Excellence

When I sit down to write a book, I want to write the very best book I can. I’m not happy if it is just good. Heck no, I want it to be excellent.  After all, I didn’t set out against all the odds of being a published author to write so-so books. If I had, well, I can tell you I never would have gotten published in the first place. My constant search for excellence got me thinking….

Right now, the world is watching the very best athletes on the planet compete in London at the Olympic Games. These are people who have dedicated their lives to their particular sport.  I’m sure every one of them was tempted at some point to give up on their dream of competing at the Olympics. Don’t you think those gymnasts would like to eat a Twinkie now and then? Maybe Ryan Lochte wanted to go to the movies with his friends instead of swimming laps? But did they? Probably not. They stayed focused on their goal, their constant journey to achieve excellence—to be the best of the best.

Now I’m not going to compare myself to an Olympic athlete. My exercise consists of a brisk morning walk. But I like to think I do have one thing in common with them. Like them, I have kept focused on my dream. Kylie, too, has kept her focus on discovering what type of paranormal she is and how to use her powers. And she has had quite a few distractions, but her main goal has remained constant. You’ll be surprised in Whispers at Moonrise all that Kylie learns and exactly what powers she discovers.  At one point, those powers leave her pretty darn frightened. But like an Olympian, she faces her challenges, and stays true to her goal.

I set out many years ago, not to win an Olympic gold medal, but to be a published author. I stayed focused and I achieved that goal.  And every time I sit down at my computer, I give it my all, and write the very best book I can. I owe that to myself and my readers.  Those Olympic athletes never gave up on their dreams, and neither did I.  And neither should you.  Commit to your dream and stay focused. You never know how far you can go.

So tell me your dreams. What do you want to achieve? I’ll give away a Shadow Falls t-shirt to one of you who answers my question.

Derek and Lucas

We have heard quite a lot from Kylie lately. So many of you wrote in such great questions for her to answer. And she answered them admirably, even the more difficult ones. I’m proud of her, but then she is one of the bravest people I know.

Anyway, I thought it would be a change of pace if I asked Derek and Lucas a question. I mean, why should Kylie always be put on the spot? Besides, she is trying to decide between the two of them, and maybe their answers might help.

I sat down with each of them separately. After all, they hardly get along, and I didn’t want to start a fae-werewolf war.

CC: If you could take Kylie anywhere on a special date, where would it be?

Derek: *He is silent for a moment, then a slow smile spreads over his face.* I’d take her back to our special place by the creek. Kylie likes it there, even though that’s where she saw the snake. I can tell when she’s there, she gets relaxed and comfortable. It’s as if she can stop worrying about things. I’d love to take her there again and just listen to the water flowing and look up at the trees. I think it was there that we first really connected. Our first kiss almost happened there. *He glances up at me with those green eyes, then quickly looks away.* And while it didn’t happen, in those first few seconds, I knew kissing her was going to be addictive.

CC: Okay thanks, Derek. I’m sure my readers will be interested to know.

CC: Okay, Lucas, I asked Derek this same question, and now it is your turn. If you could take Kylie anywhere on a special date, where would it be?

Lucas: *He rubs his chin, deep in thought.* Well, Kylie had told me how great theme parks are, with roller coasters and crazy rides. I’m not sure that I would totally get into them , but I think she wants me to experience it. I can tell she kind of likes them, so I would like to share it with her. It would be so good to just be somewhere with her and not have to worry about my pack watching and giving me warning looks about letting my feelings for her grow. *He leans toward me and lowers his voice.* Doesn’t any of my pack understand that’s it too late, I already care too much?

CC: Thanks for answering, Lucas.

So there you have it. That was my question for Derek and Lucas. What question would you ask them if you had the chance?

Winners

Thanks to everyone who responded to my Itty Bitty blog. Unfortunately, I could only pick five t-shirt winners and five notepad and pen winners.

The t-shirt winners are Jennifer Drew, Missy, Daz, Margaret Kosmata and Amanda.

The notepad and pen winners are Regina, Caroline, Isabel, Tess and Ariel.

Please email your mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com by July 30.

Itty Bitty

This week I’ve been getting ready for my Romance Writers of America conference. I’ll be jumping on a plane on Friday to go to California. I’ll be signing my books at RWA’s Autographing for Literacy at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday, July 25 from 5pm to 8pm. Pop in to see me if you are in the area. Ahh, but this week, I’ve been shopping. While I know a lot girls and women love shopping, I think I missed out on getting the shopping gene.

I think part of the reason I’m not the biggest fan of shopping is because for me, shopping is hard work. You see, I’m short. And it’s just hard to find things that fit. Ugh. If I had three wishes, growing a few inches would be my wish. And I would also like to have bigger feet. Do you know how hard it is to find size five and half shoes? I spent a whole day shoe shopping. Seven stores and four hours later, I finally found one pair of shoes.

I had a friend in high school, a tall friend, who wanted to be petite. While she longed to be small and cute. I longed to be tall and glamorous. I guess we always want what we don’t have, right?

But seriously, I think tall people have the advantages that us short people don’t have. I can’t put anything on top of the refrigerator without getting a chair. You should see me trying to slow dance with my six-feet-two-inch hubby. I don’t even like talking to him when we’re standing up, because I get a neck ache.

Even grocery shopping can be difficult when what I want is on the top shelve. If you’re ever in the Houston area and you see a short blonde climbing on the grocery shelves to reach the light raspberry salad dressing, it might be me.

Today in honor of being itty bitty, I’m giving away some t-shirts—itty bitty T-shirts. You see, when I ordered my first t-shirts, the small size was…extra small. So I have extra shirts in the extra small size.

So speak up itty bitty fans. This is your week. Five people will win an extra small shirt. And just so I’m not leaving out my other fans, five other people will win a Shadow Falls note pad and pen. So . . . make sure all you guys leave a comment and tell me if you are applying for the t-shirt or the note pad and pen. Sorry, due to mailing cost, only USA residents. The winners will be announced on the blog next week. So make sure you come back and see if you won and then send me your snail mail address for me to mail out your shirts and prizes.

Have a great week and I hope to see some of you in California.

 

My BIg News

I have big news! The fifth, and final book, in my Shadow Falls series will be called Chosen at Nightfall. Don’t you just love the title? I do! I don’t have a cover yet, but it is coming soon, and when it does, I’ll share it with you. And while I have been working on Chosen at Nightfall a lot this summer, I’ve still found some time to have a little fun. I spent the 4th of July weekend in Alabama with my dad. I always enjoy going back to my hometown to visit family and friends. I also went to California for a book signing in Oceanside. It was such a thrill to meet so many of my fans.

Now, I am getting ready to go back to California for the Romance Writers of America Conference in Anaheim. I’ll be signing my books at RWA’s Autographing for Literacy at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday, July 25 from 5pm to 8pm. Not only is it a wonderful chance for you to meet about 500 authors, but all the proceeds go to literacy programs. So, if you live in California, try to come on by. (And, yes, I know it is a big state. It’s like when I meet someone who knows somebody from Texas, and they ask if I know them.) But if you live around Anaheim, I’d love it if you came to my signing. Or maybe you just know someone who lives there, and you can tell them about it.

And more big news? Born at Midnight is at number 18 on the Best Seller List in Germany. Danke, to all my German readers! (I am jumping up and down here!)

Have you checked the Whispers at Moonrise countdown on my home page, lately? Yup, just 83 days left. I know, it seems like a lot, but it will pass quickly. So, to help you while you wait, I thought it would only be fair if I revealed a couple of things that happen in Whispers at Moonrise. First of all, Kylie finally admits she is in love with …someone. No, I’m not going to tell you who. Do I look crazy? That is something you’ll have to wait for. And secondly, somebody saves Kylie’s life in Whispers, and you’ll be shocked when you find out who it is.

Are you having a fun summer? Any great travel plans? Going to Anaheim, maybe? If so, I hope to see you there!

July 4th!

Happy 4th of July! Also known as Independence Day, it celebrates the day in 1776 when our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Now how celebrating U.S. independence evolved into family cookouts, I’ll never know. But I am extremely grateful.

Every 4th of July I love to get together with my family and friends, throw some burgers or a brisket on the grill, and make up a batch of potato salad. And maybe when the brisket is cooking, I’ll find some time to curl up in a corner with a good book from my “to be read” pile (which gets higher every time I look). I am reading Alyson Noel’s Fated at the moment, and I am looking forward to finding a few minutes to read tomorrow so I can find out what else is going on with Daire Santos.

Then there are the fireworks! Now that’s a fitting way to celebrate the birth of the U.S. I always look forward to watching the sky light up with colorful fireworks. Of course, my cats and dog hate fireworks.  So that means I have to do some serious cuddling at night fall.

What are your plans for the 4th of July? Do you have any traditions? If you are going to do a bit of reading over the holiday, what are you reading?