31 Days of Halloween – Mae Clair

Mae Clair: Werewolves and Weathering Rock
Hey, everyone ~
it’s a pleasure to be part of Brynna Curry’s 31 Days of Halloween. I’m thrilled
to be here, sharing some thoughts about werewolves, time travel, rivals, and
romance. I hope you find that a tempting ‘witch’s brew’ because I’ve woven
those elements throughout my debut release, a paranormal/time travel romance,
October naturally inspires thoughts of Halloween and all
manner of things that go-bump-in-the-night. While the days are a cornucopia of
color, kindled by gem-bright leaves, fat orange pumpkins and golden fields
waiting for harvest, the nights conjure shivers and goose bumps.
Why does everything seem more ominous in the dark?If I hear
the creak of a floorboard during the day, I’m apt to chalk it up to the groan
of protesting wood. Let that same creak happen in an empty house when darkness swaddles
the windows, and suddenly it denotes something sinister.
Weathering Rock is the name of an estate built in the 1800s.
When the heroine of my novel, Arianna Hart, is unexpectedly forced to spend the
night, it’s more than creaking floorboards that disturb her sleep.
I’ve been intrigued by tales of ghosts, mythical beasts and fantastical
creatures since I was a kid. When I needed a hero who was controlled by a curse
for WEATHERING ROCK, I’d dipped into that well of superstition and folklore and
chose a werewolf.
I liked the idea of a single person battling
something they couldn’t control. The hero of WEATHERING ROCK is Colonel Caleb
DeCardian. He fought for the Union army during the Civil War, then shortly
after the Battle of Gettysburg, was transported to 2012 by a shower of ball
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, who has spent the bulk of his life 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.
Ariannateaches American history and has a particular
interest in the Civil War. She meets Caleb on a fog-drenched night, and
immediatelyrecognizes there issomething different about him. The more time they
spend together, she realizes he isn’t who or what he seems, and his secrets
begin to unravel.
Arianna realizes she’s falling in love with a man
from another time who might, at any moment, be wrenched back to his own
century. To complicate matters, Caleb didn’t arrive in the 21st
Century alone. The man who turned him into a werewolf—once his closest friend,
now a bitter rival–is stalking them both.
Intrigued? I hope so! J
If you like a hunky werewolf, sensual romance, and
multi-layered plots, give WEATHERING ROCK a look-see. I hope you find it a howling
good read for the month of October. 😀
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?
“You’re where?” Lauren said into the phone, flabbergasted.
“Weathering Rock,” Arianna repeated.
“You mean that big old house off Blackberry Lane? The weird
one that’s supposed to attract ball lightning?”
“That’s the one.”
Too keyed up to sit, Arianna paced the guestroom. “I had a
small accident on the way home.” And met an incredibly sexy man with silver
eyes and an old-fashioned personality. That part would keep until tomorrow.
Lauren drew a sharp breath. “Ari, you’re scaring me. Are you
all right? Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine.” Walking to the window, she pushed the drapes
aside and stared into the darkness. Her reflection leaped back like a
disembodied ghost–raven hair, dark green eyes, her skin pale as milk in the
night-blackened glass. The rain had arrived, pushed by a fury of wind and
thunder. It pelted the windows, making her feel safe indoors.
I won’t hurt you, Caleb had promised. Why was it so
important to him she stay?
She told her friend what happened, skipping her conflicting
emotions about her blond-haired host.
“And you’re actually staying?” Lauren gave a
cluck of disbelief. “I don’t care if it is raining, I’ll come get you. For all
we know, one of them could have punctured your tire so you’d be stuck there.”
“You’ve seen too many slasher movies, Lauren. I’ll be fine.” She
couldn’t explain why, but felt secure in the house, as if something sinister
lurked outside. As long as she remained within the walls of Weathering Rock,
she was protected from that unnamed threat.
By Caleb.
The thought shocked her. She eased to a seat on the bed, absently
fingering the white eyelet cover. The furnishings looked plucked from a
storybook, the bed dressed in a pale blue canopy and flirty skirted ruffle. The
matching bureau was squat and old-fashioned with a standing mirror and
gold-veined marble top. A walnut washstand with a pitcher and bowl was tucked
into the corner.
“I’ll call you in the morning when I get home.”
“You’re sure about this?”
“Positive.” Arianna smiled, appreciating her friend’s concern.
Lauren had been through a divorce eight months ago, the experience leaving her
jaded when it came to trusting men.
“All right.” Lauren exhaled into the phone. “But I expect a call
in the morning, followed by details in the afternoon. How about dropping by my
shop after you finish your errands?”
“Deal.” Running Saturday errands was a regular routine for Arianna
and she most always ended at Lauren’s boutique for a visit afterward. “I’ll
talk to you soon.”
She said goodbye and set the cell within reach on the nightstand.
Rain continued to batter the windows in fierce bursts, backlit by strobes of
lightning. The intermittent flash made her think of the ball lightning she’d
seen earlier, an occurrence Caleb had been reluctant to acknowledge. Yet
another oddity from a man who excelled at them.
Yawning, she glanced at her watch. It was after one in the morning
and the events of the night had finally caught up with her. She switched off
the light and opened the drapes, inviting the frenzied dance of the storm indoors.
She shimmied from her jeans and top and crawled into bed, the cotton sheets
blessedly cool against her bare skin. Moments later, as she was drifting toward
sleep, a rattling crack of thunder drew her upright.
Outside, lightning transformed the night into surreal-whitened
day, silhouetting the bulk of a large animal against the window. Arianna
recoiled from the touch of its eyes, yellow in the flash-fire burst of the
storm. The image lasted only a pulse-beat before it was swallowed by darkness.
She shoved from the bed, hastily pulling on her blouse to cover
herself, and threw open the window. The night had bled into a cauldron of
shadow and patchy fog, making it impossible to see more than a few feet. The
air was redolent with wet grass and worm-rich soil, an odor that made her think
of swollen riverbeds and bogs. Rain pelted her face and left her shivering in
her skimpy bra and panties. The animal–if animal it had been–had been
swallowed by the storm.
She closed the window, careful to secure the lock.
It’s not safe tonight, Caleb had said.
She shook away a chill, convinced she’d been dreaming. The animal
must have been a figment of her sleep-hazed mind. The events of the night,
Caleb’s mysterious warning, and the legends surrounding Weathering Rock had
taken a toll of her nerves.
Yet as she crawled into bed, she couldn’t help
thinking the animal had looked very much like a wolf.
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 wasa child. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing,
encouraged her to create characters and make-believeworlds 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
ordinary. Her heroes are known to be flawed and complex, her heroines capable,
the years she has been actively involved in various writing and critique groups
and is a past
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
and unwinding with her husband by the pool when the fickle PA weather permits.
A self-admittedidealist, Mae is passionate about writing, old photographs, a
good Maine lobster tail and cats.
You can
find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Barnes and Noble