#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger: End of Day by Mae Clair

Hello, fabulous followers of Marcia’s blog! I’m delighted to be here today as the featured guest blogger. Many thanks to Marcia for generously offering up space for me chat about my latest book—and folklore.

I’ve long held a passion for archaic legends, so it’s only natural those threads creep into most novels I write. In my latest, End of Day, I touch on myths revolving around church grims and burial. If you’re unfamiliar, a church grim is a spirit that stands guard over a chapel graveyard. The grim usually takes the form of a large black dog and is tasked with protecting those buried in the cemetery. It repels predators from the Netherworld including night demons, wights, and phantoms.

an old cemetery with weathered gravestones and a gnarled twisted tree in the background

In days rife with superstition, the custom was to bury a dog alive under the cornerstone of a church. People believed the first soul in a graveyard was responsible for protecting the rest. Since they couldn’t sacrifice a human for the purpose, a dog was substituted—a horrid and barbaric practice.

In End of Day, I altered that belief, adjusting it so that the first person interred in the cemetery became the protector of all the souls that followed—as well as the descendants of those buried in the graveyard. But what happens when the burial plot of that protector is violated and his remains are stolen?

End of Day is a book that features two mysteries—one set in 1799 when the small village of Hode’s Hill comes under attack from a strange creature, and one set in the present day. Both mysteries twine together, merging at the conclusion. As one reviewer said:

“This is a paranormal suspense novel with a dual timeline alternating between the year 1799 and now. A centuries-old curse grips a small town. There are thugs, a sweet dog, monsters, a supernatural talisman, a no-nonsense policewoman, likable characters, despicable characters . . . this book has it all.”

I hope I’ve intrigued you enough to read the blurb and to consider adding End of Day to your TBR list. Although this is the second book in my Hode’s Hill series, it also can be read as a standalone. In closing, many thanks again to Marcia, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my post!

book cover for End of Day by Mae Clair shows an old abandoned church with a graveyard in the backgroundBlurb
The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

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bio box for author Mae Clair

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118 thoughts on “#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger: End of Day by Mae Clair

  1. So happy to have you here today, Mae! You are the first #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger this year, and I’m very excited to have your help getting this series up and running again–and that doesn’t even include how happy I am that you’ve started us off with such a wonderful post! I never knew about graveyard grims. Very interesting–and creepy, too! Truly, I love this series of yours so much that I’m especially thrilled to have you share End of Day with us.

    Folks, if you haven’t yet read Book 1 in the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night, let me tell you, I thought it was Mae’s very best work out of all her great books. Then I read End of Day and realized that she’d outdone herself once more. It is simply terrific! I highly recommend all of Mae’s books, but these two are my very favorites. So far! 🙂

    I hope you all enjoy today’s post as much as did, and thank you again, Mae, for being our guest! You are welcome here any time! ❤

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Pingback: Friday Feature | From the Pen of Mae Clair

  3. Thanks for that fulvous welcome, Marcia—and also for inviting me to spend Friday with you and your readers. I honored to be the first blogger kicking off your series (I spread the word about it on my blog too). And wow—I LOVE your enthusiasm about my new series with Cusp of Night and End of Day. Music to this writer’s ears! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I meant every word, Mae, and thanks for not only being the first guest blogger of this year, but for sharing the news on your blog, as well. I’ll be visiting over there soon. (Gotta get ready for an appointment before too long, but I’ll be back here before you know it.)

      BTW, I’m eagerly awaiting the 3rd book in this series, so write like the WIND, my friend! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I can only echo what’s already been said. Mae is a fantastic writer who always seems to top her previous work. That’s something all writers strive to do, but she already has the bar set so high. Her talent is boundless and her work always engaging.

    Marcia, thank you for highlighting someone who truly fits the title of the feature. She is fabulous.

    And Mae, I love the folklore. The way you took the legend of the grim and made it your own was a highlight of the novel. Great job.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. So sweet of Marcia to have you guest post, Mae

    How interesting to learn where you got the idea for the cemetery protector. I thought End of Day was really cool. I like the review you quoted, too.:-) I wonder what legend you’re going to sneak into the next Hode’s Hill book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger is a feature I used to run weekly, Priscilla, before my life got interrupted a bit. I’m trying to reestablish all the features I loved so much, and this is where I’m beginning. I was thrilled when Mae agreed to be my first featured blogger this time around, and I hope to be having a new guest each Friday, though it might take me a bit longer to get it all organized. At any rate, Mae said yes, and here she is, and I couldn’t be happier! Glad you enjoyed her fabulous post! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I so enjoyed this post! Whoever wrote the review for your book did a wonderful job. It does have it all. It’s one of my favorites that you’ve written, but your books are always good. I can count on that. And the collage of all of your books is wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Judi. I really appreciate those thoughts and the support. There were so many good reviews to choose from but I only wanted a snippet so I pulled that from Priscilla Bettis’s review. There was so much going o nin that book and those few lines touched on most everything. Thanks for visiting with me and Marcia today!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That does seem to be a trend with many old churches. I just read a blog post recently about shrinking congregations and the reason chapels are abandoned then redone as apartments or even cafes. The old chapel in the tiny town where I grew up is now home to a restaurant, but the outside still looks like the church I remember.

      I love walking through old graveyards and studying the headstones….thinking about the lives of the people who lived so many decades and centuries ago. Another church in my area that dates back to the 1700s has the grave of a Native American princess. The original stone is still there although it is almost impossible to read. It still stands but the church placed another more modern marker in front of it so that people would know it marked the resting spot of Princess White Feather.

      And then there are the soldiers buried there from the American Revolution. So much history!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I always love hearing about your research Mae. It always adds anorher dimension to the story. Sometimes the things that used to be done give me nightmares, too. Happy to see your amazing book here on Marcia’s blog:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m happy to see it here, too, D.L! And to see you here, as well. I’ve got lots of Fridays coming up, so I hope that many of you wonderful writers will be eager to do a #FabulousFriday post in the weeks ahead. 🙂 ❤ And Mae's research turns up the most wonderful things. (I'm still mind-boggled at BLUE people! 😯 )

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Denise. I was so happy when Marcia asked if I’d like to participate in her Friday feature. I hadn’t previously shared the legend that inspired End of Day, so I was delighted to finally sit down and concentrate on putting a post together. I agree that some of the old superstitions and the practices they inspired were wretched. They do however make for interesting fiction!

      Thanks for visiting today!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Robbie, that is wonderful to hear. Thank you so much. I look forward to your review.

      And, yes, black dogs factor into so many different myths and bits of legend across countries. I love researching folklore, and I believe you have a passion for it too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Celtic myth of the Black Dog as a harbinger of death inspired The Hound of the Baskervilles and many other tales. And the early settlers in the Appalachian mountains brought it along with them. They call him Ol’ Shuck, and he’s still considered a harbinger of death. He was also my inspiration for my book of the same name. I believe lots of things have been written about him, and other iterations of black dog stories from other countries. Funny how a common thread like that will weave through the folklore from all sorts of places around the globe.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Love how you made use of Ol’ Shuck with Rabbit, Marcia. I can’t wait to see what you do with the Brown Mountain Lights. That’s another bit of folklore I Loveland I know you’re weaving into Rabbit’s next story!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I am. And all the while, i’m singing to myself, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong, can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish this song?”
            😀 Hehehehe. I had fun with Ol’ Shuck, just as I’m sure you did with the blue people. Of course, unlike the blue people, Ol’ Shuck is merely a legend. I hope. 😯 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Mae is a fabulous first guest, Marcia! I’m a huge fan of Mae’s work, and forever grateful for both the wonderful support she shows other authors and her friendship. I can’t wait for the release of “Eventide”😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for those kind words of support, Michele, and for visiting today. I am overwhelmed by the support everyone has shown. I’m thrilled to help Marcia relaunch her Friday guest blogger series!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Michele! I thought she’d be perfect to re-launch this series, and I can see I was right! Mae’s work has impressed a whole lotta folks, and this post was absolutely fantastic! So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Good discussion, Mae and Marcia. I’m so glad you changed that superstition (about dogs). I can’t read stories where dogs are hurt. People, not as big a deal but dogs are innocents. One more reason to grab that book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have trouble with animals being hurt or killed in books, too. And I simply can’t read any books about truly bad things happening to children. I get those images in my mind, and they haunt me forever!

      Glad you enjoyed this post and the ensuing discussions, Jacqui. I was thrilled to have Mae here and very pleased with the lovely comments that followed. Thanks for stopping by, and yes, you MUST grab that book. Hode’s Hill is full of all kinds of strangeness, for sure! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • There’s no way I could bury a dog alive in End of Day, Jacqui. The idea makes me shudder, bu the superstition does come into play in a pivotal way. I’m glad you stopped by to check out the post. Many thanks!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This is fascinating, Mae. I’m so looking forward to End of Day. I can never put your books down, so I’m waiting for a free evening to delve in. 🙂
    Marcia, thanks for sharing. Your support of fellow writers is amazing!
    Cheers to you both. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t know what Mae Clair has found out about that, but according to Webster, the word (as we know it) has been in use since before the 12th century. I’m guessing the term for the graveyard guardian came from the actual word, rather than vice versa. But I’ll be interested in hearing what Mae says. 🙂 OH, Maaaeee????

      Liked by 2 people

        • I know that centuries ago, they called toothaches “having a grim tooth,” and of course, there’s the grim reaper, which has been around a long, long time. So I’m still guessing they called their guardian a Grim, because even THEY knew the practice was hideous. But again, I sure can’t claim any knowledge except what I read in the dictionary, and the one I was reading didn’t cite the origin of the word, just the age of it. So, who knows. And I agree, Mae, very grim practice, indeed. Most especially the way it turned out in End of Day. Eeeeeeep. 😯

          Liked by 1 person

    • It was certainly a “grim” practice, Rob. I’m glad the post was enlightening. It’s amazing the practices and superstitions that you can find in folklore. Thanks for visiting and checking out my post!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Job done – although this genre is slightly outside of my usual reading habits, I’m too captivated by the idea not to add it to my TBR list!
    It’s always good to read a new genre now and again, but to revisit the Harry Potter references, will somebody PLEASE tell me where I can purchase a time-turner like Hermione has?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Well, I’m sufficiently scared that I’ve now created a new Pinterest board titled “Books I want to Read”.
    Amazing, too, what horrible things our ancestors did because they didn’t know better. Mind you, some superstitions were charming.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a great idea for a Pinterest board, Cynthia. I should do the same.
      And yes, those old superstitions were both frightening and fodder for research. Of course, as you said, some of them were charming, too.

      Liked by 2 people

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