Friday, July 25, 2014

Christine Amsden, Author of Stolen Dreams, the Conclusion of the Cassie Scot Series Tells us Where the Characters Are Now

Meet Christine Amsden

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction 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 relationships, 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.

Connect and Socialize with Christine!


Synopsis from Goodreads

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood's grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie's father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Coming to Amazon and Barnes and Noble on 25 June 2014!

I would like to welcome Christine Amsden, author of the Cassie Scot Series to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Amsden was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

'Eagle Rock, 2014'
by Christine Amsden

Do you ever wonder what happened to your favorite characters after the dust settles? I know I do!

The four books in the Cassie Scot series takes place between June 2010 and April 2011. That's when I started writing them … it takes time to get these things published! So by now, even though Stolen Dreams just came out, it's three years later in Eagle Rock. So let me catch you up on a few of the most notable characters from the series:

SPOILER ALERT (If you haven't read Stolen Dreams, just about everything I have to say here is a spoiler.)

Cassie and Evan are still married and doing okay. They had a daughter in December 2011, Anastasia (Anna), a powerful young healer like her Aunt Juliana. But “happily ever after” is a bit misleading. I've never believed that the work of falling or being in love ends with magic words – either “I love you” or “I do.” That's one of the reasons I had Cassie and Evan get the “I love you” part out of the way in book two. It wasn't enough. In Stolen Dreams they each made sacrifices for the other, but life still moves and changes. 

The big problem between these two right now is that Evan still grieves for the loss of his father, a father Cassie hated so much that he hides his mourning from her. In other words, he's never had a chance to get over it properly. He knows his father was a terrible person in many ways, but it doesn't change what he feels. 

Cassie, meanwhile, is paralyzed when it comes to having another child. Her dreaming ability is growing, but she keeps dreaming about the might-be children she could have, depending upon when she conceives. In her dreams she's seen dozens of children and has fallen in love with all of them; she doesn't know how to choose one and nobody else really understands how real each and every one has become to her in her dreams. (Note: It is *possible* that this becomes the basis for another Cassie Scot story. But if so, what you read is as far as I've gotten with it and I'd really like to start another series first.)

Madison Carter has a spin-off sequel of her own coming out in 2015, so read that to find out what happens to her. It takes place about a year after the Cassie Scot series.

Kaitlin Meyer also has a spin-off sequel, but it's still being written. It also takes place about a year after the Cassie Scot series, and will help you understand what happened to Jason, Alexander DuPris, and Matthew Blair.

Cassie's family:

Sheila Scot, Cassie's mom, went into a deep depression after the death of her husband and is honestly still not whole again. Her family fears she never will be. They've had several empathic healers try to help, but they say it's as if she wants to follow her husband into the grave.

Nicolas finished his magical apprenticeship and decided to join The White Guard as a combat sorcerer at the urging of his mentor, Clark Eagle. After the death of his father, he had to step in as head of the family (because of his mother's depression), a role he takes very seriously and one that has forced him to grow up faster than he would have otherwise.

Juliana is apprenticing with Linda Eagle at the moment. It wasn't her first choice – midwifery isn't really what she wants to do – but she couldn't bring herself to leave Eagle Rock to learn from the healer of her choice. Juliana has been more of a mother to the twins than anyone else and she won't leave them.

Isaac does have a gift. He's a hunter, like his cousin Jason, with the strength and speed to kill vampires. Most hunter gifts manifest with puberty (Kaitlin's baby being a rare exception).

Elena still can't speak to the dead, which is a mixed blessing and curse. She does pay more attention to the living now, but she's sick at heart. And she's never gotten over her crush on Barry Eagle, who hasn't spoken to her since the day her father cursed him.

Adam is an adorable, charming ten-year-old. I expect the other ten-year-old girls had better watch out in a few years!

Christina is an outgoing six-year-old. Only time will tell what kind of person she'll grow up to be.

There's something weird going on with the three-year-old twins, Michael and Maya. Maya is kind of blind …but she seems to be able to see whatever Michael is seeing. Not sure what that's about yet.

If there's any other character you'd like to know more about, just ask! There are dozens of secondary and minor characters in this series. I probably know what's going on in all of their lives.

May you read well and often

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Eliot Baker - The Last Ancient

40. The Last Ancient by Eliot Baker (2013)
Length: 312 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 20 July 2014
Finished: 22 July 2014
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read. 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 May 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Eliot Baker is a new author for me.

Simon Stephenson is a well-known reporter; long estranged from his alleged arms-dealing father because of a hard-hitting story that he wrote which had exposed Preston Stephenson's shady business dealings to the world. He lives a relatively quiet existence on Nantucket Island, working as an environmental reporter for the local newspaper, and is blissfully engaged to a beautiful young socialite.

Around Nantucket Island, a series of particularly grisly animal slayings is linked to a viral epidemic which could reach Biblical proportions if it isn't contained and eliminated as soon as possible. When the various crime scenes begin to involve human victims, ritualistically murdered and peppered with ancient coins, Simon is the only man able to unlock their meaning. But Simon wonders what the coins could possibly have to do with the murders? And just what type of creature - human or inhuman - might have left them?

His search for answers leads reporter Simon Stephenson on a journey through ancient mythology, numismatics, and the occult. Not to mention his own past - which turns out to be even darker than he'd realized; his murdered father was secretly studying alchemy, among other arcane subjects. Along the way, Simon battles panic attacks and a host of nasty characters - some natural, others less so. Meanwhile, Simon's heiress fiancee turns into 'bridezilla-on-a-rampage', and a gorgeous rival television reporter seduces him - concealing her true intentions.

I really enjoyed this book. The plot was unusual, and I must say that some of the elements of it were slightly difficult for me to fully understand. The study of alchemy has always seemed to me to be more fantastical than based in reality. I thoroughly appreciated the humaness and humanity of the characters, despite the seemingly super-heroic acts they performed. I give The Last Ancient by Eliot Baker a definite A! and will certainly keep my eyes open for more books by this author in the future. 

A! - (90-95%)       
 

May you read well and often

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Michael Matson - The Dancing Boy

39. The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson (2013)
The Treat Mikkelson Mysteries Series Book 1
Length: 245 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 14 July 2014
Finished: 17 July 2014
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Kathleen at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 12 June 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Michael Matson is a new author for me.

All Treat Mikkelson desires in his life these days is peace, quiet and a bumper cache of clams. After a lifetime spent investigating crimes and analyzing the criminal mind, Treat is now enjoying the well-earned solitude living on a private island in Puget Sound. Life truly couldn't get any better.

The death of eighty-seven year old Margaret Neillsen - a reclusive millionaire who made her money buying and selling real estate - really shouldn't bother Treat in any way. He didn't know Margaret, and despite feeling a certain sadness at her passing, the fact that she died falling downstairs doesn't strike Treat as suspicious or in any way murderous. She was elderly and infirm; it was to be expected.

However, according to Cassie McLaren - a friend of Margaret's - she was spry even at the ripe age of eighty-seven, and could never have tripped and fallen downstairs, because she knew the layout of her house like the back of her own hand. Cassie is convinced that Margaret Neillsen's death is actually murder and begs Treat to investigate it further; promising to try to accept her friend's death as natural if the coroner's report comes back clear. Cassie's request is one Treat cannot deny, even as his subsequent investigation exposes all manner of crime: from fraud to the horrific underbelly of child exploitation.

The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson dealt with some serious, tough, dark issues, and may not be appropriate for all readers. I, myself, found this a difficult book to read and I must say that I wasn't all that certain whether I liked the character of Treat Mikkelson that much at first. I found that Treat grew on me as I read, though. I enjoyed this mystery and am curious to know whether there will be more mysteries featuring Treat Mikkelson - I certainly hope so. I give this book an A! and will keep my eyes open for more books by Michael Matson.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Introducing The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson!

Meet Michael Matson
 
 Michael Matson was born in Helena, Montana, and was immediately issued a 10-gallon Stetson and a pair of snakeskin boots. After formative years spent in New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, California, Hawaii and Japan, Michael earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. Following a brief military stint in Oklahoma, where he first encountered red, sticky mud, heavy rain and tarantulas, he returned to Seattle and worked as an advertising agency copywriter, creative director and video producer.

In 2007 he (regretfully) left Seattle for Mexico to have time to write and has since published The Diamond Tree, a fairytale for all ages; Bareback Rider, an inspirational adventure for children; and Takeshi’s Choice, a mystery novel. His short story “Gato” was selected for inclusion in Short Story America’s 2014 anthology. His second mystery novel: The Dancing Boy, was released by Dark Oak Mysteries, a division of Oak Tree Press in April 2014.

He lives with his wife María Guadalupe (Tai), in Morelia, the colonial capital city of Michoacán, where, despite all the bad publicity given the area by U.S. news media, he has never seen a narcotraficante.
 
The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson (2013)
Length: 256 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
 
The Dancing Boy Blurb:
 
Treat Mikkelson is not exactly a burnt-out case but he’s grown tired of his life as a criminologist, weary of memories of a marriage gone wrong and of his time in Vietnam. Trying to burn the bridges to his past, he finds and remodels a cabin on a small Pacific Northwest Island, settles down to enjoy fishing, setting his crab pot, digging for clams and documenting the lives of his island neighbors.

When an elderly woman in the nearby tourist town of La Conner is found dead however, the victim of what appears to be an accidental fall, Mikkelson is persuaded to look into her death. The discovery that it was murder leads to something even more shocking: the human trafficking of young boys brought into the US and Canada.


May you read well and often

Monday, July 14, 2014

Introducing The Donor by Nikki Rae!

Meet Nikki Rae

Nikki Rae is a writer who lives in New Jersey. As an independent author, she has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists and she concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. Nikki writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.


The Donor by Nikki Rae (2014)
Length: 31 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Donor Blurb: 

Casey Williams and her family are poor. Her parents work non-stop and so does she, just so they can keep the trailer roof from leaking. 

They’re getting by fine enough when the headaches start. Then there’s the nosebleeds. And the inevitable doctor’s bills. 

Fortunately for Casey, there’s MyTrueMatch.com: an exclusive, quick, and almost easy way to pay it all back before her parents even have to know. 

All she has to do is give a man she’s never met whatever he wants from her body.
Inside or out.

[Disclaimer: This is a serial novella that will be told in parts about the length of a short story (20-30 pages).]


The Donor Series
Book 1: Available on Amazon on July 14, 2014! - Grab your own copy today!!
Book 2: Available on Amazon Soon - Coming in August of 2014!
Book 3: Available on Amazon Soon - Coming in September of 2014!

May you read well and often

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nikki Rae - The Donor

38. The Donor by Nikki Rae (2014)
The Donor Series Book 1
Length: 21 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 11 July 2014
Where did it come from: Many thanks to Nikki Rae for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 11 June 2014
Why do I have it? I like short stories and Nikki Rae is a new author for me.

Casey Williams is a recent high school graduate still living at home with her parents. Her family is as poor as church mice but both her parents and Casey work non-stop, trying to keep a roof over all of their heads. They're just about making ends meet - barely - but they're still managing to pay the bills each month.

Then the headaches start. And the inexplicable nosebleeds. And the inevitable doctor's bills. Casey needs help, and she needs it fast.

Fortunately for Casey, there is the website MyTrueMatch.com: an exclusive, quick, and relatively simple way to pay her own medical bills, and her parents wouldn't even have to know. All she has to do is meet with Jonah Black - MyTrueMatch's local representative - he would certainly be able to assist her.

I must say that my senses were on high alert right from the start of this story that something bad would happen to Casey - the entire situation was creepy to me, but I couldn't quite pinpoint what it was that made me so uneasy. I'm interested to discover how this novella will develop, but it certainly is an eye-opening start - I give The Donor Part One by Nikki Rae an A!

A! - (90-95%)
       
May you read well and often

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog Tour For Stolen Dreams - Book 4 of the Cassie Scot Series - by Christine Amsden From July 16, 2014 to October 15, 2014 - Come Join Us!

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Christine Amsden will be touring the blogosphere to promote her young adult Paranormal Mystery Stolen Dreams - Book 4 in her Cassie Scot Series. This virtual book tour is being hosted by the author herself and will last from July 16, to October 15, 2014!

Ms. Amsden is also doing an awesome giveaway - she is giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner at the end of her Blog Tour. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and I wish you all the very best of good luck in taking part!

Stolen Dreams Blog Tour Information:

Meet Christine Amsden

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction 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 relationships, 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.

Connect and Socialize with Christine!
 
 
About Stolen Dreams:
 
Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Purchase Your Copy From Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
 
Christine Amsden is giving away an Awesome $100 Amazon Giftcard!


Stolen Dreams Book Publicity Tour Schedule: 
 
 
Wednesday, July 16 - Book Review at Cassandra Lost in Books
Wednesday, July 16 - Guest Post “Thirty-Six Point Font” at The Reading Addict
Thursday, July 17 - Book Review at Miki’s Hope
Thursday, July 17 - Guest Post “What’s Next” at Cassandra Lost in Books
Friday, July 18 - Book Review at D. E. Haggerty
Friday, July 18 - Guest Post “A Universe of Possibility” at The Avid Reader
Monday, July 21 - Special Feature at Miki’s Hope
Monday, July 21 - LIVE! Blogtalk Radio at Other Worlds of Romance
Tuesday, July 22 - Book Review at Books, Books, and More Books
Tuesday, July 22 - Special Feature at Lissette E. Manning
Wednesday, July 23 - Book Review at Wall-to-wall books
Thursday, July 24 - Special Feature at Cruising Susan Book Reviews
Friday, July 25 - Book Review at Cruising Susan Book Reviews
Friday, July 25 - Special Feature at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Monday, July 28 - Special Feature at Chapter Break
Tuesday, July 29 - Book Review at KT Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 30 - Book Review at The Book Review
Thursday, July 31 - Special Feature at Murder By 4
Friday, August 1 - Book Review at Once Upon a YA Book
Friday, August 1 - Book Review at The Insane Ramblings of a Crazed Writer
Monday, August 4 - Book Review at Pink Fluffy Hearts
Tuesday, August 5 - Book Review at Genuine Jen
Tuesday, August 5 - Special Feature at RhythemPoets
Wednesday, August 6 - Character Interview at Genuine Jen
Wednesday, August 6 - Special Feature at Offbeat Vagabond
Thursday, August 7 - Book Review at Books Are Love
Friday, August 8 - Special Feature at Books Are Love
Monday, August 11 - Book Review at The Book Junkie
Tuesday, August 12 - Book Review at Pure Jonel Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 13 - Special Feature at KT Book Reviews
Thursday, August 14 - Book Review at Read Books and Live Green
Thursday, August 14 - Special Feature at The Book Review
Friday, August 15 - Book Review at L. Avery Brown
Monday, August 18 - Book Review at Biblio Belles
Tuesday, August 19 - Book Review at Zili in the Sky
Tuesday, August 19 - Special Feature at Zili in the Sky
Wednesday, August 20 - Book Review at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 20 - Special Feature at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Thursday, August 21 - Special Feature at Dora Machado
Friday, August 22 - Special Feature at Maria DeVivo
Monday, August 25 - Book Review at RhythemPoets
Tuesday, August 26 - Special Feature at Shah Wharton
Wednesday, August 27 - Book Review at The Avid Reader
Thursday, August 28 - Mind Games Audio Review at A Little Bit of R and R
Friday, August 29 - Book Review at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
Tuesday, September 2 - Book Review at The Reading Addict
Wednesday, September 3 - Book Review at Short and Sweet Reviews
Thursday, September 4 - Book Review at Lovely Reads
Friday, September 5 - Special Feature at Dalene’s Book Reviews
Monday, September 8 - Book Review at Chapter Break
Tuesday, September 9 - Book Review at Hide the Matches
Tuesday, September 9 - Book Review at Rogue Reviews
Wednesday, September 10 - Interview at Pure Jonel Book Reviews
Thursday, September 11 - Book Review at Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, September 12 - Book Review at Lissette E. Manning
Monday, September 15 - Book Review at The Real World According To Sam
Monday, September 15 - Special Feature at Little Miss Drama Queen
Tuesday, September 16 - Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Wednesday, September 17 - Book Review at The Story of a Writer
Wednesday, September 17 - Special Feature at The Real World According To Sam
Thursday, September 18 - Book Review at All In One Place
Friday, September 19 - Book Review at Little Miss Drama Queen
Monday, September 22 - Book Review at Tanya’s Book Nook
Tuesday, September 23 - Book Review at Laura’s ramblins and reviews
Wednesday, September 24 - Special Feature at Interstellar Woman of Mystery
Thursday, September 25 - Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Friday, September 26 - Book Review at The Canon
Monday, September 29 - Special Feature at All In One Place
Tuesday, September 30 - Book Review at D’eBook Sharing Book Reviews
Wednesday, October 1 - Book Review at Bound 4 Escape
Thursday, October 2 - Book Review at Brooke Blogs
Friday, October 3 - Book Review at The Alaskan Book Cafe
Monday, October 6 - Special Feature at The Alaskan Book Cafe
Tuesday, October 7 - Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, October 7 - Special Feature at Pure Jonel Book Reviews
Wednesday, October 8 - Book Review at Literally Jen
Thursday, October 9 - Book Review at Offbeat Vagabond
Friday, October 10 - Book Review at A Little Bit of R and R
Monday, October 13 - Book Review at Fallen Over Books Review
Monday, October 13 - Special Feature at Brooke Blogs
Tuesday, October 14 - Book Review at Dalene’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, October 14 - Special Feature at Sheila Deeth
Wednesday, October 15 - Book Review at Sheila Deeth

May you read well and often