Seven Random Facts by Mae Clair

Recently, the lovely Alicia Coleman honored me with the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Alicia and I originally met when we took a Savvy Authors course together, and have remained friends since. She’s hard at work on an upcoming paranormal romance release that I know you’ll love. Thank you, Alicia, for thinking of me!

very-inspiring-blogger-award

In accepting, I am required to

  • Link back to the person who nominated me for the award.
  • Display the Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo (isn’t it attractive?)
  • Reveal 7 things about myself
  • Nominate others to receive the award and continue the fun

So here goes:

  1. Fever DreamMy favorite book boyfriend is Aloysius Pendergast. I am in awe of authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child for creating such a mesmerizing character. I would love to see some of their books made into a movie (especially Fever Dream which cries out to be filmed) but am afraid no living actor could ever begin to capture Pendergast. The man has no equal (well, maybe Gerald Tarrant, my other book boyfriend). In the meantime, I can dream. 🙂
  1. I grew up in a small town and to this day dislike big cities. Probably why I have never been to—gasp!—New York City.
  1. Rarely does a day past that I don’t speak to, or think of, God.
  1. I detest any type of red meat and am “weird” about most other forms of meat, although I am not a vegetarian.
  1. I would willingly give up chocolate before chips or bread.
  1. I really enjoy talking with senior citizens, especially when they share their life experiences.
  1. DancingI am an introvert who dislikes being the center of attention, but I love to dance.  On a dance floor, I have no problem being an extrovert!

And now to pass along the award. I nominate the following bloggers to carry the torch, should they wish to participate:

Emma Meade
Flossie Benton Rogers
Donna Cummings
Lorraine Paton
Cd Brennan
Gemma Brocato
Daisy Banks

 

Wizards with Words: Emma Meade with Dark Whiskey

emma-meadePlease welcome an awesome Wizard with Words! I’m thrilled to have Emma Meade as my guest today. Emma makes her home in Ireland and writes fantastic tales of the paranormal. We “met” through a mutual friend when Emma did a guest stint on the blog of L.J. Kentowksi and I immediately snatched up her book UNDER THE DESERT MOON after reading the blurb and excerpt. I’ve been hooked on everything she’s written since.

Today, she’s sharing her latest release, DARK WHISKEY, so grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy!

~ooOOoo~

Thanks for having me on your blog today, Mae. I love your Mythical Monday posts!

Thank you! I’m delighted to have you here today, and it’s wonderful to hear you enjoy my Mythical Mondays. I love gathering information for them. For starters, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I was born and raised in Cork City, Ireland, where I still live. I adore rainy weather – thunder and lightning are even better. I do my best writing on stormy days. I’ve been writing since primary school, often handing up short stories about aliens and ghosts and witches to my teachers. Twenty years later, my heart is still firmly rooted in the supernatural genre.

I love to write on rainy days too. For some reason the words seem to flow easier when I’m snug and cozy inside. Do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

I tend to write curled up on the couch with a hot cup of tea within reaching distance. I can write day or night. If I’m feeling inspired and the words are flowing, I’ll keep going until the early hours of the morning.

I’ve been known to do that a time or two as well. What attracts you most to your chosen genre?  

I’ve always leaned towards paranormal fiction. Worlds filled with superheroes, vampires, werewolves and immortals fascinate me. When I was a kid, I hurried to the library in my mom’s primary school to see what new Point Horror books were available. From there, I moved on to L.J. Smith’s paranormal romance young adult tales, Anne Rice and Stephen King. I adore the supernatural genre across books, TV shows and films. My favourite TV show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Are you a draft writer or someone who invests a lot of time in editing and polishing as you write? Why does your method work best for you?

I used to write a chapter, then go back and polish, but I no longer do that – I simply found it took too long and I tended to lose my train of thought. These days I write a first draft all the way through, and then I start the editing process. I find I can get a draft of a novella done in a month now. It’s polishing it afterwards that takes more time.

I definitely want to give draft writing a try. Writers seem to make a lot of progress that way. Please tell us about your new release.

Dark WhiskeyI’d like to talk about my short story, Dark Whiskey. It’s my most recent release, and I had a lot of fun writing it. It was my first time publishing a story written in the first person. Ever since I saw the film Blade when I was a teenager, I had an idea in my mind about a vampire club. What if a girl walked into a club full of vampires and wasn’t allowed to leave? How would she cope? In Dark Whiskey, Jesse finds out just how wrong a night out on the town can go.

I loved Dark Whiskey! Your descriptions of the club were so vivid and haunting. How did you choose your title?

I’m a Jack Daniel’s girl, and Jesse in the story is a whiskey drinker. The title came pretty easily.

It’s a  great title. Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Jesse is a strong woman. She keeps her head in a crisis and doesn’t give up. Something terrible happens to her, but she deals.

I liked Jesse immediately. She was strong and earthy and you gave her great dialogue. How did you choose your setting?

I pictured an ice bar. In my mind I saw an interior similar to the ice hotel located in Sweden – a hotel made entirely of ice. In the end I kept the setting of the club icy white and frosty blue.

It was hypnotic! Most people who follow my blog know I love vivid descriptive passages, and what you did with Dark Whiskey was simply mesmerizing. How about sharing the first three sentences of the book?

“I think we should leave—like right now, Tasha,” I said, grabbing my best friend’s arm.

Tasha yanked away. “You promised me a night to remember, and that’s what I’m getting.”

I took a deep breath.

And from there we get an inkling that things are not going to go well for these girls. Now share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

Familiar chords from teenage memories thrummed, the sweet music making its way under the bathroom door.

Fantastic! And now, a quick peek into your list of favorites:

Favorite season: Winter
Favorite time of day: Evening/Night
Favorite TV show: When it aired – Buffy. Today, I’d probably have to go for The Walking Dead
Food you never grow tired of: Chicken curry and rice
Casual or dressy: Casual

I think you must be my first guest who listed winter as their favorite season, Emma. Thanks again for visiting with me today. I wish you much success with DARK WHISKEY.

Connect with Emma at the following haunts:
Website 
Blog
Twitter @EmmaMeadeIrl
Facebook
Goodreads

About the Author
Emma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She loves reading and writing supernatural fiction. Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on.

Grab a copy of Dark Whiskey for just 99 cents from:
Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
Smashwords
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
iTunes

Blurb:
Jesse senses something off about the nightclub. She wants to leave, but her best friend, Tasha, is determined to have a night to remember. There’s no way she’s turning down an invite to the VIP section.

Against Jesse’s better judgement, she follows Tasha up the ivory staircase to the mysterious room above. The whiskey and champagne are flowing, and pretty soon the blood will be too.

(A Short Story, approx 7,100 words)

Help Me Choose My Next Title by Mae Clair

Before I get into the main reason for this post, I wanted to mention that my Lyrical Press sister, D.B. Sieders, is hosting me today on her blog. She tossed some awesome questions my way about Twelfth Sun, Reagan and Elijah. I love digging deep like that, so please stop by if you can. You can find the interview here.

Next, I’ve now added a “News” page to my website. Yep, in case you forgot, I actually have one of those at www.MaeClair.com  🙂 I concentrate so much on my blog, sometimes even I forget it’s out there, but I’ve decided I want to pump it up. I’m not exactly certain what that entails, but I hope to add several new features in the coming weeks. The first of those is my News page which will feature a recap of the month and an update on my works in progress.

Speaking of those, I’ve finished Solstice Island. YAY!  This is a 21K romance/adventure that will be included in an anthology with three other authors and offered as a free read on Amazon. We hope to pub late this year or early 2014.

The end of June I ran a post lamenting my indecisiveness about the title. I wasn’t sure if it was too, well…bland. My friend, Emma Meade, suggested I run a poll (great idea, Emma) so here goes.

First the blurb:
Tag:  Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

title post copyThe titles I’m considering are:
Solstice Island
An Admirable Man
Cryptid Hunter

I have a definite favorite among these three, but I thought it would be fun to get other opinions.

So what do you think? Does one of these work or do I need to go back to the drawing board?

A Sunny Day Sunshine Award, Mae Clair

SunshineIt’s a sunny day when my friend, Calisa Rhose, nominates me for the Sunshine Award! This is a fun award that bloggers give to other bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” What a great thought, and how lovely to be included among the ranks. Thank you, Calisa, for thinking of me!

If you haven’t moseyed over to Calisa’s ranch, you’ll find it filled with sunshine and friendly chatter! Calisa is one of my sister authors at Lyrical Press and a wonderful writer. The welcome mat is always out at her ranch. She loves visitors, so be sure to drop by. You’ll see for yourself why she earned a Sunshine Award.

The rules of the Sunshine Award are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post (thanks, Calisa!)
  2. Answer the questions below
  3. Pass the award to 10-12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs.

So, here are the questions:

Favorite color: This is always a toss-up between green and blue, the colors of earth, sea and sky. At the moment, I’m partial to blues and have to go with royal blue.

Favorite animal: Cat! I adore felines.

Favorite number: 12

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee in the morning, water any other time of day. I constantly have a glass of iced water beside me.

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter. Facebook and I do not play nicely together. I’ve been planning a blog post on that for a while, LOL.

Your passion: My hubby, of course! 🙂 Assuming, we’re not talking about that kind of passion then writing, reading and learning in general..

Giving or getting presents: Both. I’ve pulled off some pretty cool surprises in the giving department, like the time I surprised my husband with a John Deere tractor for his birthday.

Favorite flower: Roses, the flower of romance. Red is my favorite but I love them all—white, pink, yellow, blush orange and all varieties of colors.

And now I’d like to pass this award on to the following outstanding bloggers:

Sheri de Grom
Debbie Peterson
Cd Brennan
Jane Wakely
Jessi Gage
Lorraine Paton
Laura Lee Nutt
Stanalei Fletcher

Thanks for bringing a bit of sunshine with your blogs, ladies!

The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, by Mae Clair

wonderful-team-memberIt’s blog award time, thanks to my wonderful friend and fellow blogger, Sheri de Grom!

Sheri recently honored me with the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award. If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ve no doubt heard me mention Sheri before. We ventured into the blogosphere about the same time and quickly became  friends and supporters of each other.

Sheri blogs about women’s fiction and government and medical issues, in addition to working on what is certain to be a compelling novel, NOT THE MAN I MARRIED.  She’s super friendly and a great supporter of other bloggers so check her out corner of the world here, and linger a while under her bridge.

The Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award was one I was not previously familiar with, but it definitely deserves a round of fanfare. The title says it all. As bloggers, we rely on those who support our efforts with each post, taking their time to comment on the musings we toss into the virtual universe. I am so grateful for the friends I have made through blogging, and really do appreciate everyone who visits and comments on From the Pen of Mae Clair.

So to all my fantastic Pen Pals—I am grateful to each of you and wish to acknowledge you with this post. I am happy to nominate the following for the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award:

L. J. Kentowski
Donna Cummings
Emma Meade
Jessi Gage
Cd Brennan
Calisa Rhose
Stanalei Fletcher
Debbie Peterson
Joanne Wadsworth
Laura Lee Nutt
Venice Kennedy
Susan Koenig

And, of course, a huge thanks to Sheri de Grom.

There are many other friends out there who support me through Twitter, Facebook, blogging and reviews, and I thank you all. This list is but a few. I am truly grateful for your friendship and support. You guys rock! 😀

Mae Clair: The Reality Award

reality-award1A week or so ago, I was nominated for the Reality Award by my friend and fellow blogger, Sheri de Grom. Sheri and I ventured into the blogging world about the same time and undertook much of the social media learning curve together. If you’re looking for insightful reviews of women’s fiction, informative posts about our military and medical issues, you need to visit Sheris’ blog!

Thanks for nominating me, Sheri. This award is a bit different than those I’ve seen in the past, and requires some thought. The rules are as follows:

Visit the blog of the person who nominated you, thank them, and acknowledge them on your blog *waving to Sheri*

Answer the questions listed below and nominate up to 20 bloggers whom you feel deserve recognition. Visit their blog and let them know.

Cut and paste the award to your wall.

Now for the questions:

If you could change one thing, what would you change?
There are a lot of mind-boggling social, economic and health-related issues I would change, but I’m going to go with something basic here that irritates the heck out of me. If I could eliminate one thing, I’d do away with the annoying voice mail menus businesses force us to jump through and replace them with live telephone operators. Remember those days? When there was CUSTOMER service in customer service? When you didn’t have to sit through five voice mail loops only to realize none of the options work; pushing the pound sign gets you nowhere, and hitting ’0’ for operator results in the message “sorry you are having problems.”

Really?  If you’re that sorry, how about having a living, breathing person answer the phone who can actually help me instead of a recorded message that tells me my wait time is ten minutes (after I’ve spent two minutes getting there!)?

‘Nuff said on that topic. I could rant for hours!

If you could repeat an age, what would it be?
Probably sometime in my 30s. Old enough to be wise, young enough not to be bogged down with anything too serious.

What is the one thing that really scares you?
Heights. I’m petrified of them. I remember needing to cross a creek one time and the only means across (a very short distance) was a hollowed out metal beam (about the width of a balance beam). It was raised approximately three feet in the air over the creek, forming a makeshift bridge to the other side. With nothing to close it in, I felt like I was walking in space. That short little drop into the water had my equilibrium out of whack, as if I was crossing a rope bridge suspended over a gaping canyon. Heights and I do not agree.

The weird part is I would love to be able to fly and soar above everything like Superman. I know it makes no sense, but that’s typical for me!

If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?
A stormchaser. I’m fascinated by weather and always thought it would be cool to chase a storm. I’d probably freak if I had the opportunity, but it’s a nice thought to entertain.

And now for my nominations:

L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
Donna Cummings
Calisa Rhose
Debbie Peterson
Emma Meade
Joanne Wadsworth
Stanalei Fletcher
Lorraine Paton
Christy Olesen
Alicia Coleman
Lynne Kensington

So what do you think, ladies? Do you feel like giving the Reality Award a try?

Mae Clair: Liking the Liebster

Last week, I had the pleasure of being nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful Jessi Gage. Jessi has recently released a fantasy romance called WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER that I highly recommend. I’ve fallen in love with her hunky hero, Darcy, a 16th Century Scot who comes to the aid of a 21st Century pregnant museum worker when she’s transported to his era. Visit Jessi’s blog to learn more about her and her delightful novel. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

liebster-awardSo how does the Liebster Award work?  Here are the rules:
Thank the person who nominated you (thank you, Jessi!).
Post eleven random facts about yourself.
Answer eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.


My eleven random facts:
1. I love gypsy-style clothing
2. My nickname in high school was “Starchild”
3. I have a bizarre fear of bears
4. I am madly in love with the character of Aloysius Pendergast, created by authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

From a party a few years ago (my hair was a lot shorter). That's my aunt with me. I can always count on her to be a dancing partner!
From a party a few years ago (my hair was a lot shorter). That’s my aunt with me. I can always count on her to be a dancing partner!

5. Someday I would like to buy a Jaguar (the car, not the animal!)
6. I prefer small gatherings to large parties
7. I can’t whistle
8. I love to be outside when it’s warm and windy
9. I’ve always loved vegetables, even as a kid
10. I am an avowed ‘cat person’
11. I love, l-o-v-e, LOVE to dance!

Jessi’s eleven questions:
1. Who was your idol growing up?
I had several…Michael Landon, Paul McCartney, David Soul, David Hedison and David Cassidy. Hmm…guess I liked a lot of Davids! 🙂

2. Who motivates you to be the best you can be?
My husband. I’m good at motivating myself most of the time, but when I hit a wall, he’s the one who helps me over it.

3. What’s your favorite morning ritual?
Coffee!  It used to be tea until hubby and I discovered Keurig.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My office. Decorated with balloons and bags of chips!

4. Fudge or salty snacks?
Salty. I’m addicted to chips. Several years ago on my birthday, my staff at work filled my office with small bags of Middleswarth chips. They were everywhere–on my desk, my file cabinet, the bookshelves, windowsills. Needless to say, my chip addiction is well known 🙂

5. Beer or wine?
Wine, but it has to be dry.

6. What’s the biggest challenge you face as a blogger?
Making time. I love to blog and rarely lack for content/ideas. It’s just squeezing the hours from a day that is usually overflowing to begin with.

7. What’s your favorite season?
It used to be spring, but I find myself leaning more toward summer these days.

8. Where do you go to get away from stress and regroup?
I don’t necessarily have a place as much as a mindset. I like to read or work on a WIP. In warm weather, I love relaxing on my back porch and deck.

9. If you’re a writer, how many books do you aim to write per year? Are you making your goal?
Two books per year. So far so good, but it’s hard with juggling a full-time job.

10. Who’s on your ereader right now?
WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER by Jessi Gage! LOL!

11. If you look out the window right now, what do you see?
A large white cross. It’s on the church in a field behind my house.

My 11 questions for my nominees:
1. What was your favorite book as a child?
2. What famous person from history do you admire most?
3. If you could have a superpower, which would you choose?
4. Who is your favorite fairytale character and why?
5. When it comes to movies, what is your favorite genre?
6. Who was your teenage celebrity crush?
7. Would you describe yourself as an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between?
8. What was your favorite subject in school?
9. What is your favorite board game?
10. What is your favorite form of social media?
11. Would you rather spend a lazy day at a secluded beach soaking up the sun, or a day in a tourist town that offers numerous attractions?

From the 'Starchild'...my senior year of high school, LOL!

From the ‘Starchild’…my senior year of high school, LOL!

And my nominees are:
1. Donna Cummings
2. L.J. Kentowski
3. Loni Flowers
4. Sheri de Grom
5. Lorraine Paton
6. Calisa Rhose
7. Susan Koenig
8. Emma Meade
9. Mackenzie Crowne
10. Debbie Peterson
11. Renita Pizzitola

I’m looking forward to seeing your facts and answers, ladies! Thanks again to Jessi Gage for the nomination. I enjoyed participating. This was a lot of fun! 😀