Mythical Monday: Visiting a Haunted Hotel by Mae Clair

One of the ponds in the TNT Area of West Virginia

One of the ponds in the TNT Area of West Virginia

Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I recently took a trip to Point Pleasant, West Virginia in order to continue researching my Mothman series of novels. This time, I was able to garner a much better understanding of how the “TNT AREA” is laid out, and visited a few specific locations I wanted to see. Originally used to store munitions in World War II, the TNT is now a wildlife management area that encompasses over 3600 acres. Riddled among dense woodlands, overgrown trails and algae-covered ponds is a network of concrete “igloos” where ammunition was once stored. These are built into hillsides, and covered by trees and grass, making them invisible when viewed from the air.

There are several roads connected to the TNT that I really didn’t have a feel for, including one where cars have been known to shut down or stall for no reason. After visiting, I now understand how they intersect, and was even able to snap a photo of a map for the TNT at the Mothman Museum (yes, there is one). The museum has recently moved to a new building, and it’s far nicer than before. Hubby and I chatted with the guy who runs it for a while, and I was able to pick up some good info and another map.

Metal fencing in front of the site of the old North Power Plant in the TNT area, West Virginia

Site of the old north power plant in the TNT

I also wanted to see the ruins of the North Power Plant along Fairgrounds Road. This is the location where the Mothman was first sighted in 1966. The power plant is gone but I was able to snap of photo of the ruins and location where it stood.

So what does any of this have to do with staying at a haunted hotel?

During my last trip to Point Pleasant, my husband and I stayed across the river in Gallipolis, Ohio. This time we stayed in downtown Point Pleasant in the Historic Lowe Hotel. This is a very old four-story behemoth built in 1904. As I have an old hotel in my novels, I wanted to get a feel for this one.

The owners were super friendly and the location put almost everything I wanted to do within walking distance (except the TNT). I can’t begin to relay the scope of this place—it was mammoth. With its long halls, old stairways, elaborate moldings and woodwork, there were times I felt like I stepped into the Overlook hotel in The Shining. Everything was furnished with antiques, and I do mean antiques—as if nothing had ever been changed. I opened the top drawer on the dresser and discovered an old songbook from the 1940s, the pages yellowed and tattered, inside. The sink in the bathroom had separate faucets for hot and cold water. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a sink like that. The second floor landing had a huge parlor with a piano, parlor benches and chairs, this even before we ventured down the hallway to our room.

So where does the ghost fit in? When I inquired why the hotel was billed as haunted (something I didn’t realize until our last night there), our host told us that a phantom had been seen occasionally on the third floor. Nothing much appeared to be known about this ghost but there was a picture someone had snapped hanging in the second floor hallway. Our host told us the spirit was visible in the photo so my husband and I checked it out. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but have to admit, the image of someone is definitely visible in the bottom right hand corner. I tried to grab a shot of it with my phone. Are you able to see the ghost?

Framed photo of ghost rumored to haunt the Lowe Hotel in West Virginia, apparition visible on right

Framed photo of ghost rumored to haunt the Lowe Hotel in West Virginia, apparition visible on right

We left the next morning without having encountered any spirits or experiencing anything that went bump-in-the-night (er, not that I would want to). No Mothman, no UFOs, no men-in-black. But I did meet some great people and came away with additional research notes on an interesting, historic town.

Out and About the First Day in July by Mae Clair

Ah, ‘tis the launch of a whole new month today. I feel like June flashed by in a blur, thanks in part to all the promo I’ve been doing for MYTH AND MAGIC. Can we say “exhausted?”

Speaking of which, Cindy Fazzi (a.k.a Vina Arno) is hosting me today with a short series of questions. If you’re moseying around the blogosphere and have a moment or two to spare, I’d love for you to hop over and say hello.

In any event, happy hump day, and HAPPY JULY!

Ah, ‘tis the launch of a whole new month today. I feel like June flashed by in a blurb, thanks in part to all the promo I’ve been doing for MYTH AND MAGIC. Can we say “exhausted”?   Speaking of which, Cindy Fazzi (a.k.a Vina Arno) is hosting me today with a short series of questions. If you’re moseying around the blogosphere and have a moment or two to spare, I’d love for you to hop over and say hello.   In any event, happy hump day, and HAPPY JULY!

My Debut on Great Indie Authors, by Mae Clair

Interesting thing about writing—you get to wear multiple hats. As an example, I just released a romantic suspense/mystery novel, MYTH AND MAGIC, through my publisher, Lyrical Press. But I’ve dabbled in indie publishing, too, and have two books to my name under that banner.

Book open on it's spine with rifled pagesToday, I am sharing one of them at Great Indie Authors, a fabulous blog I’ve recently discovered. The owner, Kevin Cooper, popped in on my blog one day to say hello and a whole new world opened up. Kev does a fabulous job promoting indie and small press authors. He’s also an author in his own right, a musician, and a cat lover (hello, Aragorn and Ricco!). Seriously, how can you go wrong with that? :D

Today, Kev has given me the spotlight on his “Author Interview” feature. I’m so happy to be there and invite you over to see what we’re chatting about. Also to discover this super-supportive and friendly blogger for yourself. While you’re there, why not sign up to follow his blog? I’m so glad I did! :)

~ooOOoo~

In other news, today is the launch of book tour number two for MYTH AND MAGIC, this one through Goddess Fish. I’m just doing a straight book promo tour this time, otherwise I would have been spreading myself too thin (there are 11 stops on this tour), but I had to share the snazzy banner they made for me:

BBT_TourBanner_MythAndMagic

If you need a refresher on what MYTH AND MAGIC is about, hop over to Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews, the first stop on my Goddess Fish book tour.

You can also find me at Mythical Books, today’s stop on my Pump Up Your Book tour.

And in case you’re wondering, I’m still waiting for someone to clone me ;)

You Are Cordially Invited to a Halloween Party (in June) by Mae Clair

Gothic looking woman wearing a long back gown and holding a ravenPlace:    The Breckwood Mansion, Coldcreek, PA

When:   Halloween Eve beginning at 7PM

What You Should Know:
Please come in costume. Mrs. Morgana Breckwood has gone to a great deal of time and expense to ensure this year’s annual Halloween party will make her previous events pale “ghostly” in comparison. And yes, the rumors are true. There is a slim possibility her son, Caith, might show. Not sure about a costume for him . . . you know how he feels about Halloween. 

Excerpt from Myth and Magic:
Veronica’s stomach clenched as a mixture of fear and dread skittered through her. The expression in her eyes must have betrayed her unease because Morgana took her by the arm and drew her aside. Across the hall, the caterer and florist were busily consulting with the head of Morgana’s household staff. Three workers wearing black shirts that proclaimed Ghosts & Ghouls, Inc. wheeled a life-sized coffin through the front door. Having attended a number of Morgana’s Halloween parties, Veronica knew trays would be fitted inside the open lid, bearing all manner of delectable treats.

“I know my son,” Morgana said, cutting through the noise and activity. “He’s stubborn, but he’s not stupid. He isn’t going anywhere, Veronica. He may not be willing to admit it, but he’s in love with you.”

“No.” She tried to draw away. “Don’t say that.”

“It’s the truth.”

She shook her head. “Caith’s terrified of love.”

“He’s terrified of loss.”

Veronica clamped her mouth shut. Morgana was right. Even if Caith wouldn’t admit it, she knew it was the defining emotion that had driven him all of his life. The reason he’d chosen a career designed to keep others safe, the reason he’d given his son another name, the reason he still couldn’t bring himself to visit Trask’s grave.

She wet her lips. “I have to see him.”

“Give him time first,” Morgana suggested. “Stuart said he was up all night working on the case. He’s barely slept and probably isn’t thinking clearly.” She smiled encouragingly, hooking her arm through Veronica’s. “You can stay and help me decide where the band should go. And the goblins. Did I mention we’re having roving goblins?”

Veronica managed a small smile. The Ghosts & Ghouls people were pushing a series of crates through the door. Tall ones, large ones, squat ones.

“Mrs. Breckwood,” a sandy-haired worker called. “Where would you like us to put the trolls?”

~ooOOoo~

Sound like a party you’d like to attend? Here’s the low-down on MYTH AND MAGIC:

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.
 
After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

Book Cover for MYTH AND MAGIC by Mae Clair depicting a brooding old home at nightAmazon 
Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iTunes 
Google
Kensington Publishing  

Today’s tour stop for my Pump Up Your Book blog tour is with ToiBox of Words. As always, pop over if you can.

And hey, about that Halloween Party–with my love of myth, I think I could have a blast there. How about you?

Ghosts with Mozzarella Please, by Mae Clair

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while, know that the kitchen and I have a love/hate relationship. I tend to think it should be decorative rather than functional. Lately, however, I have been trying to expand my horizons and occasionally venture into the realm of–*gasp!*–cooking. My husband looks on these ventures with a mixture of trepidation and….well, mostly, trepidation.

In my defense, I have been know to produce things that are edible. And then there is my infamous Tortellini Salad Recipe, something you might want to look into when you’re in a bind for a covered dish—uh, sort of.

Today, I’m visiting Jennifer Lowery’s Romance Recipes blog and sharing a recipe for “Ghostly Pizza,” while giving a brief glimpse of my newest release, MYTH AND MAGIC, a Halloween-themed romantic suspense/mystery novel. Why not hop over and see what it’s all about?

If I can make that pizza, ANYONE can. The tortellini salad proves it! :)

You can also find me at Romance Lives Forever. I had a little bit of a gaffe earlier when my post didn’t show up on the day I thought I was scheduled (doh!), but we got things straightened out. I’m sharing some insights about Myth so hop over if you can.

And finally, I’m also at Gothic Moms, my tour stop today for my Pump Up Your Book blog tour.

Myth-and-Magic-Banner

I Remember the Mystery Machine by Mae Clair

In the world of blogging you make a lot of great friends. I am truly thankful for all of them and the support they have shown me. Today, I am super excited to be a guest on the blog of my friend, Daisy Banks. Daisy is a gal who makes her home across the pond in the U.K.  She lives in a converted Chapel in Shropshire, England (how ridiculously cool is that?) and has a gorgeous garden. At least I’m convinced she does, because she blogs about flower folklore—among other things. Daisy writes in a multiple of genres including fantasy romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and sc-fi.

A picture of the Mystery Machine (from Scooby-Doo) from a car showI invite you to pop over to her blog today where I’m sharing a post about—would you believe, Scooby-Doo and the uber-cool Mystery Machine? I hope you’ll drop in to see what it’s all about! 

In addition, I’m also at C. A. Milson’s blog as part of my Pump Up Your Book blog tour, put together by Lyrical Press. I’m doing a Q&A interview there. It’s a good thing I don’t mind an occasionally hectic pace :)

Happy Hump Day!

When Stories Evolve by Mae Clair

If you’re a writer, at one point or another, you probably had a story evolve beyond anything you anticipated. That’s pretty much how my new romantic suspense/mystery novel, MYTH AND MAGIC, became…MYTH AND MAGIC.

Many years ago—actually decades—I wrote a short story called RESURRECTING MERLIN. At the time, I was writing full-length manuscripts and had joined a local critique group for short story writers. Writing something under 10K was a challenge for me. RESURRECTING MERLIN was my first attempt.

I wrote a lot of short stories after that, but RM was always my favorite. A magical realism piece with a dark thread, the nucleus revolved around two young brothers, Tristan and Merlin, who played games of myth and magic. They spent many afternoons imagining themselves wizards who battled savage trolls and fierce beasts. That idyllic setting was shattered by a tragedy that forever altered Tristan’s life, causing an insurmountable gulf between him and his parents.

I won’t go into the entire plot, but it always rattled around in the back of mind. I didn’t want to leave it languishing in a short that I’d probably never use. So, years later, I took the core idea—an innocent childhood of mythical games fractured by an horrific event—and made that the heart of MYTH AND MAGIC. I changed the circumstances of the event, and now, instead of only two brothers, there were four friends—one a young girl who fancied herself every bit as adept with her imaginary sword as the three boys.

Most of you know MYTH AND MAGIC is a Halloween tale about weird happenings at a secluded corporate lodge. But that’s only half of the story. The time line in the present. You’ll also find several scenes where I turn the clock back to childhood, in order for my reader to understand the motivations of my characters. Particularly my hero and heroine.

Today, my Pump Up Your Book blog tour stop is with A Little Bit of R & R. Please pop over and say hello if you can. And I’d love to hear if you’ve ever had a story evolve from something small into the nucleus of a much larger work.

Book Cover for MYTH AND MAGIC by Mae Clair depicting a brooding old home at nightAmazon 
Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iTunes 
Google
Kensington Publishing