Friday, December 20, 2013

Secrets & Lies Promo with Guest Post and Giveaway

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Secrets and Lies
by Christine Amsden
Fantasy/Paranormal/New Adult Romance
Date Published: 11/15/2013

Book Description:
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.


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“I smell trouble.“
Evan Blackwood had been staring blankly at a news report about a hunt for a man who had robbed a local bank earlier in the week. Now, he stared blankly at his best friend and cousin, Scott Lee. Evan had hoped Scott would help take his mind off the woman he loved – the woman who had flatly rejected him. Instead, Scott was making things worse with dire predictions… predictions Evan had no choice but to take seriously. Scott was, after all, a powerful intuitive, whose gift had only seemed to improve after his unfortunate run-in with a werewolf ten years earlier.
“What do you expect me to do?“ Evan asked. “Hit her over the head with a club and drag her by the hair back to my cave?“
Scott snorted. “You never had to do any of that. You had her right here, in your cave, and you let her walk out. You could order her back, but you won’t.“
Evan didn’t dignify the comment with a response. Scott’s instincts had always served him better when it came to physical threats rather than emotional ones, and Scott didn’t want to hear that Cassie would hate Evan for forcing her to stay with him. In Scott’s world, after she was safe, gratitude would soften her heart. Or if not that, then at least time. If Evan had ever thought anything of the sort, her reaction to his saving her life, and the life debt she now owed him, set him straight.
He had to admit, his initial marriage proposal hadn’t been at all well done. Nerves he barely acknowledged had fumbled the question into a near-command, Marry me, and she had freaked out. Still, he had hoped she would want to marry him. Now, he wasn’t even sure how he could try to convince her without inadvertently coercing her. The life debt made it difficult for her to refuse anything she knew he wanted, and impossible for her to refuse anything he directly commanded.
Scott wasn’t the first one to suggest he just claim her, either. Evan’s father, Victor Blackwood, had said much the same thing, adding: I want to see you steal that girl right out from under her father’s nose. At least Scott’s motives were better.
“I spotted one of the Travises in town today,“ Scott said.
Evan nearly growled. “One of these days, we really need to run that family out of town.“
“Hey, you know I’d help you with that if it came to it, but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon.“
“They wouldn’t go after Cassie.“
“I wouldn’t put anything past them.“
He had a point, Evan grudgingly admitted. The Travises had always lived just outside of civilized behavior, and they seemed to make their own rules.
“And I told you about the Blairs asking questions,“ Scott added.
“You also said they were probably just trying to stir up trouble.“ The Blairs were mind mages, adept at manipulating people’s behaviors with a few well-chosen, well-timed words.
“They may be succeeding.“
“Or they may be hoping to goad me into acting too soon, pushing her away.“
Scott didn’t have an answer to that. Perhaps it was just as well that he didn’t understand matters of the heart, since he was too dangerous by half, the beast within him prone to violence. Scott was, perhaps, the only man in town Evan didn’t know if he could beat in a fight. He only hoped he never had to find out for sure.
“Come on.“ Evan shut off the TV with a flicker of will, not even bothering with the remote, resting within easy arm’s reach on the end table next to him. “I can’t stay here anymore tonight. We’ll find her, make sure she’s safe, and if not, send a message to anyone stupid enough to try anything.“

Guest Post: 5 musts every urban fantasy or paranormal novel should have

1. A well-developed main character. And there's a reason this is number one! I confess, I'm a character girl. I look for character wherever I go, and I think it's the #1 most important aspect of almost any book. A handful of stories really aren't about people – there are mysteries that are just about solving a puzzle and fantasies that are just about a fun alternative world. But by this point so many fantasy stories have already been told that the cleverest world isn't going to be as affective as a well-drawn character. Magic is meaningless without people to use it, and as long as you've got people using it you may as well look deep into the human soul for inspiration.
2. Magic as a complicating force, not a cure-all. This is actually a pet peeve of mine – magic being used as a cure-all. Far too many paranormal stories do it, especially when the paranormal subplot is secondary to a romance or mystery. The clairvoyant whose power doesn't cause problems is nothing more than a deus ex machina. And then the hand of God (the author) comes down from on high to solve the mystery. No! For a truly fantastic plot, magic must cause as many problems as it solves.
3. Growth and change. I started with strong characters at point one, but down here on point three I will add that these characters shouldn't remain stagnant, particularly since urban fantasy novels tend to run in series.
4. Solid world-building. In a world where literally anything can happen, it's not particularly interesting when it does. A strong world is almost like a character itself. And while it may look like a lot of the other urban fantasy books out there (we all draw upon the same pool of myths and legends), it should stand on its own.
5. Imagination. When it comes to fantasy, I don't like to get too bogged down in shoulds. The genre is as vast as human imagination, which is infinite.

Christine Amsden





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  1. I like most things paranormal or romance or scifi.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing my book with your readers!