Looking Back at 2014 by Mae Clair

It seems only natural that we glance back over the previous year as we get ready to transition to a new one. As a kid, I looked at New Year’s Eve as a so-so holiday. Sure, it was fun to stay up and watch that glittery ball drop in Times Square, but there really wasn’t much more to recommend it.

Champagne bottle resting on glittery gold stars and a clock face about to strike midnightWhen I got older, and met my husband, we enjoyed parties out with friends, ringing in in the New Year with large groups of people. But the older we grew, we gradually transitioned into New Year’s Eve being a quiet holiday at home. It has become “our holiday,” the one festive night of the year we celebrate solely alone…a late night candlelight dinner, champagne, just the two of us. As a result, I’ve grown to view what I once considered a so-so holiday as a charmed night. Not just for the romantic date-night ambiance, but also the bewitchment of one year bowing before the next. I’ve come to view that magical moment when the clock strikes twelve with a combination of whimsy, nostalgia and excitement.

I’m happy for the new writer/blogging friends I made in 2014, and the wonderful friendships I’ve maintained. I’ve discovered some great new blogs, authors and books, and am continually amazed by the peer-support in the online writing community. Guys, if I haven’t said it before—you rock!! What an amazing network!

Personally, I managed to pull off a few feats in 2014. It seems there’s always something waiting on my radar. This past year, I became a contracted author with Kensington Publishing when Lyrical Press was acquired by the New York house. I saw both of my two previous titles with Lyrical (WEATHERING ROCK and TWELFTH SUN) re-released through Kensington, with both titles going to print shortly.

Cover KindleI wrote my first novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND, and indie published it on Kindle. I also designed the cover for SOLSTICE ISLAND, which had me feeling pretty pumped up (Rah!). Strike a few more “firsts” off my list.

After that, I indie published ECLISPE LAKE to Kindle AND *gulp* print using Amazon’s CreateSpace. It took me a while to actually buckle down and make myself tackle the latter, but I’m delighted to have MY book in my hands at last. I remember how I used to dream of that moment when I was a little girl, laboriously writing stories out longhand in a loose-leaf notebook.

I submitted a romantic suspense/mystery novel, MYTH AND MAGIC, to Kensington which was accepted for publication. I just finished the galleys for that one, and if all goes according to schedule, MYTH AND MAGIC will release in June of 2015.

I am presently *thisclose* to finishing the first draft of my Mothman romantic suspense/mystery. My goal is to submit the ms to Kensington by February of 2015 then gnaw on my fingernails, er…work on something else, while I wait to see if it’s accepted.

book lying on it's spine, face-up with pages fanned openFinally, I am a voracious reader and devoured 65 books this year, the same as last year. I had hoped for more, but the learning curve with indie publishing took a toll on my time. All in all, not a bad year. I can only hope that 2015 will be as productive!

Have you already set goals for yourself for the coming year? Mine include launching a newsletter, doing my first book signing, and—of course—more writing. What about you?

An Interview with Caleb DeCardian of WEATHERING ROCK by Mae Clair #MFRW AUTHOR

Sometime over the summer I had intended to visit the blog of a sister author and had prepared an interview with Colonel Caleb DeCardian, the hero of my novel WEATHERING ROCK.  Due to complications that interview never ran, so I thought why not trot it out now? Among other things, Caleb always pops into my mind during the month of October when things paranormal and spooky are at their height.

Before indulging in an interview with my favorite colonel, perhaps I should share a glimmer of his tale with the blurb from WEATHERING ROCK:

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Drawn 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?

Caleb, it’s great to have you here today. I know you don’t like talking about yourself, but I have a number of curious readers. It’s not every day we have a Civil War colonel drop by to say hello, so let’s start with something simple. What is your favorite drink?
An acceptable question, I suppose. I used to favor coffee, but the stuff that passes for it in this century is like drinking brown water. No bite. Then there are those fancy flavored things Arianna drinks. *Shakes his head* I haven’t had a good cup of coffee since 1863.

And your favorite food?
I’m not fussy. There were plenty of times during the war when we made do with what we had, or did without. I do prefer my food full-flavored, however, and fail to see the attraction of all the “reduced calorie,” and “fat free” swill that passes for sustenance these days. Dreadful!

Considering how fit you are, I don’t think you could relate. Let’s switch topics. What do you consider your best date, um…courtship moment.
The first time Arianna agreed to have dinner with me. I admit to coercing her into it, then not being at my best. There was a full moon the night before, and it takes me a while to recover from those. I have my ex-friend, Seth Reilly, to thank for that curse. Fortunately, it wasn’t the last time I saw Arianna.

And your worst date?
The costume party Arianna’s friend, Lauren held. After getting over the shock of seeing Arianna dressed as…*shakes his head and holds up a hand* I’m sorry. As a gentleman, I simply can’t say. I just recall the party was a disaster. There was that infernal shower of ball lightning then Reilly showed up on the arm of Arianna’s sister. I’d been chasing that traitor for three years and didn’t react well. I only wish the turncoat hadn’t gotten away. It would have saved a lot of aggravation that came later.

Yes, it did get rather ugly. What do you notice first in a woman?
I have you to thank for that mess. And as to what do I notice first—with Arianna it was her car. She nearly ran me down on the road.

That was somewhat problematic, wasn’t it? Let’s switch topics again. What is your biggest pet peeve with women?
Well… *shifts uncomfortably*… sometimes I have to remember I’m living in a different century. Arianna and I have had a few … discussions … about her unwillingness to listen to reason. *pauses and shifts again*

When she calls me “Colonel” it usually means she has no intention of conceding her viewpoint. After commanding a full regiment of soldiers during the bloodiest battle in the Civil War, it’s a difficult matter to concede to a single woman.

Use three words to describe yourself.
Courtly—so Arianna says. Demanding—per my descendent Wyn. Complicated—my choice.

If you could meet anyone who would it be?
I left a lot of family behind when I ended up in this century. I would like to see my mother and father again. My father…well, perhaps that’s where the “complicated” reference in my previous answer comes into play. I’ll leave that relationship for anyone who cares to read my story in the novel WEATHERING ROCK.

What is one secret that you don’t want people to know about you?
I’m afraid it’s no longer a secret to your readers that my former friend cursed me to life as a werewolf. During my story, however, Wyn and I went to great lengths to keep that particular detail under wraps.

It’s also no great secret that I find moments like this unnecessary and somewhat embarrassing. You’ll forgive me if I put an end to this silliness, er…fluff…or whatever you prefer to call it. *Stands and prepares to withdraw* As a gentleman, I am required to say it has been a pleasure. I would, however, much prefer your readers become acquainted with me through the novel, WEATHERING ROCK. With that, I will wish you a good day.

Thank you, Colonel. It’s been interesting to say the least, and I will certainly pass on the means through which readers can connect with you first hand. 

To learn more about Caleb, purchase WEATHERING ROCK from:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iBooks  

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK 

The Unexpected Curve Ball by Mae Clair

Dear Friends,

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,
Mae

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Mythical Monday: The Huntsman and the Werewolf by Mae Clair

wolfreduced1.jpgLast week on Mythical Monday I shared a vampire legend, so it seemed only fitting I share the tale of a werewolf today. I’ve been in love with werewolf folktales ever since I was a little girl and first set eyes on Quentin Collins of Dark Shadows. Since then my preoccupation with this tortured night prowler steadily grew until I eventually wrote my own story, Weathering Rock.

Today, I’d like to share an older tale with you, one that originates in the Auvergne province of France. According to legend, there was once a great lord and lady whose lands bordered an area dense with forest. All was well until a creature began slaughtering the lord’s flocks. This went on for several days each month but the creature, one of great stealth and savagery, could not be caught. Many men tried and failed.

Finally, the lord summoned his master huntsman and bade him kill the wretched beast. Surely if anyone could end its reign of terror, it would be the huntsman.

bigstock-Siluette-of-man-in-the-forest--26582798Vowing to succeed, the man set out grimly determined. As dusk fell and a pall of shadows smothered the land, he came upon the creature in a wood near the manor pastures. The huntsman drove it into the underbrush, but the beast turned on him, knocking him to the ground.

Drawing his knife, he managed to slice off of one its forepaws. With a blood-curdling howl, the wolf bolted into the woods. The huntsman tracked it through the night, but was unsuccessful in finding it. When dawn was still hours away, he returned to the manor and placed the severed paw in a wooden box as a trophy for his lord.

The next day the huntsman sought an audience with his master and relayed his tale with pride. He presented the box with the beast’s forepaw as proof of his encounter with the heinous creature. But when the box was opened, a woman’s hand lay inside. The lord’s expression turned thunderous, for the hand bore a signet ring twin to his own.

Stalking to his wife’s bedchamber he threw open the door and found her being attended by physicians. When he demanded to know why, she explained she’d suffered a terrible accident, and that her left hand had been severed at the wrist.

“Here is your hand, woman,” he thundered, displaying the grisly trophy. Then he commanded his physicians to bind her, condemning her as a werewolf. She pleaded with him for mercy, but he turned deaf fears and ordered her burned at the stake.

Not a very loving husband, was he? And you probably thought he was going to go ballistic on the huntsman when he first saw the hand (I did).

But these were dark times full of superstition and cruelty. Land and livestock held far more value than a wife. I’m sure the huntsman was richly rewarded, though the tale doesn’t go that far.

One of the things that attract me to the werewolf legend is the duality of strength and fragility, its immense power bound by the whim of moonlight. The anguish of conflict, human and creature. Vampires remember their mortal life, but once turned there is no going back. The werewolf has to constantly straddle both sides of a curse — mostly human but doomed to a bestial existence every full moon.

What about you? Are you a werewolf fan? Any favorite aspects of the werewolf curse you’d like to ponder? Or maybe there’s a particular wolf story or movie that resonated with you. Halloween is creeping right around the corner. Do share! :D

Halloween Happenings by Mae Clair

Did you feel that goose bump? Spooky happenings are afoot as I go traveling today!

design background for Halloween partyFirst up, I’m sharing a piece of flash fiction called A la Carte Kiss about a sexy vampire (yes, the werewolf girl wrote something about a vamp!) as part of Karen Michelle Nutt’s Halloween Flash Fiction Bash.

And because I wanted to offer a Halloween treat I’ll be awarding a $5.00 gift card to Amazon to one commenter. My blog followers have been so wonderfully supportive, so do hop over and enter your name for a shot at it. Aren’t treats fun?

Lest werewolves get short shrift, I’m also on Lyrical Press’s blog participating in Celebrate Paranormal Month with a post about my hunky Civil War colonel, Caleb DeCardian from WEATHERING ROCK.

So grab some apple cider or pumpkin juice and come traveling with me. What do you think of my “owlish” messenger? :D Isn’t he perfect as a Halloween usher?

Ghoulish Reads by Mae Clair

What books make your spine tingle? WR Cover for web

Today, I’m visiting Christina McKnight, sharing the book that started it all for me, along with my favorite Stephen King read. And since it’s October, I’m also talking about my werewolfy paranormal time travel novel, WEATHERING ROCK.

Drop by Christina’s blog to share your own favorite paranormal reads! I’d love to see you there!

A Friday Visit by Mae Clair

twelfthsuncoverIt’s Friday, a fun day to go visiting! I invite you to pop over to Christina Cole’s blog Time for Love  where she’s generously taken time out of her day to interview me. I’m discussing WEATHERING ROCK, TWELFTH SUN, my writing routine (slip-shod as it is) and my idea of the perfect romantic date among other things.

If you have a moment, please drop by and say hello. Happy Friday!