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!

Bridezilla

Riley in Three Heartbeats Away is a typical teenager, well, if you don’t count the fact that she can see and hear ghosts. Other than that, she has the usual boyfriend problems. Well, you can if you think having a guy in a comma fall in love with you then completely forget you once he’s awake.  But other than that, Riley’s life is pretty normal.

And now her latest ghost is a Bridezilla bent on revenge, and not just on the person who killed her. She’ll take out her wrath on anyone who gets in her way. And Riley is for sure in her way. And she’s not going anywhere either. Not when the dead bride claims to know things about her mom. But Riley would love if she’d stop throwing knives around the house. 

Time is running out to enter my Three Heartbeats Away preorder contest. I’m closing this contest on June 18th when Three Heartbeats Away is released. So hurry up and preorder your copy and send a scan or link of you purchase to cc@cchunterbooks.com. You’ll be entered to win this tote filled with theses goodies. Preorder Three Heartbeats Away at AmazonBarnes & Noble or Kobo. (U.S. residents only, please.)

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.

Alcoholism

I think we’ve all known someone with a drinking problem. Maybe it’s a friend or relative. Someone very close or more distant.  In Riley’s case in my Mortician’s Daughter series, it’s her dad. She kind of understands.  She knows he misses her mother, who passed away. But dang it! Riley misses her too, and she still needs her dad. He’s already lost several jobs as a mortician. That’s why they’ve had to move so often. But this time, Riley likes Catwalk, Texas and she’s even got a best friend, Kelsey.. And if you’ve ever found a person who will always have your back, you know how hard the thought of losing them can be. And if Riley even has a chance for Hayden to remember her and all that they shared, well, she just has to stay.

So, she’s on the lookout for signs to see if her dad’s drinking is getting worse. He’s not been at work when he said he was—she knows because she’s checked up on him. And she’s found empty liquor bottles hidden in his room. But now, there’s something more…something about her mother. There’s a secret, one that will tear her family apart and change her view of her mother for ever—and she’s about to find out what it is.

Preorder the third and final book in my Mortician’s Daughter series, Three Heartbeats Away. If you do, you can enter my preorder contest by sending a scan or link to your purchase, and email it to cc@cchunterbooks.com. Then, you’ll be entered to win this tote filled with all of these goodies. Preorder Three Heartbeats Away at AmazonBarnes & Noble or Kobo. This contest closes June 18th. (U.S. residents only, please.)

My Love of Ghosts

Ghosts are a recurring theme in my books. I’ve told you about my experiences with them especially as a child, and I guess it’s really stuck with me. That’s probably why I write about them and why I’m drawn to books, movies and TV shows with ghosts. In my Mortician’s Daughter series, Riley is challenged to help ghosts solve their final problems or even catch their killer, in order for them to move on. Dealing with all the usual teenage problems, not to mentions her alcoholic dad, is hard enough for Riley without adding ghosts into the mix. In Three Heartbeats Away, the final book in the series, Riley’s problems at home worsen, but she still has to deal with a Bridezilla ghost out for revenge. And to top it off, the guy she’s in love with doesn’t even remember her.  But none of that may matter if she can’t stop the bride’s killer, because she may be the next ghost to crossing over.

There have been a lot of movies with ghosts over the years, so I can’t be the only one that finds them fascinating. Ghostbusters was a movie franchise based on ghosts and demons. And who can forget The Shining? That movie scared the beejeezus out of me. Most ghost movies are horror movies, but not all of them. One of my very favorite movies, ghosts or no ghosts, is Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Is there a hotter movie scene than the one they have at the potter’s wheel?

Then there are the TV shows. Did you watch Medium?  I loved Ghost Whisperer, and I still watch it sometimes. That series has had a big impact on my books.

Reality shows about ghosts have been on a long time, too. Sometimes I watch shows like Ghost Hunters or Most Haunted. I have to say, since they’re reality shows, they creep me out more than the fictional shows. So I can’t watch them very often. Hubby isn’t a fan of sleeping with the lights on.

What are your favorite ghost movies or TV shows? Is there a new one I should be watching?

Winner!

The winner of last week’s t-shirt giveaway is Becka Lynn. Email your address and size to my at cc@cchunterbooks.com, and I’ll send you your t-shirt.

Preorder Contest!

Three Heartbeats Away is now up for preorder at AmazonBarnes & Noble or Kobo. So I’m holding a preorder contest and giving away a cool tote bag with a t-shirt, a deck of Three Heartbeats Away playing cards and other amazing swag (promotional stuff). All you have to do is preorder Three Heartbeats Away, then, send a link or a screenshot of your order to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com, and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll be closing this contest on June 18th.(Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)

Bad A$$ Girls: Do You Have One Living Inside You?

I’m working on Three Heartbeats Away and poor Riley finds herself in some tough situations.  She’s having to dig deep and find her inner bad a$$.  Oh, she’s still scared, and she really wishes she didn’t have to be in some of these dangerous situations, but she can’t turn her back on her friends.And when a ghost is certain that her killer is about to grab another victim, she can’t turn her back on that either.  Thankfully, she has a little more help this time.  Not that it makes it any less scary. 

I don’t know why, but I’m enjoying writing these spunky female roles.  I guess writing them kind of feels like I’m reaching deep to find my own inner bad a$$. To look at me, you wouldn’t think I had one hanging out in my soul.  Let’s face it, I’m not even five feet tall.  I’m more of a conflict avoider.  Yet, when someone is trying to take advantage of me or just do me wrong, it’s like my inner B with an itch comes clawing out.

My husband says, “My wife’s an angel. Accidentally run over her, and she’ll tell you not to worry about it.  But do her dirty on-purpose and you’d better run.  Run fast, because she’s going to come get you.  And unfortunately, I have proven him right several times. 

There was the time the unruly teen of my neighbor slashed our car tire.  I just thought we’d had a flat until another neighbor told me her husband had caught this boy doing it to his truck and he had gone and spoken to his mom.  My heart kind of went out to the kid’s mom.  And honestly, I wasn’t expecting her to do anything except maybe have the boy apologize.  But when I went to talk to her, she yelled and screamed at me, called me names for accusing her son of such a terrible act.  I explained I’d spoken with our other neighbor who had caught her boy doing that same thing, but she didn’t back down and even slammed her door in my face.  It suddenly made me realize that maybe the one I needed to feel sorry for was the kid.

I didn’t go straight home that night, I knocked on doors up and down my street and found eight other neighbors who’d also discovered their tires flat the night before.

So I decided to have a neighborhood party.  And the guest of honor was the police.  And when the unruly teen’s mom went unruly on that officer, let’s just say justice was served.

Another time my inner bad a$$ took over was less than a year ago.  I was driving to see a friend and an SUV sideswiped me, tore up my side mirror and slammed me into a curb so hard it busted my front tire.

Accidents happen right?  But this SUV didn’t stop. 

And neither did I. 

Did you know you can drive on the rim of your car?  Did you know if you chase someone with a busted tire, laying on your horn the whole way, they eventually will pull over?  I know it wasn’t smart, the hit and run driver could have had a gun.  But she didn’t.  She claimed she was just scared.  And . . . her insurance paid to repair my mirror, my bad rim, and for a new tire.

So I’m kind of pulling out my inner tough girl, to help with a few plot points in Three Heartbeats Away.  Not only is Riley standing up for herself and others, but I have three other plots in the making that are about females who, when backed in the corner, don’t stay there. 

What’s kind of strange is that I think it’s something in the air right now.  Or maybe even a result of the Me-Too movement, but I’m seeing a lot of kick-butt female roles on TV and in the movies.  Has anyone watched HANNA the movie or the series? I loved it and wish I had a few of her moves.

So, do you have inner bad a$$ inside of you?   Have you stood up for yourself or friend and gotten justice?

Giveaway!!!

One person who leaves a comment will win a C.C. Hunter t-shirt.(Sorry, this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave a comment on my actual blog to enter.)

Preorder Contest!!

Three Heartbeats Away is now up for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo. So I’m holding a preorder contest and giving away a cool tote bag with a t-shirt, a deck of Three Heartbeats Away playing cards and other amazing swag (promotional stuff). All you have to do is preorder Three Heartbeats Away, then, send a link or a screenshot of your order to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com, and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll be closing this contest on June 18th.(Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)

Three Heatbeats Away Contest

June 18th, Three Heartbeats Away, the final book in my Mortician’s Daughter series will be released. I can’t wait for you to read it! I’m so excited to share the rest of Riley’s story with you. And I don’t want you miss a minute of it. There’s so much going on.  With ghost, boyfriend, and parent issues happening all at once, she’s got her plate full. 

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.

So you can now preorder Three Heartbeats Awayat Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo. Get Three Heartbeats Away delivered to your inbox or doorstep on release day!

Once you place your preorder, send me a link or a screen shot of your order and you’ll be entered to win this cool tote filled with a t-shirt, a deck of Three Heartbeats Away playing cards and all this other amazing swag (promotional stuff). (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only.)

Do you preorder books? Do you prefer to wait until they come out to order them? Do you tend to buy them in a brick and mortar bookstore or online?

Texas is Home

I grew up in Alabama, but I moved around a bit as an adult. I lived in Venezuela for a few years, where I learned to speak Spanish.  Then I moved to California, where I met and married a Texan.  And when you marry a Texan, he always brings you home. We’ve lived in the Lone Star State ever since. Heck, I’ve lived in Texas longer than anyplace else. My kids are here, my granddaughter’s here, my friends are here and I plan to stay here. So, I guess I’m a Texan by now.

When I write, I set my books in Texas. Why? Texas has a strong culture and loads of traditions that enrich my stories. In my Shadow Falls series, I set Shadow Falls Camp in the Hill Country, the area known for its beauty and wild flowers. It was the perfect back drop for Kylie, Della, Miranda and their paranormal friends. In my Christie Craig, Texas Justice series, Texas is perfect for sexy cowboy cops with baggage.

Texas almost becomes another character in my books. There are other states and cities that have that kind of presence. Think of New York City, New Orleans and Boston. Can you think of other cities or states that have their own distinct personality?

Winner!

The winner of last week’s t-shirt giveaway is Kasey Joann Fridley. Congratulations! Email your t-shirt size and postal address to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com.

Don’t Forget My Preorder Contest!

Don’t forget Three Heartbeats Away is now up for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo. So I’m holding another preorder contest and I’m giving away a cool tote bag with a t-shirt, a deck of Three Heartbeats Away playing cards and other amazing swag (promotional stuff). All you have to do is preorder Three Heartbeats Away, then, send a link or a screenshot of your order to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com, and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll be closing this contest on June 18th. (Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)

Three Heartbeats Away Giveaway!

I’ve been getting loads of emails lately asking when the third book in my Mortician’s Daughter series will be out. I’m excited to announce Three Heartbeats Away will be released on June 18th.

In Three Heartbeats Away, Riley really finds herself in deep doodoo. She’s trying to deal with her latest ghost, a real bridezilla that has a bad habit of throwing knives. Not to mention she has another killer on the loose and her dad’s drinking problem has hit an all time low. And remember the crazy lunch lady? Well, Riley finally finds out why she’s been stalking her. As things get really hairy, Riley runs away from home and SOMEONE ends up getting shot! Don’t forget Hayden, the hot boy who looked out for her, but now can’t remember her and acts as if his heart belongs to Brandy. Will Riley walk away and let Brandy have him?  Or will she fight for what she believes is real? Will she have to hunt down a killer alone and face these dangers solo or is Hayden’s memory coming back?

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 change 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.

Contest!!

Three Heartbeats Away is now up for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo. So I’m holding another preorder contest and I’m giving away a cool tote bag with a t-shirt, a deck of Three Heartbeats Away playing cards and other amazing swag (promotional stuff). All you have to do is preorder Three Heartbeats Away, then, send a link or a screenshot of your order to me at cc@cchunterbooks.com, and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll be closing this contest on June 18th. (Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only.)

Giveaway!!

Leave a comment below to be entered to win this awesome C.C. Hunter t-shirt. (Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave your comment on my actual blog to be entered to win.)

Interview With C.C.


I recently did an interview for For the Love of Kid Lit with Jennifer Mary G, and I thought you might enjoy it.

  1. In Another Life has already received such great reviews on Goodreads. Do you read reviews? Do fans ever give you ideas for new stories?

I do read reviews. Most of the time with one eye closed and a promise to myself that I won’t take the bad ones personally. I know most writers prefer not to read them because some are . . . mean spirited. I tell myself that books are like ice cream and not everyone likes the flavor of books I write.  I can accept that.

Fans do occasionally offer ideas. But I find most ideas need to be organically grown from my own experiences and emotions for me to feel passionate about it.

2. Your recent YA novels meld serious life-circumstances (such as organ donation and adoption) with traditional teen themes of school, family, and romance — and then to make things even more interesting, you infuse mystery and suspense! How do you juggle all of these threads? Do you outline your novels or do you just free-write?

I didn’t start out writing YA.  In fact, I didn’t plan on it.  An editor had read my humorous romantic suspense novels and asked if I would try writing a paranormal YA series. However, because I wasn’t a YA reader at the time, I had to do a crash course.

I bought about sixteen books and I read and analyzed them. Then I did a long stroll down memory lane back to my teenage years. I learned the things that concerned me, pained me, and inspired me were the same elements I found in the books:  romance, friendships, parents, self-discovery, self-esteem, and the need for independence. I knew I had to have those elements in my stories. 

Some of my books are paranormal, like the Shadow Falls series and The Mortician’s Daughter series.  On top of the life-issues themes, I try to find plots with a wow factor. i.e. Girl gets a heart transplant, but it comes with the donors memories.  Girl, adopted at three, learns she may have been kidnapped and not given away. Daughter of a mortician’s can see and speak to the spirits her dad works on and they want her to fix their last problems. As for the suspense and mystery, call me an adrenaline junkie, but I love what a little danger brings to a story.

I’m not a plotter. I love discovering the story as I write. Yes, I know my wow factor and I have some of the plot points, but if I knew everything, writing would be boring. I see writing as sort of like weaving. The themes/elements are threads. If woven in one scene is the suspense and parental issues of the story, I know I need to pull in the threads of romance and friendship into an upcoming scene. 

3. On your website bio I learned that you sold your first book in 1994, but then didn’t sell another until 2007! I imagine that can be extremely daunting. What gave you the motivation to keep going as a writer? Did you have an agent during those quiet years?

What’s even more disheartening is I started writing in 1984.  So it took me ten years to sell my first book and thirteen more years to sell my second.  That said, I sold four books at once when I sold my second. And In Another Life is my 43rd book if you count my novellas and non-fiction books. So I am not what you would call an overnight success.

I have received over 3000 rejections.  Was it daunting?  Yes, but you have to understand that I’m dyslexic. Nothing came easy for me. And maybe because of this, I was willing to fail and try again.  Now, those rejections are not just from novels.  When I couldn’t sell my second book in 1994, I started writing for magazines. I wrote travel articles, fillers, essays, profile pieces, and columns. I wrote approximately three pieces a week and if it came back rejected, I’d try to improve it then I’d send it right back out. It took a while before my freelance work took off, but a sale here and there kept me motivated.  Eventually, I was selling to the bigger magazines. I put the novel writing on back burner and focused on my freelance career.  In 2000, my daughter graduated from college and I told my husband I was going to start writing novels again.  It took six years for me to sell, but during that time, I wrote eight completed novels and five proposals.  And I sold all but five.

Winner!

Kellsey Walker you won last week’s giveaway! You’ve won a C.C. Hunter t-shirt. Congratulations! Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com and tell me your t-shirt size and postal address.

In Another Life List

With the release of In Another Life, I’ve been very busy doing a blog tour. One of my favorite stops was at Jean the Book Nerd, where this was previously published on March 20th. I thought I’d share it with you.

Reasons to Read In Another Life

Because you’ll learn:

  1. Accidentally body slamming a hot guy and making him spill something special.
  2. A vague memory can be the key to unlocking the secrets of your past.
  3. A good best friend can help get you through just about anything.
  4. Your destiny isn’t determined by DNA, but by your choices.
  5. When a dad’s superhero status is tarnished, his little girl’s heart is broken.
  6. Parents aren’t perfect, but some deserve a second chance.
  7. If we let it, our past can prevent us from having the future we deserve.
  8. Divorce can be as hard on the children as is it on the couple.
  9. When your dog barks at the window, someone who means you harm might be peering in.
  10. Being accused of attempted murder isn’t any fun.

In Another Life is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-MillionIndie Books and Powells.

Giveaway!

I’m giving away one of my new C.C. Hunter t-shirts to one person who leaves a comment about In Another Life. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave a comment on my blog to be entered to win.)

Winner!

The winner of my In Another Life pre-order contest in Karen Lindsay. Karen, you’ve won an Ancestry DNA kit. Please email me a cc@cchunterbookscom with your address and I’ll send it to you. Congratulations!