Dear Reader

I never really understood the meaning of the phrase “book of your heart” until I wrote Leah McKenzie’s story.  When I typed “The End” to every novel, I used to feel it was my favorite.   But This Heart of Mine is different. It’s not only the book of my heart, it’s the book from my heart.

As the wife of someone on the transplant list, I held my husband’s hand as he accepted that his time, our time, would be too short.  He needed a kidney, but the dialysis that was saving his life, was killing his heart.  And breaking mine.

Then like Leah, he got a second chance.  His journey, his pain, my pain, his fear, my fear, and our enormous appreciation to the donor and his family for the gift of life, poured out of my soul and into my keyboard. This didn’t make writing it any less scary.  In some ways, it made it that much more.

When my ten-book Shadow Falls seriescame to a close,and the book idea was in its infancy, I was both apprehensive about writing such a personal story, and about making the switch from the paranormal genre to contemporary.  Then my grandmother’s words of wisdom whispered in my head, “If there’s not a bit of fear in your belly, you’re not living right.  Invite fear into your world, make friends with every challenge you meet.”

In that moment, I knew Leah’s story needed to be told and I had to be the one to tell it.

This book blends emotion with romance.  It’s seasoned with my humor, my love for a little mystery, and sprinkled with a pinch of the mystical. I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure and take the journey with Leah as she creates her own recipe for living and makes friends with every challenge she meets.

Here’s to always living with a little bit of fear in your belly.

This Heart of Mine

this heart of mineA 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.

This Heart of Mine is available for pre-order now at Amazon, Barnes & NobleBooks-A-Million, Powell’s, Indiebound and iBooks.  So, don’t miss out, order your copy today. 

The Junkyard Cowboy

I wanted to let you know that The Junkyard Cowboy, previously published in the anthology, When Things Got Hot in Texas, is now out on its own. The book will also be available in print from Amazon soon.  I love Jennifer and Clay, and this time I ventured into a little western theme.  You gotta love those cowboys.   It has lots of humor, some danger and loads of heart. If you didn’t pick up the anthology, you can now pick up a copy.

The Junkyard Cowboy

the junkyard cowboy high resJennifer Peterson has been unlucky in love, but now thanks to an Internet search she’s found a sure-fire formula for identifying the perfect man.  Focusing on career to physical traits, she’s on the hunt for not-so-well-endowed, short and hairy podiatrists or funeral directors, who’ve been dubbed less likely to cheat than their tall, good-looking counterparts.  Yup, she’s narrowing her playing field to the “safe” guys.

But nothing feels safe when a hit man runs Jennifer off the road and chases her into an old junkyard.  The sexy cowboy who runs the place may be the best man to keep her alive, but he’s also the type to most likely put her heart in jeopardy.   Should she trust her head and keep playing it safe, or throw all logic out the window for the one guy that may be worth the risk?

Order your copy and join Jennifer and Clay as they discover that you don’t always get what you want, but you often get what you really need. You can get The Junkyard Cowboy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Book Nooks

Isn’t reading the best past time? You can literally do it almost anywhere. And with today’s electronics, you can read a book on your phone, your e-reader or computer. Or you can carry a book with you. I have learned to read anywhere—and have: in car pool lines, at sports practice, on planes, even in hospitals. But when I really want to treat myself, I retreat to a nice, quiet corner with a great book.

When we moved into our current house, my hubby built some great book shelves in my study. While I’m sitting at my desk writing, I can look at all my favorite books and knick-knacks. It’s like visiting with old friends. Sometimes I sit in there and read, but if the weather is cooler, I have a beautiful wicker porch swing that’s very inviting. Oh, I also 55INDCRDKANBRKT-db58b91a-b736-4dff-9ca4-c038e86fa6c9found the perfect desk at Arhaus, and I’m seriously considering getting because it is adjustable. Being short, an adjustable desk could make all the difference. But I would like to create my ideal book nook one day. A place to get away from it all where I can read undisturbed. It would have to have a comfy chair or sofa with soft down throw pillows. And anyone that knows me, knows it would be best if my nook had a window that looks out on the ocean. So, I looked around online for a few pictures of book nooks I would like. Now, maybe I’d take something from each and merge them together, but I think you’ll get the idea.

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BookBathWhile poking around on the Internet, I came across this photo of a bathroom/book nook. While I know what they were going for, I just have to ask does anyone ever get into use the bathroom? If I my hubby went in there, he may never come out!

What would your prefect book nook look like? Would you have wall to wall shelves? A large window? A window seat or a big comfy chair?

New Look, New Books!

Guess who got a face lift? C.C. Hunter! Well, not me exactly, but my C.C. Hunter website did. I’m so excited about the updated look, the clean lines and the new vibe. Be sure to explore my home page and sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already: http://www.cchunterbooks.com/news.html. And make sure you check my C.C. Hunter blog every week because I’ve got brand new videos, giveaways, and news about upcoming releases.

Happy 4th of July!

4th0Happy 4th of July! I hope you’ll be spending the day with family, maybe enjoying a fireworks display this evening. Hamburgers, hot dogs and fireworks are all very nice, but let’s not forget what we are celebrating. It was 241 years ago today that the United States was born by the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring the Thirteen Colonies were a new nation and no longer a part of the British Empire. And didn’t that set off a firestorm! War was declared, and the United States fought long and hard for its independence.

So on this important day in our nation’s history, I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends.

What are your plans for this holiday?

Fact or Fiction

We’ve seen them played out in the movies, such as Stranger Than Fiction and The Muse.  I don’t think there’s a writer alive who hasn’t given these questions some thought.

And what questions are those?

It’s a debatable subject, one I’ve had with numerous other writers over numerous glasses of Merlot.  I’ve heard the stories of writer block preventions, such as lucky rabbit’s feet, sprinkling desks with holy water, of odd, sometimes bizarre, rituals repeated daily to show honor to so-called muses.

images (1)Of course, I have rituals.  I stumble out of my bed, pour of a cup of cinnamon half-decaf/half peel-me-off-the-ceiling java, find my way to my office, still in my pajamas mind you, hair only finger-combed and . . .  here’s the most important part,  I plop my butt in the chair and start to work.

Personally, I think writer’s block and those so called muses are a tad more fiction that fact.  Why?

It goes back to my childhood. Yup, I come from the age where we blame everything on our parents.  However, Dad won’t threaten to disinherit me for this one.  You see, my dad was a plumber.  He got up every day and went to work.  Never, not once, do I ever recall him saying, “I can not plumb today.  I have plumber’s block.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there were days he plumbed better than others.  Days his job was crappy.  (And I don’t mean he literally dealt with crap, but hey, he unclogged toilets.)  And as a writer, I have days I write better than others, and days I question my ability to even write a grocery list.

6359991693275867841308429358_writers-blockBut do I believe it’s because my muse packed his bags and ran off to count zebra stripes in Africa?  (And I say “his” because if I had a muse he would look like Ryan Gosling—love to do massages, and do housework without being asked.  Hey, this is my fantasy, so leave it alone.)  Do I believe it’s because I’ve suddenly been struck by the ominous fate of writer’s block?  Oh, heck no.

I guess I refuse to believe that this thing I do, called writing, is all based on luck, on some super natural power, and not on the years I spent toiling, studying, and learning the craft.  If I was a baseball player, I wouldn’t feel as if I had to grab my crotch, wear the same dirty socks, or chew the same tobacco to win a game.

But now that I’ve told you what I don’t believe, let me tell you what I do believe.  I do believe in becoming burned out.  It’s something brain surgeons, garbage men, and even plumbers can face when they don’t take the time to live a well-rounded life.

so-just-writeI believe when I’m no longer inspired about a project, I’ve probably written myself in corner and if I go back and reread it, I’ll find the scene where I took a wrong turn.  Or maybe I just need to take a day off.  Yeah, days off are good.

I believe there’s sometimes a fine line from being obsessed and being determined.

I believe that writers who stop living life and only write about it, will eventually become uninspired writers.

I believe this career and the challenges that it takes to even get published, can be a hard pill to swallow, and one needs to find ways to stay motivated.  And if it means grabbing your crotch and wearing dirty socks, and having a spittoon by your desk, then so be it.  Doing things to stay motivated is different than doing things to prevent from being robbed of a talent for which you’ve worked and earned.

So what about you?  Do you believe and shudder at the thought of writer’s block?  Do you fear and pray your muse will never abandon you?  What do you do when you find yourself suddenly uninspired?

Winner!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Maggie Rivers. Congratulations, Maggie, you’ve won a bag of Christie Craig swag. Please email me at christie@christie-craig.com and tell me you mailing address.

More Smiles & a Giveaway!

Last week I shared some things that make me smile. I wanted to share a few more, especially after I saw so many wonderful comments about what make all of you smile.

Nature makes me smile. I love it when I’m surrounded by nothing but the sounds of nature.  Birds, crickets, chirping squirrels, the wind blowing through the trees.

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Sunsets always make me smile, but especially sunsets on the beach.

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My hubby’s always doing crazy things to make me smile.  Just last week we took my granddaughter to see the movie Captain Underpants.  When we got home, hubby went into the bedroom and came out wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants and told her, “I’m the real Captain Underpants.”  My granddaughter and I laughed so hard we almost cried.  I love that he’s willing do anything to make someone laugh.

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And of course, my friends.

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Again, I want to ask you what makes you smile?  One person who leaves a post will win a bag of C.C. Hunter swag, promotional items, i.e. bookmarks, pens, stress balls and such. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for US residents only. And if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you need to leave your comment on my actual blog.)

WINNER!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Cinthia Hamer. Congratulations, Cinthia!  You’ve won a bag of Christie Craig swag. Please email me at christie@christie-craig.com and give me your mailing address.

Things That Make Me Smile

I’m generally a happy person. I laugh a lot. I’ve found the secret to being happy is appreciating the small things. These are just some of the things that make me smile.

Spending time with my granddaughter.  Since she was young, she would take a bubble bath in my Jacuzzi tub.  We still love doing it.

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Food.  Food that is good, but maybe not so good for you.  Chocolate, ice cream, and fried chicken.  (Hey, I’m from Alabama, I have to love fried chicken) Recently, hubby and I went out and were served fried chicken that looked like a heart.

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imagesGood wine.  And if you have book to read and sip a glass of wine.  Wow!

 

 

 

 

Speaking of a good book.  Okay, I told you ice cream makes me smile, but I have to tell you, books are better than ice cream.  There is nothing like losing yourself in a good book.  It takes you away from your own problems, from your own stresses, and sweeps you into a story.  Reading is a vacation for the mind. And you can’t go wrong with Lori Wilde’s Million Dollar Cowboy or Susan Muller’s Winter Song.

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15037My dog, Lady. Everyone who knows me, knows I honestly believe that our pets teach us to be better humans.  Lady not only forces me to go for a walk every day, but she insists on play time and on petting time.  Whenever I’m laughing and having a good time, lady will grab a toy and bring it to me.

 

 

So…  What makes you smile?  One person who leaves a post will win a bag of Christie Craig swag, promotional items, i.e. bookmarks, pens, stress balls and such. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for US residents only. And if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you need to leave your comment on my actual blog.)

When Things Got Hot In Texas

5150RY-wYyL._SY346_When Things Got Hot in Texas is now available! That’s five novellas, each at least 100 pages long, by five best-selling authors, in one 676 page book. All for only 99 cents. But don’t wait to order it, because this weekend, the price jumps to $2.99. That’s still a bargain, but why wait?

So how did When Things Got Hot in Texas come abut? Well, you see at last year’s RWA conference, award winning author, Laura Drake, came up with a brilliant idea to write an anthology with five western contemporary romance writers from the Western Romance Café Facebook group. Fellow author Cynthia D’Alba suggested writing something about a Texas heat wave.  I loved the idea and joined in along with Lori Wilde and Katie Lane. So that’s right. When Things Got Hot in Texas contains my The Junkyard Cowboy, Lori Wilde’s Sizzling, Katie Lane’s Falling For a Texas Hellion, Cynthia D’Alba’s Texas Daze and Laura Drake’s Cowboy Karma. And all of these novellas are brand new, never before published stories. So order When Things Got Hot in Texas and find out what happens when five sexy, hot cowboys get stuck in a Texas heat wave with the women of their dreams.

Order it now at Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

And if you haven’t joined Western Romance Cafe, you’re missing out on fabulous giveaways, sexy cowboys and fun discussions. Join today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Things Got Hot In Texas

5150RY-wYyL._SY346_Things can get hot and sexy in Texas when you least expect it

If you love sexy cowboy romance books and you love Texas Romance, these Five BESTSELLING authors bring you both in When Things Got Hot in Texas.

Lori Wilde Sizzling
Fourth of July in the Fort Worth Stockyards heats up when a cynical cowboy cop falls for his sexy primary suspect…

Christie Craig The Junkyard Cowboy
Help can be found in the most surprising places

Katie Lane Falling for a Texas Hellion
Can This Hellion Resist Hot Summer Love?

Cynthia D’Alba Texas Daze
A quick fling can sure heat up a cowgirl’s life.

Laura Drake Cowboy Karma
Karma is a good judge of character, and you my friend, are screwed.

Cowboy Karma by Laura Drake

18275259_10211357649769621_2382143997289530995_nBull rider Stead James would never say he’s sorry. But that was before he took on Dirt Nap, the meanest bull in the finals. He wakes two days later with a skull fracture, and an epiphany – he knows he needs to change. While healing, he studies a book on Zen, dubs his final year as his ‘Apology Tour’, and attempts to make amends for his arrogant, bad boy lifestyle.

Things aren’t going as planned, even before he runs into Harper Taylor’s daddy’s fist. He apologizes for taking Harper’s virginity – only to pick himself off the dirt – again. Turns out, he didn’t know about that part; he was angry about Stead not carrying through on a promise to put on a bull riding to benefit the Local Apache Reservation.

Harper has the temper to go with her red hair, but to Stead, she looks like an angel. She has an apology of her own – for using him to relieve her of her virginity.

Amends are a long and bumpy road – but if Stead really has changed, there could be an angel waiting at the end.

Bull riders are arrogant and believe they’re bullet-proof. They have to be to get on a one-ton animal that wants to stomp their guts out. I wanted to explore what would happen if one suddenly learned better – and wanted to make amends.

How about you? Do you believe that men can change their ways? Share your thoughts with us!

When Things Got Hot In Texas comes out June 5, 2017, but you can preorder it now for only 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

When Things Get Hot in Texas

5150RY-wYyL._SY346_In just two week, my latest novella, Junkyard Cowboy, will be out as part of an anthology called When Things Get Hot in Texas. And let me tell you, it’s almost June and the temps are definitely climbing in SE Texas. So this is the perfect summer read. Not only that, but it also contains novellas by New York Times best-selling author, Lori Wilde, Katie Lane, Cynthia D’Alba and Laura Drake. All wonderful story tellers.

I promise lots of laughs with this one. Yup, Jennifer Peterson’s got it all figured out. She knows what type of guy she needs to guarantee a successful relationship. But where’s she gonna find a short, hairy mortician with “small feet”? But you know that saying, “Man plans, God laughs”? Well He plays one hell of a joke on Jennifer. Clay Connors is as far from where she’s looking as can be, but he might just be what she needs. But she’s not going to surrender without a fight—and learning a few lessons along the way like:

  • Hemorrhoid cream isn’t just for hemorrhoids. It can also finalize a breakup.
  • Once news hit the Internet, it’s always there—just a keystroke away. The good, the bad and the ugly.
  • What’s the worst thing a guy can say to a woman after kissing her? “It won’t happen again.”  Because they both know it’s a lie.
  • Nothing beats a man who’ll eat your cooking, even if it’s burnt.
  • Meaner than a junkyard dog is woman giving birth.

the junkyard cowboy high resYou can pre-order When Things Get Hot in Texas today for only 99 cents from Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. What a bargain!