Giving Back

I know how fortunate I am.  I have a loving family, a nice house, and I job I adore.  Yea, we’ve had some health challenges with hubby’s kidney transplant, but I think it’s when something like that happens, it makes you grateful for what you do have, what’s going well.

So, why not give back? There are a few charities that I like to support, charities that help children and animals. I always give to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Founded by actor Danny Thomas, St. Jude’s  mission “is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.” And no child is turned away, even if they can’t pay. So, that’s a charity that’s close to my heart.

As I’ve talked about over the years, I love animals and have had numerous dogs and cats in my household. This is my wonderful dog Lady, who hubby rescued from a junkyard. She’s one of the lucky ones, but so many animals are abused and neglected.  So animal charities are another passion of mine and another place where I choose to put my money.

It’s been so sad to watch the news of the wildfires in Australia. They said over a billion animals have died. There are charities helping out with the care of injured animals in Australia, like the World Wildlife Fund. They all need our help.

So as we go forward into 2020, please keep those (people and animals) less fortunate in mind.

Do you have a favorite charity or organization you like to give to? Do you volunteer anywhere?

Exciting News!

Well, 2020 is shaping up to be a very busy year for me, and I’ve got some great news for you. You can expect the release of a brand new, exciting C.C. Hunter book in the next 5-6 months. Till then, I’ll be hold up, writing away in my study, except for book signings.

Speaking of book signings… On Jan. 11th Lark Brennan, Leslie Marshman and I will be at Murder By the Book in Houston, TX at 1:00 PM. I’ll be signing Don’t Breathe a Word and my C.C. Hunter YA Three Heartbeats Away, Lark will be signing Shadows of the Past, and Leslie will be signing Good Over Evil. Come join the fun!  For more details check their Events page.

Then, I’ll be at Teen Bookfest by the Bay 2020 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX on Jan. 25th, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Join me for book signings, writers’ workshops, Manga Mania and more! Admission is FREE! Check out the amazing line up of authors at Bookfest By the Bay.

I realize not everyone can make it to my signings and events. But if you always wanted a signed copy of one of my books, that’s not a problem. You can order signed copies through Apolly Con until Jan. 10th.  So you better hurry! ApollyCon is annual, multi-day reader event featuring Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult authors, panel programming, and social events, owned by NYT bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout. But you don’t have to attend their conference to order your signed copies from ApollyCon.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2020!

Winner!

The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is Deborah Elkins. Congratulations, Deborah! Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com to claim your prize. And in case you were wondering…I have done number 15 fifty-two times. Yup, I have written fifty-two books!

Bucket List

Because it’s New Years, I started thinking about resolutions and goals, and just about those things I want to do. You know, bucket list items.  So I decided to Google the top bucket list items to see how far off my own list is from that of other people. Below is the list.

Here’s how I added up. I’ve done seven of these twenty items.   One, I’ve done twice.  Another, I’ve done three times.  And one, I’ve done fifty-two times.   I’ll bet you can guess the one I’ve done that many times.

There are eight of these I’d never do—nope, not me.  One on my “never-will-do” list wasn’t always on that list. I tried to do it three times, and it got canceled all three times.  So now I figure that God was telling me to get a grip and grow a brain.

There are four I would like to do.  And one, just doesn’t interest me. 

What about you?  How many of these have you done?  How many would you never do?  How many would you want to do?  And do any not interest you at all? 

Can you guess the ones I’ve done?  Ones I would never do? Ones that I want to do? 

Giveaway!

One person who leaves a comment will win a $20 Amazon gift card. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. And If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you need to go to my actual blog to enter.)  

Google’s Bucket List

  1. See the Northern Lights
  2. Sky dive
  3. Get a tattoo
  4. Sleep under the stars
  5. Go on a cruise
  6. Swim with dolphins
  7. Get married
  8. Go scuba diving
  9. Run a marathon
  10. Go zip-Lining
  11. Buy a house
  12. Ride an elephant
  13. Learn to surf
  14. Take a trip to Italy
  15. Write a book
  16. Go hot air ballooning
  17. Go skinny dipping
  18. Learn to play the guitar
  19. Go to Paris
  20. Visit Ireland

Holiday Traditions

Traditions are an important part of who we are. They’re what families have in common. And this time of year seems to be steeped in tradition.

In my family, we have traditions that we carry out year after year. Like we all go to have our picture taken with Santa—and I mean ALL of us, not just the little ones. Our entire family and any visitors all meet up at the mall and we have our picture taken. I have pictures of my mom, my dad, even my grandmother sitting on Santa’s lap.

We also have a tradition of fun presents at the Craig house. You see, at gift opening time, we sit in a big circle and take turns opening gifts.  Every present has a clue written on it and before a person can open a gift, he or she has to read the clue and try to figure out what it is.  If stumped, everyone will join in and try to guess.  And I admit, the crazier the clue is the better the time we have.  So, in addition to the real gifts, we actually go out and buy crazy gifts so we can have some crazy, crack-you-up-laughing clues.  So there’s lots of laughter.

We can’t talk the holidays or tradition without talking about food.  Gathering around a table and eating the food that has been part of the holiday season before some of the family members were born.  For our house, the main course is always the turkey and dressing.  That’s dressing, not stuffing.  And that’s cornbread dressing. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.)

I’ll dropkick, go ballistic or have a conniption fit if any oyster or fancy sausage even thinks of trying to sneak into my dressing. We’ve got southern standards, steeped in Alabama law (yes that’s where I’m from) of what does and doesn’t belong in dressing.

There’s fresh green beans, and because my granddaughter loves peas, but isn’t a green bean fan, peas have found their way onto our holiday table.  That said, my son-in-law and hubby despise peas, so the joke is always to keep passing them their way.  “Hey, you didn’t get any peas.”

Mashed taters, whipped with real butter, is a regular. White rolls and gravy is a must.  And yes we are soppers, meaning we use those rolls to sop up the gravy.  I know in some fancy restaurants where you get confused what fork and knife to use, it might be bad-mannered to sop.  But you get one fork with your holiday dinner at the Craig house and sopping is allowed. What are your favorite family traditions? Do you always serve the same food? Are you soppers? Do you put oysters or sausage in your dressing? Do you go Caroling? Maybe go to church? What are your holiday traditions?

Winner!!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Kristin Whitehouse. Congratulations! You’ve won a CC Hunter t-shirt. Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your mailing address and you t-shirt size.

To Gift Card or Not to Gift Card

This is the question that I think so many of us are debating this holiday season.  Just the other day, I was walking behind two women and they were talking.  And yeah, you know me, I eavesdrop.  One of them said, “This year we are doing the $25 Christmas gift card exchange.” The idea of just trading cards didn’t thrill me.  It’s like pulling $25 out of your purse and exchanging bills. Maybe the fact that it’s from a certain store might be the surprise, but . . . uh, no.  It didn’t feel festive.

Don’t get me wrong, I see the pros and cons of a gift card.  And I’ll admit, I’m about to go shopping for cards myself.  But have you ever given someone a surprise gift that was just so darn perfect?  I mean, something that they really wanted, but either didn’t know they wanted it, or had forgotten they wanted it?  Or didn’t think anyone would get it for them.  Something that is so perfect that their expression is worth ten times more than you paid for the gift.  I love giving those kinds of gifts.  It just warms my heart and makes the hours I spent fighting the scrooges at the mall so worth it.

Ahh, but have you ever had to buy a gift for someone, and you didn’t have a clue what to get?  I mean, they are very selective—yes, that’s a nice way to say picky, but that’s not really a bad thing. But you know where they love to shop. So you get them a gift card from there. Is that so wrong?  No?  Maybe? I mean, isn’t it better than getting someone something that they won’t use or don’t like.  Or even worse, will use as a white elephant gift next year.  I’ve gotten a few of those.

But how many gift cards have you gotten that you didn’t use?  Sadly, I have a few.

But if you ask someone what they want and they say… “Oh, I love shopping at Marshalls. Or I need t-shirts and I usually get them at Target.”  And yes, there are people who love shopping.  Shopping is part of the gift.  My daughter always plans a day after the holidays where she will head out with all the gift cards she received and shops till she drops.  And my granddaughter has decided she likes that, too.  It’s a ritual. Their thing.  So is it so wrong to get them what they want?  I don’t think so. And frankly, if I had something in mind that I want from a certain store, I’d like getting a gift card from that store.

But here’s the little issue.  I don’t want to just give them cards.  No, I need something to go along with the card.  In the Craig house, we give lots of little gifts, some are gag gifts, some aren’t.  But now these gifts can’t be pricey, or it takes away from the value of the gift card.  So, the whole gift-card giving makes the holiday season easy, doesn’t pan out.  No, it makes it a bit harder, because now the gifts have price limits, making it more challenging.

So I give gift cards, but I don’t just do gift cards. What about you?  Do you do them?  Do you like giving them?  Like getting them?  Do you feel it’s taken some of the gift-giving joy out of the season?  Do you think Scrooge invented them?

Giveaway!!

I’ll give away a C.C. Hunter T-shirt, to give away as a gift or to give yourself, to one person who tells me how they feel about gift-card giving. I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday. (Sorry, but this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must got to my blog to enter.)

Happy December!

Let the frantic holiday season begin! Yes, it’s time to search for the perfect gift for Aunt Beth, unless you are planning on giving her another fruit cake—that she might turn around and give back you next Christmas.  Then you need research for the “hottest toy” this Christmas for your child, or niece or nephew. Don’t forget to bake Christmas cookies and pastries. It’s also time to put up all those Christmas decorations.

Now, we put up decorations, but we don’t go crazy like some of the displays you see on TV and YouTube.  A couple of years ago, I bought one of those light display things that had lights dancing on my house. I also pull out my sixteen-foot tall Christmas tree, and it takes a ladder and several people to decorate.  Then I have some holiday knickknacks that I put out through the house.

So you know it’s Christmas at my house, but I’m not the one where the neighbors complain because of all the traffic the Christmas spectacular brings. But I do appreciate the effort that goes into one of these displays. So I wanted to share some of the best ones I found, but be sure your speakers are on. Then be sure to tell me which one is your favorite?

Trista Lights

Musical Instruments

Amazing Grace

Pirates of the Caribbean

Sale Ending! Last Chance!

It’s your final chance to get One Foot in the Grave (Mortician’s Daughter, Book 1) for only .99 cents. This sale ends soon! Get it now at Amazon and Kobo.

I hope you all are having a good time getting ready for the holiday.  If nothing else, grab a book with a holiday theme, a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy the season.

Happy Thanksgiving, Now Start Shopping!!

It’s Thanksgiving week and I hope you enjoy a nice gathering with your family on Thursday. But this week also means it is the official start of Christmas shopping. Yup, Black Friday is coming up fast. But now, there’s also Cyber Monday. Not to mention how some of the stores have started having pre Black Friday sales. It seems like stores want you to start your shopping earlier and earlier. Heck, I know people that are already finished with their shopping, but most have barely started. I’m one of the later. But I’ve been really busy finishing up a book, and now that I’ve got time, I’ll get serious about shopping.

Last year, I did almost as much in-store shopping as I did online shopping.  I actually see shopping store to store as part of fun of the season.  Almost a tradition. No, I don’t enjoy it if the crowd is manic, but there’s something about being in the stores, Christmas music playing and seeing everyone shop for their loved ones.  There’s something special about finding that perfect gift for someone.  I don’t quite get that same seasonal joy while shopping online.  Half the time I’m scared the gift will arrive and not meet my expectations.  Maybe I need to put on some Christmas music, pour myself some eggnog and try to make online shopping more of a seasonal treat. 

What kind of Christmas shopper are you? Do you shop ahead all year? Maybe have it all done by mid December? Or are you scrambling around a few days before Christmas, trying to find something last minute? Do you buy everything on line or do you shop at your favorite stores? 

One Foot in the Grave on Sale!

Did you know my YA One Foot in the Grave is the winner of Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers PRISM Award, Write Touch Readers’ Award, I Heart Indie Contest & the JABRIC Award? Did you know you can download it now for only .99 cents? Hurry, this sale is about to end!  Get it now at Amazon and Kobo.

Oh, The Seasons…

I love this time of year when the leaves change and there is a crisp chill in the air. It’s a time of transition, when we shift from the hot Texas summers where we go tubing down a river, or just watching my dog try to catch the water as it squirts out of the hose, to the cold darker winters when we grab a blanket and sip from cup of hot chocolate. 

But between summer and winter is fall, when everything is alive with color: reds, golds and oranges. Only followed by the cold darker days of winter.  But that too passes and we move into spring when everything feels brand new and the blue bonnets and Indian paintbrushes speckle ours roadsides.

Like our world, life has seasons.  We move from being a child, to being a teen, to being an adult.  From being single to being in a relationship.  From being footloose and fancy free to being a parent with responsibilities.  From being newlyweds to celebrating thirty-five years of marriage.  We move from having full nests to being empty nesters.  We move from being someone’s child, to being that person’s caretaker.

Oh, the seasons of our lives.  They each bring with it some beauty, each offering different perspectives and changes.  Some inspire us, some humble us.  Some require us to hang on to things so tightly, others require us to let go.  And while some of the changes are welcomed, soul freeing and make us want to dance with joy, other’s can break our hearts.

When I encounter some of the heartbreak, I try to look back on other seasons where I struggled. Like the full nest season to being an empty nester.  Oh, that hurt.  Then one of my darling children moved back home for a while and…  Oh, that hurt!

I look back on some of the seasons that were hard, and I find hope in that I survived. So I guess even during the seasons that bring heartbreak, we need to be there, to be present, to be counted, to be countable. I’m trying to remember this as I deal with my father’s declining health.  I try to remember to enjoy even some of the difficult times, because the next season may be one in which he is not here.  I try to remember to hold tight for now, because soon I’ll be letting go.

I try to remember after this, there will be another season.

ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE SALE ENDING SOON!

Don’t forget One Foot in the Grave (Mortician’s Daughter , Book 1) is on sale for only .99 cents, but this sale ends soon. Get it now at Amazon and Kobo.

What Are You Watching?

There is an abundance of new shows out this month and I, for one, am paying attention.  You know I’m working on a book and I work around ten hours a day, but when I move out of my office, I usually either whip up some dinner or order in and watch a few shows. 

Here are the show I’m watching:

Emergence

It’s what I would call a speculative fiction.  A young girl survives a plane crash unharmed.  But overtime we see she has powers.  A detective ends up taking her in and trying to protect her from the unknown.  But the question becomes do they need protecting from the child? 

Evil

Now can I say I watch this one with one eye closed?  It’s spooky.  A young mother, with three girls, who does not believe in demons and such, is hired to work with a group of religious investigators.  Basically, she tries to disprove that demons, ghosts and other creepy things don’t exist.  But let me tell you, there’s a lot to disprove.  It’s scary, it’s really creepy.  But I kind of like it.

Stumptown

I love this one guys!  It’s a lot like my humorous romantic suspense novels.  A sassy, kick butt army veteran becomes a private investigator who stands up for the underdog.  She’s flawed, so very flawed, but you have to love her as she always sets out to protect someone who deserves protecting.  And she finds herself up to her eyebrows in trouble fighting bad guys.

All Rise

This one is a legal show about a new judge who is determined to make her court fair to those who are not getting justice.  She’s creative, she’s got guts.  She’s the kind of judge we would all love to think wears a robe and determines what’s right and wrong in courts.

Bluff City Law

Jimmy Smit and his daughter are lawyers with a tumultuous relationship who take on the injustice of the world one client at a time.  It’s largely a family drama with characters who fight for the underdogs.

As I’m writing the descriptions of what I’m watching, I realize how close my interest in shows is to the plots I choose to write.  Paranormal elements, ghosts, sassy characters, underdogs that need championing, and a touch of danger and suspense. 

In The Mortician’s Daughter you totally get the paranormal element.  Poor Riley is faced with spirits left and right.  However, you still have the underdogs, and you get the sass.  If not from Riley, then from Kelsey.  That girl calls it like she sees it.

Snag a copy One Foot in the Grave (Book 1) for only .99 cents for a limited time at Amazon and Kobo.

So what are you watching?  Are you watching any of the shows I mentioned? Do the shows you watch on television fall in line with the types of books you read?