Today's guest is the talented Dakota Banks! I'm so happy she was able to join us to talk about DELIVERANCE, the upcoming third book in her Mortal Path series.
Read on to learn all about DELIVERANCE and enter to win an amazing swag bag from Dakota!
Hi, Dakota, and welcome to Paranormal April Fools’! Would you mind starting off by telling us about your Mortal Path series?
The Mortal Path tells the story of a woman who sold her soul to an ancient Sumerian demon in colonial America in the late 1600s. In exchange for immortality and other gifts, she works as the demon’s assassin but gradually sickens of the killing. Finally she rebels and breaks the contract she signed in blood. It’s not so easy turning your back on a demon who owns your soul! Maliha Crayne, now over 300 years old, must redeem herself by saving a person for each one she’s killed, and it’s a huge number. That balancing act plays out on a scale carved into her chest by a demon’s claw. She’s also collecting shards of a diamond lens that will enable her to destroy all of the seven remaining Sumerian demons. Maliha gradually collects a team of close friends who know her story and are trying to help her succeed, but filling a heart that was empty of love for three centuries is more of a challenge. The Mortal Path books are action-filled paranormal thrillers.
You’ve put Maliha through the proverbial wringer in DARK TIME and SACRIFICE. Can we expect more of the same in DELIVERANCE?
More of the same? How about doubling down? In DELIVERANCE, the stakes are intensely personal as one of Maliha’s inner circle of friends is kidnapped to force Maliha back into assassin mode. She doesn’t take kindly to anyone messing with her friends, but she doesn’t want to be the kidnapper’s remote-control killing machine either. It’s a dilemma. She’s looking for a way out of it, and I, for one, wouldn’t want to get in her path.
I love that the series draws on Sumer for inspiration. How did you choose this ancient civilization’s religion as the base for the Mortal Path series?
I came up with the idea for the Mortal Path series in 2003, during the Iraq war when coalition forces entered Baghdad. The Iraqi National Museum, left unguarded, was looted. Priceless artifacts from Iraq’s past, including the Sumerian period, disappeared or were damaged. (Much has been recovered now, due to an international effort.) There was a lot in the news, including photos, of artifacts that had survived in some patched-together or intact form for 7,000 years only to be smashed under an angry Iraqi’s boot. I’m an amateur archaeologist with a particular interest in this region. Remember your fifth grade social studies about the valley between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers and the Cradle of Civilization? That’s Sumer, located in modern-day Iraq. The whole museum episode started me thinking that if some dusty, dry artifacts plus piles of gold and silver treasures survived to this day, what else conceivably could have survived? Since I was already interested in Sumerian mythology, it didn’t take much to bring some Sumerian demons forward and turn them into malevolent forces in our day. The mythology in the books follows real legends from Sumer until you get to the part about demons surviving to current times. I made that part up!
Are we ever going to see Maliha’s face on a cover? ;)
No. ;) I suggested at the start that Maliha always be shown looking forward into a compelling scene, so that our eyes were seeing what she sees. I was thrilled to see the suggestion rendered in the first cover (art by Don Shipley), and as far as I know that style will continue.
Are there more books planned in the Mortal Path series? If so, can you tell us a little bit about them?
Maliha has things left to do: balance her scale to redeem her soul, find all of the shards to eliminate the demons, and of course the HEA. Yes, there will be one. She deserves it.
And now a couple April Fools’-related questions:
To prank or not to prank?
Depends. If the prank is the mean kind, just hurting someone disguised as humor, then that’s not for me. If it’s something the “victim” can really laugh about, count me in.
Would anyone survive pranking Maliha?
Hmm. Maliha has a good sense of humor and would take a good-natured prank. The mean kind—well, keep in mind she has a whip sword that can slice people in half, and being humiliated isn’t her thing.
Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by, Dakota. It’s been a pleasure!
Thanks for having me here. It’s been fun!
Intrigued? Here’s the scoop on DELIVERANCE, which hits bookshelves on Tuesday:
A demon's assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she's destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her—especially her lover, Jake. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, her life is spiraling out of control.
Worse still, a beautiful Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man's-land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't . . . and time is rapidly running out.
And here's the rest of the series in case you need to get caught up:
Dakota is generously offering one (1) swag bag to a very lucky reader!
I wish I could win this one :)
To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
Ends Sunday, April 15, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal April Fools’ giveaways)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Growing up in a converted 1890s funeral home, complete with blood gutters in the basement floor, fueled Dakota Banks' interest in the paranormal. She's no ghost whisperer, but she keeps an open mind. She's fascinated with both archaeology and the paranormal, especially when the two intersect, as they do in Mortal Path.
Dakota is a member of the Horror Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America and Paranormal Romance Guild. She lives in a St. Louis suburb with her husband, two sons adopted from Peru and Ethiopia, and a couple of cats who keep her writing on track.