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C. J. Winters

Bio: C.J. Winters was always more interested in Tomorrow than Yesterday. Then she discovered the American Past offers a wealth of backgrounds for some of her offbeat story ideas. Combining such backgrounds with her fascination for the extra-normal has led to ten-and-a-half books published or soon to be published by Hard Shell Word Factory. Show-Me Murder is a paranormal cozy mystery trio. Right Man Wrong Time, Sleighride, Moon Night, and A Star in the Earth are paranormal romances. The love stories of four generations of an American family unfold in Foredestined Summer, Fires of War and Winter, A Dazzling Spring and Autumn in Cranky Otter. Still to come is a contemporary romance, Mai's Ties, and half of a paranormal anthology, Deadknots. C.J. also has eight short stories included in five anthologies.

Iowa born-raised-educated and Missouri seasoned, earth- bound C.J. feels compelled to follow her characters through their times, lifetimes, and the gauzy curtains separating them. Although she lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, she prefer rustic settings for her stories. Creating intense relationships and helping them unfold through intriguing, subtle or whimsical interplay is her idea of fun. She says, "Story plotting is like weight-lifting for the brain. You collect puzzle pieces and then find places to fit them."

About herself, C.J. says, "My fantasy life began early, through movies more than books. Star-struck, I played Western roles on my pony, and kept a nightly serial story going in my head at bedtime, naturally casting myself as the heroine.

"When my career as a copywriter ended, I began writing a different form of fiction--love stories with a different twist than those being published at the time. Then along came e-publishing, and a new, limitless niche opened. Admittedly self-indulgent, I first write to entertain myself, and it looks like I'm addicted to a life of fiction!"


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1 A Dazzling Spring [Cranky Otter Series Book 3] [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  It's the 1963 holiday season in New York, and talented actress Danica Britt is newly engaged to Tyler Newton, star of their television sitcom. History professor-novelist Zane McCaul visits the studio and encounters Dannie, who is being considered for the starring role in the tv production of his best-seller. Although Zane is fourteen years her senior and burdened by a polio-limp, his subtle charisma and ironic expression reveal an inner star quality that soon draws Dannie's professional and pers... more info>> (Published: 2005)

Words: 52417 - Reading Time: 149-209 min.
Category: Historical Fiction
3 Reader Ratings:
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2 A Star in the Earth [Sequel to Moon Night] [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  It's 1907. Alerted by her time-traveled parents (MOON NIGHT) that Jake Livingston, 39, plans to wed Marguerite Desmond, willful Emilee Schuyier, 19, charges home to Boulder, Colorado to set him straight. The problem is, how do you seduce the man who's loved you like a big brother from the day you were born? Emilee tackles the problem obliquely. She and Jake are privy to knowledge of important coming events through the 'future history' remembered by her parents, now touring in Europe. Announcing ... more info>> (Published: 2004)

Words: 60564 - Reading Time: 173-242 min.
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
4 Reader Ratings:
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3 Autumn in Cranky Otter, Book 4, Autumn in Cranky Otter Series [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  In a single October morning in the Ozarks, Autumn reopens her mother's faded antique shop and meets two attractive men who find her irresistible. A young widow's dream come true? Or must her new talent for psychometry show her the past in order to lead her into the future? (Published: 2006)

Words: 73946 - Reading Time: 211-295 min.
Category: Romance
4 Reader Ratings:
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4 Deadknots, Paranormal Mystery Anthology [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters, Jennifer DiCamillo
  A collection of short mysteries ranging from the melancholy to the whimsical, Deadknots opens portals into the lives of the Dead, the Undead, and some who don't know the difference! A child's grim discovery is revealed eighty years later in OLD BONES... Resident ghosts manipulate their way into the local CEMETERY COMPETION... A penitent bad guy with a CAT-ITTUDE develops a yen for his psychic charge... A poignant journey via PYRAMID TRAVEL illuminates more than a decades-old disappearance... An ... more info>> (Published: 2008)

Words: 76503 - Reading Time: 218-306 min.
Category: Mystery/Crime
2 Reader Ratings:
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5 Fires of War and Winter [Cranky Otter Series Book 2] [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  In the early months of World War II, ambitious, clear-headed Melany McKinley meets Air Force lieutenant Logan Barre in Denver, Colorado. To their astonishment, the pragmatic couple instantly fall in love and become engaged. Logan is soon shipped overseas, and Melany meets Free Czech Army sergeant Daniel Wenceslaus. Daniel presents himself as a pesky young charmer, but he is much more, and soon reveals his grim determination to avenge the murder of his family by the Nazis. Brash, magnetic and ded... more info>> (Published: 2004) Missouri Writers Guild Award Winner

Words: 56962 - Reading Time: 162-227 min.
Category: Historical Fiction

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6 Foredestined Summer [Cranky Otter Series Book 1] [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  It's 1920, and although Swift McKinley, an American Indian raised in a white family on a Wisconsin dairy farm, is accustomed to his non-white status, he no longer can remain silent about his lifelong love for his blonde neighbor. To his great joy, Aurie Petersen not only reciprocates his feelings, she insists they will marry, despite her father's bitter opposition. Swift is astounded when he inherits an arid farm in North Dakota, and his foster siblings turn on him. Devastated by loss and reject... more info>> (Published: 2004)

Words: 59491 - Reading Time: 169-237 min.
Category: Historical Fiction/Romance

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7 Mai's Ties [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  When Mai meets Brit, an insurance agent and soon-to-be-grandpa twice her age, the last thing she wants is her relatives playing matchmaker. But what's a girl to do when the guy turns out to be fun, sexy, good looking, a fantastic salesman and the most determined vegetarian she's ever seen gardening in the buff? She can't leave Dubuque until her mother's broken leg heals. The solution? Move Mom and herself into a big, rundown Victorian with other two senior citizens, creating a communal household... more info>> (Published: 2007)

Words: 56918 - Reading Time: 162-227 min.
Category: Romance
5 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor

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8 Moon Night [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  Anything can happen on a blind date under a full moon in the Ozarks. Including murder.... While on a hayride, Keefe and Tara, an urban couple, are transported back to the same rural setting in 1884, into the bodies and identities of a farm couple more than twenty years their junior. They are shocked by their immediate problems--identity crises, a killer with a crossbow, survival on a subsistence farm, and neighbors who've known them since childhood. Then things get complicated... [Cover art Mary... more info>> (Published: 1999) Missouri Writers Guild Award Winner

Words: 92801 - Reading Time: 265-371 min.
Category: Romance/Science Fiction
10 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor

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9 Right Man, Wrong Time [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  A romantic getaway vacation--in the pre-Civil War Ozarks? What if, alone and lost in a Missouri Ozarks cave in the 21st Century, you stumble through an exit--and land in the lap of an aromatic man in 1859? Not your idea of the perfect vacation? Then pity Susa Hildebrand, dependent for survival on a cranky aerial photographer whose government mission outranks helping her find her way home, and whose assets include transportation (mules), food (beans), protection (a rifle), and a lusty aura. She a... more info>> (Published: 2003) Missouri Writers Guild Award Winner

Words: 55673 - Reading Time: 159-222 min.
Category: Romance/Science Fiction
11 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor

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10 Show-Me Murder [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  Missouri, the Show-Me State, is home to a diverse population, including ... The Psychic Circle, a for-profit collection of not-very-talented psychics, overseen by Helene, their extra-perceptive manager ... Jasper, a Native American undercover agent who once trusted only what his five senses revealed ... A precocious six-year-old, Sylvester the Scion ... The 90-year-old Shakespeare Club, an ensemble of senior citizens who keep their secrets close to home, and give Possum Billy the opportunity to ... more info>> (Published: 2004) Missouri Writers Guild Award Winner

Words: 72240 - Reading Time: 206-288 min.
Category: Mystery/Crime
8 Reader Ratings:
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11 Sleighride [MultiFormat]
by C. J. Winters
  When their sleigh glides into a surprise Vermont snowstorm, the wily horse delivers his 21st century passengers, Kama and Rey, to a country tavern in the year 1811. Shaken, worried and fascinated, the two attorneys set their cool, logical minds in search of explanation. However the attentions of a rowdy, charismatic young farmer and his shy betrothed expand their confusion. Ensnared in the skein of a time long past, Rey and Kama seem destined to bear the passion and pain of love that cannot be .... more info>> (Published: 2001) Missouri Writers Guild Award Nominee, Missouri Writers Guild Award Winner

Words: 75305 - Reading Time: 215-301 min.
Category: Romance
8 Reader Ratings:
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