Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog Tour, Book Review, Guest Post and Giveaway: Into the Dark by Stacy Green

Title: Into the Dark
Author: Stacy Green
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: MuseIt Up Publishing (Nov. 30. 2012)

Genre: Mystery/Suspense


Branch Manager Emilie Davis is enduring a day like any other–until two masked men storm into WestOne Bank demanding cash. Her hopes of a quick end to her terror are dashed when she realizes one of the men has no interest in the bank’s money. Emilie is his prize, and he’s come to claim her.

When hostage negotiator Nathan Madigan and Las Vegas SWAT enter the bank on a rescue mission, Emilie’s captor makes a shocking escape into the abyss that lies beneath the city: the Las Vegas storm drains, a refuge for the downtrodden and the desperate.


Who is the man the media has dubbed ‘the Taker?’ Why is he after Emilie, and what is the connection he’s convinced they share?

Emilie can’t run from the Taker, and she can’t escape her own past. As her life closes in on her, she has nowhere to turn but to Nathan. The lines of professionalism blur as Nathan becomes determined to save Emilie. Together they venture into the depths beneath Las Vegas and discover a shocking piece of the puzzle.

But the Taker remains one step ahead. Desperate and sick of waiting for the Taker to emerge from the shadows, Emilie makes a bold move to reclaim her life that may cost her everything.

Author Bio:
Stacy Green is fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts at her blog, Turning the Page. 

After earning her degree in journalism, Stacy worked in advertising before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. She rediscovered her love of writing and wrote several articles for Women’s Edition Magazine of Cedar Rapids, profiling local businesses, before penning her first novel.
 Her debut novel, INTO THE DARK, is set in Las Vegas and features a heroine on the edge of disaster, a tormented villain, and the city’s infamous storm drains that house hundreds of homeless. INTO THE DARK is available on all digital formats and paperback November 30th.

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Guest Post:

The Taker. Great name for a bad guy, right? I’m pretty proud of my villain, so when Ali asked me to talk about the inspiration for him, I jumped at the chance.

INTO THE DARK’s antagonist has come a long way since the initial drafts. He started out as suffering from erotomania–fixating on a person and believing that because of some small action on his victim’s part, they were in love with him.

But that never really spoke to me. It wasn’t exciting, and it didn’t give him the motive to do some of the creepy things I really wanted him to do.

So I started from scratch. What was his real connection to Emilie, my heroine? There had to be something about her that caught his eye–something that tied the two of them together in some profound way in his mind. I can’t say too much without giving the story away, but the key lies in their mutual heritage, which is something they are both very proud of.

Once I figured that connection out, I realized the Taker’s need to claim Emilie needed to be tied into the book’s theme about living in the past. All three characters–Emilie, Nathan (the hero), and the Taker–have gone through tragedy, and those horrible things have shaped their lives in very specific ways. Despite their differences, the three of them are bound together by their pasts.

I love villains I can empathize with, and that was my goal with the Taker. If he were driven bya tragic past, then what had happened to him? It had to be something intense, something life-changing.

Childhood trauma. But not sexual or physical abuse. Something acute, and something he would absorb the blame for.

So I created sweet Josephine, the little girl he still is trying to replace decades later. It’s the Taker and Josephine’s story that shapes his life.

Instead of being a caricature of a bad guy with no redeeming qualities, I wanted him to have his own set of morals–a code he lived by. He’s refined, educated, polite–even with his victims. He’s done terrible things to ease his own suffering, and yet there is a still a sliver of good inside him. Enough decency that when things are at their very worst, even Emilie feels for him. She realizes that like herself and the book’s hero, Nathan, the Taker is simply a victim of circumstance. He is living proof of what trauma can do to a good soul.

What do you think makes a great fictional bad guy? Who are your favorites?

Emilie risked another glance at him. Narrowed in either anger or grief, his eyes glistened with moisture. “She was wrong. All of those exist in the daylight as well. Poor Jo didn’t need to fear the dark. Her bad luck came on a hot, sunny afternoon.” His voice faltered.

What happened to her?”

That’s none of your business.” Her captor jumped as though jolted with electricity. “Josephine belongs to me and to me alone,” he snarled.

Emilie scooted as far away from the man as the small space would allow.

I’m sorry.” His voice was contrite. “Forgive my rudeness. That was extremely ungentlemanly.”

Intimacy had crept back into his tone. Emilie cringed.

Don’t be afraid, Miss Emilie,” Creepy Guy pleaded. “I would never hurt you.”

You already have.”

He edged closer until his covered arm brushed her bare one. The material was soft and lightweight. Breathable. Expensive. Not cheap rags like Joe wore.

Only because you’re scared. But I knew we were connected the first moment I saw you. Once you allow me to explain my actions, you will understand everything. You carry our connection with you every day.”

We have no connection.”

Oh but we do. I’ve watched you for so long, my dear Miss Emilie.” He spoke softly now, like a lover would. “So many times, I was close enough to reach out and touch you, to make you mine. But the time and place weren’t right. Waiting for you has been torture.”


The homeless living in the storm drains of Las Vegas played a vital part in INTO THE DARK, and I want to give back. From November 1st until February 28th, participants will have several options to enter the raffle, including donating to HELP of Southern Nevada. The grand prize will be a $100 donation from me in the winner’s name to the homeless shelter of their choice.

My Thoughts and Review:
I love a good mystery, I always have. Maybe it stems from my childhood days of watching late night TV with my mom. You know, all the good shows little kids probably shouldn't have been watching like Simon and Simon and Magnum PI, either way, those early memories (very early memories) sparked my love and it stuck with me.

So of course I was really curious to read Into the Dark, after all it had been way too long since I read a good mystery that didn't involve some kind of supernatural being or teenage angst.

I really like how Green handled this, with small glimpses into the thoughts and background of the Taker. It sort of reminded me of Mary Higgins Clark earlier work (which I devoured in high school when I discovered her).

I also really enjoyed that not only the Taker had secrets and a less than stellar past but the heroine of our story Emilie and the hero, Nathan, had them as well. It added another nice twist and air of mystery to the storyline.

I didn't see some things coming in this one, in fact it kept me on my toes and I love that it did. I usually am really good at guessing almost everything in mysteries and even though that is okay, it is nice to be surprised once in a while.

The romance in this one was perfect too. Just the right amount without being the main focus of the story.

This really was a great read and I plan on reading more from the author in the future.

4 Stars!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The Taker sounds like an interesting book. Great review. I enjoyed the guest post.

  2. Hi Ellen, I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks so much for commenting:)

  3. The Taker sounds like the perfect villain! Someone you are SO angry at and want to hate but that sliver of good keeps you from hating him completely. I don't read mysteries much but I do love the suspense and I'm certainly curious about their connection!

  4. Thanks, Candace! I had a lot of fun creating and writing him, and he definitely has some decent qualities. They are just buried beneath years of sadness.

  5. This was definitely a fun suspenseful read. I think you would like it Candace even if you don't read mysteries all that much.

  6. Oh my gosh Mangnum P.I. and Simon and Simon I remember those shows. Too funny. IT takes alot to make a good villain. You know you did a good job when the villain elicits such a negative response from the reader. Sounds like Stacy did a great job creating her evil mastermind!

  7. Thanks so much, Ali. I'm really glad you liked it.

    And Heidi, you're right, making a good villain is tough, but I do love to create them. And read them, lol. Thanks so much!

  8. Thanks for sharing the guest post, excerpt and your review on this sounds good and I like you love a good mystery!

  9. Creepy Guy, indeed. haha. I don't think I've read a good mystery in awhile. Great post!

  10. Hi Stacy. I've heard such good things about your book from a mutual friend. It's definitely on the short list of books I want to read soon. I'm looking forward to it. I'll be putting this contest in my mashup next Friday. Good luck!

  11. Hi all! Kimba, you're very welcome! I'm glad you liked the guest post, and I hope you enjoy the book.

    Christy, he's definitely Creepy:) My favorite name for him is the Taker.

    Piper - that's awesome! I'm so happy to hear readers are liking it. I can't wait to hear what you think.


  12. I enjoyed this book :)