Spiritualists, Houdini, and a New Release! #CuspOfNight

Marcia was kind enough to invite me to share my upcoming release, Cusp of Night with readers of The Write Stuff. Thanks, Marcia! 🙂

I’m jazzed to be here with this novel that twines two timelines in a tale of mystery and suspense. Cusp releases on June 12th, but you can pre-order your copy now from any major bookseller, through this link.

Part of the book addresses spiritualistic practices of the nineteenth century. The research was riveting!

Most seances of that time were held in dimly lit rooms, with the “sitters” often divided by gender. The medium opened with a prayer or a hymn. The use of musical instruments was also common, and played an important part of the evening. Spirits frequently chimed in with ghostly instruments, giving sound to horns, trumpets, and bells. Often these instruments would fly about the room, soaring above the heads of the sitters who clasped hands or pressed their palms to the tabletop, fingers touching. Glowing images often appeared—anything from full manifestations to disembodied faces or ghostly hands that would touch the sitters on the back or shoulders.

It may seem odd to us that people of the era could be fooled by pieces of cheesecloth said to be “ectoplasm” or ghostly hands controlled by air pumped through rubber tubes, but mediums of the 1800s were as much showmen and magicians as they were practicing spiritualists. The country was hungry to communicate with the dead, especially after the massive loss of life during the Civil War. After honing their skills on the dingy circuit, there was an abundance of amateur magicians and charlatans ready to step up and fill the voracious call for mediums. Practitioners of the day weren’t above advertising their skills in the classified ads and lining their pockets.

Harry Houdini demonstrates how a medium might produce ectoplasm using a streamer of fine cloth

By Harry Houdini (“Spirit Tricks”. Popular Science. December, 1925.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Some of the most notable mediums of the time were cited for fraud repeatedly, yet people still flocked to them, fully aware they’d been tagged as cheats. None of that mattered in the fervor of reaching through the Veil to Summerland, a place where the dead resided, and might communicate with the living.

Although, taken at a later date than Cusp of Night is set, the photo on the left shows Harry Houdini demonstrating one way in which a medium produced fake ectoplasm.

In my book, Cusp of Night, Lucinda Glass—a medium of the late 1800s—reaches out to Maya Sinclair, a librarian whose life changed the moment she was injured in a car accident. For a period of two minutes and twenty-two seconds, Maya was clinically dead.

Here’s a closer look at the blurb:

Banner ad for cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by author, Mae Cllair

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

PRE-ORDER HERE

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Other Social Links

bio box for author, Mae Clair

 

Let’s take this show on the road!

Look what’s rolling out, starting tomorrow–the Story Empire Roadshow Bookmobile tour! There are giveaways at most every stop, reduced prices on a treasure-trove of fabulous ebooks and grand prizes when the week wraps up. Hop on the bookmobile and join us, starting on Monday, April 3rd!

Story Empire

Hey gang, Craig here. As you know, Story Empire is a cooperative effort of six talented authors. We try to bring you some wonderful content on this blog, but we’re all authors, too. Doing a bit of collaborative promotion is part of the deal.

This week we’re going on the Story Empire Roadshow. All six of us are doing a blog tour, there will be some deep discounts on our books, and maybe a few freebies along the way. Watch for the Story Empire Bookmobile out in blogland, and tell your friends about it. You might find some wonderful new blogs to follow, too.

For myself, I’m doing some discounts on my books, and giving a couple away, but you’ll have to follow the tour to get the exact dates. At the end, the two most prolific commenters will win some awesome coffee mugs I had made with a graphic…

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Grab a FREE romance ebook today!

Hi, Write Stuff followers! 🙂 A friend of mine has a breezy, flirty book available for FREE download. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share it with you. Don’t miss your chance to grab Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree. Please help her spread the word. This is definitely on my TBR!

Lizzie Chantree

Jump into a new contemporary romance read, with a FREE copy of Babe Driven

babe-driven-twitterad-quote

Driving straight out of trouble and into paradise!

A laugh out loud, contemporary romance read full of humour and sizzling beaches.

Free to download 03/24-03/28/2017

Harriet’s crazily successful business idea is under serious threat, and the danger seems to be coming from inside her own family. She whisks her sister and her friends away to an exotic location to try and work out whose side they are on. It’s time to start damage limitation.

When the girls arrive at the glorious villa owned by Harriet’s maverick business partner Nikki, they find a gorgeous band and their sexy lead singer Max staying next door, out to entice their new neighbours into all kinds of trouble.

This isn’t a holiday for Harriet and she can’t afford to be distracted. She has to sell her business idea to the powerful…

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Welcome Nonnie Jules, President of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writers–International Society of Authors

I’ve got a wonderful guest on my blog today. Nonnie Jules is an amazing woman who started and is president of the Rave Reviews Book Club, a fabulous organization for writers. I can’t say enough about how much this fabulous group has done in getting my books noticed. Nonnie is also the founding member of Rave Writer’s–International Society of Authors. I’d love if you’d pop over and check out her post today!

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Hoy, boy! Do I have a special guest for you today, gang! I am honored to be hosting Nonnie Jules, the woman whose vision became Rave Reviews Book Club. Please welcome the president of RRBC and the founding member/president of the Rave Writers International Society of Authors! I’m thrilled to have her here today for an awesome Q&A and personal post!

Banner logo for author Nonnie Julies, president of Rave Reviews Book ClubHow long have you been writing?
This will sound cliché, but I really have been writing all my life, at least since the 3rd grade.  I became a published author in 2012.

How many books have you authored? Please share the titles of up to three.
I have authored 3 books, and co-authored one.  The titles are “THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,” and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS.”  I can’t list the co-authored title because…

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Hootsuite, Twitter Lists, and Tweeps #MondayBlogs

I have a post up at Story Empire today that a lot of readers are finding helpful. If you’ve ever wondered how to use Twitter, Twitter Lists and Keywords in conjunction with Hootsuite, pop on over and give it a looksee. You might find something of value 🙂

Story Empire

Hello, SEers! Mae here.

I think most of us are familiar with Twitter lists, but I’ve heard from a few people who aren’t using Twitter in conjunction with another program like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, either of which make your tweeting life a lot easier. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to stick with my preferred platform, Hootsuite, but either will get the job done.

As a basic reminder, to create a Twitter list:
Open Twitter
Click your profile icon photo (upper right)
Select LISTS
Scroll down slightly and select CREATE LIST

In the pop up box you’re able to name your list, give it a brief description (i.e, mystery authors) and decide whether you want to make the list private or public. A private list can only be accessed by you. Making a list “public” allows other Tweeps to use it as well. A list can be as…

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Lessons I Learned from My Cat #writing #cats

Busy? Running this way and that? Stressing over the latest WIP deadline? Today, over at Story Empire, I’m sharing a post about lessons for slowing down that I learned from my cat. Yes, cat, LOL. I thought a few of you might be interested in checking it out.

Story Empire

Hi, friends. Mae here with a post about patience, that elusive quality which frequently slips through our fingers. If you’re scratching your head, wondering who has time to be patient when a writer’s life is so demanding, slow down and have a seat.

Yes, we’re often flying in several different directions. Writing, editing, critiquing, engaging in promo, Tweeting, Facebooking…you get the picture. Multi-tasking isn’t a function, it’s a way of life.

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to Onyx, my beautiful black domestic shorthair. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to him early in 2012 when he passed away from cancer, but we had thirteen wonderful years together. During that time he taught me several things, foremost among them patience.  Cats have an endless supply of that all-elusive, mystical quality.

A cat can outwait time.

black cat lying in sunlight on carpeted floor with back to camera Onyx, a master at relaxing. And looking good while doing it!

Onyx…

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Assessing my October Promotions

Authors, if you’ve done any kind of promo for your books (giveaways, reduced price, free) you’ll find this post from C. S. Boyack over at Story Empire interesting. Craig takes a look at a number of different promos he’s run and the results he netted from each!

Story Empire

I started gearing up for October promotion way back this Spring. It involved an email exchange with Mae Clair that led to forming the Story Empire collective. That includes the formation of this blog, and our mutual promotions.

I also wanted to do a bunch of solo promotion, and that’s what this assessment is going to be about. Regular followers of my blog know I do assessments from time to time, and since they can be helpful to my fellow authors, I thought this might be a good place to post one. I may touch upon the Story Empire promotions, but it’s too soon for an assessment of our group efforts.

Assessments are like any other numbers game. You can make the numbers tell you anything you want. If you look at money spent vs. money earned, my promotions were all losers. That doesn’t give you the whole picture though…

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Goodreads #Giveaway: A Cold Tomorrow by Mae Clair #Mothman #PointPleasant Book 2

I thought I’d share the Goodreads giveaway my publisher has going on for A COLD TOMORROW, the second book in my Point Pleasant series. It can be read as a stand alone, and is centered around the urban legend of the Mothman, mysterious Men in Black and UFOs.

From the Pen of Mae Clair

December is approaching, and with it, the release of book 2 in my Point Pleasant saga,  A Cold Tomorrow. In anticipation of the December 20th release, Kensington Publishing is running a Goodreads giveaway for residents in the US and Canada. This is your chance to win a print copy of the book while helping a hard-working author out in the process.

Er…that would be me, folks. 🙂

GR giveaways do wonders for getting books noticed with increased exposure, so I hope you’ll take a moment to hop over and enter. It will be a huge help to me, so please accept my gratitude in advance.

I’m currently busily working on book 3 of the series, but I have a special fondness for book 2. I’ve heard many writers find the middle book the most difficult to write. I didn’t encounter that problem, but it could be due to my fondness for the subject matter—UFOs, Men in Black…

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The Four Elements of a Horror Story

In the spirit of Halloween, enjoy this post on the elements that combine to make a good horror story…there’s some goodies in the mix, too 🙂

P.S…Marcia is having computer woes at the moment but will be back up to speed soon and back to blogging. Keep your eye on this spot for her return! 🙂

Story Empire

BOO!

frightDid I scare you? Probably not. It’s pretty hard to take someone by surprise when you tell them in advance (in my case, by this blog’s title) you’re about to discuss horror and fright.

Or is it?

If that were true, horror legends like H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Stephen King wouldn’t be household names.

So how do writers, working with only words on a page, manage to raise heart rates and goosebumps in their readers? They can’t rely on camera angles and creepy music to build suspense.

But that’s what the horror genre is all about, isn’t it? The buildup of suspense.

Because of Halloween, October is the month we focus on the macabre. Ghost stories, slasher movies, psychological thrillers. I’ve long been a student of the craft of writing, and this is the perfect time to analyze the components of a successful horror work.

The…

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Welcome to the Paranormal Bar and Grille #ScavengerHunt #Giveaway

Happy Monday, Everyone. I thought I’d share this post related to all the giveaways the authors of Story Empire and I are kicking off today. Check it out and enter for your chance to win up to sixteen prizes, almost all of them Amazon gift cards! Have fun 🙂

From the Pen of Mae Clair

Welcome, traveler! The authors of Story Empire (Staci Troilo, C.S. Boyack, Sandra Cox, Harmony Kent and I) have a huge Halloween giveaway kicking off today. There are multiple gift cards and ebooks up for grabs, plus lots of fun with several scavenger hunts.

You’ll find us hanging out at the Paranormal Bar & Grille, a spooky establishment with a questionable clientele. Well, questionable if you consider vampires, gargoyles, witches, creatures of urban legend and other supernatural beings unusual. Grab a tankard at the bar, sit down for a chat, and then embark on the scavenger hunts, collecting goodies along the way.close up of bar with old bottles and urns

You can find the main page here with links at the bottom to each of the individual scavenger hunts we’re offering. Each hunt offers you the chance to win a $15.00 Amazon gift card, a $10.00 Amazon gift card and multiple ebooks. That’s fifteen, not…

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