Hey, everyone. I’m delighted to welcome Mae Clair to my site today. Mae is not only a talented author but a good friend. She’s also a contributor at Story Empire. Mae is on my auto-buy list, so you can bet I’m over the moon excited about her latest release.
Please give her a warm welcome.
Hi, Joan. 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.
The first story, A Once and Future Life, plays off the legend of King Arthur. I was twelve when I read T. H. White’s A Once and Future King, and it’s stuck with me ever since. I still have my original battered paperback, along with numerous books on Arthur, castles, and Medieval England. The movie Excalibur? Watched that one countless times.
As a writer, I couldn’t allow all that passion to remain dormant. When I read about a print magazine looking for tales of magical realism, I wrote A Once and Future Life. The story was accepted, but as often happens with a smaller press, the publication folded before my tale could be printed.
As a result, I’ve given it a new home in Things Old and Forgotten. Below is a short excerpt. The setting is present day.
Mark mumbled an apology before bolting from the kitchen. The soft drone of conversation continued behind him, commonplace, marked by easy intimacy. On impulse, he returned to his room, where he dragged the battered sword from beneath the bed. With the weapon secure, he slipped from the house then raced for the beach. The odor struck him immediately.
The dead thing.
Not even the wind—salted and warm—could bury the stench. Mark kicked through a clump of sea oats, looking for the source.
“You won’t find it.” The lightly-accented voice was familiar.
He spun to spy Taliesin standing at the ocean’s edge, dark hair whipping in streamers about his face. When Mark made no reply, the older man stepped closer.
“You smell the residue of something long abandoned. Something fallen by the wayside, left to rot.”
Mark dropped the sword, letting the rusted weapon thud among the sea oats. “I know you, don’t I?”
“Of a sort. We shared a lifetime once in a grand and glorious yesteryear. I’ve let you sleep too long, Hunter. These people—”
“They’re my family.”
“I granted your wish and gave them back to you. Long, productive lives lie ahead for each. Your brother Charlie will marry, and his three children will carry on your father’s name.”
“What of me?”
“You must awaken the dead thing.”
Arthur’s dream. Might for right. The strong protecting the weak. An antiquated order of chivalry. Memory returned in a rush. His dream. A noble vision that had been corrupted with the passage of time. Like the sword he’d dragged from the ocean, a relic from another age.
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 for hosting me, Joan. 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: