by Christine | Observations, Writing
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.
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…”
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.
by Christine | Writing
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!
by Christine | Writing
It can be difficult to keep up. We all know this, and yet we all feel guilty when we fall behind. When others are doing more than we are, which makes us feel we’re not “worthy”.
I’ve been panicked and behind for most of the past three months, and I have come to the realization that panic does not get the work done. Panic does not foster creativity. Panic does absolutely nothing to forward the situation, whatever it may be.
Please understand me, I’m not talking anxiety or panic attacks, those monster things that grab you by the throat and make it difficult to speak or move or breathe. I’m just talking about your garden variety panic.
ANYWHO…Breathe. Let go. If your situation is like mine, it’ll resolve itself in due time. Or maybe you need to shift your priorities. I’m not sure, but I do know that life is too short to always feel behind, and feel bad about it.
THE BIG PUSH!
Today is the day all the authors in the Rite to Reign box set are making a big, concerted push to get pre-orders. There are so many wonderful novels in this set, all in one place – and all for a limited time (three months total, I believe). So if you were on the fence about getting this box set, look at it this way. It’s less than a dollar, all these books are in one place, and getting them individually will cost you a LOT more, and maybe some of these books won’t be put out again.
So what do you have to lose? NOTHING, of course! Grab that box set. I promise I’ll make you my new best friend if you do!
And don’t forget about the Scavenger Hunt – it’s open until November 3rd, I believe. Go HERE to get the story from me, and make sure to check out the links to the map!
As always – thanks for listening.
by Christine | Contests, Writing
EDITED TO ADD: Kaisquared4 has won my prize!
Welcome to the Scavenger Hunt, brought to you by the authors of Rite to Reign. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Christine Ashworth, and my contribution to the box set is The Hidden One, Book One in the Covenant of Witches series.
Here’s the map to ALL of the authors in the Scavenger Hunt!
SCAVENGER MAP – CLICK ME!
All of the authors in the Scavenger Hunt want you to win prizes…and you know what? It’s easy! Just fill out the form below, and you’ll be entered to win today’s prize – a small altar cloth, and a Calling the Ancestors Candle and Ancestors Room Spray set by Dorothy Morrison, Witch Extraordinaire. Sorry, only US entries for this prize.
For those of you outside of the US, you could win an e-copy of the 3rd Extended Edition of DEMON SOUL.
(I seriously love both of these covers…)
Well, that concludes my giveaway! But don’t worry, there are new prizes every day. Click HERE for tomorrow’s author!
And if you haven’t done so already, pre-order your copy of Rite to Reign!
Thanks so much, and Happy Scavenging!
by Christine | Observations, Writing
October, November, December…and then 2018 is a memory.
This is the time of year where I try to wind up all my projects, and leave myself at least a portion of December to breathe, grow, rest. To refill my mental, emotional, spiritual wells, so that I can enter into the following year with a sense of grace, balance, and a plan.
That the plan always gets derailed, or goes sideways at some point, doesn’t matter as much as actually making the plan.
Right now, October is about both endings and beginnings. I’m wrapping up a novel – this one will be out in December, in the Rite to Reign box set (only $0.99!). Pre-order it here.
Then, from October 17 – 21, I’ll be in the Tampa, Florida area for Autumn Meet. I’ll be giving three talks – one on Meditation with Tarot, one on my brother, Scott Cunningham, and one on Writing the Paranormal Romance. It should be fun, and I’m so looking forward to unplugging for five days! If you’re in the Tampa area, check it out – I’d love to meet you.
After I get back from Tampa, I’ll dive into first round edits. November will bring second round edits, and also it’s National Novel Writing Month. I *think* I’m going to participate this year. We’ll see…I have lots of thoughts brewing about my direction for 2019 that didn’t look like this a week ago! Oh…and I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the family this year, which means massive housecleaning starts yesterday.
And December brings the holidays, and a vacation. This year, the hubby and I are planning a stay-cation, and we’re going to play tourist in Los Angeles. Quality time with my man…a lovely way to wrap up the year.
One of my goals for the rest of this year is to blog more. I’ve been putting my thoughts on FB, but I think it’s time to move back to the blog.
The year is winding down, the season is changing. Pumpkin spice fills the air (not my favorite, but that’s fine) and in Los Angeles, we’re hoping for a wet winter. The days are getting shorter and that’s just the cycle of this planet we’re on. In due time, the light will return; but for now? Take a rest. Wind down your projects. Find time to rest, recharge, relax.
Sending you love and hugs, always.
by Christine | Writing
Growing pains. I haz them.
Cover design by Scott Carpenter
In the past three weeks, I’ve finished the back matter on the three Caine novels; I’ve set up my Reader’s Group on Facebook, with some (a LOT) of help from Alexis M. Roark; I’ve rebooted my newsletter and gotten it sent out (again, with a LOT of help from Lexi); and I’m finalizing the last-minute touches on the Freebie novella, Wolf’s Heart, which will be going ONLY to my Newsletter Subscribers (woot, woot!) and will never be for sale in its current form. (Which means, I MAY re-write the whole thing and turn it into a full-length novel. We’ll see.)
I’ve also joined an Author Group Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl, where the grand prize is a $175 gift card, and each individual author also has prizes to give away. The catch? You need to join each author’s Reader Group on Facebook – where you’ll get news before anyone else, be asked to review books in advance of sale, and other goodies. This has been fun, and I’ve had a LOT of people join my reader group, which is so gratifying. I feel like I’m gearing up for next year, if that makes sense! (For more information on the Cinco de Mayo Virtual Pub Crawl, which starts at 12:01AM, May 5th, and lasts 48 hours, go here. If you want to join my Book Love Reader’s Group on Facebook, go here.)
Travels of Christine
Cover for NWTS 2019
So far this year, I have been to the Northwest Tarot Symposium in Portland, Oregon, where I met so many wonderful people…I truly found my tribe. Or rather, my other tribe, as Romance Writers are my tribe as well. I am most definitely going back next year.
I learned from some wonderful people, and fell in love with way too many tarot and oracle decks. I have a new obsession, apparently…more on that in another blog post (but if we’re FB friends, you’re seeing my journey). I made friends so fast, and miss them. Ah well, there’s always Facebook…
Next, I’m off to Denver in July, for the Romance Writers of America’s National Conference. 2,000 women and men who write romance, getting together to teach, and learn, and laugh, and network. I have so many friends scattered across the country / world, and this conference is one place where I get to see/meet/hug many of them. I haven’t been since San Diego in 2016, so I am seriously looking forward to Denver!
Publishing Schedule, 2018
As I mentioned in my last blog post, City Lights Press is re-issuing my Caine Brothers novels with new covers (wowza!) and more content (yay!). I’m super excited for the re-
Cover Design by Scott Carpenter
launch – as soon as I get a schedule, I’ll be sure to let you all know, too.
Next up is an Urban Fantasy novel, which will be in an entirely FREE box set – 24 novels in all, FREE. My novel is A BRAND NEW SERIES titled The Blood Legacy Series, and the novel is The Curse of Elliott Jones. It should be available in July 2018.
In August, I’ll be putting out my smexy holiday story that was available last year in a box set…Snowed In at Christmas.
Then I’ll be writing furiously on the next full-length novel to come out in December, also in a box set…this will be the start of a ANOTHER BRAND NEW PARANORMAL SERIES. Once I have more info (that I can share, lol), I’ll let you know.
Well my lovelies, that’s about it for now. I’m aiming to get my wine reviews back up and running next week, which is always fun (and frankly, its been TOO LONG since I’ve done it). My life is full, and happy, and I’m headed out to spend the weekend with my big brother because it’s been too long.
Sending you lots of love!
Pssst…check out my Amazon Author Page, and make sure you click the “Follow” button so you’ll get news of ALL my releases!