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Sunday 6 September 2015

ℚ Madison's Song: Cassie Scot - Christine Amsden

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Madison's Song (, Twilight Times Books, 275 pages) a Paranormal Romance, which is a stand-alone spin-off the Cassie Scot series.

Praise for the Cassie Scot 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

Author Q&A | Trailer | Synopsis | Teaser #1 | Teaser #2 | The Series | Kaitlin's Tale | About the Author | Giveaways & Tour Stops

A big welcome to Christine Amsden, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for Madison's Song?

"Cassie Scot inspired me to write about her friend, Madison.  Cassie, the only ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, got a four-book urban fantasy series after she barged into my brain back in 2009.  Madison, shy and at first under-appreciated started out as I was writing an early chapter …  “Okay, Cassie needs some friends.  Let's see … my mom kept hinting that I should name my daughter Madison.  I pretended not to notice, but it's a nice name for a character.  Madison it is!”

Actually, it didn't take long for both Madison and Kaitlin to become more than “friends of Cassie's.”  By book two, each had a significant subplot and lots of back story that never made it into the original series.  At first, I thought Cassie would solve their problems alongside her own but by book four she and I both learned an important lesson – you can't solve someone else's problems for them, you can only be there to lend comfort and support.

Madison has lots of problems.  During the Cassie Scot series she almost had her soul stolen, was kidnapped twice, and betrayed by her own father (who told her he had adopted her in the worst way possible).  In Madison's Song, she gets to deal with all that and become the heroine of her own story!

Believe it or not, the book does stand alone.  I made sure to put all the relevant back story in for readers who enjoy single-volume paranormal romance."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"More than usual!  When I wrote the Cassie Scot series, I created a character who was the me I wanted to be.  Madison, as a secondary character who was supposed to stay put in that role, was something closer to the me I am. So you can imagine how nervous it made me when I realized that I was going to have to write her story! I mean, I even gave her some of my ticks like chewing her bottom lip and biting her nails.

I do hope that if anyone I loved was threatened, that I could become the lioness Madison grows into."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Madison's Song - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist's name is Tamian wood, and my publisher, Lida Quillen, chose her. And you can honestly thank Tamian if you love the cover!

If there's one thing I learned releasing my first six books, it was that I may have great heart when it comes to weaving words, but I have no vision for graphic representations. Maybe it's because I'm legally blind – I see the world as a blur of shapes and colors. That didn't stop me from trying to come up with concepts whenever my publisher asked, but when it came to Madison's Song (lucky #7), I told the artist flat-out that I can't see very well, that every time I've told an artist what to put on a cover it hasn't worked out well, and that I wanted her to come up with her own concept based on her skills and my descriptions of the book.

I believe Madison's Song is my best cover. It's beautiful, hautning, and gives you a sense for who Madison is. I wish I could take credit, but the only credit I can claim is that I finally admitted my weakness and let an expert create her own beautiful art to match mine."
Why should we read Madison's Song and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I'm a character girl. I create characters who come from the heart, who take on lives of their own, and who come to life so vividly that they demand their own books when I meant for them to be minor characters.

I often have people who don't usually read fantasy tell me that they loved my books, and I think characterization is why. I put a lot of time and thought into world building, suspense, and romance too, trying to bring together complimentary elements that draw in as many readers as possible, and keep those readers turning pages. But I won't pretend that my world is fantastically unique – I hope it's vividly described and draws you in – read my stuff if you love a great character. "
Can you tell us something quirky about Madison's Song, its story and characters?
"Madison is the name my mom seemed to want me to give to my daughter. I pretended not to notice her hints, but I remembered them later, when I needed a good character name. :)"
Who would you recommend Madison's Song to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"If you read the Cassie Scot series, read this! You know who Madison is – this is her story. If you haven't read the Cassie Scot series, I do recommend reading it first, although it is not absolutely necessary. I did my best to make Madison's Song stand-alone. So read if you like character stories, especially those involving fantasy, romance, and/or suspense.


There are a few curse words – I'm not big on cursing and it makes me extremely uncomfortable to say or write the f-word, but there were a couple of instances in this particular book when I couldn't conceive of the characters saying/thinking a different word. (I say it like this to draw a marked contrast between books that drop f-bombs all over the place so that you almost have to become numb to them. If I use a curse word, I mean it.)

There is a sweet sex scene in the book."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I've been writing fantasy mixed with romance and suspense since the first Cassie Scot book, which was five books ago! Before that, I wrote a science fiction novel and a paranormal mystery. As to what I'll write in the future.. I don't know! I said I'm a character girl and I meant it. Genre doesn't matter as much to me as it does to many other people, although I admit that I have a soft spot for “otherworldly” elements.

I read romance, fantasy, suspense and science fiction. (Lately, in that order.)"
What is your writing process?
"It varies. At the moment, my writing process is “stop writing long enough to figure out what I really want to write!"
What is in store next?
"There is one last book in this series. Madison's Song is the first of two spin-offs from the Cassie Scot series. The other, Kaitlin's Tale, will come out next year. After that, who knows? As I said, I'm taking a bit of a breather to figure out what's next. I've just written an entire series of six books so I think I deserve a rest!"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have sugar gliders, which are hard to photograph because they like to burrow under things (like my hair) but I'll try … time passes … Okay, I got a few shots of Leslie (the boy we originally thought was a girl). I didn't even try to get Moira (the girl who is actually a girl) because she's got a bit of an attitude, especially if you try to wake her up in the daytime!"

Wow, how gorgeous!  Thank you for sharing Leslie with us.  I didn't even know you could have them as pets!

Christine, thank you again for joining us today and for being such a good sport :-)

"You're welcome! Thanks for having me here. "

Madison's Song - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads