Monday, November 9, 2015

Baksheesh by DS Kane - Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. DS Kane will be awarding ebook versions of the whole Spies Lie series (which includes Bloodridge, DeathByte, Swiftshadow, GrayNet, and Baksheesh) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A special welcome to DS Kane who was brave enough to agree to answer a few of our nosy questions. First off, why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

Two reasons why I write technothrillers, are:

First, I’ve spent my entire working life at the junction of the financial industry and politics, particularly within the technologies supporting both. As a covert operative, I wrote reports detailing what I’d done, and much of that work product was borderline fiction. My field work was sometimes dangerous. It often came with an adrenaline rush. Now, writing technothrillers, I try to give my readers some of the same things I felt.

Second, after a decade working undercover, I was torn between missing the dangerous work I’d done, and wanting never to do it again. Writing fiction was the closest I could come to being back in the field.

Getting to relive it variously--makes sense to me. What research did you need to do?

The world I’ve built for readers is quite real, with the exception of my characters, who are similar, but not exact copies of the people I worked with. My plot lines and ideas for my books often come from the evening news.

Every report I read in the news about politics or technology sparks my interest. For example, most reports about Washington, DC are stories made to cover up some darker truth. Most times, people in our capitol don’t tell the truth; I’ve seen many of the cover-ups first hand. What I ask myself is, what is the hidden darker story this one might mask? Sometimes, during the year it takes me to finish a book, the truth will come out, and then my story looks like a mix of fiction and non-fiction.

I'm going to start looking at the news with a different eye now. Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

I write about a group of six who work together, and in each book, a different team member takes center stage. What I’ve learned is that even when they try to trust each other, they often make mistakes which lead to them doubting whether trust is ever possible. In my own life, I’ve learned to forgive friends their mistakes, since the mistakes are often unintended. My characters taught me that.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

When I’ve spent my day producing a story’s draft, often, while I sleep, my characters will visit my dreams. They often complain about the way I’ve treated them in my scenes, and sometimes tell me they refuse to do what I want them to. In these dreams, I sometimes find myself threatening them because my plot line requires them to do something they don’t want to do. When the night ends, more often than not, I’ll change what I wrote to make it more in line with what my character told me they want to do.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I plot extensively. Before writing the first six books of the series, I wrote a series bible so I knew the arcs of each character across the entire series. Then I drafted outlines of each individual book. Finally, I wrote drafts of each book and when I finished, I reviewed them against both the series bible and the book’s outline, to ensure consistency for my readers.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My desk is a total mess. Paper scraps, notes, software boxes, pieces of obsolete computer hardware, ballpoint pens, batteries, all are scattered there. And yes, I can find anything I need in under a few seconds. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I’d promised Andrea, my wonderful wife, I’d clean my office up after I reached book 3’s publication date, but that was well over a year ago. Now, it’s a broken promise.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m finishing production of ProxyWar, Book 6 of the Spies Lie series. It should be out in early December. If anyone among the intelligence agencies of the United States reads it, I hope it inspires them to craft a disaster plan to protect America for the coming cyber war that will occur someday, possibly soon. America is totally unprotected for this event, and tens of millions would die when our electric grids stops working.

Scary to think about a cyber war. Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes, I do: How much food and water do you have stored to protect yourself in case of disaster? Enough to last a few weeks? One week? A few days? If you live above the seventh floor in a multi-story building, how would you get out (and return) if the elevators stopped working? This could be a life and death concern for you. It will feature prominently in my upcoming work.

She spied for her country, blackmailed her president, and ran from more threats than she can remember. But when the love of her life proposes, covert agent Cassandra Sashakovich is finally ready to settle down. Unfortunately her past is not quite ready to let her walk away.

Old enemies—including a vengeful president—want her dead, and they’re willing to attack her loved ones, including her adopted teenage daughter, if that’s what it takes.

But Cassandra has other pressing problems—a world leader is assassinated and an arm dealer’s revenge threatens to lead to nuclear war. Now Cassandra and her security firm, Swiftshadow must defuse the threats and find a way to outmaneuver those who threaten not only her family, but her country as well.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Lee Ainsley, her boyfriend, knelt, holding up the tiny ring with its miniature diamond in his hand, offering it to her. He seemed to sense the tsunami of emotions overpowering her. Feelings mixed with logic, pointing in every direction away from what she truly wanted.

He grinned slyly, like a child who’d waited too long for Christmas. “What’s your answer? Cassandra Sashakovich, I'm hopelessly in love with you. Please marry me.”

Her eyes had popped wide open the first time he asked. Now, she tried to speak but her lips wouldn't move.

She’d shown him her heart, her only private place where thought had no currency.

She forced herself to moisten her lips through the pain, preparing to speak. The voice inside her head told her not to try and sort all of it out before she answered him.

Time to feel? Time to think?

She realized there wasn’t time to sort this out properly. Cassie tried thinking anyway, since—for her—thinking always happened before any action. She wondered what she really wanted. Of course she wanted Lee. And the voice in the back of her head stated bluntly that having Lee would be dangerous for him. She wasn’t safe. No one with her could ever be safe.

Now, what she had originally dreamed of, being wanted and loved by an intelligent, good-looking man, was about to become her dream come true. But Lee had been targeted for death because of her. Accepting his proposal would only exaggerate his peril. And, Ann, her adopted daughter would be at greater risk with both her and Lee as choke points. Furthermore, it would be so much easier for any enemies of Cassie to use her family as leverage against her. Yet, if she declined, she'd acknowledge that her enemies had succeeded in destroying her life.

Cassie sighed. It was a lose-lose situation.

Her heart leaped at the sight of the miniscule ring. Where had he bought it? When had he had time? It had to have been just before he was picked up by the FBI and taken to Guantanamo Bay; it was so small that he’d probably bought it the day after they’d left the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC.

Cassie realized, ohmigod, he’s been planning this for months.

She heard Ann tiptoe down the stairs. She saw the teen’s reflection, watching from just beyond the kitchen doors, facing Cassie’s back. Ann’s ragged hair had been dyed back to its natural mousy brown, from the purple and pink she’d colored it to disguise herself when she ran from a Saudi assassin weeks ago. Ann held Gizmo, their small, black kitten in her arms. She smiled. “Do it, mom,” she whispered.

Time to choose.

About the Author:
DS Kane worked in the field of covert intelligence for over a decade. During that time, his cover was his real name, and he was on the faculty of NYU's Stern Graduate School of Business. He traveled globally for clients including government and military agencies, the largest banks, and Fortune 100 corporations, and while in-country, he did side jobs for the government. One of the banks DS Kane investigated housed the banking assets of many of the world's intelligence agencies and secret police forces, including the CIA and NSA. Much of his work product was pure but believable fiction, lies he told, and truths he concealed. Secrets that--if revealed--might have gotten him killed. When his cover got blown, he fled the field and moved 3,000 miles.

Now, DS Kane is a former spy, still writing fiction. Through his novels, he exposes the way intelligence agencies craft fiction for sale to sway their countries and manipulate their national policy, driving countries into dangerous conflicts.

To learn more about DS Kane and his books, visit or join him on Facebook for book giveaways and details on espionage.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?

  2. Mai T. -

    I'll confess that throughout my life, I've always backed my posterior into places I had no right going, and never realized how dangerous they were until it was too late. I was scared too late in the process.

    - DS Kane


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?