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  • Christine Shuck

Working In Those Twists, Living Them Too

Literary Twists

I spent most of yesterday working in a major twist on Winter's Child. It had been a planned twist, but one I had put off until now. In it went, and I think it turns everything on its ear for the reader. And considering this is my first psychological/domestic thriller, I also spent time reviewing tropes after watching Mal Cooper's video from 20BooksVegas.


Obviously, I want to do the best I can for my first (straight, non-romance) thriller.


And while I don't have a cover for it yet, I have put it up on Amazon for pre-order (available May 1st!) and written a basic blurb. This is akin to lighting the bonfire while standing on the pile of wood. Time to get done with the book before the flames get to me!


Here is the current blurb. I'll likely have my cover designer have a go at it and improve it. It works for now, though.


All Nichole ever wanted was a family of her own. A husband. Children to love.
After losing their baby at birth, and nearly dying herself, Nichole struggles to face the truth - she is not able to have children of her own.
And when little Elizabeth enters their lives, her red curls and freckled skin identical to Nichole's husband, Jhon - it feels as if fate has suddenly ruled in their favor. But Elizabeth is not what she seems. The perfect child has a darkness that cannot be underestimated. And Nichole's past troubles are rising up as well.
When it is all said and done, who can be believed? A troubled mother with a traumatic past? An angelic child with the potential for evil?
Spring, summer, fall and winter. When winter comes, lock your doors, and hide your knives.

What do you think? Does it sound interesting? I hope it peaks your interest! If you are interested at all, you can place your pre-order here. Winter's Child will be ready for purchase no later than May 1st, 2022.



Real-Life Twists

The video above, that's a real-life twist for you. His nickname is Yum-Yum, something I'm sure he will wince at in his teens and beyond.


"Seriously Mom, you called me Yum-Yum? What were you thinking?"


And I will get to smile and say, "Actually, your dad called you that, and who was I to argue?"


I adore him. I can't help it. To say this little boy fits into our lives, in our home and hearts, so perfectly, is an understatement. And somehow, knowing he is our last, makes it all the more sweet.


Fostering is not for the faint of heart. It really is a rollercoaster of emotions. But I will say this...


The every day isn't filled with questions about whether these wonderful, sweet children will stay in your lives or return to their biological parents or extended family. The days are filled with diapers, hugs, scraped knees, tangled hair, and all of the rest of the typical parenting challenges.


Sure, there are reminders. Court and foster team meetings. Paperwork. A monthly stipend. Your name instead of Mom, the explanation that yes, you are mom for the moment, also known as foster parent. But most of the time? Most of it is the standard fare of any family.


It's worth it - these moments, these weeks and months and sometimes years. And it is so needed.


We were told they would pee in our shoes, destroy everything we loved, and worse. The reality has been far different.



And Besides, They Will Keep You Young!

Kids keep us laughing. Sure, the teenage years are a challenge, but then there are conversations like the one this morning between our 6 year old and my husband...


Little Miss: Daddy, do you know what contacts are?
Dave: Yes.
Little Miss: They go in your eyes. When I'm seven, I'm going to need you to buy me contacts for school.
Dave: Okay. How do the contacts help you at school?
Little Miss: [frustrated look] It's kind of hard for me to explain.
Dave: Okay. What benefits do you get at school if you get to wear contacts?
Little Miss: Well, buy them for me now and we'll both find out!

I woke the baby laughing at that one.


Floors, Floors, Floors

The floors project continues. Our initial enthusiasm for the project has slowed. Let's just say that refinishing floors is damned hard work. Most of the burden has fallen on my husband, and he still works a full-time IT job.


The teen is sequestered in the tiny 6x8 nursery for the time being, and we are almost ready to apply stain and gloss to two more rooms. This will leave the hallway, stairs landing, and nursery left to be done afterward.


By Wednesday of next week, maybe sooner, we will be able to begin painting the teen's room and moving furniture back into my husband's office, both things that I am truly looking forward to.


After this project is done, I look forward to zero projects for a while inside of our house. I'm thoroughly over looking at furniture crammed into different rooms as we play house jenga!


Thank goodness it is nearly spring and our efforts can soon be concentrated outside!


Book of Z and Other Miscellany

Have I mentioned recently that writers are a needy bunch? Well, we are. I am.


I had hoped for a wee bit of "Oh my God, I LOVE Book of Z, keep it coming!"


But, um, if it is inciting those feelings in you, well, I have yet to hear them. And while I will continue to tell myself I should return to them, likely I won't for now. Spring is just around the corner and already I'm having to remind myself that my book will not write itself when all I want to do is dig my fingers into the soft, rich earth.


The fact that it will likely be snowing tomorrow is the only reason I'm not out there now.


So this is part reminder that if you love something, say so, because I'm a needy creature that requires regular head pats to continue going. It's also part excuse in that life is busy and I will return to Book of Z and other things when I feel properly motivated to, whimisical and inconsistent creature that I am.


Find Me on Facebook


Join my group General Malcontent's Grumbles and Scribbles on Facebook and get plenty of weird memes, the opportunity to read my newest releases for free, pics of the family, and other author news. I look forward to seeing you there!




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