On this beautiful TWELFTH day of September, I am thrilled to have the very talented author, Mae Clair pay us a visit while we celebrate the release of her highly entertaining, highly recommended, absolutely must have, must read novel, TWELFTH SUN...
An Attraction to the Sea
Debbie, thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest today. I always love hanging out at your blog, browsing through the fascinating snippets of ghostly history you unearth. I’m delighted to be here and excited to share my new release, a romantic mystery called TWELFTH SUN.
From the time I was a kid, I’ve been enamored of old sailing vessels and nautical folklore. The eastern seaboard is a second home to me and I dream of someday living in a quaint coastal village. Beach settings inspire me, and I’m instantly intrigued by any snippet of maritime folklore I stumble across.
As a result, it seemed only natural to weave those elements into my romantic mystery, TWELFTH SUN.
Reagan Cassidy is just trying to do her uncle a favor when she agrees to meet his friend, a marine archaeologist, and a bid on a journal that once belonged to a passenger aboard the doomed nineteenth century schooner, Twelfth Sun. What she didn’t count on was finding a man ten years her junior with a cocky attitude, a PhD,and a way of shattering her reservations.
Dr. Elijah Cross thought it would be a simple matter to authenticate the journal for his friend Gavin Cassidy, but finds himself sucked into an elaborate scavenger hunt along with Gavin’s sexy niece, Reagan, and several oddball competitors. As the guest of Eric Sothern, a reclusive billionaire no one has ever seen, Elijah and the others are invited to lodge for a week at Sothern’s lavish seaside mansion.
He finds it hard to concentrate on marine artifacts with the alluring Reagan occupying his mind, a series of cryptic riddles to solve, and a saboteur intent on claiming the journal even if it means playing dirty to win. When the clues take a strangely personal turn and a series of mishaps occur, he and Reagan are left to wonder if anyone is really who they seem.
TWELFTH SUN was the equivalent of a writer’s playground for me. It allowed me to combine multiple story elements I love and weave them into a tale of escapist fun, including a smattering of nautical myths, superstition and folklore.
Do you have a favorite story of the sea, a legend or folktale that makes you yearn for old clipper ships or sprawling beaches? I’d love to hear about them!
Reagan glanced at her watch. She’d dragged herself from bed hours before any civilized person should be up, for the sole purpose of meeting Elijah Cross. The marine archeologist was already ten minutes late--not a brilliant way to begin a working relationship. She’d learned through firsthand experience many of her uncle’s friends were as unreliable as they were eccentric. Foolishly, she had hoped Dr. Cross wouldn’t fall into the same category.
Resigned to passing the time, she added hot water to her tea. From the corner of her eye she spied movement at the door of the cafe. A man stepped inside, shaking rain from his jacket. The door banged shut behind him, ensnaring her full attention. He wore a battered black fedora and worn jeans with scuffed dock shoes. There was something oddly familiar about him. He turned slightly and she caught his profile, realizing he was the man from room ten. Self-conscious, she looked away, hoping to sink through the floor. He spoke briefly with the hostess and then headed in her direction.
She tensed. What were the odds of encountering him now when she was scheduled to meet Dr. Cross, a highly-respected and, no doubt critical, academic? How would it look to her uncle’s friend if he walked in on a conversation revolving around naked men and the color of her undergarments?
Chagrined, she bowed her head over her teacup. Her hair spilled forward, concealing her face behind curtains of red-gold. With any luck he’d go away. With any luck, he’d leave her alone.
Reagan raised her head fully convinced mischievous imps had tracked her to Shipwright Landing and were even now performing rituals of bad luck. “Hi.” She pressed her lips together. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m expecting someone.”
“Yeah, I know.” He grinned. “You’re Reagan Cassidy.”
She blinked. She’d given the hostess her name only because she was expecting Dr. Cross and neither had any idea what the other looked like. She certainly hadn’t expected the woman to share her name with any longhaired Lothario who asked for it. “The hostess told you.”
He nodded. Removing his hat by the crown, he dropped it on the table. “Some storm.” He shrugged out of his jacket and hooked it over the back of the nearest chair. “Good thing it’ll be over soon.”
Reagan watched flabbergasted as he sat across from her and picked up a menu. “Excuse me.” Her voice rose sharply, edged like a knife. “I didn’t invite you to sit. I told you I’m expecting someone.”
“Yeah, I know.” He flashed that same irritating grin. “I’m Elijah Cross.”
Mae Clair loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.