Writing with Friends by Mae Clair

I was recently tagged by the lovely and super energetic Kitt Crescendo in a “Writing Process” related blog hop. Kitt writes sizzling racy novels and has already burst onto the scene with two hot releases. She’s a very active blogger, a supportive friend, and someone with a strong passion for music. You’ll find her blogging about all of her many diverse interests (usually with a twist of humor or heart-felt  passion) at The Inner Wild Kat
Just don’t mention frogs around her and you’ll be fine :)

Thanks for the tag, Kitt!

Ok, the way the blog tag works, I’m supposed to answer four questions related to my writing style then tag three other bloggers to carry on the torch. You’ll meet those enchanting ladies at the end of this post, but first the questions with my answers:

Manuscript from Author with Red Twine CloseupWhat am I working on?
A lot! :D I actually have three projects going on right now. The first, SOLSTICSE ISLAND, is a short romantic adventure involving the search for a mythical sea creature. My first venture into indie publishing, I hope to release it later this month.

I also have a full-length romantic mystery called ECLIPSE LAKE that revolves around a fifteen-year-old missing person’s case. I’m also indie-pubbing that and hope to have it available in May/June.

MYTH AND MAGIC is a Halloween-themed romantic mystery that I had originally planned to release in October. As it stands now, I’ll be offering it to my new publisher Kensington Books, when it’s ready, as they have first option. If Kensington passes, I will indie pub as I originally planned…hopefully, even meeting that October deadline. Of course, I’d love to see it with Kensington too!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My books, especially the more I progress, tend to straddle two genres . . . romance and mystery. I would place the ratio at about 70% mystery to 30% romance, so the mystery element is probably the stronger theme. That said, I’m a romantic at heart, so each story still has a romance (usually star-crossed) to complicate matters for my hero and heroine.

Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always been intrigued by the unknown. I enjoy crafting “what if” possibilities and dropping my hero and heroine into situations where they’re forced to unravel secrets. My favorite types of novels are those that make me think, while satisfying the romantic in me. It’s why I enjoy weaving elements of myth and mystery with romance in my stories. I like to keep my readers guessing.

I also love family dynamics, a theme that is usually front-and-center in everything I write.

How does my writing process work?
I usually always start with a single character and an obstacle. Other characters grow from there, weaving the plot as they develop. Most of that takes place in my head before I start making notes on paper. Although I am not a plotter by any means, I have a very loose concept of the story before I start writing. Most of it develops on its own as scene evolves into scene. In the future, however, I’m hoping to plot more. My panster style has worked for me to date, but doing NaNoWriMo last year made me realize the benefits of plotting.

And now I’d like to introduce you to the three ladies who will be following me:

b-w-profile-picCalisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.

She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders and firemen, as well as, the occasional ‘other’ heroes — and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.

Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.wordpress.com

Twitter@CalisaRhoseFacebook/Calisa RhoseGoodreads and Amazon

~ooOOoo~

Daisy Banks ColourDaisy Banks writes sensual and spicy romance in the Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy genres. An obsessive writer Daisy is passionate about her stories. Her focus is to offer the best tale she can to readers. Daisy is married, with two grown up sons. She lives with her husband in a converted chapel in Shropshire, in England. Antiques and collecting entertain Daisy when she isn’t writing. She has also occasionally been known to make a meal that doesn’t stick to the pan.

You can find Daisy at:

Blog    http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/
Website  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest 

~ooOOoo~

Author Pic2Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word NO.

Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.

As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]  And of course, fall in love.

Get in touch with Cd at her at website http://www.cdbrennan.com
Facebook  Goodreads  Twitter  Pinterest

 

Setting Sail with Twelfth Sun by Mae Clair

Happy Tuesday, friends! After several weeks of distinctively un-August-like weather, summer has decided to make a reappearance in my small portion of the world. Who knows…I might even get to use my pool again before it’s time to close it up around Labor Day!

bigstock-The-ancient-ship-in-the-sea-17385386Aside from the swimming I plan to do, I also have a busy week planned for TWELFTH SUN as I set sail in the blogging world. If you’d like to shadow me this week, I can be found at the following haunts:

Tuesday, I’m one of the authors being showcased by the Little Read Hens on their Facebook page. They’ll be sharing excerpts and blurbs throughout the day from multiple authors, and engaging in fun conversation. Drop in if you have a moment, say hello, and chat for a while.

Tuesday, I’m also a guest at the ranch of Calisa Rhose for a Q&A. And I’m doing a giveaway! If you’re still waiting to pick up your copy of TWELFTH SUN come over and comment for your chance to win a Kindle copy!

Wednesday, I let Elijah and Reagan do the talking as Jennifer Lowery interviews my hero and heroine from TWELFTH SUN. I think these two had as much fun with the Q&A as I did. And, I’m doing yet another giveaway, so you’ve got a chance to snag a copy of my romantic mystery, TWELFTH SUN.

Thursday, I’m delighted to introduce you to a new release by author Christina Cole. Christina and I became friendly after I read her fab novel, HAPPILY EVER AFTER. I’ve invited her to visit, answer some questions and share her latest release, SUMMERTIME. Love that name!

Friday, the tables are turned as I make a guest appearance on Christina’s blog, Time for Love, and answer her questions about my writing technique and TWELFTH SUN. I’ll also be sharing my idea of the perfect romantic date among other things. LeSigh! What’s yours?

Saturday, I share my list of the Top Ten Things I Enjoy on Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews blog. I guess it’s no secret writing ranked number one on my list. :) Come see what the rest were and share some of yours.

Wishing you all a fantastic week! I hope you’ll be back on Thursday to say hello to Christina, and I hope to see you around the blogosphere as I go sailing with TWELFTH SUN!

Meandering, a Review, and a Bit of the Mythical by Mae Clair

Twelfth Sun Tour BannerFor my Mythical Monday fans, my usual brand of folklore, odd creatures and spookiness will return next week with a new post. Today, I’m celebrating the one week anniversary of the official release of my romantic mystery, TWELFTH SUN.

The reviews have been great so far, which have me completely jazzed. I particularly love this 5-Five Star review on the Tome Tender Blog. The reviewer, Dii, made my day with quotes like these:

“Twelfth Sun by Mae Clair is just one of those books that is pure escape pleasure!”

“Mae Clair has written a delightful romance complete with mystery, intrigue and danger. Did I mention humor?”

You can find the entire review here if you’d like to take a gander :D

Also today, my new friend, Kourtney Heintz, is hosting me with a short series of Q&A. Want to hear my elevator pitch for TWELFTH SUN, or learn what advice I have for new authors? (Sure you do!). All that and more can be discovered by hopping over to Kourtney Heintz’s Journal and saying hello.

background in "adventure stories" styleAnd finally, because it’s Mythical Monday and I’m in a nautical frame of mind, here are two interesting snippets to tide you over until next week :

Did you know in days past, if a sailor was pulled overboard it was a sign that “the sea will have its own?” Even more disturbing, a man who learned to swim was viewed as tempting fate.

For someone to “watch a ship out of sight” was a sure sign “you will never see her again.”  I find this one interesting because the interpretation it isn’t exactly clear.  Does the ship meet with an untimely end, or the watcher? I guess the obvious certainty is that either way you shouldn’t watch a ship out of sight!

Happy Monday, friends! I hope your week is off to a good start!

The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, by Mae Clair

wonderful-team-memberIt’s blog award time, thanks to my wonderful friend and fellow blogger, Sheri de Grom!

Sheri recently honored me with the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award. If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ve no doubt heard me mention Sheri before. We ventured into the blogosphere about the same time and quickly became  friends and supporters of each other.

Sheri blogs about women’s fiction and government and medical issues, in addition to working on what is certain to be a compelling novel, NOT THE MAN I MARRIED.  She’s super friendly and a great supporter of other bloggers so check her out corner of the world here, and linger a while under her bridge.

The Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award was one I was not previously familiar with, but it definitely deserves a round of fanfare. The title says it all. As bloggers, we rely on those who support our efforts with each post, taking their time to comment on the musings we toss into the virtual universe. I am so grateful for the friends I have made through blogging, and really do appreciate everyone who visits and comments on From the Pen of Mae Clair.

So to all my fantastic Pen Pals—I am grateful to each of you and wish to acknowledge you with this post. I am happy to nominate the following for the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award:

L. J. Kentowski
Donna Cummings
Emma Meade
Jessi Gage
Cd Brennan
Calisa Rhose
Stanalei Fletcher
Debbie Peterson
Joanne Wadsworth
Laura Lee Nutt
Venice Kennedy
Susan Koenig

And, of course, a huge thanks to Sheri de Grom.

There are many other friends out there who support me through Twitter, Facebook, blogging and reviews, and I thank you all. This list is but a few. I am truly grateful for your friendship and support. You guys rock! :D

Wizards with Words: Calisa Rhose and Risk Factors

bigstock-magic-book-9719930Welcome Word Wizard fans!

Today, I have my friend and Lyrical Press sister, Calisa Rhose dropping by. It’s always a pleasure to feature her on my blog, and I’m happy to have her back with her new release, RISK FACTORS.

She’s on tour through April 11th, so be sure to grab the complete list of stops by clicking the banner below, or the tour schedule link Calisa provides at the end of our interview. For extra fun, she’s doing a giveaway too!

You can check out my 5-star review for RISK FACTORS on Amazon. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more about Calisa, her characters and the heartwarming story she created in this contemporary romance.

~ooOOoo~

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Hello again, Mae! How fun this is! I just love your blog! :)

Please start by telling us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.

She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders  and firemen.

b-w profile pic

Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.wordpress.com

Twitter@CalisaRhose,
Facebook/Calisa Rhose,
Goodreads
and Amazon

~ooOOoo~


Your new contemporary romance, RISK FACTORS, was released on March 4th by Lyrical Press.  I love the cover.  It feels so romantic and breezy.  Tell us about the plot.

I love the cover too, Mae!

Love, like life, is not without risk.

Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps. Now Connor, a patient’s owner, and is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.

Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.

Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and himself–enough to play the possibilities?

CONTENT WARNING: Happy-ever-after mixed with four-legged friends.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

I love the backgrounds you created for the characters, especially Conner. And a single dad always makes my heart melt. You chose to set it in a small town in Missouri. Any particular reason?

Not really. I didn’t want Oklahoma for this one but I still needed to retain that southern-y country feel and Missouri is such a beautiful state. It sounded perfect. Of course, during edits last year I thought I might change the main city in it, Joplin, because between the writing and sell of RF there was that horrific tornado that wiped out the hospital I modeled mine after in the book. In fact the whole city was damaged so badly I felt bad even having it in the story, but it fit, so I kept it.

Wow, I didn’t realize, but perhaps your book can serve as a tribute. Do you have a favorite scene in the novel? What makes it special for you?

I have a few favorite scenes, Mae. But one is in a hotel room after a bad scene with Viv’s parents. Viv is trying to get through her sad bubble by dancing and…well, I’ll let you read it. LOL

Ooh, it was awesome. I remember that scene! :) Stepping away from the H/h for a moment, who is your favorite secondary character in the book and why?

Definitely Connor’s daughter, Janna! She keeps a ‘few’ pets and they are quite a bunch. She’s a charm and was fun to write, though I do wish I’d given her more in the book.

I loved Janna. She really added to every scene she was in. Now let’s talk technique–Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to write?

Um, when I can? Lol I never know when things will go in any direction other than productive, but early mornings, after checking emails, if I’m not working on edits. If that’s the case, then I do edits (for others, not mine) in the morning when I’m fresh and able to focus. I usually get my most writing done in the evening after dinner and homework is over.

As writers, we’re often asked if we’re plotters or pansters (or somewhere in between), but I know many authors also differ in how they create scenes. So…do you write in a strictly linear fashion or do you hop around and produce scenes and chapters out of sequence as they come to you?

First, I’m a linear pantser. I write from A-Z in a rough draft and then I go back and layer all the emotion, sensory aspects and such once the first draft is complete. If I happen to think of a scene that would be better in another place in the wip, I’ll write it and put it in a file until I need it.

When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you enjoy doing?

I love my horse and pampering him with a bath, brushing or riding him in warmer weather. I spend time with family watching movies or going places, visiting friends and family.

Please share a few of your favorite authors and book titles.

Oh boy. I hate this question because I have so many and I can never remember the names or titles but one of my favorite is Nora Roberts and her Key Trilogy. I also like Vonnie Davis. Hilariously talented author for WRP and a lovely friend. It really doesn’t matter which of her books you pick up, no matter what genre, you are guaranteed a laugh and often a tear. I’m sure, once I have time to read it, I’ll love Weathering Rock and you’ll become a favorite too! ;)

How sweet! :) What do you have in your cache of WIPs that we can look forward to in the future?

Well, I’ve been trying to pull my fireman through a wip, but that seems to be on hold again. I’m working on a story, tentatively titled Winter’s Song, about Brie Collins, a woman whom life has not been great to but she still tries to maintain a positive attitude, and her one wish is meet the man of her dreams. She has had a tough life and as an adult the challenges seem to keep coming at her, knocking her off balance and threatens to be the end of her. My hero, Zane River, is an orphan with a chunk of pain he wears like body armor. He’s made it to the top of the world through his music, but with a singular goal to beat the one place that mistreated him and made his childhood a living hell. Little does he know he will be put to the test and forced to think of someone other than himself and his goals. Or that he’ll fall in love along the way.

Winter’s Song sounds fantastic, and I love the names of your characters! I’ll cross my fingers the writing goes smoothly and we can look forward to its release in the near future. And now some quickies:

Favorite movie: Hope Floats
Favorite snack item: Anything chocolate
Favorite color: Dark green
Favorite number: 2
Favorite TV show: NCIS or CSI:NY
Dawn or dusk: Dawn
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Dream vacation spot gifted to you by a fairy godmother, all expenses paid: Ireland

That was fun! How about sharing an excerpt from RISK FACTORS?

Risk Factors300dpiEXCEPRT:
It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.

She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six. She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.

She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.

“Hello.”

With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.

“Oh! I’m so–so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.

“I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.

Puzzled, Viv looked around and realized with total humiliation how it appeared she’d trapped the broom inside the closet–when in actuality, she wanted to climb through the door beside the instrument and hide.

“Of course not. That would be silly. I didn’t expect you right now.”

“It’s two minutes of five. I told you I’d be here for Skittles. Is it too late?”

Right. The skunk. “No. I’m sure she’s more than ready to go home. Do you have the pet carrier to put her in?” She probably didn’t need to ask when Connor stood empty-handed before her.

He lowered his head and she knew he’d forgotten it, fought back a smile at his forgetfulness. “Sorry. I drove straight from work and didn’t think about it.”

“No worry. I have one you can borrow.” Which meant he’d have to see her again. She’d definitely need to see him again.

“Thank you. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”

“Oh, there’s no rush. I keep a few on hand for emergencies.” She led him back to the cage where the skunk still huddled, and got a carrier while he opened the cage to retrieve his daughter’s pet. As he lifted the black fur ball out, Viv set a pink case next to him.

He hissed under his breath and almost let the animal loose. Viv opened the cage and held it upright for him to lower the skunk down inside and shut the door. Once he stood with the pet taxi, she detected a smear of red on one finger.

“She bit you?” Skunk bite, rabies, germs…

“It’s fine. When she’s scared she tends to nip a warning like a cat.” Connor’s lack of care concerned Viv, however.

“I should clean it with antiseptic before you go.”

“I’ll tend it when I get home.”

“But, it may have germs…get infected.”

“It’s not the first time, and her rabies vaccination is current. Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”

Viv stopped by a cabinet on the way to the front reception area to grab ointment and a Band-Aid.

~ooOOoo~

BUY RISK FACTORS AT:
Lyrical Press, Inc.
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

That was fun, Mae! Thanks again for having me.

At the end of this tour I’ll be picking one winner to gift either a signature rose rock for a USA winner or a $10 GC of choice (Kindle or Nook) for one overseas or in Canada. Either winner will also get a PDF copy of Risk Factors!

The more you stalk me and comment, the greater your chance to win on April 8th. I’ll announce the winner on the 10th. Thank you for joining me on this fun journey’s end and good luck to all!

As a special bonus, I’ll be pooling all my blog hosts and the one with the most comments on their blog for my post will also win one of the same prizes as the winners! They need your help to win! Please note, this also includes my two hosts before today, so I’d appreciate if you check my official blog tour schedule and give them a chance to win by going to their blogs too.

I’d like to ask your readers what they like to see in a heroine?

Mae Clair: The Reality Award

reality-award1A week or so ago, I was nominated for the Reality Award by my friend and fellow blogger, Sheri de Grom. Sheri and I ventured into the blogging world about the same time and undertook much of the social media learning curve together. If you’re looking for insightful reviews of women’s fiction, informative posts about our military and medical issues, you need to visit Sheris’ blog!

Thanks for nominating me, Sheri. This award is a bit different than those I’ve seen in the past, and requires some thought. The rules are as follows:

Visit the blog of the person who nominated you, thank them, and acknowledge them on your blog *waving to Sheri*

Answer the questions listed below and nominate up to 20 bloggers whom you feel deserve recognition. Visit their blog and let them know.

Cut and paste the award to your wall.

Now for the questions:

If you could change one thing, what would you change?
There are a lot of mind-boggling social, economic and health-related issues I would change, but I’m going to go with something basic here that irritates the heck out of me. If I could eliminate one thing, I’d do away with the annoying voice mail menus businesses force us to jump through and replace them with live telephone operators. Remember those days? When there was CUSTOMER service in customer service? When you didn’t have to sit through five voice mail loops only to realize none of the options work; pushing the pound sign gets you nowhere, and hitting ’0’ for operator results in the message “sorry you are having problems.”

Really?  If you’re that sorry, how about having a living, breathing person answer the phone who can actually help me instead of a recorded message that tells me my wait time is ten minutes (after I’ve spent two minutes getting there!)?

‘Nuff said on that topic. I could rant for hours!

If you could repeat an age, what would it be?
Probably sometime in my 30s. Old enough to be wise, young enough not to be bogged down with anything too serious.

What is the one thing that really scares you?
Heights. I’m petrified of them. I remember needing to cross a creek one time and the only means across (a very short distance) was a hollowed out metal beam (about the width of a balance beam). It was raised approximately three feet in the air over the creek, forming a makeshift bridge to the other side. With nothing to close it in, I felt like I was walking in space. That short little drop into the water had my equilibrium out of whack, as if I was crossing a rope bridge suspended over a gaping canyon. Heights and I do not agree.

The weird part is I would love to be able to fly and soar above everything like Superman. I know it makes no sense, but that’s typical for me!

If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?
A stormchaser. I’m fascinated by weather and always thought it would be cool to chase a storm. I’d probably freak if I had the opportunity, but it’s a nice thought to entertain.

And now for my nominations:

L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
Donna Cummings
Calisa Rhose
Debbie Peterson
Emma Meade
Joanne Wadsworth
Stanalei Fletcher
Lorraine Paton
Christy Olesen
Alicia Coleman
Lynne Kensington

So what do you think, ladies? Do you feel like giving the Reality Award a try?

Mae Clair: Liking the Liebster

Last week, I had the pleasure of being nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful Jessi Gage. Jessi has recently released a fantasy romance called WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER that I highly recommend. I’ve fallen in love with her hunky hero, Darcy, a 16th Century Scot who comes to the aid of a 21st Century pregnant museum worker when she’s transported to his era. Visit Jessi’s blog to learn more about her and her delightful novel. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

liebster-awardSo how does the Liebster Award work?  Here are the rules:
Thank the person who nominated you (thank you, Jessi!).
Post eleven random facts about yourself.
Answer eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.


My eleven random facts:
1. I love gypsy-style clothing
2. My nickname in high school was “Starchild”
3. I have a bizarre fear of bears
4. I am madly in love with the character of Aloysius Pendergast, created by authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

From a party a few years ago (my hair was a lot shorter). That's my aunt with me. I can always count on her to be a dancing partner!
From a party a few years ago (my hair was a lot shorter). That’s my aunt with me. I can always count on her to be a dancing partner!

5. Someday I would like to buy a Jaguar (the car, not the animal!)
6. I prefer small gatherings to large parties
7. I can’t whistle
8. I love to be outside when it’s warm and windy
9. I’ve always loved vegetables, even as a kid
10. I am an avowed ‘cat person’
11. I love, l-o-v-e, LOVE to dance!

Jessi’s eleven questions:
1. Who was your idol growing up?
I had several…Michael Landon, Paul McCartney, David Soul, David Hedison and David Cassidy. Hmm…guess I liked a lot of Davids! :)

2. Who motivates you to be the best you can be?
My husband. I’m good at motivating myself most of the time, but when I hit a wall, he’s the one who helps me over it.

3. What’s your favorite morning ritual?
Coffee!  It used to be tea until hubby and I discovered Keurig.

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My office. Decorated with balloons and bags of chips!

4. Fudge or salty snacks?
Salty. I’m addicted to chips. Several years ago on my birthday, my staff at work filled my office with small bags of Middleswarth chips. They were everywhere–on my desk, my file cabinet, the bookshelves, windowsills. Needless to say, my chip addiction is well known :)

5. Beer or wine?
Wine, but it has to be dry.

6. What’s the biggest challenge you face as a blogger?
Making time. I love to blog and rarely lack for content/ideas. It’s just squeezing the hours from a day that is usually overflowing to begin with.

7. What’s your favorite season?
It used to be spring, but I find myself leaning more toward summer these days.

8. Where do you go to get away from stress and regroup?
I don’t necessarily have a place as much as a mindset. I like to read or work on a WIP. In warm weather, I love relaxing on my back porch and deck.

9. If you’re a writer, how many books do you aim to write per year? Are you making your goal?
Two books per year. So far so good, but it’s hard with juggling a full-time job.

10. Who’s on your ereader right now?
WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER by Jessi Gage! LOL!

11. If you look out the window right now, what do you see?
A large white cross. It’s on the church in a field behind my house.

My 11 questions for my nominees:
1. What was your favorite book as a child?
2. What famous person from history do you admire most?
3. If you could have a superpower, which would you choose?
4. Who is your favorite fairytale character and why?
5. When it comes to movies, what is your favorite genre?
6. Who was your teenage celebrity crush?
7. Would you describe yourself as an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between?
8. What was your favorite subject in school?
9. What is your favorite board game?
10. What is your favorite form of social media?
11. Would you rather spend a lazy day at a secluded beach soaking up the sun, or a day in a tourist town that offers numerous attractions?

From the 'Starchild'...my senior year of high school, LOL!

From the ‘Starchild’…my senior year of high school, LOL!

And my nominees are:
1. Donna Cummings
2. L.J. Kentowski
3. Loni Flowers
4. Sheri de Grom
5. Lorraine Paton
6. Calisa Rhose
7. Susan Koenig
8. Emma Meade
9. Mackenzie Crowne
10. Debbie Peterson
11. Renita Pizzitola

I’m looking forward to seeing your facts and answers, ladies! Thanks again to Jessi Gage for the nomination. I enjoyed participating. This was a lot of fun! :D

Mae Clair’s The Mystery of Eclipse Lake–7 Writer Challenge

I’ve recently been tagged in the Seven Writer Challenge by three wonderful author friends—Debbie Peterson, L.J. Kentowski, and Lorraine Paton. Thanks to all three of these ladies for sending the challenge my way. This is always a fun one!

According to the rules, I must go to either page 7 or page 77 of one of my works and, starting on line 7, post the next seven lines. After that, I get to challenge seven other authors to do the same.  I told you it was fun! :D

Lucky7Meme

My selection is taken from page 77 of THE MYSTERY OF ECLIPSE LAKE, my current WIP, a mystery/romance with plenty of family drama. This is from the POV of Jonah Carlisle who suddenly has an unexpected house guest on his hands—his seventeen-year-old nephew, Jesse, who up until a few days ago, he never knew existed.

~ooOOoo~

“This way,” Jesse said, clearly enjoying the role of tour guide.  He led April and Paige toward the kitchen.  Even Koya abandoned Jonah, trailing happily on Jesse’s heels, her tail wagging from side to side.

He (Jonah) closed the door and counted to ten.  The kid had a habit of getting under his skin, and it was growing worse the more time they spent together.  In the kitchen he found his nephew and Paige unloading bags at the oversized center island he used for food preparation.  April busily stacked covered bowls and dishes in his near-empty refrigerator.

~ooOOoo~

And now I’d like to pass the challenge to these fabulous authors:

Donna Cummings
Jessi Gage
Laura Lee Nutt
Calisa Rhose
Stanalei Fletcher
Zee Monodee
Kyra Jacobs

Roll out your 7’s, ladies!

Mae Clair: 2012 Blog of the Year Award

Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpegI’ve been fortunate enough to have been nominated twice for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award. Once by Kitt Crescendo and once by Sheri de Grom. Both of these ladies became wonderful blogging friends in the last year.

Kitt is an extremely prolific blogger, sometimes putting out multiple posts a day. If you like your topics eclectic with cutting-edge observations, humor and warmth, then you need to visit Ms. Crescendo’s blog. May I recommend a recent post she did on sexy older men? Kitt will charm you with her wit and friendliness.

Sheri de Grom is a blogging buddy from my earliest days of timidly venturing into the author realm. She’s remained a wonderful friend and has been an inspiration through the personal stories she shares on her blog, as well as her support of our troops and military. In addition, she’s an insightful reviewer of women’s fiction who always gives the books she reviews respectful and honest consideration. You can find Sheri here. Hang out under her bridge for a while.

I’m honored and pleased to have received this blogging award from my two friends and only regret I couldn’t acknowledge it sooner with a proper post. So . . . how does it work?

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once, tthis award is different. When you begin, you will receive the ‘1’ star award. Every time you are given this award by another blog, you can add another star!

There are a total of ‘6’ stars to collect. Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs—and even if they have already been given the award by someone else—you can still make your opinion count and pass it on to them again and help them reach the maximum of ‘6’ stars.

The rules of this award are simple:

  1. Select the blogs you think deserve the 2012 Blog of the Year Award.
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with this award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page, Blog of the Year 2012 Award. http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/and include these ‘rules’ in your post. (Please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
  5. You can now also join our Facebook page – click the link here ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear/) and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

And now I’m pleased to pay this honor forward by giving the award to the following bloggers:

L.J. Kentowski, who I originally ‘met’ through Triberr and who has become one of my favorite friends and authors. If you want to get lost in worlds of urban fantasy, hang out at L.J.’s blog which has only recently been minted over to a WordPress platform. Find out about Seekers, Guardians and — something new and interesting in the works — Descendants!

Donna Cummings, who never fails to astound me with how effortlessly she blends humor, happily-ever-after, and romance. Whether I’m reading one of her delightful novels or hanging out at her blog and experiencing slices of every-day-writer-life, Donna never fails to charm with her delivery and leave me chuckling.  She’s a fab friend who loves Twitter and coffee in equal doses, and I’m happy to support her all the way! Er, although I probably can’t keep up with the coffee, LOL.

Calisa Rhose, whose ‘ranch’ is a stellar and freakishly fun hangout – - and I mean that in a good way, LOL. I never know what I’m going to find at the ranch – - book covers, guest bloggers, book trailers, reviews – - but I always know I’ve got a standing invitation and a warm welcome. I’m so thankful to have met Calisa, who is also one of my sister authors at Lyrical Press. Mosey over to Calisa’s Ranch for a gander at what you’ve been missing.

Joanne Wadsworth, another Lyrical Press sister is a superb blogger who shares informative writer advice and whose debut novel PROTECTOR is releasing on January 9th. This busy New Zealander has a second book already under contract and a third close to submission. Joanne and I came in as ‘newbies’ together about the same time with Lyrical Press and I’m so thankful to have met her. She’s been positively delightful!

Christina McKnight who does an outstanding job on her blog of promoting other authors, upcoming/new releases and available books. If you’re looking for a good read, you’re bound to find it among the many Christina spotlights. She also writes urban fantasy/paranormal romance and is the author of the Oneiroi Series with book one, ONLY IN HER DREAMS available now and book two, ONLY IN HER NIGHTMARES coming in August 2013.

Thanks again to Kitt and Sheri for nominating me for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award. As this is my first year of blogging, it’s definitely a lovely recognition to receive. To all of my many blogging friends who have made 2012 so special, you’re all award winners to me! :D

Mae Clair: Featuring HOME by Calisa Rhose

Today is a special day as I turn my blog over to Lyrical Press sister and friend, Calisa Rhose. How is it special? :D Read on to find out!

~ooOOoo~

Hi Mae! I’m thrilled to be back on your lovely blog. Thanks for inviting me to share my Wild Rose Press novella with your readers.

Home, for those who don’t know, is part of a series about a strange scrimshaw doll created by  pirate and cursed by a gypsy a long time ago. In my story the doll returns to an ancestor of that gypsy. My heroine, Poppy Tippen is in love with the local hero who finds himself at the top of his home’s poopy list. Why? Because Sam Callahan lived to return from Vietnam when so many others didn’t. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except he’s a doctor and a huge weight was put on him upon his return. Poppy comes to his rescue in a way he never expected anyone, let alone her, to.

I’d love to share the blurb and an excerpt with you now.

HOME

Tagline
What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Blurb
Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?

Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?

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Excerpt
“I’ll always want you, Poppy.”

Her head shook in automatic denial. “You’ll want a girl who fits your life. Not some gypsy with no family lineage to brag about. Your momma won’t accept that, either. She’ll make you choose someone like Connie, someone who fits into your world. Not the girl everyone avoids and whispers about behind her back. You’re gonna be the town’s doctor. You need an uppity wife who will make you proud.”

When Sam laughed, his chest shuddered against her back. Deep, husky, real. He turned her in his arms and looked down at her, smiling. “Poppy, do you honestly think I give a damn what people think? Look at me! I’m the town outcast, the survivor who should have died saving the others, not be here planning a future that includes a wife, a medical practice. “I shimmy under park benches, run from my mother’s lipstick, for God’s sake. I wake up screaming and crying over nothing in the middle of the night, crawl under my bed and hide, shaking, until morning. Hell, I can’t even be a doctor because I haven’t finished school yet.”

“I didn’t know. It must be awful for you.” No matter how it hurt Poppy to know he used her, it felt much worse to know how he hurt alone. “The only time it isn’t awful is when I’m with you. When I think of you.”

Buy links:
The Wild Rose Press 
Amazon 
B&N

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Small-town country girl Calisa Rhose has been writing since she was a teen in Oklahoma.

It wasn’t until 2005, while living in California, that she realized if “they” can do it there’s no reason why she couldn’t write and get published, too. That realization began her journey into the world of publishing. After a cross-country move with her husband and their three grown daughters (plus families) back to her home state, Calisa dove into her writing. She joined RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. Since that day she has been more determined than ever to see her name in lights. She intends to nurture others and continue to grow as an author.

She’d love to hear from her readers at calisa.rhose@gmail.com and you can visit Calisa at www.calisarhose.wordpress.com Find out about her books on the Bookshelf page.

Twitter, GoodReads and Facebook

Guess what? Today is the one year release day anniversary of Home, as well as my birthday, so The Wild Rose Press and I are offering Home FREE, from today through Sunday, Dec. 30th to celebrate!

You can get your copy here http://is.gd/GEhNVW and all I ask is that if you read it, share a review on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, or The Wild Rose Press–or on all if you feel so inspired!

It’s been fun sharing my first book with everyone. Thanks for visiting and I love comments!

Thanks for having me, Mae. You’re the best!