Archive for 'made for sin'



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 Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Release day!

Well, it’s here–release day for MADE FOR SIN!

Made for Sin_Kane

How the time has flown!

I really hope you’re all enjoying it!

Nervous Nell Justice over at One Book Two Book certainly did! She gave it four stars and said:

I loved this book, ok? I’m just getting that out there for all the world to see. The cover guy? Nope, he does not even come close to E.L. Speare, the anithero, and his appearance in my head.

(Note: I only quote reviews here if the review’s author has drawn my attention to them in some way; I don’t go looking for them, and don’t read them otherwise. I’m sure there are more reviews out there if you guys want to check, and I encourage you to do so! As I said last week, this book is something of a departure, so I’m sure there are lots of different opinions on it, which is one of the most fun things about books, isn’t it?)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

…it’s also available at iTunes (iBooks?) and anywhere ebooks are sold.

Really looking forward to introducing you to some new and different characters!

What Stace had to say on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Ack!

Today is the 25th of August, and I have no fucking idea where this month went! Wasn’t it my birthday, like, yesterday? And didn’t the kids just get out of school a week or two ago? (Actually, here, they did just get out of school in the third week of July, but still.) This summer has flown by, and here we are, only five days before the release date of MADE FOR SIN!

Speaking of which…I believe I mentioned that the book received a STARRED review at Night owl Reviews? Reviewer BookGirl gives it 4.5 out of 5 and states:

This is a must read for fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

I’ve been asked if this book is the start of a new series or a stand-alone, and the answer is that I don’t know. When I was asked if I’d like to do the book, it was presented to me as something that could go either way, and I honestly wasn’t sure as I was writing it how it would end. Then the ending appeared (as they do) and ideas for future stories with these characters trotted along behind it. I’d certainly enjoy writing those future stories, because they’re pretty fun and exciting, but I imagine it’s really going to depend on sales and whether or not you lovely people are interested in reading them. Either way, it was fun to write! I haven’t really gotten to do something that’s (intended to have) a more noir-detective-novel feel than a UF or romance feel before, so I definitely enjoyed playing with that kind of sensibility and trying something a little different. (It was/is a little scary, too, but that’s how it goes, really.)

Would you like to see a bit more of that, by way of an excerpt? Of course you would! Here you go:

“So who knows what you’re looking for? Who shot at you?” she asked, leaning against his desk. Like it was her fucking house or something.

“I don’t know,” he replied, aware that he sounded irritated, and not caring. “Who knows what you were doing there? Maybe they were shooting at you.”

“What makes you think—”

“Oh, fuck this.” Having her stand over him as if he were a kid was really getting on his nerves. She was getting on his nerves, like an itch he couldn’t scratch. Maybe that was why he didn’t feel tired anymore. “I’m not playing these little word games you seem to enjoy so much, okay? I’m not that kind of guy. I—”

“Yes.” Her arms were folded across her chest, her legs crossed at the ankle; her voice dripped with meaning. “I know what kind of guy you are, Speare.”

“Then you know I don’t like to waste my time.” She really knew how to make it sting, didn’t she? Damn. “Cards on the table. There are a lot of reasons somebody might take a shot at me, just like I figure there’s a lot of reasons they might take a shot at you. But it probably happened tonight because somebody doesn’t want us talking, which means no matter what we do now, we’re both targets. And the sooner we find the people responsible, the better. Right?”

“I—wait, were you hit?”

He glanced at his arm, his short sleeve and the bare skin below it soaked with blood. The bullet had grazed the back of his biceps, so he couldn’t see the actual spot very well, but he could feel it well enough. That would stop soon, though. One of the few benefits of the beast in his head was that he healed fast—not Wolverine fast, but faster than normal people. “Oh. Yeah. Don’t worry about it, it barely—”

She ignored him and lifted the bloody fabric away from the wound. Maybe Felix was right about how good she was at her work; he barely felt the touch, and he was actually watching it happen. “It looks torn.”

“It only scratched me.” He glanced at it—at what he could see of it—and saw it did indeed look torn rather than scraped. What kind of bullet had done that? Had it been a bullet? “A flesh wound.”

“We should clean it up, though.”

“I can do it.”

“I doubt you can even see it. Come on, quit being a baby and let me clean it up for you.”

Shit. He didn’t want her to do it. He didn’t want her to touch him, not when the pressure in his head was higher than it should have been already. Especially not when he was getting a good look at her in a well-lit room and realizing that her eyes were even deeper and brighter than he’d thought, that her hair was the color of bloody copper and sparks of flame were buried in it like secrets, that his eyes kept wandering up and down her slim figure and watching it move.

“Besides,” she said, “for all we know, those bullets were coated with something unpleasant. The kinds of people we both deal with have access to all sorts of things.”

She had a point there, he had to admit. It had happened before—not to him, or anyone he knew well, but it had happened. And that wound really didn’t look like it had been made by an ordinary bullet.

Damn it. He’d just have to focus on what a pain in the ass she was, instead of on that fragrance that clung to her skin. “Fine.”

“Your place is nice,” she remarked, as he led her down the hall to the bathroom where he kept his first-aid kit. “You have a cleaning woman?”

He pulled out the kit and set it on the counter; his eyes narrowed. “Why? Because a guy like me can’t clean his own house?”

She ignored his glare. “Most men who live alone don’t keep their places this neat, that’s all.”

“Yeah, well, I do.” Of course he did, having grown up in Va-va-voom Vera’s house, with piles of skimpy clothing and magazines and makeup everywhere. His mother was not a housekeeper, in any sense. When he was a kid it had been a special occasion if she’d used the oven to heat a frozen meal instead of sticking it in the microwave. “And that’s not a compliment, you know, saying I’m not as much of a slob as most men. That’d be like me saying you seem pretty smart for a girl.”

“Do I? How sweet of you to say.” Those red lips of hers curved into a smile that was maybe a bit too satisfied, as she poured antiseptic on a cotton pad. “Of course, I imagine you don’t pay much attention to women’s brains in general, so it might be hard for you to judge, but I’ll still say thank you. Take your shirt off.”

He hesitated. Only for a second before he caught himself, but it was long enough; she noticed it. Thankfully he got the thing off before she could make some snotty comment about it, and from the change in the quality of her silence he knew she wasn’t going to. Not when she saw the scars, the marks. The evidence of the kind of life he’d been forced to live was all over his body: places where the talons he couldn’t always control had sliced at him, places where his skin had torn again and again when the beast took over. Places where he’d paid the price for whatever sins he’d committed to keep that from happening, too, where he’d taken a beating or hurt himself escaping.

And, of course, the count. The tidy little lines, one for each person he’d killed and one for every ten mortal sins, tattooed across his chest, each one a ticket to hell all on its own. Three hundred and thirty-two black lines, in slightly uneven rows like a crooked picket fence, etched into his skin over nine years, starting with the upper left side.

That mark—the upper left—had been the first. The first time he’d killed a man. That was the day he realized that all those sins mattered, that he wasn’t a kid anymore and that beast or no beast, he was making choices—choices he’d one day have to answer for. He’d bought a tattoo gun and spent an afternoon learning how to use it, and ever since then he’d been keeping the count, emblazoning his skin with a physical reminder of what his life truly was.

The slightly awkward pause lasted just a second or two longer than it might have normally before Ardeth spoke. “It doesn’t look that bad.”

His chest? Oh, no, right. The wound. “I told you it wasn’t.”

The last word turned into a hiss of pain as she rammed the antiseptic-covered cloth into his injured arm. Maybe “rammed” was the wrong word, but she definitely pressed it against him harder than she needed to. Harder than anyone would even think they needed to. The thing in his head roared. It could feel the pain, too. More than that, it could smell her and feel the heat coming off her skin just as well as he could, and it was hungry and it wanted things he didn’t want to give it. Maybe not feeling tired anymore wasn’t such a good thing.

“Oh,” she said, her tone as artificially sugary as a diet soda. “Sorry, did that hurt?”

He gritted his teeth, trying to keep his own voice smooth and calm. “It’s fine.”

“I can stop for a minute, if you want.” She’d sat on the edge of the tub beside him, angled so she could get a closer look at his arm. The position meant both of her knees pressed against his thigh.

Worse, she’d decided to rest her left arm on his back, her bent elbow on his shoulder and her breath warm and soft against his side. Shit. The beast didn’t care what kind of person she was, whether or not he trusted her or what the ramifications might be if he even thought about making a move—a move she would probably reject, which would make the whole situation even worse. The beast didn’t give a damn what he wanted. It wanted what it wanted, and it wanted to be fed or to bust out and go feed itself—and it was more gluttonous than Henry VIII at a pie-eating contest. It wanted her. He clenched his fists. She’d be done soon, and once she was done he could get her out of his house and go do what he needed to do. “It’s fine. You almost done? I’ve got shit to do.”

“You don’t have to be so rude,” she said, reaching over to grab the ointment and gauze. Her hair swung down off her shoulder, the only color in the whole room blazing at him. “I’m trying to help.”

“I didn’t ask for your help.”

“Yes, you did, actually. That’s why I’m here to begin with.” Her fingers, her palm, slid over his arm, smearing ointment over the wound in smooth, light strokes. Goddamn it.

It wasn’t her. It was nothing to do with her, personally. If he hadn’t been so busy all day, if he’d had time to do what he had to do earlier, the beast would hardly have noticed her and he wouldn’t be sitting there trying not to sweat.

Her next words didn’t help. “And you said out there that we’re in this together. I think you’re right. Whether I help you or not, they’re going to think I am. Whether you told me anything or not, they’re going to think you did. That means neither of us is safe until we find the people who shot at us, so we might as well pool our resources, right? Maybe together we can figure this out faster than we would alone—in my case I doubt it, but I’m okay with helping you out.”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” he managed. It was hard enough paying attention to what she was saying, without trying to think of a clever reply, too. His vision was starting to go red; just a little around the edges, and it would ease when the pain did, but it was still not good.

“I never do.” She finished wrapping the gauze around his arm and tore off a strip of tape with her teeth. “I never have to. There’s plenty of people to do that for me.”

“Lot of drunks in this town,” he said.

Tuesday’s the big day!

What Stace had to say on Monday, August 15th, 2016
Over at Harlequin Junkie, Review–and an important note

Hellooo, all!

Just a quick one today–I’m leaving in an hour or two to go see Suicide Squad with the Hubs. (Our girls are spending the week at their grandmother’s, so we’re trying to take advantage. By which I mean, “Trying desperately to distract ourselves from the empty house.” It’s pretty pitiful, really; we did this two summers ago, and we were all like, “Yeeeah, we’ll be alone in the house!” And by the second day all we did was mope and miss our babies and whine about how we were ALL ALONE in the house.) I’m not particularly eager to see SS, because I am NOT a fan of the Hot-Topic-Joker-and-Harley thing that appears to be going on there, but we’ve heard it’s pretty good despite that, so…

But! There’s some fun stuff going on out there.

First, I am over at Harlequin Junkies today, doing an interview about MADE FOR SIN! There’s an excerpt and a giveaway, and you should go check it out!

Second, there’s a new REVIEW for MADE FOR SIN! FOUR STARS from Unconventional Book Reviews:

“Characters that kept me on my toes, a tight plot and a good storyline entertained me and had me hooked from start to finish. …If you’re a fan of dark and gritty stories with extremely flawed characters who have to truly fight to be ‘good’, you should definitely pickup Made for Sin…”

And last…an important note about quite a different subject.

Do you know how to tell if someone is blackout drunk?

We tend to think of someone who is so drunk that they have “blacked out”–that is, are unaware of what they’re doing and saying, and will have no memory of it the next day–as being sloppy, slurring, off-balance, etc. But that is not the case. Someone can be blackout drunk while still seeming perfectly coherent and in control of themselves.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why this is important; with all the attention in recent years on issues of consent to sexual activity, and whether or not alcohol can impede proper consent, it’s vital that we not only protect ourselves but that we learn how to protect and look out for our friends.

Did you know, though, that there is an extremely easy way to test and see if your friend–or your prospective partner–is blackout drunk? As in, so drunk that they will not remember giving consent the next day? So drunk that they don’t know what they’re doing?

There is.

I urge everyone to read this; in fact, don’t just read it. Take it to heart. Remember it. Use it.

If someone is blackout drunk, they are not making memories. At all. Ask your friend to remember three simple (but unrelated) words; for example, “Fish,” “oven,” and “stone.” Have them repeat the words back to you. Can they do it?

Now ask them again five minutes later (this is vital). Do they remember at least two of the three words? Do they remember the initial test at all?

If they do not…do not let them out of your sight. Take them home immediately, and take care of them. Do NOT believe them if they say they’re fine. What’s happening is their brain is literally not registering what they’re doing; their brain is not making memories, and that is incredibly dangerous. (And it means they cannot give consent.) If you have met someone, male or female, and it seems the two of you may want to go somewhere private–give them this test before you go. If they do not remember, STOP. Have a witness as you take them home safely (or return them to their friends).

I came across this information the other night while reading a story about a potential rape victim, and frankly, I think it’s one of the most important pieces of information I’ve read in a while. Please remember it, and use it. It may save a friend of yours from a lifetime of trouble and regret.

You can find a brief factsheet on this information here. The information comes from THE ALCOHOL BLACKOUT by Donal F. Sweeney, Ph.D. Bookmark the page, and pass it along.

Stay safe, guys.

BTW, this isn’t just useful for single people who attend a lot of parties or clubs. It can be useful anywhere, anytime; many offices or workplaces have parties with drinking, too. Remember, a person who is blackout drunk may not appear drunk at all! They may not even have had many drinks, for that matter. You cannot assume. You may annoy your friend by testing their memory, but I’d rather be annoyed than any of the other possible consequences–I personally have never experienced a blackout, but I know people who have, and I remember well their fear and confusion the following day.

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!