Do You Remember When ~ Mae Clair

The Story Empire Roadshow is rolling right along. My guest today is Mae Clair, author of mystery and suspense novels (with a touch of myth and romance thrown in). I know you’ll be delighted to meet Mae and hear about her book, Eclipse Lake.

Do You Remember When…

Hi, friends! I’m delighted to be visiting Joan during the Story Empire Roadshow blog tour. If you’re just now connecting, there are posts at all SE author blogs today, with tour prizes scattered throughout. Be sure to check the full slate of events HERE to view the latest happenings.

And don’t forget to follow along. Grand prizes are up for grabs when the tour is complete (mine is a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card), but there are oodles of goodies along the way. The more you follow and comment, the more your chances to win. I’ve even got a surprise in store for today. J

I’m also feeling a bit nostalgic. In Eclipse Lake, a romantic mystery novel, my main character, Dane Carlisle, has a seventeen year old adopted son named Jesse. At thirty-three, Dane is only fifteen years older, which makes their relationship unique. I’ve had many readers connect with Jesse, a character who turned out to be a strong and dynamic with a plot line of his own. I’ve even had multiple requests to give him his own book in the future, something I’m considering.

Jesse was a lot of fun to write. He’s headstrong, opinionated, a bit snarky, but also highly devoted and loyal. He knows how to manipulate and he knows when to step back. When you’re seventeen, you’re full of yourself, and that got me to thinking about some of the things that made the cut when I was that age (er, quite a while ago, but we won’t go there). Just for fun, here’s a look at what was popular when I was seventeen:

  • Three’s Company, MASH, and That’s Incredible ranked among the top five television shows
  • Michael and Jennifer were the most popular names given to babies
  • The highest grossing films of the year were Kramer vs. Kramer, The Amityville Horror and Rocky II
  • MacDonald’s introduced its first Happy Meal with a circus wagon train theme
  • The top three hits were My Sharona by the Knack, Bad Girls by Donna Summer and Le Freak by Chic (love dancing to that one!)
  • Three Mile Island, a nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania suffered a partial meltdown, the most serious in the history of the American nuclear power industry. As my home fell within the evacuation area, I remember it vividly—right down to what I was doing when the air sirens sounded. And no, my family didn’t evacuate, although half of the population within a 20 mile radius of the plant did.

Tose are just some of my recollections gathered from the year I was seventeen. Jesse’s, of course, would be much different. I’ve bet you’ve got some great ones too. What stands out for you in that magical summer when you were seventeen?

While you’re thinking about it, I invite you to meet Jesse in this excerpt from Eclipse Lake.  Dane has just left him the care of his brother, Jonah. The relationship between Jonah and Dane is strained and the one between Jonah and Jesse isn’t much better. In this scene, Jonah is practicing archery in his back yard when Jesse wanders over:

EXCERPT:

The second shot went wide, embedding to the left of the bull’s eye.

“You’re jerking on the release,” Jesse announced, returning from the front yard.

“Huh?” Jonah glanced over his shoulder. It was too soon to want to strangle the kid, but something about the way he grinned and confidently sauntered to the picnic table made heat rise on the back of his neck. He picked up another arrow. “I suppose you think you can do better?”

This time the shot struck to the right of the bull’s eye, leaving barely an inch gap between the two arrows. “Not a bad pattern,” he said, pleased by the proximity of the missiles.

“Could be better.” Jesse picked up an arrow and twirled it between his fingers, managing to look bored. At his heels, Koya watched his every movement with love-struck adoration.

Jonah snorted. He’d been shooting bow since he was a kid, and he’d practically grown up in the woods. There was no way some surf-coast punk was going to tell him his pattern could be better. “Think so, huh?” His voice carried a hard edge as he thought about putting the kid in his place. “Well, city boy, you get within two inches of either of my shots, I’ll buy you dinner at the Skyside Bistro.” He held out the bow.

Jesse cocked his head. “You mean that pricey restaurant on the top of Registry? What if I want a burger in town?”

“Whatever you want. Two inches and you got it.” Jonah thrust the bow at him. “You lose, you buy me dinner. Personally, I just want to shut you up.”

With a grin, Jesse took the bow. “I hate to disappoint you.” He set it on the table, pausing to look down the shaft of the arrow he’d toyed with. Satisfied, he retrieved the bow and stepped into position. Sighting, he waited a beat then fired, his release smooth and deadly accurate.

Thwap.

The arrow embedded dead-center in the bull’s eye, fitting precisely between the two Jonah had fired earlier. From a distance, the center arrow seemed a singular part of the others, he’d placed it so perfectly, Jonah doubted one man in five hundred could have made the shot. His mouth fell open.

“What kind of freaking hustle was that? Who do you think you are? Robin Hood?”

“Junior Archery Champion, Southwestern Division.” Jesse grinned and thrust the bow against his chest. “And I was just kidding about the burger. I want lobster. Come on, Koya.” Whistling for the dog, he walked toward the house.

As Koya bounded on his heels with a deliriously happy bark, Jonah ground his teeth. Dane had only been gone a few minutes and he was already regretting his decision about letting Jesse stay. He’d known all along there was a reason he didn’t have kids.

~ooOOoo~

And here’s the blurb:

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

Intrigued?
Eclipse Lake is a full-length novel of mystery, sweet romance and family drama.
Presently on sale!

Purchase a copy from Amazon • .99 Cents until April 7

Thanks for visiting with me today. Don’t forget to see what the other SE authors have going on during the Story Empire Roadshow. Leave a comment to be eligible for my grand prize drawing for a $10.00 Amazon gift card (the more you follow my tour and comment, the more your chances to win).

For today’s tour stop, I’ll also draw one randomly selected name for an ebook win. Winner’s choice of Solstice Island, Food for Poe, Myth and Magic or A Thousand Yesteryears.

 

Connect with Mae Clair

Website and Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Goodreads |Google+ | Pinterest

Newsletter | Story Empire

It’s been a pleasure to host you today, Mae. Readers be sure to check out the other authors and tour stops by clicking below:

Staci   |   Craig   |   P. H.   |   Harmony   |   Joan

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  • Mae, it is a pleasure to host you today. And I loved the trip down memory lane. The late 1970s were a great time to be alive.

    I loved Eclipse Lake and would love to see a story with Jesse as the main character.

    • Thanks for being my hostess today, Joan. It’s wonderful to visit your blog! I think (since Eclipse is an indie release) I may have to do a short novella at some point for Jesse.

      By the way, I can do simple math, just not when my fingers are flying over the keyboard. Dane is thirty-two, not thirty-three. Duh! and I see if missed the “h” in the word “those.” Sigh. I really do need to make myself slow down, LOL!

      Thanks again!

      • Well, I didn’t catch either of those. Don’t enlist me to proofread! 🙂

        • LOL! I didn’t catch when I sent it either! 🙂

  • C. S. Boyack

    Great excerpt today.

  • Harmony Kent

    Great excerpt, Mae! I have a confession: I’ve had Eclipse Lake on my Kindle since May last year (hangs head in shame) and still haven’t read it. I must rectify that! lols. Can’t believe it’s that long! No wonder my TBR’s growling menacingly at me, ha ha. 🙂

    • Harmony, I’ve had books on my Kindle for years. Some I’ve forgotten about purchasing. I highly recommend moving this one to the top of your list.

    • Harmony. I know that feeling. I’ve had books on my TBR just as long. Eventually it will bubble up to the top, LOL!

  • I loved that walk down memory lane. I remember it all well.

    And you know I love Eclipse Lake and all the characters. I wouldn’t complain if Jesse got his own story!

    • I think he’s going to have to get a novella down the road 🙂
      Thanks, Staci!

    • I think we’re about to convince Mae to write Jesse’s story. I loved Eclipse Lake.

  • Jesse seems a great character. I understand other readers asking for a book featuring him! Very goof excerpt. Your book is on my kindle, but you guys are giving me more reading material than can handle!

    • LOL! We love loading up Kindles, Irene. Thanks so much for your amazing support for all of during this tour. And I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt with Jesse and Jonah!

    • Read on, Irene! We’re so glad you’ve taken time to visit the tour stops this week. Thanks for all the support.

  • T Polen

    That was the summer before I went to college (I have a September bday) and I was listening to Burning Down the House by Talking Heads and White Wedding by Billy Idol – couldn’t wait to get away from my parents and be on my own at school! Looking forward to getting to know Jesse since I just bought Eclipse Lake this week.

    • White Wedding! That was such a great song, Teri. It sounds like we must be about the same age as that was the summer I graduated high school.

      And I hope you like Jesse, given your love of YA. He’s one of the four main characters in the book. Thanks so much for the purchase!

      • T Polen

        I was thinking we were probably the same age – 29, right?

        • Absolutely! I’ve been camped out there for a while 😀

    • I’m just a few years older. I graduated high school the bi-centennial year. The late 70s was a great time! Thanks for visiting today, Teri.

  • sherry fundin

    I used to watch MASH all the time and sometimes I can still catch some reruns. I confess too, Harmony. I have this one my Kindle….somewhere. LOL

    sherry @ fundinmental

    • I was a MASH fan too. Joan *waving* is a rabid MASH fan to this day, LOL.
      And like, Harmony’s Kindle, Eclipse Lake will eventually surface on yours 🙂

      • LOL, Mae. Yes, you can call me that. Especially since I own all eleven seasons on DVD. They just don’t make TV shows like that anymore.

    • Sherry, Mae is right. I am a huge fan of MASH.

  • carmen

    Having already read Eclipse Lake I can say that Jesse is indeed a “cool” character. A great addition to the main one, his father Dane.
    Well, at seventeen we all have great expectations of our lives. Interesting list of the things most remarkable when you were 17. The last one reminds me of the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. we are not so far from that cursed place. and the results are to be seen/felt to this day.

    • Carmen, Chernobyl was horrible and it’s scary to think Three Mile Island may have ended the same way. I remember the horrific images from Chernobyl.

      Thanks for the kind words about Eclipse Lake. Jesse was intended as a minor character but he really took over, LOL!

      • Mae, sometime those characters do the unexpected. When that happens, I let them take me along for the journey.

    • Carmen, I remember both Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island. Terrible events.

      Didn’t you just love Eclipse Lake?

  • Natalie Ducey

    Mae, another great trip back to days long passed. I was a fan of Three’s Company and Happy Days, although I was only about 14 or 15 years young then. Bon Jovi was my obsession, and I remember taping the videos from Video Hits on VHS….pause and rewind my favourite parts! Over and over..lol. Oh how technology changed. If YouTube existed back then I think my grades would have suffered. Good times and great memories! :). Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Thank you, Joan, for the warm welcome. 🙂

    • Natalie, such good memories. I also like Three’s Company and Happy Days. I’m with you, if You Tube had existed back then, I would have probably never completed homework.

    • You’re a little younger than me, Natalie, but I loved the same things, including Bon Jovi. I think I wore my album out!
      I also had a clunky top-loading VHS player. As you said, amazing how tech has changed. I wonder if teachers have to compete with YouTube these days LOL.
      Thanks for sharing, and for your lovely support!

  • Hi, Mae! <3 Well, I remember your 1979 pretty well! 😉 I was 17 in 1975/6. I can't forget because I got married about 6 weeks before my 18th birthday during the start of another long, hot drought for the second year running, Also the year Bohemian Rhapsody was #1 forever seemingly, which pleased me no end. I still love it! Happy days… 😀
    Thanks for hosting Joan! 🙂

    • Sounds like we are the same age, Jan. You were a young bride. I was too…more in common. And Bohemian Rhapsody? I STILL love that song!
      Thanks for visiting me on my tour 🙂

    • Jan, sounds as if you and I are about the same age. I was a high school senior in 1976. Speaking of Bohemian Rhapsody, my (then future) husband was doing some work on his car, so he put his stereo speakers in the window so he could listen to the music as he worked. When his father came home, that song just happened to be playing. John said his dad just shook his head and went in the house! Thanks for visiting today!

  • What a fun post, Mae! Good times back when you were 17, except for the frightening Three Mile Island incident of course. Like all your stories, Eclipse Lake is such a great read, and Jesse certainly plays his part. Thanks for the look back.

    • Flossie, I loved Eclipse Lake (and all of Mae’s works that I’ve read.) Thanks so much for visiting!

    • Thanks, Flossie. They were great memories. It was the year I graduated high school and everything was bursting with possibilities. Fortunately, the TMI incident happened earlier in the year and had a good outcome. It’s frightening to think of how it might have played out!