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.

New York City!!

I love to travel. I love to experience different cultures, different foods, different people.  I’ve traveled to France, London, China, South America, New Zealand, Denmark, and soon I’m going to Scotland and Ireland.  But amazingly, when I go to New York City, the differences are almost as great as going to a different country

I’ve never grabbed an Uber or a taxi in my home of Tomball, Texas.  My heart got a workout when I got into a taxi whose driver had road rage and screamed the entire drive as he delivered me to my Grand Central author party.  (All I could think of was that I’m glad not everyone had guns like they do in Texas.) I’ve never bumped into so many people on the streets of Tomball. In New York you are shoulder to shoulder.  And in Times Square, some of those people are “over-the-top” characters.  Like a women wearing nothing but a thong and paint.  Like the Mickey Mouse characters with bobbling heads. As crazy as it was, I loved experiencing it all.

Restaurants are everywhere.  The food is phenomenal. And I can’t say enough about the play Hamilton.  Wow!!  I mean, wow!

And because this was a RWA, Romance Writers of America, conference, attended by writers, it felt like most of those folks were family.  And because I’ve spoken at so many writer’s conferences, I know so many faces. 

I spent time chatting with Tina Dick, who is a reporter from Germany. I love running into her every year, and it’s not just because she brings me German chocolate.  But the chocolate is amazing.  I ran into Joss Wood, who lives in South Africa and whose books sound wonderful, and was such a pleasure to chat with.  I ran into some folks from New Zealand who were at my workshop I gave there.  Then there were the fans who came to the signing.  They got C.C. Hunter T-shirts just for showing up, too. I ran into old friends, Arel Jansen, from Maine, and we had some great visits, hugs, and laughs.  I hung with Ruth Kenjura, a Houston RWA member.

I shared wine and conversation with Diane Kelly, Lori Wilde, Kerrelyn Sparks, Shala Patel, Pintip Dunn, Dyranda Jones, Miranda Liasson, and Carolyn Brown.  Laura Drake, Susan Muller, and I got turned down by two angry Uber drivers, but we finally got to the Lillie’s Victorian Establishment, where great food and laughs were had.  Susan and I roomed together again, and you know you need a roomie who agrees that what happens in the hotel room, stays in the hotel room.  Oh, the fun! (By the way, all of these are amazing authors, try them!)

I met with editors, my agent, bloggers, librarians, and I may have drunk a little too much wine.  But I did not dance on any tables.  So don’t believe anyone who says I did.  And remember photos can be altered.  I went to workshops, heard Alyssa Cole speak at the Librarian breakfast, which was fantastic and met authors Tee O’Fallon and M.A. Taylor, whose books sound amazing and I’m ordering them today. 

New York City was amazing.  A blend of culture, good food, better friendships, and tons of laughter. 

Giveaway!!

And . . . I got some free books, double copies, and I snagged a few extra RWA tote bags. So today, I’ll give away a bag, and at least one book that I snagged at the conference.  So leave a post and tell me about one of your travel adventures or a dream vacation, and one person will win a tote and at least one new book. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. And if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must post your comment on my blog to enter.)

Happy Reading!

What Are You Reading?

Summer time is in full swing. Time for trips to the beach, car rides across the country, sitting by the pool, and lots of time to relax and read. I love sitting on the deck of a beach house overlooking the ocean and catching up on my reading.

One of the many perks as an author is that I get asked to read and blurb about new books.  So I’m often discovering new books and new authors.  Recently, I read a great page turner, Jane Anonymous.  Now it doesn’t release until January, but if you like nail biting suspense, preorder it now.

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz’s thrilling novel Jane Anonymous is a revelatory confessional of a seventeen-year-old girl’s fight to escape a kidnapper—and her struggles to connect with loved ones and a life that no longer exists. 

Seven months.

That’s how long I was kept captive. 

Locked in a room with a bed, refrigerator, and adjoining bathroom, I was instructed to eat, bathe, and behave. I received meals, laundered clothes, and toiletries through a cat door, never knowing if it was day or night. The last time I saw the face of my abductor was when he dragged me fighting from the trunk of his car. And when I finally escaped, I prayed I’d never see him again.

Now that I’m home, my parents and friends want everything to be like it was before I left. But they don’t understand that dining out and shopping trips can’t heal what’s broken inside me. I barely leave my bedroom. Therapists are clueless and condescending. So I start my own form of therapy—but writing about my experience awakens uncomfortable memories, ones that should’ve stayed buried. How far will I have to go to uncover the truth of what happened—and will it break me forever?

Find out more about Laurie Faria Stolarz and her books at https://lauriestolarz.com/stand-alones/.

I also just bought Lea Nolan’s Hoodoo Apprentice series. I haven’t started it, but I’m about to. It sounds amazing and came highly recommended. I’m going to start it tomorrow, curled up on my porch swing, sipping sweet tea. I can’t wait!

Be careful what you wish 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 bent on revenge appears, 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 the last days of summer–and her friends–are lost forever.

Find out more about Lea Nolan and her Hoodoo Apprentice series at http://leanolan.com/ln/books-new/.

What are you reading? Any books you’d like to recommend?

Winner!!

The winner of last week’s t-shirt giveaway is Elizabeth Kenney. Congratulations! Please email your postal address and your t-shirt size to cc@cchunterbooks.com.

Scoop Out the Litter Box

Riley has a lot on her plate in Three Heartbeats Away. She’s dealing with a Bridezilla ghost, a jealous girlfriend, an alcoholic dad, and a hot guy that doesn’t remember her. But at least she has her best friend.  Kelsey and Riley have each other’s backs.  They talk, share secrets, and offer each other advice.  Do you have a friend like this?  Someone who listens, commiserates with you?  Here’s an excerpt showing Kelsey and Riley’s friendship.  Riley has just confided in Kelsey that she feels something is off with Hayden and her. 

Excerpt

Kelsey sits up, crosses her legs, and stares at me. “Maybe you’re not as attracted to the real Hayden as you were the spirit Hayden. The whole ghost thing could have been what turned you on to him! Like bad boy versus good boy. Dead versus alive.”

              “Are you crazy?” I pop up. “No. I look at him and I melt. At night, when I’m alone, he’s all I can think about. And he’s ten times more attractive now than he was!”

              She holds up a hand. “Chill. I was just putting the worst-case scenario out there first. I have a few other possibilities.”

              I exhale and drop back on my headboard. “Okay. What are they?”

              “Maybe you’re scared.” She bites down on her bottom lip. “Like I am.” Her words come out sincere. “I know you were hurt when Carl started dating only a few weeks after you left. Maybe that scared you more than you know and now you’re afraid to love someone. Afraid they’ll walk out on you or yank your heart out and feed it to a Rottweiler.”

              I let that reasoning crawl around my head and heart a second. “That’s not it, either,” I say. “Yeah, Carl hurt me, but even then I knew it wasn’t true love. I was more upset about Shala, my ex-best friend, than I was with him.”

Kelsey holds up three fingers. “Okay, third and last possibility. You need to close a few doors before you open up another one.”

              “Huh?” I ask.

              “Metaphorically. You’ve got a lot of open issues. Your mom issues. Hunting down a murderer. Things with your dad. That’s a lot of crap in your litter box. Maybe you need to scoop some out.” She sighs. “Which is another metaphor. A bad one, I know. What I mean is you need to solve something before you begin something.”

              While her analogy feels a little off, it’s like I just heard the hammer hit the nail. I know she’s right. And her number-two reason isn’t that wrong, either. Though it’s not about Carl or Shala. This is about being abandoned and done wrong by the people I should have been able to trust. It even kind of explains why I went bonkers with the whole Brandy issue. Hayden’s needing time made me feel as if he was about to abandon me. Then when I thought he’d been seeing Brandy the same time as me, I felt like another person I loved hadn’t been honest with me.

              I let out a deep breath of angst. I need to find my nerve. I need to scoop the poop out of my litter box.

              I look at Kelsey. “You make a damn good shrink.” I hug her. “Now about you and Dex.”

              “I’m okay,” she lies.

              “No, you’re not.” I grab her hand. “Promise me that you won’t shut Dex out again. If he tries to kiss you, kiss him back. Take a chance. You know, if I’ve learned anything dealing with spirits, it’s that life is short. And I think we end up regretting more of the things we don’t do than the things we do. Give Dex a chance. He may not end up being the one. But he really likes you.”

              Right then, the temperature in the room goes cold. Kelsey gets her wide-eyed there’s-a-ghost-here look. And she’s right.

Giveaway!

You can order all three books in my Mortician’s Daughter series now from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Kobo.  Leave a comment to be entered to win a C.C. Hunter T-shirt.  (Sorry, but this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. And if you are on Goodreads, you need to go my blog at http://cchunterbooks.com/blog/ to leave a comment to be entered.)

When You Hug Someone

Did you know that hugging increases levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin, which is beneficial for stress levels, heart health and so much more? Did you know a ten second hug a day may fight infections, boost your immune system, ease depression and fatigue?

In Three Heartbeats Away, Riley learns about some of the science of hugs and discovers a twenty second hug (or longer) holds the greatest health benefits, especially for stress relief. And boy, could Riley use less stress.  I mean, she’s only trying to stop a killer. So, she starts counting the seconds when she hugs people and when they hug her. Here’s an excerpt of one of her best hugs from Hayden, the guy she loves that’s dating someone else.

Excerpt

We leave the hospital, and I barely get seated behind the wheel before Hayden says, “Tell me about your dead-bride search.”

I consider telling him it’s not his deal, but Hayden helped with my last two spirits. I start driving and give him the lowdown on the bride and about going to Delicious Donuts earlier.

A wrinkle appears in the middle of his forehead.“You went by yourself.”

“It was daytime. People were around.”

He shakes his head. “You’re trying to find a murderer. You shouldn’t go there alone.”

“I’m not trying to find him. I’m trying to find evidence to take to the police.”

“Same thing.” Frustration sounds in his tone.“Do you realize how crazy it is that you are even doing this?”

“What am I supposed to do? Not help them?”

“Maybe,” he says.

I halt at a stop sign and look at him. “I can’t not help them. I didn’t ask for this, but they come to me and it is what it is.”

For the next mile, we don’t speak. Then he says, “Sorry, I just… It still blows my mind. I’ll do some checking on the Internet, too.”

“Don’t you have enough on your plate?” I pull up in front of his house.

“I’m by myself all day.”

I cut the car off and pull out the keys to get his walker out of the trunk. When I set it down, I say, “I should go.”

He frowns. “You said you didn’t have to be home until five-thirty. You’ve got—”

“I know, but…my big showdown with my dad about Mom is supposed to happen this afternoon, and I need to wrap my head around what I’m going to say.” My voice almost trembles.

“You going to be okay?”

One look at his blue eyes and the truth slips out.“I don’t know.”

Hayden stands there. “Call me when it’s over. I’m sure you’ll need to talk.” He picks up the walker and sets it on the curb and uses it to step up.

I worry he did too much today.“Hand me your keys and I’ll unlock your door.”

He hands them to me, and I move with him up the walkway.

We get to the porch, and I unlock the door and hand him his keys.

Our hands touch, and the brief contact is almost painful. “Riley, I’m sorry you’re having to go through this.”

“I know.”

Before I realize his intention, he pushes his walker aside and hugs me.

I close my eyes and let my head rest on his chest. I know this spot. I can smell his skin, feel his chest rise and fall. Alive. The boy I was so afraid of losing is alive and walking. And he cares. About me. Emotion stings my eyes.

His cheek comes down to the side of my temple. I savor the closeness, relish the feel of his arms around me. I memorize his whispered breath against my cheek. Counting the seconds, I pray for twenty. Or more than twenty. I get to thirty before Hayden says, “I’ll be thinking about you.”

His arms fall from around me. I step back. Our eyes meet, hold, and I feel it, the connection I’ve never felt with anyone else.

“Call me,” he says. “If only to say you survived. I’ll worry if you don’t.”

Nodding, I walk back to my car. I get inside. The warmth of his embrace lingers. I look out the window. He’s still there watching me. Part of me wants to run back and hug him again. But I remember my appointment with Dad.

I start my car.When I pull out, I see a candy-apple-red Honda parked across the street. And I recognize who’s in the driver’s seat—recognize who’s staring at me. Brandy.

She had to have seen us hug. This can’t be good.

I keep driving. The moment I come to a side street, I turn, put my car in park, and text Hayden: Brandy’s parked across from your house.

Three dots appear, then disappear. And so does the sweetness of Hayden’s hug. I remember his figuring-out comment.

Why does everything in my life have to be so screwed up?

***

Want to read more about Riley and Hayden and their adventures? You can order all three books in my Mortician’s Daughter series now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Are you a hugger? Do you easily hug your family and friends? Or is it something you are uncomfortable with?

Three Heartbeats Away Excerpt

Have you read Three Heartbeats Away, the final book in my Mortician’s Daughter series? Riley’s dad has been drinking again, and she isn’t sure what to do about it. She’s afraid he’s an alcoholic, afraid he’ll drive drunk or lose his job—again. That’s a lot for a teenager to deal with, really it’s a lot for anyone to deal with. But Riley’s got spunk. I mean she faces down homicidal ghosts, she can deal with her dad. Can’t she? So, she gives him an ultimatum: go to an AA meeting or she’s gone. Will she be disappointed? Or will her dad be there for her?

Excerpt

The good feeling wanes as I fill the Crock-Pot with one of Dad’s favorite meals. Beef stew with carrots, potatoes, and pearl onions. I even picked up some frozen rolls to sop up the gravy. Dad likes to sop.

Scared my heart is about to be broken again and not wanting to dwell on it, I do something I’ve let go these last few weeks. I vacuum, do laundry, and give the downstairs a good cleaning. When I finish, the meaty aroma of beef stew fills the house. I check the clock. It’s five-thirty. Is he coming?

Not coming?

How the hell am I going to deal with it if he doesn’t show?

No, I tell myself. Dad loves me. He’ll be here.

I run upstairs to put on a little makeup and try to figure out the appropriate attire to wear to an AA meeting. Is it like church? I choose plain black pants and a light green blouse. Again, a color I remember Mom wearing. I keep moving, pretending Dad will walk in any minute. Pumpkin follows me around the house, happy that I’m here.

At five-fifty, I go back downstairs. Put the rolls in. Then I lean against the counter. I could set the table. Fix some tea. I could call Hayden just to chat. Text Kelsey and see what she’s doing. I could.

I don’t.

Instead I stare at the clock on the wall. Watch the minute hand tick, tick, tick.

I don’t move. I just breathe.

The timer for the oven dings. The rolls are ready. But I’m not.

I’m not ready to face that Dad’s not coming.

I pull the rolls out. They are golden brown. The smell of fresh-baked bread rises from the pan. Glancing at the time, I see it’s six. I drop the pan on the top of the stove. The rolls could be burnt for all I care.

Will Riley’s dad come home? Will he go to the AA meeting? You’ll have to read Three Heartbeats Away to find out. What do you think will happen? (If you are reading this on Goodreads, please go to my actual blog to leave a comment.)

You can order your ebook or print copy of Three Heartbeats Away at Amazon,  Barnes & Noble or Kobo.

Winner!!

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

Preorder Contest Winner!

A big thank you to everyone who preordered Three Heartbeats Away and entered my preorder contest. Your support is greatly appreciated. The winner is Jennee. Congratulations! Please send your mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com.

Giveaway!!

Three Heartbeats Away released last week. It’s been getting great reviews. Have you read it yet? A lot happens to Riley. In fact, someone gets shot! And getting shot really sucks! Who do you think get shot?  Here’s an excerpt with some clues.

Excerpt

The phone rings again. I snatch it off the bedside table and hear Kelsey muttering something about the cold and ghosts. I see the time is eleven. Not as late as I assumed, but we were both exhausted and went to bed right at nine.

              I blink and focus on the number, half expecting it to be Dad but praying it isn’t. I don’t want to have this conversation now. Too tired. Too hurt. Too…everything. But when I focus on the screen, I realize I’m wrong. It’s not Dad.

It’s Hayden. What’s he doing calling this late? My heart says he might have remembered something else. Maybe even remembers everything about us this time.

              “Hello?” My voice sounds scratchy and sleepy.

“Riley.” His voice is pure panic. “This is going to sound so nuts, but I just…had another dream or whatever you want to call it, and in it Kelsey’s grandmother insisted I call you to wake you up because you’re in danger. She said she tried to wake you but couldn’t. I didn’t want to call, but it felt so real. And I thought… Shit, I shouldn’t have called. This is stupid.”

“What danger?” Cobwebs of sleep start clearing.

“It sounds crazy,” Hayden said.

Bessie appears, fear and fret in her eyes. “He’s here. Get out of the house.”

“Is that her I hear talking?” Hayden asks.

“Gotta go!” I disconnect the call with Hayden and stare at Bessie. “What’s wrong?”

“He’s trying to break in right now! Go out the back door!”

My heart jumps, and my mind goes straight to the man who murdered the bride. “The killer’s here? How—”

“What?” Kelsey fights to get the covers off and sits up. “Killer? Here?”

“No,” Bessie says. “Charles is here. But he’s drunk or high, and he’s got a gun.”

“Crap!” My pulse flutters at the base of my neck.

“Crap what?” Kelsey’s eyes are wide and awake now.

I shoot off the bed, still feeling half out of it, and look down at my best friend. “Charles is here!”

Kelsey bounces out of bed, then shakes her head. “No, he’s in jail.”

The cracking sound of glass breaking echoes from the living room and punctuates her words. Footsteps echo in the house. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. A door farther in the house opens, then slams.

“Window,” Bessie yells.

“Bat?” Kelsey screams.

“You left it in my car,” I say and tell myself to think, to think fast.

“Window,” Bessie yells.

“Window,” Kelsey says, almost as if she hears her grandmother. Kelsey runs for her window and tries to pull it up. I run to help. More footsteps ring out.

“Hurry,” Bessie says.

Kelsey’s bedroom door swings open. We turn around. Charles stumbles into the room, a gun in his outstretched hand.

All I can do is stare at the weapon and know it only takes a twitch of a finger to send a bullet inside either me or my best friend. One quick pull and our lives could end. I’ve never had a gun pointed at me. Never thought of them as terrifying. Until now.

You can now order your ebook or print copy of Three Heartbeats Away at Amazon,  Barnes & Noble or Kobo.

Giveaway!!!

So who do you think get’s shot? Riley, Kelsey. Charles or maybe someone else?  Don’t say the answer if you know.  Let’s keep the people who haven’t read it wondering.

Today I’ll give away a C.C. Hunter T-shirt to one person who leaves me a comment and tells me their favorite things about Riley?  Don’t let it contain any spoilers.
(Sorry, but this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only.)

Three Heartbeats Away!

Today is the day many of you have been waiting for. Yup, it’s release day for Three Heartbeats Away, the third and final book in my Mortician’s Daughter series.

Have you read it?  Have you experienced the bone-chilling cold of Riley’s new ghost?  Have you learned the secret Riley uncovers that turns her life upside down?  Has your heart ached for Riley when she questions if her purpose with Hayden wasn’t to a part of his life, but just to make sure he lived?  Can you guess what Kelsey’s reaction is going to be when she learns exactly what’s going on with her best friend?  Pick up your copy and experience the drama, the mystery, the romance, and the grins and giggles of where Riley Smith’s journey will take you.

I always have so many mixed emotions when I release a final book in a series. I’m excited for my readers to experience the end of a character’s journey, but I’m also sad to have to say goodbye to all the fictional friends I made. I also get really anxious to hear what my readers think about the book. But so far, reviews about the series have been awesome. Here are just a few of the things that have been said:

“Master storyteller C.C. Hunter has a way of drawing you into a story and never letting go. Her characters are so alive, you feel like you’re sitting next to them, and their stories so real, you feel included in every aspect of their lives. Smart. Captivating. Heart wrenching. Miss Hunter is, and will always be, on my MUST READ list!”—NY Times Bestselling Author Darynda Jones

“I love this girl! Riley. She’s a corker. I always expect a lot from C.C. Hunter, and she always delivers.”—Chez Shay Online Book Reviews 

“I so cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!!!!! C.C. Hunter has never ever failed to amaze me with her books.”—Lovely Read Publishing

“Filled with expected tropes and twists that can be found in many YA books C.C. Hunter is an expert at weaving her tales to let you have a fantastic reading time.”—Beware of the Reader

“This [Mortician’s Daughter] series is the perfect blend of eerie paranormal action, drama and plenty of will-they-won’t-they scenarios with to-die-for crushes.” –RT Book Reviews

The dead carry their secrets with them…

At least until they end up at Riley Smith’s door. Her latest spectral visitor is a murdered bride with a need for revenge, and not necessarily for the person who killed her. Never mind that killer is about to strike again. Riley’s determined to help, but is missing Hayden, the hot, ghostly boy who’s always had her back.

Living, breathing Hayden is awake, which means his spirit isn’t around to flirt with Riley anymore. Worse yet, the “real” Hayden doesn’t remember her. Their connection had been so strong. Did his feelings for Riley just disappear into the ether?

As Riley gets closer to finding the bride’s killer, other secrets are revealed: secrets that changes everything Riley thought she knew about her parents. But before she can completely unravel the mystery of her past, Riley will need to escape the murderer that threatens her future.

You can now order your ebook or print copy of Three Heartbeats Away at Amazon,  Barnes & Noble or Kobo.

Winner!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Samantha L. Wallace. Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com. Include your t-shirt size and your choice of One Foot in the Grave (book #1) or Two Feet Under (book #2) and if you prefer the Kindle or Nook version. Congratulations!

Ghosts & a Giveaway!

I have talked about my fascination with ghosts and my personal experiences with them. I’m not sure why I love ghosts and ghost stories, but I know I’m not the only one. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many movies and TV series about ghosts. Just look at the number of reality ghost hunting and paranormal investigating TV series. There’s Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Mine and Ghost Asylum, just to name a few. I don’t usually watch those because then I’d never be able to be alone in my house again.

I tend to watch the fictional TV series like The Ghost Whisperer, which I love, and still watch it when it’s on. I also watch Ghostbusters whenever it’s on.I recently shared my love of the movie Ghost, still one of my all time favorites. But I recently started watching The InBetween, a new series on NBC. This might become one of my favorites. It’s about a young woman, much like Riley, who assists the dead with their unresolved problems and helps detectives solve murder cases. Watch the trailer HERE.

In a lot of ways, the character in The InBetween, Cassie Bedford, reminds me of an older Riley.  They deal with some of the same things, needy spirits, and sometimes gruesome crimes.  Neither of them are super heroes, they are ordinary females with extraordinary gifts.  They get scared, they have other issues weighing on their minds, but their determination to help the dead is admirable and courageous.  I can’t wait for you see Riley in action in this last book in the series.

The countdown for the release of Three Heartbeats Away has started. Only two weeks from today, Three Heartbeats Away will be out. So, if you want to enter my preorder contest, you have to before June 18th. Just preorder Three Heartbeats Away at Amazon,  Barnes & Noble or Kobo, and send a screen shot or copy of the receipt to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com.

Then you’ll be entered to win this cool tote filled with awesome swag (promo stuff). But please note, Three Heartbeats Away is up for preorder as an ebook only. However, on release day it will also be available in paperback.

Now, I want to be fair to my fans who are ordering the print copy.  So, if you send me a screen shot, copy of the receipt of your order, or even a photo of you with your book to cc@cchunterbooks.com,  I’ll hold another contest.  I’ll give away a second tote with all the goodies in it.  I’ll announce the winner on June 25th.

(Sorry but both giveaways are limited to U.S. residents.)

Giveaway!

I’ll give away a t-shirt and an ebook of either One Foot in the Grave or Two Feet Under (your choice)to one person who leaves a comment telling me about their favorite TV show. It doesn’t even have to be about ghosts. If you are reading this on Goodreads, you’ll have to pop over to…… to enter to win. (Sorry, but this giveaway is also only for U.S. residents.)

Winner!

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

Settings & a Giveaway!

I once knew someone who read a book just for the setting.  If the book took place in Georgia, where she was from, she’d read it for that reason alone.  For me, a book can take place anywhere.  I read for the characters. That said, I love, love settings that are woven into the stories.  The right setting should work as a mirror.  It should reflect and contrast the emotional context of a story.  It can even enhance the plot.  In some books, the setting can almost be a character.

If you’ve kept up with my Facebook page you know I just came from the Book Lover’s Con in New Orleans.  I love that city.  It has character and history.  It has an ambiance that is unique.  The sounds of Jazz, the Cajun accents.  It smells like New Orleans.  The famous to die for food, and not just the Cajun, the city is full of food from so many different cultures.  There’s the smell of the bayous, Lake Pontchartrain, and the Mississippi River. There’s the image of the sun setting on the water’s horizon.  The coffee with chicory and cream.  Oh, and let’s not forget the beignets with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar.

Every time I go to Louisiana and especially New Orleans, I think I want to write a story set there.  But then I always go back to my own unique state of Texas.  No, I’m not from here, but I’ve hung my hat here longer than I have anyplace else.  Texas has its own vibe, its own history and for sure, its own charm.  And because I know it, I always find I’m more comfortable using it as my backdrop.

I think another reason I use it is because crazy crap really does happen here.  Almost every town has some ghost stories, and oh, the characters we have here!  From cowboys to hippies.  And true crimes stories so bizarre that people outside of Texas just don’t believe them. 

Three Heartbeats Away takes place in the fictional town of Catwalk, Texas, in the Lone Star State.  In this book, Riley spends a lot of time in the hospital. Since Riley sees dead people, it’s not really her favorite hangout spot.  But when someone she cares about is shot, not being there isn’t an option.

She also spends a lot of time at a donut shop in one of those neighborhoods that is both commercial and residential.  You see, Delicious Donuts is across the street from an abandoned commercial building where her latest ghost was murdered.  She goes there numerous times hoping the murderer will return to the scene of the crime. It’s there, with the sweet aroma of donuts and coffee, that Riley discovers her suspects.  Three Heartbeats Away has a real who-done-it plot that will keep you guessing.

Today, I’ll give away a C.C. Hunter T-shirt to one person who leaves a comment about what kind of settings they like and how important settings are to your reading pleasure. 

Oh, and don’t forget my preorder contest. Just preorder Three Heartbeats Away at AmazonBarnes & Noble or Kobo, and send a screen shot or copy of the receipt to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com. Then you’ll be entered to win this cool tote filled with awesome swag (promo stuff). But hurry, I’ll close this contest June 18th with the release of Three Heartbeats Away.(Sorry but this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents.)

Happy reading, guys!