Beach Book Bonanza–Week 2!

BeachThis is week two of my Beach Book Bonanza. I hope you saw last week’s blog and commented, because even if you didn’t win any of the weekly giveaways, you’ll still be entered into my big beach basket giveaway at the end of the month.  (Sorry, but these giveaways are limited to US residents. And, as always, if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you have to go to my blog and comment in order to be entered into my giveaways.)

Dax Varley

BleedDax Varley writes the kind of YA novels she wished were around when she was a a teen. A lover of humor, horror and all things paranormal. Dax calls Richardson, TX home. In her latest book, Bleed, life is a nightmare for Miranda Murphy. Without knowing why or when, blood oozes from her palms. Now, there have in 3 deaths in as many months at her school, and she and her paranormal friends must destroy the evil affecting their school.

 

 

 

1. What do you look for in a great beach read?

Something intelligent, but doesn’t make me think too hard or stresses me out. It difficult to relax when you’re on the edge of your seat…or beach towel.

2. What’s the last great beach book you read?

Dax Varley Publicity PhotoI adored The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller. It’s historical, so it may not technically be considered a beach read, but it’s contains everything to enchant the reader.

3. Flip flops or tennis shoes?

You would think someone with long monkey toes like mine would want them covered up, but it flip-flops all the way! Or as I used to call them, thongs. :)

Kim O’Brien

bonedeep2Kim O’Brien grew up in Bronxville, N.Y. listening to her mom’s ghost stories and riding horses. After earning her BA in psychology from Emory University, she went on to get her masters in fine arts from Sarah Lawrence College. For many years, she worked as a writer, editor and speechwriter before becoming a full time mom and fiction writer. In Kim’s first YA novel, Bone Deep, Paige Patterson and her friend Emily intern on an archaeological dig working for Paige’s estranged father. The summer even takes on a romantic possibility when she meets Jalen Yazzi — the super attractive son of her father’s project manager. But then Emily vanishes.  Paige and Jalen’s search for Emily, unearths long hidden crimes and dangerous mysteries.

1.What do you look for in a great beach read?

A great beach read is a book I can’t put down or stop thinking about. The characters become very real to me and even though it is in print, I feel like I’m at the movies because I can see everything so clearly in my mind. I read across genres, so it could be a thriller, or a drama, or a mystery. The important thing is that I can connect to the characters, believe in the authenticity of their motives and actions, and root for them.

2B9484B50D0340B4876B5252CC6788642. What is the last great beach book you read?

It’s been out for a while, but I’m obsessed with George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series. His fictional world is so incredibly well developed and complex. He has that great ability to sustain suspense through a lot of pages, at the same time he develops his characters so well that you really feel like you know them. The scope of his imagination just floors me. I’m also a big Jodi Picoult fan and happily immerse myself into her stories. She has such a great talent – I can’t say enough.

3. Men’s chest? Waxed or non-waxed?

Well, I find getting my eye brows waxed to be exceptionally painful, so I go with non-waxed.

Colleen Gleason

clockwork-scarabColleen Gleason s a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author who can’t seem to decide what type of book to write…so she writes a lot of different genres! So far, Colleen has written everything from vampire hunters to dystopian romance, to steampunkhistorical romance, and mysteries with a supernatural flair. One element, however, that appears in all of her stories, is that of partnership…whether it be professional, romantic, or both. In The Clockwork Scarab (Book 1 in her Stoker & Holmes series),  Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood, so to speak. And when two young society girls disappear—one dead, one missing—there’s no one more qualified to investigate. The pressure is on, and the stakes are high—if Stoker and Holmes don’t figure out why London’s finest sixteen-year-old women are in danger, they’ll become the next victims.

1. What do you look for in a great beach read?

Something that feels summery, with a good dose of romance and/or suspense. I generally like something light, too, with either humor and/or an easy tone.

cg-about12. What is the last great beach book you read?

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

3. If you could go to the beach with any hunky guy, who would you choose (and no, you can’t say your hubby)?

Robert Downey Jr. He’s hot, and funny, and interesting. If he’s not available, I’d take Benedict Cumberbatch. (I apparently have a thing for Sherlock Holmes….) 😉

 Winners!!

The winners from last week’s giveaways are Suze, Joey and Allison Dewey. Email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com to claim your free ebook, and please tell me if you prefer the NOOK or Kindle format.

Beach Tote Giveaway!

IMG_0502-2Don’t forget, if you leave a comment you are automatically entered into my Beach Tote Giveaway and could win this tote filled with signed books by the featured authors of the last two weeks, an Amazon gift card, swag, beach essentials and fun stuff!!! I’ll announce the winner next week on my blog. So be sure to check back.

 

 

 

 

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Beach Book Bonanza—Week 1!

BeachAs promised, this begins my two week Beach Book Bonanza. I love the summer and I especially love the beach, so this sounded like a great way to celebrate both. For the next two weeks, we’ll hear from fellow YA authors as they chat about the beach, books and other things…

I’ll be giving away one e-copy book from each of the featured authors of the week to a few lucky people who leave a comment. Then, at the end of the  month, I’ll give away a beach tote filled with signed books, swag and beach essentials to one person who comments on my blog. So, be sure to comment each week for more chances to win! (Sorry, but I have to limit this giveaway to U.S. residents. Remember, if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you have to go to my actual blog and comment to enter my giveaways.)

Abigail Johnson

9780373212408.inddWhen Abigail Johnson moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona at the age of twelve, she chronicled the entire move in her journal–and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and publishing her first novel, If I Fix You (10/25/16). In If I Fix You, sixteen-year-old Jill Whittaker’s mom walks out, and she’s the only one who knows why. Suddenly, the girl who fixes things-cars, relationships,people-is broken. With nothing making sense, Jill meets a new guy who’s cute and intense with scars-on the inside and out-that he thinks don’t show. Trying to help him, Jill realizes she can fix anyone else’s life till she fixes her own.

 

1. What do you look for in a great beach read?

Escapism. I want to get lost in a story and become completely absorbed in a character(s) life.  Light and fun or heavy and harrowing, it doesn’t matter. I want a book that’s impossible to put down.

IMG_6873-12. What’s the last great beach book you read?

On the light and fun side, The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. I love everything Kasie writes, but her latest contemporary YA delivers another swoon filled romantic comedy–with real heart–that is perfect to read pool side.

3. What’s one ocean creature you’d hate to come face to face with?

Since we’re talking favorite beach reads, I’m thinking of the great white shark from Peter Benchley’s JAWS, and the prehistoric megalodon shark from Steve Alten’s MEG. I’ve never been able to look at the ocean the same way again.

E. Katherine Kottaras

BestPossibleAnswer_COMPS_02E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now lives in California where she teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true. In her second YA novel, The Best Possible Answer   (11/1/16), over-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe strives for perfection, but it all comes to a screeching halt when racy pictures of her are leaked by her boyfriend. Even worse, her parents might be divorcing. For the first time Viviana feels like a failure. But when she gets a job and makes new friends who know nothing of her past, she realizes she can be whoever she wants. even someone who’s not perfect.

 

1.What do you look for in a great beach read?

I’m lucky enough to live in L.A. where the beach is just over the
mountain, a short canyon drive away. On hot summer days (and wow, have
we been feeling some heat recently!), I can escape to the beach where
I can find refuge with a good book under the shade of an umbrella and
the cool ocean breeze. On those days, I love a book with heart and
humor but that also has enough intrigue and some good juicy secrets to
keep me turning pages. I like to feel the heat of good story while my
feet stay cool in the sand.

Kotteras2. What’s the last great beach book you read?

Ashley Herring Blake’s Suffer Love, which is a YA contemporary
re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, a story of two teens, Hadley and Sam,
whose parents have cheated with one another (Sam knows; Hadley does
not!) The passion between Hadley and Sam was HOT! while the barriers
that are set in place that could tear them apart were incredibly
intense. Blake’s writing is gorgeous, and it was a book that I
couldn’t put down, not even for a romp in the waves.

3. What’s the one thing, besides a book, that you never go to
the beach without?

A boogie board! We first tried catching waves with a boogie board when
we were in Kauai last year, and I was hooked. I had so much fun
throwing myself into the waves, giggling like a kid when I didn’t
catch one, letting myself be swept to shore when I did. There’s
nothing like playing in the ocean to make you feel alive!

Joy Preble

iwaltJoy Preble, a former high school teacher who now writes full time, was raised in Chicago, but now lives in Texas. Today, she speaks widely on writing and literature in schools, libraries and conferences. In her latest novel, It Wasn’t Always Like This, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time in 1916 after she and her family and her father’s partner’s family (the Ryans) sample an experimental polio vaccine and now they don’t age. But that’s fine with her since she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. But soon a group of religious fanatics take note. On the run, Emma and Charlie are separated. One hundred years later, Emma is a private investigator investigating a series of murders of girl who all look like her. As Emma’s danger grows, so does her hope of finding Charlie, the boy she loves.

1. What do you look for in a great beach read?

I’m not that fussy, but I’m looking — typically– for a page turner. This can be romance or mystery or thriller or fantasy or sci-fi,  it just needs to be fast-paced and engaging, and preferably available in paperback or on Kindle so I can keep a hand free for my tropical beverage.

Of course the story goes that Lin-Manuel Miranda read Ron Chernow’s bio of Hamilton– a thousand page, door-stopper thick tome– while on the beach and we all know how that turned out! So I say we shouldn’t knock historical biography as a very good beach read option!

2. What’s the last great beach book you read?

IMG_2740Last summer I was finishing up the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon, or what I call “Joy’s 8,000 page obsessive commitment.” Jamie and Claire are definitely beach read material. On the other hand, I read Cammie McGovern’s Say What You Will last October while on the beach in Florida and it’s a slower-pace contemporary YA. So really, I guess it depends on my mood!

3. If you could go to the beach with any hunky guy, who would you choose (and no, you can’t say your hubby)?

Robert Downey Jr. Beach or mountain or produce aisle at the grocery store or random meeting in the Food Court at the mall, he is my go to answer. Because Robert. Downey Jr. Enough said.

Beach Tote and Book Giveaways!!!

IMG_0488-2So remember, be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the weekly giveaways. You could win an e-copy of a book by one of the featured authors.

And don’t forget, if you leave a comment you are automatically entered into my Beach Tote Giveaway and could win this tote filled with signed books by the featured authors of the last two weeks, an Amazon gift card, swag, beach essentials and fun stuff!!!

 

Winner!!!!

Last week’s winner of a Born to Read t-shirt is April. Congratulations! April, please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your t-shirt size and your mailing address.

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Denmark and a Giveaway!

Herlufsholm_Boarding_schoolWell, I can finally confirm I’ll be attending a book fair in Denmark! The fair is called Herlufsholm Fantasy Bogmesse and it will be at the Herlufsholm School near the city of Naestved on October 21st and 22nd. I’ll be there with fellow YA authors Eva Oakenshield, Brian P. Orbol, Kenneth Bogh Anderson, Nanna Foss and Haidi Wigger Klaris.

The Herlufsholm School is an old boarding school that’s made for adventure. There will be publishers, authors, readers and roleplayers at the only fantasy book fair in Denmark, and it will offer separate readings and events targeted at specific age groups.

I can’t wait to visit the beautiful country of Denmark. So, if you live in Denmark or near, plan on attending this book fair. I’d love to chat with you about Shadow Falls.

Almost Midnight Giveaway!

AlmostMidnight[2]By now most of you have read Almost Midnight, my book with all my novellas in one volume. So, it contains Turned at Dark, Saved at Sunrise, Unbreakable, Spellbinder and Fierce. So, I’d like to know which novella is your very favorite and why. Tell me in the comment section and I’ll select one name and that person will get a Born to Read t-shirt. And this drawing is open to all my US AND international fans.5518 (1)

 

Midnight Hour Surprise!!

MidnightHour_Final CVR_revisedDon’t forget, Midnight Hour is coming out on October 25th. You can pre-order it now. And I think you’ll want to because I have a special surprise for anyone who pre-orders Midnight Hour. I can’t tell you just yet, it’s top secret, but I think you’ll be really happy when I reveal my little secret. You’ll never guess what it is!

So, pre-order your copy of Midnight Hour today at AmazoniBooks,  Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

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C.C. Answers Your Shadow Falls Questions

It’s been a little while since I answered your questions. So, I went back to my list of things you have asked and decided to answer a few.

Kase asked:  Is Chase’s book going to be comprised of both present and future (like his story continuing right after the events of After Dark with flashes of his past) or is it just his past? Do you think you may ever write a short story from a werewolves perspective or a shape shifter? If so what characters do you think you would use? Do you think they would be new? For the werewolves, do you think that the shadow fall wolves would ever find a way to break the moon’s hold on their transformations?

CC: Well, Kase, Chase’s novella, Unbreakable, is entirely about his past and how he became vampire.

AlmostMidnight[2]A short story from a werewolf’s perspective? I already did! I wrote Fredericka’s story, Fierce. And both Unbreakable and Fierce are included in Almost Midnight. As for a story from a shapeshifter’s perspective? I think I’d write Perry’s story. There’s so much more to that guy than what you’ve read in my books.

No, I think the werewolves of Shadow Falls will forever be tied to the moon. Unless I think up a really great idea to write a different outcome. As a writer, I can write anything as long as I can make it believable.

 

 

Taryn asked: Will you ever write a novella/book from Lucas’ Point of View when Kylie left Shadow Falls?Oh and maybe even a novella from Kylie’s Point of View during her time at the compound?

MidnightHour_Final CVR_revisedCC: Sorry, Taryn, but Midnight Hour (out 10/25/16), Miranda’s book is scheduled to be my last Shadow Falls book. I’ve already started a new series. That said, I can’t definitively say that I’ll never write about any of the Shadow Falls characters again. Some of these characters really stick with me, and if one becomes enough of a pest, I may write a novella about them. But I’m not promising anything.

Misty asked: How often do you rewrite scenes? How long did it take for you to find the perfect names for your characters? Do you have to add in the descriptions after you write the main details?

CC: I go over a scene again and again. If you read last week’s blog, you’ll have learned that I’m dyslexic, and since I want to turn in a book that’s as close to perfect as I can make it, I tweak my scenes over and over. Then, I send it to my editor, and she usually has some changes, which means more rewrites.

I love picking names for my characters. However, usually the first name I pick for a character is not the name they end up with. Sometimes the more I get to know the character, the more their first name doesn’t suit them, so I change it.

No, I usually have a pretty clear physical picture in my head of what my characters look like. I may go back through the scenes and add bits here and there to fill it out and make the character more real afterwards.

Do you have any more questions you’d like me to answer? Please leave them in the comment section below.

Midnight Hour

Have you pre-ordered Midnight Hour? I know October 25th sounds like it’s a long way off, but it will actually be here before you know it. Don’t have to wait a second to start reading Midnight Hour. Pre-order it and you’ll have it the day it’s released. Order it today at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks and Kobo.

MidnightHour_Final CVR_revised

 

A missing sister, a heart in turmoil, and a growing tattoo that no one understands…C. C. Hunter brings The Shadow Falls saga to a spectacular conclusion in this thrilling finale: Midnight Hour!

Being a dyslexic witch has never been easy for Miranda Kane, but her time at Shadow Falls helped her tap into her true powers. Now her life is thrown into chaos after a near death experience leaves her with a mysterious growing tattoo no one can explain. Her heart is a mess over whether to get back together with Perry or take a chance on a new love, her parents are spitting up, and she may not get into the same college of her two best friends. To upend her world further, it appears her sister has been kidnapped and it’s not just her they want. Miranda’s only way of saving her sister may be to take her place. Will her friends at Shadow Falls save Miranda…or will she realize that she had the power to save herself all along?

 

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Dream Big III

This is the the final interview in my Dream Big series of interviews with authors who have learning disabilities. I want to thank Bethany Averie and Ryan Jo Summers for being a part of it. This week, it’s my turn to talk about my dyslexia, what it means to me and how it has affected my life.

Again,  our wish is for you is to never be afraid to dream big. In a world where less than someone’s definition of perfect can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection, we want you to stand up and pursue those dreams no matter your learning disabilities/difficulties. Don’t let those things stop you. If we can do it, so you can you!

Given the sensitive nature of this topic, we ask that those who choose to comment only post positive and encouraging comments. We’re wanting to build people up and inspire them, not bring them down.

CC Hunter

CristiePhotoWhat are your learning disabilities/difficulties and do you remember how/when you were diagnosed?

I’m dyslexic.  I was diagnosed in third grade as being learning disabled.  I had a very hard time reading, spelling, and am extremely directionally impaired.  Left and right is still a mystery to me. North, South, East and West is like talking Chinese.  I wasn’t actually diagnosed as dyslexic until I was 30.  And this came after my son was officially diagnosed.  I now read, and while I’m not as fast as most people, I love reading.  I’m terrible at leaving out words like: an, and, the, to.  I confuse words like:  two and to, and too, and mail and male.  I know the difference, but when I write, my mind doesn’t recognize the differences.  I will leave out letters in words.  I’m told that I learned to cope with a lot of my issues by relying on my auditory strengths.  So I hear my words in my head, and when I use that skill, itturns off the part of my brain that allows me to recognize my mistakes.  The only way I can catch my own mistakes is not to read it for about a month, so my auditory side of my brain doesn’t kick in.  I cannot take notes and listen at the same time.  If I attempt to write something down, my brain will not retain anything else that is being said.

Since finding out, what are your emotions towards your learning disabilities/difficulties? Why?

I don’t think I’ve accomplished what I have in spite of dyslexia, but in part due to it.  First, dyslexic people are intuitive.  We read people.  We read emotions.  Because of this, dyslexics are often natural born storytellers.  I spent my entire childhood making up stories in my head.  Not even realizing that this was a talent.  This intuitive ability allows me to tap into the emotions of my characters and create stories that pull at the heartstrings of readers.  Being a writer takes the tenacity of a Tasmanian Devil.  Being dyslexic taught meI had to work hard, and even harder for anything I wanted.  I have over 10,000 rejection letters.  But because of the lessons of never giving up, I just kept going, learning, and I made it where a lot of people who didn’t have the same issues, gave up.

What would you say to someone who has them who thinks they’re not as good as other people because they have learning disabilities/difficulties?

To this day I remember the first person who looked at me and said, “Wow, you are intelligent.”  I was twenty-three years old.  Because I didn’t do well in school, I didn’t realize that I was smart.  It was only as an adult that I realized my disability didn’t reflect my intelligence.  Parents of a child with disabilities, need to stress to their child that almost every disability comes with some good traits.  Yes, it’s hard to find self-confidence when you have to struggle for something that comes easily for others.  Find your gifts, and focus on how those gifts can help you succeed in what you want in life. For many, my choice career of writing may seem a difficult path, and yes, it’s harder for me than others, but because I tapped into my gifts of tapping into emotion, this aspect comes easier to me than others.

How have your learning disabilities/difficulties shaped you/what you do?

As I said earlier, I’m not a quitter. I simply refuse to give up.  I sold my first book ten years after I started writing.  I didn’t sell my second book until thirteen years later.  I deal with dyslexia in my writing career by having people proof my books even before they go out to an editor.  Yes, my publishers have line editors and copy editors who also go over it, but I want to hand them as clean a copy as I can.  Even this interview will be read by a proofer before it goes to Bethany.  I used to whine about never being able to write a clean copy.  I spend at least 50 hours of every week writing, you would think I would have overcome my issues.  But I haven’t.  Yes, I’m so much better than I was before, but generally, I still will have as many as five mistakes a page.  And that’s with me going over it three or four times.  But I’ve learned to accept that I will always have goofs in my work.

 

MidnightHour_Final CVR_revisedThis October 25th, Midnight Hour, the final and tenth book in my Shadow Fall series will be released.  Miranda, my heroine in Midnight Hour, is a dyslexic witch.  In her journey, Miranda is finally learning to believe in herself in spite of her disability.

Pre-order today at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and  Kobo.

 

 

 

Are You Missing Out?

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Dream Big II

There are young people in the world struggling with learning differences (sometimes called learning disabilities) who may or may not feel they aren’t as good as those who don’t have these disabilities/challenges.

Last week, you heard from YA author Bethany Averie about her learning difficulties and how it affected her life. Most importantly, she told you how she learned to cope with her disabilities and go on to become a multi-published author. (If you didn’t read her interview, you really need to!)

This week, I have another author for you. Like Bethany and me, Ryan Jo Summers grew up struggling with a learning disability. She is sharing her journey with us today.

Our wish is for you is to never be afraid to dream big. In a world where less than someone’s definition of perfect can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection, we want you to stand up and pursue those dreams no matter your learning disabilities/difficulties. Don’t let those things stop you. If we can do it, so you can you!

Given the sensitive nature of this topic, we ask that those who choose to comment only post positive and encouraging comments. We’re wanting to build people up and inspire them, not bring them down.

Ryan Jo Summers

Briefly tell us about yourself (your name, your YA story titles, anything else you wish to say about yourself):

Me 4-25-2015 choice 1My name is Ryan Jo Summers. I write contemporary romance fiction and free-lance non-fiction, essays and scribble poetry for fun/ therapy. I have written a YA novel, working title of Flashes of Lightning and currently am working on trying to find a publishing home for it. I love animals and six of the seven animals living with me are rescues with their own luggage of differences. Three are occupational hazards of when I used to be a veterinary technician.

 

 

 

What are your learning disabilities/difficulties and do you remember how/when you were diagnosed?

Dyslexia, poor eyesight and being left-handed were the biggies. Now days we don’t see being left-handed as a disability, but back when I was young, it was unacceptable to be ‘different’ from everyone else. Because of the poor eyesight, I struggled to see the blackboard. It took to the middle of second grade for my parents and teacher to figure that out, so by the time I received glasses, the impaired learning was already set.

As a result of being ‘different’ I was frequently called “retarded” at home by my family, who did not understand my issues were either not really issues at all or could have been easily corrected much sooner. This degrading caused low self-esteem and certainly depression at an early age, which fed into the “I’m retarded and useless” thinking, which fed into the “I can’t learn” mentality. I also suffered incredible headaches, which made it hard for me to concentrate, retain information or recall information.  I had small seizures, in which I drifted off and became ‘lost’ to what was happening around me. To many, that just confirmed I was ‘retarded’.

To this day, I still loath and cringe at the word ‘retarded’.

51C4mnTGwgL._SY346_It would take many years—up into Jr high to prove my family wrong. There was never an official diagnosis until I was grown. And made it a point to educate myself.  I eventually outgrew most of my difficulties. Eyeglasses brought the board into my world. I studied hard, brought up my grades. In Jr High and High school, I carried a 4.0 GPA. I took advanced, challenging classes, excelling in English and science courses. Finally no one could call me ‘retarded’. I still struggle with dyslexia, especially with numbers. And today being left-handed is no big deal. The headaches were finally diagnosed as migraines, once I left home, and I take daily medication for both that and the occasional seizures I used to have.

Since finding out, what are your emotions towards your learning disabilities/difficulties? Why?

I don’t recall much, except resenting and being hurt by my family’s insensitive actions. They were supposed to be my support system. Not the case. I was socially challenged, not having many friends until I became a teen. Eventually, I learned to use school as my place to escape, a place where I could earn acceptance by the school staff. That unconditional acceptance was a precious blessing to a depressed and lonely kid. I could work hard, study hard and knew my teachers appreciated my efforts. Now I know that was wrong, in a way, but it worked then. I regret my family could not have been understanding and encouraging of my struggles, instead of adding to them.  To this day, it still hurts.

I feel parents and school staff should be more open to correctly diagnosing symptoms they see instead of quickly slapping a label on them. I raised two special needs step sons from the ages of 3 and 6. The older one was considered ADHD & Learning Disabled and the younger one was considered Learning Disabled. The older one was hyper, but he was also acting out because of his parent’s divorce, the fact he had no control in his life and he was angry and scared. The younger one certainly was slow to learn, at three he uttered instead of talking and was not potty trained yet. Like me, he was a bed wetter well into his teens. Much of his issue was reinforced by his older brother’s treatment to him. He eventually caught up to where he needed to be and today is an eloquent, intelligent, and methodical young man.

What would you say to someone who has them who thinks they’re not as good as other people because they have learning disabilities/difficulties?

You are just as good as the rest of the world. You have something to contribute, too. Never, ever, let anyone tell you are less. You may have to try harder, but that application will be noticed. You don’t have to listen to negative, ignorant or cruel people. Never hang your head in shame. There is nothing to be ashamed for. Make no excuses. Make change. Make your own mark.

How have your learning disabilities/difficulties shaped you/what you do?

I had to become tough. To think outside the box of what seemed normal for everyone else. To believe in myself. To focus on the positives and the now. To know when to walk away from those who intended to harm me. Words do hurt, but I don’t have to stay and listen to them. I have strong opinions and I have to watch how they sometimes come across. I still struggle with occasional bouts of depression but have learned to cope. I write, draw, create poetry, cook, whatever works. Hug my dog. Water the plants.

Clearly, I don’t have much of a relationship with my family, so I have become resilient and independent. I treasure the friendships I have. My experiences in life make it hard for me to trust, but I am learning. I am also much more open minded and compassionate.

Briefly tell us about your Young Adult (YA) books, etc.:

Flashes of Lightning is the coming of age story for 16-year-old Tabitha McGowan. She loses her best boyfriend buddy and falls into a world of new friends. She is introduced to Magick, and falls for the bad-boy new mechanic in town.

She becomes estranged with her family. The reader follows Tabitha’s journey from typical teen to young adulthood. She makes lots of decisions, some good and some not so smart. She is a kid, a young lady, many can identify with and root for.

My other books are adult romance, written in a twisted blend of contemporary, time travel, mystery, inspirational, suspense, paranormal and sweet romance. They can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords Most are novels, with one anthology and one novella.

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Dream Big

There are young people in the world struggling with learning differences (sometimes called learning disabilities) who may or may not feel they aren’t as good as those who don’t have these disabilities/challenges.

The three of us—Bethany Averie, Ryan Jo Summers, and me—have all faced learning disabilities/difficulties and based on our personal experiences, and what we see in the world today, were inspired to share our own stories with you.

We’ll be posting each author’s Q&A style on all our blogs for the next few weeks, starting with Bethany Averie. The next week will feature Ryan Jo Summers, then lastly will be my story.

Our wish is for you is to never be afraid to dream big. In a world where less than someone’s definition of perfect can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection, we want you to stand up and pursue those dreams no matter your learning disabilities/difficulties. Don’t let those things stop you. If we can do it, so you can you!

Given the sensitive nature of this topic, we ask that those who choose to comment only post positive and encouraging comments. We’re wanting to build people up and inspire them, not bring them down.

So, here are our stories, and we wish you all the best.

Bethany Averie

Bethany Averie photoHi, my name is Bethany Averie. I’m a wife, mother, and writer. My YA Trilogy, Immortal Dreams (Divine Love, Astral Love, Immortal Love) is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

My favorite colors are purple and green (and somehow manage to be in my novels whether I’m consciously or unconsciously aware of it).

When I was growing up, the YA genre didn’t have as diverse selection as it does now. It’s amazing to see genres grow and expand. It’s also awesome if you’re a writer like me, because then you have more room to “play” (AKA, create).

What are your learning disabilities/difficulties and do you remember how/when you were diagnosed?

I was diagnosed with learning disabilities when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I was in the 6th grade. My parents home schooled me because I was having a lot of trouble in “regular school”. It became apparent to my mom that I learned very differently from my other siblings (I’m one of 8 kids, if you can believe it—it’s true! I’m second-to-the-youngest in my family). She found out about this learning clinic and I went and got diagnosed. My two biggest disabilities are called Visual Spatial and Auditory Memory. Basically for the Visual I can see something, but I have a lot of trouble reproducing it. That one made copying things off the board extremely difficult. What was up there was never quite what I had in my notebook, which I found frustrating. The Auditory Memory has to deal with hearing a series of things and what I remember. Before I went for remediation at the learning clinic I could only remember the last thing a teacher said in a series of instructions. For example, if a teacher said, “Okay, class, take out your math books, turn to page eighty-three, and do problems one through ten.” I’d only remember I was supposed to do problems one through ten. I wouldn’t know what book or page. It didn’t matter if I had been paying close attention or not, that’s all I’d remember.

After remediation at the learning clinic, I got better at remembering a series. But sometimes I still have to have people slow down and repeat several times what they said, which can be embarrassing.

I have other learning disabilities, but those are the two big ones.

Since finding out, what are your emotions towards your learning disabilities/difficulties? Why?

At first I was devastated. How could I be so different from my peers? I didn’t want to stand out any more than I already did (I stood out because I couldn’t run fast, I didn’t grow up with a television in my house until I was 12, and people thought I was weird because I didn’t know all the things that were popular at the time. I was a total ‘fish-out-of-water’). Now, I also couldn’t learn like they did—I was SLOW at it. So, yeah, it totally bugged me.

Eventually I got over it. Remediation helped. My sessions were a lot of fun and interesting. In high school, all my Standardized testing (whether practice or real) were untimed so I had a chance to give each question the attention I needed to understand them and put in my answer.

I learned how to touch-type on the computer, which improved other areas of my life—spelling, handwriting, and I began writing.

AstralLove-SoulmateFINALIZED 805_805x1275 (1)I started writing stories probably in Junior High—nothing I would publish, but it was a wonderful creative outlet for me. As the years went on, that love of creating new worlds and writing only grew until I got to where I am now—a published author and working on new stories.

Nowadays, I don’t mind my learning disabilities as much. In fact, I find them fascinating. Everyone learns differently whether they have learning disabilities or not, because everybody thinks and processes differently. My learning disabilities help me recognize any learning difficulties in my kids, which has proven useful. So, in a sense, it’s cool that I have them. They are part of what makes me who I am in general. And, in general, I like myself. Of course there are things I want to improve upon, but I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t want to make themselves a better person, so I’m in good company.

What would you say to someone who has them who thinks they’re not as good as other people because they have learning disabilities/difficulties?

Having learning disabilities/difficulties/differences (whatever you want to call them) doesn’t make you “not as good” or a “failure”. It’s something that makes you uniquely you. Revel in being different. Too many people want to be just like someone else. If were all exactly alike how boring would life be? Differences keep things interesting.

And you wouldn’t believe what opens up for you when you have learning disabilities. Because you learn differently, sometimes you have to get creative in how you remember, process, and put together what you learn. For someone like me—who loves to create—this is a huge opportunity to use my imagination and figure out what works best for me. And I’m always learning something new about myself, what works, or what could work. It’s a lot like how I write my novels—figure out what the story is, what goes together and what doesn’t.

How have your learning disabilities/difficulties shaped you/what you do?

Sometimes I have to take a little longer to do things. But that’s GOOD because it helps me to slow down and catch mistakes, which helps during my editing process. Being able to correct myself makes some things easier. I’ve learned how not to be ashamed of how I learn and work, but to use them to develop into a better person and writer.

Briefly tell us about your Young Adult (YA) books, etc.:

Finalized Divine LoveMy Immortal Dreams Trilogy is a Greek mythology-inspired story about an 18 year old girl named Laney Alberts. After meeting the new boy in her class, Jason Magnus, Laney finds out nothing is what she thought it was. The revelation of just how different things are take her on an incredible adventure on Earth, Mount Olympus, and even the Underworld in an effort to save both Human and Immortals from a goddess bent on world domination.

 

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Summer Time Giveaway!

9619School’s out here in Texas, so summer has officially begun. Although with all the rain we’ve had, it made for some soggy proms and graduations.  My driveway is no longer flooded, but this is the lake, aka my front yard, that I looked out on for most of May. So, I know a lot of Texans are heading off to if not warmer, at least drier places.

Are you going any place special this summer? I’d like to rent a beach house again at some point. Nothing relaxes me more than sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean, listening to the rhythm of the waves. Speaking of the beach, I’m having a HUGE giveaway on my blog in July, and yup, it involves the beach. so, be sure to watch for it.

So, tell me where you’re heading this summer, and I have a signed copy of Unspoken for one of you. (Sorry, this giveaway is for US residents only, and if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you have to go to my blog to comment.)

Just in case you’re going to be anywhere near where I’m having a signing, I’d love to meet you. And make sure you tell me you follow my blog or are on my Street Team, and I’ll give you some exclusive swag.

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This weekend, June 10th-12th, no matter where you live in the US, Barnes & Noble is having their First-Ever National Teen Book Festival. There will be tons of book signings by your favorite authors, activities, swag giveaways, games, and more! I’m celebrating their festival with THREE appearances in the Houston, TX area!

Saturday, June 11th, I’ll be at their Champions Forest store, 5303 FM 1960 West, Houston, TX 77069 at 1:00 PM with Joy Preble and Becky Wallace. There will be giveaways!

Saturday, June 11th, I’ll be at their Pasadena location, 5656 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77505 at 5:00 PM. Again, I’ll be with the talented Joy Preble. So, this is your chance to ask us questions and pick up signed copies of our books.

Sunday, June 12th, I’m off to their Deerbrook Mall store, 20131 Hywy 59, Humble, TX 77338.  I’ll be there at 1:00 PM, so join me and be ready to party!

Do you live in Southern California? Well you can catch up with me there.

July 13-16th, I’ll be at the Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. Wednesday, July 13th, I’ll be signing books at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, 5:30 to 7:30 PM. This is a great event where all profits go to literacy—and it’s absolutely FREE and open to the public! For more information go to https://www.rwa.org/conference.

So, come and spend a little of your summer with me!

BIG NEWS!

I’ve hear many of you say you miss my Facebook posts and announcements. So, I’ve created a private Facebook group for my die hard fans. Be sure to join today for extra offers, special giveaways, and the inside scoop on all things CC Hunter. Just follow this link: CC Hunter: Chills, Thrills, Laughter.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Great Day at the Zoo

IMG_0122aWhen I was a kid, we didn’t do a lot of vacations, but we did go to the zoo at least every other year.  And this last weekend, we took off with our granddaughter and visited the Houston Zoo.  We had a blast.  Do you ever go to the zoo?  I know I’m grown up and perhaps I shouldn’t have so much fun, but something about looking at the animals just brings the kid out in me.  Here’s a peek and some of the pictures I took.

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You Want to Know What?

QAs a writer, I get all sorts of questions tossed at me.  Some of them are what I call repeaters, questions that get asked a lot.  For those, I have my prepared answers down pat.  Some questions are downright funny–people wanting to understand the strange mechanics of how a writer’s mind works.  I usually just make up an answer for those, because please, I don’t understand how my mind works, either.

Some of the questions are just weird, and they make me laugh.  Then there are the others that give me concerns about my fans, readers, and human population in general.  (You know who you are.)

lionHowever, no matter what category those questions fall into, most of the time, I still love being asked.  Why?  First, because curiosity generally means interest and interest could result in book sales, and second . . . I love a good laugh.

So just for grins, and laughs, let me share some of those questions.  I’ll also share my answers.  And okay, because you are who you are, I’m going to go one step further and even give you the truth.

*  *  *

Question:  Do you ever take your characters with you when you go places?  (I’ve been asked that one more than once?)

Answer:  Of course, I do.  But I insist that they pay their own way, unless I have a buy-one-get-one-free coupon.

Truth:  I usually just stick them in my purse, and don’t feed them and sneak them into places without buying them a ticket.  But seriously, at times, say when I’m out shopping, I will stop and think: Would Miranda wear that outfit?  I’ll conjure her up in my mind and together we’ll shop for an outfit she’s going to wear in my next scene.

*  *  *

Question:  When you hear your characters talking to you, how do you know that it’s just creativity and not that you really are crazy?

Answer:  Does it really have to be one or the other?

Truth:  Anyone who sits around all day and spends hours envisioning and writing about the lives of their characters, along with making facial expressions in the mirror so she can describe them, has to be a little bit bonkers.   I’m okay with that.

*  *  *

Question: Is your husband jealous of your heroes? (This answer has variations.)

Answer if Hubby isn’t present when question is asked: “Of course, he’s jealous.  My heroes are so hot, he knows he can’t compete.”

Answer if Hubby is present:  “Jealous?  Why?  He knows I pattern all my heroes after him.”

Truth:  Just as there is a little of myself in each of my heroines, there really is a bit of my husband in all my heroes.

*  *  *

Question:  What do you do when your characters misbehave?

Answer:  I call the fiction police to arrest them and put them in solitary confinement.

Truth: I generally sit back and enjoy it.  Generally speaking when characters start acting out, those are the best scenes.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any crazy (or not so crazy) questions for me?

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