Mythical Monday: The Spooky House by Mae Clair

Happy Labor Day, everyone! It’s a holiday and the three day weekend has me feeling lazy.

I cheated with today’s Mythical Monday because I originally ran this post on June 6, 2012, before I’d begun my weekly feature. Since only four people saw it (and it was a Wednesday), I figure I’m safe in posting it again. 🙂 I hope you enjoy!

The Spooky House

There’s one in every neighborhood. When I was six, the spooky house was two doors down, part of the urban tree-lined street where my family made their home. A brooding three-story structure of gray stone with a sprawling covered front porch, white columns, and side bump-outs, it oozed mystery. The adults might have been oblivious, but all the neighborhood kids knew it was haunted.

No one actually lived there. It had been converted for business offices with a huge parking lot in the rear that butted against an alley. The lot was sectioned off with lengths of heavy chain strung between squat cement pilings. We’d see people come and go, swallowed up inside, but there were never many cars in the lot, Naturally, we were suspicious.

My friends and I were convinced a coven of witches met there, and that if you ventured too close to the sides where the shadows were thickest, you’d be sucked up into a coffin tucked beneath the eaves. No one would ever know what happened to you because an evil twin, capable of fooling everyone, took your place.

bigstock-Ghost-At-The-Window-tint--23502128The house also had a resident ghost who lived on the second floor. We knew this because the south facing room had a trio of beautiful stained glass windows and that was the perfect place for a ghost to languish.  Our phantom was female. She was a melancholy soul who’d been separated from her true love and imprisoned by the witches because they were jealous. She spent her time listening to an old-fashioned music box, weeping for her lost love, and looking romantically tragic in a flowing white dress. It’s amazing what six-year-olds can envision, especially when inspired by Dark Shadows and Quentin Collins!

Once when we were swinging on the metal chains in the parking lot (kids do dumb things when adults aren’t around), one of the neighborhood boys fell and cracked his head on the asphalt. It was a traumatic experience with a lot of screaming, crying and blood splatter. I remember following the trail of blood down the alley and across a connecting street to his house a day later. The evidence stayed there a long time before the rain washed away the grisly reminder.  Although Chester recovered, we were sure the witches had caused his fall, angry that we’d discovered their secrets. I don’t think he ever swung on the chains again. I’m not sure I did either.

Not long after that, my family moved to the suburbs where I made new friends and found a new house to invent stories about. Why is it that old homes twine so ideally with the paranormal?

What about you?  Was there a spooky house in your neighborhood that still resonates in your memory? I’d love to hear about it!

Mae Clair, Author: Winners and Visiting

Heartbreaker ButtonThe Heartbreaker Blog Hop has run its course. We learned a lot about the types of guys who break hearts and what attracts us to romantic heroes. I hope everyone who participated had a great time! Thanks to Carrie Ann Ryan for organizing, and a special thanks to everyone who stopped to visit my blog and comment. I appreciate the new likes on Facebook and the follows by email.  It’s wonderful to gain new friends!

A list of the grand prize winners will be available here (if not now, later today). Using, I chose two winners from everyone who commented on my blog. Congrats to Karina and parisfan who each won an ebook copy of my paranormal/time travel romance, WEATHERING ROCK. I’ll be contacting each of you by email for your preference of either a Kindle or Nook copy.

Finally, I’m going visiting again today, hopping over to Debbie Peterson’s blog where I’m ruminating about the mystique of old homes. Given a pre-Civil War home is a focal point in WEATHERING ROCK, and my day job revolves around real estate, I thought it was a good topic for a Tuesday.  Enjoy your day, everyone!

Mae Clair’s Wizards with Words: Debbie Peterson

A beam of light shines out from an open bookBefore I introduce you to today’s guest on Wizards with Words, I’m pleased to announce the winner of my giveaway during the Purrrfectly Giftastic Holiday Blog Hop. Congrats to Marlena Fein who won a $10.00 gift card to Amazon. Santa and his elves have a wondrous cache of gifts at the North Pole, but Amazon comes in a close second! 😀

Speaking of blog hops, I want to rewind to the month of October because an interesting thing happened to me on the way to the Halloween Garden Hop – I found a book that I knew I HAD to have! There I was, hopping around, checking out all the goodies authors were promoting, adding to my growing TBR list in the process. Among all of those, I came across the blog of author Debbie Peterson. She was giving away a copy of her book SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION. I was immediately intrigued by the cover and the blurb, which combined several elements I loved – a Civil War hero, a modern day heroine, paranormal elements and Norwegian folklore.

I signed up for the giveaway but was impatient for it to end. I knew if I didn’t win a copy, there was no question I was purchasing it. During the three day wait, I finished the book I was reading, then hopped back to Debbie’s blog only to find that someone had won the hop. No biggie. Off I went to Amazon, bought the book and dove into it that night. Of course I devoured it. And, of course, I knew I wanted Debbie as a guest on my blog to talk about the book, her wonderful characters and *romantic swoony sigh* especially her hero, Captain Tristan Jordhal. Without further ado, please welcome Debbie.

Thank you Mae!

Debbie, I’m so excited to have you here. I didn’t think I’d ever find another author to combine the Civil War with the paranormal and modern day. Discovering SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION was like finding a glittery package under a Christmas tree. Before we talk about the novel, can you share a little about yourself and when you started writing?

 Debbie: Well, I live in Southern Nevada with my beloved husband, children, grandbabies, and large extended family in close proximity. It seems we’re always a party waiting for an excuse to happen. As far as my writing goes, I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t make up stories. Somewhere along the way, my husband encouraged me to start writing them down. However, my journey to published author is another lengthy story altogether and one that was several years in the making.

In scoping out your blog, I’ve noticed you have a passion for history and myth. I love when an author blends past and present and can toss something otherworldly into the mix. How about sharing the blurb for SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION?

Souls touch and emotions flare when a historian and an embittered spirit form an unlikely alliance to investigate the centuries-old riddle surrounding his death…

Ready for a fresh chapter in her life, Shae Lynn Montgomery accepts a job translating a cache of Civil War documents from Wisconsin’s famous Norwegian regiment. The assignment takes her to Chickamauga’s haunted Starling Plantation and face-to-face with a handsome captain—its angry ghost in residence.

Tristan Jordahl, falsely accused of treason, has no use for the living—not even the lovely translator invading his home. Despite Tristan’s best efforts to frighten her, Shae Lynn refuses to leave, and reluctantly, Tristan enlists her help to clear his name. But as they grow closer to the truth—and to each other—an evil spirit makes it clear he will do anything to stop them.

Can a love that transcends time overcome all obstacles?

I love it! A haunted mansion, romance, a horrible unjust wrong, and a vengeful spirit.  Did you find yourself having to do a lot of research given the topics you chose to intermingle?

Debbie: Yes, and in all honesty I probably did far more research on the Wisconsin 15th Regiment portion of the story than what I needed. And during it all, I lost my heart to the men that made up this regiment. Let me share a passage found in the Annals of the Army of the Cumberland, written in 1864 concerning these valiant men:

“They are amongst the best and the bravest of our soldiers. Descendants of the sturdy Vikings of medieval times, they have in the long lapse of years lost none of that daring valor, power of endurance, and remarkable coolness in times of excitement, which characterized their ancestors. Next to bravery, their most marked quality is calmness. Always cool and collected, they act with the same deliberation and forethought in the trying hours of danger as in the transactions of every-day life. Temperate and virtuous, obedient and well disciplined, they are in every respect model soldiers, and challenge the admiration and respect of all whose good fortune it is to mingle with them.”

Wow! Reading that, I’m not surprised why I fell in love with Tristan. Not only did you choose one of my all-time favorite names for a male lead 😉 but there’s nothing more romantic than a noble hero, wrongly accused, who has suffered as a result. And I like friction, so I was glad that he initially wasn’t thrilled having Shae poke around in his past, and they butted heads. Which came first, plot or characters?

Debbie:  For me, it’s always the plot. At the most random and unexpected times, I’ll see little “movie’ snippets inside my head. From there I’ll extend the scene in all directions, and then write my story around it…if that makes sense.

You have another novel currently available called SHADOW OF THE WITTE WIEVEN which pairs a 17th Century sea captain with a 21st Century female agent working for the DEA. And then there is SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION, currently in final galley with the Wild Rose Press. Once again, you’ll be weaving past, present and the paranormal, this time with ties to the Revolutionary War. How do you choose your time periods?

Debbie: Most of the time it comes from those “movie scenes” we just talked about and the way I see my hero dressed. At least this far, it’s always worked.

Given the amount of research that must surely go into one of your novels, approximately how long does it take you to finish?

Debbie: About six months or so.

Let’s go back to SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION for the moment. If you had to pick a favorite scene, what would you choose?

Debbie:  The scene where Tristan and Shae actually come together for the first time and talk things out.

What did you find the most difficult part to write?

Debbie:  Tristan and Shae’s reunion, because I wanted it to be perfect.

SpiritoftheReb_W5167_750 (1)How about sharing an excerpt:

He caught sight of Shaelynn’s trembling hand as she finished reading the message given to Colonel Moore over a century earlier.

“If he had only followed the order as given, he need not have died in such a cruel manner,” she whispered. Then just as she picked up one of the fragments to toss it away, she gave it a second look. She placed the fragment beneath his name on the letter she had just read and gasped. “The handwriting is different.”

She stared straight ahead for a moment and turned at once to her computer with a look of sudden resolve. Comprehension dawned. She already knew. Somehow, somewhere she learned the story of his death, the circumstances surrounding it, and connected it to him. Unquestionably, she now looked for the document matching the fragment. Above all, he did not want her reading that damning report. At least, not if he could help it. Not yet. Not until he had a chance to explain it to her first. He just needed a moment.

Despite his wishes, Shaelynn selected the next batch of documents and sent them to the printer. He hastened to interfere with its function. The machine responded with grinding sounds, clicks, and whirrs. The first of the papers rolled out smeared and unreadable. She turned toward the printer, brows furrowed.

Then, before she could assess the problem, he caused blank paper to spew out of the printer. He sent the sheets hurtling across the room in every possible direction. She gaped at the torrent in total dismay.

He whirled around to face her. Before he could form the words for his defense, she rose from her seat, stomped to the center of the room and spun around.

“Stop it!” she demanded angrily. “Just stop it. Exactly what are you trying to accomplish with all of this? Is this your pathetic way of trying to erase your contemptible deeds from history? Do you think I don’t know who you are and what you did?”

At that moment in her tirade, the room grew increasingly colder. Shae could feel the rising anger of the spirit with each frosty breath she took, and she braced herself to face it head on.

“Why don’t you enlighten me with your newfound knowledge, Miss Montgomery?”

The hard, steely voice sounded directly behind her. Without question, the moment she turned around, there would be no more than a foot between them, and he would be completely visible. Nevertheless, she refused to budge from her rigid stance. “For starters, you betrayed your country as well as the trust of those who served under your command. In all likelihood, you are directly responsible for the Union defeat at Chickamauga and heaven only knows how many of the deaths that took place there. And last, but certainly not least, you killed your best friend in cold blood. You sir, are none other than Captain Tristan Jordahl!”

Having said her piece, she whipped around ready to face him. She gasped in shock as he leaned down, bringing his face close to hers. To say he was not at all what she expected would have been a gross understatement. The sight he presented diffused all further comment and all further thought as she stared up into his mesmerizing, deep blue eyes. The smile he gave her was at once terrible and frightening.

“Ever at your service, Miss Montgomery.”

So now let’s talk about Debbie 🙂 What are you currently reading?

 Debbie: Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs.

 If you were stranded on a desert island, what five books would you want with you?

Debbie: I don’t know…stranded means a long time, so how about the complete works of William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe to keep me busy. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre because they’re two of my favorite classics. And I’d probably have to take Myths and Legends of the World…

Those would definitely keep you busy for a while! 🙂 If you could have a cup of coffee with a famous historical person, who would you choose and why?

Debbie:  Another tough question. That particular list could fill a book all by itself. But since I just finished the final galley on Revolution, I’ll go ahead and choose George Washington, with Colonel Daniel Morgan coming in a close second.

Washington has always fascinated me, along with a number of men who fought during the Revolutionary War. When you’re not reading or writing, what do you enjoy doing?

Debbie: I’m a genealogy buff. I love delving into my family history, finding things out about my ancestors and then study all the historical events surrounding their lives.

Love that! We definitely have a lot in common! Some quicksilver questions and answers:

Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite color: Sapphire Blue
Favorite rainy day activity: If not standing out in the middle of the storm in order to enjoy it (I live in the desert), then I’d probably be reading.
The last movie you watched worth recommending: I really enjoyed the Avengers. ; )
Dream vacation spot gifted to you by a fairy godmother: Great Britain with an emphasis on Scotland and Wales.

Thanks, Debbie. That was fun! Before we close, do you have any works in progress you’d like to tease us with 😀

Debbie:  My editor now has possession of “Spirit of the Knight,” a paranormal romance about a cursed fourteenth century knight, the lovely artist who comes to paint his castle and the dark magic that envelops them both.

Thank you so much, Mae, for inviting me over today! I have had a ball!

I did too. And I can’t wait to get my hands on your upcoming titles!

photoDPAuthor Bio:
Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” will be released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

To purchase SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION visit:
The Wild Rose Press
Barnes and Noble

Book Strand
All Romance ebooks

Look for Debbie at the following haunts:

Mae Clair: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch …

Welcome to Tuesday. I invite you mosey on over to Calisa Rhose’s blog ranch today where I’m pondering my attachment to old homes and talking about WEATHERING ROCK. Calisa just remodeled the ranch and it’s gorgeous! I’m honored to be her first guest in the new digs so, hitch a ride and amble on over.

See you there, pard! 🙂

Mae Clair’s SSS: Weathering Rock

Six Sentence Sunday 9-30-12

It’s Six Sentence Sunday! This is an extra special SSS for me as it’s the first since WEATHERING ROCK was released on Thursday. I’m still wrapping my head around the lovely little gem of being an author. So, for this SSS I thought I’d go back to the beginning and share the first six sentences of the book:


The June moon rode a ragged ridge of bone-white clouds, filmy and pale as the translucent skin of an onion. Honeysuckle mingled with the aroma of sweet clover and drifted through the open window of Arianna Hart’s Chrysler Sebring. It was a pleasant night, touched by fog and ripe with all the scents and sounds that heralded summer’s arrival. In the distance, the rooftops of Weathering Rock jutted above the trees, silvered with the ice-white blood of the moon.

The old manor home predated the Civil War and had been a landmark for the town of Sagehill as far back as she could remember. Ball lightning and freak storms were said to roll through the surrounding fields like a tempest of Earth and sky, giving rise to superstition and legend.


And we know where those superstitions and legends will lead, right? 😀

If you enjoyed this brief snippet, I invite you to discover more of WEATHERING ROCK at:

Barnes and Noble 
Lyrical Press 

Shares and thumbs-up “Likes” are also mucho appreciated. 😀 You guys are great and I appreciate all the comments, encouragement, and support you’ve given since I started this author venture and blog back in February.

In closing, be sure to check out the other wonderful author reads up for devouring this Sunday at the SSS site. What better way to close out September?

Mae Clair’s SSS: By the Glow of the Porch Lights

Happy Six Sentence Sunday!  I’m delighted to welcome everyone back again for another peek of my upcoming paranormal/time travel release, WEATHERING ROCK, which will be available on October 8th. Less than a month away now!

If you’ve been following along, you know the story revolves around Caleb DeCardian, former colonel for the Union army during the Civil War, and hunky werewolf (yeah, I know it’s a mind-boggling combo :D). Caleb has been transported to the present, along with his former friend, now bitter rival, Seth Reilly. Seth is also a werewolf. You expected that, right?

To bring everyone up to speed, Caleb has convinced my heroine, Arianna Hart, to have dinner with him. The two have just finished their first date at Weathering Rock (an old home built in the 1800s). After dinner, Arianna allowed Caleb to kiss her, but when the kiss became too sensual, she  decided things were moving too fast and told him she’s leaving (she has no clue who or what he is). Just before she does, she announces she saw a ‘wolf’ the last time she was at Weathering Rock. We had a short glimpse of Caleb’s reaction last week.

To make this week’s six work, I have to skip Arianna’s explanation, but she clarifies it was a ‘wolf-like creature.’  Then:


In the amber glow of the porch lights, Caleb’s face was drawn, damp with sweat over the cheekbones. “Did you see him–it,” he corrected with an irritated shake of his head. “The night you were here? Did you see it?”

She wasn’t certain what she’d seen, but there was no doubt his interest was genuine.


Blip! And another six sweeps by. They go so fast! 🙂  As always, I appreciate your interest and your comments. Check out all of the writers who are sharing SSS snippets today. For a complete list visit the Six Sentence Sunday website and enjoy!

Mythical Monday: Walking with Werewolves

So it’s Monday. Ugh! If you’re like me, you’re probably not overly enamored of the first day of the work week. I love my weekends but Mondays can be rough. In an effort to make this much-maligned day more appealing, I’m introducing “Mythical Mondays,” wherein I hope to briefly examine a specific myth or something related to myth each week.

Oh, the possibilities! You’re talking to a girl who loves folklore in many forms. Some of my favorite tales are spun from Nordic and Celtic legends, sea creatures, winged beasts, and hollow hills. But my favorite? The werewolf.

My upcoming novel, WEATHERING ROCK, features a lead character who is cursed with lycanthropy. Since Caleb DeCardian is a werewolf, I thought that would be a great launching point for my first Mythical Monday blog post.

Drum roll, please…

The werewolf legend has been kicking around for centuries so I won’t rehash it, but I will share how I became interested. Two words: Dark Shadows. Yes, I know it was a cheesy show, but it had a brooding vampire, ghosts, a vengeful witch, and, most importantly, one hunky werewolf. There wasn’t anything remotely like it on television at the time and it had great spooky theme music. Okay… maybe not so great, but memorable. Who could forget the gloomy shots of Collinwood Manor jutting from a ragged New England coastline with waves pounding against black spines of rock?

I had two older sisters in their teens who watched the show and, somehow, I ended up watching too. That’s when I saw him–Quentin Collins. Conflicted, uber-sexy werewolf. My six-year-old heart went pitter-patter and I was hooked. 

Since then, I’ve seen countless ‘were’ movies and shows (*yawn*) many striving for shock value (yuck) but it’s a corny gothic soap-opera with a cult following I think of when I imagine full moons, bright silver, and werewolves. Fondly, I might add. 

Why is it that so many productions today feel the need to dump gore and blood all over the place in an effort to be frightening? I’d much rather have an atmospheric setting, tense music and crack timing to invoke a chill.  

So, for my first Mythical Monday, I give a hat tip to Dark Shadows and David Selby who brought Quentin Collins to life. He made me realize a man cursed to a tortured existence can make one heck of a smoldering, romantic hero.  

Werewolves aside, do you have a favorite myth?

Celebrating Independence Blog Hop: Day #3

Woot! It’s Day 3 of the Celebrating Independence Blog Hop. For a complete list of all participating authors, along with the numerous giveaways up for grab, check out the Fourth of July Hop Page. Many thanks to Drea Becraft for putting the hop together. It’s my first one and I’m excited to be participating!

If you’re new to my blog, let me introduce myself.

I write romantic suspense, usually with a paranormal or mythical twist.  I love folklore, legends and things that go bump-in-the-night!  My debut novel, WEATHERING ROCK, features a lead character who is propelled forward in time from the Civil War to present day.

He also happens to be a werewolf. Intrigued? I hope so!

Click below to see a short book trailer. My projected release date is October 8, 2012 and I’d be pleased to have you add WEATHERING ROCK to your reading queue.  I’m pretty jazzed about the whole thing! 🙂

So…exactly what am I awarding for the hop?  A $20 gift card to Amazon! I’m hopelessly enamored of the Big A!

For your chance to win, just subscribe to my blog via email in the upper right sidebar (so you can be dazzled by all of my upcoming riveting posts, LOL) and leave a comment that you did. Easy peasy!

Thanks for visiting and I wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Mae Clair: When the Sky Had a Tail

Last week I read a great blog post by Stephanie Ingram called Aliens Have Landed.  She relayed how as children, she and her brother searched for aliens in the fields behind her house. Imaginative fun!

Stephanie pointed out that much of what we experience as kids makes its way into our writing as adults. Some of it is conscious, some not so conscious. I love the frivolity of childhood and the stories I used to invent with friends. I was always dreaming up something, or imagining a secretive place tucked under the horizon of a far-off land.

If you scroll down the sidebar of my blog you’ll see “12 Weird Facts About Me.”  Note number three. Minus any eye-rolling, please! 😉  The story is this:

It’s a warm summer night, almost dark, and I’m sitting on the front porch with my father. He didn’t realize The Spooky House was two doors down, (for some unfathomable reason he thought it was a simple office building), but I was conscious of it even then. He and I often sat together at dusk, especially if there was a thunderstorm brewing.

He must have worked a long shift, because he drifted off to sleep. Shortly afterward, a large green object trolled across the sky. I remember it as a semi-cloud, the color of algae-enriched seawater. Light spilled from the bottom, drenching the street, front lawn, and half of the porch in an eerie green glow. The light swept over me but didn’t touch my father who remained seated in the shadows.

I don’t know why I didn’t wake him. When you’re a kid you accept the unusual. The ‘cloud’ moved past, and soon people were walking up the street, jabbering excitedly. My dad woke up and I followed him down to the sidewalk where a woman stopped to chat. She’d come from the below The Spooky House, and told my father “the sky looked like it had a tail.” I remember those words clearly.

Had I seen a UFO?

Maybe not of the alien variety but, even now, with the hindsight of an adult, I can’t say what it was.

Hot air balloon?  Weather anomaly?

Given the woman confirmed something strange had happened that night, it will live forever as a goose-bump ‘what-if’ memory in my mind. At some point in the future that strange dirigible will most certainly worm its way into a story.

Are there childhood events, mysterious or common, you see yourself using in fiction?  Maybe you already have. Do tell! Inquiring minds (er…that would be me), want to know! 😉

Weathering Rock: SSS 6-17-12

Welcome back to Six Sentence Sunday. I’m sure I’m not the only one saddened to know SSS will be coming to an end in early 2013. I’ve met many incredible authors and readers through SSS, and have developed several friendships as a result. I will miss my regular Sunday excursions, hopping blog to blog, reading the latest SSS snippets. Although I don’t know them personally, I applaud the administrators of the SSS site for making the whole thing possible and allowing me to play in their arena for a while.

This Sunday’s six is once again from Weathering Rock (my paranormal / time-travel coming in October from Lyrical Press). For a short video book trailer showcasing what the story is about, please visit my Weathering Rock page.

For the last few weeks I’ve been leading up to a dinner date between Caleb DeCardian and Arianna Hart. Next week I’m going to get them together. Promise!  🙂 

This week, I wanted to share a glimpse of the 19th century home where Caleb lives since it’s central to the book and the novel carries its title. I’ve chosen my six just as Arianna is arriving for her date with Caleb:


The sun was sinking toward the horizon when she pulled up the drive at Weathering Rock. The fading light cast long shadows over the grass and drew eddies of tangerine and gold from the front windows. The house looked different during the day, its three-story height imposing. She hadn’t considered it closely when she’d left Saturday morning, but now realized a series of lightning rods jutted from the roof. They varied in size, some ornate and engraved with elaborate scrollwork, others plain. It made her think of the ball lightning she and Caleb had seen, and how reluctant he’d been to acknowledge it.


Next week, onward with the date! 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the snippet. Be sure to hop by the SSS site for more participating authors and gobble up some great reads!