Welcome Joan Hall with Unseen Motives #RRBC Author

Hand writing a letter with a goose featherHappy Thursday, blogging friends! Today, I am delighted to welcome fellow Story Empire member and Rave Reviews Book Club author, Joan Hall. This is the first time Joan has been featured on my blog, so I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome. She has a new release (which I’ve read and highly recommend) and also took the time to answer a few questions for an interview. So, let’s get down to chatting with Joan…

Thanks for visiting today, Joan. I have a number of probing questions for you. 🙂Let’s start with plotters and pansters. I think even plotters often veer from their outline during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely? 

I call myself a “planster.” I have a general idea of how I want the story to go and end, but doing a detailed outline would take the fun of writing away. Unseen Motives ended as I planned, but as I began writing, it took some unexpected turns. I planned for it to be a stand-alone novel, but ideas for two other books came as I began to write. I would have to say the finished novel is 75% in line with my original idea.

Isn’t it wonderful how those other books crop up and start whispering “series?” In the case of Unseen Motives, I’m happy to see where the next books in the series take you, as I’m a big fan of mysteries. What is it that attracts you most to that genre?

I’ve always been fascinated with unsolved mysteries and intrigued with the idea of being a private detective. Of course, I want to solve the mystery!

I can relate to all of those! How did you choose your title?

I wrote this with the working title Willow Lake, and later changed the name of the town to Driscoll Lake. I played around with titles such as Hidden Intentions or Ulterior Motives, but there are countless books with those titles. I used a thesaurus and came up with Unseen Motives along with titles for books two and three, Unknown Reasons and Unclear Purposes. 

Excellent choices! Without giving too much away, tell us a bit about your favorite scene. 

A scene near the end (where the mystery is solved) was probably one of the most exciting ones to write, but there is a scene with Stephanie (the protagonist) and Matt (who becomes her love interest). He confesses something about his background and why he feels guilt over the death of his wife.

Both Stephanie and Matt were wonderful characters. When you’re not writing, what else do you do? Do you have any guilty pleasures (fave foods, TV shows, silly distractions) you’d like to share? 

Living in Texas, I’d have to say Mexican food is my favorite. I’m not much of a TV person, but I love MASH reruns. I own all eleven seasons on DVD and often watch a show before going to sleep at night. Sometimes to take a short break from writing, I’ll play solitaire online

I remember having incredible Mexican food during a visit to Arizona. I love it too, but it’s not as authentic in the east. 🙂 Oh, and MASH. That was a fabulous show!  How about pets? Pets and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. What can you tell us about yours?

I love animals and have three pets – an outside dog named Maggie and two cats, Tucker and Little Bit. Tucker is the inspiration for the cat Whiskers in Unseen Motives. Little Bit is a black tailless Manx and I featured him in a story I wrote for a Halloween Anthology. What’s Halloween without a black cat? Both cats tend to “hover” when I’m writing and Little Bit often climbs in my lap. They just don’t understand that Momma is working! 

LOL! I wrote a book review for Amazon last week and before I could click “submit,” my cat, Raven, walked across my keyboard and erased the whole thing! I had to redo it from scratch. Cats just don’t care what’s going on when they want attention.

Okay, a few quick questions:

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: A trip to the Australian Outback.

Favorite season: Autumn

Favorite type of music: Classic rock, especially music of the sixties and seventies.

Favorite musical group or singer: I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was six years old. A big highlight was being able to see Ringo Starr in concert a couple of years ago.

Casual or dressy: Casual. I could live in blue jeans.

Mountains or beach: Mountains. I love to get away from the Texas heat and humidity!

I bet it was great seeing Ringo in concert. I feel in love with the Beatles as a tween and plastered my bedroom walls with photos of Paul McCartney. I think he was one of my first crushes. 

Thanks for visiting with me today Joan. Before you leave, please share the blurb for your newest release.

Book cover for Unseen Motives by Joan Hall features close-up of a window surrounded by brick and vines

UNSEEN MOTIVES

Things aren’t always what they seem…

Stephanie Harris is no stranger to mystery and suspense. The author of several best-selling thrillers returns to her hometown of Driscoll Lake twenty years after her father’s suicide when her great-aunt Helen dies.

She hopes to settle Helen’s affairs as quickly as possible and leave behind the place where she suffered so much heartache. Soon after her arrival, Stephanie stumbles upon information that leads her to believe that all is not as it seems.

When she digs deeper into secrets long buried, she begins to receive warning notes and mysterious phone calls. The threats soon escalate into deliberate attempts to harm her. Stephanie soon finds herself caught in a web of deceit and danger.

Who doesn’t want her to stay? And why? What are they afraid she’ll learn?

Undaunted, Stephanie searches for clues about the scandal surrounding her father’s death. But discovering the truth places her in the path of a cold-blooded killer.

Purchase Unseen Motives Here

Author Joan Hall in a casual pose outdoors with trees in backgroundAUTHOR BIO
Joan Hall has always enjoyed a good story. Some of her earliest memories are of her mother telling stories of family history and folklore. Joan developed a love of reading, frequented the school library, and spent countless hours immersed within the pages of books.

At age ten, she realized she wanted to become a writer and began to scribble stories on pieces of paper. At age seventeen, she wrote a short novel and started writing another one. After high school, she set aside her desire to become an author for several years. However, the passion for writing never left her.

Joan likes to create character-driven fiction with strong, determined female leads and male characters that are somewhat of an enigma. Her favorite genre is mystery and suspense—often with a touch of romance.

When she’s not writing, Joan likes to take nature walks, explore old cemeteries, and visit America’s National Parks and historical sites. She and her husband live in Texas with their two cats and a dog.

Connect with Joan at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
(@JoanHallWrites)
Facebook
Goodreads
Newsletter Sign-Up
See all of Joan’s books here

The Crystal by Sandra Cox .99c #Kindle Sale #ebook #RRBC

Time for an ebook sale, gang! My friend, Sandra Cox, has a sparkling new book out—even the cover shines—and right now you can pick up your Kindle copy for .99c from Amazon. Please welcome Sandra as she shares her latest, THE CRYSTAL.

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Thanks for inviting me to visit today, Mae, and helping me get the word out about The Crystal.  It’s always fun to be here and interact with you and the blogger friends.

This book is about a young woman who really does see a tall, handsome stranger in a crystal ball.

Book cover for The Crystal by author Sandra Cox shows an beautiful young woman staring into a crystal ball which contains the image of a main

Content Alert:
This book contains a mysterious crystal ball and an even more mysterious cat burglar.

Blurb:
The road to true love isn’t just rocky, it’s downright dangerous.

Excerpt:
Starting toward the counter to get a closer look at the jewelry, Gabby paused as she caught a glint of color out of the corner of her eye. Shifting, she craned her neck to see but the tinted shimmer disappeared. Curious, she walked in the direction the flash of green came from.

A row of black capes blocked her view. She pushed them aside and stared into the shadowy corner. Hidden in the gloom, was a sea-green crystal ball. It stood in solitary splendor on an antique claw-footed stand. ­­

She took a step forward and ran her index finger along its smooth surface, the globe toasty warm against her damp skin.

Drawn, she splayed her fingers until her palms nestled around it. A delicious wave of heat ran through her, like sitting in front of a crackling fire on a cold winter day.

Ecstasy coursed through her body.

Transfixed, she watched glowing green change to blue, its hues dancing and sparking like moonbeams on the water.

The crystal pulsed beneath her hand.

By degrees, the feeling of warmth disappeared and fear crept in. Her breath hitched as the color in the crystal fell away and a face formed. Its blurred outline moved back and forth, wraithlike and then sprang into sharp focus.

The blood drained from her face, as her nerveless fingers dropped from the ball. The face in the globe belonged to the hard-eyed stranger she’d bumped into outside the shop only moments before.

Available at Amazon for.99c through 1/23/17!

Author Sandra Cox in a candid shotAuthor Bio:
Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romantic Suspense and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian and Muay Thai enthusiast.

~ooOOoo~

Sandra Cox can be found at the following haunts:
Amazon 
Website 
Blog  

Cover Reveal: A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair

Thanks for joining me today as I unveil the cover of my upcoming mystery/suspense novel A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS. Kensington Publishing sent me the artwork the end of October, and it’s been torture sitting on it this long. Between a trip to the Dominican Republic in November, followed by holidays and family commitments in December, I didn’t want to roll it out.

But the time has finally arrived. It’s a new year and Yesteryears, the first book in my Point Pleasant series, releases in four months. You can add it to your Goodreads TBR list and/or pre-order it from Amazon and all major book sellers. But first, check out this cover. It’s different than anything I’ve released in the past, but the genre is different for me, too. My main goal was that the cover capture the ominous feeling of the story. What do you think?

Book cover for A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair, depicting a wooded thicket at night

Here’s the Blurb:

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…

~ooOOoo~

I hope you’ll join me when the book rolls out. There’s a lot of research that went into this novel. Many of the events that are depicted, including the collapse of the Silver Bridge and sightings of the Mothman are based on historical fact. Release date is April 26, 2016.

Add to your Goodreads list

Pre-order from:
Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 
iTunes 
Google Play 
Kobo 
Kensington Publishing

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop and A Halloween Read by Mae Clair #HalloweenMystery

It’s October and that means pumpkins, ghosts, gobbly-ghouls and Halloween. I love this time of year and am totally jazzed to be participating in the Spootacular Giveaway Blog Hop. Running from October 14th through the 31st, you’ll find tons of blogs offering goodies and giveaways. For the complete list of all of the blogs you can visit for a chance to win, click here.

Logo for the Spooktacular Blog Hop with a night sky, full moon and batsI’m giving away a $10.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice).

And if you’re looking for a Halloween read, you’ve come to the right place. My romantic suspense/mystery novel MYTH AND MAGIC is on sale now for only $.99.

Set during Halloween, it features plenty of shivers, hayrides, a lavish Halloween party and rumors of hauntings. Best of all—you’re invited!

You Are Cordially Invited to Attend a Halloween Party

Place:    The Breckwood Mansion
Coldcreek, PA

When:   Halloween Eve beginning at 7PM

Gothic looking woman wearing a long back gown and holding a ravenPlease 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 “ghostly” pale in comparison. And yes, the rumors are true. There is a slim possibility her son, Caith, might show. Not sure about a costume though. 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?

I invite you to discover the mystery, romance, and Halloween suspense of MYTH AND MAGIC, on sale now for just $.99 cents through 11/04/15.

~ooOOoo~

BLURB:
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?

~ooOOoo~

Buy Links for MYTH AND MAGIC…Just $.99 through 11/4/2015
Amazon

Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iTunes
Kensington Publishing
Google
All Romance eBooks

Spooky owl sitting on an old sign with full moon in backgroundFor a chance to win my $10.00 gift card comment below and tell me what you like best about Halloween, or what costume you would wear to attend the Breckwood Halloween party!

And although it’s not necessary to be entered in my drawing, I would gratefully appreciate:

Sign-ups for my newsletter (issued approximately 4 times a year)

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Sign-ups to follow my blog (click FOLLOW BLOG in the upper right of my sidebar)

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Likes on my Facebook author page

Please don’t forget to leave your email address, if I can’t find it by linking back through your blog or other online connection.

Many thanks, and Happy Halloween! Personally, I love a spooky mystery. 🙂

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?

I Remember the Mystery Machine by Mae Clair

In the world of blogging you make a lot of great friends. I am truly thankful for all of them and the support they have shown me. Today, I am super excited to be a guest on the blog of my friend, Daisy Banks. Daisy is a gal who makes her home across the pond in the U.K.  She lives in a converted Chapel in Shropshire, England (how ridiculously cool is that?) and has a gorgeous garden. At least I’m convinced she does, because she blogs about flower folklore—among other things. Daisy writes in a multiple of genres including fantasy romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and sc-fi.

A picture of the Mystery Machine (from Scooby-Doo) from a car showI invite you to pop over to her blog today where I’m sharing a post about—would you believe, Scooby-Doo and the uber-cool Mystery Machine? I hope you’ll drop in to see what it’s all about! 

In addition, I’m also at C. A. Milson’s blog as part of my Pump Up Your Book blog tour, put together by Lyrical Press. I’m doing a Q&A interview there. It’s a good thing I don’t mind an occasionally hectic pace 🙂

Happy Hump Day!