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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Author Guest Post & SIGNED Book Giveaway w/ Dakota Banks! – A.K.A. Talking With Myself!

48 Lovely Comments!



This Giveaway is over!

Thanks so much for participating!




Guest Blog


Thanks, Larissa, for having me as a guest on your blog. I love being here and having the chance to talk with you and your followers.
Dakota Banks is a pen name. I crossed the border this week and signed a check as Dakota Banks when I should have signed my real name, Shirley Kennett. I'm sinking into the Dakota persona so that I have to stop and think which "me" is appropriate for the situation. I have no idea how authors with several pen names manage. But you're in for a treat today! I've decided to let my real self (SK) interview my writing self (DB), and it should be fun and revealing, because SK knows all the juicy questions to ask.

SK: Okay, let's start off with an easy one. What's the worst review you've ever gotten?

DB: Do I have to answer that? It's embarrassing.

SK: Suck it up. You're no delicate rose.

DB: This is from Dark Time, book 1 in the Mortal Path series. "Save your money or spend it on something more worthwhile to read... like a match book or a stenciled toilet paper roll." Ask a nice question next.

SK: How much money do you earn?

DB: Sheesh! How much do you earn?

SK: I asked first.

DB: A first-time genre writer typically gets an advance of $5,000 - $10,000 a book at a large publishing house, with the advances going up as readership grows.

SK: You sidestepped the question.

DB: So I did.

SK: Not going to budge, eh? Next question: Many writers I know spend a lot of time on the first sentence of their novels. There are even contests for the best first sentence. What's the first sentence of Sacrifice and how long did you spend on it?

DB: The first sentence is "The diversion would be the wet and bloody kind, though not something that really sang to him."

SK: (snort) Sounds like you spent all of five minutes on it.

DB: Actually I think it was less. Can we up the quality of these questions?

SK: It took you several years from getting the basic idea for the Mortal Path books to releasing the first one. Most authors can write a book in a year or less. What took you so long?

DB: The basic idea was this: Something from Sumeria survived to the present. That was it. Kind of hard to hang a story line on, much less compelling characters. All I knew was that paranormal elements were going to be involved, romance had to play a part, and since I came from writing thrillers, some thriller stuff was bound to sneak in. I increased my reading in the paranormal genre, and what I saw there stirred up a lot of worry. The Sumerians weren't exactly known for their vampire, werewolf, and witch stories. If I wanted to keep the basis of the story in Sumeria, I'd have to go off the radar as far as the creatures that dominate the paranormal genre. Would it even work? Would people be interested in reading it?

In an effort to fit my story into the mainline of the paranormal genre, I came up with a version of the Mortal Path in which a group of vampires had been put into a deep sleep by a Sumerian priest, to protect his people. An earthquake revealed their cavern in the modern day, and a beautiful young archaeologist indulged her fantasy when the rest of her team left the area. She kissed one of the vampires, unexpectedly awakening him. And so on. But this story could be from any time period. Just substitute a different kind of priest who put the vampires under a spell. It wasn't fresh, and the few chapters I wrote made it clear I wasn't writing enthusiastically. I wouldn't buy this book, even if it was published with my name on it.

No, I had to take the risk and stay off the well-traveled road if I was going to stay true to my original ideas. By this time, the main character of Maliha Crayne was popping into my head in quick, disconnected scenes. I made notes, but put Maliha aside while I researched extensively for a solid background in Sumerian mythology. As a plot based on Sumerian demons remaining alive on Earth came into focus, romance and thriller elements fell into place too. Then there was a lot of additional research so that Maliha could be a martial artist and proficient with ancient and modern weapons, and able to travel to exotic locations with convincing authenticity. This series is the most research-intensive writing I've done as a novelist.

I tried out different versions of Maliha and of her close companions. Dozens of combinations were scrapped. The demon-carved scale on her belly that comes to life to track lives she's saved came to me in a vivid dream. The books you see today have been through an amazing process of world and character building. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with Maliha, and I put all the passion I can into writing about her.

SK: Show me the passion.

DB: What?

SK: Show me a scene that's written with this passion you're talking about.

DB: A scene without spoilers is tough to find. Here's one:

     She used some of her weapons for a brief, intense workout on the wooden planks, cleaned them so that no drop of sweat remained, and took a shower with the hot water set at such force it felt like it was needling her all over.
     In a thin white gown that stuck to her damp skin, Maliha went to her sleeping area. It was a Japanese tatami mat, woven of straw, on a wooden floor. Unrolling a thin futon on top of the mat, she lay down and looked at the sparkling low-voltage lights suspended from her ceiling like stars. After a while, she said, "Lights out."
In the dark, in her safe place, she was free to evaluate her experiences, feeling the doubts, the longings that often didn't get a chance to surface—especially in the middle of a firefight. That included weaknesses of her body that she usually had to conceal.

Never show an enemy a weakness, Master Liu would say, or he will know where to add to it.

She checked over all the parts of her body, working on the hurt places, the wounds, concentrating on helping them speed up their healing. Then she let her mind wander. In her haven, in the dark, Maliha could let the words take shape that represented deep fears. 

     I bear the guilt of doing great evil. Some days it nearly rips me up inside. All those people, dead by my hand. Why didn't I come to my senses earlier? A century earlier would have meant so many lives saved. Instead I stayed young, had a great time traveling all over, bedding princes and sheiks, and the payment was a growing  pile of corpses. Never enough blood to satisfy the demon though. I'm so ashamed. Would any good man want me as a wife knowing what I’ve done in the past? Bedmate, yes. But soul mate?
She closed her eyes and let tears slide down her cheeks.

SK: One last question. Is it really true you signed a man's underwear in a convention elevator?

DB: Yes, it's true. You should know, you were there.

Blue Dakota Banks.300x450

Find Dakota Banks Online:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Buy Dakota’s Books:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

Check Out Dakota’s Awesome NEW Contest:

 Sacrifice Badge


Check Out My Reviews:

Dark Time {Mortal Path #1}

Sacrifice {Mortal Path #2}


Giveaway graph4


Win One of TWO SIGNED Copies of “Sacrifice” by Dakota Banks!

Sacrifice front cover 245x400

Book #2 in The Mortal Path Series!

To Enter:

- Leave a comment about anything on this post.
- Leave an EMAIL for contact! (if you don’t feel comfortable leaving it here, email me at larissa@larissaslife.com)

Extra Entries:

+5 Google Friend Connect Follower
+5 Networked Blogs Follower
+3 Follow me on Twitter (@larissa_sarah)
+3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@dakotabanks)
+2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
+2 Be my friend on Goodreads
+1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)


Ends October 7th!

Good Luck!



Don’t Forget to Vote for Next Week’s {Oct 3rd} Theme for

The TOP 5 Sundays Post on the Poll at the left sidebar!

Don’t Forget to check out My Giveaways:

Win a SIGNED Copy of “Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker ” by Leanna Renee Hieber

A Clover Tea Bag, SIGNED by Alexi, from the series & Swag.

{I’ll add a pic later =P}


Click HERE to Enter!


Ends October 7th!

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Win a Copy of “Blameless” by Gail Carriger!

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Ends October 7th!

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My HUGE 1027+ Followers & Bday Blow Out:

1027 followers and bday giveaway BUTTON

Click HERE or on the image above to enter!

Good Luck!


Thanks so much for tuning in and I’ll see you soon!
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48 Responses so far.

  1. this would be a new author for me, but these books sound amazing. Can't wait to get my hands on them, please enter me
    +5 GFC follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@joleneallcock)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 friend on goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

  2. Teril says:

    I love the line of how she came up with the genre. Hot archeologist chcik finding opened up cavern of hot vampire dudes who had been put to rest underground. Ya know you just might wanna take a kiss right? See if they wake up and turn into a prince and all that ;)
    I have not read into this series yet, but this was a wonder Q&A to make me wanna go over to the store and get the first book!
    I would love a copy.
    +5 google friend
    +2 facebook like
    +2 good reads pal
    = 10

  3. "Never show an enemy a weakness" This is so true! The book sounds like a kick ass! And the cover? NICE! Great interview, Larissa!

    Please enter me in.

    ljeni at yahoo.com

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Twitter follower (@jenileeantonio)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@jenileeantonio)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Goodreads friend
    +1 Totaling it up

    TOATL: 21

    Thank you so much!!

  4. I really want to read this and the first one too! The cover is the kicker for me!!!
    nedsped at verizon dot net

    - Leave a comment about anything on this post.
    - Leave an EMAIL for contact!
    Extra Entries:

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower- Mach
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter- Michojolie
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@dakotabanks)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook Michele Clark Powell
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!

    Total= 21

  5. SiNn says:

    firts off i haveto say ur hillarious and id of loveeeddd to of been in that elevator lol too funnyyet cool ur books sound awesome !

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower : SiNn
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower: Ghostssinner for facebook
    +3 Follow me on Twitter =@bainesgoddess
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter @bainesgoddess
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook facebook.com/ghostssinner aka Beverly Gordon
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads Beverly Gordon
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)
    total 21


  6. .Ambur. says:

    Loved how your interviewed your author persona :D definitely a unique way to interview! Thanks for the guest post and for the chance to win one of your books! :D

    +5 GFC Follower (.Ambur.)
    +3 Follow on Twitter (@AmburHostyn)
    +2 I “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (Ambur Hostyn)
    +2 I'm your friend on Goodreads (Ambur Hostyn)
    +1 Adding up Entries

    Total = 13 Entries :D

    Thanks again! :)

  7. The important question here is: were it boxers or briefs and was he wearing them at the time of the signing?

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower (or the other, I always get them confused)
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)
    = 6

  8. vickyvak says:

    This cover kicks ass!!! I absolutely love it!!

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@vickyvak)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@vickyvak)
    +1 Add all your entries!

    Total: 18


  9. Sullivan McPig,

    The important question her is: were they boxers or briefs and was he wearing them at the time of the signing?

    They were briefs, and he was wearing them at the time of the signing.


  10. I loved this interview; it was really neat to get some insight into the process of how the books came about.

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower (Bethany Cardone)
    +3 Follow on Twitter (@bcardoo79)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries!=22

  11. Ashley says:

    Sounds AMAZING!

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@ashleybookshelf)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@ashleybookshelf)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    =21 entries

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Also don't forget to check out my amazing giveaways located at the top of my blog posts.

    Ashley's Bookshelf

  12. debbie says:

    That was a great interview.I have always wanted to ask an author, what the most unusual thing a fan has asked them to do. I think signing a guy's underware in a elevator qualifies. I would love to read this book.
    I am a gfc follower.+5
    +1 add up=6total.

  13. First of all thanks for this interview. It was so fun to read!XD

    Then, I have to admit that the whole premise of the book (seires) sounds so amazing.
    Growing up my father had me on a "discovery channel"+ Indiana Jones diet so I devour anything having to do with archaeology and artifacts and anything about that so WOW!! :)
    Gosh, I would love to get my hands on this, signed no less! :P *g*

    Are you going to write another book maybe having to do with an ancient civilization or artifacts etc? XD

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower (Kelly/ yllektra)
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower (Kelly Anast...)
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (yllektra)(@larissa_sarah)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@dakotabanks)(yllektra)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (Kelly Anast...)
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads (yllektra)
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    Total: 21

  14. yllektra,

    Yay Discovery channel!It's like dessert for the brain.

    The Mortal Path is working out well and I love writing about mythology based worlds. Add a quest for artifacts (Maliha's looking for shards of a crystal lens so she can read the Tablet of the Overlord and get rid of all the demons) and I'm totally sucked in. Another series will be in the works but right now I'm devoted to Maliha.

  15. Tore says:

    Please enter me in contest. I really want to read this book. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

  16. Am a follower

    this book looks interesting..

    so tally all +6

    I think I already 'liked' ur fb page.



  17. Llehn says:

    I'd love to play please!

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +3 Following you on Twitter (@lesleywyrites)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (Lesley Cheah)
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    Total = 11


  18. angel says:

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower : Angelia Fransisca Rusli
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower : Angelia Fransisca Rusli
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@larissa_sarah) : AngeliaFRusli
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@dakotabanks) : AngeliaFRusli
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook : Angelia Fransisca Rusli
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads: Angelia Fransisca Rusli
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)
    total entries:21

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!!! :)

    N_Gel9 at hotmail.com

  19. Jade says:

    I really loved your interview, it's still v. enjoyable to read and really hilarious! It's cool to know a new author, for me anyway, and I'm off to find the first book! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the second :)
    Thank you so much for this chance, Larissa!!!

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Following you on Twitter (as @VamPoet)
    +3 Following Dakota Banks on Twitter (as @VamPoet)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (Jade Teo)
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads (Jade Teo)
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)


  20. Anonymous says:

    I want this book so bad \o/

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +3 Following you on Twitter (as @Tibiux)
    +3 Following Dakota Banks on Twitter (@Tibiux)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (Karen Senoo)
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads (Karen)
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)
    ... 16!!!

    email adress: tibiux@yahoo.com.br

  21. Ina says:

    Dakota, I absolutely love the cover of Sacrifice and can't wait to get my hands on it!!
    wish you all the best, Ina

    +5 GFC follower
    +1 adding up

    6 entries total
    inale87 at gmx dot at

  22. jkrowyn says:

    wow, someone wanting their underwear signed, that's a true fan!! :) I actually bought book 1, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. It's close to the top of my TBR pile. They sound so good, really looking forward to starting it. I'm a gfc follower. Artesia at comcast dot net. My points are 7.

  23. Thanks for the awesome interview!

    Extra Entries:

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower (Jessica Spettoli)
    +3 Follower on Twitter (@jmspettoli)
    +3 Follower of Dakota Banks on Twitter (@jmspettoli)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (Jessica Spettoli)
    +2 Friend on Goodreads (jmspettoli)
    +1 Total: 22

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

  24. Blodeuedd says:

    Lol, you two seems to have had a great time doing this interview :)

    And Dakota, I think that first sentence was really good, totally a 7 minute project ;)

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  25. this interview was a riot! i laugh-snorted the whole time i read it! please enter me in the contest - i've been looking forward to this book!

    +5 Gfc follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Fb
    +2 friend on Goodreads
    +1 for adding entries

    = 15 entries!

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  26. Jade,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Both of us (!) had a lot of fun writing it.


  27. Ina,

    I'm crazy about the book cover too. It really ups my enthusiasm when the artist captures the tone of the book so well.


  28. jkrowyn,

    Dark Time is close to the top of your TBR stack? How about bumping it up to the top? :)


  29. Blodeuedd,

    SK: The interview was a lot of fun, but darn it if DB doesn't get all the credit for everything I write!

    Now that I think about it, that might have been a 7 minute first sentence. I had to go get coffee.


  30. k_sunshine1977,

    this interview was a riot! i laugh-snorted the whole time i read it!

    This could get messy. I hope you had a box of tissues handy!


  31. Lol, someone asked to sign his underwear :) Great interview! I still haven't read Dark Time, but I've been planning to :) It sounds really great :)


    +5 - GFC follower
    +3 - Larissa's Twitter Follower (@Sandra_s_Page)
    +2 - friend on Goodreads
    +1 - total: 12

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  32. Camille says:

    one day, one day I will win something on your blog Larissa LOL

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow you on Twitter (@envyious)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@dakotabanks)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 already your friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all entries! (including this one!)

    = 21 all up

    midnite [dot] fantasy [a] gmail [dot] com

  33. Cherry says:

    I haven't tried Dakota Banks yet... but if she writes as fascinatingly as she interviews, denotes a very interesting read :)

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower. My GFC name is Cherry.
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower. My Facebook name is Cherry Mischivous.
    +3 Follow you on Twitter. My Twitter name is @cherrymischivus.
    +2 “Liked” Larissa's Life on Facebook. My FB name is Cherry Mischivous.
    +2 We are friends on Goodreads
    +18 Total entries

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

  34. Cherry says:

    Also re-posted your contest at: http://contests-freebies.blogspot.com/2010/10/win-sacrifice-at-welcome-to-larissas.html

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.
  36. I would love to win this :)
    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow you on Twitter
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter
    +2 I“Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (I'm Jenny Misty)
    +2 Added you as a friend on Goodreads

    = 21 entries


  37. Robin K says:

    Fantastic interview. So fun! Shirley asked some really hard questions too. I wonder what kind of questions Maliha a would ask :)

    Do not enter me I have both books.

    Is number three coming?

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  38. Crystal says:

    This interviewed cracked me up!
    SK vs DB
    I'm laying on the floor in pieces now. LoL
    Thanks =)

    folksohana AT gmail DOT com

  39. Cathie says:

    I enjoyed your part about how it took so long to get from your brain to being published.


    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    Total 20

  40. Lora1967 says:

    Great interview. I would love this book
    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@larissa_sarah)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@dakotabanks)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)
    total 22

  41. Sumeria? Please count me in!

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    Total 8

  42. i loved the banter in the interview and the last question!!!

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    jennscl at gmail dot com

  43. Robin K,

    I wonder what kind of questions Maliha would ask

    Oh, wow, you don't want to turn her loose with a microphone for an interview, or even a pad of paper and a pencil. I know this babe far too well. Her first question would be, "When are you going to get that tattoo that matches mine across your shoulders, you wimp? You promised!"

    Yes, there is a book #3 in the works. I don't have a pub date for it yet. I'm not even finished with it.

  44. Great interview it was very fun to read I loved it!
    Thank you for the opportunity to win your book I would love to read it:-)

    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower (Mysteriousrose)
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower (Mette Jensen)
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (forceofstars)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter (@dakotabanks) (I'm a follower forceofstars)
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook (done Mette Jensen)
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads (done Mette Jensen)
    +1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

    Total: 21


  45. +3 Follow me on Twitter
    +1 Add all your entries!


  46. Thanks so much, Larissa, for having me over for an interview. I really enjoyed it, and loved reading all the comments.

    Because of my teensy boo-boo (Hah! Larissa knows, but everyone else is in the dark), let's give away two copies of Sacrifice instead of one. This is open internationally. Choose two winners, Larissa!

  47. JoAnna says:

    This was a great interview!
    +5 Google Friend Connect Follower
    +5 Networked Blogs Follower
    +3 Follow me on Twitter (@beckerjo)
    +3 Follow Dakota Banks on Twitter
    +2 “Like” Larissa's Life on Facebook
    +2 Be my friend on Goodreads
    +1 Add all your entries!

    Total = 21 entries


  48. iokijo says:

    Fantastic interview. I think I'd really like this series. Going to have to mark it on my wish list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Sacrifice to get started.
    +5 google connect
    +3 follow on twitter
    +1 add entries
    =9 entries

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Because of that, I feel that this is for the best.


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