Claire Gem is back on my blog for a special author interview! She’s talking about her latest rockstar romance, THE PHOENIX SYNDROME, and it sounds positively AWESOME! Read on to find out more about Claire and her fabulous books.
Welcome, Claire! Tell us about your latest release. 😀
The Phoenix Syndrome is a rock star contemporary romance that’s set in Boston. My heroine, Lannie Marvin, is a research tech in a pharmaceutical lab who has a very bad birthday. First, she’s turning forty. Second, she finds out her marriage is over—has been for quite a while, she just didn’t get the memo. And then at work she gets bitten by one of the mice they’re testing a new drug on—one that’s designed to enhance the libido. Lannie snaps, kidnaps her sister-in-law, and heads off to chase an old dream—a career in music, and a new crush—the drummer of a heavy metal band.
Now THAT is awesome!
Said drummer and composer for the band, Tristan Allard, has a cancer benefit concert every year for his late wife. He’s having a hard time writing new music since he lost his muse. So when a sexually charged Lannie nearly plows him over at the backstage reception, he’s more than ready to get to know her better—along with her interest in music composition.
But their frenzied affair can’t last long. Tristan is headed back to the U.K., and Lannie discovers an elevated sex drive isn’t the only effect of the new drug.
The testing mice have gone deaf.
*gasp* Wow, Claire! That’s a fantastic premise! I love it! ❤ What was the hardest thing about writing this book? The easiest?
I’m going to answer these in reverse order. I had a lot of fun writing this book, since the idea came to me after an actual incident much like the one in the first chapter. I am a heavy metal fan, and attend live concerts often. After one concert, I really did jokingly threaten to run off with the drummer. That was the spark that brought this story concept to life. I do work in a scientific research lab, so researching details about the mouse testing took only a walk down the hall. That was the easy part.
The hard part was putting myself into the shoes of my heroine, Lannie, whose husband has been cheating on her for years, and announces he’s leaving on her fortieth birthday. I have been very lucky in my marriage, having just celebrated 38 years with the same hero. If this really did happen to me, I think I would def go a little crazy. The drugged mouse bite just gave Lannie that much better an excuse for her antics.
I can totally understand that as I would have the same difficulty as you. And I’m also a heavy metal fan! \m/ Woot! If you could bring one of your characters (villain or hero) to life, who would you choose? Why?
I would love to bring Lannie to life, because I think she and I would become besties. She’s a soft-hearted romantic, a gritty realist, and a never-give-up fighter. I think she and I are a lot alike.
Awesome. 🙂 Paramount Pictures wants to make a movie about your latest novel. Who plays the main characters?
Penelope Cruz for my heroine. Not sure if she can hide the Spanish accent for this role, but if she can’t, I’ll change the script—and Lannie will be Spanish too.
Colin Farrell for my hero, without hesitation. I may have to run that audition myself, though. For obvious reasons.
*swoon* I love Colin Farrell! And Penelope Cruz is gorgeous. ❤ So tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and grew up in New York, then lived in several other states over the years before settling in Massachusetts nine years ago. My husband and I have three children—twin sons, and a daughter who made us grandparents four years ago. Before my debut novel was published in 2015, I was a regular feature writer for a number of national magazines. My memoir and my debut novel came out within months of each other. Since then, I have written and published three other romance novels, and am almost ready to release my fourth.
Besides writing, marketing, and designing book trailers, my hobbies include collecting exotic orchids, and raising freshwater angelfish. I love spending time with my family, eating out, chocolate, and good wine—preferably all at the same time!
I’m with you on the latter! 😀 Tell us one thing about yourself your readers may not know about you.
If they didn’t, they know now—I’m a closet heavy metal fan. At concerts, though, I’m never the oldest one there. My older brother, who goes with me, is.
Ha! Love it! So what are you working on now?
I’m working on another paranormal ghost romance, Spirits of the Heart. This story takes place on the grounds of an abandoned mental asylum in the town where I grew up. The hero is a nighttime security guard, and the heroine works in an addiction unit on the grounds. They are drawn together by the persistent ghost of a little girl who is desperately seeking the spirit of her father who died in the asylum years ago.
Another premise to love! Looking forward to it. 😀 Thank you so very much for stopping in and telling us about your great stories, Claire. Where can we find you?
And now for more about THE PHOENIX SYNDROME:
Rock Star Contemporary Romance
Lannie Marvin‘s 40th birthday is rough. It’s the day she discovers her marriage has been over for awhile. . .she just never got the memo. At work, a crazed lab mouse brutally bites her–one being treated with a libido-enhancing drug. Lannie snaps and takes off for a wild weekend.
Tristan Allard, drummer & songwriter for a heavy metal band, lost his wife and muse to cancer five years ago. So when the sexually charged Lannie literally plows into him at the backstage reception, Tristan is ready to learn more about her–and her long-buried interest in musical composition.
But their frenzied affair can’t last. Tristan is headed to the UK to audition his next album. And Lannie soon learns an elevated libido isn’t the only effect of that experimental drug.
The treated mice have gone deaf.
Winner 2014 FCRWA The Beacon Contest
BUY LINK: http://amzn.to/2bIMkHJ
But then there was the drummer. If not for the overhead monitors panning in for close-ups during the performance, I might never have known he existed. What a travesty that would have been.
In a word, he was . . . magnificent. He sat like a king on his throne at the elevated rear of the stage, sparkling silver-flake drums surrounding him like loyal minions. The monitor directly over our seats focused on him often, so close and so clear I could see the sweat glistening on sculpted upper arms, bare beneath a black muscle shirt stretched taut across a broad chest. Some sort of ink crawled over one bicep. A black-and-white paisley bandanna covered most of his head, but long, dark curls framed his face and clung damp against his neck. His facial hair, limited to a sparse mustache and goatee, was chocolate brown. I indulged in the fantasy that his eyes were that same sweet, smoldering color.
His passion for his work was palpable. Hands flying, head bobbing, he was completely engrossed, as if the music were a drug he was tripping on. His hooded eyes gave him the look of a sleepy lover, but when he did open them, I could swear he was gazing directly at me.
Looking back on that night, I can’t be sure how long we’d sat there before I fixated on my drummer boy. The music, which at first grated on my senses as way too loud and completely discordant, gradually began to permeate my brain. Before long, my bare toes started tapping against the carpeted floor. I freed one hand from my cup of wine to pat my thigh in time with the music. When my head began to bob, almost of its own accord, I smiled.
Ah, now I know why they call progressive metal fans head bangers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Strong Women, Starting Over
Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of emotional romance—contemporary, paranormal, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. She writes about strong, resilient women who won’t give up their quest for a happy-ever-after—and the men lucky enough to earn their love. No helpless, hapless heroines here. These spunky ladies redefine romance, on their terms.
Her paranormal/romantic suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival. Her latest release, The Phoenix Syndrome, won the women’s fiction division in FCRWA’s The Beacon 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 38 years, now live in central Massachusetts.