Blessed by the Cover Gods

I recently got a picture of my new baby.  By baby, I mean my new book.  By picture, I mean the cover.  Yes, I got the cover for Taken at Dusk, book three in my Shadow Falls series.  And I really like it.  I also just finished the book so I’m really excited about this third installment of Kylie’s story.

So what’s happening in Taken at Dusk?  Well, it’s very emotional, it’s funny, and it’s passionate.  With both Lucas and Derek back at camp, the romantic tension escalates.  Kylie and her two roommates, Della and Miranda, make a pact about boys.  The paranormal world is bigger than ever as Kylie struggles to change Fate and learns some very hard lessons.  Perry is up to his old tricks and creates storm of chaos that nearly takes down the dining hall.  I know, I know, you guys are still waiting for book two, Awake at Dawn.  But I just wanted to share the cover and just a few tidbits.

Now, back to the cover or shall I say, covers.  I love putting them side by side.   I love the running theme of a small person in a big place.  I love that each cover hints at the story within: a young girl searching for something bigger than herself.  In a lot of ways, that theme defines Kylie’s character.  She feels small as she struggles to find her place in the world, to discover who and what she is.

Many of you have emailed me and asked how many books there will be in the series.  I still can’t tell you exactly, but I can tell you this. The series doesn’t end at book three.

Now, because I’m going to be plotting book four, and introducing a few new characters, I need you guys to help me.  I totally suck at coming up with names.  So I decided to launch a contest to let one of my readers choose the name of a new character.  To win, just make sure you leave a post and tell me the name you want me to use.  And tell a friend.  On July 15th, I’ll be drawing one name out of the hat and I will use it in book four.  So get you name into the contest by leaving a post at my blog.

 

 

 

You Can’t Go Home Again. Or Can You?

Have you ever noticed that when you leave home, you leave pieces of yourself there? Like your friends and family. You leave footprints in the sands of time, and you leave memories in the hearts of people you love. You also take pieces of home with you when you go.

You take your own memories, your accent, your distinctive way of looking at the world because you walked on that particular piece of earth. You take a few scars—some emotional, some physical—that you earned doing some things you maybe shouldn’t have done. You take the lessons you learned, like who you are, and the moral compass that will guide you for the rest of your life. All of it, the memories, the lessons, the people and even the accent are unique because you lived in that certain place and were surrounded by those certain people.

And those people in Gadsden, Alabama, my home town, are open, friendly and welcoming. They are easy to get to know and hard to leave; they’re the kind of people who hug you the first time they meet you. The kind of people who don’t put up fronts, but invite you to know who they really are.

I drove past the house in Alabama City where I lived most of my younger years. Darn, it’s so small! I saw some of the trees I used to climb. Trees were I used sit under in the shade and make necklaces of wild flowers. I crossed over railroad tracks, the same tracks where, when I was young, I pretended were balancing beams. I’m pretty sure that accounts for a couple of those scars. I walked past the house where I got my first kiss. While Texas is also my home, I will forever be an Alabamian. I’m a Dixie girl.

And this last week, I went home to Dixie. I spent time with my dad, my niece, my nephew (waving at Austin) and my dad’s girlfriend, AKA, my favorite shopping buddy, plus some old friends and my cousin. We bought shoes and purses, watched old western movies, talked about our favorite authors, watched Austin play video games, and drank coffee at my dad’s favorite restaurant–the Waffle House.

I did a lot of things I do when I go home, but this visit I did even more. The Gadsden Public Library asked me to help kick off their summer reading program for teens. Carol York and Nicole, GPL employees, escorted me to three different local high schools (I swear she wasn’t speeding) where I got to talk to the students about my book Born at Midnight and about being a writer. I visited Gadsden High, Gaston High, and Glencoe High. (Yeah, they love the letter “G” back home.)

I got to meet and greet the teens who are high on life–teens, who, like the characters in my Shadow Falls series, are trying to discover who they are, and how they will fit into this world. I loved every moment of it. All the schools were wonderful, but one offered a slightly more poignant punch for me. Glencoe High is where I went to school. While most of the school has been rebuilt, I still took a trip down memory lane. I realized that while I didn’t know I would end up writing when I walked the halls of that school when I was a teen, so many of my characters were born there. Because when I went to recall what it was it like to be a teen, you can bet I went back to those halls. I recalled the not so tasteful school lunches, and the feelings of excitement, anxiety, and insecurities that I carried inside me. I remembered with clarity the need to fit in, the crushes I had on certain boys, and the dreams of where my life would take me.

Then there was the big teen event at the Library. I got to meet old friends I hadn’t seen in years. (Sorry Debbie for getting you confused with someone else!) I got to meet fans who drove over an hour to come see me, and mother/daughter groups who both have read my book. I got to see old fans who came to see my Christie Craig events in the past. We laughed, we got silly, and I made more memories and put a few more footprints in the sands of time in my hometown.

If you haven’t gone home in a while, I don’t care where you are from, I recommend you give it a try. And thank you, Gadsden, and a huge thank you to Carol and Nicole and all the schools who invited me in for making my trip home such a wonderful experience.

C.C.

Gaston High School


 

 

 


 

Glencoe High School


 

 

 

 

 

Gadsden High School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gadsden Public Library Teen Event


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Newsletter Contest Winners!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I’m pleased to announce the winners of my Newsletter contest.  I chose three names at random.  Each will win a $10 Amazon gift card, which is valid for US residents, only.  (Sorry, international folks!)

To claim your prize, please send me an email from the link at my “Contact Me” page here at my website.  If I haven’t heard from you after 10 days, I will choose another winner(s).

Okay, so here are the winners.  I’ve included your name and part of your email address so you can recognize yourself.)

Lindsay  (americangirlie1991@…)

Leann Johnson  (yabookqueen@…)

Shane DuToit  (shanedutoit@…)

 

Congrats!

C.C.

One Day Auction

Hi, Guys,

Happy Monday!  I’m getting ready to head out to Alabama for the Gadsden, Alabama Teen Fest, which takes place on Thursday, May 19th beginning at 5:30 pm.  If y’all live close by, please come out and visit.  We’ll have a blast!

Also, a quick reminder—today is the one day auction for my Shadow Falls basket to support juvenile diabetes in Romantic Suspense Author Brenda Novak’s fundraiser.  So, what is Brenda auctioning off?  Lots of great Shadow Falls stuff!

My Shadow Falls basket – Link to Auction – contains an autographed copy of Born at Midnight, Book 1 of my YA paranormal series Shadow Falls, a necklace and pair of earrings inspired by my series, some Shadow Falls-themed chocolate M&M’s and some promotional swag. The auction ends tonight at 8:58 PM PST (or 1158 PM EST.)

Please spread the word about the auction, and about this worthy cause.

C.C.

 

Brenda Novak Auction for Juvenile Diabetes

Hi, Guys,

Juvenile diabetes is a terrible disease that impacts millions of children every year. There is no cure for diabetes, which means that these children will grow into adults who have to live with the disease for the rest of their lives. Romantic Suspense Author Brenda Novak holds an auction every May to support research into combating juvenile diabetes, and I’m so proud to be able to contribute a Shadow Falls basket to such a worthy cause.

 

My Shadow Falls basket – Link to Auction – contains an autographed copy of Born at Midnight, Book 1 of my YA paranormal series Shadow Falls, a necklace and pair of earrings inspired by my series, some Shadow Falls-themed chocolate M&M’s and some promotional swag. The basket will be offered in a one-day auction on Monday, May 16th that ends at 8:58 PM PST (or 1158 PM EST.) Please spread the word about the auction, and about this worthy cause.

C.C.

Three Questions from Nocturne Romance Reads

REMINDER:  Don’t forget to check out the jewelry contest at http://writebybethany.blogspot.com.Happy Tuesday!

This week, I’m running another three questions posed to me by one of the fabulous bloggers who interviewed me during the release of Born at Midnight.  Today, I’m showcasing Nocturne Romance Reads.  Click here to read the complete interview and to check out their fabulous blog:  http://www.nocturnereads.com/E-H.html#anchor_40

Here are Nocturne Romance Read’s Three Questions:

1: Can you share with us how you got started into writing?

C.C.:  Good question.  I know a lot of writers who claim they were born with a pen in their hands, already trying to clean up their first drafts.  It wasn’t like for me.  I’m dyslexic.  I didn’t learn how to read until about the third grade, I’m a terrible speller and often I get words and sentences backwards.  School was hard, so I didn’t entertain the idea of being a writer early on.  However, along with the hardships of dyslexia, come a few gifts.  I was very intuitive, picked up on people’s emotions, and often fed those extra emotions into my imagination.  By thirteen, I was creating stories the size of novels in my head, but I still didn’t dream of writing them down.  It wasn’t until I was 23 and my new hubby suggested I go back to school to become a teacher that I admitted I sort of would like to try my hand at writing.  It took a lot of learning to get my stories on paper.  But a short ten years later, (Yes, I mean that tongue and cheek) I published my first book—a Silhouette Romance. When I had trouble selling the second novel, I went into writing for magazines.  I worked full-time as a photojournalist for several years.  In 2000, I decided to go back and try my hand at writing novels again. It took me six years to break back in. By that time, I’d written eight complete novels and six proposals.  But the day I sold, I sold four books.  One of my biggest achievements occurred a year later when Faye Hughes and I sold a how-to book on writing, called The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel.  And I haven’t stopped writing books since then.  I consider myself very lucky to do what I love for a living.

2: What made you decide to write in YA genre?

C.C.:  As a writer, I love writing stories of all kinds.  However, writing Young Adult wasn’t really a path I was on, but more like an adventure I stumbled upon as I was pursuing my dream of writing.  I’ve always loved ghost stories.  I actually wrote one romance with a ghost story subplot.  Then, several years back, before I sold my first humorous romantic suspense to Dorchester, I had written a humorous paranormal romance.  I loved writing it, too.  And while it didn’t sell, it caught the attention of several editors.  One of those editors was Rose Hilliard with St. Martin’s Press.

A couple of years later, Rose actually approached me and asked if I would be interested in trying my hand at writing a YA paranormal series.  The thought scared the poo out of me and that’s what closed the deal.  I mean, any time something really scares me, it sparks my stubborn dyslexic spirit and I feel as I have to give it a shot, or I’ll be stamped with the wimp logo.  And I’m not a wimp!  So I went for it.

Rose actually said she thought of me to write YA because my writing tone was . . . smartass.  (Can I say that on this blog?)  I told her, “You know what, my mama told me that being a smartass would never get me anywhere.”  And it looks like my mama was wrong.  I love writing YA paranormal romances.  I’m able to bring my love of ghosts and my love of all the woo-woo paranormal stuff to this series.  I’m having a blast.

3: What is next in the works for you?

C.C.:  Well, Awake at Dawn, Book 2 in the Shadow Falls series, will be out in October, and I’m excited about that.  Right now, I’m working on my third book in the series and really loving it

In August as Christie Craig, I have Don’t Mess With Texas, the first humorous romantic suspense in my new series, Hotter In Texas, for Grand Central Publishing.

This year I’ve started two new series with two new publishing houses.  I feel so fortunate to be where I am in my career.   I’m living my dream.

One of my favorite parts about this interview is that I got to talk about how I got started on my path to becoming a writer, which is allowing me to live my dream.  And that’s leading me to my question for you to answer.  Are you living the life you’ve always dreamed of living?  Do you have goals that you haven’t yet attempted to reach?  Come on.  Share a little.

C.C.

Contest!  Contest!

Win beautiful necklaces and earring sets.  The Great Jewelry iveaway at Write By Bethany’s blog started today at:  http://writebybethany.blogspot.com.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 3rd, all my readers can enter to win a beautiful necklace and earring set that was designed and named for my series, Shadow Falls, titled Shadow Falls  #1.   The jewelry was made by Kathy of Beadmore Designs (her website link is: http://www.beadmoredesigns.com/home .  All you have to do to enter is post a comment and mention the name Shadow Falls.  So make sure you post!