Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?
As the descendants of those buried in the churchyard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.
End of Day can be read as a stand-alone novel or as a follow-up to book one of the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night.
End of Day is available for pre-order through this link
and available to add to your Goodreads to-be-read list here.
Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:
If you follow my blog, you know that a big part of my life revolves around all kinds of music, but country, folk, and Americana music in particular. Why? Because most of the songs in these genres are story-driven. As a writer, that is what I gravitate to. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy classic rock and blues, because I love them. But, ultimately it’s the stories that draw me.
There are certain songs that invoke the desire to expand and tell the story in greater detail than what you get in three minutes. That is the case with “Mountain Laurel.”
“Rocky Mountain Music” by Eddie Rabbitt is the inspiration. I hope you enjoy the story and here’s a link to the song, if you want to give it a listen. The storyline does not follow the song a hundred percent but does take bits and pieces of it to weave into this tale.
“Tell me, Mr. Roberts. What’s it like bein’ a big singin’ star?”
The afternoon sun reflected off the lone front window of the Nashville bar. I turned my attention from the shot glass nestled comfortably in my hand to the watery blue eyes of an overweight fellow in a cheap leisure suit. “I reckon it’s okay.”
The heavyset man eased his rear up on the bar stool next to me and motioned to the bartender. “I hate to intrude, but I’m tryin’ real hard to get established as a reporter in the music industry and I need a story bad. What was it like for you growing up?”
Shifting away from the obtrusive interviewer, I stared past him at a memory as vivid as if it were yesterday.
Wide-eyed, I watched as my mama sank into the nearest threadbare chair and crumpled into a heap of sobs.
I could hear the words that fell out of the foreman’s mouth as he laid a clumsy hand on Mama’s shoulder, but it took a while for them to register in my twelve-year-old brain.
“Miz Anderson, I’m sure sorry. We tried everything to get Robert out, but when the back section of the mine gave away, it was awful bad.” The miner sighed and shoved a hand covered with coal dust in his pocket. “I’ll have the missus come around and check on you if that’s okay.”
Mama didn’t answer. The kind of grief a person only feels when everything they love is snatched away wracked her body causing her frail shoulders to heave. Guttural cries sprang from her throat making the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Thank heavens my older sister had the good sense to see the man to the door. After all, April was the strong one. Barely fifteen, she had long dark ringlets that hung down her back and violet eyes that Papa often said could turn any man’s head. She looked more like Papa than the rest of us.
I spared Mama a glance. She was broken. Deep down that day, I knew I no longer had a mama or a papa.
“Mr. Roberts, sir. I really would like to ask some questions if you can spare me five minutes.” The reporter fished out a pencil and tablet while he sipped on a foamy draft beer.
It wasn’t that I minded being interviewed; it was just the memories his questions stirred. No matter how much I drank, how many women I slept with or how many shows I sold out, the guilt was always there.
Papa was my best friend. I admired everything about him; the easy way he moved through life, always smiling and tipping his hat to the ladies, but most of all the ease that music flowed through him. He could play damn near any instrument.
That was the gift he’d passed on to me. From my barstool, I could picture him in his favorite rocker on the front porch blowing smoke rings from his pipe, plucking on his banjo and nodding at me when it was my turn to play my old beat-up Harmony guitar.
Wow! I certainly was not expecting this. I have read a lot of the short stories that were created for the challenge and I have to say that some of them were outstanding. You can see all of them in the RRBC Catalogue.
The first story in my book, “Obsession,” was inspired by a song, “Loving County” by Charlie Robison and Jack Ingram. I posted a link before, but here it is again if you want to listen.
I am grateful, honored and humbled to receive this award.
And, it couldn’t have come at a better time. If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve been trying to get a publisher interested in my latest novel. I had begun to feel like I didn’t have what it takes.
This award gives me much-needed validation. It also gives me the motivation to push forward.
Tequila Rose may have met the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, she wakes up suffering from alcoholic amnesia and doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Tall, dark, and Jack may be the cure her jaded heart desperately needs, but Tequila’s wary as friends warn her that Jack hangs out with the local drug dealer. Thrust together at a Speed Dating event, their chemistry sizzles, but is Jack after a different kind of fix?
Or is it? Are you like me and feel that you have to work like a Trojan workhorse every day, day in and day out?
But what happens when we do? I can only speak from my own personal experience.
Creativity all but comes to a screeching halt
I find it hard to shut my brain off at night for sleep
I feel exhausted all the time
I get grouchy when I am not creating
I get tunnel vision
Here’s the truth of it. Most of us are ambitious and anxious to write great books and get them into the hands of readers. But, no matter how much we do, there is always more to do: more writing, more marketing, more admin. A writer’s work is never done.
I have one novel already written and two more in the series vaguely outlined and waiting. I fear I have failed miserably, as an author, this year. Yes, I put out several short stories and maintained my blog, but have not given much more than a glance toward my next full-length book. There’s a couple of reasons for that. I have been in this state of limbo since last year, waiting with bated breath to see if a publisher will take the first book of The White Rune Series. Guess what? I’m still waiting.
So, why couldn’t I force myself to work on the next one while I’m waiting? That would be the smart thing to do. I guess the truthful answer is I need to feel like it is worthwhile. Yes, I know. Everything we are inspired to do is worthwhile in some way or another. Maybe the better word for it is validation.
In telling Rick’s and my stories, I had passion. I was driven to get the story down and out into the hands of readers. I need to feel that burning passion again.
I’m open to any advice. My sister tells me that if you don’t write a story, you lose it. I don’t want to lose them because they are good stories. Such a dilemma.
Then I have to ask myself this question. If the publisher that currently has the manuscript passes on it, what then?
Yes, I know I can self-publish, but I don’t have another $2,000 to $3,000 to invest with little hope of ever recouping. Since I suck at cover design and formatting, I’d have to pay for both of those services plus editing. If anyone ever said writing and publishing books is easy, they told a big lie.
So, the bottom line to all of this is that I took a break from working on the novels. Is that good? I suppose only time will tell.
How about you? Do you take breaks? Do you have books waiting to be published? Please tell me I’m not in this boat alone.
Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for my latest collection of short stories, “Two Shorts and a Snort.” I’m giving away three eBooks.
This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.
How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.
It is possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.
Friends Instead of Lovers:
Sometimes it’s better to remain friends instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.
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