Thursday, July 3, 2014

*Spotlight, Giveaway & Interview*
with Author Christine Amsden!

A few days ago, I posted my review for the third book in the Cassie Scot series.  Today, I am going to be spotlighting this book, and sharing the awesome interview I had with author Christine Amsden!  Without further adieu, Mind Games, Cassie Scot #3!!

Mind Games
(Cassie Scot #3)

~Author: Christine Amsden

~Published: June 15th, 2014

~Length: 280 Pages

~Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

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.

~ 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!”

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. 

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 with Christine Online ~

Read the First Chapter here!!

(Warning: Contains series spoilers. New readers to the series would be better off checking out my posts for Book 1 and Book 2.)

~Rose: When you first started writing this story, did you have an idea of where it would go, and where it would end up in this third book, or did the story just kind of happen?

~Christine: I started writing before I knew exactly where it was going. In fact, I made a few decisions in the first book that demonstrate this – for example, making seven the most powerfully magical number. At the time, I thought there would be seven books in the series, but by the time I decided that the story's natural conclusion came in four books, I had made the power of seven too integral to remove. 

I started with a character and a concept for a mystery. The rest really spun out from there. But I will say that I had all four books finished before the first one came to print, so I was able to make adjustments to the first book to support my conclusion. 

~Rose: How did you originally come up with the idea for this series?

~Christine: Cassie came to me in a burst of inspiration. I was on a writing break after finishing The Immortality Virus. I didn't feel like I had defined myself as a writer yet, but I thought vaguely that I wanted to write about interesting characters. I thought of the USA tagline, “Characters Welcome!” 

I knew I wanted to write urban fantasy because that's what I was reading at the time (especially Jim Butcher and Karen Marie Moning), but what could I do with a character that hadn't already been done? Think of a new magical power? Give an old power some new twist that makes the hero even darker and more damaged than usual? But really, it was hard to see how I could bring something new to any of that. And that's when it hit me … No magic at all!

I went upstairs and immediately wrote the first paragraph of the book. And so Cassie was born, fully realized, precisely as you see her to--

Oh wait, no. My original first paragraph looked like this:

My parents think the longer the name, the more pwoerful the sorcerer. So they  named me Nicolas Merlin Apollonius Roger Scot. You can call me Nick.

I might have changed one or two little things in the following months. :)

Nicolas became the oldest of Cassie's six siblings. He's a fire started, and I don't recommend calling him Nick!

~Rose: Who designed the cover?

~Christine: Ural Akyutz, an artist originally from Ukraine. My publisher is in charge of cover artwork – she has hired this particular artist to do quite a few of her covers lately. The covers are hand painted, not computer generations or photographic manipulations. I love them, at least in part because I love the idea that my books were special enough to deserve hand-crafted art. 

~Rose: Is there a message you hope your readers get from this story?

~Christine: Anyone can be a hero – you don't need special powers, you just need to be yourself. 

~Rose: What does your family think of your writing, both as a profession, and the books themselves?

~Christine: They say they love the books, but who can tell with family? I think some of them really do, though. 

As a profession, I know my mom was wary of the idea at first. I think she still is, but she doesn't say so. Honestly, I couldn't ask for a much more supportive environment for writing – and that's a huge part of why I'm able to be successful!

~Rose: What do you do when you're not writing?

~Christine: I have two kids (6 and 8) who take up a lot of my time, especially now that school's out. In fact, I'm taking this summer off except for marketing obligations to spend more time with them. I also enjoy reading, playing games (board, card, roleplaying), and cooking. I tolerate exercise regularly, 2-4 times a week for 1-3 months at a time before giving it up for 1-3 months and then bracing myself to start all over again. :)

~Rose: What is the most comfortable environment for you to write in?

~Christine: I write in a study in my home. I'm starting to think that's a mistake, because this is where I do a lot of business, social media, and my coaching/editing work. Once the summer is over and I pick writing up again, I'm thinking of finding a dedicated spot where I do nothing but write – maybe in a corner of the family room where I don't normally do anything else. I'm not really an outdoorsy person, so it will have to be inside, in a safe, familiar environment. 

~Rose: Do you prefer writing by hand, or typing on a computer?

~Christine: What is this … writing by hand … of which you speak? Do people still do that? 

Actually, I did start writing by hand when I was in elementary school, but I switched to a computer in eighth grade, when my aunt and uncle upgraded theirs and gave my family their old one. It was so completely superior in every possible way that I never looked back. 

~Rose: Do you plan on writing other books after this series is finished?

~Christine: Yes, but I'm not sure what yet. I do still have to finish the two spin-offs. Madison's Song is in the editorial phase (and should be out in early 2015) but Kaitlin's Tale is in early rough draft form. When I'm done with that I think I'll do what I did for Cassie … take a writing hiatus and wait for inspiration to strike. When I force the issue, things seem to go badly. If it takes a while for inspiration to strike, I may try a writing how-to book. I've got some extensive notes for one already. 

But there will be more stories. I'm only 37 and have a lot of years ahead of me to create! 

~Rose: Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know?

~Christine: I love to answer questions from readers! That's why I put my e-mail address right on my website. Thank you so much for supporting me and this series. You're what makes it worth it!


Isn't she awesome??  :D

Enter for your chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!!

*Giveaway ends on July 16, 2014 at midnight.

Thanks for reading, and as always: 

Keep Creating!!

~Materials & images provided by the author; review owned by Desert Rose Reviews.


We love comments!! Please feel free to share your thoughts :)