Reboot for 2024

Reboot for 2024

March is almost over, and I’m finally turning my attention to my website again. I know, it’s been rough and I haven’t been here. I apologize. Life, you know? At any rate…so much has been happening. I did a lot of travel after my book about Scott came out in September last year; San Diego, Massachussets, London…it all wore me out, and after we got  home from London, both Tom and I got very sick. So December was mostly a rest month, and the first quarter of this year has been about me reclaiming myself.

Which basically means putting relationships in the past, after acknowledging the good and the ill I received (and gave) to them. That was a very long season of help and harm during some of my worst moments over several years; now it’s done and done, and I’ve moved on. I’m eating healthier (and feeling ill when I don’t eat healthy); I’m loving Pilates, and walking the dog, and gardening again.

And I’m back to writing. I’m behind in the book of a new series, which I’m SO excited about but can’t really talk about just yet. So there’s that. I’m also figuring out the details of getting a newsletter up and running again; as soon as I do, I’ll let the world know.

I don’t know if I’ll get back to blogging about affordable wines…it seems very few are under $10 anymore, which was my top price when I first started blogging about wine. We shall see.

In the meantime, thanks for being here. I promise I’ll be showing up more. Sending you love and lots of hugs.

Cheers,

Christine

 

Summer and the Garden

Summer and the Garden

Forget-me-nots

July 4, 2023

So many emotions for this day…I cannot celebrate a country where over half the citizens have had their rights severely restricted by the bunch of so-called Christians sitting on the Supreme Court. So there’s that.

When I got up this morning, it was misty outside and the temperature in the mid-50s F. Feeling the cool sting my cheeks was lovely, as it had been in the upper 80s – low 90s here this past week. I’ve made breakfast, and now Tom is out in the garden with our youngest helping him. Whimsy the dog is barking at anything that walks past the house (or the houses behind us). He still fairly reeks of skunk, though my nose now is trying to tell me he actually rolled in garlic. Um…yeah, no.

Gardening, because murder is wrong. A decorative picture of a woman in the garden tending to plants.

But the garden continues to be my happy place. It’s a lot of work, but exercise with a definitive purpose is always a good thing. We’ve pulled down my sunflower bed, and shall plant that haphazardly with wildflower seed, along with some Strawberry Palestine Clover. Doing our part to help the bees.

Now available!

So on the fiction front, Wolf’s Heart is now available. It’s a novella that is adjacent to the Caine Brothers world that was originally published in an anthology. I’ve finally gotten it back up online. Slowly, I am reclaiming my writing life.

Non-fiction News

My summer schedule is heating up and will be full steam right through December 1st (so far). This month is the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Anaheim. I kind of figured I should go since it’s technically in my back yard, and I’m presenting as well. I grabbed a hotel room for Tom and I for a couple of days.

In August, a gal who produces her own shows and also works for HBO is coming out from New York City to discuss – something film-ish – with me, and that’s really all I can say about that.

September is the launch of my new book, Scott Cunningham – The Path Taken, and there will be activity around that for sure. September also takes me to TempleFest in Massachussets. I will finally get to meet so many people in person, and I’m excited for that!

October sees me flying to London, England with my husband for the U.K. Tarot Conference put on by Kim Arnold. Then on Monday October 9, from 2:30 – 5pm, I’ll be doing a booksigning at the Atlantis Bookshop, in the Gerald Gardner room. GAH! SO exciting!

November, I’ll be at the Trees of Avalon Gathering once more, giving two talks that I’m super stoked about.  Later that month, I MIGHT have a booksigning in the Seattle area; we shall see.

Scattered throughout will be podcasts and so forth. A busy time, and I’m doing my best to be ready for it.

Wine Blog?

I’m considering reviving my wine blog, since that was fun. Not sure I’ll keep it at wines under $10, as those seem to be impossible to find unless on sale, but I’ll figure it out.

Well, that wraps up this update. Hope you are doing well! In the meantime, much love to you.

Scott Cunningham The Path Taken

New Book! Scott Cunningham The Path Taken – Honoring the Life and Legacy of a Wiccan Trailblazer arrives in bookstores September, 2023. Pre-order your copy now!

Publishes in September 2023 from Weiser Books

Here is a bit from the Preface of this book. Enjoy!

If I had known my older brother Scott would be so beloved, so polarizing, so prolific, and would die so young, I, in my youth, would have taken notes. Kept all our correspondence. Taken more photos. Or perhaps had a cassette deck tape recorder going whenever we talked.

But I didn’t. So here we are.

Memories are, at best, crystal-clear images frozen in time. Sound, scent, sight, taste, touch, all right there, so vivid. At their worst, memories are foggy, amorphous, intangible things that no one can verify. A pity that all I have is my memories. . . but both my parents are gone, so it’s up to me now. Throughout this book I have added snippets of conversations. Most of them took place in one form or another. They are not word-by-word conversations. What they are is what memory has given me, whether through family repetition (stories told again and again), or what might have been said in a private setting that rings true.

The longer I work on this labor of love, the more snippets come to me. Bits of conversation. Colors. The heat of the day, or the cool of an air-conditioned hotel room, the scent of a city. I’m trusting these snippets and sharing them with you.

I am not an historian. I don’t have dates of his major life events written down. I don’t have salacious details of his deeply personal life (and even if I did, I wouldn’t share them). I have not memorized every one of Scott’s books. Hell, I didn’t even read most of them until after he died.

That’s a confession, by the way.

What I am is the younger sister who alternately adored him and ignored him; and he did the same with me.

This is where I need to tell you that, in reading those books he wrote, I saw a side of him I never saw in person, heard a voice I had never heard from him before. It both pleases me and saddens me. Pleases, because now all I need to do is pick up his books and he is there with me. Saddens, because I never got to see that part of him in real life.

So it goes.

It has struck me now that once I let this book out into the world, my memories won’t be my own anymore. They will be seen by you. Known by you. Filtered through your experience. My words, yes, but your internal translation.

A part of me is hesitant, now that I near the end of this journey.

I have to laugh. . . when I wrote that, I swear I heard Scott sigh and tell me to get on with it, already. So here I go. . . getting on with it.

From my heart to yours.

PREORDER NOW!   <– Click that link!

I’m back. No, really, I’m back!

I’m back. No, really, I’m back!

A year or so later…

Hello! It’s been a minute, yeah? Depression and a global pandemic stopped this girl from writing romance. Instead, I was working on my passion project – a book about my brother Scott. More on that in another post, but if you want the skinny head over to my other website where I share all the details (and more!).

I’m back to writing. My first anthology in a long time doesn’t have a romance in it from me – instead it’s a dark paranormal story called The Witches’ Revenge.

Cover of Soul Retrieval Anthology

Preorder now!

The Soul Retrieval anthology is available for preorder – check it out!  It’s available wherever you get your digital reading material.  11 authors exploring all your darkest paranormal dreams and showing you theirs. Join them on their journeys to the other side of reality.

Here’s a little bit of the story…a “sneak peak” if you will…

Present Day – The Storyteller

The college kids settled around the last bonfire on the beach before the new school year started, waiting for her to begin. The sun wasn’t quite down yet, and the sand still held the heat of the day. The waves added music to the evening.

Amarie smiled. They were all so young. Hopefully they’d learn something tonight that could save them in the future.

“Does everyone have snacks and beverages? Has everyone made a restroom stop? Because once this story starts, no one will want to leave before it ends.”

Brand grinned and lifted his beer. “We’re all good, Amarie.”

“You all know who I am,” she began.

“The Ageless Witch of the Beach!” someone yelled, laughing, and others hushed them.

“Ah, yes. The Witch of the Beach. I’m also your unofficial counselor. Your tarot card reader. Your truthteller.” Amarie settled more definitely on her pillows, crossed her legs, and set her hands on her knees. “I’m the one you come to when you know your friends are unable to help you, you don’t dare call the police, and you can’t bear to talk to your parents.”

At those words, a chill shivered through the crowd. Brand fed another log on the fire, and anticipation rose.

“Tonight, I am going to tell you the story of the Man of Three Faces.” She looked around. “You might have heard of him by another name, but we shall call him Trey, for he was the third of his name, and was very proud of being third but at the same time, chafed at what he perceived as neglect by his wealthy parents. So much so that he moved away right out of high school, refusing all help, and eventually lost touch with them. When our story starts, he no longer knew where they lived or what their phone numbers might be. All he was certain of was the amount deposited in his account each month from his trust fund.”

A girl’s voice piped up. “Isn’t he the one who…”

“Hush, Penny.”

Amarie smiled. “Many of you know only part of the story. Some of you know absolutely nothing of the story. I am one of the few who know the whole story, and I’m about to spill all the secrets this summer night. I’m going to have to condense it some, as it spans years. Are you ready?”

At the murmured assent, she took a breath.

“Once upon a time, there was a woman. There was Trey. And there was a chain of events that put these two together. There was another man, as well, who comes into play in our story, but this story is not a romance.

“The woman was called Grace Thompson. She worked from home in data processing, data analysis, and transcription for authors. She had very little interaction with the public, but she was well paid and enjoyed her work.

“Which was perfectly fine, you see, because she did not trust people. She did not trust her own intuition either, so she was working on honing that part of herself. In fact, she was training herself in works of magic and divination, spell casting and tarot reading, for the sole purpose of feeling more comfortable within herself and while dealing with other people. She wasn’t a joiner, but she did join a small coven in order to learn from a person, rather than books.”

“Then one day,” Amarie continued, her voice deepening, “she received an email containing an audio file to transcribe that both disturbed and called to her, in a quite specific way. This is what happened.”

Thank you for reading! I hope you pick up the anthology and finish out the story. Find out what happens to Grace and Trey.

Introducing The Hidden One characters

Introducing The Hidden One characters

Good morning! So today I’m introducing you to Kellan Caine and Aubrey d’Avila, from The Hidden One (available in the box set Rite to Reign), and how I came about creating these two characters.

Kellan has been a part of the Caine world since Book 1, Demon Soul. He finds his cousin, Gabriel, as they both independently investigate a vampire stronghold in the daytime.

I wanted someone who had known Gabriel, and loved him, since Gabriel was born. Kellan was a teenager when Gabriel came into the world, and he took it on himself to protect Gabriel from his older brother, Gregor. (Long story short – Gregor saw his mother attacked and raped by a demon. Gabriel was the product of that union, and his birth killed his mother. Gregor saw only his own weakness in not protecting his mother, and it took him years not to blame his brother for his mother’s death.)

Kellan became a needed part of the Caine clan, someone who loved explosives and firepower and knew how to close portals. He chooses to live in Quartzite, Arizona…not a terribly hospitable place, but useful for being able to detonate explosives without fallout.

We meet Aubrey in Book 2, Demon Hunt (Gregor and Serra’s book), when her old college coven is called upon to help the Caines patrol for demons. A portal has been opened, and five out of the seven women in the group who come to help need to shut it down and remove the demons before the winter solstice.  Out of her coven, Aubrey is one of three witches who survive. Kellan, of course, is drawn to Aubrey from the minute he sees her, but keeps his flirting to a minimum.

Aubrey is also there in Book 3, Demon Rage (Justin and Maggie’s book), but still keeping Kellan at arms’ length. He gets distracted by a police detective…but that does not end well.

We know that Aubrey and Kellan have been working together, closing portals and killing demons across the southern states, when we see them again in Wolf’s Heart; but that’s just about all we know of them.  Wolf’s Heart is Doc Megan’s story.

By the time we see Aubrey and Kellan in The Hidden One, they’ve been apart for almost six months due to various and sundry reasonings.  But The Hidden One takes them far from southern California; and together they meet the new challenges head on.  The Hidden One is Book 1 of The Covenant of Witches series. Look for Book 2, The Dark One, and Book 3, The Radiant One, in Spring/Summer of 2019.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look into their relationship, and a little about them! Grab The Hidden One, a part of the limited-release Rite to Reign box set!