Carrie Pulkinen, Magic & a Giveaway!

Carrie (1)Carrie Pulkinen writes sexy, haunting, paranormal romance. And when I say “sexy,” I mean her heroes will definitely make your heart beat faster! Growing up living next door to a cemetery,  it’s easy to see where her penchant for paranormal comes from. She’s also a woman after my own heart since her favorite things are chocolate and red wine. Not only that, but she’s agreed to be my very special guest today. Enjoy!

 

 

 


 

One of my favorite things about writing paranormal romance is the magic. All of my stories contain magic of some sort, whether it’s psychic powers, spell casting, shapeshifting, or some other ability, and I’m frequently asked the same question: where do I find all the information for the magical worlds I create?

People have asked me if there is some giant encyclopedia of magic that all paranormal and fantasy authors refer to when writing their stories. If such a thing exists, I don’t know about it.

519L6nLTfrL._SY346_I do a lot of research when planning the magic for my stories. Most of my books contain some sort of soul or spirit elements—ghosts, reincarnation, demons, or other nonphysical entities. When I first started writing, I took psychic development classes from a local psychic medium, and a lot of what I learned in that course helps me with the magic in my books.

In my newest release, Beneath a Blue Moon, the heroine is a witch named Rain. She’s been cursed, and her powers are bound, so her sister does most of the spell-casting in the majority of the book. I scoured websites to learn about the kinds of herbs and other ingredients used in potions, and I visited a store in New Orleans that specializes in witchery to gather knowledge to write the sister pair.

While research is extremely important to make the magic as believable as possible, quite a bit of the “rules” for my worlds come straight from my head.

The Crescent City Wolf Pack series is about a pack of werewolves in New Orleans who battles demons and whatever other monsters threaten the safety of humanity in the city. And while there are tons of werewolf books out there, each author will treat the magic behind the characters differently.

I’ve read some where the act of shifting from human to wolf is a very physical thing. Muscles slosh and make icky noises as bones break and rearrange themselves to take on the form of the beast. As they shift, their clothes tear or fall off, and when they turn back to human again, they are naked.

That type of magic didn’t work for the Crescent City Wolf Pack world. Chase and Luke and the other werewolves have to be able to shift on command, many times in the shadows of the city, to fight the demons that are threatening the humans. They shift frequently, and if they busted out of their clothes every time, they’d all be broke with the wardrobes they’d have to keep replacing! Not to mention there’d be a lot of naked people running around the French Quarter…a lot more than usual, anyway!

Instead, I wrote the shift as a more magical experience. Their bodies vibrate as the actual make-up of their cells and everything they are wearing transforms into the wolf. Their clothing is essentially absorbed by the magic, and when they return to human form, everything is in its place.

This makes for much faster transformations and gives them the ability to shift as often as needed to save the city from the supernatural threats.This is why I love writing about magic. I can make up the rules and weave it into the world, making it believable for each specific series.

Beneath a Blue Moon combines the magic of werewolves and witches, while also sprinkling in psychic abilities amongst the characters. It’s book 2 of the Crescent City Wolf Pack series, and while it can be read as a stand-alone, it does contain spoilers for book 1. Here’s what it’s about:

BeneathaBlueMoon_LargeFate has a sick sense of humor.

Chase Beauchamp has had a grudge against witches for as long as he can remember. When he’s tasked with investigating a magicless witch who might be to blame for a string of murders in the French Quarter, the wolf in him wants to claim her as his mate. To his dismay, the man might agree. But when her secrets are revealed, Chase discovers loving this witch will put his pack and his family in danger.

Rain Connolly will do anything to break the hex that binds her powers and makes her an outcast in the supernatural world. But when fate drops the answer to her prayers into her lap, she can’t help but fall for the sexy werewolf who can end her curse. The problem is what she needs him to do could cost him his life.

Can a witch and a werewolf overcome their haunted pasts to find love? Or did fate bind their hearts only to rip them apart?

Beneath a Blue Moon is available in both ebook and paperback, and you can find it at these stores:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/BeneathaBlueMoon

iBooks: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-iBooks

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-Nook

Kobo: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-Kobo

Google Play: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-Google

Fashion model brunette with professional makeup and long hair

Thanks so much for letting me guest post today, Christie! It was fun!

Giveaway!

I’ll give away an ebook of Carrie’s first book in her Crescent City Wolves series, Werewolves Only, to one person who leaves a comment.You’re gonna love this book! (Sorry, but this giveaway is for US residents only.)

Winner!

The winner of the $25 Starbucks gift card is Caroline Luce. Congratulations! Please email me with your postal address at christie@christie-craig.com.

Mark’s Good Deed Contest

IMG_5844In Don’t Close Your Eyes, Mark is always buying people coffee.  He calls it his, “Good Deed for the Day.”  I want to pay it forward and have a contest where I’ll send someone a $25 Starbucks card to buy yourself and maybe even someone else a cup of coffee.  To enter, post a picture of you reading my book or a photo of my book someplace cool (like the photos below), and post it with the hashtag #MarksGoodDeed. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account, you can send me a link (christie@christie-craig.com) of your post.  Below is the good deed for the day scene from Don’t Close Your Eyes.

 

 

Don’t Close Your Eyes Excerpt

Annie, sitting at her usual table, refocused on the stack of ungraded papers. The dark circles under her eyes were hidden behind darker sunglasses. Blond and fair skinned, she lacked sleep, which brought out raccoon eyes. Too bad she couldn’t wear the shades while teaching.

“Happy hump day.” Fred waved his cup of espresso with extra milk as he moved to his booth. For reasons unbeknownst to Annie, the elderly widower was always happier on Wednesdays. Sometimes, when the place was full, he’d even sit with her to chat.

Annie smiled. “Did you have a good night last night?”

“Sure did.” A sparkle brightened his light blue eyes. He sat down and pulled out his newspaper. Was he seeing some lady on Tuesdays? Not that it mattered, Annie liked seeing happy people.

Christie Craig - Weekend 4Glancing out the window, she took in the early-morning walkers trying to get their steps in. The quaint coffee shop nestled between high-rises in downtown Anniston, Texas, was conveniently located a block from the junior college where she’d taught for last five months. Coming here had become part of her morning ritual. Being an only child, she liked feeling as if she was part of a community. She knew the regulars. They knew her. At least most of them did.

The door swished open. Pretty sure who it was, she glanced up, without lifting her head. He always arrived between seven and seven thirty. The coffee shop was conveniently located a block from the police precinct, too.

Detective Sutton liked the dark roast and drank it black. Sometimes, he added a skinny hazelnut latte to his order. Probably for some long-legged, lucky secretary at his office.

While Annie was certain he’d never noticed her—he was one who didn’t speak or even nod—she’d noticed him.

Even before she’d seen him on television.

Christie Craig - Weekend 3It wasn’t just his big-gulp size, or his big-gulp good looks. Oh, she noticed those, too—hard not to—but it was the fact that, like her, he hid behind sunglasses. Considering most of his cases involved murder and some involved children—she wondered if he wasn’t suffering from some bad nightmares, too.He shot to the counter with his usual determined pace. Not so much rude as running late.

Today, he wore his navy Dockers and his light blue buttoned-down oxford. The shirt, creases down the sleeves, no doubt dry-cleaned, hugged his broad chest. His dark hair appeared freshly showered damp.

The customer ahead of him, an elderly grandmother—not a regular—looked antique and frail. “I know I’ve got some coins…” Her arm, lost in her big purse, fumbled for loose change.

Annie waited to see if he’d do it again. She’d seen it happen six times.

“I got her coffee,” he spoke over the woman’s gray hair to Mary, the barista.

The older woman looked back, and up. And up. “Why that’s sweet, but I’ve got…”

My good deed for the day, Annie said in her head, right before he did.

A smile curled up in her gut and gave her good-guy butterflies. She’d even borrowed his act of kindness herself.

IMG_2905Shamelessly, she’d considered attempting to be his good deed for the day for an introduction-and maybe more. But she’d failed at her last attempts of “more.” And considering the return of her nightmares, she needed to get her life fixed before she asked for company.

Fun Facts

51WVbFHb5yLDon’t Close Your Eyes released last Tuesday, and I’ve been pretty busy with interviews, book signings, etc. ever since. This is one of the best parts about being and author–a chance to connect with my readers. So thanks to everyone who came out for my book signings, I loved meeting every one of you.

And don’t forget, you can snag the ebook of Don’t Close Your Eyes for only $2.99, but that sale is ending very soon. So hurry! Download your copy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Now, I thought I’d share a few fun facts about Don’t Close Your Eyes. This is from a blog originally posted Harlequin Junkie on Aug. 27, 2018.

 

  • Don’t Close Your Eyes was originally written as a movie treatment for a screenplay contest twenty-five years ago. It won the contest.  The original title, To Remember Jenny, had been inspired after I watched the movie Prince of Tides.  I loved the idea of writing about a traumatic childhood memory and how the lingering effects could uproot one’s life years later.
  • Don’t Close Your Eyes revolves around Annie Lakes, who is dealing with a repressed memory. This subject, how victims remember trauma, is among one of the most explosive issues facing psychology today.  Some experts believe that traumatic experiences are unforgettably engraved on the mind.  Others argue that the mind can defend itself by banishing traumatic memories from awareness, making it difficult for victims to remember things until years later.  The argument is debated so vigorously because it used so often in legal cases.
  • Annie Lakes, my heroine, suffers from posttraumatic nightmares. These are more intense than regular dreams and similar to flashback memories that can contain replays of the actual traumatic events. However because some dreams can only be symbolically related this makes unraveling the truth extremely difficult.  For Annie, this makes her feel like an unreliable witness to something that happened to her.
  • Like Isabella, a secondary character in Don’t Close Your Eyes, I’m bi-lingual. I love writing about Hispanic characters and adding different cultures in Texas-themed books. When I was young, I lived in Venezuela, and spoke only Spanish for almost two years. Living in Texas, Spanish comes in handy and I kind of love to shock people when they are speaking Spanish and I’ll just chime in.  With my blonde hair green eyes, I really throw some people off.
  • I enjoy murder. On paper.  And on film.  Actually what I honestly enjoy is solving cases.  I’m addicted to the ID channel.  I can stay up until two in the morning watching Forty-Eight Hours and Cold Case. I love sifting through the evidence and trying to figure out who did it and see how they catch the bad guys.  Suspense has played a part in most every book I’ve written, even my young adult novels have suspense.

Winners!!!

The winners from last weeks giveaway are Dorothy Cameron, Danielle Meek, Samantha McFarland and Roxie Hartschuh.  Please email your postal address to Christie@christie-craig.com and I’ll send you your book.

Release Day Giveaway!

“In Craig’s clever first Texas Justice contemporary romantic suspense novel, the reopening of a cold case leads to passion and drama…Romantic suspense fans will mark this as a series to watch.”—Publishers Weekly

IMG_5844There are few things more exciting than release day for your book. And today is release day for my romantic suspense Don’t Close Your Eyes. So I’m doing my happy dance. This book is a little darker than my previous books, but I really think you’ll love it. And did you know you can buy the ebook now for only $2.99? Buy it now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and eBooks.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Close Your Eyes

51WVbFHb5yLIn this dark and dangerous Texas small town, Annie Lakes’ nightmares come alive when a cold case from her past reveals family secrets that put her life in jeopardy.

Annie Lakes has had the same recurring nightmare for years. Her heart pounding in her chest. A panicked voice, begging her to run faster. Her own bloodcurdling scream. But now Annie is starting to realize it’s more than just a bad dream. She’s starting to remember things about the night her cousin Jenny disappeared all those years ago. Things that make her believe her family was involvedand what they’re hiding is much worse than she ever imagined. But she can’t unravel this alone. She needs someone she can trust, someone like sexy Detective Mark Sutton ….

Mark has seen enoughtoo muchto assume that Annie’s story is a dead end. It turns out that her family is hiding some killer secrets. A long time ago, Annie was just an innocent little girl who saw something she shouldn’t. Now she’s a target, and Mark’s running out of time to protect the woman he’s starting to fall for. But how does Mark face off against a murderer who just may be someone Annie loves?

Wanna Meet Me?

Sept. 1st, I’ll be at Katy Budget Books with the incredibly talented Sharla Lovelace. I’ll be signing my new Christie Craig romantic suspense, Don’t Close Your Eyes, but I’ll also be signing my YAs The Mortician’s Daughter and This Heart of Mine. Sharla will be signing Charmed at First Sight, her new romance. We’ll be there from 3:00-5:00 PM. I hope you’ll join us. There will be loads of giveaways!

Today isn’t just my release day, there are some other great books releasing today too and I thought it would be great give one of each of their books away.  Leave a post to be entered to win a copy a print copy of one of their books.

Face Off by Brenda Novak

Face-Off-500x791I’m reading this series and I love Brenda’s easy flowing writing style. I also had the great opportunity to have dinner with her at the St. Martin’s dinner in Denver at the Romance Writers of America’s party.

SHE VOWED NEVER TO BE A VICTIM AGAIN. BUT NOW A KILLER HAS HER IN HIS SIGHT. . .

Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work―studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her―until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…

As her boyfriend, who is the area’s only police, begins to investigate―and finds not one but two bodies―Evelyn can’t forget that her would-be killer, Jasper Moore, was never caught. But there are no new faces in tiny Hilltop, no one who seems suspicious or potentially violent. In this twisted game of cat and mouse, Evelyn is certain of only one thing―Jasper must be hiding in plain sight. And if she can’t find him before he comes for her, she won’t be lucky enough to survive twice…

You can order Face Off HERE.

Tough Luck Cowboy by A. J. Pine

Cowboy0Now y’all know I have a thing for cowboys, so this book was the perfect read for me. Luke and Lily are adorable together! It’s also releasing today.

From this “fabulous storyteller” (Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author) comes a sweet western romance between a rodeo cowboy and his best friend’s ex-wife. 

What’s the saying, bad luck comes in threes? If so, Lily Green is due for something good. First, her divorce is finalized—on her birthday, no less. Then the first job she lands for her catering company turns out to be for her ex-husband’s wedding. To top it off, she’s stuck working the event with Luke Everett, the sexy-as-hell best man who’s never been able to stand her. When can a girl catch a break?

For years, Luke has kept his feelings for Lily safely hidden. Hitting on his best friend’s ex-wife would definitely break the cowboy code of honor. But ever since an injury sidelined his rodeo riding, the two of them keep getting thrown together. It’s only a matter of time until his true feelings come to light. When that happens, it will either be the biggest mistake of his life, or a sign that his luck is about to change.

“Pine makes it easy to care about the Everett brothers and the women they love.”–Publishers Weekly

Order Tough Luck Cowboy HERE.

Memoirs of a Dragon Hunter by Katie MacAlister

DragonLooking for an adventure with a hot dragon hunter and a novice hunter that has no clue what she’s doing? You’ll be laughing out loud and sighing over Ian Iskander. It releases today as well.

Dragon Hunter Wanted: Sword supplied. No experience necessary.

One moment, I was a normal (if somewhat germaphobic) math teacher getting ready for summer vacation. Then my sister died in a pile of black ash, leaving me with a sword… and her destiny as dragon hunter. It turns out there’s a whole other world out there filled with demons, dragons, and spirits. Now my job is to protect mortals – and I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing.

Then there’s tattooed hotness Ian Iskander. Part dragon hunter and part demon, Ian’s got some seriously creepy business associates and keeps trying to steal my sword. So why do we keep getting lost in hungry, crazy-hot kisses? Ian is the only person who can help me figure out who – and what – I am. But trusting a half-demon is dangerous… because when you play with dragon fire, someone always gets burned.

“Bursting with the author’s trademark zany humor and spicy romance… this quick tale will delight paranormal romance fans.”–Publishers Weekly

Order Memoirs of a Dragon and read an excerpt HERE.

Giveaway!!!!

I’m giving away one copy of Don’t Close Your Eyes, Her Darkest Nightmare, Tough Luck Cowboy and Memoirs of a Dragon Hunter to four different people who leave a comment below. So you’ll win one of theses books. (Sorry, this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must comment on my blog page.)

Okay, have a great week and happy reading.

Texas Writer Gerry Bartlett

BarlettGerry Barlett is my guest today. A native Texan, Gerry is the nationally best-selling author of the Real Vampire series, featuring Glory St. Clair, a curvy vampire who was bloating when she was turned in 1604.  She also writes the popular Texas Heat series about the rich and powerful Calhoun oil family. Now she’s starting a new Lone Star Suspense series that promises to be filled with Gerry’s trademark sizzle and Texas charm. I can’t wait to read Texas Lightning, releasing Oct. 30, 2018.

You can pre-order Texas Lightning at Amazon for only $2.99!

Gerry sat down with me for a chat and to answer a few questions about her new series.

  1. You’re writing a new romantic suspense series for Kensington Publishing and Texas Lightning is the first book. Can you tell us a bit about it? When will it release?

 Texas Lightning is the first in the Lone Star Suspense series and all of the books start in Austin. I’ve taken secondary characters from my Texas Heat series and used them in this suspense series. That’s been a lot of fun. In this book King Sanders from Texas Fire runs into Anna Delaney, a Boston transplant who is sightseeing in the Texas Capitol building. Austin is having a January heat wave and Anna isn’t dressed right for it. She almost faints in his arms. A romantic beginning?Right. Except Anna has invented a computer program that some pretty evil men are after and things start happening right away that put this couple on the run. The book will be out October 30. Happy Halloween, y’all.

  1. You have deep ties to Texas. Why do you enjoy writing about Texas so much?

I was born and raised in Houston and still live just a few miles south of there. I see so many people who have never lived here writing about my state that I love so much. We’re quirky and proud of it. Why shouldn’t I jump on the bandwagon? I’ve known so many interesting characters all my life and can hear that Texas twang when I write. I think it’s a gift that I must take advantage of.

  1. What made you want to become a writer?

It’s a pretty common answer but so true—I was reading books that I didn’t feel were as good as they should be. One day I decided that I just had to try my hand at writing my own stories. And, no, I didn’t write as a kid. I was an adult with a teaching career when I started writing. It took me a long time and a lot of rejections before I sold my first book, a romantic suspense, in 1998.

  1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am addicted to shopping which I put to good use in my antiques business. I have booths in two antique shops—one in Alvin and one in Galveston. I love to bargain hunt at estate sales and thrift shops.

  1. You also write your wildly successful Real Vampire series. I love that your main character, Glory St. Clair, is full-figured. Why did you decide to go that route?

A friend made that suggestion when I first started writing the series, and it was something that I could totally relate to. I fight the battle of the bulge myself constantly. Real Vampires Have Curves came out in 2007, and I’m still writing Glory’s stories. The latest book, Real Vampires: When Glory Met Jerry was number fourteen in the series. It was a prequel set in 1604 London. I’ve been very lucky that my loyal fans have stuck with me this long.

  1. What’s next for you?

I’m writing the third in the Lone Star Suspense series now, Texas Tough. Book 2, Texas Trouble, is already finished, but no release date yet. I’m also at work on Real Vampires and a Highland Christmas which should be out by December. This is another prequel set in 1604 England and Scotland. Those projects are keeping me busy.

Thanks for asking, Christie! This has been a fun interview.

Texas Lightning

51IECvNjcBL._SY346_A million-dollar idea. A city girl in the country. And a man who brings out her wild side…

Anna Delaney is thrilled to leave Boston for Austin, Texas, when her small tech company is bought out by a conglomerate. Born into a family of over-protective brothers, this is her chance at true independence—and a name-making professional breakthrough.

Even when gorgeous billionaire rancher King Sanders forms a one-man welcoming committee, Anna insists that she doesn’t need a tour guide—or another bodyguard. But after she narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt, she can’t say no to King spiriting her away to someplace safe…and very private.

Someone wants the valuable software Anna’s developing, and King is determined to keep her safe until the culprit is caught. The hunky cowboy lights her up brighter than the Lone Star sky at night, but neither one of them is prepared for just how wild Texas can get—and just how hard they’re willing to fight to stay together…

Winner!!

The winner of Sharla Lovelace’s Charmed at First Sight is Barbara Heintz.  Please email me at Christie@christie-craig.com and let me know if you prefer the Kindle or Nook version.

 

Guest Author Sharla Lovelace

Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart of the Storm series, and the fun and sexy Charmed in Texas series.

Sharla sat down with me and answered a few questions.

  1. You write “quirky love stories with dysfunctional families, love problems and snarky humor.” It sounds like we were twins separated at birth! Where did you get your snarky humor?

– I’d like to say I was born with it, but to be completely honest I think it came from my daughter, who WAS born with it! I think all the years of her mouth rubbed off on me!

  1. You’re from Texas and write about a little town called Charmed, TX in your Charmed in Texas series. Is it modeled after a particular town? Did you grow up in a town like Charmed?

– No, it’s completely fictional, and while I am from a small town, it’s nothing like Charmed. LOL. Charmed is an idealized version of how I’d love small town life to be, even with the nosy townspeople. 😉

  1. Your latest book, Charmed at First Sight, released last month. Where did your

idea for the jilted bride and the biker come from? Do you have a soft spot for bad boy biker types?

– I have a soft spot for bad boy ANY type! 🙂 I adore a bad boy with a vulnerability (family, woman, dog, whatever). Think Damon and his soft spot for his brother that he hates and yet will die to protect. Also, damage…oh my gosh, damage is just super delicious.  Oh, and the jilted bride story…I have no idea where that came from, I was just trying to bring some new blood into Charmed, and had to think of an interesting way, and Micah showed up in all her jaded glory. lol.

  1. If your characters Leo and Micah had a day to hang out, what would they do, where would they go (and staying in bed together isn’t an option)?

– Of course you’d take my go-to answer away. 🙂  Um….they’d go for a motorcycle ride, I think. Bring food. Have a picnic in some remote location and then have wild sex in the fresh air. (Hey, you said no “bed”, not no “sex”)

  1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

– We are major TV watchers in my house, and I’m addicted to my DVR. When I’m not writing, my hubby and I are all up in our shows. On the weekends, we get in our souped up golf cart and go riding around seeing what trouble we can get into. 🙂

  1. What’s next for you? When is your next release?

– I’m part of a four author sexy anthology called RECKLESS that releases Nov 8th, and I’m super stoked about that. 🙂 After that, the 5th and final Charmed book, A CHARM LIKE YOU, comes out on Christmas Day!  I have other projects I’m pondering for next year, and in the meantime I am back with my Chase family of storm chasers, writing Hannah’s book (#3). That girl is a hot mess. 🙂

Thanks for the interview!!!

Charmed at First Sight

CharmedA hot mess runaway bride and a smokin’ hot biker lock eyes at a red light. Lord have mercy . . . is our little town of Charmed, Texas ready for this? 

Never one to do things by the book, Micah Roman couldn’t just chalk it up to bridal jitters, or even quietly call off her wedding to her long-time fiancé. No, she has to high-tail it out of the church sporting a dress that cost more than her car, and jump on the back of a smoking-hot stranger’s motorcycle. Her knight in all-black is headed to a town called Charmed, so that’s where she’ll go and try to lay low. Except their appearance raises plenty of eyebrows . . . and a sudden, intense attraction she has no business exploring.

Who knew picking up a damsel in distress would lead to lust at first sight? Leo McKane headed to Charmed prepared to deal with some family secrets–including his status as long-lost brother. This runaway bride is an unexpected distraction his set agenda and loner lifestyle doesn’t include. She’s everywhere he turns, getting under his skin with her quirky, headstrong ways and eyes he can’t forget. But when Micah’s jilted ex comes looking for her and opens up his shady past, Leo knows he has a choice to make.

They both do.

Run to safer ground again? Or take a leap that their untrusting hearts are wary to take.

You can order Charmed at First Sight at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo  and Google Play.

Giveaway!!

I’ll giveaway an ecopy of Charmed at First Sight to one person who leaves a comment below. (Sorry this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only.)

 

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 on 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.

THIS HEART OF MINE Reviews Are In!

this heart of mineWhat an exciting week it’s been! On Feb 28th, This Heart of Mine was released. Since then, I’ve held book signings in Houston, Yokum and Dallas, TX. I’ve got more events scheduled, and you can find out if I’m coming to your area on my Appearances page.

So now that This Heart of Mine is released, the reviews are out, and I thought I’d share some of them with you. But remember, if you’ve read This Heart of Mine, please leave a review on Goodreads. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

“Hunter’s portrayals of the characters and their emotions, and of Leah’s life that walks so close to death, are genuine and full of the hard truths of living with chronic illness…Writing from personal experience, Hunter delivers a read that’s both absorbing and honest.” –Kirkus reviews

“Teens will love the emotional twists and turns…the mystery of the dead communicating with the living through dreams and memories will grip readers and leave them guessing until the very end. With so many unanswered questions and tons of suspense, teens will be on the edge of their seats, eager to know the mystery held within Leah’s heart.”—School Library Journal

This Heart of Mine is a story of loss, grief, friendship and love. I loved this journey.”—The Monitor (McAllen, TX)

”I so didn’t know what I was getting into with this title. But man was it amazing.”—Crossroad Reviews

This Heart of Mine is a moving young-adult novel about life, death, and grief.”–Popsugar

This Heart of Mine is a genuine portrayal of life of a teenage girl living with chronic illness with a dose of mystery.”—Black Plume

“I was addicted from page one!”—New York Times bestselling author P.C. Cast

“Heartbreaking and heroic. Hunter’s characters will leave you breathless and flipping the pages for more.”—New York Times bestselling author Kristin Cast

“Overall, it was a really great read that makes me excited to see what C.C. Hunter will write next!”—Sue’s Reading Corner

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. 

THIS HEART OF MINE

CCH-CUSTFRAME-1I can’t describe the feeling I get every time a book of mine releases. I’m over the moon, but always apprehensive. After all, I want to put out a book my fans will love. This Heart of Mine releases today, and I know you’re gonna love this one! As I have said before, this book is probably the most personal book I’ve ever written. I always put some of me, my life and the people I know into each book, but with This Heart of Mine, I really plagiarized from my life—BIG TIME!

You see, I know how Leah felt facing death, knowing if she didn’t get a heart transplant (which was unlikely) that she would die. My husband needed a new kidney several years ago. Because of the damage dialysis did to his heart, it wasn’t likely he’d get a transplant either. But then we got “the call,” the one telling us there was a donor, the one that saved his life. My husband got his kidney transplant. That kidney also came with some wild dreams.  For several days after his transplant, my husband had a recurring dream: he’d wake up and an older man would be staring him in the face. When we found out the donor was a sixty-five year old man, it gave us goose bumps!  So when Leah starts having dreams about her heart donor after the transplant, well that’s a page from the book of our life.  But there’s where Leah’s story becomes her own, because her dreams come with a mystery to solve.  With the help of her donor’s cute twin brother, Matt, Leah sets off to solve a murder, and maybe fall in love and learns to live again along the way.

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

AUDIO NEWS!!!

This Heart of Mine is also available as an audio book. You can listen to a sample HERE.

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor? 

Seventeen-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?

Identical Twins

twins-350x259I’m talking about bonds again this week, but this time, I wanted to talk about the bond between siblings. I know a lot of people who are really close to their siblings.  But I’ve always been intrigued about the bond that is shared between Identical twins.  Stories where one is hurt and the other feels the pain.  In This Heart of Mine, Matt and Eric are identical twins. When Matt’s brother Eric dies of an apparent suicide, Matt knows in his heart there’s a lot more to it. He is certain his brother is trying to tell him something, even from the grave.

The bond between twins is unique on many levels. Twins that grow up in the same environment are going to have a strong bond no matter what. Science has shown that babies start learning even inside the womb and start a catalog of smells, sounds, and physical feelings even before birth. Identical twins experience identical pregnancies, and it’s not unusual for identical twins to share a psychic connection. Studies have shown that one in five pairs of identical twin claim to have experienced this connection. There have even been reports of identical twins having moments where one will experience the same feelings (physical and/or mental) as the other, even from separate continents.

ATwins_-14 (002)So, when Matt suddenly finds himself without his brother, his best friend, he feels like he’s missing a part of himself. He begins having dreams about Eric, and he knows Eric wants to tell him what really happened to him. Then when he discovers Leah, the recipient of Eric’s heart, is having the same dreams about Eric, he’s even more certain of this. Together, Leah and Matt set out to find the truth—and maybe heal each other along the way. But both Matt and Leah have to wonder if what they feel for each other is just because of the connection they both have to Eric’s heart.  It’s a story that will break your heart and then heal it.

Do you have a sibling that you are close to?  What kind of bond do you have?

this heart of mineThis Heart of Mine releases on Feb 27th, but you can pre-order it now at AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionPowell’s, Indiebound and iBooks. 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Can You Meet Me?

Feb. 26, 2018, I’ll be signing THIS HEART OF MINE at Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Dr., Houston, TX at 6:30 PM.  I’m giving away a basket with a journal, a bracelet, and a deck of cards.  The first 20 people who buy a book will get a tote. I’ll also have door prizes! For more info go to http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/.

Feb. 24, 2018, Nikki Lofton and I are teaching writing workshops at Carl & Mary Welhausen Library in Yokum, TX. It’s FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, Pre-registration Suggested (361) 293-5001.

March 5, 2018, I’ll be celebrating the release of THIS HEART OF MINE and signing at Interabang Book Store in Dallas, Texas, at 7:00 PM.  I’m giving away a basket with a journal, a bracelet, and a deck of cards.  The first 20 people who buy a book will get a tote. For more info go to https://www.interabangbooks.com/event/heart-mine.

March 22, 2018, I’ll be at Katy Budget Books in Katy, TX with fellow YA author Farrah Penn.  I’m giving away a basket with a journal, a bracelet, and a deck of cards.  The first 20 people who buy a book will get a tote. For more info go to  http://www.katybooks.com/.

April 5, 2018, I’ll be in Dallas at the Texas Library Association Conference. If you’re a librarian, I hope I’ll see you there! For more info go to http://www.txla.org/annual-conference.

April 13, 2018, I’ll be speaking at North Central Texas College. (http://www.nctc.edu/visit/index.html)

April 21, 2018, I’ll be teaching at the Georgia RWA, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Join me for my Build a Character, Build a Book Workshop. You must pre-register by April 14th. For more info go to http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/meetings/april-meeting/.

June 9, 2018, I’ll be teaching a workshop on how to put more emotion on the page at the West Houston RWA. For more info and to register go to http://www.whrwa.com/.

July 18-21, 2018, I’m looking forward to the RWA National Conference in Denver, Colorado. It’s great conference for writers, and there’s always a huge book signing (500+ authors!) OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. For more info go to https://www.rwa.org/events.

November 3, 2018, I’ll be in Austin, Texas at The Origin Event along with a host of other authors. Tickets for this event are on sale now. Don’t wait to buy your tickets, this sells out! For more info go to http://theoriginevent.com/introducing-the-origin-event-2018/.