Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Cusp of Night by Mae Clair





GUEST POST


Hello, and many thanks for allowing me to be your guest today. I’m excited to share the news of my latest release, Cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel with elements of the paranormal. The book features dual time lines—past and present—that ultimately converge at the ending. You’ll find ghosts, a creature of urban legend, and a look at the practice of Spiritualism in the late nineteenth century.

The research for this book was so intriguing! Today, I thought I’d like to share some of the terminology I came across as related to spiritualism, much of which finds its way into my book:

Sitters
Those who attend a séance.

Summerland
The realm of the afterlife, a popular term during the nineteenth century spiritualist movement.

The Aether (or Ether)
A place between realms, especially between the living and the dead. Also called the “ether of space” or “the barrier.”


Automatic Writing
A type of mediumship in which the medium is controlled by a spirit or guide who communicates through rapid writing.

Spirit Trumpet
An instrument a medium used to communicate with his/her sitters. The spirit trumpet might issue whispers, words, music, or soar through the air.

Spirit Cabinet
A device, much like a free-standing closet, introduced by the Davenport Brothers in the 1850s. The medium would be secured inside the cabinet, seemingly restricted from producing any tricks during a séance, ensuring that what sitters witnessed were actual manifestations produced by the departed.

Ectoplasm
A slimy white substance said to be produced by spirits. Ectoplasm would ooze from the body of a medium to form ghostly limbs, sometimes entire bodies. Fraud mediums produced it through a mixture of egg white, paper, cloth, and even surgical garb.

The Fox Sisters
Margert and Kate Fox, two young sisters, are credited with starting the Spiritualist movement in 1848, after reportedly communicating with an entity they named Mr. Splitfoot. The girls would go on to earn world renown. P.T.Barnum invited them to perform at his American Museum and James Fenimore Cooper is said to have been spooked by their accuracy after visiting with them.

Extras
Ghosts who appeared in “spirit photography,” a craze that gained popularity during the spiritualist movement

Home Circles
Small groups of family and friends who gathered to attempt to communicate with the dead. Home Circles were a popular form of entertainment, replacing charades and other parlor games.

Society of Psychical Research (SPR)
Founded in 1882, the SPR was dedicated to investigating paranormal and psychic phenomena, with the intent of championing the authentic and debunking the fraudulent. 

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at terms that were common in the late 1800s as related to the practice of spiritualism. Perhaps I can entice you further with the 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 . . .


PURCHASE HERE


You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:


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Suggested tags to use:
Mystery/Suspense, Supernatural Mystery, Supernatural Thriller, Urban Legend, Mae Clair, Cusp of Night, Hode’s Hill Series, Automatic Writing, 19th Century Spiritualism

Please note:
The image of the woman holding candles is one I purchased from Bigstock Photos
For your reference, the URL is
https://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-212366035/




ABOUT THE BOOK



Suspense/Mystery Paranormal
Date Published: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Kensington Publishing

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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 . . .

EXCERPT

Maya walked home, keeping to the main road. Even if her path did intersect with a few alleys, those cross points were brightened by three-globe street lamps. With the lack of traffic and city sounds, surrounded by old buildings and cobbled sidewalks, it was easy to imagine herself in Charlotte Hode’s era.
“Ugn…”
The groan prickled the hair on the back of her neck. She froze at the mouth of an alley, primed for flight. Her pulse pounded in her ears.
“Who’s there?”
The croak came again, sluggish and low, the unmistakable sound of someone in pain. Maybe it was some stupid kid playing a game.
“This isn’t funny.”
“H-h-help.”
Her stomach lurched to her throat. If someone really was hurt and she did nothing, she’d never forgive herself. It was a passing motorist who’d called for help when her car had careened off the road.
Cautious, she inched closer to the mouth of the cutaway. The illumination from the nearest street lamp only carried a few feet, barely edging into the dark maw. “Is someone there?” Slipping her hand into her pocket, she felt for her cell phone. One call to 911 would bring help or keep her safe if the situation deteriorated. A few steps more and she could discern a man slumped against the side of a building.
“Sir, are you hurt?” God help her if he was drunk. She kept a safe distance, and activated the flashlight on her phone.
The man shifted, angling toward her. He groaned. Something large loomed up behind him, a shadow rising from the ground. It took Maya a moment to realize the thing had been squatting there all along, silent in the nightscape—a monstrosity shrouded in black with a pulpy head and eyes that burned white cinders.
She screamed.

The creature ran, deft as a whistle of air, swallowed by the bloated shadows of the alley.

About the Author

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Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  A member of the Mystery Writers of America and Thriller Writer’s International, she loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical.

Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery, suspense, and a hint of the supernatural. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about folklore, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net



You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:




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