Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Wednesday Spotlight with Miss Mae
Miss Mae, the Pure Southern Genteel author, currently has two best selling romantic mysteries published with The Wild Rose Press. “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” earned highly acclaimed reviews and won the Find A Great Romance ‘Reader’s Pick of the Month’ award. MyShelf.com listed it as one of their Top Ten Reads of 2008. “Said the Spider to the Fly” is receiving excellent reviews in its own right, and has currently won the esteemed title of Best Book of the Week for The Long and the Short of It Reviews
and The Romance Studio. Now in print, it can be bought at both Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Her new historical mystery, “It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred” from Class Act Books is available as ebook and print at their storefront of Lulu. “When the Bough Breaks” from Whimsical Publications, a young adult coming-of-age, is for release on Oct. 12, 2009. She also enjoys writing humor and non-fiction articles. Besides her monthly contributions to the ezine American Chronicle, some of her publications can be found in The Front Porch Magazine, Good Old Days, and
And the blurb to "It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred"...
Schoolmarm Winifred Merryweather guards her identity as the daughter of one of London's
most notorious villains. To separate her life from his, she spends her lonely existence
with her cat, Theodore, and meets twice monthly at the estate of Lord Nelson Chatham.
Losing herself in the pages of a mystery story shivers Winifred's spine -- until
the day that she’s forced to live through one.
Kidnapped and thrown together into a chaotic adventure, newspaper reporter Remington
Hawthorne’s flirtatious charm thaws Winifred’s icy reserve. But can they uncover
the meaning of the clues, and survive, before the tale reaches the page that reads,
The End?"It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred" from Class Act Books.
Winifred picked up a clean cloth and the bowl and carried them back to her spot at
his stool. “Will you eat this time?”
He rested his head against the chair back. “When our abductor has gone to so much
trouble, dare I continue to refuse?”
Slowly, she worked his ripped boot off his foot and carefully pulled down his thick
sock. She tried not to start when a tangle of curly black hair sprang into view.
Remington murmured, “Have you never seen a man’s bare leg?”
She tried to think of a clever retort. When one escaped her, she merely said, “I’ll
clean this and bandage it. Hopefully, that will contain the bleeding.”
“Don’t be afraid to do whatever you think necessary. I won’t break.”
For the next several minutes, neither spoke. Remington stared into the glowing light
burning in the fireplace, the smoky-sweet scent of the peat bricks infusing the air
like fragrant incense. Winifred concentrated on her work and after scissoring the
tattered length of his trouser above the height of the freshly wrapped linen, she
gathered up the bowl and rags, moving to the table where she poured fresh water into
another pot. Dumping his bloody sock in the basin, she scrubbed vigorously at the
“I’ll drape this on the mantel to dry so it’ll be clean when you put it back on.
How is the wound feeling?” She glanced at him over her shoulder.
His aqua colored eyes met hers and he allowed his gaze to linger. Mesmerized, Winifred
couldn’t look away. A delicious sort of warmth spread throughout her limbs and she
found it difficult to breathe.
“You surprise me.” Remington’s voice deepened, weakening her already quivering knees.
“You seem so expert at this sort of thing, I wonder if you’re a doctor’s daughter.”
She cleared her throat with an effort and managed to find strength to lower her lashes.
“Nothing like that.” Mentally commanding her pulses to abort their chaotic skipping,
she dried her hands and walked to the other chair where a pile of quilts lay. She
removed the top one and went to Remington, placing it over him. When she tried to
tuck it around his chest, he snatched her wrist and raised it to his mouth.
“Who is this soft, caring woman before me?” His warm lips traced the contours of
her fingers, his husky whisper caressing like a silky feather drawn across her skin.
“Where has the prim, poker-spined maiden disappeared to?”
It’d be dangerous to fall for his charm.
The lantern’s flame hissed and died with a sputter, plunging the room into immediate
darkness. Winifred jerked away. “The—the lamp,” she stammered. “It’s gone out.”
Sharon: Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! Today’s special guest is friend and fellow Wild Rose author, our very own Southern Genteel author Miss Mae! Miss Mae----come on out, girlfriend!
Thunderous applause explodes as Miss Mae struts out in her pretty dress, gloves and sun bonnet, looking for all the world like a sweet Southern Belle. Miss Mae waves madly and blows kisses to her fans before finally giving her hostess a cyber hug.
Sharon: Well, Miss Mae, any time you’re through batting your long eyelashes at the audience, you can grab a seat and I’ll pour you a glass of sweet tea. Ah….or did you bring your own special blend of lemonade, is it? And for your enjoyment, we also have enough chocolate to put you in a coma. We have chocolate cappuccino, double fudge brownies, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing, chocolate dipped strawberries and peanut butter cups. And my dear Miss Mae, I do so hope you take note of the extra pretties on my table. That cut glass candy dish with all the candies in it is a family heirloom handed down from my great Aunt Tillie, a priceless Waterford dish. And aren’t the pink and green wrappers hugging the chocolates pretty? Miss Mae? Should you really be digging into those chocolate treats with your gloves still on? Oh dear, would you look at those stains. Allow me to call the butler. Oh, Oliver, quick. We need some Shout it Out! Miss Mae?
MM: Hmm? (gulping quickly, snatches delicate hanky to mouth to cover a loud cough) Oh, yes. (sniffle) You were saying? (clears throat)
Sharon: Whew…all right then. Now, let’s get in a few questions before our time is up, shall we? Any time you’re through chewing, Miss Mae…can you tell us a bit about the setting of It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred?
MM: (clapping hands together) I’d certainly love to, but I’m afraid it’s cloaked in mystery. I can’t give anything away, only to say if you love puzzles, mazes, spooky old spider-webbed booby-trapped castles…Well, there. I’ve already said too much!
Sharon: And I do so adore a good mystery and you have me totally intrigued. How about it, folks? Now as authors, we all have to carve our own unique way in the world of writing. And I must say, there is something so wonderfully intriguing about your tag line, “Want to read about love? Want to read about suspense? Get caught in the ‘web’ of
Miss Mae’s books!”
See what I mean, folks? There’s an aura of suspense around those words that make me wanna make a bee-line to the nearest book store. I love a good mystery, a good who done it. Can you share with us why this genre is one you love to write in?
MM: I’ve asked myself that question a thousand times! The only answer I can come up with is that such a plot keeps my mind active. I don’t like going to sleep during a dull movie, or boring book. I want both to keep me guessing and to wonder what’s around the next scene, or the next page. I try to write that way too, in hopes of engrossing the reader from, hopefully, page one.
Sharon: Now let’s talk a bit about reviews, shall we? You have received so many outstanding and awesome reviews for your work, but one statement stands out in my head, something I remember reading before I had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. These words stuck, “Miss Mae has woven a mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie…”
Now Miss Mae, that is an awesome compliment, I’d say. Congratulations. And my hat, aw…my bonnet…is truly off to you. Can you tell me how such a statement makes you feel?
MM: A mixture of emotions. As you say, it’s an awesome compliment, and I’m terribly flattered, and humbled. I know I’m not an Agatha Christie, I don’t have her skills by any stretch of the imagination. Still, to be grouped with her name…(Miss Mae shakes her head with wonder)
Sharon: Grins broadly and holds up Miss Mae’s latest review for It’s Elementary My Dear Winifred. Coffee Time Romance has given it a 5 cup rating. And I’ve just read it and once more, my bonnet is off to you. Here is part of the review, followed by the link. Congratulations, Miss Mae!
First off, I really enjoyed It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred. Second, there is no
sex at all in the book—just want to get that out of the way. The book is a clever
take on the Holmes/Adler style of mystery. It has ‘who dunnits’, tricky clues, characters
that rival the best of the genre. Our heroine, Winifred, is clever and interesting,
but not infallible, while Remington is charming and provides the strength for Winifred.
The villains, once found, should almost have ‘bad guy’ music playing in the back
ground, as they are wonderfully melodramatic. Background scenery is perfectly creepy
for a Victorian mystery with appropriate dialogue—historical without being distracting.
And to read the full review, link here:
Sharon: Where do you suppose you get your ideas for creating such intriguing mysteries?
MM: Shew, that’s a toughie. Mostly, I suppose, by lying down when I should be napping. But instead of dozing, my mind is working with various plot ideas, asking questions, inventing characters, and asking “why?” (she scratches her head). Does that make sense?
Sharon: Have you ever written anything outside the genre of mystery and suspense?
MM: Can I say, “sort of/maybe”? See, I’ll have a YA released October 12, 2009, from Whimsical Publications. It is classed a Young Adult, and it deals with the heroine, Darlene, and her relationship with a young man named Parker Shane. The story starts when Darlene is sixteen-years-old, and continues on until she’s twenty. And while the whole book reads as if it’s dealing with Darlene’s teen-age angst of having her first crush, wearing her first miniskirt (yes, it’s set in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s), preparing for her first date…this is all leading up to a climatic revelation by story’s end.
Sharon: What inspires you to spin these tales of suspense? A creative muse you depend on? A pet cat or a piece of jewelry for luck? The reason I’m asking…and not that this is a reflection on you in any way…but many authors are shall we say…eccentric. Miss Mae? Is there a reason why you’re clutching your brooche clip for dear life?
MM: Well, of course there is! Oliver is eyeing it very greedily! I suppose he can see it’s a family heirloom, and…what was the question? Oh! Yes! Hmph, where was I? What inspires me? Why, I want to surprise the world. Everyone thinks Miss Mae is just this genteel, and downright BORING fluff of southern female gal. Huh! Miss Mae has a wee bit of smarts tucked inside the depths of these gorgeous curls, let me tell you. (smacks Oliver as he attempts to touch said curls)
Sharon: Indeed you do, my friend. Now, when you aren’t busy writing, you love to read. What type of books do you read and why?
MM: I love romance, of course, but I don’t care for anything sensual. I love the chase between the hero and heroine, I love the smoldering looks they exchange, the simple fact of HOW they strive to get together. I don’t want to know anything beyond a couple of very sweet, tender embraces. And good mysteries, though no horror, no supernatural or paranormal. I also delight in science fiction fantasies. I love the idea of space travel and exploring other, unknown worlds.
Miss Mae reaches into her bag and uncaps the lid of a flask, pours a generous splash into the pitcher of lemonaide and pours herself a glass. Smacking her lips, she indulges in a few more hearty slugs…straight from the flask.
Sharon: Ahhh…Miss Mae? As we were saying. Ahhh…yes. Back to your books. Is there one that stands out in your mind, one you particularly enjoyed writing? And if so, can you tell us what it was about that book that is near and dear to your heart?
MM: Well..hiccup…”See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” is special because it was my first release. “Said the Spider to the Fly” is close to my heart because it’s won so many awards. And my forthcoming “When the Bough Breaks”, the YA I spoke earlier about, is extremely special because I’m soooo in love with Parker. (grins sheepishly). But the one I truly ENJOYED writing was “It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred”. It’s such fun. I put Winifred, and all the characters, through some terribly exciting trials. And I love who she is. What I mean by that is…wait until you learn her identity!
Sharon: Let’s talk about music. Why do you suppose the golden oldies of the fifties and sixties appeal to you more than today’s selection. What is it about that era that you so love?
MM: I suppose as one grows older (the audience gasps, and Miss Mae hastily turns to reassure them), though I am NOT old, by any means, it was just a general sentiment. Well, one’s childhood days, back when all you thought about was lazing away the summertime in an inner tube on a cold creek, or playing “tag” with your friends, or catching June bugs…whatever the tunes were that you caught on the radio, those are the ones you remember most fondly. They bring back the good memories, and they never fail to put a smile on your face.
Sharon hits a cyber button and Peggy Sue blasts loudly. Miss Mae leaps up, loses her bonnet and begins to do the twist, the flask still in hand.
Sharon: LOL Well there you have it folks…an up close and personal of our dear Southern Belle. Thunderous applause explodes as Sharon joins the fun.
MM: They asked me to appear on “Dancing with the Stars”, but due to conflicting schedules, I regretfully had to decline. (Miss Mae was enroute to share her family lemonade receipe..you’ll just have to guess where!)
Sharon: Hand me the flask. Wheww…that was fun… But I must be a bit out of shape. I’m sweating up a blue streak. Miss Mae? Miss Mae is still going strong, shimmying down to her…
Sharon: Oh, that was fun. Now Miss Mae, just a few more questions. Do you have any pets and if so, do they inspire your writing in any way?
MM: Yes, right now, we have three female dogs. Each was a throw away. One, Lovey, we came upon just as the car that dropped her off accelerated up the road. She was running behind them, and I couldn’t just leave her there. After three years, we decided she needed a companion, so we went to the local humane society and got Dolly. Last year, a little puppy scratched at our gates to get in. How could we turn her away? We adore them. While they certainly inspire ME, I can’t say they inspire my writing. J
Sharon: So what’s next for Miss Mae? Are you hard at work on your next best seller?
MM: I’m trying! LOL It’s titled, “Catch Me If You Can.” I really hope to have it finished by year’s end.
Sharon: And finally, Miss Mae, my three trivia questions. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why? If you could star in any literary fiction, which would it be and why? And finally who would you want playing your romantic hero?
MM: I’ve never been much of a traveler, I’m a home body, really. (wouldn’t you be on a thousand acre plantation??). So I suppose I’ll answer the first question by saying I’ll just stay right where I am. J And the second question…I’d love to play alongside Sherlock Holmes. Instead of Watson, he could partner with Miss Mae! And for the third…(furrows smooth brow in concentration) Hmm, I’m afraid I don’t keep up with today’s television/movie “hunkies”, so I’m going to go with one that still gives me goose bumps today, although you need to recall him in his younger version, naturally! (sighs wistfully) That’d be Sean Connery.
Sharon: Well, Miss Mae, it’s been a pleasure, my dear friend. Miss Mae leaps up, grabs the butler and shimmies down, her arms wildly flapping. Miss Mae…watch the Waterford dish, my priceless family heirloom!
MM: Tell Oliver to keep his hands away from my chocolate!
Miss Mae does one final twist and the candy dish crashes to the floor…
Sharon: Oh dear, so much for Aunt Tillie’s antique candy dish. But as they say, It’s …ah…Elementary, My Dear Miss Mae.
MM: Have a swallow of my rootin’ tootin’ lemonade, dearie. It’ll cheer you up!
Sharon: Hand it over, girlfriend. Sharon slugs some family recipe back and toasts one up to dear Aunt Tillie. And finally, Miss Mae, where can readers find your books and get in touch with you:
MM: There’s my website, at http://www.missmaesite.com, my blog: http://missmaesite.blogspot.com, I have two MySpaces: http://www.myspace/missmaeauthor, and http://www.myspace.com/monamurphy. Drop by and see me, y’all!
And It’s Elementary My Dear Winifred
Class Act Books