Where Normal meets Para in Stolen Dreams

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Christine Amsden back to my blog with the final story in her much-loved Cassie Scot, Paranormal detective series. I've really enjoyed following these stories of a girl with unclear powers in a small town where power is so nearly normal that normals and paras form rigid groupings eager to take offense. In a real world where being different is always a risk, these exciting romantic suspense tales offer readers a timely touch of depth and consequence, raising them well above the "normal."

As I've enjoyed the books, I've found myself wishing I knew more about how Evan and Cassie related to each other back when they were kids, back when Evan was protecting the unexpectly magic-less girl born of a family filled with power. And today, Christine has offered me just what I wanted! Read on and enjoy!
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)

Stolen Dreams Deleted Scene

There are a lot of “deleted scenes” in Stolen Dreams since I did a ground-up rewrite of the novel after completing a rough draft. Most of them will never see the light of day, since I took a ninety-degree wrong turn in that original draft, but when Sheila asked for a bonus scene depicting Evan and Cassie as children, I recalled that I had already written one in that first draft. It is, as rough drafts are want to be, a bit rough around the edges, but I thought I'd offer it to you in its original format for the sake of nostalgia. :)

            Evan is not possessed of natural self confidence, or at least, if he had any at birth, the fact that his parents didn't let him spend time around other people until first grade eroded it down to nothing. I'm not sure why they didn't bind his powers except, perhaps, that he was too strong for them and they were too proud or secretive to ask for help. From things I learned later, I'm guessing the latter, because my parents weren't even sure that my magic had gone, let alone where it went, until I was five or six, and Victor Blackwood wasn't inclined to tell them.
            When we first met, I had enough self confidence for both of us, although time and circumstance eroded it somewhat. He didn't make a great first impression on either the teacher or the class (though since our first grade teacher was one of those anti-magic types, he'd had little hope of getting on her good side), so I took him in hand.
            What drew me to him, I can't say, except that I've always been drawn to vulnerable people and whatever he became later, on that first day he was vulnerable. We also had something in common, having both been singled out by the teacher for the crime of having the wrong last names, but that didn't explain why I let my guard down enough to tell him what, at that time, very few knew – I had no magic of my own.
            At recess that first day, Evan tried to join a game of four-square.
            “No warlocks,” one of the boys told him.
            “Why?” I asked, stepping away from the sidelines where I'd been watching with two other girls. “Are you afraid he'll use magic to beat you?”
            “No, he's not allowed to use magic at school.” The boy laughed at his own joke, and several others joined in.
            “Well, then, why are you afraid?” I asked.
            He stopped laughing and glared at Evan. “Can you even play?”
            “No,” Evan admitted, “but I've been watching. I think I can.”
            “See? He can't even play.” The boys turned back to their game and Evan began to move away.
            “Chicken,” I said.
            The ringleader stopped to glare at me, so I emphasized the insult by making bawking and clucking sounds.
            “You have to start at the end of the line,” the boy said to Evan, then he did his best to pretend he wasn't worried.
            Evan didn't seem to notice the way the atmosphere of the game shifted when he joined, especially when he rotated his way into the first square. I honestly wasn't sure if performing well or badly would serve him best, but almost as if he heard my silent urging, he split the difference – moving up two squares before getting knocked back to the end of the line.
            I let out a faint sigh of relief and started to turn away from the game, but as Evan made his way to the back of the line, someone held out a foot to trip him. Evan went sprawling to the pavement and, as children with strong gifts are prone to do when startled or hurt, he knocked down everyone within twenty feet, including me.
            Our teacher, Mrs. Chase, rushed over and did everything in her power to make the situation worse. “Evan Blackwood! Cassie Scot! Principal's office – now.”
            “It wasn't Cassie,” one of my friends said. “It was him.”
            “How do you know?” Mrs. Chase asked.
            “Yeah,” I said, “how do you know?”
            My friend looked doubtful, and possibly a little hurt since she, too, had been thrown to the ground.
            “Sorry,” I added to my friend, “I got you by accident.” She looked slightly mollified as I turned to the boys. “That's what you get for hurting my friend.”
            “Principal's office! Both of you – move!”

Very cool! Thank you so much Christine. And now, for readers, here's some more information about the book, the author, and where to find them both.

About Stolen Dreams:

Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)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? 

 Where to Buy Stolen Dreams:

About the Series:

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.

Where the find the books:

About the Author:

Christine AmsdenChristine 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:

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