Has it really been that long?

I took a look at my last blog entry and realized it was over a month ago. Wow! How does time past that quickly? I’ve wanted to blog more consistently this year, but once again, that goal was shoved behind the eight-ball. So, what have I been doing?

The day job has kept me busy covering two positions—occasionally three—with staff out for various reasons. Thankfully, everyone is back now, but two weeks of double and triple duty took a huge toll on my energy level. I also did a book signing the end of April, which was a bust, at least in relation to sales. The day turned out to be the first nice Saturday my area had seen in ages, and no one wanted to be inside. There were about thirty authors who participated, but no one was selling. On the plus side, I did a lot of networking, made new friends, and enjoyed myself.

End of Day was finished on time and sent to my editor. She asked for a few changes, thankfully, nothing too large. I made them and shipped them off, but still had one problematic scene that required additional tweaking. We chatted on the phone about that, and I delivered the changes the next day. Content edits are done and now I’m waiting on the copy editor.

In the meantime, I drafted the synopsis, blurb, and tag for book three, completing the information forms my publisher requires. I’m ahead of schedule and have them ready to go when requested. The last time I had nothing when asked and narrowly avoided  a panic attack and meltdown. I feel pretty good about book three—even though it doesn’t have a title yet. Once again, I’ve got past and present timelines. For the past, I’m able to play off a hodgepodge of ideas I used in an old decaying trunk novel, and my lead character in the present is one who popped up unexpectedly in book two, End of Day. Originally, I planned for other characters to carry the lead in three, but Madison Hewitt pantsed her way into the spotlight. Even better? I have a pseudo outline for this book, something I rarely have. Jazzed!

In some ways I feel like I’m juggling a three-act play. Book one, Cusp of Night is up for pre-order, releasing on June 12. I’m working on promo for Cusp, while doing the edits on book two, End of Day. My publisher has also asked for the first chapter of book three to include in the back matter of End of Day. I’ve never been able to deliver that before, but I think I might pull it off. So, despite a crazy April of covering dual jobs and being buried in edits and promo, it feels like my head is above water. For the moment. We all know how easily everything can come crashing down.

I apologize if I haven’t been as visible lately or able to make my usual blog rounds. I try to keep up with rounds as much as possible, but sometimes, it’s hard to squeeze everything in. And I think most of you who are regular followers know I disappear offline from Friday to Sunday night for me and hubby time. 😊

Anyway, it’s good to post again. In parting, I thought I’d share some snazzy postcards and Twitter ads I made for a few older novels (and one new one). What do you think?

Banner ad for cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by author, Mae CllairBanner ad for Myth and Magic a romantic suspense/mystery novel by Mae ClairBanner ad for Eclipse Lake, a a romantic suspense/mystery novel by Mae Clair

Visiting on a Friday

It’s Friday! Who doesn’t love the end of the work week? It’s gray and mucky in my area, but none of that matters given there is a weekend around the corner—albeit with a few inches of impending snow. Hopefully, it’s the last we’ll see of the white stuff until next winter.

Today I’m visiting with Teri Polen at Books and Such sharing one of my favorite novels in her Friday Reading Corner. Teri is a gifted writer, voracious reader, and fabulously supportive of others. I highly recommend clicking the “follow” button on her blog while you’re there.

Hop over and check out my post if you get a chance…you might even pick up a bit of news about my upcoming release, Cusp of Night.  🙂

old books in a stack beside a cup of coffee on a lace doily

 

 

The Siren Call of Books #amreading

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Wait—I take that back. I do know what’s wrong. I have a horrible weakness I can’t overcome. Several things in life beckon me—clothes, shoes, jewelry, sparkly things, cats, and chips (not necessarily in that order). I love the beach, a good vacation in a relaxing low-key setting, and I love…

Books.

It’s a disease. I know it is. This past weekend DH and I had some errands to run that placed us near the local brick-and-mortar bookstore. If I read a book a day for the next year I still wouldn’t be caught up with my gargantuan TBR, but the siren call reeled me in—books upon books upon books. Keep in mind, I already had my next several reads lined up in a queue on my Kindle, a few of those titles I’ve been anticipating for some time. So what did I do?

This:

books by Brendan Duffy

Did I need to buy these books? Of course not.

Darn if I didn’t get hooked by the titles and the blurbs. Suddenly, both have found their way to the top of my TBR, shuffling my already queued up reads farther back.

Why do we do this? I know I am not the only bibliophile out there. No matter how many books we have, it’s never enough. And no matter how geared up we are for the next read in our queue, it’s easy for something pop out of the blue and take its place. There are days I wish I could do nothing but read. For now, I’ll continue to juggle my reading life with my writing life.

And be sucked in by bookstores and libraries whenever I pass.

Spill your guts. You do the same thing, right? 😀

Looking Back at 2017

Here we are with only a few days of 2017 still remaining.  Like most, I look back and think the months blasted past in the wink of an eye. Another year already? It seems impossible, yet 2018 will soon be ushered in with champagne toasts and confetti. As I normally do at this time of year, I like to reflect on the good tidings the year has brought with a quick breakdown.

WRITING
As a writer, I signed a new three-book contract with Kensington Publishing’s Lyrical Underground imprint. After finishing my Point Pleasant Series, I thought I was done with deadlines, but I couldn’t say no when the publisher asked me to submit something new. Thinking about that still has me on a cloud, and I can’t wait to introduce everyone to Cusp of Night, the first title in my Hode’s Hill Series, which will release in June.

June 2017 saw the release of A Desolate Hour, the last book in my Point Pleasant Series. I was sad to say goodbye to those characters, but gained a sense of accomplishment for finishing my first series. A bit of a rush. 🙂

Book sales were up for the third year in a row (YAY!) but I’m  worried about the first two quarters of next year. I don’t have anything releasing until the summer of 2018, which is certain to impact what I earn. I guess it’s a good thing I work a full-time job. I have a feeling it will be years (if ever) before I earn a steady income from writing. Still, it’s nice to see a return from doing something I love and connect with new readers in the process.

Banner ad for A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair features Man standing in a dark mysterious forest with bloody lake in foreground

My short story, Family Tree, was accepted for publication in the time-travel anthology, Quantum Wanderlust. If you haven’t already picked up a copy, treat yourself to an early New Year’s gift as Quantum Wanderlust is free and contains an eclectic mix of stories from various authors.

Banner ad for short story time travel anthology, Quantum Wanderlust

READING
It’s no secret I love to read. Each year I participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Last year I surpassed the number of books I set for myself, but this year I fell short—probably due to the aforementioned writing deadlines. That said, I managed to read 60 books. My goal was 75. I guess I need to dial that back for 2018.

Goodreads gave me some other cool stats about my reading. The shortest book I read was Belle’s Christmas Carol, a 33 page novella. The longest? That would be Paul McCartney: The Life at 864 pages. Quite a difference. The average length of the books I read was 209 pages according to GR.

AUTHOR PRESENTATIONS
I gave my first author presentation in October, themed on folklore and urban legends. Afterwards, I sold books and made a number of connections. I considered the evening a huge success and can’t wait to do a presentation again. Who knew it would be such fun!

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
I met the membership requirements to join two professional writer’s organizations—The Mystery Writers of America and The International Thriller Writers.  I am so honored to be a member of these groups and hope to better utilize those memberships in 2018. Yet another step in my ongoing journey as an author.

STORY EMPIRE
The authors of Story Empire are such a blessing to me! I am thrilled to be part of a group blog devoted to writing and helping other authors succeed. This year, Story Empire was nominated for Favorite Writing Blog at Positive Writer. I just found out that winners will be announced in January, so we have our collective fingers crossed. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.

I know I speak for all of the SE authors when I say we are grateful to our readers for their support and the time taken to visit our small corner of the blogosphere. We have some new features planned for 2018 and I hope you’ll stick with us as we explore and share those together.

PERSONAL STUFF
I don’t share a lot about my family on my blog, but I am so grateful for each and every one of them, especially my wonderful husband, who I met in high school. All these years later, he’s still my soulmate and my one-and-only!

We had some fun this year with a trip to Cancun in the spring, and one to Florida in the fall. No, that’s not hubs below, but the pic is from our first night out in Cape Coral—at an open air bar/restaurant called the Yacht Club. We liked it so much we went back twice. The Captain was there to greet visitors.

With a large statue of Captain Morgan outside of the Yacht Club restaurant in Cape Coral, Florida

We also did some major renovations on our house, installing zoned heat and air conditioning and completely gutting our kitchen and dining room—removing a wall and creating one large room. Someday I’m going to get around to sharing the story of remodeling….with a cat 🙂

Cute black cat looks into camera from unfinished cabinet section

Which brings me to Raven. She joined us late in 2016, and makes every day entertaining. Pets bring such joy, and I’m thankful we found her and she found us—even when she’s climbing into things she shouldn’t be!

Finally, a heartfelt thanks to my readers and wonderful circle of blogging friends. I value each and every one of you. Over the last five years, I’ve learned that writing is not for the faint of heart. I couldn’t do this without you guys. Who else would understand the triumphs and hurdles of a writer’s life? 🙂

I wish all of you a Happy New Year with good health and good cheer. Here’s to a fabulous 2018 for all of us!

New years eve celebration background with champagne and confetti. Wishes for a magical 2018 from author Mae Clair

A Book Lover’s Tag

In a few days I leave for a nice long vacation to sunny beaches and dockside restaurants with good seafood and drinks sporting tiny umbrellas. I’m taking a few books with me that I’ve had on my read list for a while. Top of the list is The Life She Was Given followed by Everything We Lost. If I make it through those, I’ve got plenty of others in the wings. Plane flights and beaches are great for disappearing into good fiction.

Which brings me to today’s post. D. Wallace Peach ( a lovely blogger who you should follow 🙂 ) tagged all her followers with the Book Lover’s Tag, and I was so intrigued, I had to play along. Who doesn’t like discussing books and reading habits? You’re already interested, right? 😊

Consider yourself tagged should you like to play. Just answer the questions on your own blog, but while you’re here I’d love to know your all-time favorite book. Yeah, I know it’s a tough question, but Diana posed the same one and I made myself chose a single title.

Before we get to your answer, take a look at my reading habits:

Soft cuddly tabby cat lying in its owner's lap enjoying and purring while the owner is reading a bookDo you have a specific place for reading?
Not specific but I do have a favorite. I’m happy to read anywhere, but my regular way of unwinding each night is to read in bed before I fall asleep. It’s the perfect way to end each day. Bonus points if my cat, Raven, decides to snuggle.

book mark for author Mae Clair with spooky house at top, eerie inside setting at bottom Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Normally a bookmark. I had my own created for swag, so I normally grab one of those when I’ve got a paperback or hardback. I’ve always been someone who likes colorful bookmarks, so even before having my own, I always had something artsy, usually bought from a bookstore. I still have a collection. Of course, these days, a lot of my reading is done on my Kindle. When I e-read I don’t use the bookmark feature.

Do you eat or drink whilst reading?
Most of my reading is done before I go to bed, so no. If I’m reading at other times (camped out on my deck or on the living room sofa), I always have something to drink and occasionally something to munch.

Music or TV whilst reading.
Occasionally, I’ll play soft instrumental background music when I read, but other than that, any sound is a distraction that must be squashed immediately!

One book at a time or several?
Only one. It’s the way I write, too—one story at a time.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?
Most of my reading is done at home but books are so easily transported, I have no objection to reading elsewhere. I never go on an appointment (doctor, dentist, hair stylist) without taking a book along.

Read out loud or silently?
Usually silently, but sometimes when I’m caught up in a story I “whisper read” without even realizing it. I’ll also do that thing where your tongue forms the words against the roof of your mouth but your lips stay closed, Weird, I know.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?
I read page by page unless a section really drags. When that happens, I’ll skim the pages that follow until the story picks up again. Not really reading ahead, just skimming. With a great book, however, I am riveted word by word right up until the close.

Break the spine or keep it like new.
If it’s a nice fat paperback, I have no qualms about folding the cover back which usually results in a creased spine and pages that waffle upright into a fan. If it’s a hardback, I’m far more careful. I’ll remove the dust jacket to preserve it, and take care not to break the spine.

Do you write in books?
Only if the book is non-fiction. I normally read those for research (or because the subject fascinates me) and then I write all over the pages, highlight passages, draw arrows and gleefully post sticky tabs for easy reference. If it’s a work of fiction, the pages stay pristine. 😊

What books are you reading now?
I’m just finishing up Keeper of His Soul by Lauralynn Elliott, a paranormal tale with a conflicted vampire—the best kind. After that I’ll be reading the books I mentioned above, The Life She Was Given and Everything We Lost. They’re going on vacation with me.

What is your childhood favorite book?
book cover of Planet of Death by Robert Silverberg
There were two books that made a huge impression on me as a child. Planet of Death by Robert Silverberg which I read in fourth grade. The vivid cover sucked me in, and decades later, I still remember it as an adult. The book was my first experience with science-fiction and I was enthralled.

The other book is The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden by Mary Chase, also read when I was in elementary school. It opened my eyes to magic, spooky houses, Victorian ladies, and a bit of time travel. Once again, I was enraptured. Those two books, coupled with my own imagination, and encouragement from my parents, really opened the door to writing.

Book cover for THE TERROR by Dan Simmons which shows an old clipper ship without sails surrounded by ice and glaciersWhat is your all-time favorite book?
This is such a hard question and my favorite has changed over time. I have a number of favorites, but if I have to chose a single title, it’s The Terror by Dan Simmons. I’ve never read anything like it—a blend of historical fact, folklore, mystery, horror, even a bit of romance. Simmons penned a fictional account of Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition to find the Northwest Passage and did it in manner that is haunting, lyrical, gruesome and brutal. It’s a mammoth tome topping 900 pages, but well worth the journey.

That’s it! You’re all tagged. 🙂
Remember to share your favorite book in the comments with your reason why.

Treasures of a Different Sort

Recently, I was cleaning out my desk when I found a hardback book buried in the bottom of a drawer. It’s a special book, given to me when I was a teenager by an old friend’s mother. Even as a kid I loved to read, and my friend’s mom had an extensive library—a full wall in her basement taken up by custom-built bookcases. I loved looking at all the titles, and she was more than happy to let me borrow whatever I chose.

I was first attracted to The Gregory Hill because of its cover. I thought it looked like a good, spooky mystery. Turns out it wasn’t spooky, but was a good mystery. After reading it twice (several months apart), I looked for a copy of my own. But it was an old book and I didn’t have any luck.

When my friend’s mom got wind of my hunt, she gave me her copy. The book was in nice shape for an older title. She came into possession of The Gregory Hill in 1960 (noted on the inside cover), and passed it to me in 1976 or 1977. I’ve read it multiple times, and the constant wear eventually took its toll. This book is 57 years old. Don’t ask me why I used masking tape to hold it together back in the day. That’s probably all I had at the time, and since it has been taped up for decades, I’ve left it that way. It may look a mess, but I guarantee this is a favored book I would never part with.

The second book is an indie book—published waaaaay before indie books existed. My dad was in the Army Signal Corps, stationed in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He experienced Burma, India and the Orient. When he was twenty-four, he wrote The Yanks Came, a short fifty page recollection of events during his time there. From the preface (below) he says he published it so that the other soldiers in his company would have a record of what took place. My dad always liked dabbling with words (which is where I inherited my love of writing), but his true passion was art—oil paints, pastels and charcoal. Even so, he published this book and saw that everyone in his company received a copy.

Typeset author's preface page of an old journal from 1946

The Preface of The Yanks Came

My father passed away from cancer when I was thirteen. He was in his fifties then (I was a “late in life” baby), but I treasure the fact that I still have a battered copy of The Yanks Came—one of only two copies in my family. Maybe, somewhere “out there” others copies still exist, tucked away in attic trunks or drawers. Fortunately, the pages inside my copy are in great condition. Only the cover has become worn. Not too shabby considering this book is 71 years old! Take a look…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And you know what’s even better? I have the original draft of the The Yanks Came. Yep. Talk about a treasure! The pages are tucked away in an old binder. The inside cover page came to me damaged, but otherwise the draft is well preserved. Take a look. The two inside shots are especially interesting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Did you note the date on that piece of loose-leaf? September 28th, 1945!! This is something I really treasure. I had goose bumps writing this post.

History. Family. Memories.

—and a love of the written word that echoes through time.

What’s on Your Bookshelf?

whimsical colorful rendering of an open book lying in tall grass beneath a starry sky If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I love to read nearly as much as I love to write. Today, I was invited to share my bookshelf with D. S. Nelson, the author of the Blake Hetherington mystery series (among other engaging reads).

Hop over and visit me at her blog, Every Day’s A Mystery. I’m sharing photos of my bookshelves and chatting about a few favorite novels. While you’re there consider giving Dawn’s blog a follow. She shares an eclectic mix of topics ranging from writing and reading to craft projects, green living and nature. See you there!

 

Cyber Monday #ebook Sale Blast

Hey, everyone, it’s Cyber Monday! What better way to celebrate than to stock up on a treasure-trove of ebooks? All of the books below are reduced in price, many at .99c, some even offered for free. Spread the word and tell your friends!

I’m promoting A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS which is currently on sale for .99c. If you haven’t scooped up this mystery/suspense tale featuring the urban legend of the Mothman, now is the perfect time. And if you’re in the holiday spirit, check out FOOD FOR POE, my Christmas novella with a paranormal twist that is also on sale for .99c.

When you’re done browsing the titles below, be sure to click the Rafflecopter link at the bottom for your chance to win a $25 gift card from Amazon.

If you love to read, you’re going to love:

THE CYBER MONDAY SALE BLAST! 
 

Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!

Novels FREE!

 photo thecape final front cover_zpsa4c2tikm.jpg photo thecape final front cover_zpsa4c2tikm.jpg photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png photo thecape final front cover_zpsa4c2tikm.jpg photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png

 photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png photo thecape final front cover_zpsa4c2tikm.jpg     photo thecape final front cover_zpsa4c2tikm.jpg  photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png
 photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png     photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png     photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png
 photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png    photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png  photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png
 photo thecape final front cover_zpsa4c2tikm.jpg   photo thecape final front cover_zpsa4c2tikm.jpg   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png
 photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png   photo HUNTERS E-BOOK_zpsovaszn47.png
 photo readingaddictionbutton_zps58fd99d6.png

Back to School #Ebook Blast with #Giveaway

WELCOME TO THE BACK TO SCHOOL SALE BLAST! 
Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links! Please make sure to scroll down as each page will consist of many titles in that same genre!

 

Novels with a FREE Promotion!
 
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png   photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Novels on sale at $0.99!
 
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Novels on sale at $1.99 and above!

 

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png  photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

 

 photo readingaddictionbutton_zps58fd99d6.png

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?