Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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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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