Archive for 'reviews'



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, 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 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!

What Stace had to say on Monday, May 7th, 2012
FINDING MAGIC and a few other bits

I’m really excited about this, guys! A while ago I had an idea for an “origin story” for Chess, a little look into what life was like for her while she was in Church training. I mentioned it to my editor at Del Rey, and long story short, it’s called FINDING MAGIC, and the expected/planned release date for it is June 4. Less than a month away! It’s a novella, around 40k words, and I believe the price will be 99¢.

I don’t yet have cover art for it, but I have a blurb, and since the members of my Goodreads Q&A group asked for it, I have an excerpt for you, too!

Karen Marie Moning has called Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series “dark, sexy urban fantasy at its finest.” Now, in this breathlessly suspenseful eBook novella, Kane has written a prequel to her thrilling series. Before Chess Putnam was a magic-wielding Churchwitch, she was a student in the Church of Real Truth—with a keen sensitivity to magic, a strong rebellious streak, and a penchant for self-destruction. And in Finding Magic, a grisly ghost murder becomes Chess’s baptism of fire.

When eighteen-year-old Chess Putnam is offered the chance to train with a special team of investigators known as the Black Squad, she feels torn. She’s never been a team player and hates how one male Inquisitor condescends to “the new kid.” But at her first bloody crime scene, she gets a taste for investigation—and is hooked on the high. Though the seasoned Inquisitors consider the series of ghost murders random events, Chess starts to detect a pattern. Is a psycho killer summoning ghosts from the City of Eternity and using them as murder weapons? As Chess gets closer to the dark truth, she puts herself in grave danger and risks losing everything she’s fought so hard for.

Includes a special preview of Stacia Kane’s upcoming urban fantasy thriller, Chasing Magic!

Note: I don’t yet know what from CHASING MAGIC is excerpted. But CM does have its first printed review!! Five Stars from The Book Evangelist:

With each and every novel Stacia Kane writes, my admiration and respect for her as an author increases. The Downside Ghosts books just keep getting better and better. … Chess is really forced to look at herself in Chasing Magic; she is forced to grow up and mature in ways I have been hoping for but dared not expect. I loved this book, and cannot imagine how I will get through the wait for the next one.

Also, this is really cool (for me, anyway). The Guardian (one of the biggest UK newspapers) did a review of HOME IMPROVEMENT: UNDEAD EDITION, in which they singled out my story RICK THE BRAVE as one of the two best in the volume (along with Patricia Briggs’s GRAY):

Far better are “Gray” by Patricia Briggs, a poignant vampire revenge drama; and Stacia Kane’s “Rick the Brave”, an original take on the ghost-hunting theme.

Anyway. Without further ado, here’s an excerpt from FINDING MAGIC! (As usual, this is from the pre-copyedited ms, so the final printed version may vary slightly): Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
It’s out! Reviews! And stuff

Oh, geez, I just realized I didn’t update my home page yesterday. Duh. To be honest I was staying away from the net a bit–still am–in an attempt to lighten my release-day panic. Did it help? Maybe. Maybe not. I do know that I’ve spent several more hours now scrubbing the hallway floor with bleach–pretty much straight bleach–and it’s working. Slowly. Like, I scrub, and I let it sit, and I scrub and I let it sit, etc. etc. for a few hours, and when I wipe it clean it looks pretty good. Sigh.

Also, we had some fun with the oven yesterday! It’s a really cool old-fashioned gas oven. Like, when you use the oven part there are actually open flames in the back. I would take a picture, except–guess what?–it runs on gas/propane tanks, and they are empty! Which I discovered halfway through cooking out Very First Dinner In The New House–a steak pie. So much for that, and so much for the carrots I was going to roast and the potatoes I was going to boil in watered-down beef stock and serve with coarse salt and a bit of ground rosemary (delicious, btw). We had Chinese instead. They should be replacing the gas tanks today, so here’s hoping. The half-made pie is in the fridge but the half-cooked veg were a loss. Sigh.

My deep fryer arrived, though, which is exciting, and I can’t wait to use it.

But, of course, that’s not the big news of yesterday, is it? The big news is that SACRIFICIAL MAGIC is out there in the world, sinking or swimming on its own. Eek!

Like any anxious author, I’ve been keeping a semi-loose track of my Amazon and B&N rankings. They’re much better than I expected; SM on Kindle is around 500 overall, and in paperback it’s around 2000 (as I write this). For the Nook it’s at 171 overall, which is quite nice. And it’s been in the Top 25 for various Fantasy categories in both paperback and Kindle.

Like I said, it’s nice. It also means nothing, sadly. Nothing at all. A book can have a ranking that high and sell fifty copies. The rankings are nice but don’t exactly signify Runaway Bestseller, either. Amazon rankings are essentially meaningless; they always have been. Which is why you’ll never ever see me running around calling myself a “Bestselling Author” due to Amazon rankings. Is it nice to see? Sure. Does it matter, really? No. Hell, BE A SEX-WRITING STRUMPET has been in the Top 10 for its categories for like the last year. Still doesn’t mean it’s a bestseller or that I am a bestselling author. You get to be a bestselling author when you hit the USA Today list, or the NYT, or Bookscan or one of a few other legit lists. You get to call yourself a New York Times/USAT bestseller when you hit the Top 10 (afaik); if it’s not the Top 10 you’re a “National Bestseller.” Those are the rules, to my knowledge–I mean, they’re not “rules,” like you’ll get punished or something, but they’re general ethical guidelines–and I don’t violate them and am uncomfortable when others do.

So beyond that, let’s look at some stuff around the net!

The lovely Katiebabs is having a giveaway here; go comment!
(NOTE: Uh…okay, I saw Katiebabs’s links to this, and brought it up in a new tab so I could post the link here. But I didn’t actually get time to READ it until now. Wow. I’m overwhelmed. [And no, I had no idea.] Please go show Katie some support by commenting!)

An interview and giveaway at The Readventurer here!

The full text of my chat with Stacey Jay is up here, at Addicted2Heroines!

And how about some reviews? Because we got a bunch of them yesterday, and it’s pretty exciting!

Abigail at All Things Urban Fantasy says:

Everything about the Downside series pulses with paranormal perfection, not the least of which is Downside itself. It’s like New York from Escape from New York overrun with murderous ghosts and deadly magic. Gritty doesn’t begin to describe it. There is a wonderful contrast between the residents of Downside with their slang/dialect way of talking, and the hyper formality of the Church of Real Truth, the ruling entity that protects humanity by magically banishing ghosts. Seriously, everything about this series is so finely nuanced and realistic, frighteningly so in some cases, but always intensely gripping. I can’t wait for my next Chess and Terrible hit when CHASING MAGIC is published on June 26, 2012.

Tori at SmexyBooks gives it an A:

Sacrificial Magic is a force to be reckoned with and only enforces my belief that the Downside series is one of the top urban fantasy series out there to date.

Samantha at Fiction Vixen says:

This book was a rollercoaster. But when is life with Chess not? This series continues to be a must read for me. Terrible continues to rock my world.

5 Stars from Claire’s Book Corner:

As with the earlier books Ms Kane writes a very emotional scene that had me fighting back the tears and wanting to give Chess a big hug as well as a little shake. There aren’t many authors who can make me feel such strong emotions and have me rooting for such a messed up character but Ms Kane excels at this. If you are fans of this series you will not be disappointed and I cannot wait for the fifth book Chasing Magic to be released. I would like to give Sacrificial Magic 5 stars.

From Books to Brighten Your Mood:

What can I say about Stacia Kane, that hasn’t already been said or that will do justice to her work! This author is plainly brilliant and with Sacrificial Magic she just proves that once more! Sacrificial Magic was among my most anticipated titles for this year, and now that I read it, I can positively say that I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

Another 5 Star review, from The Romanceaholic:

Overall, I of course adored it. Chess’ self-hatred and self-sabotage did start to grate on me towards the end, which I admit almost kept it from being a 5-star read, but the ending was absolutely amazing and the setup for the next story has me frothing at the mouth at the thought of having to wait until June to read it, which more than made up for any irritation I might have had with Chess.

An incredibly solid 5/5 Stars.

And 5/5 from My Keeper Shelf:

I have a long held belief that no matter what book I pick up after reading one of Stacia Kane’s books it will not compare in any shape or form to the Downside Ghosts series. … If you’re already a fan of the series you will love Sacrificial Magic. If you have “Terrible Fever” you will love Sacrificial Magic. If you have a soft spot for Chessiebomb the most amazingly flawed female character out there right now you will love Sacrificial Magic. If you’ve never read any of the books and are currently wondering what the hell I’m going on about, go buy the them you will love them. Nothing out there right now compares.

My rating: 5 out of 5 (and then some).

What Stace had to say on Monday, March 26th, 2012
One Day to Go!

My goodness, it’s almost here! Can you believe it? Because I sure as fuck can’t.

So. I moved house this weekend, from Bedfordshire back to Devon (the hubs works there/here; he’s been commuting for a few months while we waited to see if the position would become permanent, and since it has, here we are). Really not the best weekend to be moving, but what can you do? And it’s actually awesome. In Beds we had a little two-bed flat, a teeny place. I liked it, but it was teeny. This “new” place–and I say “new” because the house is almost two hundred years old, it was built in the 1830s–has four bedrooms, a front room, a dining room, a huge kitchen, a laundry room, one full bathroom and two half-baths. And three fireplaces. It’s pretty incredible. And the best part is that it’s owned by a gentleman my husband works with, so we’re paying very little for it (which is how we’re able to afford it, frankly). Like, we pay £20 more per month for this than we did for that little two-bed flat. So, we–I–feel extremely lucky, which is nice because I could use every bit of luck I can find this week, quite literally. Please luck please.

So, the house is amazing–it even has a front staircase and a back “servants” staircase–but man, is it filthy. FILTHY. Like, filthy to the point that I don’t even know where to start. (I have started, in the kitchen, but you know what I mean.)

Anyway. This explains, basically, why I haven’t been around much this last weekend. (I also don’t have internet, really–the BT guy is here now–so am using a pay-as-you-go dongle from 3. Which I really have to recommend, if you’re in the UK; it’s lovely and fast.) (ETA: The BT guy decided he didn’t feel like actually connecting anything or doing anything, so while the phone was technically switched on, the only working jack is above the front door. No, I am not kidding. He told me I should call an electrician if I actually, you know, want the phone jack somewhere else. He didn’t have any wires/cords with him to even just allow us to plug in the phone somewhere else. Thanks, BT. And it especially sucks because he was kind of cute [not that I’m looking] and seemed so nice. Anyway.)

I do have some pictures of the house, if anyone wants to see them?

SO. Moving on. There are some new reviews, and TWO interviews up with me today! (A reminder, since it’s been a while: All links on my blog open in new windows/tabs.)

An interview at BadAss Book Reviews, where we discuss characters and character flaws, and have a bit of fun.

An interview at Red Hot Books, where we discuss the Chess/Terrible relationship and what’s in store a bit.

Both interviews were a lot of fun to do, and I hope you go read them and comment and ask more questions or whatever.

The lovely ladies at Stellar Four review SACRIFICIAL MAGIC:

Readers of Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series, let me reassure you: The things you love about the series abound in Kane’s fourth novel, Sacrificial Magic. Terrifying ghosts. Malicious evil-doers. Magic, both pure and vile. That distinctive Downside cant. And — perhaps most importantly for many of us — the crackling, fraught passion between Chess and Terrible.

Cathy at Greyt Thoughts says:

So, to try and sum things up a little bit, Chess’s emotional story, both the romance and the drug addiction, as well as her strength and bravery when it comes to doing her work and defending the people she cares about, adds tremendously to the fact that these books are serious novels with a lot of layers to explore, not just light adventures. They’re still a lot of fun to read, don’t get me wrong. The mysteries are exciting and interesting. It’s not going to depress you, I’m super sensitive to that, I hate dark and depressing books. The balance it terrific, it’s fun, exciting, thoughtful and smart writing with layers that will leave you thinking for a long time to come. I really recommend this book and this series.

Under the Covers gives it five feathers:

Ms. Kane is one of the very few authors that can make me feel a myriad of emotions, all in one book. Sacrificial Magic is no different.

From the amazing writing, to the non stop story and characters that have stolen my heart. Sacrificial Magic will take you on such a ride, I really didn’t want it to end. THAT I CAN GUARANTEE!

Last but certainly not least, Red Hot Books says:

It’s like watching a star explode: It’s beautiful and destructive and you can’t take your eyes off of it. And before I convince you that it’s all heartwrenching sadness, remember that joy and elation I talked about earlier. It’s not all one way or another. This book took my emotions on a roller coaster. When it was over, my heart was in my throat; I felt satisfied and exhausted; and I’m already dying to get back on the ride. If you have never read this series or if you gave up on it early, you are truly missing out. 5 stars.

…I think that’s it for new reviews, and as always if you’ve written one and I haven’t mentioned it, let me know it’s out there!

And tomorrow is release day, and I am panicking.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Good news, and more reviews!

First. I feel a little odd mentioning this because it’s not like thinking about my health is anything any of you should be doing. But I still want to say that I had another endoscopy this morning, and I am now 100% ULCER FREE! No more ulcer for me! I can have orange juice and vinegar on my fish and chips and wine and cocktails and Coke again! Squee!

I’m very excited about this (as you can tell). And it means I don’t have to have more endoscopies after this, which is also quite cool.

So anyway. Moving on from that little bit of news.

I want to remind everyone that the Goodreads Q&A has officially started, and we’re having a great time over there, so if you have a Goodreads account join in! And if you don’t, it’s free and easy to register.

We have some awesome new SACRIFICIAL MAGIC reviews!!

The Book Savvy Babe gives it Five Stars and says:

I am completely blown away by this urban fantasy series. Each installment in the series brings more emotions, reveals more depth to the characters, and the power gets stronger and stronger. After what seemed like an epic battle in book 3, I was concerned that this book might feel like a filler book, or a set up for the next book. So, I was unprepared when Stacia Kane upped the ante with Sacrificial Magic and blew all of my expectations out of the water.

Sacrificial Magic is one of the most gripping, gut-wrenching, and thoroughly absorbing books I have ever read.

Five Stars from The Book Nympho:

Sacrificial Magic (SM), the 4th book in Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts Series and it’s her best book to date. … Sacrificial Magic is a must read and is my current favorite book for this year and I say with total confidence that the only book that will probably top it will be the next book in the Downside series, Chasing Magic.
Fans of dark and gritty UF with damaged heroine and unusual heroes will fall in love with this series.

The lovely Paperback Dolls had this to say:

I suppose I should start this review of Stacia Kane’s next installment in the Downside Ghosts series, Sacrificial Magic, with my confession. I’m a Downside junkie, right up, and I have no interest in giving it up. Now, that’s not to say that I wasn’t ridden hard and put away wet, because I was. That’s just the way it is when you let yourself get willingly strung out on something. Even so, by the time it was over and I looked back on it all, took a deep breath and took it all in, I was glad for the ride and knew I’d do it again as soon as the train left the station.

…any other reviews I should be aware of? You guys know I like to link them as a way of acknowledging the hard work reviewers put into their work, so if you’ve reviewed the book and it’s not here–and you’d like it to be–let me know!

And of course, don’t forget that if you haven’t yet downloaded the PDF of the first three chapters of SACRIFICIAL MAGIC, you can do so here. And of course, don’t forget about the awesome contest I’m running, and the awesome Blog Hop that’s happening!

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Blog Hop Begins! Contest updates!

One week to go!

Another new review, from Addicted2Heroines (Five Stars!):

In this fourth installment to the Downside Ghosts series, Stacia Kane takes us on a dark, sometimes disturbing, yet always fascinating, journey through Downside, Triumph City with drug-addicted Churchwitch Chess Putnam. Fans of this series have waited a long time since City of Ghosts was released in August 2010, and Stacia Kane delivers in spades. Returning to Downside is like coming home (minus the slums and drugs and whatnot). Stacia Kane is a masterful writer and proves it once again in Sacrificial Magic.

Today I start “officially” participating in the Goodreads Q&A Group! There are already some great discussions happening there, and I’d love to see more, so please do sign up and come chat!

Aaaaaaaand…*drumroll*

Our contest is beginning!

It starts TODAY, Tuesday the 20th, and I have a fantastic prize or two in store. Especially the grand prize, which is this:

And THAT is Chess’s pillbox made into a locket, designed by jewelry designer extraordinaire Janet Cadsawan at Cadsawan Jewelry!

The necklace (including 26″ chain) will retail for $48. Pre-orders have opened on the Cadsawan website today! and will start shipping on SACRIFICIAL MAGIC’s release date.

I hope you all love it like I do, and of course I hope you all order one, but this is your chance to get one for free.

I’ll be doing a random drawing for one on April 3rd; one week after SM’s release date. (I will also give away two signed copies of SM, so there’ll be three winners in all.)

You can enter as many times as you want, and here’s how:

Have you pre-ordered SACRIFICIAL MAGIC, in any format, from any retailer? Forward your receipt to DownsideArmy AT gmail, and you get 2 entries!
Are you planning to buy SACRIFICIAL MAGIC in the first week of release (since that’s when the contest runs)? Do so, and forward the receipt–either by forwarding the email or scanning the actual paper receipt to the DA address, and that is also 2 entries!
Tweet about the book, using the tag #sacrificialmagic: 1 entry per tweet
Blog about the book: 2 entries
Mention the book on Facebook*: 1 entry
Change your Facebook avatar/image to SACRIFICIAL MAGIC’s cover: 1 entry per day the avatar is up*
Change your Twitter Avatar/image to SACRIFICIAL MAGIC’s cover: same, 1 entry per day*

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re changing your avatars, please @ me, or send me a link, or comment on one of my Facebook posts, so I know you’ve done it! If you’re tweeting/blogging/FBing and also forwarding me receipts, please include your info (as in Twitter handle etc.) so I know who you are and can keep all of your entries in one place (i.e. if I get a receipt from Jane Doe but Jane tweets as BookLover, I don’t necessarily know you’re the same person)! If you blog about the book please send me a link, or @ me with it or use the tag. I don’t want anyone to miss out on entries. Once I know you’ve changed your av I’ll check your link every day, so you don’t need to update me, but I do need to know you’ve done it.

This contest is WORLDWIDE, although do keep in mind that SM won’t be released in the UK/IRE/AU until May and I’ll be doing another contest at that point, so…

Also, the Stacey & Stacia Blog Hop begins today! Check out this chat with Stacey and I here at Addicted2Heroines.

More info and links here at Goldilox and the Three Weres.

And a bunch more info about the giveaway here at Miss Vain’s Paranormal Fantasy.

I think that’s it for today. Really starting to freak out!