Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Giveaway and Launch Party: Catherine Stine's FIRESEED ONE!

Fellow blogger extraordinaire, Catherine Stine, has just released her new YA thriller, Fireseed One. In celebration of her launch, I am hosting a book giveaway here. Visit Catherine's blog today for more launch party festivities, including giveaways, interviews, and excerpts.

This book is very good indeed. The well-drawn and likable characters, suspenseful plot, and superb world-building make for a compelling page-turner. I particularly enjoyed the author's speculations about food sources and how these could morph in fantastic ways in the face of drastic climate change—this provides the platform for a life or death struggle that blends romance with eco-terrorism and thrilling adventure. Peppered with humor and action, the story's futuristic references, including the clever jargon and pop culture of the time, are delivered with a natural and deft hand. Catherine Stine's research and meticulous attention to detail transform her strange and wildly imaginative world into one we can readily picture becoming our own. Fireseed One is a compulsively readable—and alarmingly plausible—vision of our future.

Catherine is giving away three eBook versions and one paperback version to the lucky winners. You want to get your hands on a copy! If you should be so lucky as to win, please add your review to Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, and so on. This contest will close in approximately one week.

To enter, simply leave a comment below with a way to contact you should you win. If you tweet about the book (tag me @feralpony so I see it), like it on Facebook, or write a blog post about it, you will get extra-special bonus points and your name will go into the kitty innumerable times!

Here are more details about the exciting setting and plot of Fireseed One:

What if the only person who could help you save the world was your very worst enemy?

Fireseed One, a YA thriller, is set in a near-future world with soaring heat, toxic waters, tricked-out amphibious vehicles, ice-themed dance clubs, and fish that grow up on vines. Temperate climate has replaced Arctic ice, and much of what is now the United States is a lethal Hotzone, cut off by an insurmountable border from its northern, luckier neighbors, Ocean and Land Dominion. It is rumored that roving Hotzone nomads will kill for a water pellet or a slice of insect loaf, and that the ZWC, a dangerous Hotzone activist group, has infiltrated the border to the northern Dominions.
Varik Teitur inherits a vast sea farm after the mysterious death of his marine biologist father. When Marisa Baron, a beautiful and shrewd terrorist who knows way too much about Varik's father's work, tries to steal seed disks from the world's food bank, Varik is forced to put his dreams of becoming a doctor on hold and venture with her, into a hot zone teeming with treacherous nomads and a cult who worships his dead father, in order to search for a magical hybrid plant that may not even exist. 
*With nine illustrations by the author.

To purchase the book via Amazon, click here.  
To buy Fireseed One on iBook for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, click here.
For Nook users, Catherine is offering a special launch party discount! The Fireseed eBook is officially $2.99, but during this party, you can buy it for only $1.50, directly from Catherine! Email her at and she'll send you a link to Paypal, and then the eBook. 
To find Catherine on the web:

And, my interview with the author!

1. The book is rich in futuristic detail about a world drastically altered by climate change. Do you have a scientific background that helped inform your imagination? What inspired the theme of the book?
I’m fascinated by hybrids, including how many future applications there are for algae—agar. I did tons of research in prep for writing Fireseed One, and the more I read about transgenics (plants genetically modified with foreign elements), the more fascinated I became. Did you know researchers have already combined proteins in human saliva and breast milk with rice RNA to create infant resistance to diarrhea in the Third World? I simply asked, “What next?” In the story, there’s a hybrid of grapes and fish, so that fish can grow up on vines and avoid toxic water. Expect even stranger hybrids in the novel too. Spinning out possible “Frankenstein Scenarios” is wicked fun.

2. How many Fireseed books do you have planned? Have you already mapped out the next one?
Yes! The next is called Children of Fireseed, where I invent very weird transgenic scenarios, and inspiring variations too. Hint: what advantages would you have if you could get your nutrition from the sun? The Fireseed cult will reappear, as will Armonk, Nevada and the little girl with three missing fingers. (You’ll understand when you read). Oh, and another hot romance. The Fireseed novels will probably expand to a trilogy.

3. The plot is very well constructed for maximum suspense. Do you outline your plot in advance, or do you write more from the hip?
I love building tension! I write a longish synopsis, an outline, and I free-write around the themes and characters—who wants what and why, how characters will clash, where I take the romantic relationships—all of that. I also do research. I’ve learned from experience that planning will keep me from writing a five-headed monstrosity that reels off into outer space! A writer can always alter storyline as he or she goes. I think people fear that once they outline they aren’t allowed to change it. So not true.

Flyfish Vines. Art by Catherine Stine.

4. One of the unique features of Fireseed One is the inclusion of your own illustrations. Which came first for you, writing or drawing? Or were they simultaneous talents that you nurtured?
I wrote a lot in high school. Then I attended an art college and got a BFA in painting. I was published as an illustrator first. There were a bunch of artists in my family, so it was expected. But I was always, always writing. To fuse the two, I assumed that I would write a picture book. But my first published novel was middle-grade. Go figure. I am beyond thrilled to now combine story and picture. It’s great that there’s a YA trend toward illustrations. I’ll also be illustrating Children of Fireseed.

I, for one, have never thought of a hybrid between fish and grapes. She did. Creative genius! Thank you, Catherine, for the giveaway and the interview. We'll be rooting for the success of the book and await the positive reviews.


Bethany C. said...

Look at you, my little interview Queen. Well done!! *claps hands wildly*

Catherine, your book sounds incredibly interesting--as someone who works at a biological research institute, it's always amazing to see how smarter people than me (that'd be you) can incorporate sciencey things into fictional environments. Best of luck with this series!!

Marewolf said...

I want one!! Romance and adventure sounds great to me :)

You can e-mail me at

Or tweet me at @marewulf

Love your guts! I'm tweeting contest now :)

cherie said...

Wowee! Fish on grapevines? How creative! And the book sounds fabulously interesting!

I'm in! ;)

Thanks for the giveaway, Pony! Love ya and miss ya! *mwah mwah*

Anita Grace Howard said...

Oh, I know this lovely author and have been VERY interested in her upcoming series! Count me in! (You already got my address and twitter info--HEE).

AWESOME interview, Pony Girl. Hope you do more of these!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, if I don't chat w/you before then. :) Love you! (that goes for Mare and Rookstar, too).

Anita Grace Howard said...

Eeeks, and Cheri snuck in there at the same instant I posted, so sending much love your way too, fellow goatess. Hee

Catherine Stine said...

Thanks, Jenny, you did a great interview!