Kindle Fire HD GA-Book Review/1st Chapter Reveal-Secrets and Lies-Christine Amsden-Ends 2/28/14 | Miki's Hope

Kindle Fire HD GA-Book Review/1st Chapter Reveal-Secrets and Lies-Christine Amsden-Ends 2/28/14

Monday, November 18, 2013


Join Christine Amsden, author of the paranormal mystery novel, Secrets and Lies: Cassie Scot Book 2, as she tours the blogosphere November 18 – February 28, 2014 on her second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! To see a list of the other bloogers in this tour please click here.


This is book 2 in this series-you can read my review of Book 1 Paranormal Detective here. It does help if you read the first book before the second because it is a continuation and you really do need to know what happened previously to understand some of it. Cassie has been disowned by her family and goes off on her own. Of course her family is still watching her back whether she likes it or not. And she does NOT like it. Heck they disowned her-didn't they? Since Cassie truly believes she has absolutely no magical abilities (except perhaps intuitiveness) she continues trying to get jobs as a "normal detective"-the only problem is since she comes from a very magical family all the jobs are paranormal. Evan Blackwood, who is the son of Cassie's fathers arch enemy and Cassie have a definite attraction and some of the book revolves around this. Lots of detective work in this novel and I did enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first! A couple of surprises are awaiting you in this 2nd of so far a 4 series book!

About the Book: (from Pump Up Your Book)


Cassie Scot,still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot Mystery series

This book can be purchased at Amazon


To read the Prologue and 1st chapter of this enchanting book click here and click on the book cover (if this link does not take you direct!)

About the Author: (from Pump Up Your Book)


Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Website
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Goodreads


Now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway










I received a paperback edition of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions. For more information please check my Disclosure Statement. Our giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.

115 comments :

Masshole Mommy said...

I love a good mystery novel. My boys are getting Kindle Fires for Christmas, so I might have to start "sharing" it with them and this book is definitley one I would download.

(Terry) My Journey With Candida said...

So the author is legally blind and still writes. How challenging that must be. Kudos to her for saying "I Can! Instead of I Can't

Sarah-Louise Bailey said...

What an inspiring lady I hope she makes it far :) I shall keep a look out for this and the other books in the series x

Christine Amsden said...

Thank you so much for being the first stop on my PUYB tour. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this as much as you enjoyed book one! (As an author, it is wonderful to get such overwhelmingly positive reviews of the first book in a series, but then you start to wonder... what will they think of the rest?!?)

Terry -- I'm not just a writer, I'm an editor! How do I do it? 36-point font! Actually, even before my vision started to slide I used to increase the font size for editing... to 14 or 16-point. I think there's something to be said for the practice. I hesitated to get into editing because of my vision, but after years of finding errors that other editors missed, I realized I really can do it! I do prefer content editing to copy, though. (It's just more fun. :) )

Casey said...

I think it's so awesome that the author has overcome such daunting obstacles and not only continue to write, but to get published! Major props to her! :)

The book looks really interesting. It seems like it has the components of a great sci-fi novel but also reads like a romance. I would love to check it out, so thank you for sharing.

Onica MommyFactor said...

What an amazing woman. Just goes to show you can't stop someone passion

AMBER EDWARDS said...

This sounds like a super fun book! I love mysteries, detective stories and throw in a bit of magic and I'm quite happy. lol.

Kay Adeola said...

Sounds a great books and what and inspiration the author is.

Rachee said...

What a back story! Love reading that Christine didn't let her blindness limit her. I am adding this series to my ever growing to read pile.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Love her story and success and I honestly don't read enough mysteries anyhow. I just don't think of them, but I love them so I may just pick it up.

Christine Amsden said...

For the non-mystery readers out there: There is a mystery in each of the books in this series, but I honestly don't think of it primarily as a mystery. (Mystery readers, ignore me! :) ) I see it as more of a fantasy, and a story about someone coming into herself. There's a STRONG character component... which is, coincidentally, my favorite kind of story.

Savingwith Saveone said...

I enjoy stories where the main character is dealing with many obstacles at once, it keeps me glued to the book. The giveaway is super generous as well!

Karen Hewitt said...

Really like how she embraced her challenges and created an awesome book. Will check it out

Maria said...

Sounds like an interesting novel! I love stocking up on books for the winter months. Makes me feel enjoy the cold more if I am snuggling up to a good book.

Pam said...

What an amazing woman to overcome all these challenges. I am a fan of paranormal romance so I am going to look for this at our library.

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

Wow, this seems to be an interesting read. I never read paranormal romance though

Pam said...

I love to read the author bios and this one is very interesting. She is legally blind and she writes and teaches. She has found her passion in life for sure. I would also love to read this book.

Jennifer Williams said...

Thank you for stating that you need to read the first book. It drives me crazy when people say you can skip to the second book or later in a series, you can, but it is better if you don't - in my opinion. I am not much into paranormal books, but love books that come in series form so I might check this one out.

Ashley Gill said...

This might be the longest giveaway i have ever seen, however... the prize is fantastic! I am interested in this series.. it sounds really good!

Robyn Good said...

This book sounds really intriguing.

Cynthia Landrie said...

What a great story about the author. I am so impressed that she still follows her dream even though she has a disability.

Amberlee said...

Sounds like a really great book! I love stories like this, especially when the author has a story of their own!

Melanie B said...

Sounds like another great book to put on my book wish list! Thanks for sharing

Amanda Love said...

Sounds like a great book 2 but I would have to read book 1 before getting it. I don't like starting in the middle of the series. Thanks for the review.

Patricia Woolverton said...

I am not big into these types of books but I must admit they both sound good. I do like books that have series like this one.

Courtney Pies said...

This sounds like a great book! Definitely one that I would enjoy! Adding it to my To Read list now!

Melanie said...

Sounds like a great book and I think my MIL would love it; I'm getting her a Kindle for X-mas and just might load that book for her to get started; thanks for sharing

Meghan said...

Christina- If you could collaborate with any author, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Thanks for sharing!

Teresa McCluskey said...

I would love to win this! The book looks really good! Plus I have always wanted a kindle!

Lady J said...

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Sarah C said...

Question for Christine: Do you plan to work in any other genres, or are you sticking with fantasy?

Christy Maurer said...

This sounds like a great book! My daughter loves writing. What advice would you give an aspiring author?

bn100 said...

When will the rest of the books be released?

Christine Amsden said...

Sorry for the long time in replying!

"Question for Christine: Do you plan to work in any other genres, or are you sticking with fantasy?"

I've written a science fiction novel before -- The Immortality Virus. I could see myself going back to science fiction. Or even that slippery in-between genre known to a few of us as slipstream. But at the moment, I'm still writing a couple of spin-offs for this series. Mostly, I like great characters. Genre is less important, although I do have a lot of fun with magic and weirdness.

"This sounds like a great book! My daughter loves writing. What advice would you give an aspiring author?"

Love it! It's not going to make you rich. But actually, I have tips for writers on my web site from time to time, I teach classes at Savvy Authors, and I offer one-on-one coaching/mentoring services. My head is so full of advice, it's hard to sum it up. I think the first thing I said is the most important, though. Make sure you love it. You won't love every minute of it, but if you don't love any minutes of it, this will be a miserable life. :)

"Christina- If you could collaborate with any author, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Thanks for sharing!"

Collaboration? You mean give up control? Yikes! I don't even like collaborating with myself (which is what I feel like I'm doing now as I write spin-ff sequels to the Cassie Scot series).

"When will the rest of the books be released?"

The latest from my publisher still has the tentative release dates set for April 2014 and July 2014 respectively. These dates can (and do) slip, especially the last one since I'm still waiting for edits to come back. But Mind Games is done on my end so I'm hopeful that April will be pretty close to right.

I hope I caught every question! There are a lot of comments in here so please let me know if I missed you.

Ashley Trail said...

How old were you when you starting writing , seriously

Brandi Kosiner said...

What's your fav book of 2013?

Molli Vandehey said...

which of your characters, if any, do you see yourself in? do you feel parts of you in each character?

Laura Lanza said...

How long have you been writing?

Kevin Puls said...

My question to you is to ask you about your opinion on author Neil Gaiman,...

What are your thoughts about him?

Natalie said...

What was your inspiration to write this story?

lgothard said...

I want to commend you for following your dreams, even though you had to overcome this disease. You are a strong young lady!! My question is what kind of advice do you give to young people to follow their dreams even in hard times?
Thank you
lgothard@comcast.net

Heather Smith said...

I was just wondering where the inspiration for the character Cassie Scot came from?

Seth said...

Have you considered writing nonfiction or something educational?

momof2girls said...

If you could have dinner with any one living or dead who would you choose?

Christine Amsden said...

"How old were you when you starting writing , seriously"

I wrote my first short story when I was 8 -- about Cabbage Patch Dolls going to Mars. I'm not sure when I was "serious" about it. In junior high and high school, I wrote almost every day after school. It was my refuge. I think that's pretty serious. I did go to a by-audition "boot camp" with Orson Scott Card in 2003 which I kind of think of as the start of my professional writing career, but I was serious long before that. Anything you've spent thousands of hours on in your life has to be serious!

"What's your fav book of 2013?"

I have no idea. I honestly don't have a clue when books are released. I read them when I happen upon them by recommendation, or when they are newly released through the library for the blind... it takes them an average of a year to record a book so I'm never up on current books, I'm afraid.

Christine Amsden said...

"which of your characters, if any, do you see yourself in? do you feel parts of you in each character?"

Cassie has my voice. I think of her as the person I'd like to be if I could think of sassy comebacks on the fly. I tend to come up with something that I wish I'd have said an hour or day later! I feel like I have a lot in common with Madison, Cassie's shy friend. Except I can't sing.

"How long have you been writing?"

All my life! :)

"My question to you is to ask you about your opinion on author Neil Gaiman,...

What are your thoughts about him?"

He's good. Not one of my favorites, but he's a little twisted and I tend to be more straightforward. I've also enjoyed the episodes of Doctor Who he wrote. :)

"What was your inspiration to write this story?"

Cassie came to me in a burst of inspiration as I was trying to figure out what on earth could be done new in urban fantasy. I hadn't written in the sub-genre before, but I was in a phase.... reading a lot of contemporary fantasy. I wanted to try something, but what? My favorite stories, regardless of genre, are the ones with strong characters. I thought of the USA tagline "characters welcome" and thought I'd love to be able to say that about my story. So I wanted a character with some kind of compelling problem -- maybe like Monk, brilliant obsessive compulsive detective. I wanted a character with a "handicap" of some sort, like my visual impairment, but in a fantasy world I had a much more fun option -- no magic in a magical world! Cassie honestly popped into my head almost fully formed from that line of thinking.

Christine Amsden said...

"I want to commend you for following your dreams, even though you had to overcome this disease. You are a strong young lady!! My question is what kind of advice do you give to young people to follow their dreams even in hard times?"

Thank you! Wow, what an important and tough question. Because to tell you the truth, not being able to see well sucks. I can't drive. I can't see facial expressions. (Okay, if people are giving me dirty looks, maybe I'm better off!) There are other challenges. But writing is in my soul, and with today's technology, I can make it work. I sometimes wonder how I would handle a disability that got squarely between me and a dream? Like an athlete with a knee injury or something? Then you'd have to find something else you loved and mourn your loss. When this first happened to me, I had to take it a day at a time. I got depressed. I mourned. That's okay. But then I went back and found something that made me happy, something I could still do, and I did it. (This response is barely scratching the surface, really. I should write a book, or at least a full article on it sometime.)

"I was just wondering where the inspiration for the character Cassie Scot came from?"

See answer above. :)

"Have you considered writing nonfiction or something educational?"

Yes. I've written some articles on writing how-to and have been seriously considered putting them together in a coherent book. I might do that later in 2014, after I finish my two partially-completed works in progress. I've also considered writing something about mindful eating. I've blogged about that topic a bit too, but if I do that I'll need to dig deep. I did some brainstorming a few weeks ago and realized that since I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, I'd need to make it autobiographical -- personal. There are some things I've realized that I think other people might be able to relate to, such as the fact that I was fat in my head LONG before I was even a little overweight in truth, but that would be a tough story to write. And my mom might not like the fact that I have to point a finger at her. (I love her and it's not her fault, she has issues too. It's a vicious cycle.) Anyway, long answer to a short question but I do have nonfiction ideas floating around in my head. And I've written short nonfiction pieces on my blog about writing, mindful eating. Oh, and a few years ago I wrote a series of "Breastfeeding 101" articles that are still floating around out there somewhere.

"If you could have dinner with any one living or dead who would you choose?"

Alton Brown, as long as he's cooking. I've recently become addicted to Good Eats!

******************************************

Thanks for your questions, everyone. Keep them coming! I'll make sure to stop by every once and a while to catch up with answers. :)

Megan S. said...

How long have you wanted to be a writer for?

Natalie Parvis-Nichols said...

Who is your favorite author? diesel_had_my_baby@yahoo.com

FotoJennic said...

I love the paranormal genre, I cant wait to read your books!! I think its awesome that you have not let the loss of your eyesight stop you from fulfilling your dreams. Way to go!!

Melinda Dartmann said...

Happy New Year to Christine and Miki's Hope! I am wonder struck by how much you have accomplished while working through your Stargardt’s Disease! I am totally in awe that even with it, you still do so much! Bless you! My question is: do you use any new technology to write or to teach writing?

Emi Pearce said...

I am interested in the sequel the Para Normal Detective. According to amazon, it came out first (in April) and then Secrets and Lies second (in October) Does Cassie have any sorcerer abilities that come out later in the first novel? (and then continue in the second?}

Christine Amsden said...

"I am interested in the sequel the Para Normal Detective. According to amazon, it came out first (in April) and then Secrets and Lies second (in October) Does Cassie have any sorcerer abilities that come out later in the first novel? (and then continue in the second?}"

No! And thank you for asking, because I expect many readers think this is going to happen. :)

Cassie does NOT uncover repressed talent or hidden gifts halfway through the first book Cassie has no magic talent. Seriously, I'm owning it. Later in the series, I even explain why that can be, when she came from such a powerful bloodline. (There's a bit at the very end of Secrets and Lies, a a lot more in Mind Games (coming this spring), and you get the whole story in Stolen Dreams (with the editor right now).

There is...a lot I'm biting my lip not to say because I don't want to spoil anything. Some reviewers have openly wondered if Cassie might have an unrecognized gift, even if she has no magic. This is because I differentiate talent and gifts in my world. Magical talent is the ability to manipulate a sort of energy into spells, potions, and runes. It takes effort and study. Gifts, on the other hand, are inborn, innate, and effortless. They also range from overt (firestarting) to subtle (intuition). I will neither confirm nor deny these speculations.

Cassie has wit and compassion, though -- natural gifts that I personally think are all she needs. I hope to convince both Cassie and the readers of that as well. :)

Christine Amsden said...

"How long have you wanted to be a writer for?"

All my life! Literally as long as I can remember.

"Who is your favorite author?"

I like so many different things that I don't have a single favorite author. Favorites include (but are not limited to) Jim Butcher, Karen Marie Moning, Orson Scott Card, Catherine Anderson, Linda Howard... (and yes, I know they all write very different hings!)

"My question is: do you use any new technology to write or to teach writing?"

I have magnifying glasses to read printed material, but I'm at a point where it is difficult for me to read printed material even with those magnifiers. There are machines that can enlarge things even more, but the last time I looked into it (which has been a while), they were clunky, cumbersome devices. I really do need to see an occupational therapist again, both because in the last decade they've probably made advances, and because I'm having trouble reading the papers my kids bring home from school. Before that, I just sued a computer to enlarge everything. Everything is on the computer now, and I can't even imagine how I would have dealt with this 50 years ago! I've got a large flat-panel monitor that is on an arm so that the monitor comes out to me and I don't have to lean way over the desk to get right up next to it (I'm about 3 inches from the screen right now). I listen to most of my books.

At this point, I no longer attempt to read normally printed books at all. I really just cannot do so. Most books are available in other formats these days, so that's not as limiting as it sounds, but like I said, 50 years ago...

Brandy said...

How many books have you written so far?

Robyn Donnelly said...

What made you want to do paranormal writing? I love paranormal and scifi and anything otherworldly.

Kera Adams said...

What is your favorite part about the writing process? i.e. putting the whole thing together, coming up with the plot, creating the characters, etc

Judy Thomas said...

What are you working on now? I can't wait to read this one :)

PaulineMilner said...

Dear Christine,
I am currently working on a novel of my own. It is almost ready to be submitted to a publisher for consideration. How do you decide which publisher is best for you? Also, should I only submit to one publisher at a time and then wait for an answer before submitting to another? Thanks and keep up the excellent writing. Pauline

Ruckus Eskie said...

What made you write this?

Carolyn Colley said...

thanks for the awesome giveaway, I've been wanting a Kindle for a long time, so maybe this one will be mine, thank you again

Christine Amsden said...

"How many books have you written so far?"

I have 6 complete novels -- Touch of Fate (my debut novel published in 2006/2007), The Immortality Virus (2011), and four books in the Cassie Scot series (2 published, 2 coming in the next few months).

I am hoping to finish 2 more books in 2014 -- one is close to done, the other not so close, but I seem to be able to write about 1 book per year when I'm on form.

"What made you want to do paranormal writing? I love paranormal and scifi and anything otherworldly."

I've never wanted to write anything else, to b honest. I grew up on this stuff. I think it's in my blood as much as writing is.
As an adult, I'm willing to read other things, but I have still never been tempted to write anything that didn't have some magic of otherworld element to it.

I think fantasy and scifi give us the chance to examine elements of our own humanity exaggerating them and making them larger than life. It's also a safe and fun way to do it. Take Cassie, for instance. She doesn't fit in to her family and has a "handicap" of sorts because she has no magic. I'm sure many readers can relate to not fitting in, not living up to expectations, or even having a handicap of some sort.

"What is your favorite part about the writing process? i.e. putting the whole thing together, coming up with the plot, creating the characters, etc"

Lately, I've begun to think my favorite part is revising. Coming up with ideas is fun, rough drafts are fun too, but I particularly enjoy taking that rough draft and shaping it into its final form. I've come to think of it as sculpting the written word -- The rough draft is the lump of stone and the final draft is what's left when I chip away at what doesn't belong.

"What are you working on now? I can't wait to read this one :)"

I am working on Madison's Song and Kaitlin's Tale -- two spin-offs based on characters from the Cassie Scot series. Madison's Song is the one that's nearly done. I just got some feedback on my latest draft and think one more solid revision will do it -- a month or two (if I can focus, which is sometimes hard). Kaitlin's Tale is still in a more exploratory form, but I hope to have it done in 2014.

"Dear Christine,
I am currently working on a novel of my own. It is almost ready to be submitted to a publisher for consideration. How do you decide which publisher is best for you? Also, should I only submit to one publisher at a time and then wait for an answer before submitting to another? Thanks and keep up the excellent writing. Pauline"

Good luck to you! There are so many paths you can take with novels these days. A lot of writers start out by querying agents, and if you want to go with a big publishing company, this is your best bet. You can submit to multiple agents at once. They may ask for exclusivity if they request the full manuscript, but if they do, make sure to set a time limit. **Never give anyone limitless exclusive rights to consider your novel. ** You can go to big publishers directly, but again as long as you are submitting a query package (the query package depends upon guidelines, but is often a cover letter, first three chapters, and a synopsis), you can submit to more than one. Don't try too many, though, if you're also querying agents. There are writing forums out there where you can talk endlessly about this very topic, to be honest. :)

I went with a small press for my first novel because I didn't know what I was doing and stumbled upon it. I think I lucked out. It was recommended by Predators and Editors (a web site you may want to check out), and they've done well for me. I decided to use them again for my other books.

"What made you write this?"

A little of this, a little of that. Upbeat is my preference, most of the time. I don't want to feel depressed. :)

Amy B said...

What time of day do you get your best ideas? I always get my best writing ideas at night, in bed. I leave a notebook by my bed for just that reason.

Christine Amsden said...

Amy, I get my best ideas when I step out of my routine. It's not a time of day thing for me. I tend to do the same things day after day, and that discipline helps me to finish a novel. But when I'm floundering for ideas, I need to get away from it all. On a basic level, I can take a walk or take a bath. Going to a movie is a little better. But going out of town for a few days -- that trumps them all!

Mary Bearden said...

When will the next book be ready to read? Can't wait! Your series is one of my favorites. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I have been wanting one of these for a very long time!

orange0487 said...

how did u come up with the characters?

Jennifer Hiles said...

I always love to know this about authors, what is your favorite book?

Christine Amsden said...

Thank you, Mary! I'm so thrilled to hear it. Mind Games is almost ready for release. We're waiting on cover art (and I am literally checking my e-mail several times a day at this point in expectation... it was supposed to be done over the weekend). The print release is set for May. My publisher and I are discussing the date of the ebook release.... I think I'm going to push for April. (She actually wants March, but I'm not convinced I can be ready to promote it so soon.) Either way, Mary, you're on my review list so you'll be getting an e-mail soon!

Everyone else, I have a mailing list. Just slip over to my web page and glance at the righthand side... it's not too far down. Just enter your e-mail address and click "Subscribe." I'll send out an e-mail on the day of the release to let you know it's available.

Christine Amsden said...

"how did u come up with the characters?"

Cassie came to me in a flash of inspiration. The others began in supporting roles... I "met" each one of them because I needed them to be someone or something to her. But actually, I spend a lot of time thinking about characters and trying to make them each an individual. I do a lot of first-person journalling in which I pretend to be a character for a short time and work out who I really am. I did this for Evan, Kaitlin, Madison, Angie, Cassie's parents, Evan's father, every antagonist/murdere, etc. As I write the journals, the characters start coming to life through me.

"I always love to know this about authors, what is your favorite book?"

Written by me? Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)
Written by someone else? I get this question a lot, but I'm terrible at answering it. I read a LOT... probably 2-3 books per week, well over 100 per year... and as much as I love them, each one is a blip. I spend a year on each of my books, a few hours on anyone else's. And I read from so many different genres -- romance, mystery, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy (basically if I write it as a subplot, I read it) -- it's all based on my mood.

Some of my favorite authors include: Jim Butcher, Linda Howard, Orson Scott Card, Karen Marie Moning, Catherine Anderson, and Jayne Ann Krentz. And I am currently enjoying rereading the Harry Potter series to my kids. :)

Joy H said...

Question for Christine: What was your favorite book as a child?

tori whitaker said...

how has ur new year been so far.

denise smith said...

i think the author is amazing woman and person i have a special needs daughter and i think she is amazing to.

denise smith said...

question is did you have a wonderful new year

Angel Heaven Lee said...

What kind of books do you like to read? :)

Lana Bradstream said...

What is your favorite book?

Jeanne Agee said...

Thanks you so much for sharing your talent with us. I know it must be hard to do all you do,but I see that nothing slows your down. You have shown that we all can do what we want if we try hard enough!!

Tee Lee said...

I really would like to have a Kindle Fire to do a lot of reading. How easy is it to download e-books onto the Kindle Fire?

taxchyk said...

What helped you become so resilient in the face of challenges?

Birdie Bee said...

I am amazed by the dedication it takes to write a book. How long does it generally take you to complete a book from beginning to end? Thank you for sharing your works.

Emily C. said...

Question to the author!

What is the most challenging thing about being an author?

Christine Amsden said...

"Question for Christine: What was your favorite book as a child?"

Depends upon what age you mean. I don't have a lot of memories of the books I read as a young child, or even early in grade school. The Chronicle of Narnia, which I read in 5th or 6th grade, were early favorites. (Wish they'd keep making the movies. Believe it or not, I think they outshone the books!)

"how has ur new year been so far."

Busy! My kids were off school for 2_1/2 weeks so I got to play catch up, and in the middle of catching up I get my editorial notes in for Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4). But it's a good kind of busy and I am *almost* ready to call Stolen Dreams DONE -- out of my hands -- in someone else's hands!

"question is did you have a wonderful new year"

I have a 5 and 8-year-old so we just stayed in but it was nice. We taught our 8-year-old to play Monopoly. (He won, but I blame my husband for not taking the excellent deal I offered him early in the game! :) )

"What kind of books do you like to read? :)"

The kinds with strong characters. Genre is not nearly as important to me as good characters. I've been reading a lot of romance lately because I love the human connections you get more consistently in that genre than in other genres, but I confess I'm growing weary of it lately. I'm working my way back to fantasy and scifi, which have always been go-to genres for me. But always, I'm looking for those characters!

"What is your favorite book?"

I don't have a favorite. I really don't. You have to understand that as an author, other people's books are a blip on the radar for me. I read hundreds of them per year, whereas I work on exactly one of my own (on average) in a year. It's hard for me to remember even the books I thoroughly enjoyed reading at the time. That's one of the reasons I started leaving so many book reviews on goodreads -- to remind myself later!
"I really would like to have a Kindle Fire to do a lot of reading. How easy is it to download e-books onto the Kindle Fire?"

Dunno. I have a Nook. :)

I am told it is easy, and I am inclined to believe it.

"What helped you become so resilient in the face of challenges?"

Necessity. I could write a book on the answer, but I think it all boils down to that. :)

"I am amazed by the dedication it takes to write a book. How long does it generally take you to complete a book from beginning to end? Thank you for sharing your works."

About a year, but that's misleading because I don't work linearly, and I usually have more than one project going on at the same time. For example, I am working on final edits for one book, then I'm going to work on a new (hopefully close to final) revision of another book, then I'm going to work on a rough draft of a third book. After that, I'm going to polish and wordsmith the second book (which will have been with beta readers in the interim).

"What is the most challenging thing about being an author?"

Making money! Seriously, if you don't love writing, you're in the wrong business. :)

Wanda Craighead said...

When did you first have the desire to become a writer? Love the blurb.

dusty katt said...

You said in an earlier comment that you prefer content editing to copy. What's the difference?

Melissa Cushing said...

I have two questions for the author... what inspired her to write her first book and when did she know for sure he wanted to be a writer? Thanks for the fabulous giveaway!

CricetJean Gentry said...

With the vision, how do you edit? I do some "creative" writing, but I could not imagine trying to do that with my vision not what it is? Kudos to you Girlfriend!!

alena said...

I always wanted wrote a book(childrens book),and would like ask you how did you start writting and where do you get your inspiration from book...

Maggie CBerry said...

What will your next book about?

GeorgiaBeckman said...

I would like to know if Christine has intuitive abilities.

Edna Williams said...

Would you think of writing non-fiction?

Mary said...

I would love to know how I can introduce writing to my grandchidlren. I think reading is very important for them and I would love it if they try their hand at writing.

Darci said...

What steps did you take to make your dream happen, how did you get the focus to get this book completed?

Tara Settembre said...

How long did it take you to write this book?

david higley said...

Great role model for all. Have you spoken to elementary- high school students about your craft?

Christine Amsden said...

"When did you first have the desire to become a writer? Love the blurb."

I've always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl.

"You said in an earlier comment that you prefer content editing to copy. What's the difference?"

Copy editing is nitty-gritty technical stuff -- grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. I'm good at it, but it's not as much fun as content editing. Content editing checks for fluidity of story. It can be a little closer to a critique than an edit, depending upon what the author needs/wants, although a good content editor knows what makes a story tick and what may be undermining its impact. Content editing requires brutal honesty mixed with compassion and sharp eye for story details. Anyway, it's a lot of fun -- like helping to polish a work of art. Which is why I prefer it. :)

"I have two questions for the author... what inspired her to write her first book and when did she know for sure he wanted to be a writer? Thanks for the fabulous giveaway!"

I've always wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first book, Touch of Fate, as part of a mystery writing class I took a few years back. I'd written a ton of stuff before that, but never finished anything. It got to a point where I knew I just needed to finish something already, and the class helped me focus on that goal.

"With the vision, how do you edit? I do some "creative" writing, but I could not imagine trying to do that with my vision not what it is? Kudos to you Girlfriend!!"

36-point font! To tell you the truth, I'm better than most editors because I enlarge my font so much. I could get away with a smaller font, but I like the feeling of security. I learned a long time ago (and I suggest this to some writers who've come through my own writing workshops) that one of the best ways to edit something is to increase the font by one step -- so people writing in a normal 12-point, make it 14-point and see what pops out. You may be amazed to discover that this new perspective helps you to see things you never were able to see before, especially those nagging little errors like though, through, and thought

"I always wanted wrote a book(childrens book),and would like ask you how did you start writting and where do you get your inspiration from book..."

I've never not written. And the best way to start writing is BIC (butt in chair). There's nothing else more important to go from "thinking about being a writer" to "being a writer." After that, there are workshops and forums out there on the Internet to help aspiring writers -- check them out! But before you even go, get in a chair and write something. Anything. Oh, and don't worry -- it'll suck. You didn't think you were going to sit down at a piano the first time and play Mozart, did you? :)

Christine Amsden said...

"What will your next book about?"

Mind Games is coming April 15:

Beware your heart and soul…

Evan broke Cassie’s heart two months ago, and she still doesn’t know why. She throws herself into family, friends and her new job at the sheriff’s department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him…irresistible.

Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the non-magical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor’s wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands. With tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze. Book 3 in the Cassie Scot series.

"I would like to know if Christine has intuitive abilities."

LOL no, I wish! I've got a logical mind but I've always been the king of person to have to step through a problem a piece at a time.

"Would you think of writing non-fiction?"

I've thought of it. I've done some of it in article or short-form format. I write articles on writing how-to, for example. One day these may become a book.

"I would love to know how I can introduce writing to my grandchidlren. I think reading is very important for them and I would love it if they try their hand at writing."

I wouldn't force it, to be perfectly honest. Read to them. Children need to be read to. (I'm reading the Harry Potter series to my kids right now.) And encourage creativity by talking about books, coming up with silly scenarios, etc. But let them decide if writing is something they want to do. If writing isn't in someone's soul, you can't put it there.

I like to introduce my kids to a lot of different things and see what takes. At the moment, they're both learning to swim and play the piano. My 8-year-old is into photography so we got him a nice videocamera for Christmas.

"What steps did you take to make your dream happen, how did you get the focus to get this book completed?"

Goal setting is important. Baby steps. And it's hard, especially for something like this where the reward is so intangible and so far off. You don't get regular reinforcement (such as weekly paychecks) to keep you going. Heck, you rarely even get an, "Atta girl!" A writer working on his or her first book needs a great deal of inner strength and fortitude. I'm not sure you can learn that. You have to want it. :)


"How long did it take you to write this book?"

I spend about a year on each book all told, although it's rarely that straightforward. For example, I started Madison's Song (which I'm just about ready to turn in to my publisher) a year ago November. But I've probably only spent 4-5 months on it -- I spent the rest of the time on other projects. It actually works out pretty well because I get some time between drafts to clear my head and come back at the project with a fresh eye.

"Great role model for all. Have you spoken to elementary- high school students about your craft?

No, it hasn't occurred to me to do that yet, but my oldest child is in 2nd grade and I'm not sure they're ready for anything I have to say. Maybe in a few years. I figure that sort of thing would start through my kids, then branch out.

Daniel M said...

often wondered who/how comes up with these great covers - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Theres just life said...

How long does it take you to write a book? How much research do you do?

Cathy C said...

This book sounds interesting. How long did it take for you to finish it?

Peggy Johnson said...

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Savannah Logan said...

What do you do when your not writing?

GARRY S said...

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE PARANORMAL

Elizabeth Kremble said...

looking forward to reading more of your books

Lauren said...

What made you want to write paranormal mysteries?

Yueh Ying Lin said...

Do you have any murder mysteries?

Peggy Johnson said...

What inspires you to write?

LaTonya Atkinson said...

Do you ever run into writers block and if so what do you do?

Sarah Hayes said...

what an inspiration! What attracts you most to science fiction and fantasy writing?

tanya holland said...

The book sounds like a great and interesting read. Do you plan on writing anything besides fantasy? I love reading fantasy but I also love suspense and others.

amy banks said...

who inspired you?
aka midgeknows@rogers.com

Christine Amsden said...

Hi everyone! Got a bunch of similar questions so I'm going to just take care of them in one fell swoop. :)

It takes me about a year to write a book, but it's not a linear process so it's tough to say exactly how long it takes. And there are a lot of interruptions.

I write fantasy and science fiction (The Immortality Virus is science fiction suspense). I love speculative fiction because it allows me to show real humans reacting to extraordinary situations, sort of exaggerating real humanity. That's what I love about fantasy and the paranormal.

My bottom line is I'm a character girl -- I don't care as much about genre as a strong character. I'll read anything. But I write fantasy and science fiction because I love the wonder of it all. I don't see myself leaving those genres.

Jess&James said...

Do you think You would every have a character have Stargardt’s Disease?
Jessica Cox

Clinton Weiss said...

What aspects of sci-fi/fantasy settings do you enjoy most as an author? (E.g, the freedom to breach current social topics outside of our specific social constructs, or the ability to create situations that transcend our own world, etc)

Amanda Sakovitz (mandy83) said...

Which writers if any inspired you?

Christine Amsden said...

Jessica -- I tried very, very hard to write a character with Stargardt's Disease. I spent almost a year on the project but it died a horrible, painful death. I think the reason is that it's too close to me. Too personal. One of the reasons I write fantasy is that it gives me the freedom to explore real-world concerns in a safe and abstract way. That's Cassie -- the normal girl in the supernatural world. She's got a sort of "disability" so I know how she feels, at least a little bit.

Which sort of answers Clinton's question too -- I'm more into using fantasy and scifi to breach current social constructs outside our own reality. I'm less interested in situations that transcend our own reality. To me those are fun intellectual exercises -- to think of something truly alien, truly unearthly -- but largely it is the human condition that interests me.

Amanda -- A lot of writers inspire me. Orson Scott Card was a teacher of mine, but also just from reading I'd have to include Jim Butcher, Linda Howard, JK Rowling, and others. But I don't emulate any of them. My style is very character-centered. The point of my stories is the people living them. And my style is very straightforward.

Thomas Murphy said...

How many books have you written?

rounder9834 @yahoo.com

 
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