It’s an exciting day today to share the good news with you about my friend, Mae Clair. She has a very special new book. She is here to tell you about it.
Please help me welcome Mae and be sure to comment on what you think about her book.
Hi, Miriam. Thanks for hosting me today 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.
When I’m writing, I often visualize in colors. My father was an artist, and although he would not consider white a color (technically, it’s a shade) it has long mesmerized me. It speaks to the ethereal, visionary, and the otherworldly. The color white floats—a wisp of the insubstantial we can never quite touch, like an echo weaving future and past.
I had all those elements in mind when I wrote Desert White which—among other strangeness—includes a white dog. When I was eight years old, I wrote my first short story, The Night Dog, about a spectral canine. It took me decades to pen another about a white canine. Below is a short excerpt taken from the beginning of Desert White.
“His name is White.” The gravelly tone of the old man’s voice matched his lined and weather-beaten skin.
“It’s fitting.” Micah eyed the dog from his seat at the kitchen table. If not for the German shepherd’s dark eyes, he would have thought the animal was an albino. White had sniffed around his mutilated wrists in the desert, nudging him with a cold nose. Now, curled up on the floor of Floyd Henley’s trailer, the canine didn’t seem the ghostly presence it had under a pale moon. Even so, he wished it wouldn’t lie so close. Large dogs made him nervous.
The shepherd was the last of his worries.
Earlier, he’d caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror above Floyd’s bathroom sink while the old man fussed over his wounds. When he’d driven into the desert that evening, his hair had been ink-black. Now, it was the same spectral white as Floyd’s dog.
I must be dreaming – still.
“Drink this.” Floyd thrust a cup of foul-smelling liquid into his hands. The concoction looked like yellow mud threaded with licorice.
“What is it?”
“Healthy. That’s all you need to know.” Floyd hobbled a short distance away, pausing by the rear door to snatch a plaid jacket from a peg. When he returned, he dropped the frayed garment over Micah’s shoulders. It reeked of must and stale pipe tobacco, but the fabric was warm.
Grateful, he gathered it close. He hadn’t been able to stop shivering since his brush with death. “Thanks.”
Floyd nodded to the cup in his hands. “Drink.”
He forced down a mouthful of the tonic. Tasted bitterness in steeped tea leaves, caraway, and something citrusy. “What were you doing in the desert?”
“I could ask you the same, but no need.” Floyd busied himself filling a basin with water. A crisp yellow towel hung from his shoulder. “We both know what drew you there.”
Shame heated Micah’s face. Tightening his hand around his cup, he studied the dried blood beneath his fingernails. The ugly rust-colored blots on his jeans.
I should have bled to death. Would have, if not for the old man and his dog.
He forced another swallow of the abominable brew, taking perverse pleasure in the way it curdled his gut. At least he was alive to feel the acid.
Floyd drew a chair close then set his basin on the linoleum-topped table. Pale green with chrome edges, the surface had a repetitive design that reminded Micah of boomerangs. How long would it take to count all those angled wedges flying into infinity? Long enough for the blood to drain from his body after slicing his wrists?
The old man had already lined up fresh bandages and gauze pads, well stocked for a recluse who lived in the middle of nowhere. Maybe he had no choice, holed up in the run-down trailer like a hermit. As far as Micah could tell, there wasn’t another soul for miles. Damn fortuitous he and the dog had been there.
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.
Ms. Mae Clair showed her talents of multi-genre writing in her newest book, Things Old and Forgotten. The crafting of words, the colorful, and vivid depictions were delightful. I read this book slowly. It was like trying not to swallow too fast to indulge the tongue in the sensation and richness of the texture and taste of the delicacy.
When someone’s loved one died, we’re short of comforting words to say. In Remembering Sadie, Ben did something amazing for Gordon after his wife died. He made Gordon feel Sadie never left him. I’m touched by Ben’s word – “She never left you, Gordon.”
There are treasures that remind us of our ancestors. In Yesteryear Treasures, Charlene found a clock in an antique shop. She remembered her great-grandmother had a clock like this. This story spun off to a spooky ending yet showed what the power of memory could do to our present emotions.
This folklore Kin-Slayer tells a story of the sea monster demanding the sacrifice of three virgins in five seasons. The village chose five virgins for its selection. The two virgins not picked for five seasons could be free. When E’ana was chosen, Atalayah tried all the tricks to save her sister. I held my breath for the twist of turn of the tale. Don’t we make irreversible mistakes sometimes that we may feel sorry in life?
Driven by guilt, Micah in Desert White slit his wrist. He was sure he would have bled to death in the middle of the desert. Floyd, an old man wearing white hair with a white dog beside him, attended to his wound. There was a purpose in the magical healing – Redemption.
Angie in Yellow Bird agreed to vacation in a treehouse with Joel. She complained most of the time along the hike. Her fondness for the treehouse grew within five short days because of the yellow bird. The fairytale-like ending made me want to hug her.
Robin Huntington, in this 2056 futuristic Robin Hood, pursued a mission. He pretended to be interested in a fletcher position in Nottingham. His intention was not trusted since he was a son of a nobleman. I was hooting for his success.
The seventy-seven years old Ms. Lily released a genie from a glass jar. I was afraid she would have wasted all three wishes. Wow, she was clever. It gave me a cheerful chuckle. As a painter, I appreciated Ms. Clair’s description in the genie story in all the invented shades of colors.
There are about half of the stories I highlighted. But I appreciated all the stories. I would read this book again to enjoy the richness of the writing. Lovers of myth and legend, fantasy and magic would enjoy this book.
Thanks again for hosting me today, Miriam. 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.
~ ~ ~
Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:
Amazon| BookBub| Newsletter Sign-Up
Website | Blog| Twitter| Goodreads| All Social Media