, as our heroine Petra Steele, and her hero Emory Andrews, discover to their chagrin.

Orion’s Foot: Myth, Mystery, and Romance in the Amazon

M. S. Spencer

Wild Rose Press, October 30, 2019

442 p.

Rating: Spicy (PG13)


Petra Steele is wallowing in self-pity after being dumped at the altar, when her brother Nick invites her to come to the Peruvian Amazon. Before she even sets her suitcase down, she’s confronted with a murder victim. In a research station peopled with a quirky assortment of scientists, she is drawn to Emory Andrews, a gruff, big man with a secret past. That is, until his beautiful ex-wife shows up. More murders, more secrets, more mysteries ensue, all in the deeply romantic, sizzling jungle.

Excerpt: The Mapinguari

They went back down the path they’d come, surveying the ground and vegetation for any trace of a large animal. They had reached the mahogany tree when Petra checked her watch. “Winston’s been gone half an hour. Maybe we should—” Her words were cut off by a low snarl. “Emory? Is that you?” She whirled around. “Where are you?”

For answer, the growl grew deeper and more menacing. Sounds like a gorilla—but they don’t live here, do they? She whispered, “Emory?”

Shh.” She looked up. Emory clung to a low branch of the mahogany tree. He held a hand out. “Quickly.”

She grabbed a liana, hoping fervently it wasn’t a Strychnos vine, and scrambled up. The growl came again, closer. They climbed higher. Something crashed through the woods, puffing. Whatever it was entered the clearing, and the noise stopped. Petra held her breath and Emory’s hand. It must be looking for us. After a lengthy pause that left her feeling chilled to the bone in the torrid heat, the puffing started again, gradually diminishing into the distance. She waited five more minutes to be sure it was gone before whispering, “Did you get a look at it?”

“No, the foliage was in the way, but it sounded awfully big. And grouchy. I’m going to—” As he started to climb down, a twig snapped below them. They froze.

Something’s being dragged through the underbrush.

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About the Author:

M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents and has published thirteen mystery or romantic suspense novels. She has two children, a wonderful granddaughter, and divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

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