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Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.

Today, author Claire Gem is sharing some firsts in the garden. Welcome, Claire!


Planting the Next Generation

Late one summer, when I was about seven or eight years old, I developed an interest in growing things. I’d been inspired, I’m certain, by the tiny evergreen trees our local library had given out for Arbor Day earlier that spring. My mother helped me plant the sapling. Unfortunately, we didn’t encircle it with any sort of marker. The grass grew tall that summer and my father inadvertently mowed the little tree down.

But the gardening bug had bitten me. Next time, I decided, there would be no chance for failure. Rummaging in our shed I discovered the vegetable drawer from our old refrigerator. A perfect planter, I thought. I set to work with trowel and spade, digging soil from a bare patch at the edge of our property.

Now, what to plant? It was already late August. My mother again came to my aid.

“Radishes are a good choice. They grow very fast and tolerate the cooler nights.”

She bought me a packet of radish seeds, and I painstakingly planted them, one inch apart, in my vegetable drawer. I watered them, and then I waited.

Never mind that I didn’t even like radishes.

Within days I thrilled to see the tiny green shoots emerge from the soil. And grow fast they did. By the time the trees had taken on their bright fall colors, the plants stood several inches tall. Harvest time, Mom said. So harvest we did.

Beautiful, bright red bulbs filled a bowl, and that night, Mom made a salad using the leafy green tops as well as the sliced radishes. Dad raved they were the best radishes he’d ever tasted.

Even I had to admit, they didn’t taste half bad.

Fast forward fifty-odd years. My seven-year-old grandson has been watching the neighbors harvesting from their gardens all summer. He comes to me with a discarded window box the lady across the street was throwing away. It’s already the first of September.

“Can we grow something in this, Grandma?”

The circle of life. History repeats itself. And perhaps, even though he doesn’t like radishes, my grandson will give that first salad a try.


About the Writer/Gardener

Multi-award-winning author Claire Gem loves writing, Persian cats, and watching things grow: Her readership, her work-in-progress, her kitten, and her grandson. Writing is like gardening sometimes—it all starts with a tiny seed of an idea.

Her latest Haunted Voices novel, Electricity, is set in an abandoned mental asylum which was housed in a building that exists to this day on the campus where she works. After a secret tour by an empathic facilities manager, Claire left with goosebumps and nightmares aplenty. She knew the people who lived—and died here—needed to have their story told.


by Claire Gem

She’s an electrician starting over with her son. New job. New town. New life.

He’s a coworker who’s interested in more than her ability to run conduit.

The building they’re rewiring was once an insane asylum…but it appears some of the patients never left.

Mercedes Donohue pulled up roots in Atlanta when her marriage imploded. She’s come back to New England, to the place where she was born. Mercy’s focus is to stabilize her teenage son’s life—he took the breakup pretty hard—and to establish her place, gain the respect of Progressive Electrical’s team.

She never expected so many sparks to fly so soon, both on the job and after hours.

Daniel Gallagher has been alone since his fiancé’s death. He’ll never feel that way about any woman again, and certainly won’t try with another independent, strong-willed one. Then Mercy short-circuits his plans.

Although the asylum closed its doors over thirty-five years ago, Mercy & Daniel quickly realize the abandoned building is very haunted.

If you like a heart-melting romance laced with healthy dose of supernatural thrills and chills, you’ll love Electricity.



Claire has also compiled a collection of her creepy short stories for a Kindle Short Read called Enigmata: Eerie Bits Books 1. It’s on pre-order now, release date Sept. 29. Check it out here: https://amzn.to/2kAYM2v


Visit Claire at her website.