Phantom Traces

Fiction - Paranormal
324 Pages
Reviewed on 11/16/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

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.

A few spooky chills make a love story just that much more appealing.

Phantom Traces features dual-time love stories, and deals with the May:September romance, the ravages of Alzheimer's, and one hell of a scary ghost. Available now from Amazon in ebook, paperback, and audiobook.

She's now working on another ghostly romance, Spirits of the Heart, set in the defunct psychiatric hospital in Middletown, N.Y. Check out the cover and synopsis at Something or Other Publishing, LLC here: and vote for this story concept!

Her current work-in-progress is another ghost story, Hearts Unloched. A psychic interior designer reluctantly agrees to renovate a sexy investor's abandoned hotel on the shores of Loch Sheldrake, a lake rumored to have been the body dumping ground for the Mafia.

Claire has lived in five states including Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. She's worked as a hairdresser, a bridal designer, a lab tech, and in scientific research. Her loves are horses, fishing, pretty things, and being a novelist. And wine. And chocolate.

She loves exploring—and writing about—the unexplained, 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. You'll find her on Facebook and Twitter, stalking the Ghost Adventures crew and all things #gothic, #paranormal, and #haunted.

She's a proud member of RWA, NECRWA, and Charter Oak Romance Writers.

Since receiving her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, Claire loves living in New England with her husband Clark, who's been her husband of 36 years, a Boston terrier named Chopper, a well-worn Mac laptop, and lots of daydreams.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

Professor Jack Wood has his own issues and swears not to fall into another love trap, but the new librarian caught his eye. Abigail Stryker determines to make a fresh start in her life and leave her painful past behind, and she believes a new job and a new town are just what she needs. However, Abby has her work cut out for her. The last two librarians didn't last a month due to a tortured spirit in the historic Harvey Library, searching for his lost love.

The local college dean has a peculiar, almost manic determination to close the historical library by channeling funds and patrons to the one at the university. Then there’s the library’s ghostly patron himself, who tempts Abby and Jack to find out his story and why he haunts the place. With a history professor, a goth librarian and a book-hurling, eccentric ghost in the cast, Phantom Traces by Claire Gem is a pleasant read. It has ghosts, romance, mystery and drama.

The plot has a leisure pace which I find completely suitable for the story. Abby is instantly likable, and her feelings toward Jack are easy to relate to. The vivid description of the setting is beautiful and adds charm to the story. The prose and the dialogue are straightforward, engaging and witty. The way Gem concludes this ghostly tale will satisfy readers. All in all, Phantom Traces is an easy read that anyone can enjoy. I’ll keep my eye on Gem’s next work in this genre.