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Frozen
cover art © Lou Harper

 

 

A couple freezes to death in their living room, a mythical hell hound attacks a deputy, and an eerie mist hangs over the lake.

Cassie investigates, but she is plagued by dreams with one thing in common: everything she thought she knew is wrong.

 

 

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List Price: $6.50 USD

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Frozen

a ParaNormal mystery

Christine Amsden

 

 

Chapter 1

Apparently, life doesn't end when you get married. I suppose that's obvious, but it's hard to tell from the way Happily Ever After stories dominate our culture. At any rate, marriage seemed like such a solid conclusion to the stories I had to tell that I ended my first four memoirs the day I married Evan Blackwood.

If only I'd known then that all hell was about to break loose.

My name is Cassandra Morgan Ursula Margaret Blackwood, and if you think that's a mouthful, go ahead and call me Cassie. Most of my friends still do, although I no longer feel unworthy of the full appellation.

To be fair to my younger self, eager to share her journey of self-discovery with the world in the wake of some powerful events, things were quiet for almost two years. More happened to my two best friends than to me during that time. Oh sure, I consulted with the sheriff's department here and there on cases that mystified them. I also worked with my husband and a dozen others to form and support the White Guard, an organization attempting to unify and protect the magical world. We made some big gains when Matthew was able to convince most of the magical world that his nemesis was using blood magic to control people's minds - including mine and my husband's.

It was a sobering moment for us.

But mostly during that time, I grew a baby and took care of her. I always wanted children, maybe because I'm the oldest of nine and having kids around seemed natural.

Anastasia Blackwood turned one in mid-December, right around the time my youngest siblings, Michael and Maya, both turned two. Honestly, I would have preferred to have two separate parties - or even three - to give each child his or her due attention, but my mom wasn't up to it. She wasn't up to much anymore, including party planning, so it fell to me and Juliana, seventeen now and pretty much already an adult. The last two years had aged her, as the responsibility for raising Michael and Maya fell heavily upon her shoulders.

The day started normally enough. Juliana, with Michael and Maya in tow, arrived at my place several hours before the party to decorate. My two best friends, Madison and Kaitlin, came to help too, the latter with a one-year-old son of her own. Madison, pregnant but not showing just yet, volunteered to keep the toddlers out of trouble. "For practice," she said, although we all knew she was doing us a favor. I'd return that favor as soon as she realized how badly moms need breaks sometimes.

Yeah, I know, babies and birthday parties and maybe life really does end when you get married. Or at least loses its sex appeal. Although for the record, I still found Evan as sexy as ever. I mean, the man could drive me to orgasm with a single, magical kiss.

Damn, but it was addictive.

Speaking of Evan, he wasn't invited to the setup party. Officially, because it was a ladies' only event, but unofficially, because he wanted a Star Wars theme and I didn't. I humored him by hanging a banner reading "May the Force Be With You" under the banner reading "Happy Birthday" in bright, colorful letters.

Once our large living room was more or less ready for the party, I left Kaitlin and Madison blowing up balloons while Juliana and I disappeared into the kitchen to finish decorating the cakes. Yes, cakes. If they couldn't each have their own party, they would at least get their own cake.

Anastasia's cake was done already - a three-dimensional fairy tale castle complete with turrets and flags and a fire-breathing dragon wrapped around one of the towers. The fire breath was an illusion, compliments of Scott Lee, Evan's cousin and Madison's soon-to-be husband. Real fire would have melted the icing.

"You put a moat monster in!" Juliana exclaimed when she saw it. The moat, constructed of blue jello, did indeed contain a gummy worm "monster."

I nodded, then glanced guiltily at the two undecorated sheet cakes I had baked "just in case." Mom had sworn she would make cakes for the twins, but I couldn't trust her these days.

"Did Mom bake a cake?" I asked.

"I don't know." Juliana bit her lip. "She said she would; I reminded her when I left that she needed to make the cakes, but it was a bad morning."

"What happened?" I asked, almost afraid of hearing the answer.

"She was drunk."

"I thought you threw out all the alcohol!"

"We did. We either missed some, or she's brewing it in her potions lab."

"Damn." I stared at the plain sheet cakes, then looked at the castle that had taken me many, many hours to complete. Compared to the works of art my mom had created for us on our birthdays growing up, it probably looked pathetic, but it would be awe-inspiring next to a flat rectangle with icing.

"Do you have more icing prepared?" Juliana asked.

"I bought plenty of extra ingredients, so I can make more. That'll give us a chance to think up decorating schemes." I moved toward my oversized stainless-steel refrigerator as I spoke and pulled out three bowls of icing, each topped with a cold, damp towel. Then I started pulling bags and tips out of the decorating drawer.

"Do you think-" I started, then stopped myself. It was a horrible thought, one I couldn't possibly give voice to.

"Do I think she's coming at all?" Juliana asked, apparently reading my mind. Some sorcerers can do that, but not Juliana. Her gift is healing. "The thought crossed my mind. But Nicolas and Isaac said they'd drag her here if they had to."

Nicolas was my next youngest sibling, currently twenty, and Isaac was just after Juliana, currently fourteen. With Nicolas and me out of the house - me married with a child of my own and Nicolas neck-deep in an intense apprenticeship - a lot of responsibility had fallen on both Juliana's and Isaac's shoulders. For that matter, Elena, eleven, Adam, eight, and Christina, five, were all growing up faster than they should have to. But as the two oldest at home, it was worst for Juliana and Isaac. My understanding was that Juliana took care of the kids, while Isaac took care of Mom.

Mom had simply never recovered from the blow of losing her husband, my father, almost two years earlier. His death had profoundly impacted all of us; I still thought about him and missed him. Making things particularly hard was the fact that we had unfinished business between us. What would he say if he knew I had married Evan, for instance? But the worst thing for me was knowing that the last words I said to my father were, "I hate you."

I didn't mean it. I wanted to tell him that, desperately.

"I swear she was getting better for a while," Juliana said, tucking a long strand of dark hair behind an ear. She looked more like Dad, while I resembled Mom, but nobody had trouble believing we were sisters.

"You mentioned that." I didn't want to talk about Mom anymore, though. The day would be hard enough without churning up all the old hurt and betrayal. At one point, I thought I'd forgiven my mom, but sometime during her decline I'd changed my mind. Somehow, her refusal to pull herself together for the sake of two helpless babies was worse than anything she'd ever done to me - and she'd once magically disowned me.

Dad had gone along with her plans; that was part of the unfinished business. But for now, I had to focus on those he left behind.

"So Maya and Michael," I said, eager to change the subject. "What are they into?" I'm afraid I didn't spend much time with my youngest brother and sister, not even when I visited the rest of the family. I usually spent those visits dealing with Mom.

"Well, Maya's a summoner and Michael's a fire starter," Juliana said.

"We did gifts for their first birthday," I pointed out. "And we've known Michael was a fire starter since before he was born."

Technically, we didn't know for sure Michael was the fire starter until after he was born - we didn't even know there were twins - but the fact that Mom had set things on fire while she was pregnant confirmed the existence of a fire starter in her womb. Pregnant moms often channel their unborn baby's gifts. Anastasia had saved my life before I even knew she was there.

"Believe me, I still know Michael's a fire starter every day. His gift keeps slipping its binding; it used to be every few months, but lately it's just about weekly. I'm terrified the house is going to burn down around us."

"Have you asked Nicolas for help?"

"He did the last binding himself. Clark Eagle even helped, although Nicolas is getting really good after two years of study."

"We might need to call a full circle," I said. "I know Evan would help."

Juliana shook her head. She never said it outright, but I often got the impression she didn't approve of Evan. Almost two years after the feud between our families had officially ended, was it possible she still harbored some kind of resentment for them? Of course, they had cursed her bald - apparently permanently. Months of research and experiments had failed to undo that nasty bit of magic, compliments of Amanda Lee, who had never shared her secret. Juliana currently wore an excellent wig that matched her old hair so perfectly it was hard to remember it wasn't real. At least for me. Might be easier for her, all things considered.

I glanced at my watch. We had about an hour and a half to get the two cakes ready. "Okay, gifts it is. But we need to come up with a better concept for summoning than Mom did last year. Most people thought the girl surrounded by toys represented greed."

"And then they thought the fire was wrath." Juliana chuckled. "Okay, let's just do Dora and Diego."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. It's their favorite show. They watch it every day."

We set to work, using pictures from the Internet, skills honed from years of cake decorating, and a bit of magic - provided by Juliana. I still didn't have a drop of magic, although I channeled some of Anastasia's because she was nursing. I didn't use it, though. That had been a hard decision, but Mom's breakdown had made it easier. She'd spent her life having child after child, making sure she was either pregnant or nursing, so she could continue to channel the magic that had been stolen from her as a teen. While she hadn't been a bad mom until recently, she had always chosen to have children for the wrong reasons.

I would not become my mother. Not on this. So I didn't use magic, even when I had it available. I did some ritual meditation to keep it from building up and overpowering me, and that was it.

As we worked, I kept sensing Juliana wanted to say something. After the third time she paused, opened her mouth slightly, then shook her head, I asked her what was going on.

"Nothing," she mumbled.

"Juliana. Something's going on. You can tell me anything."

She bit her lip and looked up from her work. For a moment, I wasn't sure she would tell me, and I felt a pang somewhere in the region of my heart. Had I been such a bad big sister that she couldn't even talk to me? I knew I wasn't around as much as I used to be, but I was married and had a baby of my own. And she never asked for more. Never. If she did . well, I'd find a way.

"I'm worried about Maya," Juliana said suddenly.

I glanced at the Dora cake, which was nearly done. It only needed the birthday message artfully applied across the top.

"Why?" I asked.

"She screams whenever she's separated from Michael, even for a moment. It's weird, and it can't be healthy. It doesn't even matter who else is with her, not even me." Juliana's voice was full of hurt and bewilderment; she clearly saw herself as the twins' mom. Maybe in some ways she was, but I wondered if the twins had a healthy, secure attachment to anyone.

I didn't say any of that to Juliana. It wouldn't help.

"She loves her brother," I said carefully. "I'm sure it's just a phase."

"Maybe."

But I could tell Juliana wasn't convinced. Neither was I. Having recently read every book on parenting I could get my hands on, I thought it very likely that the whole family was having some serious emotional fallout from Dad's death and Mom's subsequent depression. Maya didn't have a parent; Juliana might want to fill that role, but maybe she couldn't.

We finished the cakes just as the first guest arrived - Evan's mom, Laura Blackwood, who didn't like me but who doted on her granddaughter. Soon, the house was full of guests, mostly from the Blackwood side of the family.

"Where's Mom?" I murmured to Juliana after thirty minutes.

Juliana was on her phone, thumbs working overtime. "Elena says Isaac and Nicolas are trying to revive her. She passed out." Juliana glanced at the twins, then at me, and I could tell she was torn between going to help and staying for her twins.

"Stay," I said. "Nicolas and Isaac can handle it."

Juliana nodded doubtfully, then pasted a smile to her face and went to lift Michael into her arms. Maya let out a shriek that threatened to turn violent before Juliana scooped her up too. Huh. That was a bit extreme. How had I never noticed before?

Two strong arms came around me from behind, pinning me against a hard, warm, familiar chest. I melted against it, letting myself find strength and comfort in a loving embrace.

"Nice party," Evan murmured in my ear. "What's wrong?"

"Mom's passed out drunk."

He cursed under his breath.

"Do you think the Blairs could help her somehow?" I asked. The Blairs were a family of mind mages, and it was a mark of desperation that I mentioned them at all. I didn't trust mind mages, and I already owed Matthew ten years of service for a favor he'd done.

"I don't know, but let's try to think of something else first. Come on, it's time to cut the cake."

We went through the motions of the party: cutting cake, singing songs, opening presents, and playing games. Nicolas arrived an hour late, with the rest of my brothers and sisters, but without Mom. Nobody said anything, but there was tension in the air. Everyone noticed.

The party lasted for three hours, well past the kids' nap times. The adults simply went on without them until finally, everyone had left except for my siblings and two best friends. I sensed that none of them wanted to go home, and I didn't push them.

Finally, shortly before dinnertime, the doorbell rang. My heart leapt, thinking that Mom had shaken off her stupor and come after all. I dashed to the front door and flung it open, trying to decide if I should shake my mom or strangle her.

Sheriff David Adams stood on the other side of the threshold, hands in his pockets, a familiar look of tension on his face. I'd seen that expression before - he wore it when a situation made him feel he was in over his head.

"We've got a big problem down by the lake," he said without preamble. "I need you."

 

Chapter 2

I have to admit, "I need you" are just about my favorite words in the English language. I'm not sure what that says about me, but there it is. The words were especially welcome at that moment, when my mom had utterly failed her youngest children and, in so doing, failed most of the rest as well. Now, the sheriff needed me, and I needed a distraction. I was all set to go.

"I just need to grab my purse and let Evan know I'm leaving." I turned my back to him and started across the foyer.

"You might want to bring Evan too."

I stopped and tried not to feel hurt. Evan and I had an agreement - I was free to do all the investigating I wanted as long as I called him when there was danger. Now, the thing about "danger" is it's subjective, and I'll give you one guess as to whose definition was broader.

Whenever Evan joined me on a case, I felt overshadowed. It didn't matter that he never made me feel less than himself, it didn't matter that I did have skills to contribute, and it didn't even matter that I'd set most of my old insecurities about not having magic in a magical world behind me. It was just how I felt. Less.

I guess in real life, self-actualization is a never-ending process rather than the dramatic culmination of a series of events. It does make for a handy conclusion to a memoir, though.

Evan appeared in the entrance to the living room, at the end of the hallway. He looked at me, then past me to the sheriff.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"The sheriff needs me," I said. Then, grudgingly, "He suggests that you might want to come along."

Evan raised his eyebrows for a moment, then nodded, wiping all emotion from his face. His neutral expression was one I called his "game face" and it was nearly flawless - except with me. I could almost always tell what he was feeling.

Like right now, Evan was wondering how bad the situation had to be for the sheriff to suggest he come along and whether or not that meant I should stay behind.

"Maybe I should check things out first," Evan said. Yeah, like I said .

"I don't know how long the scene will stay put," Sheriff Adams said from behind me. "I'd like Cassie to get a look."

"Stay put?" I asked. Then I shook off the question. Actually, I didn't want him to tell me what he thought until after I'd seen whatever it was. I wanted to form my own conclusions.

"See if Madison will stay with Ana," I told Evan. "I just need to take care of a couple things and we can go."

By "a couple things" I meant taking some breast milk out of the freezer in case Ana needed it and sneaking into her room to whisper "I love you," even though she was down for her nap and couldn't hear me. It was more for me than her.

We were ready to go within five minutes, but the sheriff was tapping his foot impatiently when we returned to the foyer.

"Took you long enough." The sheriff glanced at his watch.

"You're lucky we had someone over to watch the baby, or it would have been longer," I said. "What's the big hurry? No wait, don't answer that."

The sheriff tapped the rim of his brown hat and gazed at me with something unfathomable in his weary blue eyes. He was in his late thirties but looked at least a decade older. Signs of stress, perhaps, from all the cases that had him way out of his depth? He didn't even have a wife or lover to help him unwind at the end of the day. The last relationship he'd been in, as far as I knew, was with a witch named Belinda Hewitt who'd put him under a love spell. Maybe that had soured him on the whole idea of love. I hoped not, for his sake.

He somehow looked older than the last time I'd seen him, which had only been a few days ago. A strange mist or fog had been lingering around the lake for months, and he'd wanted to know why. So did the White Guard, but I hadn't told him that part; I'd only said that it didn't seem to be hurting anyone so I'd look into it, but it wasn't a priority. Which was, after all, exactly what the White Guard had decided.

"You'll want to bring some winter gear - a heavy coat, hat, gloves, scarves." The sheriff turned his back to us and headed for his SUV, parked right out front.

"Coat?" I glanced at Evan, then out the front door. The trees just visible in the deepening twilight had long since lost their leaves, but there wasn't a hint of frost in the air. "How about a light jacket? It's fifty degrees."

"Not where we're going," he said cryptically.

Evan opened the coat closet, grabbed two heavy coats and the bag where we stowed our winter gear, and gestured for me to precede him out the door. He still had his game face on, but I could sense the underlying confusion there. Or maybe I was projecting my own confusion onto him.

We took Evan's new car, a green Tesla Model X, with him behind the wheel - one of marriage's many compromises. There's really a lot that goes on behind the "Happily Ever After," when you think about it. Who sleeps on which side of the bed? Do you squeeze your toothpaste from the bottom or the top? Who's going to cook? Do the laundry? Mow the lawn? The list goes on and on.

I like to drive, but Evan loves to drive. More importantly, he hates feeling out of control (i.e., being in the passenger seat). So I let him drive whenever it's the two of us. It's not weakness, even if it is a gender-conforming stereotype; it's just more important to him.

I got a princess theme at Ana's first birthday party. And not Princess Leia. It's all about compromise.

Evan followed the sheriff's SUV down Lakeshore Drive heading east, toward the resorts and away from what I liked to call "Sorcerer's Row." Basically, the sorcerers all tried to live as close as they could to the node under Table Rock Lake, which was slightly west of Eagle Rock. To the east, lakefront property went to private industries, hotels, cabins, and condos. There were also marinas and public beaches that way. And, lately, a persistent fog.

"The cake was beautiful, in case I forgot to say," Evan said after a few minutes of silence. It was usually my job to fill the silence, but my mom had me on edge. Unfortunately, thinking of the cake reminded me of her. She had always made such beautiful cakes.

"Thanks." I stared out the window, watching tendrils of mist wind through the trees dotting the lake shore. Above us, the sky was clear and cloudless and I had the sudden impression that the clouds had simply fallen to the ground.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"No."

"Must be bad then."

I sighed. I usually did like to talk things through, but I didn't see how talking would help now. I'd known Juliana had been doing most of the work with the twins, but today it had hit me: my youngest brother and sister were being raised by a seventeen-year-old. If my mom couldn't do it, if she couldn't be a parent, shouldn't I be the one to step in? But if I did that, it couldn't stop with Michael and Maya. I had five other brothers and sisters between the ages of five and seventeen who were parenting themselves right now. The situation wasn't fair to any of them.

So what was the answer? Take them away? Should I be the one to raise them? I had a baby myself now, but I sure didn't feel old enough to parent teens. I was only twenty-three.

Besides, it wasn't fair to me either. I wanted more kids. Evan had been hinting about trying again for the past three months, and I thought I might finally be ready. How could I have another baby and raise my seven siblings, not to mention Ana?

And how bad was it, really? Bad enough to even be thinking along these lines? Taking the kids away from home would be traumatic all by itself; it just wasn't something to do - or even consider - lightly.

What I really wanted was my mom back. Wasn't it bad enough that I had lost my dad?

The sheriff surprised me by driving past the resorts and the cabins without stopping. Leaning forward in my seat, I began to pay closer attention to where we were headed. Eagle Rock itself was pretty small, but the sheriff's department protected the whole county, including broad swaths of forests and farmland.

I tried to remember if I'd ever been out this far past the resorts, even when I'd been a deputy, but I didn't think I had. The resorts gave way rather abruptly to forest, right around the time Lakeshore Drive went from a four-lane road to a two-lane road. After another half mile or so, the road veered away from the lake, and ramshackle homes began to dot the landscape, making me wonder if Lakeshore Drive had changed names. These homes were set further north, well away from the water.

The sheriff slowed and put on his turn signal. Evan slowed too, and I noted the fog stopped abruptly at the edge of a dirt driveway just up ahead. The sheriff's SUV turned onto that driveway and Evan followed without comment, giving me a chance to take in the scenery.

A ramshackle, ranch-style home was set so far from the road that it looked no bigger than a shoebox. The yard was huge, though, assuming the surrounding acres went with the house. And someone had done a good job of keeping those many acres looking neat and tidy. There was nothing fancy here, no flower beds or gardens or hedges, but the lawn was neatly mowed. Back through a few sparse trees, I spotted an old shed and a well-loved riding lawn mower.

As the house loomed larger, I spotted a patrol car parked in the grass near the drive. Something glinted off the windshield, and I realized with a jolt of surprise that it was iced over. I spotted Frank Gibbons standing guard just outside the front door to the little ranch house. He rubbed gloved hands together and blew on them just as I became aware of a chill in the air. I didn't see his partner.

"Is the heater on?" I answered my own question with a quick glance at the temperature controls. It was on, albeit low.

The sheriff parked his car and Evan pulled in next to it. Grabbing my coat from the backseat, I slid out of the car . and instantly wished I'd put the coat on before leaving.

"It's freezing!" I quickly bundled up, ducking back inside for the hat and gloves Evan passed my way.

"Where's Jim?" The sheriff had emerged from his SUV, also bundled up, and was approaching the front door, his hands buried deeply in his coat pockets for warmth.

"We're taking turns to get out of the arctic circle." Frank lifted a hand and pointed to the east. "He went that way this time, keeping his eye out for anything suspicious. The freeze loses intensity about a hundred yards out, and disappears completely after another hundred or so."

"All right." The sheriff nodded toward the door. "Things still frozen in there?"

"Yes sir. Hard to say if it's easing off." Frank waved at me and smiled. "Hi, Cassie. Nice to see you on this one." His smile faded as he nodded at my husband. "Evan."

"Frank," Evan replied tonelessly. My husband had cultivated a bit of a bad boy reputation in his youth. Some would say more than a bit. He made most of the locals nervous; the rest were terrified.

I shoved my gloved hands into my pockets for added warmth and started for the house, ready to take a look at whatever had the sheriff so on edge. He was already ahead of me, going up the steps to the front porch where he stopped beside Frank and waited for us to join them.

The cold grew more intense with every step I took toward the house. My ears grew cold, despite the hat I had pulled down low around them, and I lifted my gloved hands to cup them.

"The temperature is measuring zero degrees out here," Frank said. "That's ten degrees higher than it was when you left, but it's not getting warmer as fast as you thought it would."
The sheriff seemed to relax slightly at those words. "How about inside?"

"You think I've gone back in there? I'm not crazy!"

The sheriff only grunted his response.

"Hang on." Evan's voice came from behind me, sharp and commanding. I turned to see a look of intense concentration on his face. "There's magic in the air . but it's odd."

"Dangerous?" I asked.

He hesitated. "Odd. But . I think I can dispel the cold."
"No," Sheriff Adams cut in. "Not until Cassie has seen what's inside."

"I'll be fine," I told Evan. Clearly, someone had already gone in the house and come out alive. I could handle the cold.

"I can't cast a warming spell," Evan said, but I didn't let myself worry about that. Heat magic wasn't his forte.

"Maybe we should have brought Nicolas instead," I said.

Evan grunted. He and my brother, Nicolas, only got along grudgingly, for my sake.

"When you go inside," the sheriff was saying, making me shift my attention back to him, "you'll get hit with a cold so fierce you think you'll freeze to death. Might not be as bad as it was thirty minutes ago, but it's bad. Get in, take a look around, and get out. Don't risk lingering too long. Okay?"

"Okay." I hesitated. Evan had joined me, sliding a gloved hand into mine and tucking me close to his side, providing much-needed warmth and that familiar sensation of being cherished. I squeezed his hand, and he squeezed back, telling me without words that he would let no harm come to me.

I stepped past the sheriff and, with my free hand, twisted the doorknob. It was a good thing I was wearing gloves, because if I hadn't the chilled metal probably would have frozen my fingers off. I twisted and pushed, shoving the door inward, and stepped into hell frozen over.

 

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Author Bio

Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a "serious" writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards.

Aside from writing, Christine teaches writing workshops at Savvy Authors and is a freelance editor. She also mentors aspiring fiction writers.

Christine lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and two kids.

TTB titles: The Immortality Virus
Touch of Fate

Cassie Scot series
Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective  Book 1
Secrets and Lies  Book 2
Mind Games  Book 3
Stolen Dreams   Book 4
Madison's Song   Book 5
Kaitlin's Tale   Book 6
Frozen: a ParaNormal Mystery   Book 7 [forthcoming Spring 2018]

Author web site.

 

###

 

Frozen Copyright 2018. Christine Amsden. All rights reserved by the author. Please do not copy without permission.

 

To order this book:
Format: ePub, PDF, HTML, Kindle/Mobi
    Payment Method
PayPal -or- credit card -or- Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; BN Nook; Kobo Books
List Price: $6.50 USD

Format: Trade Paperback
    Available July 2018!
List Price: $18.95 USD

 

  Author News

Madison's Song is a finalist in the Fantasy category for the Foreword Reviews 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award.

Mind Games by Christine Amsden is the winner in the category of Paranormal in EPIC's 2015 eBook award and also won Silver in the Fiction Fantasy/contemporary category of the 2014 Global eBook Awards.

The Immortality Virus by Christine Amsden is the winner in the category of Speculative Fiction SF in the 2011 Global eBook Awards and winner in the Science Fiction category for the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards.

Praise for Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (book 1 in the Cassie Scot series)

"In this entertaining series opener, Amsden (The Immortality Virus) introduces readers to the eponymous Cassie, a decidedly mundane member of a magical family. ...Readers will enjoy Cassie's fish-out-of-water struggles as she fights magical threats with little more than experience and bravado." ~ Publishers Weekly

Praise for Secrets and Lies: a Cassie Scot novel (book 2 in the Cassie Scot series)

"...Cassie, stubborn and proud, is bravely trying to live on her own after her family disowns her. ...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...." ~ Publishers Weekly

"Christine Amsden unleashes her brilliant storytelling magic as the adventures of Cassie Scot escalate to the extreme. Rife with betrayal and a debt too deep for money to clear, Secrets and Lies plunges the reader into an utterly believable world where villains and heroes spring lifelike from the pages. Brace for a whirlwind ride of sorcery, romance and knife-edge peril. A truly original urban fantasy. Not to be missed!"
~ Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series

 

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