I’ve had fans ask me where I get the names for my characters in my books. Well, that depends…it’s kind of like asking where I get the ideas for my stories. Like my ideas for my books, I get my character names from all sorts of places. Sometimes I hear a name on TV or in a movie and I just like the way it sounds, the image it projects. Other times a baby name book can come in handy. And then there’s always the Internet. You can look up popular names, unusual names, even names by ethnicity. Did you know the top three names for babies born in 2019 in the U.S. are Olivia, Emma and Eva for girls and Noah, Liam and Elijah for boys?
So where did I get the name Cash,
the hero in my book In Another Life that releases
TODAY? My nine-year-old granddaughter. She was talking about a boy
in her school, and his name was Cash. For some reason that name created a
character who had tons of back story and secrets. I’ll even admit that
because my hero’s father is a con man, I
could see him naming his son Cash. So tell me, does a character’s name
create an impression of a person? Do we name our children because a name
fits who we think our children will grow up to be? Do you like your name?
“It’s fast paced and holds
your attention. You can whip through this book in a few days.”—Saturday Niter
from beginning to end, is captivity and the characters are one with whom I
identified and empathized.”—Macsbookshttps://tinyurl.com/y4qpw84e
“I cannot remember the last time I
read a book in a single day, butIN ANOTHER LIFE was a page-turner.”—Do You Dog-Ear https://tinyurl.com/y293lqqq
ANOTHER LIFEwas an exciting
and intriguing young adult thriller that had me devouring pages until the very
end.”—A Dream Within a Dream https://tinyurl.com/yxrn8gng
“I will recommend this book to any
mystery/thriller action book lover if you also like a little bit of YA romance
mixed with suspense and build-up tension, then you won’t want to miss
reading IN ANOTHER LIFE!—The Cozy Corner https://tinyurl.com/yxzhdwdk
“I will tell you that I devoured this read. It was so good and I couldn’t even put this book down.”—Cecily’s Book Reviews about IN ANOTHER LIFE https://tinyurl.com/yy2s8vsf
The winner from last week’s giveaway of a tote filled with cool stuff is Jennifer Prager. Email you postal address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you your prize.
Last week, I told you about an embarrassing incident in my
life and how I wish I could go back and change it. I also promised you another
thing I would have liked to change in my past in this week’s blog. So, here is
the second thing I would change if I could.
I’d have stood up to that school bully a lot
sooner than I did.
She made my life miserable for over a year. It was something that left a few scars on me and dinged my self-confidence. I think because it did leave some lingering hurt, I use this in my books a lot. In In Another Life, there’s a guy, Paul, who is a bully. He tries to intimidate my hero, Cash, as well as Chloe. Both Chloe and Cash stand up to him. Cash even puts a camera in his car and video tapes the guy to show he’s the one who keyed his Jeep. But there’s something that Cash realizes. Bullies are generally bullies because of some issue going on in their own lives. It doesn’t make it right, but Cash decides to cut this guy a little break.
“What the hell is your boyfriend up to?” A voice says behind me.
I swing around. A very angry Paul is storming toward me. Cash told me he was sending the video, so I know what this is about. “I’m pretty sure he explained it in his text,” I say and I know that, too, because I helped him write it.
“He’s trying to mess up my chances at a football scholarship, isn’t he?” He gets in my face.
I take a step back. “Get the hell away from her.” I hear Cash, and he’s running toward us.
“What are you trying to pull?” Paul yells at Cash.
“Not a damn thing. Read the damn text. Now get lost,” he says.
I see Cash’s fist held tight at his side. His expression is rock hard. Anger tightens his face. He looks ready to fight.
“What are you going to do? Take it to the coach?” Paul says.
Cash takes my arm. “Come on.” I start walking with him.
Paul bolts in front of us and takes a defensive stance. Cash releases me and grabs Paul by his shirt and slams him into a car. “Listen to me. I know your father is a piece of shit. I had one like that, too. I’m giving you a break, but it wouldn’t take much to change my mind. Now get the hell away from me! And stop trying to be like your damn father! Got it?”
In The Mortician’s Daughter series, One Foot In the Grave, Riley had a huge issue with a couple of mean girls. Riley even ends up being hit and even gets a black eye. In the second book these girls are still up to no good. I love the scene when Riley finds her spunk and uses her smarts to teach the bully a lesson.
I grab my cardboard pizza and am heading to Kelsey in the back when I’m smacked in the face with a bread roll, which drops on top of my pizza. Laughter echoes. I look around for the guilty person, but there’s really no point. It’s not like I’m going ape-shit on anyone’s ass.
I’m the one who hates conflict.
Then I see the table that’s laughing the hardest. It’s Jamie, Jacob’s ex, who has it out for me, and her minions. Candace, Jamie’s friend, waves at me. Yeah, she’s the one who picked on me the first week of school and caused a scuffle that led to me getting a black eye.
I don’t know what happens, but suddenly the idea of going ape-shit on someone is sounding better and better. I square my shoulders and head straight to her table.
I should be afraid. I should be smarter and turn around. But all I feel is anger.
I stop right behind Candace, who is looking over her shoulder at me, sneering. “Did you give her the book?” Jamie asks.
So that’s who put the book in my locker? I feel my face get hotter. “I think you lost this.” I hold up the roll and then drop it. It plops in her bowl of chicken soup.
Okay, I know this doesn’t qualify as going ape-shit on anyone, but at least I’m not slinking away. I’m turning to leave when I hear, “Freak. Does your dad get it on with the dead women in his funeral home?”
I swing around. Everyone at the table goes silent. Everyone’s holding their breath to see what I’ll do.
Honestly, I’m kind of waiting too.
Oh, I know what I want to do. I want to hit her. I’ve never ever wanted to hit anyone before. Until now. But my gut says that’s what she wants. I swallow air and try to roll back my emotions. To reevaluate. Refrain from acting. Rethink my position.
I’m not going to hit her. Not going to give her what she wants. But I’m not just walking away, either. I’m going to outsmart her. I lean down, get close to her ear, just to show her I’m not afraid. Then I whisper, “Disrespecting the dead is dangerous. Be careful.” I’m impressed at the spookiness level in my tone. “Be very, very careful.”
She laughs, but when I pull back I see it in her eyes. Fear. I think I even smell it on her. Then again, that might just be her chicken soup.
Yeah, I know I’ve probably upped my freak level, but with only three months left of school, it might be worth it.
So what about you? Did you ever have to deal with a bully?
Leave a comment and one person is going to win one of my new tote bags with some SWAG (promotional items) in it. (This giveaway is limited to U. S. residents only.)
The winner of last week’s giveaway of a tote filled with swag is Kira Moericke. Kira, please email me at email@example.com with your postal address, and I’ll send you your prize.
Calling All Writers!
Are you trying to write a story, but it’s not coming out right?
Are you procrastinating? Are you too afraid to even begin?
Well, you don’t need to feel that way anymore!
I’m going on a creative writing adventure and I want you to come
In this adventure, we’ll experience the wonder of the creative
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how to tell it and then how to share it. It doesn’t matter what you’re
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Sessions are led by international bestselling authors,
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It’s easy to come along. You don’t need writing experience.
You don’t need to be a published author to have this adventure. You can fit
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Don’t be alone in your creative process! Let’s make it playful
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I know there’s a lot going on in your life. Let’s make 2019 your best year yet by helping you get moving on your project!
Also, remember that March 26th is the release of my C.C. Hunter YA In Another Life. And because my new release is about discovering who you really are, I’m giving away an ancestry DNA kit. All you have to do is pre-order In Another Life now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indie Books and Powells. Then if you send a link or a screenshot of your order to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, you’ll be entered to win. I’ll be closing this contest on March 25th.(Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)
Hope to you see at the Wonder Quest Event. Let’s get creative!
said it many times, I hated my teenage years.
When I look back, there are so many things I wish I could go back and
change. But I can say that those
experiences are fodder for my books.
There are two things I’d change. Here is the first one and the scene
where I used my experience. I’ll share the other one next week, so be sure to
I’d have safety
pinned my bikini top on before I jumped off the high dive at the local pool.
Yup, it really happened. I was lucky that I found it, but I didn’t
even realize it was gone until after I stood up in waist deep water. So yup, I pretty much flashed everyone. When the air hit the boobs, I dropped back
down to chin deep so fast, you’d have thought a shark yanked me under. It was humiliating. And while I was quick, I know some people saw
me. Talk about embarrassed. I never went back to that neighborhood
pool. Thankfully, Dad built our own pool
the next year.
While I’ve never had a heroine lose her bathing suit top—yet—I have had Leah, in This Heart of Mine, yank her hoodie out of the dryer and rush to leave with her guy boyfriend Matt, not realizing that, due to static electricity, she had a pair of lacy panties stuck to the back of her jacket. I can say I borrowed the embarrassment I felt in the pool to write this scene.
Ponytail in place, I dig through my closet for my new long-sleeved burgundy shirt and matching hoodie. I remember I’d worn it over the weekend.
I tear off to the laundry room to see if Mom washed it. It’s in the dryer. Still warm.
I ditch the blue sweater. Yank the static-electrified tee and hoodie from the dryer, and put them on.
I’m still dressing when the doorbell rings. I fit my arm in the hoodie, grab my purse, and run out.
Mom, phone to her ear, comes to the kitchen opening. She offers me a wave and returns to the kitchen and her conversation.
I open the door.
Matt’s there. He wears the same thing he wore to school, but he gives me a quick once-over.
Approval lights up his eyes. I like approval.
“In the car. I didn’t know if I had to come in and I’m not in the mood to pick up shit in your house again.”
I laugh. We head out. I feel him staring, but when I glance at him, he looks away.
When we get in the car, I drop my purse to the floorboard. Lady tries to get in the front seat. Matt tells her no.
“Uh…” Matt’s looking at me strangely again. Almost smiling. Almost not.
“What?” I ask.
“You have . . . something stuck to the back of your jacket.
“What?” I look over my right shoulder.
“Here.” He reaches behind my left shoulder and pulls off a wispy piece of material.
It takes me one second to recognize my new lacy wine-colored panties. The static must’ve gotten them caught on my hoodie.
If you are older, what is something you would change from your teen years? If you are a teen, what would you like to change now? Leave a comment and one person is going to win one of my new tote bags with some SWAG (Promotional Items) in it. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only.)
I’ve been there. Done
it. Wore the t-shirt. Still carry a few scars.
Divorce is ugly. And
until recently, when the word was mentioned, the pain it brought bubbling to
the surface was the lingering hurt I went through with my first husband.
But when writing In Another Life, the big D took me back a little further. It took me back to being a teen, to being a teen watching the foundation of my world crumble as my parent’s marriage fell apart.
For me, like most teens, my family was my security blanket. Not a blanket that I dragged around with me, ached for, or even valued. It was simply . . . there. We were a family of five. We argued some, laughed more, but we always had each other’s back.
Dad came home from work every day. We sat at the dinner table and shared a meal
and whimpered, whined or bragged about our day.
I didn’t appreciate the family unit, because I’d always had it. I didn’t fear losing it because first,
divorce wasn’t the rampant virus then as it is today, and second, unlike the
few families I knew who’d caught the virus, my parents loved each other.
And then that security blanket, the foundation of my life,
Oh, my parents told me the same things that most parents say
to their kids. They both still loved
me. It wasn’t my fault. They’d always be there for me.
But they weren’t.
Not that they were terrible or didn’t try. You see, I’m not talking about the big
things. It’s the small ones. It’s those conversations that happened over
dinner. The fact that a flat tire was
nothing, because Dad was always there to fix it.
It’s more than just the loss of having two parents in the
house, I’m talking about the fact that my family was my tribe, and my tribe had
been torn apart.
When I was writing In
Another Life, I unintentionally tapped into the pain of the past. As a writer, I’ve always known that my life,
my own emotional journey, is the grist for my writing mill. It’s the core of my stories.
But I won’t lie to you, I was surprised when the feelings of
being a child of divorce was still so raw.
Like Chloe, my seventeen-year-old heroine in In Another Life, my parent’s divorce was bitter. Whether they meant
to or not, I felt forced to take sides.
I was exposed to the flaws of my parents that I had previously blissfully
Unlike me, Chloe is dealing with a triple whammy. While trying to wade through the loss of her
home life, she’s also dealing with her mother’s cancer. Then she learns what she believed to be true,
that she was adopted at age three, may have been a lie. A young girl who looked just like her, and
from the same town she was adopted from, was kidnapped at age three.
Were her parents behind it?
If not them, then who?
Cash, my seventeen-year-old hero, is dealing with his own serious
life issues. When he sees Chloe and
realizes she is identical to the age progression photo of his foster parent’s
missing child, he is determined to give them back the child they lost.
While searching for answers, Chloe and Cash fall for each
other. They become each other’s touch
stones. But the closer they get to the
truth, the more someone is trying to stop them.
Someone who will kill to keep the truth from being exposed.
In Another Life is a work of fiction, but there’s a lot of truth in this story. There’s even some lessons for parents struggling through divorce that could be taken to heart. I hope everyone enjoys Chloe and Cash’s journey as they let go of the past and find a future.