Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guest Author - Dakota Banks / Dark Time Giveaway

Author Dakota Banks is here today to talk about her new urban fantasy thriller DARK TIME, the first book in the Mortal Path series. You can read my review of this excellent page-turner here, a book with a fresh, exciting heroine in Maliha. Dakota explains more about how she created the character of Maliha and the concept of the series in the post below.

Readers today can also find an exclusive excerpt from SACRIFICE, the next book in the Mortal Path series. Many thanks to Dakota for this sneak peak.

Please ask questions, leave a comment or just day hi. Dakota has graciously offered some great giveaways to celebrate the launch of her book. We have two signed copies of DARK TIME available and EVERY commentator will receive a promotional pen and bookmark. Dakota will be dropping by to respond from time to time. Check for complete giveaway details at the end of the post.

And now enough of my blathering, I turn the floor over to Dakota Banks. Welcome Dakota!

Guest Dakota Banks:

Thanks, Doug, for the privilege of talking with your readers today.

I knew I'd found a kindred spirit in you the instant I saw the photos of your library—except that yours is organized and mine is, well, not.

Dark Time was written as a true work of love, with no sure sell on the horizon. At that point in my writing, I was working in the suspense or thriller field, either on multiple book contracts or contracts obtained with a synopsis and a couple of chapters, so considering something in a new genre meant 1) I had to write the whole book before selling; 2) I had to appeal to a different reading audience, and without any vampires in the book; and 3) I probably needed a new agent with strong contacts in the new genre. It was partly pure excitement and partly a challenge.

I had been toying around with the idea of a story with a protagonist who was on the side of the little guy, bringing justice to situations where it might not otherwise exist. She had to be kick-ass and powerful but vulnerable at the core, with a lot of adventurous spirit and something big at stake in each book, for her personally and for the world. She started to sound like a superhero. I know that it's possible to do character development in graphic novels, and I enjoy reading them, but writing them? Not my thing.

A tragedy in the real world gave Dark Time the background it needed to finally gel in my mind. Among the images flowing in from the invasion of Iraq were those of the looting of the Baghdad Museum. Artifacts from Sumer lay smashed after surviving thousands of years. Light bulb in head: my story needs to be based in mythology. I started digging into Sumerian mythology in every spare moment I had. Wow! It was juicy and fresh. I had an angle for my book, but I put away the idea for several years. The truth is, I found the challenge too daunting. But when pieces of the story started leaking out into scenes and chapters, it just exploded into my life and knocked everything else aside. I knew the time had come to take the risk.

By now I had a name for my character: Maliha (Ma-LIE-ah) and an overall story arc. There are two arcs, really—Maliha's personal quest for redemption and her out-of-the-box struggle to kill all the remaining Sumerian demons on Earth, whom she feels are like chains around the ankles of the human race, preventing us from achieving our true potential. Freed of those chains of chaos, destruction, and war, what would we humans do? Okay, enough of the heavy stuff.

I had Maliha's huge lifespan to work with to come up with interesting action, and I make use of her memories of that time, both when she was Ageless as a slave to a Sumerian demon and later when she rebelled and became mortal with a twist. Among all the dramatic events possible with that length of time, I never lose track of the small things that mean so much to her. She returns to the cemetery of her colonial hometown to see the tombstone of her daughter Constanta, who died at birth. She's touring the Smithsonian in modern times and in a poignant moment finds a table on display in an Americana exhibit that her husband handmade for her, with her initials carved in the corner. She kisses a guy on a blind date and wonders if he's for her. She may be tough and powerful, decisive in action, but on the inside she can be just like the rest of us at times: emotional Jello.

I ended up with a book that was an urban fantasy/supernatural thriller with a strong element of romance. Hmm … What niche was this going to fit into? Finally I decided to just trust the readers—they're smart, they'll figure it out.

And that's how Dark Time was born.

I'd like to end with a sneak peek from the second book in the Mortal Path series, Sacrifice, seen here for SciFiGuy readers exclusively. It's not from the first chapter.

Sacrifice: Mortal Path
Book Two - Exclusive Teaser

An hour after dawn, the punishing heat of the desert was already a burden on Maliha's shoulders. She dropped her kit in the sand and sat on it, stretching her legs out in front of her. Drinking from the collapsible hydration pack strapped under her loose clothing, she savored the feel of the water in her dry mouth and throat.

She was in the Taklimakan Desert in northwestern China, a desolate place with a name that meant go in and don't come out. Six hundred miles long, two hundred and fifty wide, uninhabited except by a few wild camels and asses, it was a desert that shouldn't be challenged on a whim. Over thirty years ago she'd retrieved the Tablet of the Overlord from a cave deep in this desert….

Maliha stood naked at the edge of the pool in the cave. There didn't seem to be any point in wearing clothes. They'd just restrict her movement. No weapons, either. Whatever was under the sand, she had a feeling that her weapons weren't going to be of any use against it. She'd have to manage using her wits and her body. That is, unless the only thing under the sand was more sand, continuing far enough down that she'd never make it back to the surface. In that case, she was doomed.

Nothing I've ever dropped in that pool has come back to the surface bearing good news.

She pushed such thoughts from her mind. In taking a leap of faith, doubt had no place. She had no idea if, lacking full Ageless powers, she could survive immersion in boiling water followed by suffocation as the sand closed over her head, but the god Anu had directed her here, and that was enough.

Pain kills only if I allow it.

She lifted her right foot and held it poised over the water.

Pain kills only if I allow it.

One foot in. Two.

It was hard to keep from leaping out of the pool when her muscles were screaming move! move!

A powerful drag began, as though her feet were suddenly weighed down with the Titanic's anchor. Boiling water rose rapidly on her legs. The water sizzled and spat against her skin, the watery equivalent of being burned alive. She must have been screaming, although she couldn't hear it.

Separate from the pain, there was a frightening sensation that the abrasive sand below the water was removing her skin, scraping it off one cellular layer at a time.

How much skin will I lose?

She clamped her lips and eyelids closed in the instant before her head went under the water.

Thanks again Doug, it was fun. Blog readers, thanks for sharing a few moments of your time with me.

Thanks Dakota! It was wonderful to have you visit and I can't wait to sink my teeth into SACRIFICE.

  1. Leave a comment, or question about the book, the series, writing or urban fantasy in general, to be entered into the draw to win a signed copy of DARK TIME.
  2. Two names will be drawn at random. Two books to be given away.
  3. Giveaway runs until Midnight, August 11. I'll announce the winners next Wednesday.
  4. To receive a promotional pen and bookmark all you need do is leave a comment and email your snail mail address to me at scifiguy(at) with DAKOTA BANKS in the subject line.


  1. Hi Dakora. Thanks for posting and congrats on the new release. I have been reading about Dark Time and it sounded great. Then I read the excerpt and now it really sounds good. Cant wait to get the chance to read it. Thanks for sharing!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  2. Have had this book on my wish list for quite some time. How long? Well, back when Sacrifice was called Self Destruct ;-)

    Dakota, I hope you're willing to post your promo items to Australia. The post does say "every commentator"... ;-)

    Have a lovely day! :-)

  3. Hi :)
    Thanks for having Dakota Banks here.
    And thanks to Dakota for sharing.
    It was an excellent blog post.
    Finding out how the character & story developed was very interesting.
    DARK TIME has intrigued me.
    I hadn't heard of it before now.
    It's on my ToBeRead list!
    As a side note I couldn't read the excerpt because the yellow doesn't show up (practically invisible).
    All the best
    & Thanks for bringing DARK TIME to my attention.
    PS - Dakota, did you find you had to know a lot of Sumarian research for the book? & was it hard finding an agent & publisher for your venture into this genre?

  4. Thanks, donnas. It's great to be here with Doug. I hope you enjoy Dark Time! Ask your local library to buy it. I know that's only one sale and lots of people reading the book, but I'm a strong supporter of libraries. I practically lived in one when I was young. Wanted to move in my comfy chair and reading light, but alas, the librarian said no.

    Tez,I will definitely send promo goodies to Australia. I have a favor to ask. In Sacrifice Maliha has a conversation with an Australian man and I'd like to you Aussie-ize it for me--make the dialogue more authentic. Because believe me, it isn't now. You'd get your name in the acknowledgments, if you want.

    Book 2 was originally called Self Destruct until it hit the buzzsaw known as the editorial title meeting. Sacrifice was one of two alternates I submitted, so I feel pretty good about it.

  5. Hi RKCharron. I noticed that the excerpt was yellow also, but if you run your cursor over it to select the whole block of text, you can read it.

    I did a great deal of research about Sumeria, about three months' full immersion, including studying the cuneiform writing. And I continue to research almost daily. The Sumerians are unique and fascinating because of the many items their civilization came up with, such as writing! Everything was oral history before that. They even had schools.

    When I had the book finished and began looking for an agent, the first thing I had to do was fire my current agent. I wanted a whole new approach, and frankly, wanted someone who was a top agent.

    Wow, that was scary! Like leaping off a cliff. While I was searching for my new agent, naturally I did a lot of second-guessing--was I doing the right thing, should I have fired my agent, should I go crawling back? A lot of writers would give anything to have an agent and here I was ditching one.

    It took six nerve-racking, penny-pinching months to find my current agent, and she's great. We worked together for about three months honing Dark Time, because she wouldn't send it out until it met her high standards. I had a two book contract with a major publisher soon after she sent out half a dozen simultaneous submissions.

    Okay, that's probably way more than you wanted to know. But I love writing and I love Maliha and I'm floating on a cloud of excitement with the book just released.

  6. This sounds like a very interesting read! Congratulations on the release!

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  7. Wonderful interview Doug. :) Thanks for stopping by Dakota. I've had Dark Time on my wish list for some time now and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. :)

    Best to you.


    kweenmg at yahoo dot com

  8. Wow I can't wait to get my hands on this book. The excerpt has my hooked as does the cover.

    Dakota, I wish you all the best and hope the book is major success.

  9. Hi Dakota,
    I just wanted to say I'm about half way through Dark Time and it's fantastic.
    Readers won't be disappointed with this book.

    Thanks for the Sacrifice teaser.


  10. Hello! Thanks for having Dakota here, Doug. I purchased DT as soon as it came out and finished it on Sunday evening - I really enjoyed it and have already recommended it to family members. I can't wait to read the next book!

  11. Sorry about the colour problem with the excerpt. It rendered OK on the blog but not in readers. Fixed now! Enjoy!

  12. Thanks for stopping by! I haven't bought dark times yet but it is on my wish list. I don't know where I first heard about the book but it really picked on my attention!

    When is the second book suppose to release?

  13. I've been eyeing this book for a while and I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on it.

    Thanks Dakota for creating something so fresh and new.

    Thanks for having Dakota on your blog Doug.

    iiiioneloveiiii AT gmail DOT com

  14. Congrats on the release! Just got my copy of Dark Time yesterday! I had this one preordered like a month in advance, it looked so good. It's on top of my TBR pile, so I'm hoping to get to it really soon. I'll definitely bookmark this page so I can come back to read the except from book 2 afterwards.

    Sara M
    silentalibis AT yahoo DOT com

  15. thruthehaze - Thanks for the good wishes!

    Michelle G - It's been my pleasure to be Doug's guest.

    Ryan G - I'm hoping the book is a success, too. See my previous response about leaping off a cliff.

    Elaing8 - Half way through a book and enjoying it is a good place to be. Many writers struggle with the "dead seas" in the middle of a book, where they've envisioned the beginning and the end so clearly and the middle is filler to get from one to the other. So it's good to know Dark Time doesn't have that problem, at least for you. :­~­­)

  16. Jeff, Vicky and Kira - Thanks for recommending Dark Time!

    Tynga - Book two, Sacrifice, should be released about this time in 2010.

    Jen D. - Maliha seems fresh and new to you, which is great. I've been living with her in my head for years and she can still surprise me.

    Sara - Thanks for preordering! I do appreciate it, and every other sale.

  17. Hi Dakota. Great post. Your Mortal Path series sounds good. I am big fan of urban fantasy. Love the cover.

  18. I have never even heard of Sumerian Mythology so is there anything you can tell us now about there mythology to enhance reading the book?

    Thanks, Ruth

  19. Hi Dakota, I am a big fan of urban fantasy stories, especially when they have a bit of romance. Enjoyed the excerpt and will definitely be adding Dark Time to my wish list.

  20. Hi Dakota. Thanks for the post. Your book looks like an excellent read and I can't wait to get my hands on it. The cover first caught my eye, but only after I read the excerpt did I really want to read it. Congratulations on the release!

    k8_a_723 at hotmail dot com

  21. Hi CrystalGB! Glad you liked the post. I love the cover too, and think it's going to work out for the same artist to do the next cover, so that's exciting for me.

    Ruth - The Sumerians, whose civilization formed over 5,000 years ago in what is now Iraq, had a wonderful set of stories about their gods. As a brief introduction, they had 7 top gods (Those Who Decreed Fate), 50 more Great gods, and about 350 more lesser gods. The gods loved, hated, and tricked each other, got drunk, formed and broke relationships, misbehaved badly, and got sent to the Underworld for "time out".

    After a long time the lesser gods got tired of doing all the work of running Earth (there were no humans at this time), such as tending flocks, plowing fields, and so on, so one of the top gods created mankind to take over the work. Lucky us!

    My story is based on these myths, which are interesting stories to us but were serious truths to the Sumerians. At a certain point I had to extrapolate the myths into my own world creation, because 5,000 years ago, they didn't anticipate the Mortal Path series!

    My story concerns the god of the underworld Nergal (mythical) and seven demons who were his assistants in spreading evil and chaos (mythical). When the gods left Earth to return to their home in the stars (mythical), the seven demons were left behind (my idea). It is one of these seven demons, Rabishu, who rescues the heroine from the flames and turns her into an assassin.

    Cathy M. - I originally wrote Dark Time without romance in it, got part way through, and felt that it was lacking something was lacking. Adding Jake Stackman as the love interest really improved the book, and I had a lot of fun writing their scenes together.

  22. Hi Dakota.
    Great post. Dark Time sounds like an amazing book!

  23. Sounds awesome! Thanks for the insight, Dakota. Fascinating to see some new UF that's based on more unfamiliar mythology than most.

  24. Hi Dakota. This series sounds terrific, not just because I love paranormal fiction, but also because you incorporate Sumerian mythology into it. I teach world history, and assign the epic of Gilgamesh to my students; it's always new to them, but they're surprised at how familiar some of its elements and themes are--and not just the flood story, either. So anything that increases awareness of this rich mythological tradition is terrific in my book.
    So I'll be anxiously reading this series, and eagerly waiting for some of my favorite characters to crop up!

  25. Hi Doug and Dakota!

    Dark Time sounds great! And thanks for the great review!

    Urban Fantasy is one of my comfort reads, but I've always wonder how the world building and research come into play. Any thoughts?

    Dottie :)

  26. I recently read a review about 'Dark Time' (it was a glowing one, I might add) and thought it sounded ok.

    I then went to your website and read the first chapter and I think I fell in love. Maliha had my emotional investment almost from the first word.

    It's now on order through my local bookstore and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

    Thanks for stopping by and posting!
    Oh, and I'm so glad you will post promo items to Oz. :)

  27. Kate - Thanks for your kind words about the excerpt. For a new entry in a writing area, it's the 1) cover 2) excerpt 3) reviews 4) word of mouth that create a success. The cover's covered, the excerpt is letting the book speak for itself, the reviews are letting others reflect on their reaction to the book, and all that's left is word of mouth.

    Everybody, when/if you read this book, if you like it, let others know. Post customer reviews on bookstore sites, blog about it, ask your local bookseller to get it on the shelf. Oh dear, was that too blatant? Sorry. (hangs head in shame) Pretend you didn't read it.

    Chey - Thanks! I think Dark Time is amazing, but my opinion isn't objective. :~)

    Erica Hayes - UF is packed with books that include vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches, ghosts, angels, and demons (of the Biblical sort, not of Sumerian origin). Excellent books, and they've all gone before me. So what's an author trying to break into this crowded field to do, to at least get a toe in the door? For me, it wasn't by using the same approach, because honestly I didn't see how I could do it better than my favorite authors whom I read and admire such as Kim Harrison and Sherrilyn Kenyon (Shh, authors aren't supposed to admit things like that). So I had to create my own niche.

    Kimberly B. - A history teacher! Yay! As dear to my heart as librarians. I reread the Epic of Gilgamesh more than once in my research. It's dense reading and I kept finding new insights into the relationship the Sumerians had with their gods.

    For those who are going huh?, Gilgamesh was an early king of the city of Uruk, one of the five major cities of Sumer. He was part-god and part-human (there they go again, those Sumerian gods fooling around with humans) and his story, one of the first examples of epic literature, was found carved on a series of tablets. He may be not only a mythical figure but an historical one as well--an exciting discovery a few years ago may have found the city of Uruk and Gilgamesh's tomb.

    Although my story is based in Sumerian mythology, the story takes place after the gods have left Earth, leaving behind some demons, but no meddling gods. There's really no overlap with Gilgamesh.

    I did use the immortality idea though. In the Sumerian flood story (very similar to Noah's), "Noah" was awarded immortality for saving lives. I twisted it to have the demons award immortality for taking lives as an assassin.

    Once you get me on this topic, my enthusiasm is hard to turn off. I've probably talked your ears off about it today!

  28. Hi Dakota – congrats on the release of Dark Time. Wonderful back story on how the book came into being. This is going to be a phenomenal series and I can hardly wait to get started on it. I’m a huge fan of paranormal romance and love urban fantasy that has a strong romantic element. Cover art is gorgeous btw!!!

    Hi Doug - I've been lurking your reviews - you've been very busy!! How you're able to coincide your posts when I'm on Amazon is beyond me - but Amazon says "thanks". I'm still in the AZ desert, so internet is a struggle - but hey, it's cooler here than in TX :-)

  29. Dottie - I'm glad you asked about world building. World building is both great fun and the source of hand-wringing anxiety. I've been a science fiction fan since childhood and grew up with my brain half in this world and half in alternative worlds, I think. I published a futuristic thriller moving our world into the near future, and I liked it! Then I had a short story, "Agent," in Analog with much more extensive world building and a very different writing style for me (for anyone, I think!).

    So when it came to building Maliha's world, I was primed. I had experience. Okay, I was strutting. But I found that it was harder than I'd imagined to incorporate my research into a coherent, consistent world based on ours, only a little different. To me, that's what urban fantasy is--it's our world, with many things in it we can recognize, but walking among us are those few who are not the same as the rest of us. Maliha's rules that govern her life are out of phase with ours, but they are consistent for her.

    That's the hand-wringing part. When she gets into a tough situation, I can't just invent a new ability or a new way that things are done in her world to get her out of it. We have our parameters to live within, she has hers. In writing the first book, that's so important to get that established.

    JD - Yes, I will post items to Oz if the post office accepts them!

    The opening of Dark Time was written in a single writing session and it is the most emotionally compelling passage I've ever written. I cried as I wrote it, I got angry, I thought 'No, it can't end this way!', I viscerally felt her revenge. Many revisions were made to other parts of the book, but that opening never changed from the time I wrote it. I was emotionally invested in Maliha, too, and I hope it shows not only there but in the rest of the book.

    Cybercliper - I love the cover art too, and I want to say that HarperCollins/Eos and my editor, Diana Gill, were fantastic working with me on this and all other aspects of the book. I was asked for my input on the art, I got to review the jacket copy--it was terrific, and I felt very included in the production of the book. That's not always true! In my suggestion, I did have Maliha fully covered up, but skin sells.

    Here's an interesting tidbit for SciFiGuy readers. You'll notice that on the cover, Maliha has a large tattoo of a hawk covering her shoulders. As soon as I saw that, I had to have it in the book. When I got the copyedited manuscript, I added the tattoo as a special reward given to Maliha by her martial arts instructor when she masters a certain technique. In this case, cover art influenced the book instead of the other way around.:~)

  30. I've probably overstayed my guest posting privileges, so I'll wrap up by saying it was great fun.

    I understand the giveaways are open until next Wednesday, so I'll stop back in occasionally to see if there are any questions for me. But I won't take up the space I've used today!

    Doug, thanks so much for the opportunity to chat with your readers.


  31. Doug the SciFiGuy; (I love your blog name)

    I just noticed that bookmarks are being given away. I love bookmarks, books, promopens, magnets, kids, puppies, kittens, your name,the picture of the astronaut on your blog's late, I get carried away at times.

    I e-mailed you about the bookmarks.

  32. Dakota thank you very much for taking the time to visit with us. Drop back as often as you like. I loved your little tidbit about the cover art influencing the book. If there has to be a tattoo on the cover than it should be in the book. Very cool.

  33. I've read a couple of good reviews for this title, so I'm gonna throw my name in the hat. Who would have thought I'd end up a UF enthusiast? There's some good reads out there. I recommend "Red-Headed Stepchild" by Jaye Wells to anyone out there, since that's a recent favorite.

  34. I love urban fantasy, and DARK TIME is already on my wish list, so thanks for the contest! :)

    karenwitkowski AT

  35. Gorgeous cover. I've had this book on my wish list ever since I saw it. Getting to read more details about the Sumerian mythology is even more appealing. Can't wait to read it.

  36. This looks like a fun book - I'm new to the genre. Even better to have it signed. :)
    I have this give away posted to my blog.

  37. My husband, one of my son's and his girlfriend are all sci-fi fans. How many books are you planning to have in this series?

    Thanks for such a great giveaway. If I win - I'll make three people very happy. The biggest problem will be figuring out who gets to read it first!


  38. Gee, now I'll have to add yet another book to my (long) list of must read pile. Thanks for the sneak peek.

  39. Thanks Dakota for answering my question, it's very helpful.

    Thanks Doug for having Dakota guest on your site. Her book sounds great!

    Dottie :)

  40. Doug, I included you giveaway with my quick contest updates.

    Dottie :)

  41. Can I just say that I am glad there are no vampires in the book !

    I am really getting a bit tired of the current trend for them.

    The book sounds interesting so if it is open internationally please enter me in the drawing.

    Thank you.


    buddytho {AT} gmail DOT com

  42. Isn't world mythology the greatest seed for growing stories around? I'm all on pins and needles waiting for the chance to read this new series. Thanks for the opportunity to win the first book!


    P.S. Oh, an one very small extra thanks for telling us how you like your character's name pronounced!

  43. thanks for a great interview and the excerpt.

  44. Dakota: Thank you for the pronunciation of Maliha's name. I always wonder if I am getting the name right in my cranium as I read a book.
    Thank you for sharing your birth story of your book. I can't wait to read it.

  45. Ooooh, Sumerian mythology! Neat!

    Also, thanks for the pronunciation for Maliha! I was pronouncing it "ma-LEE-ah" in my head. Doh. :)

  46. Great to see that this one's open to "everybody", not only US.
    I would love to be able to read Dakota's work in the original version. It'not available in Italy (Yet).



  47. I read a blog post about this novel a couple weeks ago and immediately added it to my Buy Soon list! I really like the idea of a chance at redemption and strong conflicted female leads always pull me in.

    Congrats on the release and I look forward to reading it soon, either hard won or purchased ;)

    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

  48. Please enter me in the giveaway. I've never read any of the authors books. I will certainly add her to my book list. I haven't read many urban fantasy books. This sounds interesting to me. I like to know about the artifacts in museums. Interesting about the lead character finds a tablet her husband made for her in the Smithsonian. Thank you.

  49. This is one of the reads this month over on Barnes & Nobles website. I thought this book looked really good, however, I have not been able to find it in the bookstores locally. (It is all out.) I am waiting to see if any stock comes in again to get it.

    It has caught my eye and I will have to get it here sometime.

  50. buddyt -- Thanks for that reassurance that not basing the book on vampires is okay! I was concerned about not being able to attract UF readers because Dark Time was too different and wouldn't meet readers' expectations. As I said in my original post, I finally just had to trust the readers that they'd go for this type of story.

    Neas Nuttiness -- As far as how many books are in the series, book two will be out next year roughly the same time, in July. Beyond that, I think there's a natural end to this story in less than a handful more books (my publisher has a little something to say about that too). It doesn't strike me as the kind of thing that can go on for 20+ books with readers living Maliha's life practically in real time as she saves this individual life and that life. I have to hit the high points, the biggies for her, in order to keep the drama.

    The really great thing, as Otterdaughter pointed out in her post, is that world mythology is a great starting point for new characters and new stories. I love the subject and the world's wide open with all areas of human history--aren't we a fascinating bunch? The subject's not overdone in UF. I don't know if I'm a pioneer in using "real" ancient mythology or not because I haven't read absolutely everything out there, but I must be fairly close to claiming the pioneer's title. I'm already scouting for my next fascinating myths to draw upon.

    Melissa--You mentioned that I was one of the reads of the month at B&N, so I checked that out. On the paranormal discussion boards, Dark Time is one of 3 suggested reads for August, but I'm not doing so hot over there. So raspberries to them!! (No one said writers had to be mature.) While I was there I did find a nice customer review, which leads me to another tidbit for SciFiGuy readers.

    The reviewer commented that he liked the cover but a small flaw in it was that Maliha never uses the sai in the book, but there she is on the cover holding one in each hand. The sai weren't part of my original cover suggestion but when they showed up in the art I thought they looked cool, especially for an American audience. To his credit my martial arts adviser took me to task for it but it was too late for changes.

    The reviewer said, 'Maybe next time,' and that was my cue to add Mailia using the sai at least once in Sacrifice. If you read it, notice that sai in there and you'll know how it came to be.

  51. Dakota thanks for another tidibit about SACRIFICE and for stopping in again to respond to comments!

  52. Dakota - I am sorry the posts aren't doing well over at B&N. I have not found the book yet or I would be posting there when I am through with my current read. When I am able to finally get the book I hope to go back to the thread that is started and post on it, after I read it.

    That is a great tidbit to know with the sai. I will have to remember it! Also, are any of us truely mature?!? LOL!

    It is great having you around and chatting!


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