Happy Easter, everyone. Please welcome Claire Gem to my blog today. She shares why this day, April 1, is a special day for her. She also shares the excerpt from her new release, Civil Hearts. Welcome Claire!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Constance! I’m very excited because April 1st is a very special day for me, in more ways than one. Okay, okay, so it’s April’s Fools Day—does everyone know how that celebratory date came to be?
Well, its history is shrouded in mystery, and nobody really knows for sure. Some say it dates back to the 1500s, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted, changing the first day of the New Year to January 1st from March 25th in the Julian calendar. The confusion of those who celebrated New Year’s Day on the wrong date made them fools . . . there are also about three or four other theories. But the true explanation is still a mystery.
That is not, however, why April 1st, is special to me. Thirty-three years ago, on this day, I gave birth to a set of twin boys, babies whose multiple existence I’d only found out about three weeks prior. Not much time to go out and buy duplicates of everything!
This year, I’m releasing my latest Haunted Voices novel on this date. CIVIL HEARTS is available today for Kindle and in paperback! Here’s the blurb:
He’s a sexy Southern gentleman—with epilepsy. She’s a widow scarred from her husband’s brain cancer. Her new home is haunted by a Confederate soldier—and she’s a Yankee.
A widow with no family, web designer Liv Larson yearns for big change. After all, she can work from anywhere, right? Why not throw a dart at the map? She heads out of the big city for the rural South and falls in love as soon as she arrives—with the Belle Bride, an abandoned antebellum mansion.
Heath Barrow loves his country life, managing his antiques store in sleepy Camellia. But he’s lonely, and his condition—epilepsy—makes life uncertain. It’s already cost him a marriage. A new medication and the new girl in town have his heart hopeful again.
Sparks fly between Heath and Liv. But his first seizure sends Liv into a tailspin. Its mimics those her husband suffered before he died . . .
To make matters worse, Liv discovers she’s not living alone. Her challenge? Dealing with a Confederate soldier, one who clearly resents his Yankee roommate—even though he’s been dead for over a hundred and fifty years.
The idea for Civil Hearts came to me in a dream. Believe it or not, this is how a LOT of my story ideas come to me, but there is a shred of true history here. Years ago, when my kids were still little, my husband and I fancied moving to central Alabama, where some friends of ours had relocated. We took a trip there, loved the countryside and the low cost of living. A realtor took us around to look at a few homes—and one of them was a dead ringer for the Belle Bride. The memories of walking through that abandoned antebellum home have been buried in my subconscious for years. I got a funny, tingly sensation as we toured the lovely but poorly cared for old home, as if someone were watching us. And there was an old barn out back where I caught sight of something, some movement, I never did identify.
We didn’t move to Alabama, and I forgot about that chapter in my life. Until I dreamed about it. Only this time, there was a Confederate soldier pounding on the front door.
In Civil Hearts, my hero is epileptic. I tend to address some of life’s more serious issues in my novels: the hero in Spirits of the Heart is an alcoholic; the heroine in The Phoenix Syndrome goes deaf. I think it’s important for authors to portray life as it really is, even in the romantic fairy tales we create. It’s one of the reasons I endeavor to evoke more emotion in my readers.
You can buy your copy of CIVIL HEARTS here: https://amzn.to/2G0Rm22
The book trailer (which I had a blast putting together, by the way) is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fooGwny0ZJQ
I hope you enjoy Liv and Heath’s journey, and I’d love if you’d sign up for my Author-Reader group so you’re the first to know when the next Haunted Voices, SIRENS OF SALT, will be released later this summer.
Thank you again, Constance, for hosting me today. I’d like to offer a giveaway to one random commenter of an e-copy of ANY of my novels. So stop by and say hello. I’ll be announcing the winner of the giveaway one week from today, April 8th—in my Author-Reader newsletter! If you want to find out if you’re the winner, sign up today here: http://eepurl.com/burn4f
Thank you, Claire, for sharing your joyful news, and for the excerpt and YouTube on Civil Hearts. Let's see what we can find out about Claire, the writer....
Strong Women, Starting Over
Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of six titles in the genres of contemporary romance, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.
Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival, and was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards. Also in 2017, her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, was a finalist in the National Reader's Choice Awards, and her contemporary romance, A Taming Season, was a Literary Award of Merit finalist in the HOLT Medallion Awards. Her latest release, Spirits of the Heart, was a finalist in the 2017 "I Heart Indie Awards."
Creating cross-genre fiction she calls "supernatural suspense," Claire loves exploring the paranormal and the unexplained, and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from the Rhine Research Center of Duke University.
A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 39 years, now live in central Massachusetts.
Claire is available for seminars & media interviews & loves to travel for book promotional events.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nabvbm
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-vB7WDZhEQ8U4YpC937ng
Thank you so much, Claire, for stopping by and visiting. Your book certainly sounds intriguing and I think I'll add it to my TBR list. I hope you have great success with the story.
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