Friday, August 9, 2013

Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective by Christine Amsden: Tens List and Spotlight


What 10 things absolutely drive you insane?
(Note: These are in no particular order. The extend to which they drive me insane depends largely upon how recently it happened!) 
1. Restaurants that serve reheated food. They charge too much for me to shrug and say, "at least I didn't have to do the dishes." I have a dishwasher. I may not care to do the dishes even then, but when I buckle down it's 10 minutes of work. When I go out to eat I (foolishly) expect the food to be better than I could cook myself, or at least different. For example, I can't make Chinese food at home. I tried for over a decade but the truth is I don't have a big enough wok or flames with enough heat. (Or any flames at all since I have an electric stove.) On the other hand, I can cook Italian. It's easy. Let me repeat that. EASY. I can cook it with meatballs or alfredo sauce (from scratch, not from a jar). I can toss it with butter and herbs or stuff it or layer it into a lasagna. I don't buy frozen lasagnas and when I spend $10-$15 a plate at a nice restaurant I don't expect them to be using freeze-dried stuff from a nationwide distribution center either. I think the worst was just the other day. (Hence the reason it's at the top of my list.) I was out of town, which is the only reason I ever go out to breakfast. (My pancakes are awesome and I can mix them up from scratch faster than you can say Bisquick.) But even if my pancakes are good, they're not exactly hard to make, right? Looking over the menu at Bob Evans, I decided the best thing to do would be to stay away from anything that takes the slightest skill (like omelettes) and just order a pancake. This pancake had so obviously been put in the microwave that the thing was ashamed to be called a pancake. And it wasn't cheap.  
2. People who cut in line. And I'm not talking about young kids. Seriously, who does that? And who lets them get away with it? Which brings me to... 
3. People who LET people cut in line. This may drive me even crazier. It should be the job of the person directly behind them in line. When I'm in that position, I'm pretty firm about it. Further back it gets harder. The concept of "saving spots" gets murky (and generally shouldn't happen, but weak bladder conditions exist and I don't want to be a mean person, just a fair one). A few months back at my kids' school carnival, waiting in the slowest moving line on the playground for a ride I decided I wouldn't even get on so all the kids would have a better chance at it, entire groups of people melted in and out of the line. They all insisted their spots had been "saved" and the people standing behind them more or less confirmed this. But they were "saving" the spots so the kids could go play other carnival games while they were waiting for this one. Now, the solution is simple IMHO -- hand out tickets call numbers. But that's next year (when I will make this suggestion to the carnival committee). This year... Well, I bit my tongue until it was nearly my kids' turn to get on the ride (40 minutes after getting in the line). A kid gets off the ride, goes out the exit gate, then goes to stand beside his friend at the very front of the line! He had the nerve to look affronted when I told him to get out. (And that should have been the job of the person working the ride, but maybe that belongs in another spot too. :) ) 
4. Blogs that ask me to play "guess the blurry image" in order to comment. Seriously, there are better ways of identifying that a person is human. I'd rather you ask me what 1+1 is. I moderate all my comments, and the spam filter catches 99% of the spam before it even asks me to approve the message. But guess the fuzzy numbers or twisted letters? Some days I think a monkey could guess faster than me. I thought it was because I'm legally blind (and the sound cues don't work either, ftr), but when I asked around it turned out everyone else had trouble with them too. 
5. People who give bad reviews to recipes online and then say they changed some of the key ingredients. I was checking out what Alton Brown had to say about chocolate chip cookies yesterday when someone complained that his puffy cookies went flat. They also said they used butter instead of shortening. Um, yeah. That was sort of a pivotal part of the chemical process there. Thanks for proving its pivotalness? (I like to make up words. It doesn't bother me at all! Probably drives someone else nuts thought. :) )
6. While we're on the subject of cooking, it drives me insane when people claim that their fat-free, sugar-free, wonder-of-modern-science dessert somehow breaks all the rules and manages to taste great. Worse, when they tell me "you'll never know the difference." I'm 36 years old, and this is what I have to say about that, "Fool me 200 times, shame on you. Fool me 201 times, shame on me!" It is NEVER true. No-stop! Don't try to tell me you've got the magic recipe. I've tried everything from weight watchers to black bean brownies (several variations) to applesauce substitutions (actually, you can get away with that in some recipes if you don't go overboard) to splenda (yuck!) to... I don't know. But you name it, I've probably tried it. I'm a roller-coaster dieter and I can assure you, I've tried it. Even if I somehow haven't tried it, I don't want to try it. After about 20 years of dieting I'm still not 100% sure how it all works but I know one thing: If I want dessert, I want the real thing. Anything else just makes me sad and makes me want to break my diet because I'm not fooling anyone, least of all myself.  
7. The Quest for the Three Magic Words. (You can read my full explanation here: Basically, the quest is what happens in a romance novel when the only thing left to do is for the hero and/or heroine to say the three magic words -- you know which ones. I almost decided to write a book a few years back in which the whole point was that the two characters lived happily ever after without speaking those words at all. They knew it and it was enough. Well, I was in the middle of Cassie Scot at the time, plus the plot's a bit thin so far, don't you think? I still might do it one day. :) 
8. Sparkly vampires. "Nuff said. 
9. Good authors who turn into book factories, churning out the same book 3-4 times a year with slight variations in setting and character quirks. (If I they were bad authors to begin with, it doesn't bother me so much. Although it does perplex me that they make money.) 
10. Trying to come up with exactly 10 items to fill a top-10 list. :)




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.

Purchase at:

barnes and nobleamazonamazon


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.
Her latest book is Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective

Pump Up Your Book and Christine Amsden are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.
This promotion will run from May 13 – August 16. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on August 17, 2013.
Each blogger who participates in the Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win.
Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.
If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!



Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective Virtual Book Publicity

Join Christine Amsden, author of the paranormal mystery novel, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective, as she tours the blogosphere May 13 – August 16, 2013 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! This tour is part of a huge Kindle Fire HD Giveaway.


Tour Schedule


1 comment:

Christine Amsden said...

Thank you so much for hosting!