If you're interested in imaginative science fiction with a romantic twist, you should check it out! Here is an excerpt and some links to help you find (or win!) a copy of RUBY'S FIRE, book TWO in the innovative FIRESEED series.
“I didn’t know you cared,” I tease. “Do you?”
Blane shrugs. I know he can’t answer those kinds of questions. Instead of answering, he places the mask on my head. His fingers, fastening the straps at the back of my head shoot fire through me. His body, so close makes my chest swell with confusion and desire. Why am I so sensitive to his presence?
I press him. “Why do you always stare at me from the window? Why do you ask me questions with your eyes and not your mouth? What do you want with me?”
He stands his ground, his boots planted apart. His silent confidence angers me.
“I asked you what you wanted. Do you want to kiss me? Huh?” I ask with more fury than I intended.
He lowers his head and kicks at the sand. “Why are you such a tease? You’re either too remote or flirting in an angry way. What happened to you at that place, Ruby? What did they do to you?”
“What did they do to me? Hah! What didn’t they do to me?” I barrel on, looking over Blane’s shoulder at one of the dunes. “That man you saw claimed me when I was five. He beat me.” I hold up my bad hand. “He cut off three of my fingers. He would’ve assaulted me if I hadn’t run!” I pause to catch my breath. My knees are ready to cave. As at peace as I was before, the memory of what I went through renders me a furious, quaking catastrophe in seconds. “And you have the nerve to ask me why I’m such a mean tease?” That hurts. Armonk has said as much, about me being seductive. But why should I tell Blane that he’s the second guy to tell me this? “I have a question for you,” I fire back. “Why are you such a brute?”
He flinches. Hurt dims the light in his eyes. Is that what we are to each other? Punching bags? No, I won’t play that game. There’s good in Blane. He dragged Thorn and me in to safety when we passed out in the sun. He saved me from Stiles that night. He defended me against Jan. Blane might be a brute but brute force is sometimes what’s required. And I sense that there are more layers below.
“I had to get strong to survive,” he whispers, so low that I need to move closer to hear him. “I couldn’t protect my brother, Percy. I couldn’t protect my family. I vowed to always be stronger after that.”
“You got too strong, too mean,” I tell him.
“You too, Ruby.”
“You helped me get rid of Stiles,” I admit. “And I never told you what that meant to me.”
“No, you went off with Armonk.”
“You didn’t give me a chance because you stormed off so fast,” I tell him. I raise my head to Blane’s solid neck, to the honey-brown stubble on his chin and up to his eyes—locking gaze-to-gaze, fire-to-fire. “I do like Armonk, as a friend.” Why am I admitting all of this? Why?
I feel Blane’s heart beating out of his suit. Or is it my heart that’s beating out of my chest? He steps closer. His warm sea apple breath drifts onto my cheeks. I breathe him in. This is dangerous madness. He reaches for me, hungrily, desperately. Our masks bump awkwardly against each other as we kiss.
PRAISE for RUBY'S FIRE:
“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
BIO summer 2013
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.
Buy links (and online links) for Ruby’s Fire:
Amazon illustrated paperback:
Barnes and Noble NOOK:
Ruby’s Fire on Goodreads:
Catherine’s author page on Facebook: