I’m thrilled to host Mae Clair today with her new release, Cusp of Night. I became a fan of Mae’s after reading the first page of her Point Pleasant series, and can’t wait to dive into this new novel!
Hi, Teri and Teri’s readers! It’s great to be here today to talk about my new mystery / suspense novel Cusp of Night. I have a fondness for things that are unusual and otherworldly, so this book has a more than a touch of the supernatural among its pages. With dual timelines, it tells the story of Maya Sinclair in the present—a woman who was clinically dead for two minutes and twenty-two seconds—and Lucinda Glass, a renowned medium of the late 1800s. Both timelines converge at the end, tying past and present together in one neat bow. The past was especially interesting to write, as I was able to delve into the culture of the day.
As an example, “home circles” were very popular. Think of board game night today when you gather with a group of friends for a few hours of fun. In the 1800s charades and other parlor games like grandmother’s trunk and musical chairs were popular. Eventually, however, home circles overshadowed common games with small groups of family and friends gathering to try their hands at table tilting, producing rapping sounds, and communicating with the dead. By 1891, the Ouja Board was a strong seller and popular in home circles.
Spiritualism was exploding as a practice, religion, and a blending of magic and science. Even those who had no experience with the supernatural, found it intriguing to sit with a group of friends and experiment to see if any of them had mediumistic powers. Séances became a form of entertainment, as much as a way of breaching the Aether that separated the living from the dead.
Cusp of Night is populated with characters who are caught up in the surge of Spiritualism—both good and bad—and who use it to their advantage. For Lucinda Glass, my main character in the past, being a medium is about more than producing messages from the hereafter. It’s about a way of life and understanding an odd, enigmatic man who upsets and reshapes her world.
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 . . .