Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

News, news, news!

This has been a busy time, and it's only going to get busier! With good stuff. First of all, Private Internship, my new adult novel (sequel to my novella Model Position) is coming out on September 29th with Inkspell!
Also, I signed my YA contemporary horror, Dorianna with Evernight Teen!

Dorianna is a fresh yet toxic twist (think daisies, snakes and burlesque dancers at Coney Island) on the Oscar Wilde classic, A Picture of Dorian Gray. It's a cautionary tale for the Internet generation. More on that soon . . .

Private Internship is . . .
In the meantime, I'd LOVE for anyone who's up for it, to help me with my cover reveal (or release day blitz) for Private Internship!! It's a really pretty cover, and I'm proud to say that I helped design it with the lovely and talented Najla who does the covers over at Inkspell. The cover reveal will be on Wednesday, August 27, but August 28 & 29 are fine days to post as well! (The blitz will be on Sept 29) Just fill out this easy peasy sign-up form here. Once you sign up, I'll send you all the info you'll need to post. (Plus you'll get a magical chocolate sundae & bestie sticker)

What's your news/obsession/thrill/fave summer activity, and how's your July going so far?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Soulless Cover Reveal & More Cool Stuff!

Idea City is helping Crystal Collier unveil her amazing new cover for Soulless, which launches in October. Want to preorder a copy? Easy peasy, just scroll down. But first, read a story summary:

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series: 

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend†(a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

COMING October 13, 2014

PREORDER your print copy
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Writing Retreats, the Pause that Inspires

My writing station
I just got back from a writing retreat on Cape Cod. I go to a retreat every July and January. It's an amazing, inspiring, informative, fun experience and it builds community. I often start the draft of a novel in July, and this summer was no exception. Finally, I had the time and peace of mind to plunge into an NA historical fantasy, set in the 1930s. I also had time to open a Pinterest account and create a board for my new novel. Why did I wait so long to visually organize my novel elements?! Wanna follow me there? I'll follow you back!

At the retreat we do readings in the evenings,
Our gang
and they're always helpful. There's nothing like running your newest work by fellow writers who you trust implicitly, to make sure you're on the right track with a fledgling project. Each night someone makes a dinner. Good way to sample interesting food.
Emily's veggie fest dinner

Other retreats and conferences that I recommend are Squaw Valley, the SCBWI Summer Conference out in LA (& winter one in NYC), the Mendocino Writers' Conference, the Chautauqua conference & Southampton workshop. If you have the time, you could do a residency. I have a friend who liked Ragdale.
Emily and her coconut yogurt
with lemon zest!
Stairs to beach
Helen ordering pizza

Maggie being writerly
Have you attended a retreat or conference you'd recommend?

In June, I also taught at a writers' retreat in Rosemont College for MFA students, which rocked the house. I got to try out some crazy-fun new writing prompts on them *insert evil cackle here*
My smart & uber-creative MFA students
Rosemont gargoyles
Some of the Rosemont teachers & faculty

So, do you do retreats, conferences or workshops? Have you ever organized your own? If not, how do you refresh and relight your creative spark?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Susan Kaye Quinn's Second Daughter is out today-plus enter for prizes!

Second Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #2)
Assassins, skyships, and royal intrigue... Kindle, Kobo, AllRomance
Second Daughter is the second book in The Dharian Affairs trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter). This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, assassins, royal romance and intrigue.
Reviews of the first book, Third Daughter:
"The author fuses carriages, steam trains, airships and clockwork with the rich eastern culture that underlies Bollywood storytelling..." - Cherie Reich
"The political intrigue, the steampunk gadgets, and the beautiful costumes kept me in wonderment." - Tony Benson
ìThird Daughter is vividly breathtaking. Quinn delivers royal intrigue, exotic locations, and sweeping romance. Not to be missed!î - Pavarti Tyler, author of Shadow on the Wall
ON SALE - 99cents until 7/21
Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1)
Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, AllRomance
(also available in print)
The Third Daughter of the Queen wants her birthday to arrive so she'll be free to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon may force her to accept a barbarian prince's proposal for a peace-brokering marriage. Desperate to marry the charming courtesan she loves, Aniri agrees to the prince's proposal as a subterfuge in order to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.
Both books now have a map!
Speedy Tweets to Share: NEW RELEASE: Second Daughter (Dharian Affairs #2) Assassins, skyships, royal intrigue #steampunk #fantasy #romance WIN Gift Card and PAPERBACK Third Daughter (Dharian Affairs #1) #steampunk #fantasy #romance Skyships, saber duels, royal romance: Third Daughter (Dharian Affairs#1) ON SALE 99cents
Thank you so much for helping me get this book out in the world! Win paperback copy of Third Daughter  $10 Amazon Gift Card
check out the gorgeous formatting of the print book!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My big news! Book #2, Private Internship is forthcoming in the Art of Love series

My big news is that Inkspell Publishing picked up the second in my new adult Art of Love series, Private Internship, to be launched this fall! *Happy Dance* It follows artist, Sienna Karr into her first wonderful and horrific paid internship. Here's a summary:

Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna land the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—sweaty and practically shirtless and swinging from chains while he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish testing Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.

She knows she should get away fast. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and begins to unearth his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz.

The shuttered Domino Sugar Factory
The odd thing is that I set it in a place that is now getting tons of attention: the old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I've been obsessed with that place for many, many years, ever since I moved in around the corner from it when I first came to NYC. 

Kara Walker's gorgeous sugar sphinx
So, it was news to me this year when I heard it was slated for partial demolition, and even bigger news to me when I read that well-known sculptress Kara Walker had crafted a gigantic Sphinx mama, made from sugar in the defunct annex there, and it was attracting lines around the block. You see, my main character's love interest, Caz lives and works in the factory, and he makes . . . wait for it . . . sugar sculptures!!!! 

I had to pay a visit my old haunt. And it did not disappoint! It brought back strong memories of my very first visit and it still smelled like burnt sugar. I'm sad that the place is now closed, and will be altered in preparation for an ambitious waterfront building project that have many in Brooklyn up in arms.

But I'll have Sienna and Casper Mason's love story set in the factory to cheer me up. And
hopefully, if and when you read it, you'll fall in love with the sugar castle too. In the meantime, here are a few other amazing sculptors who spin sugar art.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Notes from BEA

I went to BEA recently and had a blast signing books, meeting friends, checking out forthcoming novels and snapping photos!
Plus, the night before the expo, I got to hang out at the Harvard Club, and pick up a YA finalist Next Generation Indie award for Ruby's Fire! The place brimmed with other interesting writers, including Lindsay "LC" Barlow, a finalist for her horror ebook, Pivot, and Janet Shawgo, a finalist for her romance novel Find Me Again. I was impressed by the VP, Catherine Goulet for her enthusiasm, professionalism and intense dedication to promoting great indie lit.

I signed at the SFWA booth and the Headline booth, where the Next Gen Indie winners and finalists signed. It was big fun getting to talk directly with librarians, teachers and bloggers.
Meeting Kelly Hashway

I met Kelly Hashway, an online blogger and friend. She was signing at the Spencer Hill booth for The Monster Within. I also said a hearty hello to Jonathan Maberry, a fellow Philadelphian, who is quite beloved for his amazing horror novels.

Stopped by to meet and greet the inspiring Georgia McBride, founder of Month 9 Press and Swoon.
Chatting with the fab Georgia McBride
And hey, I couldn't resist getting my picture snapped with the uber-buff Ellora's Cave cover models. One of them even writes romance. Who would've thought?!
The Ellora's Cave cover models were good sports

Hanging with Hugh Howey
The next day I got to meet Hugh Howey, darling of the indie scene, and hot damn, his Wool series proves that he's one excellent writer. Have you read it yet? The first in the series is perma-free!
He wrote a smart post about Amazon and Hachette debacle.

I also sat in on a fascinating panel with some of the most successful indie romance authors, HM Ward, Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy ( a hybrid author). They all said that readers love series, and that when creating one, a writer should leave it as open-ended as possible so that you can add on more books should the series become popular.

Bella said that she has a family series, the Sullivans, with eight siblings and when readers clamored for more, more, more she actually extended the family into a series about the cousins, and then extended it into a handful of cities. These women are all super-fast writers. They say in this era of insta-buy ebooks that people want the next books in the series immediately after finishing the last one! I guess I'll have to get better at fast drafting.

Have you been to BEA? Any other great conferences?
Oh, and before I forget, the huge book giveaway is still open. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter. Plus a must-read from Indie author Dean Wesley Smith here.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Featuring two great novels: Edge of Truth and The Monster Within, Plus Prizes!

Today, Idea City celebrates two novels: The Monster Within, a paranormal by Kelly Hashway and Edge of Truth, a dystopian by Natasha Hanova. Woo hoo!!!

The Monster Within is the first in Kelly Hashway's newest series. Check out this great trailer for it on YouTube! It launches with Spencer Hill Press on June 17, but you can pre-order it here! B&N, Amazon 

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.
     She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.
     But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Kelly Hashway writes for children through teens. Her YA novels include, Touch of Death (Spencer Hill Press), Stalked by Death, Face of Death, The Monster Within, The Darkness Within (SHP, 2015) and Into the Fire (Month9Books, 9/14). Her debut MG series, Curse of the Granville Fortune releases in 2014 through Month9Books. Visit her website & blog. Kelly's repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

Natasha Hanova's Edge of Truth is officially 1-year old today! In celebration, she's hosting a big giveaway with book contributions from multiple authors. Edge of Truth has landed on Amazon's Teen & YA Science Fiction & Dystopian Top 100 List, earned a review rating of 4+ stars and gotten a new cover with bonus content. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win tons of great swag! But first, enjoy this excerpt of Rena's first encounter with love interest Nevan. She's out past curfew, on the run from the Overlord's robotic lawmen. This scene takes place right after she knocks on Nevan's door seeking refuge:
Nevan’s dual-colored eyes—one blue, one hazel—captivated Rena. She drowned in them, in his dark eyebrows, his long, wide-based nose, his full lips. Even the faint V-shaped scar on his forehead that first appeared two years ago was too beautiful to look at. Her heart pounded, as if struggling to close the distance between them. She chewed her lip, dreading the usual shock of pain from emotional spikes like this, only it never hit.

When Blaze poked her in the back, she exhaled, but couldn’t force any words out. Warmth rushed through her from being near Nevan, with his slight smile and shoulder length dreads. In spite of the cool night air, her armpits prickled with sweat. Looking at him made her cheeks hurt. She focused on a random spot near his shoulder and struggled to think of something, anything to say. This wasn’t how she pictured their first conversation. But what if it didn’t amount to words? What if he slammed the door on her?

Blaze pushed hard enough to move her two steps forward. The way Nevan focused on her made her knees wobbly. He traced a finger across his forehead and down his temple. She’d never observed him make that gesture before. Was it meant to calm himself? Or did he feel the heat, too? The thought made another burst of warmth blanket her.

“Ummm…uhhhh.” It was all she could force out. She backed away. Her friend, turned roadblock, caged her in. Down the street, the second set of Synbots reached scanning distance and headed for them. Panic raced through her, spiked her heart with adrenaline, and jump-started her survival instincts. She spun toward Nevan. “We need a safe place to stay for a few hours. I know you don’t know us, but I’d . . . we’d be grateful if you would let us inside.”

He leaned forward, glancing down the sidewalk. The movement stirred the air between them, and his warm citrus scent surrounded Rena. He stepped aside and spoke in a loud, booming voice, most likely for the Syns’ monitoring devices. “Yes, we’ve been waiting for you.”

She blinked twice in disbelief. The Syns marched up the sidewalk. Blaze grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her into the house.
NatashaHanovaNatasha Hanova is an award-winning author of YA and adult dark fantasy/paranormal fiction. Edge of Truth (June 2013) is her debut novel. Her short stories appear in multiple anthologies. She loves nibbling Peanut M&Ms while reading paranormal, dark fantasy, and dystopian books with heavy doses of romance. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and children. Find her at  
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