The hunky young PhD knows all about seduction, but what does he know about love?
Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…
Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.
Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.
WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.
A huge welcome to Mae Clair and her wonderful characters from Twelfth Sun. I love this blurb. A treasure hunt, along with all things mysterious and nautical. I’m so glad you’ve dropped by, Mae, and brought Elijah and Reagan along with you for a character interview.
How did you manage to meet your writer?
Elijah: Through a book. Mae always has her nose buried in one. This time she was reading about marine archaeology and started imagining the kind of guy who’d go poking around old shipwrecks. Naturally, I came to mind. I’d been rattling around in her head for a while, but the book opened the door for me to take center stage.
What’s your current occupation?
Reagan: I have an interior design firm called Winning Concepts. My Uncle Gavin stepped in as a financial backer when I was just getting started. He’s done so much for me through the years, especially since losing my father when I was fourteen. It’s one of the reasons I couldn’t say no when Uncle Gavin asked me to hook-up with Elijah to track down a nineteenth century ship’s journal. At the time, I thought I was meeting a stodgy old professor not a hot young guy with a PhD.
What has you ducking for cover?
Elijah: *shifting uncomfortably* I hate social situations. I have no problem giving an academic lecture to a packed hall, but I cringe when I have to make small talk at dinner parties. Especially stuffy affairs like the ones Pellar was always foisting on us. He’s the staff manager for Eric Sothern — the rich recluse who invited us to his mansion for a treasure hunt. The social thing is a throwback to when I was a kid taking college classes. Everyone else was so much older, out of my league socially. I felt like a fish out of water.
Reagan: It turns him into a smart-ass and makes him run at the mouth. Usually at Pellar. *giggles*
What’s your favorite scene, one your writer portrayed just right?
Reagan: How about one that mortified me? The very first time I saw Elijah, I walked into his hotel room thinking it was mine.
Elijah: She caught me coming out of the bathroom completely nude.
Reagan: I’ve never been so embarrassed. After I got over the initial shock and fright, I wanted to sink through the floor.
Elijah: *laughing* Needless to say, I made a lasting first impression. She got an eyeful.
Reagan: He’s completely uninhibited. Most of the time. I told him once that for someone who has no qualms about sex, he has a lot of walls when it comes to intimacy.
Elijah: We won’t go there. *clears throat* Next question.
Are you happy with how everything turned out?
Reagan: Oh, most definitely! I’m glad Mae worked things out for us, even if she did make us jump through multiple hurdles to get there.
Elijah: The ending was a shock for me. Mae had several surprises tucked up her sleeve, but I can’t complain. That’s part of being front and center in a romantic mystery, I guess. The way everything came together rocked my world, but the icing on the cake was, Reagan. *takes her hand and grins* Now, if I could just get her to drink grape soda!
I have a question just for you, Mae.
Are you working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it?
I just finished a romantic adventure novella called SOLSTICE ISLAND that will be included in an anthology of romance stories with three other authors. It should be available this year.
I also have a sweet romantic mystery involving a fifteen-year-old missing person’s case called ECLIPSE LAKE that should publish in April-May of 2014.
Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
Reagan glanced at her watch. She’d dragged herself from bed hours before any civilized person should be up, for the sole purpose of meeting Elijah Cross. The marine archeologist was already ten minutes late–not a brilliant way to begin a working relationship. She’d learned through firsthand experience many of her uncle’s friends were as unreliable as they were eccentric. Foolishly, she had hoped Dr. Cross wouldn’t fall into the same category.
Resigned to passing the time, she added hot water to her tea. From the corner of her eye she spied movement at the door of the cafe. A man stepped inside, shaking rain from his jacket. The door banged shut behind him, ensnaring her full attention. He wore a battered black fedora and worn jeans with scuffed dock shoes. There was something oddly familiar about him. He turned slightly and she caught his profile, realizing he was the man from room ten. Self-conscious, she looked away, hoping to sink through the floor. He spoke briefly with the hostess and then headed in her direction.
She tensed. What were the odds of encountering him now when she was scheduled to meet Dr. Cross, a highly-respected and, no doubt critical, academic? How would it look to her uncle’s friend if he walked in on a conversation revolving around naked men and the color of her undergarments?
Chagrined, she bowed her head over her teacup. Her hair spilled forward, concealing her face behind curtains of red-gold. With any luck he’d go away. With any luck, he’d leave her alone.
Reagan raised her head fully convinced mischievous imps had tracked her to Shipwright Landing and were even now performing rituals of bad luck. “Hi.” She pressed her lips together. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m expecting someone.”
“Yeah, I know.” He grinned. “You’re Reagan Cassidy.”
She blinked. She’d given the hostess her name only because she was expecting Dr. Cross and neither had any idea what the other looked like. She certainly hadn’t expected the woman to share her name with any longhaired Lothario who asked for it. “The hostess told you.”
He nodded. Removing his hat by the crown, he dropped it on the table. “Some storm.” He shrugged out of his jacket and hooked it over the back of the nearest chair. “Good thing it’ll be over soon.”
Reagan watched flabbergasted as he sat across from her and picked up a menu. “Excuse me.” Her voice rose sharply, edged like a knife. “I didn’t invite you to sit. I told you I’m expecting someone.”
“Yeah, I know.” He flashed that same irritating grin. “I’m Elijah Cross.”
How can readers find you and your book, Mae?
Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at www.MaeClair.com