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Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Fun Friday Welcomes Claire Gem

Book Fun Friday is happy to welcome Claire Gem! 

Claire is featuring her paranormal romance called: Phantom Traces.
Thanks for hosting me, Celia! Today I’d like to share one of my absolute favorite parts about being an author.
Claire shares a few tidbits about being an author:

I can create people—my very own people! And places too. Not just situations, but faces and names and landscapes. For this reason, creating book trailers and Pinterest pages for my stories is like playtime for me.

So where do the images come from? Of course, I have an advantage many authors do not, and that’s a sister who is so savvy with Photoshop, she never fails to amaze me. But this knowledge also insures I’ll always be very, very nice to her!

My next go-to place for royalty-free images is Once you get familiar with their search engine, it’s easy to type in key words and load hundreds, sometimes thousands of pictures of people, places and things that just might pertain to your novel.

I had a fabulous time creating the storyboard on Pinterest for Phantom Traces. I already knew exactly what Abby and Jack looked like, so it took some time to sift through hundreds of pages to “find” them, as I imagined them. Characters like Aunt Dianne, being so unique, also took some searching. But Leda Ludwig and Monica Browning practically leapt off the page and bitch-slapped me!

Pinterest is a marvelous source for seeking out “locations” — most of the images of my imaginary town of Caldwell, N.C. on the Pinterest page came from searching Pinterest for “Blue Ridge Mountains” and re-pinning them.

Creating my trailer, my FIRST book trailer ever, took me the entirety of a three-day holiday weekend, but it was well worth it. Distilling the essence of my story into a dozen or so pictures, along with only twenty or thirty words, was a challenge. But one I feel was critical for drawing reader interest.

It may be a clich√©, but it’s so true: A picture truly is worth a thousand words!
In addition to your post, please provide the following information…

Claire’s Bio:
Claire Gem writes contemporary romance with a ghostly twist. An avid reader, she’s a fan of strong but sensitive heroes, spunky, sexy heroines, and a ghost story worth a few goose bumps. She loves creating characters so real, readers miss them when they reach The End.
Book Title: Phantom Traces (Paranormal Romance)

Log Line: Romance with a Ghostly Twist

Tag Line:  A hunky 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…

Book Blurb:

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.
Book Excerpt:
As Abby followed Jack back down the stairs she asked, “So what brings you in this evening? Grading more papers? Or research?”
“Research. I’m looking into the library’s history. I’m trying to figure out why all those crazy rumors started flying about this place right after Dana Laramy retired. Before that this place was just our boring local library.”
“Laramy.” Abby paused near the reception desk, tilting her head. “Any relation to Laramy’s Antiques?”
“I think Dana is his aunt, though I’m not certain. Neither one is much for personal chit-chat. Weird family, the Laramys. One of these days I’ll have to take you over to meet old Martin. Now there’s a piece of work.” Jack chuckled.
At that moment, the lights in the building flickered, dropping dim and pale. They pulsed for a beat, then went completely out. It was still light outside, though the fading twilight cast the interior into near blackness.
“What the . . .” She looked around, wrapping her arms around herself and instinctively moving a step closer to Jack.
“Oh, that’s not unusual around here.” His voice was calm and reassuring. “Blue Ridge Power is infamous for testing transformers at the darnedest times of day.”
By the time he finished speaking, the lights began to glow, then steadily increased until they were fully illuminated. He grinned over at her. “At least it doesn’t last long.”
His killer smile shot a jitter through her middle again. She smiled back but found she couldn’t hold his gaze long without feeling as if she had a fever coming on. She turned away.
Question for You Dear Reader:
Ever had a ghostly encounter? Share with us!

Claire’s Contact Links:
Links (website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, book buy links, etc.):
Book Trailer Link:
Amazon Buy Link:


Giveaway for YOU, leave a comment below to qualify:

I’m giving away one audiobook copy of Phantom Traces, winner chosen at random from those who comment on the post! Contest ends 1 week after posting, June 26, 2015. Listen to a free sample on Amazon or at


  1. Excellent post and excerpt. Best of luck with sales, Claire :)

  2. Ghostly appearance, yes I have witness one or two. My departed Grandmother appeared one time, shortly after her death, and although this wasn't a scary appearance I was frightened and asked that she not appear again. She ocassionally visits me through her scent and since my mother died I have noticed they come together so it smells like both of them.

    1. Celia, I've had a number encounters myself. Enough to make me believe in ghosts, which is why I like to write about them.

  3. I love Pinterest too! Always fun to put an image to an idea or character. :) Phantom Traces looks like a great read, definitely on my TBR list!

    1. When I first joined Pinterest, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept. But once the idea of creating a board for my book popped into my head, I kinda got hooked ;-)

  4. The thing about's okay to read about them, watch movies about them but I soooo don't want to deal w/ them in person!!

  5. More and more authors are using Pinterest to show their inspiration. Thanks for the excerpt.

  6. Great post! Your book sounds great ! Pinterest is a great resource for sure. Best to you ;)