#GuestDayTuesday – Mae Clair Introduces the Murder They Wrote Anthology

So happy to have Mae Clair visiting us today to talk about the Murder They Wrote anthology. I can’t wait to grab a cup of tea, plop down in the Comfy Chair, and get going on this one. I think you’ll feel the same way when you read about all the goodies it contains, so let’s make Mae feel welcome here this morning as she gives us the details. Take it away, Mae! 


Thanks for hosting me today, Marcia! I’m super excited to be here sharing news of an anthology in which I have a short story.  Murder They Wrote brings together seven authors writing in various sub genres of whodunits.

You Can See the Variety by the Blurb:

Murder comes in 7 different genres. By 7 different authors.

Are you a fan of courtroom drama? In the anthology’s first story, Abraham Lincoln defends a friend’s son against a charge of murder.

For lovers of speculative fiction, Jason Fogg dissolves into mist to sneak through open windows and snoop for clues.

How about a cozy? Jazzi, Jerod, and Ansel discover a dead body while renovating a kitchen, dining room, and half bath.

Have a craving for a Regency? Lord Peregrine and his wife, Elizabeth, use their sharp minds and quick wit to solve a murder at a garden party.

Need a bit of literary fiction? A young, lonely widow must deal with the theft of a valuable butterfly collection.

And what about a little psychological horror? Twin sisters discover that their attic is haunted by not one, but two ghosts.

Last, but never least, the anthology concludes with a historical mystery. A young, newly married knight is accused of murdering his obnoxious host at a holiday gathering in his castle.

______________________________________________________________________________

If you’re wondering which one of those stories is mine, it’s the last one.  🙂 

Normally, when I write a mystery, there is an old legend, or a paranormal element involved. Readers know me as a writer who loves creatures, but I wandered in a different direction this time. My story, A Winter Reckoning, is a straight murder mystery with a sizable group of suspects, an isolated location (a snow-bound castle), and—of course—a dead body. <cue theatrical music>

I chose a Medieval setting to tell a tale that I hope will keep readers guessing as they consider and discard suspects. There is a chivalrous romanticism attached to knighthood, and a courtly type of cunning that comes with intrigue. In many ways it is like a chess match.

My father first taught me how to play chess when I was in grade school. I like to think that strategy of manipulating pieces on a gameboard, transferred into manipulating characters in my story. And unless my lead, Sir Richard Essex, discovers who murdered a deceitful nobleman, his own life will end in checkmate.

A Winter Reckoning is just one of seven stories contained in Murder They Wrote, and I think you’ll enjoy the variety. I wish you happy reading and happy sleuthing!

Buy Murder They Wrote HERE


Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

AmazonBookBubNewsletter Sign-Up
Website | BlogTwitterGoodreadsAll Social Media


 

Changes Ahead. (Probably.)

Hi, Folks! Just wanted to let you guys know that I really am planning to get this blog whipped back into shape very soon. I have several ideas for new features, some weekly, some monthly, some whenever. And I’m hoping to bring back at least a few old favorites, too.

Since I’ve missed being able to get out to do my local wildlife presentations, I got the idea that I might like to share some short tidbits from my Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife series. I hope that sounds like fun. I have some great photography from several sources that I’d really enjoy posting now and then. Hopefully some of you will find it interesting. For instance, I’d like to do a short piece on my very favorite bird of prey, the swallow-tailed kite. In fact, I might even start with that one, because–beautiful! See:

So I think you can count on a few #WildlifeWednesday posts now and then. 

I’ve already planned to make Tuesday my permanent #GuestDayTuesday, since it was already used as #ShareAReviewDay. The main difference is that now it won’t be limited to reviews, but rather will be a place where you guys can also share new releases, promotions, and other news about your work.  (BTW, this doesn’t mean you can never share these things on other days of the week. Just email me and I’ll do my best to set you up.)

I definitely plan to get back into our #FirstLineFriday posts, though they might go to every other week, just because I suspect I’m creating a lot more work for myself, here. 

#MondayMemes and #ThorsDaySmiles will be back more often, and I will continue to reblog posts from Story Empire authors and some of my other favorite bloggers.

Now, of course, I plan to continue my writing during all of this, too, since I’ll be releasing The Emissary 3: Love Hurts this week, and starting a brand new Riverbend novel. Hmmm. Here’s hoping I can find a workable routine that will allow me to keep up with these ideas. 

Would love to hear your thoughts, especially on whether you’d be interested in seeing some of the birds, animals, and habitats that make central Florida so much fun. 

And that’s it from me for now. Stay tuned for my first #GuestDayTuesday tomorrow, and then we’ll see how the rest shapes up. 

Remember: Keep Smiling! 
It makes folks wonder what you’re up to. 
😀

#NewRelease – HMS Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

Hi, Everyone! Today, I’d like you to help me welcome my very special guest, C. S. Boyack, to The Write Stuff. Craig is is a friend and fellow author on the Story Empire blog, and he’s here to tell you a bit about his newest book, HMS Lanternfish. I found his information truly fascinating and can’t wait to read this one. I know you’ll see exactly what I mean, so let’s get to it. Take it away, Craig!


Marcia, I’m excited to visit your place today. Thanks for having me back, and know that my door is always open when you need to talk about one of your publications.

I’m here with a new book called HMS Lanternfish. This is the middle volume of a classic trilogy, and I expect to release the final one next year some time. Just to put a label on it, this is a pirate fantasy. It’s full of monsters, adventure, and a bit of humor.

Today, I want to talk about one of the subtle undertones of this series. Readers and fans like to get a behind-the-scenes look at how we tailor our books. This one keeps coming back to the front, and yet, readers might miss it if they aren’t paying attention. It’s about fatherhood.

James Cuttler is my main character. (He goes by the alias of Captain Bloodwater when it suits his purpose.) His father was a notorious operative called a wargler, and started the last war between Hollish and the allies of Prelonia and Saphelon. He was so good that he made the wrong side look like the aggressors and nearly tipped an entire continent on its head.

Eventually, James’s father took him away from the war and hid from the world until his dying day.

James is involved in a struggle to live up to his father, while trying to live down the man at the same time. In book one, he was mistaken for his father and that’s how he got involved in a new continent-wide war.

It goes even deeper, but you have to keep your eyes open for it. If it eludes you, that’s okay. This is just a small extra for those who want to look a bit deeper.

Serang is one of the stronger supporting characters in the story. She spent a considerable part of her life mourning her own father who was a fisherman. She also dedicated a lot of effort to revenge against the dragon turtle that took him. Serang lost her father when she was very young, so she’s further along the adjustment curve. You can read about her struggles in her own book, Serang.

James has a ward now, nicknamed Mule. Mule is a teenager in this book, James considers him a son, and the reciprocal is true as well. Now, while James is struggling with his own issues over his father, he’s trying to be a good parent to his son. He’s trying to keep the boy alive in a dangerous profession, while training him to be a top-notch navigator. There is also the distraction of young love to deal with. Mule is starting to have thoughts about his physical father’s profession that doesn’t involve sailing and piracy. Back to fathers once more, in a kind of triple-lutz way.

Inside HMS Lanternfish, James learns yet another fact about his father’s covert life, and how he was the one to introduce the bigger problem to their shores in the form of a religious cult.

There is a captured slave named Mal. He came from an island of cannibals, and the slavers took his entire family away. There are a few points in the series where he helps James come to grips with things that are out of his control (Like a surrogate father). Eventually, Mal is reunited with one of his own sons, but only one.

HMS Lanternfish has a section where an older pirate, named Chappy, has to deal with the ghost of his own father. Yes, an actual ghost. Told you it was a fantasy. It appears his childhood was not a happy one, but there is still some love for his long departed father hanging on.

I’m also going to talk about King Reynard of Hollish, who hasn’t made a single appearance in the series… yet. This is a boy king, and he’s been pushed by his advisors to finish his own father’s work by taking the entire continent under the flag of Hollish. It seems even royalty lives with the ghosts of their ancestors.

Trust me, the Lanternfish series is full of enough monsters, sea battles, and clashing swords to have a pretty good time without knowing all about fatherhood. There are some readers who like to look below the waves and this post was for them.

I’m going to drop some links, along with a cover and blurb for the new book. I hope some of your fans will find this peek inside my plot intriguing, and thanks for having me over today.

Cover

Blurb: The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.

Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.

HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.

Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more. 

BUY HMS Lanternfish: 99¢ for a limited time.

Also By Craig Boyack:
Voyage of the Lanternfish: Book one of the trilogy.

Serang:
A supporting story about one of the more intriguing characters.

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

BlogMy NovelsTwitterGoodreads | FacebookPinterestBookBub

 

Heads Up!

Just want to let you folks know that tomorrow is the date when WordPress is going to make their new editor our default. I don’t like it. I have continued to use the Classic editor. Now their notification says the Classic editor will still be an option (presumably not our default, but an option). I hope this is true. If not, and I disappear for a day or two, it will be because I’m trying to learn how to use the new one. Under protest, definitely, but if they take my options away, I’ll do my best. 

They have said the Classic editor would continue to be an option for two more years, so I’m counting on that saving my bacon until I am forced to learn how to deal with it. (As if I have time for yet another distraction.) But if that’s how it’s going to be, I’ll figure it out. I just do NOT have time to deal with it over the next few days.

Again, I will do my best to post, especially by Tuesday, so I can continue our Peace Talks Countdown posts. And I’m hoping to do a #FirstLineFriday this week. But all depends on whether I still have my options available. 

Wish me luck! 😀

NOTE: 2020 Conversations with Colleen: Meet Author, Mae Clair, @MaeClair1

My good friend and favorite Penderpal, author Mae Clair, is being interviewed over on Colleen Chesebro’s All The Best – Word Craft Prose and Poetry blog. Here’s a great opportunity to learn a bit more about Mae’s wonderful Hode’s Hill series, as well as some insight into how she writes. It’s a fun interview and I hope you’ll take a minute to stop by and say hello to Mae and Colleen.  Thanks! 🙂 

2020 Conversations with Colleen: Meet Author, Mae Clair

 

Scheduling Change for #FirstLineFriday

Good morning, Everyone!

I have come to the conclusion that my basic time management skills are rudimentary, at best, and possibly totally lacking altogether. I seem to have no realistic sense of how much I can accomplish in any given day or week. Or month. Or year. (I think you see where I’m going with this.)

Because I’ve fallen desperately behind on my current WIP, The Emissary 3, and because my readers are getting restless and emailing me regularly about the release of this one, I decided I have no choice but to cut back a bit on social media, at least until I finish this novella and get it published.

I’ve already slowed down on some of my regular features like #MondayMeme and #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays, for which I apologize, but I’m still too far behind. So  I’ve decided to feature #FirstLineFridays every other Friday until I catch up a bit. I do plan to resume the regular weekly schedule of each of these things as soon as possible, but I hope you’ll understand that for the immediate future, I need to focus on my writing until I get TE3 finished.

This is a temporary situation, and I will be picking up the pace again when I’m more in control of my workload. HONEST. I enjoy this blog too much to disappear completely, so I will still be sharing some things here on the blog, as I’m able. But I think it will be much easier for me to manage if I don’t try to stick to a preset daily schedule. That just becomes a source of frustration when I fail to meet it. 

Thanks so much for your understanding, and rest assured I will be picking up where I left off as soon as possible. In the meantime, I have Jake, Dodger, and Azrael waiting for me to get on with their story, and that’s what I’ll be focusing on. 

 

DON’T WORRY!! Things will be back to normal before you know it! 

NOTE: Since it is a time-sensitive subject, I will continue my weekly Peace Talks Countdown posts, which are pretty much all set to go, already.

 

#TwoferTuesday No. 2 – #BookSale – ALL My Novels!

Just want to let the Immediate World know all of my full-length novels are on sale from now until April 30! Yep! ALL. Of them. 🙂 Here’s the breakdown:

Book 1 of each of my series is always priced lower than the rest of the series, but now through April 30, both Wake-Robin Ridge and Swamp Ghosts can be downloaded for just $1.99! Here’s your chance to start a new series at a bargain price, if you haven’t already read these.

 

Buy Wake-Robin Ridge HERE

Buy Swamp Ghosts HERE

The rest of my novels will be on sale for $2.99 through April 30, too. So if you try Book 1 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series and enjoy it, you can download the other books in the series and save $2.00 on each one.  Included in this bargain price are  A Boy Named Rabbit, Harbinger, and The Light.

Buy A Boy Named Rabbit HERE

Buy Harbinger HERE

Buy The Light HERE

And if you checked out Swamp Ghosts, Riverbend Book 1, and enjoyed it, you can also pick up Finding Hunter and That Darkest Place for the bargain low price of $2.99! 

Buy Finding Hunter HERE

Buy That Darkest Place HERE

Such a deal, right? 😀 Offer good for a limited time only, as they say, so I hope you’ll take advantage while you can. And I also hope you’ll share the news of this sale far and wide. I don’t do this very often, but I thought it might be helpful to lots of folks trying to stave off boredom during their enforced vacations at home. I know I’ve been taking advantage of sales everywhere, and not just on books. It’s one bright spot in this Hot Mess we are all trying to survive.

Thanks, and if you do check any of these out, I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts. 

Touching Base and #Update

Some of you already know this from various posts around social media, but I am officially under “house arrest” for the next few weeks. Because I’m in a high risk group for Covid-19, due to my age, and have three additional strikes against me due to some health issues, I have been advised to stay at home. Period. I’m taking the advice very seriously. I have grandkids I’d like to see grow up, books to write, and friends to enjoy, so I’ve cancelled my local presentations until further notice, and am NOT leaving the house or yard any time soon.

Now, I’ve become more and more of a hermit over the years, even though I’m not particularly introverted. (Some would say not at all introverted.) I stay at home for days and days at a time, never going past the mailbox, and am fine with it, but it’s my own choice. Knowing I have to stay here is a whole ‘nuther kettle o’ fish. However, I’ve made up my mind that this can have benefits in addition to decreasing my risk of getting sick. If you checked out Don Massenzio’s post I shared earlier, you’ll understand what I mean.

I’m actually looking forward to some uninterrupted writing and blogging time again, as soon as I shake this cold I’ve been fighting. (I’m getting better every day, honest.) I also want to catch up with a whole bunch of things around the house and yard that have fallen by the wayside in recent months. So, I’m going to focus on my at home time as a chance to do all of the above. Naturally, I would have preferred to find a way to make that chance come about without the current wretched crisis we are all trying to cope with, but that’s out of our hands, and we just have to make the best of it.

I’m going to miss getting out to talk about Florida wildlife with audiences that have become friends to me, but many of these wonderful folks are seniors, too, and do not need to be attending events where there are mixed audiences around them. No one wants to expose another person to illness, nor be exposed themselves, so cancelling these events is the right thing to do. If you were planning to attend any of the next few, just know that we will be reassessing in a few weeks, and as soon as it’s safe, we will resume our usual schedule. 

I will also be resuming my regular blog features here in another week or so, as soon as my energy level picks up a bit more.

In the meantime, please folks–take this threat seriously and do everything you can to stay safe yourself and to avoid exposing others to this dangerous illness. When we’ve reached the other side of all this, I don’t want to discover there are any faces missing from my my circle of online friends or the audience at my next event!! (Not even MINE!! 😉 )

Stay safe, stay informed, stay WELL! And I promise to try my best to do the same. 

Guest Posting Over at Harmony Kent Online Today!

Just a heads up that I’m a guest on Harmony Kent’s lovely blog today, sharing an excerpt from The Light that’s not been seen anywhere else online. It features Rabbit explaining what he thinks the Brown Mountain Lights are all about, and I hope you’ll check it out. It would be lovely if you could find a minute to share a few places–like everywhere you can think of! 😀 I only visited with four (SUPER!) blogs for my mini-tour, so any and all help in spreading the word would be gratefully accepted. Thanks a million!

The Light by @MarciaMeara