Organ Transference

 

this heart of mineIn This Heart of Mine, Leah MacKenzie receives the heart of Eric, a fellow classmate. Not long after she gets out of the hospital, she finds herself craving Indian food, an ethnic food she never cared for before. She even ends up in the same Indian restaurant that Eric used to frequent because he loved their food.  Is that possible? Can that really happen with transplant patients? The answer is that in at least ten percent of all transplant cases, patients report these happenings. Yes, there are many documented stories of organ recipients suddenly developing a taste for a food they never liked before only to find out their donor loved that food. It’s a phenomenon known as organ donor transference.  After his transplant, my husband suddenly found himself craving barbecue.  And before, he simply wasn’t a big fan.  For months when he’d go out to feed this craving, he’d tell me, “I’m going out to feed the kidney.”

There are also cases of transplant recipients developing a liking for the same kind of music their donor loved, or changes in personality similar to that of the donor, Heart1developing artistic tendencies when their donor was an artist and even solving a murder. Yes, like Leah, there was a case of an eight year-old girl, who received the heart of a murdered ten year-old girl. She soon began having recurring vivid nightmares about the murder. Her mother arranged a consultation with a psychiatrist who after several sessions, concluded that she was witnessing actual physical incidents. They decided to call the police who used the detailed descriptions of the murder (the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore) given by the little girl to find and convict the man in question.

Now, it is important to note that apart from miscellaneous information such as gender, age and cause of death, profiles of organ donors are traditionally concealed from their recipients for psychological reasons. So these organ recipients had no idea what their donors liked, disliked or how they behaved.

Are they doctors who argue with this theory?  Yes.  They believe that not all cells carry memory.  But so far there had been no proof that they don’t carry memory.

In my husband’s case, he actually had a reoccurring dream after his transplant.  And for as long as I’ve been with my hubby, he’s only been able to recall about five or six of his dreams.  This dream was that he’d wake up and there would be an old man staring him right in the face.  He kept having that dream for about three days.  Then we found out his donor was an older man. Now, the doctors told us that some of the medicine he was on could bring on weird dreams.

And yes, it could have been his meds, but . . .  I’m really doubtful.  I know it all sounds a little woo-woo, but aren’t there a lot of things in life that are hard to explain? You have a dream and it feels like a warning.  You pick up the phone before rings.  You think about an old friend you haven’t seen in years, and then you discover they died the day they came to your mind.   Do you believe in things that are hard to explain?

Winner!!

51WVbFHb5yLGail Dayton, you have won a copy of Don’t Close Your Eyes, my next romantic suspense, out in August. Please email me at christie@christie-craig.com with your postal address.

 

Am I Dreaming?

dreamsJust the other night I had a dream.  A bad one.  Okay, let me just call it what it was, a nightmare. I woke up, heart racing, unable to breath.  I was at an airport and someone had stolen my purse, my phone and my ticket.  I wasn’t even sure which airport or how I’d gotten there.  Or where I was going. Now, I had my clothes on, because I have those dreams too where I’m naked and afraid, but even with my clothes on in this dream, I got so upset. I felt completely lost.  Unsure of myself. I admit, I didn’t like that dream.

But not all dreams are bad. Several times in my life, I’ve dreamed that I was flying.  Man was that a high.  It made me feel unstoppable. Yes, dreams can be powerful. They can make us feel elated, unhappy or as with the airport dream, terrified. Did you know some statistics state that the average human spends six years of their life dreaming? Except for a few people with psychological problems, they claim everyone dreams. You may not remember your dreams, but you still dream.

Some people look to their dreams for signs, for something that can help or even warn them in their waking life. I kind of believe that.  I think the airport dream is about me feeling lost because I’ve been writing something different.  I feel a little unsure as to where I’m going with this new project.  So my takeaway from the dream is that I need to stop questioning myself.  Remind myself that it’s okay to try something new, maybe relook at my plot to confirm I’m on the right path.

playing-violin-in-dreamIn doing some research on dreams, I found some interesting facts.  Men and women dream differently? Men are more likely to have violent and aggressive dreams and they dream more about other men, about 70% of the dream characters in a man’s dream are men. On the other hand, women dream about women and men equally. See, we females believe in equal opportunity.

In a survey, it was found that between 18-38% of people have experienced at least one precognitive (future sight-acquisition of future information) dream and 70% experienced déjà vu. In addition, 63-98% of people believe that it’s possible to have a precognitive dream.

I have a friend, who is a psychologist who says when you dream of someone, that person is really you.  To interpret the dream, ask yourself how you view this person.  If she a little shy and timid, the dream is trying to tell you something about that part of you that is shy and timid.

51WVbFHb5yLI love using dreams in books.  In Don’t Close Your Eyes, my heroine has been having a reoccurring dream since she was about twelve.  But now that dream seems like it might be more than just a nightmare.  Maybe it’s not just a dream, but a memory.  Could she really have witnessed someone burying her cousin?

Excerpt From Don’t Close Your Eyes

Thu-thump.  Thu-thump.

The sounds came to Annie Lakes first. The sound of her young heart thudding in her chest. The night sounds of insects, owls, and unknown creatures scuttling around the woods at night.

The sound of…fear.

Then a panic-laced young voice echoed in the dark distance. “Faster, Annie.”

She couldn’t run faster. She couldn’t breathe.

She couldn’t…wake up.

She felt trapped in the blackness. Then the dark curtain lifted and she saw it all. The thicket of trees, the thorny brushes encroaching the dirt trail. Her pink Cinderella tennis shoes slapping against the dirt.Her small feet racing, rushing, running to someone to save her. Running away from someone who wouldn’t.

“Keep up!” The same voice, a young voice, echoed again. All Annie could now see of this person was snippets of a pink nightgown appearing and disappearing between the trees ahead. Too far ahead.

Alone.

She didn’t want to be alone.

She hugged the teddy bear, once white but now sticky and red stained.

“Don’t leave me!” Annie cried, unable to move faster. Her side pinched from running.Her leg muscles burned.

She wanted to scream.

Wanted to cry.

Wanted her daddy.

Thorns caught and snagged on the ruffle on her Smurf nightgown. The toe of her tennis shoe hit a stump.

She tripped. Went down. Hard. The bear hit the dirt before she did.

Small rocks ripped at the tender flesh on her palms. A jagged one sliced into her knee.The raw sting brought tears to her eyes. She could no longer hear the person in front of her, but the footfalls of the person chasing her grew closer. Louder.

She really wanted her daddy. Now.

Struggling to her feet, she let soft whimpers slip from her lips. She took one slow step, and someone grabbed her from behind. Grabbed her tight.

She screamed.

And screamed.

Annie’s own bloodcurdling cry echoing through her bedroom yanked her awake. No longer the frightened child, she was now a frightened woman, but she still wanted her daddy.

Swallowing air that felt solid, hand clutching her chest, she felt her heart slamming against her ribcage.

Realizing what this meant, she rolled over and buried her face in the pillow. The dream, the recurring nightmare was back. And she knew why.

Brittany Talbot.

She really needed to stop watching the news.


Don’t Close Your Eyes releases Aug. 28th, but you can pre-order it now at Amazon,  Barnes & Noble,  Katy Budget BooksBooks A Million and iBooks.

GIVEAWAY!!

Have you ever had a dream that warned you of something or revealed anything to you?  I’m giving away a copy of Don’t Close Your Eyes to one person who tells me about one of their dreams. (Sorry, this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only.)

What’s It Really Like?

the-endWhen I tell someone I just finished a book, I get the perfectly normal, acceptable response.  “Congratulations.  I imagine it feels good.”

And they imagine right. It does feel good, but there’s so many other emotions tied to crossing that threshold and finishing a story.  And while this may sound a little crazy, some of those emotions are, well, kind of melancholy. Sort of like having a friend move away or having a long vacation end.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a sense of fulfillment, and because I write happy endings, I feel the high of the all’s-well-that-ends-well. And because love plays a part in all of my books, I experience that sweet gooey feeling that love really can solve problems.  I feel that huge sense of success.  Of accomplishment.  And then I find those moments when I’ll stop and wonder, did I tie everything up?  Did I leave something out that I should have included?  I’ll recall a scene I imagined, but didn’t add.  And with every book I finish, I’ll spend some time worrying that my readers will not like it.

For me, writing a book is sort like having people move in with me for three or four months. I spend all those days and nights getting to know them.  They become my friends.  People I worry about.  They are in my head.  They are in my heart.  I’m working endlessly to get them to tell me their secrets.  Tell me what they are afraid of.  What makes them cry.  What makes them laugh.  I need to understand the ins and outs of why they act like they act and why they do what they do. And believe me when I say these people have problems.  Because yeah, I create those problems, because without problems, there are no stories.  And for however long it takes me to tell the story of these individuals, their problems, are my problems.

The word writer in print letter cases

The word writer in print letter cases

When I close my eyes at night, I think about them.  Sometimes I don’t sleep because I’m can’t stop thinking about them.  And when I wake up in the morning, right after I have my first sip of coffee, I’m thinking about them again.  What’s going to happen next? I’ll hear a line of dialogue from them when I’m making my oatmeal in the mornings.  Or when I’m in the bath tub, they love to spout out lines, and I struggle to keep that bit of info in my head until I can write it down.

As a writer, my job is to make the reader care.  To make a reader feel something.  And to do that I have to care, I have to feel something.  These people in my head have to feel real for me, so I can make them feel real to the reader.  This explains why I get a massage every two weeks.  Because these problems my character have and experience, I experience too.  I get shot at.  My mom had cancer.  I need a heart transplant.  I take on those problems as my own.

So often when I’m knee deep into a book, my husband will ask, “Where’s your head?”  Then he answers the question before I do. “You’re thinking about your book, aren’t you?”  Yeah, the people in my life often share me with the people in my mind.

So often when I’m living my life, I think about the characters that live cozied up in my cerebral storage area I’ve arranged for them.  So often when I’m alone in my study, those characters will crack me up.  I’ll laugh.  Then there are times I cry.  Sometimes I scare the crap out of myself.  Ahh, but I also I fall in love and I get to feel that glowing feeling that makes your chest feel huge.  I experience the wonder of sweet kisses, of those warm hugs.  I make best friends with people who make me laugh and who will be there for me no matter what.

Writer-once-upon-a-timeI help find these people resolutions.  In a C.C. Hunter or a Christie Craig book, I always find happy endings.  But after those endings, after a long nose-to-the-grindstone marathon to finish before my deadline, I feel a little lost.  The first day I wake up and no longer need to go spend time with Chloe and Cash, or Mark and Annie, I feel a little lost and anxious. I’m like oh, my, what am I supposed to do now?  Then I realize, oh yeah, it’s almost Mother’s Day and I need to go shopping for my mom.  That’s right, I have a real life that I can focus on.  And I do focus on it.  But I know it won’t take but a few days before I’ll have someone else move in and  they’ll redecorate their special spot in my mind, I’ll discover their problems, their quirkiness, and they’ll become part of my life for the next few months.

Yeah, writing and finishing a book is an amazing thing.  It’s therapy, it’s stressful, it’s powerful, it’s humbling. It’s what I love to do.  Sometimes it takes me away from my own problems, and sometimes it helps me solve them.

For anyone out there who has ever felt the desire to write their own story, to put pen to paper, hands to the computer, I encourage you to do it.  Find the time, the courage, find a part of yourself, and take a journey that only another writer understands.  If you aren’t a writer, pick up a book and lose yourself for a few hours in a world that’s not your own.

Readers Coffeehouse Facebook Chat

Recently, I sat down with my friend and fellow author, Laura Drake, to chat about This Heat of Mine for Readers Coffeehouse Facebook Chat. I wanted to share our chat with you.

What emotion/human condition did you explore with this book?

That’s a big question. And it comes with a big answer. The story was inspired by a personal experience. My husband needed a kidney. Fast. The five-year bout of dialysis was killing his heart. Killing him. I watched him lose almost sixty pounds. I knew he was dying. He knew he was, too. By a miracle we got a call that there was a kidney available. After the surgery, he started having a reoccurring dream. Normally, he never remembered his dreams, so this was odd. His dream was that he’d wake up and find an old man staring him right his face. He had that dream about fifteen times during the first three days. It gave us chills when we learned it was a sixty-five-year-old man who had given him the kidney. Afterwards, it was still an uphill climb. My husband said to me once, that it was odd to know that someone had to die to give him life.

I borrowed everything he went through, even the dream, when I wrote about seventeen-year-old Leah, who needs a new heart. When she gets it, she’s starts having dreams. Dreams that don’t belong to her. Eventually, she connects with the identical twin of the donor, only to learn he’s having the same dreams. The police say the donor’s death was a suicide, but the dreams tell another story. These two young adults reach out to each other and try to find the truth, while they find love, hope, and joy in the midst of grief and survivor’s guilt.

What authors (living or dead) would you love to invite over for coffee?

E.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web. And I’d kick his butt for killing off Charlotte. I cried so hard, and I hate spiders.

If you didn’t have writing ability, what other artistic talent would you want?

I’d be a stand up comic. As Christie Craig I’ve written fifteen humorous, romantic suspense novels. Humor shows up in all my books. I love making people laugh. Yes, I won’t lie, This Heart of Mine will also make you cry, probably more than once, but I promise you some chuckles along the way, and an ending you can live with. I don’t want anyone calling me back from the dead for coffee and giving me heck. LOL.

How would you describe your book? Upmarket? Beach Read? Is there romance?

This is a hard one. First, everything I write has a romance in it. But even in my humorous romance novels, it’s always more than just about the romance. I like to write about relationships. Relationships between friends, parents, and siblings. I always add humor to my work and for some, that tends to make it fit the beach read category. However, This Heart of Mine is the closest thing I’ve ever written that would fit in the upmarket genre. There are so many themes about love—holding on to it, and learning to let it go. About moving past grief, living your life to the fullest, and about following your heart—even if that heart hasn’t always belonged to you.

What were your top 3 reads of the past year?

Letters to the Lost by Bridget Kemmerer. I loved it. I’m reading one now that I can hardly put down, it’s Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Pen. Both of those are issue themed young adult books that also have a touch of romance. Then I read and loved All The Dead Girls by Rita Herron. It’s a romantic suspense. I read all over the place. I love Susan E. Phillips, Lori Wilde. I love stores that make me care, that make me laugh, that make me fall in love. Stories that make me believe life is journey worth taking.

If you haven’t read This Heart of Mine, you can order your copy today at AmazonBarnes &NoblePowell’s, Indiebound, Books-A-Million, and iBooks. 

 

 

Kylie’s Dance

Did you know I speak at schools and universities? That’s right, I’ve gone to middle schools, high schools and colleges around the country giving talks about everything from writing to inspirational never give up talks. I love meeting the students and teachers, but recently, I had a unique experience when I spoke at North Central Texas College on April 13th. You see they loved my Shadow Falls series so much, they decided to create a dance in honor of Kylie. And while I was there, they performed the dance for me, and it was awesome. I was really blown away. So, I’m sharing it here with you now. Enjoy!

Now if you attend school or teach at a school and want me to speak, please have your school principal or librarian contact me at cc@cchunterbooks.com. I’d love to come to your school and meet you and your students.

Winner!

The winner of last week’s giveaway, an ecopy of This Heart of Mine, is Melissa Howell. Congratulations! Please email me at christie@christie-craig.com and tell me if you prefer the Kindle or Nook version.

This Heart of Mine Giveaway!

this heart of mineSeventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

So in This Heart of Mine, Leah has a lot on her plate. She’s also dealing with all the usual stuff teens have to deal with. But she’s a fighter and a quick learner.  And these are just a few of the things she learns in This Heart of Mine.

  • Silly slippers on your feet can put a smile in your heart.
  • Even an artificial heart can break.
  • Dying sucks, but seeing the early signs of grief in the eyes of those who love you, sucks more.
  • Living a day at a time isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. You need to embrace the future and learn from the past.
  • Getting a second chance at life is a miracle, but knowing someone had to die to give you that life, is hard to swallow.
  • When the identical twin of the brother who is your heart donor starts falling for you, how does one know if they love you for you, or because you have their brother’s heart?
  • First kisses are awesome, but second ones can be even better.
  • Losing a sibling is hard, losing an identical twin is losing a part of yourself.
  • Everyone has secrets, but when a secret may be responsible for a loved one’s death, discovering the truth is essential.
  • Reading is a surefire way to learn to deal with the crap life throws at you.
  • Book snobs should never be allowed to run a book club.

If you haven’t read This Heart of Mine, you can order your copy today at AmazonBarnes &NoblePowell’s, Indiebound, Books-A-Million, and iBooks. 

Winner!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Pearl/Anne. Congratulations, you’ve won a $25 Amazon gift card. Please email me at christie@christie-craig.com and tell me where to email your gift card.

Giveaway!

Read my Shadow Falls series, but haven’t read This Heart of Mine? I’ll give away an e-copy of This Heart of Mine to one person who leaves a comment on this post or leaves a comment on my CC Hunter blog (http://cchunterbooks.com/blog/). Increase your chances to win by leaving a comment at both blogs.

 

Book Trailer Giveaway!

I’ve had several book trailers made for my books. I’ve gotten great feedback on them. But I was wondering how effective they really are. Do you watch book trailers? Do they influence you to purchase a book? What kinds of trailers do prefer?

Here are the book trailers for Midnight Hour, The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave and This Heart of Mine. Tell me which one you like best and why. I’ll give a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who leaves a comment.

Midnight Hour

The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave

This Heart of Mine

You know from my books that I love animals, and I usually add a dog or cat to my books. In fact, This Heart of Mine has a dog named Lady, after my current fur baby. Now I love Lady, but I had one dog, Jake, that really stands out. Jake will always hold a special place in my heart. You know, that one animal that decided you were the end all and be all. But I just wasn’t that keen on him at the start. Boy did that change! You can read my entire Jake story over at Furbaby Fridays. You can also read a new excerpt from This Heart of Mine, one that has hottie Matt with his dog Lady. So, be sure to pop over and read it.

I Borrow From My Life

Feb. 20, 2018 I was delighted to be the guest blogger on YA Books Central. They spotlighted THIS HEART OF MINE and asked me to talk about how the story came about and how I used part of my real life story with my husband as part of the plot. So I hope you enjoy this very personal story.


A part of my heart and soul goes into the characters and plot of every book I write.  I’m dyslexic, so in one book, my heroine was dyslexic and struggled with the issues that come with that.  My parents divorced when I was young and I’ve had my characters deal with the same life-shattering issue. I was shy and insecure, as are many of my characters.  But never has so much of my personal heartache and fear flowed into a book as it did in This Heart of Mine.

Like Leah in the book, my husband needed a transplant. At first, all he needed was a kidney.  While on the transplant list, dialysis kept him alive.  But it was also killing his heart.  He lost sixty pounds and there was no doubt he was going to die soon without a transplant.  His blood type was one of the harder ones to match.  His only sibling was ruled out due to high blood pressure.  I couldn’t become part of the kidney swap team, because I was pre-diabetic.  My son, like his father, has polycystic kidney disease.  My daughter was trying to get pregnant and while she offered to do it anyway, my husband refused.  He preferred to die rather than rob her of the life she deserved.

Unless you’ve been there, you’ll never know how hard it is to love someone and watch them die.  A miracle happened when a kidney became available. With hopes the kidney would improve his heart, he got the transplant. I can’t even explain how grateful we were to the family who had given their loved one’s organs. Or to the donor who signed up.

Only a day out of surgery, he started having a recurring dream.  Before the transplant, he never remembered his dreams, so this was odd for him.  The dream was of him waking up and having an older man staring him right in the face. The doctor said the steroids could cause strange dreams.  But when I learned that the donor was a sixty-five-year-old man, it gave me chills.

After two weeks at home, I drove him to the doctor for a checkup.  We were ten minutes away from the hospital when he started having trouble breathing.  Driving as fast as I could, while listening to the man I love gasp for air, was a nightmare.  But sitting at his bedside while he was in a coma for a week was torture.

Then another miracle happened.  He came out of it without any issues.  His coming so close to dying, and me so close to losing him, made us realize how precious time is.  We stopped taking time for granted and started living life to the fullest, embracing the past, making plans for the future.  The recurring dream was gone, but I was curious. I did some Internet searches and learned that at least ten percent of transplant patients have similar things happen.  Do I believe the dreams were more than steroid dreams?  I guess I do.

Fast forward two years, I met with my editor to talk about future book ideas.  She mentioned that stories about characters facing health issues were popular. But I couldn’t write that. I wrote stories with mystery, maybe a murder, elements of the supernatural and humor. But less than a day later, the plot of This Heart of Mine plopped itself down in my mind and demanded to be written.

So much of Leah’s story mirrored my husband’s. Knowing she was dying, seeing the hurt that caused in those who loved her.  Like Leah, my husband had survivor’s guilt knowing the reason he lived was because someone else died.  The eeriness of the dreams weren’t all fiction. Neither was Leah’s ride to the hospital, struggling to breathe, her mom driving, dying inside with each half gasp from her daughter. I lived a lot of those scenes.  Even the light brushstrokes of humor during the dark times were part of our story.

But mixed in with our own experiences, I’ve created a mystery…

In This Heart of Mine Leah’s donor is accused of killing himself, but Leah’s dreams suggest something different.  Then she learns the identical twin of the donor, Matt,  is having the same dreams she is.  Desperate, she and Matt come together to discover what really happened in the last minutes of his brother’s life. While uncovering dangerous secrets, they discover love.  Leah helps Matt overcome the grief for his brother.  Matt helps Leah learn to live again.  As much as they care about each other, Leah worries that Matt may love her only because she has his brother’s heart.  And if her body ends up rejecting his brother’s heart, will he lose her and his brother all over again?

This was the hardest book I’ve ever written, not because it didn’t flow, but because so much of it flowed with tears.  And when I finished it, I spent that whole day crying.  Yet those tears were somehow different.  They were cathartic. It reinforced the fact that we were survivors, that miracles happen.  And even more, it offered me a chance to let the world know how important it is to sign those donor cards.

Every day people die waiting for an organ.  By signing that card, you could save a parent from the grief and unbearable pain of losing a child.  Or save a spouse from losing the person they have loved for years.  With your death, you can offer someone else life.

I hope you’ll enjoy Leah’s and Matt’s journey, one of overcoming death and grief, uncovering secrets, and finding a love so pure it offers courage to face life’s hardships. It may bring a tear to your eye, but it should offer smiles and lessons of cherishing the time you have with the people you love.  You’ll be swept away by a story of survivors.

So, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of This Heart of Mine. You can order your copy today at AmazonBarnes &NoblePowell’s, Indiebound, Books-A-Million, and iBooks. 

If you have already read THIS HEART OF MINE, who is you favorite character and why?

A New Look

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Have you noticed anything different lately? Maybe about my website? Yes, that’s right, my website has gotten a whole new look. I’m so excited about it. I love the new edgier look. You can check out my home page HERE.

While you’re there, take a look at The Junkyard Cowboy, which is already available Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And check out Don’t Close Your Eyes, available for pre-order at AmazonBarnes & NobleKaty Budget Books,  Books A Million and iBooks. Don’t Close Your Eyes comes out August 28, 2018. Don’t miss out!

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Golden Heart Winner Christina Britton and a Giveaway!

Christina_Britton_HeadshotI’ve got a 2017 RWA® Golden Heart® Winner Christina Britton as my special guest on my blog this week. Christina developed a passion for writing romance novels shortly after buying her first at the tender age of thirteen. Though for several years she turned to art and put brush instead of pen to paper, she has returned to her first love and is now writing full time. She spends her days dreaming of corsets and cravats and noblemen with tortured souls. And she has her exciting debut novel, With Love in Sight, releasing a week from today! Now if you’re a fan of Regency era romances with a dashing, rogue hero like I am, you’ll adore With Love in Sight.

With Love in Sight

WithLoveInSight_coverLARGE-HiResAn aging spinster at 26, all Imogen Duncan sees ahead of her is a life of servitude to her overbearing mother. Her London Season has passed and her desperate shyness and reserved demeanor have destroyed any chance for a match. As her younger sister Mariah begins her own Season, Imogen believes her chances for excitement are well and truly lost. But a case of mistaken identity and an accidental kiss bring unexpected adventure into her life.

Burying his guilt from a decade-old tragedy beneath a life of debauchery, Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge is content enough to meet willing widows in dark gardens to numb the pain. But he is wholly unprepared when an innocent miss stumbles into his life, turning his superficial world on its head.

Drawn to the rogue that mistakenly stole her first kiss, Imogen finds not a suitor, but a friend. Free to be herself for the first time in her life, she begins to see a new beauty in the world around her…and see a strength in herself she never knew she possessed. But when friendship turns to passion, Imogen will accept nothing less than Tristan’s heart. Can a healing of the past lead to the promise of a future together?


Christina was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and provide an excerpt for y’all. She also has a special pre-order giveaway. Check out the rules at the end of this post, and pre-order With Love in Sight today. And you definitely want to pre-order With Love in Sight today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Goodreads. Like Imogen, you’ll fall in love with Caleb.

What drew you to writing historical romances?

Truthfully, I never considered writing anything else. When I was young I delved into everything I could: horror, the classics, children’s books. I read Stephen King when I was eleven! But a chance visit to a book store when I was thirteen sealed my fate. I browsed the romance section, looking for something new, and picked up the first book that caught my eye, Kathryn Kramer’s Under Gypsy Skies (and yes, I still have that very dog-eared, beloved copy). There really was no turning back after that. I devoured every historical romance novel I could. From medieval to the old west, Victorian to early Americana, nothing was off limits. Now, the minute I sit down to write, my mind automatically turns to the words and mannerisms of the past. To be utterly truthful, the idea of trying to write a contemporary makes me break into a sweat!

What made you focus on the Regency era in England for your novels?

One author did that for me: Amanda Quick. The second I picked up one of her novels, I was hooked. There was something about the world that called to me, something elegant and proper, yet wickedly wonderful. It was around that time I discovered Jane Austen. How could I fail to be utterly entranced by it all? The elegance of the language, the manor homes, the lords and ladies and glittering balls all worked their magic on me. I adore everything about it, and can’t imagine writing anything else.

How are you most like your heroine?

I love all the feisty, outspoken, daring heroines that fill my shelves, but I couldn’t relate to them.I wanted to read about a character that was more like me. So I picked up my pen and wrote her. Imogen is incredibly shy, and introverted, and horribly awkward with strangers—all very much like myself! Truthfully I love writing heroines that have to work harder at dealing with things that others find easy. It makes their happily ever afters so much more satisfying to me.

What was your favorite scene to write?

There’s a scene in the book where Imogen and Caleb go star-gazing. It’s just so quiet and romantic and sweet. I adored that scene. I tend to emotionally torture my characters throughout my books (and giggle while I do it!), so the scenes where they can truly connect and enjoy each others’ company are few and far between, and thus extra special to me.

How has winning the Golden Heart affected you?

I admit most of the time it all seems a dream. How could I have won that award? I still routinely stare at my Golden Heart necklace and try with all my might to get the reality of it to sink in. But in those moments when I know in my heart it actually happened it’s glorious and humbling all at once. And it makes me want to work harder than ever before.

Excerpt From With Love in Sight:

“You’re probably wondering what prompted me to act in so forward a manner. The truth of the matter is, I need you for something.”

All manner of images flashed through his mind at that, not a one that he could possibly share with her. He cleared his throat. “Anything at all.”

She drew a deep breath. “I need you to help me have an adventure.”

“A what?”

“An adventure.” She saw his blank look and sighed, the pain he had noticed in her eyes earlier returning. “You see, Lord Willbridge, I know full well my situation. I am aware I will never marry, that I will forever live on my parents’ charity, and my siblings’ after that.”

Anger rushed through him at her words. He was vaguely aware that others thought of her that way. Hell, he had believed the very same thing when he first met her, which brought him no little shame now. That she believed it, however, made it all too real.

And she should not have to settle for such a life.

“Don’t say that,” he growled.

“Why not? It’s true.”

“It does not have to be. You could still marry, have a family.”

But she was looking at him calmly. “It’s fine. I’ve come to terms with it. I’m not afraid to face my future.” She drew herself up, and he was touched by the quiet pride that shone from her.

“But I would very much like,” she continued in a low voice, “to have some memories to bring with me into that future, my lord. To know that not all of my life has been planned and prescribed and…wasted.” Her slender fingers gripped at the fabric of her skirts. “I want to know I lived a bit. I want an adventure or two to warm me. Nothing extravagant. Just to know that I had enough bravery to try something new and daring, before the chance was lost forever.”

She only wanted a bit of an adventure? He would do that and so much more for her if it would bring a smile, even fleetingly, to that sad, too-serious face.

And who knew, maybe this was a way, however small, to begin making amends for his past sins. It would not bring Jonathan back, would not erase the pain of the past decade. But at least he could make a difference for the better in someone’s life.

“Imogen, don’t you think you had better start calling me Caleb? After all, a good adventuring would be stifled by such formalities.”

It took her a moment. But when the realization hit her that he had agreed, her entire being lit up. Not just her face, which had broken into the most glorious smile he had ever clapped eyes on, but her body as well. She straightened, and it was as if a bolt of lightning had struck her, filling her with so much energy that she fairly crackled with it.

And then she did the thing he least expected. She rushed at him, flinging her arms about him. In his shock he automatically clasped her to him. He experienced a rush of awareness as he felt every curve of her pressed to him, the warmth of her through her thin gown. The clean scent of her drifted up to him, making him slightly dizzy. And he knew he wanted nothing more than to kiss her.

He stilled, his arms gripping her a bit tighter. He had no wish to ruin their friendship. He could imagine her shock if he followed through with the urge. He had gotten away with accidentally kissing her once; he did not think he could talk his way out of it a second time.

PRE-ORDER GIVEAWAY!

In honor of the release of Christina’s debut novel With Love in Sight on 3/27/18, She’s having a pre-order giveaway! One winner will receive a selection of signed historical romance novels, Twinings tea, a vintage 1930’s depression-era amber glass teacup, and a With Love in Sight tote bag!

Simply pre-order your copy of With Love in Sight, take a screenshot of your receipt, and upload it along with your contact information to the form found here!: https://goo.gl/G2v2cj
You can also find a link to the form on Christina’s website!: http://christinabritton.com/

For every copy of With Love in Sight pre-ordered, whether digital or hard copy, 1 entry will be put in the contest. The contest closes at midnight March 26, 2018. 1 winner will be chosen at random, and will be contacted early April 2018. Continental United States only please. The winner will have 1 week to reply with their shipping information before another winner is chosen. Good luck to all!

Pre-order With Love in Sight today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Goodreads.