Friday, September 9, 2011

Welcome M.S. Spencer and the Vikings to the Football Blog Tour Stop!

STEPH: Who's your favorite football team? How long have you been a fan?

M.S. SPENCER: The MEN IN PURPLE. They have the best helmets, don’t they? Seriously, I’ve been a fan of the Vikings since 1975 when I moved to Chicago for graduate school. A couple of classmates came from Minnesota and we would watch every single game on our little black and white TV, eating our chili on tray tables. Though not exactly an obsession (well, maybe) I still get very emotional when I watch them play. Unfortunately, their games don’t always air here in Washington. Someday when I win the lottery I’ll spring for one of those TV football packages.

My family always found my devotion a bit freakish but grew used to it. The best birthday present they ever gave me was a scrapbook filled with stuff about the Vikings. I keep it next to Calvin & Hobbs books.

STEPH: Who's your favorite player "playing" right now? Why?

M.S. SPENCER: Well it WAS Brett Favre. They have a new coach this year, Leslie Frazier, who filled in after last year’s natural disasters (the Metrodome collapse and snowed out games) and have changed a lot of the roster. If Adrian Peterson stays, he’ll be great. Visanthe Shiancoe is also wonderful at tight end. I’m not a big fan of Donovan McNabb, but the backup Christian Ponder looks really good—I just watched highlights of the Houston pre-season game (Vikings 28-0).

STEPH: Who's your favorite all time Vikings player?

M.S. SPENCER: Fran Tarkenton—who else? I was such a big fan I actually read the mystery novel he wrote (not much of a mystery but a fascinating insight into the game). After that Alan Page, the great defensive tackle & member of the Purple People Eaters, the bane of quarterbacks everywhere. He played for the Vikings from 1967 to 1978, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and went on to be (wait for it!) a justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court. Talk about versatile…

Third is of course Ahmad Rashad. As a Vikings fan in Washington DC with a mother who hated football, I watched a lot of games alone with the door closed. I’ll never forget the Browns game in 1980 when Tommy Kramer sent a "Hail Mary" pass down the field to Ahmad Rashad as time expired resulting in a 28-23 victory. I was jumping up and down and screaming in ecstasy. My mother threatened to call an ambulance.

STEPH: Who's their "evil" nemesis?

M.S. SPENCER: You mean team? Some might say the Chicago Bears, but I say Green Bay—my son’s favorite team (coincidence? I think not). Actually, while they are great rivals I root for Green Bay whenever it’s playing someone else. I was in heaven for the couple of seasons that Bret Favre played for the Vikings. Like having the cherry on top.

STEPH: Ever been to a football game? What's it like?

M.S. SPENCER: Yes, I’ve been to Redskins games. I live in Washington and do love the team (although it’s not as visceral an adoration as I have for the Vikings). Redskins fans are really the best in the world—and they’ve had to deal with even more adversity than Vikings fans! There’s nothing like an open stadium and real grass. One of the things that endeared me to the Vikings was when they played outside (before the Metrodome, aka Mall of America Stadium). You had to be tough to play in Minnesota in the winter—it was too funny watching teams like the Dolphins try to keep up in a blizzard. Of course I went to many a college football game (Ivy League, so it was more a drinking than a sporting event). My son took me to a UVA game—we had a blast. UVA students always dress up for the game—it’s a tradition & so refreshing to see young ladies in dresses & young men in khakis.

STEPH: Do you own a jersey?

M.S. SPENCER: Of course! Although I’m a bit superstitious. If the game isn’t going well I take it off.

STEPH: What's your favorite food to eat during the game?

M.S. SPENCER: My own chili—hot, with lots of toppings. I don’t take any shortcuts, starting with fresh ground spices and whole tomatoes. Ask my kids (and their friends!)—it’s the best. Plus homemade coleslaw. Back in my slimmer days, I’d scarf up cornbread slathered in butter and a couple of Geary’s Pale Ales to go with.

Fun Facts about the Vikings:

In their opening game on September 17, 1961, the Vikings gave their followers a little taste of what the next 47 years would be like when rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton came off the bench. Tarkenton threw four touchdown passes and ran for another as he led the men in purple to a 37-13 victory over the Chicago Bears.

In 1986, exactly 25 years later, Tarkenton would become the first Vikings player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Only four NFL teams have played in more Super Bowls, and only one (the Dallas Cowboys), have more playoff appearances.

Biography ~ M. S. Spencer

Although M. S. Spencer has lived in Chicago, Boston, New York, France, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and England, the last 30 years have been spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Once she escaped academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She holds a BA from Vassar College, a Diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago. She divides her time among Virginia, Maine and Florida. All of this tends to insinuate itself into her works.

Ms. Spencer has two fabulous grown children, Spencer and Emma. She has only one cat (down from three, plus a dog, a snake and two hamsters). It’s a quiet household now, but since her study window looks on a park and river there is plenty of wildlife to distract her from her writing.

My latest release is Losers Keepers, the story of a romantic triangle enmeshed in murder, set on the Atlantic barrier island of Chincoteague.

Losers Keepers, by M. S. Spencer
Published July 27, 2011 by Secret Cravings Publishing
eBook, 72,000 words, ISBN 978-1-936653-95-9
Contemporary romantic suspense, M/F, 3 flames

Dagne Lonegan, aka Dear Philomena, advice dispenser extraordinaire, hoped that spending a year on the Eastern Shore island of Chincoteague to write her novel would clear her sinuses, if not her heart, of any feelings for Jack Andrews, erstwhile lover and long-time jerk. It’s just her luck that her first week on the island she’s in the right place at the right time to be involved with a murder. Only she doesn’t know it. Unfortunately, the murderer doesn’t know she doesn’t know. Strange and dangerous things begin happening to her, interfering with her new romance with Tom Ellis, the handsome manager of the National Wildlife Refuge. Complications ensue when her Jack arrives to take charge of the murder investigation.
Will Dagne stick with the tall, cool glass of a Ranger or fall back into the arms of her first tempestuous passion?

Buy links:


Book Strand:

You might also be interested in my first novel Lost in His Arms, romantic suspense set in the spinning world of 1991 when countries fell like flies and a CIA fixer had his hands full. Or try my second novel, Lost and Found, in which we follow a desperate wife searching the wilds of Maine and Florida for the husband who disappeared.
Buy Links for Lost in His Arms and Lost and Found:


All three books are also available here:

I’d love to hear from you! Contact M. S. Spencer at


  1. Thanks for a trip down memory lane with the Vikings! As a Minnesotan born and bred, I've always been a fan of the Purple People Eaters.
    Your book sounds good! Best wishes for many sales!

  2. Thanks Lauri--you're welcome to buy it :). I missed the opening game--being flooded out and evacuated puts a crimp in one's tv time. Hope you get to watch and cheer! M. S. Spencer

  3. Looooooove some football! (American AND European!)
    less pros, more college but loooooove it nonetheless!

  4. Thanks Liz! Sorry to reply so late--I was waist-high in flood water. Power back on but busy mucking out. European football=soccer, right? Me too! Did you know there is European basketball now? Too weird. M.S. Spencer

  5. MS - The book looks awesome. I'm going to put it in my TBR pile. Thanks so much for popping into the Moonlight and gushing about the Vikings.

    I caught a couple of snipnets at work about the Viking/Charger game. You know I was rooting for the Chargers being the California team but it was a very good game. Great football!

    Liz - what's your favorite European team. I think when I was stationed over there they had the Frankfurt Galaxy.