Archive for the 'news' Category



What Stace had to say on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
Stuff, Things, and a Farewell to Ellora’s Cave

Well! I’d expected to be back here on the blog sooner, sorry–the girls went back to school, we all got sick, and I’m working my butt off. (Also, I’m allowing myself one hour three days a week to play through the Batman Arkham games on the PS3; I’ve finished Origins and am now halfway through Arkham City. I think City is a little more fun so far, but Origins has more fun things to do. Except for the Bird side mission, because that glitched for me and I never got to finish it grrr. I really wanted the damn “Disarm and Destroy” skill! Anyway.)

I have a couple of review for MADE FOR SIN that I didn’t blog before! First, a really lovely one from B&N:

Stacia Kane has a knack for writing damaged characters. …Kane draws her Vegas with all the casual depravity the city is infamous for, with aging Mafiosi, pick pockets, safe-crackers, fences, compromised cops, chorus girls, and thieves rounding out the cast…. I love Kane’s characters: they manifest a deep and riveting moral ambivalence, acted out in dark and magical worlds.

(It’s actually quite hard to pick an individual quote or two from that review, but the full thing is definitely worth a read.)

It’s About the Book has this to say:

If you like urban suspense with a twist, this book has it in spades. And while it might start off slow and gentle, it silently crawls under your skin and haunts your dreams. I know I’ll be thinking about it.

From All About Romance:

…the chemistry between Ardeth and Speare worked for me. They circle one another suspiciously, come to reluctant truces, and move from begrudging respect to sexually charged friendship in scenes that had me not wanting to put down my reader. This book has elements of romance to it, but it’s definitely more urban fantasy than traditional HEA romance and as with many an urban fantasy series, the ending of Made for Sin leaves things rather open-ended – and left this reader wanting to read the next book in the series right away.

And speaking of my books etc….

I imagine many of you have already heard about the closure of Ellora’s Cave Publishing.

When I started writing seriously in 2005/2006, EC was the biggest name out there in erotic romance. Everyone wanted to be an EC author; it was a goal of mine, and I’ll never forget the day I got that acceptance email from them. I was thrilled.

I know a lot of authors did not have a great experience with/at EC. I’ve heard (a few of) their stories. I know many people felt honestly cheated and betrayed by them, and those stories, those feelings, are valid; their experience was their experience, and just because mine was different doesn’t mean theirs was or is untrue. It’s the nature of publishing, to some degree, that different writers can have wildly different experiences with the same publisher. While I honestly saw/heard nothing that led me to believe EC was being malicious or deliberately mistreating authors, again, that does NOT mean that A) it didn’t happen; and B) that those authors are wrong to feel that they were maliciously or deliberately mistreated. In other words, if there are authors out there telling stories about their ill treatment at the hands of EC, I believe them–I absolutely do–and I’m not at all saying they’re lying or exaggerating.

However. That was not my experience. Not at all, not remotely. My time at EC was–truly!–nothing but pleasurable, professional, and fun. One of the first “I loved your book!” emails I got for UNHOLY GHOSTS came from Raelene Gorlinsky, EC’s publisher, and that was very typical of the way I was always spoken to and treated by everyone at EC. I always felt valued. I always felt professionally treated and like I mattered. EC went out of its way (seriously, out of its way) more than once for me, and I was and am grateful for it. I stopped actively writing for EC because I’d moved in a new direction with my work and didn’t have the time (or the option clauses) that would allow it, but that is the only reason I stopped. I made good money at EC. I loved being, and was proud to be, one of their authors–I always will be proud to have been one of their authors.

Again, I’m not saying others didn’t have different experiences, or that their experiences didn’t or don’t matter or aren’t valid. For them this news is either a sigh of relief or a moment of bitter pleasure, and I understand that, and am happy for them. But for me, EC was a great place. It was a house I loved working with and writing for, and I’m genuinely very sad to see it close down. I wish all of my former EC associates, from writers to cover artists to layout designers to editors (my editor Brianna St. James was, IMO, the best editor at EC, and I adore her and adored working with her) to management the very, very best in future.

However, their closure does mean that the rights to all of my EC books revert to me. For a while I’ve been toying with the idea of getting them all together, re-editing them (mostly to remove stylistic quirks put in place due to EC’s rather specific house style, which I admit to never being a huge fan of), and releasing them all–except, of course, for the two I co-wrote with the always-awesome Anna J. Evans–in one big omnibus edition, for a couple of bucks. That would be:

BLOOD WILL TELL
THE EIGHTH WAND
ACCUSTOMED TO HIS FANGS
DAY OF THE DEAD
BLACK DRAGON

DAY OF THE DEAD was a novella (which I loved; it was written as a Halloween story [if the title didn’t give that away] and has a big hot-sex-in-a-graveyard scene, heh), but the others are all full-length novels; BLACK DRAGON is my medieval romance, which isn’t erotic per se but still has explicit sex scenes in it, of course, and, in addition to being only the second book I ever wrote, was my attempt to write an old-school-type of romance (so the voice is a little different). I actually re-read BLACK DRAGON recently; I was trying to remember a specific thing in it, so opened up the file and began perusing, and ended up going back to re-read the whole thing start to finish. That was pretty fun–I’ve always had a real soft spot for that book and its characters anyway–and I was pleased to see that, despite the many things about it I would probably do/write differently now, a dozen years or so after I wrote it, I still think it was a pretty good book.

Anyway. The point is, I’ve been considering compiling all those together and releasing them myself, and this is an opportunity to do so. The only hesitation I have, really, is wondering if that’s even something you guys would be interested in. All of the books (except BLACK DRAGON) are paranormals, and BLOOD WILL TELL has lots of action in it (and not just in a that’s-what-she-said kind of way but genuine fighting and car chases and such), but they’re still romance, not UF. ACCUSTOMED TO HIS FANGS is a MY FAIR LADY spoof, even, which has what I still consider to be one of the funniest lines I’ve ever written (my vampire hero, who’s been in hibernation for a hundred years or so, is making toast; he muses to himself that sliced bread is “in his opinion, the greatest invention since the seed drill.” Yeah, maybe it doesn’t sound as funny written out here like that, but I giggled like a loon when I wrote it, and I still giggle at it now). Point is (again) the book is written as a comedy and is supposed to be at least amusing. So none of these books are what you would typically think of when you think of me/my work.

The other hesitation, of course, is if it’s worth doing simply because if you’re interested in my erotic romances, you’ve probably already read them.

So, what do you guys think? Is an omnibus like that something you’d be interested in? Something you’d pay three or four bucks for? Let me know. It wouldn’t take a long time to put together, really, so doing it wouldn’t take me away from any of the other projects I’m working on (aside from Downside [both Book 6 and the second Terrible-POV story], I’m finishing edits on a gothic that my agent and I are both excited about, and toying with an idea for a sort of episodic story, and working on a sexy early-twentysomething [is “New Adult” still a term?] paranormal adventure romance, and considering some options for the dystopian YA whose concept–and thus its chances–that show “Penny Dreadful” completely shat upon, sigh) so that’s not really a concern. It’s more just curiosity/uncertainty if it would sell enough copies to be worth the effort at all.

Soooo…that’s it for today, I guess. I have lots of other stuff to blog about in the coming weeks, but for the moment we’ll end it there.

Goodbye, EC, and thanks for the memories.

Note: Since I wrote this post, I learned some things that, having been away from the romance/erorom genre for seven years, and having deliberately distanced myself from online drama for the sake of my fucking sanity, I was not aware of. Please see my follow-up post here.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, April 21st, 2016
MADE FOR SIN sneak peek!

As promised yesterday, here is a sneaky peeky (it is so hard to type “sneak peek” without typing “sneak peak,” it really is, but the whole “peak/peek” thing really fills me with pique) at my upcoming novel MADE FOR SIN!

Made for Sin_Kane

A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.

But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.

Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist.

The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.

Excerpt under the cut…

Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Newsy News-Made For Sin

Well!

I’m going to assume that most (if not all) of you are aware of Penguin Random House’s digital publishing program/imprints, which were introduced a few years ago now?

Well (again). A few months ago, my editor there asked if I might be interested in writing one, and I thought it sounded like fun. A few more conversations and some paperwork ensued, and now I have a new book coming out! Which I really hope you’ll like. It’s called MADE FOR SIN, and rather than going on and on about it, I’m just going to give you the “About” from the Penguin Random House website:

Karen Marie Moning raves that Stacia Kane “delivers dark, sexy urban fantasy at its finest.” Now Kane introduces her most addictive antihero yet: a Las Vegas PI who makes his own luck—and embodies everything that’s oh-so-right with Sin City.

A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.

But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.

Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist.

The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.

They’ve scheduled the release for February of next year, and hopefully soon I’ll have cover art to show you–and I’ll post an excerpt then, too.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with this one, so I hope it will be as much fun for you guys!

What Stace had to say on Friday, November 14th, 2014
FIVE DOWN updates!

Okay, if you pre-ordered or have ordered since I posted Wednesday, you should have received either:

fivedowncover23

A. The file in the format you requested; or

B. An email from me asking what format you need.

If you pre-ordered or paid and have NOT received the file, please email me and let me know right away! I am 99.9% certain that everyone is taken care of, but in a situation like this I don’t want to assume and have you end up not getting something you should have.

Please note that all emails and files were sent to the email address listed by Paypal! (Unless you specifically requested otherwise in the Notes or Instructions.) So if you use AwesomeReader@gmail as your primary account, but have your Paypal set up under your old AwesomeReader@hotmail account or something, any correspondence from me would have gone to the hotmail account.

Now. As for the PDFs: I am having an absolute bitchfuck of a time trying to get the Table of Contents to work. I’ve done all of the things I was supposed to do and fiddled with all of the things I was supposed to fiddle with and it is just not. fucking. happening. So, rather than make anyone wait any longer, I’ve sent out the ToC-less PDFs, so at least you have them. I think this weekend I’m going to try re-formatting the entire thing from scratch, and see if maybe that fixes it. In that case, I’m happy to send new files to you PDF folks.

Also! It is UP on Amazon! It’s right here, for your Amazon-purchasing pleasure. (Link will open in new window/tab.)

I’m still waiting on B&N, sigh.

But, for you Nook-ers (or anyone else who does not want to buy from Amazon/doesn’t have a Kindle/whatever) you can still buy it directly from me.

The price is $3.49 (US$). Paypal is apparently set to GBP, in which case it’s apparently £2.20 at today’s exchange rate. Please let me know in the Instructions or wherever what format you want: .mobi, .epub, or PDF. (If you forget, no big deal; I’ll just email you and ask which you need, which is not a problem.)





Whatever you decide to do, thank you! It’s really exciting to see how enthusiastic you all are, and the lovely comments you’ve made so far about the new story PLAYING WITH FIRE have really been awesome to see. I’m so, so glad you like it!

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
FIVE DOWN is available!

If you pre-ordered back in July, you should have* woken up this morning (awakened this morning? I never know which is right) to find a shiny new copy of FIVE DOWN, the Downside anthology, in your email inbox!

fivedowncover23

Yes, it’s finally here! I know, it seems like it took forever, and believe me it feels that way to me, too. But I’m really, really happy with how it turned out, and I hope you will be, too.

As the title implies (and the cover outright says), it’s five stories. They are:

RICK THE BRAVE (from the HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION anthology)
HOME (a Heroes & Heartbreakers original)
CLOSE TO YOU (a Heroes & Heartbreakers original)
KEEPING IT CLOSE (web original)
…aaaaaand a brand new novella (33k words) called PLAYING WITH FIRE, which has spontaneous combustion and divided loyalties and a confrontation and big decisions and a character or two who I’m pretty sure will be back again in later books.

Which does NOT mean that you MUST purchase and read the anthology in order to not be lost in later books. Think of PLAYING WITH FIRE as sort of like FINDING MAGIC: nice background, but not absolutely necessary. I dislike the idea of forcing people to buy extra content/previously published content if they want to understand later events, so I haven’t done that here. But I do think PLAYING WITH FIRE is a nifty novella, and Chess actually gets to have a little fun with another Church employee, which was kind of cool to do. Plus, again, spontaneous combustion!

I added a little intro to each story, just a note on where the idea or characters came from, or what influenced it, or whatever. I didn’t do much of that with PLAYING WITH FIRE, though, to avoid being spoiler-y.

I have begun the process of getting the book uploaded to Amazon and B&N. iBooks/iTunes is going to be quite a bit trickier, I’m afraid, since I no longer have a Mac–I actually have not even installed iTunes on this computer–and that seems to be a necessary part of the process. So we’ll see how that goes (we had some difficulty getting WRONG WAYS DOWN onto iTunes as well; it took like an extra couple of weeks).

BUT!

This book is different, and the process is different, so here’s what I’m doing.

You may remember how we ran KEEPING IT CLOSE through Paypal, and then I sent out the completed story file to those who requested it? It worked pretty well, I think, so I’m going to do the same here. If you do not want to wait for the anthology to be loaded onto your ebookstore of choice (I may or may not do a print version, I haven’t decided, but I can’t get that going until I have a PDF, and PDFs are unfortunately not quite ready–see below * section, sigh), you can go ahead and use the Paypal button to, well, pay for the book, and I will send you your copy in your preferred format as close to Immediately as I possibly can. (With KEEPING IT CLOSE I managed to be pretty damn close with the majority of requests; I think a couple of people may have had to wait a couple of hours, and in rare cases it was overnight–time zones, you know–but overall turnaround was pretty fast.)

I realize this isn’t ideal, but it’s the only way I can think of to make sure everyone can get it in their desired format, right away. And you are welcome to wait, of course. (Again, if you want PDF please give me another day or two!)

The price for the anthology is $3.49 (that’s US dollars; Paypal is apparently set to GBP, in which case it’s about £2.20. So if it won’t let you submit a dollar amount, go for that).





*Or, well, if you pre-ordered AND included what format you prefer. A few of you did not specify, and I’m in the process of emailing you to ask which you’d like. Also, a couple of you asked for PDF, which is unfortunately taking me just a tad longer to put together. I’m so sorry about that!

Want another excerpt? Here you go!

Instead a new man—an Inquisitor Third, obviously the guy in charge since the others were uniforms—arrived, spoke to one of the initial responders, and then approached her with a hesitant smile on his pleasant face. “Chess? Do you remember me?”

The second he said it, she realized she did. Of course she did. It wasn’t easy to forget the brother of an Elder Chief Inquisitor, especially when that brother had been only a year ahead of her in Church training. “Well, hey, Will, how have you been?”

“Not bad, not bad. It’s good to see you.” He tipped his head toward Ella’s corpse, now being photographed by the Body Removal Squad. “You know, if you wanted to catch up, you could have just left me a note or something.”

She fought back her smile. Will always had been fun to talk to, though they’d probably only spoken a handful of times. “Nah, that’s boring.”

“A lot safer, though. What happened?”

She gave him a quick run-down, and agreed to hang on while he talked to the other witnesses. Which gave her time to think, too, about what the hell could have happened to that poor waitress. How had she burned up so fast? How had that fire started? It was so hard not to start talking to the witnesses herself, not to dig in and start investigating. No, it wasn’t a Debunking case, but it wasn’t like she’d been given a decent Debunking case in the last few months. And really, she’d done enough non-Debunking shit for Bump that it hardly seemed to matter anymore.

But she couldn’t. She especially didn’t think she could go shoving herself into a case being handled by someone whose family name carried serious weight in the Church, and who was himself probably on a fast-track to further glory. The fact that he couldn’t have been more than twenty-six and was already an Inquisitor Third told her that.

All of which meant she was going to have to sit this one out, and hope she got an update when it was all over.

She’d just come back in from having a cigarette when Will motioned for her to join him near the back of the room, by the soda machines and kitchen entrance. The smell of hot oil and bacon drifted through the gaps around the flimsy two-way door as she sat in one of the chairs that had been placed on the grimy floor. Hopefully somebody had turned the fryer back there off, because another fire was the last thing they all needed.

Will sat in the chair opposite and scanned the written statements in his hand. “So you didn’t see the fire start?”

“No.” It was unnerving to be the subject of official questioning, rather than the questioner. It had only happened to her a few times in her cases—she never closed a case without solid, inarguable evidence, and the Church almost always got a confession anyway—but even when it had, she’d been backed up by the Church, testifying on their behalf. This was not the same.

Nothing in Will’s demeanor indicated he thought of her as a suspect. Why would he? Everyone else had seen that fire start, too, and they knew she hadn’t been touching Ella or standing next to her or whatever. But she still had to fight the instinct to clam up, to tell half-truths or deny everything. Old habits died hard, she guessed, especially when there were other kinds of habits that had to be kept hidden.

“You just felt the heat and turned to see her on fire.”

Chess nodded. “I’d only just looked at her when the flames started to die, and then the other waitress threw water on her. That’s when she broke apart. The cook came out with the fire extinguisher but I managed to stop him from spraying everything.”

“Thanks.” Will had a nice smile; he was a decent-looking guy, actually, with short sandy hair and blue eyes. Way too preppie for her tastes even if she’d been remotely interested in any man but Terrible, which she wasn’t, but still not bad-looking. “Or, I guess Kevin should really be the one to thank you, since he’s the one who’d have to scoop up all that foam and go digging through it.”

“Kevin’s the fire investigator?”

“Yep.” Will hesitated. Like he was about to ask an uncomfortable question, or one more important than he wanted it to seem. Hmm. “Did you feel anything before the fire started, or notice anything strange?”

“She was really hot,” she said slowly. Why had he hesitated before that question? What was he looking for? “She came to drop off our drinks, a couple of minutes before it happened, and I noticed she looked really overheated. But she seemed fine, she was smiling and energetic.”

“Nothing else?”

“No” was just about to jump off the tip of her tongue, when she remembered it wasn’t entirely true. “There was, actually. When she gave us our drinks…”

Shit shit shit, this was so fucking embarrassing. “I felt sick when she got close. But it didn’t feel like how magic usually feels, and my friend and I—I just thought it was the heat outside catching up with me, or something.”

Amazing. Lex could fuck things up for her by just being mentioned in a conversation.

“Do you think maybe you were picking up something from her? Her energy, I mean. Maybe something was wrong with her?” Will was looking at her very oddly. Very closely. What the—shit. Fuck, he could ask her to take a blood test, couldn’t he? He could search her bag.

Okay, now she was being ridiculous. Calm down. Yes, he could, but he probably wouldn’t. Why would he? Unless she started acting like she was nervous and high, of course.

“I don’t know,” she said, knowing it sounded cagey but really not sure how to change that. “I don’t know what happened.”

What Stace had to say on Thursday, September 11th, 2014
A little bit, and more

Well, what a month it’s been. My oldest daughter had a birthday, I had a birthday. The children spent a week with their grandmother, and I–who was convinced this would be the greatest week I’d had in years–actually spent a large chunk of that time moping and wishing they were home. How pitiful is that? I was ashamed of myself. Almost as ashamed as I was when, the night Mr. Hubs delivered them to his mother, I actually was afraid to go to bed by myself, although in fairness I have to say that this is a big, old house, which makes lots of bizarre creaks and pings and noises in the night. Almost as ashamed as I was when I realized, at about nine o’clock that night, that with no husband or kids in the house I could watch whatever I wanted on TV and there I was watching Goodfellas on DVD for the millionth time. Not that there’s anything wrong with Goodfellas, of course–it’s one of my favorite movies, as evinced by my having seen it like a million times–but I can watch Goodfellas anytime I want when the kids are in bed or at school or whatever, whereas bad TV about plastic surgery disasters or documentaries about murders or whatever else only air at specific times and I usually never even find out they’re on.

Also, I was sick last weekend. Stomach bug or something, I don’t know, but it was awful.

What else? Hubs and I have been watching Twin Peaks and this Venezuelan soap opera called Eva Luna, which is dubbed in English. The dubbing is…interesting, I’ll just put it that way. But it’s fun. I wish my Spanish was better, because the telenovelas always look like the coolest things ever.

Anyway. Enough about dull things like me. I meant to post this last Friday (but again, sick, bleh) so here it is today: a little sneak peek from the newest short which will be part of the collection I’m hoping like hell to have out this month. (As usual, this isn’t copyedited so may change slightly when published.)

The Perfect Plate was a sort of overdressed greasy spoon, squeezed in between a dry cleaner and a dollar store in a bland-looking strip mall a few blocks away from Church headquarters. The food there pretty much sucked, but that didn’t matter. It wasn’t like Chess was going to eat anyway.

What mattered was that the place wasn’t in Downside, which made it a place she could meet Beulah for lunch without people noticing them together. Word that Bump’s Churchwitch was hanging out with the sister of his rival, Lex, would travel pretty fast; word that Terrible’s girlfriend was hanging out with Lex’s sister would travel even faster. Nobody would be happy about that.

It was a good thing she’d spent her entire life keeping secrets. Otherwise she might wonder if she was ever going to be able to just be honest with other people. Other people besides Terrible, at least.

Speaking of secrets…she dug her pillbox out of her bag, grabbed three Cepts from it, and choked them down dry before she got out of the car and made her way through the heavy, steamy heat toward the restaurant.

Ice-cold air blasted her the second she opened the door, instantly chilling the sweat on her skin. It took her eyes a second to adjust to the dim interior—well, dim compared to the sunlight outside, so bright it felt like an assault—to see Blue already there, lounging at one of the little tables in that elegantly lazy way she shared with Lex. Her white sleeveless top exposed bare golden-skinned shoulders; her hair was up in a perfect messy twist, and her black cigarette pants probably cost more than Chess’s base monthly salary.

She smiled when Chess sat down. “You’re late.”

“It’s only five past.”

“Five minutes late is still late.”

“Well, you’re still a bitch,” Chess said, “so I guess we’re even.”

“True.” Blue straightened in her chair and picked up the menu. “Are you eating? Am I actually going to see you consume food?”

Chess shook her head, just as the waitress arrived and they went through the whole dull just-a-Coke-no-really-just-a-Coke routine and Blue ordered one of those rich-girl salads that were mostly green Styrofoam and cost fifteen dollars.

“Busy at work?” Blue asked, when the waitress finally wandered off.

“No.” Damn, that came out kind of flat and cold, didn’t it? “It’s just, August is a really slow month. It’s been a really slow summer.”

Blue’s slightly raised eyebrows showed that she’d caught the lame repetitions of ‘really,’ and knew what they were hiding. “And I guess it doesn’t help that you’re not the most popular girl in the place these days.”

“I guess it doesn’t.” That was an understatement. Ever since Elder Griffin found out about the psychopomp hawk she’d killed and the illegal sigil she’d carved on Terrible’s chest to save his life, he’d been, well, less than enthusiastic about her.

To be fair, at least she was still alive. Both of those crimes were executable offenses, and if Elder Griffin had turned her in for them she wouldn’t have been sitting there whining to Blue. She wouldn’t even have been in the City of Eternity, the enormous cavern beneath the earth where the spirits of the dead wandered in endless silence. She’d be in the spirit prisons, her soul forced into solidity by electric current and tortured by fire and light and iron and whatever else the Church could think of to torture it with—and they were awfully inventive.

It was worth losing some income to stay alive and out of the City. It was worth losing every penny she had to keep Terrible alive; hell, if she had been busted and sent to spirit prison, that would have been worth it, too.

But it wasn’t the loss of income that depressed her. It was the loss of Elder Griffin himself. He’d been…he’d been her friend. More than her friend. He’d cared about her, helped her. Stood behind her. That had mattered more than she’d ever realized until the day it was gone, and it still made her chest feel hollow when she let herself think about it.

Which she didn’t want to do, any more than she wanted to talk about it for even one more second. “No big deal. How’s your thing, did you look at that place yesterday?”

A totally-not-fooled expression played over Blue’s face, but thankfully she let it drop before Chess could finish bracing herself. “I think it’s going to work, yeah. There’s enough space for all the girls to practice, and it’s not far from the school.” She hesitated. “The owner’s son asked me out.”

“Oh? What’s wrong with him?”

“I’m sure I’ll find out. Or, you know, Lex will, and he’ll tell me.”

The waitress arrived with their drinks. Good. Not only was Chess thirsty, but hearing Lex’s name, so casually, made her feel sick. It was as if a greenish lens of nausea had suddenly slid over everything. Not unusual, for thinking about him to make her feel…well, bad, but it was unusual for her to feel it so strongly.

The waitress—her name, according to the plastic tag on her white short-sleeved button-down, was Emma—didn’t look too hot, either. Or rather, she looked exactly too hot, as if she’d taken their orders and then zipped into a rubber suit and gone for a jog. Her dark hair was damp, her face flushed.

But she smiled to acknowledge their thanks, and seemed sprightly enough as she trotted off back toward the kitchen. Maybe she’d just been making out with the cook or something. Not Chess’s business, certainly, but at least it got her mind off Lex for a second and eased some of the queasy feeling. The Coke helped, too.

What really helped was the fact that her pills started to kick in, sending enough warm peace through her body that she didn’t blink when Blue asked, “Are you ever going to talk to him?”

Unfortunately, not blinking didn’t mean she didn’t still feel the hit, or that she had any idea what to say. “I don’t know.”

“It was just business. And he did warn you. He asked for your help and you said no, what was he supposed to do?”

Like what Lex had done to Terrible—trying to hire him, and then when Terrible refused, trying to have him killed—was the only reason she was pissed. It was the main reason, yes, but not the only reason at all. But then, Blue probably didn’t know about the rest of it, about Lex’s little “Too bad it ain’t in you to make that mean shit,” speech or how he’d almost destroyed everything for her just to prove he could. Somehow she doubted he’d told Blue about that, and she certainly wasn’t going to.

“Not what he did,” she said. “Kind of anything other than what he did, actually.”

Blue ignored that. “Look, I was pissed at him, too. I don’t blame you. But I know he feels bad about it.”

“I’m sure he spends hours crying from shame. Is this why you wanted to hang out today?”

“No. We just haven’t talked about it and I thought I’d—”

A blast of heat on Chess’s right side so hot it lifted her hair from her shoulder; screams erupted in the room, and Chess started moving. Fuck, what was that, had someone set off a bomb or—what the hell?

The waitress was on fire.

No, that wasn’t accurate. The waitress wasn’t on fire. The waitress was fire, a column of fire about a foot and a half in diameter that reached from the floor to the ceiling. Her unmoving black shape was barely visible through a wall of blue-orange, one arm extended like she’d been reaching for something.

It’ll be out as soon as I can get it out! It is coming along, so like I said I’m *very* hopeful for a release before the month ends. I’m hoping for the next Terrible novella to be out by the end of October, and a bunch of other stuff in the months to follow, too (including some all-new non-Downside stuff I’ve been working on), so I hope you’re as excited as I am.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
KEEPING IT CLOSE full file and other stuff

So…I wanted to have the full KEEPING IT CLOSE available here on the site for download, in a number of formats. That was my dream, and what a beautiful dream it was. Sigh.

Unfortunately, the road to achieving such a thing? Paved with awful. Well, no, paved with complications and then eventually just plain failure. Mostly. Here’s what happened:

Formatting isn’t my strong suit. I think I’ve mentioned here before that I’m basically illiterate when it comes to All Things Computer. I mean, I know some things; I’m slightly higher on the scale than someone who only knows how to turn it on and click stuff. Just not much higher. So reading stuff about how to format ebooks is like reading the flight manual for a 747; I am lost.

Luckily, my whiny tweets on this subject were seen by Cheryl Murphy from InkSlinger Editorial Services, who offered to help me (“help” in this case means, “Just give it to me and be quiet, idiot.” Although I must stress that Cheryl at no time actually called me an idiot. Even though she would have been justified in doing so.) So I sent Cheryl the files, and Cheryl turned them into ebooks. She even made a cool little cover, and she added nifty skulls and stuff to the inside. She did a light copyedit for me. And she did all of this fast, once I got my shit together.

So lookie, I had these awesome files!

However. In the midst of all this, I did something very clever. I set my Macbook precariously on the kitchen table. It fell. It stopped working. This led me on a whole ridiculous odyssey with Apple, which is a story I will tell soon, but the upshot–at this point in the story, at least, because this happened Feb 15–is I had no Mac, nothing to read/open ebook files. (I’m using my little netbook, which is a nifty little machine but doesn’t have a lot of memory etc., and no ebook program or app; those were on the Mac.)

(Oh, did I mention having dental work done during which the anesthesia failed? Painful dental work? And I couldn’t tell the oral surgeon because my mouth was propped open, and he responded to my wails with, “Stop yelling!” A true delight, that was.)

Okay, fine. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that my readers rock. I headed back to Twitter and within a few minutes had some volunteers to open the PDF, EPUB, and MOBI files to make sure they opened and looked okay. (This was recommended by Cheryl, btw, it wasn’t me being mistrustful or anything.) That all seemed to go fine, too. Yay!

Now all I had to do was load the files here on the site so that you guys could download them. Okay. Here I go. I did the PDF first, which went fine. Then I tried the .epub, and WordPress told me it won’t upload those files “for security reasons.” Same thing with the .mobi.

FFS. Some research showed me this is basically just the way it is. I spent several hours hunting for a place online to host the files, without much luck–or rather, I found quite a few places, just not many that required me to download nothing and looked ethical and nice.

Oh, and also, all the sudden I was getting just a blank white screen when I tried to post or edit posts or whatever else here in WordPress, which turned out to be the fact that I hadn’t upgraded whatever it is you’re supposed to upgrade. (Upgrades make me nervous. Not just because I am always half-convinced that upgrading is going to mess up a bunch of files and stuff, but because I am also half-convinced that the upgrade will just suck.) So, because I am fearful of upgrades and this site has all sorts of delicate custom things done by Frauke at CrocoDesigns, I emailed Frauke and asked her if she could please Fix It. Which she did.

Now I can do stuff and post and all here again, but still can’t upload epub or mobi files (I forgot to ask Frauke about it). Which leaves me, again, with these lovely epub and mobi files that I have no way to distribute. Gah!

Here’s the compromise. It’s not the greatest; in fact I pretty much hate it. But I don’t want to delay any more, either.

You can download the PDF very easily. Just click here: KEEPING IT CLOSE PDF (1744)

If you want mobi or epub…you’ll have to email me. I’m sorry. You can use the contact form here on the site or email DownsideArmy AT gmail.com. Just say which format you want and I’ll get it out to you right away. I’m going to keep looking into another, better way to do this, but I really don’t want to delay this any longer–I feel awful that it’s taken as long as it has.

And as before, if you want to pay something for the story, that’s awesome and I’m grateful. If you have already paid, thanks very much. If you don’t want to pay or can’t pay, that’s okay, too. (Paypal will show you a payment amount of 0; you have to enter a number, because there’s no minimum amount set or anything.)





AAAAAND… I meant to post this ages and ages ago, but I have a contest winner!

ISA VIDIGAL! And, because I had so many entries, I decided to pick another: NITA GILL!

Thanks, everybody!

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
CLOSE TO YOU free tomorrow

A quick heads-up: The holiday Downside short I wrote for Heroes & Heartbreakers will be available free on the H&H site tomorrow, for one day only. (It was originally scheduled for today but they’ve done a little shifting around.) I’ll post the direct link tomorrow.

So if you missed it the first time around or haven’t yet read it, here’s your chance! It’s part of a special Macmillan/St. Martin’s promotion; a whole bunch of holiday shorts written by some great authors (and of course one from me, too). If you click the image below it’ll take you to the SMP page with more info and all that good stuff.

Also, CLOSE TO YOU is on Netgalley this month, so if you’re a reviewer, go get yourself a copy, yo!

Look! Pretty image!

And don’t forget, guys, I’ll be starting to post the pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth short story in the next few days here on the blog. I’m pretty pleased with the story, and I really hope you’ll like it. In fact, because I’m in that kind of mood, here’s a little tiny excerpt:

“I hope you like fish,” Dana was saying, as she bustled around the little kitchen. All of the single-employee Church cottages—as opposed to those for married employees or some of the higher-up Elders—followed one of two floorplans: living room on the left, kitchen on the right, bedroom in the back; or the mirror image of that. Dana’s was the mirror image, with the living room on the right. From Chess’s position on the ivory flowered couch she could see into the ivory-cranberry-and-pale-blue kitchen and the ivory-cranberry-and-navy-blue bedroom. It was all very tidy. Beneath the fragrances of dinner cooking were potpourri and air freshener, the scents of things to hide. “I thought, hey, you haven’t been over for dinner, so I’d do something nice.”

“You didn’t have to.” She wished Dana hadn’t, actually. The Nips she’d taken after leaving the Randalls’ neighborhood were kicking in, and the last thing she wanted was food. Especially not when that food would come with a large helping of I-made-this-special-for-you guilt. Dana probably wouldn’t say that, but that wouldn’t make Chess feel any less guilty if she refused to eat it. “I thought we were just going to have a snack or something.”

“I like to eat early.” Dana pulled a bottle of white wine out of the fridge and set it on the counter. Would it be rude to ask for beer instead? Probably. Damn. “You know, I’m usually in bed by ten, so if I eat too late I don’t sleep well, which makes it hard to get up at six for my workout, so…”

“Sure,” Chess said, like she totally had the same issues. Bed by ten? Up at six for a workout? It sounded horrible. And pointless. Who needed exercise when speed was available?

Dana smiled at her, like she honestly believed Chess could relate. Her co-workers did not know her at all, did they.

But then, she didn’t really want them to, so that worked out okay.

What Stace had to say on Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Goodness!

Oh, do I feel guilty. I cannot believe I’ve been away for so long. I’m so sorry, guys!

I’m fine. I’ve been fine (I had a cold recently, but aside from that). I’ve just been tremendously busy: new Downside stuff, three new other projects, some non-work things…a whole bunch of stuff. Plus a couple of Internet Vacations, and more than a couple of research holes I fell down.

A few snapshot moments from my Lost Weekend:

Lou Reed died. I remember buying my first Velvet Underground album when I was seventeen (a compilation album, to be honest). Actually it was a cassette tape, which I played until it broke. Then I spliced it with Scotch tape and played it some more. It was a pretty miserable period in my life, for a number of reasons, and that album–I branched out at some point and picked up the individual albums–did a lot for me. I’m not really a huge fan of Reed’s solo work (with a few exceptions), but for twenty+ years now VU has been on my homemade mix tapes (remember those?) and then my iPod. I was actually surprised by how intense my reaction to this news was. It’s hard to express what that music meant to me and still does mean to me, and I frankly sound like a pretentious dork when I try to explain or quantify it. Suffice it to say I was pretty upset.

The other day we showed the girls JAWS for the first time. I so, so wish we’d had our phones out to video their response at the Big Jumpscare; you know the one I mean, when Hooper is underwater looking at the remains of Ben Gardner’s boat. They practically leapt out of their skins. Stephen and I, like all good parents, laughed very hard, which prompted an outraged “Why are you laughing at us?” from Princess. (Answer: because it’s HILARIOUS.)

We’ve been watching Justified, which is awesome. We’ve been watching The Sopranos, which is also awesome and I’m kind of ashamed to say I didn’t watch when it came out–not out of lack of interest, just lack of time. We’ve been watching A Young Doctor’s Notebook, which is very awesome, and I highly recommend it. We’ve been watching The Blacklist, which IMO is one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. And of course we’ve been watching Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, which would be a lot better without isn’t-she-great-look-how-adorable-she-is-don’t-you-love-her-no-seriously-you-must-love-her-it’s-clear-we-expect-you-to-love-her-damnit Skye.

Also saw the new Thor movie, which we enjoyed quite a bit.

I’ve perfected my bread recipe.

My Faerie’s school choir, of which she is a member, participated in a performance of Noye’s Fludde at Exeter Cathedral in October. I’ve never been a fan of the Noah’s Ark story; I get that the whole animals-two-by-two thing is supposed to be charming (or something) and little kids like that and there are lots of kiddie toys featuring the ark and the animals, but I always found it pretty disturbing, to be frank. But of course, this particular show, while still having the creep factor, also had the world’s most adorable duck marching onto the ark in her pink jammies, which made a huge difference in my enjoyment levels.

I’ve been forced to “upgrade” my iPhone’s OS to that new one that sucks. My favorite part of it, aside from it being ugly, and the YouTube app which is practically unusable, and the loss of Google Maps, is the fact that my audiobooks no longer have chapter listings. That makes it lots of fun to try to hunt for a particular scene or bit of information, especially when driving or cooking with stuff all over my hands. Why just hit a chapter number and go right to it when I can attempt to scroll around a five-hour block to find it? It’s like an adventure, right there on my phone. Whee!

So you can see it’s been pretty busy here, aside from the new projects and general other life things happening.

Even then, though… I had something planned, which I didn’t finish in time. So I’ve come up with a compromise, sort of, which I hope you guys will like.

See, it’s been my plan for a while to compile the two existing previously published Downside shorts (HOME, available from Heroes & Heartbreakers, and RICK THE BRAVE from the HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION anthology) which I now have the right to re-release on my own, add a new previously unreleased short, and release the three stories as an ebook for the holidays–actually, I’d hoped for a November release. I have the new short, but I totally didn’t get it done soon enough to do all the formatting and cover-art-commissioning and all of that stuff.

This makes me feel Bad.

I think I’ve come up with a solution. A hopefully-fun solution, which will also be a bit of an experiment, so we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s my plan (I am open to and interested in feedback; contact me privately if you wish, using the Contact form here on the site):

I’m going to post this story here, on the blog, starting later this week. And I’m going to set up a Paypal button where, if you feel the story is worth paying for, you can pay whatever you wish to pay for it. But the story is here anyway; I’ll be honest and say I hope you will, but there’s no obligation. And then, after the new year (probably) I’ll get it all formatted and everything, with a cover and all that fancy stuff (I’m hoping pay-what-you-want will at least cover some of the costs there, but if not oh well), and offer it for download here on the site (in all the regular ebook formats).

Then, since I have another short, I’ll package it, plus HOME and RICK THE BRAVE, plus the new unpublished short, all together, and that one will go up on the retail outlets and such and all for a low price (or, if pay-what-you-want is a success, maybe I’ll do that the same way. We’ll see).

I’m also hoping/planning to have the second Terrible POV novella up by late spring. Sales of WRONG WAYS DOWN surpassed my expectations, which was/is pretty awesome, and thank you all so much for that! So since you all seem to enjoy reading from his POV, and since you all seem to want to read his side of the story of UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS, that will be the next Terrible story. (Also, I do have the winner[s] in the WRONG WAYS DOWN contest, and will be announcing them next week when the short story wraps up. I honestly thought I had posted those.)

Speaking of retail outlets, btw, Amazon has pulled DEMON’S TRIAD, the X-rated novel I co-wrote with Anna J. Evans for Ellora’s Cave back in 2009, because of the extreme content. They offered us the chance to edit out that content, and we have refused–to do so would have required some story changes we feel would hurt the book, frankly, in a number of ways. So if you’re looking for DEMON’S TRIAD, try EC’s site or whatever other retailers you buy your books from.

So…to sum up:

I’ve been busy but that’s no excuse, and I’m sorry for my absence;

There’ll be a new Downside short here this week & next week that I hope you’ll enjoy and think is worth something;

I have missed you all;

I’ve got a lot of new stuff coming out in the next few months.

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Update! Giveaway!

Okay, my bad. It appears that there won’t be pre-order capability for WRONG WAYS DOWN because, well, the systems don’t allow it. By which I mean Amazon etc. aren’t set up to allow pre-order capability on self-published books. That’s the info we’re getting, at least–if anyone knows anything different, do let me know.

So, no pre-orders, and my apologies. As you all know I’m quite new with all this self-publishing stuff, so…hopefully next time (if there is one) it’ll be smoother. I feel really bad about this, guys.

However. This does NOT affect the August 6th release date, with which there shouldn’t be any problems. That has indeed been confirmed in the system(s), so everything is ready to go there. It just means the convenience of pre-ordering isn’t there, which does suck.

How about a giveaway instead? Comment on this post. Here, on the blog (NOT on the Goodreads “copy” of it or any of the various feeds; the link back to here should be on them, but just in case, it’s here.) And, let’s see…say in your comment…well, anything about the books, or the characters. If you have any questions you want answered or there’s anything you think would be an interesting blog post about the WWD, anything you want to know about, let me know in your comment.

You can get additional entries by tweeting about the book on Twitter (#wrongwaysdown OR #terriblefever), and/or by Sharing it and/or commenting on Facebook.

I’ll give away a couple of ebook copies (I don’t have ppb to give away, sorry). I’ll pick random numbers and announce the winners; winners will have 24 hours to contact me to tell me what format they want. If you don’t contact me within that time, you forfeit, sorry, and I pick someone else.

Contest will end tomorrow at noon EDT (it is currently about five til, so that’s basically twenty-four hours).

This is an international contest. And hopefully it’ll be fun.