Kick-Ass Female Detective Battles Sorcerers

Kick-Ass Female Detective Battles Sorcerers

Welcome Christine Amsden, an award-winning paranormal author! Christine has written some really sharp, sassy mysteries featuring her non-magical heroine, Cassie Scot, the daughter of a family of sorcerers – who always seem to be embroiled in some not-quite-legal scheme. 

Her series is loads of fun, so I asked Christine, “What’s the secret for writing great paranormal fiction?” And she shared her top five tips with us in today’s guest post.

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

Cassie Scot paranormal detective by Christine Amsden, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, indie author, mystery, suspenseWouldn’t an extra $50 come in handy? You could win that gift card if you follow Christine’s tour and leave a comment on each site.  She’ll be drawing the winner from a randomly selected commenter.  To be eligible to win, follow the instructions in the white, Rafflecopter box below.

5 Must-Haves for Every

Paranormal Novel

By Christine Amsden

1. A well-developed main character.

And there’s a reason this is number one! I confess, I’m a character girl. I look for character wherever I go, and I think it’s the #1 most important aspect of almost any book. A handful of stories really aren’t about people – there are mysteries that are just about solving a puzzle and fantasies that are just about a fun alternative world. But by this point so many fantasy stories have already been told that the cleverest world isn’t going to be as effective as a well-drawn character. Magic is meaningless without people to use it, and as long as you’ve got people using it you may as well look deep into the human soul for inspiration.

2. Magic as a complicating force, not a cure-all.

This is actually a pet peeve of mine – magic being used as a cure-all. Far too many paranormal stories do it, especially when the paranormal subplot is secondary to a romance or mystery. The clairvoyant whose power doesn’t cause problems is nothing more than a deus ex machina. And then the hand of God (the author) comes down from on high to solve the mystery. No! For a truly fantastic plot, magic must cause as many problems as it solves.

3. Growth and change.

I started with strong characters at point one, but down here on point three I will add that these characters shouldn’t remain stagnant, particularly since urban fantasy novels tend to run in series.

4. Solid world-building.

In a world where literally anything can happen, it’s not particularly interesting when it does. A strong world is almost like a character itself. And while it may look like a lot of the other urban fantasy books out there (we all draw upon the same pool of myths and legends), it should stand on its own.

5. Imagination.

When it comes to fantasy, I don’t like to get too bogged down in shoulds. The genre is as vast as human imagination, which is infinite.

Cassie Scot Mysteries

by Christine Amsden

Book Descriptions

Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective (Book 1)

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.

Secrets and Lies (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.


Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective

Book One

by Christine Amsden

Chapter Excerpt


Cassie Scot paranormal detective by Christine Amsden, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, indie author, mystery, suspenseMy parents think the longer the name, the more powerful the sorcerer, so they named me Cassandra Morgan Ursula Margaret Scot. You can call me Cassie.

I’ve been called a lot of things in my life: normal, ordinary, and even a disappointment. After the Harry Potter books came out, a couple of people called me a squib. Since I haven’t read them, I have to assume it’s a compliment.

Personally, I prefer normal, which is why the sign on my office door reads: Cassie Scot, Normal Detective.

You have to understand that around here, when your last name is Scot, people are easily confused. Not only are my parents powerful practitioners, but I have six talented brothers and sisters. Plus, my family hasn’t always been known for its subtlety. When weird stuff happens around here, the people who are willing to believe in magic are prone to suspect the Scots.

The day I opened for business I got a call from an old woman who swore her cat was possessed by the devil. She also swore she’d read my web site, which clearly stated the types of work I did and did not do. Exorcisms were on the No list, and while I hadn’t specified pet exorcisms, I would have thought it was implicit.

Cassie Scot paranormal detective by Christine Amsden, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, indie author, mystery, suspenseAbout Christine Amsden

Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.







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About Adrienne deWolfe

Adrienne deWolfe is a #1 Bestselling Author and fiction-writing coach. Her bestselling Western Historical Romance novels include her Wild Texas Nights series and her Velvet Lies series, which contains Paranormal elements. She enjoys mentoring aspiring authors by offering professional story critiques. To learn more, visit her other website,

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10 Responses to “Kick-Ass Female Detective Battles Sorcerers”

  1. Goddess Fish Promotions December 5, 2013 6:39 am

    Thank you for hosting

  2. Christine Amsden December 5, 2013 9:28 am

    Thanks so much for hosting!

    The lead-in is cute and catchy, but it made me think of a conversation I was just having with a bunch of fantasy readers about how we’re all sick of Buffy clones. (Not that it wasn’t great the first time!) Cassie does kick ass, but not like Buffy. Her strength is in her mind and spirit. 🙂

    I’ll be around if anyone has questions for me!

  3. Rita Wray December 5, 2013 12:27 pm

    Love the 5 Must Haves, thank you.

  4. Adrienne deWolfe December 5, 2013 4:01 pm

    So great to see you here, Rita! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Adrienne deWolfe December 5, 2013 4:06 pm

    Totally hear ya. Like, I’m sick of reading about brooding, snappish, angst-ridden Alpha Males in Romance Novels. I also can’t abide the love-hate dialogue in so-called “sassy” contemporary Romances, where the repartee is SO shrewish (and dysfunctional) between the hero and heroine that there’s no way I’d want EITHER of those characters as my friend, much less my lover. And yet, these books keep getting published and promoted . . . mainly ’cause readers keep buying them. So go figure.

  6. Natasha December 5, 2013 6:09 pm

    Sounds like a great series!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  7. Christine Amsden December 5, 2013 6:55 pm

    There’s a fine line between sassy and shrewish, but I don’t think everyone knows where it is. 🙂

    I agree, though. I can’t think of anything more exhausting than the sort of “love” presented in most romance novels today. I don’t want to live the rest of my life half-hating-half-loving my husband!

    I took a risk with Cassie by giving her a long-time childhood friend to fall in love with. Oh, he’s got some mysterious qualities and he’s a powerful sorcerer, so he’s got some of those alpha male qualities, but ultimately I wanted to write about someone falling in love with her best friend. (And then I did some mean things to keep them apart until the last book! 🙂 )

  8. Adrienne deWolfe December 5, 2013 8:25 pm

    re: Old Flames

    They’re one of THE most popular recurring story archetypes in romance — so you’re on your way!

    I, too, am writing my first “Old Flame” romance. I’ve found it challenging to invent realistic reasons for 2 people — who care for each other and try to protect each other — NOT to come together for 400 pages (especially since I was also asked to write a prequel novella for an anthology, that will star these same two characters.)

    I’ve always believed the best love stories take me, as a reader, through all the flavors and shades of love — and that sexual chemistry is only a very small part of that arc. Thus, I could some up my current project by saying that the lovers’ sexual chemistry is undeniable — but that these 2 people are learning how to “give” and “receive” a mature, life-long love. That lesson, for them, has been a tad rockier than the lessons that my other fictional lovers have faced. 🙂

  9. Christine Amsden December 5, 2013 8:42 pm

    It *is* so hard to come up with good reasons for two people who don’t have that love/hate thing going on to stay apart, but it’s so worthwhile!

    I got a tough question a while back that I fumbled miserably, because someone wanted to rate the steaminess of the romance. It was a live question, so I tripped over my tongue as I tried to explain that it’s a love story, and while I don’t skip the sexual tension, it’s just not the focus. So I guess it’s more sweet than steamy, but that doesn’t feel like the right word either. (Because I do have a couple of moments.) It’s more of a shifted focus.

    I’ve found interesting ways to keep my characters apart by not relying primarily on romance as a plot tool. This series, in particular, involves a lot of personal struggles for Cassie such that she’s just not ready for the relationship until the key moment. And I throw some nasty stuff their way (especially at the end of Secrets and Lies!!!) but it’s all tied in with the several different interwoven threads I have going on at the same time. This is a big part of why I don’t write straight romance, though romance is inevitably my favorite subplot.

  10. Trix December 5, 2013 8:44 pm

    I like the checklist a lot!