#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.

Universal Purchase Link

bio box for author Mae Clair

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

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Website & Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | All Social Media

Other books by Mae Clair:

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

 

#ExcerptWeek – Rebekkah Ford @RebekkahFord

 

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This morning’s #ExcerptWeek guest is paranormal writer Rebekkah Ford, with an excerpt from Ameerah. I’m very happy to have her with us, and I know you’ll enjoy reading and sharing this one! Rebekkah, the floor is yours.

~~~

Ameerah

We entered an uncarpeted, vacant hallway that branched out on both ends. Several metal doors with bolts lined the walls. The blue paper booties I wore crinkled against the bottoms of my feet sliding across the shiny white floor.

“What did they give me?” I asked when we stepped into the restroom straight across from the room I was in.

Ann led me to a stall with no door, only an off-white partition that separated it from the other johns. “It was a barbiturate used to sedate patients. Sleep therapy is what some doctors dubbed it.” She continued to talk while I emptied my bladder, keeping her word to give me as much privacy as she could.

Once I finished, I went to the sink and cringed at my reflection in the mirror. The right side of my face had a purple, yellowish bruise across my cheek, and the luster in my hazel eyes was gone. My complexion had a grayish cast. Whatever was injected into my body created a carbon copy of myself.

Ann handed me a washrag, and I realized there was no hot water when I went to dampened it. After I cleaned off my eyes and face, we headed down the north side of the hall. I listened to Ann tell me that most of the residents were in the common room, which explained the eerie silence.

“There you are,” a manly nurse with thick forearms and a broad forehead said when we rounded the corner from another corridor. She was heading our way and seemed quite annoyed.

Ann stiffened but held her head high. “Ameerah caught my attention. She needed to use the lavatory, and now I’m taking her to the dining room for lunch.”

“I realize you’re new here, Ann,” the other nurse said, “but we do not call patients by their first name in their presence. Each one has a number.” She pointed at me. “This one is number sixty-four.”

A laugh of disbelief escaped my lips. I couldn’t help it. What type of place was this, sedating people, tying them to a bed, and calling them by numbers instead of their names? I found being called Sixty-four another check in the box under the dehumanization category. “Excuse me,” I said when they looked at me, “I don’t know what type of facility I’m in, but regardless, I have a name. It’s Ameerah. To refer to me by a number is demonizing my identity, so I’d appreciate it if you would stick with my name instead.”

The coarse nurse scowled. “We will do no such thing.”

I made a face. “Why? What’s the purpose in such a demoralizing act? And what the hell is this place?”

Still scowling the nurse snapped, “Watch your mouth.”

“You’re in an insane asylum,” Ann said.

~~~

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Rebekkah Ford

Rebekkah Ford is an award-winning author who writes paranormal fiction. She believes her fascination with the unknown derives from her childhood. When her parents were married, they were the directors of the UFO Investigator’s League. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to extraterrestrial cases. Rebekkah’s upbringing, knowledge, and experiences with the paranormal world, along with her colorful imagination, aids her in creating her stories.

Rebekkah has an irreverent sense of humor, is known to annoy her beloved cat, Church, by singing opera to him (Rebekkah is tone deaf, btw), and she believes having a dirty mind makes boring conversations more interesting.

Buy Ameerah Here:
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The Rocking Chair – Kindle Edition by Debra Mauldin

‘The Rocking Chair’, a paranormal short story, is now available at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DNGZFAW

Blurb

Marissa had faced the loss of her grandmother, mother, and grandfather. She thought she was coping well by throwing herself into her work, but when Marissa started hearing voices and seeing things move, she had to stop and wonder. Was she going insane or was there really an afterlife?

https://authordbmauldin.wordpress.com

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 21 Sam Cheever @samcheever

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Here comes that #MysteryNovember tour bus, and today it’s stopping to pick up author Sam Cheever. Learn more about Sam and her work at the link below, and please don’t forget the part about sharing everywhere you can. We’ll do the same for you, when it’s y our turn. 🙂 Enjoy!

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 21 Sam Cheever @samcheever

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