Edinburgh!

Well, Hubby and I took off to Scotland.  Can I say wow?  I took loads of pictures and for the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of those on my blog.  I’ll start with where we landed in this great country, Edinburgh.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place where everywhere you look, every glance over your shoulder, turn of your head, there’s another photograph to take.  The city is so old you feel it when you amble through the streets. 

When we got there, the Fringe was happening.  The Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world. Street entertainers at every corner.  Music, bands, and tons of shopping. Our favorite thing to do was to find a pub on the Royal Mile, sit outside sipping wine and people watching.

We lucked out and the Royal Edinburgh Military tattoo was happening while we were there too, and we got tickets.  This is an annual series of Military tattoos performed at the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands and display teams.  It was colorful and awe-inspiring.

You know me well enough to know that I wanted to visit a few graveyards.  Yes, I love walking around and seeing graves that dated back to the 1700’s.  We even did a ghost tour.  Scotland had its share of spooky stories.

The trip was mind boggling and got my creative juices flowing.  I even got an idea for a book.

If you ever get a chance to go, do it. 

Okay, until next week.

Happy Reading!

Giveaway!!

Did you know ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, the first book in my Mortician’s Daughter series, is now on audio? To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy to one person who leaves a comment. (Sorry this giveaway is for U.S. residents only If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must go to my blog and leave your comment.)

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

This week I wanted to talk to you about genres. You know, paranormal, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. The publishing industry is funny. They study the current trends, what’s selling, what’s not, and they try to predict what genres will be hot in the future. Sometimes I think they need a crystal ball.

When St. Martin’s contacted me and asked me to write a young adult paranormal series, they felt that genre was the hot ticket and would continue to be popular for a while. Now, however, paranormal is supposed to be waining and contemporary is the thing, especially if someone is ill in it.  Fantasy was huge a while ago, especially with the popular Lord of the Rings movies, but now it seems less in demand. It’s always shifting and changing.

So after I finished my Shadow Falls series, St Martin’s request a contemporary book. So, I wrote This Heart of Mine and In Another Life.  But I also still loved paranormal and I knew I still had a lot of Shadow Falls fans out there. So, I decided to write my Mortician’s Daughter series with them in mind. So, if you’re still rereading my Shadow Falls series, but haven’t tried my Mortician’s Daughter series, I’m encouraging you to give it a chance. I think you’ll enjoy it.

So do you pay attention to the trends in publishing?  Do you read the hot new genre or do you still read books that aren’t in the trend? Where do you see the genres heading? What do you think will become the next hot genre?

Winner!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway, an audiobook of One Foot in the Grave is Michelle R. Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com to claim your prize.

Back to School

I know it seems like we just celebrated the Fourth of July, but it’s already August. And in much of the country, that means school is about to start. It actually starts this week in my area of Texas. When I was young, I loved and hated the start of school. I hated waking up early after being able to sleep in and wake up naturally. In Alabama, where I grew up, we didn’t start back to school until a week or so into September. 

And I loved how it was always a little chilly in the mornings.  I actually loved shopping and buying a new wardrobe, too.  I didn’t get a lot of new clothes, but I always got some.  And wearing new clothes tended made me feel better about myself.  I hated always feeling as if I was invisible, unless it was when I ran into the school bullies. Then, I prayed for invisibility.

But I’ll admit, part of me looked forward to going back and seeing the boys that I had crushes on.  I always had the dream that this would be the year when one of my crushes would notice me.  (Yeah, I was a romantic even back then.)  Oh and I loved getting all my school supplies. There’s a certain smell to school supplies that I can still remember.  I also recall organizing everything.  And actually being happy about learning and getting back into a routine.  School was not my favorite thing.  But I remember the new school year feeling every September, and it was sort of like a part of life, almost like a season that when it comes every year, you are pulled into the familiarity of it.  Those first days of school every year were just part of life.

How do you feel about school? Or how did you feel about it? 

Giveaway!!

Did you know One Foot in the Grave, the first book in my Mortician’s Daughter series, is now available as an audiobook? To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy to one reader that leaves a comment. (Sorry, but this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. If you are reading this on Goodreads, you must leave you comment on my blog to be entered to win.)

Winner!

The winner of last week’s t-shirt giveaway is Amy Morris. Congratulations! Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your postal address and your t-shirt size.

The Mother Daughter Influence

Recently, I purchased some travel-sized hair spray to take with me on my trip to New York.  There was one line on the back that read:  Do not use this product while smoking.  

My first thought was who would do that? Then bam! I was suddenly yanked back into the past watching my mom fix her hair, holding a cigarette between her fingers, while spraying her hair. Thankfully, I never picked up the smoking habit, but as young girl, I loved watching my mom get dressed up. I remember she had a mole, or as they called it back then, a beauty mark, on her left cheek. She would use an eyebrow pencil to color it a little darker.  

And in my mind, I can still see her push out her left cheek as she colored the beauty mark. I remember wishing I had one like hers. I recall getting into my mom’s makeup once and attempting to give myself a beauty mark.

I think most little girls grow up idolizing their mom at that young age.  I know I did.  I watched her, studied her.  Wanted to emulate her.  I wanted to walk like her, look like her.  I wanted boobs like her.  I can honestly say that growing up, my identity as a female was in many ways driven by my mom.

Now as I grew older, I found my own style. Today, my mom still loves big bold prints, and I go more for solids or small prints.  Mom colored her hair red for years, the most I do is add a few highlights. But still, who I am today is in part because of my mom.  In fact, the reason I never smoked was because I saw my mom attempt to quit smoking.  She would cry and tell me how badly she wanted to quit, but how desperately she wanted another cigarette.  Also, she was deathly afraid of spiders, and I share that same phobia.  So I guess you could say I acquired some of her fears and learned a few things from her struggles.

And because my fiction is so reflective of my own life, you see this mother/daughter connection in my books.  In Three Heartbeats Away, Riley realizes how much she’s been influenced by the memories of her mom.  She wears her hair long because her mother did.  Her favorite color stems from the color her mom often wore.  Her style, her outlook, her love of art, is all connected to the women she loved and lost when she was only four.  Even the car she drives is due to seeing an image of her mom with the same car. 

Do you see how your mom may have influenced who you are?  In what ways are you like your mom?

Giveaway!!

Today I’ll give away a T-shirt to one person who tells me how their mom influenced them.  (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. And if you are reading this on Goodreads, you must go to my blog to post your comment to enter.)

Winner!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Lisa Ray. Congratulations! Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com and send me your postal address.