Mae Clair: Civil War Interview Day

bigstock-Civil-War-Union-Officer-s-Swor-5577110It’s Friday, which is always a Snoopy Dance kind of day. This Friday is even better as my Lyrical sister author and critique partner, Laura Lee Nutt, is hosting me on her blog. Laura writes wonderful fantasy romances, with her debut release, RED AND THE WOLF, scheduled for early March.

Today, she’s interviewing me about WEATHERING ROCK, including the challenges of writing a 19th century Civil War officer into modern times. I hope you’ll have a chance to drop by and join us. It’s always interesting when I take Caleb on the road. 😀

~ooOOoo~

VVWAlso, don’t forget it’s not too late to comment in the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop for a chance to win my giveaway. You can find complete details by clicking this link.

Whether your Friday is spent with a sensual vampire, smolderingly sexy werewolf, or a hunky Civil War colonel, I hope you enjoy your day!

Guest Post: Skibo Castle by Jessi Gage

VVWYes, it’s the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop. You can find a complete list of participating authors and bloggers here. To be entered in my giveaway for a Kindle or Nook copy of my paranormal/time travel romance, WEATHERING ROCK (which features a hunky werewolf) follow this link.

BUT WAIT!!!

Before you leave, I also want to introduce another type of hero for this blog post–highlanders!

My sister author from Lyrical Press and critique partner, Jessi Gage, has just released a fantasy romance, WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER that I want to share. Jessi has dropped by to tell us about Skibo Castle (wouldn’t that be a cool place for a vampire or werewolf to hang out? Or even a hunky Scot)? And now, I’m happy to turn my blog over to Jessi Gage.

~ooOOoo~

Thanks so much for having me, Mae. It’s been wonderful getting to know you as a fellow Lyrical author and a critique partner over the past few months. Your blog is a favorite stop of mine for your Mythical Mondays and Wizard with Words features. I’m so honored to have a spot to showcase my new release with Lyrical Press , WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER.

WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER is a historical paranormal romance in which a single and pregnant museum worker accidentally wishes herself back in time and is forced to marry a Highland warrior with intimacy issues. The blurb and info are below, but what I really want to share is some of my research in writing WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER.

I love Castles. On a trip to Ireland and Scotland with my husband I had the wonderful opportunity to tour many castles. Some were intact. Some were in ruin. I delighted in them all. My favorite was Edinburgh Castle because of the sheer amount of history contained inside its museum, including The Honours of Scotland, the nation’s crown jewels.

I needed a castle in WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER, because Melanie and Darcy needed a safe place to flee to and work out some of the issues keeping them from consummating their marriage. I chose Skibo Castle purely for its fairy-tale beauty and its not-too-distant location from where I chose to put Darcy’s northern village of Ackergill.

Choosing Skibo Castle was one of those serendipitous writing moments when things all come together and fall into place without my planning it (because, really, I couldn’t have planned anything this amazing. I’m not THAT good).

Here’s what I mean. In researching Skibo Castle, I found out it was the place Madonna married Guy Ritchie in 2000. This is something my transplanted modern-day heroine might have remembered, so I could write her as being somewhat familiar with the castle. Not only that, but Skibo Castle was home to steel magnate Andrew Carnegie before he came to the US as a Scottish immigrant. As it happened, in the first chapter, before Melanie gets whisked to late-medieval Scotland, I have her working in a museum, putting together an exhibit on Scottish Immigrants. It was all too easy to write her as having great familiarity with Skibo Castle and its history, making the setting that much more vivid for the reader (I hope).

But I didn’t plan any of it! It just happened to fall perfectly into place, and is one of those little blessings that make WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER the most magical thing I’ve ever written. Here’s the blurb for WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER:        

wishingforahighlanderWhile examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact–for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific.

Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father’s windmills and keeping up the family manor house…alone.

Darcy’s uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would–protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan.

WARNING: A pregnant museum worker, a sixteenth-century Scot, and a meddlesome wishing box.

Excerpt from WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER:

Size might have its advantages when it came to fighting, but those few boons fell far short of making up for the problems it caused. Being the biggest and the strongest had gotten him into far more trouble than it had gotten him out of. Swallowing his regret for how careless he’d been with her, he sought to determine whom she belonged to, whom, saints forbid, he might owe.

“Whose wife are ye, then? Not a Gunn’s or I wouldna have had to rescue you from one.”

“I’m not married,” the lass said. “And thank you for the rescuing, by the way. I can’t believe I dropped the dirk. Stupid.” She shook her head.

His heart warmed at her thanks. He didn’t hear many kind words from the lasses and would take what he could get, even from a dishonored woman who had caught a bairn out wedlock. Oddly, he didn’t think poorly of her. Whether it was her worried brow, her guileless, soft mouth, or her vulnerable size, he had not the heart to condemn her.

He didn’t even mind so much that she found him distasteful for his size, although talking with her now, she didn’t seem overly upset to be in his arms. He endeavored to keep her talking, keep her distracted from her disgust.

“Ye never answered my first question,” he said. “Who are you? And where are ye from if ye’re no’ English?”

“Ugh. I don’t know. Is there an answer that won’t get me burned at the stake or locked up in a ward for the hopelessly insane?”

Like most things out of her mouth, that had been a peculiar answer. “Ye could try the truth,” he offered, slowing his pace since he heard Archie’s voice not far off.

“No,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t. At least not the whole truth. How about we just go with my name, Melanie, and with the honest fact that I’m a long way from home and I have no idea how to get back.” Her green eyes pierced his. “I’m afraid you might be stuck with me, Darcy Keith.”

Thanks again for having me Mae! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you as a fellow Lyrical sister, a CP, and a friend. More details on WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER and on the blog hops I’m participating in (prizes, people!) can be found on my blog and website.

Buy links:
Lyrical Press
Amazon
Barnes N Noble

Follow Jessi Gage on Twitter

zz_Jessi Gage headshot2Jessi Gage Bio
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

~ooOOoo~

Thanks, Jessi for being my guest today! A castle, hunky highlander and time travel. What’s not to love? 😀

Vampires vs. Werewolves H0p: Which do You Prefer?

VVWWelcome to the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop where   participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times.

Let me share the blurb:

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?) If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf By drinking water haunted by the dead By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

Now for my giveawawy: Comment below WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice). I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me wolfishly happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

Mae Clair: What’s Your Preference, Vampires or Werewolves? H0p!

VVWToday is Mythical Monday on my blog, and also the first day of the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop. What a great mesh! During the hop, participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times. Let me share the blurb:

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, because it’s Mythical Monday on my blog, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son
Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?)
If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period
By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf
By drinking water haunted by the dead
By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

USE THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW, comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice).  I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me very happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

A Rafflecopter giveaway

Mae Clair’s New Year’s Eve Blog Hop G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

New Year ButtonHappy New Year and welcome to the second annual New Year’s Blog Hop! Can you believe another year has passed?

Well we authors, readers, and bloggers sure can’t. And to celebrate the New Year with a bang, we’re going crazy and sending out so many prizes, fun parties, experiences, and other goodies, that it’s a bit scary. Each author has a favorite New Year memory, book, idea, or way to party and we’re going to show you!

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger. For a complete list of participating authors and bloggers and the giveaways they’re offering, click here.

But that’s not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes? Check these out:

Floral Background in Black and Gold Colors

Here, ON THE PEN OF MAE CLAIR, I am giving TWO prizes to ONE lucky winner:

A $15 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice) plus an ebook copy of my time travel/paranormal romance novel WEATHERING ROCK in Kindle or Nook format (winner’s choice).

So, let’s talk 2013 for a minute.

The New Year has officially arrived, and ushered in a horizon of possibilities. Each January most of us start fresh with a brand new set of goals and, usually, several resolutions (we don’t always end up keeping). I have two this year: hop back on the exercise bandwagon and publish two new titles. My husband and I were fairly strong P90Xers several years ago but age and the daily routine of life gradually crowded out the time we’d reserved for that. Feeble excuse, yes, I know.

Daily workouts dwindled to sporadic exercise to ‘ugh-maybe-I’ll-tackle-the-health-thing-tomorrow.’ Well, part of getting older is realizing the ‘health thing’ (which includes exercise) has to become a priority. So it’s back to P90X for us (albeit slowly at first as our bodies readjust).

As for the other goal, I have a novel releasing in August through Lyrical Press called TWELFTH SUN. A contemporary romance, it revolves around an older woman, a younger man, and a treasure hunt for a marine artifact. The other title I hope to finish and have under contract (or indie pub) is a mystery/romance with a strong emphasis on family relationships, called THE SECRET OF ECLIPSE LAKE. That one involves an unsolved murder, a free-spirited photographer, and an ex-con (now a successful businessman) who returns to his hometown fifteen years after cutting all ties with his family. My plan is to pull off both of these before 2013 rolls to a close. As a writer, I’m finding goals are good to have.

Case in point: 2012 saw the publication of my debut novel, WEATHERING ROCK a novel of romantic suspense, interwoven with elements of time travel and the paranormal. Publication was a goal I’d set for myself at the start of 2012 and one I succeeded in achieving (yay, me! :)) Check out the blurb:

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

I’m hoping a few of you find it interesting enough to add to your TBR list on Goodreads and/or consider purchasing through:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

I’m happy to award an ebook copy (Kindle or Nook) to one winner along with a $15 gift card to Amazon or B&N. Comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS to be eligible for the grand prizes being offered. Tell me the one thing you’d most like to accomplish in 2013 (it doesn’t have to be a resolution). Use the Rafflecopter link below for more ways to win the prizes on my blog.

When you comment, don’t panic if it doesn’t appear immediately. Comment moderation is on, but I promise your comment won’t get lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy New Year! May all your dreams and goals meet with success!

A Rafflecopter giveaway

WEATHERING ROCK by Mae Clair: Post Christmas Blog Tour #Paranormal #TimeTravel #Romance

A Vector Comic Book Explosion Background with StarsHello friends! I hope you all had a wonderfully Merry Christmas with many blessings, family, friends and good cheer. Today is the launch of my post-Christmas WEATHERING ROCK blog tour. Please join me, Caleb and Arianna as we roam the blogosphere from 12/26 to 1/2 to ring in a New Year!

Today’s stops are:

December 26, 2012 – You Gotta Read Reviews
December 26, 2012 – Real World on Writing
December 26, 2012 – Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood
December 26, 2012 – Melissa Keir- Sexy Between the Covers

Happy Holidays!

~ooOOoo~

December 27, 2012 – It’s All About The Romance
December 27, 2012 – Janna Shay’s Fair Play
December 27, 2012 – TheWormhole
December 27, 2012 – TBQ’s Book Palace
December 28, 2012 – Paranormal Opinion
December 28, 2012 – Book Junkie
December 28, 2012 – Writerly Ramblings
December 28, 2012 – Just One More Chapter
December 29, 2012 – Jennifer Lowery
December 29, 2012 – Krystal Shannan – Where Love and Destiny Collide
December 30, 2012 – Romance Me
December 30, 2012 – Author Jinni James
December 30, 2012 – Let’s Get BOOKED!
January 1, 2013 – Books, Books The Magical Fruit
January 1, 2013 – Author’s Café
January 1, 2013 – Books Complete Me
January 2, 2013 – Have Novel, Will Edit
January 2, 2013 – Evolved World
January 2, 2013 – Cheryl Yeko, Where Love Always Win

Cover Reveal: WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER by Jessi Gage

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting a cover reveal for my Lyrical Press sister and wonderful critique partner, Jessi Gage. This novel is going to be a gem!

Title: WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER
Author: Jessi Gage
Genre: Fantasy (time-travel) Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: January 7, 2013

wishingforahighlander

Blurb
While examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact–for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific.

Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father’s windmills and keeping up the family manor house…alone.

Darcy’s uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would–protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan.

WARNING: A pregnant museum worker, a sixteenth-century Scot, and a meddlesome wishing box.

Excerpt
Size might have its advantages when it came to fighting, but those few boons fell far short of making up for the problems it caused. Being the biggest and the strongest had gotten him into far more trouble than it had gotten him out of. Swallowing his regret for how careless he’d been with her, he sought to determine whom she belonged to, whom, saints forbid, he might owe.

“Whose wife are ye, then? Not a Gunn’s or I wouldna have had to rescue you from one.”

“I’m not married,” the lass said. “And thank you for the rescuing, by the way. I can’t believe I dropped the dirk. Stupid.” She shook her head.

His heart warmed at her thanks. He didn’t hear many kind words from the lasses and would take what he could get, even from a dishonored woman who had caught a bairn out wedlock. Oddly, he didn’t think poorly of her. Whether it was her worried brow, her guileless, soft mouth, or her vulnerable size, he had not the heart to condemn her.

He didn’t even mind so much that she found him distasteful for his size, although talking with her now, she didn’t seem overly upset to be in his arms. He endeavored to keep her talking, keep her distracted from her disgust.

“Ye never answered my first question,” he said. “Who are you? And where are ye from if ye’re no’ English?”

“Ugh. I don’t know. Is there an answer that won’t get me burned at the stake or locked up in a ward for the hopelessly insane?”

Like most things out of her mouth, that had been a peculiar answer. “Ye could try the truth,” he offered, slowing his pace since he heard Archie’s voice not far off.

“No,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t. At least not the whole truth. How about we just go with my name, Melanie, and with the honest fact that I’m a long way from home and I have no idea how to get back.” Her green eyes pierced his. “I’m afraid you might be stuck with me, Darcy Keith.”

zz_Jessi Gage headshot2Author Bio
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

~ooOOoo~

Look for Jessi at the following haunts:
Blog
Website
Twitter

Add WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER to your Goodreads list here

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
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Book Strand
All Romance ebooks

Look for Debbie at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads 

Mae Clair’s Purrrfectly Giftastic G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y

Purrfectly GiftasticWelcome to the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas blog hop which runs December 14 through December 17 at midnight. Many thanks to Drea Beacraft for organizing such a great hop. You can find a list of all participating authors here.

Given the cute kitty mascot and the name of the hop, I thought I’d share a few memories of cats at Christmas.

Shortly after my husband I married, one of his co-workers offered us a kitten from a litter of farm cats. I’d grown up with two cats, two dogs and wanted a pet again. I named the kitten Arafel after the Lady of Trees in C.J. Cherryh’s fantasy novel THE TREE OF SWORDS AND JEWELS.

Arafel and McDoogal

Arafel and McDoogal

A year later, my brother needed to find a home for a beautiful two-year old gray and we took him on a ‘trial basis,’ worried how he would get along with Arafel. It was two weeks before they were able to tolerate one another, but they eventually grew as close as litter mates. Both cats loved climbing our Christmas tree and batting at dangling ornaments. If you saw Cadence Blue’s Pet Safety post on my blog earlier this week, you know these activities can be potentially dangerous to kitties. I remember coming downstairs one morning and finding both cats tucked among the branches of my Christmas tree. I think McDoogal went exploring and Arafel followed.She was the dominate one, but he was insatiably curious.

Onyx, Christmas 2002

Onyx, Christmas 2002

For Onyx, the last feline in my life (he died of cancer shortly after New Year’s 2012 when he was thirteen), the allure was artificial greens. It didn’t matter what kind — garland, faux trees, wreathes, etc. And the obsession didn’t stop with Christmas but continued throughout the year, encompassing dried plants, grasses and broom bristles. For the most part I couldn’t keep dried arrangements in the house, and constantly had to make sure my brooms were stored upside down with the bristles pointed skyward.

About five years ago my husband and I began using an artificial tree for Christmas and that presented a momentous temptation for Onyx – a feast of dried bristles. The odd thing was he didn’t look twice at real plants. I even bought him several varieties of cat grasses from a pet store and he wouldn’t touch them.

Wrapping paper was another favorite for all of my cats, good for attacking, rolling in, and using to slide across the carpet. Cats and wrapping paper go together like cats and writers. I always had a cat in my office, on the desk, my lap, or curled up on the floor beside me when I was writing. Onyx was there for the creation of WEATHERING ROCK my paranormal / time travel romance about a Civil War colonel who is transported to the present where he falls for a woman who teaches American history.

For my part in the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas blog hop I’m awarding a $10 gift card to Amazon. If you’re interested in winning, I invite you to hop over and “Like” my Amazon page for WEATHERING ROCK. Then leave a comment below letting me know you have.

I’d also love to hear any holiday memory you might have related to cats or pets in general. Don’t forget to include your email address if you’d like to be entered in my random.org drawing. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday December 18, so be sure to check back to see if you’ve won. Comment moderation is on so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. I promise it won’t get lost. 😀

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

WR Cover for webWEATHERING ROCK BLURB
Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Available for Purchase at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

View Book Trailer for WEATHERING ROCK

Mae Clair: The Next Big Thing Reprise

So, here it is almost two full weeks since L.J. Kentowski tagged me in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, and I’ve had the distinct honor of being tagged again by Sheri de Grom. If you don’t know Sheri, I suggest you hasten over to her blog pronto and become acquainted. Not only is she a writer and reviewer of women’s fiction, but she is also an advocate for mental health, Medicare reform and Veteran’s rights. In addition, she’s one of the most candid and giving people I’ve met online. Thank you, Sheri for the nomination.

Just to refresh everyone’s memory about the NBT hop, writers answer a series of questions related to their current WIP, then tag five other authors to join the hop. On the 28th of November, I shared information on the mystery/romance on which I’ve furiously been working called ECLIPSE LAKE. At the same time, I’m also working on the sequel to WEATHERING ROCK, Book 2 of the DeCardian Family Chronicles. Are you interested in learning more? I hope so! Here ’tis:

What is the working title of your book?
BLUE ENCHANTMENT, although that may change.

Where did the idea of the book come from?
It’s the second in a three-book series once again utilizing paranormal and romantic elements. In my debut novel WEATHERING ROCK, Winston (Wyn) DeCardian is a secondary character, but I felt he deserved his own book. I inserted a few references about his past and childhood in WEATHERING ROCK that I intend to flesh out in BLUE ENCHANTMENT. And, of course, I wanted to give him a romance with an HEA all his own. I’ve employed time-travel again, though the gap this time, is relatively small.

What genre does your book fall under?
The same as WEATHERING ROCK, paranormal / time-travel romantic suspense.

haircolors-08Which actors would you choose to play your characters in movie renditions?
Wyn is easy. I’ve always imagined him as Jim Caviezel the way Jim looked at the end of the  Count of Monte Cristo (when he was clean-shaven). Oh yeah, that’s definitely my Wyn! 😀

As for Calliope LeMay, my heroine, I don’t have anyone set in mind. The same with my villain Sol Quinlan. He’s still taking shape in my head and Callie’s looks are a bit unusual – – red hair and lavender eyes.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Wyn DeCardian meets a woman with a score to settle, who lived thirty years in the past and who may be tied to the mysterious explosion that resulted in his father’s death when he was two.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m hoping it will be picked up by Lyrical Press, the publisher for WEATHERING ROCK.

How long did it take you to finish the first draft of your project?
I’m still in the writing process right now and, at this point, am only about a quarter of the way into the story.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
Um . . . well, I’d have to say WEATHERING ROCK since it employs many of the same elements (time-travel, romance and paranormal or fantasy elements) and some of the same characters.

Who or what inspired you to write this story?
I wanted to do something that referenced the blue-skinned people of Kentucky.  I’m known for my love of myth and legend but, the Blue People of Kentucky actually exist. Their unusual pigmentation is caused by a blood disorder first introduced by a man named Martin Fugate in the early 1800s. I can’t explain how that factors into the story but it does. From the moment I stumbled over a Yahoo newsfeed about it several years ago, I knew I wanted to implement it in a book.

Fonendoscopio y piruleta, corazón, San Valentín.What else about your book may pique readers’ interest?
For anyone who’s read WEATHERING ROCK they know that Wyn is a doctor. My heroine, Calliope LeMay is a gifted healer with magical talent. Naturally, science and magic are going to clash, right along with Wyn and Callie. Caleb and Arianna are also back for brief appearances, along with Lauren Talbot and Lucas Drake.

So there you have it—the low down on another project I have in the hopper.  Thanks again to Sheri de Grom for nominating me and now I’d like to nominate the following authors:

Cd Brennan
Calisa Rhose
Brynna Curry
Kate Meader
Tera Shanley