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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
Connect with Mae Clair
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: