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Wednesday 27 January 2016

ℚ♫ Heart in a Box - Catherine Stine

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Heart in a Box (, Inkspell Publishing, 207 pages), a Young Adult Contemporary Romance.

Catherine Stine is a member of the speculative fiction group Untethered Realms; check out their latest release , Mayhem In The Air, featuring Catherine's haunting story A Strange Penitence...

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Catherine Steine; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

To begin, Catherine has shared with us her music playlist for Heart in a Box - so, enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Heart in a Box?
"It was a combination of things.  I lived in New York City’s East Village for a while and there were a bunch of import-export shops there that also sold bongs and paraphernalia.  I started to wonder what it would be like to have a hippie-come-lately mother who smoked a lot of weed and owned this type of store.

And then I kept asking “what if” questions. What if the mom also had a side to her that was very overprotective and so the daughter, Joss had to sneak around?  And what if Joss had a biracial boyfriend, who the mom was leery of?  This led to a series of mom-daughter landmines they had to figure out ways to navigate through.  And of course, I wanted to write a really sweet romance between Joss and Will."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I also live in NYC, and enjoy its diverse community.  Joss dealt with her anxiety and upset through making heart-boxes, which her artist dad made.  She never knew him, but this act of creating the boxes helped her feel close to him.  It is also how she inched toward finding out a huge family secret, which of course, I won’t reveal here. LOL.

So, the other part I relate to is in being an artist. I sold my paintings in galleries for years, and I still do illustrations.  In fact, the tour prize giveaway includes my hand-painted heart-boxes!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Heart in a Box - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover artist is Najla Qamber, who does incredible work! Check out Najla Qamber Designs.

I got to have input and I helped choose the model image, who represents Joss.  Her personality is strong, positive, and artistic.  So, I didn’t want a moody, sardonic girl on the cover.

And we both agreed that Joss should be holding one of her heart-boxes, which contain precious things in her world.  Thus the box holds flowers, the Statue of Liberty, the Indian gods and goddesses (that represent Joss’s Indian dad), and finally her little poems, similar to fortune cookie messages."
Why should we read Heart in a Box and what sets it apart from the rest?
"Readers say the characters are deep and realistic, yet nuanced.  I take readers on a really emotional journey.  It has themes that many of us deal with: family issues and secrets, drug-addicted parents, creative outlets, discovering and enjoying cultural diversity (Joss’s friend is Russian, her boyfriend is half Latino, and Joss is half Indian).

Oh, and the romance… sweet, poignant and heartwrenching."
Can you tell us something quirky about Heart in a Box, its story and characters?
"I got the name Joss from Joss Stone.  It just seemed to fit.  And Joss’s mom loves a singer named Joss Blue.

The whole book idea originally came from a writing prompt where I described a painted box."
Who would you recommend Heart in a Box to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend this to anyone who has dealt with pot-addiction.  And yes, one can get addicted to it.  I’d also recommend it to people who want to forge closer ties with family, but find it hard because of family issues.  I think Joss and her mom do a good job of it.  But it’s quite rough at times.  I’d also recommend this to any teen who wants to be taken on a heartfelt journey."
If you could / wished to turn Heart in a Box into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I might pick Chloë Moretz as Joss Olstad,
Jay Hernandez as her boyfriend Will Torres,
Saoirse Ronan as Katya Pasternak, Joss’s Russian friend,
and Booboo Stewart as Will’s friend, Trenton Flores.

Dream director?  Maybe Michel Gondry, who did a lot of music videos early on, and has a young, gritty and musical sensibility."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"As Stephen King says, I make it my business to thoroughly entertain.  I want to take readers on an emotionally satisfying journey.

I write a variety of genres, from dark fantasy to futuristic thrillers to contemporary young adult and romance.  These are also the genres I like to read."
What is your writing process?
"I think about novel ideas and plots months, sometimes years before I write them.

After a particular novel is figured out in my mind, I write a three-page synopsis, which functions as an outline and then I plunge in.

My best writing time is from 3 to 8 pm."
What is in store next?
"My next novel, which launches in 2016 is called Witch of the Cards. It will be out under my pen name Kitsy Clare.  To get the news on exact release dates, sales and more YA novel launches, subscribe to my newsletter at  This site also has Kitsy Clare news.

Here’s a summary of Witch of the Cards:

Witch of the Cards is historical, supernatural romantic suspense set in 1932 on the Jersey shore.  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 short vacation in Asbury Park.  One evening, Fiera and her new friend Dulcie wander down the boardwalk and into Peter Dune’s Tarot & Séance, where they attend a card reading.

Fiera has 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 ethereal force, a chain of revelations and dangerous events begin to unspool.  For one, Fiera finds out she is a witch from a powerful sea clan, but that someone is out to stop her blossoming power forever.  And though she is falling in love with Peter, he also has a secret side.

He’s no card reader, but a private detective working to expose mediums.  Despite this terrible betrayal, Fiera must make the choice to save Peter from a tragic Morro Cruise boat fire, or let him perish with his fellow private investigators.

Told in alternating viewpoints, we hear Fiera and Peter each struggle against their deep attraction. Secrets, lies, even murder, lace this dark fantasy."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I don’t have a pet right now, but here is me with my harvest hat, a funny thing I made out of a fall wreath that I put on as a joke.  And here’s me with my new novel, Heart in a Box."

Fab - I like that hat ;-)  Thank you for sharing them with us, and thank you again for being with us today.  We wish you all the best with Heart in a Box and look forward to Witch Of The Cards!

Heart in a Box
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US


Catherine Stine said...

Great arrangement of items. Thanks!!!

BooksChatter said...

Hello Catherine, thank you for popping by!
I have actually updated the piece with a few more images (things have been a little crazy around here lately!).

Witch of the Cards sounds really interesting!


Majanka Verstraete said...

I've loved the cover of this book ever since I saw it first :) Good luck on your next book!

Majanka @ I Heart Reading.