A wonderful new Christmas novella

I recently bought, and read, a Christmas romance novella. Yes me. I firmly believe writers can learn something from all genres, but we have to be willing to leave our comfort zones to do it. Here's how I came to choose this one:

  • I've read the author before, and thoroughly enjoyed her book.
  • I'm really getting into short form stuff, and this is a novella.
  • This story has a paranormal element, which is in my comfort zone.
  • I write a lot of animals into my stories, and I wanted to see how this author handles an animal character.

There you have it. A thread or two of common ground, and a desire to learn something. This was more than a dissection of a fellow author's work. I wound up really enjoying the story, and I think you will too.

I'm going to let the author, Mae Clair, tell you all about it.

Cats, Christmas, and Romance by Mae Clair

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is looming just around the corner. I have no complaints though, because Christmas is my favorite holiday. Not only do I enjoy December 25th and Christmas Eve, but I love the entire month of December. It’s like one long holiday with all the merriment, festivities, and spirit of goodwill that leads up to that very special day. I’m a Christmas sap.

So it stands to reason I’d eventually get around to writing a Christmas story.

Those who know me also know there are two things (other than writing) I’m passionate about: folklore and cats. When it came time to dream up a Christmas story, I decided to weave both elements into the tale. The result is FOOD FOR POE, a short Christmas novella that is also a tale of sweet romance, twined with the paranormal, and even a wee smidgen of horror (just a smidge, I promise!).

Take a look:


When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger's house on Christmas Eve, she doesn't realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.

Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.

Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.

Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble


I’m happy to announce that FOOD FOR POE has just released. YAY! In celebration of the holidays, you can grab a copy for $.99 at Amazon. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a FREE Kindle Reading App for your PC, MAC, iPad, iPhone, Android or tablet here. Cats and Christmas. What could be better?

Merry Pre-Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Mae Clair Bio

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net
Sign up for Mae’s newsletter here

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:



Twitter (@MaeClair1)

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Kensington Books Author Page


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Purchase FOOD FOR POE from Amazon



Filed under Writing

Workhorse kind of day

I wrote yesterday about how my day was kind of blah. I decided today would not be a repeat of that.

I managed it by taking the reins myself. I didn't count on Hollywood or any actors to entertain me. We made turkey soup instead of counting on a restaurant to please us.

Here's a bit of what I accomplished today.

I finished my first editing pass on The Playground. I have other passes to go, but they each get a specific focus. Still, I get to check something off my list.

I sent out a requested review copy of Will O' the Wisp. This might not seem like much, but dealing with multiple formats and large attachments can be tricky. A confirmation email proved it all worked.

A writer friend encouraged me to enter a micro-fiction contest. It has to be unpublished, including blogs, and it has to be under 500 words. I write what I write, and don't usually worry about the word count. The Muse was with me, and I sent off my submission today. Part of the prize is a case of beer. I can get behind a contest like that. I've no idea how tough the competition will be, but I did it anyway.

I spent some time prepping for a fun guest post. Watch this space tomorrow for news about a wonderful new book. I peppered my own comments into the post, and had to create a few links. It seems like there's always one when someone sends over materials. I'm not complaining, it's a fact of life. The links work in the submitted material, but some of them break during copy and paste.

I got an email that Zite Magazine is going dark, and I have to convert to Flipboard. Zite was the source for much of my Idea Mill material. I converted a month ago, and haven't been overly impressed. I learned today that I can have my own magazine under this format. I started one, and pasted a few of my blog posts there. I included some reviews, and the debate with Charles Yallowitz too. I have no idea if this has value to me, but copy and paste doesn't take too much effort.

Speaking of my Idea Mill posts, this next one took a round about path to the internet. Victo Dolore and I joked about her creepy facial cream some time ago. Our conversation came back to life during my last Idea Mill post. Today she posted this delightfully creepy bit of micro-fiction, and credited me with the inspiration. I may have provided a fleck or two, but she built it into a story and executed it beautifully. Go read about facial cream at her site. While you're there consider following her, and sharing her story across social media.

I shared the voting portal at Rosie's Book Review Team across social media today. In case you missed my last post, Will O' the Wisp is nominated. It's up against some tough competitors, and I would appreciate your support. You can vote here.

On the topic of awards, I was hoping to see one of my covers get nominated for a Rave Award. I think Will O' the Wisp and The Experimental Notebook have phenomenal covers. The nominations were revealed, and I didn't make the cut. This does not mean I wasn't nominated in other categories, but there are no nominations in the public categories. Bummer.

I see today that some wonderful person started reading my Experimental Notebook via Kindle Unlimited. It amounts to about a half cent per page, but I need fans, and that's my positive point here.

I posted a couple of book reviews this week, but they didn't work out too well. I always use the mechanism at the end of every book. One only posted to Goodreads, and the other one didn't post to Goodreads or Amazon. I don't know if I need to try a different way to post, or if Amazon has teamed up with NSA and has me on a watchlist of some kind.

I got a notification that said Amazon would tell me when they went live. They must be aware of my attempt. I wrote a new review for the one that never made it to Goodreads. I'll hold off on Amazon for a few more days. If they still don't come through, I'll copy and paste from Goodreads and try again.

All in all, it was a productive day. Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.


Filed under Writing

Rosie Amber #RBRT Book Awards Are Open


Will O’ the Wisp was nominated for an award, along with some other pretty stiff competition. Voting is open to everyone, and I’d appreciate any support you might offer.

While you’re there, this is a vetted list produced by some prominent book reviewers. It would make a great place to shop for your next book.

Originally posted on Rosie Amber:

Plain Golden Rose

To Vote go to this link      http://wp.me/P2Eu3u-8wt

The books ~ how they were chosen
The books are taken only from those that have been submitted to the Rosie Amber book reviewing team #RBRT for reviewing, so it is not a far reaching selection, though we still had a few hundred to choose from.  I divided all the books that have been submitted up to the cut off point in 2015 into five general categories, and the review team members (around 30 members) each nominated up to three out of each category.  There are six in each category ~ these are the booksthat you, the reading public, may vote forYou may vote for up to two per category.

Please only vote for a book that you believe deserves an award.  We value everyone’s contribution and you are not required to vote in each category; it may be that you will…

View original 51 more words


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Flatline kind of day

It's been one of those kind of days. Nothing too terrible, but nothing all that great either. We had date night tonight, and recorded The Walking Dead. Maybe it will perk things up.

We saw a movie called Victor Frankenstein tonight. It had a lot of promise, but didn't exactly deliver on it. There was some great imagery, but that's about it. Daniel Radcliffe played Igor, and it had kind of a neat spin in that he was part of the project and not a mere servant. You really didn't miss anything if you skipped this one. I love mad science, so I had fun. I just expected a bit more.

It started off a bit reminiscent of the Robert Downey Jr. version of Sherlock Holmes. It might have been better served if it remained on that path.

Dinner was at a new place called Casa del Matador. Service was great, setting was wonderful. The food was passable. Not great, just passable.

Today was the first day since early September with no book sales. Every day for months I've made at least one sale, or had some pages read via Kindle Unlimited. Today there was nothing. This was fairly common over the Summer, but I promoted heavily during the Fall. This is what happens when the promotion stops.

I don't know if I have another big push in me right now. I think one of the best things we can do is write our next book. I'm still editing The Playground, and I'm ready to start drafting my next novel. Maybe that's where I'll focus my effort for the near future.

My wife and I both took tomorrow off. We never made our Thanksgiving trip, but I'm not giving up an approved vacation day either. Maybe tomorrow will be more productive. I have a couple of short stories in mind that I could toy with.


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Still trying to learn

I managed two chapters of editing today. Things I want to learn kept calling to me like a Siren of old. I went to the footboard of our bed and knocked.

A slurping, gurgling sound crawled toward me from beneath the bed. A sickly yellow tentacle slithered out beside my leg.

“New style?” I asked.

“You know how it is. I wanted to try a new look. New look, new you they say.”

“I'm still trying to figure out this horror thing.”

“Unh unh. Remember my consulting fee?”

“Yeah, but I couldn't come up with all of it. I managed to find some mismatched socks in the laundry.”

“Laundry monster is kind of hot. A couple of these and it might be a good weekend for the old bed monster. What's on your mind?” The tentacle scooped up the socks and dragged them under the bed.

“Last night, I watched a movie on the Chiller channel–“

“That was your first mistake.”

“Yeah, the characters were all right out of central casting. They wound up stuck in the middle of a lake that was owned by a giant killer fish. They managed to attack it with the oars, which they promptly lost. It wasn't long before they started voting people off the boat to distract the fish.”

“Don't tell me any more.”

“I wound up cheering for the fish about halfway through.”

“Nothing scary about that.”

“Exactly. I'm no closer to figuring out how to write a scary monster. This morning I downloaded and read The Call of Cthulhu. It's a short story and I'm kind of into those right now.”

“That was a better move. Old C was big back in the day. Have you considered reading anything written in this century?”

“I liked the style, but it isn't really very commercial by today's standards. My problem is that saturation seems to have removed scary stuff from the modern world. What can a vampire or a zombie do that we haven't all seen a dozen times?”

“Not much, I'm afraid. That's the same problem I have these days. Kids see so much on video games the old bed monster pales in comparison. Maybe when you figure it out you can tell me.”

“Then I'll have to charge you a consulting fee. I don't even want to write horror. It's just that a tip or trick can enhance other kinds of stories.”

“That makes some sense. You might have better luck learning some romance tricks.”

“No way. No man understands that stuff.”

“Well the old bed monster is going to give it one hell of a shot tonight.”

“Alright man. Just don't get lint all over the place, and stay out of my wife's fabric softener.”


Time for me to get back to editing. Violence and brutality I can write.


Filed under Writing

My mind is everywhere today

I read a cool novella yesterday and posted a review. I really love short form fiction, and that love is getting deeper and more solid. I won't tell you more about it, because the author is stopping by next week to tell us herself.

I hacked my way through several chapters of The Playground. I've got to say the split screen ability on this iPad is awesome. Did you know there is a difference between mantel and mantle? By using split screen, I quickly checked spelling and moved confidently forward.

My mind keeps interfering today. Hey buddy, there's pumpkin pie in the fridge. I gave in. I also had a small turkey sandwich on one of my garlic Parmesan rolls.

Time to read blogs.

Time to post something on Twitter.

Slash through another chapter.

Thoughts keep dragging me elsewhere. I got up, went to the bedroom, and lifted the bed skirt. “Why aren't you scary anymore?”

A shuffling like dried leaves moved toward the edge of the bed. “I don't know exactly. My therapist says it's because of movies and television. I've been over exposed.”

“You mean like one of those actors who was everywhere, then can't seem to find work?”

“Exactly. When was the last time you saw Orlando Bloom in a new role?”

“There were The Hobbit movies.”

“Not a new role for him though was it?”

“I guess not. So are you saying you want to do Broadway or something?”

“Only if I can devour some actresses or steal a few souls away.”

“I think that's been done before.”

“So we're back to the same old problem. Monsters were scary, someone else added gallons of blood to our stories, and that worked for a while. Now we're left with jumping out and yelling boo. What kind of life is that?”

“What about suspense? That's kind of a favorite trick of mine.”

“I'm sure it works in your stories, but what good does it do me to look all scary when your readers won't even see me until act three?”

“It may not help you, but it may improve the story overall. Readers can see a little bit of your handiwork to build up tension. The character is trapped in bed, because if she runs for it you'll bite her feet off. Make her have to pee, and add some extra tension.”

“Alright, the old have to pee trick is a classic. Still, I'm missing out on page time here. I have to compete with scary humans, deadly viruses, terrorist groups, and more. Where is my piece of the pie?”

“Maybe closet monster can give us some insight.”

“He retired five years ago. Heard he found a nice culvert down on the Gulf Coast somewhere.”

“Hey, speaking of pie, my wife made a great pumpkin pie. Want some?”


“Okay, but slide the plate and fork out when you're finished. She'll come down there after it, I swear.”

“That is truly scary.”

“She's out shopping on Black Friday right now.”

The whole bed quivered. “It seems you know a scary thing or two when you see them.”

“You know it, brother. I'll think about our conversation for a while. Are you available to talk again? It isn't like you're doing anything.”

A two fingered claw slid a piece of paper out from under the bed.

“What's this?”

“My schedule of consulting fees.”


“Look, a monster has to make a living. I don't like it any more than you do, so find me a scary story to participate in.”

“I'm still thinking about it. I'll keep you posted.”


Okay, back to editing, or maybe there is something on television…


Filed under Writing

My wife is disappointed

We were supposed to drive from Boise, Idaho to St. George, Utah today. We let the weatherman scare us off.

Weather watches and warnings started yesterday afternoon. They ran all night long, and are still running. It appears that one huge winter storm decided to strike the American West last night. It's about 600 miles to St. George, and the storm is that wide. The outline on the weather maps covers our entire driving route.

Neither one of us is a weather wimp, and we've both driven through many winter storms. This doesn't mean I trust the other guy on the road. There are a lot of people in Salt Lake City, and it gets pretty congested under the best of conditions. Add in a huge winter storm, and it could be a nightmare.

Consider slowing down to accommodate the weather, and we could have been facing a twelve hour drive, with white knuckles all the way.

We will have to visit some other time. We can even have a turkey dinner if we want.

My wife made a couple of pumpkin pies, and I have dinner rolls raising right now. We invited ourselves to our son's house for Thanksgiving.

In other news, I finished reading a book I've been picking my way through. I also wrote a bit of micro-fiction, and ordered some new blog art. I put out a clever Twitter post that indicated those stuck in an airport might enjoy my Experimental Notebook. Are today's sales because of that? I have no idea, but it didn't hurt. A bunch of people clicked on it.

I was productive, but my wife is disappointed. I hope all of you are safe and warm, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.


Filed under Uncategorized