Introducing Mae Clair and the Mysterious #EclipseLake

One of the biggest pleasures I’ve enjoyed while chasing my passions as a writer have been the wonderfully creative and like minded people I’ve met on my journey. As a few of you know, a couple of years ago I had an epiphany. I realized life was too short to work an ungodly amount of hours with little to no appreciation, no work/life balance, and no time to pursue my passions. So I changed my path and set sail on one of the most exciting adventures I’ve had in a long time…

I rediscovered myself and reconnected with my inner writer. As I headed down this path I realized it was important to hone my craft through constant writing; to warm up my brain and my fingers by blogging. One of my first friends when I began this blog was a kind, generous woman named Mae Clair. She was in the midst of preparing her first book for publication, a fun fantasy/historical romance called Weathering Rock (click the link to read my unsolicited review). I loved her blog, especially her Mythical Monday posts.

Although we don’t necessarily write at the same heat level, she’s got a huge fan in me. So, of course, when I found she had a new release, I volunteered to share my blog with her so we could pimp her book. In fact, if you haven’t checked out her blog or read any of her books, I challenge you, click one of the links and check her out. I promise, you won’t regret it. And now, without further ado, without any further ado, here’s a bit about Mae’s newest release, Eclipse Lake.

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BLURB

Small 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.

EXCERPT Ellie stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why are you here?”

Dane picked up a flat stone. With a flick of his wrist he sent it skimming across the lake. It danced effortlessly across the surface as if he’d done the same thing a thousand times before. “You know that skeleton they found?”

She nodded.

“I’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard. I can’t pick up and go to another place…to the next photo shoot.” He turned to face her. “Half of my life is here and half’s on the west coast. I have to make them fit together.”

The revelation reminded her of the family she’d left behind in Idaho, reawakening a familiar tug of homesickness. In an effort to find more comfortable ground, she changed topics. “You told me you’re from San Diego. I did a photo op there four years ago. What do you do for a living?”

“I get by.” He took her hand and started walking again.

She sent a speculative glance in his direction, recognizing evasiveness when she heard it. He was wearing a Rolex, and though dressed casually, clearly had expensive taste. Yet he’d booked an ordinary cabin rather than one of the exclusive chalets higher up the mountain.

She liked the feel of his fingers around hers, warm and firm. The contact sent a pleasant tingle up her arm. What the hell was wrong with her, getting caught up in his touch as if it were magic? As if she’d waited her whole life for that sensation. He had skeletons in his past, a brother who couldn’t stand the sight of him and a sheriff who wanted to run him out of town. Eccentric, or just plain trouble?

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ABOUT MAE CLAIR

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, anartist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net

CONTACT LINKS Website and Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1) Google+

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Purchase ECLIPSE LAKE from: Amazon

Add ECLIPSE LAKE to your Goodreads List

I Have A Writing Process?

I was recently tagged to join a Writing Process Blog Hop by my new friend, Maris Soule. It’s been a while since I’ve played this particular brand of “Tag,” but Maris was generous enough to ask, and this particular one intrigued me. Believe it or not, there are even rules to this!

The Rules: Like I said, it’s sort of like tag. You’re asked to participate, and if you agree, you’re assigned a date to answer 4 questions and asked to find 3 writers to follow you. Not too complicated, right?

Right now I bet you’re wondering…who did Kitt tag? Well, rest easy, it wasn’t you. Just kidding. 😉 Actually, I tagged my awesome long time friend and fellow writer, KerryAnn. I also hit up one of my first blog buddies, author and Mythical Monday extraordinaire, Mae Clair. And last, but definitely not least, one of my favorite Scottish time travel authors, blog friends, and incredible beta reader, Jessi Gage. Don’t worry, their deets will be shared in more depth later…and ya’ll better check them out!

So, before I answer the questions, here’s a little history on the lovely lady who tagged me: Author-Picture-Maris-Soule Maris Soule was born and raised in California. She was working on a masters in art history when she met a red-head with blue eyes who talked her into moving to Michigan–for just a couple of years. She’s still married to that man and still lives in Michigan (though she migrates to Florida in the winter). Soule has had 25 romances published by Harlequin, Silhouette, and Bantam (she’s a 2 time RITA finalists) and 2 mysteries published by Five Star. (Her P.J. Benson mysteries or “Crows” series.) In addition to writing mysteries, Soule has been putting some of her early romances out as e-books, and she recently signed a contract with Robert Hale Ltd. for a suspense about a woman in her 70s with a deadly past. Every Wednesday Soule writes a blog that generally deals with writing.

Check out her blog or Follow her on Twitter!

She’s a very cool lady who I’m fortunate enough to know personally thanks to Florida Writers Association and our Sarasota Writers Group.

Now, on to the questions for yours truly….

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1)  What am I working on?

Currently, I’m working on 2 projects.

My primary piece is the third part of my Wild Side erotica series. I tentatively named it Happily Unmarried After, and so far it’s stuck. Those of you who’ve read Three For All and Four One Night will be thrilled to see their beloved wild woman, Danielle Monroe, up to her uninhibited ways (and all the fun that goes with it).  Yes, if you click the above links, excerpts will follow. 😉

The other piece is an erotic romance novel, yet to be named. So far it’s just some character sketches and a couple of scenes, but we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm. Well, I guess I’d have to say it’s the way my characters are portrayed in my books. There are no billionaires or zillionaires in my books, first. Second? The setting is fairly common, and easy to imagine. Finally, my characters are fun and likeable with a playful, bantering dialogue. They don’t take themselves or each other too seriously, which makes them immediately likeable and relatable. I like to think that most people could read my characters and easily insert themselves into one of the characters and their very doable fantasies.

3)  Why do I write what I do?

My initial instinct to this question was to say, “Why not?”

The truth is, I write it because I enjoy it. Yup! For me, writing sex is fun! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been accused of having a gutter brain. I’ve also been gifted with a knack for understanding people and a talent for writing. I figured this was an opportunity to combine all my passions, then share it with others.

The other reason is because I feel very strongly that my books contribute to my belief that a sex positive lifestyle and approach is highly doable. If I can help someone open themselves up to the possibility of embracing their inner sexual goddess, then it’s worth it. It’s meant the world to me when someone’s come to me and told me that something I wrote on my blog or my book helped spice up their marriage/love life…or better yet, reminded them of the joy and sense of adventure that comes from acting out a fantasy. One is never too old for that!

4)  How does my writing process work?

One time recently, I tried to go by the way of plotters. It was a huge mistake. I talked to a fellow writer, planned the story with her over the phone, then headed off to write it. Yeah, that was the first time I sat down at the computer and the words refused to find a natural flow. Everything was a battle. Worse, once I was done, the characters were stiff, the action ‘flat’ and the story, awkward. It also lacked believability. That particular method didn’t work well at all for me.

Thankfully, it wasn’t difficult to get back to what’s worked for me in the past….I write what comes to me. Usually in chronological order, and definitely by the seat of my pants. I follow the story as it paints itself in my mind. My first draft is always rough, and by my second and third, the original is nearly unrecognizable through the growth of my characters, the dialogue, and the drama. I also usually give myself a week or so off from that particular work in progress between drafts so that I can look at my piece with a fresh set of eyes and a little distance. I find my clarity of vision for the WIP is best during those moments.

Introducing my fabulous writer friends:

KerryAnn

KerryAnnKerryAnn writes from her home in New England which she shares with her husband, daughter, and her two American Eskimo dogs who alternate between being her writing companions and writing distractions.  She prefers to write compelling characters in a variety of genres, but mainly contemporary and young adult fiction.  When she’s not writing KerryAnn usually has her nose in a book – family stories that cross generations, romance, paranormal, historical fiction, as long as it has unforgettable characters, she’s all in. Check out her blog or ‘Like’ her Facebook page!

 

Mae Clair

Mae ClairMae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at http://maeclair.net/
You can also ‘Like’ her Facebook page, Follow her on Twitter, or on Google+.

 

Jessi Gage
Jessi Gage headshot2Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries…you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she’s sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now).
Check out her website, visit her blog, ‘Like’ her Facebook page, Follow her on Twitter, or on Google+.
Please check out these ladies and follow their blogs. Next week will be their turns to share their writing processes. I know that I can’t wait to see what they share. What do you think? Does peoples’ writing process intrigue you? Bore you? What genre do you most enjoy reading?
Yes. What that really means is that I’m asking you to be an active participant on my blog. Say whatever you’d like to say. I’m not exactly easily hurt or offended…and you know how I love good dialogue. 😉

Friendship, History and Howling At The Moon

Probably my first friend when I joined WordPress was the awesome Mae Clair. We “met” early on when I stumbled on her blog. After I commented, she was kind enough to respond and visit my blog in return. Back then I was pretty green, but she must have seen something in me because she kept coming back (and I kept stopping by hers).

Through these little visits we forged a bit of a friendship. I didn’t know much about her except that she was a writer and had recently gotten her manuscript accepted by Lyrical Press and was looking forward to being published for the first time. While I enjoyed her blog posts, especially her Mythical Mondays, I was a bit nervous about her book. You see, I wanted so badly to support her, but I wasn’t sure that her book was going to be my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong… I’m a life long fan of romance. I adore supernatural stories (yes, that includes werewolves, vampires, Valkyries, demons and most of the other shifter/god related characters). My problem? I wasn’t sure about her leading man from the past. I wasn’t much into historicals these days. In fact, my leanings had taken a sharp turn towards the more explicit erotic romances, which this definitely was not! What if I read her book and didn’t like it? I worried for nothing. How foolish was I???

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Mae’s book, Weathering Rock, was jam packed with all sorts of things that drew me in and kept me interested. Seriously. The opening scene had her heroine, a school teacher named Arianna Hart, nearly hitting a man on a horse with a car in the middle of a lightening storm…and not your usual kind of lightening. It was ball lightening! Odder still was the man himself! Handsome, muscled, but with a speech pattern that screamed old world (then again, so did his attire)!

The guy she hit was her hero, Caleb DeCardian, of course! His story is a bit of a mystery… He’s a man out of time…both literally and figuratively. He’s managed to travel from the Civil War era in the 1800’s into today and his nemesis has been following him and taunting him with killings that are steadily escalating. As if that weren’t enough to contend with, when the moon is full, he shifts into werewolf form!

With all the craziness in his life, he doesn’t have time for love! Plus, he’s got a deadly cat and mouse game going with his former best friend who is out to destroy him. Not to mention he’ll be going back to the past (though he has no clue how) once his mission is completed.

Does the book sound exciting enough for you yet? Now I’m not going to spoil the story for you, because I think you should go out and buy it, just like I did. It’s a very strong freshman effort by a wonderful lady from whom I expect great things! In fact, I can’t wait for her next one. Twelfth Sun will be launching on August 5th. Her teasing tidbits that she’s shared on her blog have had me hooked from word Go!

Have you read Mae’s book yet? What did you think? If this sort of story isn’t your cup ‘o’ tea, what do you like to read?

The Greatest Gift

I’ve discovered in life that my favorite thing in the world is to watch someone’s face light up with pleasure when….Yeah…get your minds out of the gutter…I find just the right gift to convey how much I appreciate them. I must not be the only one because my awesome friend, Joe, decided to gift me with the Blog Of The Year 2012 award for Christmas. That means I’ve either been very, very good…or very, very naughty. Since he’s become like a brother to me, I’m betting on the former.

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Here’s the thing….when I started this blog a few months ago I had no idea what I was doing or if anyone would read my stuff…and quite frankly, I wasn’t doing it for them. Along the way, though, I made some great friends. So, I’m embracing Joe’s idea…since I can’t send all my lovely friends Christmas gifts (I’d go broke) or Christmas cards…I wanted to at least gift you with this award to let you know that you helped to make my year an awesome one.

The Rules are:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook page – click the link here ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

Please keep in mind if you aren’t given this gift…it doesn’t mean I don’t love you…or don’t plan on giving you one. In the last 3 days I’ve stacked up 3 of these bad boys so I’m not trying to hit the same people twice…And I’ll be spacing out the awards.  🙂

  • First goes to my first real friend on here…she’s looked out for me, she’s commented on my stuff, she welcomed me with open arms, then included me in some of her challenges and invited me to be part of her Triberr group… Mae Clair, with her talent for writing and her dreamer’s heart, this lady is one in a million. I love her Mythical Mondays best…and I’m wishing her all the success in the world on her books, the first which was also published this year! Check her out!
  • Another of my earliest friends on WordPress is Sheri DeGrom. Her advocacy for Veterans rights is awesome and her heart is just as sweet. She does a great job reviewing women’s fiction and she’s a pretty prolific writer in her own right. Our shared passions for words and music drew us together. If you haven’t been introduced, consider this your introduction.
  • Then there’s Emma Meade, my sexy music buddy…and vampire lover extrordinaire. She loves her supernatural stuff and makes no bones about it. The badder the boy, the sexier she finds him…well, at least on paper.  And she’s got great taste in sexy songs. Did I mention that she, too, has a book out? This awesome Irish woman is wonderful and I’m so glad I met her.
  • Have ya’ll met my girl, Katie? She is a fellow Chi-town girl and rip roaring hilarious! Not only has she lost a shit ton of weight, but she calls things like she see’s them.  She is not ashamed to discuss the fact that she’s cheating on her DVR with her boyfriend…or that she thinks her boyfriend may be stepping out on her with the TV…or about the horrific things that happen in a gym.  (My favorite is her most recent post about panty lines and the assacre it creates, so I linked it in…just so you can share in the hilarity.)
  • What about Miz Vagenda Vixen, who has her page decked out in my favorite…Hello Kitty. She is always looking for the brighter, more colorful side of life…and has a unique dancing style that will keep you in stitches…because all she wants is smiles, bright colors and sunshine…
  • I can’t do one of these awards without including the indomitable Natalie Hartford and her love of Urban Word Wednesday, pink and bedazzlers. There’s hardly anything out of bounds on her blog…except maybe talking bad about Mac…but hey, she’s a self professed Macturbator. Tears and howls of laughter ensue when I’m at her place… The cause nearest and dearest to her heart? MADD…and you should ask her why.
  • My buddy LJ has been the unfortunate victim of Blog loss in the last few months…which has enabled her to migrate over to WordPress…Yay, US! She is a writer friend who has been a huge support to me, and who had great taste in men. (Something I like to encourage). She always has time for a kind word, and that means everything.

These are a few of the people who’ve made a difference to me… I sincerely hope you check them out…and find something worth following, just like I did. For my nominees? I hope you like your early Christmas gifts….:-)

So, I sincerely hope you check out these folks and

Claiming Christmas (with a little help from my friends)

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No post yesterday…I know, bad of me. Usually I give warnings if I’m going to miss. Unfortunately, duty called. Anyway, still in El Paso, so I’m missing my family. As I sat at breakfast this morning, I started looking at pictures of Christmases past and thought I’d share. The above picture is my oldest girl, Isabella…she is such a tolerant girl. She sat with those antlers on her head so we could take pictures and didn’t even try to take them off.

You know who else is great? Hubby! For Christmas a couple years ago he got me this awesome holiday dish set so we could entertain friends and family in festive fun. He knows my entertainer spirit so well! Of course my friend, Natalie, has a hubby with some pretty interesting gift ideas, too!

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On the subject of gifts, my buddy Marcia also has some great ideas on how to help our deficit & economic issues while shopping for the holidays. In fact, I’m taking her up on the challenge and trying it, myself! Care to join us?

As I sat in my hotel lobby, enjoying the fireplace and thinking about different holiday traditions over the years, I came across my friend, Mae’s post on Mythical Monday about Yule logs! It was like she was psychic and knew where I was while I was busy being homesick!

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The thing is, usually hubby decorates the outside for Christmas and I decorate the inside….including putting up the tree. Well, he sent me a picture of outside…

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And he told me that he’s already put up the tree, too, since we’re not sure how long I’ll be away from home. He even volunteered to write out the Christmas cards! He also mentioned something about baking Christmas cookies! I know it’s sweet, but part of me is a bit sad. To comfort myself, I’ve been looking at unique Christmas Tree Ideas for the book lover. It did help me to re-find my smile. Here’s a pic of our tree from Christmas past…

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Now no one quite dressed the Christmas part like my grandpa…well, except maybe Santa! So, finding this old family picture from Christmas Eve a few years back (complete with my cousin’s dog and gramps’ oxygen tank) made me smile… This was one of our last Christmases before he passed away. Check out his snazzy red Christmas pants and sweater! Loved that!

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The guy in the grey suit in the back row? That is my stepdad. He has gluten allergies. For Christmas last year I made him a gift box filled with home made GF treats…bread, chocolate brownies, peanut butter cookies. You get the idea. It was probably one of my favorite gifts to give, too! Like Amber from Journey Of Steps said…nothing replaces the good feelings associated with the true intentions of Christmas!

Now to add the final steps to ensure I don’t become a Christmas Curmudgeon, I need Christmas Carols, people! I need to know all of your favorites…so I can sing them to myself. So help a sister out! What is putting you in the Christmas spirit? What is your all time favorite Christmas song and why? What is the best gift you’ve ever given at Christmas and why? Because nothing makes me Christmas Cheery quite like singing Christmas music. Well, except maybe this adorable girl….

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Look, I Did It!

The lovely Up and Comer Mae Clair has tagged me to take part in the “LOOK” challenge. Mae’s story revolves around a marine archaeologist and a woman 10 years his senior and a treasure hunt. Intrigued? So am I! She has submitted her WIP to her publisher for consideration, so my fingers are crossed for her.

So how does the LOOK challenge work? ‘Tis fairly simple and a lot of fun!

  1. Find the first usage of the word ‘look’ in your WIP and paste the surrounding paragraph into your blog.
  2. Tag as many people as you want to take part in the challenge with you.

My current WIP is still as sketch and has not yet been given a title.

My first use of the word look appears in the first page. My heroine, Fiona Barrett, had just boarded a redeye after a very long day of missed flights and being stranded in airports. She’s tired, cranky and wants to get home. So, of course, that means it’s time to introduce her to the hero. This is from her POV. :

~ooOOoo~

It had been several minutes since the gate attendant had made the final boarding announcement and the flight crew appeared to be making their final arrangements. She looked back toward the main cabin and was glad to see that everyone appeared to have settled in. Grateful she’d had the forethought to pull out her iPad in advance, she figured she’d be sitting solo on this flight. She had just crossed her legs, the swirling pattern on her teal and white cotton skirt riding up to mid-thigh when a man’s voice, like smoke and crushed velvet said, “Beggin’ your pardon, ma’am, but I’m gonna need to slide past you in just a moment.”

~ooOOoo~

Yes, the hero is from the south and comes with a delicious accent. There’s nothing more delicious than a southern voice calling me “Darlin'”…except maybe an Aussie voice. Aussies can say whatever they want, and they’re pretty much guaranteed I’ll find it sexy. It’s my Kryptonite!

Like I said above, this is just a sketch. It’s not yet a full story, nor is it fleshed out. Feedback is always appreciated! Feel free to leave a comment.

According to the rules I can tag anyone I want, but the problem is, I’m new to this particular blog and don’t know very many people yet. The only person I probably would’ve known to tag is Mae Clair, and she tagged me!

So I’m not officially tagging anyone, however, if you’re intrigued or enjoy these challenges, or simply feeling daring…go for it and come back and let me know you did it!