Welcome to the Untethered Realms edition of Mistress Snark's Tuesday Tea. Afternoon tea is a most civilized British invention – an opportunity to snack with impunity. However, in Mistress Snark's parlor, you never know what might be floating in your tea or what those cute little sandwiches are hiding under the bread.
As full disclosure, any guest appearing here must sign the usual waivers regarding food poisoning, bodily harm caused by Jezebel, random attacks by minions, or permanent brain damage resulting from the questions posed.
Today's guest is Catherine Stine, Untethered Realms author of Fireseed One, Ruby’s Fire, and Dorianna. It's so nice to have you here today. Would you like some tea? Or perhaps Jezebel's special punch? I don't know what's in it but it could prove detrimental to your health.
Catherine: Greetings and thanks for the invitation. I am accompanied by Ruby from Ruby's Fire, and Fiera from my historical paranormal (which is almost done!). Ruby knows how to make many types of elixirs and some of them are quite toxic. And Fiera happens to be a powerful witch who not only harnesses the power of her Tarot cards, but the wrath of the ocean, since she's part sea witch. So, Miss Jezebel best not be lacing her tea and crumpets with anything that would curl my tongue or my ladies will work their dark magic on her.
Mistress: No worries. I’m sure you’ll enjoy Jezebel’s punch. As for Ruby and Fiera, they are comfortably contained backstage, no doubt learning how to uncurl tongues as we speak. Perhaps you’d prefer curled hair instead? Your locks are becoming more Rapunzel-like with each sip.
Please enlighten my gentle audience about the setting for your historical paranormal. A sea witch sounds quite fascinating.
Catherine: Well, it's set in Asbury Park, NJ during Prohibition. I've vacationed near there for years, and it fascinates me. The idea came out of a dream I had the night before we went there for the first time. In it, a witch on an abandoned boardwalk sold me taffy. When we walked there for real, only one store was open--a creepy taffy shop with an ancient proprietress. Here's the premise of Witch of the Cards:
Twenty-two year-old Fiera has recently left the Brooklyn orphanage where she was raised, and works in Manhattan as a nanny. She gets a lucky break when her boss pays for her vacation on the Jersey shore. One evening, Fiera and her new friend Dulcie wander down the boardwalk and into Peter Dune’s Paranormal, where they attend a Tarot reading.
Fiera's always had an unsettling ability to know things before they happen and sense people’s hidden agendas. She longs to either find out the origin of her powers or else banish them because as is, they make her feel crazy. When, during the reading, her energies somehow bond with Peter Dune’s and form an undeniable etheric force, a chain of revelations and dangerous events unspool. For one, Fiera finds out she is a witch from a powerful clan, but that someone is out to stop her blossoming power forever. And though she is falling in love with Peter Dune, he also has a secret side. He’s no card reader; he’s an undercover agent working to expose false mediums. Told in alternating viewpoints, we hear Fiera and Peter each struggle against their deep attraction. Secrets, lies, even murder, lace this dark fantasy.
I love writing Fiera, she's fierce yet vulnerable. And subaquatic magic is fun!
Mistress: Thank you for sharing a glimpse into such a unique world. I’m thrilled to hear of your affinity for subaquatic magic, my dear, since Jezebel has decided to add some rather sea creature attributes to your form. Wave goodbye now to our gentle audience so we can get you into the ocean before you gasp for air. Ruby and Fiera will join you on the shore…once they’ve recovered from their encounter with Jezebel.
Catherine: Thanks, it's been a lovely visit. Let me leave you with a bit of absinthe from the speakeasy. Smuggled in, in a soda bottle, mind you. Oh, and Ruby has a present for you too: a vial of her dragon lizard elixir, which will heal any skin condition. Good day, and now back to the beach...
Congratulations, Catherine! You’ve earned the Tuesday Tea Survivor badge, suitable for your blog or hanging on the bathroom wall. Go ahead and take it with you.
Catherine Stine hails from Philly and lives in NYC. She’s passionate about writing and reading speculative tales where her imagination has wild reign. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One that she illustrated won finalist spots in both YA and Sci-Fi in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards and an Indie Reader Approved notable stamp. Ruby’s Fire, its companion book was a 2014 Next Gen. Indie award finalist. She writes new adult fiction as well, under the name Kitsy Clare. Her first career in NYC was showing her paintings in galleries. She says writing is painting with words. A serious travel buff, she’s visited China, India and Russia and more with her husband and two sons. She loves to hear from her readers! Come visit at her website and blog.