Marsha West - Vermont Escape - Jo-Ann Carson

Marsha West – Vermont Escape



I’m so excited to be here with you, Jo-Ann. I’ve enjoyed your blog posts for over a year now. Watching your progress toward publication is exciting. Okay, you asked two questions. You’re taking a huge chance to leave them so open ended. You know I can be a bit long-winded. LOL Four lines so far, and I’m just saying hello.

Let me take a crack at the first one, “Tell the readers something about me.”

MarshaI’m a retired elementary school principal, a former school board member and threatre arts teacher. Each of those lives could fill a book.  Let’s just say I’ve worn many hats, and those lead me to believe I know quite a bit about a fair amount of stuff. LOL Not necessarily true, but experience does teach. Can you say opinionated?

I write romantic suspense where experience is required. I only like to read that wonderful combination of a romance with the suspense elements. Just suspense doesn’t quite get it for me, and I find romance with no suspense a bit tepid. Before I wrote, I branched out a bit more, but now reading time is limited, so I pretty much just read what I enjoy. Like so much in writing, this is just my subjective opinion:) It goes without saying, but I’ll say it for clarity, I must have a HEA. No happily ever after, I’m not going to read it. There’s enough bad stuff in the world.

My heroes and heroines, who so far range in age from 40-55, struggle with life and loss and are generally surprised to discover second chances at love. Besides the second chances themes, you’ll also find truth, justice, sacrifice, and family play a big part in my stories.

I live in Texas with my incredibly supportive lawyer husband. We raised two daughters who’ve presented us with great sons-in-law and three delightful grandchildren. Since retiring, I’ve been at the beck and call of two dogs, who run the home. (Those of you who follow my blog will be aware we lost both of these precious pooches in July within two weeks of each other. I can’t bear to take them off the official bio yet. They supported me through the writing of six books!) Birthday Blog Post 2

Currently the heat of Texas is baking me into a grease puddle. I’m keeping my sanity by looking at pictures of Maine. A New England state I’d like to adopt and move to.  My problem is the immediate family insists on staying in Texas. I make do with at least one trip there a year. It’s just not enough. Poor Me! LOL RGW iPhone 9-2-12 Maine 326

          I’m about to begin my seventh book. The fifth one went off Tuesday with fingers crossed hoping my publisher will want to publish it. No guarantees there. Sixth book is going through edits and rewrites. I can juggle two books at the same time, but working on three (Some people tell you to work on three at once: planning one, writing one, and editing one) makes me a nut case. LOL I can hear a few people asking, “How can you tell?” Now be nice.

Question 2 is “What would I do if I were Queen of the World?”

My stars and garters! This one is a challenge. Not because I don’t know (Remember I said above how all the experience has made me believe I know a lot.), but because how do I choose? What couple of things would make the most impact? World Peace? Cure Cancer?  As queen of the world, I’d certainly do both of those. So Snap! It’s done. 

I write about families, because I believe they are so important. In one of the schools where I was principal, every morning everyone in the building stopped and said a pledge. I truly do believe if everyone repeated this every day and acted by this pledge, the whole world would be a better place.

At RALC, we will remember that:

I am respectful;

I am responsible;

I am safe;

I am prepared;

And I do my best work, because we are here to learn.

Think about what a difference this would make to our world. Parents would model this for their kids, and we’d have no child abuse. We’d have kids coming to school ready to learn.  Kids, who learn, grow up to get jobs and be responsible citizens. Bullying and spousal abuse would cease. No more of the unspeakable cruelty we see to animals.

Would we agree with each other about everything? No. I don’t even want that. I mean then we’d all read the same kind of book! That wouldn’t be good. LOL But seriously, we’d disagree respectfully without all the ugly name calling that commonly passes for thinking.

Maybe I’m being a bit Pollyannaish, but hey, if I get to be queen of the world, then that’s my choice!

What’s your favorite vacation spot? When I’m searching the web, I look for water views, balcony/porch, and wifi. Are there certain things you require for it to be vacation?

Hope you enjoy this Excerpt from VERMONT ESCAPE, which released July 19th by MuseItUp Publishing available in whichever format you choose (25% off during August!), MIU , Amazon, and B & N  . I’m still pinching myself that this is real!

Excerpt from Vermont Escape

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.

The package she received days after her dad was murdered. 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 didn’t stay to find out. She ran.

She’d pushed herself on a four-day trip from Texas to Vermont. Emotionally and physically exhausted, all she wanted to do 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.

 In the Woodstock Inn suite, her hand trembled when she removed the package and dropped it onto the bed where it lay on the white coverlet like a scorpion.

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

“Okay, open this. Every time you’ve come across the thing, you implode, morphing into a quivering mass of mush.”


Two years after the murder of her husband, someone guns down Jill Barlow’s father, a Texas State Representative. The authorities suspect a connection between the murders, but can’t find proof. Jill longs for the peace she found when she visited Vermont after her husband’s death. With the perpetrators still at large, she flees to the small town of Woodstock.

The gambling syndicate, believing she has damning evidence against them, pursues her, shattering her dreams of peace. In an effort to protect her grown children, she doesn’t tell them violence continues to stalk the family.

Despite having lost so much already, with the lives of her family and friends at stake, will Jill be required to make more sacrifices, even the hope of a second chance at love?

Marsha R. West

MuseItUp Publishing, B & N, & Amazon