I have a very special guest to welcome to Tink's Place today!!
Dakota Banks has become one of my favorite authors. She always delivers a story filled with action, adventure, excitement, and a little love; and she does it all in the guise of an Urban Fantasy, making the reader that a look around, wondering if it's a possibility. After all, the Salem Witch Trials really did happen. What if you were Maliha and could bargain away the pain and death, the only cost was your service to a demon. You'd have a second chance at life, a chance at revenge, and you'd be better than before, enhanced, immortal. The only problem, your conscious doesn't like to follow the demon's demands. This is the premise for Dakota's books.
And now, to celebrate the release of her new book, Sacrifice, Book Two, The Mortal Path Series, Dakota has prepared a special post today.
Thanks, Dottie, for having me on your blog today.
Sacrifice is out! I've been waiting for it, building up both anticipation and honestly a little nervousness. I'm well aware of the "second book fizzle," in which the second book of a series doesn't live up to the promise of the opener. I pour heart and soul into each book and I hope there's no fizzle in the Mortal Path series. Instead, I honestly hope to make this a best-selling series. Enough with the honesty! I'm starting to get dewy-eyed.
I love book releases! It's when I have the most opportunity to talk with readers other than during conventions. Otherwise, with my daily routine that includes writing in the middle of the night, I can go a long time without saying a word. The writing and the research that go into the Mortal Path books are very intense activities for me. Think trance. Think throwing the stapler at anyone who interrupts my trance. My cats are immune from that rule, and when you think about it, there's something trance-inducing about cats purring in unison anyway. Writing in the middle of the night also means I can slip out into the kitchen for s'mores and not have to make some for everyone. Seriously. The "k" key on my keyboard sticks a little because somehow microwaved marshmallow dripped down next to it. You'd think toothpicks would do a better job of cleaning.
Many authors have two or more book releases a year. So far in the Mortal Path series, it's been one a year, and I see that pattern continuing. I'm working on book #3 now (working title Despair, although I don't know if my editor will go for it). Instead of doing more than one MP book a year, I think I could add another series, and I'm looking into that now. Something that isn't quite so dark. Something that would never have a title of Despair, even tentatively. Any suggestions? Vampires? Werewolves? Zombies? All of the above? And I guess (sigh) I'm going to have to get into writing in first person, something that doesn't come naturally to me. Well, no one said writing was easy.
I want to go on record about something. My original intentions for the Mortal Path series had Maliha ending up alone and bereft, as she was at the beginning of the series, in a full circle thing. I dropped that idea because I love Maliha too much and could never do that to her. I solemnly promise, right here on Tink's Place, a HEA for Maliha, but she has a lot to go through to get there. Don't you just love HEAs? I think even a dark fantasy deserves some light at the end.
This short excerpt represents a problem Maliha has to face in Sacrifice, where the challenge lends itself to her returning to the ways of the Black Ghost, when she was a demon assassin:
Maliha wanted to talk to Hound, Amaro, and Yanmeng before she left. She corralled them all in a bedroom.
"Don't expect to hear from me often," Maliha said. "I can call the phone here because it's secure, but mostly I'll be operating quietly and quickly. I'll be using my old assassin techniques and you don't really need to hear about that anyway. Keep everybody calm in here and I'll let you know when I'm successful."
Her three friends exchanged looks that she couldn't interpret. "What gives?"
"You're shutting us out. Do you need to work secretly?" said Yanmeng.
Maliha frowned. "If you want the job done and lives saved, then let me have a free hand."
"What exactly does a free hand mean? How do you operate with your 'old assassin techniques'"? Yanmeng wanted to know.
With no regrets, no looking back, and nobody getting in my way. Using any method to get what I want.
"Efficiently," she said. Her voice was cold. Unconsciously, she'd taken an aggressive stance: feet spread apart, her right foot slightly in front of her left, her left hand inches away from the gun in her hidden waistband holster.
"Whoa, back off," Hound said as he stepped in front of Yanmeng. "It was just a question. Shit, don't get all Rambo on us."
Maliha swung her arms to loosen them, and moved backward to sit on the bed. "What's with all of you? This is no different from other missions we've worked on."
Yanmeng shook his head. "Your attitude is different. You're slipping back to the way you behaved when you were Ageless, and it seems like you … want to."
What gives them the right …?
"How do you know how I behaved when I was Ageless?"
"Because you've told us," Amaro said. "You also said that you never wanted to be that way again."
"I can handle this. It's temporary." Maliha stood up and left the room, cutting off the conversation. It was time for her to leave.
Wow! What an excellent taste of Sacrifice! Thanks Dakota for sharing what it's like for you to write, I like middle of the night s'mores too, lol, it's the only peaceful time of my day! My dog likes middle of the night snacks too, but I make him have puppy treats.
I love the excitement you have for the Mortal Path series, it keeps the characters fresh and your readers happy! Though writing means lots of hard work and long nights, the payoff is a story that's hard to put down. I do hope Maliha has many more books and adventures yet to come, she's a magnetic heroine, and yes, I do believe she needs her HEA. She's worked too hard not to end up happy!
Dakota also has a special treat for my readers today. She'd like to have an international giveaway of one signed copy of Sacrifice to one lucky commenter. YAY!!
So, leave a comment for Dakota. Ask her a question, make a suggestion for her new series (you know, I'd suggest Vampires, hot sexy vampires, lol, and Dakota, you write dark so well!), pick her brain about writing, and please congratulate her on the release of Sacrifice, my review will be up soon, all I can say... it's a must read!!
If you're a follower, remind me and I'll give you an extra entry, but you don't have to follow to enter. Spread the word, and let me know, earn an extra entry. We'll leave the contest open until Tuesday midnight, and randomizer will pick a winner. Good luck and good reading!!