#StoryEmpire Road Show! Welcome Mae Clair


Good morning, everyone!

What a week this is going to be … myself and a group of five authors, known collectively as STORY EMPIRE, have gotten together and gone on a roadshow. Throughout the week, we will offer book deals and giveaways and prizes. Today, I am delighted to host author Mae Clair 🙂

Take it away, Mae …

Setting as Character

I’m happy to be visiting with Harmony during the Story Empire Roadshow blog tour. There are posts at all SE author blogs today, with tour prizes scattered throughout, so be sure to check the full slate of events HERE. And don’t forget to follow along, as prizes are up for grabs when the tour is complete. I’ll be giving a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card away. The more you follow and comment, the more your chances to win. And there might even be a prize in the mix today too J


Today, I thought I’d chat about setting.

Recently, a book reviewer chose Eclipse Lake to illustrate the importance of setting in her post “21 Ingredients of a Great Novel.” I was flattered, but also impressed she keyed in on an element that resonated strongly with me during the development of the story.

I like small town settings and have used them throughout my books. In the case of Eclipse Lake, the setting is loosely based on an area I’m well acquainted with. It’s an odd combination—a resort lake tucked between mountains that attracts recreational enthusiasts, and is home to year-round and summer residents. Properties range from high end mansions to rural homesteads and hunting/fishing cabins. The first time I visited I was struck by the idyllic nature of pastures dotted with cows and sheep, the charm of old antique shops, and the ruggedness of gravel roads cut into the mountains.

countryside landscape; rural farm and farmland field
countryside landscape; rural farm and farmland field


Firehouse “eat-alls” are common. By the same token, you can head down to the marina and enjoy lunch on the deck, or take a dinner cruise at night. The location that inspired Eclipse Lake is a combination of affluence and quaintness. That’s exactly the mix I wanted for a story in which old memories cross boundaries. Take a look:

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.


“You get unpacked?” Dane asked.

“Yeah.” Jesse jerked a thumb over his shoulder, indicating the loft on the upper level of the cabin. “I took the bed upstairs.”Eclipse Lake Final

Dane nodded. He closed his empty suitcase and shoved it into the closet. The cabin was clean, not overly large, but roomy. A kitchen, living area, two bedrooms and bath were situated on the main level with a loft wedged beneath the roof peak. When he was a kid, the cabins had attracted hunters and fisherman. While that was still true, the appeal had grown, extending to recreational tourists, nature lovers, and a few oddball travelers like the New Age Cultists entrenched around the bend.

I don’t care if they worship toads, the man in the moon or Starbucks, as long as they pay and don’t trash the place,” the chatty woman who’d given him a key to the cabin had explained. “Sign here and Cabin Twenty is all yours.”

“So, this is where you grew up?” Jesse pulled him from his thoughts. He plopped onto the bed looking comfortable in faded denim shorts and a baggy green t-shirt.

“More or less.”

Except for the year he’d spent in Wells City Juvie, followed by six months in an adult prison. How did he tell his kid that? Jesse excelled in everything he did: honor roll, student council. He was even a regional archery champion. Nothing like learning your millionaire dad had been a royal screw-up.

“So when are you going to see your brother?” Jesse prodded.


“Uh-huh.” A pause said he wasn’t buying it. “Why’d you leave in the first place?”

Because I was a thief who slept with my brother’s girlfriend. A screwed up kid with nowhere to go but down.


Eclipse Lake is a full-length novel of mystery, sweet romance and family drama.
Presently on sale!

Purchase a copy from Amazon • .99 Cents until April 7

Thanks for visiting with me today. Don’t forget to see what the other SE authors have going on during the Story Empire Roadshow. Leave a comment to be eligible for my grand prize drawing for a $10.00 Amazon gift card (the more you follow my tour and comment, the more your chances to win).

For today’s tour stop, I’ll also draw one randomly selected name for an ebook win. Winner’s choice of Solstice Island, Food for Poe, Myth and Magic or A Thousand Yesteryears.

mae author boxnew bio

Connect with Mae Clair

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28 Comments on “#StoryEmpire Road Show! Welcome Mae Clair

  1. Hi, Mae – I’ve got a lot of catching up to do! 😉 I love how your locations come alive, mainly due to your excellent ‘on the spot’ research! Those little local details really hit the spot! 😀
    Thanks for hosting Harmony! 🙂

    • Jan so nice to have you drop by. Sorry I’m late in catching up, but I loved your comment, and I’m delighted that those details make the settings come alive for you. I do love doing on site research LOL!

  2. Harmony, thanks so much for hosting me on the Roadshow tour today. I’m having loads of fun and it’s great to hang out at your blog. Have an awesome day and thanks for all you do!

    • Sherry, I so hear you! I started keeping a list on my iPhone of books I want to read because my Kindle TBR is out of control!

      Thanks for visiting me on tour, and if you read Eclipse Lake, I hope you’ll enjoy. There’s a lot of mystery mixed with the romance.

  3. I have to admit, as a reader, I rarely pay attention to the details of the setting unless they are relevant to the story. I like when an author keeps her descriptions short and straight to the point, with few vivid details.
    The very few books I never managed to go through are those where the setting is too detailed (I.e. Ivanhoe, my personal summer torture in 2002).
    Loved the excerpt!

    • Stephen King is renowned for minute detail … I, too, have a limit when it comes to describing settings ?

      • I love Stephen King, but there are entire chapters of his books that he could eliminate and still have a fat story, LOL.

        I think Ray Bradbury was a genius with description. Not overdone, but vividly portrayed. He’s a great example of what description done well IMHO.

    • Irene, you made me laugh about Ivanhoe. I have to admit I never read that one, but it sounds like I probably won’t be either. 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt and think you’ll find Eclipse Lake has plenty of character interaction to keep you entertained. I promise it’s not nearly as padded with description as Ivanhoe, LOL.

  4. I like small town settings, Mae – they usually come with a lot of secrets and history. Haven’t read Eclipse Lake yet, but I enjoyed the setting in your Point Pleasant series.

    • Thanks, Teri. A great observation about small towns. In the case of Eclipse Lake the history relates to my characters and the secrets are many, LOL.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my Point Pleasant setting. I think visting the area helped bring it to life in the book.

      Thanks so much for commenting and following the tour!

  5. I love small towns. I grew up in one, and I have a fondness for them (both as a writer and a reader). Eclipse Lake was a wonderful novel, and the setting was handled perfectly. I agree with Joan… talking about it has made me want to read it again.

    • I live in a small hamlet now, but have lived in cities until now … definitely prefer the quieter setting ?

    • I grew up in a small town too, and have such fond memories! Although where I live now isn’t overly large (around 14 thousand people) by contrast to a big metropolis.

      Thanks for the kind words about Eclipse Lake, Staci. I really appreciate your support!

  6. Setting feels almost like a character in itself in Mae’s books. I enjoy the way she weaves her stories with glimpses of settings that make you imagine being there.

    • Wow, that’s some scene setting to feel like a character ?. Thanks for stopping by, Carmen!

    • That’s so kind of you to say, Carmen. Creating character from the setting is also what the reviewer who used Eclipse Lake as an example said. I repeat, I’m highly flattered. By her words and yours.

      Thanks for visiting me on tour today!

    • Setting always helps ground me in place when I’m reading, but I think it also depends on the genre and pace. I’ve read books I’ve enjoyed that are sparse on setting, but for the most part I like to immersed in the surroundings 🙂

    • Couldn’t agree more, Craig … I too need to put in more description at times ?

  7. Mae, you know that we both have a love of small towns. Eclipse Lake was a wonderful read (this makes me want to read it again.) I loved the setting and your description of the lake was fabulous.

    • Thanks so much, Joan. I’m just drawn to those small town settings 🙂

      My next book is has more of a city setting so it’s going to be challenging for me to write. I’m glad you enjoyed Eclipse Lake. 🙂