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A blog about books and other things speculative

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End of Year Giveaways 1 - 3: Winners Announced - January 6, 2011

And the winners are:

End of Year Giveaway 1 - Sandman Slim Novels by Richard Kadrey

rissatoo

End of Year Giveaways 1 - 3:  Winners Announced - January 6, 2011End of Year Giveaways 1 - 3:  Winners Announced - January 6, 2011


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End of Year Giveaway 2 - Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane

Vivien

End of Year Giveaways 1 - 3:  Winners Announced - January 6, 2011

End of Year Giveaways 1 - 3:  Winners Announced - January 6, 2011


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End of Year Giveaway 3 - The Fever Series 1-4 by Karen Marie Moning

vampireprincess

End of Year Giveaways 1 - 3:  Winners Announced - January 6, 2011


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The winners have been notified! They have until January 20, 2011 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time to claim their goodies or The Qwillery will randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

End of Year Giveaway 2 - Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane - December 22, 2010

Next up in my end of year giveaways of favorite books from 2010 is the Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane. There are 3 books in the series so far: Unholy Ghosts (May 2010), Unholy Magic (July 2010), and City of Ghosts (July 2010). Books 4 and 5 will be coming in late Fall 2011 or Spring 2012 (dates subject to change).

Stacia posted The Brave Tale of Maddie Carver at her site, at Smashwords, and at Scribd. It's a short short story about the beginning of Haunted Week. Haunted Week is important in the world of Chess Putman.

I really can't say enough good things about this new series. It's well-crafted, with a unique setting and history. I wrote a short series review here.

The Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series:

Unholy Ghosts 
End of Year Giveaway 2 - Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane - December 22, 2010THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.

Unholy Magic 
End of Year Giveaway 2 - Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane - December 22, 2010ENEMIES DON’T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY.

For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.

City of Ghosts
End of Year Giveaway 2 - Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane - December 22, 2010IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD.

Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.


Included with this Giveaway is Dead Star, a necklace from Cemetery Cat Jewelry.

End of Year Giveaway 2 - Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane - December 22, 2010
Dangling from a pewter toggle are a sterling silver skull and black swarovski star... Silver plate chain finishes the look. 17"
(Photo and description courtesy of Cemetery Cat Jewelry)

The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win Mass Market Paperback copies of Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic, and City of Ghosts and the Dead Star necklace.

How:  Leave a comment telling The Qwillery who are your favorite band(s) or singer(s)? If you don't answer the question, your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who & When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 29, 2010. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Downside Ghosts Series Giveaway - Winner

And Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic, and City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane go to

heatwave16 !

Congratulations.

An email will be sent to you shortly. Please respond by 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on Monday, August 16, 2010 or The Qwillery will have to randomly pick a new winner.

Downside Ghosts Series Giveaway - Winner

Review - Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane

The Downside Ghosts Series:

Review - Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia KaneBook: Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts 1) 
Author: Stacia Kane
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 978-0345515575
Published: May 25, 2010
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders)

THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.


Review - Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane
Book: Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts 2)
Author: Stacia Kane
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 978-0345515582
Published: July 6, 2010
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders)

ENEMIES DON’T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY.

For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.


Review - Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia KaneBook: City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts 3)
Author: Stacia Kane
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 978-0345515599
Published: July 27, 2010
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders)

IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD.

Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.

Review:

Every now and then I come across a book or series that is so different and so well written I want to weep for joy. The first three books of the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane are just such books.

The Downside Ghosts series is set in the United States after the ghosts have risen, attacked, and been brought to heel by the Church of Real Truth. The Church is now in charge. I'm not going to discuss each of the books in depth because the back cover copy gives you the flavor of each story. To tell you more would come dangerously close to spoilers.

Chess Putnam is an incredibly flawed protagonist. She's a functional drug addict. She is also a church witch for the Church of Real Truth and is a Debunker. Debunkers investigate reports of hauntings. She lives off the Church campus in Downside, a very seedy part of the the incredible world built by Stacia Kane. She is mired in drugs. And yet, I like her. I don't always like what she does, but I like her.

Throughout the three books we get to see Chess in action. And I do mean action. She doesn't just say a couple of spells and all is well. She gets her hands dirty, very dirty. In addition to Chess, we meet Terrible (the enforcer for Chess' primary drug dealer), Bump (her primary drug dealer), Lex (the son of a rival of Bump's), many of the other residents of Downside and many of the employees of the Church. The stories suck you in, and you end up caring about the 'good' guys. By good I mean not as bad as the bad guys. No one seems truly good in the dark and dystopian world of Downside and the Church of Real Truth.

The world building is superb in this series. I feel as if I could find my way around the Church (if it actually existed). I know what Downside looks like. The cases that Chess must solve in each book are well written, edge of your seat mysteries. There are elements of horror in these stories that suit this grim world. The interactions between the characters are believable and vivid. I must admit that I read many scenes more than once. Not because I did not understand what happened, but because they were so well written that I wanted to savor them again. These are books I will reread.

Ms. Kane has taken risks with this series (see drug addicted primary character above, for example). I feel that the risks were well taken. If you like your urban fantasy very dark and grimy I highly recommend the Downside Ghosts series.


I give each of the books 5 Qwills.
Review - Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane

The Downside Series by Stacia Kane - Giveaway

Stacia Kane has written a compelling new dark and gritty urban fantasy series. I have not yet finished the 3rd book, City of Ghosts, but when I do I will have more to say. Until then I'd like to share a set of the books with one commenter.

The Downside Series by Stacia Kane - Giveaway
THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.



The Downside Series by Stacia Kane - Giveaway
ENEMIES DON’T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY.

For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.
 
 
The Downside Series by Stacia Kane - Giveaway
 
IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD.

Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.


To have a chance to win the three Downside books leave a comment telling The Qwillery what you are presently reading.

If you tweet the contest, we’ll give you another entry for the tweet as well. You can tweet as much as you like, but it only counts once. If you also mention the contest on Facebook, we’ll give you another entry. You can mention it on Facebook a zillion times, but you only get one extra entry. You can also mention the contest on your blog (it must be your blog) to get another entry. If you are a follower of The Qwillery you get another entry. You can get a maximum of 5 entries (comment, tweet, FB mention, blog mention, Follower). Provide us a link in the comments so we know that you tweeted or Facebooked or blogged. Please leave The Qwillery a way to contact you.

The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.

If you're a fan of the series you can pick up this nifty Downside Army badge at Stacia Kane's website.

The Downside Series by Stacia Kane - Giveaway
End of Year Giveaways 1 - 3:  Winners Announced - January 6, 2011End of Year Giveaway 2 - Chess Putnam / Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane - December 22, 2010Downside Ghosts Series Giveaway - WinnerReview - Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia KaneThe Downside Series by Stacia Kane - Giveaway

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