Something Old, Something New… #newrelease by Mae Clair #anthology

Ciao, amici! It’s always a pleasure to open my blog to other writers. I’m delighted to welcome new guests just as much as people I’ve known and adored for ages. Today, I have the pleasure of hosting not only an extremely gifted writer, but also one with whom I share a long and lovely history. She’s a another Keystoner (though, to my great disappointment, we don’t agree about the Steelers), a colleague at Story Empire, and a dear friend. Many of you know her. If you’ve read her work, you’ve surely been blown away by it. She can turn a phrase like no one I’ve ever met. Today, she’s here to tell us about her new release, an anthology of several stories that transcend the world we know. Please join me in welcoming Mae Clair as she tells us about Things Old and Forgotten.


Book cover: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair

Hi, Staci! It’s great to be back on your blog. Thanks for hosting me and allowing me to share my newest release with your readers. Things Old and Forgotten is a collection of short fiction that includes stories in several genres—magical realism, fantasy, speculative, even two that touch on mild horror. One of the stories is especially personal. The entire tale came to me in the form of an extremely vivid dream decades ago.

Father’s Day is a fictional tale layered with personal truths. Thirty-three-year-old Beth learns the father who passed away from cancer when she was thirteen, has secretly been kept alive in an experimental treatment facility. Many of the feelings Beth experiences in the story—the things she never got to do with her dad—those are my feelings.

I lost my father to colon cancer when I was thirteen. The details given about “Bob Harriman’s” life are taken from my father’s life. I rarely include anything personal about myself or family members in a story, but Father’s Day is different—it was specifically written about MY dad.

And then there is the dream, which I still recall clearly all these years later. What I remember most (except for the ending) was the utter drenching of light in the care facility where Bob Harriman lived. Sunlight, white light, luminescent light—shining, glowing, nearly blinding. I tried to capture that in the story without overdoing it.

Below is an excerpt from an earlier scene. Beth has driven to the town of Wheaton at the request of her mother. After meeting with her mom, she phones her husband, Ethan.

Ad for Things Old and Forgotten, full moon background. Where wonders and enchantments co-exist in otherworldly and fantastical realms.

EXCERPT:

The sound of her husband’s voice brought tears to her eyes. With effort, she kept her greeting steady. “Ethan, it’s Beth. I saw Mom, and—”

“I worried something happened when I didn’t hear from you. Did you meet Peggy?”

She wiped her cheeks. “There is no Peggy. My Mom’s been traveling up here all these years to…” She couldn’t finish the thought. Say the impossible.

“To what?” There was no mistaking the frown in Ethan’s voice. “What’s going on?”

“My Dad isn’t dead.” She grabbed a tissue to blow her nose, bottom lip quivering.

“Don’t joke.” There was no humor in her husband’s grunt of disbelief. Only hours ago, when her mom revealed the truth over a lunch of Caesar salads and lemon-laced tea, Beth reacted much the same.

“Elizabeth—”

“She told me he’s been in a care facility all this time—here in Wheaton.” The inconceivable reality spilled out through fresh tears. “Experimental treatments for cancer.”

“That’s impossible. Didn’t you tell me there was a viewing? A funeral?”

“It was closed casket.” She dabbed her eyes. Her head thrummed like it might explode. “At the time, my mom said she did it for me. So I wouldn’t have to see his body.”

She felt his hesitation, bottled with frustration. Anger that he was home when she was miles away, facing the dilemma alone. Losing the battle with grief, she sobbed into the phone.

“That’s it. I’m coming up there. If I leave now, I can be there by—”

“No!” She needed to do this on her own. She’d promised her mother. “I’ll be okay. It’s just been a shock.”

“Do you believe her?”

“I don’t know what to believe.” She snatched another tissue. “I’m supposed to see him tomorrow. Mom made arrangements.”

Ethan exhaled noisily. It was how she felt—pent-up inside, the turbulent weight of her emotions a stone around her neck.

“Why now?” Ethan’s question mirrored what she’d asked her mother. “Why keep it secret all this time?”

BOOK BLURB:

A man keeping King Arthur’s dream of Camelot alive.
A Robin Hood battling in a drastically different Sherwood.
A young man facing eternity in the desert.
A genteel southern lady besting a powerful order of genies.
A woman meeting her father decades after his death.

These are but a few of the intriguing tales waiting to be discovered in Things Old and Forgotten. Prepare to be transported to realms of folklore and legend, where magic and wonder linger around every corner, and fantastic possibilities are limited only by imagination.


Thanks again  or hosting me, Staci. In honor of my love for autumn—a fantastic time to curl up with a book—Things Old and Forgotten will be on sale for .99c through October 31st.

US PURCHASE LINK | UK PURCHASE LINK

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts: Amazon|BookBub|Newsletter Sign-Up
Website | Blog|Twitter|Goodreads|All Social Media

Biography box for Mae Clair.

Old friend, new release. All fantastic.

I confess to reading an advance copy of the anthology, and it’s amazing. This particular story really stuck with me, so I’m glad it was the one Mae chose to feature on my site.

I wish her much success—richly deserved—with this release, and I hope you’ll join me in celebrating these stories. If you’re so inclined, click those like, share, and purchase links, then leave Mae a comment below. Grazie!

95 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New… #newrelease by Mae Clair #anthology

  1. Sorry you lost your father at such a young age, Mae. I lost mine at 16 years old, and for me there were so many questions I wished I could have asked now that I’m older. I just started Things Old and Forgotten last night and know I will look at this short story now through a different lens. Thanks for hosting, Staci xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Denise, I feel for you, too. You’re so right about all the things I would have asked. I feel that way with my grandfather, too. I’m just thankful for the 13 years I had with my dad, as I’m sure you are for the 16 you had with yours. Thanks for visiting with me today. I hope you enjoy the stories in Things Old and Forgotten!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A huge congratulations to Mae! This is a gripping excerpt and to know it partially came from Mae losing her dad at 13, makes it even more poignant. I am knee-deep in this book and loving each story! Thank you for hosting today, Staci!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can still recall so many images from the dream I had that resulted in this story, Jan. The only time I’ve ever been gifted a story like that in the form of a dream. I think it was meant to be. Just very odd that it happened twenty years after my dad’s passing.
      I thrilled to hear you’re enjoying the stories. That’s the best news a writer can have! {{hugs}}

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine the devastation of loss from a massive heart attack. In some ways, I had time to prepare for my father’s passing, although when you’re a kid you never think losing a parent is possible.
      Thank you for downloading the book, Jacquie. I hope you enjoy the stories.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful excerpt and story, Mae. It resonates deeply, even though my father had a full life. I love your dream and honor the memories of it. How precious, how gifted! Time sometimes seems very fluid, doesn’t it? Yesterday can seem like years ago, but the reverse is also true – “it seems like it was only yesterday”. Thank you for sharing, and thank you, Staci, for the beautiful spotlight you’ve offered Mae. I’m totally captivated by the anthology and may finish tonight. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this excerpt (and are enjoying the anthology), Gwen. It’s strange how fresh and current writing this story made everything seem even though my father died decades ago. I do still feel that loss and there are times in can level me. Most of the time though, I’m left with the beautiful memories I cherish.
      Thanks so much for such a lovely comment. Have an awesome day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, you two! Staci, thanks for showcasing Mae’s new book today, and Mae!! Mae, Mae, Mae!! You’ve outdone yourself on this one. I’m well into the book now, and enjoying every single tale so far. I agree totally with Staci about your ability to “turn a phrase,” a talent I value enormously in my favorite writers. I swear, I was grabbed by the way you do this on the very first page of Things Old and Forgotten, and had to stop long enough to highlight your description of the surf coming ashore. So beautiful!

    Congratulations on getting this one “out there,” and I hope you sell untold MILLIONS of copies! It would be well-deserved! 🤗💗🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a concept! I’m not sure how I’d feel if I suddenly learned someone I loved and thought I’d lost was actually alive all this time. But you did a great job of expressing her emotion and letting us know how close she and her husband are. A great excerpt. A bit jarring and poignant at the same time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It would be painful and joyful and a million other things, all at the same time, I’m sure. And I felt all those things with her. The story wormed its way into my psyche years ago when I first read a draft and its been there ever since. I’m certain I’ll never let it go.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Judi. Conveying the emotion in Father’s Day was definitely a balancing act. I’m glad you think the excerpt worked. There’s a lot of emotion that carries throughout the story. And a lot I experienced while writing it! Thanks for visiting today!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Staci, thank you so much for hosting me today, and for that lovely introduction. I’m so thankful for your friendship and support. I can’t think of a better person to kick off my blog tour for Things Old and Forgotten. BIG HUGS!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I got goosebumps when reading this, Mae. It’s rough to lose your father at a young age. I was twenty-one when I lost mine, and I can’t imagine what it would be like at thirteen.

    I began reading your book last night. Congrats on the new release, and a big thanks to you, Staci, for hosting today.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thirteen is a difficult age overall, never mind with a loss like that. What a wonderful way to remember your feelings, Mae. I have this book on my ereader now and can’t wait to read it. Best of luck with this release! 🙂

    Staci, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was so fortunate to be gifted with the dream that resulted in Father’s Day, Harmony. The whole thing popped into my head complete from start to finish twenty years after his death. I do treasure this story.

      Thanks for letting me know Things Old and Forgotten is waiting on your ereader. I’m excited to be on your read list!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Staci, it’s lovely to see Mae here and sharing the exciting news about her latest book release.

    Mae, the book cover is exquisite and the blurb to your book intriguing and inviting! I’m hooked and off to get a copy! As a writer I think engaging with some of our own experiences and knowledge of others only enriches one’s writing. My heart goes out to you at losing your father at such a young age … I’m sure he would be so proud of Father’s Day, the other stories and all your work. Hugs xx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Annika, thank you for that beautiful comment. My father (in addition to being an artist) dabbled with words. My love of writing comes from him. He instilled that passion in me from a young age and we were very close. I’d never shared anything as personal as “Father’s Day” before, but I couldn’t resist including it in my collection of stories.
      Thank you so much for grabbing a copy. I hope you enjoy all of the tales!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Sorry to hear that you lost your dad to colon cancer when you were so young, Mae. It gave you special meaning to write Father’s Day based on your father’s life. I’m sure it will warm my heart when I read it. Congratulations on your new release. Thank you for hosting the tour, Staci! ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I think writing about personal incidents either privately or publicly is a healthy and necessary therapeutic activity. I’m motivated to pick this up based on Father’s Day and the connection to Mae’s father. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Mae is a talented writer.😎

    Liked by 4 people

    • Aww, you are so kind, Pete. Believe it or not, it was hard to put “Father’s Day” out there. I’m such a ridiculous introvert/private person, it still feels odd. By the same token, I WANT people to know what a special man my dad was, and I feel like I was given the dream that created the story for a reason.
      Thanks for your awesome support. I hope you enjoy the story and all of the tales in the collection!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I get that there are things so private that it feels like they shouldn’t be shared. My dad was a good man, but he found it difficult to show affection in his strict German upbringing. I needed that, and it wasn’t until later in life that I think hugging and telling his son he loved him became easier. If anything, I’ve probably overcompensated with my son and other loved ones in my life. I figure better too much than too little. I commend you for your choice.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Pete, thanks for sharing that. I’m glad your father was able to throw off the shackles that prevented him from doing those things earlier in life. I think that was probably true of most men with their sons, but it’s wonderful how times have changed and men are so involved with their kids now. I totally agree on the too much vs. too little. The way it should be! 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Book Tour Day 1: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease | From the Pen of Mae Clair

  13. This book sounds perfect for me and I’ve put it at the top of my list. I am sorry that this story is based on such a sad event, Mae, but writing about those bottled up feelings is a very good escape valve. I include little bits about my sons illnesses in my writing sometimes and it is quite cleansing. Thank you for hosting, Staci.

    Liked by 4 people

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