What are the top three influencing factors that went into the creation of your novel?
1. A desire to showcase family dynamics and conflict.
As both writer and reader, I am drawn to books that have strong family or friendship bonds. That’s not to say these bonds are free of conflict. In fact, I prefer they be rife with tension as that gives my characters something to overcome. As romance writers, we naturally create this division for our hero and heroine with the goal of bringing them to an HEA after all obstacles have been overcome. I like to take that a step further, paralleling the journey of the H/h with an equally strong conflict between the hero (or heroine) and a secondary character—usually a family member.
In the case of my most recent release, Eclipse Lake, that struggle exists between two brothers, Dane and Jonah Carlisle, who have been estranged for fifteen years. I give their relationship as much weight as I do the romance between Dane and my heroine, Ellie Sullivan. I wanted to create a story that wasn’t only a mystery/romance, but also a story about healing and second chances.
2. I love stories set in small towns.
But I also wanted an unusual setting. The result is a combination of a touristy lake area tucked in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and frequented by “summer residents”. Onyx, my tiny rural town, is nestled at the base of twin mountains. It’s one of those places where everyone knows everyone’s business, and memories of past events never fade. Rumors and gossip spread quickly like wildfire. Wouldn’t that be a great place to stage a murder? Which brings me to point number three…
3. Unsolved crimes make great story fodder.
In the case of Eclipse Lake, I had a couple of teens stumble across a skeleton in the woods. That was the catalyst to reopen a fifteen year old crime and set my small town gossiping, my summer residents panicking. Especially when I tossed in a hero who knows more about the bones than he’s willing to admit, and a heroine determined to find out what he’s hiding. Add a couple of nosy teens, a vindictive sheriff, and the hero’s estranged brother, and I felt like a spider weaving a web. Every thread had to lead back to that unsolved crime, impacting each of my players.
In the end, Eclipse Lake was a delight to write. I hope you will find it equally appealing should you decide to purchase it. I love hearing from readers and welcome feedback. Many thanks to Laurie for allowing me to visit today!
ABOUT THE BOOK
by Mae Clair
Small towns hold the darkest secrets.
Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.
But memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.
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Ellie stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why are you here?”
Dane picked up a flat stone. With a flick of his wrist he sent it skimming across the lake. It danced effortlessly across the surface as if he’d done the same thing a thousand times before. “You know that skeleton they found?”
“I’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard. I can’t pick up and go to another place…to the next photo shoot.” He turned to face her. “Half of my life is here and half’s on the west coast. I have to make them fit together.”
The revelation reminded her of the family she’d left behind in Idaho, reawakening a familiar tug of homesickness. In an effort to find more comfortable ground, she changed topics. “You told me you’re from San Diego. I did a photo op there four years ago. What do you do for a living?”
“I get by.” He took her hand and started walking again.
She sent a speculative glance in his direction, recognizing evasiveness when she heard it. He was wearing a Rolex, and though dressed casually, clearly had expensive taste. Yet he’d booked an ordinary cabin rather than one of the exclusive chalets higher up the mountain.
She liked the feel of his fingers around hers, warm and firm. The contact sent a pleasant tingle up her arm. What the hell was wrong with her, getting caught up in his touch as if it were magic? As if she’d waited her whole life for that sensation. He had skeletons in his past, a brother who couldn’t stand the sight of him and a sheriff who wanted to run him out of town. Eccentric, or just plain trouble?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website and Blog - http://maeclair.net/
Twitter (@MaeClair1) - https://twitter.com/MaeClair1
Facebook Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mae-Clair/219356774828949?ref=hl
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1397572548&sr=8-1
Purchase Eclipse Lake from:
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Mae will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway