I hope you’ll have a chance to ghost around a few and say hello! :)
It’s only three days since I’ve released ECLIPSE LAKE and I’m soaring. I didn’t have the luxury of sending out ARCs but I’ve already received my first review from Dii at Tome Tender Book Reviews. Here’s a snippet from her review that really resonated with me:
“Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair is powerful reading, a dark plot with shafts of hope shining through. I’m not sure there is an emotion that she didn’t rip right out of me, I was angry, felt sorrow, felt the love between a father and son, the pride between these two and the budding love between two strangers. I think I actually despised a few characters, in spite of their reasoning for being antagonistic. Did some of them redeem themselves? Yes, definitely, but MY emotional toll was high! I may have crossed the veil between fiction and reality for a while, Mae Clair is that good at creating her scenes, building her world and plunging her readers in, heart first. Populated with well-defined characters that feel real, it was easy to pick out my favorites and to hiss at the villains!
Fast-paced, written in Mae Clair’s signature gritty elegance, she combines family, love, mystery and redemption like an artist creating a masterpiece! Highly Recommended reading!”
Oh my! Am I happy? Beside myself is more like it! Of the whole review (you can read the entire review here should you like to take a gander) what really jumped out at me was the words “signature gritty elegance.” No one has ever described my style like that before, but as soon as I read the phrase I realized the reviewer connected with me on a level all authors hope to achieve. She “got” me.
Wow, oh, wow! I’m excited about the early buzz on ECLIPSE LAKE (especially because I haven’t had the luxury of broadcasting the release the way I’d like) and had to share the news. You guys have been with me through ups and downs, including the early days when this book was just a glimmer on my WIP radar. Of all the novels I’ve written, it feels like it’s taken the longest. It’s wonderful to finally see results and to be able to share those results with my blogging friends.
Today, I’m visiting Gemma Brocato with a short excerpt from the book. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing Fun Facts about ECLIPSE LAKE with Lorraine Paton, and the uber-friendly Kitt Crescendo will be giving ECLIPSE LAKE the spotlight treatment on her blog. I hope you can pop in for a few of the stops.
In parting, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from ECLIPSE LAKE I haven’t shared anywhere else. Although the story focuses on Dane Carlisle, his estranged brother Jonah, and Dane’s attraction for Ellie Sullivan, a photojournalist visiting Eclipse Lake, there is also an unsolved mystery at the heart of the novel. A mystery, Dane’s seventeen-year-old adopted son, Jesse becomes embroiled in. In this scene, we get Jesse’s first impression of Onyx, Pennsylvania after being dragged across the map from California by his dad.
Jesse slipped a pair of polarized sunglasses over his eyes to block the glare as he surveyed Eclipse Lake. A powerboat streaked past, parting the water in a perfect vee. Numbered buoys bobbed in the boat’s diminishing wake as the ripples rolled outward from the channel.
Eclipse wasn’t salt water, but it was still water, and he was almost as comfortable handling a boat as he was a bow. He’d won enough medals in tournament archery to know he was a cut above excellent. Give him a recurve bow and he could take out the competition. Give him a boat, and he’d open the throttle and let it scream. Both experiences brought the same exhilaration, which according to his father made him highly competitive and reckless.
Yeah. Just like him.
The man didn’t get to be owner of a multi–million dollar company by sitting on his duff and playing it safe. Unlike Jesse’s natural father, a dead–beat who’d taken off shortly before he was born, sticking his mom with a load of debt. The best thing that ever could have happened to them, in Jesse’s opinion. The creep was probably doing time somewhere by now and, if he wasn’t, he deserved to be.
Strolling to the end of the dock, he stuffed his hands in his pockets. The marina wasn’t large, but had trailer parking, a boat launch, bait shop and equipment rental. Flat–bottom johnboats, pontoons and modified v–bottoms were available for rent by the hour or day. He’d already checked the prices, deciding to spend tomorrow on the water unless his dad had other plans.
“Hey, how ’bout a hand?”
Startled from his thoughts, he turned as a guy near his age trundled down the bank, his arms loaded with fishing gear. Tackle, floatation device, bait bucket, even an oar tucked under one arm. A five–pound anchor slipped from his grip and clanked against the dock.
Jesse caught the attached rope before it could plop into the water.
“Thanks.” The kid flashed a grin. He had light brown hair, an earnest face and wore a navy t–shirt advertising Eclipse Lake Marina across the back. “Clyde keeps me busy getting the rental boats ready.” He jerked his head over his shoulder, indicating a separate dock area were a series of johnboats bobbed between pilings. “Oar, anchor, floatation device. We’ve got a special running right now for a four–hour minimum.” He dropped the equipment at his feet, taking a moment to catch his breath. “I haven’t seen you around. Visitor or summer resident?”
“Visitor. Here for the week.”
The kid nodded. Squatting, he popped open the tackle box and began rummaging through its contents.
“So you work here?” Jesse asked.
“Yeah.” He flashed another grin. “I’m Keith Gallery. My dad’s a deputy sheriff for Onyx.”
“Jesse Carlisle. My dad and I are staying down the road in one of the cabins. We’re from San Diego.”
Keith gave a low whistle. “That must have been a long flight.”
Jesse shrugged. His father always flew first class. He saw no reason to tell Keith he’d kicked back with a headset, bottled water and food that was almost passable. Jet lag wasn’t a problem. “It’s kind of cool here. How long have you been working at the marina?”
“This is my second summer.” Keith glanced at his watch. “I’m almost done. Another fifteen minutes and I’m meeting some friends from town. Hang around and we’ll show you the sights.”
Onyx had sights?
Before Jesse could respond, a shrill whistle drew his attention. Whipping his head around, he saw a guy and girl walking down the bank from the parking lot. The girl waved, a hand held to her eyes to block the sun.
Keith grinned. “That’s Paige and Zach.” Flipping the tackle box shut, he stood. “Once I’m done, we can scope out the lake with them. Zach’s only here for the summer, but Paige lives in Onyx year–round.”
Jesse barely heard the reference to the lanky youth with shaggy brown hair. The girl had his full attention. She was small–boned with apricot hair and a smile that lit up her face even from a distance. Jean shorts showcased shapely legs and skin the color of warm honey.
Jesse’s mouth went dry. “They together?”
“Just friends. We all are.”
“Good. I’d scope out anything with her.”
Keith laughed. “Then you should have been with her last night up at Ridge Pointe. Come on.” He shoved the tackle box into Jesse’s arms, then bent to pick up the rest of the gear. “Help me pack this stuff in a boat, and I’ll call it a day. Paige can tell you about the skull she and Zach found.”
Jesse blinked. “Skull?”
“Yeah. Turned out to be a whole freaking skeleton when forensics got there.” Keith lobbed a glance over his shoulder. “Hey, you didn’t think it was going to be boring here, did you?”
I’m high-jacking Mythical Monday today so I can announce the publication of my latest release, ECLIPSE LAKE. I’m excited to kick off summer with a romantic mystery set at a sleepy lake resort in late June. The timing couldn’t be better!
That’s one of the benefits of indie-pubbing—being able to pick when you’ll release your novel. ECLIPSE LAKE is equal parts mystery and romance, a strong 50/50 mix of each. If you’ve visited my blog before, you’ve heard me babble about this title, but I’ll give you a run-down again anyway. :)
Here’s the blurb:
Small towns hold the darkest secrets.
Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.
But memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.
Sound tempting? ECLIPSE LAKE is a story about family relationships, forgiveness and redemption played against a backdrop of mystery and romance. You can snatch a Kindle copy from Amazon now. I hope to eventually release this title in print and will be uploading it to Smashwords as soon as I venture a bit further with my learning curve.
Look for a blog tour with fun giveaways down the road. In the meantime, I invite you to hop over to Amazon and discover the mystery and romance of ECLIPSE LAKE. I’d also love if you would add it to your Goodreads list, upping its exposure. This one is PG-13 but does contain some language. Dane Carlisle is a bit of a different type of hero for me . . . and he still made me swoon :D
I know it’s Mythical Monday and I should be Mything but I actually have a blog tour kicking off today for TWELFTH SUN. The tour was supposed to happen way back in January, but if you recall, Lyrical Press was acquired by Kensington Books and it took a while for the dust to settle and new Kensington titles to be issued.
Book Promotions by Literary Nook Book was happy to work with me in delaying the tour, so here we are five months later, and it’s finally under way. Something is definitely mything from my blog today, but maybe the timing worked for the best as TWELFTH SUN is a breezy summer read. Here’s where I’ll be should you like to drop by and say hello over the next few weeks:
JM Stewart–Contemporary Romance Author – Promo with excerpt
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl – Promo with excerpt
Musings of a Writing Reader – Promo with excerpt
Mythical Books – Review
Have Novel, Will Edit – Promo with excerpt
Deal Sharing Aunt – Author Interview, Promo with excerpt
My Devotional Thoughts – Promo with excerpt
Literary Nook – Promo with excerpt
Book Reviews by Xunaira J. – Promo with excerpt
Crystal’s Many Reviewers – Review
In other news, I’m also visiting with Brooke Williams today, promoting SOLSTICE ISLAND . . . also a summery read, and a adventure involving a mythical sea creature.
And, since this is turning into a book update post, here’s where my latest WIPs stand:
I still hope to publish this title in June.
MYTH AND MAGIC
Romantic mystery involving ghostly happenings and sabotage at a secluded corporate retreat.
Takes place in October and over Halloween.
Should be ready for submission by the end of the month.
A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS
A haunted house, a family curse, and an evil presence that will stop at nothing to continue its legacy of darkness.
My current WIP.
I’m going back to my roots with this one. Fantasy/horror was my first genre as an author.
Mythical Monday will return next week as usual. In the meantime, I’d love to know what you’re working on at present, or news on your latest release. Please share!
I love having cover reveals, especially when I get to do one of my own. :D If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’ve been working on ECLIPSE LAKE for some time.
My romantic mystery is centered on a fifteen-year-old missing person’s case. I chose
May 1st for the reveal because it’s my mother’s birthday. Although she is no longer living, it’s my special day for remembering her. Tonight, my siblings and I will visit her grave, sing Happy Birthday to her, then get together for dinner, and toast her memory. She was a huge fan of my writing, so I thought today would be an ideal time to share ECLIPSE LAKE.
Genre: Romantic Mystery
Length: 84,000 Words
Releasing: June 2014
Cover Artist: Laura Gordon
Small towns hold the darkest secrets.
Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown, a successful businessman. Careful to have kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son, he soon discovers memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan is a nature photographer for a national magazine. Her latest assignment takes her to Onyx, a rural community tucked in northwestern Pennsylvania on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Within a matter of days, she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, long buried secrets threaten her growing attraction for Dane.
Ellie should have called it a night but the warm cloak of twilight kept her outside with Dane. High in the branches of clustering oaks, tree frogs struck up a chorus singing to one another in chattering voices. Water lapped against the shoreline, rolling over smooth pebbles and weedy clumps of grass.
“So I guess you’re a celebrity.” Dane’s lips curled in a crooked smile. He sent her a sideways glance, his blue-green eyes luminous in the darkness. “You can’t get much better than Coast to Coast when it comes to journalistic prestige. Aren’t you a little young to be…”
He was distressingly attractive, no two ways about it. Walking side by side with layers of twilight wrapped about them made her realize how potentially distracting he could be. Lethal to her stay in Onyx, if she allowed herself to become enamored. They’d had a nice dinner, but she had a job to do. That would be the end of it. She wasn’t looking for a romantic interlude no matter how magnetic she found him. So why did her heart flip-flop like a fish on dry land?
“I’m twenty-seven,” she told him. “Not that it matters, but I’ve worked hard to get where I am.”
“You look younger.”
“And you must be older than you seem. Your son has to be at least sixteen.”
“Seventeen. Jesse’s adopted. My late wife’s child from a previous relationship.”
“Oh.” She clamped her mouth shut. Discussing careers was one thing, past entanglements another. The thought of Dane as a widower made her uncomfortable. He’d told her his wife had died, but she hadn’t wrapped her head around the heart-breaking anguish of losing a spouse. “I…um…” Suddenly she couldn’t find anything to say. He’d adopted a child. Was sympathetic, generous, cordial. And good-looking. Did they really make men like him? No wonder she felt flighty, like a schoolgirl on her first date.
“Jesse was six when I adopted him,” Dane continued, unaware of her discomfort. “I’ve never thought of him in any way but as my own kid. Most of the time we get along.
Tonight—” His smile returned, thinner than before, and he shook his head. “He’s at the point where he’s constantly testing me. Almost a man. He’s angry because I haven’t told him why I’m here.”
She stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why are you?”
He picked up a flat stone. With a flick of his wrist he sent it skimming across the lake. It danced effortlessly across the surface as if he’d done the same thing a thousand times before. “You know that skeleton they found?”
“I’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard. I can’t pick up and go to another place…to the next photo shoot.” He turned to face her. “Half of my life is here and half’s on the west coast. I have to make them fit together.”
The revelation reminded her of the family she’d left behind in Idaho, reawakening a familiar tug of homesickness. How had a nice dinner morphed into such a somber discussion? In an effort to find more comfortable ground, she changed topics. “You told me you’re from San Diego. I did a photo op there four years ago. What do you do for a living?”
“I get by.” He took her hand and started walking again.
She sent a speculative glance in his direction, recognizing evasiveness when she heard it. He was wearing a Rolex, and though dressed casually, clearly had expensive taste. Yet he’d booked an ordinary cabin rather than one of the exclusive chalets higher up the mountain.
She liked the feel of his fingers around hers, warm and firm. The contact sent a pleasant tingle up her arm. What was wrong with her, getting caught up in his touch as if it were magic? As if she’d waited her whole life for that sensation. He had skeletons in his past, a brother who couldn’t stand the sight of him and a sheriff who wanted to run him out of town.
Eccentric or just plain trouble?
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:
What 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:
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, 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
Daisy 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:
Having 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.
In the event you haven’t heard the news my publisher, Lyrical Press, has been acquired by New York house, Kensington Books. Lyrical will become the digital imprint of Kensington. While this opens new opportunities and potential for Lyrical authors, it’s also created some unavoidable issues.
For the present, until contracts can be signed between Kensington and its new roster of authors, Lyrical has pulled their books from online retailers. As I had just kicked off a blog tour for TWELFTH SUN, I’ve had to cancel that tour. I’m grateful to Literary Nook, my touring company, for their understanding of the situation. The book tour wouldn’t have made much sense without the ability for readers to purchase my titles. Even though they already had bloggers and reviews lined up, Literary Nook willingly cancelled the tour and invited me to contact them again whenever I am ready.
If you had planned to visit me during any of my stops, that tour is now in a holding pattern. It may be thirty to sixty days before my titles are available again. Hopefully, sooner than later. The good news is that if I sign with Kensington, WEATHERING ROCK and TWELFTH SUN will be available through POD as well as digital format. As soon as I know more, I’ll share the news. None of this however, changes what I had previously planned for indie pubbing SOLISTICE ISLAND and ECLIPSE LAKE.
It feels extremely odd not to have my titles available for purchase right now, almost as if a safety net is missing. When the dust settles, whatever the outcome, I believe it will be for the better. Apparently, 2014 threw me a curve ball right out of the box. An exhilarating one, but a challenge nonetheless as I work to get everything back in order. That pesky New Year, LOL!
So, although I’ve had to cancel my tour temporarily, new adventures await on the horizon!
Best to all of you,