Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! I love this time of year. I decorate my house with jack-o-lanterns, spider webs and ghosts.  The first two things don’t really bother me, but the ghosts? Well, they give me the heebee geebees! Probably because I had a very weird experience with ghosts. Want to hear my story? I previously posted this as a guest blog on Confessions of a Bookaholic, but I’ll repost it here.

The Little Girl No One Cried For

I was thirteen and I woke up that morning with sunshine spilling through my window.  I stretched my hands over my head and it hit me—the memory of a dream I’d just had came rushing back.   There had been no sunshine in the dream.

It was spooky, but more strange and sad.  Like an old movie, I could still see it playing in my mind.  But unlike a movie, my memory came with all five senses.  The smell of wet earth and the scent of a storm brewing somewhere close by.  I could feel the wind hit my face, blowing my blonde hair across my eyes.    Tombstones, aged and cracked, littered the ground around me.  All was silent—deadly silent.

A small group of people stood quietly by a gravesite.  All wearing black.   Even the sky held a dismal shade of sadness.  There seemed to be no color in the image—no joy, all drab and gray.   I stared at the faces of those grieving people.  Did I know them?  Yes, but . . . vaguely.   And from where?

Immediately, my gaze shifted to the casket.  The tiny polished box carried the only color in the scene.   A bright pink ribbon rested on top.   My gaze shot back to the people again.  They weren’t crying.  For some reason that seemed odd.  They needed to cry.   Cry for the child who obviously lay tucked inside that casket.  The child who would never run and play and who would never know life.

I studied the faces of the people again, trying to remember where I’d seen them. How could I know them when they looked so out of place?  Like people from old pictures.  People from another time, another life.

And then came the realization.  The woman dressed in a thick black wool coat, hugging herself against the cold and staring at the casket with empty emotion, was my grandmother, but younger.  A lot younger.   The woman today was old, in her late sixties.  But yes, I remembered seeing her younger face in family photo albums.

Then, I recognized the other people.  My mom and dad when they were young.    My grandfather and one of my uncles.   My gaze shifted from one person to the next.

Then it went to the casket.

Who had died?   Part of the answer came with the next cold whisk of wind:  A baby.  A baby girl.

I wanted to tell someone how sorry I was.  Emotion built in my chest.  A crazy thought hit.  Someone needed to cry for the child.  I stood back from the crowd, not really present, but somehow still there.  I felt the odd sadness.   But why weren’t they crying?

Then my grandmother, my mom, dad and uncle were gone.   As if they’d vanished into the air.  I saw the casket being lowered into the gaping chasm.  Abruptly the dream changed and I saw the gravestone.  It simply read, Our baby girl: Christie.

Christie?  CHRISTIE?  That was my name.   How could the baby have my name?  That’s when I’d woken up.  My heart still thumped against my breastbone at the memory, and I had tears in my eyes.  Not wanting to be alone, I went and found my mom cooking breakfast.

I told her about the dream, about the casket with the pink ribbon and seeing my name on the gravestone.

I saw shock hit my mom’s face.  “What is it?” I asked, but was almost scared for her to answer.

“This is weird.”

“What?”

“Your grandmother got pregnant a few months after your dad and I were married.  It was a girl.  She only lived a few weeks.  You were named after her.”

The spookiness tiptoed up my spine as chills skittered up my neck.   I looked at my mom and asked, “Why didn’t anyone cry?” Suddenly, I burst into tears.

My mom’s faced paled even more.  “Your grandma told everyone no tears.  She said she couldn’t handle the tears.  We weren’t allowed to cry.”

I dropped down into a kitchen chair and asked the question burning inside me.  “How could I have dreamed this?”

“I’m sure you heard the story,” Mom said.

“When?  When could I have heard the story?   I swear I never knew about her before now.”

“I don’t know, but you had to have heard it.  How else would you have known this?”

How else?

To this day I think about that dream.  I think about the little girl, my namesake.  Did I really hear someone tell that story and my mind simply played it back as a dream?  Or did the spirit of Christie somehow visit me?  Did she need me to know about her?   Did she need someone to cry for her?

I guess you see why my Shadow Falls series involves ghosts.  There’s a part of me that believes in them.  What about you?  Do you believe in ghosts?

Last Week’s Winners

Boy, do I ever have some wonderful multi-lingual readers! As I said last week, I speak English and Spanish, but some of you speak three, four or even more languages. Very impressive! Anyway, the two winners of the German copies of Whispers at Moonrise are Brooklyn Gotelaere and  Tiara.   Please email your mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com. Congratulations!

 

Under Cover

I get a lot of wonderful emails. Thank you so much—to all of you. Many of you write to tell me how much you like my books or to ask me questions. And I’m always surprised when I get emails from Brazil, The Netherlands, Australia or other faraway places. They have read my books, or at least one or two of them, because they are released later in other countries. I still can’t believe my books have been translated into so many languages. It is so exciting when my publisher sends me a foreign cover for one of my books. You may have seen this cover of Born at Midnight from Denmark from my website Book page.

 

 

Earlier this month, a friend of mine was at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany and was kind enough to send me a few photos of my books on display there. What a thrill to see shelves full of Born at Midnight, or should I say Geboren um Mitternacht. I wish I could have gone to the book fair, but as I said in last week’s blog, I was a little busy finishing up Chosen at Nightfall. Oh well, there’s always next year….

 

My friend also sent me a close up photo of the German Born at Midnight cover, and the cover of Awake at Dawn, otherwise known as Erwacht im Morgengrauen. And just this week, another reader sent me the French version of Taken at Dusk. In France, it seems all of the books in the series are called Born at Midnight or Nes a Minuit, but are labeled books 1, 2, 3, etc.  I wanted to share them with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The foreign covers are all very similar to the US versions, but how are they different? If you look closely, you’ll see the subtle changes. Well, yeah, the German Born at Midnight cover is the same, but what about the others? So, do any of you speak German? How about any other languages? I speak Spanish.

To celebrate the upcoming release in Germany of Awake at Dawn, which I think is out in December, I’ll give a signed German copy of Born at Midnight along with a Shadow Falls bag and some other goodies to two people who leave a comment. If you are reading this on Goodreads, please post your comment at www.cchunterbooks.comin order to win. US residents only, please.

Endings—and Beginnings

Okay, it’s finished. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but I have finished Chosen at Nightfall, the final book in my Shadow Falls series. Let me tell you, Kylie gets herself in a whole heap of trouble, and I wasn’t sure how or if she was going to get herself out of it. But, smart girl that she is, she surprised me and came out the other side. However, everything has a cost, and this was no exception. As for the choice between Derek or Lucas, it was tough, and someone gets their heart broken. I can’t say who because my editor would kill me. And besides, as I have said before, I’m no spoiler.

What I can tell you is this. In this last trek of her journey she finds a new enemy, deals with a spirit who has blood on her hands. And she is presented with something from the death angels, and in the end, she discovers that anything is possible.

It was very emotional to write “The End” and say goodbye to Kylie, Lucas, Derek, Miranda, Della, Holiday, Burnett, Perry, and the others. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and Kylie had finally completed her journey. I cried—a lot, not just at the end, but throughout the book. I also laughed, too, and I hope you will as well. So, even though it will be a while until Chosen at Nightfall is released, it is now finished and in the hands of my publisher. I will post a countdown on my website Home page, soon.

What’s next for me? Well, did I mention I already have a contract for another series with St. Martins? I can’t give out a whole lot of details just yet. Oh, boy, I’m keeping all kinds of secrets, aren’t I? Sorry.  However, I can say that I think you will find all the things you love about Shadow Falls in the new series: a unique paranormal world, characters you can easily fall in love with, a book about friendships and family, hot guys, lots of emotion, and tons of laughter. I had a blast writing the proposal and I can’t wait to get started on it. So keep checking my blog because I will be able to tell you more as I get into this next series.

Last Week’s Winners

As for last week’s blog on Holiday and Burnett, overall, Holiday #1 was the favorite and Burnett #4 barely beat out #3. The winners of the two t-shirts are Josie Taylor and Michelle Pope. Congratulations! So, email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your mailing address AND your t-shirt size.

Appearances

Whispers at Moonrise has been out a whole week, and I know a lot of you have already read it. I’ve gotten loads of emails and comments on Facebook. So, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you.

We had a lot of fun a few weeks ago when I asked you to vote on how you thought Miranda and Della looked. So, I thought we’d try it again. But this time, I’m going to ask you to vote on the images that most look like your idea of Holiday and of Burnett. Now we know Holiday has long red hair and that she’s a Fae. Burnett, well, we don’t have a lot to go on about his looks. He is a vampire and he’s obviously hot, right? Hmm…you’ll have to see if any of these photos fit your image of Burnett. I’ll pick two people who leave a comment and give each of them a Shadow Falls t-shirt.

First, here are four images of Holiday. Which one most closely fits your image of her?

Holiday #1                           Holiday#2

 

 

 

 

Holiday #3                           Holiday #4

 

 

 

 

Now how about the serious vampire Burnett, who works for the FRU. Who most closely fits your idea of what he looks like?

Burnett #1                             Burnett #2

       

 

 

 

Burnett#3                              Burnett#4

 

 

 

 

Okay, tell me who you’d pick for Holiday and Burnett. And remember I will randomly select two people who leave a comment and each will win a Shadow Falls t-shirt. Don’t forget, if you are reading this on Goodreads, you must go to www.cchunterbooks.com to post your comment to win. Sorry, US residents only.

Winners

Now for last week’s five winners of the Shadow Falls t-shirts and promotional packs of pens, bookmarks and pads. 1)Arlene L.  2) Essie B.  3) Connie Trinh  4) Dinnie and 5) Katie Zeleski.  The winners need to email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your mailing address and t-shirt size. Congratulations!

Whispers at Moonrise!

It’s here! The big day is FINALLY here! You know what I’m talking about. It is release day for Whispers at Moonrise. Thanks for waiting so patiently for this day. But you don’t have to wait any longer.

So what happens in Whispers at Moonrise? Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter have been getting my list of things you’ll learn in Whispers at Moonrise, but I’ll post it here for those who haven’t seen it.

1. Kicking your boyfriend’s father’s butt might not be good for the relationship.
2. Sometimes following your heart means breaking some rules.
3. Getting trapped in a grave with three dead girls is not a walk in the park.
4. Your parents breaking up sucks. Your mom having a boyfriend, and kissing him in front of you, sucks BIG TIME.
5. When your boyfriend says one thing, but does another, what do you believe? His actions or his words?
6. You can’t always protect the ones you love. Sometimes the only way to protect them is to tell them the truth—even if it hurts.
7. When you are in love, you usually want to talk a lot more about your boyfriend than your girlfriends care to hear.
8. You shouldn’t mess with magic if you don’t know what you’re doing. Especially when someone could end up sterile.
9. Sometimes it is the little choices we make, and not the big ones, that define who we are.
10. Be careful what you wish for or you might end up turning a bright shade of red in the boys’ bathroom.

Okay, but what about for those that know all that? Hmmm…looks like I may have to reveal a few more things.  Like Kylie learns that there is a bit of magic in all of us. And when someone is willing to kill for you, they just might not be the enemy you thought them to be. I could say more, but I think it would be better if you just read the book.

To celebrate the release of Whispers at Moonrise, I will be appearing at a number of places for signings and talks. So, here is my schedule, but keep in mind, I will probably be adding to this list. I will keep you updated on Facebook and Twitter. I hope many of you can attend. I’d LOVE to meet you!

October 16th, 7:30 PM, Houston Bay Area Romance Writers of America, Kirkmont MUD Building, 10102 Blackhawk Road, Houston, TX 77089 http://www.hbarwa.com

Oct. 17th, Teen Book Club, 5:00 PM ,South Regional Branch Library, 2101 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380

Oct 27th, 2 PM, Barnes and Noble, The Woodlands Mall,1201 Lake Woodlands Dr. #3008, The Woodlands, TX 77381, 281-465-8744 I will be signing and doing a panel talk. Also on the panel are Sophie Jordan –author of the Firelight series and Joy Preble author of Dreaming Anastasia.

November 10th, San Antonio Texas, San Antonio Express-News Children’s Book Celebration—The auditorium of the Tri-Point YMCA

March 15-17th, the SoCal RWA Conference at the DoubleTree Hotel in Santa Ana, CA.

March 29 -30th, Richardson, Texas, Dreamin’ in Dallas, Dallas Area Romance Writers of America http://www.dallasromanceauthors.com/conferences/

April 24- 27th, Texas Library Association Annual Conference,
Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas http://www.txla.org/events

Feb. 2, 2013, Montgomery County Book Festival –Lonestar College, 3200 College Park Drive, Conroe, Texas.  http://www.montgomerycountybookfestival.com/

So, do you have your copy of Whispers at Moonrise yet? Did you preorder it? Are you getting it today? Leave a comment and I will pick FIVE lucky winners to receive a Shadow Falls t-shirt and a promotional pack of pens, bookmarks, and pads. If you are reading this on Goodreads, you must leave your comment at http://cchunterbooks.com/blog/ in order to win. Sorry, US residents only, please.

Winner

Last week’s winner of Whispers at Moonrise is Calista Davis. Congratulations! Email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your mailing address.