Writing isn’t a hobby for me, nor merely a career dream. Crafting stories, and all that go with them, is a passion. And the reason why I don’t need to be on an anti-depressant medication.
When I was in the seventh grade, my English teacher, Nancy Prather, gave the class a creative writing assignment. I don’t even remember now what I wrote about. But I can tell you this: when Ms. Prather handed out the papers and I discovered I’d scored an A+, a tiny spark ignited in my chest. When she stopped me on my way out of class to say, “You have real talent. I hope you’ll pursue your writing,” that spark burst into flames.
Flames that simmered low and slow throughout the next forty years. There simply wasn’t time in my life to seriously pursue a writing career until about eight years ago, when I turned fifty. The kids were grown, my “day-job” (which has nothing to do with writing) was firmly established, and I finally had the time to make up stuff.
And so I did.
The process of sending out those first queries was as painful, and as frightening, as childbirth—maybe more. Yet not as excruciating as the rejection letters. The first fifty of them.
But I am not a quitter. I can do this, I thought. If not talented, then persistent, and stubborn as hell. I’d finished my third, unsold manuscript when I let a friend who loves romance novels take my draft of PHANTOM TRACES with her on vacation. She came back raving about how much she loved the story, and wondering why I hadn’t been offered a contract on it. Three days later, I was.
Soul Mate Publishing signed me for Phantom Traces three years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Since then, I’ve secured another contract for a contemporary romance with a different publisher. But I have one tiny, little flaw as an author: I’m a control freak. Which is why I chose to go Indie on my latest release, HEARTS UNLOCHED.
I was lucky enough to find an awesome copy editor/proofreader, Joyce Mochrie. I had my same beta reader take the manuscript on vacation (she loved this one even more than the first!). My sister is a graphic artist, as well as a published author in her own right, and she designed my unbelievable cover. All the pieces are in place. I feel like a 747 jet sitting on the end of a runway, one whose pilot just got the go-ahead for take-off.
So buckle your seat belts, readers. Here we go!
A psychic interior designer reluctantly agrees to renovate a sexy investor’s abandoned hotel on a lake rumored to have once been the mob’s body dumping ground.
Interior designer Kate Bardach loves her single girl’s lifestyle—living in Manhattan and spending weekends at her lake house. She’s passionate about her career, reinventing old buildings. But there are some projects she can’t take on because of the spirits trapped there. Kate is psychic—she sees dead people.
Marco Lareci is one of Wall Street’s most successful investment brokers who’s achieved all of his life’s goals—except for finding his soulmate.
His latest project, an abandoned resort on Loch Sheldrake, needs a savvy designer to transform the crumbling complex into a boutique hotel. When Marco meets Kate, he can’t believe his luck. She’s the perfect match for his business and his heart.
Marco’s body excites Kate even more than does his renovation project. But the haunting there, a bonafide poltergeist, affects her on an intensely personal level. Kate’s aunt disappeared from the place fifty years ago.
Will the spirit doom Kate and Marco’s love, or drive them closer together?
A history professor in a tweed jacket, a cheeky Goth chick, and a pipe-smoking, book-hurling ghost. Put them all together in an antiquated library and, well…
Professor Jack Wood’s silver-streaked hair definitely ages him, and he can thank Killer Dawn for that. He won’t be falling into the love trap again anytime real soon. But this new librarian has him curious, with her head-to-toe black Goth garb, piercings, and a defiant attitude to match. Definitely not his type of girl, but still…
Abigail Stryker’s got her work cut out for her. The last two librarians didn’t last a month before airborne books chased them off. But Abby’s determined to make her new life a go-and to stay as far away from older men as possible. Once was enough. Might be tough to do when the library’s best patron is none other than dreamy-eyed Jack Wood. And it seems the eccentric ghost may have taken a shine to her as well.
Available in eBook, Paperback, & Audiobook
Claire Gem turns the paranormal genre on its ear by combining the elements of gothic horror, mystery/thriller, and contemporary romance into a genre she calls New Gothic.
Claire loves ghost stories, and has done her homework when it comes to exploring the world of paranormal phenomena. She holds her certificate in Parapsychology from Duke University’s Rhine Institute of Paranormal Studies. Her obsession with cemeteries, a severe case of taphophilia, has served her well—some of her best stories were born while exploring an old graveyard. She also loves abandoned places—asylums, crumbling hotels, places far out in the woods where only the fairies dare to venture.
Although she most definitely believes in ghosts, she doesn’t suffer from nightmares. They are simply midnight musings for her next gothic novel.
Happy Release Day!