About Mae Clair

Writing tales of myth, mystery, and contemporary romantic suspense

#FridayBookShare @ShelleyWilson72 – The Terror by Dan Simmons

Welcome to another Friday Book Share! Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)

early morning beach scene with sun breaking through the clouds over oceanFirst line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favorite line/scene.


I haven’t actually read THE TERROR recently, but I wanted to participate in Shelley’s Friday Book Share, and this novel ranks as one of my all-time favorite reads—probably among my top five. It’s one of those books you can’t say enough about.

Also, please note that although the first line (below) is in present tense and several chapters of the book are written that way, the huge bulk of this book is written in third person POV.

First Line of Book:

Captain Crozier comes up on deck to find his ship under attack by celestial ghosts.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb:

The men on board the HMS Terror—part of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition—are entering a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, stranded in a nightmarish landscape of ice and desolation. Endlessly cold, they struggle to survive with poisonous rations and a dwindling coal supply. But their real enemy is even more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror clawing to get in.

Introduce the main character using only three words:

Captain Francis Crozier—conflicted, commander, survivor

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book):

Book cover for THE TERROR by Dan Simmons which shows an old clipper ship without sails surrounded by ice and glaciers

Audience appeal. Who would enjoy reading this book?

Although I found this novel in the horror section of the bookstore, it is far more than a story of terror. It’s also a riveting account of the doomed historical expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. Characters such as Sir John Franklin and Captain Francis Crozier actually lived. What makes this book stand out—at least for me—is how well the author combines the terrifying with the lyrical. The Terror is a novel that weaves folklore, the supernatural, history, horror, and suspense into one huge powerhouse of a book. It will appeal to those who love historical fiction with unique and terrifying twists.

A favorite line/scene:

Suddenly there came the pop-pop-pop of musket fire.

Incredibly, unbelievably, obscenely, a line of four Marines just outside the circle of light from the flames had taken their knees on the ice and were firing into the clumps and mobs of running men. Here and there a figure—still sadly and absurdly in costume—fell to the ice.

Releasing Fitzjames, Crozier ran forward, stepping into the line of volley fire and waving his arms. Musket balls whizzed past his ears.


The firing popped and stopped.

The Marines snapped to a standing salute, Sergeant Tozer shouting that the white thing was out there among the men. They’d seen it backlit by flames. It was carrying a man in its jaws.

Amazon Purchase Link

Do you enjoy historical thrillers? Does The Terror sounds like something that would appeal to you?

The Delusion by Dr. Hank Wehman #PsychiatricThriller

Hey, friends, I have a special treat today. I’d like to introduce the psychiatric thriller/mystery The Delusion,  the debut release of Dr. Hank Wehman, a practicing psychiatrist. Hank is part of my local critique group, so I am overly excited to see his novel in print and on Amazon. I provided critique and feedback for half of this novel before getting pulled away by publishing deadlines. Since then I’ve read the entire book and was blown away by how everything played out. This is a roller-coaster, cat-and-mouse game of suspense with an ending that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the story.

Book cover for The Delusion by Hank Wehman, M.D. shows close up of woman's face in profile against a dark backgroundBlurb:
It’s a routine Monday morning when psychiatrist AJ Beasley meets a new patient, Valerie Clinton. Valerie was freed from abuse after her boyfriend was killed on a Philadelphia expressway. AJ is confident this is a textbook case, until she reveals the real reason for her visit: the dead man has been menacing her. Clearly a delusion.

AJ has dealt with delusions before, but this one is different. As he delves into the case, strange things begin to happen. Ultimately he becomes convinced her claim is NOT delusional, that in fact the deceased abuser is actively pursuing them both.

How can this be? How will AJ and Valerie come to grips with this impossible situation? Will it turn deadly?

“The Delusion” is a fast-paced, tense thriller in the seldom encountered genre of psychiatric mystery.


Hank Wehman is a psychiatrist with thirty years’ experience, currently practicing at a community mental health center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He received his MD degree from Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey. Medicine is his third career. Previously he had earned a PhD in developmental biology from Johns Hopkins, did basic biological research and taught college prior to entering medical school. He was a member of the Society of Jesus, a Catholic religious order known as the Jesuits, for eleven years. He is married, has four children. He resides in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. This is his first novel.

I gave this book five well-deserved stars. You can grab your own copy from Amazon in Kindle format or print, and explore the author’s website at HJWehmanMD.com. You can also connect with Hank on Goodreads. I’m already looking forward to his next book!

Goodreads #Giveaway: A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair #Mothman #PointPleasant Book 2

December is approaching, and with it, the release of book 2 in my Point Pleasant saga,  A Cold Tomorrow. In anticipation of the December 20th release, Kensington Publishing is running a Goodreads giveaway for residents in the US and Canada. This is your chance to win a print copy of the book while helping a hard-working author out in the process.

Er…that would be me, folks.🙂

GR giveaways do wonders for getting books noticed with increased exposure, so I hope you’ll take a moment to hop over and enter. It will be a huge help to me, so please accept my gratitude in advance.

I’m currently busily working on book 3 of the series, but I have a special fondness for book 2. I’ve heard many writers find the middle book the most difficult to write. I didn’t encounter that problem, but it could be due to my fondness for the subject matter—UFOs, Men in Black, and, of course, the Mothman. What a combination! If you read book one, A Thousand Yesteryears, you’ll find I’ve expanded on many open threads, as well as opening new ones—such as introducing the mysterious Mr. Evening. And if you haven’t read book 1, A Cold Tomorrow, can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

Book cover for A COLD TOMORROW by author, Mae Clair shows a deserted country lane at night beneath a sky of green cloudsBLURB:
Where secrets make their home…  

Stopping to help a motorist in trouble, Katie Lynch stumbles upon a mystery as elusive as the Mothman legend that haunts her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Could the coded message she finds herald an extraterrestrial visitor? According to locals, it wouldn’t be the first time. And what sense should she make of her young son’s sudden spate of bizarre drawings—and his claim of a late-night visitation? Determined to uncover the truth, Katie only breaks the surface when a new threat erupts. Suddenly her long-gone ex-boyfriend is back and it’s as if he’s under someone else’s control. Not only is he half-crazed, he’s intent on murder….

As a sergeant in the sheriff’s office of the famously uncanny Point Pleasant, Officer Ryan Flynn has learned to tolerate reports of puzzling paranormal events.   But single mom Katie Lynch appears to be in very real danger—and somehow Ryan’s own brother, Caden, is caught up in the madness, too. What the skeptical lawman discovers astounds him—and sends him into action. For stopping whatever evil forces are at play may just keep Katie and Caden alive….


Intrigued? Then please enter the Goodreads giveaway here then hop over to Amazon and pre-order your copy of A Cold Tomorrow. Like the giveaway, pre-orders are a huge help in getting a book launched successfully. I truly appreciate each and every pre-order and, as always, am grateful to my readers and friends for your ongoing support. You guys rock!

The Mothman knows that too😀

Guest Blogger Carmen Stefanescu: The Qualities of a Good Book

Today, I’m delighted to welcome my good friend, Carmen Stefanescu back to my blog with a post about the qualities that go into a good book. I’d love to get your opinion in the comments, and I know Carmen would too. So….

To be or not to be a good book?
By Carmen Stefanescu

The question What makes a good book? has been popping up in my head quite a bit lately while reading, and especially, writing my own books.

I stop writing only to reread what I’ve written and wonder, “Is this good?”

Now, what is a good book? I think it’s a legitimate question to ask ourselves. What defines good? Should it be my own definition, someone else’s, or based on popular opinion? The opinion of what makes a good book is almost entirely subjective.
Think of an old favorite book you’ve read again and again. Can you picture it in your head, almost as if you had a copy in your hands, ready to open and start reading right now?

A woman sitting on the beach reading a book. Her back is to the camera, with ocean in front. Done in a wash of faded colors

Think about it for a while. Pick the story apart and mull it over a bit. What makes  you love the story? What makes you keep coming back to it time and again? What makes your mind wander back to the story and muse about it? What qualities of that book do you love and cherish?

What are the elements of a good book for me? Well, here’s what I have in mind, speaking from a reader’s POV:

The best kind of plot is one that keeps people reading because they are so engrossed and intrigued that they just can’t put the book down. Personally, I like when I don’t know what’s going to happen in a plot. Predictability is something I tend to dislike because, in my eyes, nothing kills a story faster than too much predictability. Predictability in small doses is fine – but readers don’t want to be right all the time. Unnecessary scenes that don’t add to the plot or character growth in any way, shape, or form should be edited – or cut out completely.

It doesn’t matter whether I’m reading  mystery, paranormal or fantasy as long as there are realistic and relatable elements to the plot and characters. Realism may not apply to realms of fiction, but elements of realism always should. Nothing is perfect, not even in a utopian setting, because people are not perfect. The imperfections add a relatable element whatever story is being told.

Emotion is probably the highest relatable factor for me when I’m reading. I may never have met a vampire or kissed a shapeshifter, but I know the tugs of love and the irrational thoughts and passions that come with it. The circumstances don’t matter as long as readers feel along with the characters. It’s a challenge for writers, yes, but it leads to more of a deep and meaningful story.

Storytelling needs to have a flow to the writing – and there’s nothing that breaks a flow in storytelling like inconsistencies in characters, backstories, or the writing style itself.

Don’t you hate it when you’re reading a book that’s keeping you guessing – only to hit a snag and get thrown out of the story completely because you read something that just didn’t make sense?  Writers need to know their worlds, the worlds’ rules, and the characters inhabiting said worlds. Readers will settle for the  easy resolution but they don’t like them because they don’t reflect real life, which almost always bears struggle and conflict. Happily ever afters are preferred by readers, but they’re much more meaningful if the characters have ‘paid their dues’ to earn the HEA.

conceptual idea with an open book standing on a hillside, with clouds above and 3D images of a chair and trees within the bookWRITING
I often know a book will be good if I am envious of the writing. While that sounds a weird thing to say, keep in mind that I am a writer myself. If I can read a first passage in a book and think, “Wow, I wish I could write like this,” then that’s saying something, isn’t it?

Though tastes vary, descriptions aren’t a bad thing since a writing style can help give a book its own specific kind of atmosphere. The point, is less is more. Not many readers like to barrel through paragraphs of description, no matter how beautifully written, because it slogs down the story.

I may be a bit critical, but I always fall hard for characters. I look at it this way: why read about characters I don’t like? I want to root for that character no matter what. I want to stand behind him/her and his/her decisions. I want to follow him/her on whatever journey is unfolding in his/her life.

Flaws  and ambiguity. They’re necessary. Why did so many of us Pride and Prejudice fans come out loving  Darcy, arrogant man that he could be? Because he was flawed and ambiguous only to show greater depth and emotion than any reader had likely imagined.

To conclude – I leave the question to all your followers: what makes a good book for you? Make it a big question of the day, because, honestly, isn’t a good book what anyone is hoping for any time they sit down and open a book to read?

Keep your reader reading.

Author, Carmen Stefanescu smiling for cameraAUTHOR BIO
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

High school teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world that of the books.

Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002.

Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

Books by Carmen Stefanescu

shadowsofthepastbkBook cover for Till Life Do Us Part by Carmen Stefanescu shows a trees at night framing a full moonShadows of the Past
Paranormal/light romance/light historical/light mystery

Till Life Do Us Part
Paranormal/light romance/light historical/light mystery

You can stalk the author at the following haunts:
Blog | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon

I don’t know about where you live, but here, in Romania we experienced a heat wave this past summer with temperature over 45 Celsius degrees. Hot! The weather brought thunderstorms and lightening strikes. Did I say I was happy for summer to end, even though I don’t really like autumn? Here are my feelings about autumn:


Autumn has turned up

on my doorstep.

Again !

country lane on a wet rainy autumn day,Drenched, tempestuous, frowned.

Rusted leaves are coiled

in her dripping hair,

a gray, foggy cape

wrapping her to the ground.

She pierces my soul with

cold, distant eyes.

Her breath smells of

rottenness and rain.

Dejected I bend my head,

and I sigh.

My hopes she forgot

where I lived were in vain.

Welcome to the Paranormal Bar and Grille #ScavengerHunt #Giveaway

Welcome, traveler! The authors of Story Empire (Staci Troilo, C.S. Boyack, Sandra Cox, Harmony Kent and I) have a huge Halloween giveaway kicking off today. There are multiple gift cards and ebooks up for grabs, plus lots of fun with several scavenger hunts.

You’ll find us hanging out at the Paranormal Bar & Grille, a spooky establishment with a questionable clientele. Well, questionable if you consider vampires, gargoyles, witches, creatures of urban legend and other supernatural beings unusual. Grab a tankard at the bar, sit down for a chat, and then embark on the scavenger hunts, collecting goodies along the way.close up of bar with old bottles and urns

You can find the main page here with links at the bottom to each of the individual scavenger hunts we’re offering. Each hunt offers you the chance to win a $15.00 Amazon gift card, a $10.00 Amazon gift card and multiple ebooks. That’s fifteen, not too shabby, chances to win.

And there’s more…

We’ve also booked a month long blog tour through Reading Addiction Tours that begins today and runs through November 4th. Discover excerpts from our books, reviews and purchase links at multiple stops. At the end of the tour we’ll be awarding a $30.00 gift card to Amazon. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter drawings at each blog to increase your chances to win. You can follow the tour here.


Finally, on October 31st we’ll be doing a one day Halloween blast through Goddess Fish Promotions. One lucky winner will walk away with a $50.00 Amazon gift card. You can check the Story Empire site or any of our individual blogs on the 31st for links to the blast.

And if you haven’t picked up your copy of MACABRE SANCTUARY yet, a collection of spooky tales in which four of the Story Empire authors are featured, snatch up your FREE copy and start reading.

Happy Halloween!

Macabre Sanctuary #Free #Halloween #eBook

It’s October, nearing Halloween, when things that go-bump-in-the-night push to the forefront of our minds. What an ideal time to curl up with a book designed to inspire shivers and goosebumps.

I invite you to explore MACABRE SANCTUARY, a FREE collection of ten short stories published by AIW Press. Yes, you heard correctly. MACABRE SANCTUARY is free for the taking from Amazon, Apple, Kobo and others.

Click HERE to download the anthology in the format of your choice

Close up of part of a spooky old house at nightBlurb:
Thrills. Chills. Shadows and superstitions. Things that go bump in the night. Macabre Sanctuary boasts suspenseful fiction designed to elicit goosebumps and raise heartrates.

Learn the lore of a haunted island.
Grapple with the undead while robbing graves Halloween night.
Endure a hazing ritual unlike any other.
Deal with a demon at an All Souls’ Day celebration.
See what happens when you court death in the wild.
Battle zombies and cannibals in a quest to stay alive.
Travel back in time to witness the birth of true evil.
Fear prophetic nightmares made manifest.
Come to terms with new ethereal realities.
Befriend a feline to extend earthly life.

This collection from ten talented authors offers ghosts and demons, spirits and zombies, cannibals and killers… even a ferocious animal. Historical and contemporary tales of violence and fright keep readers on the edges of their seats. There’s something for everyone who loves spine-tingling, bone-chilling, blood-curdling stories.


I’m delighted my short story The Lady Ghost, about two brothers who go grave-robbing on Halloween night was accepted for inclusion in this anthology. You’ll find nine other stories as well, all themed around Halloween or spooky happenings. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you entertained. Please share the news with your friends and tell them to download a copy as well. Who doesn’t like a good spooky read near Halloween? Bwahahaha!

You can find the fabulous authors in this collection at the following haunts:
Joan Hall: http://joanhall.net
Mae Clair: http://maeclair.net
Jan Morrill: http://janmorrill.com
Staci Troilo: http://stacitroilo.com
Pamela Foster: http://pamelafosterspeakerwriter.wordpress.com/
Stacy Claflin: http://stacyclaflin.com
Michele Jones: http://michele-jones.com
K. E. Lane: http://ke-lane.com
Harmony Kent: http://www.harmonykent.co.uk/
C. S. Boyack: https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/

And don’t leave without grabbing your

Happy Hauntings!

Close up of a spooky old house at night

When #Cats Rule Your World by Mae Clair

Those of you who’ve been following my blog or a while know that I’m a cat fanatic. It’s been almost five years since I lost my last cat, Onyx, to cancer. I never thought I would last five years between felines given my OCD (obsessive cat disorder), but if I’d gotten another cat sooner (or later) I wouldn’t have met Raven.

Say hello to my latest companion.

cute black cat lying on a white and blue blanket, looking at cameraShe’s four months old and is a rescue from Castaway Critters. I’ve been prepping my house for her for weeks. Rather, I should say I’ve been prepping for “a cat.” I’m a planner, so I had completed an application to CC ahead of time, supplied references and a vet check, all so that I could get a cat the first week of October, after a brief visit to the beach. All neat and tidy, planned out perfectly—NOT!

I was approved ahead of time and started looking at the Castaway Critters website early. Big mistake. My willpower was shot by that point and I was in uber cat mode.

I knew I wanted another black cat. Why? Because they’re often left in shelters due to old superstitions, something I addressed in my novella FOOD FOR POE. I saw Raven online, went to meet her prior to my beach trip, and was immediately smitten. Once they put her in my arms, she started purring, and buried her nose in my elbow, I was a goner.

Hubby and I brought her home before our trip, but I made sure she had everything she needed while we were away.

I’m pleased to say she’s settled in just fine, passed her vet check with flying colors and has pretty much taken control of the house. Yeah, she rules my world.

Check out these photos of her lounging on my desk, and playing on her climbing tree. She has boatloads of energy, but she will curl up for an hour or three on my desk when I’m composing. Otherwise, it’s racing through the house in the morning and demanding play time at night.

Cute black cat lying in a circular bed on top of desk beside a computer screenClose up of a cute black cat in a circular bed
cute black cat on a indoor climbing pet tree with a small ladder at the bottom and tiers for laying at the topShe also has a fun pink “cube” that my cousin picked up for her. She absolutely loves the thing and uses it as play-time central. It’s springy, so she can crush it in all kinds of shapes (see second photo), zip in and out, and roll around like a tumbleweed (which she does frequently). Whoever invented this thing deserves his own private island–which I’m sure he has from profits.It’s quickly become her favorite toy, next to her Jackson Galaxy feather wand (not pictured) and her pink feather ball (that’s what she’s clutching in the cube).

A flexible pink cube cat toy with a black cat insideA flexible pink cat cube toy with a cute black cat lying on its side

Raven loves to be held, loves to snuggle (especially at night) and has boundless amounts of energy. When I took her to the vet, rather than hide timidly in her carrier she immediately hopped out, explored the whole room, then promptly plopped down and started grooming herself like she hadn’t a care in the world. She was found in a town not far from where I live called Steelton. Around here we say people are “Steelton tough” and I think she inherited some of that toughness despite the sweet exterior.

Given it’s October, and she looks like a Halloween cat, I thought would be the perfect time to introduce her. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of Raven on my blog now and again. Now I just have to explain the Mothman to her🙂