New Release: A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair #KensingtonMystery #Mothman #RRBC

I’m celebrating a book birthday today and hope you’ll join me! A Desolate Hour, the final novel in my Point Pleasant series, is finally available for purchase. I’m wrapping up all the plot threads begun in the first two novels, A Thousand Yesteryears and A Cold Tomorrow. Caden Flynn and all my regular characters are back, along with a few new ones. The Mothman, of course, is front and center.

When I set out to write the Point Pleasant series, I envisioned the mystery relating to the origins of the Mothman spanning all three books. But I also wanted each book to focus on an aspect of Point Pleasant folklore in addition to my favorite cryptid.

In book one, A Thousand Yesteryears, I shared the history of the Silver Bridge tragedy. Book two, A Cold Tomorrow, saw the introduction of UFOs and Men in Black. The final installment, A Desolate Hour, plays off the legend of Shawnee Indian Chief Cornstalk who set all the other elements in motion by cursing the town as he lay dying.

At long last, the Mothman’s story hurtles to a conclusion!

Book cover for A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair shows a small town overlooking a river at night, full moon overhead, cover in wash of green red and black with white lettering

A Desolate Hour Sins of the past could destroy all of their futures . . .

For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing Chief Cornstalk—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?

While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

~ooOOoo~

A few snippets from advance reviews:

From Staci Troilo, Author:
“A gripping end to a remarkable series…A Desolate Hour features genuine characters and intricate plotlines, fast-paced action and eerie, palpable settings.”
Read the full review

From dandelions inspired Book Reviews:
A Desolate Hour is so incredibly action-packed I’m not sure how to review this novel without giving away spoilers . . . truly a novel that once you start reading it, there is no stopping until you’ve reached the end.”
Read the full review 

From Fundinmental Book Reviews:
A Desolate Hour has an aura of menace from the beginning . . . If you are a creature feature lover, if you crave reading about myths and legends, if you like to be scared and surprised, run and soar through the air, this is one series you don’t want to miss.”
Read the full review 

~ooOOoo~

A DESOLATE HOUR Universal Purchase Link (All Retailers):
https://books2read.com/u/bzpJEq

If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, A Desolate Hour can be read as a standalone novel. You can also purchase A Thousand Yesteryears and A Cold Tomorrow from all major booksellers. Don’t you think it’s time you met the Mothman? 😊

A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS Reviewed by New York Times Bestselling Author, Kevin O’Brien

I’m so excited about this post I’m not sure where to begin.

As a reader (and writer) of mystery/suspense fiction I have long been a fan of Kevin O’Brien. I admire his work and regularly devour his books. He’s in an entirely different league of writers than me—an established author with a huge following and bestseller credits to his name. He also happens to be an author with Kensington Publishing, my publishing house.

Two days ago I received this email from the Director of Social media at Kensington:

Good morning,

I wanted to pass along a quote we’ve received for the first book in the Point Pleasant series.

New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien has provided the following blurb:

“A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is masterful, bone-chilling fiction that begins with a real-life tragedy on December 15, 1967: the Silver Bridge collapse in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.  46 people died.   Author Mae Clair has seamlessly woven fact, fiction and creepy urban folklore into one intense thriller.  The gripping story focuses on two witnesses to the disaster—fifteen years later.  Both Eve Parrish and Caden Flynn lost loved ones in the catastrophe and still carry the emotional scars.  After a long absence, Eve returns to Point Pleasant to bury her recently-deceased aunt, face some old ghosts, and reunite with her one-time “impossible-crush,” Caden.  But when Eve begins to investigate her aunt’s death, she’s plunged into danger and a nightmare world where scary urban legends are very real.  Full of suspense, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.”

~ooOOoo~

She went on to say Kensington will be adding the quote to all online retail pages, and it will be included in the copy they feed out.

I feel like I’ve crossed a bridge, taken another step in my author’s journey. The very thought that someone of Mr. O’Brien’s stature has taken the time to read and review my book has me embracing euphoria. Writers work hard at a craft we love. Without accolades and fanfare, we’d gladly do it each day. But when recognition does happen, it’s something to be enjoyed and savored.

Right now I feel a little childish, a little giddy. Part of me wants to scream “Score!” the other part is humbled and grateful to Mr. O’Brien for providing something that will certainly help enhance the sales of A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS.

Release date is April 26 but pre-orders are available now at all major online bookstores. Grab a copy and see for yourself how “fact, fiction and creepy urban folklore” weave together “into one intense thriller.”

Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 
iTunes 
Google Play 
Kobo 
Kensington Publishing

And how do you like these memes Kensington made for me?

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Look at this line-up of Kensington thrillers. A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS
is being promoted with Kevin’s latest and Lisa Jackson’s newest release! I love her stuff, too. Wow. Just wow.
#Suspense.jpg

 

 

Mae Clair Presents: Editor, Corinne DeMaagd, of Kensington Publishing with a Submission Call and Tips

Stack of typing paper tied up with red ribbon, the word Manuscript in bold across the first pageToday is a special day on The Pen of Mae Clair, as I’ve invited, Corinne DeMaagd, my wonderful editor from Kensington Publishing to drop by to share a few tips about submitting to an editor. The timing was idea, as Corinne had just released a submission call for Lyrical Press, Kensington’s main digital imprint. If you’re finishing up a WIP, or will be in a few months, you may find an ideal fit with one of her acquisition needs below.

Please welcome, Corinne!

~ooOOoo~

Part of my role with Lyrical Press, the main digital imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp, is looking out for new acquisitions.

The good news is this year Lyrical is expanding to take on more than just romance. It is still our main genre, but we are looking to include non-romance titles into our catalog, as well.

As of right now, Kensington are looking for the following for Lyrical:

  • Romantic Suspense
  • Straight Suspense
  • Historical Romance

But saying that, Kensington are open to anything that is awesome. So I’m going to stretch those wants a bit farther. I’d love to also see the following:

  • Young Adult historical romance
  • Young Adult dystopian romance
  • Non-romance Young Adult (and subgenre but no angst please)
  • New Adult – the sexier the better
  • Stories set in non-US locations – from Ireland to the Ukraine to Bangladesh (but please, only stories where the author either has intimate knowledge of these locations or has done some hefty research. I can always tell when a writer is fluffing their setting, and setting is key to good storytelling)
  • Romance with the heroines in a high-stress position such as fighter pilot, helicopter pilot, ship captain, surgeon or nontraditional, male-dominated roles, such as construction, mining, space travel, firefighter, camel trainer – you get the idea. Or maybe even if they just have a quirky position in life that others would find interesting because it’s SO different.
  • Pure fantasy romance. Not UF, but pure worldbuilding fantasy with everything from dragons to warlocks to elves. Higher heat level preferred.
  • Romance that includes current events or problems that we face in our society
  • LGBT but with a strong suspense, thriller or otherwise dynamic plot, not just a characterization plot.

*Please email query, manuscript, and synopsis to: cdemaagd@gmail.com and cc: Martin Biro – mbiro@kensingtonbooks.com

Please allow me a couple months to get back to you, depending on the response from the sub call*

*This Sub Call is good for three months from today.*

Check out the website for info on what Lyrical offers. http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/LYRICALPRESS  

Any book over 60K will be released simultaneously in digital and print!  

Since Mae is one of my roster authors with Kensington, I was happy to pop on by and post my sub call on her blog. You can also see what I am up to at www.cmdediting.com. Mae asked me to mention a few things that I love and hate when I read submissions.

  1. I love a great pace with not too much introspection to bog the story down. Much of what the characters are thinking and feeling can be seen through dialogue and action. There are times where we want a bit of it, but not too much, and never repeat anything that we’ve heard before.
  2. I personally hate action eyes and eyebrows. There’s too much in romance, and in years past, authors have relied heavily on both to relay how a character is feeling. A character has an entire body to express an opinion, and even more so when they use the environment around them. The setting or inanimate objects – anything! So get rid of the furrowed brows and the anguished eyes. Take a seat and observe two people in discussion. Note their actions and see if you can decipher by their body language what they are feeling. How often when you talk to your partner or your kids or your boss or a friend do you recognize what is going on in their eyes and eyebrows?

Happy Writing!
Corinne DeMaagd – Editor

Mae Clair Presents: Twice in a Blue Moon by Cate Masters

Don’t you love that title? 🙂

Today, I’m happy to share in the  excitement over Cate Master’s latest novella, a contemporary release from Kensington Publishing. Check it out!

Twice In A Blue Moon
by Cate Masters

TwiceInABlueMoon-MD

Contemporary romance novella
Publish Date: 1/19/2015
About 48,000 words
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kensington

Blurb
Can true love strike twice?

After the death of her first love, Melanie Michaels buries her grief in the risky demands of a reality show, where her extreme stunts leave her teetering on the edge of danger. That’s exactly where she wants to be—until she arranges for her crew to traverse the Swedish Lapland in the dead of winter. It’s the one place she shouldn’t go, on the one day she should avoid—her would-be wedding anniversary.

Instead of romantic nights spent in the Ice Hotel or under the Northern Lights, Melanie is stuck with Joe “Buck” Wright, a snarky loner tour guide who loves his sled dogs and nothing and no one else. But Buck is also trying to numb a painful past. Can two people skilled at pushing others away find warmth at the edge of the Arctic?

About the Author
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Connect with Cate at the following haunts:
Website 

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com 
Facebook 
Twitter: @CateMasters 

Book video

Advance reviews for TWICE IN A BLUE MOON

“…a great read. It is fun, it is romantic, it is moving.” – Dan Curnett, 5 stars

“…a quick romance read that will undoubtedly leave them wanting more” – Maria, 4 stars

“… a satisfying and enjoyable read” – Jennifer Schultheis, 4 stars

“I really liked this book! It had a unique setting and a hero with a lot of baggage” – JoMarie DeGioia, 4 stars

Excerpt
Buck tried not to drool. “Perfect.” He loved making new friends, especially of the female variety. So long as they didn’t complain about his modus operandus: all fun, zero ties. Repeats happened if the girl abided the rules. And if he didn’t get too attached. Such foolishness led to all manner of drama and heartache. He’d had enough of both. His life had become about survival, and he’d taught himself not to let anyone get close. Not to make himself vulnerable to pain. To live alone and like it.

Klaus set two mugs in front of them and deftly removed a bill from the stack Buck had left on the bar.

Something made him glance up at the television. Maybe Kenny had implanted a subliminal suggestion during their conversation. Damn if the name at the bottom of the screen didn’t read Melanie Michaels. A man spoke into a microphone, then stepped closer to hold it near her.

“No way. That’s her?” He waved at the bartender. “Turn up the volume, will you please, Klaus?”

The camera zoomed in on her face. Features delicate but strong, beautiful but serious. God, that mouth—lips full and wide, and the way they moved as she spoke, he could hardly tear away his gaze. Her large eyes, dark and luminous in the way that had always struck him to the bone. Just like Poppy. She’d turned out to be anything but sweet. More like poisonous, the opium behind the flowery facade an instant addiction that took him years to overcome. He still carried the scars from her acid nectar. Anything and anyone reminding him of his former lover ranked the lowest of low on his shit list.

Melanie Michaels just claimed that spot.

And now he’d have to deal with her every day for almost a week. “Oh man, it’s going to be a grueling six days.” Five, technically. Tomorrow’s meet-and-greet was strictly a formality, though the preliminaries helped him size up his guests so he could better prepare.

Klaus glanced from Buck to the screen and back again. “She’s taking your tour? You lucky bastard.”

Lucky? No. Bastard? Yes, according to some. “Oh yeah. Skol.” He raised his mug and gulped. And gulped.

The blonde assessed him. “You’re a wilderness guide? For which company?”

He tried to sound proud and manly as he said, “Arctic Adventures.”

“I’ve heard about them.” An arch of her brows, and her demeanor turned glacier-cold.

He could only imagine what, exactly, she’d heard. Kenny insisted they stretch their expenses as far as possible. Translation: second-rate accommodations. And hey, it wasn’t his fault if the sled dogs took a dislike to certain clients. They should know better than to leave unpackaged foods unprotected and stow their backpacks away from the team. The dogs had few enough trees upon which to relieve themselves, and he didn’t blame them one bit.

Klaus shot the blonde a dubious, don’t-make-trouble look.

“What? They’ll be famous.” She hid a laugh behind her hand. “No Boundaries will make you a star in America.”

“America.” Ah, hell. Why hadn’t it occurred to him? His family would see him, the friends he’d left behind. And Poppy. Shit. Short of them traveling to Sweden, there’d been no way for any of them to bust him on the lie he’d told. Now they’d know he didn’t work for the prestigious National Geographic tours, but a crap company based in Kiruna. In his last email, he’d boasted of almost having saved enough money to build a log resort better than the world-famous Wilderness Lodge. Fat chance, on his salary.

Me, a star? More like an outcast. Buck heaved a sigh. “I’ve suddenly lost my appetite.” For drinking or anything else.

He grabbed the cash from the bar, left a generous tip, and nodded goodbye to Klaus. He strode to the exit, ignoring the blonde’s taunting calls to come back. The laughter in her lilting tone churned his gut.

Whether he returned to the job at all depended on how badly Melanie Michaels and crew shamed him on video. He’d spend the next six days avoiding the camera, and afterward, crawl into some isolated igloo a dismal failure. He might stay there until global warming melted away the polar ice cap.

Purchase TWICE IN A BLUE MOON from:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kensington

Mae Clair Presents: Kyra Jacobs and Flirting With Fire #romance #firefighters

I’m super jazzed to have the delightful Kyra Jacobs on my blog today. Kyra is a Lyrical Press/Kensington Books sister author who is currently celebrating her newest release, FLIRTING WITH FIRE. Energetic, super supportive and friendly, Kyra also knows how to spin an enthralling tale. Please say hello!  

Kyra, what attracts you most to your chosen genre?

The Happily Ever Afters. With as busy as my life is today, if I’m going to set aside time to dive into a book then darn it ,there’d better be a happy ending involved. LOL No tragedies or cliffhangers for me. When I write, I try to offer the same type of story resolution I prefer for my readers.

Well said! I love an HEA and can’t imagine reading a romantic novel without one. And as long as we’re talking books that intrigue us, give us the scoop on your newest release. 

Book cover for Flirting with Fire by Kyra Jacobs shows a fire truck and fireman in silhouette against a gold backgroundFlirting With Fire is my second romantic suspense novel, and it just released this month. Technically, it’s the second in my Hometown Heroes series (Armed With Steele is book 1) but can either be read as a sequel or standalone novel. And while FWF follows a new set of main characters, fans of my first book are sure to see some familiar names woven into this story as well.

I enjoy when an author writes books that connect but also serve as a stand-alone. Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene.

But I have so many! Hmm, let’s see. One of my favorites involves a hot shower, soap getting in Liz’s eyes, and her reaching around the shower stall door for a towel. That’s when a pair of shins beside the tub come into view. Naked, male shins…

LOL! I can see why that would be one of your favorite scenes. 🙂  How did you choose your setting?

I love to write about my hometown. We live in a terrific city, rich with history and yet with enough modern development to keep my storylines coming.

It sounds like you have an endless supply of inspiration! As a teaser, please share the first three sentences of your book. 

(Ha, I’m giving you four ;-)… )

It all began with Herb Meyer’s happy ending.
Oh, sure, I’d heard murmurings at our post office. Dismissed stares from neighboring motorists at the gas station. Gossip is, after all, what keeps things interesting in small town U.S.A.

Great beginning! (and I’m glad you went for four lines 🙂 ). When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

Tend to my flower gardens. There’s just something about working outside pulling weeds and/or dead-heading my perennials that helps to clear my mind.

That sounds relaxing. I have a mediocre green thumb and envy the beautiful flower gardens I see others tend. If a fairy godmother suddenly appeared and gifted you with an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go?

Anywhere with a quiet, warm, white-sands beach

Favorite comic book character: Ratbert

Food you never grow tired of: Ice cream. Never. Ever.

Sunset picnic or night on the town: Sunset picnic

Pie or cake: Cake, but only if there’s plenty of tasty, buttercream frosting involved…

Yum! I’m partial to pie, but having buttercream frosting does make it tempting. And I think you’re the first person who answered my comic-book character question, LOL.  It’s been great to have you here today, Kyra. I’ve already downloaded FLIRTING WITH FIRE for my Kindle and look forward to reading it. I absolutely love the cover–it’s one of my all time favorites this year!  Wishing you the very best with your release and many sales! 

Connect with Kyra Jacobs at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads 

Author, Kyra JacobsAUTHOR BIO:
Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love and mystery in the Midwest. When this Hoosier native is not pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves golf, Guitar Hero, and thinking through plot twists while out on a good run. Be sure to stop by her website www.KyraJacobs.wordpress.com for links to connect with her on social media. Kyra lives in northern Indiana with her husband and two children.

BLURB for FLIRITING WITH FIRE:

Look, touch, but don’t fall in love. 

Massage therapist Liz Williams lives by one rule: never date a client. A rule she’s never had trouble following until she lays hands on fireman playboy Torrunn MacKay. Trouble is, Liz’s sexy new client is dating her arch-rival at work…and has a strange habit of appearing just before the fire alarm sounds.

Firefighter Torrunn MacKay has got it made: killer job, downtown condo with a view, and hot blonde girlfriend with no more desire to tie the knot than he has. But the surprise attraction he feels toward his new masseuse is threatening to change all that. And what’s with the string of fires that seem to follow her everywhere?

Can Liz mind her table manners and keep Torrunn at arms’ length? Will Torrunn put his commitment fears aside to keep Liz safe? More than hearts will be in jeopardy when the two start Flirting with Fire.

CONTENT WARNING: Beware of darkened rooms, delicious firefighters, and desperate pyromaniacs.  

Purchase FLIRTING WITH FIRE FROM:
Amazon (ebook and paperback)
Barnes and Noble (paperback only)