May Book Reviews, Part 2

I’m excited that June is finally here, and pool season has arrived! I spend a lot of time during the summer pool season reading and plotting my WIPs, and am looking forward to my warm weather routine. But first, I’d like to share the books I read in May. You can find part one of my reviews HERE. And now for the books I read during the last half of the month. Click the Amazon Link below each review for blurbs and additional information. Perhaps something will strike your fancy!

Book cover for Global WeirdnessGlobal Weirdness
By Climate Central

If you’re interested in climate change, this is a good place to start. Greenhouse gases, severe weather, global warming, extinction events—it’s all here. The chapters are short and the material presented in such a way that it’s easy to understand and follow. A few chapters seem repetitive in places, but overall the flow from one to the next follows in smooth succession. The book addresses more than just greenhouse gases, also looking at ocean evaporation, sunlight reflection, cloud cover, threatened species and predictions for the future. This is an older book (I think was written in 2012) but I still found it informative and interesting. 3.5 stars.

Amazon Link
Genre: Weather > Environmental Science


Book cover for The HousemateThe Housemate
By C. L. Pattison

Chloe and Megan have been best friends for twelve years. When they find the perfect home for lease, they need a third roommate to swing the rent. They meet Sammi who seems a perfect fit, but after she moves in things start to go haywire. Sammi is secretive about her past and doesn’t appear to have friends or family. Items go missing, Chloe suffers a setback at her job that appears to be the result of sabotage, and a special dress belonging to Megan is irreparably damaged—just a few of the oddities that arise after Sammi enters their lives.

This book reads very quickly (I finished it in two nights), and it is definitely a page turner. Chloe and Megan alternate POVs, along with a third mystery narrator who isn’t revealed until the end. Although I guessed the identity of that narrator halfway through the book, there were plenty of twists that took me by surprise, and when the ending was said and done, I admired how the author let the story play out.

There are a few places where you need to go with the flow and not analyze too closely (i.e, nope, that wouldn’t happen in the real world) but if you’re looking for an entertaining read that would translate well into a cable channel movie, this book is gold. 4 Stars.

Amazon Link
Genre: Psychological Thrillers


Book cover for Fever DreamFever Dream
By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I recently hooked yet another friend on this series and decided to reread this book (for the third time) while she was reading it. Although I have devoured all of the Pendergast books, several stand out as my personal favorites and this is at the top of the list.

Aloysius X. L. Pendergast is a Special Agent with the FBI, a man who holds two doctorate degrees, and comes from a very rich and very old southern family. To say he is eccentric is equivalent to calling the ocean a lake. Pendergast does things his way, has little if no regard for authority, favors immaculate black suits, and drives a Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. He is a near-albino with extremely pale whitish hair, silver eyes and pale skin. He’s also damn good at solving crimes, even when they have a bizarre or potentially supernatural slant.

In Fever Dream, the crime becomes personal when he suddenly discovers the wife he lost twelve years earlier was likely murdered—and wasn’t exactly who he thought her to be. This book revealed a side of Pendergast readers hadn’t seen before which is one of the reasons I love it so much. That, and a scene involving boats, rednecks and a rundown bar that SCREAMS to be filmed. The audience would be on its feet cheering. 5 whopping big stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Thriller > Suspense


Book cover for To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee

I can’t believe I never read this book before! It’s truly a classic in every sense of the word. I picked up a paperback copy a year ago to read on a flight but never got around to it. My loss. I recently came across my copy and devoured it in two days, riveted from the opening page. I’m almost intimidated to write a review. No wonder this book was voted Novel of the Century in a 1999 poll by Library Journal.

A beautiful coming of age story set in a small town at a time when racial prejudice was rampant, this book positively brims over with heart, wisdom, and wit. The characters are simply outstanding. I fell in love with Atticus Finch, Scout, Gem, Dill, Boo Radly, Calpurnia, and so many more. As for the meaning of the title and the way it ties into the story, I had goose bumps.

Brilliant ending, brilliant characters, brilliant story. Star ratings don’t do it justice. A masterpiece of literature!

Amazon Link
Genre:  Literature > Classic Literature and Fiction


Book cover for The Meg shows a behemoth shark under water, many small boats aboveThe Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror
By Steve Alten

I first read this book back in the late 90s when it was originally released. Given I’m a fan of creatures and monsters, I was eager to dive into the story all over again. Happily, I was not disappointed.

Discovered in the Mariana Trench, a “Jurassic shark” (a prehistoric megalodon) manages to reach surface waters, where it goes on a rampage in the modern world. The characters are great—people you can cheer for, others you boo with relish.

Dr. Jonas Taylor, ex-Navy deep sea submersible pilot is especially excellent in the lead role. There are good guys, bad guys, a cheating wife/pushy reporter, billionaire playboy (who happens to be Jonas’s best friend) and a brilliant, beautiful scientist. I recently discovered the author wrote a number of books that piggyback on this one, hence my desire to re-read The Meg. The story has also been made into a movie—which I’m sure (when I finally see it) will have me breaking out the popcorn. I can’t wait to follow up reading the other books in this series of shark adventures—maybe just not at the beach!  5 Stars.

Amazon Link
Genre: Action Thriller > Suspense Action > Sea Adventure Fiction


Book cover for Unclear uses shows setting sun reflecting off lake, dark tree line in background, ghost outline of woman's head and shoulders in foregroundUnclear Purposes (Driscoll Lake 3)
By Joan Hall

I’ve followed the Driscoll Lake series from book one. Each novel is excellent, but the final is in a league of its own. The author clearly owns her small-town setting and the people who populate it.

When a woman is found murdered in Driscoll Lake, and two women die by similar means in a neighboring town, ex-FBI agent, Vince Green (now a private investigator) finds himself center stage trying to solve the murder. He and Christine Lawrence are the ones who found the victim in Driscoll Lake—a victim with a secretive past who has ties to multiple people in the town, including Christine’s ex mother-in-law. Toss in an old, unsolved crime, an arrogant police detective, art gallery clues, and the blossoming attraction between Christine and Vince, and you have book that will keep you entertained from page one.

Hall doles out her clues a little at a time, dropping them like breadcrumbs into a forest of divergent paths. Just when you think you’re starting to fit the pieces together, a new twist sends you down the wrong trail. The strong ensemble cast is handled with dexterity, each character awarded moments in the spotlight. Several of the secondary players are particularly notable. Equal parts mystery and romantic suspense, this intriguing novel presents a fabulous close to an excellent series. Each Driscoll Lake novel can be read as a standalone, including Unclear Purposes. Highly recommended! 5 Stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Mystery > Romantic Suspense > Crime Suspense


Thanks for checking out this month’s reviews. I’ll be back in June with 1-2 more review posts (depending on how much I read). I hope you found something to add to your TBR and I wish you happy reading!

 

Free June 8 to June 10: ECLIPSE LAKE by Mae Clair #RomanticMystery

Mondays are normally reserved for Mythical Monday posts on my blog, but I’m pre-empting that today with something I’ve never done before: offering one of my titles for free. It’s kind of scary, because I have no idea what to expect. Certainly, I hope that new readers will enjoy the book and look into some of my other titles.

So…if you enjoy romance, mysteries, and suspense, I invite you to take advantage of my limited time offer for ECLIPSE LAKE. Grab your Kindle copy, June 8 to June 10 for FREE. This is a stand-alone full-length novel of old wounds, buried secrets, and sweet romance. It’s not part of a series, so you can enjoy the complete tale.

BLURB FOR ECLIPSE LAKE:

Book cover for Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair depicting a summer lake with rushes at sunsetSmall towns hold the darkest secrets. 

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

Grab Your Free Copy from Amazon here
If you don’t have a Kindle, download a FREE Kindle Reading app for the device of your choice  

I hope you enjoy ECLIPSE LAKE and ask only that when you’ve finished reading you’d leave an honest review on Amazon. Authors love hearing what readers enjoyed about our novels (even what didn’t work). It’s a favored reward  🙂

I’d also like to ask for your support in the release of my brand new Halloween-themed romantic suspense novel, MYTH AND MAGIC. There’s nothing like a little October spookiness for weaving a touch of mystery into your summer.

BLURB FOR MYTH AND MAGIC:

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?

Release day for MYTH AND MAGIC is June 9, but you can pre-order today. It’s available from all of these bookstores:

Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iTunes 
Google
Kensington Publishing  

Purchase MYTH AND MAGIC and grab your copy of ECLIPSE LAKE for free. You get TWO full-length books of suspense, mystery and romance for under $4.00!  Either way I hope you will enjoy the free book. Both stories, plus their characters, hold special places in my heart.

I’d also like to thank the many friends who are helping me out today by spreading the word about ECLIPSE LAKE and MYTH AND MAGIC on their blogs. Others will be doing the same on Tuesday and Wednesday. To all of them, I send a HUGE THANK YOU.  If you’re looking for new authors and bloggers to follow, I know they would love to “meet” you. Today’s group is:

Debbie Peterson 
Stanalei Fletcher 
Emma Meade 
L. J. Kentowski
Alana Lorens
Alleigh Burrows  

Finally, before you leave could I entice you to Sign Up For My Newsletter? 🙂

Many thanks!

Mythical Monday:  Something’s Mything by Mae Clair

I know it’s Mythical Monday and I should be Mything but I actually have a blog tour kicking off today for TWELFTH SUN. The tour was supposed to happen way back in January, but if you recall, Lyrical Press was acquired by Kensington Books and it took a while for the dust to settle and new Kensington titles to be issued.

Book Promotions by Literary Nook Book was happy to work with me in delaying the tour, so here we are five months later, and it’s finally under way. Something is definitely mything from my blog today, but maybe the timing worked for the best as TWELFTH SUN is a breezy summer read.  Here’s where I’ll be should you like to drop by and say hello over the next few weeks:

Tour Banner Twelfth Sun

May 12
Kristy Centeno – Promo with excerpt
KMN Books – Author Interview, promo with excerpt

May 13
JM Stewart–Contemporary Romance Author – Promo with excerpt
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl – Promo with excerpt

May 14
Some Like It Hotter – Promo and excerpt
Triad Literary – Promo with excerpt

May 15
Musings of a Writing Reader – Promo with excerpt

May 20
Mythical Books – Review

May 21
Have Novel, Will Edit – Promo with excerpt

May 22
Deal Sharing Aunt – Author Interview, Promo with excerpt

May 26
My Devotional Thoughts – Promo with excerpt

May 28
Literary Nook – Promo with excerpt

May 30
Book Reviews by Xunaira J. – Promo with excerpt

June 2
Crystal’s Many Reviewers – Review

Solstice Island Final smallIn other news, I’m also visiting with Brooke Williams today, promoting SOLSTICE ISLAND . . . also a summery read, and a adventure involving a mythical sea creature.

And, since this is turning into a book update post, here’s where my latest WIPs stand:

~ooOOoo~

ECLIPSE LAKE

Shot of a lake at summer twilight
Romantic mystery, family drama, and an unsolved missing person’s case.

I still hope to publish this title in June.

~ooOOoo~

MYTH AND MAGIC
Romantic mystery involving ghostly happenings and sabotage at a secluded corporate retreat.
Takes place in October and over Halloween.
Should be ready for submission by the end of the month.

~ooOOoo~

A THOUSAND YESTERYEARSbigstock-Ghost-At-The-Window-tint--23502128
Urban fantasy/horror.
A haunted house, a family curse, and an evil presence that will stop at nothing to continue its legacy of darkness.
My current WIP.
I’m going back to my roots with this one. Fantasy/horror was my first genre as an author.

~ooOOoo~

Mythical Monday will return next week as usual. In the meantime, I’d love to know what you’re working on at present, or news on your latest release. Please share!

An Attraction to the Sea by Mae Clair

Sailing boat silhouette at sunsetIt’s Thursday, the week is almost over, and the weekend is hovering on the horizon. YAY! Once hump day is past, I always tend to be more excitable. Okay, giddy. Weekends mean more time for writing. 🙂

Today, I have an extra reason for feeling upbeat. My good friend, Debbie Peterson, has invited me to her blog to discuss my “attraction to the sea.” Please drop by if you get a chance to share your own comments about what attracts you to the ocean and its enchanting folklore. You can find the post here.

Meandering, a Review, and a Bit of the Mythical by Mae Clair

Twelfth Sun Tour BannerFor my Mythical Monday fans, my usual brand of folklore, odd creatures and spookiness will return next week with a new post. Today, I’m celebrating the one week anniversary of the official release of my romantic mystery, TWELFTH SUN.

The reviews have been great so far, which have me completely jazzed. I particularly love this 5-Five Star review on the Tome Tender Blog. The reviewer, Dii, made my day with quotes like these:

“Twelfth Sun by Mae Clair is just one of those books that is pure escape pleasure!”

“Mae Clair has written a delightful romance complete with mystery, intrigue and danger. Did I mention humor?”

You can find the entire review here if you’d like to take a gander 😀

Also today, my new friend, Kourtney Heintz, is hosting me with a short series of Q&A. Want to hear my elevator pitch for TWELFTH SUN, or learn what advice I have for new authors? (Sure you do!). All that and more can be discovered by hopping over to Kourtney Heintz’s Journal and saying hello.

background in "adventure stories" styleAnd finally, because it’s Mythical Monday and I’m in a nautical frame of mind, here are two interesting snippets to tide you over until next week :

Did you know in days past, if a sailor was pulled overboard it was a sign that “the sea will have its own?” Even more disturbing, a man who learned to swim was viewed as tempting fate.

For someone to “watch a ship out of sight” was a sure sign “you will never see her again.”  I find this one interesting because the interpretation it isn’t exactly clear.  Does the ship meet with an untimely end, or the watcher? I guess the obvious certainty is that either way you shouldn’t watch a ship out of sight!

Happy Monday, friends! I hope your week is off to a good start!

Summer Lovin’ Blog H-0-p and Release Day by Mae Clair

SummerLovinBlogHopWelcome to the Summer Lovin’ Blog Hop! Over fifty authors and bloggers have joined together to give you the chance to win an awesome bundle of books as well as read some great posts. Be sure to visit each blog in the hop and comment with your email to increase your chances of winning. Each comment counts as an entry! Our lovely bloggers are also offering individual prizes so be sure to check them out.

So what is it about summer you love best?  The extra-long nights, fun-filled vacations, poolside lounging, or something else entirely? Maybe it’s indulging in summery foods like sweet corn, watermelon, soft ice cream or fresh strawberry pie. It could be ditching your shoes in favor of sandals or flip-flops, relaxing with a good beach read or finding the perfect picnic spot. Summer brings fireflies, fragrant white jasmine, sun-ripened berries, and the magical embrace of a poet’s twilight.

I love all of those things, but this summer I can add something new to the list.

August 5th marks the official release of TWELFTH SUN, my romantic mystery pairing an older woman with a younger man. I set the story in early June at a lavish seaside mansion in a small coastal town. Summer is my favorite season and the eastern seaboard of the U.S. is like a second home to me. What better time and place to have my hero and heroine match wits with an oddball assortment of characters as they compete in the treasure hunt for a 19th century marine artifact? Of course, there’s also the issue of their attraction to one another and the ten year age gap between them, but that was part of the fun in writing the story! 🙂

If you enjoy romance and mystery with an older woman and younger man, I hope you’ll give TWELFTH SUN a try.

twelfthsunwidgetTWELFTH SUN BLURB:
The hunky young PhD knows all about seduction, but what does he know about love?

Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…

Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.

Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.

WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.

Purchase TWELFTH SUN from:
Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iBooks

To celebrate all things summer and my new release, I’ll be awarding a $5.00 gift card to Amazon to one lucky commenter. Just tell me what you love best about summer and be sure to include your email address with your answer. The winner will be announced Friday on my blog.

The fun isn’t over! Be sure to check out all of the other authors and bloggers participating in the hop by clicking the cute linky critter below!

SummerLovinPrizePic