About Mae Clair

Writing tales of myth, mystery, and contemporary romantic suspense

Mae Clair Presents: The Griffin’s Secret by Cate Masters, Cover Reveal

I’ve got another great cover reveal for you today. Most of you know I have a slight *ahem* passion for mythology, and folklore. Urban legends and fairy tales are no exception, so it goes without saying I’m jazzed to participate in this cover reveal for my Lyrical Press sister, Cate Masters. Behold, THE GRIFFIN’S SECRET!

~ooOOoo!

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In this contemporary re-telling of Grimm’s classic fairy tale The Griffin, two people must risk everything to free themselves from the invisible prisons that keep them from love… 

Jackson Grant had it all—the girl he loved, his Harley, and his guitar. Until a tragic accident stole it all away. Now, more than scars and a tattoo remain. Jackson has a secret. Cursed by his dead girlfriend’s mother, he can never fall in love again or his beloved will die. With his heart on lockdown, he keeps to himself—until a roadie gig with Malcontent, the world’s most popular band, entwines his fate with sweet, wounded Layla’s…

Music is what Layla lives for. She has no choice. She’s bound by magic to serve Malcontent, cursed to propel them to stardom with her musical powers. Then Jackson appears and gives her hope that he’s the hero who will save her. A reluctant hero, yet one she can’t resist. But freedom will come at price—and who will pay…?

Excerpt
The faint scent of an exotic flower on an ocean breeze hit him the second the girl walked in. Every part of his body stood at attention, taking in the way she moved. The curve of her slender hips. Those long legs…they’d wrap around the back seat of his Harley perfectly. Wrap around him perfectly, too.

A flip of her onyx-silk hair sent it behind her shoulder as she sat opposite. “Who are you?”

Good question. He’d been seeking the same answer for too long. “Jackson Grant.”

Her eyes darkened, deep brown to charcoal diamonds. “Why are you here?”

“For the roadie job.” Was she the first gatekeeper? A gate she kept locked, he’d bet. Or maybe she was another test. Kev had warned him there’d be tricky questions and to answer straight. Something told him she asked out of curiosity.

“You think you’re up for such a demanding job?”

Again, the impression hit him she was making these questions up as she went along, ad-libbing off his replies.

He’d play. “I’m strong. Dependable. I follow orders, keep my head down, and stay out of trouble.” And he liked his privacy.

Her features smoothed, hard as porcelain. “Do you.” Not a question.

He’d answer anyway. “Yes.”

Did disappointment curl her lip? Or boredom? Why did he care? If he could, he’d blast out of there before his own curiosity got the better of him. Already, she’d gotten under his skin. Crazy how the tat no longer singed him, but now twisted like a trapped animal.

With a plastic smile, she batted her eyes, and the false flirtation didn’t suit her. “So. You’re a yes-man.”

The way she said it, he’d be no different than any other roadie serving the great rock star, Malcolm Fetterman. Fine by Jackson. The less he stood out, the better. Except for her. He hated to think of her glossing over his presence, but that would be better, too.

He drummed his fingers on the table. “I need the job.” Where the hell was Malcolm anyway? The longer he stayed with her, the more he wanted to. Definitely couldn’t afford that kind of trouble. He glanced at the open door, hoping he wouldn’t have to go through the same interrogation again.

She tapped the table. “You’d have to travel constantly.”

“Perfect.” No different than his usual way of life. Except this time, his paycheck would remain steady.

“You wouldn’t miss your family?” She dipped her head. “Your girlfriend?”

He curled his lip this time. No one’s business but his. He shifted in his seat. “They’re better off.”

Her brows knit, and then her expression became unreadable as the Sphinx. “The hours are long, and the equipment’s heavy. Everything has to be exactly as Mal orders.”

Did he imagine it, or had she winced at her own words?

He shrugged. “It’s his show.” Someday, Jackson would have his own roadies. And would treat them much better than Malcolm Fetterman did, if the stories proved true.

Her steely focus cut into him. “Mal doesn’t hire musicians except for those in the band. And there aren’t any openings in Malcontent.”

He didn’t allow himself to blink. “No problem.”

“But you play, don’t you?” Her gaze dropped to his callused fingertips drumming the tabletop.

He drew his hand down. “No.” A necessary lie. She might suspect, but couldn’t possibly know the truth. Almost like leaving one of his limbs behind, he’d locked his Fender in storage in New Jersey with his paltry possessions for six months. By then, he’d know whether this gig worked out.  

The Griffin’s Secret
Reimagined fairy tale/fantasy romance novella
ISBN: 9781616507053
Publish Date: 5/12/2015
About 33,000 words

Amazon  | Barnes and Noble  | Kensington  

About the Author
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Connect with Cate at the following haunts:
Website 

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com 
Facebook 
Twitter@CateMasters  

Mae Clair Presents: The Best I Never Had by Loni Flowers, Cover Reveal

My friend, Loni Flowers, is launching an intriguing new contemporary romance series. Today, I have the pleasure of splashing the cover for THE BEST I NEVER HAD,
book #1 in the DeVine Winery series on my blog. Just take a look:

THE BEST I NEVER HAD (DeVine Winery #1)
Contemporary Romance
Releases May 5th 2015
Add to Goodreads here

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Isn’t it gorgeous? If that isn’t enough to make you mark your calendar for May 5th, check out the blurb:

BLURB:
New job, new town, new people— new life.

That’s what Olivia Langston needed. At twenty eight, she was given a rare opportunity at an internship in the rolling valleys of Crystal Falls in California wine country, far away from her small town roots in North Carolina. It was an unexpected journey she desperately needed after her ex-husband crushed her.

At DeVine Winery, she expected a fresh start in a new environment to help let go of her past. Instead, she found Daniel Black and a hell of a lot of sexual tension she wasn’t prepared for. He was gorgeous, modestly wealthy, irresistible, and just happened to be part owner of DeVine, one of the largest vineyards in the country.

If only she knew that before she kissed him her first night in town.

~ooOOoo~

While you’re waiting for this awesome new novel to release, don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list, and be sure to connect with Loni at the following haunts:

Facebook
Twitter:  @loniflowers
Website

What Makes a Name Special? by Mae Clair

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

 

 

 

 

 

It’s another blog touring day for me as I hop over to Romance Novel Giveaways to share a post about character and place names. I don’t know about you, but naming characters is my favorite part of starting a new novel. I get seriously jazzed by the prospect! :)

Many times during blog tours, authors are asked to answer interview questions. I enjoy doing that, but I like it even better when I’m able to share a guest post. This one was a lot of fun to write.

Hop over to discover why I chose the names I did and what prompted the inspiration for each. As before, you’ll have another chance to enter my giveaway for a $20 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice). And, of course, I’d be happy to have you say hello as my ECLIPSE LAKE blog tour continues. :)

And I’m also at Just Romantic Suspense today. This is one I follow on a regular basis, a fabulous blog that showcases new releases in the mystery and suspense genre. If you haven’t checked it out before, you might want to give it a look-see and drop me a hello, while I’m hanging out there. Happy Wednesday!

Mythical Monday: The Valley of Headless Men by Mae Clair

The Nahanni Valley is tucked in the MacKenzie Mountain region in Northwestern Canada, a beautiful place by all accounts, but steeped in in the dusty annals of folklore and myth. First settled nine to ten thousand years ago, the area has since been dubbed “the Valley of Headless Men” due to a series of unexplained beheadings.

Looking up from the ground at spooky trees in a twilight forestAccording to legend, most native tribes avoided the region, believing it to be haunted. Rumors spread of ghosts and devils, of strange creatures that lurked in the forests. The Naha people, an inherently violent tribe, settled there regardless. During frequent raids outside of the valley, they were known to claim the heads of their victims. Their blood-soaked legacy came to abrupt end when the entire tribe inexplicably disappeared. No trace was ever discovered what became of them.

Fast forward to the 18th Century. Prospectors and miners descended on the region, lured by rumors of gold. In 1908, like many before them, brothers Frank and Willie McLeod arrived to seek their fortune. The pair gathered their gear and headed into the wilderness, but never returned. A year later their bodies were found along a riverbank, minus the heads.

Another prospector, Martin Jorgeson, burned to death in his cabin in 1917. When his skeleton was found among the charred remains, his head was missing. In 1945, a miner from Ontario was discovered dead in his sleeping bag. Like the others, he had been decapitated. In all cases, the missing heads were never found.

Had the ghosts of Naha warriors returned to inflict retribution on those who ventured into their domain? Whoever—or whatever—the culprit, the legends of beheadings left a permanent mark on the valley. Macabre place names are common. Headless Creek, Funeral Range, Deadman Valley and Headless Range, all speak of the grisly tales from which they sprang.

But unexplained beheadings aren’t the only unsolved occurrences to plague Nahanni. Many people have simply vanished without a trace. Others fortunate enough to return speak of an unseen presence, constantly watching. Rumors of mysterious lights, Bigfoot sightings, and UFOs are common. Some whisper the Nahanni Valley is a thin spot—a rare location where dimensions are easily breached by crossing through a fragile veil. Others believe the region may harbor a secret entrance to the Hollow Earth.

Riddled with hot springs, caves and gorges, this rugged terrain is frequently shrouded in mist. Perhaps a warning to stay away. Despite the gorgeous scenery, the “Valley of Headless Men” certainly isn’t a name to encourage tourism.

Hmm…would you venture there and risk the wrath of the Naha warriors?

Mae Clair Presents: Blood Stitches by Erin Fanning #CoverReveal

I love cover reveals, so I’m happy to participate in this one for my Lyrical Press sister, Erin Fanning. Talk about a stunning cover! And I think you’ll find the blurb and excerpt just as intriguing, too. Read on!

Blood Stitches
By Erin Fanning
Coming May 12, 2015 from Lyrical Press

BloodStitchesCover

Love and danger intertwine…

Blurb:
It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.

Excerpt:
A gust of wind scattered leaves across the University of Seattle campus. My hair tangled over my face. New contacts tortured my eyes, and books weighed down my backpack. It didn’t matter. A tornado could have snatched me up. As long as it carried me home and put an end to the anniversary of the worst day of my life.

“Watch out, Gabby.” My best friend Frank thrust his hands deep into the pockets of his pinstriped suit. “We’re being followed by a giant candy corn.”

“Giant candy corn? Yeah, right.” If I turned around, Frank would laugh and say, “Gotcha”, or some other dorky thing. The mind-numbing boredom of Calculus I, our last class of the day, always set Frank off, making him zanier than usual.

“I mean it. We’ve got a candy corn on our tail.” Frank whistled a Lester Ruben song as he sauntered ahead.

“Okay, okay. Let me see this Halloween wonder.” If I didn’t give in, Frank would never leave me alone. I whirled, ready to hear Frank’s laugh, and almost ran into a man. His face glowed orange, like someone who’d spent too much time in a tanning booth, and he wore a white cap pulled down to his ears. A yellow scarf hid his neck and chin. For once, Frank wasn’t kidding. The man resembled a giant candy corn.

Shredded paper and a postage stamp poked out of his scarf, and a moon decorated an edge of the knitting, like one of my older sister Esperanza’s creations. It didn’t seem possible, but no one else I knew added garbage and a signature moon to their knitting. A wool coat covered the rest of him, except his face and steel-tipped boots.

“Sorry.” I jumped back.

Frank’s chuckles mixed with squirrels chattering in a nearby tree. Drizzle moistened my forehead, and a cold dampness seeped into my bones. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, like watching Esperanza unravel her knitting one stitch at a time to fix a mistake.

About the author:
Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of Mountain Biking Michigan, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.

Connect with Erin Fanning at the following haunts:
Website 

Amazon 
Goodreads 
Lyrical  

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ECLIPSE LAKE by Mae Clair, Blog Tour Continues

Tour banner for Eclipse Lake, a novel by Mae Clair, depicts a serene lake settingI’m winding down to my last two blog stops for ECLIPSE LAKE in February. I have to say I’m glad to see this month end. Not because of hopping around the blogosphere, which I always enjoy, but because of the horridly cold temps in my neck of the woods. I live in the northeastern U.S. which has been hit with ongoing blasts of arctic air.

As someone dubbed a “tropical fish” by my husband, I don’t do well in cold weather. I’m hoping March will usher in something a shade warmer…like in the 20’s at least! :)

Anyway, grab something warm to drink and pop around to visit my two latest blog stops if you get the chance. Today, I’ll be at Jane Reads and LibriAmoriMiei. Hope to see you there…and don’t forget to enter my Giveaway for a $20.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice). The tour will continue  with more stops through March 25th!

Mythical Monday: The Pukwudgie, by Mae Clair

Before I lope off into Mythical Monday land, I wanted to mention that Dane Carlisle and Ellie Sullivan of my romantic mystery, ECLIPSE LAKE, are doing a character interview today at Jennifer Lowery’s blog. If you’d like to stop by and say hello, you can check the interview out here.

Now, about the strange creature in the title…

Interesting name, Pukwudgie. For some reason it makes me think of gremlins, or gnarled forest imps. Actually, those descriptions aren’t too far off base.

The Pukwudgie can be found in the folklore and myths of the Wampanoag people, Native Americans who occupied southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island beginning in the 17th Century. Legends describe the Pukwudgie as human in appearance but with a large nose, fingers and ears. They stand about two to three feet high, and have bodies covered in thick hair. Their skin is ashen or bluish-gray, and they favor natural materials which lend to camouflage for clothing—items like grasses, moss, tree bark, and reeds.

Despite its diminutive size, the Pukwudgie is a powerful being able to conjure the forces of magic. It can vanish at will, summon fire, and shoot flashes of light from its body. It also has the ability to shapeshift, its most common form that of a porcupine which walks upright. It delights in mischief and will often snatch children from unsuspecting parents. It also favors arrows tipped with poison that quickly cause a victim to sicken and die. Worse, those who perish at its hands remain trapped in its control for eternity.

3d Digitally rendered illustration of a Will O' the Wisp carrying a lantern through a misty swamp with dead treesThe Wampanoag call these departed spirits “Tei-Pai-Wankas.” Spheres of light, they are similar to the will-o-wisp and are used by the Pukwudgie to lure unsuspecting humans to their deaths. Those who follow a Tei-Pai-Wanka are mesmerized by its glowing form, unable to turn away. Easily enticed into swamps riddled with quicksand or compelled to walk off sheer cliffs, they suffer a grisly fate. If all else fails, a Pukwudgie is also able to inflict harm on a person simply by staring at them.

So how do you protect yourself against these nasty troll-like beings? (Supposedly, there are still Pukwudgie sightings today).

The best defense is to ignore creature and pray it won’t trouble you further. If that doesn’t work, you can recite the Lord’s Prayer, spread salt, or arm yourself with iron. Much like European Faeries, the Pukwudgie is repelled by all three defenses. You’re most likely to encounter one in New England or the Great Lakes Region, so be wary when travelling.

And at the very least, you might want to think twice before following any spheres of glowing light!  ;-)