Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Evernight Teen turns two, & there's a huge party & giveaways this week, including an iPad Mini!!!

Happy Birthday 

Evernight Teen turns two this month and we’re having a HUGE party to celebrate! It may be Evenight Teen’s birthday, but YOU get the presents. So, grab a piece of cake, hop from blog-to-blog and discover EVERNIGHT TEEN!

Be sure to visit every stop on the hop and answer each question. The more you blogs you hop, the more chances to win the GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini sponsored by Evernight Teen (one entry per blog). Plus, hop each blog for a host of other fabulous prizes.

Have your TBR list handy. We have lots of new titles for you to add, including my featured book DORIANNA, which just won 2014 Best Horror Book in the Kindle Hub Awards!

Here are two key songs from the Dorianna playlist to entertain you... or creep you out, followed by a mini-excerpt. Hey, this is dark fantasy, peeps.
Bring Me to Life by Evanescence
Demons by Imagine Dragons  
Evanescence's Bring Me to Life
Imagine Dragon's Demons
Now, a mini-excerpt. This scene comes after Dorianna discovers weird changes on the videos made of her by videographer Wilson:

This isn’t happening. I hunch over and clutch my ribs as I play the thing again. At least the YouTube verbal shit-storm isn’t as bad as the one on my DVD copy, I rationalize. What can I do? Each video is changing in its own way, at its own pace. It’s horrid not being able to control this. It’s as if some insidious spam keeps infiltrating no matter what.

Scrolling down to see the latest YouTube comments, I gasp.
The lady doth protest too much—cackle, cackle, cackle
u might b hella changin but u still shine big
Sungirl’s turning into a sun-witch. Bring it on, evil girl
Hangin’ out at to watch u turn b-b-bad to the bone

There's a huge amount of hits—over five thousand. Where do these flipping trolls come from? I can’t take my evil outburst, even if my viewers can. I make a beeline over to my bookshelf to get my aunt’s money. “I’ll return it,” I pledge, but my hand freezes in mid-stream. Finally, I understand the phrase “frozen in place”—more than I ever wanted to. 

Wilson might’ve lied about not altering the YouTube beach scene, but this DVD copy? He had nothing to do with this. He was right after all. These consequences are unacceptable. I’ll have to work harder to thwart them. That revolting DVD cannot stay on my desk. No one can ever, ever see it. I hide it in my bookshelf, behind a row of novels.

Where does Wilson—the so-called Prince of Darkness—get his powers? How exactly has he transferred them to me? And who’s behind the whole operation? That question is almost the scariest part.

You could win the mug AND ebook!
Enter for a chance to win EVERNIGHT TEEN’s GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini and my blog prize of a Dorianna coffee mug with an ebook of Dorianna by answering this question (be sure to include your email address to be eligible to win):
What book scared the bloody effing bejezus out of you, and WHY? (If you absolutely cannot think of a book you can say a film, but props go first to peeps who think of books).

The ET birthday blog hop continues here:

Friday, January 9, 2015

Loose Corset by Christine Rain - Fun, geek-lovers romance! My review & fun giveaway prizes!

I am thrilled to present Christine Rain's romantic comedy series Dice and Debauchery, and the first, which is called Loose Corset. I know, even the name makes me giggle. I snapped up a review copy as soon as they were available, and I laughed myself silly all the way through it. My review is below, but first, some info:
Loose Corset
Dice and Debauchery, Book 1
A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave, for 18+
The blurb:
A weekend away at a convention is exactly what overworked student Morgan needs. Dressed as her character from her favorite online game, Morgan is braced—seriously, could her corset be tighter?—to meet the other players. As Lady Gyrfalcon, she’s ready for everything—except her intense attraction to Dean. A clandestine meeting in the hallway of the hotel and Morgan’s corset is looser but now she can’t breathe for entirely different reasons.

Utterly charmed, Morgan decides to roll the dice and indulge in a fantasy-worthy weekend of sexy roleplaying, scorching sex and life-altering orgasms. Still, through it all Morgan is too smart to believe the chemistry constantly stripping her of costumes and control can last more than the length of the convention. But if she wants to keep a relationship so intense she thought it only existed in fiction, she’s going to have to let go of her cool-headed logic and allow herself to fall far and fast for the perfect guy.
Shop for Loose Corset at: Amazon, B&N, Ellora's Cave, Kobo

My review- 5 stars!
I appreciate a tale that makes me laugh and Loose Corset accomplished that to the max! What could be more entertaining than a bunch of horny geeks who all knew each other from an online gaming community finally getting to meet one another--in full-out Comicon type costumes!? Ms. Rains turned the stale formulaic romantic trope on its head and succeeded in making awkward, intellectual nerds super-sexy. Love, love, loved it, from the moment Morgan hurries to escape the con floor to loosen her suffocating corset in the ladies room, to the fumbling first kisses in the dark con hallway, to Dean's surprisingly masterful moves.

The rub? Morgan is insecure. Does Dean love her fictional online character more than her real, live one? Should she continue to role-play to keep him hooked? The sex is hot, the chase is fun, and her friendship with her roomie, Emily - even the angst over sharing the hotel room while Morgan is trying to have alone time with Dean is realistic. We've all been there at one time in our fumbling youth.

Even Ms. Rains' chapter heads are fun. They consist of Geek Girl Problems, each numbered the way a brainy girl would, of course, be compelled to do. I so look forward to the next in the series.

The giveaway deets:
1st prize: a set of red gem gaming dice from Chessex & a Christine Rains personalized die
2nd prize: erotic dice & a Christine Rains personalized die
3rd prize: 3 people will win a Christine Rains personalized die
***Also, Christine will be having a new Rafflecopter giveaway each month so make sure to keep checking her blog!
About the author:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She's married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents' own good and loves to pretend he's Batman. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and novellas published. The Dice & Debauchery series is her first contemporary erotic romance.
Visit her: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, new releases, new awards. Any new resolutions?

Dorianna wins it!
I hope you had a wonderful New Year's. Last year, the hubs and I were trapped for two days in the Dominican Republic airport. Not a fun way to ring in the new year... except that I got a tons of revision done on my WIP as I sat, and sat, and sat there. I drank way too much burnt airport coffee, too. So, this year, we plunked in front of the TV and watched Anderson Cooper giggle over Kathy Griffin's inane jokes and Pitbull shake his rabbit butt as he entertained Miami. On a higher cultural note, we binge-watched Dave Grohl's TV series Sonic Highways, which I HIGHLY recommend! It's a series about music and how it's produced in various cities. I love Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters, He's a surprisingly good TV producer. Something about how real talent translates into fresh TV from someone way outside the stale Hollywood box.

On other fronts, DORIANNA my YA twist on Dorian Gray just won a BEST HORROR BOOK  award over at The Kindle Hub. Thanks TKH! I am thrilled about this! What a pretty gold seal.

On a third but as important note, today is Inkspeller Lisa Voisin's launch of The Angel Killer, Book Two in her Watcher series. A dark, fast ride!
The blurb:
Now she’s found him again, all Mia Crawford wants is some downtime with her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael. But the call of duty keeps him away—from school and from her—with more demons to smite than ever.
When Michael is mortally wounded by a cursed sword, Mia must perform an ancient blood ritual to save him. But the spell exacts a price. Haunted by visions of war, torture, and despair, Mia discovers the world is in more danger than she ever imagined. Behind the scenes, an evil adversary pulls all the strings. After redemption, there’s Hell to pay.

A mini-excerpt:
Light from the near-full moon shimmers off the leaves of sycamore trees, and the scent of pomegranate hangs in the air. Though my footfalls are silent on the hard-packed earth, Hell is never far away. Nor is that blood-stained rack that was my prison for millennia. The memory of my master’s claws still stings my throat; the poison of his hate burns below the skin. Perhaps it always will. The only reality I’ve come to know is that my pain satisfies him.
   Anka sleeps on a grass mat, her lithe, young form curled into a fetal position on the roof of her family’s mud brick house. Strands of her long, black hair are stuck to her cheekbones from the heat. The girl is old enough to be married but will be taken to the temple of Seth in the morning instead. Rumors of her prophetic dreams have secured her place as an oracle. Such a gift interests my master too, and as influential as Seth is among the Egyptian people, he’s a false god, my master’s rival. A demon warlord just like him.
   Her father snores deeply, but the stifling air makes her mother fitful. The woman twists and turns. Does she anticipate me? I stand over the girl and contemplate how to take her without waking them. Their terror alone would sound a call to all the scavengers along the Nile, and my master wants her soul intact. More power that way. In servitude or sacrifice, souls are the fuel that builds empires.
   My hand hovers over her nose and mouth, and her soft breath tickles my skin. I could suffocate her while she dreams, a silent, seemingly natural death. Or I could carve out her heart, a symbolic gesture. He’d take pleasure in that. If I’m fast enough, she won’t have time to cry out or wake the others. I run my fingers over the middle of her chest and extend my claws.

Shop for The Angel Killer ebook at Amazon, All Romance, KoboThe paperback is at Amazon, B&N
See all of Lisa's Books on Amazon and get the first, The Watcher for only 99 cents!

About Lisa
A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction. A coffee lover, she can usually be found writing in a local café. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine. Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancé and their two cats. 

How was your New Years? Any resolutions? Anti-resolutions? 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Greeting in Pictures

Wishing everyone a prosperous and inspired New Year!!! Here are some fun 
old-timey pictures that celebrate the spirit of the New Year. Hugs, Catherine
Dahhh-links, come have a toast with me.
Party hearty on New Year's eve, but don't end up in the piggy pen!
Baby Snow Sprite
Flowers for a winter moon
The promise of spring to come...
But winter is really just getting started so get out those snow boots.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays, Visual Tale of Cheer & Wonder

Happy Holidays to all, however you celebrate it!
Here are pictures that speak to the spirit of the season. Sending love and cheer, and a special wish for writing inspiration to all my writer peeps out there. 
A truly appreciated present for me would be if you'd vote for my YA horror novel Dorianna, which made it to the top 5 final round in the Kindle Hub book awards!!! Dorianna is in Best Horror Book category (not best horror series). You just need to keep scrolling down until you see that category then click Dorianna. Thanks! Voting is brutal and it means a lot to me as an indie author. It's here.
And now for pictures!
Victorian postcard, I love these quirky things

Do you like to make sugar cookies?

A holiday wreath 
around Gramercy Square, NYC

Mariah Carey handing out presents
at the holiday concert I went to!
It's all about love (and staying warm!)

Blessings of the season

Sunday, December 21, 2014

TSU? Ello? Tumblr? Instagram? Facebook loyalist? Which are you? Plus some fab launches!

There's talk about changes over at Facebook that will take place in 2015 regarding promo and book launch posts. This includes rumors about Facebook charging a base rate for a biz subscription. And there's also buzz about a new social media alternative called Tsu, and how FB folks should set up new profiles over there. Here's a NY Times article about it. Your thoughts on TSU?

And now, for the array of great launches!
Fantasy Uprising, the Untethered Realms boxed set is out, and just in time for the upcoming holidays! Isn't it spectacular? It contains novels from fantasy to dark magic to sci-fi.
Only $0.99 and available at Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, Googleplay, iTunes

Stephanie Keyes, creator of the popular Star Child series has a new novella, The Last Protector.
Here's a summary:
Gabriel Stewart helped his best friend Kellen St. James save the world from The Scourge in the Battle of Dublin. But before that? Gabe was just an ordinary guy who kept having dreams about a little boy with black hair and green eyes—a boy he hadn’t even met yet.

And even weirder? Gabe’s mind kept replaying these images on loop of things he’d never seen. He heard voices in his head when no one was around. And he actually blew off hot Valerie Gibbons to chase after the black-haired kid in the park. What was up with that?
As Gabe searches for the truth, fate continually puts him in Kellen’s path, but will he be able to stop the Children of Danu from stealing Kellen before the battle begins? What will it take for Gabe to become The Last Protector?
*The Last Protector is a companion novella--intended to be read after the other books in the series.

See all of Stephanie's novels on Amazon & B&N

C Lee McKenzie has a new YA novel out, Sudden Secrets.
A summary:
One Secret 
Cleo has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid pitying looks. 
One Mystery 
Something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see. 
Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her. 
Another Secret 
In one night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide her secret from the world so she can silence small town bigotry. 
Then Cleo happens.
Sudden Secrets is available at Amazon & Evernight Teen

My own YA thriller Ruby's Fire is on sale $0.99 at Amazon!

And my new dark YA Dorianna is getting nice reviews, which I'm grateful for.

Here's the newest reader review:
WOW .... SERIOUSLY WOW!!! I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this book as Dorian Grey was ... well, Dorian Grey. Someone who wants to adapt this to more modern times could really go either way, really bad or really good. This was FANTASTIC!!! Although personally, I do prefer the bad and want a Wilson of my own it was so very well written! The fact that it tackles the current fad of "followers" and current internet insanity was just brilliantly written and well executed! I really really loved it and will definitely be recommending it to others. An excellent read for sure!!!

Medeia Sharif's brand new YA novel Vitamins and Death is out.
A summary: 

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother's briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High. Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, she thinks no one will figure out they're the Battles from recent news and that they're safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed Deidra's life. Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.
Available at Amazon

Cherie Reich's newest, People of Foxwick is out too. What a gorgeous cover! See all of Cherie's Foxwick's books: Amazon & B&N  The blurb:
The kingdom hangs in the balance. War threatens Foxwick on all sides.
The dreaded Shadowlands gains more souls. From the shrouded trees in Greymist Forest to the arid Blackden Barrens, monsters roam in search of their next victim. Sirens lure ships beneath Merrilea Sea. In cold and snowy Wintermill, royals plot to claim Foxwick as their own, even if they must use dragons and sorcery. Marriage between Foxwick's king and Lochhollow's princess creates a perilous alliance. Although brave Valdale will come to Foxwick's aid, the cost may be more than a true friend can stomach. Set over a hundred years, these seventeen fantasy short stories explore the people, creatures, and lands in and around the Kingdom of Foxwick.
Short stories in the collection: Common Love, Blind Scribe, Lady Bard, Siren's Call, Tribal Abandonment, Dragon's Sacrifice, Dragon Spy, Dragon Seer, Sword Master, Lady Death, Mage Game, Courting Magic, Monster Hunger, Mourner's Lament, Magic Seeker, Prince's Price, and Love's Challenge

The best present one can give to an indie author is the gift of buying, reading and reviewing their books. Agree?

So what are your thoughts on Tsu, Ello, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook's new policies, any of the above? Which are your fave social media hangouts? For personal posts? For promo?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Interview with Angela Brown for BEACON plus a Be-Witch-ing holiday giveaway

Today, Idea City interviews the fabulous Angela Brown about her new novel, Beacon and all about the writing life. Beacon, a dystopian interracial romance from Evernight Teen launches this week! Make sure to scroll down to enter the Evernight Giveaway.

Also, Roxanne from Bewitching Books has a Be-Witching Books Hot Holiday giveaway fest. My novel, Private Internship is in it. Scroll down to see her amazing array of books and enter.
Here's a summary of Beacon:
Tsunamis reduced the USA into a shell of itself, called The Fold. Surviving humans and vampires joined forces to form The Colony, where registered citizens do as their told.

They donate blood quarterly and dream of being chosen as Attendees for the Jubilee celebrations, that is, everyone except Macie Breen. With high school graduation near, she’s anxious to ditch the rules in hopes of starting a new life with Thane, an unregistered and also her best friend.

Her hopes fizzle when Macie is selected as an Attendee, forever registered. Any future with Thane…impossible. Being chosen comes with another unexpected price.

Truths about The Colony blaze into ashes and lies when she discovers the vampires haven't kept their part of the bargain. Worst still, Macie’s life unravels as her stint in the city of Bliss forces her to face daunting truths about who, and what, she really is.

And now, take it away, Angela!

Tell us a little about your main characters
Macie Breen is seventeen-years-old and knows she is the odd-girl-out. Her parents’ disappearance eight years ago, along with her uncanny healing ability, have helped shape the person she’s become, which is a bit of a rebel with a cause, always questioning things when others so easily went with the flow. Thane is Macie’s unregistered best friend, the only person, other than the township’s mayor, who was there for her when her parents vanished, quite possibly the only person Macie didn’t question… and she should have. He has a few secrets of his own.

What is their biggest challenge or quest?
They started believing their biggest challenge was helping Macie survive her last year of high school so she could properly revoke her citizenship and go unregistered, like Thane. But once Macie is chosen as a Jubilee Attendee, their biggest challenge becomes surviving the explosive consequences born from her selection.

Give us your favorite line from your protagonist
This is from when Macie is getting ready to give her blood donation:
Part of me wanted to resist, just because. Another part wanted to belt out a good ‘moo’ for the cattle I’d become.

From an antagonist
This is from when the antagonist is sharing thoughts about how things turned out after the Jubilee parade. The ‘we’ referenced is Macie and her friends:
We all nodded––though I highly doubted any of us could really understand her position. “As you agree with that, I’m sure you can understand I would do anything I needed to care for my kind.”

An emblematic, teaser paragraph
“We’re not kids anymore, Macie. You’ve learned what little The Colony had to say about the vampeer, wights and devil spawn. There’s something else they’ve hidden from you. From all registered citizens. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time why we met. Just how special you really are. But you won’t want to be my friend anymore once you know the truth. Losing you would be…”
Words trickled from my mouth unfiltered. “I, what do you mean I wouldn’t…”
He turned to me, chewing his bottom lip. The last time he did that was the day I broke first blood.

What keeps you going when your inspiration flags?
I wish I could say my inspiration doesn’t flag, but that would be such a terrible lie. So truthfully, when I find myself feeling stuck, the inspiration spinning its wheels, I turn to another project. That forces me to abandon that rut I’m in, opens the creative juices and winds up bringing different ideas to mind. Ideas that I could use in the new project, but it also acts as a springboard of inspiration for the other project I put on pause.

What truly inspires you and fires up your vision?
Knowing that what I’m writing will be something I’ll grab to read one day, sit down wrapped in a snug blanket, and fall in love with the story all over again. That’s one of the reasons I write, to create something that intrigues the reader in me.

Best words of advice you ever received?
Read. Read. And then read some more.

I can think of advice that may not have been well thought out, but had good intentions. It was to “publish as quickly as possible and know readers will forgive a few mistakes.” As a reader, I want to know what I’m reading is something that was well worked through, not tossed together for the sake of getting a lot of publications out quickly.  I approach my writing projects with that same mentality, knowing I want to produce the best product I can for my readers. 

Where’s your favorite place to write?
My favorite place only exists in my imagination: a corner of a wraparound porch, relaxing in a porch swing. Until then, my bed will have to do.

Can you offer some writing advice to new-ish authors?
Read everything you can. Writing craft is something that spans across genres. Whether you’re writing historical romance, a mystery or a military thriller, the basics can be found in a good book, things like tension build up, intriguing dialog, active forward progression of the story, and character development.

Which do you enjoy writing most: action, romance, setting, dialog?
Dialog. There’s something wonderful about character vocalization. It’s a great way to get character voice across as well.

A hint of what you’re working on next?
I’m working on Beacon’s sequel, tentatively titled BEYOND. What Macie endures and in Beacon is only the beginning. More secrets await discovery.

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela Brown now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate and chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly YA - fill her growing library.

Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving:  "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi. She's released Neverlove and They All Fall Down of the Shadow Jumpers series, Frailties of the Bond and Atone of the NEO Chronicles, and BEACON, a YA urban fantasy dystopian published by Evernight Teen publishing.
Find Angela on FacebookTwitter, Goodreads, her blog.

Evernight Giveaway for Beacon:
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Be-Witching Books Hot Holiday array

Be-Witch-ing Holiday Rafflecopter giveaway:
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