About Mae Clair

Writing tales of myth, mystery, and contemporary romantic suspense

Book Tour: ECLIPSE LAKE by Mae Clair #mystery #romance

After two months of visiting a number of fantastic hosts throughout the blogosphere, my book tour for ECLIPSE LAKE draws to a close today. I hope you’ll join me for my last stop at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews. I’m sharing the top three items that influenced me to tell Dane and Ellie’s story.

Many thanks to the great folks at Goddess Fish Promotions who put together such a fantastic tour. An extra special shout-out to all the wonderful hosts who’ve showcased ECLIPSE LAKE on their blogs. It’s been an adventure.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $20.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice). There’s still time to toss your name into the ring today at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews.  See you there! :)

Tour banner for Eclipse Lake, a novel by Mae Clair, depicts a serene lake setting

Mythical Monday: Ravens, Rooks and Crows Revisited by Mae Clair

Good day, friends! I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to borrow from a post I ran in 2012 for today’s Mythical Monday. I have a rare day off work and hubby and I are taking a short trip to a neighboring town known for its eclectic shops and microbreweries. My normal writing time this weekend was gobbled up preparing A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS (my Mothman novel) for submission and clicking “send” (more on that in a later post, I hope).

So I’m cheating today and rerunning an old post that not many people saw. I’ve trimmed this down from the original and tweaked a bit. I no longer have the car mentioned toward the end (it didn’t do well in northern winters, so I traded it for an SUV), but I do recall the fun I had on Twitter tweeting about the events in this post. Mostly how my car was used in a murder.

Curious? Read on . . . :)

A crow perched on a tombstone at night in a spooky cemeteryHow do you feel about birds associated with folklore and superstition?

Ravens have a long-standing kinship with mysticism. In addition to being portrayed as a familiar to witches and wizards, they were also known to be extremely divining. Many Native American tribes regarded them as “Keeper of Secrets,” wise ones who safeguarded the teachings of magic.

Raven, a man with the head of a bird, brought light into the world and taught its inhabitants how to care for themselves. On the flip side, the raven was also a Trickster initiating change, not always pleasant. I find it interesting the term “rook” made it into our slang as a reference for being swindled. A rook is an old-world type of crow or raven. In reality, these intelligent birds are clever mimics that have been known to learn human words.

In the Bible, Noah sent a raven from the ark in search of ground, but it flew back and forth, unable to find a place to land in a world deluged with floodwaters. Later, he sent the dove which returned with an olive branch. Ravens were also commanded to feed the prophet Elijah and, in the gospel of Luke, we’re reminded that God feeds the ravens though they don’t sow, reap, or have storerooms or barns.

Would I know the difference between a crow and a raven if I saw them? Probably not. I know that ravens are larger and prefer less populated areas, while crows are more apt to hang around cities and urban spaces. Even cars.

A solitary crow on a post bows its head Case in point:  Two weeks ago while visiting my sister, I walked outside to find six or seven crows camped out on the roof and hood of my Chrysler 300. If I’d had a camera, I would have snapped a picture – large black birds on a solid black car. Turns out there must have been something snagged in the wiper blades. I never did find out what it was, but it had one handsome gent summoning his cronies to investigate. Before I knew it, my car had become the site of a “murder”.

Now I like birds, but not that much. There is something inherently creepy about seeing that many black birds rooted to your car. It’s not natural. By the time I shooed them away, they’d already turned my wiper blades into a gourmet snack.

And, of course, it was raining. That meant I was treated to a firsthand glimpse of the damage on the drive home—my wipers trialing long black strings that looked like ragged feathers. Trickster? Two new wiper blades later, I’d say it’s safe to tack that name onto crows, too.

So, despite having my car become the momentary snack of choice, I haven’t lost my appreciation for these the magical tricksters. How about you?

Mae Clair Presents: Will O’ the Wisp by C. S. Boyack #YA #MagicalRealism

Have I got a treat for you today! Blogging friend, Craig Boyack, has just released a tale guaranteed to appeal to young and old alike. I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of this wonderful novel, which combines elements of magical realism, mystery, and fantasy, as well as a highly appealing coming of age theme. As I don’t post reviews on my blog, you’ll have to check Amazon for my five star review/rating—but I do have to point out several things that stood out for me about this novel:

Title and book cover:
I’m a Will o’ the Wisp fanatic from long ago. That bobbing, weaving sphere of light might not get as much exposure on my blog, as say my favorite cryptid, the Mothman, but I’ll readily devour any novel built around the legend of a “hinkypunk” or “spook light” — especially when the myth is so cleverly woven into the plot.

Setting:
Craig chose to set his novel in 1975, which resonated strongly with me. He fully immersed me in a time I remember well, making it easy to identify with his lead character, Patty Hall. I’m also a sucker for coming of age tales and anything that transports me back to those whimsical days of childhood. Here’s a small snippet from my Amazon review to give you an idea of what I mean:

This is an engaging YA read, but it’s also a treat for adults who will remember the era in which this is set. I loved the glimpse into a small rural town/farming community and the magic and whimsy of friendship. Remember Quisp cereal, your first teen dance, roaming through fields at night, exploring old cemeteries, sharing secrets with your friends? All of that magic and more is here. Patty is an everyday kid you can’t help but cheer for and admire. A delightful read for young and old alike.

And now, I invite you to take a closer look at WILL O’ THE WISP.

Book cover for Will O' the Wisp by C. S. Boyack depicting a ghostly floating light over a stream with trees

BLURB:
There is something evil up Bergamot Holler, and it’s been targeting the Hall family for generations.

Patty Hall is fifteen years old. She loves stargazing, science fiction, and all things related to space exploration. This leaves her perfectly prepared for the wrong problem.

Patty is afraid her mother will send her to a care facility if she tells her what she’s seen. If she doesn’t figure things out soon, she’s going to join her father in the Hall family cemetery plot.

Patty is going to have to come to grips with her own physical handicap, survive the wilderness, and face an ancient evil all alone if she’s going to survive.

Will O’ the Wisp is suitable for young adults. It involves strong elements of suspense, and is set in the mid 1970s.

EXCERPT:
In this scene, Patty and her friend, Laura are watching late night horror movies. There is a killer on the loose in their small town.

We curled up together on the couch and cuddled under Mom’s afghan. Mom turned the light off and went upstairs.

When the first alien eye peeked out of the TV screen, Laura said, “Maybe that’s it. Look, it’s green and it moves around too.”

“I don’t think so. It wasn’t attached to anything.”

“You said you were a long ways off. What if it’s one of those?”

“I would have seen that. Besides, they all get sick and die at the end. That’s not the worst that could happen.”

“Okay,” Laura said, “I don’t want to watch anymore. Besides your alien, there’s still a lunatic on the loose. He could jump through the window any old time.”

“I’ll go get my flashlight. You turn off the TV and I’ll make sure you aren’t in the dark.”

“Why do I have to be the one to stay here?”

“Okay, it’s in my backpack, but make sure you keep it on.”

She went upstairs and came back to the top of the stairs. Once the light was on, I hobbled to the TV and pushed the knob in.

I made three steps toward the staircase.

The light went off.

I screamed.

Laura screamed.

Mom ran out and bumped into Laura. Mom screamed.

Mom made Rick check the whole house with his gun in hand. She chewed us both out for not being more grown up. “I swear, no more Nightmare Theater for you, ever…”

Purchase Links:
WILL O’ THE WISP has two versions. This is due to use-permission on a particular song lyric used in the novel. If you live on the Northern American Continent, purchase your Kindle copy here.

Anywhere else in the world, grab your Kindle copy here.

Author C. S. BoyackConnect with C. S. Boyack at the following haunts:
Blog 

Twitter 
Goodreads 
Find all of Craig’s novels here  

Book Tour: Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair #mystery #romance

Well, friends, my book tour for ECLIPSE LAKE is winding down to a close. Today is my second to last stop. You can find me visiting with Yeah Books, as I answer a few interview questions. Admit it…you’ve always wanted to know what my favorite movie is, and what superpower I’d love to have. :) The answers to those and other riveting questions can be discovered on today’s tour stop, so do hop over and say hello!

Tour banner for Eclipse Lake, a novel by Mae Clair, depicts a serene lake setting

Mythical Monday: Morning Coffee with the Alp by Mae Clair

Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, brimming with the luck of the Irish, pots of gold, and mischievous leprechauns. Given the playfulness of tomorrow’s holiday, I thought I’d focus on a different kind of imp for Mythical Monday—the Alp.

Did you ever have a really bad nightmare? If so, you can probably blame this nasty elf-like creature who has its roots in Germanic folklore. Alps delight in nothing better than filling the sleep of their victims with ghastly dreams. Some people believe Alps to be the spirits of recently deceased relatives, others that stillborn infants return as Alps. The majority of Alps are male, but their female counterparts are given the name “mare”….as in nightmare.

Photographic representation of painting "The Nightmare" by John Henry Fuseli  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photographic representation of painting “The Nightmare” by John Henry Fuseli
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Crafty beings, they are able to gain entry to a house through the tiniest of holes. Locking doors and windows does little to deter them once they have selected a victim for their nighttime visit. To protect yourself, plug any keyholes with rags and seal up cavities in walls.

Once arriving, the Alp makes itself comfortable by squatting on its victim’s chest and exerting “elf pressure,” as it grows heavier and heavier. Eventually, the density of its weight drags the victim awake. The person normally returns to consciousness disoriented, terrified, and out of breath. Many believe elf pressure was an early explanation for sleep apnea. But the Alp has more going for it than a single nighttime propensity.

Among its magical abilities, it is able to turn invisible, fly, and shapeshift into a dog, cat, pig or white butterfly. The source of its power comes from a hat it is never without. Whatever shape or ability the Alp elects to use, the hat is always visible. Should an Alp lose its hat, it will offer a great reward for the item’s return.

Those in the old country knew there were certain methods to protect themselves from the Alp through the use of wards. These include hanging an iron horseshoe from the bedpost, placing a mirror on a chest, or a broomstick under the pillow. Burning a light all night and having a cross handy will also protect against an Alp. And—as bizarre as it sounds—if you wake during the middle of the night with an Alp squatting on your chest, invite it to return in the morning for coffee.

Yes, coffee. Can you imagine that conversation?

“Uh…if you could just see your way clear to stop squatting on my chest, Mr, Alp, I’ve got some nice French roast I’ll brew up in the morning.  How does sevenish sound?”

Provide a polite invitation, and the Alp will immediately dash off and leave you in peace. But you’d better have your Keurig ready in the morning as promised, because the Alp will be back, eager for its caffeine treat.

So the next time you have a bad dream, stock up on fresh coffee. Maybe you can convince your particular Alp to leave you alone over a cup of Vermont Country Blend or Keurig Dark Magic.

I’m curious…what kind of coffee would you offer an Alp?

Mae Clair Presents Guest Blogger Tammy Tate with The Secret Path

Today, I’m turning my blog over to my friend, Tammy Tate, who is celebrating the release of the second novel in her time travel series.  Sit back and enjoy as Tammy explains how the idea of THE SPIRIT PATH came to be, and then shares the blurb and excerpt from book two, THE SECRET PATH. 

Book cover for The Spirit Path by Tammy Tate showing a couple in silhouette with a horse in the foregroundBIRTHING THE SPIRIT PATH
By Tammy Tate 

“Where did you come up with the idea for The Spirit Path?” you ask. That’s easy.

I used to own a palomino horse named “Buck”, a Rottweiler named “Cash”, and I rode almost every day with a dear friend of mine. We spent hours winding through trail after trail of undeveloped terrain. I used to wonder what it would have been like in the 1800s when Native Americans roamed the land. Did they ride their horses down the same trails?

It turned into a passion. After hours researching Native American culture and language, I wrote The Spirit Path for A Journalism/Short Story class I was taking. Of course, it was a much smaller version. But, my instructor loved it and I scored an A+. As time passed, the characters I created refused to go away. They had a lot more to say. Therefore, I expanded on the storyline, hoping others might enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. The response I got went far beyond my expectations.

At first, I self-published it as an eBook. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect over 7000 downloads in the first couple of months! Not to mention, each time I finished one…I received passionate requests for a sequel. I had no choice. Readers wanted more and the characters were still restless. They wanted to live on. It was incredible to see them come to life right before my eyes. It was up to me to get it all down and tell their story.

Now, I have a wonderful publisher, Books To Go Now. The story has evolved into a three part series. Book 1 and 2 are available on Amazon. Book 3 is almost complete and ready to go through the editing process. The hard part will be letting them go.

It has been an amazing journey…

image002Blurb
Time travel is a fantasy. Isn’t it?

Not anymore… Nicole traveled to 1812 and left something behind. Now, she’ll risk everything to return. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. She can’t come and go at will and there’s no guarantee where she’ll end up if she does go back. Nevertheless, her love for Flaming Arrow far outweighs the risks.

Sam is a modern day Shaman who agrees to help. In a twisted leap of fate, Nicole’s best friend Tracy, goes along and they find themselves running for their lives.

Now, Nicole has three goals. Locate her soulmate. Convince Tracy she’s still married, despite the fact her husband hasn’t been born yet. And, get them home alive.

Excerpt
Nicole shook her head to recall the last thing she remembered. When she blacked out, Tracy was beside her. That meant she was inside the perimeter as she began her journey into the past. It explained why they were both in 1812. Poor Tracy. She didn’t have a clue.  

“Tracy, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for you to come with me.” 

Tracy stretched high over her head and yawned, obviously still oblivious to the situation. “Are we in a wagon?” 

“Yes.” Nicole nodded slowly. 

Tracy chuckled then looked confused as her eyes darted around the dimly lit quarters. “When did you get a wagon? I don’t remember—” She stopped in mid-sentence and her mouth gaped open when a gunshot exploded from outside. 

Nicole covered her ears to muffle the sounds that followed. Only faintly hearing hooves pound the ground, women and children scream and men shout in desperation. 

“Is that smoke?” Tracy asked in a high-pitched tone. “Are we on fire?” 

Nicole read her lips and looked to where she pointed. A gray billowy cloud materialized inside the wagon like an apparition and instantly stung her eyes. 

Nicole buried her nose in the sleeve of her dress then pulled back briefly to cough out a command for Tracy to do the same. Right away, she saw blood on her sleeve. 

In an attempt to escape before flames engulfed the canvas overhead, she grabbed Tracy’s arm, pulled her to her feet and drug her to the back of the wagon. They had to go. Now. 

“Wait!” Tracy jerked her arm free in protest. “Where are we? Don’t lie. By the looks of it, I’m guessing— Are we in 1812?” 

Nicole heard her gasp when she confirmed her suspicions with a quick nod. 

“Are-Are you serious?” Tracy stuttered. “I don’t want to be in 1812! Okay Niki, you made your point. I believe you can travel in time. I’ll never doubt you again. Now, let’s go home.” 

“We have to go all right. We’re under attack.” Nicole mumbled inches from Tracy’s face. “Home isn’t an option right now.” 

About the author
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida but has lived most of her adult life in Texas. Her passion to write began in high school. It follows her everywhere she goes…creating a world where anything is possible. She’s been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years. Her secret to a long marriage? It’s easy when you marry your best friend. In her world, Friday night is still date night.

Before she became a full-time author, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher). She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised three wonderful children. When she’s not breathing life into her characters or jotting down ideas for a new book, she and her husband are exploring country roads on their Honda Gold Wing.

Since she believes reading is the next best thing to writing, she enjoys romance, fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. In December of 2013, she signed her first book contract with a traditional publisher. Her books have made Amazon’s Best Seller list.

Above all, she loves to hear from you…

Connect with Tammy at the following haunts:
Email: authortammytate@aol.com 

Facebook Fan Page 
Twitter 
Blog

Purchase THE SECRET PATH Book Two from Amazon
Purchase THE SPIRIT PATH Book One from Amazon 

Eclipse Lake Book Tour Continues with Mae Clair

It’s Wednesday and it’s March, so that means another blog stop on my ECLIPSE LAKE blog tour. Today, I’m visiting Booklover Sue who devised a series of interview questions for me to answer. If you get a chance while you’re roaming around the blogopshere, drop over and say hello. I’d love to have you visit! :)

Tour banner for Eclipse Lake, a novel by Mae Clair, depicts a serene lake setting