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.
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.
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).
Connect with Mae Clair