Archive for 'reviews'

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Odds and Ends

Have you all entered the Ginormous “preorder SHADES OF GRAY” contest yet? Go do that!

Also, the other day I had a really cool (I think) idea, and since I know there are several booksellers who read this blog I’m going to go ahead and mention it here. There are all sorts of dating services and things like that all over the internet, right? And bars with Ladies Nights and organizations that do Singles Nights. Well, why not do a Singles Night in a bookstore?

Think about it. In looking for someone to date or whatever, don’t you want to make sure it’s someone who reads? I can’t imagine being with someone who doesn’t read. Not to mention, if you have someone who regularly buys books and hangs out in bookstores…perhaps it’s wrong of me but I can’t help thinking readers are a superior class of person.

And it doesn’t just have to be some sort of hook-up thing. Why not do a book club for singles? Think about moving to a new city, say, where you don’t know anybody. One of the first things you do is find the nearest bookstore, right? What if that bookstore had some sort of club or group for single people to make friends? Friends who read.

It may not be the greatest idea, sure. It’s probably not going to change the world or anything. But I think it would be fun; I’d like to see bookstores bring in more customers, and become, I don’t know, bigger parts of the community and peoples’ lives. So I think all of you should think about this, and suggest it to your bookstore, and see what they think.

Also. I know I mentioned the other day that I was considering entering this year’s Blogathon? (The site is still set for 2009, but they’ll be updating it and opening to registrations soon.) Anyway, what you do is update your blog every half hour for 24 hours straight. And the reason why you do this is to raise money for charity. I’m planning on blogging for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

And I’m really hoping some of you will help me, either by signing up to blog yourselves, or by sponsoring me with donations. You can donate a lump sum or an hourly sum (like, a dollar for every hour I manage to stay awake).

I’ll post more detail after registration is opened. But please consider it. Also, if the Blogathon people give me permission, I just *might* be inclined to do a couple of short stories for the ‘thon–Megan and Greyson’s wedding, perhaps, or a short Downside story–if I get enough interest. Either way I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I really hope some of you will want to participate too.

Now, on to new reviews! From Sara’s Urban Fantasy blog:

Chess was a very unique individual. I’ve never before read about a main character that was also addicted to drugs, and it was a very fresh idea for the urban fantasy genre. In a genre full of kick ass bounty hunters and assassins and law enforcement officers, it was a breath of fresh air to read about a less than perfect, flawed character that read almost like an anti-hero.

From Buckeye Girl:

I think that this book should have come with a do-not-read-before-going-to-bed-or -you-will-be-up-all-night disclaimer. I didn’t want to put [it] down once it got going. There were so many twists and turns! There just aren’t any boundaries in this book…this book is utterly compelling.

Oh! I almost forgot a really important thing! I’ve begun the rather long and slow process of going back through all of my old blog entries and tagging them. (See, I used to blog on Blogger–until just last year, in fact, when this site opened–and while all of my old entries were imported, none of them were tagged.) It’s made a bit more complicated by the fact that I’m trying to keep the tags consistent with my Livejournal tags, so need to have the post up in more than one window.

Anyway. I’ve gotten a bit of it done so far. I’m creating a new Category–For Writers–to put all of my writing/publishing type posts under, so you can look in that category as well as just clicking the tags. Also, you’ll notice quite a few new tags over there, which I used on lj but not over here.

So I’m hoping to have that finished at some point, maybe by the end of the summer. There are some good posts back there, stuff I really enjoyed writing and am still proud of, so I’m glad they’ll be easier to find.

What Stace had to say on Friday, June 11th, 2010
Around the web

But before we get to why and how and all of that, a few links!

Today I’m doing a guest blog post at The Witchy Chicks and talking about the magic system in the Downside books and what inspired it. Which is actually a subject I haven’t covered anywhere else, so if you’re at all interested in that, head on over there!

And, we have some new reviews. First is this embarrassingly glowing review from Barnes & Noble’s Paul Goat Allen, on the B&N Explorations blog. Paul’s been a professional book reviewer and heavily involved in genre fiction–especially sf/f–for over twenty years, so he really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to UF. Which is why this made me all blushy and shy:

This is an ambitious novel, a novel that shuns the formulaic pitfalls and conventionality of other bestselling paranormal fantasy sagas. This is Stacia Kane at the top of her game—it is a writer evolved, a storyteller matured, an imagination fully unleashed upon the world…Dark, stylish, and wildly original…

Then there’s this one from the Fiction Vixen, which contains one of my absolute favorite lines:

I think most people will say they like it when an author takes risks, goes for something different and writes outside the box. After reading Unholy Ghosts, I have to wonder if Stacia Kane is aware there is a box. Really, Unholy Ghosts pushes the limits in what we’re seeing in Urban Fantasy today…[it’s] one of the best Urban Fantasy stories I’ve read this year. It’s rich with details, the suspense is heart stopping at times, and the world building is fabulously unique. Don’t let my rant about the drug use deter you from reading this book, you would be missing out if you did… Stacia Kane has taken some risks with smashing results.

Also, my friends Caitlin Kittredge and Jackie Kessler have a new book coming out very soon, and they’re having a huge super-special pre-order contest for it! Go check it out, and pre-order SHADES OF GREY today!

I’ll be back Monday or Tuesday–since I don’t usually blog on Mondays anymore–with my superspiffy idea that I had that I think would be bunches of fun for readers and am really hoping someone tries. Plus whatever other stuff I can think of to talk about. And as always, if there’s something you want to know, or want me to blog about, let me know, either in comments or through email!

Oops! There was one more thing I wanted to mention. I’m considering entering a the Blogathon at the end of July; it would entail blogging every half hour for 24 hours to raise money for charity (in my case I’d be blogging for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, which is the US’s biggest anti-sexual assault organizations.

Anyway, you collect sponsors to raise money, so I’m wondering, would anyone be interested in sponsoring me if I do it? I’m waiting to hear back from them as to whether I’d be able to blog here or not; you’re not supposed to use Blogathon to promote yourself in any way, and because my blog is connected to my website which is of course designed to promote my work, I’m just waiting for the okay from them. I know it’s probably okay but I don’t want to assume, you know? So if you’d be interested let me know.

Have a great weekend!

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Lookie! Stuff!

Lots of links and info today, so let’s get to the important stuff first.

UNHOLY MAGIC’s first three chapters are now up in PDF form, ready for you to download (and the first chapter has been added to the book’s page here on the site). You can visit the book’s page for that or click here to download the chapters: UNHOLY MAGIC excerpt (1504)

Tomorrow, June 3, I’ll be doing an interview and guest chat at All Things Urban Fantasy, and Del Rey is kicking in a copy of UNHOLY GHOSTS as a giveaway. I may add a little something to that myself, too. So be sure to come by and say hello!

Also, not too long ago I met this total freak* named Brigwyn on Twitter, who insisted** that I let him interview me for his “Brigwyn’s Corner” podcast show. I agreed (mostly because I feared for my life!***) and the result is now available to listen to here at Brigwyn’s Corner. (Note: the contest is now over.)

There’s another interview with me up at Falcata Times, which is a UK fantasy blog/magazine. Because we know you just can’t get enough me.

* really funny, awesome guy
** asked politely
*** because he’s totally cool, and we had so much fun chatting that we stayed on the phone for three more hours after the interview was done

Also, this has nothing to do with me, but you should go look at it anyway (oh, that sounded wrong, didn’t it? Well, I don’t care if you look at the me-related stuff, but you should look at this, because it’s good). I think most of us here know Michele Lee, who is also a writer and reviewer, and has been hanging out here since the beginning. Michele is a great person, and she’s written a great blog post on What They Don’t Tell You About Writing that is about the best summary of it I’ve ever seen. So I really recommend you take a look at it, and leave a comment and all of that stuff.

And speaking of writers and reviewers and all that, time to play some review roundup!
Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Friday, May 28th, 2010

First, yesterday was the official release day for UNHOLY GHOSTS in Poland!

Witamy polskich czytelników! I z pewno?ci? nadziej?, ?e jeste? korzystaj?cych NIESWIETE DUCHY! Przykro mi, ale nie w j?zyku polskim, ale robi? mój najlepszy z t?umaczy online.

Nie wiem od daty dopuszczenia do NIESWIETE MAGIA (My?l?, ?e), ale mam nadziej?, wynika, USA / Wielka Brytania dat, które b?d? na pocz?tku lipca.

Jestem zachwycony które zostan? opublikowane w Polska!

O to strona ksi??ki na stronie Wydawnictwa Amber je?li chcesz je zobaczy?.

And I certainly hope that looks okay and I don’t get dinged by WordPress for all of the Polish letters.

Of course, I HAD a blog topic, and it was a good one, too, but I can’t for the life of me remember now what it was. I hate it when that happens. Oh! POV, that was it.

On Tuesday I went to a couple of bookstores in the area; three, actually. And I got to chatting at my local B&N with a bookseller I hadn’t met before about urban fantasy in general and POV in particular, because he shares my preference for third person POV, especially a tight, deep third. (Because most men love tight, deep things, you know. Ba-dum-bum. Oh, the hilarity never stops here!)

Anyway. We both felt the same way about first-person, which is that it’s distancing. And I know that sort of goes against the popular perception of it; I think most first fans–at least the ones I’ve spoken to–feel that it puts them closer to the action.

For me, reading a book written in first person doesn’t feel like I’m experiencing it. It feels like I’m sitting in a restaurant or something, listening to someone tell me a story that happened to them. Do you know what I mean? I feel a step further removed from the action, like I’m somewhere safe and I’m just being told a story.

Yesterday I saw a reader comment somewhere–can’t remember where–that they have a hard time truly feeling suspense with a first POV book, because obviously the narrator survived. I don’t necessarily disagree with this, but I don’t necessarily agree either; yes, we know they’re telling us the story, but for all we know they’re dead and telling us from the afterlife, right?

And of course it depends on the story and character and writer. I generally don’t like books written in present tense at all, and have sadly put down a few books I really, really wanted to read and love because I just couldn’t get past the present tense. But then there are books like Angela Huth’s WIVES OF THE FISHERMEN, which I absolutely adore, and which I honestly didn’t even realize was written in present tense until I was over halfway through it. Yes, it’s possible that this is in part due to the fact that the book contains a lot of flashback/memory scenes, which are in past tense, but it’s also because it’s just such a great book and so perfectly written.

Anyway. With a tight third I feel like I’m actually in the story, in the character’s head. I’m not being told a story, I’m seeing it. That’s why I like to read third best, and why I like to write third best. How about you?

And we have more reviews, of course!

The Book Lovers gives it 4.5 bookies:

The pace of the book was wonderful and the story gripped me ASAP and didn’t let me go till the last word. I loved how Ms. Kane shows us that looks are deceiving and we should never judge a person just with taking one glance at him or her. A highly recommended read not only for Urban Fantasy lovers, but for anyone who likes a good story.

There is also an interview & giveaway chat with me at Book Lovers, so go check that out as well if you’re so inclined.

Jessica at A GREAT Read says:

Finished Stacia Kane’s Unholy Ghosts today, her debut in her new series and it was seriously a wild ride! It was dark, gritty, edgy and enthralling from the first chapter!

This weekend I plan to get the PDF of the first three chapter of UNHOLY MAGIC up on the site; I’m doing some general site updates as well (or rather, the fabulous Frauke at Croco Designs is, and those should be completed soon; UNHOLY MAGIC will finally get its own page, with the back cover copy and everything, I’ll finally get my sidebar links updated (there are several things I was able to figure out how to do on my own here but the sidebar links seem to be in a separate file or something, I don’t know, but I need help, lol), we’re going to add some more fun stuff to, well, the Fun Stuff page, and maybe a few other things here and there.

Which is another question. What sorts of things would you guys like to see? The recipe downloads are pretty popular (now that they’re working, lol, because apparently they weren’t for a while), and I plan to add a few more, but of course there’s no cooking in the Downside books the way there is in the Demons books.

So what do you think is fun extra content? Or do you really not care?

Have a great weekend everyone; it’s a long weekend, isn’t it?

I may post an UNHOLY MAGIC excerpt here on the blog later…

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
More stuff!

I completely forgot yesterday to mention the soundtracks, but we’ll get to that in a second. First I have two new reviews to share!

K.M. Ruiz over at Ink and Coffee says (among many other things):

For me, Stacia Kane brought UF back to its gritty, noir-ish roots where the city and the world is as much a character as the protagonist…In sum, UNHOLY GHOSTS is part creepy horror, part old-school urban fantasy, and completely awesome. I say go out and buy it if it sounds interesting to you, because it’s not like anything you’ve read in a while. Trust me.

Then we have Wendy at The Book Lush, who gives the book 5 Lushes!:

Unholy Ghosts is the first book in Stacia Kane’s new series and absolutely full of win! From the very start, Kane just draws the reader in effortlessly. Chess is unlike any other heroine you’ll ever read about… While I loved Chess, Terrible just stole the show for me. He was my favorite and no matter how much I loved the other characters, I lived for his parts.

Another thing that made Unholy Ghosts a book of never-ending awesomeness for me was the pace… There’s no awkward pauses or drawn-out monologue and that to me is brilliant. I don’t want to have to sigh in boredom or feel like the action overshadows everything else and in this book, neither happens. Unholy Ghosts is the beginning of a new Urban Fantasy series that I think it will be a huge hit. The characters are kick ass and the plot will have you on the edge of your seat. I absolutely recommend it!

Also, I’m very excited to tell you that the book soundtracks are up on iTunes!

See, for those who aren’t aware, music plays a fairly big part in Downside, and in the world of the book in general; punk rock, mostly, which as those of you who’ve been around for a while know was a big part of my life and is still what I generally listen to. Anyway, I mention several bands in the books, and since not all of it is going to be familiar to readers I thought it would be fun to create playlists and put them up, so if anyone wants to they can go ahead and download them.

The playlists for all three of the books are up, but I’m just going to link to the UNHOLY GHOSTS list at the moment, and to the other two as the books are released (but if you can’t wait, of course, feel free to click “other playlists by this user” or whatever the button is).

(And yes, ultimately I want to load all of this and more to Radio Downside, but that is unfortunately going to have to wait until I can afford to set up Radio Downside, which I’d hoped to be able to do back in december but things have just sort of happened. None of that is your problem or concern, of course, as I’ve said before; I’m just explaining why it’s taking so long.)

Anyway. You can check out, and purchase, the UNHOLY GHOSTS soundtrack here, and for those who’re wondering, this is the track listing:

1. SKULLS by the Misfits.
2. ALTERNATIVE ULSTER by Stiff Little Fingers.
3. BLAST OFF by The Sonics
4. 354 by the Devil Dogs
5. I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU by Chuck Berry*
6. COME ON by Chuck Berry*
7. I WANNA BE YOUR DOG by The Stooges
8. KILL THE POOR by the Dead Kennedys

* The Chuck Berry songs are listed on iTunes as being from an album called “The Definitive Collection.” We had to change the album listing to get iTunes to recognize the songs as songs it sells and therefore allow us to upload them, but both songs were in fact ripped from one of the greatest albums of all time, The Great Twenty-Eight. Out of print, sadly, but I got a used copy on Amazon a few years back and cherish it like the precious bundle of awesomeness it is. I love Chuck Berry. No matter what he does with poop.

Anyway, there you go. I’m still hoping to find a way to get these loaded onto Canadian, Australian and UK/Eire iTunes so I can do giveaways for readers there, because I know you guys tend to get screwed a bit when it comes to contests from US authors so I’d like to at least do *something.* (So if you can help with that, please contact me.)

…and that’s it for tonight, I think!

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Jumping off the cliff

…So that’s what I’m doing today.

Today is the official release day for UNHOLY GHOSTS in the US, and I guess it’s being released in the UK/Ireland/Australia/New Zealand as well? Yes, it seems that way. And I’m frankly terrified. Excited and elated and terrified.

We had a couple of new reviews come in, and they’re good ones. Not just, or not necessarily, because they’re positive, although they largely are, but because they’re thoughtful. Because they read the book and really considered it, and really put that consideration into the reviews, and really?

It’s not my place as an author to ask reviewers or readers for shit. It’s not my place to tell them how they should think or feel about my work, or how they should express those feelings. But I won’t deny that it pleases me immensely and makes me feel good when they do put that consideration and thought into their reviews. It’s gratifying, and I appreciate it, and if I could ask for something, that would be what I would ask for.

So first we have Michele Lee’s Book Love:

Unholy Ghosts is a thrilling ride, textured and vivid, a powerhouse of fantasy. Brimming with characters that aren’t quite heroes but aren’t quite bad guys either, it shows the hard core, broke down parts of the world other stories skip over, the dark side of reality that comes not from magic, but from the poor, desperate and disillusioned trying to make it through a hard life.

Seriously? I got a little teary when I saw this one. It was so close to how I think of the books; Michele understood so clearly what I was trying to do and express. It’s absolutely amazing to feel understood like that, and like you’ve truly connected with someone through your work.
Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Two weeks to go!

And I’m starting to freak out a little, to be honest. Eep!

So I have some stuff to share with you about UNHOLY GHOSTS, but first, this morning my Faerie had her preschool graduation, which was a big teary deal for Mommy. She’s been going to a Baptist preschool nearby; a Baptist school because A) it’s close; B) it’s not as expensive as most of the other schools; and C) most importantly, when we went to take a look at the place the staff were so friendly and charming and non-judgy, and they were so kind to Faerie, and she liked it so much. I haven’t regretted it once, although I admit it’s a tad weird when she starts asking questions about religion etc. etc. I’m happy for her to learn about religions, though, and about different people believing different things, and the school is seriously fantastic. Her official last day is Friday and I know I’m going to be a gibbering mess.

Aaanyway. Graduation was this morning, and the kids gave a little concert, which is awesome. Awesome not just because, you know, it’s our baby on that stage, but because there’s always that one boy who refuses to play along. At the Christmas concert he just stood and stared at the audience the whole time, leading the hubs and I to invent dialogue for him, such as “I don’t trust you people,” or the classic Buscemi-on-SNL-inspired, “You’re all dead and you don’t even know it.” Today he played along a little more, but when the kids sang how God is watching and knows everything, he stood there arms akimbo rather than doing the hand movement; the rest of the class was happy in the knowledge that God knows everything, but Surly was berating us. Warning us. Informing us that we’re not going to get away with shit, so we shouldn’t even think about it. Surly is awesome.
Read the rest of this entry »