Thursday, March 29, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Dakota Banks

UFI welcomes Dakota Banks Author of The Mortal Path Series. Thanks for Joining us!!

This or That

Angels or Demons

This one’s easy: demons. The Mortal Path series wouldn’t exist without them, plus I think they’re much more interesting than angels. Why go for a dull set of wings when you can have various hideous forms and breathe fire or rip people apart? Go for the horror, I say—Demons rule, Angels drool. 

Vampires or Shifters

Vampires have this big problem: terrible manners when feeding. All that blood dripping down the chin. It’s due to the passion of one sort or another that they’re experiencing when feeding—it distracts them from basic things like choosing the right spoon. I’d have to go with Shifters.

Left or Right

Not sure if we’re talking politics here or not, so given the choice, let’s stay away from politics. J Left-handedness is also known as sinistrality, from the Latin sinistra, meaning left, which we’ve converted into the word sinister. That describes Left’s reputation. Since ancient times, being left-handed has been considered a sign of the devil at work, clumsiness, or misfortune. By contrast, right-handedness is associated with power, justice, manual skill, and being correct. Since I like the idea of being correct, at least some of the time, my choice is Right. See? It’s self-confirming, too.  

Up or Down

I enjoy riding elevators down from the tops of buildings, especially ones that go really fast, and getting that flip-flop feeling in my stomach. There’s a ride at Disney World called the Tower of Terror. Passengers get into a “rickety” freight elevator and ride up 13 stories. Along the way, the elevator shaft turns pitch black, as in can’t see your hand in front of your face. It shoots to the top, then starts a series of faster-than-the-pull-of-gravity drops with a supposedly broken cable, ending in lurching stops. One time the elevator doors open, and suddenly you can see how really high up you are! I LOVE this ride. My choice is Down. 

Pizza or Pasta

I like pasta, but it tends to get served in dainty portions with a breadstick, so you can admire how attractively it’s served. I don’t need my food to be served attractively, considering how it’s going to end up in a little while. No one ever accused pizza of being attractive. It may smell good, taste good, and be fun to eat with your hands (Ha! Try that with pasta.), but if you snap a photo of it, the reality will never compare to the image in your mind. I choose Pizza, for its humility.  

Coffee or Tea

This one is tough, because I drink both of these. For me, coffee is the utilitarian go-to drink and tea is the esoteric mind-wandering drink. Since I prefer mind-wandering to practicality, it’s Tea.

Coke or Pepsi

I drink Coke Zero. That’s all. If I can’t have that, I’ll take water. I have no explanation for this strange preference.

YA or Adult

I write adult, I read adult, though I made exceptions for Harry Potter and the Hunger Games trilogy. They were enjoyable, but ... Adult is my choice.  

Facebook or Twitter

I love Facebook because it allows me to really communicate with people. Twitter—many of the things I say sound trite to me, and I don’t like the 140 character restriction. It may sound silly, but if I try to say anything meaningful, that restriction forces me to be ungrammatical. I’m a writer, for Pete’s sake! Facebook is The One, for freedom of expression.

Book Signing or Panel Speaking

I’ve always looked at public appearances as opportunities to meet and chat with readers, and to have time to do so in a relaxed atmosphere. Signings don’t fit that bill. First, no matter how well prepared you think the signing venue is, you can have a low turnout. I’ve sat by myself in bookstores in the middle of torrential downpours or even an ice storm, with the store owner embarrassed and saying, “Usually we have a lot more traffic.” Even when the signing goes well, people tend to want their book signed and be off, because they have other shopping/whatever to do. So it’s open the book, ask “Signature or inscription?”, do what’s requested, close the book. And really, I see enough of my book. I don’t need to spend two hours sitting around and looking at ... my book. Panels are very different. If people have paid to attend the conference, a little bad weather isn’t going to discourage them. In every multi-author panel I’ve been on, there have been Q&A sessions. It’s readers’ thoughts hurled at us, and I say that lovingly. I’m not on the panel to sell my books, I’m just relaxed and having a good time. I get to chat with readers after the panel and in the halls. Plus I enjoy being with the other authors on my panels, some of whom are new to me and some are already good friends. So a rousing yes for Panel Speaking! 

Reading or Writing

You don’t actually expect me to answer this, do you? *Sigh* I guess you do. I’m flipping a coin ... it came up Reading. Ok, two out of three. I look at it this way. I love reading for the intensely beautiful words, sentences, and passages that sink into my mind, give me chills, tear my heart out, or engage my empathy. But as a writer, I get to create those words, sentences, and passages that I hope affect others in those ways. That’s like double-dipping, and it’s wonderful. Writing is my choice.

Find Dakota and her books
Mortal Path #3
March 27, 2012
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. Should Maliha listen to her heart or the alarms going off in her head? Then her closest friends begin to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, she feels her life 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.
Deliverance Trailer

*Open Internationally* 

Review: Croak by Gina Damico

Author: Gina Damico
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Croak Book #1
ISBN:  0547608322
ISBN13: 9780547608327
Genre: Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Netgalley/Teen Book Scene

Teenage delinquent Lex's parents ship her off to her uncle's house for the summer, where she discovers a surprising family business as a grim reaper and gets caught up in a mystery, in the first installment of a morbidly hilarious new series.

CROAK is a little town in the middle of no where that cheats tourists out of money, names their establishments after death and oh yeah, all of its residents are grim reapers. Lately Lex has been getting into trouble and her parents send her off with her Uncle Mot for the summer. She quickly realizes that her Uncle is not who she always thought he was and she is following in his footsteps. 

Lex really had no clue as to why she was suddenly getting into so much trouble. Her temper was all over the place, she would hit people for no reason and argue with everyone. When her parents told her she was going to her Uncles for the summer she was angry and a little scared that she was going to have to leave her twin sister behind. Lex quickly fell into her new role as a grim reaper and jumped into new friendships and situations. I enjoyed all the other teen grim reapers and it was interesting to learn about the different roles they played. Everyone but Lex comes from tragedy somehow and that makes Lex a bit different from them. From the beginning she can do things that no one else can and that plays a big role in the events of CROAK.

There was a great amount of humor, complex characters and an interesting town that was fun to navigate. The world building was neat. The Grim's source of travel and power was unique. There were a few slow parts but they in no way took away any of my interest in the story. The events at the end of CROAK were a bit easy to predict. I know it will play a huge role in the events of book 2. I have a few theories on why Lex is how she is that I'm hoping will be revealed quickly so I'm excited to get a hold of SCORCH to see if I'm right. 

I gave it 4/5 stars