#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


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#GuestBlogger #New Release #MaeClair #InSearchOfMcDoogal

Good Morning, Folks! Today, I’d like to welcome Mae Clair to The Write Stuff. Mae has a brand new book out called In Search of McDoogal, and she’d like to tell you more about it. So, without further ado, take it away, Mae! 

~~~

Hi, Marcia. I’m excited to be here today! Many thanks for hosting me with the release of my Amazon 90-minute short read, In Search of McDoogal. This is a light-hearted story, themed around the hunt for a missing painting. My two main characters—Brady Conrad and Declan Fitzgerald—take a day trip to a neighboring town to track down the buyer of a painting Brady mistakenly sold. They’re on the clock because the artist is Brady’s girlfriend, and she’s returning to her gallery that evening after several days away.

As with most of my stories, my setting is fictional. When it came time to develop the small town where I set Brady and Declan loose, I wanted something that carried a coastal connotation. I chose the name Breaker’s Bay, and from there a trend was born. I decided to play with alliteration for most place names in the town. I don’t draw attention to the fact, but readers will encounter Puddlehopper’s Park, Courtney’s Corner, and the Bountiful Baker to name a few—just an extra bit of silliness to add to the predicaments Brady and Declan stumble over while trying to retrieve Vanessa’s painting.

If you enjoy a comedy of errors, set in a quirky town with oddball characters, In Search of McDoogal is right up your reading alley!

BLURB:
In search of something ugly…

All Brady Conrad wants to do is earn a few merit points with his artist girlfriend, so he volunteers to cover her gallery when she leaves town. What should be an easy day of sales goes belly up when he mistakenly sells a cherished painting.

With the clock ticking toward Vanessa’s return, Brady has less than a day to track McDoogal down. He coerces his friend Declan to tag along for moral support. How difficult can it be for an investigator and the director of a renowned institute to find a single painting in a town the size of a postage stamp?

Neither Brady nor Declan counted on a suspicious sheriff, rival baseball teams with a longstanding grudge, or a clueless kid trying to win his girlfriend with all the wrong gifts.

McDoogal is smack in the middle. But Brady’s biggest dilemma isn’t the disastrous hunt. It’s confessing to Vanessa her painting is the ugliest thing he’s ever seen.


I hope you’ll join in the fun of this road-trip-buddy-fic-comedy-of-errors. In Search of McDoogal falls into Amazon’s 90-minute short read category—perfect for an extended lunch break or quick read any time of the day or evening.

Thanks for helping me celebrate the release!

PURCHASE FROM AMAZON

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#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – #FreeBook – Cusp of Night by Mae Clair

Today, our featured author is Mae Clair, and she’s sharing a review of Cusp of Night,  her the first book in her wonderful Hode’s Hill series. And guess what?

Cusp of Night is FREE today only!


REVIEW:

Excellent 1st in series… crosses genres, great tone and setting
5 Stars ~ L. Carmichael

This book was a wonderful surprise. I expected it to be well-written and interesting, but it fully captivated my attention. I read a third before bed last night and finished the rest this morning. It is the kind of book that keeps your mind wandering and processing, as there are genealogical puzzles, explored beliefs on mysticism and psychic powers, and a bit of romance and historical points of interest. Clair has woven a tightly knit mystery with spiderweb stories that beckon to come together… and come together they do!

As a story, it was complex yet methodically told. I enjoyed figuring out all the connections, discovering who was telling the truth and who lied to protect a secret. When the major bombshells dropped, I was surprised. I figured out a few but not all. That’s a good sign, an author who can distract you with a few smaller revelations to grenade-toss the bigger one. In terms of writing style, it’s quite strong and blended well. All Clair’s descriptions transport you to the scene, whether it’s lighting gas lamps in 1900 or viewing a modern seance with Ouija boards.

One of my favorite aspects of this book lurks within the tone… it is dark and chilling yet comforting. Quite an uncommon balance, and it helped drive the story forward. As we learn what happened in the past, visiting murder scenes and journal entries, a murky and gloomy tone accompanies us. Ethereal and spooky in a non-traditional manner… how was this monster created? Why do only some people have blue skin? Who is good and who is evil?

The end comes quickly, and it leaves a hint of what might come next in the second book in the series. I found a new author I really enjoyed reading… and highly recommend her to you.

BLURB:

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 . . .

Don’t Miss Out!

TODAY ONLY! GRAB YOUR FREE COPY AT THIS UNIVERSAL LINK 

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#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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