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?

Guest Blogger A. M. Manay with “A Brief History of the Universe” #RRBC

I’m delighted to turn my blog over to Rave Reviews Book Club, sister author, A.M. Manay today. I invited her to guest blog after reading her spectacular novels SHE DIES AT THE END and SHE LIGHTS UP THE DARK, the first two books in the November Snow series (look for my five star reviews on Amazon).

Set in a riveting reality where vampires, faeries, werewolves and humans interact, this series easily rivals the Twilight and Shadowhunter sagas (and yes, I read those, too). I was so impressed with the world-building and character development A.M. created, I asked her to write a post about world-building for my blog. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome and take a look-see at her engrossing novels.

~ooOOoo~

“A Brief History of the Universe” by A.M. Manay

One of the most enjoyable yet dangerous things about being a fantasy author is the opportunity to build a world.  It’s fun because you get to come up with strange creatures, an imaginary history, your own rules for how magic works, etc.  It’s dangerous for many of the same reasons.  There are a lot of places where you can easily write yourself into corners, or bore the reader, or contradict yourself.  So how did I create the world of November Snow, a world in which vampires, fairies, and werewolves wander among us?   And how did I communicate my vision to the reader?

Writing the first book, She Dies at the End, primarily based on November’s perspective allowed me to present the world as she saw it, as she was getting to know the new world into which she’d stumbled.  This is, of course, a commonly used and fairy effective tack to take.  November naturally asked a lot of questions during those initial chapters, and in addition, her psychic visions helped to fill in some information for the reader.  I tried to parcel things out a little at a time and avoid exposition dumps as much as possible.  You have to trust the reader to put pieces together over time.

Book covers for She Dies at the End, She Lights up the Dark and She Sees in Her Sleep by A. M. Manay

As far as the creatures are concerned, I knew I wanted to do vampires, because I’ve always thought they were sexy and interesting.  I knew I wanted some daytime help for the vampires, and the fairies filled that role.  I wanted the fairies and vampires to have their identities as predators in common, so my fairies feed via touch on the life force of human being.  My fairy and vampire allies needed a common enemy, which is where the werewolves came in.  I wanted to make them a genuine threat, so I came up with the notion that if a werewolf kills a fairy, it extends his own life.  But I also wanted them to be sympathetic, so I could explore issues of oppression.  So I included the werewolves’ self-perception of as the protectors of human beings.  Essentially, I made the characteristics of my supernatural creatures fill the needs of the story I wanted to tell.

As far as the aesthetics of the world are concerned, I tried to take a cinematic view: what would this look like if it were a movie?  What would enhance the story, and what would detract?  For example, I gave the fairies brightly colored hair and eyes to add some cheer and brightness and to distinguish them from the vampires.  And this may sound strange for a vampire novel, but I wanted to limit the blood and avoid piles of dead bodies lying around.  Thus, when my vampires die, they turn to ash.  When my fairies are injured, they bleed light rather than blood.  When the fairies die, they explode in a blinding flash, leaving nothing behind.  In this way, it doesn’t read like a nonstop horror show, and the really bloody violence on the part of Luka, the villain, has the appropriately disturbing impact it deserves.

For the setting, I made my work easier by using a reality we’re all familiar with, the contemporary United States.  I chose to use the San Francisco Bay Area, where I have lived for over 10 years, as much as possible.  It’s a diverse place with a lot of variety, and I didn’t see any need to complicate things by choosing a setting that would come across as awkward if I tried to fake familiarity.  When they do leave the East Bay, they’re mostly on contained sets rather than exploring their surroundings.

The history of the characters and their civilization developed in a pretty organic fashion.  I found that writing short stories about them helped me to flesh things out as far as their pasts and their motivations were concerned.  Even the stories I didn’t finish helped me give my characters some depth.  On a practical note, I did make lists and charts to help myself keep track of everyone, especially during the writing of the first book.  I included them in the second novel to give my fans a refresher.  All the names do have a disturbing tendency to run together!

What are your thoughts on world building?  Where have you seen it done well?  Where have you seen it done poorly?

Author A.M. Manay in a casual outdoor pose in front of a treeAuthor Bio:
A.M. Manay is the author of She Dies at the End (November Snow Book 1), She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2), and She Sees in Her Sleep: Three November Snow Shorts.  She is currently working on the third and final novel in the series.

Connect with A.M. Manay at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
email: author@ammanay.net
Facebook
Twitter: @ammanay
Instagram
Fan email list  November’s Newshttp://eepurl.com/bzCa9r

“NOVY’S SON: THE SELFISH GENIUS” Book Trailer Debut! #RRBC

Hi, and welcome to the debut of “NOVY’S SON:  THE SELFISH GENIUS” BOOK TRAILER DEBUT!  This amazing story has been penned by Author, Karen Ingalls.

To find out more about Karen, please visit her blog tour page at 4WillsPublishing, where this event is being sponsored. We hope that you will enjoy this amazing story, told thru visuals, meaningful words and music.

Book cover for Novy's Son, the Selfish Genius by author, Karen Ingalls shows a green sea beneath a fiery skyBOOK BLURB:
From his early childhood, Murray Clark sought love and acceptance from his father, who was raised as the bastard child of a famous artist. Murray struggled with jealousy toward his younger brothers, and he questioned the morals and values of people around him.

As an adult, Matthew lived life his way, with years of lying, womanizing, and heavy drinking. Though married four times, did he ever find unconditional love? Would Murray’s high intelligence, his love for his two daughters, and his unique philosophy of life help him rise above his demons?

SEE THE TRAILER HERE

JOIN KAREN FOR HER AUTHOR EVEN HERE
Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 12 NOON

Connect with Karen Ingalls at the following haunts:

Twitter:  @KIngallsAuthor
 

The Ghost and the Robot Girl

It isn’t every day a ghost gets interviewed on radio but that’s exactly what’s on the slate for today. Lisa Burton, a highly sophisticated robot and the lead character in C.S. Boyack’s WILD CONCEPT has a weekly radio show in which she interviews any character who doesn’t mind sitting down for a chat.

In the past, Lisa has interviewed everyone from a wealthy businessman to an Elfin queen, spy, healer, retired lawyer, and all manner of characters in between.

Book cover for A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair, depicting a wooded thicket at nightToday, Maggie Flynn, the twelve-year-old ghost from my novel A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS, sits down to chat with Lisa about the spooky happenings plaguing her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia—including rumors of the Mothman and sinister undertones that have been building for over a decade. You can catch Maggie and Lisa’s interview here.

And while you’re visiting Craig’s blog, why not check out how your character can be a guest on Lisa Burton Radio? Get the details here!

Cover Reveal: A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair #Mystery #Mothman #UFOs

It’s here! At last I’m able to share the cover for A COLD TOMORROW, book two in my Point Pleasant Series.The legend of the Mothman continues, woven with another aspect of Point Pleasant folklore.

At the same time residents of Point Pleasant were besieged by the Mothman, there were also numerous reports of UFOs. So many sightings occurred during this time that it was declared a “flap” area.

Flaps occur when a high number of sightings are restricted to a specific location for an extended duration. In the case of Point Pleasant, that time period was 1966-1967. At the same time, the town was also beset by mysterious “Men in Black” who arrived to warn UFO witnesses not to speak of what they had seen. I’ve used these elements (and a few more from Point Pleasant folklore) in book two of my series, which also includes a mystery of a human sort.

Take a look. . .

Book cover for A COLD TOMORROW by author, Mae Clair shows a deserted country lane at night beneath a sky of green clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher:  Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Underground Imprint

Genre:  Mystery/Suspense

Release Date:  December 20, 2016

BLURB:

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….

Please help me spread the word by adding A COLD TOMORROW to your Goodreads reading list.

And in case you missed book one, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS, you can purchase a copy here:

Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 
iTunes 
Google Play 
Kobo 
Kensington Publishing 

Thanks for sharing in my latest cover reveal. I really love this one!

Guest Author Sandra Cox with Sunset #FantasyRomance #Genies

I’m delighted to welcome Sandra Cox back to my blog today with her latest release, SUNSET. Doesn’t that title conjure wonderful images? And wait until you see the cover! First, though, here’s Sandra with an intriguing guest post…

Be Careful What You Wish For
by Sandra Cox

If you found a genie’s lamp and had three wishes what would they be? Anything you want. What would you wish for? My first would be world peace, followed closely by being a New York Times bestselling author. And I think I’d hold on to the third for a fallback.

While having our desires fulfilled sounds wonderful, the problem with wishes, dreams, and fantasies achieved is that there is usually an unforeseen downside.

In Gillian Stone’s case it was an unexpected codicil.

Book cover for Sunset by Sandra Cox shows a genie lamp with smoke spiraling up from the spoutIntro:

Be careful what you wish for.

While I’m dropping pearls of wisdom let me add, read the fine print.

Why am I wasting my time offering warnings that no one is going to listen to? Because as humans we have this unconquerable urge to try to help others learn from our mistakes. Or in this case my great, great, great, great grandmother’s mistakes.

She came from a very poor background and consequently wanted it  all, riches beyond measure, beauty. Need I say more?

Great-great-plus Grams stumbled onto a genie’s lamp and made her wish.

You don’t believe in genies?

Trust me. They’re real all right. Unfortunately, when my ancient relative made her wish she didn’t bother to listen to the genie’s warning of strings attached. This lack of foresight has a direct bearing on the first born daughter of each generation, i.e. me.

To put it mildly, my life is complicated. I am literally grounded forever.

I live on a lavish estate in the mountains of North Carolina. Between sunset and dawn, my life is my own. But  during  the  day  I’m  encased  in  several  hundred pounds of marble. If you happen to wander by the Stone Estate and peep through the fence, you’ll hear the rippling sounds of water from a lovely manmade pool surrounded by lush fragrant flowers. Beside it stands a life-size statue of a young woman with long flowing hair and classic bone structure, draped in a Greek toga, a cat at her feet.

The cat is Merrick.  The young woman is me.

~ooOOoo~
Author Sandra Cox in a candid shotBio:
Multi-published author Sandra Cox is a vegetarian, animal lover and Muay Thai enthusiast. She lives with her husband, three cats, one dog and an occasional foster cat in sunny North Carolina.

Purchase Sunset from:
Amazon 

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