Christine Amsden, Author of Mind Games: A Cassie Scot Novel, Talks About the Imperfections of Parents

Friday, April 25, 2014

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

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 nonmagical 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.

Coming to Amazon and Barnes and Noble on 10 April 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:

'Imperfect Parents' 
by Christine Amsden

No one's perfect, but many of us expect our parents to be. Or maybe the trouble is that as children, we believe they are. The truth comes as a crushing shock to many adolescents, which feeds into the “generation gap” that commonly surfaces during the teenage years. It usually isn't until young people leave home and see some of the world when they can finally resolve the gap between expectation and reality.

Of course, some parents are more imperfect than others. Some mistakes are easy to forgive or overlook, some human weaknesses, such as temper, so normal that it takes much less to recognize that only we who are without sin should throw stones.

But what happens when parents make a bigger mistake? Is it okay to forgive them, even though what they did was not and can never be all right?

I see forgiveness as one of the major themes of my Cassie Scot series. It is my view that forgiveness isn't something you do for the benefit of the person being forgiven, but rather for the benefit of the person doing the forgiving. Forgiving is a process of healing and moving on. It is not about saying, “Well, I understand and that's all right then.” Maybe it isn't all right. Many things aren't. Many people act out of fear or selfishness and do things that leave deep, permanent scars. But when we forgive, which (done correctly) is a long-term process rather than a momentary act, we set aside anger and work towards healing.

I'm not a big fan of black or white characters. These days, it doesn't seem like anyone is, but it can still be challenging to depict certain people as having redeeming qualities after they do terrible things. I mean, is it okay to like anything at all about a man who kills, or steals, or disowns his daughter out of fear and selfishness?

Cassie Scot's parents are not likeable, but they do love their children. All of them. Including Cassie. She's a challenge for her parents because she reminds each, in their own way, of personal failures. (Part of what I mean by that comes clear in book two, the rest will be revealed in full in book four.)

I won't tell readers how to feel. Some hate Edward and Sheila Scot (passionately). Some have mixed feelings. Not too many people really like them, and I can't blame them. For my part, I … understand them to a certain extent. They aren't good people who do bad things and they aren't bad people who do good things. They are people who act at times out of selfishness and at times out of fear, but people who still have the capacity to love.

But this isn't their story.

Another theme I try to present in this series is that change comes from within. Cassie can't fix the people around her. (This is why I was ultimately forced to write spin-off novels for her two best friends. At first I was as confused as Cassie, thinking she could solve the problems that began to develop in the second book.) Cassie's parents won't change in this series because she doesn't have the power to fix them, and this isn't their story.

Cassie will never have perfect parents; she'll only ever have the ones she got. But she can forgive them, and she can decide that they were wrong about her. She can decide who she wants to be, regardless of what they think she can be. 

Praise for the Cassie Scot Series:

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“Amsden continues the story of the only mundane member of a supernaturally-gifted family in this middling sequel to Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Cassie, stubborn and proud, is bravely trying to live on her own after her family disowns her. Struggling to make ends meet, she accepts a case involving a pair of magical girls who disappeared from summer camp. With the aid of the handsome Evan Blackwood, to whom Cassie is attracted despite her family’s disapproval and her own better judgment, she follows the trail of the missing girls. 

What she finds is a dark side of the magical world, and the hidden depths of her family’s past force her to reconsider long-held assumptions. The growing complexity of Cassie’s world makes this an entertaining installment, focusing as much on the will-they, won’t-they romantic chemistry between Cassie and Evan as on the primary mystery. An inconclusive ending is clearly intended to feed into the next volume.”

Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series, had this to say:

"When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!”

May you read well and often


Christine Amsden said...

Thanks so much for being part of my blog tour!

Marsha Thalleen said...

Love this. I just started the first in the series!