Fridays and Good Friday Memories by Mae Clair

What do you love best about Fridays? For me it’s the adrenalin rush of knowing the week is coming to a close, that the weekend is right around the corner. Friday is the equivalent of the day before you leave on a vacation. A perpetual high.

Good Friday is a bit different, somber. When my mother was living, we often attended services together for Stations of the Cross. It’s one of my wonderful memories of her, just the two of us together on Good Friday afternoons.

To kick off this particular Friday, I’m visiting with Sarah Ballance on her blog. Naturally, I’m talking about creatures and cryptozoology in honor of my novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND.  If you’re out wandering around the blogosphere and have a moment to spare, drop over and say hello.

Whatever your plans may be on this Good Friday—whether a moment to attend church and share in the stations of the cross, or simply to rejoice over the coming weekend and the Easter Holiday—I hope your Friday is all that you desire it to be!

Author Mae Clair with her mother

Me and my mom, several years ago during a beach vacation.

I’m Back in Business with Kensington Books by Mae Clair

It’s been a long wait, but I’m pleased to announce that both of my books, previously released through Lyrical Press are now available through Kensington Publishing. YAY! I’ve really floundered not having them on the market the last two months, but everything (or most everything) has now fallen into place.

As a refresher, Lyrical Press was purchased by Kensington Publishing as a digital ebook imprint in early 2014. As a result my titles with Lyrical had to be pulled from retailers temporarily until new contracts were signed with Kensington.

I am now officially a Kensington Publishing author and TWELFTH SUN and WEATHERING ROCK are once again online at retailers. Both are available at Amazon and Kobo, with TWELFTH SUN available at Barnes and Noble as well. WEATHERING ROCK should be available on B&N within two weeks. In the meantime, I’m anxious to spread the news!

twelfthsuncoverThe hunky young PhD knows all about seduction, but what does he know about love?

Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…

Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.

Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.

WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.

TWELFTH SUN IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FROM:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Coming to iTunes

~ooOOoo~

WR Kensington CoverDrawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.  

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

 Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Weathering Rock is Available for Purchase from the following:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kobo
Coming to iTunes

~ooOOoo~

Both of these titles will also be available in POD format within 30-60 days. And now that I’m “Back in Business” again, I’m anxious to publish my short novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND.

I hope you’ll stop back later in the week when I’ll be doing a cover reveal. I’m pretty excited about it as I designed the cover myself. If all goes according to plan, SOLSTICE ISLAND will be releasing through Amazon before the month is out. My first indie title. As a result, you’re bound to hear me screaming about it. :D

Guest Blogger Emma Meade on The Importance of Sky Gazing

Today I’m happy to turn my blog over to friend and author Emma Meade  as she gives us a wonderful guest post about sky gazing (which just happens to be a hobby of mine). It fits perfectly with her latest release, BENEATH MANHATTAN SKIES, a novella I recently reviewed on Amazon with 5-stars. Fun, adventure and supernatural, brewed with a tinge of romance.

Take it away, Emma!

~ooOOoo~

Thanks for having me today, Mae.

The Importance of Sky Gazing

I always enjoy reading Mae’s Mythical Monday posts, so when it came to thinking about writing a guest blog, I wanted to do something along those lines. I scoured several Mythical Monday topics and paused when I came to two in particular. “When the Sky Had a Tail” immediately drew my interest. As an avid X-Files fan, I read Mae’s encounter with a UFO with fascination. I can’t say I’ve ever come across a UFO or alien spaceship myself, but fingers crossed, I’ll catch a glimpse someday.

Beneath Manhattan Skies front cover

I love the cover of this book! Just so gorgeous!!

Next to catch my interest was “Bewitched by Aquarius”. I’ve loved learning about space, stars and planets for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, my father’s interest in such things rubbed off on me. One of my most read books was a children’s booklet on space. I remember collecting all the tokens from cereal boxes and sending away for it. Like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, the fact that Pluto is no longer classified as a planet makes me sad and a little miffed. My older sister, Lucy, and I watched the movie SpaceCamp almost every weekend when we were kids. The opening scene of a young girl sitting in her yard and staring up in wonder at the star filled sky still remains one of my brightest movie memories from childhood.

For me, looking up at the night sky has often filled me with awe and wonder over the years. What is it about the sky above us, the stars and planets that have made so many of us think, dream and ask big questions? For me at least, I find inspiration up there. Rather than feeling small and insignificant, I feel part of something bigger, something that is almost mystical. If the sight of a starry sky can’t inspire us to write or dream, then what can?

Erin Harris, my protagonist in Beneath Manhattan Skies, is a sky gazer. She escapes the noise and bustle of New York by going to the roof of her apartment building and looking up. Though the stars are often hidden from her view in the East Village, she knows they are there, constant and steadfast, something to hold on to and focus on when life gets to be too much. “November in New York was cold and full of possibility. Erin Harris looked up at the black sky from the roof of her apartment building. She missed the stars. Back home in Copperfield, Arizona, she’d taken them for granted.”

How do you feel when you look up at the night sky? 

~ooOOoo~

Teaser: Erin and Tommy are on their first date.

“What are you thinking about?” Tommy asked, refilling her cup.

“The stars.”

He followed her gaze to the sky above the race track. “You know people don’t spend enough time thinking about stars.”

“Are you mocking me?”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Liar.”

BLURB for BENEATH MANHATTAN SKIES:

November in New York is cold but full of possibility for college freshman Erin Harris. When her twin brother, Nick, shows up on her doorstep for a surprise visit, Erin is delighted. Unfortunately, Nick’s arrival coincides with the discovery of a body outside her apartment building, a body drained of blood. Right away, Nick assumes vampires are involved. He’s not exactly their biggest fan since Erin dated one in high school.

*
Juggling nosy roommates, a first date with a gorgeous guy from college and a brother on a Van Helsing kick is enough to keep any nineteen year old girl busy – And then Erin’s old flame walks back into her life.
*
Is Erin destined to be caught up in supernatural shenanigans, or will she choose a different path?
 
(A 45,000 word novella)
Purchase BENEATH MANHATTAN SKIES from Amazon

emma-meadeAuthor Bio
Emma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She loves vampires, slayers, witches, ghosts, aliens & shadow men (or at least the youngest of the Shadow Men), and regular people who live extraordinary lives (think Slayerettes and you’re on the right track). Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on. Writing supernatural stories and watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.

Connect with Emma on:

Twitter     Facebook     Blog      Goodreads      Amazon Author Page   Website

Weekend Mix-Up by Mae Clair

Well, I had my days mixed up. Turns out I’m live today on Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews blog TODAY (although I think I said Saturday in two previous posts). Doh!

What can I say? This is the first commitment-free weekend (at home) I’ve had since mid July and I must have been overly excited by the prospect, LOL. Yesterday turned out to be a very productive writing day, and I’m hoping to build on that today. In the meantime, I’m sharing my Top Ten Favorite Likes with Laurie.

Do drop by and share some of yours if you can!

Welcome Summer by Mae Clair

Today feels a bit like a holiday. It’s Friday, the end of the work week, gorgeous outside, and it’s the first day of summer!

beautiful girl enjoying the summer sun

As a kid, summer started for most of us the moment the afternoon bell rang on the last day of school. Remember the giddy exhilaration you felt as you burst through the doors and raced from the building with your friends? A glorious world awaited, full of trips to the beach, ballgames, swimming and exploring.

I’m old enough to remember when the pinnacle of summer fun included splashing through creeks, riding bikes, chasing butterflies and dancing with the wind. At night, my friends and I played hide-and-seek, told ghost stories and slept out beneath the stars.

Summer was also a time when the local Fireman’s Association sponsored a carnival in my small town setting up food tents, prize booths and an assortment of rides in the community ballpark. My friends and I couldn’t wait to clamber into the brightly-colored seats of the Ferris wheel, hoping to get stuck at the top for a bird’s eye view of everyone milling below (the adult in me shudders to remember that).

We gobbled up hot dogs, pizza, cotton candy and snow cones; spent the money our parents gave us on silly games like the dime-pitch, ring-toss, and duck pond. I remember trotting home with a goldfish in a plastic bag, a baseball-sized glass bowl, and some fish food. I’m sure my parents didn’t expect “Lucky” to last seven years, but he more than lived up to his name.

Years later, I still cherish the magic of summer, although I look at the calendar differently than I did when I was ten. Now the season starts for me with the summer equinox, the longest day of the year. In 2013, that occurs today (or did at 1:04 AM for those on the east coast of the U.S.).

When four o’clock rolls around, it won’t simply single the start of my weekend – it will also mark the beginning of a season of enchantment. Just thinking about it resurrects the same giddy sense of exhilaration I felt as a kid.

What about you? How do you plan to mark the day or celebrate your summer? Do you have any fond memories from childhood that still resonate with summertime magic?

Mythical Monday: Hitching a Ride with the Ferryman, by Mae Clair

mysterious worldLet me start by saying this is not a gent I’d want to take a boat ride with!

Charon is the ferryman who provides transport on the mythical rivers of Styx and Acheron, bodies of water that separate the plane of the living from the underworld. It’s Charon’s job to gather the souls bound for hades and ferry them across the river (they’re delivered to him by Hermes, but that’s material for another post. :))

Why anyone would want to pay for a ride like that is beyond me, but Charon wasn’t above profiting from the assignment. A shrewd or greedy guide (depending on your viewpoint) he required an obol for passage – - a silver coin placed in the mouth of the dead.

For this reason, family members would often bury their loved ones with a coin placed under the tongue, ensuring they carried the required payment for a journey to the netherworld. Those unable to produce the proper fee were turned away and forced to wander the banks of the river Acheron for a span of one hundred years. Ugh! Given the limited appeal of the place, I’m sure that got old quickly. Especially with Charon lurking around waiting for the next tour group to show up.

bigstock-Halloween-Background-38739022The son of Erebus (darkness) and Nix (night) in Greek Mythology, this was not a guy with a pleasant disposition. He’s often depicted as an ugly bearded man with a crooked nose. Let’s face it – - ferrymen in mythology, literature, and fantasy, generally do not fit the Good Samaritan variety.  They’re sinister, creepy, and skulk about in raggedy cloaks of black or gray, perpetual mourners shrouded in tomb colors.

On a cool side note, Charon is also the name of Pluto’s largest moon (another is called Nix). In mythology, Pluto was the ruler of the underworld.

Bonus cool side note: the HMS Erebus was the name of the ship Sir John Franklin commanded on his expedition to discover the Northwest Passage in 1845. The other vessel was the HMS Terror commanded by Captain Francis Crozier.  Both ships were lost after becoming trapped in the ice. The truth about what happened to the expedition and the crews remains one of the greatest unsolved nautical mysteries in history. Neither ship has ever been found.

Can you think of other examples where a mythological name has been applied to something in modern times or history – - such as Disney’s cartoon character, Pluto, the brand Nike, or the investment fund, Janus?

Or have you ever taken a ride on a ferry that you’d like to share? Believe it or not, I can’t recall ever ferrying across water. Apparently, I’ve been woefully deprived!

A Skip and a Hop by Mae Clair

I have been neglectful of my blog the last two days, which feels a bit like withdrawal. I’ve missed being here. Life got away from me for a bit, as it is prone to do every now and then. Just entirely too much on my plate to juggle, as my evenings were sucked up by errands and house projects. Last night, however, did include a nice dinner out with my hubby. We needed the break!

Now I’m back! Sort of, LOL. Today, I’m actually hopping over to Sonya Clark’s blog for an interview to chatter about WEATHERING ROCK– including where my initial inspiration came from. If you get a chance, swing by and say hello.

Hope everyone is having a great week! I’m on countdown for Friday! :)

Mae Clair: Spotlight on ASHER’S DILEMMA by Coleen Kwan

CARINA_AshersDilemma_compressedI’m excited to showcase a new release by Coleen Kwan. ASHER’S DILEMMA is a follow-up to her steampunk novel, ASHER’s INVENTION. Isn’t that cover stunning? Read further to see what else this engaging author has to tempt us with!

~ooOOoo~

BLURB:
Ever since he awoke one day on the floor of his workshop with a brain-splitting headache, Asher Quigley has been haunted by fleeting visions of a beautiful woman everywhere he looks—a woman he’s sure he knows, but can’t recall. In spite of this he has finished his most wondrous invention yet, one that will literally make history: a time machine. But before he can complete his exacting calculations a bizarre accident causes the device to be activated, with him inside! He awakes to find himself in his lab, eight months in the past, and suddenly he remembers her…

Asher knows that something in the near future causes Minerva Lambkin, the woman who turned down his marriage proposal, to be erased from existence. And he’s sure it has something to do with his device. Alone in a familiar world where he doesn’t belong, he’ll have to find a way to destroy the time machine to save the woman he loves from extinction. Even if that means erasing his own future.

BUY LINKS:
Carina Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

EXCERPT:
Asher peeled open his eyes to find himself lying face down. The uneven brick floor beneath him struck cold through his sketchy clothing. Frosty air licked at his cheek, frilling his skin with goose bumps. He dragged himself up to a sitting position, and almost vomited as his brain spun like a top.

He was still in his workshop, but instead of sultry August it was now the depths of winter. His breath hung in the air in vaporous clouds, and he had begun to shiver uncontrollably. Frisking his arms, he forced himself to ignore his violent nausea and take in his surroundings.

His invention was still there. Yet, it wasn’t quite the same masterpiece he’d built. This contraption was still a prototype, incomplete, the tarry black promethium magnets incorrectly placed on the copper shell. He remembered how long it had taken him to work out the correct position of each magnet. This machine exactly resembled one of his earlier attempts.

Which meant…his calculations were correct, and his invention had worked! He’d done it.

He, Asher Quigley, had travelled back in time.

Cold sweat trickled down his spine as his success sank in. He’d made the impossible possible. He’d broken the time barrier. He’d discovered a way of traversing the once-immutable dimension.

But where in time had he landed?

Lifting his hand to massage his forehead, he saw he was still clutching the stalking compass, though he had no memory of picking it up. He tucked the object into the pocket of his trousers and rubbed his eyes as he concentrated all his fractured thoughts on the buttons his stalking compass had bounced over. What parameters had been set before the lever had been pulled? Think, man, think.

Out of his brain haze memory came teetering back like a gin-soaked drunk. Eight months. He’d been flung back in time eight months, which explained the teeth-chattering cold.

And then from the mist more memories began to pour out. Only, these came screaming out at him like banshees, and the howling cut him to ribbons. He squeezed his eyes shut against the pain.

Eventually the shrieking disappeared, but the anguish inside him coalesced into a suffocating lump.

Finally he knew who the woman was who teased him day and night. She was no figment of his imagination. Not here, not now, eight months earlier. Here she was real. She was living flesh and blood.

She was Minerva Lambkin. She had captured and fragmented his heart twice over. Yet in the future she did not exist at all. The realization made him break out into a cold, gut-clenching sweat, and the torment only intensified as instinct told him he was responsible. The details eluded him, but he knew he was right. He had somehow caused Minerva’s extinction.

~ooOOoo~

AUTHOR BIO:
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.

Look for Coleen at the following haunts:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Mae Clair: I Have a Winner!

I’m pleased to announce the winner of my $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble: Veronika

Congrats, Veronika! Consider yourself showered with confetti. I will be contacting you by email to see which you prefer (Amazon or B&N).

The overall winners for the hop are:
Kindle Fire Winner:
Angela Heart
$75 Amazon Gift Card:
Emma D.
Swag Pack:
Kim Brooks

Thanks to everyone who dropped by and made the hop such a success and special thanks to Carrie Ann Ryan for organizing it. I also truly appreciate the new “likes” and follows given my Facebook page and blog. You guys rock! :D What an amazingly fun hop!

~ooOOoo~

I don’t usually blog on the weekend, but I’ve got to share what happened yesterday, given the whole concept of the hop was to share thoughts about Black Friday shopping.

Yesterday (THE day of retail chaos) I ended up with some time to kill, so I decided to venture into the melee. It was around 1PM when I suffered this appalling lack of sanity. I reasoned the bulk of the crowds would be gone given most shoppers were up before sunrise. WRONG! Oh, how pathetically, dreadfully wrong! I shudder even now thinking about it.

But in my moment of bravery lunacy, I hit the local Kohl’s. The parking lot was packed (warning flag #1), but I managed to find a spot at the end. I told myself I’d driven that far, so why not go inside?  It was crowded – - okay, bustling (warning flag #2) – - but I thought “I can do this.”

Oblivious to the throngs around me, I picked up several items, then headed to the register. That’s when reality kicked in (“Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”).

I couldn’t see the end of the line. It was like one of those diminishing winding snake-things you see in a cartoon, wrapping from the front of the store to the back. On, and on, and on. I never did see where it ended. And the people waiting had CARTLOADS of merchandise. That’s when “I can do this” became “forget it.” I put everything back and left.

The good news is that I returned at 6:30 AM this morning and got everything I wanted for the same Black Friday prices. Best of all, there were only a handful of people in the store. Much more my speed.

Added bonus: I was able to drag my husband with me given he wanted to go out for breakfast (bribery works! :)) . So we hit Kohl’s, had breakfast, then hit Boscov’s. I can’t tell you the deals I came home with. Turns out I’m still a Black Friday shopper, after all – as long as it’s on Saturday!

I hope however you spent your Black Friday, you had fun!