Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fiery Hot Reads for Icy Cold Nights: Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane Guest Post & Giveaway


Cambria Hebert

If you've ever visited The Nocturnal Library before today, you must have seen one of my (in)famous lists of favorites. I like making lists and I like promoting my favorite reads so I try to do both as often as possible. If you have seen one or more of those lists, you might have noticed that Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts books happen to be on each and every one of them (except for the YA ones, of course). Why? Well that's easy: because they're unlike anything I've ever read before. The quality of these books and Kane's masterful use of language are unmatched in urban fantasy, and genre fiction in general. Kane knows her characters so well, their strengths and their many flaws, and she brings them to life with seeming ease. Knowing how busy she is with the short story from Terrible's perspective she's currently writing, I didn't expect her to find the time for this post, but she did, and she was so amazing about it. So instead of rambling further, I'll just shut up and let her introduce you to Chess and Terrible.


    



Writing a book is like getting to know someone. Well, it’s actually “like” a lot of things, but the one I’m focusing on at the moment is getting to know people—getting to know characters—because I’ve just written a novella from the POV of Terrible, the big bad greaser hero of my Downside books. So I’ve basically just been re-introduced to my characters, and my world; I’ve just seen them through completely new eyes.

And it’s surprised me, a bit. What I learned, and what I already knew, especially about Terrible and the series’s heroine, Chess.

I’m used to seeing Chess through her eyes, or rather, seeing her world through her eyes, and showing readers how she reacts to that world and how she exists in it. And I know her. I know how she thinks, how she feels, how she sees herself. I know how she deals with life and what she wants.

I knew all of those things about Terrible, too, though I’ve never written through his eyes before. I know how he thinks, and what he wants, and what’s important to him.

But I still learned some things.

It shocked me how similar they are, how similar their thought processes are and how, although he doesn’t have the vocabulary Chess has, and although his narrative voice “sounds” much more like how he talks (by which I mean, it’s a very modified version of his speech; MS Word finally actually gave up on me and informed me there were too many grammatical and spelling errors for it to continue correcting them! Word does not like words like “causen” and “gonna”)…it still sounds a lot like Chess, too. More than I expected.

That makes sense, though. From the beginning—well, not the beginning, but from about a third of the way through UNHOLY GHOSTS—I realized how similar Chess and Terrible are, in general. They both had pretty horrific childhoods. They both see themselves as being “saved” by a person or entity to which they are staunchly loyal even though both of those “entities” are far from perfect. They both feel they had to fight for everything they have, and they’ll fight to keep it. They both have some fairly unhealthy methods of stress release; that was a pretty interesting thing to explore a bit, the way he uses violence and pain the way Chess uses drugs, and the way he recognizes that similarity.

And they’re both, in the beginning, so lonely, despite having people and jobs and plenty to keep them occupied. (The difference there is that when Chess realizes what’s happening between them, she pretends it isn’t happening and hides from it, whereas Terrible just assumes it’s all one-sided and that he would be stupid to even think he has a chance. Writing her through his eyes was quite something, really; all the things he doesn’t say, how he sees her, how she makes him feel.) It was sad and enlightening to go back to almost-the-beginning and see that loneliness, unacknowledged by her in UNHOLY GHOSTS and now unacknowledged by him, although with typical honesty he admits to himself that maybe he’d like something real in his life.

He doesn’t get it in this novella—I hate to spoil it for you, but this story ends about two weeks before UNHOLY MAGIC starts (and, for those of you unaware, Valentine’s Day occurs during the time period covered by UNHOLY MAGIC, so it fits right into this blog hop, doesn’t it?). So there’s no resolution there yet. This is Terrible’s own story, a sort of pre-mystery mystery, and while Chess is certainly in it, it is his story, about him.  A snapshot of what his day-to-day life was at that time. (I’d certainly love to write the events of UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS from his POV, if there’s enough interest in this story.)

I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it, and seeing everybody through new eyes.



   


Yes, more stories please. Isn't it awesome? I've always wanted to see things through Terrible's eyes, to know what goes on through his head when Chess does something sweet or smart or incredibly stupid, or for example, when he enters Bump's place. I'm so happy we'll finally get a chance to find out.

Giveaway time!
Win a Downside Ghosts book of your choice from The Book Depository. Enter the Rafflecopter and spend some time with Chess and Terrible. There will be 2 winners internationally. I own all of these pretties on paper because Kindle edition just isn't good enough for some books and I like to reread parts more often than I care to admit.

I'd like to thank my friend Heidi of Rainy Day Ramblings for once again being brave enough to organize this party and of course, the wonderful Stacia Kane for writing a great post despite my incoherence.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

57 comments:

  1. It's getting ridiculous that I haven't read this series yet. Catie and Tatiana both love it (and so do you, Maja!). In addition, one of my IRL book clubs read through the series and I had to sit through discussions of each book while I was eating my dinner because I couldn't get my act together the first month and then I was behind. Ugh. Loved the post, Stacia. I look forward to the day when I finally get my act together.

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  2. I haven't seen this book before, but I'm not a lover of urban fantasy. I mean I've only read one and I wasn't happy with it. Maybe I should give this one a try. Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. I haven't read this series yet but i've read a lot of positive review about it

    my fvourite UF couple hum mercy thompson and adam haupthman ( kate daniels and curran on the same level^^)

    thank you a lot for the international giveaway

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  4. Enjoyed reading the post.I'm going to put this series on y TRL. Don't know why I haven't sen it before but I have now. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  5. I LOVE THIS POST! I think I screamed like a fangirl when I saw that Stacia Kane had a guest post on your blog and although I knew she was writing a novella from Terrible's PoV, I just can't wait to read it now! I love that Chess and Terrible are actually quite similar because although they're so different and balance each other out somehow, Terrible always seeming to be the calmer and more collected one, it's nice to know that the two of them really have more similarities than Chess thinks. I'm sure his perspective will break my heart with the fact that he doesn't think he could ever have a chance with Chess, but I love these books too much to care about broken hearts. Amazing post, Stacia and Maja - thanks for sharing! :D

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  6. I haven't heard of this books before, but they seem like good reads.Can't wait to read them

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  7. I have so much love for the Downside Ghosts series -- I <3 Stacia Kane!! It's so fabulous that Chess and Terrible found each other because they are so similar and yet support each other in all the right ways. Just finished the novella, which gives even further insight into Chess. *sigh* I can't wait for the next booK!

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  8. Oh, I completely agree that writing a book is like getting to know someone. Once, when I was writing characters profiles I wrote 'extremely loyal' down as a characteristic of a side-character/mini-antagonist while just listing them off. I had to take a step back because I had not started off the list with that word in mind, but it did fit her.

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  9. *bangs head on desk* I have the first 3 books in the series sitting in my TBR pile..i know they are awesome..i just haven't read them. I am hoping to read book one in March! Thanks for sharing and ooh I want to know all about Terrible and Chess!

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  10. I have the first book sitting pretty on my pile. Sigh. I need to read this soon and see what the fuss is all about. You're not the only one who've sang this series' praises.

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  11. I LOVE THIS SERIES!!! I can't wait to read this novella from Terrible's POV.

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  12. I've heard and read so much love for Chess and Terrible that I've been meaning to pick up this series. I was aware of Chess's drug use and still a bit hesitate to pick the series because of it, but I really want to meet these characters and this world. Thanks so much for showcasing this series!

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  13. I love this series and I love Terrible and Chess!!! I was so excited to see you had Stacia Kane on your blog today. It was great to get insight into one of my favorite couples. I can't wait for the novella and for the next book!

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  14. My favorite urban fantasy couple is Cat & Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series :)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  15. The books sound great! Thanks for the post! My favorite urban fantasy couple is Faythe and Marc from the Shifters series by Rachel Vincent!

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  16. I don't think I've read any urban fantasy... well, does "City of Bones" count??

    Mestith@gmail.com

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  17. Chess and Terrible are the two most damaged, most lovable, and my favorite UF couple. They have both ripped out my bleeding heart in each book. The audiobook for the series is one of the best ones out there BTW.

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  18. Your books look amazing, I have yet to read them but I heard many excellent praises.

    my fav couple is Charley and Reyes from Charley Davidson series.

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  19. Curran and Kate Daniels or Mac and Barrons. Hmm, tough call.

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  20. This was an excellent post. Normally, I would not be interested in these types of books, but after reading about Chess & Terrible ( I love the character names), I hope I win! I am a new follower to this blog. I found you through the Fire & Ice Tour on Rainy Day Ramblings. Your site looks fantastic! ~ Jess

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  21. I am hopelessly obsessed by this series and am currently listening to Chasing Magic. I am excited to hear about the novella written in Terrible's point of view, even if it stops at a critical point. It will still be enlightening, even more so. By the way, your narrator for the audiobooks is fantastic. If anyone is planning to start the series, I highly recommend the audiobook format.

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  22. Enjoyed reading the post.I'm going to put this series on my TRL. Don't know why I haven't sen it before but I have now. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  23. I have got book one and I swear I am reading it this year. I do pay attention to your lists! How could I not want to meet a character named Terrible and this sounds like the kind of romance I love one where they pretend not to like each other when they are dying to hook up! I can't wait to check out the world building. Thanks girl for the sweet shout out and for putting together this fantastic post! You are the best!

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  24. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    That's the sound of me fangirl shrieking all the way from America. Hope you enjoyed it! ;) This was such a great post (from both of you). I've thought a lot about how similar Chess and Terrible really are and as you can imagine, I am so psyched to read this novella.

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  25. I have the first 4 books and so I need Chasing Magic. ;) I still haven't started them, but I know I'm going to devour them when I do! I so need to meet Chess and Terrible. GOTS to! :)

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  26. I can't wait to read the Terrible novella, this series is definitely in my top 5 ever.

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  27. I can't wait to read the Terrible novella, this series is definitely in my top 5 ever.

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  28. Thanks for the giveaway and the awesome guest post. I'm not familiar with this series Maja but I'll be looking into it today. Thanks for sharing it today :)

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  29. I, too, can't wait to finally get a chance to read a part of the Downside series from Terrible's point of view.

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  30. PLEASE more stories. NEVER LET THIS END.

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  31. I tear through these books like a Hobo tears through a free sandwich.

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  32. Can't wait for this short. Love, love, love these books!

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  33. Oh man this is awesome! I've loved reading Chess and Terrible. :D

    I think my favorite UF couple could be Curran and Kate. Love how they are together, challenge each other, and don't let love get in the way of their bad-assery. ;D Thank you!

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  34. I have heard many good things about this series and I grabbed the first book but haven't had the chance to read it.
    I like when authors write novellas from a different perspective. It helps us see another side of things.

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  35. Awesome post! I adore this series, it's so incredible and original and I LOVE Chess and Terrible. Reading the story from Terrible's POV sounds so interesting (and I did read a bit of in from Stacia's website), and I really want to read their romance from his perspective.

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  36. I have never seen this book before and this post has intrigued me! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  37. I never read this series, but the cover book was amazing.
    I enjoyed reading this post :)

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  38. Even though I haven't officially met Terrible yet (I still find the name choice pretty hilarious!) I really like the sound of this novella. I definitely need to start this series soon though. My friend Tara has been sending me death threats because I haven't yet. ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  39. I LOVE YOU TERRIBLE!!!! This is one of my favorite UF series, Chess and Terribly are such painfully beautiful characters and my heart just hurts for them when I'm reading. I haven't read Terrible's novella yet - CANNOT WAIT for that:) And it made me snort when she said Word told her there were too many grammatical errors to continue checking. Awesome:)

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  40. I have not read any book from this series but sounds great, hope can win :)

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  41. I adore this post Maja. I love reading your posts, when you're absolutely full of love for a series, and from this post that Stacia has left for us it's clear to see why! So many people have recommended this series to me, but being the terrible friend that I am I have yet to pick it up, but I promise I will do this year! And the bit about the grammatical errors had me cracking up! Thanks for another wonderful post! :)

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  42. I really enjoyed the post and the way of thought. I should probably hide and say I've never read one of her books nor have I really heard of the author.

    *hides*

    I don't really read Urban Fantasy that much which is probably why.

    However she sounds like a brilliant author, and one that I need to check out.

    Awesome post, dearest! :)

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  43. I can't believe I haven't read this series yet! I have the first book, so I have zero excuses. Plus, it seems everyone whose taste I respect adores this series. This is a reminder to get the book out of my TBR and make it a priority.

    I love this guest post—it's so much fun to get a novella or story from a different perspective!

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  44. I haven't heard of this books before, but they seem like good reads.
    I don't really read Urban Fantasy that much which is probably why.
    Good gues post :)

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  45. Favorite UF couple is Kate and Curran from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews!

    Thanks,
    Leanne

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  46. I don' think I have read any urban fantasy. I do love fantasy and this series sounds great! Best of luck! :)
    ~Jess

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  47. i want to read stacia kane's novels...
    sounds great ..
    thx u for the chance :)

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  48. I don't know if I can choose a favorite couple, Maja. I love Mac and Barrons, but I also love Kate and Curran. I guess this is another UF I need to add to my pile. Can't wait to meet Terrible. Thanks for the brilliant post Stacia, I loved hearing your insights. Thank you for the giveaway, Maja. :)

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  49. I've only read Unholy Ghosts but I loved that Terrible wasn't a classic hero...I want more regular looking guys in fiction! :-)

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  50. My favorite uf couple would be Barrons and Mac - mostly because Barrons is one of my favorite heroes ever.

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  51. I absolutely love this series and I am really excited about the novela from Terrible's POV because he is such an intriguing character and it will be really interesting to get a glimpse inside his head

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  52. I love Chess and Terrible. Kate Daniels/Curran, Cat/Bones and Mercy/Adam are all great couples in the UF space.

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  53. Kat and Bones are my favorite UF couple.

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  54. Great series, I highly recommend Ms. Kane- she is a great author.

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  55. I can't wait to read more Terrible!

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  56. I'm so looking forward to learning more about Terrible!

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  57. Great post about a great series! Looking forward to reading all the books. :)

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