{Virtual Book Tour} Baksheesh by DS Kane

by DS Kane
Genre: Thriller




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.









December 6, 4:33 p.m.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC

The outgoing President sat at the Oval Office desk and frowned, his party devastated by leaks in the news stating that he had funded terrorists in an attempt to win the upcoming election for his party. He had been continuously angry since the press started sniffing around. He tapped a pen against the desk. No one visited a lame duck, especially one who’d become a pariah.

Although the news stories claimed that the leaks came from the West Wing, he was sure that it had been Cassandra Sashakovich who leaked the intel she’d been blackmailing him with. And there was more, loads of proof that could have him sent to prison, or even had him executed for treason. 

His mind looped uncontrollably through the events that had led him here. Damn that woman. It couldn’t have been worse. He reached for the tumbler on his desk and took a swallow of Scotch. 

It wasn’t too late to solve the problem by having her captured and terminated. But, there were still things he wanted to do to her. Not just kill her. Something more creative and painful. Maybe have her sent to one of the secret rendition camps he’d had the agency establish in Tajikistan.

He might end up in prison for treason, but at least he’d have the satisfaction of vengeance.  



How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

I worked covert intelligence for nearly a decade, long ago. My assignments required that I write after-action reports, and whenever something happened that I felt might jeopardize my safety if I reported it, I did what most others did in similar circumstances: I lied by omission, or downplayed the truths I was reporting. Better that than endanger myself. Spies lie! I wrote fiction.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 

With my entire series, I wanted to show readers the life of covert operatives, and the emotions spies feel while doing their work. Since so much of intelligence work involves telling lies and concealing truths, I wanted to make sure my readers understand the hidden intent of this forbidden world. My books take readers into a life where the line between truth and lies is not merely blurred, but viciously twisted.

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

I own a library of books on espionage and intelligence services, some written as guides to this world, some written as primers on specific aspects of it. I also use Google to “interview” locations where I want to place my scenes. And, my best references are people I know, some former spies, hackers and military. By far and away, these people are the backstops for my fiction. My wife and I belong to a group of mostly military, called The Drink of the Month Club, and when we meet for a pot luck evening, I often get a chance to ask them questions. Their guidance has been very valuable for writing my fiction.

What is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?

 Most readers register a novel’s theme unconsciously, and when they’re asked what they remember most about a book they then cough up the book’s theme. For thrillers, and espionage techno thrillers in particular, readers who I’ve talked with after they read one of my books do this almost without exception. Since my themes fall into categories of “lies and deception,” it’s easy to see how my readers might fear having these things happen in their own lives. I believe that what we fear most, and what we want most, are the most important drivers of fiction, and the most potent forces for motivating readers.

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

I started work out of college in financial analysis. An unexpected opportunity led me into computer forensics, to solve a few computer frauds. After earning an MA in psychology and an MBA, I worked as a management consultant. Our government contacted me and asked me to perform side-jobs for them when I traveled globally for clients. I did that for a decade, until my cover got blown. Then I moved 3,000 miles and worked for venture capital and angel capital funded start ups. Now, I’m a “former spy, still telling lies,” a technotrhiller novelist.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

Reading at websites such as cryptome (http://www.cryptome.org/) and wiki leaks  (https://wikileaks.org/index.en.html),  following up on the research information I’ve included in my novels’ Appendices, and reading my non-fiction Facebook and Twitter postings will help educate a reader on hacking, weapons technology and the nastier side of politics. My website posts are more editorial, and not quite what I’d call research. Other editorial work, usually exceptional, appears on Barry Eisler’s website. Although he is a bestselling thriller fiction author, his work is informed by his experience with the CIA. His views are definitely worth reading.

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

Amazon has singlehandedly altered the world of publishing for the better. The traditional publishers “own” most of the bestselling authors and maintain very high prices on their ebooks (in some cases, higher prices than for paperbacks), while independently published authors set the price of their ebooks much lower, usually in the range of between “free” and $3.99. There are effectively two separate markets for ebooks. This leaves independent authors the opportunity to occupy the bestsellers list, and develop our own readers list. The vast majority of my sales are ebooks, with only about 10% of my sales in print and about 5% of my sales in Audio books. Traditional publishers have most of their sales in print and lots fewer sales in ebooks and audio books. Completely different markets, and completely different pricing and marketing strategies.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read other thriller writers. May favorites are Barry Eisler, Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, James Rollins and Steve Berry. Their writing also informs my own books.

What projects are you working on at the present?

Currently, I’m working on production of DS Kane’s ProxyWar, Book 6 of the Spies Lie series. It depicts what happens when a dying spymaster discovers invasion plans and can’t get the target government to realize they are in danger.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’ve started on the outline and a draft for book 7 in the series. It will be about a war between hackers and governments,




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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. 





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