Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy holidays to all

Thanks for all you who read my columns in the Huffington Post and read my blog at this site. Thanks to all who made Bloodridge, Book 1 of the Spies Lie Series an Amazon BESTSELLER. I hope you all have the most wonderful holiday ever. I look forward to entertaining you in 2015 with more espionage technothrillers.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My Favorite Things, by DS Kane

Today, December 22, Kylie Betzner honors me with this opportunity to post a Guest Blog on her site, She’s hosting blog writers for the “My Favorite Things” Blog Tour (

 Here’s my entry:

During the winter holidays, I always keep busy writing. It’s not a vacation, but I’d hardly consider writing “work.” For me, writing is an addiction. I love telling stories. The evening news keeps me busy with news that translates well into fiction, or at least serves as suitable inspiration.

Over the years, I’ve celebrated the holidays in Manhattan, London, Hawaii, Palestine, Istanbul and Jerusalem. Each city has its own local stories. My observations have turned into themes, character arcs and plot points for The Spies Lie Series. I’ve had to change the date from the winter holidays to whatever date would best serve my book’s specific time and date, but, whenever possible, I’ve stuck close to the time of day when it occurred.

This year, my newest favorite thing was when, in December my book Bloodridge, Book 1 of the Spies Lie series hit the Amazon BESTSELLER LIST for both print and ebook, in the espionage and technothriller categories. I was as high as #32 on the top hundred, above books written by my writing heroes, including Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress, Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector, The Hunt for Red October, Locked On, Red Storm Rising, Cardinal of the Kremlin, Clear and Present Danger, Teeth of the Tiger, Red Rabbit, Debt of Honor, and Patriot Games, Michael Crichton’s Sphere, and Micro, J.A. Konrath’s The List, Origin, and, Ground, B. V. Larson’s Dead Sun, Annihilation, Empire, Storm Assault, Dust World, Exile, Element-X, Rebellion, Swarm, Mech 1, and, Extinction, Chuck Palahnuik’s Beautiful You, James Patterson’s Kill Alex Cross, and,  Private Vegas, Daniel Suarez’s Daemon, Daniel Silva’s The Messenger, Vince Flynn’s Extreme Measures, Ken Follett’s A Place Called Freedom, Joseph Finder’s Buried Secrets. It lasted for almost an entire week!

But when it ended, it was back to work for me. I’ve been busy this year


My newest book in the Spies Lie series, GrayNet, was released the first week in December. It was the 4th book I’ve had published this year.

In GrayNet, Cassandra Sashakovich, a spy, quit her work as a spy and blackmailed the White House to get her boyfriend, Lee Ainsley, released from Gitmo.

Cassandra rescued a teenager, Ann Silbee, from homelessness, and adopted her. Now they're all safe, and so is she. So everything should slowly become normal.

But Lee and Ann hate each other. Worse still, all those she broke and mangled on her mad run to survive want revenge. And soon, she finds the leverage needed to keep her alive falling apart…

Her life starts to unravel when the brother of murdered terrorists discovers it was Cassandra that killed them. Then the President's secret, the one she promised to keep hidden in exchange for her boyfriend's release, leaks to the press.

Her leverage is vaporizing.

It's time to run again…


It’s a global story, with scenes rapidly shifting to Washington DC, California’s Bay Area, Maui, Columbus, Ohio, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Manhattan, Tokyo, Detroit, Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok, Russia, Frankfurt, Germany, Muscat, Oman, Buenos Aires, Baltimore and Boston. The story is populated with spies, hackers, mercenaries entrepreneurs, and politicians. There are a few twists to keep you entertained. Deception and revenge are the two major themes.

There is a single scene taking place in the month of December, so, not a “holidays” story. But this is the kind of thriller you can give as a holidays present: Bring a spy home for the holidays.

Of all the book covers Jeroen Ten Berge has designed for the Spies Lie Series, the one he crafted for GrayNet is my favorite. And the story itself, where a spy is never really safe while alive, rigs true to my own experience. Keeping secrets and spreading lies is, after all, the business of espionage. And GrayNet has plenty of both.

 So, how much of the story is based on fact? I can’t tell you, or I’d have to…

Here’s a brief excerpt that takes place in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Thomas Dillworthy is the Chair of the Congressional intelligence oversight committee:

Dillworthy read a few pages

His jaw fell open. He mumbled to himself. "Damn. That reporter was right.” He thought, how could POTUS be so stupid? If this is true, the Chicago explosions were funded from the West Wing of the White House. Right under the President's nose. The Congressman shivered. Did the President know? Did he help plan it? He shook his head, reviewing the source of the intel. But it was no use. There was no way around it. The head of his party would be convicted of treason and murder. He forced himself to not think about the horrible deaths of thousands of innocents.

As Dillworthy considered his own options, the office door opened and one of his staff, a shy woman, returned from lunch. He turned away and walked into the private room of his office, closing the door behind him.

He sat down. As the Chair of the Congressional intelligence oversight committee, it was his duty to decide what matters were important enough to deal with in the light of day.

The question is, will I be a traitor to my party or a traitor to my country?


Here’s another, where Omasu Maru, a Yakusa enforcer, one of the antagonists in the story, reads an email reply in his Tokyo office, from a troublesome owner of a luxury hotel in Maui who owes the Yakusa money and has agreed to do Maru’s bidding to continue owning his hotel:


Maru returned from a meeting with one of his lieutenants, entering his office as his computer beeped indicating the arrival of an email.

He clicked the mouse and the screen changed:

Esteemed Omasu-san,

Cassandra Sashakovich has arrived at the hotel and I am on my way out. Her meeting with me has not been scheduled, per you orders. She and a young girl are in the two suites on the tenth floor, along with five civilians I assume are her consultants for the Security Audit.

All the other guests have vacated the premises.

Should you need to reach me, call my cell.


Sanji Morikono

Maru chuckled. He lit a cigarette, took a drag, and coughed. He flexed his palms, thinking, as he reviewed the bet he'd crafted for GrayNet. It took him a few hours until he got it absolutely correct, in words that had obvious meaning to anyone reading them in English, the foreign language he used for the message post:

BET—No one can send the severed head of Cassandra Sashakovich to the address at the bottom of this bet, for payment equal to the bet amount at market odds, plus a bounty of $3 million USD. Proof of her death will be her severed head, packed in dry ice, sealed in a wooden box. To earn the bounty, mail MP4 proof of Sashakovich‘s death, along with hitter's contact information to address below via overnight delivery. Others may bet on the outcome, but will only receive computed odds as they would at any sporting event. Her current whereabouts are at the Wailea Spa and Hotel in Maui, Hawaii, and her location can easily be tracked at

The physical address for reply upon success was a postal box in Tajikistan.

He smiled as the GrayNet web page of "Active Bets" updated the "Contracts for Death" sub-page.

He walked to the lunch room and poured himself a cup of coffee. Wearing a Cheshire-cat smile, he sat and waited. Within two hours, the bet was number one in popularity, as indicated by the number of views and also its position on the list. The odds were now 2:1 in favor of her death, there was almost $5 million betting that she could be assassinated.

Maru laughed so hard he almost fell out of his chair.


And one more scene from GrayNet. This one takes place in Boston Harbor and is seen from the point of view of Cassandra Sashakovich, the protagonist:

In the gray light, a pout covered Cassie's mouth. "Well I still don't like asking others to risk their lives while I stand here in safety. It's not—"

She heard a Ruger's characteristic thumping, followed by the crash of window glass twenty feet above. She looked up. The setting sun at last peeked rosy through a slit in the clouds, lighting them all. Glass splinters fell like rain, along with a rotund man holding a handgun. Shimmel and Cassie both covered their heads against the falling glass slivers, to keep shattered fragments from hitting their faces.

They dived away as fast as their legs could spring them.

Homaz dropped right between them, less than five feet away from her. Shimmel's dive put him on the wood planking five feet behind Houmaz. As Avram fell, he aimed his Ruger Mini-14.

Cassie saw Houmaz aim as he dropped. At her head.

Underneath her disguise, her moving body was covered in a liquid armor Hawaiian shirt. Her head was unprotected. Houmaz's aim was bad. The bullet hit her obliquely in the shoulder, but the bulletproof shirt ricocheted the shell up her armored chest. The bullet slammed through her tilted head, butchering her right cheek, and plowing through the other side of her face to exit near her ear. She landed in a heap, unmoving, unfeeling, in shock.

My favorite things include this quote from George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946:

“Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

I used this in Swiftshadow, Book 3 of the Spies Lie Series. It embodies the central role of government as it actually works today: Lie to everyone, all the time.

And this one from Macbeth, Act 5, Scene V, by Willy the Spear Shaker (William Shakespeare):

“It is a story told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” 

I used this in DeathByte, Book 2 of the Spies Lie Series. The quote is the essence of great fiction.

I worked for over a decade at an intelligence service. Ironically, I considered my work there as crafting fiction. When I left the business, writing thriller fiction seemed the natural choice, just as it has been for John LeCarre, Barry Eisler, Brad Thor, and so many other former spies.

I’ve taught thriller writing at libraries and writers conferences, and also offer writers critiques of their work through the free workshops.

If you’re hooked and want to find out more, GrayNet, Book 4 of the Spies Lie Series by DS Kane can be found on Amazon and can be ordered from any bookstore, as can the other books in the series. You might consider reading the series in the order they were written: Bloodridge, DeathByte, and Swiftshadow precede GrayNet. Oh, and two more will be released in 2015: Baksheesh and ProxyWar.

The other writers posting in Kylie Betzner’s “My Favorite Things” Blog Tour are:

December 8: Kylie Betzner,, Ryder Islington and Jennifer Conway

December 15: Lara Willard, and Mrs. N, aka N. N. Light,

Monday December 22nd: Anthony Renfro and me, DS Kane,

Monday December 29:
Alison Jack:
Noelle Granger:


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bloodridge, Book 1 of the Spies Lie Series, by DS Kane is now a BESTSELLER

Bloodridge, Book 1 of the Spies Lie Series, by DS Kane:
December 10, 2014. Over last 4 days, 123 Kindle ebooks sold, 2 CreateSpace books (in print):
December 11, 2014. Over last three days, 103 books sold (2 in print)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) 
#32 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Technothrillers
#40 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Espionage
#42 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Technothrillers

  • Ahead of Dan Brown: Digital Fortress (#75, #95)
  • Ahead of Tom Clancy: Threat Vector (#47, #65), The Hunt for Red October (#55), Locked On (#58, #62, #65), Red Storm Rising (#59), Cardinal of the Kremlin (#72, #83, #84), Clear and Present Danger (#72, #86), Debt of Honor (#77), Patriot Games (#80)
  • Ahead of Michael Crichton:  Sphere (#88), Micro #100)
  • Ahead of J.A. Konrath: The List (#57), Origin (#65), Holes in the Ground (#94)
  • Ahead of B. V. Larson:  Dead Sun (#44), Annihilation (#46), `Empire (#51), Storm Assault (#53, #97), Dust World (#52), Exile (#60), Element-X (#76), Rebellion (#79), Swarm (#82), Mech 1 (#90) , Extinction (#91)
  • Ahead of Chuck Palahnuik: Beautiful You (#58, #96)
  • Ahead of James Patterson: Private Vegas (#59)
  • Ahead of Daniel Suarez: Daemon (#89, #93)



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DS Kane's Take a Spy Home for the Holidays Blog Tour

Hey, guys, here’s a list of my interviews and guest posts for the DS Kane Blog Tour (!

Are you interested in espionage? Get straight scoop from a former operative now writing spy novels, just as John LeCarre, Barry Eisler, Brad Thor and so many others have.

 There’s almost enough material here for a non-fiction book on writing espionage fiction. Take a spy home for the holidays…

4. 12/02/14: Interview @ The Pen and Muse Book Reviews (

6. 12/02/14: Showcase @ Celtic Lady Reviews (

7. 12/02/14: Showcase @ Hott Books – DS Kane on Why Technology Fails, and Why It's So Easy For A Hacker To Steal Your Identity (  

8. 12/02/14: Showcase @ Mommabears Book Blog – Bloodridge Book Giveaway (

9. 12/02/14: Showcase @ Ryder Islingtons Blog (

10. 12/02/14: Showcase @ X-Mas Dolly (

11. 12/09/14: Guest Post @ Omnimystery News (