Hello! I’m delighted to be here today, sharing on Sidney’s blog. I love this time of year when the days are a cornucopia of color with gem-bright leaves, bright sunlight and lengthening shadows. By contrast, the nights are cool and crisp, perfect for snuggling under the covers while the wind conjures mystical elements outside.
Can you hear it? I often think of that wild tempest as a creature sweeping between worlds, ushering in change. For me, that includes time travel and fantastical elements.
I’ve been intrigued by tales of ghosts, mythical beasts and supernatural creatures since I was a kid. When I needed a hero who was controlled by a curse for my paranormal/time travel romantic suspense novel, WEATHERING ROCK, I dipped into that well of folklore and chose a werewolf.
But not just any werewolf. I wanted one who had been displaced in time. I liked the idea of a hero battling a hex he couldn’t control in a world that was equally strange.
Enter Colonel Caleb DeCardian. He fought for the Union army during the Civil War. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to 2012 by a freak shower of ball lightning.
Caleb is a commander, accustomed to having others do exactly as he says when he orders. A person who thrives on self-discipline, and who has spent the bulk of his life emotionally detached. Now, suddenly, he’s at the whim of a curse that controls him.
When the heroine of my novel, Arianna Hart, is unexpectedly forced to spend the night at Weathering Rock, an old home built in the 1800s, it’s more than creaking floorboards that disturb her sleep.
Arianna teaches American history and has a particular interest in the Civil War. She meets Caleb on a fog-drenched night, and immediately recognizes there is something different about him. The more time they spend together, his secrets begin to unravel. She realizes she’s falling in love with a man from another time who could be wrenched back to his own century at any moment.
To complicate matters, Caleb didn’t arrive in the 21st Century alone. The man who turned him into a werewolf—once his closest friend, now a bitter rival–is stalking them both.
If you like a hunky werewolf, sensual romance, rivalry, and multi-layered plots, I hope you’ll consider WEATHERING ROCK!
Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?
Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.
Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.
Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?
“You’re where?” Lauren said into the phone, flabbergasted.
“Weathering Rock,” Arianna repeated.
“You mean that big old house off Blackberry Lane? The weird one that’s supposed to attract ball lightning?”
“That’s the one.”
Too keyed up to sit, Arianna paced the guestroom. “I had a small accident on the way home.” And met an incredibly sexy man with silver eyes and an old-fashioned personality. That part would keep until tomorrow.
Lauren drew a sharp breath. “Ari, you’re scaring me. Are you all right? Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine.” Walking to the window, she pushed the drapes aside and stared into the darkness. Her reflection leaped back like a disembodied ghost–raven hair, dark green eyes, her skin pale as milk in the night-blackened glass. The rain had arrived, pushed by a fury of wind and thunder. It pelted the windows, making her feel safe indoors.
I won’t hurt you, Caleb had promised. Why was it so important to him she stay?
She told her friend what happened, skipping her conflicting emotions about her blond-haired host.
“And you’re actually staying?” Lauren gave a cluck of disbelief. “I don’t care if it is raining, I’ll come get you. For all we know, one of them could have punctured your tire so you’d be stuck there.”
“You’ve seen too many slasher movies, Lauren. I’ll be fine.” She couldn’t explain why, but felt secure in the house, as if something sinister lurked outside. As long as she remained within the walls of Weathering Rock, she was protected from that unnamed threat.
The thought shocked her. She eased to a seat on the bed, absently fingering the white eyelet cover. The furnishings looked plucked from a storybook, the bed dressed in a pale blue canopy and flirty skirted ruffle. The matching bureau was squat and old-fashioned with a standing mirror and gold-veined marble top. A walnut washstand with a pitcher and bowl was tucked into the corner.
“I’ll call you in the morning when I get home.”
“You’re sure about this?”
“Positive.” Arianna smiled, appreciating her friend’s concern. Lauren had been through a divorce eight months ago, the experience leaving her jaded when it came to trusting men.
“All right.” Lauren exhaled into the phone. “But I expect a call in the morning, followed by details in the afternoon. How about dropping by my shop after you finish your errands?”
“Deal.” Running Saturday errands was a regular routine for Arianna and she most always ended at Lauren’s boutique for a visit afterward. “I’ll talk to you soon.”
She said goodbye and set the cell within reach on the nightstand. Rain continued to batter the windows in fierce bursts, backlit by strobes of lightning. The intermittent flash made her think of the ball lightning she’d seen earlier, an occurrence Caleb had been reluctant to acknowledge. Yet another oddity from a man who excelled at them.
Yawning, she glanced at her watch. It was after one in the morning and the events of the night had finally caught up with her. She switched off the light and opened the drapes, inviting the frenzied dance of the storm indoors. She shimmied from her jeans and top and crawled into bed, the cotton sheets blessedly cool against her bare skin. Moments later, as she was drifting toward sleep, a rattling crack of thunder drew her upright.
Outside, lightning transformed the night into surreal-whitened day, silhouetting the bulk of a large animal against the window. Arianna recoiled from the touch of its eyes, yellow in the flash-fire burst of the storm. The image lasted only a pulse-beat before it was swallowed by darkness.
She shoved from the bed, hastily pulling on her blouse to cover herself, and threw open the window. The night had bled into a cauldron of shadow and patchy fog, making it impossible to see more than a few feet. The air was redolent with wet grass and worm-rich soil, an odor that made her think of swollen riverbeds and bogs. Rain pelted her face and left her shivering in her skimpy bra and panties. The animal–if animal it had been–had been swallowed by the storm.
She closed the window, careful to secure the lock.
It’s not safe tonight, Caleb had said.
She shook away a chill, convinced she’d been dreaming. The animal must have been a figment of her sleep-hazed mind. The events of the night, Caleb’s mysterious warning, and the legends surrounding Weathering Rock had taken a toll of her nerves.
Yet as she crawled into bed, she couldn’t help thinking the animal had looked very much like a wolf.
You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
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Mae Clair knew from the time she entered grade school that she wanted to be a writer. She credits her parents with instilling in her an insatiable love of reading through weekly trips to the library when she was a child. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create characters and make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.
Inspired by folktales, legends and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, she loves to blend the fantastical with the ordinary. Her heroes are known to be flawed and complex, her heroines capable, independent and sexy.
Throughout the years she has been actively involved in various writing and critique groups and is a past President of the Central Pennsylvania Writers’ Organization. She lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her high school sweetheart (a.k.a. the Love of Her Life). In her downtime she enjoys reading, digital scrapbooking and unwinding with her husband by the pool when the fickle PA weather permits. A self-admitted idealist, Mae is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website: www.maeclair.com