Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Feature: Catherine Stine author of Ruby's Fire

Book Summary

“Seventeen year-old Ruby and her little brother Thorn, have only known a life blighted by the extremist Fireseed Cult. The night Ruby is set to be claimed by one of its cruelest and oldest leaders, she makes a bid for freedom. With Thorn in tow, she stumbles into the world beyond, and finds an opportunity for a fresh start in Skull’s Wrath under the guidance of Nevada Pilgrim, a woman who may not be all she seems. Ruby's new life could bring her friendship, love, even fortune, but nothing comes without a price. Is Ruby's talent for elixirs keeping the roof over their heads, or do some of her associates have a more sinister and lucrative interest in them? Life outside a strange cult isn't without its dangers, and the experience leaves Ruby transformed and communing with the Fireseed more closely than she ever would have imagined. Stine delivers a thrilling adventure led by an exciting cast of characters, and the romance is really well handled.”   -YA’s The Word


Bloggers and readers say:

“Astounding creativity and unique world-building” - Books for YA

“Romance, betrayal, secrets, great world-building!”-Seeing Night Reviews

“Ruby kicked butt as the resident healer… plus good love triangle!” -Amazon reader

Excerpt from Ruby’s Fire
I toss in bed, trying to avoid taking the Oblivion powder. I have half of what I came here with and should save it for emergencies. The moon glows a bloody red as my mind reeks with rancid images of Stiles’ hairy face and luring words. “Come here, my child,” he coaxed the time he cut my fingers. “It won’t hurt, not that much.” I throw off my covers. I’m hot, claustrophobic.
The sound of Bea’s voice startles me. I thought that her steady breathing signaled she was asleep. I’ll have to take that into account in my nighttime forays. “Do you have insomnia?” she asks.
“Nightmares.” I swing my feet over the bedside.
“About what? Your cult?”
I’m tired of hearing that word, but this is the first time she’s ever cared to ask me anything. “Someone in it.”
“That’s too bad,” she says. “Did you find anything today?”
Not sure I should reveal my incredible finds. This is a competition, after all. I don’t trust these people. Though Bea seems friendlier now. I won’t tell her about the lizards, it’s too big a find. “One thing, want to see?”
“Okay.” She pads to my side of the room in a long nightgown, her blond hair flowing in waves. I unbind the collection box from my suit belt, open the top enough for her to peek in. “Whoa, I’ve never seen those guys! Such sculptural antennae.” She’s referring to the Antlered Purples.
“You see them that way since you’re an artist?”
Her face lights up.  “Yes. I could draw them.”
I nod as I pop the top back on. It would be one thing to have these amazing beetles sprawled out on a table for her to sketch. But another if everyone sees them. I have to be careful though. I don’t want to discourage Bea from talking to me. “You could. Sometime,” I add vaguely.
“What will do with them?”
I’m proud of my skills. But I only dare reveal a tidbit. “I make potions.”
“Like that stuff you sniff up when you think I’m asleep?” Her warm blue eyes turn to chilly cat slits, which frighten me.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know,” she retorts, but softens inexplicably. “We all have our vices.”
I’m too shocked to protest. “Really, what’s yours?”
She releases a musical giggle. “Radius,” she admits, and pads back to her bed. She pulls the covers up to her chin, gives a dainty yawn. “Look, I need to go to sleep, Ruby. So keep those beetles caged and be quiet when you snort that junk.”
My ears flame up. A defensive retort is ready on my tongue. I bite it down. It would only be a lie.
So I stay still until I hear her snore. I sneak downstairs, out the door, and release all of the lizards and beetles. Then, back upstairs in bed, I snatch the pouch and sprinkle out a stingy dose. I sniff it up hungrily with barely time to close the pouch before I slump onto my covers.

Other books by Catherine Stine: http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Stine/e/B001H9TXJC/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Other books by Kitsy Clare (pen name): http://www.amazon.com/Kitsy-Clare/e/B00MXNHCZI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1424622586&sr=1-1


What inspired you to write Ruby’s Fire?

Ruby deals with subjects young women angst over: how to negotiate one's sexuality and power, how to escape from an inappropriate and dangerous relationship, why people become addicted to drugs and what kinds of things help them to kick, and how to find true interior beauty. These topics are all interesting to me, and ones I wanted to explore.


Also, I’d written a companion novel - Fireseed One - that takes place ten years prior, where the main character, Varik gets captured by a strange desert cult. He sees a little girl in there who’s lost three fingers. I wanted to follow that girl, and see if she would escape the cult, and if so, where she would run. Ruby is 17 in Ruby’s Fire and the year is 2099.


Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?

I got the idea to write about the cult from watching the news about the FLDS Warren Jeffs compound out west and how there were so many underage girls who were wedded without adult consent. I gave it a futuristic twist and set it on a changed earth. Because that’s what I do! :). The novel also deals with extreme hybrids! That’s all I can say without revealing a spoiler.


How did you choose your title?

The companion novels are called The Fireseed novels, so Ruby had to have something to do with fire. She’s a very fiery heroine, and there’s more, but um, can’t reveal it here!


Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.

This cover is a second incarnation. The first was done by a digital illustrator. I loved it but I wanted something more “teen” and contemporary. So I had my cover designer, Najla do one using photos. Sometimes it’s wise to change things up!


Did you self-publish or publish traditionally and why?

I’m a hybrid—I’ve been published by “Big 5”s, small indies, and I’ve also self-pubbed. My Fireseed books are in this last category. This was when the industry was imploding and ebooks were just taking off. I have no regrets!!! It’s been a great experience. My two latest novels are with small presses, I love it all.


What do you consider the most important part of a good story?

It’s all important: deep, unique characters; clever, suspenseful plotting; convincing, spicy romance, organic dialog. You can’t skimp on any of it.


What is your writing process?

I work in the afternoons—on a good day from 3 to 9 pm. Mornings are for phone calls, social media and exercise. Plus, I have to fit in my part-time teaching gigs.


Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I used to be a pantser but my plots were too meandering and it took way long to edit out the extra rambling drivel. Now I outline and it’s MUCH better! I still tweak the outline as I go but it provides a reliable roadmap.


What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?

That first draft, and particularly the last half of it. The editing process is easier for me.


What tips can you give on how to get through writer’s block?

I never really have writer’s block. Maybe because after I complete a novel I take a break, or a vacation. So, yeah, I would prescribe a break from writing if you’re blocked. Not too long, maybe a couple of weeks. It always refreshes.


What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write?

I don’t. I only listen to music afterwards, when I make a playlist for the novel.


Read anything good lately?

I’ve been enjoying historical novels, both realistic and paranormal. I’m reading them to inform my own historical WIP. One that comes to mind that I loved was the Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman.


What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Watch “bad” TV: Idol, Millionaire Matchmaker, Beverly Hills Housewives, Vanderpump Rules. It drives my hubby crazy, but hey, it’s better than drugs! It’s my perfect mind candy. Oh, and I teach creative writing at the college level—does that at least partially redeem me? LOL.


What advice would you give an author just starting out?

Write, read, repeat! And never send anything out until it is polished to a fine sheen.


Have you had anything else published?

Yes, Dorianna is my latest YA. It is a new twist on Dorian Gray for the Internet generation, and it just won Best Horror Book in the Kindle Hub awards. Yay! I also write new adult romance as Kitsy Clare. I have two in my Art of Love series so far: Model Position and Private Internship. Readers follow artist Sienna as she searches for love and an art career in New York City. I used to be a painter who showed in galleries, and I LOVE to write about a world I know so very well.


What's your next project?

A paranormal historical romance about Fiera, a young witch, who doesn’t yet know she’s a witch! It’s set on the Jersey shore in 1932. Check out my Witch of Cards Pinterest page for hints on the novel.

Author Bio

Catherine Stine’s novels span the range from futuristic fantasy to paranormal to contemporary. Her futuristic thriller companion novels Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire are both indie award winners. Her paranormal-horror YA, Dorianna won 2014 Best Horror Book in the Kindle Hub Awards. She also writes new adult fiction as Kitsy Clare. Her new adult Art of Love series includes Model Position and Private Internship. She thinks her love of dark fantasy came from her father reading Edgar Allen Poe to her when she was a child. Presently, she’s at work on a paranormal historical set in 1932.

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Blog: http://catherinestine.blogspot.com/

Website: http://catherinestine.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1018139.Catherine_Stine

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Stine/e/B001H9TXJC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1412807948&sr=8-1