The Writer’s Reading Corner: Mae Clair #amreading #supernatural #thriller

It’s Friday!!!  A very wet one where I am, and it looks to be that way for the next week.  My guest today is Mae Clair, author of the Point Pleasant Series (if eerie supernatural thrillers are your favorite flavor, I highly recommend!).  Stop by here on March 1st for the cover reveal of her upcoming book, Cusp of Nightthe first in a new series.

Teri, thanks for inviting me to participate in the Writer’s Reading Corner. It’s a delight to be here and talk about something we all love—books. Lately, I’ve been enthralled by novels that feature alternate timelines. This has become trendy in mainstream and mystery fiction, with one timeline usually set in the present, the other in the past. Both storylines eventually converge for a climatic ending or spectacular wrap to the mystery.
cover for The Night Sister a mystery/suspense novel by Jennifer McMahonThe first book I read with a past/present plot was The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. A psychological thriller/mystery with a taint of the supernatural, spot on for my preferred genre. Plus look at that gorgeous cover. Ominous and eerie, it sucked me in.

The story revolves around three women—Piper, Margot, and Amy—once childhood friends, who are forced to revisit a grim discovery from their past when Amy and her family are found dead. The story moves between the summer the girls spent exploring an abandoned hotel, and the present where Piper and Margot are confronted with the unfathomable news Amy is believed responsible in the deaths of her family.

I was riveted from page one and devoured the book in a few days. Afterward, I promptly read most everything Ms. Mahon has written. By then, I had already started my own book with a past/present timeline.

Cusp of Night, releasing in June, is the first novel in my Hode’s Hill Series, and alternates timelines between the present and the late 1800s. Since I am still waiting on a cover from my publisher, I’m not ready to share the official blurb. But I will tell you that my main character, Maya Sinclair, finds herself caught up in a centuries-old mystery after renting a brownstone that once belonged to a spiritualist known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill. If you like suspenseful tales with a twinge of the supernatural, I think you’ll enjoy Cusp of Night. I’ve populated it with a creature of urban legend, lingering ghosts, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

Please keep Cusp of Night on your radar for June. In the meantime, perhaps I can distract you with my Point Pleasant Series, three novels spun around the urban legend of the Mothman.

New York Times bestselling author, Kevin’ O’Brien called the first book, A Thousand Yesteryears, “Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller….will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.”

Banner ad for A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair features the night sky over an old farmhouse
Here’s the official blurb should you like to consider it:

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real.

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer.

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK

About Mae:
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her Point Pleasant series of novels.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers, Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Other Social Links

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WWW Wednesday What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Furyborn by Claire Legrand.

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

I recently finished Ace of Shades (and it was absolutely fan-freaking-tastic) by Amanda Foody.

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

Next, for a bookclub I’m in, I’ll be reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

 

Broken Shells by Michael Patrick Hicks #bookreview #horror #TuesdayBookBlog @MikeH5856

Antoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore.

Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep beneath his dealership. He works hard to keep them hidden, but occasionally sacrifices are required, sacrifices who are penniless, desperate, and who will not be missed. Sacrifices exactly like DeWitt.

When Antoine steps foot on Dangle’s car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive. If he is going to survive the nightmare ahead of him, if he has any chance of seeing his wife and child again, Antoine will have to do more than merely hope. He will have to fight his way back to the surface, and pray that Jon Dangle’s secrets do not kill him first. – Goodreads.com

Right away I wanted Antoine DeWitt to catch a break.  I felt his desperation, his internal struggle to stick around and shoulder his responsibilities, or run and take the easy way out.  He’s an easy character to root for.

If claustrophobia, fear of the dark, and gore make you uneasy, this might be a tough read, but you’ll be missing out on a gruesome tale that makes it difficult to look away.  There’s no doubt Jon Dangle has committed atrocious acts and Antoine is his latest victim in a long line.  But in a sickeningly twisted way, Dangle’s almost able to justify his actions and for a moment, his heinous crimes almost make sense in a ‘for the good of mankind’ way – which is highly persuasive writing on the author’s part.

Graphic imagery abounds and I lost track of the body count in this captivating horror novella.  Bonus points for the stunning cover!  I’ve read several of Hicks’s works and he hasn’t disappointed me yet.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

 

Writer’s Reading Corner – Sarah Brentyn #amreading #shortreads #literature #FridayReads

Stories that affect us don’t always have to be full length novels.  Sometimes, they’re short stories, and today’s author shares how one in particular changed her life and helped shape her writing career.  Welcome Sarah Brentyn!

Winning the Lottery

It won’t surprise most of you that the last book I read is not a book. It’s a short story.

I was introduced to “The Lottery” during a lit class for my undergrad degree.

It spoke to me.

It said something like, “Hey! You, there! College chick. Check me out. I’m short and spectacular. I mean, seriously, I’m awesome. Read me again!”

I did. And still am (obviously) many years later.

One dark and stormy (actually, it was clear and starry) night in January, I decided to revisit this favorite. I fell asleep thinking about it, woke up thinking about it.

I could not stop thinking about it.

Her writing…

She weaves different moods seamlessly throughout this piece. The setting in contrast to the plot is perfect. The dialogue is fantastic. The foreshadowing is just enough to keep you guessing. The characters’ personalities, which we learn a lot about, are both expressed and implied. How does she do all this in so few words?! 

The story…

It’s surreal yet believable that a community would behave this way. How far are people willing to go to hold on to tradition? To pacify their superstitions? I wonder what it would be like to grow up there, how it would change you, if you’d be able to form healthy attachments, what your relationships would be like. I wonder if the lottery will continue. I wonder what would happen if they stopped. I wonder how long it would take for everyone to agree or if they ever would. I wonder… 

Jackson gives readers a psychological slap. She makes us uncomfortable in a captivating way that’s not easily dismissed. The build-up, revelation, and subsequent reactions of characters leave readers with questions that intensify curiosity and creativity. I don’t care how silly this sounds—I’m going with it. Full force. (You have been warned.) This story changed my life.

It showed me what can be accomplished with a few, well-chosen words. It fed my desire to think, analyze, and contemplate. It appeased my fascination with human nature. It set my mind ablaze.

It is one of the stories that set me on my path. Short fiction can be done. And done well. It’s something I strive for when I sit down to write.

Author Bio

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

She is the author of two collections of flash fiction: Hinting at Shadows and her latest release On the Edge of a Raindrop.

 

Blurb (On the Edge of a Raindrop)

These are stories of lives on the edge.

A girl tortured by the world within her. A boy powerless to escape his home. A mother doomed to live with her greatest mistake. A man lost in a maze of grief.

Each raindrop provides a microscopic mirror of ourselves and those around us. But we can’t always trust what we see. The distorted images disorient the mind, altering our view of reality.

This second collection of flash and micro fiction explores the depths of the human condition and the fragile surface of our perceptions.

Dive into these tales of darkness and discover what life is like On the Edge of a Raindrop.

 

Contact Information (blog, website, etc.)

Book Links:

On the Edge of a Raindrop

Hinting at Shadows

Author Page

 

Blogs / Social Media:

Lemon Shark

Lemon Shark Reef

Twitter, Google+, Website

A Tempest of Discovery: Midnight Dynasty #1 by Sarah M. Cradit #bookreview #paranormal

The Deschanels are back! From the USA Today bestselling fantasy author of the House of Crimson & Clover novels comes a thrilling new paranormal romance series, Midnight Dynasty. Even more magic, romance, and mayhem await as readers dive back into this secretive, ancient, powerful world of The Saga of Crimson & Clover. 

Nicolas Deschanel spent thirty-two years holding court as the princeling of New Orleans and heir to his family’s dynasty, with no obligations beyond his own pleasures. Following a storm of events, his rock bottom leads him back to his family, where he finds redemption in contrite service. Paired with the pragmatic Lauren—who is deeply skeptical of his reformation—the two spend their days in seclusion, cultivating the lofty research goals of the Deschanel Magi Collective.

Charlotte Fontenot is calculated and driven in her approach to her mission in Paris. With help from her cousin Julian, they follow Gabrielle and Lawrence Henry, siblings whose unusual behavior has caught the attention of witches in Paris. The cousins quickly realize neither sibling is what they seem, and Charlotte’s fearlessness leads her closer and closer to mysterious philanthropist Lawrence.

With Charlotte and Julian settled in Paris, Nicolas and Lauren shift their focus to a special, secret project: quietly and carefully investigating the women of the powerful LaViolette family, distant cousins of the Deschanels. This assignment quickly leads them down a dangerous path, one where turning back is no longer an option. Events in both New Orleans and Paris begin to spin wildly beyond the control of all involved, and when the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same. – Goodreads.com

While I was melancholy about saying goodbye to many of the characters in The Crimson and Clover series, my favorite, Nicolas, returns to this new saga that looks to be just as mysterious and secretive.

This author always does an outstanding job of making the reader feel as if they’re standing in the middle of the setting, observing it on a first hand basis.  I felt as if I’d actually visited Paris and New Orleans.  The chapters rotate with multiple POVs, which is a personal preference of mine, and gives the reader a better opportunity to become acquainted with the new characters.

This series promises as much suspense and intrigue as Crimson and Clover, with both familiar favorite and new captivating characters.

I received an ARC from the author.

 

Addict (The Cassie Tam Files #1) by Matt Doyle #bookreview #scifi #LGBT #TuesdayBookBlog

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.

When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right. – Goodreads.com

If this book doesn’t make you a fan of Cassie Tam, you must be one of the few who can resist her.  Intelligent, snarky, confident – and charmingly awkward when dealing with an attractive woman.

The world-building is wildly imaginative and high-tech, boasting vivid imagery.  Cassie is presented with a murder case almost immediately, and the author serves up several suspects, each with plausible motives.  I honestly didn’t know ‘who dun it’ until the big reveal, and soon after was unexpectedly thrown by a plot twist at the end.

I’m excited Cassie will return in subsequent books, and if you’re a fan of sci-fi/mystery/suspense blends, I recommend checking out this series.

 

The Writer’s Reading Corner – B.B. Morgan #FridayReads #fantasy

Happy Friday and welcome to the first edition of The Writer’s Reading Corner!  Today, B.B. Morgan tells us how Sarah J. Maas inspired her to write a new fantasy series.  I’ve had this book in my TBR for a looong time – after reading this, I’m thinking I need to bump it up the list.

 

I started reading Throne of Glass on a Thursday afternoon. I finished it on Friday. Too impatient to wait to get to the library for the second, I bought the ebook of Crown of Midnight. I finished it on Saturday night. I proceeded to read the next three books (Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms) within a week and a half. I have never been so captivated by a book that I couldn’t sleep.

I loved everything about the series – the writing, the characters, the setting, the plot, the story. At first, I felt jealous because Sarah J. Maas had written a much better fantasy novel that I will ever write, but the series inspired me to revise a rough outline for a fantasy novel I’ve been tossing around for a while. I’ve since written the first book, and I’m again in love. To think, if I hadn’t picked up Throne of Glass, I wouldn’t have written it.

Maas reminded me of what I love about fantasy. The exciting new worlds, fantastic characters, magic, exploration, adventure, romance, thieves, and assassins – I love it all. I also love how she folded such an enthralling sense of romance throughout a series. Because of Throne of Glass, I’ll read anything Sarah J. Mass writers. My current read is a book she provided a blurb for, and I’m loving it.

While my fantasy series that Throne of Glass inspired won’t be out for a while, I’m gearing up for the release of the third installment in my Devil’s Blood series, The Fancy House. While it’s not as cool as Throne of Glass (what is?) I am proud of the book that I produced. It’s due out March 16, 2018. My working summary is:

On the upper east city of Belle City, the Fancy house sits empty. Locals claim it’s haunted. When a call takes Malone inside the house, she finds the ghost of a dead girl, and something else – something much worse. While sorting through the mysteries of the Fancy house, Malone is tasked with finding Sylvester, by infiltrating the thieves’ guild under a false identity. Ghosts, thieves, and sounds underneath old floorboards – one wrong step, and it’s over.

Amazon