About CC

C.C. Hunter

YA Author Lea Nolan

I’m so pleased to have Lea Nolan, author of the Hoodoo Apprentice series as my guest. The series is about Emma Guthrie, her twin brother Jack and their friend Cooper who discover a treasure and unwittingly unleash an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack and promises to steal Cooper’s soul. Emma has to learn hoodoo magic and risk her life to save her friends. I love, love love this series!

Lea agreed to sit down with me and answer a few questions.

  1. In your Hoodoo Magic series your main character, Emma Guthrie, needs to learn hoodoo magic to save her friends. What exactly is hoodoo magic?

I’m so glad you asked! Hoodoo is a uniquely American folk-magic primarily practiced in the southern US that is a blend of African-American, Native American, and European magic systems. It is most often associated with the Gullah people of the Sea Islands off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, but others practice it too. In hoodoo, practitioners use herbs and roots, along with some minerals and animal curios such as feathers, chicken bones, alligator paws and teeth for a variety of ends. A unique blend of Christianity, herbalism, and folk magic, Hoodoo can be used as a healing medicine but is also employed as a practical magic to protect against evil, bring love, draw money, assure personal success, or lay jinxes. Sometimes Hoodoo is confused with Voodoo. They couldn’t be more different. Voodoo is a religion that is predominantly practiced in the Caribbean, New Orleans, and “Santería” in Cuba.

I spent a lot of time researching Hoodoo because I wanted to faithfully represent it and be respectful to its practitioners. All of the spells that appear in CONJURE and the other books in the series are based on authentic Hoodoo rootwork. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure byCatherine Yronwode and the Lucky Mojo Curio Company.

  1. You grew up on Long Island and now live in Maryland and say you love the water too much to live inland. You’re a girl after my own heart! What is it about the water that you find so appealing?

Oh, I love the peace and tranquility I feel whenever I’m around or in water. It speaks to a deep place in my soul and helps to center me. I even enjoy watching the sea during a storm or just after one. The raw, churning power is truly awesome. And who can resist watching the sun rise or set over the water? Whenever I’m fortunate enough to see either of those, I’m filled with gratitude.

  1. Besides Young Adult, you also write contemporary romance. Do you favor one genre over another? Is it difficult for you to switch genres?

I do write both and it’s honestly very difficult to pick a favorite. In many ways YA feels like my home genre. It’s what I first started writing and it brings me back to my own teens when I was a voracious reader. YA is great because you get to explore all the firsts—first kisses, hand holds, crushes, and sometimes heartbreaks. Also, there are fewer limits on what you can do in a book for teens. It’s acceptable to mash genres, like romance, paranormal, and suspense elements, while also tackling tough coming-of-age issues. On the other hand, contemporary romance is great because I get to focus on grown-up characters with grown-up problems who are looking for the one person in the world who will make them whole and give them their happily ever after. The hardest thing about switching between genres is the tense change. For YA I write in first person/present tense; but I write contemporary romance in third person/past tense. Sometimes it’s hard to change gears.

  1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love being with my family especially since my kids are getting older and they’ll be leaving the nest before I know it. My oldest heads to college in a couple weeks and my middle child is already a junior in high school. If it wasn’t for my baby, who’s about to start middle school, I’d probably be losing it. I know we’re supposed to want our birdies to fly the nest and be successful on their own, but I confess I’m not ready for it! When I’m not with my husband or kids, I’m indulging my love of true crime stories either by watching shows like Cold Justice or anything on the ID Channel, or listening to my new favorite podcast, My Favorite Murder.

  1. What’s next for you? What are you working on?

I’m working on a new project that I’m really excited about. It’s a women’s fiction novel about three suburban best friends, each of whom has a deadly secret.

Conjure (Hoodoo Apprentice Series Book 1)

Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

But when a strange girl appears bent on revenge, demon dogs become a threat, and Jack turns into a walking skeleton, Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever.

You can buy Conjure, Allure and Illusion at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Bound and Goodreads.

GIVEAWAY!!

I’ll give away an ecopy of Conjure to someone who leave a comment. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you need to go to my blog page to comment.)

A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Most parents harbor a fear, the worst fear imaginable—their child goes missing. Whether it’s a teenager or a small child, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States — that’s roughly 2,000 per day. And we’ve all heard the stories about the teen or child abducted and held prisoner for years until they escape one day. But most of these children that go missing are never found. Some are presumed dead and others, well they just don’t know. If you watch TV shows like Criminal Minds or CSI, you’d believe there are kidnappers randomly grabbing people off the streets, but actually only about 1 one hundredth of 1% of kidnappings are committed by strangers. Far more common are children who have run away, have gotten lost or injured, have been taken by a family member (usually in a custody dispute) or simply aren’t where they’re expected to be because of a miscommunication.

So, when I decided to write In Another Life, my YA coming out March 28, 2019, it started with an idea I’d had a while ago. What if you saw an age progression photo of a missing person, and it looked just like you? What if you also knew that you’d been adopted? What would you do? Would you think it must be you or would you blow it off as a coincidence? That’s the dilemma Chloe Holden is faced with in In Another Life. What does she do? Well, with the help of a cute guy, she looks into her adoption—and falls into danger. And since it’s a CC Hunter book, you know there is a happy ending, that Chloe survives to discover the truth. So at least her story has a happy ending—although there’s plenty of suspense getting there.

You can pre-order In Another Life now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indie Bound and Powells.

 

Fur Babies!

Anyone who knows me knows I love animals. I’ve had dogs and cats, but one dog in particular tugged hard at my heart strings. So, when I was asked to write a Furbabies blog for One Writer’s Way for April 6. 2018, I immediately thought of Jake. I wanted to share his story with y’all, too.

One cold November day, a big black, mixed lab dog followed my son home from school. I’d only recently lost Bosco, a misbehaving and totally lovable Boston Terrier whom I’d had the terrible misfortune of seeing get run over.  I was in the “Don’t-Want-Another-Dog” stage because it hurt too much.  I was actually out of town on business.  Hubby called and told me about a big black dog with a gray snout.  I didn’t want a dog, but I especially didn’t want a big dog.  Nope, I did little dogs.  And I’d heard how much black labs shed.  Nope, Hubby needed to find who owned the dog and get him back home.  Not a problem, my hubby said, the dog had a collar with two dog tags.

Unfortunately, one tag was for a Chihuahua, and one was for a Great Dane.  Hubby put out signs, but no one came to claim my son’s newest find.  “He’s sweet, Mom,” my son told me over the phone.  “He’s smart, too.”  He tells me how the dog would follow all the basic commands of sit, shake, and roll over.  But my heart was so broken, and I still had flashbacks of seeing Bosco run over, seeing the crazy dog that brought us so much pleasure, take his last breath.

“Don’t get attached,” I told my son. “When I get home I’ll find his owner.”  Well, I was wrong.  I didn’t find his owner, but that dog found his.  He took one look at me, and I saw it in his big brown eyes.  “You are my person!”  Even hubby and son were shocked at how the dog ignored them and was all about me.

“Nooo,” I told him and left the room, but he followed.  He followed me to the bathroom, to the bed, to my office where I spent hours writing my novels.  Hubby would try to coach him away from me with food.  Even bacon wouldn’t get this dog to leave my side.  I relented to keeping him.  How could I take him to a shelter when he was old and probably wouldn’t find a new home.  But I still didn’t want to be his person.  “Choose the boy,” I told him. “He’ll play ball with you. Or choose the hubby, he’s going to be the one to feed you.  All I do is sit in my study and write, you don’t want me as your person.”  But big black dog, now named Jake, wouldn’t hear of it.  I didn’t get a choice.  I’d been chosen.  I had a shedding, big, black labish dog as my sidekick.

Jake liked the boy, he liked my hubby, but Jake was one of those one-person dogs.  And from the moment he looked at me, I was it.

I tried not to love him, but when someone, even a dog, loves you that much, when he looks at you with such devotion… Well, I fell madly in love with Jake.  The vet said he was probably around eight years old.  He lived another six.  Six glorious years, I had a best friend who left a trail of black hair whenever he walked, a best friend who thought I walked on water.   A best friend who broke my heart when he died with his head in my lap.

To this day, I miss my best friend.  Yes, it took a while, but eventually hubby went to the junkyard and came home with a Falcon Ranchero and a dog.  A very sick dog.  The vet said she wouldn’t have lasted another few days.  She gained nine pounds in one week.  Lady is not your normal junkyard dog, she’s sweet, sassy, and I love that girl. But Jake will forever have a special place in my heart.

I’ve always heard and believed that animals make us better humans.  For that reason, almost every book I write has either a dog or a cat. This Heart of Mine, my latest release, stars a golden lab puppy, named Lady.  Matt, Lady’s owner, had lost his father and now his identical twin brother.  Lady offers Matt love, loyalty, and a lot of laughter.

Do you have a fur baby? Is it a dog or a cat? Or something else? What’s their name?

This Heart of Mine

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

Excerpt

Matt gulps fear down his throat and stares at Leah’s front door. Lady, on her leash, is trying to chew herself free. Matt can relate. With what happened last night, and not knowing what her parents know, it was hard to show up this morning. Even harder to come back the second time.

A phone rings behind the door.

Nerves gnaw on Matt’s sanity. If her father opens the door and says Leah’s still asleep,

Matt’s gonna know the truth. Leah is refusing to see him. And then what? Damn it. She said she’d help. And with his mom riding his ass, he could really use some help. Why would Leah turn her back on him? Seeing him with Paula?

Matt had explained that Paula wasn’t . . . his girlfriend, hadn’t he? Then again, how could she be upset about Paula when she was attached at the hip to Trent Becker, and all snug and warm wearing his coat?

Matt pushes that whole bitter thought aside. Leah and he are just friends.

Yeah, they kissed and it was awesome, but that was then.

An uncomfortable thought hits. What if Leah told her parents she has Eric’s heart? Maybe it’s her parents who don’t want him here?

Footsteps sound behind the door. He stands straighter. The door swooshes open. Mr. McKenzie, holding a phone in his hand, in a at-footed stance just stares.

“Sorry, I had a call.”

Matt waits to be sent packing.

“She’s getting ready,” her dad says. “You want to come in?”

Not really. But does he have a choice? Matt remembers Lady. Maybe he does have a choice. “I’ll wait. I have my dog.” Mr. McKenzie stares at Lady. A jolt of nerves skateboard down Matt’s spine. The meeting-the-dad-of-the-girl-you-like kind of nerves. Not that this is a date. Does Leah’s father know that?

“Is he house trained?” Mr. McKenzie asks.

“She.” Matt hesitates. “Sort of, but—”

“Then come in. The shower’s going. She might be a while.”

He pushes open the door. Matt barely crosses the threshold when Mr. McKenzie looks back at Lady and says, “But if she’s the sort that poops and pees, you clean it up.”

“Of course.” He scoops up the squirming puppy. Her big yellow paws tread the air and her pink tongue is busy trying kiss his face.

Leah’s dad leads Matt into the kitchen. “Have a seat.”

Matt’s unsure if the man is being nice or is about to interrogate him. Matt pulls the chair out from the table, leaving room for Lady in his lap, then drops in the seat. Mr. McKenzie remains standing and staring. The dog starts twisting and turning, right along with Matt’s insides.

Her father finally speaks. “Want a Coke?”

“No, sir.” He remembers his manners. “But thank you.”

“How do you know Leah?” Mr. McKenzie settles in a chair.

Here comes the interrogation. “At school.”

“You tutored her once, right?”

“Yes, sir.” Lady barks, wanting down. She starts the whimpering. Matt sits her on the ground, but holds her leash and hears her sniffing around for table crumbs.

“You’re a senior, too?” Mr. McKenzie asks in a non- interrogation tone.

“Yes, sir.” Matt wishes he could drop the “sir,” but when you had a father in the army, “sir” is ingrained in you.

Her dad runs his hand over the edge of the table. “My wife mentioned you’re a twin?”

Was a twin. Matt’s nod is small.

“You two close?”

Matt nods again, this one slower. He’d done a lot of nodding with people who didn’t know. It hurts less than explaining.

“It’s Matt, right?” Mr. McKenzie asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“What’s the last name?”

“Kenner.”

“Kenner?” Her dad tilts his head slightly to the right as if . . . His eyes round. Instant pity turns his blue eyes a shade darker.

“Your brother, he . . . passed away?”

Matt nods. This one hurts. Thank God, he didn’t say killed himself.

“I’m sorry. My wife hasn’t kept up with the news. And I didn’t put the twin thing together.”

“It’s okay,” Matt offers the hated pat answer and thinks shit. Then he smells it. Shit. Dog shit. He ducks his head down and moans. Lady’s in full hunched mode doing her business. Mr. McKenzie leans sideways and peers under the table. Their frowns meet. Effing great! “I’ll get it, sir.” Matt loops the leash around the chair, bolts up. “Paper towels . . . ?”

“On the counter.” Mr. McKenzie’s voice is muffed from covering his nose.

Matt, paper towels in hand, crawls under the table. “Not ladylike,” he scolds Lady, using his mother’s words and tone. The puppy plops down in a poor-me pose. Matt scoops up the crap and is attempting to crawl on three limbs when he hears footsteps.

Still under the table, he glances out and up. Leah’s standing in the kitchen doorway. She’s wearing soft-to-touch-looking faded jeans that aren’t tight but hug her every curve. The red sweater she’s wearing does to her top what the jeans do to her bottom.

“Where is he? You told him to wait, didn’t you?” Disappointment slides off her words. Matt almost smiles realizing she wants to see him.

Lady, past the pathetic mode, dashes from under the table, taking down a chair as she goes.

Leah squeals, jumps, then stares at Lady. “What . . .” She slaps a hand over her nose.

“He’s . . . uh, under . . . there,” Mr. McKenzie’s tight voice echoes from above.

Leah squats down. Their gazes meet, hold, then her focus shifts to his hand holding . . .

Damn! Of all the ways a guy didn’t want a hot girl to see him, down on his knees holding a towel of dog shit has to top that list.

Matt frowns. “Lady shi . . .”—he corrects himself—“had an accident.”

Leah’s surprise fades into something softer, sweeter. A sparkle lights up her blue eyes. They crinkle at the corners with humor, and her face transforms into one big, so-damn-beautiful smile. He’s captivated.

She giggles—falls back on her butt. Lady rushes her with puppy excitement.

Leah’s laughter is like a song you want to sing along with. One he hasn’t sung in a long time. He wants that back. He wants to be able to let go of the pain he’s felt since his father died, since his brother died, and laugh like that. Laugh so free—free of grief.

Then Mr. McKenzie’s laughter roars above. Even Lady makes happy puppy sounds. Then it happens. A light feeling swells in his chest and his own laughter spills out. He can’t remember the last time he’s laughed so spontaneously. But for these few seconds, he doesn’t want to think about it.

He just wants to enjoy it. He knows it won’t last long, because in just a minute his heart is going to remember everything he’s lost.

______________________________________________________________________

If you haven’t read This Heart of Mine, you can order your copy today at AmazonBarnes &NoblePowell’s, Indiebound, Books-A-Million, and iBooks. 

RWA Conference

Every year, I like to attend the Romance Writers of America’s (RWA) conference. And this year was no different.  It’s held in various cities throughout the U.S., and this year, it was in the Mile High City of Denver, CO.

RWA’s conference and my experiences have changed a lot over the years. When I first joined RWA, I had a dream of being a published author. I was overwhelmed by my first conference, and it wasn’t half the size it is now.  Today, 2,000+ aspiring writers and authors attend hundreds of workshops held during the week. You can learn how to craft a better scene, how to create better character, how to navigate the business of writing, you can even learn police procedures on investigating murders. Now, I actually teach a workshop at the conference, and it’s always fun. I think inspiring other writers, paying it forward to all those who were there to offer me advice, teaching craft or just offering words of wisdom, is my favorite part of the conference.

When others come up and tell me that I inspired them, or that I’ve given them something that will help them with their work, it gives me a sense of sharing my passion.  I love what I do and I want others who love storytelling as much as I do to live their dream.

Then there’re the fans.  This year I had a fan that came all the way from Louisiana to see me.  (And if you are reading this, I went looking for you to buy you a drink and couldn’t find you.)  Her hug and telling me how much my book got her through some difficult times was like a cocktail of feel good emotions.  Thank you.

And then there’re my writing buddies.  Friends that I’ve known for years but don’t see often since we live in different states.  When we see each other, there are smiles, hugs, chitchat, and we share our writing successes and woes as well as a glass of wine or cup of coffee.  One dear friend even helped me out by doing a short video.  She took time out of her schedule to do this.  Thank you, Peggy!  You’re the greatest.  Then there was the spend-the-night party with my roommate, laughing at each other bed hair and giggling like teens.

Of course there are the industry folks, too.  Editors, publicists and agents. The dinners and cocktail parties. The late night get-togethers, and a few more drinks that I partake of than when I’m home.  Then there’re the aching feet.  (Hey, at home I’m in tennis shoes.)  I don’t think anyone would have appreciated it if I’d removed my bra during the signing.  So, it’s good to be home, but at the same time I’m already missing the friends, the hugs, the laughter, the comradery you feel when you are amongst so many other writers.  I can say that RWA is like a family reunion.  You may not know their names or where they live, but if you spend just a few minutes with them, you feel like they’re family.

I’m already looking forward to New York next year!

Forever Friends?

I read an interesting article recently about friends and why we lose them. It made me curious enough to do a bit more research on the subject. I was surprised to learn that many scientists have studied this and agree that up to the age of 25, you continue to make friends. However, after the age of 25, is when the numbers begin falling rapidly and continue to fall throughout the rest of a person’s life.

Sounds sad doesn’t it?

Actually, it’s a natural progression. Why does this happen? For many reasons. First, your priorities may change.  Perhaps you become a parent and you no longer have the time to hang out with your friends. Often, you get more responsibilities at work, and that cuts into your hang out time. Also, as you mature you may realize that some of your friendships are toxic, and since you have less time to spend with friends, you let go of the toxic relationships. Or you may get a job transfer or your interests change.  And sometimes when you are friends with someone who shares a common interest, and one of you no longer shares it, the relationship becomes hard to maintain.

Whatever the reasons, it’s totally normal to lose friends as we grow older. And while some friendships grow stronger, others become weaker.  I’ve found you have to put the time in.  But sometimes when life gets hectic it gets hard.  Good friends however will be there for you when things go back to normal.

I have a friend, who is also an author. We used to live close to each other and we walked every day together. But I moved further away to a new neighborhood, but we’re still close and we still walk together. Then I have friends, who I also see once or twice a year, but when we see each other it’s as if we saw each other yesterday.

As a writer, I love writing about friendships.  Do you recall the friendship between Della, Kylie and Miranda? In Don’t Close Your Eyes, my Christie Craig romantic suspense out 8/28/18, Annie has her good friend, Isabella and the two of them see each other through some difficult times.

Do you have a special friend that you’ve been friends with for years?

Adoption

Several years ago, I was sitting in my kitchen looking at a milk carton. There was an age progression photo of a missing child. It got me wondering…what if it looked just like someone I knew? Or even scarier, what if it looked like me? What would I do? Ignore it? Talk to my parents?

So, I put that idea on the back burner for a while. But last year, I found myself thinking about it more and more. It got me wondering what would happen if a kid was stolen and then adopted out in an illegal adoption. So I decided to do a little research, and I was shocked by what I found out.

I found loads of adoption cases in countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, India, and the list goes on, where the children were snatched from their parents, smuggled to another country and adopted out with fees as high as $50,000. But it doesn’t just happen internationally. There have been cases in the U.S. where the birth parents never gave up their children. Some were illegally adopted, others just kidnapped and raised by their captors.

Which brings me back to my book idea. What if a child grew up knowing she was adopted, but then had reason to believe the adoption was illegal? What would she do? How would she be able to find out? Well, Chloe, the main character in In Another Life, gets some help from Cash, a cute guy in her school with more than enough street smarts.

In Another Life comes out March 26, 2019, but is available for pre-order now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

In Another Life

What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life?

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?


So tell me, do you know anyone that was adopted?

 

Three Things You’ll Always Get With A C.C. Hunter Book

There are three things I can promise you’ll always get with a Christie Craig/C.C. Hunter book.

A Hero. 

Yup.  I need someone to root for.  Today there’re a lot of stories, in movies, television, and even in books that are about flawed people.  And I get it.  Every hero I write has flaws. I’m intimidated by perfect people, but to put it bluntly, I don’t like stories without a hero.  I don’t want to read or go on a three-hundred-page journey with characters who have no regard for other people.  People who are simply out for themselves.  Yes, I do have villains in my work, but in every book I promise that you’ll always have someone you can look up to.  Someone whose goals, actions and moral compass give you hope this world isn’t going to the dogs.

A Little Laughter

Don’t get me wrong, fiction should be a smorgasbord of emotions.  And I know I’ve written some scenes that broke your heart.  In This Heart of Mine, you may have cried a bit more than usual.  I sure as heck know I cried writing it.  But even during hard times, my characters live by the advice my grandmother gave me.  “If you can laugh at it, you can live with it.” I personally know that even during some of my own personal dark times, I relied on humor to help me deal and cope.  So in my books, even those that yank at your heart strings, I’m going to find some way to make you smile.  That’s important for me. 

A Happy Ending

Yeah, I’m a sucker for a happy ending.  I know in real life not everything ends well.  Bad crap happens.  And yes, I know that fiction should emulate life.  And my characters face disappointments.  They have their black moments.  And that is meant to make the reader question how in the world things could turn out okay.  But I just can’t see taking someone on a journey that ends with heartbreak.  I know of some readers who have told me that there have been books that didn’t end well.  Well, I don’t want to take the surprise away, but you can count on my books not leaving you feeling depressed.

So there are three things I promise.  What are some of the other things you expect out of the books you read?

TWO FEET UNDER

Can’t get enough of Riley and Hayden? Did you love The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave? Looking forward to the next book in the series? Well, Two Feet Under will be out this Oct. 1st, and you can pre-order it so you will get it the minute it comes out. In book two, Riley finds herself in trouble up to her neck. And now that she’s figured out who Hayden is, can she help him recover so they can have a real relationship? On top of everything else, she discovers a secret that will shatter her world.

Riley has accepted that her special gift is to help dead people with their unfinished business.  But she never thought she’d be tasked with helping the spirit of a convicted criminal who died in prison.  He may lead her on the scariest mission yet, but helping him could mean saving the life of a child.  The convict’s daughter needs a liver transplant and the one person who could still be a match is his brother…who also happens to be a gang leader.

Hayden’s not happy that Riley’s discovered who he is and is seeing him sick and unconscious in his hospital bed.  This feels like as good a time as ever to cross over and put all of them out of their misery….but Riley is in danger.  She’s visiting some of the most dangerous spots and confronting some of the creepiest low-lifes in town.  For her, he’ll need to regain his strength and fight to keep her safe.

But dealing with other people’s problems still can’t keep Riley from her own.  Her dad’s drinking has gotten worse.  And she’ll soon learn it’s because he’s been keeping a huge, horrible secret that will change everything she believes about her family and her mother’s death.

Pre-order Two Feet in the Grave now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Have You Heard?

I’m so honored and excited that The Mortician’s Daughter: One Foot in the Grave is a finalist for the PRISM Award and has already been awarded:

Have you read The Mortician’s Daughter? Order it today at Kobo, Indie Bound, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

In Another Life

I’ve been busy writing my next stand alone book. In Another Life is a about a teenager who was adopted when she was three. But not everything is as it seems. This idea came to me one day a number of years ago when I was watching a show on the ID channel.  Yes, I do watch the ID channel.  Because I write a lot of suspense in my books, I consider it research. I think it also scares my husband a little.  LOL.  Hey… I do know how to plan the perfect murder now.

Anyway, the channel often puts pictures of missing children on the show in the hope that someone recognizes the child and will alert the authorities. Sometimes, they show an age progression photo, an image of the child as an artist thought they would look now, when they were older. Shortly after that I was walking into a Wal-Mart and saw the images of missing children on a billboard in the front of the store as well.  Then, it hit me…what would happen to a teenage girl if she saw a photo that looked just like her? So what would you do if everything you believed about your life could all be a lie? From this little thought came In Another Life, my book coming out in 2019.

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

Pre-order In Another Life now at Amazon.

 

 

Seriously…

I’m going to get serious this week and talk about a very serious and scary subject—suicide. I’m sure everyone has heard about the recent suicides of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Chester Bennington (Lincoln Park singer), and more others than I can list here.

It breaks my heart hearing about people who appeared to have so much going for them and yet they felt hopeless.  While it’s easy to judge that life is easy for those who have money or fame, it just isn’t so.  Depression doesn’t care about your bank account or any other status in your life.  Depression is a disease.  And it’s hard to understand.  Someone dealing with depression doesn’t always look sick.  Some people are really good at hiding the symptoms.

Growing up, I watched my mother face this issue and in the past, she has tried to kill herself. Luckily, my mom got the help she needed.  But so many don’t.

Suicides are up by 25% since 1999 and are now the second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24 in the U.S. The experts are asking why, and of course there is no easy answer. Bullying, sexual violence, and child abuse are often sited, but those forms of violence haven’t increased in the last two decades, and if anything, they have gone down. They also point to the rise of technology, which has replaced important face-to-face interactions (though some argue technology actually decreases loneliness).

We need to remove the stigma connected with mental illness, which has increased in recent years. Educate yourself on the 5 signs of suicide: personality change, irritability or anxiousness, withdrawal, not taking care of yourself and hopelessness. And if the person feeling this is you, know that you aren’t alone. Know that you can get better. You don’t have to live like this. You can get help.

I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve gotten from people telling me that my books have helped pull them out of a dark place in their life.  I’m thrilled to hear that.  Reading is good for the heart and soul. But I know sometimes even losing ourselves in fiction, leaving our problems at bay for a while, isn’t enough.  If you need help, reach out to someone close to you.

And if you know someone who may be in trouble and are exhibiting the five signs, encourage them to get help or get help for them.  Let them know that you care. Watching the news yesterday I heard one doctor say, “Don’t be afraid to use the word.  Tell them that you are afraid they might be thinking of suicide.” It’s hard to say it. It’s hard to think about it.  But it would be a lot harder if we didn’t say it and it happened.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).