Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Picture Fun. December in NYC!

Santacon Saturday. Lookout! A bunch of drunken Santas
are wandering around Gramercy.

Mr. Bulldog says No Smoking, yo!

December is always a magical time in New York City! Check out some of the holiday flavors in this all-pix post.

Pete's Tavern, Gramercy
Brownstone door

Hieronymus under the tree, gussied window & the lion guards a hotel

The National Arts Club, all duded out

Okay, this isn't Manhattan, but I had to sneak in my snowman family.

What's your favorite wintery scene in your hometown? 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Indie Life, Reaching your Readers! Plus the Launch of Fairchild's Diamonds & Dust

Today is Indie Life, a feature devised by the lovely Indelible authors. It takes place the second Wednesday of each month, where they invite fellow authors to chat about the indie writing life.

In prepping for the February launch of my new adult romance novella, Model Position, I've been thinking about effective ways to get the word out to readers. Methods of the day change so fast it's dizzying. Reminds me of how Apple and other digital companies are always launching upgrades. But one must keep up; it's an industry essential, indie or not. I think a blog tour is still advisable, or at least a cover reveal and book blitz. Reviews matter, and it's smart to get arcs out to people who are eager to read and review. I've done Netgalley with good results. Another reader site is Wattpad.  I have yet to do a Facebook event, which I will do for Model Position. I have yet to put together a street team--intimidating without a zillion hours a day to devote to it. I'm thinking of hiring an intern... maybe in the new year? Those who have done street teams, how has it gone? I know two authors who hired publicists. I'd have to barter the cost because it's expensive! Though one colleague got TV interviews and the other landed an interview in the Atlantic. Not too shabby! I'll be exploring Yahoo chats and similar venues for my new novella, trying to reach the readers of my genre. What have you all found most effective to get the word out?

Book 1 of the
Jewels of Chandra series
Another creative indie move is to join up with a group of like-minded authors to cross promote. That's how the Indelibles formed. I joined Untethered Realms, an author group who writes speculative fiction. On that note, I'd like to mention the launch of Untethered Realmer, River Fairchild's new novel, Diamonds and Dust!

Magic is real. So is betrayal.
Two heirs. A Kingdom of dust on a troubled world. One might resurrect it. One might destroy it all. Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all. 
Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches. David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.

River Fairchild brandishes a dry sense of humor, and is owned by several cats. Lives in a fantasy world. A fabricator of magic. Makes stuff up and spins tales about it. Believes in Faerie crossings and never stays in one place for very long. Speculative Fiction wordsmith. The secret to her stories? Spread lies, blend in truths, add a pinch of snark and a dash of tears. Escape into her world. She left the porch light on so you can find your way down the rabbit hole.        
Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon /

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I'm thinking about things I'm obsessed with lately.

I’ve been obsessed by Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, a travel show to very offbeat places, but also a foodie show (which I’m not, or didn’t think I was until this). At first I found him to be wayyy full of himself, but I got totally hooked into the show watching the Tokyo’s dark nightlife episode, and the Detroit one where industrious folks set up makeshift eateries in their yards and living rooms. I’ve walked the streets of Detroit. It’s a train wreck, but a fascinating one. Here is Bourdain in Libya, uh, yeah. His wicked humor and clever scripts have invaded my brain. So, as a convert, I’m on a marathon episode watch.

I’m preoccupied with reading romance, since I’ve been writing new adult romance. Easy by Tammara Webber rises far above the pack. M Leighton’s Down to You with sexy twins Cash and Nash is sizzling yet silly in a super-fun way, and Aubrie Dionne’s space opera romance Colonization is quite creative (with beautiful yet creeptastic killer plants). I'm getting used to my pen name, Kitsy Clare in prepping for the launch of my NA romance novella, Model Position in early 2014. And I'm passionate about bad boy artist, Casper Mason in my next romance WIP.

I’m absorbed by holiday shopping, trying to find the perfect gifts for people: Craig Venter’s book, Life at the Speed of Light for my science nerd friend, vinyls at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for my musically inclined son, Met opera tickets for the hubby--should it be Borodin's Prince Igor, Puccini's Madame Butterfly or Dvorak's Rusalka? Wow, the choices! Oh, and I booked an upcoming anniversary trip to the Dominican Republic, it doesn’t get much
better than that! Looking forward to riding dune buggies and segways, and taking a horseback trek through the jungle. You?

What are you obsessed with this season? Any cool new finds for holiday gifts?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fascinating and unsettling YA nonfiction by Vicki O. Wittenstein

Today Idea City is thrilled to introduce you to the work of Vicki O. Wittenstein, an author of nonfiction for kids and teens. Her newest book, For The Good of Mankind, the Shameful History of Human Experimentation is both an absorbing and disturbing read. It's important in the cannon of nonfiction for young adults because of its brave exposition of aspects of our dark past.

This review from School Library Journal explains it well:
“This chilling narrative exposes the history of human medical experimentation, much of which has occurred in the United States. By examining the use of humans as guinea pigs in medical research since the 1700s, Wittenstein explains the evolution of modern regulations, review boards, and organizations focused on ethical treatment of patients and approved research procedures. While the exploitation of unsuspecting orphans and pregnant women or intentionally withholding established medical cures from sick patients may seem gruesome, the narrative is successful at presenting both sides of the issue: the patient whose rights are being violated and the doctor intent on furthering science. Of particular note is the discussion of stem-cell research, which brings these historical medical controversies to light in a modern setting. The black-and-white photographs present a human face to these experiments and, if used in the classroom, this title will spark an educated debate. A ‘Critical Analysis’ section presents questions for readers to consider and discuss while sources for additional information list print, media, and websites that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. This title is an important addition to public and school libraries. It will pair well with books on topics ranging from medicine and history to human rights and law.”
Where to buy the book: Amazon, B&N, Indiebound

Vicki loves to write and tell stories. Her curiosity as a young adult led led her in many directions.  The first was to the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a B.A. in American Civilization and Urban Studies. After receiving a law degree from Cornell Law School, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, prosecuting criminal cases.  In 2006 she received a M.F.A. in Writing for Children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes for children and young adults because of her desire to research and find answers and to pass on her enthusiasm for learning.
Where to find Vicki: Facebook, Twitter, blog, website, YouTube

Interesting, huh? Have you thought about writing nonfiction? If so, what topic might you be inspired to write about?

Friday, November 22, 2013

How's your Nano experience? Or if you're not Nano-ing, what are you up to?

Are you Nano-ing this November? For the few who have no idea what I'm referring to, it's National Novel Writing Month, and to "win" Nano one must write at least 50 thousand words in 30 days. Are you on track? Not even close? Way far ahead? Whatever your speed it's a great way to fast draft!

I'm working on the second in my new adult novella series. The first novella, Model Position, comes out with Inkspell (under my pen name, Kitsy Clare) in January or February! I already had an idea for the second story, so I figured why not strike while the iron is hot. Pretty soon, I'll reveal more about Model Position, but I'm keeping you in suspense just a little bit longer, at least until the cover's ready.

Just know that it's about an artist, Sienna Karr who lives in New York City, and is experiencing the spice, glitz, peril and sexy temptations that are part and parcel of that world. I know it intimately, having gone to art school and shown my paintings in galleries for at least 12 years. I find that writing about the experience is wicked fun. Because there is so much narcissism, bad art, posturing, and a whole big mess of bizarro art dealers. Get this, one of my friend's dealers actually had a physical altercation over my friend's painting, and he grabbed my friend's shirt and tore it. How's that for three scoops of crazy? 

Oh, sure, there are visionary artists, and many of them are hot as anything. Artists can be quite the sex-bombs! Like Sienna's Erik, and in novella 2, the great and terrible Casper Mason...
But I'm getting way ahead of myself!

So, tell me, are YOU Nano-ing? If so, why? If not, why not? And what are you up to instead? If you are, but not totally sweating the word count (like me) why? Any Nano food obsessions? New writing habits? Dish here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Hundred Fall of the Wents, Jen Prescott's new fantasy, plus giveaway!

Today Idea City is thrilled to present Jennifer Prescott's wildly creative fantasy for older kids and teens, The Hundred Fall of the Wents! She's giving away one ebook to the person who has the funniest, or most compelling answer to why they love fantasy! Post your answer in the comments below. Here's a brief intro:
Millions of years in the Earth’s future, humans have long vanished from the planet. Evolution has produced a host of wondrous and intelligent beings: shape-shifting Fantastic Grouts with globes of light atop their skulls; creatures descended from flowers; and massive swarms of bees that can bore perfect holes through metal or bone. 
But some seek a way to bring the humans back into the world—a world filled with creatures like twelve-year-old Tully, a young, amphibious Eft who imagines humans as nothing more than old bones and fairy stories. When his beloved guardian is stolen by a menacing black shadow, Tully must embark on a journey to a cruel, northern land to save her and his entire species. In an adventure that blends time travel, magic, and science, Tully learns whom he can trust, and who will betray him—for the price of reawakening the Hundred.

To purchase a print or Kindle edition on Amazon
On Goodreads, including a giveaway through 11/30!

Author stalking information: Twitter, blog, Facebook

Jennifer has been writing since the age of 6, when she produced hand-printed and illustrated originals and sold them door-to-door at the neighbors’ houses. She earned her MA in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire, where she won the Tom Williams Prize for a collection of short stories. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in various magazines, and she was recently featured in the anthology Summer’s Edge. The Hundred: Fall of the Wents is the first book in a planned trilogy for young readers.
And now, why do you love fantasy? 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Moonless is out! An Interview with Crystal Collier, plus the Realms Faire continues!

Today, Idea City helps celebrate the release of Crystal Collier's YA historical paranormal Moonless with an interview! But first, a bit about Moonless:
Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and
forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia
realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family
she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

Where to find Moonless! Kindle, B&N Nook

Tell us about your main character: 

Alexia: The only and unattractive daughter of a country baron, she has lived a secluded life—as her parents fear they’ll never be able to marry her off. She loves books and has been plagued every birthday by the same nightmare: cloaked wraiths in the night, a blue-eyed man, and a beautiful, but dead girl.

In what ways does she change?
The night she stumbles across a murder and the blue-eyed man, she realizes her parents are withholding vital truths about her, the biggest of which is reflected back at her in the mirror. She has transformed from unattractive and unlikely to marry, to gorgeous and highly sought after—in a single night.

Give us your favorite line from your protagonist:
“If I am going to have a fate worse than death, I will take it right here.”

From an antagonist:
“You may beg for many things: death, revenge, mercy. Never ask for pardon.”

An emblematic, teaser paragraph:
Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

What keeps you going when your inspiration flags?
Music, and cheese.

Best words of advice you ever received?
Dare to dream.

Can you offer some writing advice to aspiring and new authors?
Read like your writing depends on it, because it does.

Which do you enjoy writing most: action, romance, setting, dialog?
All of the above.

A hint of what you’re working on next?
MOONLESS is the first book in a unique trilogy. It has three protagonists, three separate story-lines, and dangers on moonless nights you haven’t even begun to fathom.

Crystal, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. 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.

Where can readers find you on the web?

BlogTwitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon Author Page

To learn about the rest of the tour, play Moonless games and win prizes go here!
ALSO! The Realms Faire continues ALL this week! Enter the Rafflecopter for prizes below. To play Phasers click here. And for details on all games click here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Realms Faire Begins! Play games all week and win big prizes.

Idea City announces the start of the Realms Faire, a weeklong event with super-fun games and big prizes! It's the brainchild of M Pax, and is now a part of the Untethered Realms author group's repertoire. Everyone is welcome to play! Play at least two of the games and you're eligible for the big Rafflecopter prizes: a Kindle or a big, fat bundle of UR author books, including dark fantasy, sci-fi, space opera, and ghost tales.
Click these links to play. And don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below!
Drench a Wench/Soak a Bloke
Stockade Brigade
Dueling Bards
Masquerade Parade
Collective Performance
Castle Jumble
Dragon Hunt

Follow the Untethered Realms blog for the schedule.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Diamonds and Dust cover reveal from River Fairchild

Today Idea City is giving a sneak peek of River Fairchild's Diamond and Dust. Lush, gorgeous cover, eh? Here's a blurb:
Magic is real. So is betrayal.
Two heirs. A Kingdom of dust on a troubled world. One might resurrect it. One might destroy it all.
Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.
Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.
David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.

The novel comes out on December 9th, but it's available now for pre-order! Find it here: Apple, B&N, Kobo

On another note, catch Graeme Ing's hilarious take on the bookstore of 2015 here.

And get ready to play some super-fun games at The Realms Faire, which starts this coming Monday! The grand prizes include a kindle and a fat bundle of ebooks!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two awesome excerpts from M Pax's new sequel, Beyond the Edge!

I can't say enough great things about M Pax's space opera series, The Backworlds. Having read two in the series, I can say that her characters, especially Craze, are vivid and amusing. Her plotting is creative and the voices are original. M Pax's mind just keeps cooking up wilder and wilder sagas. I'm a total fan! With the release of book 4, Beyond the Edge, she's sharing a rare treat: two mini-excerpts! But first, a book 4 blurb:
Some truths are better left unfound.
For two years Craze’s dear friend, Lepsi, has been missing. The murmurings of a haunted spaceship might be a message and may mean his old pal isn’t dead. The possibility spurs Craze and Captain Talos to travel to uncharted worlds, searching. Out there, in an unfamiliar region of the galaxy beyond the Backworlds, they stumble upon a terrible truth.
Meanwhile, Rainly remains on Pardeep Station as acting planetlord, dealing with the discovery of her lover’s dark and brutal past. Alone and questioning her judgment, her introspection unlocks more than heartache. Latent protocols in her cybernetics activate, forcing her to face a sinister secret of her own.
In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the fourth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.
And now for the excerpts:
1.    His father stiffened, the knot on his brow tightening. “You talk so damn much, I don’t follow the half of it. Nobody does, which is why you’ll always be slime on the bottom of my shoe.”
    Craze didn’t blink, circling his pa. “You not wearin’ shoes.”
    Snarling, Bast huffed out a fierce growl. “The point is I’m pretty sure I heard an insult, ‘n I’ll chance a stay in jail to knock my brand of justice into your head..” Backing up, he wiped his feet in the dust, then started forward like an all-terrainer tricked out with a ship’s engine, howling, waving the club so that it whistled.

2.    “We’ll be with him lickety-split. This being a tree makes everything easier.” Pauder grinned, adjusting his guns and bandoliers.
    Inching his way out the door and onto the ramp, Craze tested the ground with a toe, tapping under the clouds for solidity. He found firm footing and joined the insane expedition, staring at Pauder’s unwavering arrogant expression for reassurance. He cleared his throat, unable to resist asking, “How does it make anythin’ easier?”
    “Trees is less dangerous ta climb than cliffs. Bark forgives, rock doesn’t.” Pauder floated through the thick fog, his legs hidden. His movements appeared effortless and poetic, not the motions of one on a hunting excursion with every intent of killing whatever stood in his way.
    “That makes no sense. Both land you on your ass, ‘n I’ve yet to see forgivin’ ground. Which is a worry since we still can’t see shit.” One wrong step and there was no telling how far Craze would fall.

Buy her books! Amazon, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Nook, Kobo

Inspiring the words she writes, M Pax spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. She writes science fiction and fantasy mostly. Visit her at:
Website / FB / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Wattpad

Monday, November 4, 2013

Celebrating Nicole Zoltack's Masked Love Holiday Romance Novella with three mini-excerpts!

Today on Idea City we're celebrating the launch of Nicole Zoltack's regency novella, Masked Love published by Swoon Romance. Doesn't everyone love a quick, spicy read?
Isabelle is content being a maid, and will do anything for her lady, even accompany her to a masquerade ball. Lady Theodosia needs extra support and encouragement on this night, for tomorrow she will meet the man her parents have pledged her to.
Isabelle has never had occasion to attend such an event, and is at first ill at ease. But meeting an enchanting young man during the course of the evening makes her wish for a life she can never have. Thinking she will never see him again, she returns his flirtation and even reveals her face. Imagine her shock when he shows up the next morning, announcing his claim on Lady Thedosia.
Isabelle does all she can to avoid Lord Adrian Wingave, but then he not only sees her, he recognizes her. To make matters worse, Isabelle fears her feelings are not one-sided. Torn between duty and desire, Isabelle hopes for something more this Christmas.
Find Masked Love at Swoon and Amazon.

Here are three mini-excerpts to sample!
“Now that is a lovely mask.”

Isabelle kept walking until she realized she heard no response to the statement. Only a man stood nearby, with no one else close. Her cheeks grew hot, and she pointed to herself.

He nodded, a wide grin stretching across his face.
“Do you like what you see?”

So flustered was she that Isabelle answered without thinking first. “How can I when I know not who I am looking at?”
A dance could prove who she was—a hired servant, and beneath the likes of everyone else here.

Thankfully, the good Lord was smiling down upon her as the familiar strains of the only dance she knew, the cotillion, began. What harm could result from one dance?
Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror and and historical. When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her family. She loves to ride horses (pretending they're unicorns!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her current favorite TV show is The Vampire Diaries. Find her on Goodreads, her website, her blog, Facebook fanpage & Twitter.

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Big News! Offer on my New Adult Romance Novella. Launching this Winter!

So, the big news that I've hinted at in my last two posts is this:
I accepted an offer from the fabulous Inkspell Publishing for my new adult romance novella!!! The working title is Model Position, and it's about an artist, Sienna Karr who falls for her live drawing model. It will be published in January or February as a digital first ebook. And I'll be using the pen name, Kitsy Clare.
Why use a pen name? The novella is a bit steamy, and I'd like to have an obvious, clear boundary between my work for kids/teens and adults. Why not be totally anonymous and not connect it to the name Catherine Stine at all? Because people make it their business to find out who you are anyway, and also because I've worked hard to create a platform on social media so why reinvent the wheel?
Exciting, huh?! I'm really pumped!
I've discovered, while writing my last three YAs (one of which involves a sizzling, thorny love triangle) that I really enjoy writing love/lust/wooing scenes, whether it's for the YA audience or for "new adults", so why not explore it to my heart's delight?
Model Position is set in a fictitious art grad school, and in the giddying, high stakes New York City art world, where the weak are tempted into Faustian bargains, and even the strongest can pay a price.
More soon!
Oh, and Happy Nanowrimo-ing! I'll be working on the next in the series. You?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

FREE prequel story, Magna's Plea by Cherie Reich! Read to be in-the-know when her epic fantasy releases.

You all like great FREE reads, yes? Well, you're in luck. Cherie Reich's prequel short story teaser Magna's Plea, to her forthcoming epic fantasy series The Fate Challenges is OUT! Princess Magna is a beautiful, brave character in a world at war, and her plight is sure to intrigue your thirst for a further glimpse into this world. To nab your own copy, go to Amazon, Nook, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads and Wattpad.

A princess will rise and challenge Fate.
While her father, brothers, and people fight against the Kingdom of Apentha, tenacious eighteen-year-old Princess Magna can only watch the destruction of Amora, her besieged city and kingdom. Her mother, Queen Vyvian, has refused to allow her heir to join the fray. But Magna won't take no for an answer. She seeks out an end of the war from Prince Cyrun of Apentha, their prisoner. If she can't persuade him toward peace, then Amora may fall.

This story (5500-words) prequel includes a sneak peek of Reborn, Book One of The Fate Challenges, forthcoming May 2014.

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy novella trilogy titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. She can be found at her blog, on Twitter, and at her author pages on Facebook and Goodreads.

On other fronts, there is still time (5 more days) to win a free signed paperback or ebook of Ruby's Fire, my futuristic thriller over at The NerdHerd Reads. Also, stay tuned for The Realms Faire, starting November 11.

And my big news will be the next post-promise!
What's your latest news? 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cover Reveal for PK Hrezo's Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc! Where would YOU book your time travel trip to?

Today Idea City is featuring the cover and teaser for PK Hrezo's forthcoming novel Butterman (Time) Travel Inc, which releases on 11/12/13!!! Gorgeous cover, eh? Kudos to the cover designer, and congrats, PK!

If I could travel back in time? So many choices! I love the Roaring Twenties. But I'd also like to have met Chekhov, hung out in the czar's Russia, to have taken part in the new experimental Moscow theater and appeared in one of his plays. 

About the book:
Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated
We are a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. Family-owned and operated, we offer clients one hundred years of time travel experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.
Anxious to attend a special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?
You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply
Conference us directly from our Website. Our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.
We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

About PK Hrezo
PK Hrezo is a native Floridian whose life could easily be a Jimmy Buffet song. She shares her home with her firefighter husband and their two children. When not creating characters and their worlds, PK can be found at her other job of rearranging passenger’s itineraries for a major international airline. The only hobbies she loves more than traveling, are reading, writing, and music, and when the four are combined she exists in total bliss.
She blogs regularly at PK HREZO: Fearless Fiction. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and on her website.

Now to make this really fun, in the comments, tell us where YOUR dream destination would be, if you could book your trip back, or forward in time; and why?

Oh, and The Nerd Herd Reads is running a giveaway of my YA thriller, Ruby's Fire. Still time to enter to win an ebook or signed paperback! Click here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Indie Life: Going Collective!

Today is the second Wednesday of the month. That means it's Indie Life Day, a monthly feature on everything indie, started by the fabulous author group, the Indelibles.

Which brings me to my theme: the author collective, and why it's good to create a group. I've spoken to various Indelible members over the years, and it's given me a growing urge to be a part of a group, in a similar way to my longstanding, trusty writers' workshop. Why?

For fellowship, marketing, advice, swapping early drafts, editing and for group publicity efforts such as blogfests and giveaways. But-GAH!- I didn't want to RUN the thing myself, and I wasn't sure where I wanted my work to fit in. I was a bit more sci-fi oriented than some of the Indelibles, and less paranormal than another early collective I liked, Darkside. I wanted a variety of speculative and hybrid authors; meaning that I thought it would be cool to have some authors who published traditionally, at least part of the time, and others who indie-pubbed. Mix it up. That was always my preference as an artist too (my first serious career)-blending abstract and realistic imagery. Spicy that way.

I waited, and watched and... you get the picture. Presto, the joining process became an organic thing that I floated into, with authors I could really relate to. I joined Untethered Realms, and I'm so glad I did! We are running a Realms Faire in November, which will be big fun, with a Dragon Hunt, Joust, Masquerade Ball and the works. And I'm helping organize an Untethered Realms anthology for next spring. Publicity is necessary but it doesn't have to suck! And one doesn't have to go it alone (Unless you prefer it that way). I recommend forming a group and experimenting with the ways it can enhance your indie experience.
To follow Untethered Realms and play the Realms Faire click here.
Check us out on Twitter too.
What have you devised to make your indie journey easier? More lucrative, fun? Do you like the idea of a collective, or prefer to do your own thing?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New novels, new Covers! Hear, hear!

As a proud member of the speculative group Untethered Realms I'm thrilled to brag about UR authors' new works. 
Misha Gerricke's novel, The Vanished Knight from Etopia Press is out! Isn't the cover gorgeous?!
The Black Knight, Nordaine’s crown prince, has no legitimate blood heirs, meaning someone must be appointed to succeed him. With two of the candidates’ families willing to kill for the appointment and the third candidate being seen as a threat to all, peace is balanced on a sword’s edge. But then the Black Knight vanishes.
Darrion and Gawain, two of his possible heirs, set out to find him, but after they rescue an earth-girl from Merithian soldiers, they discover she has possible ties to Nordaine. Not only that, but Callan Blair could be an Elvish princess. And war looms on the horizon…
Where to find it! Amazon & Amazon UK

Where to find Misha: her blog, Twitter

The Ghosts of Aquinnah, Julie Flander's new novel will be released by Ink Smith Publishing on December 5! Today, I'm revealing her beautiful cover and a teaser blurb:

A brilliant flash of light transcends through time. Another freezes a cloaked figure within a frame of salty mist as waves crash against a rocky shore. Her harrowing expression shadows the beacon to a pinprick. By the next blaze, she is gone. Only the lighthouse remains.

Hannah’s eyes blink in step with each heartbeat. Images of her deceased parents and Martha’s Vineyard explode like firecrackers inside her mind. She shakes her head. For weeks this eerie woman dressed in nineteenth century garb has been haunting my webcam, but tonight she stared into my soul. Why? ...  Who is she? ...

Casting aside months of research on historic lighthouses, Hannah drives to the coast and boards a ferry. What is the strange connection she has to this mysterious woman suspended in time? Hannah finds out. But, it’s not what she expects. Hannah unravels a century old murder.

Julie Flanders is a novelist and freelance writer in Cincinnati, Ohio. She's had a long love affair with the ocean and has spent many summer vacations on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. When not writing, Julie can be found reading, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and watching too much television. She is an animal lover and shares her home with her dog and cat.

The Realms Faire, created by M Pax and sponsored by Untethered Realms is fast-approaching! There will be fun games, and mega-prizes, including a brand new KINDLE! Stay tuned... And stay tuned for my own exciting new news... coming soon!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On Stephen King, HORROR & cool creative artists

I've been thinking about the horror genre lately, as I'm polishing my psychological contemporary YA horror novel. Recently I've read a few good posts on the topic, including this one in The Guardian with Stephen King, talking about his new book Doctor Sleep (Sequel to The Shining), and his revelations about his alcoholism and former drinking days. King says that it's still not exactly the second golden age of horror, though some authors think we're headed there.

Here are more posts on horror that I found on Kristen Lamb's informative blog. They're written by horror author, Kevin Lucia, and are quite fun and helpful to anyone writing horror, or a blend thereof.
Why is Horror Important-Part 1
Why is Horror Important-Part 2
Why Writing Horror is-SHOULD BE-Hard, Part 1
Why Writing Horror is--SHOULD BE-Hard, Part 2

TC Steele, oil on canvas
TC Steele, oil on canvas
TC Steele's porch, the set
for some of his paintings
I find that I'm inspired by not only authors who are writing in my genre, but many types of creative thinkers. I just got back from a trip to Indiana, where we visited the TC Steele Museum, and saw his former studio and home. He was a prominent painter of landscape in the late 1800's and he inspired other artists of the time to travel to Nashville, Indiana and set up a thriving artist colony. It is a
TC Steele, studio table

gorgeous setting--up in the forested hills, surrounded by cornfields and other crops. I was struck by his easel setup that still had his oils in cigar boxes, and even had the cigars he smoked while painting!
Gustave Baumann, woodcut
Gustave Baumann, woodcut
Gustave Baumann, one of the artists in the colony, was my favorite. He did detailed woodcuts that are like jewels. He eventually moved to Santa Fe, which, as most people know, became another popular artist colony. Anyone who lives and breathes the creative life, day by day, I find terrifically inspiring, don't you? Who are your most inspiring mentors? Artists? Authors? Musicians?

One final thing, I've gotten some great reviews for Ruby's Fire, and this blog, Eating Kids' Media, is worth checking out. Also, here's my guest post on creating worlds for The Artist Unleashed!

Monday, September 23, 2013

An exclusive Excerpt of Alex Cavanaugh's CassaStorm!

News about Alex Cavanaugh's newest book in his Amazon bestselling Cassa space trilogy is all over the Net. But Idea City has a brand new CassaStorm excerpt to whet your appetite. First, a synopsis:
A storm gathers across the galaxy…
Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

And now... drum roll... the excerpt!
They had reached the outer doors and Byron paused. Lips pressed together, he nodded at her. Remain here and see what you can accomplish. Impart on Ubarce and the others the gravity of the situation. It’s in their best interests to formally side with our alliance.
    Athee grasped his arm, her thin fingers pressing hard on his muscles. Would they really remove everyone from the base?
    It’s a possibility.
    Even after all these years of working together?
    If the situation grows desperate, that won’t matter to High Command.
    Her hand dropped from his arm and Athee stared at him. The indignation in her thoughts matched the scowl on her face. His patience strained from the council meeting, Byron was in no mood to pacify his mate.
    Athee! Nine of the ten races have declared war. Never in our history have the races aligned so decisively into two sides. With Tgren uncommitted, it sends the wrong message to High Command.
    And what message is that? she thought, chin raised in defiance.
    If we’re not for you then we must be against you.

Praise for CassaStorm:
“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” - Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…” - Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperbk., 268 pp, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Find CassaStorm: Barnes & Noble, Amazon paperback, Kindle, GoodreadsTrailer on YouTube! 

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Find Alex: Twitter, Goodreads and on his website

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Help Celebrate Christine Rain's 13th Floor novella collection-What a Cover!

Christine Rain's collection of all 13th Floor stories launches October 13 (Of course; on lucky 13!) To help celebrate, I'm previewing the fabulous collection cover. Stunning, eh?
The Collection cover!!!
Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn't exist.

Six novellas telling their tales...
A retired demon acquires a price on his head. 
A werewolf is hunted by her pack.
A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.
A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.
A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find. 
A banshee falls in love with someone who's death she has seen in a vision.
And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all. 
All stories take place at the same time, intertwining lives together on the 13th Floor.
You know you want this for Halloween! Or for that perfect gift to get your paranormal romance on! Mark your calendars for OCT 13.  
Her books on Amazon

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees, which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she's having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has eight novellas and twenty-one short stories published.
Find Christine: websiteblogGoodreadsFacebookTwitter
The covers together, lookin' good!