Into the Dreaming Imaginative Fiction from Author, Reviewer, and Writing Coach Christine Amsden

Tag Archives: Cassie Scot

Free Ebook Today Only!!!

It’s Read an Ebook Week, and that means free books! Twilight Times is offering Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective, the first book in the Cassie Scot Quartet, completely free for one day only! No catch! Just click the link to the file type you need …

Download Cassie Scot in .mobi (kindle friendly) format

Download Cassie Scot in .epub format

Open Cassie Scot in .pdf format

If you like the book, don’t forget to check out the other books in the series …

 

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99 Cent Sale!

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PLUS …

Every book in the Cassie Scot series will be discounted through the end of November!

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Read the First Chapters Here

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Book 1)

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Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

  • *Winner of the 2013 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy
  • *Finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Awards

Buy now in print, ebook, or audio…

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)

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 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. Sequel to Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective.

  • Winner of the 2014 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy

Buy now in print, ebook, or audio…

Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)

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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 non-magical 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. Book 3 in the Cassie Scot series.

  • *Winner of the 2014 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy

Buy now (Print, Ebook, Audiobook)

 Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4) 

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Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Buy Now in Ebook and Audiobook

Trade Paperback: November 15, 2014

Praise for the Series:

“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!” — Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series

“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.” — Publisher’s Weekly 

About the Author

Author_2013Christine 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.

Social Media Links:



Secrets and Lies Review Blitz Highlights

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Here are the highlights from yesterdays amazing review-day blitz with Innovative Online Tours!

 Books, Books, and More Books “OMG!  I reviewed the first book in this series (here) and loved it, but this one was SO much better.”

T B R Wow where do I begin? I feel awe at Cassie’s deductive abilities and strength and bravery but My heart breaks for her as well. “

Pure Jonel  Amsden does a great job of introducing new and unique concepts as part of the story’s action rather than as a separate narrative. She keeps you guessing and on your toes throughout with her imaginatively suspenseful storyline. By mixing relationship drama with a murder investigation and a few other twists en route Amsden creates a masterpiece that you won’t be able to put down.”

The Insane Ramblings of a Crazed Writer  “There are so many layers to the story, Christine has done a fabulous job at ensuring that she has kept everything straight and not overly confusing.”

Love, Laughter, and Friendship  “This series just keeps getting better and better.  I can’t wait to see how book #3 will turn out.  Bring it, Ms. Amsden.  :)”

 Pink Fluffy Hearts ” I can’t wait for the next book to come out. Seriously. I need it right now, please. ”

Lissette E Manning “Another great addition to this series! ”

My Kindle Fever “Christine Amsden draws me in every time with her talent and command of the quill or should I say Keyboard.  I would love to see this series turned into a television series.  I can so see this on the CW! “

A Secrets and Lies Book Bomb Celebration

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Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective

$1.99 November 18th and 19th

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$3.99 November 18th an  19th

 That’s right, today is the day! We are BOMBING Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective and its brand-new sequel, Secrets and Lies! Both ebooks are on sale for TWO DAYS ONLY. This is $2 off the regular price. 

I’m calling on friends, family, and fans to help me coordinate a massive buying frenzy today. I’m helping you by reducing the price, but you help me even more by getting those sales numbers up. The more people who buy the book on about the same day, the better! Amazon notices, I get on bestseller lists, I sell more books, and I can write sequels! 

Celebrating All Over the Internet

Tune in tonight at 10:00 CST for a live blogtalk radio interview with Other Worlds of Romance.

Today is the first day for three separate (concurrent) book tours going on for the next 2-3 months. Check them out and be sure to sign up for some terrific prizes:

Pump Up Your Book

(with Kindle Fire Giveaway)

Goddess Fish

(with $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)

My Reading Addiction

(with $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway)

Cassie Scot: Swimming in Reviews!

 

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Wow, I’m overwhelmed! I just finished up a review tour for my Cassie Scot AUDIOBOOK and the responses have been amazing.

 

Lissette E. Manning — “I must say that this book is a must-read.”

Sapphyna’s Book Reviews — “Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective is straight up one of the absolute best mystery books I’ve read. ”

Love, Laughter, and Friendship — “Ooooo, Pink loved this book….I can’t wait to read more of Cassie and Evan.  Just wondering how long I have to wait.  *pout*”

Little Miss Drama Queen — “The story was so great, it’s an adventure very much worth getting swept up in. It’s so fun and a great addition to the paranormal genre.”

Books R Us — ” I have always enjoy Audiobooks and the narrator Melissa did a fantastic job. she was able to change her voice to fit the different characters in the book. I was immediately sucked into the storyline and I stayed up way past my bedtime to listen to the story….The book was well written, entertaining and I cannot wait to read (or listen to) the Next book in the series.”

Brroke Blog — “Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective by Christine Amsden is a book that I’ve read and enjoyed before. I was quite excited to have the chance to review the audio version of the book. I felt like the narrator did a really nice job with the story. It seemed to fit the way that I had felt it would sound. This is a fun story to listen to!”

Pink Fluffy Hearts — “When I was first sent “Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective” by Christine Amsden to review, I was excited. I’ve read detective series in the past that focused on the world of the supernatural, and I was eager for more. Thankfully, I can say that Amsden did not disappoint, and I enjoyed the first book in her detective series.”

Wall to Wall Books — “This is the first book I have read by Christine and I do think I would read another.”

Literal Hottie Naughty Book Reviews — “This is a really fantastic story, think cozy mystery meets urban fantasy. Really awesome from beginning to end!!!”

TBR — “The story is very well written and the narrator does a wonderful job with pace and inflection. I really felt like Cassie was telling me her story and not like I was being read to.I have completely fallen in love with Cassie and Evan, sorry Braden.”

 

I want to thank all these reviewers once again for their wonderful, thoughtful, and insightful reviews!

What is Young Adult Fiction? (And Why Cassie Scot Isn’t)

CassieScot_medFor someone who doesn’t consider herself to be a young adult fiction writer, I have spent a lot of time in recent months thinking about what young adult means and how to define it as a genre. The reason is simple: Quite a few of my readers are calling Cassie Scot YA. Even my publisher has been classifying the series that way, making me wonder if I should just give in to the pressure and go with the label. I might have done so, except not everyone agrees, and in fact at least one reviewer knocked a star off of her rating because she felt the book was being misclassified as young adult. I couldn’t agree with her more. And she’s not alone, either. Whether people are saying it’s just plain misclassified, or has broad adult appeal, or is really new adult, the one thing I’m sure about is that there’s no consensus.

I don’t want to disagree with anyone, most especially my loyal fans. Every reader is entitled to his or her opinion and of course, I hope a lot of people love this series. I even see where they’re coming from.

But as the author of this series, I think my opinion should count too, and here it is: Cassie Scot is an ADULT fantasy series. Oh sure, I could call it new adult because it is. I’ll discuss the relatively recent “new adult” label in a bit, but the most important thing is that it is NOT a young adult series.

Does this mean that teens shouldn’t read it? Of course not! Teenagers can read books written for adults. (I did!) One of the mistakes I made in my early thinking of the classification issue was in trying to decide whether or not this book is appropriate for teenagers. Well, one, that’s not my call and two, who cares? Adult doesn’t mean NC-17 any more than young adult means PG. The YA label isn’t about standards of morality or appropriateness. I’ve read adult books without so much as a hint of violence, language or sex, and YA books with all three!

I suppose you could say that I’ve spent a lot of time determining what YA isn’t – it isn’t about the age of the main character (although this can be a factor), it isn’t about the age of the intended audience (although aga, it can be a factor), it isn’t about a simple, accessible writing style (which is common in both YA and adult genre fiction), and it isn’t about a light-hearted tone. (Anyone read The Hunger Games?)

Young adult is innocence, and sometimes the loss thereof. It’s about self-discovery in its most basic form. Who am I? What am I? What do I want? What is the meaning of life? These questions follow us well past the teenage years, but there is a qualitative difference in the way they plague us during the awakening years, that time between childhood and adulthood when we truly first start to ask them.

When I read YA (it’s not my go-to genre but I do), I look for a quality I like to call “genuine teen sensibility.” Genuine teen sensibility captures what it’s like to be a teenager, making the story feel particularly relevant to teenagers. But at the same time, this element sparks a memory in us adults, reminding us of what it was like, and therein making the story accessible to a wider spectrum of readers. The fact that more YA fiction has this quality nowadays is probably a big part of why the genre is becoming more accessible to adults.

Twenty-one-year-old Cassie doesn’t feel like she fits into a world of magic because she has none of her own. She’s uncertain about who she is and what she should be, a lot like a character in a YA story. But this isn’t a new dynamic for her. She making forays, taking chances, and has already tried and failed a few times. By chapter one of the first book she’s already tried working for the sheriff’s department, decided that wasn’t going to work, then opened a private investigator business (another lousy idea that’s not going to work out for her, but she doesn’t know it yet). She’s had a boyfriend for three years, and is trying to decide if she’s in love with him. She’s not discovering love for the first time, she’s trying to refine the definition (and in fact, this is a theme that continues throughout the series).

In short, Cassie is an adult – a new one, but an adult. She’s not dealing with first crushes or what she wants to be when she grows up. She’s trying to be what she wants to be when she grows up. Those of us who have been through our twenties have figured out that the process isn’t as smooth as we thought it would be in our teens!

I chose Cassie’s age very carefully and based on a number of factors. On a superficial level, her being 21 should automatically keep her out of the YA group, where it is far more advisable to go with a hero/heroine a year or two older than your target age group. But I didn’t make her 21 to keep this from being YA, I did that because when I thought about how old I was when I started to really figure out who I was, it wasn’t the teens. It was the 20s. I started asking the questions in the teens, but I didn’t even know how to go about finding the answers back then.

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Young adult fiction should take us back to the days when we were first asking the hard questions in life, and our first fumbled attempts to answer them.

New adult is a relatively recent genre that acts as sort of a bridge between YA and adult, but the more I learn about this genre the more I think that like YA, it has distinct themes and purposes of its own. And like YA, if it captures the heart of what it’s like to be a new adult, then it can have far broader appeal than the 18-23 age range. I shudder to think that those are the only people who might read this! Especially since I wrote it, at first largely for myself, in my early 30s. 🙂

If I didn’t convince you then that’s okay. I hope you still enjoy the books, whoever you are and however old you are. But know that I am writing these books about an adult character learning to become an adult, rather than about a young adult learning not to be a child.

Virtual Tour Service Review: Bewitching

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I hired Bewitching Book Tours in September as part of my continuing promotion for Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Since Cassie Scot came out in May, this book tour was several months on from its release. Sales were good, but certainly not as strong as they had been in the first few weeks. My goal with this tour was to keep the book in the public eye until the release of its sequel, Secrets and Lies.

Price

Bewitching book tours is a low-cost tour host. Its most expensive package, which was the one I went with, is $155. It includes a month of tours and help finding radio interviews. For a month of regular tour stops you can spend $110, which is extremely competitive.

Value

This was a good value. Please keep in mind that I have no idea how to draw a line from any given promotion to sales. Too many factors come into play, and as I said above — one of my big reasons for scheduling this tour was to keep this book current until the release of book two in the series. It did that, and it didn’t cost that much to make it happen.

Look and Feel

Bewitching came up with several cute banners for me (one of them is pictures at the top). The banner links to my book’s tour page on Bewitching, which was professional, well designed, and attractive.

Giveaway

The tour included a rafflecopter giveaway of two Amazon gift cards (provided by me). Most book tours suggest using a giveaway as a strategy to attract participants, but sometimes those giveaways attract so little interest that I have to wonder if it’s really working, or if it just sounds good. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who entered this contest, especially given that it wasn’t for a super big prize (like the Kindle Fire I gave away with PUYB) and it only lasted a month. Bewitching’s giveaway renewed my faith in giveaways in general, although I have just become more exacting about how they get carried out. Bewitching, you have raised the bar.

Professionalism and Communication

On this point, I can’t say enough good things about Bewitching. I am beginning to think that this is the most important part of a good book tour. That’s mostly what they’re doing, right? Hooking up authors with interested bloggers, setting up a schedule, mailing out reminders, and keeping up with it all is almost entirely about organization and communication. Roxanne was on the ball. She replied promptly and politely to every e-mail I sent her. Plus, I have never had a tour go this smoothly — ever. There was only one no-show all month. I usually feel like I have to be on top of every stop to make sure it has even taken place! For once I just found the daily stop, posted my thank you (always thank your tour hosts), and went about my day.

Miscellaneous

My only nit-pick about this tour provider is that they do not make any promises about your book getting the top spot on a blog. That is to say, a site may post multiple promos on a day, and your book could fall anywhere in the list. For the most part, this was a non-issue. Most days my book was at the top anyway. But twice — exactly twice — my book was so far down that it felt like little more than a footnote. Once in was the fifth post, and the other time I had to click through multiple pages of posts all made on the same day — so many I lost count. Bewitching promotes your post directly on social media, but I still felt like those blogs’ followers were unlikely to see my promo.

Bottom Line

I recommend Bewitching Book Tours. I plan to rehire them, probably as another bridge tour between Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2) and Mind Games (Cassie Scot #2).

Cassie Scot Audiobook Preview

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Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

This audiobook version of Cassie Scot was narrated by talented voice actress Melissa Reizian Frank.

Here’s your free preview of chapter one:

On sale now at audible.com and amazon.com. Coming soon to iTunes.

 

 

Cassie Scot Takes the Silver in the Global Ebook Awards

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Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective won its first award last week! You may recognize the Global Ebook contest from two years ago, when The Immortality Virus won in the science fiction category. I’m very excited that my new series is off to such a strong start! I’m even more excited by all the positive reviews and reader comments I’ve received over the past few months. People are falling in love with Cassie and I can’t stop smiling. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

How to Choose a Virtual Tour Service Provider: My Reading Addiction

 

 

 

If there was one thing I learned during this book release it’s that persistence pays off. If you’re looking to put your book on the internet, then there are thousands of bloggers you can reach. A few hundred here, a few hundred there, sooner or later it makes a real impact. That’s what I was thinking when I rehired Reading Addiction Book Tours to do a one-month tour of Cassie Scot in July 2013.

I first hired this company for The Immortality Virus last summer and I have to confess, it didn’t do much at all. I scraped together a handful of sales over the course of the entire month, and that was after drastically (and temporarily) reducing the price to $0.99. But there were a lot of factors working against that tour, especially the fact that it took place more than a year after the release of the book. (Some reviewers were even confused by this fact and listed the release date as June 2012 instead of June 2011.) I thought that I could revive interest in the title because it had recently won awards, but that didn’t seem to be the case. (I should write an article about awards and what they do/don’t do for you sometime.)

Books are made or broken in the first few months after release. 

I’m not saying there’s nothing you can do to sell a book a year later. There is something — release another book. A better book. And do a better job of marketing it. I’ve sold more copies of The Immortality Virus this summer than I did the summer it was released!

There was one other problem with my Reading Addiction Tour of The Immortality Virus — wrong genre wrong audience. The Immortality Virus is pure scifi. I switched course dramatically to write the Cassie Scot series, which is urban fantasy/paranormal, mystery, and romance. I didn’t write it to play the market, but I think I managed to do just that. This is a story the market wants right now, and it is what Reading Addiction Book Tours does best.

If you go to My Reading Addiction’s packages page, you may notice something that struck me as important when I used them last month. Their biggest tours have a caveat:

*Available to Young Adult/New Adult and Paranormal Genres

Since I’ve used their services twice and one of those times I toured a science fiction novel, I feel comfortable saying that this is an important caveat. I got some nice reviews of The Immortality Virus from their bloggers, but I felt like most of them (and their readers) were more into the paranormal, especially with a romantic spin. To this day I’m not sure what the best source for scifi reviews is because I never found it. I happened to write a scifi book that got a lot of  “I don’t normally read this genre but this was very good” comments. At the time I thought that would mean something to the people reading the reviews, but I’ve lost some of that naivete. I now believe that the people reading the reviews were more likely to go, “Hm. Well, if I’m ever in the mood for something different…” then put it on a to-read list that never gets read. To support that statement, I note that I have more “to reads” for The Immortality Virus on goodreads than I do for Cassie Scot, but far, far more people have bought Cassie Scot.

Price

Reading Addiction Book Tours are low cost. Their biggest tour with 40 stops and plenty of bells and whistles is only $200. I ended up using their standard tour — 20 stops, half reviews, which is $90. Since I was a repeat customer, I got a 10% discount. They have great repeat customer specials, special pricing for publishers touring multiple books, and they often have sales or coupons going on so keep an eye on that. Even without the discounts, though, they are inexpensive.

Value

I believe Reading Addiction is a value if your book is in their blogger’s target reading interest. That is to say paranormal, romance, young adult, or new adult. I do not believe it is a value if you are writing science fiction. I’m not sure about other genres. But for their target genres you will get your book reviewed by engaging, enthusiastic bloggers.

Look and Feel

The only truly negative thing I have to say about Reading Addiction Book Tours is that their banner was blah.

They did make me a nice static page that remains active (click on the banner to see it). They also updated the blogger links so that after a blogger posted my review or spotlight, the link went directly to that post rather than the home page. This was a nice touch. 

Professionalism and Communication

Wonderful! Friendly, responsive, and on their game.

**It is worth noting that Reading Addiction Book Tours does not allow negative reviews during their tour. If a host really does not care for a book (ie would give it less than 3 stars), the host has the option of switching to promo only. They may post the review on their own after the tour is over.

Bottom Line

I recommend a Reading Addiction tour for paranormal, romance, young adult, or new adult book tours. I recommend them as part of a bigger effort, if your budget can handle it.