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

Mae Clair Presents: Caribbean Christmas by Tammy Tate

My friend, Tammy Tate, is back today with her latest release, a romance set in a warm tropical location. I like the fact that CARIBBEAN CHRISTMAS has a twist of the paranormal in the mix. You can get the full scope of the story by watching Tammy’s book trailer below.

Take it away, Tammy …

~ooOOoo~

Caribbean Christmas is about the festive holiday we all love so much, romance, a tropical paradise and a sprinkle of mystery…

The closest I’ve ever been to spending Christmas in a tropical paradise was growing up in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Normally in December, I was still swimming.  I know it should be a mortal sin. Right? Since, I only had about two months (if that) of what could be considered brisk weather, I sported a golden brown tan all year around. Of course, that was when tans were healthy! Or, so they thought.

Since I adore rolling waves, white sandy beaches and crystal blue water, it only stands to reason why I would write a book about a girl who lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands during the Christmas holidays. After doing research, I have added “Vacation in the Virgin Islands” to my bucket list. (Pssst…that’s a secret. I haven’t told my husband yet).

Feel free to treat yourself to a sneak peek of the book trailer!

A short blurb/excerpt…

“I know what you’re thinking.” His voice pulled her back into reality.

“Trust me. You don’t—,” she mumbled as his thumb rubbed the back of her hand.

“You must wonder why we haven’t spoken until today.”

Her head shot up. The wind blew her hair and she trapped it behind one ear.

Phew. That was close.

“Guilty as charged,” She chuckled, glad that he wasn’t a mind reader.

“I wasn’t sure if you had someone special in your life.” He shrugged. ‘I didn’t want to… complicate things.”

Was he fishing to see if she had a boyfriend?

She pulled free. “I assure you, my life isn’t as complex as you might think.”

Book cover for Carribean Christmas by Tammy Tate features young couple on a covered porch in a tropical locationAs he leaned forward, warm puffs of air caressed her face. He removed another whisk of hair from her cheek. Trembling, she stepped back. Her heart soared and the crevice between her thighs tingled. That made him dangerous. Even in college when hormone levels rose higher than she could count, she refused to be someone’s one-night stand.

Eager to get inside, she fumbled with her deadbolt. The key slipped from her fingers, pinged off the wall and bounced close to the edge. She wasn’t sure how much damage the metal projectile could do six floors down, but she didn’t care to find out. She released a big sigh of relief when he trapped it with his shoe.

One edge of his mouth lifted slightly. “That was close—”

“Oh… you have no idea,” she chuckled aware of the schoolgirl flutter in her stomach that he seemed oblivious to.

Throw a haunted house and a ghost into the mix and fasten your seatbelt!

*****

About Tammy

Author Tammy Tate Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida but has lived most of her adult life in Texas. Her passion to write began in high school. It follows her everywhere she goes…creating a world where anything is possible. She’s been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years. Her secret to a long marriage? It’s easy when you marry your best friend. In her world, Friday night is still date night.

Before she became a full-time author, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher). She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised three wonderful children. When she’s not breathing life into her characters or jotting down ideas for a new book, she and her husband are exploring country roads on their Honda Gold Wing.

Since she believes reading is the next best thing to writing, she enjoys romance, fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. In December of 2013, she signed her first book contract with a traditional publisher. Her books have made Amazon’s Best Seller list.

Above all, she loves to hear from you…

Here are ways to connect:

Email: authortammytate@aol.com

Fan Page: www.facebook.com/tammytateauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authortammytate

Blog: http://authortammytate.blogspot.com

It’s that time of year…

…for Christmas cards and holiday cards. Did you know that:

Americans send 1.6 billion holiday cards annually.
Women purchase an estimated 80% of all greeting cards.
E-cards have become an environmentally friendly alternative to paper cards.
Christmas cards originated in London, where Sir Henry Cole commissioned the first in 1843.
Two batches totaling 2,050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each.
Despite the separation of church and state, it’s customary for the President and First Lady to send White House Christmas cards each holiday season.
Calvin Coolidge issued the first official Christmas message to the American people in 1927.

So whose on your Christmas card list? The friendly folks at Grammarly have put together a fun infographic to help you figure out who should get a card. Enjoy!

Holiday Card Flow Chart Infographic2

Do you send Christmas cards or holiday cards?

Back from Vacation by Mae Clair

It’s been a while since I was able to hop online and share a post with everyone—all for a good reason. DH and I took a six-day trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Although we’ve traveled a fair amount in the U.S., this was our first trip to the Dominican and our first outside of the country. It was definitely a learning experience, especially as relates to custom lines. The trip down wasn’t bad but coming back we did a lot of waiting….in customs, on the connector flight, at the airport, at the shuttle bus stop. Fortunately, I have a lot of great memories to override the aggravation.

The resort was spectacular, upscale and Zen-like with acres of tropical gardens interwoven with walking paths. We had a fabulous room in the adults-only section of the resort which also featured a private pool, private beach, and private restaurant for the guests in that area (with access to all other areas of the resort).

Our days were spent lounging poolside on Bali beds, then taking dips in the ocean and pools. Each night we hit one of the different restaurants. We never did manage to take in any of the shows that were offered at the on-site theater, but there was always a singer or musicians at the restaurants or beach.  One evening, we returned to our room to find rose petals strewn all over the bed, and a bottle of champagne chilling in a silver ice-bucket. They took very good care of us.:)

Here are a few of the views from the walking paths:

View of palm trees from garden walking path in tropical setting

 

Lush tropical setting with palms, pond and flamingo

Below are pics of each pool we hung at, the main one, and the adults-only. Each had a swim-up pool bar plus a walk-up side. The adults-only bar also connected to the beach, where we spent some time.

The second picture is shot at night of the adults-only pool. It had several built-in water spouts with animal heads that reminded me of something from a lost city in a jungle setting. There were also built-in lounge sections to soak up sun while in the water. Yes, I was highly spoiled.

swimming pool bordered by palm trees, in a beautiful tropical setting

Night time pool setting with lights reflected on water

The ocean temps were great, and we made friends with one of the locals who worked at the resort. One of the first things I did when we got home was to go out and buy a Spanish language course. I love learning new things (I’m a sponge) and thought learning to speak Spanish would be fun. If I conquer it, Italian, the language of my maternal grandparents, will be next.

I also really loved all of the soothing lights on the beach at night. Look at this seating arrangement, where the table and chairs are actually lighted from within. Those odd shaped white things are chairs. We sat in them, and although they’re gorgeous to look at, I can’t say they were particularly comfortable.

Grouping of beach chairs, lighted from within, at night

Finally, these are a few of the Bali beds by the pool (ours is in the middle). We’d drop our stuff there in the morning and then go back and forth between that wonderful relaxing spot, both pools, and the beach. One day a shower came up. It only lasted five minutes, but we were sheltered in the Bali bed. It was great for reading and whiling away the afternoons.

Bali beds in a tropical setting

Close up of Bali bed interior

On the downside, I did get sick at the end of the trip with stomach stuff (and I was so careful not to drink the water). I think five nights of different cuisines caught up with me as I generally eat bland food. Here’s a shot of me the day we checked out. As you can see, I was pretty washed out by then. Fifteen hours of travel later (most of that due to airport delays) we pulled into our driveway at 2 A.M. last Sunday morning.

Author Mae Clair relaxing in a high backed chair

I’m sure DH and I will go back to the Dominican again, but it will probably be several years. We’ve already booked a short local weekend for July of 2016, and I’d like to do Florida next October. It’s going to take me a while to put the memory of a 2-hour customs line behind me.

Missed you guys while I was gone, and am looking forward to getting back into writing mode again. I’ve  got to get busy on my WIP and some other stuff I have in the works. It’s hard to believe the year is almost over. I definitely need to get my act together now that vacation is behind me!

MYTH AND MAGIC, A Full-Length Halloween Mystery for $.99 by Mae Clair

Yep, you read the title correctly. In celebration of October’s spookfest, the e-book version of my romantic suspense/mystery novel, MYTH AND MAGIC is on sale across all major retailers for just $.99. This is a Halloween-themed novel, so it’s idea for curling up with this time of year.

If you like hayrides, Halloween parties, dressing in costume, old houses with creaking floorboards, and rumors of things-that-go-bump in the night, you’re going to love MYTH AND MAGIC.

I’d be delighted if you would help me spread the word!

Book Cover for MYTH AND MAGIC by Mae Clair depicting a brooding old home at nightAS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.
 
After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

Purchase for $.99 from these retailers through Nov 4, 2015: 

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo 
iTunes
Google

Happy Halloween (just a tad bit early):)

You Are Cordially Invited to a Halloween Party (in June) by Mae Clair

Gothic looking woman wearing a long back gown and holding a ravenPlace:    The Breckwood Mansion, Coldcreek, PA

When:   Halloween Eve beginning at 7PM

What You Should Know:
Please come in costume. Mrs. Morgana Breckwood has gone to a great deal of time and expense to ensure this year’s annual Halloween party will make her previous events pale “ghostly” in comparison. And yes, the rumors are true. There is a slim possibility her son, Caith, might show. Not sure about a costume for him . . . you know how he feels about Halloween. 

Excerpt from Myth and Magic:
Veronica’s stomach clenched as a mixture of fear and dread skittered through her. The expression in her eyes must have betrayed her unease because Morgana took her by the arm and drew her aside. Across the hall, the caterer and florist were busily consulting with the head of Morgana’s household staff. Three workers wearing black shirts that proclaimed Ghosts & Ghouls, Inc. wheeled a life-sized coffin through the front door. Having attended a number of Morgana’s Halloween parties, Veronica knew trays would be fitted inside the open lid, bearing all manner of delectable treats.

“I know my son,” Morgana said, cutting through the noise and activity. “He’s stubborn, but he’s not stupid. He isn’t going anywhere, Veronica. He may not be willing to admit it, but he’s in love with you.”

“No.” She tried to draw away. “Don’t say that.”

“It’s the truth.”

She shook her head. “Caith’s terrified of love.”

“He’s terrified of loss.”

Veronica clamped her mouth shut. Morgana was right. Even if Caith wouldn’t admit it, she knew it was the defining emotion that had driven him all of his life. The reason he’d chosen a career designed to keep others safe, the reason he’d given his son another name, the reason he still couldn’t bring himself to visit Trask’s grave.

She wet her lips. “I have to see him.”

“Give him time first,” Morgana suggested. “Stuart said he was up all night working on the case. He’s barely slept and probably isn’t thinking clearly.” She smiled encouragingly, hooking her arm through Veronica’s. “You can stay and help me decide where the band should go. And the goblins. Did I mention we’re having roving goblins?”

Veronica managed a small smile. The Ghosts & Ghouls people were pushing a series of crates through the door. Tall ones, large ones, squat ones.

“Mrs. Breckwood,” a sandy-haired worker called. “Where would you like us to put the trolls?”

~ooOOoo~

Sound like a party you’d like to attend? Here’s the low-down on MYTH AND MAGIC:

AS CHILDREN THEY PLAYED GAMES OF MYTH AND MAGIC…

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.

THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.
 
After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

Book Cover for MYTH AND MAGIC by Mae Clair depicting a brooding old home at nightAmazon 
Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iTunes 
Google
Kensington Publishing  

Today’s tour stop for my Pump Up Your Book blog tour is with ToiBox of Words. As always, pop over if you can.

And hey, about that Halloween Party–with my love of myth, I think I could have a blast there. How about you?

Mythical Monday: Krampus, the Christmas Devil by Mae Clair

Although I am attending a tech conference today, it’s been far too long without a new Mythical Monday, so . . .

Who could forget the song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town? How about the lyrics “he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” Well, apparently, if your name is etched on Santa’s naughty list, there’s a chance you could end up with a lot worse than a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.

Recently, I discovered a tale from Germanic folklore in which good ole’ St. Nick has an enforcer named Krampus for his dirty work—a nasty looking fellow with horns, cloven feet, and a ginormous forked tongue. Half-goat, half-demon, it’s the job of this nightmarish creature to mete out discipline. He hulks about trailing bells and clanking chains, creating an ominous racket. Decked out with a bundle of birch sticks, he uses the switches for whipping naughty children. His victims are beaten, then stuffed into a basket and carted to the underworld where they are served up as dinner, or perish in flame.

Hardly what you think about around Christmas-time.

Lots of old legends have a grim twist to them, many focused on children who are eaten or worse, but I thought this one appalling. Maybe because it’s centered around Christmas, which is supposed to be a time of good will.

The legend of Krampus is centuries old and is still shared in many Alpine countries. Some places even host parades in which men dress up as Krampus and roam the streets.

Traditionally, Krampus appears on “Krampusnacht” also known as Krampus night. This is the evening before St. Nicholas Day, December 6—a time when you definitely want to ensure your name is on Santa’s “good” list.

dsI discovered this chilling legend through a book I read recently, THE DARK SERVANT, by Matt Manochio. The title showed up on one of my email subscription lists and I was intrigued enough by the blurb to give it a go. Part thriller, part horror story, part YA novel, THE DARK SERVANT has Krampus showing up in modern day New Jersey and snatching several high school kids with bad attitudes.

The protagonist of the book is the sheriff’s seventeen-year-old son. Billy begins to put the pieces together and soon realizes the abductions have been perpetrated by a hulking, hairy monster with a nasty talent for inflicting pain. Too bad for Krampus he’s snatched Billy’s brother because Billy isn’t about to let Krampus haul him to the underworld—even if the adults are clueless about the true danger.

This was a page-turner, and I do recommend checking it out if this type of read appeals to you. I loved it! Personally, I love almost anything with a creature on the loose, especially when said creature gets to rampage in a modern-day setting.

I can’t say, however, that I have any desire to meet Krampus in the flesh. Fiction and folklore is much more preferable.

What about you? Have you ever heard of this “Christmas Devil” before, or is he new to you, too?