Monthly Archives: September 2012

GOSSAMER e-book Giveaway!

This contest was originally scheduled for next Friday but in light of recent news I’m starting it today!

So if you haven’t seen my endless fb or twitter chatter and somehow missed me shouting it from the rooftops here’s my BIG announcement…Gossamer is now available! I know the official release was the 8th and I have lots of exciting blog stops and interviews scheduled for then but if you go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble you can actually purchase it and get it instantly. If you purchase on iBooks or any other online book retailers you will get it on Monday the 1st.

I’m so excited and would love for everyone to check it out! I’m in a state of happy surprise and a bit unsure of what I should do now 🙂 I had these big release day plans but I guess the best way to start things off is with a giveaway!

So, here’s the contest a week early:
GOSSAMER bookmarks

GOSSAMER’s official release is only a few days away and to kick it off I’m giving away an e-book copy of Gossamer! The contest starts today and runs all next week. The winner will be announced here next Friday. For anyone who has already purchased/pre-ordered GOSSAMER and won’t be entering the contest, send me a message on fb, twitter or email me (renitapizzitolabooks (at) gmail (dot) com) and I’ll send you a GOSSAMER bookmark instead. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Year

Today marks exactly one year from the first time I queried Gossamer. When I stop to think about the last year it’s a bit of a whirlwind and still a bit surreal.

The first time I hit send on a query for Gossamer I honestly didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I’d done my research, written my query, synopsis, and had a semi-polished manuscript (my first full ms ever!) but I was nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone and really getting involved in the writing community. To be honest, I didn’t expect to find much success in publishing my book. I hoped, prayed and wanted to be published but I had low expectations. You read enough stories by other writers and you think it’s damn near impossible. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but it didn’t mean I wouldn’t try. Not to mention, I was doing this for my dad and refused to live with wonder.
Three days after I began submissions I received my first full request. I re-read the email probably ten times. Needless to say it was a huge wake-up call. People might actually want to read my book! I dove head first into everything writing. I joined online groups, started a blog, followed other blogs, sought other writers on twitter, joined goodreads…you name it, I did it. This is what also lead me to find my critique group. I started editing Gossamer based on their suggestions (my original full was out with a publisher at this point) but I worked on a revised one for the future.

Fast forward a few months and I’d already learned a ton (but still not enough). I took my new found knowledge and began Dream On. I finished it in January and and was ready to start querying so I always kept a watch out for submission calls. One day on twitter someone mentioned Lyrical Press had opened to YA. On January 3rd I sent my submission for Gossamer (which included a full) and on January 6th I was staring at a contract. (Notice the whirlwind theme for this MS).

I’d submitted Dream On a few places but once I started working with my amazing editor I told her about it and sent it her way. She issued an R&R and I’d received a very helpful personalized rejection from another editor. So I took their notes and polished Dream On. I signed my contract in March.

While working on Gossamer edits my editor knew I was working on book two, Gilded. She nudged encouraged me along 🙂 and I finished it. Worked on it with a critique partner, polished it (was very happy with the end results because it was very hard to write) and sent it to my editor. I signed that contract in June.

Gossamer Completed – July 2012

So here I am today. Three contracts–one year. I’m so grateful it’s impossible to express with words. Most of all, I’m thankful Lyrical saw a good story hidden under tons of newbie errors 🙂 and took a chance on Gossamer. The things I’ve learned are invaluable. My writing has improved, I’m more confident as a writer, and best of all I can actually call myself an author now. (All you writers know what I mean).

Author Spotlight – Mae Clair

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.
Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.
Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?
Please join me in welcoming Mae Clair author of Weathering Rock.
Hi Mae, can you tell us a little about your current release.
WEATHERING ROCK is a romantic suspense novel being published by Lyrical Press. It combines paranormal elements, time travel, and a splash of Civil War history. My hero, Caleb DeCardian, was a colonel for the Union Army. Shortly after the battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to present day along with his rival who has cursed him to live as a werewolf. Arianna Hart, my heroine, teaches American history at the local middle school. The two meet when she nearly runs him down with her car. Naturally, sparks and mystery fly. 🙂
I should probably mention the title refers to an old home/estate that has been in Caleb’s family since the 1800s and factors into the novel.
 What was your inspiration behind this book?
I love history, especially the Civil War period, and I’ve been enthralled by the werewolf myth since I was a child. I liked the idea of a single person battling something they couldn’t control, in this case lycanthropy. Caleb is a commander. He’s used to being in charge and having others do exactly as he says when he orders. Imagine a person who thrives on self-discipline and (because of his position), is usually emotionally detached, suddenly at the whim of a curse that controls him.
I wanted to create a flawed, conflicted character with a highly defined sense of right and wrong, who was noble at heart. Hopefully, I’ve done that with Caleb. Arianna, of course, does not immediately see that side of him but, as they grow closer, she begins to piece together the puzzle of his past.
Why did you choose this particular genre?
I grew up on fairy tales, romantic stories and the idea of soul mates. I love the belief that love conquers all and that two people can triumph over adversity to achieve a happily-ever-after.
I’ve also always been attracted to strong heroes with conflicted hearts who had a better vision of tomorrow – – King Arthur, Robin Hood, Taliesin, Tristan, and William Tell to name a few.
Tell us a little about you.
I’ve been writing since grade school, am married to my high school sweetheart, and work a day job in real estate marketing. WEATHERING ROCK was my first true attempt at submitting for professional publication and I’m thrilled it was accepted.
In addition to writing, I’m an avid reader and enjoy everything from romance, mystery, thrillers and horror to fantasy, young adult and science fiction.
What do you find is your biggest writing struggle?
Finding time. I never lack for ideas or motivation, but it’s hard juggling a full time job, home life, social media and writing. I sometimes feel like Bilbo Baggins in the Fellowship of the Ring when he tells Gandalf he’s “stretched thin, like butter over toast.”
Any tips for new writers?
Belief and persistence in equal measure.
My biggest hurdle on the road to publication was taking the initial step. I’d freeze when I finished a novel and it was time to write the synopsis. It’s always been the bane of my existence. I pitched Weathering Rock without having one in place, then got a green light to submit. I had no choice but to buckle down and write one. I still dread them, but at least now I know I can do it when push comes to shove.
Any other books in the works?
I’m presently putting the finishing touches on a contemporary romantic suspense novel called TWELFTH SUN. It involves a treasure hunt for a valuable marine artifact. My female lead has been asked by her uncle to work with a friend who’s a renowned authority in the field of marine archeology. She agrees, thinking he’s going to be a stodgy old man, close to her uncle’s age. Instead, she gets Dr. Elijah Cross, a quirky twenty-five year old who looks like a grunge musician and who has held a Ph.D. for several years. Naturally, sparks and mystery fly. 🙂
How/where can readers find you?
Twitter: @maeclair1 https://twitter.com/MaeClair1
Pre-order on iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mae-clair/id552912017?mt=11

Thanks for stopping by Mae, and I look forward to reading Weathering Rock!


EXCERPT:

“Stop it!” Arianna shook off Wyn’s grip, pivoting to face him. “Are you crazy?”
Before he could answer, something slammed against the door. Caleb screamed. The sound knifed through her like the violent jolt of an electrical wire.
“Caleb!” She launched herself at the door, panicked and terrified by the thought of the man she loved in horrific pain.
“Don’t!” Wyn stiff-armed her aside and grabbed the knob, forcibly holding it in place. “Get a chair. Something, anything! We’ve got to keep him locked inside.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Arianna, get a fricking chair. Now!”
There was another crash, and then a bang as something heaved against the door, making it shudder from top to bottom. Arianna heard a snarl that turned her blood to ice. The door rattled in its frame, weakening as something battered against it. Something inhuman locked in the room with Caleb.
A cold fist clamped over her stomach.
“Wyn, what’s going on?”
“Chair!” he spat. “Get me a damn chair.”
The raw urgency of his voice plowed through her confusion. She darted into the dining room, snagged a chair, and dragged it into the hallway. The thing in the parlor was still hammering away, heaving itself against the door in an attempt to burst through. Wyn’s face was white with strain as he struggled to hold the door shut with both hands. He rammed the top of the chair beneath the knob, wedging it securely into place. A blood-thirsty howl exploded from the other side, kicking Arianna’s heartbeat into overdrive.
“My God, Wyn, what’s going on?” She lurched for the door.
“Don’t. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Wyn caught her around the waist and swung her up against the wall.
She tried to squirm free. “I know Caleb’s trapped in there. We have to help him! There’s something in the room. Can’t you hear it?”
He held her wrists, pinning her arms to the wall. “Listen to me!” His eyes were wild, his face inches from hers. With a single frenetic skip of her heart, she realized he was as terrified as she was.
“There’s nothing in the room. Only Caleb. Do you hear me, Arianna? It’s Caleb.”
“No!” She shook her head, unwilling to believe what he told her, but another ear-splitting snarl fanned her fear higher. Nothing made sense. Not the stark fear in Wyn’s eyes, the sweat-slickened grip of his palms crushing her wrists or the chillingly inhuman sounds coming from the parlor. The man she loved could never sound so guttural or barbarous.
“I don’t care!” She ripped free of his hold. “I don’t care if he’s by himself or in there with something else. You have to help him!”
She lunged for the door, but Wyn grappled her around the waist, holding fast. They were still struggling when the sound of shattering glass rang through the narrow center hall of Weathering Rock.

About the Author:
Mae Clair knew from the time she entered grade school that she wanted to be a writer. She credits her parents with instilling in her an insatiable love of reading through weekly trips to the library when she was a child. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create characters and make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.
Inspired by folktales, legends and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, she loves to blend the fantastical with the ordinary. Her heroes are known to be flawed and complex, her heroines capable, independent and sexy.
Throughout the years she has been actively involved in various writing and critique groups and is a past President of the Central Pennsylvania Writers’ Organization. She lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her high school sweetheart (a.k.a. the Love of Her Life). In her downtime she enjoys reading, digital scrapbooking and unwinding with her husband by the pool when the fickle PA weather permits.   A self-admitted idealist, Mae is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

Updates

A few Gossamer related updates:

Gossamer’s release is less than a month away, which means I will be dropping by a few blogs. Here is a list of a few places you can find me in the next few weeks:

I’ve begun my research for Granted (book 3) and I imagine after people read Gossamer the title alone will get them excited. 😉 I’ve written the first few chapters but always want to be sure I get the Irish traditions, names and legendary beings accurate. I take some liberties when necessary but typically try not to make changes. It’s always fun to do faery research. Let’s just say I learn a lot and find there are some very interesting people out there.

Apps for Writers

The other day I downloaded a handy app for writing, which lead me to search for other writing apps. Though I haven’t tried all of them, these are the ones that seemed pretty useful.

Apps for Writing and note-taking

I always have ideas pop into my head when I’m away from my computer, but I always have my phone. Usually, I just open up a note and jot things down but these apps help organize all those thoughts.

Werdsmith allows you to take notes, write and set word count goals. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the others but it’s a good place to keep notes and maybe even doing a little writing when a good scene comes to mind.

Writers App allows you to work on character development, plot, and take notes. The visions page has everything from synopsis, to premise, to chapters. Characters can each be stored with a name, their role, even strengths and weaknesses. This app by far seems the most useful.

Apps for Writing Prompts/Creative Exercises 

If you find yourself stuck in a rut or looking for a writing exercise you can try these apps.

Writing Prompts is just that. It gives you a prompt from five generators: News, Scenes, Sketches, Texts and Words. I haven’t personally tried this one but it seems like it could be a fun creative exercise working on various writing prompts.

iDeas for Writing provides triggers to encourage writing. It will create first lines, titles, characters and other ideas to help encourage creativity and maybe even give you ideas for your next project.