Mae Clair is one of my favorite people. She’s a partner over at Story Empire and one hell of an author. She’s here today to tell us about Eventide, which wraps up her Hode’s Hill Series.
I would appreciate it, and I know Mae would, if you would use those sharing buttons at the end of her guest post.
Hi, Craig. Thanks for hosting me today with my new supernatural suspense/mystery release. Eventide is the last book in my Hode’s Hill mystery series. As in the first two novels, Cusp of Night and End of Day, I’ve chosen to use dual timelines with dual mysteries that converge at the end.
It’s challenging writing a book with more than one timeline. In essence, the author has to plot two separate stories, balancing two separate sets of characters, then find a way for everything to gel at the conclusion. This is even harder when you’re a panster.
In the past, I never had a problem pantsing my novels, but Eventide was an exception. It’s common for me to panic whenever I reach the third quarter point and realize I have to tie up numerous plot threads—without a plan. Somehow it always works out smoothly, despite anxiety flareups. Eventide, however, challenged me on a level I hadn’t encountered before. My panic turned into PANIC! Made even worse because I was up against a publisher’s deadline. I swore up and down I’d become a plotter after surviving Eventide, and for the most part, my groundwork is much stronger than before. I’m still pantsing, but at least now I have a safety net for backup.
Something that did help with Eventide was working with established characters. The leads in the present day portion of the story will be familiar to anyone who read End of Day. Jillian Cley and Dante DeLuca are back, joined by Jillian’s sister Madison, who made an appearance in End of Day. This is really Madison’s story as she starts life over, after spending three years in a care facility without speaking. She’s strong and determined, her husband’s murder behind her. But the house she purchases is isolated and rumored to be haunted. And when she discovers an old cistern in the basement, it’s just the start of unraveling a mystery that spans centuries.
In this short excerpt, Madison’s boyfriend, Roth, has been working to remove the lid from the cistern:
“Hey, come here. I think I’ve got it.”
Drying her hands on a tea towel, she picked her way down the steps. Roth had hooked a cage light to an overhead beam for more illumination and had a variety of tools strewn around the cistern. He’d managed to remove all eight bolts. Looking at the long ends scattered by the lid, Madison was surprised by how deeply they’d been threaded into the floor.
“Did you hear anything while you were working?” she asked.
“Nothing.” Roth sat back on his haunches. He’d drudged up a sweat again, the knees of his jeans grimy with dirt, black muck freckling his hands. The least she could do was offer him a place to shower when he was through.
“Ready?” He indicated the lid with a grin.
In many ways, it felt like opening a treasure chest. A long time ago someone had taken extra effort to secure the lid in place. Maybe it was nothing more than she thought. An old cistern, decades or centuries out of use. And yet—
With effort, Roth shoved the heavy cover aside, back and shoulder muscles bunching with the exertion.
“What the—” His face contorted. Gagging, he recoiled.
A noxious cloud of sulfur and decay engulfed Madison.
“Oh, that’s awful!” She pressed the tea towel to her nose and mouth. “It smells like something died.”
“Not even close. It smells a hell of a lot worse.” Roth snatched a flashlight from the floor. With one hand cupped over his nose, he angled the beam into the hole. “I can’t tell if anything’s down there. It looks about ten feet deep, maybe more.”
“Is there water?” Despite the stench, Madison inched closer.
“Not that I can see. If there is, it’s a long way down.”
A blast of cold air hit them in the face, strong enough to make Madison backpedal. The bare bulbs dangling from the rafters flickered then died. Roth’s flashlight sputtered, failing altogether.
Chilled, Madison hugged her arms to her chest. “What was that?”
I hope you’re curious enough to find out. Eventide is now available from all online book sellers, so if the story sounds like something that interests you, please consider ordering. You’ll make this author very happy. Thank you in advance for your consideration! J
The darkness is coming . . .
The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?
Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…
Order Eventide HERE
Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:
Amazon| BookBub| Newsletter Sign-Up
Website | Blog| Twitter| Goodreads| All Social Media