Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Vermont Escape" Excerpt, Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

Vermont Escape
by Marsha R. West
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Categories: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Museitup Publishing
Release Date: July 19, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 85,600

Available at:

It’s been two years since Jill Barlow’s husband was murdered. Being attracted to someone new isn’t what she expected when, after her father’s recent murder, she fled to Vermont.

A terrifying series of break-ins shatter the peace she’d sought. Jill shields her adult children from knowing the gambling syndicate will kill again for the damming evidence she possesses.

With the lives of family and friends at stake, will Jill be required to make even more sacrifices?

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

About the Author:
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and theatre
arts teacher. She writes romantic suspense, where experience is required. Her heroes and heroines, struggling with life and loss, are surprised to discover second chances at love.

Marsha, lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. They’ve raised two daughters who’ve presented them with three delightful grandchildren. She admits to being at the beck and call of two dogs, who run her home. She loves to travel and sometimes those places wind up as a setting in her books.

She’s currently editing her latest work in progress and enjoying the experience of her first book launch.

Connect with Marsha R. West

Guest Post

Today is “National Be Late For Something Day.” Some of us don’t need a special day for this. LOL We are always late. Are you one of those people? I confess to having my troubles getting to events on time.

For instance, my Pilates class begins at 10:30. It takes just under twenty minutes to get there from my house if I make all the green lights. Any logical thinking person would make sure to pull out of the garage at 10:10. I like to think of myself as a logical person. It says so on all of those personality inventories we are always taking. J

But you see, I’m a pretty busy person, and I almost always try to cram one more thing in before leaving. Just one more email to read. Write two more sentences. Read one more blog and comment. Delete a couple of emails. Take a moment and water those plants that are gasping. You know there is always one more thing to do.

Then I have to make the potty stop before I can get out of the house. I need to fill up my thermal cup with ice and water. Where are my sunglasses? The keys I’m pretty good about keeping hooked to my purse. Thank goodness. And heaven forbid I plan on making a stop before or after Pilates and have to make sure I have all of whatever for that task. Before we lost our puppies, I had to make sure all the doors were closed to every room possible to limit the places where they could get stuck. As they aged, the pups, especially our Jack Russell, became senile and just forgot where she was and what she was doing. L But the aging thing is topic for some other time.

Bottom line, instead of pulling out of the garage at 10:10 as I ought, it’s generally more like 10:15 or 10:17. The stress this causes is crazy. Do I get there late? Do I speed? No good answers. Guilt beats at me from all sides. I’m such a bad person!

You may be thinking I should just plan to leave five to ten minutes early. That would plug in up front some of the time that just seems to disappear. Kind of like folks who have trouble getting up on time. They set there clock to go off a couple of times before they actually have to get up.

My problem is I’m one of those work-a-holics you hear about. I get a lot of satisfaction out of all the things I accomplish in a day. You know the type. I have a list and check off the items. It’s great. But that does result in my trying to accomplish too much in any given amount of time, so I often run late, feel guilty, stressed, and frustrated. My DH doesn’t care for it too much either. J

So what about you? Are you the punctual one in your family? Is this is a day you can appreciate? Or are you more like me and need a day to encourage you to do things on time. What tricks do you use to be on time? I’d love to hear from you.

Excerpt #1 

Jill Barlow reached for her make-up kit and brushed against the one thing she’d been doing her damnedest to avoid. Her heart rate tripped into overtime.

It was the package she received days after her dad was murdered. That was one month ago, but she couldn’t face opening a reminder of the nightmare.

Pictures of her vigorous father mixed with recent images of his closed casket. Nausea hit. Again. Damn. Why would someone blow off her father’s head? She hadn’t stayed to find out. She’d run.

She’d pushed herself on a four-day trip from Texas to Vermont. Emotionally and physically exhausted, all she wanted to do now was unpack her pajamas and climb into bed. Habit required she clean and moisturize her face. Habit provided comfort when life was chaotic. Habit could get her through the worst. Or not.

 She removed the package and dropped it onto the bed in her Woodstock Inn suite. It lay on the white coverlet like a scorpion.

 Sweat drenched her palms. Hands propped on her knees, she leaned over and drew in needed oxygen. A minute passed, and then she straightened.

“Okay, open this. Every time you come across the thing, you implode, morphing into a quivering mass of mush.” Two years since her husband George died. Now a second murder, and Dad was gone. No wonder she’d lost the battle against stress and babbled out loud. 

My 5 Star Review

I received this book from the touring host for an honest review.

Finally something to enjoy for my own age. Please do not understand me wrong, young love is beautiful and energetic and vital, but mature love brings another dimension to life, and in this case, a book, which I enjoyed.
Compelling. Interesting. Suspense. As the plot unfolds, you are drawn into the life of Jill Barlow. Her fears and struggles as she tries to stay ahead of imminent danger. Protecting those she loves. You learn about her paranoia, how she handles starting over after the death of her husband. Sorting out her life while running from an unknown enemy. Plus buying a business with all its hiccups, and a budding new romance that have its own complications and joy. 
Jerrod Phillips the ideal man to be with her, but their first impressions of each other left them at a loss for words. Not sure where it will end. Age brings wisdom and with that also greater responsibility, care so that you do not find the head over the heels feelings as in younger romances. It is more subtle, more understanding giving it an edge that I have enjoyed. Thankfully we have a mother figure in Anne who helps them along with her genuine care for both the main characters. Bringing them together in a sly manner that worked...Okay I will not give any more than that away. **wink-wink**
The author's easy writing style made this a wonderful story that you get lost in as the suspense grows.  From page to page you learn more about her life and challenges, her fears and accomplices. Her love for family and friends a driving force that kept her strong and resilient.
Seeing that I do not come from America, I loved the descriptions of Vermont, the weather and the integral part it played in the day to day life setting. Making the story believable and interesting at all times. 
In all, a wonderful read with enough suspense to keep you guessing till the end with a beautiful conclusion that makes you believe that love is still possible at our age. 

Winners' Choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card OR a $10 B&
Gift Card OR an eBook copy of "Vermont Escape"
 OR 2 prisms that reflect rainbows from Marsha R. West 
                          (3 winners to be selected)


  1. Hey, Lynelle. Thank so much for having me at your lovely blog and for your kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed VERMONT ESCAPE. You'll have to make a visit to New England. It's an inspiring place. Do people tell you what a beautiful name you have? I'll check back later in the day to visit with you and the folks who stop by.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Marsha, your book inspired me and I would love to visit, but it will have to be in the summer **smile** I think I will die with all that snow.
    Thanks for the compliment, some have mentioned it but it is always good to hear again.

    1. Lynelle, summer and fall are truly gorgeous in Vermont and other New England states. I lived in Massachusetts for a year when I was in 6th grade--many moons ago :)--but I loved the snow. It's so gorgeous. Of course, as a kid I wasn't driving in it or shoveling it. :) But I'd probably be okay with the right clothing and 4-wheel drive! :)

    2. It sounds divine, will have to come if it is anything as the pictures shows of that area. Love the fall colors.

      Reading the guest post I am so with you, making sure everything is as suppose to be before we go some where, and the last minute rush to the bathroom always left my husband with rolling eyes. Hey I am older bladder needs to be empty **smile**. Bot normally we are always on time, do not like to be late.

  3. I have to admit my husband is the punctual one of our family. I have become much better since having our daughter but I am still a feet-dragger extraordinaire. Great blog!!

    1. Hey, Jackie. Yes, DH is much more punctual than I. Makes for some interesting conversations. :) Thanks for stopping and for the RT. Appreciate the support.

    2. Thanks for stopping by Jackie and the kind words. It is a great book I can recommend.

  4. Hey, Marsha! Great review for a great book! Congrats.

    Both DH and I are sticklers for being punctual. Although, he's a tad more anal. If he's not there ten minutes early, he feels late!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jerrie, it is always good to meet my fellow blog readers.

    2. Honey, YOU thing on time is ten minutes early! You and your DH make a good pair. :) Thanks for stopping.

  5. Thanks for sharing the guest post and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

    1. Hey, Eva. Thanks so much for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the post. Lynelle has a lovely blog.

  6. What a fantastic review!! I used to be so punctual that if I was late, the other person thought they'd mistaken the time. Since living in the Caribbean, I've been getting lax. Tweeted.

    1. Hey, Ella. Yes, I'm pleased with Lynelle's review. That's interesting how the place you live has affected your natural tendencies. Lived in Puerto Rico for several years in high school. I think the heat slows everyone down. You can find it in the southern part of the states where the humidity gets high and the temps are up. Thanks for tweeting.

  7. Lynelle, thanks again for the lovely review and for hosting me today. This has been fun.

  8. This was really great, thanks that I could have been part of the tour. Thanks to Ella and Eva, you guys rock.

  9. OMG, how funny that 9/5 is National Be Late For Something Day! It's also my husband's birthday, and he's always late for everything (and, BTW, I'm always punctual!) I just pointed the holiday out to him, and we shared a good laugh! Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Marsha!!

    1. LOL LOL This gave me a real chuckle. I'm not sure you should have shown this to your spouse, though. Now, he's got one whole day you can't get on his case. Of course, you can now check the calendar and plan ahead, so there is nothing he has to get to on time when this day comes around next year. He may have to take the day off from work. LOL Thanks for stopping Heather. Appreciate your support.

  10. Oh dear, oh dear. I'm too late to celebrate National Be Late for Something Day. Bummer. Loved your rundown of "excuses" for why you are late for Pilates. It seems I am ready to go out the door--on time--until my DH decides to ask me to stop for something on the way or he can't find something or you know. It's always "his" you buy that? Great review! Best wishes!!

  11. Heather and JQ, thanks for stopping by, great to meet you here in Google land.