Thursday, April 28, 2016

Is it hot in here? Big Burning release day!

Life for Susie Russell couldn’t be better. Her lingerie business won international fame and her sister had found irrefutable proof of Bigfoot’s existence. So confident about the authenticity of their evidence, Susie even agrees to let a skeptic join their group on a research exhibition near Mt. Hood. Her world comes crashing down when the man who broke her heart turns around to shake her hand. Brach Stevens might be smart and gorgeous, but Susie refuses to let him so easily charm his way back into her life. Their trek into the woods turns deadly when they’re trapped by a forest fire. Will they be able to escape the hungry flames or will Susie perish without letting Brach know she has always loved him?

Buy links:

Add it to read on Goodreads.

This is the third and final book in the series. It's also my favorite. I loved writing Susie who is smart and fiery. She made me laugh a lot, even when she didn't mean to!

The Sasquatch Susies series was a lot of fun for me. I got to play around with Bigfoot mythology and get my characters into dangerous and intimate situations outside in the great outdoors. A big change from haunted houses!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Review for Murder & Obsession

Detective Steven Quaid is ready for the new challenges as Anchorage’s top detective, but not until he marries the woman of his dreams on New Year’s Eve. Determined to give Sarah the wilderness honeymoon she desires, he turns his grandfather’s cabin into the perfect honeymoon retreat.

After the final details are complete, Steven treks into the mountains to hunt. On his return to the cottage, he’s greeted by several police officers and a bloody crime scene.

Accusations fly and Stephen flees into the wilderness. His heart racing and his thoughts No, not Sarah, etching onto his soul.

The wilderness is unforgiving, but Steven faces it head on, in the forms of a massive Grizzly and a black bear. Caught between the two, he barely survives their ‘tug of war.’

Found on death’s door by his uncle, Steven continues his investigation as he heals from multiple injuries. The answers don’t come quick or easy.

Enlisting the aid of his number one suspect, Steven’s led into yet another dangerous situation…

A sniper, who’s made a promise, he intends to keep.

The struggle this time is more than personal…

This one just may cost him his heart.
My review:
Detective Steven Quaid wants to give his fiancee, Sarah the Alaskan honeymoon she has longed for at his grandfather's mountain cabin. He returns one October day from hunting and finds several police officers at the cabin. Plus a horrifying crime scene that tears his heart from his chest. Steven flees into the wilderness when he's accused of killing Sarah. Between the bears and the harsh elements, Steven barely survives to start his own investigation. With the help of friends who believe in him, they peel back the layers of the crime to discover something even more frightening. Will he be able to find out what happened to Sarah or will the bears be the least of his worries as he digs deeper into this nightmare?

This third installment of the Detective Quaid Mysteries blew me away. The story is intense and the investigation goes deep. The reader is taken to amazing settings on this journey, and I felt as though I was there. Great details that are genuinely both beautiful and harsh. The characters match this rugged and lovely environment, and even with the big cast, each individual stands out in their own way. I really loved Sarah in this book, more so than the previous two. She still has her compassionate and mystical nature, but she's so much stronger now. Truly admirable. Steven is equal to her strength, pushing through what sometimes seems impossible. The author does love to torture her characters! Be prepared for a fierce adventure that will make you feel like you've had a run-in with a bear. And it will leave you wanting more.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hooray! Seismic Crimes is here!

Today is the release of Chrys Fey's first novel!

BLURB: An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?


Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Five for April 15, 2016

1. I have a release date for Big Burning (Sasquatch Susies #3). April 28th! That's less than two weeks away. It's awesome how fast this series has come together. This third and final one is my favorite of the series. Add it to read on Goodreads.

2. I'm almost done Totem #4. One more chapter. I think I can do it today. I can do it. I don't have a title yet, but hopefully my critique partners and beta readers can help with that.

3. I'm still having fun shopping images this month. I found images of the same model used for my cover for Of Blood and Sorrow. They make me want to write more books in that series. I have a few ideas too. So many stories to write, so little time!

4. My mom's visiting next week, so I'll be absent from the net. Lots of fun is going to be had, because...

5. It's my son's sixth birthday next week! Six. Wow. Time really does fly by when you're a parent. His party is this Sunday at a local park, and the weather is going to be spectacular.

Have an awesome weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2016

My Top 5 Favorite Retellings - guest post by A.B. Keuser

I'm super excited to have the fantastic A.B. Keuser on my blog today talking about her favorite fairytale retellings. I'm visiting her blog with my top five urban fantasy worlds! Please stop on by and let me know yours.

My Top 5 Favorite Retellings
By A. B. Keuser

Firstly, thanks for having me on your blog today, Christine!
I love fairytales. They were some of the first stories I can remember hearing, and I grew up in a golden age of Disney movies. Beauty and the beast may be the first film I ever saw in the decade’s old Egyptian themed theater of my home town (if it wasn’t I can’t remember what was). Fairytales have the opportunity to do so many things. They’ve been told in ways that make them beautiful and sweet; they’ve also been told in ways that should strike terror in the hearts of twelve year olds. Whether the Disney-fied version or a tale pulled from the Grimm’s collection, Fairytales have a way of getting in your head, and sticking with you.

1. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James In this Historical Romance, the Beast in question is a lord/doctor with a beastly temperament who is more resembling of Gregory House than of the furry beast of the Disney variety. The story itself leans more toward its historical romance side than its roots in the fairytale, but Eloisa did a wonderful job of blending in just the right amount of fairytale to remind the reader while keeping it grounded in a reality of a different time. The rest of her fairytales series are amusing reads as well, though this is my favorite of them.  
This is actually a late addition to the list. I only finished it two weeks ago. That being said, this delightful YA SF retelling of Cinderella is spectacular.  A fully formed world that is completely different from the original tale with all the elements of the original. The story is sweet, frustrating, and an absolute joy to read.

Sure this is technically cheating. But it’s a miniseries so good, I couldn’t help but add it. There’s something absolutely wonderful about this update of Alice in Wonderland, where humans are “Oysters” being drained of their emotions to supply the citizens of wonderland with drug versions of the emotions they themselves do not have. Mechanical flamingos that are the equivalent of a airborne jet ski. The Queen of Hearts runs a casino. It’s absurd and delightful. Some could argue (and the mini-series sort of does too) that it’s not a true retelling but it has all the elements I look for in a retelling. 

Another historical romance and another take on the Cinderella story. This book has no prince and no magic, but manages to play off the basic ideas of the original story in a way that lends just the right touch of familiarity. That’s not to say that it doesn’t take you on a wild ride to get there. Though I still take issue with the hero (because he’s a bull headed idiot), Sophie makes up for him in spades. A wicked step mother, an ugly(personality-wise) stepsister and sweet one too. This doesn’t need fairies to make magic of it’s own.

This made it onto the list with a caveat. The first time I read the book (2011) I hated it.  The second go-around, it grew on me. This retelling of Sleeping Beauty takes a pseudo-medieval twist on the classic that gives a fun play on a variety of magic. The only downside (and perhaps what made me dislike it in the first place) was the romance element that just didn’t seem right to me. Perhaps my favorite part of this novel was the way in which Robin handled the fairy’s gifts, each is a delightful thing that goes just a bit wrong.

What are your favorite fairytale retellings?

About the Author:
When A. B. Keuser isn't trying to make sense of her own brain soup, she writes the "charmingly gritty" Flynn Monroe series, space operas that will keep you guessing, and steamy Clockwork Fairytales. An Oregon native whose life has transplanted her in the Sonoran desert - where she's slowly desiccating - she writes to stay out of the sun and heat, drinks way too much tea and spends all her free time with her dog and husband.  Give her a shout:

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Five for April 8, 2016

1. My latest WIP is torturing me. I found a huge plot hole last week thanks to a character who pointed it out. So I've been rewriting (the third rewrite for this book) and now I'm finally on track toward the climax again. I had hoped to have it finished today, but now I'm aiming for next Friday.

2. I've been shopping for images this month. A late Christmas gift from my mom. I have the most perfect pictures for my Totem series. I hope I can do them justice when I create the covers. Now I'm picking images that would make awesome covers for other stories. I'm going to try to see if it is easier to write from inspiration from an image rather than trying to find images that fit a completed story.

3. Last night was my little guy's spring concert. He was so excited to sing on stage! Watching all the little kindergarten kids was cute.

4. One moment can change your life. One click can add The Thing That Turned Me to your "to read" list on Goodreads. I can't wait for this anthology!

5. I'll be easing off the blogging this month while sharing in the fun with the participants of the A to Z Challenge. I need more time to give my attention to these stories that are creating such havoc for me! I do have fabulous guest on my blog on Monday, and I'll be at her blog the same day. Stop by and see what we have in store for you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#IWSG for April 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

I'm happy to be co-hosting this month along with these awesome writers: Megan Morgan, Chris Votey, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, L.G. Keltner, and Patricia Lynne!

Many of you are participating in the A to Z Challenge this month. My time is very limited this month, so I had to sadly opt out of doing it. But I'm here cheering you on!

The first time I participated in the Challenge I had no clue what to do. I was scared no one would like anything I did. So feeling that way, I wrote about a little girl who started off frightened and grew into a warrior. The story spanned over the entire month. Some of you might remember the tale of a brave woman who fought the monsters under children's beds with a snarky stuffed hippo as her guide.

Fearless received so much love. I went on to self-publish it and put it up for free. There has been over 70,000 downloads of the story since 2012, and that's a modest estimate as I don't know the number of downloads it has had on Kobo. I still am shocked when I think of that many people having read the book.

Many readers write me to say they read Fearless and it was so good, they bought my other books. It has been one of the best ways to market my work.

All of this because of the A to Z Challenge.

The Challenge might be scary, but you can do it. Slay your monsters and write.

P.S. Come stop over at the Untethered Realms blog. I miss doing the Challenge so much, I posted yesterday with my A to Z of funny paranormal things!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Witch of the Cards Blog Tour - guest post by Catherine Stine

The allure of creepy, ramshackle beach towns as settings for dark fantasy

What is it exactly that makes edgy beach towns the perfect setting for sinister fantasy and historical suspense? I’ve always been attracted to the dark side, and particularly to strange beach towns. So far, I’ve set two of my novels in them.

When I first moved to New York City after college and a stint out west, you couldn’t tear me away from the nefarious boardwalks of Coney Island. This was back before the arcade was renovated, back when the sideshow by the sea with its sword swallower and human pincushion were on full display. It was when a hungry, dirty capybara was caged in a box that read: Only $1 To See the Biggest Rat in the World! This poor critter was a plot point in Dorianna, my paranormal twist on Dorian Grey. And no surprise, I set Dorianna in Coney Island, and installed my sexiest villain ever, Wilson Warren, an agent of the devil disguised as a videographer who prowled the beaches, making girls into Internet sensations.

Fast-forward to my new novel Witch of the Cards, set in 1932, about Fiera, a sea witch who has a special talent with Tarot (and not just reading the cards). Of course, I set it in a shady beach town, in this case, Asbury Park, NJ. You see, I’ve been coming to this gentrifying beach town for years and know it well—in its sunny moods but also in its spooky, moody shades.

Around the turn of the century, and up until 1940, Asbury Park used to be the stomping grounds of the glitterati. There were grand concerts in the art deco Convention Center, and people dressed to the nines would stroll on the boardwalk at night. Then came the race riots of the 1960s and the economic crash, and the place fell into major disrepair. Its only remaining claim to fame was The Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen rocked into the limelight.

When I discovered first ventured into the convention center, there was a hole in its roof that seagulls flew in and out of, and only one lonely saltwater taffy store on the boardwalk run by an ancient lady who seemed to have stepped out of a Stephen King novel. Of course in Witch of the Cards I made her into a fabulous, dangerous witch, who sold magical taffy. And I turned the paranormal museum on Cookwell Avenue, the main shopping lane, into a place to hold séances that often went horribly wrong. I installed an illegal speakeasy in the taffy store basement. In my novel, Witch of the Cards, even the ocean hides terrible secrets.

There’s something about the scent of saltwater and hotdogs, the splintered, salt-dried boardwalk and the scream of people hurtling down on the arcade rides that gets my blood charging and my imagination firing. What about you?

Here’s a snippet of a scene when Fiera and her date Peter went down to the basement speakeasy in the taffy store:
Perhaps I was far too gone, but I didn’t care. Peter and I danced and danced. The room filled with the overflow from the convention hall dance—young lovers, bootlegger types with wide ties and cigars, older women with twinkling earrings and heavy bosoms, even a prostitute or two. I thought so anyway, because they wore way too much rouge and came alone to sit brazenly up at the bar with the gin rummies.
This time I couldn’t say whether or not I stepped on Mr. Dune’s polished wingtips. This time, he probably couldn’t be sure if he knocked his bony legs into mine. We had many more nips of absinthe, and I wolfed down another green-swirl taffy and before I knew it, I was leaning provocatively against Peter and laughing like a wild banshee.
I remember gaping up at him to see his black hair all disheveled and him mumbling indistinctly. And I, thinking that he was the most gorgeous human being I’d ever seen. I remember Dulcie grabbing one of my arms, and Peter grasping the other. I remember all of us howling at the crescent moon over the ocean, and the shocked sideways glance of the hotel proprietor as we all stumbled in.
I recall pulling out the Tarot he’d given me, and laying them out on the bedroom rug. I recall babbling at him—about a witch and a swindler and a boat—not necessarily in that order. I can still picture his expression of shocked surprise but not at what.
And I remember Peter’s lips branding my forehead—how could I ever forget that—while shocks of his lush black hair dangled deliciously on my burning cheeks. The last thing I recall before things went dark was kicking off my shoes.”

Fiera was born a sea witch with no inkling of her power. And now it might be too late.
Witch of the Cards is historical, supernatural romantic suspense set in 1932 on the Jersey shore. Twenty-two year-old Fiera has recently left the Brooklyn orphanage where she was raised, and works in Manhattan as a nanny. She gets a lucky break when her boss pays for her short vacation in Asbury Park. One evening, Fiera and her new friend Dulcie wander down the boardwalk and into Peter Dune’s Tarot & Séance, where they attend a card reading.
Fiera has always had an unsettling ability to know things before they happen and sense people’s hidden agendas. She longs to either find out the origin of her powers or else banish them because as is, they make her feel crazy. When, during the reading, her energies somehow bond with Peter Dune’s and form an undeniable ethereal force, a chain of revelations and dangerous events begin to unspool. For one, Fiera finds out she is a witch from a powerful sea clan, but that someone is out to stop her blossoming power forever. And though she is falling in love with Peter, he also has a secret side. He’s no card reader, but a private detective working to expose mediums. Despite this terrible betrayal, Fiera must make the choice to save Peter from a tragic Morro Cruise boat fire, or let him perish with his fellow investigators. Told in alternating viewpoints, we hear Fiera and Peter each struggle against their deep attraction. Secrets, lies, even murder, lace this dark fantasy.

WOC Buy links:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon CA:
Amazon AU:

About the Author:
Catherine Stine’s novels span the range from futuristic to supernatural to contemporary. Her YA sci-fi thrillers Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire are Amazon bestsellers and indie award winners. Her YA, Dorianna won Best Horror Book in the Kindle Hub Awards. Heart in a Box, her contemporary YA was an Amazon Hot New Release in Teen and Alternative Family for over eight weeks. She also writes romance as Kitsy Clare. Her Art of Love series includes Model Position and Private Internship. Book three, Girl and the Gamer, launches this summer. She suspects her love of dark fantasy came from her father reading Edgar Allen Poe to her as a child, and her love of contemporary fiction comes from being a jubilant realist. To unwind she loves to watch “bad” reality TV and travel to offbeat places.

Catherine’s website:

One $40 gift card, two hand-painted heart-boxes (by Catherine) with secret treasure inside, one signed paperback of Dorianna by Catherine Stine, one signed paperback of Witch of the Cards by Catherine Stine, one brand new collector Tarot deck along with an envelope full of special swag!

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