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Crimson Romance
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Guest Post and Giveaway! Tink's Place Welcomes Dakota Banks

Hi to all my blogosphere buds!!

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!!


buddyt said...

I have been wanting to read the Mortal Path series but haven't managed to buy the first one yet.

SOOO, I would loveto win a copy.

Thanks for the giveaway and especially for opening it up to International entries.

Carol T

I am a Follower.

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Lea said...

Welcome to Tink's Place Dakota! I've read Dottie's reviews of your series and it sounds wonderful, I do like dark and action packed stories.

I'm interested to know why you would think you have to write another series in the first person? I think many readers prefer third person or omniescent POV, but that is just from an outside observation.. lol

As for the theme/characterization for another series. I kind of like demons / vampires myself. But it depends on the storyline the author crafts. It sounds like you have a wonderful imagination so I'm sure you could conceive an original plot for whatever paranormal ghoulie(s) you decide to write about.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Misha said...

Thanks for the contest! Please enter me if this is International.I am a follower.
Dakota, what are your favorite novels?


Dakota Banks said...


If you win the contest, you can request Dark Time (1st book in the series) instead of Sacrifice, and I'll be happy to send it to you.

Dakota Banks said...


As for first person, I've encountered more books written from that point of view in urban fantasy than other genres, such as thrillers. Every time I try it, though, I end up writing with my emotions and dialogue instead of my character's. Sigh.I suppose I can give it another try, but may end up in third person no matter what.

The key is building the world the new characters inhabit, setting the boundaries for a series before worrying about the plot for a single book. I'm drawn to mythology (duh) and there are a lot of ghoulies to draw on there, including vampires.

Blodeuedd said...

Great post :D
And oh new series, well, I can give a suggestion or two. I think it should be something with Gods, Celtic, Nordic, just wicked cool gods, and maybe a werewolf or two. What do you think?

As for the book, oh wanting to read it, but haven't book 1 yet, but then I did see what you wrote to buddy. Oh would love that one if I won

blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Hi Dakota!

Whew! I've been running all morning! I just wanted to welcome Dakota and thank everyone for the comments, suggestions, and before I forget, I wanted to congratulate Dakota on Sacrifice, it's another excellent read!

Dottie :)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Hey Sweet Dottie and Dakota,

Sorry I'm late I just got the invite!

I love the cover of the book and the write up on it is fab! It is a book I will buy for sure!

I second Blodeuedd's suggestion!

Thanks for the fun and enjoyable visit!


Susan Blexrud said...

Love the book cover and the combination of typestyles. I may have to grab it for the cover clash on my blog. Excellent interview, Dakota. Keep up the good work, Dottie!

Unknown said...

Thanks Dottie!

Hi Dakota -
How did you create your novels so they are different from the so many other vampire books that are out there these days?

I have yet to read the first in your series but it is on my list.


Dakota Banks said...


This is definitely an international contest. My character Maliha is a world traveler, and my sons are adopted from Peru and Ethiopia. If I didn't have an international giveaway, it would be strange! Good luck in the contest.

Dakota Banks said...


I'm very interested in Celtic stories. Oh! Oh! Shrines, rites, sacrifices, sacred places in the forest--gotta be something there. And Europe has a strong werewolf mythology. People are afraid of the animals they face locally as predators, so in Europe that was wolves. In other areas of the world, legends built up around tigers, lions, and jaguars, so those became the "weres". Good possibilities there.

Dakota Banks said...


Thanks for the really special welcome to your blog! I'm thinking of moving in here... :D

Dakota Banks said...


I'm having fun, too, and I hope you'll enjoy Sacrifice.

Dakota Banks said...


I'm very lucky to have talented artist Don Sipley doing the cover art of the Mortal Path books. He's fantastic, and then the rest of the cover design that incorporates his art has been great. It sets the tone for the series before you even read the first page.

Dakota Banks said...


One of the ways that I make my books different from the many other vampire books available now is that I took a risk and didn't include any vampires, witches, werewolves, shape-shifters, or any of the commonly seen beasties. My series includes gods and demons from Sumerian mythology that have been brought forward to the current day, and their interactions with humans. So far this gamble is working--readers find this approach fresh and interesting. The problem with it is that urban fantasy readers kind of expect the above beasties in their books, and I'm going against the main flow. Just means I have to work harder!

Aik said...

I'd love to enter!

+1 Tweeted:

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Dakota Banks said...


Thanks for stopping by to enter the contest and for the tweet!

Teddyree said...

Great post, I checked out Dottie's review of Sacrifice and have to say it looks like your 2nd book has sizzle not fizzle, well done Dakota!

I love the fact that you're giving Maliha a HEA eventually :)
As for your new series, my vote is much like Dottie's, hot sexy vamps and I like my urban fantasy a bit on the dark side.

Dakota Banks said...


Sizzle is good. Sizzle is what I'm aiming for!

Maliha is going to have to work for her HEA, as we all do, except that the scope of her challenges is superhuman, befitting an urban fantasy.

Dakota Banks said...


Thanks for the great review!!

Unknown said...

Hi Dakota!

I just want to say, thank you for continuing Maliha's story! I can't wait to see what the future brings for her! Thanks again for offering the guest post and giveaway!

Dottie :)

Dakota Banks said...

Hi Dottie,

It's been a pleasure. Thanks for having me here!

Unknown said...

Contest is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Dottie :)

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