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.