Good day, fellow romance lovers. Although I write in multiple genres, one of them is supernatural suspense, where ghosts join the living cast of characters. I thought October was the perfect time to share the creepy event that occurred during the writing of my latest release, Spirits of the Heart—one that literally stalled the completion of the book for over eighteen months.

In June of 2015, I was in the middle of crafting my new supernatural suspense, set on the grounds of an abandoned mental asylum in the town where I grew up—Middletown, N.Y., USA. My sister, who is also my best friend as well as my cover designer, still lives in Middletown. We spent a day touring what is left of the old campus of the defunct Middletown Psych Center. Terri took photos for the cover and book trailer, while I spun tales in my head about what would happen next in my novel.
One building in particular, Talcott Hall, called to me.
The monstrous structure was surrounded by eight-foot tall chain link fence, and had been closed since the early 1970s. It had served as the “maximum security” unit—the one reserved for the most disturbed, the most violent of patients. Of course, this is where the ghosts in “Spirits of the Heart” were trapped, begging my hero and heroine to free them.
Two weeks later, when I was back home in Massachusetts, I saw a Facebook post from a friend saying, “There’s smoke over the Middletown Psych Center.” In panic, I called Terri.
“Yes,” she confirmed, “it’s Talcott Hall.” Later that day I learned the building had burned to the ground.
Although I really couldn’t explain my extreme emotions, I was devastated. Since I had created characters, and a story, set in and around that old building, its loss hit me hard.
For over a year, my “muse” went on strike. It seemed no matter what I did, I couldn’t write another word on my book. Before the fire, I had known how the story ended (or thought I had), and had already written almost half of the novel. But I was so heartbroken after its destruction, I just couldn’t write about it.
Until one day, I figured out a way to weave the fire into the story. I contacted one of the Middletown firemen, Nick Elia, who had taken some fantastic photos of the blaze. He granted me permission to use some of these in my trailer.
I suddenly knew what I had to do, and what role the fire played in the scheme of my novel. My muse was back. On February 14, 2017, I released Spirits of the Heart, the second of my Haunted Voices novels.

 

Claire is giving away a 3 free eBook copies of Spirits of the Heart to new subscribers to her Author Reader Group! Enter HERE.

Winners will be randomly chosen on Halloween, October 31st (of course!). Subscribers will also instantly receive the Character Interviews for Claire’s upcoming novel, PIGMENTS, featuring a psychic DNA analyst who puts her gifts to the test in trying to track down a priceless painting by Vincent Van Gogh.

About Spirits of the Heart:

An addiction counselor and a security guard struggle to free a little girl and her father, two lost spirits trapped inside an abandoned mental asylum.
Addiction counselor Laura Horton returns from college to move in with an old friend and start her career. But her homecoming is jarring. Her friend moves out, leaving Laura alone with the gorgeous but intimidating ex-boyfriend—in a house that snugs up to an ancient graveyard.
Officer Miller Stanford is a man with a shattered past. His alcoholic dad destroyed their family, a weakness Miller is terrified will consume him too. The last thing he needs is a sexy, blonde addiction counselor watching his every move. When he begins to see specters in the dark, he starts questioning his own stability.
But Laura sees her too—a pathetic child-spirit searching for her father. When Laura starts digging into old asylum records, the eerie events escalate . . . Can Miller and Laura uncover the secrets of Talcott Hall without jeopardizing their love—and lives—in the process?

Claire is giving away a 3 free eBook copies of Spirits of the Heart to new subscribers to her Author Reader Group! Enter HERE.

Winners will be chosen randomly & will be notified on Halloween, October 31st by midnight.

Buy Links:

Createspace:               https://www.createspace.com/6899776

Amazon:                      http://amzn.to/2jt6k1p

Book Trailer:               http://bit.ly/1QreCAY

About the Author:

Redefining Romance ~ Blurring the Lines between Genre and Literary Fiction
Claire Gem is a multi-published, award winning author of five 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. 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.
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. One of her short stories, “Second Chances,” was recently named a winner in Rhine’s 2017 Spooky Story Contest.
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.
 Media Links
Website:                     http://www.clairegem.com
Blogs:
http://www.clairegem.wordpress.com          http://www.hauntedpathways.wordpress.com
Facebook:                    http://www.facebook.com/clairegem.author
Twitter:                       http://www.twitter.com/gemwriter
Goodreads:                 https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8284235.Claire_Gem
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nabvbm
Youtube Channel:        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-vB7WDZhEQ8U4YpC937ng