Saturday, October 29, 2016

Release Tour & Giveaway ~ The Phoenix Syndrome by Claire Gem


The Phoenix Syndrome by Claire Gem
Genre: Contemporary Romance , Women's Fiction 


Turning
forty rocks a research technician's world. Her husband leaves her,
and then she's bitten by a mouse at work. She goes a littlecrazy,
taking off to chase after her old dream of a music career and her
newcrush: a rock band drummer.
Turning
forty, for Lannie Marvin, is rough. It's the day she discovers her
husband is leaving her for a younger "soulmate." At work, a
crazed mouse being treated with an experimental drug brutally bites
her. Then, Lannie goes a little crazy, too.
Seems
she's recently developed a serious crush on the drummer of her son's
favorite heavy metal band. Waking up to her husband's empty closet,
her finger still throbbing from the mouse bite, Lannie snaps. Under
the ruse of a shopping trip, Lannie kidnaps her sister-in-law/best
friend, and heads toward Bethel, New York - the site of the original
Woodstock concert.
Just
so happens Dreamwish is playing a concert there, and Lannie managed
to procure the pair of tickets her son won but couldn't use.
Tristan
Allard, the band's drummer, holds this benefit every year in memory
of his wife, whom he lost to breast cancer. The musician is beginning
to doubt his ability to write the band's music without his wife's
inspiration - she was also his muse. Plus, he's damn lonely. So when
a sexually charged, extremely attractive, slightly older woman
literally plows into him at the backstage reception, Tristan is ready
to learn more about her - and her long-buried interest in musical
composition.
The
two head off for a wild ride of a weekend, but reality bites back.
Tristan is headed to the UK to audition his next album's scores. And
an elevated libido isn't the only side-effect of that experimental
drug.
To
her horror, Lannie soon discovers the treated mice have gone deaf.


I
don’t quite know how to describe the concert. I can say it was as
stimulating visually as it was to my ears. The band—four guys and a
girl—all had hair longer than mine, which was well past my
shoulders. All except for the keyboardist, whose head was shaved,
although he sported a long, red beard parted into two straggly
plaits. I wondered how he kept them from tangling with the keys. The
girl who sang vocals had inky hair hanging in strings to her
shoulders, and she wore a black leather bustier that laced up the
front. Well, almost laced. In truth, the garment left little to the
imagination.
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
.
The
next hour and a half went by so quickly I might have slipped into a
time warp. At one point I wondered if my cup of nine-dollar wine was
laced with something mind-altering and illegal. I began to dig the
music. I was actually enjoying the concert.
But
before I’d seen nearly enough of my chocolate king behind the
drums, the stage went black and the lighting came up. The band did
not return for an encore. My first heavy progressive experience had
come to an end.
I
blinked in the sudden brightness, dazed for a moment, like I’d
woken from a dream. Jeri was struggling with the strap of her shoe,
her other hand braced against her forehead as though she had a
massive headache. Grommet guy, too impatient to wait for the two
elders beside him to vacate the aisle, vaulted easily over the backs
of the seats into the row in front of us and disappeared into the
crowd.
I’d
almost forgotten my own young progeny—a son and a nephew—were in
the same building.
We
reunited on the sidewalk fifteen minutes later. The rain had ceased,
leaving the city gleaming under the streetlights, clean and brand
new.
Somehow,
I felt that way too. Clean and brand new.
We
were climbing into my brother’s SUV, Paul at the wheel with Jeri
and Jay next to him in the front. I sat squashed between my husband
and son in the back. Jeri’s head immediately dropped to Paul’s
shoulder. I knew she’d be asleep before we got onto the West Side
Highway.
I so
wanted to do the same, and cuddle against my husband. But he’d said
barely a meaningful word to me all evening. I sighed, dropped my head
back against the seat, and closed my eyes.
So,
what did you guys do for all that time?” Ryan asked.
We
saw Dreamwish,” Paul piped up from the front, sounding as though
his statement actually made sense.
You
saw our concert? You guys?” Jay sputtered through his laughter.
I
opened my eyes to find my son staring at me in much the same way Jeri
had been earlier.
How’d
you like it, Mom?” Ryan asked in a slight singsong of ridicule,
which I chose to ignore.
I
caught my brother watching me in the rearview mirror. He was wearing
an impish grin. “For a while there,” he said, “we were afraid
your mother might run off with one of the roadies.”
The
next words popped out of my mouth before my brain had a chance to
stop them.
To
hell with the roadies. If I run off, it will definitely be with the
yummy drummer.”
Shocked
silence extinguished all laughter, and I peeked up to see four pairs
of owlish eyes fixed on me.
Go
to sleep,” Karl snarled under his breath. “You’ve had too much
to drink.”


Claire writes intensely emotional romantic novels. Her vision is to transport her readers into another place and time, creating characters so real, readers miss them when they reach The End. Her heroes are hot, & her heroines strong and brave: a combination producing the spark to fan the flames of your most intense romantic fantasies. Claire's characters are human, just like you & me. They make mistakes, they get clumsy sometimes, & they're not too proud to laugh at themselves & each other.
The keyword here is EMOTION. Big on the *Sigh* factor, Claire's stories aim to hit you straight in the heart and leave you smiling through happy tears.
She writes in two genres: romance w/a ghostly twist, and sexy contemporary. Claire's books are like a thrill ride at a theme park. Whether it's spooky-scary, angst-ridden relationships filled with gut-wrenching turmoil, silly chuckle moments, or hot-flash-inducing sex, Claire guarantees to take you on an emotionally intense romantic journey.


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