Archive for 'please please please buy my book'



What Stace had to say on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Deals and Dealing

So it’s election time again.

No, no, wait! Don’t go! Remember, I don’t really talk politics on this blog, and this is not really a political post–or at least, it’s not the kind of political post that tells you why you’re a bad person (or a good person) if you plan on voting for Candidate A or Candidate B and how evil those assholes planning on voting for the other candidate are. Back in 2008 I wrote a post about why I don’t talk politics here, and…honestly, it was a little depressing to go back and read it, because things have only gotten worse. So, so much worse.

In 2008, I could honestly say that I believed both candidates were good people who would do a pretty good job. The same is not true this year, sadly. Both candidates suck. Both candidates suck so bad that it feels like the set-up to a joke. Years ago I posted the “Douche vs. Turd” South Park song here as a sort of nod-n-wink, just to illustrate, in a humorous fashion, my general feelings about many elections. This year, Douche vs. Turd is not a joke. It is basically the literal illustration of our two choices. Neither of these people deserve to be President. The fact that one of them will be kind of horrifies me and kind of makes me wonder when the punchline is coming and more than kind of makes me want to cry.

But you know what? (Or, “You know whats,” because I have a couple of points to make here.) First, the fact that both candidates are dishonest scum who see the Presidency as some kind of free cash machine, who’d go through your pockets, take everything you have, and then sell you for a quarter if they could and feel justified in doing so because they think you are stupid and disgusting, is kind of our fault–or rather, it’s the fault of the people who have worked so hard over the past, I dunno, fifteen years or so, to divide us and fill us with hate. It’s the fault of people who convince us that we are more different than we are similar and we should focus on the differences more than the similarities; that there are no common experiences; that anyone who disagrees with us is not only against us, but is actively evil and doesn’t deserve to live or speak; that we do not deserve to be proud in any way of any thing; and that society as a whole is just a sea of selfish, wicked morons. It’s the fault of people who go out of their way to insult, degrade, and silence others. Our two candidates are, basically, the result of an environment that convinces us not to see other viewpoints and relate to each other to reach common ground, but to see others as stereotypes rather than people, and set ourselves firmly against them–and convince ourselves that we’re morally in the right as we mercilessly attack and name-call. (And by the way, I have seen examples of all of those things on both sides of the aisle–all over the room, in fact–lest anyone think I’m singling out either side. Also, yes, guys, some people really are just dreadful people. Every place in the world has its share of just plain horrible shitbags; they’re the human equivalent of cockroaches. But there aren’t as many as some would have you believe, there really aren’t. Most people–the vast, vast majority!–are not festering piles of slime.)

But here’s the other thing, the other “you know what” that answers the first. I’m not worried.

Many of you are familiar with my Downside books, and the world they’re set in. Humanity was ravaged by a calamity in which bloodthirsty spirits rose from the grave; millions died. The world is run by a totalitarian atheistic “Church,” that demands obedience in exchange for safety from the dead. Religion, or faith in any sort of god or gods, is illegal. People are only allowed to believe in the Church, and in facts. Because there is no religion and one single world government–one viewpoint on how the world should run–there’s no war, and a lot of unpleasant social problems have disappeared, either because they were products of different belief systems or because there was simply not a large enough population, and people were shaken and traumatized enough, to set that stuff aside and pull together.

Lots of people have mentioned that “atheism” thing, either as something they disliked or something they liked. A few people have asked how it came about. But no one has asked me what it means to me.

The world in these books is, in some ways–some might say more than “some”–better than ours, for the reasons listed above. There are some great, positive things in there.

But it also sucks. It’s awful. It’s full of fear and punishment–not overtly, not in a way that makes everyday life seem other than normal for most people, but it’s still there. People know exactly what will happen when they die: they’ll go to the cavernous underground City of Eternity. Which seems great, knowing what will happen, but at the same time means there’s no mystery, and without mystery there’s no hope. Without hope…well, that’s just despair. The world, even with all of its good points, is not perfect, because the world is made of people and people are not–can not–be perfect. We’re human; we have emotions and dreams and fears, and those mean we’re always feeling things for no good reason or imagining things that aren’t true or whatever.

The people in the Downside books know they’re not supposed to have faith in things. But they do, just the same. They know they’re not supposed to think certain things, or to want certain things, but they do, just the same. They know they’re not supposed to do certain things, but guess what? Yep. They still do it. They do it all the time. Even in Triumph City, right there under the nose of the Church government, the people of Downside commit every sort of crime imaginable; the Church can’t enforce what it doesn’t know about, and people are not robots. People cannot be programmed to do nothing but spit out the correct answers without any independent thought. The Church may control the law and the enforcement of the law, but it cannot, no matter how hard it tries, control the hearts and minds of people.

And people hope. We hope so hard and so much that we built skyscrapers and went to the moon. We hope so hard, so fucking hard, that every day we pledge to spend our lives together and we have children. We hope so much and so hard that we get out of bed, we say hi to a stranger, we apply for jobs and we start companies and we go meet the neighbors and we adopt pets and drive cars. Every single one of those acts comes with and from hope; everlasting, beautiful hope. We need that hope.

We want to connect with other people. We just forget that sometimes, when we’re angry and feeling ignored and belittled; we forget that not everything is personally directed at us. But when it comes down to it, when things go wrong, we reach out and we help and we listen, and we connect. That’s special and important, and it’s not something you find everywhere. I’m sorry, but it’s not.

This is why I’m not worried about what will happen on Tuesday, not really. Oh, sure, I spend time thinking of worst-case scenarios, but honestly? Our system is set up to avoid those worst-case scenarios. Our Founding Fathers created that system specifically to protect us when we go crazy and vote in a lemon. Presidents are not monarchs; they do not get to create laws out of whole cloth and demand they be enforced. Laws do not leap into being overnight and suddenly become enforced nationwide within hours. Everything takes time. And we have a voice, and we can talk to–talk to, not scream at–each other and make things better if we try.

I’m not saying it’s going to be a great four years. I don’t think it will (I mean, stranger things have happened, but still). But I do think we can get through them together. I hope–I very very much hope–that maybe this will be the thing that re-unites us. (And please don’t tell me “Well, if the Other Side would stop demonizing us–” because I don’t care. Be the bigger person. Everybody has at least one legitimate grievance–yes, they do!–and everybody could stand to extend a hand and try instead of deciding that the pain of others is somehow deserved. No, I don’t care if it is or not. No, I don’t care if yours is worse. Extend the hand anyway, and try to really listen and understand instead of just looking for things to get mad about, and maybe if you do you’ll get the same in return and look, there we’ll all be talking and understanding and buying each other a Coke.) Maybe this will remind us that we’re in this together, and that we can deal with whatever happens as long as we remember that. Maybe we can stop demonizing each other and start trying to accept each other instead, and recognizing that even points and people with which we disagree have value. Even points and people with which we disagree add something to the conversation.

Because if you have a world where those points aren’t allowed, you have a world where no one is free and no one can be trusted. That’s a world without hope. I don’t want to live in that world. I hope you don’t, either.

…This was supposed to be shorter, and more concise, and have a point, though (other than that one, which I’ve been thinking and wanting to say for a long time). The title of this post is “Deals and Dealing,” because it’s about, well, dealing–see above–and deals, which is this part here. Those Downside books I talked about? The first one, UNHOLY GHOSTS, is currently on super-sale in the US: only 99 cents in ebook format. Personally, I think there’s nothing I’d rather do this weekend than hunker down with a book and lose myself in some other world for a while, maybe a world where both of our major Presidential candidates do not make my skin crawl. (And by the way? Vote third party if you want to, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s a waste. Personally, I think maybe if enough people vote third party, then A] those third parties will be inspired to step up their damn game a bit and stop looking unprepared and/or silly; and B] maybe the Big Two will be inspired to realize they’re losing voters and will start trying to speak to us instead of just special-interest groups and corporations. Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but again, I hope, and I believe.) Maybe a world that reminds me that no matter how bad things get, there is still hope, and there are still people, beautiful, complicated, messed-up, confused, delightful people who try to be happy and try to help others and try to believe that after all, tomorrow is another day.

But, uh, don’t let that last part inspire you to read GONE WITH THE WIND this weekend. Read my book. It’s only 99 cents in ebook format.

And you can get it here:

Amazon

Google Play

Kobo

ARE

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

This 99-cent deal ends on Saturday the 5th, though, so don’t miss out.

…So that’s what I wanted to say, guys. I know some of you–a lot of you–are scared. I’m scared, too, because the unknown is always scary and getting a new President is always a little scary even if you like the person you’re voting for. But I’ve been listening to dire predictions–which are voiced as certainties–for several decades now, about how Candidate A will definitely start a nuclear war and Candidate B will definitely make abortion illegal, and our country will go to Hell in a fiery handbasket if Candidate A is elected and Candidate B will turn us into some kind of third-world prison camp and Candidate B will make being different illegal and Candidate A will literally take a shit on the Constitution. I’m not entirely joking, either; some of those are real things people said, on national television. I remember being terrified as a child because it seemed like everywhere I looked, people were telling me that Ronald Reagan would start a nuclear war. Funnily enough, though, he didn’t and we’re still here. In fact, I can’t think of a single dire “This will absolutely happen, you guys,” election-year predicertain (get it? Prediction made with the air of certainty) that I’ve ever heard that has come true, and I’ve heard a lot of them. I don’t buy them anymore. You shouldn’t, either, because what all those predictions fail to take into account–again–is that we’re people, and we’re generally good, creative, inventive, smart people who care. We are, and I refuse to apologize for this next statement, Americans, and we will unite, we will reach out to each other, we will find a way to make it work, and we will try to make things better, because that’s what we do. Always. Whoever ends up in office, that won’t change.

And that’s my personal predicertain, because I have faith in you.

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 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 Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Updates! Details!

We’re UP at B&N! Again, Nook readers, I am so sorry for the delay!

Anyway. New reviews!

Heroes & Heartbreakers:

You get more of the story on how [Terrible] came to be who he is, and there is not one false note as can sometimes happen when authors dive into the pasts of beloved characters. All in all, this is a can’t-miss for Kane fans, and for everyone who has always wondered how Terrible became terrific.

Paperback Wonderland (someone emailed me this; check out the hilarious .gif at the end!):

Well, it’s about half past 5 a.m. and I just finished reading this, that should tell you something… Like all Downside Ghosts books – and do not be fooled by this being called a novella, it was practically the same length as a regular book (yay!) – this was incredibly addictive (ironic, really).

Now. On to the contest! Entries are strong enough that I wanted to add another winner, and then I thought, well, why not add more ways to enter, too? So I am! So there will be more than one winner, and you have lots of ways to enter, and hopefully it’s all fun.

Again, it’s a Character-Name contest, like the one I did for the release of CITY OF GHOSTS. Only this time, I already have a good idea how I’ll use your name(s) and I don’t think you’ll be too unhappy about it. (In other words, what you’re thinking? Yes.) This will be for the next Terrible-POV story, the one that will cover the events of UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS.

Don’t forget, all winners will also get a free ebook copy of that next novella. AND a free copy of the next Downside book, period.

So how do you enter?

Well. Buy the book, of course; that gets you two entries. Forward your digital receipt to DownsideArmy AT gmail, or C&P the relevant parts of it (basically, I just need proof of purchase, not your address or–of course–any payment info or anything like that).

I mentioned on Tuesday evening that I was expanding the contest to include the purchase of ANY Downside book. So if you’re not caught up on the series, this is the time to do it! Remember, the US editions of the first three ebooks are at special low prices. Also, in addition to the two entries you get for a purchase of ANY Downside book, you also get two entries if you recommend them to a friend and your friend buys one–you’ll get two, and your friend gets two. Per book. (And yes, it counts if you buy the books for them as gifts.) If you’re buying paperback copies at a physical store, scan or take a picture of the receipt and email that along. If you buy the book at the recommendation of a friend, please let me know who the friend is!

Tweet about the book, using the reader-created #terriblefever hashtag or #wrongwaysdown. I’ll be following both of those and checking them periodically, so there’s no need to email me links. (I’m counting entries retroactively from Monday, btw.)

Talk about the book! Talk about it on Facebook, on your blog, on your website or a book website or wherever you want! If you want to review it on any blog or website, that counts. If you just want to mention it, that counts. Any mention or discussion of it will count; just send me the link (again, at the DownsideArmy email). (Note: I know you guys would never do this but I want to clarify: SPAM DOESN’T COUNT. Please don’t spam people or groups or forums or whatever. If I get any entries that look like spam I’m going to disqualify them, and the people who submit them.)

If you’re sending me a receipt or link and you have also tweeted, please do let me know who you are on Twitter/Facebook/whatever other site, so I can keep all your entries together. I’d hate for you not to get credit for all of your entries.

…and that’s it! The contest will run from today (8/6) until midnight EDT on 8/15; in other words, until 11:59 PM on the 14th 8/22; 11:59 PM on the 21st. I’m adding an extra WEEK because of the delay in release. And because it’s fun.

Also, IMPORTANT: By entering this contest you are agreeing to let me use your name (or whatever other name you may choose) in the book without compensation. You are agreeing not to hold me liable if you don’t like the way you’re portrayed; I promise to do my best not to make you seem like a horrible person, but I can’t guarantee you won’t be a junkie or a prostitute or whatever. I make no guarantee as to the duration or detail of “your” scene, or that you will get a lot of or any dialogue. All I promise is that your scene will feature Terrible.

Seriously. Don’t enter if you don’t agree to this. As I mentioned above, you’ll get a free pre-release copy of the book in question, but I won’t be sending you the mss for your approval or consulting with you on it or anything. Be aware. I want you to be pleased, but I’m making no guarantee.

Thanks so much, guys! It’s been really cool to see how enthusiastic and excited everyone’s been, and the great response the book is getting!

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
Eek! It’s out there!

(NOTE: Systems are still updating and things are still happening. I will be updating this post throughout the day as more links are available.)

CONTEST UPDATES BELOW.

So…here we are! Eek! WRONG WAYS DOWN is officially out there!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

The Createspace print version isn’t up yet, and it’s not up yet at B&N. But I promise it is being worked on and the delay shouldn’t take too much longer; I don’t know when they update their systems etc. so can’t say exactly when it’ll happen, but it will happen. I’m sorry for the delay, please keep checking back!

We have a couple of new reviews, too!

From the lovely, smart ladies at StellarFour:

…Kane takes her well-loved, laconic hired gun, Terrible, and deftly reveals a complex and nuanced antihero, exposing his innermost thoughts and feelings as he solves the mystery of who’s targeting the women who work for his boss. And, if you didn’t have big warm fuzzies for the enforcer before, you will now.

Some lovin’ from the Book Nympho:

Reading this novella has me craving a re-read of the series. … Wrong Ways Down is a MUST read for Downside fans, dig!

Goldilox and the Three Weres loves it:

This is another gritty, spectacular, emotional book in the Downside Ghosts series that will more than whet the whistle of readers waiting for the next full-length installment.

Aaaand…yes, there’s a contest! Updated!

I’ve discussed this a little before; it’s a Character-Name contest, like the one I did for the release of CITY OF GHOSTS. Only this time, I already have a good idea how I’ll use your name and I don’t think you’ll be too unhappy about it. (In other words, what you’re thinking? Yes.) This will be for the next Terrible-POV story, the one that will cover the events of UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS.

So how do you enter?

Well. Buy the book, of course; that gets you two entries. Forward your digital receipt to DownsideArmy AT gmail, or C&P the relevant parts of it (basically, I just need proof of purchase, not your address or–of course–any payment info or anything like that).

Tweet about the book, using the reader-created #terriblefever hashtag or #wrongwaysdown. I’ll be following both of those and checking them periodically, so there’s no need to email me links. (I’m counting entries retroactively from Monday, btw.)

Talk about the book! Talk about it on Facebook, on your blog, on your website or a book website or wherever you want! If you want to review it, that counts. If you just want to mention it, that counts. Any mention or discussion of it will count; just send me the link (again, at the DownsideArmy email). (Note: I know you guys would never do this but I want to clarify: SPAM DOESN’T COUNT. Please don’t spam people or groups or forums or whatever. If I get any entries that look like spam I’m going to disqualify them, and the people who submit them.)

If you’re sending me a receipt or link and you have also tweeted, please do let me know who you are on Twitter/Facebook/whatever other site, so I can keep all your entries together. I’d hate for you not to get credit for all of your entries.

NOTE: I’m expanding this. I know there are some people out there who haven’t read any of the books. So for the next week, any purchase of ANY Downside book gets you an entry! If you’ve been waiting, now’s the time, guys. The ebook editions of the first three books are promotionally priced in the US, too.

…and that’s it! The contest will run from today (8/6) until midnight EDT on 8/15; in other words, until 11:59 PM on the 14th. That’s eight days–I’m adding an extra day because of the delay in release on some sites. And because it’s fun. Isn’t it? I think contests like this are fun, anyway, I don’t know what you people like doing. :mrgreen:

Also, IMPORTANT: By entering this contest you are agreeing to let me use your name (or whatever other name you may choose) in the book without compensation. You are agreeing not to hold me liable if you don’t like the way you’re portrayed; I promise to do my best not to make you seem like a horrible person, but I can’t guarantee you won’t be a junkie or a prostitute or whatever. I make no guarantee as to the duration or detail of “your” scene, or that you will get a lot of or any dialogue. All I promise is that your scene will feature Terrible.

Seriously. Don’t enter if you don’t agree to this. I WILL send you a free pre-release copy of the book in question but I won’t be sending you the mss for your approval or consulting with you on it or anything. Be aware. Like I said, I want you to be pleased, but I’m making no guarantee.

Onward! We have more to cover here. A couple more questions from yesterday, for example.

Escape Artist asked:

What I’d like to know is, will we ever find out what Lex’s true feelings for Chess are? Whether she really was just a warm body to him or whether she was more?

He seemed genuinely hurt when she broke up with him. That was a tough scene for me because I was equally thrilled for Terrible and sad for Lex.

It’s certainly planned, yes.

Leah S. asked:

Were there any particular songs or bands that you listened to with this book? Was it more difficult writing from Terrible’s POV?

Actually, I’ve been on a big Velvet Underground kick for a while now, which doesn’t really “fit” because VU is a Chess band rather than a Terrible band. But then I figured, they’d probably remind him of her and he might start listening to them for that reason. So it fits that way. Right? Especially “There She Goes Again,” which is pretty perfect for her.

It was more difficult, yeah, at least in some ways. It was difficult finding the balance between enough Downspeak to make it authentically Terrible’s voice, but enough proper English to make it readable. And I won’t say it was difficult, necessarily, but it was trickier or more nerve-wracking writing from his POV and making sure he sounded and seemed authentically male. Luckily I know several men who were willing to read with an eye specifically toward that.

Honestly? The most difficult thing, I think, was allowing him so many words. You guys know he tends not to talk a lot, and that he’s not always comfortable with talking; he feels that words aren’t his strong suit and he doesn’t use them very well. You and I know he has a much larger vocabulary than he’s actually comfortable using in speech, but it was interesting to actually get to use it and show that. It was interesting to actually just let him go, so to speak, and see what he came up with in his head. But it was very strange, too.

What was really surprising, rather than difficult, was how much he actually sounded like Chess. Of course I know how similar they are in terms of viewpoint and thought process, but I’m used to knowing what he’s thinking and showing it through her eyes rather than actually articulating what he’s thinking through his. And I was able to have a little fun with that a few times by basically aping things she’s said before, but in his phrasing. But really, I was quite surprised by how much he sounded like her and how many of the thoughts he had were things she could have thought without it even seeming out of place. And it was a lot of fun, too.

One or two other quick things: I’m not the only person with a release today! My lovely friends Lauren Dane, Jim Hines, and Kat Richardson both have books out, so go get them, too!

Lauren Dane’s UNCONDITIONAL

Jim’s CODEX BORN

Kat’s POSSESSION

And, which I should have mentioned before, my friend Mario Acevedo has a new one out! GOOD MONEY GONE, written with Richard Kilborn.

STILL undecided about buying WRONG WAYS DOWN? How about another little excerpt?

“People buy this shit?” he asked, scanning the list of products. “Spells to make kids obey? Spells to make worries better?”

“Pretty sleazy, huh?” Her smile, the way her dark red lips curved, made him feel like he was in on some secret with her. Like they were the smart ones. “Those places will sell anything.”

“It ain’t work, aye?”

“Nope.” She lifted her right arm and curled it behind her head, curled her fingers, to gather up her hair and pull it off her neck. Her head tilted to the right as she did it, so her throat was a long pale line rising from the collar of the blue shirt she wore over a black long-sleeve t-shirt. He knew he shouldn’t stare, he should look away fast before she noticed. But he couldn’t help it. It was so…she weren’t even aware of it, how pretty the movement was, how graceful it was, how it made his breath stop.

What Stace had to say on Monday, August 5th, 2013
Questions Answered (and bundles of nerves)

Eep!

Tomorrow WRONG WAYS DOWN will be hitting cybershelves everywhere–at least I hope it will; it’s supposed to and everything is all set for it to, but I am always convinced something is going to go horribly, horribly wrong, and release dates freak me the hell out, so… I’m in panic mode, basically, waiting for the Big Problem Shoe to drop right onto my head.

But on to other things! You guys asked me some great questions the other day, and I’m going to answer them. And post another excerpt, too.

First, though, a couple of reviews have come in! (A reminder, btw, since it’s been a while: all links open in a new window.)

From Vampire Book Club, FIVE stars!

If you thought you had it bad for Terrible before reading Wrong Ways Down, the new Downside novella set between Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic, prepare to swoon on a whole new level. … Terrible is truly one of the most complex and dichotomous antiheroes I’ve ever come across. His novella adds a new layer and richness to this fantastic series.

FIVE STARS from Addicted2Heroines!

Terrible has been one of my favorite male characters in urban fantasy for years, and this book only bolsters his credibility as a leading man. If you thought you understood Terrible, you will find that you are mistaken. Kane takes an already beloved character and adds layers to his persona, allowing the reader to understand him on a more personal level. … Stacia’s Downspeech is perfect in this book. It brings such a texture and even a clarity to the characters. And the writing is beautiful. Kane is able to weave a multi-layered story with serious continuity and a twisty plot.

FIVE BASKETS from Little Read Riding Hood!

This story takes place between Unholy Ghosts and Unholy Magic, and it is all in Terrible’s POV. I felt like a cat in a field of catnip, and wanted to just roll around in his mind and make myself comfortable and just stay there.

So, let’s do some questions!

Melissa asked:

Do you have any plans to go into Chess’s background? Who her parents were and why they may have left her? Or a snippet of a current Church employees POV – do they think The City is terrifying, too, but can’t admit it? Are they really “good” or was Haunted Week caused by them so they could come to power? Having The City already there seems like too good of luck.

I don’t have plans to do so, no. We won’t “find” Chess’s parents. I do have a vague sort of story in my head about the circumstances surrounding her birth, which I’m going to explain a bit more in a guest post over at Addicted2Heroines. But her parentage won’t be part of the story.

Most of the Church employees honestly think the City is a lovely place, although they all view it with a healthy dose of awe/respect. I actually think that’s the big reason why they don’t think it’s horrible; much like Chess’s reluctance to go underground because it’s disrespectful, most employees think that to see the City as a “bad” place would be disrespectful. And they like the idea of knowing where they’ll be when they die, and being able to communicate with their friends etc. So they tend to chalk up any discomfort they feel to respect or a reluctance to die (which makes them think their discomfort is wrong, because they shouldn’t be afraid/reluctant to die).

I don’t think the Church as an official body caused HW, but that doesn’t mean some members didn’t inadvertently cause it.

And the City…that WAS there already, because of the location of Triumph City. The City was a government installation; some of it was bunkers and tunnels built for government officials: fallout shelters and the like. The Church expanded it, but it was already there.

Some inspiration etc.:

Hidden Tunnels Under Washington DC

White House Tunnel System

Dupont Underground’s Secret Tunnel (Note: many of the tunnels Slobag uses are old Metro maintenance tunnels or sewer tunnels)

Underground Cities United States (scroll down to DC)

Mount Weather

The Greenbriar

(Now, granted, Mt. Weather and the Greenbriar aren’t located exactly where the Church is. But I figure, in my world there are other projects we don’t necessarily know about.)

Lyssa asked:

I’ve never read a UF book with an unattractive looking hero. Was there a reason behind making Terrible genuinely ugly?

I think only a talented writer can manage to make their ugly hero swoony and attractive through their personality. I get so sick of all the super hot UF heroes who are only sexy because of their looks and not their attitude. Terrible is refreshing.

That was basically it, Lyssa; I am of course a fan of gorgeous men, but I wanted to see if I could create a hero that wasn’t obviously The Hero the second he appeared. It was a big writing challenge, basically, in that I wanted to see if I could create a character readers would find sexy based on personality alone, or largely on personality. (That’s not to say I agree with you about my level of talent, just that it was my goal.)

Plus, one of the major themes of the series is the idea that everyone deserves some kind of love and happiness, that everyone has value, that there’s more under the surface than you might think, that what people DO is what matters more than how they look.

As I’ve said before, I was certainly hoping people would still love Terrible despite his not being outright handsome, but I never expected the response he actually got! I’m so grateful for it.

Allison asked:

I wonder if you plan on expanding on Elder Griffin’s story as it relates to Chess or just in general?

Yes and no. We will learn more about Elder Griffin, and of course there’s a bit of a reference to his home life and past in the free BRAVE TALE OF MADDIE CARVER short, but I hadn’t planned to do a whole story from his POV.

Of course, if it’s something you guys want, let me know!

That’s it for today–I don’t want this to get too long–but I am not done answering questions, so if yours isn’t here, it will be!

And an excerpt for you:

Terrible saw the woman before she moved. Easy. He sidestepped, swinging his arm—the arm holding Wayne—to the right as he did, putting Wayne’s scrawny shoulder in the way of the woman’s blow. The crack the bat made when it hit Wayne’s bone—might even have broke it, from the sound, and from Wayne’s shriek—seemed to echo in the almost-empty room. Coursen it was almost empty. Wayne had sold anything he could.

Damn it. He hated having to do this with dames. He dropped Wayne and grabbed her by the back of the neck, pushing down so first her knees, then her forehead hit the floor. Both she and Wayne were screaming. Fucking annoying.

He knelt between them, keeping his hold on the back of her neck and doing the same to Wayne, leaning forward so his weight pushed both their faces into the dirty floor. “What money you got?”

“Got no,” Wayne said. Hard to understand him, since he were talking into the thin carpet. “Sorry, sorry, got no, waitin on…Louann here, she gonna get me some, she gonna…gonna earn us some…”

Aw, fuck. He gave them both another hard shove into the floor, tightened his fists. Their necks were so fucking stringy and skinny in his hands. “How? How’s she earning it?”

Wayne apparently realized he’d said the wrong thing. “She…she…”

“Aye? What?”

“Only be a couple dudes we knowing,” the dame—Louann—said. Squeaked, more like. “Wanted it from me, them did, not from just any dame. Them ain’t be paying for it any elsewheres, true thing them ain’t.”

“Maybe—maybe she coming work for Bump.” Wayne tried and failed to lift his head so he could look at Terrible. “Maybe she work off my owings. Maybe you wanna take she off inna bedroom, give she a try? Be—”
Terrible shifted his weight, pressed his knee into the dame’s back so he had a free hand. He needed it to smash into Wayne’s face. Which he did, with a satisfying crunch of bone. Fucker. What kind of man whored his woman like that, ain’t even checked with her first?

And as if he had even the faintest interest in that dirty, ragged, starved sack of bones under his knee, with her broken teeth and bruises. Even if he needed to take a whore to his bed, he wouldn’t be interested. Bump’s whores were clean, and most of em were pretty, and he could have any one of them he wanted any time he wanted, for free.

He never did, but he could. He weren’t so desperate he needed to jump whatany dame waved it in his face. Specially not one like this one.

“You knowing how this goes,” he said, loud so they could both hear him over their wails. “Money, or knowledge. Which you got?”

See you tomorrow!

What Stace had to say on Monday, June 25th, 2012
CHASING MAGIC is released tomorrow!

*Eep*

I hope you guys are excited! I have to tell you, this release has sneaked up on me like nobody’s business. Wasn’t yesterday the middle of May? How did we reach the end of June already?

And, in case you’re not or in case you’re on the fence…some reviews!:

5 Butterflies from Books to Brighten Your Mood:

Chasing Magic is just perfect. Just as good as every other book in the series, just as dark, just as violent, just as twisted but beautiful and lyrical at the same time.

5 Stars from Miss Vain’s Paranormal Fantasy:

I say this every time so I’ll just say it again, this is my most favorite book in the series. I was on an emotional roller coaster for most of this book, and that’s how I prefer my favorite reads. … There’s a reason why this is my most favorite urban fantasy series out there, and it’s because the exceedingly great world building and my adoration for her characters Chess & Terrible that Stacia Kane has captivated me with.

4.5 Stars from Yummy Men & Kick-Ass Chicks:

This installment starts you off high and just keeps you going. It’s not heart gripping the entire time but even when Chess and Terrible aren’t running for their lives, you are still fully involved in the story and the investigation behind it. Stacia did a great job with the pacing in this book. And the ending…I think fans of the series will be quite pleased. All in all, Stacia does a superb job with this installment.

B+ from Smexybooks:

The ending is an explosive culmination of events that leaves you reeling and exhausted. Chasing Magic only reinforces that Kane’s Downside series continues to be one of my top urban fantasy series picks.

Christine at Tynga’s Reviews says:

It is not a big secret that I might be the biggest fan of this series. This gem of urban fantasy hides its raw beauty under a huge layer of blood and violence. I wish I had the right words to praise it the way it deserves, but everything that comes to mind doesn’t seem adequate. Chasing Magic pulls you in with the very first chapter, puts you through a whole spectrum of emotions and spits you out wanting even more. The characters, the world, the writing – all is highly addictive awesomeness.

5 Loveys from Larissa’s Bookish Life:

…Chasing Magic is full of nail botting and intriguing action that will not let you stop reading for a second. I love how Stacia Kane is able to balance both sides of the series and deliver not only an action-packed novel, but a heart wrenching one as well.

Caitie at The Readventurer says:

I know I’m not the only one who starts to get that feeling of dread as a series I love gets longer and longer. There’s a part of me that’s always just waiting for the installment that jumps the shark. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. And the first four books in this series have all been so good! The stakes are even higher. Well, never fear! As your advanced warning system, I’m here to happily wave the olly-olly-oxen-free flag and assure you that this one is everything that we’ve come to expect from Stacia Kane and more.

5 Stars from Underworld Love Addiction:

I love each book in this series more than the last one. Stacia Kane has outdone herself as usual with Chasing Magic.

5 Stars from Addicted2Heroines:

Chasing Magic, the fifth installment of Stacia Kane’s innovative and dark Downside Ghosts series is, in my opinion, the best book of the series to date. … This is one of, if not the best, urban fantasy series out there right now. It would be a shame for you to miss this epic story.

There are more, but I think it’s time to move on. The point is, please buy the book. People seem to be enjoying it. :smile:

Let’s see, what else is happening?

I’ve gotten a few emails from readers asking about buying HOME and FINDING MAGIC outside of the US. I plan to blog about this in more detail later, but as far as FINDING MAGIC goes, we’re working on it and I promise I’ll pass on whatever news I get as soon as I get it. HOME is out of my control; the lovely folks at Macmillan have rights to distribute in English worldwide, so it’s up to them where they want to do so.

I’m painting my kitchen. I will post pictures; I hope to have it finished in the next couple of days!

…I could swear I had something bigger to discuss, but I cannot for the life of me recall it, so it’ll have to wait. Meanwhile, again, CHASING MAGIC’s US release is tomorrow, and I would love it if people would buy a copy!