Friday, April 6, 2012

Guest author Dakota Banks and giveaway

Please welcome author Dakota Banks


Thanks for this great opportunity to visit Bitten by Paranormal Romance! It’s a pleasure to be here.

Speaking of who’s here, it looks like Dakota Banks has taken the day off. What else can you expect? Meh. Writers. I’m Maliha Crayne, and I’ll be doing the talking today.

In case you haven’t met me yet, I’m the woman whose butt you see on the cover of the Mortal Path books. Right now, I’d like to get it out there that I do not fight in those high heels. The cover artist is a chauvinist pig and I have told him so. On the next cover, it’s the same thing. I’d like to get a chance to dress him up, believe me. The corset isn’t my favorite way to appear either. Looks like I’m wearing some kind of S&M outfit. Now that we’re past that, a more formal introduction: I’m a former assassin for a Sumerian demon, now a rogue working to get my soul back from the pompous creature who took advantage of me when I was merely on fire. If I had it to do over again ... That was in 1692. A lady never tells her age, but that makes me, uh, really old. Oh, what the heck. I’m 340 years old. You have a problem with that?

I was kind of nasty for a good part of those years, killing people whenever the demon sent me an assignment. It wasn’t personal, though. Nothing was personal to me during those days. I’m a much nicer person now, and I assure you I’m safe to be around, at least for the length of this conversation.

Let’s talk about ... love.

Aha, you say, this is a woman who must have lots of stories to tell. The truth is I’m not very experienced with love. If you mean sex, that’s different. While I was an immortal demon’s assassin, I had sex with any man I was attracted to—notice it was me doing the choosing. Men from all stations of life, from the local blacksmith to princes and sheiks. If things got serious, I either dumped the man or left town, whichever seemed the most expedient. I didn’t hesitate to let men show their appreciation with wonderful gifts, either. But all of that wasn’t love. It was just a shallow life.

When I was twenty years old, I was married to what I assumed would be the only man in my life, the man I loved and planned to bear children with. That was before I got toasted over an open fire for being a witch. I was not a witch; it was all lies. When my demon pulled me from the flames and sent me back immortal, I wasn’t the same sweet wife anymore. That’s when I built a wall in my heart: humans are just targets for assassinations, love is meaningless. You can’t blame me. I had the perfect excuse. I didn’t have a soul anymore. It was hundreds of years before cracks started to appear in that wall. I started to question why my targets had to die. For the most part, they weren’t evil. I started to see things from their points of view. How their families would miss them, how the world would be worse off without them, which was the demon’s plan. The cracks widened and I eventually told the demon to shove it, expecting to die some horrible death right then. Instead, I found that there was a way out that the chief Sumerian god had insisted be included in all the demons’ contracts: the Mortal Path. It was a nearly impossible quest, but it gave me hope. No other rogue had ever successfully reclaimed his or her soul on the quest, but I vowed that I would be the first.

And now we’re back to love. Isn’t it always that way?

I had to relearn how to have close friends instead of disposable ones. Most of all, I had to put the love back in sex. Alone for so long, betrayed by my husband at the age of twenty, I didn’t trust men much. As friends, yes. Taking one special man into my heart, no. Maybe I thought I’d be betrayed again, as my husband had turned his back on me during the witch trial. Trust was such a leap of faith. I finally met a man (on a blind date, of all things) who began to take down the last wall around my heart, brick by brick. His name is Jake Stackwell, and he’s a federal agent. This is one of our encounters that shows I’m really getting the hang of this love thing.

            Maliha dialed Jake’s work phone number and he answered immediately.

            “I missed you,” he said. “Did you like the flowers?”

            “Yes, they were great. I’d like to get together as soon as we can, Jake, away from your office.”

            “Whoa, woman, you must have really missed me. How about this evening?”

            “What about in an hour at your apartment?”

            “See you then.”

She took a cab to McKinley Park and walked a couple of blocks. He lived on the second floor of a building with four apartments. She’d arrived early, so she kept walking past his building. Watching his arrival from half a block away, she noted nothing unusual about it or about him. He looked as handsome as ever, lean, broad-shouldered, curly black hair falling over his forehead. She gave him a few minutes, and then buzzed his doorbell. He told her to come up.

When he opened the door, his blue eyes caught and held hers. She saw only love and desire in them. Jake had changed into a t-shirt and sweatpants, and there was a fire going that looked inviting. He swept her into his arms and kissed her, then nuzzled her neck.
“You’re beautiful,” he said. “I can’t get enough of you.”

She pushed him back, smiling. “Are we going to do this in the hall, or do I get to come in and take off my coat?”

“Of course. Please come in.” He stood aside and waved her in with a bow.

His place was decorated with antiques mixed with modern furniture. The antiques blended right in and had a comfortable, worn look to them—they hadn't been refinished, and they were meant to be used. No velvet ropes to keep them on display.

Jake settled her on the couch and brought out a package of Oreo Double Stuffs and two glasses of milk.
"You remembered,” she said.

"Yeah." He gave her a big smile that warmed her and released a smile of her own. "After you said they were your favorites, I started keeping a package in case you came over. Of course, I couldn't have them get stale, so I started eating them." He patted his hard abdomen. "Gotta watch my waistline, so I stopped. These might be stale."

They weren't. She ate two, twisting their tops off and licking the icing from the middle.

"Okay, I've had my comfort food and I'm a pliable ball of emotions."

"You're never a pliable anything.”

Maliha again. Something rather incredible happens right after this, but for now that’s my secret. I’m curious, what’s more important to you in a paranormal romance, the love or the sex? Or does it take both for you to appreciate the book?

The giveaway is a Mortal Path Swag Bag, consisting of a tote bag, 3 signed books, pens, bookmarks, magnets, and a calculator. One of the photos shows the whole deal. Open internationally. 
To enter please .
answer the question in above paragraph and dont forget to add your email

Twitter: @dakotabanks or http://dbanks.me/DBtwit

43 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Oh LOVE LOVE LOVE is definitely more important to me. Sex is fine and steamy and can be fun, but love is the glue that binds the story and makes you want more of the same characters and to revisit the world. In my opinion love is the reason for fighting the bad guys, whether is is love of an individual or just love of life itself. Thank you for the fun post and the very thought provoking question :)

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  3. I think that the love and the sex are equally as important in a good paranormal book. I've read books that are all sex that should just be considered porn and I've read books with hardly any sex that just frustrate me because sex is very important in a romance novel period.

    romancebookjunkiesdanielle at yahoo.com

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  4. Love first then believable love making, sex sounds and is impersonal. My favorite characters are those who fall in love then allow their lust for each other to be freely and passionately expressed in their sexual exploits.

    jacabur2008(@)gmail(.)com

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  5. For me love and sex in a good paranormal are both pretty important, I mean I don't mind if there's intense attraction or lust between the characters but I love it even more when the lust evolves in love.

    I mean when I say love I don't want anything all mushy and gushy (well at least not too mushy and gushy.)

    I mean like real love like the kind that would make you move heaven earth for that person, so I'm a bit of a romantic.

    In my opinion reading about characters who are in love and are having sex just makes the book that much steamier for me!

    kakuchouakisame_19@yahoo.com

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  6. The love definitely, because if you can't connect to the characters than the sex is less exciting. you have to make me fall in love with the characters.

    allison(dot)westcote(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. Hmm, in paranormal romance I think the romance must come first so I choose the love and then the sex! jepebATverizonDOTnet

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  8. For me the story and the paranormal elements, then the romance and love is more important than the sex. I could do without the sex altogether and be happy, as long as I know that there is attraction and caring, maybe some sparks flying. I read a book recently that started the sex action and then kind of faded out and moved on to the next scene. It was totally fine with me and I didn't feel like I missed anything.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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  9. I definitely enjoy the falling in love parts of the book. It is interesting how the characters interact.

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  10. i think you need both i do love the LOVE aspect but i like the sex to heat up some scenes plus when you have a paranormal romance and use diff species you can make the sex and bonding that much hotter

    babydoll82959307(at)aol(dot)com

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  11. I'm loving these comments! ~♥~

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  12. I want both the love & the sex. I think it makes the story more intense to have both.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  13. Definitely love is more important to me. I love the idea of love but when it's real and the characters deserve each other, it makes the story that much more worthy. Making love is an expression of love so having it can bring more intimacy to a story.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. The love is the most important part of stories that I read. I love the romance, all the books I read are romances in some form or another. Although I must admit that I love the hot lovin' scenes in paranormals, etc. I don't think I would enjoy the "closed door" books, I prefer that the relationship is whole, and making love is the way to express that love.
    June
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

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  15. It's all about the love. The way they look at each other and talk to each other. That's what makes me woozy.
    Lauren
    Lmackesy @ gmail.com

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  16. Both love and sex are important to me in a paranormal romance. After all...it isn't called a romance for nothing. ;) The passion and the danger that happens in the books go hand-in-hand for me and I like to see love blossom out of it. Cheers!
    adgrinstead@gmail.com

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  17. A book must contain a love story for me to read it. A little bit of sex thrown in just makes is spicier...lol
    Thanks for the contest.
    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

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  18. At my age (and personality type) love has to come accompanied by sex, but I'd say love edges out a bit over sex, I do like to see an emotional intimacy between the characters. I have a 51 year old sister in law who still reads squeaky clean romances were a kiss is about it. They just make me snicker.

    acm05atjuno.com

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. LOL! Love the interview! Maliha sounds badass! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Love is more important to me than sex because, honestly, the sex scenes bore me when I'm really anxious but what will happen next. I prefer action and dialogue over moaning. *sometimes* ;)

    amberdaulton86@gmail.com

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  21. Takes guts to put your self out there for love, a risky business. You might say riskier than working for a demon as an assassin. Sex can be used to gain a better connection with someone you love, but you have to want it.
    Love is more important, the sex is just icing on the cake. But if you have a good enough cake, full of deliciousness on the inside you don't need the frosting.

    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

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  22. Sex. Because sometimes authors try way too hard to make the whole "falling in love" bit between the hero and heroine so beliveable that it comes off as cheesy and unbeliveable. Plus I care more about good hot sex than falling in love. When I'm reading a book I'm not sitting on the edge of my seat saying "oh man I can't wait to see these two fall in love!" nope, I'm saying "man, I bet the sex for these two will be awesome! Hurry up and get to the action!" Yeah, I'm a little slutty that way when it comes to books. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ___________

    littleredride.nhood{at}yahoo.com

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  23. For me both are important, sex without love I can find in any porn book, love without sex I can find in any old fashioned romance, but both together is what makes reading a good paranormal exciting :D

    ilona
    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

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  24. The love and the sex are equally important. There's intense attraction, intimacy, lust. They all add up to make a great paranormal romance.

    Joanne B
    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

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  25. I think both keep me reading. Sometimes I read for the romance and sometimes I read for the sexy love scenes. I guess that doesn't really answer your question though.
    musicalfrog at comcast.net

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  26. For me, I think that both love and sex are important. The combination of the two is what keeps me interested and reading. The series looks and sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway! bpatrick64113@sbcglobal.net

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  27. I like to have both love and sex in a book. The sex doesn't have to be graphic, but there has to be love involved!

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

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  28. I think definately the love has to be there. The sex doesnt always it depends what mood because I like my books both ways. I enjoy YA and adult books.

    rachel at thejeepdiva dot com

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  29. I think it takes both to make a good book. At least it does for me.

    riverinaromantic AT aol DOT com

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  30. Though I love both love and sex in a PNR, it frustrates me when the h/h are thrown together and rushed to feel in love when it is clear that is premature. However good steamy sex can be instantanous if they have sizzling chemistry. So I will go with sex (though the best sex is of course if there are some feelings involved)

    Thank you for the terrific giveaway Dakota and congrats on the release!!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

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  31. Hi Dakota!

    the sex or the love.. hmm.. the love and the journey to it are the my main goal, but the sex didn't hurt, right :">

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  32. Love, for me, is most important. Or at least, knowing that the love is coming :-) Sex is only sex without love.

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  33. For me, it's all about the love. I enjoy reading about sex, but there has to be a relationship behind it or one that's at least budding.

    REALLY liked the character's POV in your post. Thanks for the generous giveaway.

    dani AT daniharper DOT com

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  34. Very nice post. The book should include both.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  35. I read a lot of UF and fantasy, so it's not unusual for me to read 6 or 7 books totaling 3000+ pages without much sex (or HEAs!). But I guess I'd have to answer love -- because a really good story is built on the relationships between the characters. As long as the love -- or the sex -- seem natural in the story I'm all for it!

    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  36. the love!! ive read many a series that had no sex in it.. was the love that caught my heart

    alainala at hotmail dot ca

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  37. The love, but I like the books a lot more if there's good sex ;)

    jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

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  38. The love. But I'd be pissed if the sex wasn't in it too!! ;P Haha.

    CYP
    cypsays_hi[@]hotmail.com

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  39. This site is GORGEOUS! I love it!

    Dakota's book looks and sounds awesome. I adore the cover! Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  40. I think it's the falling in love that makes it for me in a paranormal romance. Sometimes just the way they interact and then you see the slowly growing feelings and the hungry they have for each other. It's just fantastic!

    Mary
    mary_reiss @ hotmail.com

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  41. For me, its about a good mix of both! Swoony romance & Hot steamy sex in a well written novel makes me a happy girl!!!

    Thank you for the awesome giveaway!!

    Selena Mc
    redzsm (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  42. I like both but if I were to pick...I'd take the sex over the love. Sometimes the love stuff can get kinda mushy when your wanting hard core to go along with some bad a** paranormal. I'm thinking of Jericho Barrons from KMM's fever series at the moment...lol. So sex over love =) I still read all types though. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Tanyaw1224
    Tanyaw1224(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  43. I think they're both equally important. When I think of romance, I automatically think of hot steamy sex and I kinda feel cheated if there isn't any.

    molly(dot)frenzel(at)gmail(dot)com

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