Ciao, amici! It’s the second day of Story Empire’s Something Wicked Tour. Yesterday, Mae Clair was kind enough to host me. Today, I’m returning the favor. It gives me great pleasure to welcome her to my site. She’s going to talk about how spirit circles and ouija boards factored into her novel, Cusp of Night. Have at it, Mae!
Thanks for hosting me today, Staci! It’s fun to be here with your readers kicking off my second stop of Story Empire’s Something Wicked Blog Tour.
October is a fun time that brings plenty of shivers as we near Halloween, our minds naturally drawn to all things spooky. Did you know there was a time when families regularly sought out the supernatural as a form of weekly entertainment?
In the late nineteenth century, “home circles” were popular. Think of board game night today when you gather with a group of friends for a few hours of fun. In the 1800s, charades and other parlor games like grandmother’s trunk and musical chairs were common. Eventually, home circles overshadowed these conventional games with small groups of family and friends gathering to try their hands at table tilting, producing rapping sounds, and communicating with the dead. By 1891, the Ouija Board was a strong seller and popular in home circles.
Spiritualism was exploding as a practice, religion, and a blending of magic and science. Even those who had no experience with the supernatural found it intriguing to sit with a group of friends and experiment to see if any of them had mediumistic powers. Séances became a form of entertainment, as much as a way of breaching the Aether that separated the living from the dead.
My novel, Cusp of Night is populated with characters who are caught up in the surge of Spiritualism—both good and bad—and who use it to their advantage. With dual timelines, it tells the story of Maya Sinclair in the present—a woman who was clinically dead for two minutes and twenty-two seconds—and Lucinda Glass, a renowned medium of the late 1800s. Both timelines converge at the end, tying past and present together in one neat bow.
For Lucinda Glass—my main character in the past—being a medium is about more than producing messages from the hereafter. It’s about a way of life and understanding an odd, enigmatic man who upsets and reshapes her world in a time when Spirit Circles were commonplace. If you’re looking for a Halloween read, Cusp of Night is perfect for shivers and goosebumps.
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 . . .
Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:
It’s been a joy having Mae here for day two of our tour. I found the history of ouija boards and spirit circles fascinating. She did a great job summarizing here, but she did a fabulous job weaving them into her novel, Cusp of Night. If you haven’t already read it, you really should. If you like urban legends and supernatural phenomena, you’ll love it.
Please use those sharing buttons, and leave a comment to show Mae some love. And when you’re done, I hope you’ll join me at Joan Hall’s site, where I’m talking about the Gate of the Gods and Inca lore. Arrivederci!