Cate: Woot, it’s C.C. Koen joining the Halloween bash today. C.C., please tell us a little bit about yourself.
C.C.: Thank you Cate and readers. I’m excited to participate in the CM author spotlight and holiday celebration. I’ve been an educator for over twenty years and spent most of it reading children’s books. Now I use my free time to read romance, mystery, and suspense. Writing romance is a new venture and an immense challenge for me. I get to apply the writing experience I gained in education with my love of romance stories. Who would have thought teaching and romance would make such a great combination.
Cate: What do you love most about Halloween?
C.C.: Halloween has to be the coolest time of the year ever. There’s no stress associated with it like other holidays or celebrations. Except I guess if you forget to buy candy or don’t have enough, then that can be cause for panic.
I have always loved Halloween and seeing the costumes evolve over time. You can always tell which movies are popular and which have long-standing impact. The other great thing about Halloween is that adults can dress up too, have just as much fun as the kids, and no one looks at you funny. Ha! I guess that depends on what you chose for your costume.
Cate: Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
C.C.: Well…this is going to sound so awful. Readers will think I was a juvenile delinquent, but I’ll share the story any way. I have an older brother and sister, by five and seven years, and we used to go trick or treating together. In the 70’s (also dating myself), making homemade candles was a huge fad. My sister loved it. BUT, we use to take the large wax blocks from the kits she had and WAX neighbors’ car windows. Yeah, I know, total delinquent.
No, we were never caught, but we came close a few times. The things kids do, right?
Cate: Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
C.C.: Yes, there have been several throughout my childhood. Again, as kids we (my brother, sister and I) were pretty superstitious. When I was younger I recall an instance where we were sitting in the living room talking about spirits and ghosts. While we were sharing scary stories, beliefs about spirits/ghosts, etc. the clock on the wall came crashing down onto the end table, shattering into pieces. The clock had been nailed to that same spot for probably ten years and there’d never been an issue before. So yeah, that freaked us out.
Cate: What frightens you the most?
C.C.: I’d probably need to rank order, because I have two:
2. Water, specifically drowning.
Then of course there are all the creepy crawlies like bugs, reptiles, etc. J
Cate: Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
C.C.: Yes, when I was in Gettysburg on vacation they hosted ghost tours. Very interesting. I have also been on a tour in New Orleans, but it was more a gripe session than anything else. I go on ghost tours for the historical value, not because I believe in ghosts.
Cate: Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
C.C.: I absolutely love POPCORN BALLS. I couldn’t wait for Halloween each year so I could get them in my trick or treat bag. The other great thing about having siblings was that we often swapped our treats for items we liked the most. So, I always had the best popcorn ball stash. I found a recipe for them online at allrecipes.com. No, I have not tested it, so beware!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
2 teaspoons cold water
2 5/8 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup marshmallows
5 quarts plain popped popcorn
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, margarine, cold water, confectioners' sugar and marshmallows. Heat and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Carefully combine the hot mixture with the popcorn, coating each kernel.
2. Grease hands with vegetable shortening and quickly shape the coated popcorn into balls before it cools. Wrap with cellophane or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
Cate: Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
C.C.: My debut novel is: INTENSITY
Available at Amazon and other retailers.
Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
What would you do to improve your life?
Twenty-one-year-old Serena Thomas is faced with a tough decision. Unable to get ahead of debt and loneliness since her grandmother’s death she finds a new job, placing the sheltered virgin in an underground escort business. She tells herself it’s just a temporary life choice, but destiny has a different plan. She meets a mysterious and gorgeous man, who happens to be her new boss. Will Serena fit in or will she be left all alone again?
Lincoln (aka: Linc) Jefferson has an unusual life. He established The Lounge, an exclusive escort club for very personal reasons. A place where the women say who, when, and what type of sex they’re willing to have. The escorts possess all the power and the money. It’s a business Linc guards at all costs. Trying to maintain the secrecy is a constant challenge and one that’s tested when he enters into a relationship with Serena. She tempts him unlike any woman, even though he’s surrounded by beauty on a daily basis. The more time they spend together the harder it is for him to keep his secrets. Will Serena stand by his side or will she abandon him?
Sparks and passion fly, taking these two on a journey neither could have expected.
INTENSITY BUY LINKS
INTENSITY AMAZON PREORDER LINK
INTENSITY AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL PAGE
INTENSITY AMAZON UK PREORDER BUY LINK
INTENSITY BARNES & NOBLE PREORDER LINK
INTENSITY KOBO PREORDER LINK
INTENSITY SMASHWORDS PREORDER LINK:
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
C.C.: Actually, the story originated from a fantasy that came to me as I was driving to work. The story kept evolving to the point I couldn’t sleep or eat, so I sat down and typed, and typed, and typed. Three weeks later I had a complete manuscript, or at least what I thought was complete. Over the next year and a half the story went through countless revisions and changed immensely from the original, but the overall theme ‘letting go of the past’ remained. It’s a story near and dear to my heart and one I’m very proud of. Not only because I wrote it, but because I was able to achieve a goal I never thought I could. *Fingers crossed* I hope readers love the story as much as I do.
Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
C.C.: I’d love to connect with readers. You can reach me at the following links below. I have a Romance Blog that I’d really like to have readers contribute to. The theme gives everyone an opportunity to share their own love stories, book crushes, etc. I have monthly topics posted for discussion along with my own experiences. It will give everyone a chance to get to know me better too. Feel free to contribute as often as you like. I’m a sucker for romance and since we all have stories to tell, please share them. One of the topics you’ll find, First Kiss. We can all relate to that, right?
ROMANCE BLOG: C.C.CCKOEN.COM
Cate: C.C. has a giveaway for you guys!
C.C.: I'll give away a signed paperback to a random commenter. Don't forget to leave your email address!
Cate: Thanks for being part of the party, C.C.! Hope you have a spooktacular Halloween.