Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Secrets and Lies by Christine Amsden

Join author Christine Amsden on her Virtual Book Tour for Secrets and Lies, presented by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours from November 18, 2013 – January 18, 2014.  Please leave a comment or question for Christine to let her know you stopped by. You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow the rest of Christine's tour here, the  more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. 
Secrets and Lies
By Christine Amsden
Cassie Scot, Book 2

Publisher:  Twilight Times Books
Release Date:  October 13, 2013
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/ New Adult Romance
Length: 270 Pages
ISBN:  978-160619277

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About the book:

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.“

About the Author

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy 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 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. (You can learn more here.)

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, Drake and Celeste.

Connect with Christine:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1030664.Christine_Amsden

My Review

Set in a fictional small town in Southern, Missouri, Secrets and Lies, the second book in the Cassie Scot series by Christine Amsden, picks up shortly after the events taking place in Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective.  Cassie, still lacking in magical abilities, and now without “protection” due to being disowned by her parents, is trying to put her life back together.  Meanwhile her town, which was once a paranormal safe haven, is struggling as the two most powerful magical families in the area carry on their private feud and continue acting like the Capulets and Montagues in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Which of course means Cassie is Juliet, and Evan Blackwood, the young scion of his family and formerly Cassie’s friend, is her Romeo.

Determined to make it on her own, as a human, Cassie has turned down Evan Blackwood’s offer for marriage but still owes him for saving her life.  Even though Evan now realizes his mistake, offering to cancel the life debt if Cassie would just marry him, he’s still wants her in his life and makes it clear to everyone in town that whether she wants it or not, Cassie’s under his protection.  Meanwhile Cassie has to find a job, since she’s determined not to accept her family’s attempts to support her, and she and Evan soon find themselves involved in trying to locate two girls missing from summer camp, that just happen to be distantly related to both of their families.  

Ms. Amsden does a terrific job continuing to develop both Cassie and Evan’s characters as this series continues.  While Cassie has genuine feelings, and a real attraction to Evan, she no longer trusts herself or her emotions because of the “debt” she owes Evan.  It also doesn’t help matters when it appears he has a “strange, magical” pull on her emotions.  Meanwhile, Evan, burdened with almost too much magical ability, is trying to win the girl he desires but has to take things more slowly than he would like.  He has to be really careful of crossing the line between the “normal” behavior of a human man and the “magical” behavior of a powerful warlock.  I really like how the relationship between Cassie and Evan goes back and forth as they try to solve the mystery of the missing girls and it’s clear to me that without the “magical debt”, and their family’s interference, Cassie and Evan would make a terrific couple on their own.

The secondary characters get a touch more attention in this story, and we learn more about the “feud” going on between their families.   It’s a feud that has been going on for all of Cassie and Evan’s life and which has had some “unforeseen” consequences.  It’s also dragged their town into the middle, with both magical and non-magical “victims”.  In a way, both Cassie and Evan’s fathers are the silent “villains” of the book because of their refusal to let the feud die down and continuing to push and pull their children.  Adding an additional touch of magical interference, some of the other practitioners in town add pressure with “prophesies” and “foretellings” of doom if Cassie and Evan ever really do come together.

Will Cassie and Evan locate the missing girls?  Will Cassie and Evan’s relationship survive having to work together when Cassie isn’t sure she can trust Evan?  And will Cassie want to help her family pull it together now that she’s on the outside?  You’ll have to read Secrets and Lies to find out.  I loved this addition to the series and can’t wait to see what Ms. Amsden does with these characters next.  If you like paranormal romance, this is a series you’ll want to add to your library – just make sure to read the books in order as each book builds on the previous story.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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  1. Sounds like a fascinating read. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity...just in time for Christmas shopping. Congrats to Christine.

  2. I love that kind of books which include love and fantasy :P I´m so excited to read it!
    Jenna O

  3. Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful review! :)

    The rest of the series is coming soon... Mind Games this spring, Dreamer next fall. So the answers aren't too far away. :)