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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Fun Friday Welcomes Claire Gem

Welcome to Book Fun Friday and Happy Halloween. The Time has arrived and how exciting it is! 

I'm thrilled to welcome friend & fellow writing scholar Claire Gem...

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 delivering at least a few goose bumps. She loves creating characters so real, readers miss them when they reach The

Book Title: Phantom Traces

Log Line: Contemporary Gothic 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:
Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits trapped between this world and the next? Ever had a ghostly encounter? Share with us!

Here are Gem’s Links:
Book Trailer Link:
Amazon Buy Link:



Give way: A random winner will be selected from those who follow Claire’s Blog – – for a free copy of either an ebook or an audiobook, winner’s choice.

 Special Bonus Read:

I’m a science-minded gal, and my day job keeps me immersed in the world of scientific research. Yet I’m am a writer too, lover of romantic fiction and fascinated by the elusive world of the paranormal where my imagination allows me to create events that can’t necessarily be explained by scientific theorems. So I don’t just write romance. Mine has a ghostly twist.
But, being the science geek that I am, I go one step further in laying a foundation for my career as an author of paranormal fiction—I do my research. While living in North Carolina a few years ago, I took a trip to The Rhine Institute at Duke University, a place where science and the supernatural coexist. The Rhine was established in 1935, and still today provides a place for professional education in parapsychology, a field defined as the study of “psychic abilities, experiences, techniques, and the culture of ESP throughout the world.” (
I attended a seminar at The Rhine discussing the Ganzfeld experiment. A fascinating, if dated documentary portrayed actual footage of the original experiments held during the early 1970s. I watched pairs of human subjects who did not know each other communicate telepathically, sending detailed thoughts and mental images to each other from two different locations. Following established scientific protocol, the experiment produced results that were not only recordable, but measurable. These results were so convincing, the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research published them in 1974.
Fact: forty years ago, the world of science conceded that paranormal activity was real.
To this day, the Rhine continues to provide education, both on-site and online, in the study of parapsychology, and I have taken several of their courses. What, you ask, do psychic abilities have to do with writing ghost stories? Ever heard of Stephen King?
Some of King’s most terrifying works, including Secret Window, Secret Garden and The Shining, plunge the readers into tortured minds. King leaves us wondering if his ghosts are real, or if they exist only in his characters’ subconscious. Did Mort Rainey actually commit those murders, or was it an invented character Rainey dreamed up—John Shooter? Or was John Shooter really a ghost? Did evil spirits drive Jack Torrance to madness and murder? Or was he a ticking bomb ready to explode anyway, only pushed over the edge by isolation at the Overlook Hotel?
In The Shining, King specifically highlights the ability to “shine,” i.e., read the thoughts of others. Communicate telepathically. ESP, or extra-sensory perception. The very thing investigators at The Rhine Institute study.
One of the most horrifying aspects of King’s horror stories is the internal monologue of his characters where they struggle with doubt—the uncertainty we all face when we’ve had an unexplained encounter with someone, or something, from another realm. Did this really happen, or did I imagine it? Is it real, or is it insanity?
Me? As stated, I’m a science geek. I love the fact that, thanks to research institutes like the Rhine, the realm of reality and the paranormal aren’t just parallel, they intersect. There exists at least some factual basis for the fiction.
And I do believe in ghosts. Does that make me insane? Dunno. But I can promise you this—my stories are insanely haunted. Bwuuhaaahaaa!
Happy Halloween

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