Today it’s my honor to introduce Mae Clair, a talented author I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through her Six Sentence Sunday snippets. She’s here to introduce her debut novel, WEATHERING ROCK, which is now available from Lyrical Press, and is going to give away a copy to one of our lucky readers. Stay tuned to find out how you can win, but in the meantime, please meet Mae Clair!
**Giveaway Closed** Congratulations to Alexa A., who was chosen by random.org as our winner!
Welcome, Mae! I’m so happy to have you here. Before we get into your new release (which looks AWESOME), I want to dig a little. I stalked you and found you’ve wanted to be an author for as long as you can remember. Looking back, what was the first book you read that really ignited that desire?
Thanks for having me here, Sarah. I’ve found so many great books and authors through your blog, it’s wonderful to be appearing and discussing something I love –books and writing. And yes, your stalking paid off, LOL. I’ve been addicted to writing since I was a child, making my first clumsy attempt at six.
The book that ignited a passion in me during my childhood years was THE WICKED PIGEON LADIES IN THE GARDEN by Mary Chase. It had a haunted house, time travel, young (albeit bratty) heroine, and seven sisters who paraded about in flowing Victorian gowns. I was enthralled.
Oh, wow. You had me at “haunted house,” LOL! What has been the greatest challenge thus far in your career as an author?
Finding balance. It’s hard juggling a full-time job, marriage, home life, writing, promotion and social media. I was fortunate enough to have a contract offer the first time I submitted, but that meant scrambling to build an online presence. Boy was I clueless!
When WEATHERING ROCK was picked up, I didn’t even have a Facebook page. Not only did I have to develop an online presence, with a blog, website, twitter, etc., but I had to learn HOW to go about it. It was a steep learning curve, especially as I was working through edits on the book at the same time. Looking back on it, I’m not sure how I managed to stay sane.
Oh, boy. I know exactly what you mean, as I was in an identical spot with my first release. It appears things have come together for you in a fabulous way, and I love the look of WEATHERING ROCK. Can you tell us about the book?
I’d be delighted! My hero is Caleb DeCardian, a former colonel for the Union Army during the Civil War. He’s a man who’s used to being in charge and having others respond to his orders without question.
Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to the 21st Century by a shower of ball lightning. When the novel opens, he’s already been living in the present for three years, hunting for the man who doomed him to life as a werewolf. Seth Reilly is his former friend, now a bitter rival, and the man responsible for cursing him with lycanthropy.
For someone who thrives on being in control, Caleb finds himself at the whim of a curse he’s powerless to resist, while facing the challenges of a new and confusing century. He has a highly defined sense of right and wrong; is noble at heart, but conflicted by what he’s become.
Then he meets Arianna Hart, my heroine, and suddenly he’s battling a different set of feelings. Romantic feelings. The path to true love and an HEA is never smooth, but these two have enormous odds stacked against them!
Wow. What a complex and fascinating plot! What might readers be surprised to learn about your book’s plot or characters?
Oooh, that’s so tempting to answer! There is an unexpected twist involving two of the characters, but I would rather it come as a surprise for the readers. Let’s just say there’s more to the time travel element than appears at first glance.
I love a good tease! Let’s have some fun with WEATHERING ROCK. What’s the first sentence?
The June moon rode a ragged ridge of bone-white clouds, filmy and pale as the translucent skin of an onion.
Powerful visual, and it certainly sets the mood! What’s your favorite line in the book?
“Are you going to sully me now?”
LOL! I love that one! How about an excerpt … three sentences long! Yep, that’s it. Three!
You’re tough, LOL. Okay, how’s this:
She tipped her head back, her breath a gentle ghost-whisper against his ear. “Make love to me, Caleb.”
He made a sound low in his throat, half growl, half groan, and his arms tightened around her.
Oh, yum. *Sighs.* Which scene of WEATHERING ROCK was most difficult for you to write? Why?
When Arianna realizes Caleb is from another century. I had to guide the reader through the progression of her reasoning until she believed the impossible. Let’s face it, time travel isn’t an everyday occurrence!
I can see how that would be difficult, and I love how you point this out, as it tells me you took care with convincing the characters and the readers. ;c) Which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? From whose POV?
In a romantic story I always love the first kiss so I’d have to go with that, especially given there was moonlight involved. And I’d want to experience that sensation from Arianna’s POV without a doubt!
The moment of the first kiss is one of my favorites in any story! What inspired the title of WEATHERING ROCK?
Weathering Rock is the name of the home Caleb’s father built in the early 1800s. I love old homes, especially when they come with legends. This one does, but I’ll let readers discover that on their own. 😉
My day job centers on real estate marketing, and sometimes that includes naming roads in new home communities. Weathering Rock Drive was a name I dreamed up a few years ago when my boss asked me for a list of potential street names. It wasn’t used, but I liked the sound of it so much, I tucked it away with the intention of writing a story around it.
One of those rare occasions when I had a title before I wrote the first line of the novel.
Wow, what a neat story! And I’m with you — I love old houses and their stories. Before we find out more about WEATHERING ROCK, can you share with us what you’re working on now?
I just signed a contract with Lyrical Press for a contemporary romantic suspense novel called TWELFTH SUN.
It revolves around a treasure hunt for a valuable marine artifact. My heroine, Reagan Cassidy, has been asked by her uncle to work with a friend who’s a renowned authority in the field of marine archeology. She agrees, thinking he’s going to be a stodgy old man, close to her uncle’s age. Instead, she gets Dr. Elijah Cross, a quirky twenty-five year old who looks like a grunge musician and who has held a Ph.D. for several years. Reagan is an ‘older’ woman at thirty-five, but once they start working together, the sparks and attraction fly.
Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?
Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.
Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.
Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?
Mae Clair knew from the time she entered grade school that she wanted to be a writer. She credits her parents with instilling in her an insatiable love of reading through weekly trips to the library when she was a child. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create characters and make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.
Inspired by folktales, legends and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, she loves to blend the fantastical with the ordinary. Her heroes are known to be flawed and complex, her heroines capable, independent and sexy.
Throughout the years she has been actively involved in various writing and critique groups and is a past President of the Central Pennsylvania Writers’ Organization. She lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her high school sweetheart (a.k.a. the Love of Her Life). In her downtime she enjoys reading, digital scrapbooking and unwinding with her husband by the pool when the fickle PA weather permits. A self-admitted idealist, Mae is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
If you’d like a chance to win an e-copy of WEATHERING ROCK, please leave a comment with your email address and you’ll be entered in the drawing. Thank you all so very much for being here, and a special thanks to Mae Clair for sharing with us her debut novel. I hope you all have a fantastic day!