Family Bonds and a Giveaway!

The special bond shared between a mother and daughter is the one place in all the world where hearts can be sure of each other. Like branches on a tree, we may grow in different directions, but our roots remain one.

Last week, I talked about the bond between friends.  This week, I want to talk about the bond between a mother and a daughter, or even between a mother and a son.  Now in most of my books, I show that parents aren’t perfect.  And that’s not fiction.  Parents are humans, too.  They make mistakes. They judge too quickly.  They become over protective to try to prevent their kids from making mistakes, forgetting that sometimes the best way to learn is to make a mistake or two.  Or parents push a child in one direction, when it’s not the direction their child wants to go.

Remember Kylie’s mom?  She came off as an Ice Queen until the two of them found their way back to each other.  Kylie’s Dad had a mega flaw. But eventually, Kylie even learned to forgive him.  Della’s parents jumped to conclusions—especially her dad, and that broke Della’s heart.  I swear, I almost killed him in Unspoken.  I was so mad at him.

As teens, you get mad at your parents.  I don’t think you are always right, but neither are the parents.  Right now, I look back at my own parenting style and wish I could have changed a few things.  I can also look back at some of the advice my parents gave me, and I realize I could have saved myself a lot of pain if I’d listened.

That said, in This Heart of Mine, the parental relationships are a little different.  Matt’s mom is drowning in grief over the loss of her husband.  She hurts so badly, she doesn’t realize how badly her children are hurting.  Seeing their mother and son relationship being torn apart by grief broke my heart, but watching them find their way back together was so inspiring.

The real kicker of a bond that brought me to tears many times while writing this book was the bond between Leah and her parents.  You see Leah accepts she’s dying.  Her parents can’t accept it, but it’s killing them knowing it will probably be the outcome.  Believe me, unless you watched someone you love face probable death, watched them get sicker and sicker, that pain probably isn’t completely understandable.  And seeing them get that second chance is so mind blowing.  Because I lived through that with my husband, writing about it was so close to home for me.

But I have to tell you, I think even worse than facing that pain with a spouse would be facing it with a child.  Parents aren’t supposed to see their children die.  That’s just in the BIG RULE book in the sky.  And I count my lucky stars that both my children are healthy.

There is one scene where Leah’s mom is talking to Leah about putting her on birth control because Leah’s relationship with Matt is getting serious.  And you know how hard that subject is with your parents.  Leah doesn’t want to have it, but she knows she needs to.  Her mother doesn’t want to have it because she doesn’t want to think her daughter is ready.  Here’s an excerpt that shows both Leah and her mom dealing with this tender subject.

“I’m not having sex with him,” I blurt out. Don’t leave it there. Don’t leave it there. “But . . .”

“But what?” my mom asks.

“But I’m almost eighteen and . . .” I can’t say more, and not because it’s about sex but because . . . it’s months away. After thinking I was dying for so long, I’m barely thinking a week at a time.

I take a deep, shaky breath. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. Win or lose. That’s what life is, a bunch of chances.

“Maybe it’s not a bad idea,” I finally finish.

Mom’s pupils dilate. I don’t know if it’s disappointment or shock. Part of me feels she’s about to ground me.

“I’ll . . . make you an appointment. I just don’t want . . . Being on birth control doesn’t mean you should do something before you’re ready.”

“I won’t.” I’m shocked it was this easy.

She nods. I glance at the door. “I should go and start . . .” I don’t want to lie, so I let her assume I mean packing, but I really want to talk to Matt.

And announcing I need to speak to Matt feels like a bad idea. She might think I’m going to tell him about the birth control. I’m so not going to tell him about birth control. But right then I realize I like thinking I’m moving in that direction. I kind of like this elusive thing called a future. I’d really like Matt to be in it.

“Go,” she says.

I stand, but before I even turn she’s up and has me in a big bear hug. “My little girl is growing up and I’m not sure I’m ready.” She pulls back. Tears are in her eyes. “I still want to comb your hair and put it up in pigtails.

I smile. “And dress me in pink.”

She nods and then says, “What’s wrong with pink?”

It’s now or never. “Pink isn’t my best color.”

She looks surprised. “But I thought you . . . What about your room?”

“It’s great.” I say quickly. Too quickly.

She hears my lie. “You wouldn’t have chosen pink?”

“No, but—”

“Well, shit!” she says.

I gasp dramatically. “Just because I curse, doesn’t mean you can.”

We laugh together. “We’ll do something about your room. You can pick it out this time.”

I know she paid a fortune for all the pink. “Maybe next . . .” The word years catches on my tonsils. “Later.”

She brushes my hair off my cheek. Her eyes sparkle with mama emotion. “As much as I hate to see you grow up, less than a year ago my worst fear was that you wouldn’t. Just promise me you’ll make wise choices.”

Choices and chances. I think that’s what having a future is all about. I promise, and I mean it. This is my second or perhaps my third chance at life. I don’t want to screw it up. I know not every choice I make is going to pan out. But I’ll never know unless I try.

Giveaway!

So, do you and your parents have a bond? Tell me about it and you could win an advanced copy of This Heart of Mine. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only.)

This Heart of Mine is up for preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionPowell’s, Indiebound and iBooks. 

Winners!

I have five winners of my Name That Dog newsletter contest. Yes, five fans sent in the same name that I chose. So the winners are Heather Renee Contreras, Lori McVicar, Janine.Crawford, Melissa Ownsbey and Peyton Lapato.  I had a newsletter contest to name the dog in my next book.  I liked Buttercup the best. So, thanks, ladies! If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter, do it now. You’ll hear all my latest news, and be able to enter my very special newsletter contests. You can sign up HERE.

 

Friends

Have you ever felt a bond with someone?  That feeling as if you and this person were meant to cross paths?  As if you connect with this person in a way that you don’t with others? There are several kinds of bonds.  Friends, boyfriends, siblings, family, and mentors. Because my books have so many bonds, I thought today I would talk about the friend kind of bond.

I have friends that I feel as if we were meant to meet.  One of them, life tried to get us together several times.  Years before we became friends, I actually found her missing dog.  I called her, she came and picked it up.  She said thank you, I said no problem and we didn’t see each other for four years.  We met again at a Romance Writers of America meeting.  She looked at me and said, “I think you live in my neighborhood.  I see you walking a lot.”  We chatted and then we didn’t cross paths again for almost a year.  She had entered a contest I was holding to give away a book and she won.  I emailed her to get her address.   She remembered I lived in her neighborhood and offered to just to pick the book up.  We chatted a bit.  Then about a year later, she joined the RWA chapter I belonged to.  This time we decided to start walking together.

We met at a spot between our houses and walked.  We did that for almost a month.  Then one day, we went by her house. She lived on the street behind me.  Because the streets were not in a grid, we thought she lived about seven houses up from me.  I looked over the fence and surprise.  I was looking at my house.  For twenty years we shared the back fence.  That was eight years ago, and today we walk almost every day.  We tell each other our secrets, our life hurts.  We do a lot of laughing.

Do you remember the bond between Kylie, Miranda and Della?  Those Diet Coke round table meetings where they shared laughter and pain.  Well, in This Heart of Mine, Leah has Brandy.  Leah, in need of a new heart, and with the hardest blood type to match, has pretty much has accepted she’s going to die.  She tries to push everyone away, because she knows how much this is going to hurt the people who love her, but Brandy refuses to go.  She’s there for Leah during the surgeries, the pain, and when Leah gets her new heart, she’s there to help her learn to live again.  We all need those kind of friends.

Do you have a good friend that is there for you?  One that would be there for you through thick and thin?  And someone you would support through hard times?

THIS HEART OF MINE New Excerpt

The days are flying by, and This Heart of Mine will be released on February 27th. That’s less than a month away! This book was probably the hardest book for me to write. A lot of it came from my life. You see, this is a story about a seventeen-year-old girl who needs a heart transplant.  It’s about facing death, learning to accept life again, and learning to live with someone else’s heart.  My husband recently went through a transplant and his pain, my pain, his fear, my fear, and the learning to live again all came from personal experience.  Even the paranormal thread of feeling you have a little of the donor inside you all came from this real life experience.

So as you read This Heart of Mine you’ll learn that:

  • Everyone dies eventually. But when you always expected to die sooner rather than later, it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that you might just live to a ripe old age.
  • Sometimes it’s harder and takes more energy to have faith in a positive outcome, than it is to accept the worst.  But nothing is sweeter than when life proves you wrong.
  • Growing up, discovering who you are is hard to do when you’re dying.
  • You can be dying and still feel the butterflies from a hot guy and the perfect kiss.

This Heart of Mine is up for preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionPowell’s, Indiebound and iBooks. 

New Excerpt from This Heart of Mine

“Let’s walk Lady. Then it’s my turn to buy lunch. And it doesn’t have to be Indian food.”

Her smile pulls one out of him. “Sounds good.”

They stand up, and Lady bolts, tearing the leash from Matt’s hands. Leah runs and grabs it.

“Good catch,” he says, a few feet  behind her.

“Wait.” She swings around, running right into his arms. He catches her by the shoulders. “I . . .  I forgot my phone,” she says weakly.

Just like that, he’s back. Back in her house. Back to the second before he got the best kiss of his life.

And like before, she’s against him. Her chest moves to take in air. She’s close.

He likes close. He can smell her hair, her skin, her breath. He can feel her breasts against his chest. Dare he take a chance?

Eric would call him a coward if he didn’t.

“Oh,” he says. “I . . .  I thought you were  going to kiss me.”

***

For a second I think I’m imagining the words.  Because the same ones are fluttering like big butterflies through my mind. But I don’t waste time.

I tilt my chin up. “Do you want me to kiss you?”

He’s wearing that crooked smile. “If  you’re Leah, I’ve been wanting you to kiss me since sixth grade.”

I lift one brow. “I said seventh.”

His hands melt around my waist. “I know,” he says matter- of- factly. “I’ve wanted to kiss you longer than you have me.”

I laugh then fall right back into the part,  because this  isn’t finished. And that’s the best part.

“Is your heart strong enough?” I ask. He tilts his head down. “Are you that good of a kisser?” His eyes are so beautiful, his mouth so close, and my dreams are a breath away from coming true.

The fact that he remembers verbatim what was said on that day eight months ago makes me feel light, airy. I’m happy to be me. And I haven’t been happy to be me in a hell of a long time.

I’m a romance heroine in my own book.

I’m New Leah.

I’m not dying.

I’m so damn alive and I feel it.

I feel everything— his hands against my waist, his muscled chest against my breasts.

It’s still not enough. I need what comes next. He hesitates, as if waiting on me.

Not a problem. I’m going for what I want.

I lift up on my tiptoes and press my lips to his.

His tongue slips between my lips.

He tastes like strawberry jam, and a hint of mint. He feels strong. He feels . . .  I feel . . .

His hold on my waist tightens ever so slightly. The kiss is even better than the one before.  We’re not in my hallway where Mom is going to see.  We’re not in earshot of my dad announcing he’s home.

I feel myself easing closer. And we kiss and kiss until even this closeness doesn’t seem like enough.

Which is the point when I know we need to stop. I pull back.

I’m breathing hard. So is he.

His lips widen in the softest, sweetest, sexiest smile I’ve ever witnessed. And I’m mush. I have to lean against him to keep my knees from buckling.

“Hello,” he says.

“Hello,” I answer.

Lady chimes in with a bark.

His chin dips as if to kiss me again, but my phone rings from the bench. His smile fades. “Should you answer that?”


Leah has good memories of her first kiss with Matt, but she’ll have even better memories of their second kiss. Tell me about your first kiss. Do you remember your second kiss?

A New Book, A New Excerpt

I’m getting more and more excited over the release of This Heart of Mine on Feb. 27th.  I can’t wait to share this book with you. So read on, because I have a new excerpt from This Heart of Mine for you.

In This Heart of Mine, Leah and you will learn:

  • Best friends are always there for you—no matter what.
  • Sometimes you have to follow your heart, even if it wasn’t always yours.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a chance. Win or lose.  That’s what life is, a bunch of chances.
  • Figure out who you are and what you want. Then go do it. Do it large.
  • You need to be whoever you are and not worry about what others might think.

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?

This Heart of Mine is up for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & NobleBooks-A-Million, Powell’s, Indiebound and iBooks. 

Excerpt from This Heart of Mine

From the second Matt touches me, my fear becomes manageable. It’s as if something inside me says, Don’t worry, this is Matt.

I swallow. I can still feel his finger against my lip. Like when he kissed me, I long to memorize the feeling.

I look at him knowing I just need to get this out. But how?

Then I look into his eyes again and just say it. “When I woke up from the transplant, I started having dreams. The doctors say it’s a side effect from my medication, but . . . I think they might have something to do with Eric.”

His eyes widen. His jaw drops. I hear him inhale . . . then exhale.

He releases my hand and scrubs his palm over his face.

My fear comes tumbling back so fast I want to get out of the car. Run away. Be alone.

“I know how it sounds, but I swear, it’s the only thing that makes sense.”

“Leah, I—”

“I’m not lying.”

“I know.” He touches my hand again. “Eric’s running in the woods, isn’t he? He has a gun?”

Now it’s my turn to be shocked. “How do you know?”

“Because I’m getting the same dreams. I woke up that Sunday night he was shot with the dream. My right temple was throbbing. I know how it looks. Everyone thinks he committed suicide and that I’m in denial, but I’m not. Eric didn’t kill himself. Someone did this to him.”

I absorb what he says, but my mental sponge is so dry it takes a minute.

“I believe you. In the dream, I hear a voice. A man’s voice. He seems angry.”

Matt’s eyes widen. “What does he say? Who is it?”

“I don’t know. It’s distant, and I can’t make it out.”

“Will you tell this to Detective Henderson? Maybe he’d believe me.” His eyes light up with hope, and until then I didn’t realize how sad his eyes were.

Then the consequences of doing what he asks flash through my mind. What will my parents say? I haven’t told them. I haven’t even told my best friend.

“I . . . Won’t he just think I’m crazy? Have you told him about your dreams?”

The hope in his eyes fades. I remember I’m alive because Eric’s dead. “I’ll do it.” I blurt out.

“No. You’re right. I haven’t told him about my dreams because . . . He’s not going to believe it.”

He looks out the window as if collecting his thoughts. Then he focuses back on me. “Is it freaking you out?”

It is. “No.” I really pass my lie quota for the day. “What about you? You’re seeing it too.”

“Yeah, but we’re twins. We have a special . . . Had . . . Damn it!” He hits the steering wheel. “Someone murdered my brother. Everyone thinks he killed himself. And I don’t know how to prove he didn’t.”

He keeps mixing up his tenses, some are present as if Eric is alive, some aren’t.

I did that with my grandma.

Matt hasn’t accepted his brother’s death. I want to console him, hug him? Is it even my place?

“Maybe the dreams give us something more.” I’ve been praying the dreams would go away. Not now.

“More?” he asks.

I swallow. “Yeah. Like I didn’t see the gun at first. That came later. Maybe we’ll see other stuff.”

Matt passes a hand over his face as if trying to wipe away the hurt and grief.

“All I see is he’s running and carrying a gun—he’s in different parts of woods.” His voice catches. “He’s so scared. I think he knows he’s going to die.” The pain in Matt’s eyes is so raw that it bleeds onto me. I feel it. The stickiness on my skin. The stain of it on my soul. “I’m sorry.”

Winner!

The winner from last week’s giveaway is Megan S. Congratulations! You’ve won an ARC of This Heart of Mine. Please email your postal address to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com.

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.