About Mae Clair

Writing tales of myth, mystery, and contemporary romantic suspense

Friday Book Share @ShelleyWilson72 – In The Woods by @TanaFrench

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I love to read and I am never without a book. Recently, I discovered a cool weekly meme thanks to Cathy Ryan at Between the Lines a blog I’ve started following. She did a post about Friday Book Share, an idea started by Shelley Wilson.

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share game to help search for that ideal read.

early morning beach scene with sun breaking through the clouds over oceanAnyone 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) 

First 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.

~ooOOoo~

I just finished reading IN THE WOODS by Tana French.

First Line of Book:

Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.

(I should probably mention this is from the prologue, and the book is not set in the 1950s. I’m going to cheat and give you the first line of chapter one as well which is):

What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Detective Rob Ryan—Conflicted, brilliant, liar

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

green branches on white background

Audience appeal. Who would enjoy reading this book?

Anyone who enjoys mysteries, murder mysteries, crime fiction and./or psychological thrillers. This one has it all.

Your favorite line/scene.

Honestly, the writing in this is off the charts, so it’s hard to pick something, but this scene stands out for me:

There is something oddly comforting in the memory, even though it carries its own inexorable undercurrent of grief. I suppose that day was, though it still comes hard to acknowledge this, the pinnacle of my career. 

Amazon purchase link

Why not plan on joining in the Friday Book Share next week, What are you reading?

#RRBC Blog Party Winner…and Books

Wow! I still can’t believe the amount of guests who dropped by to share in my day during Rave Reviews Book Club 2016 Book and Blog Party! Traffic was off the charts, I sold books, and got to hear from many wonderful people. I made new friends, followed new blogs, and was reminded again just how supportive the members of RRBC are to each other. What a lovely day!

I’m pleased to announce that Beth Hale is the winner of my $15.00 giveaway. Beth chose an Amazon gift card and I’ve already sent off her prize. I’m a Kindle girl too, and I know the giddiness I always feel when someone sends me a gift card to the ‘Zon. Books, oh, glorious, books!🙂

Something else to keep in mind…the RRBC Book Club and Blog Party continues all month long with daily stops. Some days have more than one stop, and each is offering prizes, books and fun, so follow along. There are grand prizes to be awarded at the end of the tour as well. What a great opportunity to discover new blogs and authors, have fun, and pick up some books. Check each day for the tour list here.

Speaking of books, I had to share my recent haul from Saturday. My local library has a two week public book sale that is held by a group known as “Friends of the Library.” For some reason I never made it there in the past, but this year I decided to attend on opening day/opening hour. Talk about crowds! It was overwhelming but so much fun! I was delighted to see all the people in attendance from seniors, to families, to mothers with children, teens with friends, couples—what a cross-section of readers. I had to park a fair distance away on the street, because the parking lot was overflowing (and this was when the doors opened)!

There were all kinds of tables broken down by genre and/or category. No matter what type of book you were looking for, they had something for everyone. Classics, mysteries, text books, foreign language, science-fiction, cooking, gardening, trade paperbacks, hardcovers, religion, crafts, biographies, historical—truly endless. I didn’t get to all the tables I wanted to visit, but I managed to come away with a treasure trove of mysteries and thrillers. Take a look at my loot:

An assortment of paperback novels on a black background

That’s nine paperbacks, several trade size, for a total of $12.00. I was super excited to find THE BEGGAR KING, which is a Hangman’s Daughter novel. I’ve read the first two books in the series, and have been looking forward to catching up with the rest. I already have a ton of books on my Kindle and my TBR, but I just can’t stop myself from buying more. I’m already planning on stopping after work on my way home to visit the tables I missed on Saturday. I’ve already surpassed the reading goal I set this year (50 books) so I might as well add more to my monumental TBR.

Reading is the way I unwind each night, and during the summer (pool season), I also spend a lot of time with paperbacks in the water. How about you? Is your TBR overwhelming? Do you continue to buy more books despite not having enough time to read? Would you be lost without your Kindle or a paperback in your hand?

Join in the Fun! #RRBC 2016 Book and Blog Party with #Giveaways

Welcome to From the Pen of Mae Clair…a virtual extension of Hershey, Pennsylvania

Are you ready to celebrate? To have some fun along with multiple chances to pick up goodies and prizes, not to mention a great selection of books?

Join me, and a host of other talented authors for (drum roll, please):

Colorful banner with words Rave Reviews Book Club 2016 Book & Blog Party prominently displayedThis is a club-wide event, with blog stops happening each day through August 31

No, I’m not giving away chocolate—although there is plenty of the virtual variety about, so help yourself (I’m kind of partial to the Hershey’s Extra Dark myself :D)

MY GIVEAWAY:
One lucky winner will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon or B&N
(winner’s choice)

All you have to do to be eligible to win is leave a comment on my blog with your email address (so I know where to find you). RRBC will randomly select a winner from the comments, so everyone has an opportunity to win.

While you’re here, I hope you will consider purchasing my most recent release, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS, a mystery/suspense novel. New York Times bestselling author, Kevin O’Brien, called this book “Masterful bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller.” Why not check it out for yourself?

My publisher currently has the book on sale for .99 cent through September 4
This is the perfect time to snatch up your copy!

Book cover for A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair shows dark spooky forest at night with book tile in white on red backgroundA THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is the first novel in my Point Pleasant Series, but the story is complete (no cliff-hanger endings with the need to read further for closure). A blend of fact, fiction and creepy urban folklore, the novel plays off the legend of the Mothman and the true-life tragedy of the Silver Bridge collapse, a catastrophe that decimated the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

You’ll discover the” TNT,” an abandoned WWII munitions site, now part of a wildlife management area. Densely forested with steep hills, wetlands, ponds and tunnels, it’s a virtual labyrinth of secluded hiding places idea for a terrifying creature—or killer—to hide. The characters are everyday people facing extraordinary circumstances, including secrets, betrayal and murder.

I hope the blurb will entice you:

Graphic promoting A Thousand Yesteryears, a novel by Mae Clair shows book cover and close-up of an old tree in a foggy woodlandsBehind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…

You can purchase your .99 cent ebook copy from:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble 
iTunes 
Google Play 
Kobo 
Kensington Publishing

Don’t forget to leave your comment below for a chance to win my $15.00 Amazon or B&N gift card. And the fun is far from over! Every day during the Rave Reviews Book Club 2016 Book and Blog Party, there are chances for additional prizes, so continue to follow this fun event by visiting the other blog stops. You can find a full list here. If you’d like to find our more about this awesome club and the opportunities it offers authors, and even readers, be sure to see my earlier post Let’s Talk Book Clubs.

Thanks for visiting my part of the blogosphere, and I hope you’ll take advantage of my
.99 cent sale on A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS. Mystery—and the Mothman—await!

Before you leave, feel free to poke around and check out a few links, including:
My Newsletter Sign-Up • I average sending 4-6 a year
My Facebook Author Page • I would love some “likes” if you’re so inclined
My Books • Other titles I’ve written that may appeal to you

But remember:
All you have to do to be eligible for my giveaway is to drop me a comment,
so go ahead and get chatty!😀

Social Media Suicide? by Mae Clair

Yesterday, I was tinkering around on my Facebook author page and was nagged by the idea that it had been a small eternity since I posted on my—ugh!—profile page. It’s a persistent thought whenever I roam onto FB, like an overzealous gnat that won’t go away.

Gray tabby kitten looking at screen on a miniature laptop with words Facebook Status Update Overdue displayed on monitor. Piles of books next to and under computer. I knew when I signed up for Facebook in 2012 we weren’t a good match, but as an author, it was pretty much a requirement.  I honestly enjoy posting on my author page. The problem is those #@&!* FB algorithms. My posts don’t display in newsfeeds unless a). I pay for them or b). Fans regularly interact with my page.

*grumble*

I find it hard to interact with all of the FB pages I’ve liked, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy seeing posts from them. I’ve been trying to visit those pages more regularly so they show up in my newsfeed, but there are so many. It would be so much easier if Facebook went back to the way it used to be.

Whining aside, I tackled my Facebook dilemma with drastic action.

When I first signed up for FB, the idea was to friend as many people as I could and gain friends in return with the hopes of connecting and building rapport. The problem? I had close to 600 friends on my profile page but only strong relationships with a couple dozen (outside of immediate family and friends). There was so much content filtering through it was overwhelming.

Now, I know in the world of FB, 600 friends is a mere drop in the bucket. But to this highly introverted I’d-rather-read-or-write-than-play-on-social-media-person, 600 friends was intimidating. I’ve never been good in crowds, but I love chatting in small groups. So yesterday I trimmed my number of friends to 90.

I’m not sure if I committed social media suicide or took the first step in making Facebook work for me. I figured it wasn’t doing any good sitting there growing stale, and since Zuckerberg’s brainchild wasn’t going away, I had to do something.

A group of animals are together on a black background. Animals range from an Elephant, Zebra, White Lion, Monkey, Giraffe, Lemur, and Tiger. Text above image says "small groups. Great content."

There are other platforms like Twitter (which I love) where I can connect with thousands of authors, but I want my Facebook experience to be built around authors I’m friendly with. That’s all of you who follow my blog, a few others, and my immediate circle of family and friends. With the number drastically pared down, I’m going to timidly venture back onto FB and begin to share and comment more. Look out, you’ve been warned!

I’ve been inspired by a friend and author who does a great job with her FB pages (she has several) and she is absolutely brilliant with them. I won’t out her, but er….well, Pittsburgh is involved.🙂

Anyway, I hope to see you on Facebook, now that I’ll be active on my profile again. And my author page isn’t going anywhere, so you can always find me there, too.

I’m hoping I did the right thing with that hatchet job (and haven’t ticked anyone off….I did make a post about it).  What do you think? Smart move or social media suicide?

Cover Reveal: Bound by Jen Colly #Paranormal #Romance

Hello, blogging buddies! In case you’ve noticed I’ve been low-profile over the last week or so, I’ve been on vacation and only online sporadically. I’m now back in the swing of things, and have a cover reveal to share with you today. My Lyrical Press sister, Jen Colly, is making the rounds with her upcoming release, BOUND, book 2 in THE CITIES BELOW series. You can pre-order from Amazon and add to your Goodreads list. If you like paranormal romance, this one should grab your fancy!🙂


Bound
Jen Colly
(The Cities Below, #2)
Published by: Lyrical Press
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance

The streets are a battleground for humans, vampires, and demons alike—where survival is a skill, love is a weapon, and the most dangerous act is to care for another . . .

 

Keir is an assassin devoted to Lady Arianne, the last of her royal bloodline. He is sworn to protect her, and that means eliminating any threat to her life. But while on a mission, he is set upon by a pack of demons, barely escaping with his life.

Cleopatra lives by a set of rules so rigid she no longer knows her true self. But her kind and loving nature resurfaces when she finds a man, bloodied and dying. Moved to help him, she risks her future and her life to save a stranger far below her aristocratic station.

Their attraction to each other is as powerful as it is forbidden. But even as their love grows, Keir keeps his true identity a secret—and this lie is not the only threat to their love . . . or their lives.

Goodreads / Amazon

Sequel to:
23290569

 

Author Bio:

Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series: The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Fill your Kindle with this Christmas in July eBook Sale!

Snowman made of sand on a beach has red Christmas stocking cap and is wearing sunglasses; ocean in the backgroundSummer has always been a prime reading time for me. Poolside, beach, or even just lounging around the house or under a shade tree, I love to escape into a good book. If you do too, you won’t want to miss this incredible Christmas in July ebook sale. With close to 90 books, all of them FREE OR PRICED AT .99 CENTS, you can’t go wrong.

Each book is themed around Christmas in some respect, providing plenty of holiday happenings and mistletoe magic right in the middle of your summer🙂

Author Stacy Claflin went above and beyond organizing this fun, festive event, and I’m delighted to be included. Use this link to browse the available titles listed on Staci’s website, and load up your Kindle during the sale period of July 15th thru July 17th.

As one of the participating authors, I’m offering my Christmas/holiday novella FOOD FOR POE as a free download during the event. Poe has paranormal elements woven within, even a slight splash of horror, but it’s mainly a warmhearted tale about love, family and miracles.

Book cover for FOOD FOR POE by Mae Clair shows attractive young couple in a winter setting with a black cat and silver Christmas ornaments belowBlurb:
When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger’s house on Christmas Eve, she doesn’t realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.

Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.

Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.

Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble

~ooOOoo~

Help spread the news!
Christmas in July eBook Sale • July 15—July 17
All books FREE or .99 Cents
Visit StacyClaflin.com/promo

And please do remember to grab your free copy of FOOD FOR POE from Amazon
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Merry Christmas in July!

Wooden chaise lounge viewed from back and facing ocean with woman in straw hat sitting on lounge, reading book

Summer Productivity by Mae Clair

I just came off a long weekend (happy belated Fourth of July to my U.S. readers) that wasn’t extremely productive. I spent a good portion of it goofing off, swimming, hanging with family and doing things around the house. Summer in general tends to be less productive for me when it comes to writing, though I do a lot spend a good portion of it reading, plotting and writing notes for my WIPS.

Case in point: I have notebooks I devote to each of my WIPS. They’ve been through the “war zone” of exposure to the sun and pool, constant handling and travel. The notebooks below are for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS (pink, black and gold notebook) and A COLD TOMORROW (dark blue).

Two closed spiral notebooks, covers a bit battered

I have a weird system when I make notes that involves alternating pages of research (mostly right hand pages) and plot (left hand pages). I use different color ink and highlights to draw attention to various points I want to remember.

Two spiral notebooks open on spine with pages filled with writing and some passages highlighted

I started this system with the blue notebook and plan on maintaining it with the last book in my series, A DESOLATE HOUR. I’ve started making research notes while dreaming up plot points as I float around with foam noodles in the pool.

Open spiral notebook with blank left page and pen on top of page, right page filled with writing

As you can see, the left handed page for plot points is still blank. I know where I want to start but I’m still fleshing out the characters who will factor into the prologue which is set in 1777. Book three ties the curse of Shawnee Indian Chief Cornstalk to the legend of the Mothman and Point Pleasant.

In addition to plotting, I spend a good deal of my summer reading. As a habit, I read every night for an hour or two before I go to bed, but during the summer, I also like to read on my deck in between dips in the pool.

One of my favorite summer reads is THE TERROR by Dan Simmons.

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

Although a massive book (my paperback copy is 955 pages) this is a story I want to read again, and I can’t imagine reading it during any season other than summer. The book is set in the artic, and fictionalizes the tale of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to discover the Northwest Passage in the mid-1800s. Although I originally read it two years ago, it remains one of the best books I’ve ever read, a bizarre and spectacular combination of history, horror, lyrical writing and myth. I’ve never encountered anything to equal it, and each time summer rolls around I think of reading it again.

My current read, however, is a bit different. I’m presently immersed in the WITCH OF LIME STREET, a nonfiction account of Harry Houdini’s battle to unmask medium Margarey Crandon as a fraud. Here’s the cover:Book cover for the Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher is black with lime green border and cameo photos of Harry Houdini and Margery Crandon

Imagine my surprise, when the first night after reading, I switched off the light and realized the cover was glowing. All that lime green you see to the right lights up as neon-glow-in-the-dark with the lights off. I tried to capture a photo of it with my cell phone, but unfortunately it didn’t take.

That aside, I’ve always loved things that glow in the dark—as far back as to when I was a kid and played with a “Dark Shadows” game that had glowing skeletons—so I’m thoroughly besotted with this clever cover. And, in case you doubted, the book is darn good too, especially if you’re a Houdini or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fan, or are interested in the spiritualist movement of the 1920s.

Next up?

downloadKevin O’Brien has a new release, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE that releases on July 26th. I’ve already pre-ordered  my copy. Kevin is an am amazing author and on my automatic read list. If you like mystery, crime and suspense, you’re going to love Kevin.

In the meantime, I’ll content myself with this:

Book cover for DEVOUR by Kurt Anderson shows a cruise ship at night with lights and a huge monstrous mouth with teeth looming above it

 

 

 

 

I have a horrible weakness for creature/monster books (and movies) and have been saving this one for a while. DEVOUR is definitely a summer/beach read IMHO. Isn’t the cover grand? I can’t wait to discover what lurks within the pages.

So tell me…how productive are you during the summer? Do you plot, do you read? What’s on your TBR?