Eventide, from the Hode’s Hill Series

If you thought the excerpt Mae Clair shared from Eventide on Monday was something, check out her guest post today on Craig Boyack’s Entertaining Stories. Holy Moly! (Be sure to pass it along, once you finish gasping!) 😀

Entertaining Stories

Mae Clair is one of my favorite people. She’s a partner over at Story Empire and one hell of an author. She’s here today to tell us about Eventide, which wraps up her Hode’s Hill Series.

I would appreciate it, and I know Mae would, if you would use those sharing buttons at the end of her guest post.

Hi, Craig. Thanks for hosting me today with my new supernatural suspense/mystery release. Eventide is the last book in my Hode’s Hill mystery series. As in the first two novels, Cusp of Night and End of Day, I’ve chosen to use dual timelines with dual mysteries that converge at the end. 

It’s challenging writing a book with more than one timeline. In essence, the author has to plot two separate stories, balancing two separate sets of characters, then…

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An Update on #ShareAReviewDay

I know I said I was going to be resuming #ShareAReviewDay starting tomorrow, 1/7, but I was a bit over-optimistic. I’m still trying to catch up with a ton of stuff, while trying to pace myself by not over-doing. And my local presentations are starting up again this coming Saturday, so I’m not totally organized yet.

Okay, who am I kidding? I’m never totally organized! But I’m usually closer to it than I am right now. With that thought in mind, I’m going to resume #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays (one of my favorite regular features) on Tuesday, 1/21, and I’ve already got one review set up for that morning. I like to do two per Tuesday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and it’s always on a first-come, first served basis.

If one of your books has gotten a new review you’d like to share, or you have an older review you’d like to get in front of some new readers, please check the instructions in the header above under “General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions.” All you have to do is email me the things listed there, and I’ll set you up in the next available slot. (The first one to reach out to me gets the afternoon slot for 1/21!)

Be forewarned: When I don’t get enough reviews from you guys, I start sharing my own.  😀 

I hope to hear from a few of you in the next week or two, so I can start scheduling you. Let’s let everyone see what readers are saying about your books! 

Now, back to your previously scheduled programming.
😀

#NewRelease – #Eventide by Mae Clair

So happy to welcome Mae Clair to The Write Stuff today with news of the release of her latest novel, Eventide. I’ve already got this one on my Kindle and after enjoying Books 1 and 2 so much, I can’t wait to read it. And just look at this fabulous cover! 

So without further ado, let’s get right to it. Take it away, Mae! 

~~~~~~

Hi, Marcia. Many thanks for having me as a guest today! I’m delighted to be here today promoting my upcoming release, Eventide, the final book in my Hode’s Hill series of novels. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Eventide is an archaic way of saying “evening” or “twilight.” All three books in the series play off this theme:
Cusp of Night
End of Day
Eventide

Each refers to that moment when daylight fades and twilight encroaches. I’ve always considered these “betwixt times,” never fully anchored in one period, but gradually transitioning into the next. From the time I was a child, I was fascinated by the idea. I’ve also always loved the word eventide, but when it came to choosing titles for my Hode’s Hill series, I initially headed down a different path.

The original title for Cusp of Night was The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill after one of the characters in the book. I had planned to use color in all three titles, but my publisher wanted something short and mysterious. I must have gone through three dozen suggestions before I came up with Cusp of Night. It was the last on a long list I sent to my publisher—tossed on as an afterthought—but the one they ended up choosing. After that, the two successive titles were easy, and the theme was born.

I think it works well for books that are part mystery and part supernatural suspense. There’s even a little bit of cozy in each given the sleuthing my female characters undertake.

In this short excerpt Madison Hewitt is digging for information about an old home she purchased. She talking to a co-worker, Karen, who seems to know something about the home’s previous owner.

~~~~~

Madison sighed. “The house is really old, and I’m trying to find out whatever I can about the place. If you know something—”

 “Like what?”

 “I don’t know.” After several unusual experiences, she needed Karen to be forthcoming. “It’s just…an odd place. You mentioned rumors. Said there were things that happened there.”

 “Yeah.” Karen’s hands stilled. She stared at the letters in front of her as if debating something. After a moment, she closed her eyes, drew a breath, then shifted her attention to Madison.“You remember I told you I had a cleaning business? Vera Halsey was one of my clients.”

 “The woman who owned the house?” Madison had never made direct contact with her during the sale. “I understand she passed away in a nursing home.”

 “That’s what I heard, too. But she stopped my services months before she got sick. She was only in her early sixties, but something happened, and she started wasting away.”

 Madison had always assumed she was up in years, eighty or more. “That’s horrible.”

 “Strange is how I see it.” Karen smoothed an envelope between her fingers. “Everything about her was odd. The house, too.”

 “What do you mean?”

 “I wish I could explain it better. I had two people working for me. Both said they’d quit before going back again. I was the one who ended up cleaning for Vera. After a while, I got used to”—she looked away—“things.”

 Madison’s pulse ticked higher. “What do you mean?”

 “I don’t want to scare you.”

 Madison held her gaze.

 “Okay.” Karen leaned forward and lowered her voice as if sharing a secret. “It was just a sense of something always there…like being watched. The girls I had working for me said they heard people arguing when no one was around.”

 Madison’s fingers tightened on her coffee cup. “Did you?”

 “Once. Maybe twice. There were other things, too. Doors that shut on their own, cold spots, rancid odors. Sometimes I’d see someone from the corner of my eye and turn, but no one was there. Occasionally, some of my supplies would go missing only to show up in another room. The last week I was there, I swear someone tried to shove me down the steps.”

~~~~~

Sound a little creepy? There’s much more to the history of this house. You can discover the complete story by reading Eventide and discovering the secrets that lie within. Thank you in advance for your consideration! 🙂

Universal Purchase Link

BLURB:

The darkness is coming . . .  

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?
 
Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

Order Eventide HERE

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

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Website | BlogTwitterGoodreadsAll Social Media

 

 

A Hero’s Journey Begins

Kids these days… what do they have to say to writers, readers, and citizens of the World?

ShiftnShake

Once upon a time, just about eighteen years ago, a child was born, the first and only of close friends, and while I am in fact neither his aunt nor godmother, I have been referred to as both. In the boy’s fourth grade year I was referred to as Mrs. Avery as I was his teacher in a class I remember well, a class that loved to learn and that delighted in the fairy tales read to them.

Now the boy is a young man in his last year of high school. Writing the essay that I share here (in italics) was a part of his preparations for going out into the world.

Everyone has topics that they can completely immerse themselves in. For some it’s sports; for others, acting and singing.

I used the timeless-placeless introduction that I did because I feel like this young man’s essay might connect…

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#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz, and the Names of Our Winners!

Woohooo! So happy to have #FirstLineFriday back, and this week, I’m also happy to announce we have some winners! Four, to be exact, which is great since I consider this opening line to be pretty tricky. Everyone should be familiar with the title of this one, since it has been around a long time, and was published in 1951, nearly 70 years ago!

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” is the opening line of J. D. Salinger’s award-winning novel, Catcher in the Rye. 

The book was included in Time Magazine’s 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923,  and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century! I read Catcher in the Rye in high school, in 1961 or 1962, so nearly sixty years ago. I suppose that’s why I didn’t recognize that very unique (and unbelievably LONG) opening line, either. I’m planning to read it again, because any book that’s still being acclaimed after all these years is worth a second look, even if Salinger ended up as one of the most famous hermits of his generation. 

There is a certain amount of controversy about this book, given today’s vastly different cultural climate, but this isn’t the place to discuss that, thanks. Our contest is about testing our knowledge of book trivia, seeing the vast differences in ways to open a novel, and studying what makes opening lines effective. 

Congratulations to this week’s winners, Olga Nunez, Teri Polen, Flossie Benton Rogers, and Darlene Foster. Way to go, Ladies! Be on the lookout for your gift from Amazon or for Olga a PDF file of your choice. 

BLURB:

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories–particularly A Perfect Day for BananafishUncle Wiggily in ConnecticutThe Laughing Man, and For Esme With Love and Squalor–will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children. The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.

Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

Buy Catcher in the Rye HERE

Thanks so much for playing, and I’m already looking forward to next week’s #FirstLineFriday quiz. Stay tuned!

#FirstLineFriday #Giveaway #FreeDownloads

It’s been a long time, but finally, our #FirstLineFriday quiz is back! I’m going to be very, very interested in seeing who gets this one, as I’m pretty sure every one of you has heard of this book, though many may not have actually read it. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

As always, the rules are simple:

  1. Be one of the first five people to email me before the game ends at noon, with the title and author of the correct book. 
  2. Do not reply here on the blog. Email only: marciameara16@gmail.com
  3. Honor System applies. No Googling, please.
  4. Submissions end at noon, or when I receive 5 correct answers, whichever comes first.
  5. Winners who live in the U.S. may request a free download of any one of my books for themselves, or for someone of their choice. OR, if they’ve read all of the offered books, they may request a free download of my next publication.
  6. Winners who live elsewhere may request a PDF or Mobi file of the same books, since Amazon won’t let me gift you from the site.

Now, without further ado, here is your first #FirstLineFriday quiz of 2020:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

Remember, email answers only. I’ll be on the alert for your guesses. Good luck, everybody!

#HappyNewYear!

There are many things I could reflect upon today, thinking back over the last year, but I find I’m not really in the mood for reflection. I’m in the mood to look ahead, hoping that 2020 is a great year for all of us. With that thought in mind, I decided to share some advice I gave myself a couple of years ago, and that I enjoy passing along from time to time, in case anyone else needs encouragement. Some of you may have read these words before, but I think they bear repeating now and then. Reminders never hurt, right? Especially at the dawn of a new year. 

For others, maybe you’ll be inspired to take that first step toward a new goal or two. This could be the year you stop thinking about it and DO it, you know. And that’s what I’m wishing for everyone with a dream they haven’t dared to follow. 

MAKE 2020 THE YEAR YOU
GO FOR IT!

  • Don’t think you can’t. You can.
  • Don’t wait for permission. You don’t need it.
  • Don’t wait for the time to be perfect. It never will be.
  • Don’t let age or lack of experience slow you down. The first is irrelevant, and the second will disappear as you make progress.
  • Do get up every day with the knowledge that your dream is worth the effort.
  • Do work hard. There are no shortcuts.
  • Do keep an open mind. There may be a better way to accomplish your goal.
  • Do remind yourself of your dream daily. Post It notes, memes, whatever it takes.
  • Do love what you’re doing. A labor of love is always the most rewarding work.
  • Do aim for your very best work, and never settle for less.

~~~

Remember, one idea, one step, one thing gained at a time, and before you know it, the mountain has been climbed, and the dream has become a reality! 🙂 ❤

Happy New Year!

 

 

#Goodbye2019 and #Hello2020 #Updates

Glory be! As I take a look back over 2019, one thing stands out to me above all else. In spite of new health issues, a serious fall, and a jam-packed schedule, I managed to end the year still standing! (And still crazy, after all these years!) Yep. I’m here, I’m mostly healed up again, and while I’m glad to see the backside of 2019,  I’m eager to tackle 2020 with optimism and hope, ready for the adventures that lie ahead. Hope you guys are, as well.  

On the blogging front, I’m also ready to start resuming many of my regular features. I think I will bring them “online” one at a time, and I’m going to start with #FirstLineFriday this week. If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s pretty simple. I give you a famous first line and you EMAIL me with your guess as to the book it opens. The first five correct answers win a download of any of my books. Sometimes, we have an author offering a free download of one of their books as an additional prize choice. The full details can be found in the header above by clicking on General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions. Tune in Friday at 8:00 EST for this fun challenge (which ends at NOON), and don’t forget, it’s about more than winning a prize. It’s a chance to study some of the best opening lines out there, and learn ways to improve our own. Hope to see you there.

Next week, I will bring back #ShareAReviewDay Tuesdays. Full instructions for that are in the same link mentioned above. If you have a new or favorite review you’d like to share here, email me with the items listed in the header bar above, and I’ll set up your post and schedule it. I only do two per Tuesday, morning and afternoon, to maximize exposure time, and I set these up in the order in which I receive the requests. I’ll notify you via email as to the date your post will be going live so you can check it out (to be sure I didn’t make any errors) AND respond to comments on your review. Looking forward to getting this one going again!

I will also be adding some new features over the weeks ahead, and will be continuing my #MondayMeme feature (memes about writing/reading/books) and #ThorsdaySmile (memes about anything I find amusing). So, stay tuned for things to get back to normal around here. Or as normal as it’s ever been, anyway. 😀 

Don’t forget, you are also welcome to email me about promos, new releases and other news you’d like to share. If possible, we’ll help you get the word out. That’s what this blog is all about. Authors helping authors.

And last, on top of the blogging and my newly revised and SUPER busy schedule of local events, I’m planning to–wait for it!–write another book!!! Yes. The writer in me is dying to get out, and so happy to be working on something new. So, be forewarned: Jake, Dodger, and Azrael are about to have another adventure as I get going on The Emissary 3. And when it’s done and out in eBook format, I will combine these three novellas into a set and publish them in print, too. 

SO! Lots to do in the next twelve months. Roll on, 2020! I’m ready for ya!

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4 

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody 

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love 

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:
The Write Stuff
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter: @marciameara

#2020EventSchedule #BuildingALocalReadership #CentralFloridasFabulousWildlife #SpringTea

My favorite part of marketing is building a local readership. I’ve shared things about this many times, so many (most?) of you know this. I have this year’s dates scheduled, and know what I’ll be doing for January and February, though the rest are still To Be Announced. (Gotta see how many new slide shows I can put together, and which of my older programs have received requests for “reruns.”) But for those of you in this area, here is what I have so far. (NOTE: If you are a regular attendee, mark your calendars for the following dates, and stay tuned as I figure out which programs are going where.)

2020 Event Schedule

January

  • January 11Enterprise Museum – #CFFW – “Alligators & Crocodiles” 1:00 – 3:00pm FREE, no reservations required (Donations to museum gratefully accepted)
  • January 25Enterprise Museum – Book Release Open House – 1:00-4:00pm, Book reading at 2:00pm, hourly drawings for free signed books, FREE, no reservations required (Donations to museum always gratefully accepted!)

February

  • February 8Enterprise Museum #CFFW slide presentation “Furry Critters Part 2” 1:00-3:00, FREE, no reservations required (Donations to museum happily accepted)
  • February 22DeBary Hall – Springtime Tea – 11:00am, includes lunch and custom teas, reading, and book signing afterward. Call for reservations and price.

March

  • March 7 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • March 28 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

April

  • April 11 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • April 18- Enterprise Museum – TBA

May

  • May 2 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • May 9 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • May 23 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

June

  • June 6 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • June 13 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • June 27 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

July:

  • July 11 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • July 25 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

August:

  • August 8 – DeBary Hall – TBA
  • August 15 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • August 29 – Enterprise Museum – TBA

September:

  • September 12 – Enterprise Museum – TBA
  • September 26 – Enterprise Museum – Autumn Tea – 11:00am,  includes lunch and custom teas, reading, and book signing afterward. Call for reservations and price.

And here are the flyers I have so far:

January 11 – Enterprise Museum:

January 25 – Enterprise Museum

February 8 – Enterprise Museum

So happy to be getting 2020 underway with such fun programs, and a Release Party, of all things! My first, and I’m super excited about it! Hope to see many of you there, and at some of the other programs I’ll be presenting through the year! Happy New Year, folks, and may 2020 be our best year yet!