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New Release by Amber Daulton: Lyrical Embrace

Today I’m pleased to welcome romantic suspense author, Amber Daulton, to my blog to give us a sneak peek at her new release, Lyrical Embrace. This is Book 4 in the Deerbourne Inn Series, and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

Lyrical Embrace

Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.

Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.

Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?


Read more about Lyrical Embrace on Goodreads –

 Buy Links

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And now, a little more about Amber!

Amber Daulton

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at

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The Wild Rose Press –

As a special treat, Amber has shared an excerpt. Enjoy!

Erica leaned up and combed her fingers through her hair. “I’ve never made love outside before. It’s a surreal experience.”

“We can do it wherever you want. In an elevator, in an alley, in my car. I’m game anywhere and everywhere for as long as you want me.”

“I want you so much it hurts.”

Dylan thumbed her knuckles and hoped she meant that. “I don’t know how you feel about labels, but I haven’t had a girlfriend in years. I’ve just had flings, but I want more than that with you. I want us to be with each other and no one else. I want a relationship with you.”

Tears welled in her eyes. “I feel divided in two. A part of me thinks we’re moving too fast, but another part says to jump in with both feet. I want something real with you too. I don’t want to feel dirty after we fool around. Just make me happy. Will you do that, Dylan?”

Her soft, pain-filled words struck Dylan like a dagger in his gut, and he bit the insides of his cheeks to steady his features.

Her ex-boyfriend had probably called her names and degraded her after they would find release in each other’s body, and the bastard likely never cared if she reached climax at all.

“I understand, Erica. I promise to treat you with nothing but respect, and I will do my very best to make you happy. I swear you will always scream your head off in pleasure every time I touch you. I’m not the sort of man to get my jollies off and leave my girl hanging.”

Her lips twitched up in a grin. “That’s good to hear.”

“So are you my girl?”

“Yeah, I’m your girl.” Erica giggled and tapped her fingers on his chest. “How could I not be? You make a very compelling argument, but I will have to hold you to it. I’m definitely looking forward to screaming every time you touch me.”

“Let’s rest, and then we’ll play again. The night’s early, and I’ve only just begun.”


Thank you for being my guest today, Amber, and best of luck with this very exciting love story!




#BookReview – Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Meghann and Claire are sisters – well, half-sisters, more or less abandoned by their fame-seeking actress mother when they were just kids. When the food ran out and Meghann, the older, feared “the system” would come in and take them away, she calls Claire’s father. Turns out poor Sam didn’t even know their mother was pregnant when they split years ago. But Sam takes them both in, even though nobody knows who Meghann’s father is.

The arrangement doesn’t last long, because Meghann feels like an outsider, is jealous that Claire has a “real dad,” and is a rebellious teen. She leaves her sister and strikes out on her own. Now, twenty-five years later, the two rarely speak. Claire doesn’t understand what she did to make Meghann leave, and Meghann can’t face the guilt that haunts her to this day.

An eloquently written family saga, “Between Sisters” touches on issues many families deal with, but few like to talk about. The self-centered mother who cares less about her children than her own career and fame; the adult older sister who, having been burned by family and love, cynically wonders why her life is so empty. The younger sister who, an unwed mother, has struggled to be a better mother to her daughter than their own mother was for them. Poignant stuff, well-written.

The shortcoming of this novel lies in the extremes that border on the cliche and unrealistic. Ellie, the girl’s mom, is a cartoon character with a fake Southern accent and outrageous behavior that’s way over the top. Claire’s meeting of her soulmate – a true “love at first sight moment” – in a country bar also stretches the limits of believable. The story, however, is engrossing and once Ms. Hannah gets the reader’s heart on board, she doesn’t let go.

I listened to the Audible version of this book and was very impressed with the talent of the narrator to differentiate character voices and instill emotion into the narration. Great job!

A Furry Muse


I’m well aware of the fact that in fiction, dogs rule. Way over cats. Stories involving dogs score much higher readership than those with no pets, or with cats. I understand that. My husband is not a big cat person. He’s a dog person.

But I am what I am what I am. And there’s no doubt, folks. I’m a cat person.

I used to raise them. Persians, for show. For over 10 years, the “Gempaw” empire ruled. I had a number of Regional and one National winner in CFA, the fancy’s elite group. But I had to make a choice, because breeding cats is a big commitment. If I wanted time left to write after my full-time day job, something had to go. My horse hobby, along with my cat breeding hobby, bit the dust.

Plus, I work for a school of veterinary medicine. We encounter the ravages of discarded strays all the time. How could I justify breeding, i.e., bringing more animals into a world-intentionally–where many do not have homes?

I have been cat-less for almost 5 years. In the last year, my husband’s beloved Boston Terrier, Chopper, passed in his sleep, leaving an aching hole in the family’s heart (my husband is definitely a dog person). We adopted a new baby Boston, Rudy, who has quickly become part of our family.


Still, the hole in my heart remained. I wanted a cat. That’s what I asked for for Christmas. The ONLY thing.

Several weeks before the holiday, with the recommendations of two of my old-time breeder friends here in New England, I found Leo. He seems to be everything I was looking for: a high-white Persian, male, great breed traits and within my budget. When my grandson saw the pics of Leo from when I went to visit him, he said, “Oh, Grandma, he looks like Boss Baby.” Thus, the name: Pearly Pond Boss Baby Leo.



For the record, Persians don’t really qualify as cats. They are a breed apart. They act more like dogs, yet in a superior kind of way. Are they snooty? Oh yeah. Can they live without you, like most cats? Maybe not, but they will die before they admit it.

I brought Leo home two weeks before Christmas. He is everything I wanted, and more. Beautiful, cuddly, feisty. He’s good for his weekly bath and tolerates the twice-daily face washing routine with grace. Leo will debut at his first show—a CFA event—next weekend. I have no expectations. I am just looking forward to showing off my purring love and re-communing with cat show friends from years past.

Leo sits on my desk while I write, or purrs in my lap. He has become quite the terror in the office, though, and has more than once been found trying to type on my keyboard or laying on it—which my computer simply does not comprehend!

He may cost me a keyboard at some point. Oh well. What the hell?


This baby cat has filled a hole in my heart I really wasn’t aware existed. But now that it’s filled, I know I simply couldn’t go on without him. Leo’s future is not to procreate. I’m done with the breeding end of the business. I intend for him, as a neuter, to remain my muse for the foreseeable future.

Welcome, Boss Baby Leo.


Movie Review: The Light Between Two Oceans


A number of times, I almost downloaded this book to either read or listen to (the audio version), but the number of less than 3 star reviews had me faltering. Last evening, my husband, in his channel surfing, came across the movie version and said, “I think you might like this.”

Set on the lonely, remote Janus Island off the coast of Australia, this story chronicles the sad journey of a young couple, Tom Sherbourne and his gutsy wife, Isabella. Tom is the lighthouse keeper, and Isabella is willing to sacrifice literally all contact with society to be his wife (the supply boats only drift in quarterly). Their heartbreaking love story illustrates their devotion to each other, and their fruitless quest to bear children. In the movie, Isabella has suffered her second, late-term miscarriage and is tending to the grave of her second, dead child.

She hears a baby’s cries on the wind and turns to see a lone rowboat drifting toward shore. When Tom investigates, he discovers the occupants number two: a screaming infant, and a dead young man.

With the baby snuggled in his joyous wife’s arms, Tom is torn with a terrible moral dilemma. He knows he should report the incident, so the child’s rightful family can be found. He chooses instead to bury the unnamed man, and allows his wife to claim the child as their own. All seems well until, at the christening of their baby at the mainland church, Tom witnesses a young woman sobbing before a gravestone. It bears the name of a man and a child, lost at sea. The dates coincide with those when the tiny boat drifted ashore Janus Island.


It seems that the child’s father was German, and the family obviously anti-German. This was the 1920s.  Since he was shunned by the mother’s family, she was at risk of being disowned–from a wealthy, influential family. The father then set sail in a tiny vessel with his infant daughter. It is never explained why the father took this drastic measure, what he died of, nor how on Earth his daughter survived.

This movie raises a number of disturbing moral questions. Was Tom Sherbourne right in claiming the child as his and his wife’s own? The real mother assumed her daughter, along with her husband, had died at sea.

(Spoiler Alert) When Tom sends a letter, then the rattle that he found in the boat along with the baby, to the real mother, she knows the truth.  Tom opens up a can of worms that ends up with him in prison, accused of murdering the child’s father. His wife is forced to give up the little girl, now four years old. Nobody has to explain how this transfer of families–at this innocent but cognizant age–affects an innocent child. Isabella loses not only her baby, but her husband as well.

A mournful tale exploring the true definitions of right from wrong, this movie left me sad and unsettled. Personally, if I had been Tom Sherbourne, I would have kept my mouth shut and raised the child as my own. His wife would not have suffered the ultimate heartbreak. The child’s real mother, never knowing the truth, would have moved on. She was onshore, in the mainstream, from a wealthy family, and had the ability to start over. Isabella, alone on an island with no one but her husband, did not have that same chance of bouncing back.

And never did.

Question: why was the real mother’s family so desperate to retrieve a child whose father they denounced for his heritage? Were they willing to “forget” the child’s lineage just because it was their granddaughter?

In short, this story opened up a seeping wound in my conscience and my heart that will probably not heal for awhile. Am I glad I watched it?

No. I would be like Isabella. I would rather go on not knowing the truth. For sake of her family. For the child’s sake. For the sake of all involved.



Claire Gem is a multi-award winning author, as well as a professional book reviewer. You can find out more about her at




Love Like This . . .

Screenshot_2018-11-15 Ashley + Justin November 10, 2018

I had the joyous experience of witnessing my son say his wedding vows this past Saturday. As I plowed through a plethora of emotions besieging my heart, the one thing that finally occurs to me is this: how lucky they are.

Clark & MeThis coming Sunday, my husband and I will celebrate forty years of marriage. Love like that doesn’t come along every day. It doesn’t bless everyone’s lives. Only the lucky ones.

Watching these two together brings back the memories of my husband and me, all those years ago. As my younger son commented, “I’ve never seen my brother this happy.” It’s true.

It’s hard for a mother . . . to hand over her son’s heart to another. I think he’s in good hands.


Congratulations on your new, better lives as ONE, Ashley & Justin.




Claire Gem writes love stories. She does it so well because she’s lived one all her life. Visit her website or Amazon Author page to learn more.


Unexpected Family

Did you ever find yourself thrust into a group of people who were supposed to have a lot in common with you but . . . not so much? It’s way worse for me. I’m a devout introvert. I’d rather spend time alone than with anyone else. So social situations can be, for me, awkward. Uncomfortable. Painful, even.

Now, add to that I’m flying all the way across the country – from New England to Burbank, CA – to a place I’ve never been. Alone. I’m rooming with folks I’ve never met other than online. I’m going to be spending 5 days with people I don’t know. The only thing we have in common is InD’Tale. InD’Scribe Con. Virtual connections.

Holy buckets.

Nervous? Uh, yeah!

It all started on the plane. JetBlue rocks – onboard WiFi, right? You never lose touch. Except that I discovered, just an hour before landing in sunny CA, after a 6 hour flight, that my planned roommate wasn’t checking in until THE NEXT DAY.


It wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. It was too-busy schedules and time zone differences and, well, my own stupidity. I shoulda coulda checked. Bottom line was, I was flying into Burbank airport, landing at 7:15 p.m. on a Thursday night (my brain thought it was 10:15 p.m.!) and I had nowhere to sleep. The Marriott where the InD’Scribe was being held was booked solid. My options were to Uber across town to another hotel, or to sleep in the lobby.

In steps Tonya Gibbons Smalley, Executive Assistant for InD’Tale, who smoothly said, “Give me a minute.” Her text arrived a moment before I landed, assuring me I not only had a place to lay my head, but arms to wrap around me, reassuring me I was not completely alone in a place where I’d never felt so alone.


And so it began. And it never stopped. I have never – EVER – felt as accepted, so appreciated, so embraced, as I did by the staff of InD’Tale. I remember asking Tonya the night I arrived, “So, T.J…is she hard to please?” I mean, she’s freaking GORGEOUS, obviously brilliant…I felt so outclassed. Tonya assured me, “The first thing she will do is wrap you in a hug.”


And she did. I have a new family. In California. About as far away (geographically) as one can get and still be within the continental United States.

It’s a crying shame. I love these people. I’ve never had so much fun, never smiled so much my face hurt, never worked my BUTT off so hard (Beth, you’re a slave driver, and I LOVE you, girl!), so hard in my life.

And I can’t wait until next time.

Thank you to all my new friends I met and grew to love in such a short, wonderful time. These are life’s unexpected gifts. Times like these are miracles.




Claire Gem writes paranormal romance featuring ghosts and psychics. She is an official reviewer for InD’Tale Magazine and loves, loves, loves, her new family in California.

How to make an author nervous

We live in a small town in southern, central Massachusetts. There are lots of privately owned, cozy restaurants here. Which is great, because I would MUCH rather eat out than cook.

Especially when it’s 100 degrees, like it’s been the past few days.

So, we go for breakfast to one of these local icons last weekend. The owner is a sweetie. She always hangs my posters for local book signings, and has (she’s told me) read a number of my books.

Last weekend, when we walked into her establishment, she calls from the kitchen,

“I just finished your latest book!”

As an author–a not terribly self-confident one–I wondered if this was a good thing, or not.

“So? What did you think?” I asked, cringing as I waited for the answer. She’s an extremely honest person, and I knew if she hated it, I would hear about it. As well as everyone else in the restaurant that morning.

“I loved it! When’s the next one coming out?” she shouted over the busy restaurant’s din.

I cleared my throat. “I’m working on it.”

And then came the words that I will print out and post on my wall in 6 inch tall, neon letters:


It doesn’t get much better than this.


Claire Gem writes contemporary romance and supernatural suspense. Visit her at

Grandma, do dogs go to Heaven?

Oh, the responsibilities of Grandma. It’s hard enough to deal with the loss of a beloved pet, one who had become a member of our family. One who shared our lives, our home, our dinners (albeit through crumbs dropped on the floor) for over ten years. But with a six-year-old in the house, the task of Grandma became even more difficult.

We knew days before his time came that Chopper was leaving us. He was gracious and kind. He didn’t force us to make any difficult decisions. Chopper passed peacefully in his sleep the day after Memorial Day.

“No more dogs.”

This from my husband, through tears. Chopper was his baby. I knew better. I started searching for a new puppy just days after we put our boy to rest in our backyard.


As it turns out, finding another Boston terrier puppy isn’t all that hard–unless you have specific requirements. I wanted one as close to Chopper as we could get. Small for the breed, around 15 pounds fully grown. Classic markings. Brindle in the black coat.

And that face . . .

As luck would have it, I found Bree’s Bostons and Buddies on Facebook. Every pup in her most recent litter was gorgeous, but one stood out. He was the runt and, since her litters carried the Game of Thrones theme, she called him Tyrion (I don’t watch the show, but I guess he’s a little person?).

Small problem: Grandpa isn’t a fan of Game of Thrones. Bigger problem: Bree lives in Louisiana, and we in Massachusetts. And flying a young pup–in cargo–is no longer a smart option.

What a saint this breeder is. She was willing to meet us halfway in Roanoke, VA. Ironically, in 2008, Chopper also came from Louisiana, although his breeder was no longer in the business. It was synchronicity. It was meant to be.

So we packed up the family and made the trip. “Rudy” (named after the movie by the same name–little guy, big heart) came home last Friday and oh, is he a doll. He is everything we’d hoped he would be and more.


And so it came around (in an inquisitive, six-year-old’s mind) to the same question, as we watched our tiny, 8-week-old pup romp in the yard. Chopper’s yard. The one that used to be his domain. Where (in my grandson’s mind) his deceased buddy was watching from his shady corner under the flowering cherry tree.

“He looks just like Chopper, Grandma. Do you think it’s okay with Chopper that Rudy shares his yard? Do you think Chopper is in heaven?”

“I’m not sure, sweetie. But I do know this: sometimes really, really good dogs get to come back to Earth in a younger, healthier body. I think that’s what happened with Chopper and Rudy.”


And so it will be.


Claire Gem writes supernatural suspense and really, truly believes in ghosts. Even doggie ghosts. Website