Please welcome Amber Foxx, author of the Mae Martin mysteries!
Cartoon on a psychology department bulletin board:
National Conference: Children of Functional Families, says the banner above an auditorium stage. In the middle of a sea of unoccupied seats sit three bewildered people. One says, “I think we’re it.”
I’m not one of those three people, and neither is my protagonist. In Death Omen, the sixth Mae Martin psychic mystery, Mae’s seven-year-old twin stepdaughters from her second marriage are having trouble coping with their father’s third marriage. That sounds like a lot of remarrying, but 52.7% of American marriages now end in divorce, and remarriage is common, especially in some parts of the country. In North Carolina and New Mexico, the two states where my series is set, 28% of marriages are second or third trips to the altar. People there tend to marry young, get divorced, and marry again. Mae Martin is a shade under thirty and reluctant to try marriage yet a third time, though her boyfriend keeps dropping hints about it. She doesn’t feel the need for a new family, as she still plays an important role in her stepdaughters’ lives.
The children have been my beta readers’ favorite characters in the new book. They’re eccentric kids, based loosely on my sister and myself at that age. We were fearlessly independent risk-takers and the least “girly” little girls in our neighborhood. Some of my strongest memories of grade school involve being hauled into an office or to the front of a classroom for saying something I shouldn’t have said, climbing something I shouldn’t have climbed, or exploring the woods behind our school.
In Death Omen, the twins get into trouble even I didn’t get into. When I started writing the story, I expected the family plot to tie into the mystery plot in a particular way. However, the characters took a different course. Fellow “pantsers” will understand. The predictable route I initially thought I would take had the antagonist character become a threat to the children, but as their interactions became more complicated, the opposite worked better.
Beginning and ending with Mae’s step-parenting and relationship challenges, I wove the story around the framework of family. The antagonist character, Sierra, comes from an even more unconventional family than Mae does, one with roots in New Mexico’s counterculture. Understanding their influence is central to solving the mystery of what Sierra is doing and why.
The sixth Mae Martin Psychic Mystery
Trouble at a psychic healing seminar proves knowing real from fraud can mean the difference between life and death.
At an energy healing workshop in Santa Fe, Mae Martin encounters Sierra, a woman who claims she can see past lives—and warns Mae’s boyfriend he could die if he doesn’t face his karma and join her self-healing circle. Concerned for the man she loves, Mae digs into the mystery behind Sierra’s strange beliefs. Will she uncover proof of a miracle worker, or of a trickster who destroys her followers’ lives?
The Mae Martin Series
No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.
Amber Foxx, author of the award-winning Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series, has worked professionally in theater, dance, fitness, yoga and academia. She has lived in both the Southeast and the Southwest, and calls New Mexico home.