It’s Almost Here!

 

In about six weeks, This Heart of Mine will release.  Part of me is dancing on my tip toes I’m so excited.  But on the flip side of that, I’m so nervous I have butterflies playing bumper cars in my stomach.

Yes, it’s true that with every book I’ve sent out to the world to be read, enjoyed, and judged, there’s a bit of angst.  Because I know not everyone is going to love my book, my characters, my writing style. There are tons of books out there that everyone loves, but don’t resonate with me.  And I’m sure as readers you’ve found this to be true.  Authors and all artists, have to accept that one’s work is subjective.  And I’ve accepted it.

Mostly.  But those butterflies keep on fluttering.  What if my base, my core readers, don’t tap into that magical essence of the story I’ve spent months imaging and creating?

Every book I write is part imagination and part heart.  I find a kernel of an idea and while writing it, I tap into and borrow from my personal experiences, my emotions, my fears, my moral compass, to create the story. This is why I tell people that every character has me in them.

The difference between This Heart of Mine and dozens of my previous books is that this book didn’t grow in that creative section of my brain.  It wasn’t a seed of an idea that I planted and spent months whispering to, what’s next?  What now? I didn’t borrow bits and pieces of my life to create the plot.

No.  Chunks of this story were taken right out of my life.  Out of my husband’s life.  When I tapped into that creative place and asked, what’s next?  I didn’t have to put my thinking cap on.  I just had to open up a vein.  I followed the foot prints of emotion, of pain, of the strugglesand ultimately, the triumph of a real life experience.

I cried more writing this book than any book I’ve ever written.

Because like Leah, my husband needed a transplant. Like Leah, it was unlikely to happen.  Like Leah, he and I were forced to accept that his time here, that our time together, was about to end.  Like Leah, he was given that second chance.  Like Leah, when he woke up from that transplant, he started having dreams.  Dreams that had us wondering if they were his own or from the donor.

And while there is so much personal experience that stems from this story, there’s fiction as well. My hubby isn’t Matt, my hot hero.  (Sorry, Babe.) He’s wasn’t dealing with high school and figuring out who he was when the transplant took place.  His donor’s death hadn’t been ruled a suicide, but left others wondering if it hadn’t been murder.  Yes, plenty of creative energy went into this book.

But the emotional essence of this story.  Of learning to cherish time.  Of learning to live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is not a promise.  That came from the lessons we learned during this difficult time.  And the love that Leah and Matt find?  That’s one hundred percent real.  It’s not the teenage love, but it started as young love, and grew stronger like it can after thirty years of marriage.  You don’t know how much you love someone, until you sit at their bedside in ICU while they’re in coma.  You don’t know how precious life is, until you’re certain it’s gone.  You don’t value time until you’ve been given a second chance.

This Heart of Mine is up for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & NobleBooks-A-Million, Powell’s, Indiebound and iBooks.  So, don’t miss out, order your copy today.  If you’re one of my loyal fans who has preordered it, leave a comment, and one of you will win an ARC of This Heart of Mine. So, you’ll have one to keep and one to give away to a friend.

Winner!

Last week’s winner of a $10 Amazon gift card is Kira Moericke. Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com to claim your gift card.

 

 

Year in Review & 2018’s First Giveaway!

Do you know how after New Year’s you look back on the past year and you kind of feel you wasted too much time?  I was doing that, and then I stopped, took an account of my accomplishments, and realized maybe I didn’t do everything I wanted to. Yeah, I still haven’t lost the weight—but I did accomplish a lot. I visited both my parents, one in California, one in Alabama. I did fifteen writing related events, most of the out of state. Which means I had the pleasure of meeting many of you at conferences and book signings, and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you in 2018.

Last August, I released Fighting Back. In case you avid Kylie and Lucas fans missed it, this is the final short story about this couple. Just because they’re in love, doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing. Oh no, Kylie and Lucas face their biggest challenge yet when Lucas struggles to balance his added responsibilities with the werewolf council with his commitment to Kylie. Things go from bad to worse when Lucas’ life is in danger. But while their future may be uncertain, Kylie will do whatever it takes to save the life of the only boy she’s ever truly loved.

 

Then last October, I released the first in a three book series called The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave. It’s about Riley Smith, whose dad is a mortician, and his clients keep following him home. Only Riley can see these ghosts, and they usually want some kind of help from her. And it’s never easy.  For those of you who are waiting for the second book, look for Two Feet Under in July.

 

 

Finally in December, I released Fierce, werewolf Fredericka Lakota’s story, previously only available in my anthology, Almost Midnight. Even years after being abandoned by her rogue werewolf father, Fredericka’s still never found a place for herself in Shadow Falls. And now,  Fredericka’s life has gotten more complicated: she’s learned her father has died, the death angels from the falls are calling to her, an ex won’t let her go, and she may be seeing the ghost of a missing woman who needs her help.

I also wrote two Christie Craig books.  One that was released in 2017 and another that will be out this August.  Oh, I also wrote This Heart of Mine.

Reviews for This Heart of Mine are rolling in and I’m honored that reviewers are connecting with this book.  This is the book about a heart transplant that was inspired from my husband’s transplant.  It releases February 27th.

You can find all of these books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Don’t miss out on any of these enthralling books! And you can also preorder This Heart of Mine.

So you see, while I do believe I spent a little too much of 2017 playing Spider Solitaire, I did do a lot.  What were you busy doing in 2017?  One person who leaves a comment and tells me they have read one of my books, will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

 

 

Resolutions

Okay, it’s a brand-new year. Time to dust off those resolutions, and try to keep them this time. Did you know most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February?

Yup, I’m one of the 45 percent of people who statistics say set resolutions.

Most of us have similar goals, too.  To eat healthier.  Exercise more.  Yeah, I want to drop some weight.  But I also want to try more recipes. I want to learn to make a great white wine sauce.  Being southern, I’ve mastered gravy, but haven’t really mastered sauces.  Yes, I know this goal is kind of counterproductive to the losing weight goal, but I’m trying to look at my diet as a life change and I know I can’t stop eating everything that tastes good.  So if I only splurge in moderation, learn some healthier recipes as well, and exercise more, maybe these two goals can go hand in hand.

New Year’s Resolutions, list of items

I also want to be more productive with my time.  Yeah, I’m guilty of playing SpiderSolitaire .  But I also know it’s not always a procrastination  technique.  It’s like my down time. Time to let my mind rest and restart my creative energy.  So I’m not going to stop, but I need to find the balance.  I’m going to start using my day planner again.  Manage my time better.  Do any of you use a day planner?

But I still have a few more goals.  Last year, after the hurricane, hubby and I were out eating and my hubby said, “Have you noticed, how nice everyone is to each other?  They are patient, they say hello to strangers.  No one seems to lose their patience.  You know, I think a good New Year’s resolution would be to treat people everyday like we just had a hurricane.”  So yeah, I’m going to borrow my hubby’s idea and just try to be kinder to strangers.

I did some checking and according to Huffington Post, only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. Why do we fail? Well, according to the articles, there are many reasons people can’t stick to their resolutions, from setting too many of them to getting derailed by small failures. Even setting overly ambitious and restrictive goals.

When we think about all the times we didn’t meet those resolutions, it’s easy to understand why some people don’t follow this tradition anymore.  But call me an eternal optimist, every year I make them.  And frankly, some of them have stuck.  Two years ago, my goal was to take more “me” time, to find ways to deal with stress.  Since then I’ve been hitting the hot tub three times as much, and I now go for regular massages.

 

Are you part of the 45% that make resolutions? What are yours?

Wishing you a happy, healthy and productive 2018.

Book Recommendations

Hope you enjoyed your holidays.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for being such supportive fans.

I also wanted to remind you that The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave was released 10/31/17. If you like teenage romance with some woo-woo and a mystery, I think you’ll love it. Order it from Kobo, Indie Bound, Amazon or Barnes & Noble. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On February 28, 2018 I have another young adult book coming out called This Heart of Mine. This book is personal and written from my heart. You see, my husband had a kidney transplant, so I’m very aware of the second chance we’ve been given. And I really wanted to tell Leah MacKenzie’s story. She’s in desperate need of a heart transplant, and doesn’t expect to live much longer. When she gets her heart, she realizes it’s from a boy at school that committed suicide. Or that’s what everyone thinks—except his twin, Matt. Together Leah and Matt team up to discover the truth—and may find love along the way.

Even though This Heart of Mine isn’t out yet, you can still pre-order it and you’ll receive it as soon as it’s released. Pre-order it at Amazon,Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Powell’s. 

 

Looking for a new author? Here are two books I’ve read this year that I would highly recommend.

I’ve already blogged about the first one, Mary Lindsey’s Haven.  I adored Rain, the main character. I found myself rooting for this boy whose life had brought on too many hurdles. And I loved Mary’s page-turning writing style.  You can order Haven at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooksKobo, Google PlayIndie Bound and Entangled

 

 

 

 

 

The second book is Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer.  I loved this story. I’ve only briefly met Brigid, but I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. The story is about Juliet who lost her mother and is trying to overcome the grief.  Declan is also dealing with grief and has a really mixed up home life.  I always have been a fan of books that show two strangers accidentally meeting and finding they are each other’s touch stones. You can order Letters to the Lost at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound.

 

 

Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays!

I’m an animal lover. Yup, I love all things furry—well, not those hairy spiders (or any spiders, really). But dogs, cats, horses, elephants (yes, I know—not furry), horses, just about any animal you could name. I’ve written blogs before about dogs vs. cats, and asked which one you prefer. Well, I have both and I love them all. So, have you noticed I almost always have an animal in my books? There was Socks the cat in my Shadow Falls series and Riley’s cat, Pumpkin.  Adding pets gives the reader a bit more insight and compassion for my characters.

Animal Planet listed the top 5 reasons for owning a pet. Some reasons are obvious, like the stress relief that can lower blood pressure, their unconditional love can help with depression,  and they can get you up off you couch taking your dog for walks. But there were a few reasons that surprised me. Did you know that having a pet in the house can help reduce the risk of your child developing pet allergies? They can also help people and children become better socializers. And to quote my husband, “Animals make us better humans.”

 

So, take care of your pets this winter and bring them inside when it’s cold—and maybe fill their Christmas stocking with treats. And yes, to us at the Craig (aka Hunter) house, our pets are like family and they not only get stockings, but there are presents under the tree for Lady and Oh, Henry.

Do you buy your pets presents?

 

 

Happy Holidays!

Winner!

The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is Paula Bell. Congratulations! Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com and I’ll email you your gift card.

Santa’s Lap, Fun Gifts and Family Traditions

Looks as if Santa’s not quite ready for Christmas, but neither am I.

Well, I’ve got my tree up, but it’s not decorated.  I’ve been staring at the closet where all my Christmas knickknacks are, but I haven’t opened it.  However, after the rare Houston, Texas snow last Friday, I will admit it kind of jump started me into the spirit.  So I went shopping.

I squeezed through crowded aisles and found gifts.  Some are real gifts, like clothes or toys for my granddaughter, and then the rest are fun gifts.  Yes, fun gifts.  You see, at the Craig (AKA Hunter) house, Christmas is a little different.  I say that, but actually, I think every family has their own traditions. But fun presents at the Craig house is just one of the slightly different traditions of my semi-whacky family.

You see, at gift opening time, we sit in a big circle and take turns opening gifts.  Every present has a clue written on it and before a person can open a gift, he or she has to read the clue and try to figure out what it is.  If stumped, everyone will join in and try to guess.  And I admit the crazier the clue is the better the time we have.  So, in addition to the real gifts, we actually go out and buy crazy gifts to we can have some crazy, crack-you-up-laughing clues.  So there’s lots of laughter.

The second thing we do differently every year is that the whole family and anyone visiting will meet up at the mall and have Santa pictures taken.  I have pictures of my mom, my dad, even my grandmother sitting on Santa’s lap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember after my eighty-year-old grandmother got up, she looked at me, smiled and said, “Well, that was a first?”

“What?” I asked.

She answered, “I’ve never sat on Santa’s lap before.”

I remember when my son was still in the oven, and there I was on Santa’s knee, big as house.  And let me tell you, my kids hated doing this when they were teens.  Hated it!  But they still did it, and I have the pictures to prove it.

Now that they are grown, the first thing they do at Christmas is start looking at the Santa pictures.

Giveaway!!

So, are you ready for Christmas?  What Crazy traditions to you have? One person who shares, will get a $25 Amazon card.

 

 

 

Newsletter Winners & Fierce!

I have some winners to announce! Two lucky people have won copies of This Heart of Mine, my release coming out Feb. 27, 2018. How did I miss this giveaway, you ask? Well, it was a special giveaway only for the subscribers of my C.C. Hunter newsletter. You see, the last time I sent out my newsletter, I announced this giveaway. So congratulations, Connie A. Weber and Vanessa Schwab, you’ve won! Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com and send me your postal address.

Don’t miss out on my next newsletter and especially not my next giveaway. So be sure to sign up today. Just click HERE, and look for my newsletter sign up on the right hand side of the page. Maybe you’ll be my next winner. And if you already signed up in the last two weeks, due to a computer glitch, you should probably sign up again.

Have you pre-ordered This Heart of Mine? You won’t want to miss this one, and just in case you don’t win my next giveaway, you might want to pre-order it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Powell’s. 

Head over to my Website’s This Heart of Mine located under my Books page and you can read an excerpt by selecting the PDF download at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

Fierce

I’ve been asked a lot by fans when they could buy Fierce by itself. Well, now you can! Fredericka Lakota’s story is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for only $1.99.

Werewolf Fredericka Lakota prefers to be alone. Even years after being abandoned by her rogue werewolf father, she’s still never found a place for herself in Shadow Falls.

Fredericka’s only comfort comes from the jewelry she creates…and now from Brandon Hart, the owner of a new art gallery who wants to showcase Fredericka’s work.

But Fredericka’s life has gotten more complicated: she’s learned her father has died, the death angels from the falls are calling to her, an ex won’t let her go, and she may be seeing the ghost of a missing woman who needs her help. On top of all that, her attraction to the mysterious Brandon only grows stronger; but if other supernaturals won’t accept a rogue werewolf, how could a human?

Originally released as part of the anthology Almost MidnightFierce is a fast-paced, romantic thrill ride that will make you fall in love with Shadow Falls all over again.

The Mortician’s Daughter Series Cover Reveal

The first exciting novel in a brand-new series from New York Times bestselling author C. C. Hunter!


Her dad’s job is with the dead . . . and he’s bringing his work home with him.

The Mortician’s Daughter Excerpt:

“Help me!” The voice draws my attention at the same time the cold lifts goosebumps on my skin.

I look over and Abby is standing there, her back to me. I release a breath and see steam snake up in front of my face. She feels colder this time. It reminds me that Hayden isn’t cold.

“I want to help you,” I say. “What did you mean by the truth?”

“What?” Hayden asks, then looks around. “Is it Abby?”

I nod. “

Tell her if she can tell you where the ring is, I can go and make sure it’s still there. That way when we drive up there to get it, you’ll find it faster.”

I never told Hayden I’d do it. But right now doesn’t seem like the time to say that.

Abby turns around. I gasp and scoot my ass to the other side of the bed. Her face is… It’s bad. Bloody. There’s a deep gash on her cheek, one on her throat, and blood is pouring down her pale dress. Her arm is dangling downward, a bone is protruding out of her elbow.

I thought my eye was bad, but both of hers are bloody and swollen shut and one side of her head seems caved in, as if her whole cheek bone is crushed.

My heart hurts. My stomach lurches. I look away.

“What is it?” Hayden asks.

“She looks bad,” I say. This hasn’t ever happened. They always look nice. Nice like my dad leaves them.

Then I know this is what she looked like before Dad fixed her up. Instantly, my heart goes to my dad. How many times has he had to see death this ugly?

“You have to help me. Please,” she starts sobbing.

I try to look at her, but I can’t. It hurts to see her. I turn away again. Right then a knock sounds at my door. I hear it click open.

“Riley? You okay?” I swallow, turn to my dad peering inside my room, and try to hide the horror from my face.

“Yeah.” He stares at me and frowns. I hope it’s from my eye and not that he sees the sheer horror I’m feeling.

“How about we order Chinese tonight?”

I nod.

“You sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah.” I stand, refusing to look at Abby.

“You have to help me,” she pleads and her words cause a spasm of pain in my chest.

“I’ll order for us,” Dad says and moves out into the hall.

“Okay,” I manage. And I hear Dad’s footsteps tapping down the stairs.


You can order it The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave at Kobo, Indie Bound, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Cover Reveal!!

Did you know The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave is only the first book in a series of three? I love the cover, but I also love the covers for books 2 (Two Feet Under) & 3 (Three Heartbeats Away). So, I’m revealing them here.

Winner!

The winner from last week is Kate Cecce. Congratulations! You’ve won an ecopy of Christina Mandelski’s The First Kiss Hypothesis. Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com and let me know if you prefer the NOOK or Kindle version.

 

Christina Mandelski Giveaway!

I have a special guest on my blog this week. Christina Mandelski just released her second book, The First Kiss Hypothesis, and she’s here to tell us about it.

But first, let me tell you a bit about my friend, Christina. Like me, she lives near Houston with her husband, two young adult daughters and a mustachioed cat named Leonardo DiCatprio. She spends her day doing what she loves—writing stories for kids and teens. When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time at the beach, with friends, traveling, reading and eating, especially cake. Always cake.

The First Kiss Hypothesis

Thank so much for having me on the blog today – I’m such a huge fan of Christie as an author and person, I’m honored! My first young adult romance, The First Kiss Hypothesis, is out now from Entangled Crush.

My main character Nora Reid believes scientific laws control everything, even love. With her grandparents’ epic first kiss story cemented in her brain, Nora develops a hypothesis she’s determined to prove: for each person in the world, there is exactly one other person, and at first kiss, they’ll experience an immediate and intense reaction.

But after four years of zero-reaction kisses, she comes up with a new theory: maybe that pesky crush on her stunningly hot best friend Eli Costas is skewing her results.

She needs to get rid of him, and fast.

Eli Costas is an injury-prone lacrosse star with a problem—the one chance he had at winning over the girl next door resulted in the most epically sucktastic first kiss ever. And now she’s…trying to get rid of him? Hell no. It’s time to disprove her theory and show her exactly what she’s missing.

Game. On.

You can order The First Kiss Hypothesis at Amazon, IndieBound, iBooks and Barnes & Noble. 

Here’s an excerpt The First Kiss Hypothesis:

Speaking of the wrong person, I look up and lock eyes with Eli Costas, strolling toward me with a slight limp.

Immediately, my brain short-circuits and I forget what I’m doing.

Eli. Neighbor, best friend, part-time chauffeur. That hair, dark and wavy, sticking out in ways that invite you to run your fingers through it. The olive skin like a real-life Greek god, and eyes that look just like the blue oval in the watercolor sets Mom used to buy me when I was little. He’s tall, and a lacrosse maniac with an upper body to prove it. Your basic unrealistically attractive high school student usually only found in books or movies. The difference is, he’s real, and everyone wants him. Including me. It’s a battle I fight daily.

He flashes me a grin. One side of his mouth quirks up higher than the other, and a dimple cuts deep into his cheek. Holy cow.

As he moves into my airspace, I force myself to focus on counting the tortoise money. Five. Ten. Fifteen. Twenty. Twenty-five. Forty. It always takes me a minute or two to get my bearings when it comes to Eli. To remind myself that nothing can happen between us.


And now for a few questions…

How is Nora most like you?

My heroine, Nora, is different than me in many ways—especially given that she’s really, really good at math and science. I couldn’t be worse at these things—I can refer you to my high school report cards as evidence. Where we are alike, though, is that she believes that true love exists – and that it’s worth the wait. I believed this in high school, and had no intention of settling for less than the real thing. It took a while, and sometimes I thought it would never happen, but I eventually found my Eli, just like Nora does in the book. She learns that falling in love always requires some risk. It’s not an exact science, but it’s still worth going for. Another thing Nora and I have in common? God, I love pie!

What scene did you love the most?

There’s a scene that takes place in the garage of a house party – inside an old car (in my mind it’s a 70s model red Chevy Chevette – which was my dream car when I was eight years old!) This is the scene when they almost kiss, and there’s a huge shift that upsets the entire balance of their lives and friendship. I think I love this scene so much because it reminded me of a scene from a John Hughes movie – I was the target audience for those movies in the 80s – Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, etc. and they really did play a role in making me the romantic sap that I still am!

 What did you learn when writing this book?

I learned how to write category romance! My first book, The Sweetest Thing, came out in 2011, and it’s a stand-alone title. There is teen romance in it, but it’s not the central focus of the story. There is a lot of stuff about family, and friends and relationships. In The First Kiss Hypothesis, Eli and Nora’s building romance is the central focus, and even though the characters have family and friend issues – the story never strays too far from the attraction that is ratcheting up between them. Other things are going on, but it’s all about the increasing heat between them – until they get to the point when neither of them can deny it any more and then, BOOM! I loved it, thought it was great fun and can’t wait to do it again with the companion book coming out in spring 2018.

You can find Christina online (http://www.christinamandelski.com/), on Twitter (@fiction_chris), and Instagram (fiction_chris).

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Want to win an e-copy of The First Kiss Hypothesis? Leave a comment below to enter this giveaway. (This giveaway is for U.S. residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave your comment on my blog page to be entered.)

Reviews

Have you read The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave yet? If you haven’t, you can order it today at Kobo, Indie Bound, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

If you have read The Mortician’s Daughter, did you write a review? Perhaps you meant to, but never got around to it. Or maybe you never write reviews. What’s so important about reviews, anyway?  Well, they’re actually very important to authors. Book reviews left by readers on Amazon.com and Goodreads can make a huge difference in the success of an author. So many people read reviews before they purchase a book. A friend of mine is in a book club and they always check out the reviews and ratings before selecting their next book. And if your book gets a lot of reviews, it can help a book’s ranking on Amazon or help get your books into indie bookstores. Also, if your book gets lots of reviews on Goodreads, it can convince a local bookseller to stock your book. On the flip side, if you read a book you love and it doesn’t get many reviews, you might have a problem finding the author’s next book. So, if you like a book, write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Kobo, etc. The author will really appreciate it.

And if you haven’t read The Mortician’s Daughter, here’s what you’ll learn:

  • It’s tough being the new kid in school, but it’s even harder when your dad is the mortician.
  • You can make friends in the most unlikely places.
  • When you lose your mom when you’re little, it’s hard. But you miss her even more when your dad has to buy you your first bra.
  • Google is a lifesaver for all questions about puberty, but also if you want to know the signs of an alcoholic or find out how someone died.
  • Even a hot ghost with deep blue eyes and a killer smile can be sexy and can make your heart go pitter patter.
  • It always hurts when your old boyfriend starts dating someone else. It hurts even more when happens the second you move away.
  • Meeting a cute guy can feel awkward. It’s even more awkward if all you’re wearing is tiny towel.

 

Plus, you’ll fall in love. I won’t say with who, you’ll just have to read the book!

Winners!!

The winners of a copy of Mary Lindsey’s Haven are Kate C., Kanyon K., Bethany Averie and Ally. Congratulations! I know you’ll love it. Please send me your postal address at cc@cchunterbooks.com.