INTERVIEW with Mind Games author Christine Amsden

Beware your heart and soul…

Evan broke Cassie’s heart two months ago, and she still doesn’t know why. She throws herself into family, friends and her new job at the sheriff’s department, but nothing helps. The only thing that finally allows her heal and move on is the love of a new man, mind mage Matthew Blair. Cassie finds him…irresistible.

Matthew may also be the only one who can help keep the non-magical residents of Eagle Rock from going crazy over the murder of a beloved pastor’s wife. It looks like a sorcerer is to blame, but while Cassie tries to figure out who, others take matters into their own hands. With tensions running so hot, a single spark might set Eagle Rock ablaze.

First Chapter:  (Warning: Contains series spoilers. New readers to the series would be better off checking out the preview of book one below.)

Buy Links

Other titles in this series:

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective

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.

Buy Links for Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detecitve

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot Book 2)

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.

Christine 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.

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KT Interview with Christine Amsden

1. What or who inspired Cassie Scot's character?

Cassie came to me during a time when I was trying to define who I was as a writer. My first two books, Touch of Fate and The Immortality Virus, were in different genres, appealed to different audiences, and had different strengths. I'm proud of them both for different reasons, but I felt like I needed to more tightly define who and what I am as an author.

I know exactly who I am now. I'm a character girl. To heck with genre. I'd like to boycott genre!

Great characters come in all different shapes and sizes, but I wanted to write about someone struggling with a personal issue. Someone who had to overcome adversity to succeed. I've tried, in the past, writing a character with my own personal issue (I'm legally blind), but it's too close. Cassie, as a woman with no magic born into a family of sorcerers, was an abstract outlet.

2. What has surprised you the most during your writing endeavor?

The romance between Cassie and Evan surprised the heck out of me. I knew I wanted to put a romance into this series, I knew that the minor romantic subplots in my first two books were some of my favorite parts and that I wanted to make the romance bigger here. More important.

But I didn't know how much *I* would fall in love with Evan! Plus, I even surprised myself when I came up with the ending to Secrets and Lies (book 2), which set the tone and the tension for the rest of the series. Great romance, in my opinion, shows a couple who clearly belongs together struggling through difficulties that make your heart squeeze for them because you know this isn't going to come easy. The best romances manage to make you forget during key moments that the genre demands “happily ever after.” When I hear from readers who desperately want Cassie and Evan to get together, but truly fear they won't, I know I've done my job.

3. How many books are planned for this series?

There will be four Cassie Scot books, plus two spin-off sequels, one for Madison, and one for Kaitlin. The core series will be out by this summer (2014). Madison's Song is written but the publication schedule is not set. Kaitlin's Tale is in another document on my computer right now. I have written … 38,817 words so far. That's not quite halfway through the rough draft. I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the year.

4. Out of all your characters whom would you most like to sit down to dinner with?

Probably Kaitlin. But that's because I know things about her that no one else does, including Cassie. Kaitlin's got some issues and could use a friend. But she's also got this energy about her that would make her a fun dinner companion.

5. And finally, here at KT Book Reviews we talk a lot about wine and Chocolate so.... What wine and which chocolate? :)

Chocolate! I'm a chocolate snob, so for me it's going to be Lindt Truffles or Godiva milk chocolate sea salt caramels. As for the wine, I'm going to have to substitute milk. I know it's not sophisticated of me, but alcohol and I don't get along (except in cooking – my liquor cabinet is amazingly well stocked for someone who doesn't drink). I'm one of those people who gets super sleepy when I drink (which takes the fun right out of an evening) and over the past few years, I've noticed that I also get a little sore throat too. Allergy? Whatever it is, the only time I drink anymore is at Christmas when my dad makes hot buttered rum.

Mind Games is certainly my favorite in the Cassie Scot Series so far guys! We start off in the thick of it, Evan kicking butt with an assist from Hunter/Vamp(ish) Jason and a revelation in Evan’s thinking.

Meanwhile, Cassie, nursing a broken heart, has pieced a life together with her friends in a new apartment. Working for the sheriff and a new partner, she is trying to solve the murder of the pastors’ wife.

The differences and the hate some of the townspeople feel toward each other really comes into focus when even the children show unusually high actions in hate. At times I felt sickened by the hatred that Cassie and her family endured. It’s not normal for people to behave this way and with such fervor. Something’s happening:  a shift in thinking and morals, or is a darker force at play?

So now for the nitty-gritty of Cassie and Evan. Whelp - Cassie is still hurt, so when our boy Evan tries to smooth things over he’s met with the stinging fact that our Cassie ain’t having it! She has met a new guy in town. Charismatic and smooth, Mathew Blair has asked her out, and they are quickly turning into much more. Mathew is offering protection and security along with love. Evan will do whatever he can to make Cassie see that what she thinks she feels might not be real at all.

I gotta tell you - one of the reasons why I love this series so much is the innocence and vulnerability of Cassie. No matter what comes her way, she always tries to be a good person and help when she can. It really is a learning process for her. Cassie was so sheltered for so long, and with deep hurt inflicted by her parents, she is a thoughtful and soulful person.  It’s a great quality for her to have, especially since she deals so much with people and their emotions.

So to sum it up, the magic is subtle in Mind Games and the love story is just hitting its peak now that the truth is out. I cannot wait for what’s to come in book four of the Cassie Scot Series. It’s a great series and one I hope you read.


Praise for the Cassie Scot Series

From Publisher’s Weekly:
Amsden continues the story of the only mundane member of a supernaturally-gifted family in this middling sequel to Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Cassie, stubborn and proud, is bravely trying to live on her own after her family disowns her. Struggling to make ends meet, she accepts a case involving a pair of magical girls who disappeared from summer camp. With the aid of the handsome Evan Blackwood, to whom Cassie is attracted despite her family’s disapproval and her own better judgment, she follows the trail of the missing girls. What she finds is a dark side of the magical world, and the hidden depths of her family’s past force her to reconsider long-held assumptions. 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. An inconclusive ending is clearly intended to feed into the next volume.”

Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series, had this to say:

“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!”

Book Specifications

Title: Mind Games: a Cassie Scot novel
Author: Christine Amsden
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: paranormal fantasy
*Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-279-5
    Format: 5.5x8.5 trade paperback; 276 pages; $17.95 USD
*eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-278-8; $6.50 USD
    Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; Nook; Kobo Books; OmniLit, etc
Release date: April 15, 2014 ebook; June 15, 2014 trade paperback


  1. Thanks so much for having me back! Always a pleasure.

    Update on Kaitlin's Tale -- first draft ran into the side of a mountain and fell on its bottom. It is now staring dazedly at spinning stars over its head. Don't worry, a good concussion is what every first draft needs. :)

  2. Wonderful review. I have just gotten my first book in the Cassie Scot series and am excited to get started. Thank you for sharing