May 22, 2015

Book Review (XXXVIII) Eclipse Lake



                                 Eclipse Lake
                                          by Mae Clair 

 
Blurb
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.
 Buy links: Amazon Kindle   Amazon Print
My Review
Romance, suspense, mystery! Mae Clair has truly outdone herself! The Eclipse Lake is stunning, powerful and emotional! I loved Dane and Ellie; their story  warmed my heart !

         Onyx, a quiet, peaceful community at first glance, „where residents passed leisurely evenings in high-backed rockers and porch swings. Where farmers herd milk cows in from grazing at the end of a slow dusty day.”  But you know the saying -- Appearances are deceptive, don’t you? Terrible secrets, guilt and sins, scandal and old grudge  simmer under the appearence of a tranquil small town. As the author states in Chapter Two - Small, rural towns sometimes held the darkest secrets of all.  Indeed, Ridge Pointe especially is a place that keeps many  dangerous secrets.The reading of the book kept me turning the pages as the twists and turns popped up frequently, making me ooh and aah all the time.

The great thing about the book is that  I could relate to the characters, they are believable. The leading one is Dane Carlisle.

Dane, the deadbeat who left the town fifteen years before, has to face the ghosts of his troubled past. Will he persuade his brother Jonah that he’s now a changed man? Will he clean his name of all the accusations, the  most serious being  that of murder?  How will he be able to explain to his teenage son, Jesse, honor roll student and a regional archery champion,  that his  now  a wealthy and respected father  spent a year in Wells City Juvie, followed by six months in an adult prison as a teenager himself?  

I especially enjoyed the description of family ties, the dynamic of their relationship : Dane – Jonah, Dane- Jesse.  Speaking of family dynamic there’s an interesting parallel between the Cralisles and the Sullivans. The former, Dane’s family, a dysfunctional one with an alcoholic mother, the latter, Ellie’s family, a loving one whre they support each others  and share laughter and fun.

I cringe when I read spoilers of the story, so I won’t reveal any more of this captivating book. Mae Clair does an excellent job of building emotion and intrigue; the outcome – a riveting story where even the setting is a character in itself. My Rating:
                

                                                 

May 20, 2015

Wednesday Writing Wisdom (8) Ernest Hemingway





“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”



Ernest Hemingway
(1899,  Illinois, SUA –  1961)

Curious facts about:



He was a cat person. In 1931, Hemingway was given a very special cat. She was a white polydactyl, meaning she had six toes due to a genetic mutation, and he called her “Snowball.” Hemingway became obsessed with this rare mutation and ended up with about 50 of them running freely around his Key West property. In fact, Hemingway did so much to promote the breed through his writing that polydactyl cats are now sometimes referred to as “Hemingway cats.”

In the 1940’s, Hemingway worked closely with the Soviet KGB. He went under the cover name “Argo.” Edgar Hoover and many FBI officials spied on him for much of his later life. Some even claim this added level of pressure deepened his depression and later led him to take his own life.

During his life, Hemingway survived exposure to anthrax, malaria, skin cancer, and pneumonia. He lived through diabetes, two plane crashes, a ruptured kidney, hepatitis, a ruptured spleen, a fractured skull, a crushed vertebra, and the only thing he could not stop was himself. Ultimately, Hemingway took his favorite gun and went to the foyer where he put two rounds into his head after returning from the Mayo Clinic.

May 18, 2015

Guest Promo (LXXXIX) Medieval Monday




Sandra Jones is the guest  today in Medieval Monday Tour. She tells us about:

              HIS CAPTIVE PRINCESS
Earned respect is sweet…but deserved revenge is sweeter.
Warren de Tracy was assured the Welsh village of Dinefwr would be an easy conquest, as would the widow of its fallen prince. Wedding her will appease the locals and win the respect of his liege, the usurper King Stephen.

Instead, Warren is ambushed, taken prisoner by a hooded Welshwoman with skin that glows like moonlight. If he must die at her hands, at least his honorable death will silence the whispers of disloyalty hanging over his name.

Princess Eleri has never seen a knight as stoic—and as eager to die—as Warren. She’d love to oblige the bastard, but something in his ocean-blue eyes stays her hand. Plus, suspicion nags at her, for the arrows that wounded him and killed his men are Norman, not Welsh.

A ghostly prophecy portends danger that thrusts the enemies closer together, where hate explodes into passion that won’t allow Eleri to surrender Warren to her vengeful clan. But returning him to his king breaks more than it mends…and for Warren, retaliation will be sweet, indeed.

Product Warnings
Contains a Norman warrior with a thirst for justice, a Welsh rebel princess with second sight and a steady bow hand, magical prophecies, and a plot of royal proportions.

EXCERPT

“‘Your Highness’?” Warren jerked in astonishment, pulling against his bonds. The ropes chafed his raw skin, sending a fresh wave of pain down his arms. “You’re of royal blood?”

She leaned over him, reaching for his bonds. “Hush! In addition to your arrow wound, I trow your tongue has healed as well these past days. It would behoove you to use it less and just be grateful you’re alive.”

Her breasts hovered inches above his face. In fact, if he lifted his head, he could bury his face between them. What would she do, this spirited wench, if he chose to do so? He would’ve enjoyed finding out if circumstances had been different. “I’d rather be dead than be a prisoner. But first...I’ll kiss your feet if you’d scratch my nose.”

She made a choking noise in her throat that almost sounded like amusement.

He felt a tug at his ropes and the friction of a knife. By the saints, she was freeing him. He couldn’t allow it.

Air stung his raw skin as soon as one of his wrists came loose. With his one arm still useless in its restraints, he shot out his free hand and clutched her forearm. Using all his strength, he turned her over beneath him, wedging her between his torso and the bed. Nose to nose, he could make out her eyes gone wide with shock in the darkness. “No!” he growled. “Do not let me leave here alive.”

Suddenly, her warrior was upon him and his knife back against Warren’s throat. “Get off the princess, you cur!”

The woman’s blade touched his chest plate. She could dispatch him with ease. Her arms were strong and lean. Her body was far from frail, and he recalled her skillful defeat of his conroi. She twisted beneath his pelvis defensively, and the grinding of her soft mound awoke his sex. Shame heated his cheeks at his sudden need and dark desires. This one time, he would allow himself to speak his mind. “If you release me, Princess, I’ll go to Kidwelly and inform my commanders what has befallen my five men at the hands of you and your people. The king will strike at the subjects of CantrefMawr with vengeance such as you’ve never known.”

Her expression shifted from stark panic to slow derision as her saucy lips curved up at one corner. “You think I don’t know what you’re capable of?” Her eyes flashed downward meaningfully, and he knew she’d noted the turn of his wicked thoughts. “You want to have your way with me. To tear my clothing from my body and part my legs. But you know nothing of my people, Norman. You haven’t even bothered to learn the language—” she broke off, slurring in Welsh at her vassal.

The burly guard grabbed Warren’s bandaged shoulder, twisting it back until bile climbed in his throat. “Umpff!” While he convulsed in pain, the woman slipped loose and turned him on his back, pinning his groin beneath two very sharp knees. He hissed through his teeth, “Par les saints!”

If he’d been successful in his mission, this devil-wench would’ve been his bride?

“You are my prisoner, knight.” She planted the flat of her hand against his neck, leaving no doubt of her desire for domination as her angry pulse drummed against his skin. “I am the Princess of Deheubarth, widow of Prince OwainapDaffyd, murdered by your Norman peers. It will be my pleasure keeping you alive. We’re taking you to those who will do with you what they will. I care not. Until then, you are my dog. My captive. My slave. And you will obey!”

Buy Links: 

                             The trailer includes all the covers in the tour.