Mae Clair’s SSS: Weathering Rock

Six Sentence Sunday 9-30-12

It’s Six Sentence Sunday! This is an extra special SSS for me as it’s the first since WEATHERING ROCK was released on Thursday. I’m still wrapping my head around the lovely little gem of being an author. So, for this SSS I thought I’d go back to the beginning and share the first six sentences of the book:

~ooOOoo~

The June moon rode a ragged ridge of bone-white clouds, filmy and pale as the translucent skin of an onion. Honeysuckle mingled with the aroma of sweet clover and drifted through the open window of Arianna Hart’s Chrysler Sebring. It was a pleasant night, touched by fog and ripe with all the scents and sounds that heralded summer’s arrival. In the distance, the rooftops of Weathering Rock jutted above the trees, silvered with the ice-white blood of the moon.

The old manor home predated the Civil War and had been a landmark for the town of Sagehill as far back as she could remember. Ball lightning and freak storms were said to roll through the surrounding fields like a tempest of Earth and sky, giving rise to superstition and legend.

~ooOOoo~

And we know where those superstitions and legends will lead, right? :D

If you enjoyed this brief snippet, I invite you to discover more of WEATHERING ROCK at:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
Lyrical Press 
iBooks

Shares and thumbs-up “Likes” are also mucho appreciated. :D You guys are great and I appreciate all the comments, encouragement, and support you’ve given since I started this author venture and blog back in February.

In closing, be sure to check out the other wonderful author reads up for devouring this Sunday at the SSS site. What better way to close out September?

Mae Clair: Weathering Rock Release! #romance #paranormal #timetravel

I had a different post planned for today, but have bumped it into next week because – – NEWFLASH – – WEATHERING ROCK is available for purchase EARLY!

I was excited to discover it on Amazon yesterday evening, but didn’t get a chance to really check it out. I had a quick glimpse before heading out to dinner with a few friends. When I got home, I looked at it more closely and realized the book was available for purchase. Even as I type this, that hasn’t completely registered. Please understand writing is something I’ve been doing since grade school. To reach a point where my work is available to a broad audience is mind-boggling.

Staggering. A candy-coated dream. Pitter-pattering heartbeats and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You see . . . I’m now officially an author! :D

And what does an author do? Er, aside from bouncing off the walls, caught in a vortex between delirium and panic? Well, I set up an author page on Amazon and promptly added the buy links to my blog and website.

First official steps as an author, completed. Check. Dang that felt good!

So, naturally I’d love to have you consider purchasing WEATHERING ROCK. And, of course, I’d love a thumbs up “like” on the book page and my author page if you’d be inclined. It feels weird to be doing this now since the official release date was always slated for 10/8/12, but surprises definitely have appeal.

And so it is with fanfare, confetti and starry-eyed dreams come true that I share the following links:

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Lyrical Press
iBooks

Oh happy day!

Mae Clair: What is the Twelfth Sun?

The Twelfth Sun is a fictional nineteenth century schooner and the name of my latest novel. I just signed a contract with my publisher, Lyrical Press, last week for an anticipated release of August 2013. I’ll be diving into pre-edits any day now. It feels good to be starting the publication process all over again before WEATHERING ROCK is released on October 8th. This time, I know the ropes and have a better idea of what to expect.

So I thought I’d share a glimpse of TWELFTH SUN, because I’m sure to be blabbering about it in the weeks and months ahead.

Although there aren’t any paranormal elements in this one (shocking, I know), it is brimming with mystery. A contemporary romantic suspense story, it involves the hunt for a valuable journal belonging to a shipboard representative who was a passenger on the Twelfth Sun when she sank in 1836. Several antiquities collectors are vying for possession of the journal including my heroine’s housebound uncle, Gavin.

Reagan Cassidy agrees to purchase it from reclusive billionaire Eric Southern on her uncle’s behalf but, because she knows nothing about marine artifacts, Gavin asks her to coordinate with his friend, Dr. Elijah Cross.  Reagan agrees, expecting the marine archeologist to be old and stodgy.  Instead, she gets a twenty-five year old genius with a Ph.D., quirky personality, and drop-dead gorgeous looks that make her forget she’s a respectable thirty-five her old business owner.

Their initial encounter is a disaster and, when they arrive at Sothern’s seaside mansion, they find themselves in competition with several other collectors for the journal.

Circumstances go from bad to worse when Sothern announces a competition ‘treasure hunt’ to decide who will ultimately walk away with the journal. As a result, Reagan is forced into working with Elijah in solving a series of riddles that begin to form a mysterious pattern. Complicating matters, her brilliant hunky partner is as gifted in seduction as he is behind the lectern, and her resistance only goes so far.

Intrigued? Dang, I hope so!

This was a fun story to write, especially coming up with the riddles. I know Six Sentence Sunday is vanishing from the radar at the end of January, but I’ll be sharing snippets of TWELFTH SUN one way or another.  And, ooooh, I do love nautical superstition and folklore, so expect some Mythical Monday posts in that vein.

From werewolves and time travel, to shipwrecks and mystery, works for me. I hope it does for you too! :D

Mae Clair’s Mythical Monday: Ship Spirits

In the days of yore when master craftsmen turned their hands to the construction of ships, they not only built vessels that effortlessly rode an undulating sea, but imbued their creation with a life of its own. At one time, sailing ships were the most complicated crafts to grace the ocean. Constructed from natural elements like wood and canvas, these sleek creations were as untamed as the raw components used to give them life.

Legend tells us that when a sailing ship caught the wind for the first time, her spirit was released. Depending on mood, she might be frivolous, sulky, fearless or mercurial. Her temperament was often influenced by the disposition of her creator.

From the first primitive rafts made of wood, to the mighty clipper ships of the 19th century and the steel giants of today, every craft is imbued with a life essence. Some are angry by nature, others protective and serene.  There are masculine spirits, fierce phantoms that inhabit behemoth destroyers. Others are immature and child-like, enjoying the frivolity inherent in something as tiny as a skiff or as carefree as a windjammer.

The romantic in me has always imagined the winsome spirit of a ship as a lovely, ethereal woman who falls in love with the captain. One is human, one is not. Star-crossed lovers. That’s so my kind of tale.

Of course I’ve played around with it. so for today’s Mythical Monday, I offer a snippet from yet another WIP involving the spirit of a sailing ship and her captain. They’ve been together before, made love, then separated. During a savage nor’easter, my captain, Nathaniel Clay, is tossed overboard and blacks out. When he regains consciousness, he’s on land, storm and sea a distant memory as if he’d dreamed both.

~ooOOoo~

Nathaniel watched the lazy glint of sunlight reflect off the bay, the surrounding shoreline a blend of marsh and sand. Sea oats, pondweed and slivers of eelgrass bent gracefully in a light easterly breeze. The air smelled of marsh and brine, nutrient rich with loam and sand. It wasn’t unpleasant as much as pungent, a reminder of the vast sea he loved dearly. The breeze on his face was warm, scented with the tang of saltwater.

I’m dreaming, I must be.

But it was a pleasant dream, full of sunlight and water.

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

He turned at the sound of the woman’s voice. She looked exactly as he remembered, that excessively pale hair almost silver-white, her eyes the electric blue of sun-kissed water. He held out his hand, uncaring how she came to be there, only that she was.  Her fingers twined with his, and she stepped nearer, close enough that he could smell the exotic mix of sea and wind in her hair.

He knew her as the spirit of his clipper, Maiden of the Dawn. 

“Why did you leave?”

“I couldn’t stay.” She slid her hands onto his shoulders, one finger lightly skimming the edge of his collar. “I want to help you, Nathaniel, but I’m limited in what I can do. The sea has laid claim to you.”

He shook his head, not sure he followed. “Am I dreaming?”

“Of a sort.”  She smiled, sapphire and moonstone dancing in her eyes. “But it’s a pleasant dream, is it not?”

He gripped her waist. “Aye.” He’d forgotten how slender she was, how perfectly her body fit when melded to his. She leaned into him, and he ducked his head, pressing his mouth to hers. She tasted of sunlight, cool ocean and wind-streaked skies, impossible things that made his head spin. He fisted a hand in her hair, holding her in place, deepening the kiss until he left them both breathless. When he drew back, he saw her eyes had changed again, smoky and dark like the North Sea at dawn.Trembling, she rested her head on his shoulder.

“Do you think it’s possible to love someone so strongly in such a short time?” she whispered.

He kissed her brow. “Anything is possible.”

She was wearing some kind of slinky sundress held together by two delicate straps and a few buttons. He could have it puddled at her feet in seconds. He wanted to feel her beneath him, her passion twining with his to join bodies and hearts together. He traced his fingertips over her lips, watching the bow of her mouth quiver beneath his touch.  His smile was fast and blinding.“You’ve bewitched me.”

Her eyes dipped, her mood abruptly solemn. “That’s not permitted.” She shook her head, and her hair tumbled over her shoulders, veiling her face. “I’m not real, Nathaniel. I’m a spirit.”

“Don’t talk like that.” But even as he made the protest, something inexplicable twinged deep in his gut. He could touch her, hold her in his arms and kiss her. He’d made love to her, emptied himself inside of her, then held her as they’d slept nestled together.

And he’d fallen in love with her.

He took her hand and led closer to the water where the bay was hemmed by beds of sun-warmed grass and soft sand. The breeze frolicked around them, bending spindly stalks of sea oats to the shoreline and kindling threads of white on the water.  Nathaniel drew her down on the grass and wrapped her in his arms.

It wasn’t real, it was a dream. But he no longer cared who or what she was, only that they were together.

She gazed up at him, her arms wrapped around his neck, her hair a wild white veil on the bottle-green grass. “Do you know who I am, Nathaniel?”

He kissed her cheek, her brow. “The woman I’ve fallen in love with.” Raised above her, he bent and brushed his lips against hers. It took only a second for her to respond, a second more for her to grow yielding and eager in his arms.

Somewhere overhead he heard the piercing cry of a gull. And then he heard nothing . . . only the beat of his heart joined with hers in perfect harmony.

The way it had always been.

~ooOOoo~

Okay, so if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a romantic sap. And I’m of the opinion sailing vessels and romance belong together. What better combination than a sexy captain and a supernatural spirit of uncommon grace?

I spent a good twenty years of my life on boats, from creeks and rivers to bays and a bit on the ocean. I composed numerous stories watching the setting sun bleed over marshland and coves, or turn a river to lavender milk. My husband and I no longer have a boat, but I have many memories and amazing tales of the years we let the spirits of those small crafts lead us into adventure. Trust me, there were plenty.

Wishing you a happy – and spirited – Mythical Monday. :)

Mae Clair: I’m MIA

It’s Six Sentence Sunday and I’m off gallivanting at the beach for the day, but I have some exciting news to share: I just signed a contract with my publisher, Lyrical Press for my latest novel, TWELFTH SUN.

SQUEEE! I’ll definitely be doing a blog post about it next week, LOL!.

And I will be back in the SSS swing of things next Sunday. In the meantime, may I suggest these writers who always do a fantastic job in making me eager to check their Six snippets each week:

Angela Quarles
Carrie Crain
Christine Warner
Donna Cummings
JM Stewart
Karen Michelle Nutt
Kate Meader
Kate Warren
L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
M. L. Falconer
Maryellen Brady
Susan Koenig
Stephanie Ingram
Veronica Scott

Enjoy all the great reads!

I invite you back tomorrow for a Mythical Monday post. Keeping in the spirit of the beach, it’s flavored with a distinctive hint of salt-water. :-)

Mae Clair: What does Autumn Taste Like?

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts but, in the spirit of autumn’s arrival, I thought I’d engage in a short creativity exercise and invite you to do the same.

Want to give it a try?  All you have to do is match the sense (sight, taste, smell, touch, sound) to the season, connecting a concrete impression with the abstract. Sound confusing? Nah! ‘Tis simple. Check it out:

What does autumn look like?
Fat orange pumpkins and floppy scarecrows reclining on front porches

What does autumn taste like?
Apple cider

What does autumn smell like?
Wood-smoke rising from a hearth

What does autumn feel like?
The touch of frost on a brisk morning

What does autumn sound like?
Dried leaves crunching underfoot

How about it? What are your impressions of this vibrantly colorful season?

Even if you only try one or two, take a moment to engage your senses and your creative muse. I’d love to read what you come up with!

Mae Clair: The Lovely Blogger Award

The wonderfully prolific Kitt Crescendo recently nominated me for the One Lovely Blogger award. If you’re not familiar with Kitt’s blog theinnerwildkat you need to hop over and start reading pronto. She’s brilliantly creative and always delivers a thought-provoking post. Thanks for the nomination, Kitt!

So how does this particular award work? Well, to start I’m supposed to share seven random tidbits about moi. Yes I realize the anticipation is tantamount to a lunar shuttle launch, but try to restrain yourself while I collect my thoughts. ;-)

Ready?  Here goes:

  1. I’ve always been a romantically idealistic dreamer. You never expected that, right? In high school I was known as “the Starchild.”
  2. I am addicted to most anything related to Sherlock Holmes, especially the BBC series SHERLOCK, and Robert Downey Jr.’s brilliant portrayal of my favorite detective. I’m currently suffering from Benedict Cumberbatch withdrawal.
  3. I love disaster movies and plague movies. They’re a guilty pleasure. The strange part is I tend to think they fall flat once the disaster happens. I love the spine-tingling string of circumstances and discoveries that lead to the ‘event,’ but not so much the aftermath.
  4. I was collecting anime and manga before most people knew what it was, and have a pristine collection.  Hmmm…must throw some of that stuff on eBay.
  5. I am in love with Aloysius Pendergast. My world will come to a screeching grinding halt on December 11, 2012, when Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child release the next book in their series. Time must/will stand still until I can devour it. 
  6. I love warm windy days and stormy skies, especially together.
  7. As a teen, I volunteered for the Red Cross and held multiple medical certifications.

Now for the Rules of Participation:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
    Thanks, again, Kitt!
  2. List seven random things about yourself.
    Done! Riveting facts above.
  3. Nominate fifteen other awesome bloggers.
    Wow, fifteen is a lot, but here are my nominees for those of who’d like to participate: 

Alicia Coleman
Angela Quarles
Calisa Rhose
Christine Warner
Donna Cummings
Jessi Gage
JM Stewart
Karen Michelle Nutt
Kate Meader
Kate Warren
Maryellen Brady
Renita Pizzitola
Stanalei Fletcher
Susan Koenig
Veronica Scott

Okay, ladies ~ spill the beans on your blogs. What would you like to share about yourself? :D