I Wrote the Book on Embarrassment

I said it many times, I hated my teenage years.  When I look back, there are so many things I wish I could go back and change.  But I can say that those experiences are fodder for my books.  There are two things I’d change. Here is the first one and the scene where I used my experience. I’ll share the other one next week, so be sure to check back.

  • I’d have safety pinned my bikini top on before I jumped off the high dive at the local pool.

Yup, it really happened.  I was lucky that I found it, but I didn’t even realize it was gone until after I stood up in waist deep water.  So yup, I pretty much flashed everyone.  When the air hit the boobs, I dropped back down to chin deep so fast, you’d have thought a shark yanked me under.  It was humiliating.  And while I was quick, I know some people saw me.  Talk about embarrassed.  I never went back to that neighborhood pool.  Thankfully, Dad built our own pool the next year.

While I’ve never had a heroine lose her bathing suit top—yet—I have had Leah, in This Heart of Mine, yank her hoodie out of the dryer and rush to leave with her guy boyfriend Matt, not realizing that, due to static electricity, she had a pair of lacy panties stuck to the back of her jacket.  I can say I borrowed the embarrassment I felt in the pool to write this scene.

Ponytail in place, I dig through my closet for my new long-sleeved burgundy shirt and matching hoodie. I remember I’d worn it over the weekend.

            I tear off to the laundry room to see if Mom washed it. It’s in the dryer. Still warm.

            I ditch the blue sweater.  Yank the static-electrified tee and hoodie from the dryer, and put them on. 

            I’m still dressing when the doorbell rings.  I fit my arm in the hoodie, grab my purse, and run out.

            Mom, phone to her ear, comes to the kitchen opening. She offers me a wave and returns to the kitchen and her conversation.

   I open the door.

            Matt’s there.  He wears the same thing he wore to school, but he gives me a quick once-over. 

            Approval lights up his eyes.  I like approval.

            “Where’s Lady?”

            “In the car.  I didn’t know if I had to come in and I’m not in the mood to pick up shit in your house again.”

            I laugh. We head out.  I feel him staring, but when I glance at him, he looks away.

            When we get in the car, I drop my purse to the floorboard. Lady tries to get in the front seat.  Matt tells her no. 

          “Uh…”  Matt’s looking at me strangely again.  Almost smiling.  Almost not.

            “What?” I ask.

            “You have . . . something stuck to the back of your jacket.

            “What?” I look over my right shoulder.

            “Here.” He reaches behind my left shoulder and pulls off a wispy piece of material.

            It takes me one second to recognize my new lacy wine-colored panties.  The static must’ve gotten them caught on my hoodie.


If you are older, what is something you would change from your teen years? If you are a teen, what would you like to change now?  Leave a comment and one person is going to win one of my new tote bags with some SWAG (Promotional Items) in it. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only.)


Don’t Forget My Contest!!

You can pre-order In Another Life now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-MillionIndie Books and Powells. Then if you send a link or a screenshot of your order to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com, you’ll be entered to win an Ancestry DNA kit. I’ll be closing this contest on March 25th.  (Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)


The Big D

I’ve been there.  Done it.  Wore the t-shirt.  Still carry a few scars.

Divorce is ugly.  And until recently, when the word was mentioned, the pain it brought bubbling to the surface was the lingering hurt I went through with my first husband.

But when writing In Another Life, the big D took me back a little further.  It took me back to being a teen, to being a teen watching the foundation of my world crumble as my parent’s marriage fell apart.

For me, like most teens, my family was my security blanket.  Not a blanket that I dragged around with me, ached for, or even valued.  It was simply . . . there. We were a family of five.  We argued some, laughed more, but we always had each other’s back.

Dad came home from work every day.  We sat at the dinner table and shared a meal and whimpered, whined or bragged about our day.  I didn’t appreciate the family unit, because I’d always had it.  I didn’t fear losing it because first, divorce wasn’t the rampant virus then as it is today, and second, unlike the few families I knew who’d caught the virus, my parents loved each other.

And then that security blanket, the foundation of my life, was gone.

Oh, my parents told me the same things that most parents say to their kids.  They both still loved me.  It wasn’t my fault.  They’d always be there for me.

But they weren’t.

Not that they were terrible or didn’t try.  You see, I’m not talking about the big things.  It’s the small ones.  It’s those conversations that happened over dinner.  The fact that a flat tire was nothing, because Dad was always there to fix it.

It’s more than just the loss of having two parents in the house, I’m talking about the fact that my family was my tribe, and my tribe had been torn apart.

When I was writing In Another Life, I unintentionally tapped into the pain of the past.  As a writer, I’ve always known that my life, my own emotional journey, is the grist for my writing mill.  It’s the core of my stories.

But I won’t lie to you, I was surprised when the feelings of being a child of divorce was still so raw.  Like Chloe, my seventeen-year-old heroine in In Another Life, my parent’s divorce was bitter. Whether they meant to or not, I felt forced to take sides.  I was exposed to the flaws of my parents that I had previously blissfully missed.

Unlike me, Chloe is dealing with a triple whammy.  While trying to wade through the loss of her home life, she’s also dealing with her mother’s cancer.  Then she learns what she believed to be true, that she was adopted at age three, may have been a lie.  A young girl who looked just like her, and from the same town she was adopted from, was kidnapped at age three.

Were her parents behind it?  If not them, then who?

Cash, my seventeen-year-old hero, is dealing with his own serious life issues.  When he sees Chloe and realizes she is identical to the age progression photo of his foster parent’s missing child, he is determined to give them back the child they lost.

While searching for answers, Chloe and Cash fall for each other.  They become each other’s touch stones.  But the closer they get to the truth, the more someone is trying to stop them.  Someone who will kill to keep the truth from being exposed.

In Another Life is a work of fiction, but there’s a lot of truth in this story.  There’s even some lessons for parents struggling through divorce that could be taken to heart.  I hope everyone enjoys Chloe and Cash’s journey as they let go of the past and find a future.


You can pre-order In Another Life now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-MillionIndie Books and Powells. Then if you send a link or a screenshot of your order to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com, you’ll be entered to win an Ancestry DNA kit. I’ll be closing this contest on March 25th.  (Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)



March 26th, In Another Life, my C.C. Hunter YA about adoption is coming out. This is a theme I had kicking around in my head for a long time. You see, I have always marched to beat on my own drum. I’m slightly different from my family. Not so much in appearance, but in our interests and outlooks. My two brothers and parents are people who like to work with their hands, who seldom slow down. They play sports, do crafts, and build houses. Me, I can sit by a window and stare out at nothing, I will ponder something to death. Because what’s going on inside my head is much more interesting than what is probably happening around me.  Being dyslexic, I wasn’t a reader growing up, but I was writing books in my head by the time I was eleven.  Sometimes these stories would last months. Several of them included discovering that I was adopted. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my family, I just always felt different.

So, adoption has always fascinated me. And adoption has touched more lives than you think. In fact, about 140,000 children are adopted every year, and today, almost 60%-70% of domestic adoptions are now open adoptions, which means there is a degree of openness and disclosure of information between adoptive and birth parents regarding the adopted child. But open adoptions weren’t always that common, and that often resulted in adopted children searching for their biological parents. In a study of American adolescents, the Search Institute found that 72 percent of adopted adolescents wanted to know why they were adopted and 65 percent wanted to meet their birth parents. And not all adoptions are legal, and that makes it extremely hard for the children to track down their biological parents.

Chloe in In Another Life has always known she was adopted, but now that she’s at a crisis point in her life, she’s having question about her adoption. When Cash confronts her with some of his suspicions, she suspects that maybe she wasn’t adopted but kidnapped. If this is true, were the people she calls mom and dad behind it?  She will unearth the truth, even if it threatens everything she’s ever known. Even if it puts her life in danger.


You can pre-order In Another Life now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-MillionIndie Books and Powells. Then if you send a link or a screenshot of your order to me a cc@cchunterbooks.com, you’ll be entered to win an Ancestry DNA kit. I’ll be closing this contest on March 25th.  (Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)


Change and a Contest

Change.  It’s hard for some of us.  It takes courage to go a different route.  To choose differently.  To trust that something new and different will be okay. I’m not talking about huge life decisions.  Buying a house, or moving to another state.  I’m not talking about quitting a job, or trying a new genre.  I’m talking our hair.

I have an appointment today with my hair dresser. And I’m already feeling antsy.  Every time I go, I think this time I’ll tell her to do something completely different.  To go a little crazy.

And then I don’t.

I have friends whose hair is different every time I see them.  Sometimes I really like it, sometimes I don’t.  But I always admire their courage.

Now, I have excuses.  I have fine hair and, therefore, the number of styles that actually look good on me are limited.  I could go short and spiky?  I just don’t see myself as a short-spiky-haired girl.

I could have it dyed a different color? Yeah . . .  No!

So I’ll go and I’ll probably ask her the same question I ask every time.  “Any recommendations?”

I know she’ll offer something, and I’ll listen and then I’ll say . . .  “Just do the regular.”

What’s wrong with me guys?

I mean, I don’t shy away from change in other areas of my life. I jump genres, I recently moved from the house I’d lived in for twenty years.  I’m not afraid to travel.  I’ll try different kinds of food.  Heck, I ate toad soup once.

But my hair?  I never venture too far from what I’ve always had.

Any hair style advice for fine hair?  Any advice on taking a leap of faith at the salon?  Are you like me, afraid of a new hair style?


So, I have a little contest for you. Would you like to win an Ancestry DNA kit?  You know, the ones that check your DNA and tell you if your Irish, Italian, or whatever. Pre-order In Another Life and send a link or a screenshot of your order to me a christie@christie-craig.com and you’ll be entered to win an Ancestry kit. I’ll be closing this contest on March 25th.  (Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

I love romance. I love when two people find each other and something special happens. That’s probably why I write the books I write. Romance is an integral part of my plots. And this week, we celebrate the most romantic day of all—Valentine’s Day.

But what exactly is Valentine’s Day? Is it just a day when you appreciate your honey? A day for giving flowers, chocolates or jewelry? Or is it more? Did you know the origins of Valentine’s Day has its roots in Roman times?

It’s widely believed that Saint Valentine was a Roman priest who performed weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry, because of the Roman emperor felt married soldiers did not make good warriors. He wore a ring with a Cupid on it—a symbol of love—which helped soldiers recognize him.  When the emperor found out, he sentence Valentine to death. While in jail awaiting his execution, he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter.  When he was taken to be killed on Feb. 14th, he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine.” This story set the groundwork for establishing the day as a holiday for romantic love.

So, our day to celebrate romantic love is actually based on a sad story. The story may be true, but if not and I had written that tale it would not have ended sadly. I’m a happy ending kind of girl?  That said, Valentine’s Day has evolved past its roots into a holiday for declaring your feelings for someone.

How will you spend Valentine’s Day?  Are you the happy ending kind of girl, too?

Hey, did you snag your paperback copy of This Heart of Mine? That’s right, This Heart of Mine is now in paperback. Order your copy of This Heart of Mine from Amazon, Barnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionIndieBound and Powell’s.


The winner of last week’s giveaway is Becka Lynn. Please email me a cc@cchunterbooks.com with your postal address and I’ll send you an ARC of In Another Life.

Preorder Contest

So, I have a little contest for you. Would you like to win an Ancestry DNA kit?  You know, the ones that check your DNA and tell you if your Irish, Italian, or whatever. Pre-order In Another Life and send a link or a screenshot of your order to me a cc@cchunterbooks.com and you’ll be entered to win an Ancestry kit. I’ll be closing this contest on March 25th. (Sorry, this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)


Pet Peeves

We all have pet peeves in our lives and in our fiction.  I have a few, okay I have a lot.  Lemon seeds.  I love lemon in my water, but I hate the seeds.  So, I ask for lime in my water.  A lot of times they just stick a lemon in it.  That means, I’ll spend a good minute removing seeds from a the lemon.  I also frown when someone is driving 10 miles under the speed limit in the left hand lane.  Then again, I get agitated when someone is riding my bumper, or I see them darting in and out of traffic going too fast. Yup, we all have pet peeves.

I think my biggest pet peeve in life that bleeds over into fiction is when a character is a bully.  It’s not that I think characters need to be perfect, or that they don’t occasionally hurt someone. Good people make mistakes.  Good people snap at people they love.  Good people lie.  They push people away.  But we all know the difference between the mean girl, and girl who loses it for a little while, or makes the wrong choice.  For me that difference is why a character does something and how she comes to realize she’s made a mistake.

What is something that will make you put down a book?

Or maybe not pick it up in the first place?

This week I’m celebrating the release of This Heart of Mine releasing in paperback. Yes, if you have been waiting to finally read This Heart of Mine, well, now’s a good time.

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?

Order your paperback copy of This Heart of Mine from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound and Powell’s.


This week I’ll give away an ARC of In Another Life to one person who leaves a comment. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. And if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must actually go to my blog to enter.)




Emotional Footprints

This last weekend, my daughter and granddaughter came over and we spent the day together.  One thing that my two girls love to do is go thrift-store shopping.  So off to Goodwill we went.  While there, my hubby and were cruising the aisles.  Hubby stopped and was giving something his serious attention, so I went to see what had caught his eye.

It was a vase.  But it had been decorated with some bead work and had some painted inscriptions on it.  Someone had made this vase for a fiftieth anniversary gift.  This couple was married Nov. 22nd 1953.  The gift had been given in Nov. 2003.  It had names of the lucky couple.

There was something nostalgic and kind of sad to see the vase at Goodwill.  Or maybe it wasn’t so much sad as it felt as if there was an untold story there, a Pandora’s box of two people’s lives that begged to be opened up. Hubby even contemplated buying it. We didn’t.  But I did take a picture of it.

And for some reason I was curious.  Mentally I guesstimated if the couple was married at age of 20 then they’d be eighty-six now.  I was going to add the picture to the blog, but I Googled the names. And it appeared the couple may still be alive.  So to add it felt somehow like stalking.

But that feeling, of an untold story still lingers.  I get that feeling a lot when I go into antique stores and I see old photographs.  Or I see postcards and I turn it over and read it.  The crazy thing is that it’s not all of them.  One photograph or postcard will sudden catch my attention and draw me to it.  And I find myself with tons of questions.  Who was this person or persons?  What’s their story?  Did they have dreams that they accomplished?  What were their struggles?  What lessons could the world learn from their stories?

You know, some people believe that objects can hold an emotional essence, a footprint of sort.  Is that why some photos just speak to me, the reason that the vase at Goodwill had the same effect on me as it did my husband?

What do you think?  Do you ever get that untold story feeling? What was the item that made you stop and ponder? Or does this only happen to someone with a writer’s and writer’s spouse’s curiosity?

School Memories

School lunches.

What goes through your mind first?

Just those two words conjure up all sorts of smells and memories for me. I especially remember walking into my high school cafeteria on tuna noodle casserole day. Actually, I could tell tuna casserole was on the menu long before I ever got to the cafeteria. It wafted down the hallways. And it’s not like the casserole ever tasted good. No, I dislike the smell to this day.

In fact, I used that memory in One Foot in the Grave, the first book in my Mortician’s Daughter series. Riley walks into the cafeteria of her new school and is hit by the tuna smell.

When I was in school there weren’t a lot of choices. There was usually a featured dish or a hamburger, but the hamburger tasted more like mystery meat.  Schools didn’t serve salads then. Pizza day wasn’t too bad, but back then I hadn’t had really great pizza. So I didn’t know any better.

About the only thing I really liked that was served were the chocolate oatmeal fudge cookies. I’d skip whatever food they had and just savor that cookie.

Today, a lot of the schools bring in food from fast food places. So there is more variety, but it’s probably much worse for you—and more expensive.

Thoughts of school-lunches also evoke memories of me feeling like the odd man out.  Sort of like Riley in my Mortician’s Daughter series, I wasn’t a big fan of lunch period.  I had a couple of friends in school, but we didn’t share the same lunch break every year. And those years, I’d end up sitting by myself.  It was kind of odd how one can be in a room of so many people and feel completely alone.

So, when you were in school, what did you like or hate about school lunches. What food did you like, or hate?  And if you’re still in school, what do you like or hate about school lunches.


Congratulations, Diane Garland, you’ve won one of my C.C. Hunter t-shirts. Please email me at christie@christie-craig.com with your postal address and your t-shirt size.

What’s Your Thing?

Right now I’m working on a new proposal for another young adult.  As I start this process, I begin by fleshing out my character.  And one of the first things I ask a character-in-the-making is:  What’s your thing?  In This Heart of Mine, Leah, who thinks she’s dying in the first part of the novel, is a book geek.  On her bucket list is to read a hundred books.  In Two Feet Under, Riley is into art.  This is very important to her, because she learns her mother was an artist, too.  In fact, the book video shows Riley painting.  And I love how the video shows it as if it’s important to her.  And it is.

And while creating my new character that I’m calling Andi, it got me thinking about having a thing.  About how important it is to identify our interests.

You see, when I was growing up, I was in awe of my peers who had a thing, or in some case, things.  Girls who loved volley ball.  Girls who joined debate clubs.  Girls in gymnastics and girls into cheerleading.  There were the band lovers and the book clubbers.  I envied those girls who knew their “things.”These girls seemed happier.  They seemed to have more self-confidence.  It appeared as if most them had tribes.  Because the people who liked the same things as they did, bonded together.

Me?  I felt thingless.  And in a lot of ways, I suppose I lacked in the confidence arena.

I think if I hadn’t been dyslexic, I’d have been a book clubber and even a writer.  Yes, I loved a story.  But with my learning disability, I never felt I could even attempt writing and reading was more of a chore than enjoyment. So I just made up my own stories in my head.  Frankly, it didn’t feel like a thing.  In fact, I didn’t tell anyone that I spent so much time living in my head.  I didn’t have a clue that what I was doing all those years was building my storytelling and plotting skills.

When I finally admitted I wanted to be a writer and I jumped into the that I’m-an-author lifestyle, when I let myself feel the passion, I can’t even begin to tell you how rewarding it was.  I finally had a thing.  Shortly after joining a writing organization, I found a tribe.   I’m lucky my thing, my passion, ended up being my career.  But that’s not always the case.  In fact, I think we need more than one thing, especially if one of those is a career.

As I’ve matured, I’ve discovered other interests as well.  I love wine and enjoy doing tastings and joining wine clubs.  I love cooking and looking for new recipes and spending time in the kitchen creating dishes.  I love reading and discussing books. I love going to casinos every five or six months and gambling with small set sum that I can afford.

Have you ever been talking to someone you didn’t know that well and the conversation hits on their passion, and they just light up and that person just takes on a whole new dimension? I love hearing people talk about their “things.”  I believe we all need to have these interests no matter what our age.

It doesn’t matter what it is.  People are passionate about Elvis, Star Wars, ballet or Broadway plays.  It can be crocheting or square dancing.  Football or going to yard sales.  It can be finding potatoes that look like celebrities.  It can be anything, as long as it gets you excited and offers you a sense of self and of accomplishment.

When I meet people who aren’t what I’d call depressed, but they aren’t completely content or maybe they are just bored, I often realize that these people are like I was as a teen.  They are thingless.  They don’t have passions or hobbies.  They don’t have a tribe.

So as I ask and try to help my soon-to-be-character discover what her thing is, I’m going to ask you as well:  What’s your thing?  I thought it would be fun to tell each other about our hobbies and passions.

Do you not have one?  If not, I encourage you to find one.


This week, I’m giving away a new C.C. Hunter T-shirt to one person who shares their “thing or things.”

Happy New Year, Y’all!

It’s hard to believe the holidays are behind us and it’s time to turn our attention to 2019. This is the time of year that I usually ask you about your New Year’s resolutions, and I tell you all about mine. But this year, I have something new for you to consider.

This week I listened to a podcast with various people discussing their resolutions. There were the usual ones: lose weight, exercise more, spend less time on social media, etc. One of the guests (and I can’t remember who it was) had a different approach. She said her therapist told her to stop making New Year’s resolutions because she was setting herself up for failure. Not that the therapist thought she wouldn’t follow through with any of them, but that even if she slipped up on one, she would see that as failure.

Instead, the therapist suggested she make intentions. They are easier to follow and it isn’t a pass/fail situation. She said we beat ourselves up enough without setting up a list of things we can fail at, then feel guilty over. Now, while I believe in goals and resolutions, I admit that at times I feel a little guilty, too.  So, I’m not going to make resolutions this year, I’m going to make intentions. And while I intend to do these things, if I don’t, I won’t feel like a failure.

Her final piece of advice? Always give yourself a second chance. I like that, too.

So what are your intentions for 2019? What would you like to see happen?

Me.  I want to get healthier.  I want to slow down a little and do some of those crazy things on my I’d-like-to-do-that list.  Go to Scotland and Ireland.  Maybe a take a cooking class.  And always, spend more time with friends.