July 30, 2013

Author Interview + HUGE Giveaway: Ruby's Fire by Catherine Stine

Welcome to my stop on the Ruby's Fire blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours
Today we have an interview from the lovely Catherine Stine, as well as a tour wide giveaway!

Title: Ruby's Fire
Author: Catherine Stine 
Series: Fireseed, #2 (can be read as a stand-alone)
Publication date: June 26, 2013
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

If everything about you changes, what remains?
Seventeen year-old Ruby, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at The Greening, a boarding school for orphaned teens, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems. Students are rampaging out of control and as she cares for the secret Fireseed crop, she experiences frightening physical changes. She’s ashamed of her attraction to burly, hard-talking Blane, the resident bodyguard, and wonders why she can’t be happy with the gentler Armonk. She’s long considered her great beauty a liability, a thing she’s misused in order to survive. And how is she to stop her dependence on Oblivion to find a real beauty within, using her talent as a maker of salves, when she has nightmares of Stiles without it?
When George Axiom, wealthy mogul of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a student contest, Ruby is hopeful she might collect the prize to rescue her family and friends from what she now knows is a dangerous cult. But when Stiles comes to reclaim her, and Thorn sickens after creating the most astonishing contest project of all, the world Ruby knows is changed forever. This romantic fantasy set in 2099 on earth has a crafty heroine in Ruby, and a swoonworthy cast, which will surely appeal to the YA and new adult audience.

***Author Interview***
In a few sentences, tell us why we should read 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.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I've always loved writing. I wrote a cute little mystery series when I was in fourth grade. I am also an artist, and I drew all of the covers for them. My great, great Uncle Charles wrote stories for children's school textbooks way back when, so it's sort of in my blood.

Who has inspired your writing style?

I was into science fiction when I was in sixth and seventh grade--people like Ray Bradbury and Aldous Huxley. I like the huge amount of imagination it takes to world-build. That can be applied to any kind of fiction, but I do have a special affection for speculative fiction, where my imagination has wildly free reign.

Where did you get the idea for Ruby's Fire?

I wanted a female heroine, who had trouble with men because she was so beautiful. I wanted her to be a drug addict who is forced to flee from the cult she grew up in, and run to a very unusual boarding school for nomadic teens in a place called Skull's Wrath.
In Fireseed One, the first book in the series, the west is a vast desert wasteland with temperatures rising to 160%. Those with money and power have all moved north and have built a robotic wall on what is now the border between Canada and the US. The folks south of it, climate refugees, are trapped in what is referred to as the Hotzone. Transgenic crops are shipped south to help feed starving people. Fireseed is the most magical of these, and an entire cult has formed that worships this plant. Ruby grew up in this cult, and at the start of Ruby's Fire, she escapes, for reasons you'll find when you read the novel. Her continued relationship to the Fireseed plants, however, takes a shocking turn.

What are your must-haves when sitting down to write?

Lots of time! Coffee or tea (black), nice, cool air flow, and either chocolate-covered almonds or a few lemon and strawberry Starbursts.

Are you an outliner or a "pantser" aka organic writer?

I outline. I didn't used to, but I've learned through wasting a lot of time, meandering and overwriting, that I need to focus in, and hone the story even before I write.

Which character in Ruby's Fire was your favorite to write?

Ruby, because she's such a kicka*ss heroine, but Blane because he's hard to love and has a dramatic transformation, but also Thorn, Ruby's little brother, who may have Asperger's but then again, may be a seer. Sorry, couldn't pick just one!

Are any of your characters based on people you know?(even yourself)

Not totally based on, but parts of… I've had boyfriends like Blane who are too strong and take charge for their own good. I relate to Ruby's interest in making her own elixirs. I have a little brother who I've always been protective of, like Ruby is with Thorn.

What are three of your all-time favorite YA books besides you own?

Hard question! Here are some good ones: The Rules of Survival (Werlin), Under the Never Sky Sky (Rossi) and Rule of the Bone (Banks).

What has been your favorite "moment" since first becoming a published author?

I love talking to kids in schools, and I did a writing workshop, using Refugees, one of my YA novels, with teens in a NYC high school. They really got into it. Also the core experience of creating characters and new worlds is wondrous and powerful.

What can we expect to look for from you next?

I've written an homage to Dorian Gray, but with a female lead named Dorianna. It's YA horror. That will probably come out in late 2013 or early 2014.

Thanks for interviewing me! I had fun,
Catherine Stine

Purchase Links:
Fireseed One (Book 1)

Ruby's Fire (Book 2)

About the Author:

Catherine Stine writes YA, New Adult and middle grade fiction. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One, illustrated by the author won finalist spots in both YA and Science Fiction in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards. It was also granted a 2013 Bronze Wishing Shelf Book Award and a 2013 Indie Reader Approved notable stamp. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Middle grade novels include A Girl’s Best Friend.

Fireseed One sequel, Ruby’s Fire is earning advance praise from reviewers and authors:
Ruby's Fire, returns to the sun-scorched earth of Fireseed One. In this long-awaited sequel, Stine delivers a thrilling adventure led by a new and exciting cast of characters. Ruby, Armonk, Thorn and Blane are memorable, and the romance is really well handled. Favorite quote: " It feels wrong to lean on Armonk right now with Blane staring at me, a hungry, lonely look in his eye. It’s as if he’s never been hugged, never been fed, never been loved..." ”  -YAs the Word
More and more, Catherine enjoys writing speculative tales where her imagination has wild and free reign. She has taught creative writing workshops at the Philadelphia Writing Conference, Missouri University Summer Abroad, The New School and in her own ongoing NYC writing workshop. She loves her readers, and enjoys blogging.

Author Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love reading Scifi/PNR b/c it's so much fun seeing how inventive and original each author can be :) Congrats to Catherine on the new release!

  2. I love reading Sci-fi etc. because I love the escapism and these worlds that authors paint so vividly through their words. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Thanks, Erin and Jeann, I love hearing why people relate to sci-fi and spec fiction.

  4. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  5. AnonymousJuly 30, 2013

    AMAZING Giveaway, Thanks! This book sounds so good! :-)

  6. The thing I love the most about sci-if is it takes you to place you never been or will go and takes our mind off of real things going on so you get to forget the bad and dream fantasy for awhile

  7. I've been reading sci-fi and speculative fiction for years, and I really love the new and different worlds that authors create. I think that takes a special kind of imagination, and I find it enthralling. Great giveaway, thanks!

  8. I'm not really sure why I love scifi but there is something in it which holds my interest and attention like no other genre ever could.

    Thank you for the chance to win!

    Cherry Mischievous

  9. I love sci-fi because J. Verne! With the world in a fast line of change, I want to know how far imagination (tech-savvy)turn into reality in my lifetime...

  10. I entered your Ruby's Fire blog tour Giveaway.
    It would be great to Win The Kindle,
    The $40 Amazon Gift Card Or
    a copy of Ruby's Fire By Catherine Stine.
    In response to your question of
    What do you like best about sci-fi & speculative fiction?
    I like Sci-fi books because they have some interesting characters.
    The authors create names for different planets and
    the aliens have different cultures.
    It shows the power of the imagination.
    Thank you for having this great giveaway!!!!!!!!

  11. The inventiveness and how much you have to use your imagination. My son loves sci-fi books.

  12. I like Sci-Fi because it can take you to a whole different universe. The imagination and possibilities are endless.

    Les Johnson

  13. Whenever I read sci-fi I am just amazed at the things that people's minds can come up with!

  14. I love reading it because it allows me to escape to different worlds. I love that. ^_^


  15. AnonymousJuly 30, 2013

    I love the different worlds created in sci-fi stories

  16. I love getting lost in the different worlds.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. AnonymousJuly 30, 2013

    I Love Sci Fi....Totally Star Trek geek here!! And look at the technology in those old shows...and how similar they are to today...Weird, huh? IT'S AWESOME!!!

  18. I love reading about new worlds that take you on an imaginative journey.
    Ruby's Fire sounds very imaginative:)

  19. I love that there are really no limits, it can go anywhere and not be considered too extreme as long as it is written well and there is really great world-building. You just never know what's going to happen while reading one! Great question!

  20. I love the thrill of authors imagination,, and to put myself in their story gives my mind chills !!! But can't put them down, so thank you!

  21. I love getting lost into the different worlds and basically anything goes. There are no strict rules to it.

  22. I love the creativity and diversity that the genres affords the authors and the readers. It is a way to explore and escape to the further reaches of our imaginations. The possibilities are endless. Fireseed One and Ruby's Fire sounds like amazing reads! Thanks for sharing and for the awesome giveaway!!

  23. I love the new worlds created in Scifi! They always manage to make me forget about my troubles!

    -Jen Haile

  24. AnonymousJuly 31, 2013

    I love it when a writer can make a brand new world that I'd like to jump into and play/live in!

    Melissa C.

  25. I like that anything is possible even things that are completely farfetched. Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. i like sci fi because it takes you out of the reality realm and into something and somewhere we almost wish were true!

  27. AnonymousJuly 31, 2013

    The cover is great and I don't read books without an interesting cover!

  28. I love the originality of sci-fi and how different it can be. ;0

  29. I like the interesting ideas in sci-fi!
    Kitty Iecvan

  30. I like the possibility of science fiction being a reality. A lot of it is an elaboration on scientific studies or theories so it is entirely plausible :)

  31. I like science fiction because it encourages my imagination. It's the cheapest way to visit new worlds.

  32. It's so creative and imaginative! I love "what ifs" and I'm not sure... I just can't get enough!! Thanks for the AMAZING giveaway! :D

  33. I love exploring new worlds. It allows me to escape. Thanks for the giveaway.

  34. I love science fiction because the possibilities of subjects and details are endless! Imagination can run rampant to wherever they may roam!

  35. I just love seeing the amazingly creative things that authors in sci-fi/spec fic come up with! I mean, some of them have essentially predicted, 50 years ahead of time, technologies that we have today! I also love being transported to different worlds, alternate universes, and all those places I would never have dreamed up on my own.


I truly appreciate each and every one of your comments!