Constance Sprague Home Page

Seat of the Pants Romance

Forget the candles. The flowers. The champagne, even. The formula for romance is a myth. But you know how it is with myths – if enough people buy into them you can make a living off the lonely, the gullible and the desperate.

Love isn’t an equation. Romance happens mysteriously, suddenly, slowly, quietly or with a big bang. Romance is like a butterfly. Try to pin it down, it dies. You have to let go, put yourself out there, and hope like hell. Maybe you’ll be lucky.

When I first started out as a novelist I went to a lot of conferences and at one of them a respected romance author said, “You can always tell who the hero is in a romance novel. He’s the tallest guy in the room.”

Not in my first book.

Tall Order cover
Tall Order
A Montlake Romance
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Does every hero have to be tall, dark and handsome, or can a quality guy win the girl if he’s only got two out of three?

At 6’1″ and 27 years of age, art history professor Ava Morrison of Richmond, Virginia, is no starry eyed romantic, but she’d rather live alone than compromise on the specifications for her dream man. Ava’s attitude alters after she auditions for a part in a community theatre production and gets to know director Troy Burnett, a soccer playing single father who stands 5’8″. But, when a tall dark and handsome visiting English professor begins wooing Ava, Troy has to go the distance to convince Ava that when it comes to size, heart matters more than height.

The World of Duggie Moon

There is a Blue Ridge of the mind, where the shadows beckon, full of secrets and music, especially when autumn comes clad in russet and gold. It’s a place where people mind their own business, but still look out for one another. Where sharing comes naturally and harmony breeds in the red clay. This is the world of Duggie Moon, affable slacker entrepreneur, former Latin scholar, and music lover. Duggie gets along with most people, but every now and then even a peaceable stoner like Douglas C. Moon finds himself in a tight spot, because not everyone on the planet is pure of heart.

Moon's Blues cover
Moon’s Blues
Second Edition

Silver Beech Press
ISBN: 978-0692539866
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It stands to reason that you don’t need to have the blues to play them. I mean, I’m sure B.B. King had his share of suffering, but really, once you’ve salted away the odd million or two, the blues must necessarily be at least mitigated, wouldn’t you think?
   These were the sort of thoughts drifting through my mind as I practiced holding down the strings of a G chord on my new guitar...

After discovering that playing guitar isn’t as easy as it looks, Duggie Moon, Rapidan County’s most affable aging flower child, abandons his fledgling music career and decides to try his hand at managing a rock band instead. How hard could it be?

But when a talented local group takes him on, Duggie soon learns to his dismay that the six members of Identity Crisis are one frayed nerve away from implosion, and he’ll be lucky if he can hold the band together long enough to play at the big Halloween concert he’s promoting with borrowed funds. Lots of borrowed funds.

As the concert nears, pressure mounts, storm clouds gather, and egos clash like cymbals under the October moon, even a stoned-out optimist like Duggie knows someone could get hurt. He can only hope it will be the drummer. That guy’s been asking for it.

Potluck cover
Second Edition
Silver Beech Press
ISBN: 978-0615953687
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“Not bad… Better than I could do!”
P.R., Washington, DC

In the small town of Dudleigh, Virginia, what passes for social life reaches its apex each year at the Fourth of July softball tournament. In the sultry summer air, passions burn, tempers flare and anything can happen in the tall grass.

As captain of a team sponsored by his sister Glory’s Moonlight Café, slacker extraordinaire and former Latin scholar Duggie Moon has his hands full, after his ace pitcher and long-standing unrequited love Jenny Carson is forced to play for a rival team. In addition, a team of ringers from out of town have entered the tournament, and more than mere honor is at stake. His sister’s business and his job depend on the outcome, but Duggie, ever the optimist, is confident he can keep his eye on the ball even as it curves toward chaos.

Ignoring the sage advice of his neighbor, mystery writer Morris Dent, Duggie tries to manage infield intrigues while keeping secret the cash crop of pot he’s growing in a school bus hidden behind his mountain shack. But when the Sheriff comes sniffing around the championship match and Duggie’s got the game on his bat, all his plans could go up in smoke.

The Green Fantasies

Don't believe in magic beans? Sure you do. The distance between a cup of coffee and rocket fuel is but a quantum leap of the imagination. Everything that begins in the dirt ends in the stars. The Green alt-fantasies offer hedgy, mistopean airy tales that fuse the classic tropes of mythic folklore with the surreality of modern life. Where the magic of nature meets the nature of magic, the Green Man nurtures all the growing world. In the Green Man novels these guardians play an active part in the modern world to support gardeners and protect the environment. And, as is only natural with creatures gifted with extraordinary charm and power, love also sometimes blooms. In my new series, The Greening, the fate of the natural world is in peril, and its survival rests in the hands of a small band of unlikely allies, one of whom is an elf.

Alice and the Green Man cover
Alice and The Green Man, Restored Second Edition
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN: 978-1484989302
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“Imaginative and charming…love, magic and fascinating characters.”
Four stars
Romantic Times Book Reviews

“A wonderfully quirky read.”
Coffee Time Romance

Restored Edition! Love was the last thing on her mind when newly divorced Alice Owens planted a beautiful garden on the abandoned lot next to her house. But when a developer attempts to pave over her paradise, Alice meets the love of her life when a mysterious immortal Green Man arrives to help protect the garden.

While Alice’s two teenage sons take opposite sides in the conflict, her ex-husband schemes to put an end to her garden and her new romance in the hope of winning her back. But, when the Green Man casts a magical spell to shield the garden, a firestorm of media attention rages out of control, and Alice must risk losing everything she holds dear to save the one man she can’t keep.

In the modern climate of environmental awareness, Alice and The Green Man is a fairytale for the green at heart.

The Goddess cover
The Goddess of Green Lake
Second Edition
Silver Beech Press
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN: 0998191507
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It's the old story: Boy meets girl. Girl meets otter. Boy meets otter. Girl thinks she might be a mermaid. Confusion reigns.

When a brooding guitar player and a passionate environmentalist join forces to liberate an orphaned baby otter from a public aquarium they stir up big trouble.

It will take more than a few heartfelt protest songs to restore the peace, but while Eel McGregor seeks to win the heart of his mysterious dream girl, he discovers unimagined power of his own. There's magic in the water.

The Greening cover
The Greening: At The Root
Silver Beech Press
Paperback: 310 pages
ISBN: 978-0615842257
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In the vast shadowy reaches of the Pacific Northwest forest Shiloh Carter's father has vanished.

When official search efforts fail, Shiloh leaves everything behind to find her father. But after she infiltrates the eco-terrorist group that kidnapped him, she discovers that their power is rooted in another world where ancient magic still thrives, just around the cosmic corner from Earth.

To rescue her father, Shiloh is forced to develop power of her own, and fast, because when dangerous magic gets loose on Earth she learns that the kidnappers were only pawns in a much larger game.

As the Earth staggers toward chaos, Shiloh fights to save her father and stop the spread of toxic magic tangled At The Root.

The Greening cover
The Greening: In The Wave
Silver Beech Press
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN: 978-0692275634
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In this sequel to At The Root, Shiloh Carter's twelve-year-old daughter Eva thinks her mother is just an ordinary over-worked single mom, until the day she learns a long hidden secret about the father she never knew.

Furious at being kept in the dark by her mother, Eva runs away to find the truth and stumbles into a hidden world where magic thrives. When Eva learns that she has magic in her genes, she goes off the deep end, careless of the consequences.

But when she gets herself grounded by Higher Powers, she meets a mysterious orphaned child and discovers a different sort of magic in the music of a lonely guitar player.

The Greening cover
The Greening: On The Wing
Silver Beech Press
Paperback: 227 pages
ISBN: 978-0692463932
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In the final volume of the trilogy, Eva Carter, who ran away from home as a teenager to find the father she never knew, finally learns the truth about Shiloh Carter's "day job" when she returns to help her mother in the struggle to repair damage caused by destructive magic sown in the Greening. In the process, Eva reconnects with her emotionally wounded father, her haunted grandfather, and a winsome sprite with otherworldly Green connections. But when Destiny comes calling, Eva and Shiloh join forces with a ragtag crew of not quite superheroes as they head into the final battle. Sooner or later one of them will have to pay the ultimate price to save the world from fiery Armageddon.