About Mae Clair

Hi, I'm Mae Clair, an author who writes tales of mystery and suspense, flavored with folklore. In addition to writing, I'm an avid reader who loves discussing books and anything writing related. I'm also passionate about cryptozoology, legends, and cats!

Discombobulated

Discombobulated is a cool word, somewhat archaic, yet surprisingly current. At least for me. It explains how I’m feeling—confused, disoriented.

I’m trying to get back into the routine of blogging, visiting, and writing. For the last week I’ve been making the rounds of blogs (hi, friends!), and I’m working on a WIP. The latter has been going well. I’ve finished a short story I wrote for a murder-mystery anthology. Currently, I am in the clean up and trim phase. I need to cut 2,500 words and then share it with my critique partners. I’m excited about the story and it feels good to be focused on a project again.

On the home front, life is less settled. I live in Pennsylvania, where half of our state has reopened to the “yellow phase” of doing business. My county is not one of those and has been slated to reopen on June 4th.

The problem?

Many counties—mine included—have decided to defy our governor’s orders and reopen on May 15th. Things have gotten f-ugly with state vs. counties. To make matters worse, the industry in which I’m employed is governed by the state. Needless to say the whole thing is a mess and I am monitoring day-to-day press conferences as is my employer.

I am discombobulated.

Close up of cat, big gold eyes

Perhaps this explains why I have been reading the same book for over a week. That’s odd for me, especially given the book is fabulous. I’m glued every time I open my Kindle. Yet I find it hard to open my Kindle for my regular evening routine. I’ve been going to bed earlier than usual and sleeping like a log. Being discombobulated is not fun.

I hope it doesn’t last much longer.

white cat lying on back with head tilted back looking at camera

All of that aside, I pray you and your love ones are doing well. Whatever phase of craziness your state is in, look after yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors. A few months ago, we would have never envisioned this reality but there is no escaping it. If my father were still living, today would be his 98th birthday. I don’t believe he could have ever conceived this in his lifetime. Until a few months ago, I wouldn’t have either.

If you’re discombobulated hold faith that it too will pass.


And if you have a moment while you’re roaming the blogosphere, my good friend Craig Boyack is hosting me today with a closer look at my short story, In Search of McDoogal. I am so discombobulated, I got my wires crossed and thought it was next week—which is why I don’t have a dedicated post directing readers there.

But Craig has rolled out the red carpet for me, and I’d love to send visitors to his blog. If you are not already following him, you’re missing out on entertaining content and a great author. You can find today’s post HERE. Race you to Craig’s place . . .

With Apologies for My Absence

Hello, friends. I hope as I type this, that greeting doesn’t bring crickets. I’ve been gone for a while—over a month to be exact. I’ve popped up online here and there, but my blog has been quiet, and I haven’t been doing my usual rounds.

For that I apologize.

black and white close up of a cat's face, melancholy look

Dealing with the world as it navigates COVID-19 has been rough. I won’t lie. I’m an empath at heart, and have had to shut down and distance myself. Since mid-March, I’ve been working remotely from home (on my day job), and—strange as it may seem—it’s harder than working from my office. There are no interruptions, and I find I don’t take breaks even for lunch, preferring to work straight through. It’s easier to become immersed in a project. I’ve been highly productive, and have developed a new routine. For some reason, working social media into that pattern has been hard. Almost impossible.

But it’s time to adjust to the new normal, and I’m making an effort. Starting now, I hope to return to blogging and visiting, although my regular features may change or take a while to fall into a routine schedule. Before I went offline, I had a number of Wednesday Weirdness posts written ahead. Right now, I’m thinking that feature may change or not as appear as regularly. Just bear with me. As it stands, I’m happy to be back.

So, what have I been up to?

Pretty Siamese cat

Hmm…reading, of course! Since my last Book Review Tuesday post mid March, I’ve read nineteen books and/or novellas—far too many reviews to post. I may try to scatter a few of  them out in the coming weeks as I add new reviews.

I’ve also been invited to submit a short story for an anthology of murder mysteries. I’m knee deep in a story, reworking something I’ve had in the trunk for a while. Did you ever have a tale you loved, but knew it needed work? The story I’m using was written in the 1990s. That’s how long it’s haunted me. I always loved the overall arc, and it’s been fun to work with it again. Stay tuned for more news as the anthology progresses.

In Pennsylvania, we are still on hold. Twenty-four of our counties have reopened to a “yellow stage” but my county is still shut down. That means I’m still under a shelter-in-place order, working remotely from home. Restaurants are only open for delivery or curbside pick-up and non life-sustaining businesses are closed. My biggest outing is going to the grocery store—in which I haven’t seen a roll of toilet tissue since March 17th.

But, hey—I’m back. Or sort of. I’ll be making my rounds this week and in the future. Bear with me as I get my blog back on track. I’ve missed everyone.

In the meantime, tell me what you’ve been up to. I’ve heard news from a few of you—new releases in the works and new publishing contracts—but I’m behind. Drop a line in the comments and let me know what you’ve been doing. If you’ve got a new release or publishing contract, tell me about it. If your WIP is growing, I want to know. If you’ve read a good book and want to recommend it, tell me! Even if it’s just to say “hello,” I’m happy to return the greeting. Let’s chat! 🙂

#TwoferTuesday No. 2 – #BookSale – ALL My Novels!

Being stuck inside is the perfect time for reading. My friend and Story Empire colleague, Marcia Meara, currently has ALL of her full-length novels on sale. Yeppers, you heard that right. If you haven’t already discovered the charm of a unique little boy named Rabbit or met the citizens of River Bend, now’s your chance to dive into both series. I’ve read all of these books and can vouch they’re excellent. Go forth and one-click!

The Write Stuff

Just want to let the Immediate World know all of my full-length novels are on sale from now until April 30! Yep! ALL. Of them. 🙂 Here’s the breakdown:

Book 1 of each of my series is always priced lower than the rest of the series, but now through April 30, both Wake-Robin Ridge and Swamp Ghosts can be downloaded for just $1.99! Here’s your chance to start a new series at a bargain price, if you haven’t already read these.

Buy Wake-Robin RidgeHERE

Buy Swamp GhostsHERE

The rest of my novels will be on sale for $2.99 through April 30, too. So if you try Book 1 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series and enjoy it, you can download the other books in the series and save $2.00 on each one.  Included in this bargain price are  A Boy Named Rabbit, Harbinger, and The Light.

Buy A Boy…

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Today is the day

I’m kind of offline for the time being, but this offer is too good not to share. Craig Boyack has a freebie download on his crazy-cool book The Yak Guy Project. Whether you read this now while you’re stuck in isolation like the rest of us, or save it for later, don’t miss this opportunity for a great FREE read!

Entertaining Stories

I warned you about it on Friday, and the day is finally here. You can grab your copy of The Yak Guy Project for free today. To quote pop culture, “Free, free, free, free.”

This is my attempt to ease your isolation by offering something fun to read. I suppose you could grab a copy to read this Fall, too, if you want. Anyway, here is a cover and blurb, plus a purchase link.

Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along…

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Book Review Tuesday: For the Love of Money @KimCoxAuthor

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over imageHi, friends. Thanks for joining me for Book Review Tuesday. I’ve cut back on my blogging temporarily, trying to stay on top of things in the current environment of insanity related to Covid-19. If you don’t see me online as regularly as I normally am, rest assured I fully intend to get back to my regular schedule including posts of Wednesday Weirdness. For the immediate future, I intend to keep sharing Book Review Tuesday posts and other sporadic posts here and there. I’m hoping all of you stay healthy and well. We will get through this mess, together!

And now, enough of that! 🙂

I have a great book to share with you. If you like romantic suspense twined up with mystery, you’re sure to love this five-star read:


Book cover for Love of Money by Kim Cox shows young couple facing away with arms around each other, German shepherd in foregroundFor the Love of Money is a book that will appeal to both fans of mystery and romantic suspense. When his best friend, Daniel, dies in a car crash, Alan Pearce heads to the small town of Bears Hollow in North Carolina. Reports say Daniel’s car plummeted off the side of the mountain, but Alan refuses to believe his friend could make such a tragic mistake on roads he knew so well.

Once in Bears Hollow, Alan crosses paths with Police Chief Jessie Kendall, who suspects foul play. At the top of the list is Daniel’s superficial wife Leta, who had been begging her husband to relocate to California so she could pursue an acting career. But it isn’t long before other suspects crawl out of the woodwork. Jessie even briefly considers Alan a suspect, until the two start to work together to get to the bottom of the tragedy.

Cox creates enjoyable characters. Both Jessie and Alan are strong, but (for me) Alan really took center stage. His interactions with both Leta and Jessie are deftly handled. Leta comes across spoiled and shallow but with a few glimmers of humanity underneath. When the killer and motive are unmasked, both come as a surprise.

I liked the gradual growth in the relationship between Alan and Jessie as attraction builds between them. And Jessie’s German shepherd is a scene stealer! The writing is polished and the story flows at a steady pace as suspects and clues are addressed. If you like books that include both a murder mystery and a sweet romance, you’re sure to enjoy For the Love of Money. 5 Stars!

AMAZON LINK
Genre: Romantic Suspense > Mystery Romance


Although I am working full days remotely from home, I know many people are stuck indoors. It’s the perfect time to catch up on your TBR and add new books like For the Love of Money. I wish you happy reading!

Book Review Tuesday: Grinders by C. S. Boyack

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over imageHappy St. Patricks Day, everyone! Whether you’re Irish or not, ’tis a day for the wearing’ o’ the green, and a tip o’ the hat to the wee folk. Right now, we could all use a little luck given the state of the world in view of Covid-19. Whatever your corner of the planet, I hope you stay safe and well. If you’re stuck inside, it’s the perfect time to catch up on your reading.

With that in mind, let’s jump into this week’s book review!


Book cover for Grinders, a speculative fiction novel features neon lights and holographic images by C. S. BoyackJimi Cabot, and her partner Lou, are two cops assigned to the “Grinder Squad” in a futuristic San Francisco. Grinders are people who have their bodies altered through illegal surgeries which use computer chips to provide enhanced senses. Despite their department assignment, Jimi and Lou usually find their days eaten up by the drudgery of routine patrol and domestic disturbance calls—until they happen upon a trail that may lead to the most wanted grinder in police databanks.

There is strong parallel storyline involving the grinder they’re after, enabling the reader to see both sides of the situation. Beyond that, however, there is so much more that goes on in this book. I loved the friendship that developed between Jimi and Brandi (a grinder), and I loved Lou’s tie to Sailor, the horse he rode when he was on mounted patrol before the division was disbanded.

Most intriguing of all is the world Boyack has created. One that includes a “grid” for travelling, bots in all shapes and sizes, and a constant bombardment of advertising. “Holobarkers”­—floating globes broadcasting advertisements—roam the streets, swarming around people with their messages. Cars and buses flash moving advertisements and 3D holographic images are found everywhere. There is an “electric forest” (one of my favorite elements), in the process of being torn down because it is already considered old technology. Holographic spiders and jack-o-lanterns bob around on Halloween, and a 3D King Kong climbs a building to promote a movie. The creativity of this world is off the charts. Every page brings some new wonder or futuristic element that is vividly portrayed. Between the story and inventions, I was mesmerized. A highly original work!

AMAZON LINK
Genre: Cypberpunk > Science Fiction


Grinders is quite the gritty and colorful world. I could so see this as a series on Netflix! 🙂

In Search of McDoogal…Settings and Place Names

Coffee drink cup beside large blue purse with Kindle showing book cover for In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair in centerHappy Monday, friends! Once again, I am on the road, visiting with my good friend, Marcia Meara. She is graciously allowing me to take over her blog to discuss the setting for my new release, In Search of McDoogal, along with some silliness I tossed into the book. It’s amazing how much you can fit into a 90-minute short read!

I hope you’ll drop by to see what today’s discussion is about. And while you’re there, poke around Marcia’s blog to discover her selection of great books and great fun. I guarantee becoming a regular follower of her blog will leave you with plenty of smiles.

I hope to see you THERE!

 

My Cat Said What?

Beautiful black cat in bow window with rose in bloom behind glassHi, friends. I’m late in sharing this post today, but I hope you’ll forgive me in the craziness of the Covid-19 world. I spent the day working my way through stores and grocery shopping ( an experience unlike any I have ever had in my life). Don’t even ask about the absence of toilet paper!

Anyhoo, craziness aside, my precious rescue kitty, Raven, is the guest on Victoria Ziegler’s blog today. Yes, Raven, not me. So what does a cat say?

Hop over to Tori’s place to find out! Raven and I hope to see you THERE.

The Inspiration Behind In Search of McDoogal #buddyfiction #comedy #amazonshortread

Book cover for In Search of McDoogal by author Mae Clair shows a quaint street scene in a small townI’m out and about today! If you happen to be roaming the blogosphere, take a moment to hop over to Joan Hall’s blog.

Joan is a good friend and a Story Empire colleague. Today, she’s allowing me to take over her blog as I share some of the inspiration behind my recent Amazon 90-Minute Short Read, In Search of McDoogal.

If you’re not already following Joan, check out her blog while you’re there. She offers great content and is highly supportive of others. I especially love her Mystery Monday posts.

I’m closing comments here, but hope to see you at Joan’s place!

Wednesday Weirdness: The Northern Lights

pathway between large, gnarled trees with words "on the path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over image

This is one of those Wednesday Weirdness posts that resonates strongly with me. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the Northern Lights. When the movie Frequency debuted, I was in heaven. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It ranks among my favorite movies of all time. Not only is the story utterly amazing and the Northern Lights key, but the ending rocked my world! Added plus: Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid in the lead roles. *happy sigh*

The Northern Lights also feature prominently in The Terror by Dan Simmons, one of my all time favorite books. An amazing storyteller, Mr. Simmons skillfully uses them to evoke mood and setting so rich, I can easily conjure it years after finishing the book.

northern lights creating bands of green above lake in dark of night

In case you’re wondering why the aurora borealis is being featured on a Wednesday Weirdness post, it’s because there are plenty of legends and folktales attached to this wondrous spectacle. There is even speculation the prophet Ezekiel was describing them when he referred to “a whirlwind out of the north.”

The Cree called the Aurora “the dance of the spirits” and the Inuits believed the crackling and roaring of the lights resulted from the ghosts of the dead playing football with a walrus skull.

Valkyrie.Viking girl with swordIn Norse mythology, the lights are said to be the reflection from the armor of the Valkyries, immortal warrior women who carry fallen warriors to Odin’s hall.

During medieval times the aurora was often seen as a warning of bloodshed brought on by war or plague. The Danes viewed them as reflections caused by light glinting off the wings of swans trapped in the ice on their way north. In almost all legends, the Aurora is seen as either an omen or a gathering of spirits.

Sadly, I’ve never seen the Northern Lights, but it’s a bucket list item. My husband saw the spectacle decades ago while in Maine. Although he found it interesting, he didn’t feel the same “ooh! ahh!” factor that would have definitely flowed over me.

I have a short story tucked away on my computer in which the lights figure prominently in the plot. It might be time to dust that off and polish it up for future publication.

Have you been lucky enough to witness the aurora borealis? Were you familiar with any of the folklore I shared today? I’ve always been attracted to celestial lights, and this one is at the top of my list. What are your thoughts?