That’s My Plan and I’m Sticking to It #Publishing

No one is wild about change, and it usually happens when you least expect it. Several weeks ago, my publisher informed me they would no longer be considering new material from me. I wasn’t entirely shocked, given Cusp of Night and End of Day have not followed in the path of my previous releases. A Thousand Yesteryears, A Cold Tomorrow, A Desolate Hour, and Myth and Magic did very well for Lyrical Underground/Kensington Publishing, and they expected the new series to perform in the same vein. Sadly, those numbers have been lacking. To top it off, the senior editor who liked my work, and requested new material from me, took a position with Marvel shortly after contracting Cusp of Night. I believe he would have taken another series given my past numbers, but the new editor is not inclined.

So now what?

Directional arrows pointing different ways

If nothing had changed, I would have been happy to continue submitting books to Kensington, but their decision has made me re-evaluate what I want to do moving ahead. As I see it, I have three options:

Seek out an online publisher
Indie publish
Try to gain an agent and go after the Big 5 publishers

Each has its own value. I’m not sure I want to go with a small press, although there are several with excellent reputations. I’m more likely to go Indie or seek an agent. I spent one night thoroughly bummed over Kensington’s decision, but can’t say I was shocked. The same thing happened to two friends last year. I have no idea why my Hode’s Hill series has not performed like my previous books, especially given I dumped more paid promo and online promotion into Cusp than previous works. Maybe the type of books just didn’t resonate with readers like the others did. It’s puzzling.

A woman with confused expression, thinking, question mark above her head

I won’t miss the deadlines (the last one nearly did me in), though I will miss the promo Kensington did for my books, especially Book Bub. I am, however, a strong believer in fate, and that everything happens for a reason. I have to trust that this is part of God’s plan for my life.

With that in mind, I hope to seek an agent while releasing a few indie works. My current WIP, The Keeping Place, is mainstream mystery with just a twinge of folklore. No monsters, creatures, or ghouls, just the hint of an old legend from the 1900s. It’s a different direction for me, so perhaps the timing is good. I have a lot of faith in this book, and feel it will end up the strongest of anything I’ve written. Once finished, I hope to approach an agent for representation—although I dread the research involved.

In the meantime, Eventide, book three of my Hode’s Hill series, will release the end of December through Kensington. I’ll be jabbering more about that as the time nears.

I have a book of short stories I originally planned to indie publish the end of summer or early fall. I’ve now decided to hold that until April of 2020, as I’d like to continue to strive for two releases a year. That also gives me plenty of time to play with cover design. I’m still not settled on the title, but this book will include a story I hope to spin into an ongoing series of novellas. Remember the name “McDoogal.” 🙂

I also have plans for a string of novellas featuring a character from my Point Pleasant series. If that isn’t enough to keep me busy, I’m going to have to re-release my older works as the rights release back to me. And I thought I was juggling too much with a full time job before. Oy, vey!

I’ve got a lot to wrap my head around, but it won’t stop me from writing. I’ve dilly-dallied long enough not trying for the Big 5. This is the push I needed. It’s time I buckle down and search for an agent. And in the meantime, I can stay active with smaller indie publications.

So, that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it!

Writing in a Different Direction

After a whirlwind seven weeks following the release of Cusp of Night, life has been falling into a steadier writing pattern for me. Anyone with a book release knows the amount of work that goes into promotion, something authors have to juggle on top of a regular writing routine. Cusp did strong coming out of the gate then slowed for a bit, but seems to be picking up again. YAY! On top of that, several reviewers commented they had discovered my Point Pleasant series after reading Cusp and planned to purchase it. That’s exactly how a release and a back list should work. I couldn’t be happier!

While promotion was going on, I distracted myself by writing in a different direction. I have a backlog of short stories I wrote in my early to middle thirties that I decided to clean up for possible publication. And, wow, did they need cleaning! It’s amazing how much I’ve grown as a writer since then. It goes to show that we’re always learning and polishing our craft. I’m still not sure what I’ll do with the shorts. Cobble them together for an indie release or perhaps look for a few paying markets.

I noticed that when I had a lag of twelve months between A Desolate Hour, the last book in my Point Pleasant series, and Cusp of Night, the first book in my Hode’s Hill Novels, I saw a decline in sales. I cleaned up the shorts so that I have a buffer if I end up in that position again. My series books usually come out within six to eight months of each other. That twelve month stretch produced a dry spell I don’t want to hit again. I’m also already thinking ahead to a new series so I have something to pitch to my publisher when the time rolls around.

Friday, I’ll be leaving on vacation for a full week. My regular readers are used to my routine of disappearing on the weekends, but this time I’ll be gone for a full week and unable to comment on the blogs I usually follow. I’ll miss all of you, but am looking forward to the time away. My husband and I will be visiting family in Raleigh, and then in Virginia Beach. I’ve arranged a pet sitter for Raven, and of course, I’ll be taking a writing tablet and my Kindle on on the trip.

pretty black cat on a gray cat tree

Raven on one of her cat trees. Think she’ll miss me?

When I return, I hope to refocus on Eventide, book 3 of Hode’s Hill. I have several blog posts I need to prepare for Story Empire and for the January release of End of Day, but other than that, I’ll be back to my regular writing direction after my July foray into short fiction.

Drop a line and let me know how your writing life has been going!

Update and Book of the Month #ADesolateHour

Weekends are too short, but this one was productive. Hubby and I grabbed breakfast at Panera’s Saturday morning, then hit Home Depot followed by the grocery store. Afterward, he worked on home projects while I hit eight—yes, count ‘em EIGHT—stores for various items I needed. Two of them were furniture stores (I need new dining room furniture) where I snapped photos on my iPhone to share with hubs later. I’d planned to make a veggie pie and chicken for dinner, but the evening ran too late so we ended up ordering pizza instead.

two cats in silhouette with tails twined into a heart, sitting on branch above lake in autumn setting

I got to see the first episode of the new Once Upon a Time—my absolute favorite show on television. I wish I could say I’m gonzo about it, but it’s too early to tell. I adore Lana Parilla and her character, the Evil Queen/Regina Mills/Roni, but I’m not sure how she’s going to fare in this new setting and storyline. Time will tell.

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 letteringI spent Sunday working on an author presentation I have to do later this week. I still have a lot more to do on it, but the worst is behind me. I was also gobsmacked to learn that A Desolate Hour was chosen as the Book of the Month by book reviewer Kevin Cooper of the blog Books and Music. If you’d like to take a looksee at what Kev had to say about ADH and my Point Pleasant series, you can find his post here.

I’ve got a busy and exciting week ahead, including shopping for a new iPhone. In two weeks, I leave for Florida and vacation. In the meantime, I’ve got some cool guest bloggers coming up along with a few posts from yours truly. Stay tuned!

Happy October and Happy-Almost-Halloween!

 

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? 😊

I Said I Wouldn’t…Then I Did #writingaseries

I’m kind of embarrassed to be writing this post. You may recall last fall when I was struggling to meet the deadline for book 3 of my Point Pleasant series, I swore up and down I would NEVER write a series again. No way, huh-uh, not gonna happen.

But you know where I’m headed, right?

The process unfolded like this:

I finished A Desolate Hour (Book 3 of Point Pleasant) and realized that for the first time in two years I didn’t have a deadline hanging over my head. That was liberating, but also kind of scary. I could just…write. No communication with my editor or publisher, just me in a void with my muse.

I dug out an old (really old) trunk novel that I felt had possibility and started tinkering with it. I rewrote the beginning, trashed it, rewrote it again, trashed it again, and started fresh.

spiral notepad and books on deskAbout that time my editor (Editor B) contacted me to say her boss (Editor A) wanted to see a new book proposal from me. Um, Editor A?!?!?  He ranks up there in the house, so I was notably blown away that he was requesting something from me! As expected, I danced around on clouds for an afternoon.

Editor A wanted a series—uh-oh—but agreed to take a look at my stand-alone novel. I polished up the first three chapters along with a synopsis, and shipped it off to Editor B who agreed to review it before sending it to her boss.

I don’t know if was from spending too much time hunched over a keyboard, but my lower back suddenly became a quagmire of pain. Back pain is something I’ve had for a while, and for the most part I know how to manage so that it’s not severe. Not this time. The pain was debilitating. So nasty it involved a trip to the doctor for medication.

About that time Editor B emailed to say she thought the (trunk) novel needed a stronger opening, and suggested a few ideas for improvement. Another rewrite? I was starting to think the trunk novel wasn’t the gem I hoped it to be. All the euphoria I felt when Kensington asked for a proposal evaporated.

woman at laptop covering her face

On the plus side, my back pain also disappeared, but the medication left me wired (I quickly ditched it). For a single night, unable to sleep, I plotted an entire novel from start to finish in my head. When morning rolled around, I slunk into my den and poured out four pages of notes, which I promptly emailed to Editor B.

She liked the sound of the book—a mystery incorporating two time periods, one in the present, the other in the late 1800s. She suggested I draft a synopsis from my notes and submit it with the first three chapters so that she could share it with her boss. I added the task to my to-do list.

Before I had a chance to start the book (unknown to me) Editor A emailed my editor to ask if she’d received a proposal from me. All she had were my rough notes, but she sent them to Editor A—only telling me after Editor A came back saying he loved them. He agreed to give me a contract based on my notes. No standard submission process, no two to three month waiting period. Can we say, gobsmacked?!?!

If there is any downside, it’s that Kensington wanted another series. After some back and forth exchanges, we finally arrived at a time frame I can work with and still maintain my sanity. I’m happy to announce book number one of the Hode’s Hill series—The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill—will release next summer. I just finished all the preliminary paperwork (cover art, production forms, etc.) A mystery suspense novel, Blue Lady will also contain a few supernatural twists, some historical references and a bit of urban legend. Would you expect anything less? 🙂

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 letteringSo here I am, writing a series again. I guess it goes to show you should never say never.

And while I work on Blue Lady, I’m looking forward to the final novel in my Mothman series. If you haven’t grabbed it already, A Desolate Hour is available for pre-order and will release on July 18th.

Looks like I’m in this game for the long haul!

 

 

Cover Reveal: A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair #RRBC Author

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m kicking off the week by doing a cover reveal for A Desolate Hour, the third and final book in my Point Pleasant mystery/suspense series focused on the Mothman of urban legend.

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
Book 3 in the Point Pleasant Series
Genre:
 Suspense/Mystery
Length: 79,000 Words
Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Underground Imprint
Publication Date: July 18, 2017

BLURB:

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~

This book was challenging for me, the hardest of the three to write, but I’m pleased with the way it turned out. If you’ve been following the series, all those questions about the Mothman are finally answered with the conclusion of this novel. Caden Flynn is back, along with other regular characters, Eve, Katie, and Ryan. There’s also a few new ones you’ll be meeting and one character, who had a minor role in A Cold Tomorrow, is now front and center.

I hope you’ll join me for the conclusion of the trilogy.

A Desolate Hour is now available for pre-order from all major book sellers. Pre-orders help tremendously with a book’s launch, so both the Mothman and I would be highly jazzed should you like to place an order now. 😀 Just click here to pick the bookseller of your choice.

And if you happened to miss books 1 and 2, the purchase links are below.

A Thousand Yesteryears (Book 1) is on sale for .99 until February 4

A Cold Tomorrow (Book 2)

What Now?

For the last month I’ve been focused on little else but meeting the publisher’s deadline for A DESOLATE HOUR, the third book in my Point Pleasant series. Wall-to-wall writing marathons each weekend plus late nights at the keyboard helped me deliver the manuscript on time.

Celebration time, right? Yes…and no.

Part of me is excited by the prospect of being able to start something new, but the other part is saddened to see the series end. The biggest lesson I’ve learned? Never undertake writing a series while working fulltime. Kudos to anyone who can juggle both, but it’s beyond my time management skills. The deadlines are too tight, not to mention I’m tired of using concealer to hide the dark circles under my eyes. Bleh!

Now that the dreaded “D” word is behind me, it feels weird not to have to produce on demand. For the last year and a half I’ve been writing based on deadlines and suddenly all that pressure is gone. A wide open road ahead. I’m bummed about saying goodbye to my characters (even the Mothman) but am looking forward to starting something new. And one of the characters from the last two novels could easily spin off into his own series.

Oh wait—did I say series? Let me rephrase—he could be spun off into new tales. As much as I see the potential for him to be a repeat character, I don’t want his saga turning into a series based on deadlines. I’ve had my fill for a while.

A notepad with pen under the word Write in large letters

I remember when Kensington first offered me a contract for all three books. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be challenging. I also knew if I walked away from the opportunity I would regret the decision. Now that it’s over and mostly done (there are still edits), I feel like I’ve taken strides forward in my journey as an author. I’ve also learned that I can write on demand and when push comes to shove, can deliver a finished manuscript in under four months. Who would have thought?

All of that aside, I’m looking forward to the release of book 2 in the series, A COLD TOMORROW, which rolls out on December 20th. I hear it makes a great Christmas gift and is available for pre-order right now. Yes, that’s a blatant hint, folks. 🙂

In celebration of UFO visitors (did I mention there are UFOS in A COLD TOMORROW?) here’s another graphic Kensington did for me. I love that my book is tucked in along with Greg Olsen’s and Lisa Jackson’s latest releases. Now if we could just push TOMORROW to their level of sales, LOL! 🙂

A collage of thriller novels available on dark background with creepy house

Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble. I can’t wait to start blogging about new projects. I just need to decide which one and….what now?

You’re inviting WHO for dinner?

Staying on top of things is far easier said than done. Today kicks off a new week and I’m left looking at the calendar watching the days roll by, wondering why my to-do list refuses to shrink. Ack!

My looming deadline for A DESOLATE HOUR, book 3 of my Point Pleasant series is still hanging over my head. and the clock is ticking down to the ultimate reckoning day of November 30th. Just thinking about how much work I still have to do on the manuscript sends me into a panic. ‘Nuff said.

Book cover for FOOD FOR POE by Mae Clair shows attractive young couple in a winter setting with a black cat and silver Christmas ornaments belowI promised myself I was going to promote FOOD FOR POE this November and December. A holiday novella, Poe is a mash-up of Hallmark romance and urban legend, with a rescue cat at the center. This is one of my indie releases. I created the book cover for Poe and think it does a good job of mimicking the light, but quirky, mood of the story.

Poe is a short read, and only .99 cents, so grab a copy from Amazon for some early holiday cheer!

Speaking of cats, you can find me at Story Empire today sharing (writing) lessons I learned from my cat (can you tell cats have a strong influence on me?). If that sounds like a weird combination, hop over to see what I’m talking about. You can find the post here.

And, finally, A COLD TOMORROW, book 2 of my Point Pleasant series releases on December 20th..

Book cover for A COLD TOMORROW by author, Mae Clair shows a deserted country lane at night beneath a sky of green cloudsThey say the middle child usually gets the least amount of attention, but in my opinion, A COLD TOMORROW is the jewel of the series. Maybe it’s because I love the subject matter. The Mothman is still front and center, but the focus also includes UFOs and the arrival of mysterious Men in Black.

I’m guessing most are familiar with MIBs from the movies starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. But did you know the term “Men in Black” was coined by the late author John Keel, who wrote The Mothman Prophecies? It was his idea to use it to describe the strangers who suddenly descended on Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966-67. That’s right—Men in Black originated in Point Pleasant during the height of the town’s UFO “flap.”

Curious about flaps? I’ll save more on them for a later post. In the meantime, why not invite the Mothman home for Christmas dinner? I promise he’ll behave—at least until after gifts are opened. You might want to pick up a trinket for him, so he doesn’t feel left out. Ideally, he’d love you to pre-order a copy of A COLD TOMORROW, since he has a starring role. Ask him to autograph it. He’s not shy 🙂

You can find pre-order purchase links for all booksellers here.

In closing, Kensington Publishing has put together a great promotion package for me which includes a few memes. I need to wait until they splash them on social media, but I got the go ahead  to start using the Facebook banner they created for me immediately. I wanted to share it here first before uploading to Facebook.

I FREAKING LOVE IT!  What do you think?

eerie farm road late at night below a green sky

Goodreads #Giveaway: A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair #Mothman #PointPleasant Book 2

December is approaching, and with it, the release of book 2 in my Point Pleasant saga,  A Cold Tomorrow. In anticipation of the December 20th release, Kensington Publishing is running a Goodreads giveaway for residents in the US and Canada. This is your chance to win a print copy of the book while helping a hard-working author out in the process.

Er…that would be me, folks. 🙂

GR giveaways do wonders for getting books noticed with increased exposure, so I hope you’ll take a moment to hop over and enter. It will be a huge help to me, so please accept my gratitude in advance.

I’m currently busily working on book 3 of the series, but I have a special fondness for book 2. I’ve heard many writers find the middle book the most difficult to write. I didn’t encounter that problem, but it could be due to my fondness for the subject matter—UFOs, Men in Black, and, of course, the Mothman. What a combination! If you read book one, A Thousand Yesteryears, you’ll find I’ve expanded on many open threads, as well as opening new ones—such as introducing the mysterious Mr. Evening. And if you haven’t read book 1, A Cold Tomorrow, can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

Book cover for A COLD TOMORROW by author, Mae Clair shows a deserted country lane at night beneath a sky of green cloudsBLURB:
Where secrets make their home…  

Stopping to help a motorist in trouble, Katie Lynch stumbles upon a mystery as elusive as the Mothman legend that haunts her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Could the coded message she finds herald an extraterrestrial visitor? According to locals, it wouldn’t be the first time. And what sense should she make of her young son’s sudden spate of bizarre drawings—and his claim of a late-night visitation? Determined to uncover the truth, Katie only breaks the surface when a new threat erupts. Suddenly her long-gone ex-boyfriend is back and it’s as if he’s under someone else’s control. Not only is he half-crazed, he’s intent on murder….

As a sergeant in the sheriff’s office of the famously uncanny Point Pleasant, Officer Ryan Flynn has learned to tolerate reports of puzzling paranormal events.   But single mom Katie Lynch appears to be in very real danger—and somehow Ryan’s own brother, Caden, is caught up in the madness, too. What the skeptical lawman discovers astounds him—and sends him into action. For stopping whatever evil forces are at play may just keep Katie and Caden alive….

~ooOOoo~

Intrigued? Then please enter the Goodreads giveaway here then hop over to Amazon and pre-order your copy of A Cold Tomorrow. Like the giveaway, pre-orders are a huge help in getting a book launched successfully. I truly appreciate each and every pre-order and, as always, am grateful to my readers and friends for your ongoing support. You guys rock!

The Mothman knows that too 😀

Summer Productivity by Mae Clair

I just came off a long weekend (happy belated Fourth of July to my U.S. readers) that wasn’t extremely productive. I spent a good portion of it goofing off, swimming, hanging with family and doing things around the house. Summer in general tends to be less productive for me when it comes to writing, though I do a lot spend a good portion of it reading, plotting and writing notes for my WIPS.

Case in point: I have notebooks I devote to each of my WIPS. They’ve been through the “war zone” of exposure to the sun and pool, constant handling and travel. The notebooks below are for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS (pink, black and gold notebook) and A COLD TOMORROW (dark blue).

Two closed spiral notebooks, covers a bit battered

I have a weird system when I make notes that involves alternating pages of research (mostly right hand pages) and plot (left hand pages). I use different color ink and highlights to draw attention to various points I want to remember.

Two spiral notebooks open on spine with pages filled with writing and some passages highlighted

I started this system with the blue notebook and plan on maintaining it with the last book in my series, A DESOLATE HOUR. I’ve started making research notes while dreaming up plot points as I float around with foam noodles in the pool.

Open spiral notebook with blank left page and pen on top of page, right page filled with writing

As you can see, the left handed page for plot points is still blank. I know where I want to start but I’m still fleshing out the characters who will factor into the prologue which is set in 1777. Book three ties the curse of Shawnee Indian Chief Cornstalk to the legend of the Mothman and Point Pleasant.

In addition to plotting, I spend a good deal of my summer reading. As a habit, I read every night for an hour or two before I go to bed, but during the summer, I also like to read on my deck in between dips in the pool.

One of my favorite summer reads is THE TERROR by Dan Simmons.

Book cover for THE TERROR by Dan Simmons which shows an old clipper ship without sails surrounded by ice and glaciers

Although a massive book (my paperback copy is 955 pages) this is a story I want to read again, and I can’t imagine reading it during any season other than summer. The book is set in the artic, and fictionalizes the tale of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to discover the Northwest Passage in the mid-1800s. Although I originally read it two years ago, it remains one of the best books I’ve ever read, a bizarre and spectacular combination of history, horror, lyrical writing and myth. I’ve never encountered anything to equal it, and each time summer rolls around I think of reading it again.

My current read, however, is a bit different. I’m presently immersed in the WITCH OF LIME STREET, a nonfiction account of Harry Houdini’s battle to unmask medium Margarey Crandon as a fraud. Here’s the cover:Book cover for the Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher is black with lime green border and cameo photos of Harry Houdini and Margery Crandon

Imagine my surprise, when the first night after reading, I switched off the light and realized the cover was glowing. All that lime green you see to the right lights up as neon-glow-in-the-dark with the lights off. I tried to capture a photo of it with my cell phone, but unfortunately it didn’t take.

That aside, I’ve always loved things that glow in the dark—as far back as to when I was a kid and played with a “Dark Shadows” game that had glowing skeletons—so I’m thoroughly besotted with this clever cover. And, in case you doubted, the book is darn good too, especially if you’re a Houdini or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fan, or are interested in the spiritualist movement of the 1920s.

Next up?

downloadKevin O’Brien has a new release, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE that releases on July 26th. I’ve already pre-ordered  my copy. Kevin is an am amazing author and on my automatic read list. If you like mystery, crime and suspense, you’re going to love Kevin.

In the meantime, I’ll content myself with this:

Book cover for DEVOUR by Kurt Anderson shows a cruise ship at night with lights and a huge monstrous mouth with teeth looming above it

 

 

 

 

I have a horrible weakness for creature/monster books (and movies) and have been saving this one for a while. DEVOUR is definitely a summer/beach read IMHO. Isn’t the cover grand? I can’t wait to discover what lurks within the pages.

So tell me…how productive are you during the summer? Do you plot, do you read? What’s on your TBR?