I love having cover reveals, especially when I get to do one of my own. 😀 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?
Another beautiful cover, and what a fantastic way to remember your mother by releasing it on her birthday. An intriguing excerpt too. I’m looking forward to this new release of yours.
Thanks so much, Joanne. The setting is (loosely) based on an area about two hours west of where I live. The moment I saw it, I knew I’d have to work it into a book someday. It was a place my mother enjoyed as well 🙂
Stunning cover, I love the mysterious, eerie feel of the bulrushes 🙂
Thanks, Mishka! I think the artist did a great job in capturing the feel I wanted to convey.
Ohh wonderful cover, Mae!! I’m impressed you did the cover yourself. It looks great. Love the excerpt too. You know I can’t wait to get my copy! You write such wonderful stories and I have so much fun trying to figure out the mysteries in them!
I’m thrilled to hear you’re looking forward to it. I just love crafting mysteries — with romance 😉
For the cover, I had a cover artist this time. I’m worried about doing the wrap cover for the POD since I hope to release it through CreateSpace as well, so I thought I’d better hire a cover artist until I get more familiar with that aspect. Laura Gordon of the Book Cover Machine did it for me, and I really like the end result!
I read the excerpt, and I’m caught. Sounds like a great story. The cover looks fantastic too. I’m so impressed. I’m a fan!
LOL! Hi, Mary! Thanks so much for your awesome support. I’m glad I’ve got you hooked with another one. Thanks for sharing my special day 🙂
Love the cover, Mae! Sounds great too! Can’t wait to read it! Congrats!
I’m delighted to hear that, L.J.! I’m looking forward to the release. The book is actually set in June so that seemed an ideal time to release it. I’m delighted to hear you’re looking forward to the read!
Lovely! And the blurb and excerpt have me hooked! I’m looking forward to this one — well, all of your books actually. 🙂
Hi, Donna! I like the sound of that 😀 and I’m jazzed to know the blurb and excerpt did their job. Thanks so much!
Stunning. The reflection of the clouds in the water is beautiful. You’re on a roll this year, Mae!
I’m sure your mom would be very proud of you. I love the month of May. For me it’s a month full of hope and it reminds me of my grandmother. Both our birthdays fall in May.
I think of May as one of hope too, Emma. My favorite months are May, June and October. I think it’s wonderful you share your birthday month with your grandmother. What a great bond for both of you.
I love the clouds in the water too. Reflections are great mood setters. Thanks for sharing my special day! 🙂
My first glimpse of the cover made me gasp. Stunning. And I love the tag line. As with all of your books, I can’t wait to read this one. Happy birthday to your mom. I love that your family will celebrate her together.
Hi, Gemma. Thanks so much for those lovely words. They warm my heart 🙂
Just got back from dinner with my sibs. Our spouses stay at home for this one… Just my mom’s four kids (and her sister) sharing memories of her. It was wonderful.
smart move to hire a cover artist especially if going through CreateSpace. The ad for my book is in the New York Review of Books and I’m amazed how many self publishing publishers – (odd wording) there are Are you using one of Createsspaces packages?
Hi, Sue. I haven’t checked CreateSpace yet but understand that’s the best way to go. I still have to look into it and figure it out, but in the meantime I’ll get thee book out. Congrats on your ad. Sounds awesome!
Wow you must not sleep at all! So many new books- awesome!
LOL! Hi, Heather. Somedays it certainly feels like I don’t get any sleep 🙂
Thanks for checking out my latest!
Beautiful cover. An intriguing excerpt too!
Thanks, Alicia. I’m looking forward to another release 🙂
Stunning cover and intriguing excerpt. What a beautiful way to remember your mother! I know she’s proud of you.
Thanks so much, Patricia. Doing the cover reveal on my mother’s birthday meant a lot to me!
Absolutely gorgeous cover. Good logline too. The story sounds so engaging, and I love the name of the town, Onyx, and the name Dane. Congratulations on another success!
Thanks so much, Flossie! I’m looking forward to release day:)
Whoa, how did I miss this earlier?! I love this cover, Mae! It’s just perfect for the tone of this novel! Congrats!
Thanks, Jessi. I think the cover artist did a great job and am looking forward to getting another release out there. I love spinning mysteries!