Mae Clair: I’m MIA

It’s Six Sentence Sunday and I’m off gallivanting at the beach for the day, but I have some exciting news to share: I just signed a contract with my publisher, Lyrical Press for my latest novel, TWELFTH SUN.

SQUEEE! I’ll definitely be doing a blog post about it next week, LOL!.

And I will be back in the SSS swing of things next Sunday. In the meantime, may I suggest these writers who always do a fantastic job in making me eager to check their Six snippets each week:

Angela Quarles
Carrie Crain
Christine Warner
Donna Cummings
JM Stewart
Karen Michelle Nutt
Kate Meader
Kate Warren
L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
M. L. Falconer
Maryellen Brady
Susan Koenig
Stephanie Ingram
Veronica Scott

Enjoy all the great reads!

I invite you back tomorrow for a Mythical Monday post. Keeping in the spirit of the beach, it’s flavored with a distinctive hint of salt-water. 🙂

Mae Clair: The Booker Award ~ Five Fab Reads

I’ve been nominated by the talented Kate Meader to participate in the Booker Award.  Kate is one of my Six Sentence Sunday buddies whose excerpts always amaze me. Be sure to check out her blog for lively and engaging writing!

So exactly how does the Booker Award work? It targets literary and book-centered blogs.
The rules are simple:

Post your five favorite books of all time
Post the booker award icon
Nominate other bloggers to do the same

Here are mine:

CHECKMATE by Dorothy Dunnett
This is the last novel in THE LYMOND CHRONICLES a six book series detailing the life of Sir Francis Crawford of Lymond from 1547 through 1558. Lymond is undoubtedly the most aggravating yet mesmerizing character I’ve encountered in literature. I was never certain if I wanted to hit the man, applaud him or marry him!

The historical detail of the series is amazing. I’m singling out CHECKMATE because it’s the culmination of a massive read. I also love THE RINGED CASTLE, (second to last book) which takes place in the court of Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible. The only book I didn’t particularly care for was the second in the series, QUEEN’S PLAY, and that’s because I was so incredibly ticked by Lymond’s actions. Despite the gargantuan size of the series (each book is in the 600-700 page range) I’ve read it several times and am gearing up to read it again.

How to put this in highbrow literary prose? IT ROCKS! 😀

THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING
by T.H. White
I’ve been in love with King Arthur since I was a teen, completely enamored of Camelot’s king. I first read THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING in junior high and have gone back several times since. Not only was it a compelling and lyrical read, but it left me with an amazing impression of chivalry, justice and ‘might vs. right.’ Although I’ve never been a Lancelot fan it was an adjustment getting used to him in this adaption as he is portrayed as ugly, even hideous. I can still vividly recall sitting in the library in eighth grade and giggling over the Questing Beast.  Hmm…there might be a Mythical Monday post in that! 😀

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING by J.R.R. Tolkien
My tenth grade English teacher introduced me to Frodo, Gandalf and the group. Up until that point I was reading mainly science-fiction. I had no idea the world of fantasy existed. Unlike most readers who started with THE HOBBIT and went on to read THE LORD OF THE RINGS, I read them in reverse. That’s probably why the FELLOWSHIP resonates so strongly with me. It was my first exposure to the fantasy genre and it was pure magic.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens
This was a book I was assigned to read in junior high. Ugh!  Remember those? Despite the fact I’ve always been an avid reader, most of the have-to-read-books I was assigned in school made my eyes glaze over. That included a lot of classics (although I loved anything by Jack London and Mark Twain). Keep in mind, my reading of choice revolved around space creatures, monsters and anything ‘weird.’ Shockingly, I fell in love with this novel. Maybe it was the budding romantic in me. From the first page, I was sucked into the story and still love it today–not only for the emotional element but the historical detail as well.

THE ALIENIST by Caleb Carr
I loved the setting of this novel (1896 New York) and its blend of history, psychology and Sherlock Holmes-like detective work. It’s an historical crime novel but richly layered on multiple levels. There’s also an amazing sequel, THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS, which is every bit as compelling. I’m only sorry the author didn’t write a third with the same set of characters, particularly Dr. Laszlo Kreizler.

Another book I have to mention is THE TERROR by Dan Simmons. If you’re a frequent visitor to my blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about it before. The only reason it’s not at the top of my list is that I’m not sure it qualifies as a ‘literary’ read. The book is a richly detailed fictional account of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to find the Northwest Passage in 1845. It combines elements of history, myth, horror and the supernatural and is by turns beautiful, lyrical, brutal and terrifying. The HMS Terror was one of two ships Franklin led into the artic, the other, the HMS Erebus.  The ships became trapped in the ice and the crews were never seen again. Simmons novel is a fictional accounting of what may have happened to the men after their vessels became trapped. If I had to name a single book as my favorite read of all time, it’s unquestionably this one.

And now, I’m pleased to nominate the following bloggers:

Sheri de Grom
Stephanie Ingram
L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
Christina McKnight

What are your five faves?

Mae Clair: The Sunshine Award

Hey, everyone and happy Thursday! I’m skipping my maybe-might-become-weekly-haven’t-decided-yet Thursday Thirteen because I’m excited to say Kathleen Doyle nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Wow! If you haven’t figured it out by now, I tend to get jazzed about these things. 😀 Kathleen, thanks so much for thinking of me and my humble blogging haunt.

So how does the Sunshine Award work? ‘Tis fairly simple:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you *waving to Kathleen again*
  2. Post the award icon (see above. Nice, huh?)
  3. Answer the questions below
  4. Nominate ten other bloggers.

Fun, right? And you knoooow you won’t be able to sleep until you find out what my favorite color is. Make yourself comfy and I promise not to keep you in suspense. 😉

  1. What is your favorite Christmas/festive movie?
    A Christmas Carol. I can’t tell you how many different versions I’ve seen. I never tire of seeing this tale retold. Definitely my favorite Christmas movie, but I also have an extreme fondness for Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Will Farrel’s Elf.
  2. What is your favorite flower?
    I’m a traditional romantic. I’ve always loved red roses best.
  3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
    As boring as it sounds, water. I drink it constantly. I don’t like sodas, or any type of sweet drink. I do love my Keurig coffee maker but I can only drink so much coffee before my stomach protests.
  4. What is your passion?
    My hubby. Isn’t that romantic? 🙂
    Okay, the love of my life aside, writing is definitely numero uno, but I also love reading, history, folktales and cats.
  5. What is your favorite time of year?
    Spring. Because everything is so new and green and lush, with the promise of summer hovering around the corner. After the cold and stark desolation of winter, I love the rebirth spring ushers in.
  6. What is your favorite time of day?
    Twilight, when the fading light is laced with threads of pewter and silver. It’s positively magical.
  7. What is your favorite physical activity?
    I love to dance! And I play a wicked game of ping-pong (stop laughing).
  8. What is your favorite vacation?
    Favorite vacation spot: I love the beach, coastal towns and seaports. The eastern seaboard is like a second home but I still love visiting it several times a year. Favorite vacation memory: Sedona, Arizona. Red rock, blue skies, artisans everywhere, and Native American hoop dancing that was just amazing. Oh, and I ate rattlesnake!

Now I’m supposed to nominate ten other people for this award. Here they are, blogging buddies and writers who create fantastic worlds:

L. J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
Stephanie Ingram
Donna Cummings
Christina McKnight
Renita Pizzitola
Alicia Coleman
JM Stewart
Maryellen Brady
Susan Koenig

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do. I’m a subscriber to each and every one, and always look forward to the diverse blogging posts they bring!

Oh . . . I seem to have overlooked that color thing. How dreadfully remiss of me. Actually, it’s a toss-up between blue and green. Still comfy?  Good. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know. Stay tuned. 😀

A Beachy Six Sentence Sunday

Hello, fellow sixers!  I’m going to miss doing the usual rounds today. I’m driving home from the beach early and plan on unwinding and unpacking when I hit the homestead. I’ll be back at SSS again next week. In the meantime, hope you have a great round of Sunday reads without me. May I suggest some of my fave sixer friends at the following haunts:

Angela Quarles
Donna Cummings
JM Stewart
L.J. Kentowski
Loni Flowers
Lorraine Paton
M.L. Falconer
Susan Koenig
Stephanie Ingram

The Liebster Award

Happy Wednesday, fellow bloggers and readers. The wonderful Sheri de Grom recently nominated me for the Liebster Award. I was thrilled to receive this nomination from Sheri as she’s someone I greatly admire. You can find her at Sheri de Grom where she reviews women’s fiction and blogs about issues related to our military and mental health care reform. Thanks for nominating me, Sheri!

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.

2. Post the award to your blog.

3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value.

4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have received this award.

And my nominees are:

L.J. Kentowski
Blog: L.J. Writes
L.J. is an urban fantasy author who hooked me with her debut release GUARDIAN
OF FATE, book #1 of the Fate Series. Right now she’s engaged in a blog tour and will be offering several giveaways, so be sure to check the list of blog dates on her
site. And while you’re there, try your hand at L.J.’s wonderful “What’s Your Take
Wednesday.” It’s one of my favorite mid-week pastimes, a quick little writing
exercise that is always a treat and a lot of fun!  L.J. is also gearing up for
the release of Book #2 in the Fate Series, SEEKER OF FATE, and I’m waiting for
it to hit my radar.

Loni Flowers
Blog: Loni Flowers
I needed Kleenex handy when I read Loni’s debut novel, TAKING CHANCES,  a book that expertly tugs at the heart strings.  Loni is also one of my Six Sentence Sunday friends where she frequently posts excerpts from TAKING CHANCES or her latest WIP, PAINTED MEMORIES — which I will eagerly snatch up the moment it’s released. Getting to know Loni has been a pleasure and I’m sure you’ll find her blog and writing as entertaining as I do.

Stephanie Ingram
Blog: The Beginning of the End
I ‘happened’ across Stephanie’s blog one day and was immediately hooked. She’s an active blogger and always has something interesting to share. Her posts often resonate with my own interests, passion for writing, and even some childhood memories.  Her debut novel, THE BETWEEN WORLD is a lyrical tale of star-crossed lovers that had me turning pages well into the night. I’m looking forward to her upcoming release GHOSTS DON’T WEAR SILK STOCKINGS which has an expected publication date of September 5th.

Christina M. McKnight
Blog: Life – Love, Family and Passion
I originally met Christina through Twitter where she invited me to join her tribe on Triberr. Since then I’ve come to frequent her blog where she posts numerous author interviews, writing news and book reviews among other musings. She’s been helpful and supportive and I’ve loved sharing with her back and forth. Look for Christina’s release, ONLY IN HER DREAMS (book #1 of the Oneiroi series) scheduled for September 30th.  It’s certain to be a great read!

Stanalei Fletcher
Blog: Stanalei Fletcher
When I timidly ventured into the realm of social media, Stanalei was one of the first friends I made among an ever-growing and fantastic group of writers. She has a great blog that I love to frequent, has been helpful and supportive, and is a kick-butt martial artist to boot! 😀 I loved her blog post comparing a writers’ conference to an Aikido competition.  I am eagerly anticipating the release of Stanlei’s novel LIGHTNING ONLY STRIKES TWICE, coming soon from the Wild Rose Press.

So to L.J., Loni, Stephanie, Christina and Stanalei, thanks for being such great writer friends and creating blogs I love to visit. It’s been a pleasure sharing with all of you, and I look forward to our continued friendships!

The Next Best Thing Challenge

Cool things are happening! I’ve been tagged by the wonderfully talented L.J. Kentowski, author of GUARDIAN OF FATE to participate in the Next Best Thing Challenge.  And hey, as an extra bonus, in case you didn’t know – – you still have a chance to win a free ebook copy of GUARDIAN OF FATE on LJ’s blog, LJ Writes. Her contest ends tomorrow, so check it out while there’s still time. It’s a great read!

Now let me tell you about the challenge.  Here’s the breakdown:

Answer the 10 NBTC questions below
Spread the fun and tag 5 awesome people to participate!

So . . . ready, set, go!

What is the title of your book/WIP?
Weathering Rock

Where did the idea of this book come from?
A photograph and a passion for civil war history.

What genre would your book fall under?
Paranormal romantic suspense with time travel.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The hero is a no-brainer.  Remember that photograph I mentioned?  I’ve always had a passion for Civil War history and, one day while surfing online, I happened on a photo of David Soul from a part he had in Manions of America. It was enough to make me start spinning story ideas of my own. Toss is a name I had tucked away (Weathering Rock) that I intended to use for an old home, and it was enough to spur my muse into action. Here’s my “cast” list:

Caleb DeCardian
David Soul

Arianna Hart
Felicity Jones

Wyn DeCardian
Jim Caviezel

Rick Rothrock
Chris Hemsworth

Lauren Talbot
Scarlett Johansson

Lucas Drake
Tim Daly

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Former Civil War colonel, Caleb DeCardian, is thrust forward in time to the present where he meets fetching Arianna Hart while searching for the former friend who cursed him to live as a werewolf.

Is your book published or represented?
WEATHERING ROCK will be published on October 8, 2012 by Lyrical Press.

How long did it take you to write it?
Eight months. Then I set it aside for several years, dug it out, dusted it off, and did three rounds of edits in seven months, whittling 27k from the original word count. A friend of mine encouraged me to submit it to a publisher, and I decided to give it a shot, thinking ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’

What other books in your genre would you compare it too?
Hmm…that’s a toughie. I’m not sure there really is anything I could compare it with apples-to-apples. Certainly any author doing time-travel or writing about werewolves. In my case, Caleb is not part of a pack, and there is a fair amount of references to the Civil War woven throughout and underlying elements of mystery.

Which authors inspired you to write this book?
I can’t honestly say I was inspired by another author. WEATHERING ROCK was the result of taking varied elements I’m passionate about (history, werewolf folklore, old homes, romance, mystery) and weaving a tapestry from them in the form of a story. There are certainly authors I admire, but I’ve been writing since grade school, so my inspiration really comes from being driven to create.

Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.
I’ve been sharing  elements of the novel for sometime on my blog, but there is something that occurs in the book I’ve purposefully avoided mentioning. I hope it will come as a huge surprise to my readers when they stumble across it. All I’ll say is that there’s more to the time travel element than just Caleb being thrust forward into the present *sly grin*

I’m also planning on making WEATHERING ROCK into a three-book series called The DeCardian Family Chronicles. Wyn DeCardian will be featured as the hero in book number two.

WOW! This has been fun.  Thanks for the tag, L.J!

And now, the five gifted authors I’d like to tag for the next round:

Donna Cummings
Stephanie Ingram
Coleen Kwan
JM Stewart
Calisa Rhose