Today’s edition of Fantasy Authors Unplugged makes a slight detour away from fantasy and into the broader speculative genre with a paranormal cover reveal. Read on and see the book by Mae Clair:
Cusp of Night
by Mae Clair
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Paranormal
BLURB: Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.
Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger.
Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .
Thanks for visiting today! Join me in welcoming Mae Clair, one of my fellow contributing authors from Story Empire.Also, welcome to a lot of new visitors today from various other blogs and groups including those from Story Empire and Mae’s followers. Take it away Mae!
When the Sky Had a Tail
Hi, friends! I’m pleased to visit P.H. Solomon’s blog during the Story Empire Roadshow. 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.
Grand prizes are up for grabs when the tour is complete (mine is a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card), but there are 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.
If you’ve been following the Story Empire Roadshow Bookmobile tour, you know that my mystery/suspense novel, Eclipse Lake, is on sale for .99 cents through April 7.
In addition, Kensington Publishing has reduced A Cold Tomorrow, the second book in my Point Pleasant series, to .99 cents for a limited time. Easily read as a standalone book, A Cold Tomorrow continues the urban legend of the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, with the addition of a new element—UFOs and Men in Black.
See that green sky on the book cover? It factors into one of the early scenes in the novel. The idea for it came from an experience I had when I was six. Let me set the stage:
A warm summer night, almost dark, and I’m sitting on the front porch with my father. He and I often sat together at dusk, watching the sky. My memory of that evening is spotty but some moments are crystal clear. After a time, my dad drifted to sleep. He’d worked a long day and was relaxed.
Shortly afterward, something large and green trolled across the sky. I remember it as a semi-cloud, the color of algae-rich seawater. Light spilled from the bottom, drenching the street, front lawn, and half of the porch in an eerie green glow. The light swept over me but didn’t touch my father who remained tucked in the shadows.
I don’t know why I didn’t wake him. When you’re a kid you tend not question the unusual. The “cloud” moved past, and soon people were walking up the street, jabbering excitedly. My dad woke up and I followed him down to the sidewalk where a woman stopped to chat. She told my father “the sky looked like it had a tail.” I remember those words vividly. So vividly, one of my characters repeats them in A Cold Tomorrow. The green cloud makes an appearance too.
Had I seen a UFO? Maybe not of the alien variety but, even now, with the knowledge of an adult I can’t say what it was. Hot air balloon? Definitely not. Weather anomaly? Maybe.
What I do know is that I saw an object. In the sky. It was unidentified. Fits the description of a UFO for me.
Given the woman on the sidewalk confirmed something strange had happened that night, it will forever live as a goose-bump memory in my mind. I’ve since found out (through researching information for A Cold Tomorrow) that the year in which this occurred was a year for an unusual amount of UFO sightings in my state). Interesting.
Alien UFO saucer flying on a clouds background above Earth
Here’s a look at the some of the strangeness that takes place in A Cold Tomorrow. The passage below is from one of the opening scenes. Sergeant Ryan Flynn of the Point Pleasant PD responds to a call from local dairy farmer, Chester Wilson, who called after discovering a strange substance strewn across his fields. But that isn’t all that has him worried. Take a look:
“What exactly did you want to show me?” Ryan asked, trying to keep Wilson on track.
“It’s just over the next rise.”
Thankfully, the walk wasn’t far. As soon as they crested the hill, Ryan knew exactly what Wilson wanted him to see. A pattern of black-and-white splotches defined the bulk of a large farm animal lying on its side.
“Shit.” His muttered exclamation had nothing to do with stars or UFOs. Blowing out a breath, Ryan approached the cow wordlessly. Wilson and several other area farmers relied on their prized Holsteins to keep their dairy operations running smoothly. All he needed was for some drunk to have gone on a joyride and put a bullet through the animal’s skull. But all thoughts of tanked-up behavior fled the moment he got a closer look at the carcass.
Odd that the kill hadn’t attracted turkey vultures or crows, almost as if the poor thing was too defiled for a scavenger to touch. As far as he could tell there was no visible wound, bullet or otherwise. To be certain, he walked around the animal before squatting to take a closer look at its head.
“Sick, ain’t it?” Wilson asked.
Like something from a B horror movie. Ryan didn’t think an animal had that much blood in its body. The gory mess that had coagulated into a dense puddle under its head had come from its ears, nose, and mouth.
Grimacing, he glanced up at Wilson. “Was this animal ill, Chester?”
“No, sir. Fit as a fiddle.”
“Kind of a weird place to find her.” The cow was in a field Wilson didn’t use for corralling, judging by the lack of fencing. Even odder, Ryan saw no sign of bovine tracks or crushed grass in any direction. And no footprints to indicate the cow had been led there.
“How did she get here?”
“That’s just it.” Looking puzzled, Wilson scratched his chin. “I haven’t got a clue. I put her in the barn with the others last night. That was the last I saw her until I found her this morning.” He shook his head, remorse filling his eyes as he gazed down on the dead cow. “What do you think happened? All that blood… What could do that to her?”
Ryan hated to speculate. “I’ll call the county veterinarian for large animals.”
“You know what he’s gonna say, don’t you?” Wilson looked up, his eyes bulging, face drawn in the early morning light. “Nothing about it’s natural. It’s like her damn brain exploded.”
Blurb: Where secrets make their home…
Stopping to help a motorist in trouble, Katie Lynch stumbles upon a mystery as elusive as the Mothman legend that haunts her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Could the coded message she finds herald an extraterrestrial visitor? According to locals, it wouldn’t be the first time. And what sense should she make of her young son’s sudden spate of bizarre drawings—and his claim of a late-night visitation? Determined to uncover the truth, Katie only breaks the surface when a new threat erupts. Suddenly her long-gone ex-boyfriend is back and it’s as if he’s under someone else’s control. Not only is he half-crazed, he’s intent on murder….
As a sergeant in the sheriff’s office of the famously uncanny Point Pleasant, Officer Ryan Flynn has learned to tolerate reports of puzzling paranormal events. But single mom Katie Lynch appears to be in very real danger—and somehow Ryan’s own brother, Caden, is caught up in the madness, too. What the skeptical lawman discovers astounds him—and sends him into action. For stopping whatever evil forces are at play may just keep Katie and Caden alive….
Intrigued? A Cold Tomorrow is a full-length mystery and suspense
Presently on sale for .99 Cents
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.
For today’s tour stop, I’ll also draw one randomly selected name for an ebook copy of A Thousand Yesteryears, the first novel in my Point Pleasant Series.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading Mae’s Point Pleasant series thus far and it’s excellent so make sure to click on her links to see more! You can view theStory Empire Roadshowtour schedule for today and all week. Also, please make sure to leave comments below so you can be in the running for Mae’s prize at the end of the week! Thanks for visiting today and have a fun week!
Note: The image of the flying saucer was one purchased from Bigstock Photos.
Thanks for visiting today! Join me in welcoming Staci Troilo, one of my fellow contributing authors from Story Empire.Also, welcome to a lot of new visitors today from various other blogs and groups including those from Story Empire and Staci’s followers. Take it away Staci!
Hi, Paul. I’d like to thank you for inviting me here today. And a big hello to your followers. It’s my first time visiting, and I appreciate you giving me a moment of your time.
The Story Empire Roadshow is sending us to different locations and letting us share different aspects of our work at each locale. I thought today I’d introduce you to a character who appears in every book of this contemporary series, as well as in a short story set in the 1800s. How can that be? Well, read on and you’ll find out.
I’ve arrived fifteen minutes early at the deserted Medici Protectorate compound in Western Pennsylvania. The interview is to begin precisely at 2:00 a.m., and I didn’t want to be late.
The Brotherhood and the Notaro sisters evacuated when the location was compromised, and now the place stands silent, still. Eerie. I’m kind of uncomfortable, sitting in my car in the driveway. I feel completely exposed and on edge. What if their enemies are staking out the property? I could be in danger.
Light shines from a ground floor window. I’ve been here for twenty minutes, and there was no sign of life inside earlier, nor did anyone arrive via car. Icy fingers of fear skitter up my spine and tingle my scalp. I’m being watched.
I don’t need the interview this badly, so I reach for the key, still in the ignition. A tap on my window causes me to jump. Terror wants me to start the car and get the heck out of there, but curiosity forces me to look out the window.
Warm waves of relief flood through me. I don’t know how he approached my car without me seeing him, but he’s the reason I’m here. So I exit my vehicle and greet him, anxious to get the interview underway.
Staci: Hello, Michelangelo. Thank you for meeting with me.
Michelangelo: Come inside. I cannot guarantee your safety here.
Staci: (hurrying behind him) Is the compound being watched?
Michelangelo: (shuts and locks the door; leads the way to the sunroom) I do not know. I am not out there trampling through the forest scouting for interlopers. I am inside with you. Although I do not know why.
Staci: Why? Well, you’re a huge part of the Medici Protectorate series. If readers can better understand you, they’ll have a better grasp of the legend and the story world.
Michelangelo: Is it not your job as the scribe to make certain readers know what is necessary when it is necessary?
Staci: Well, yes. But you’re so fascinating. Even though you’re a secondary character, without you, there would be no series.
Michelangelo: Ah, I see. You wish to use me for your own purposes.
Staci: That’s not a very flattering perspective.
Michelangelo: When you have lived as long as I, you learn to evaluate intentions quickly and accurately.
Staci: Okay. We’ve started out on the wrong foot. I’m not thinking clearly because I’m on edge. It’s scary out here in the dark, especially when I know your enemies are looking for you.
Michelangelo: As long as you are with me inside this compound, you are safe. Please, ask your questions. I have other obligations I must attend.
Staci: It’s the middle of the night.
Michelangelo: What is the phrase you are all so fond of saying? It is five o’clock somewhere.
Staci: That’s really more for people going to Happy Hour than traveling the globe to thwart terrorists.
Michelangelo: And yet, it is apt.
Staci: Fine. Whatever. Why don’t you tell me what those other obligations are?
Michelangelo: I am afraid I cannot do that. I do not wish to reveal our battle strategy.
Staci: So there’s going to be a battle.
Michelangelo: It is inevitable.
Staci: I know you wrote the prophecy that foretold all of this. Is your conclusion about the battle more prophecy-based, or is it just your opinion?
Michelangelo: You have followed the situation since John Notaro’s death. You have researched the Notaro family history back through the 1500s. Knowing that history, knowing Italy’s present socio-political climate, knowing the danger the Brotherhood faces, can you see any outcome other than a final, epic battle?
Staci: Well, no. But I don’t want anyone to get hurt.
Michelangelo: Nor do I. Which is why I am so busy. I have security matters to attend to.
Staci: I thought Coz was in charge of security.
Michelangelo: Yes, that is one of Roberto’s responsibilities. As Dominico’s focus is technology, Vincenzo’s is the law, and Giovanni’s is mergers and acquisitions. Those are their corporate focuses, and at times they put that knowledge to use for the Protectorate. But they all report to me, and in that regard, I tend to security.
Staci: I thought they reported to Mike.
Michelangelo: (pauses for a moment and studies me) They do, yes. And he is the liason between the Brotherhood and me. I am in charge. That is why they call me Capo.
Staci: That’s a lot of responsibility. And over so many centuries, too.
Michelangelo: I made a vow. I will not break it.
Staci: And you used alchemy to make the vow?
Michelangelo: It is not a magical promise. I gave my word, and I will honor my pledge. Throughout the ages. Until Armageddon, if need be.
Staci: Do you really think you can live that long?
Michelangelo: My alchemical research has allowed me to live for centuries, with no ill effects. I can continue until my vow is fulfilled.
Staci: You’ve foreseen the future before. What about now? How long will you be at this?
Michelangelo: Provided all goes according to plan with the final battle, this will be my last stand. Then I can rest.
Staci: Are you planning on losing, then? Because your vow was to keep the Notaro family safe forever, until the line no longer existed. Did you foresee their demise? Do they lose this war?
Michelangelo: (looks at wristwatch) We are out of time. I will see you to your vehicle, then I must go.
Staci: (I scurry after him, out the front door, down the driveway, and to my car. Even with him next to me, it’s frightening there in the middle of the night. But before I get in my car, I need answers to the questions he left me with.) But the Notaro family? The Brotherhood? The final battle?
Michelangelo disappears. He literally vanishes right in front of my eyes. I’m now terrified for the Notaro family, and I stand there, blinking at the empty driveway where he stood just seconds before. Foliage rustles on the other side of my car. My fear for the Notaro family is replaced with fear for my own safety, and I jump in my car and hightail it out of there. I can worry about the sisters and the Protectorate later.
So, that’s a brief look at the man who started it all. I do hope you enjoyed hearing from Il Divino, or the divine one, as he was known by his contemporaries.
Thanks for letting me visit today! As my thanks to you for reading all the way through, I’m offering two prizes to commenters. One commenter will receive a free eBook of their choosing, not just from the Medici Protectorate series (although you can choose one of those), but from any of my works (the complete list can be found by clicking here). Another commenter (US only) will be sent a Medici Protectorate sticky note pad. Good luck!
Medici Protectorate Series Premise: The four Notaro sisters are the secret legacy of the Medici, famed rulers of Italy. Michelangelo promised his Medician benefactor that he’d always watch over the family, and as such, he formed the Medici Protectorate to guard them throughout the generations. Now, Italy is in political turmoil and revolution is imminent. The people are calling for new rulers, and the Notaros are poised to assume control. But a nefarious opposing faction wants the power for themselves. Never was the family in more jeopardy. The four sisters are protected by the Brotherhood—four elite warriors of the Medici Protectorate prophesied to keep the family safe until they fulfill their destinies. They journey around the world in an effort to keep the family safe and the future of Italy secure.
Book One, Bleeding Heart: Gianni, a warrior destined to defend the secret legacy of the Medici, protects his charge Francesca from a prophesied assassin. Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and he must conquer her fears and his demons in time to save them both. Bleeding Heart is only $.99 throughout the duration of the tour. Click the universal link for purchase information.
Book Two, Mind Control: Vinnie copes with his own identity issues while he struggles to protect the one prophesized Medici descendant, Jo, who refuses to embrace her heritage. With lives in peril, can they find the strength to overcome their tragic pasts, or is it too late? Mind Control is only $1.99 throughout the duration of the tour. Click the universal link for purchase information.
Book Three, Body Armor: Nico works to increase his powers and save the Notaro family matriarch, but his private agendas put his charge Donni’s life at risk. When secrets and lies result in three abductions, the group will need to place their trust him to save them all.
Be sure to check out Staci’s entire Medici Protectorate Series via her links! You can view theStory Empire Roadshowtour schedule for today and all week. Also, please make sure to leave comments below so you can be in the running for Staci’s prize at the end of the week! Thanks for visiting today and have a fun week!