Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Help Decide on Cover Design for Ruby's Fire!

I wrote the last chapter on Ruby's Fire a few days ago. Man, it was a complex, drawn out, organic process with people swooning over the "wrong" characters and a whole new lead than I'd planned! It left me breathless, in a good way. Now comes the next stage, me doing the interior drawings; and working with my talented cover artist, Jay Montgomery, to finalize the design so he can do what he does best: badass digital illustration!

Since it was so fun to get your opinion on the cover roughs for Fireseed One, Jay and I are taking another opinion poll. Here are his VERY rough sketches (So keep in mind Ruby's face, image details and exact clothing may change slightly). FYI, here's the link to see Jay's ramp-up of that first cover.
Version A

Version B
What I like in version A is that it's close, in-your-face dramatic. Ruby's looking at an exotic hybrid. 'Nuff said for now; no spoilers here. Suffice it to say, she's enchanted and weirded out by it.
What I like about version B is that Ruby's a lizard tracker and maker of elixirs, and here we get to see her hunting satchels and more of her desert-tromping, cave-garden slinking style.

Okay jury, A or B? Why?  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre! Featuring author Ellie Garrat.

Today I'm pleased to feature the work of Ellie Garrat, sci-fi and horror author and book blogger extraordinaire. Her new collection of strange and spectacular tales, Passing Time, is now available on Amazon and Amazon UK!
Here's the lowdown, followed by a story snippet:

Passing Time contains nine dark stories that may just give you nightmares!
A man lives to regret Passing Time. A father will do anything to save his son in Expiration Date. An author finds out her worst nightmare is back in The Devil’s Song. A woman gets more than the claim fee when she takes out vampire insurance in Luna Black. In Dining in Hell, the Death Valley Diner becomes the wrong place to stop. A serial killer wants to add another file to his collection in The Vegas Screamer. In Eating Mr. Bone, an undertaker could meet an unfortunate end. A con man meets his first ghost in Land of the Free. And will truth finally be set free in The Letter?

Excerpt from Expiration Date:
The doctor sat forward in his chair, dropped the tissue onto the desk, and used both of his hands to massage his temple.
“What part of no do you not understand?” he asked finally.
      “Dr. Winston, you possess the highest levels of success with cloning and the lowest level of clone-mutations in the state. Put simply, you are the best. And I want the best for my Clifford.”
      My father, long accustomed to my deathly appearance, patted me on the arm. This was a bad idea. It was a hot day–eighty-nine degrees and climbing–and the forty-five minute car journey to the doctor’s private practice had left me somewhat baked. When he touched my arm, a few million dried-up skin cells slewed off and fell onto the office’s pristine marble floor. 
      The doctor glanced at the floor before lifting his gaze again to me. Who could blame him? What must I have looked like? Even though, as my father put it, I came from good stock, I was a deceased third-generation clone. Nothing more than a rotting copy. 

About Ellie:
A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror, meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time is her first eBook collection and contains nine previously published stories. Her science fiction collection Taking Time will be published later in the year.

Find Ellie on Goodreads, Facebook, Author page on Facebook and Twitter. But first, leave her a shout out!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Interview Nazarea Andrews on Edge of the Falls!

Nazarea Andrews' new adult paranormal Edge of the Falls debuts today! I got a chance to interview her about it, and about her writing. But first, here's a short synopsis:

Sabah always knew where she belonged—with Berg—and what was expected of her—to care for the other children the Mistress took in. But when a ban-wolf saves her life, things begin to change.
Arjun isn’t like the other ban-wolves, the savage creatures that are barely human. He’s gentle and furious and as Sabah spends time with him, she can’t seem to get him out of her mind. But in a world of darkness, control, and danger, is there a place for two outcasts? Edge of the Falls is a romantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a dark dystopia.

Tell us a little about your main characters.
Sabah is an outcast girl with a lot of responsibilities caring for the other children the Mistress takes in. She’s trying to find her place in a world that doesn’t want her, while coming to grips with some uncomfortable truths about the people in her life.

In what ways do they change?
 Sabah really grows up. I have this theory, that everyone can be pushed to a certain point, and then they either break or evolve.  Sabah hits that point, and it’s really fascinating to me to see how she reacted.
Give us your favorite line from your protagonist
“I don’t care,” I say, and it’s the truth. He can hear it in my voice, and his head turns to me.

From an antagonist:
“She is the Mistress,” he says simply.

An emblematic, teaser paragraph:
 It is easy, and effortless, in a way that being with Berg is not. Not anymore.
I shake my head, and feel Arjun's eyes on me, curious. I hate that it is so natural to compare the two of them. Berg is the one who held my hand in the darkness, who rescued me. But... does my loyalty to him extend even when he chooses another?

What keeps you going when your inspiration flags?
My kids. And the voices in my head.

What truly inspires you and fires up your vision?
What if? I love answering that question. Every story starts with a what if. It fascinates me to see it pan out.
Best words of advice you ever received?
Just write. Write what you don’t know. Dream big and explore the things you’re curious about.
LOL, I don’t remember. Maybe, ‘Get a day job’. I tune out the negative. :)

Can you offer some writing advice to aspiring and new authors?
Write the story you can’t NOT write. Don’t worry about trends or any of that nonsense. Just write. And revise the hell out of it.

Which do you enjoy writing most: action, romance, setting, dialog?
Romance. Hands down. I’d put kissing in every scene if I could get away with it.

A hint of what you’re working on next?
 There’s a teaser in Edge! It’s a NA paranormal, about two faery royals who aren’t supposed to fall in love.
To purchase Edge of the Falls: Amazon & B&N

Where can readers find you on the web?
 I’m on Twitter @NazareaAndrews, on my blog and my website.

More about Nazarea:
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and writes the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog. Her first book, Edge of the Falls, is available March 12. Today!

Monday, March 11, 2013

M Pax's Third in the series, Boomtown Craze!

Today I'm featuring speculative fiction wrier M Pax and the third in her space opera, Boomtown Craze!

A Grand New Age of Boom or Dust?
In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe.

To secure his future, Craze must propel his world into a more prosperous era. Only days away from the grand opening of his new and improved tavern, he is confronted by a loony Backworlder intent on mucking up his plans. Gaunt and trembling, she claims her spaceship is possessed. She also has a connection to the underworld that shakes loose the dark past of one of Craze’s closest friends. It all threatens to end Craze’s prosperity before it begins.

Meanwhile off world, Captain Talos works desperately to outwit the mercenary Jixes and lure them away from his and Craze’s budding prospects. The mind-control weapon Talos uses against them is wearing thin, and his next move may be his last.

Will Craze and Talos’s efforts bring about a grand new age of boom or damn them to forever struggle in the dust?

ebooks at:  AmazonUS / AmazonUK / B&N / Smashwords
From March 4 to March 22, folks can enter to win the following:
1 set of signed Backworlds paperbacks, including The Backworlds, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, and Boomtown Craze. Will only ship to US residents. Rafflecopter to enter found at

Hugging her telescope!

M. Pax is a Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.

Find M Pax on Twitter,  Facebook, You Tube

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sweets Blogfest & Especially Sweet Morsels

 Today is the Sweets Blogfest! And what could be sweeter than a bunch of romantic stories by some great blogger friends. I'm talking about the fabulous and prolific Kelly Hashway and the adorable Beth Fred of Promote 52. Check out their books and visit Beth and Kelly's blogs to win a free copy of Beth's The Other Marlowe Girl or Kelly's Love All!

So, what's my favorite sweet, and what's sweet in my world? Hmm, my fave sweet is frozen yogurt or a big old almond chocolate bar.
This week what's sweet for me is that I'm an author and book of the week over at eReader Cafe! Stop by and say hi, and get your copy of Fireseed One if you haven't already, so that when the sequel, Ruby's Fire comes out, you're up on the whole story!

What else is sweet? I'll be a featured reader at KGB Bar in Manhattan on March 22, and reading from Ruby's Fire. If you're in the New York City area, stop by this infamous writers' place and hang out with us!

Have a sweet day. Oh, and what's your favorite sweet?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Back from the Future Blogfest

Hey all,
I got a late start on posting this today, so I'll be doing the Back FROM the Future blogfest hop all weekend.
You’re up before dawn on a Saturday when the bell rings. You haven’t brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you…from you.
You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox—sent from ten years in the future—and it’s filled with items you have sent yourself. What’s in it?
My painting of a hedgehog family
It would have to be a HUGE shoebox, because I'd want to put in my future paintings and drawings, as well as my future books, which would help direct me to what I should be focusing on now.
What would YOU send back to yourself?