Dakota Banks

Dark Time: Mortal Path Book One


Welcome Dakota! Thank you for coming.

Dakota will be giving away a signed copy of her book to TWO lucky commenters.

So let’s hear from everyone.

Check out the stellar cover!



Dark Time: Mortal Path Book One

What if a woman sold her soul to a demon and 300 years later wanted it back?

In the 17th century, a woman is ripped from her husband’s arms, thrown in jail, and then set afire as a witch. Saved from the flames by an ancient Sumerian demon, she becomes the Black Ghost, his Ageless assassin gifted with otherworldly skills and superbly trained in martial arts.

Centuries pass before Maliha Crayne finds a way out of the life she hates. If she achieves a balance between lives taken and lives saved, she’ll break the demon’s hold on her.


If she fails, she will suffer the demon’s torment … forever.



“Fans of the supernatural and dark fantasy will be intrigued by Maliha Crayne’s quest to save her soul.” – Publishers Weekly

“The premise for this new series is different and exciting. What if someone sold their soul, then wanted it back? With a kick-ass heroine who’s trying to get out of an unimaginably bad situation and tons of action, this is a terrific read.” – RT Book Reviews

“Dark Time is a novel to be savored for both its edge of suspense and the pure joy of its storytelling. Part immortal, all human, Maliha is a heroine who will leave readers breathless and craving more. Not to be missed!” – James Rollins

“Seductive, sophisticated, and imaginative, Dark Time has a multi-dimensional quality with beguiling concepts and a labyrinth of fast-paced suspense.” – Steve Berry

“Dark Time is a passionate, fascinating story packed with action and history.” – David Morrell

“A great concept and a fun read; an original story with just the right blend of action, suspense, mythology, and romance.” – Book Bitch


Release: July 28, 2009 – Available as mass market paperback, Kindle and other digital editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Booksense (IndieBound), HarperCollins, and generally widespread distribution to online and brick-and-mortar bookstores

Visit Dakota here:


  • Archon SF/Fantasy Convention, Oct 2-4, 2009
  • World Mystery Convention (Bouchercon) Oct 15-18, 2009



And now, the word you’ve all been waiting for:



Good luck!


  1. Kerri Nelson says:

    Dakota, welcome!

    Love the premise for this book and I can’t wait to find out how she gets out of the centuries long torment!

    Have you always been a fan of the paranormal? Are there any other authors that inspired you down this path?

    Looking forward to learning more about you.

    Thanks for stopping by the Muse! These Musetrackers always know how to throw a party!


  2. jbrayweber says:

    Well – I’m sold. I love the story premise. I mean, who doesn’t love demons and kick-ass heroines? An I absolutely adore the cover!!



  3. Jessica says:

    wow, amazing cover! I agree, the premise is amazing. Though I’m not I love demons, Jenn! LOL But really, this sounds like a book that would pique my interest. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Dakota says:

    Kerri – Thanks for the hearty welcome! I’ve long been interested in paranormal events in fiction and in real life. Not that I’m a 100% believer in paranormal events in real life, but I have an open mind about it.

    When I first started writing, I wrote hard-edged suspense novels about virtual reality under a different name. Gradually I found it too confining for me. I wanted to tinker with the reality, to free my imagination more. Urban fantasy was beckoning. Number one problem – I knew vampires, werewolves, witches, and the like weren’t for me, and urban fantasy was full of stories based on those characters. I read and admired Kim Harrison, Jocelyn Drake, and new author Marcus Pelegrimas.

    I wanted a story based on ancient myths with a strong quest involved, and lots of action. James Rollins, F. Paul Wilson, and Steve Berry write this type of book. I chose Sumeria, present-day Iraq. The Sumerians had a very rich mythology full of interesting gods and demons, so why not have a few of them survive to the current time?

    As for a character, I wanted a strong woman who had demons on the inside to fight as well as those on the outside.


  5. Candi Wall says:

    That was my thought to when the cover and promo came in the e-mail. The cover artg just screams read me, and the blurb sucks you right in.

    Thanks for coming by everyone, especially Dakota!


  6. Candi Wall says:

    Hey Dakota,

    >>>As for a character, I wanted a strong woman who had demons on the inside to fight as well as those on the outside.<<<

    I love this. I love it when women are placed in roles where they can be vulnerable but still have enough strength to make it through and kick some butt.

    I can't wait to read this.


  7. Dakota says:

    Jenn – I love the cover, too. The same artist has done the cover for book two, Sacrifice. I’ve just seen it, and it’s terrific! The title’s very appropriate for book two. Sends shivers up my spine, and I wrote it.

    Jessica – Give demons a chance! These aren’t the typical Biblical demons–they’re creations of an entirely different culture, brought to life from 5,000 years ago in the Mortal Path books. They are nasty, though. The only fun I had with them was that whenever the protagonist sees her demon, he takes on a different horrific appearance.


  8. Dakota says:

    Candi – Thanks for the opportunity to be here today.

    Vulnerability is built in for Maliha and makes everything she does more difficult once she’s no longer Ageless. Not only physically but emotionally, as she tries to adjust to being a 21st century twenty-something to figuring out if she can let a man into her walled-off heart.


  9. Laurie says:

    wow! so excited to check out your book! sounds right up my alley:)


  10. Hi Dakota,
    Welcome to Musetracks. Thank you so much for dropping by.
    Your book sounds fantastic (and I am partial to urban fantasy and witches stories!), I can’t wait to get a copy.
    And yes, what an awesome cover.


  11. Dakota says:

    Laurie – I hope you’ll enjoy Dark Time!

    Marie-Claude – Thanks for the welcome. I’m having a good time being here today, and I’m pleased to be able to give away two signed copies to commentators here.


  12. John Roundtree says:

    Hi, Dakota!

    So right about the cover art. Perfect for the story concept. Love the Sumerian origins and the direction you’ve taken this.

    Ooh! I agree with you about the senseless theft and destruction of history in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East – by political regimes as well as vandals, thieves, and treasure hunters. No way to put a price on the loss of such things.

    Did Maliha evolve out of any particular discovery in your research or did her character take on substance from the challenges of the world you built for her.

    Intriguing. With the blurb, can’t help but be pulled in. This is definitely on my must read list.



  13. Dakota says:

    I’m putting in a plug for my agent, Jill Marsal. She helped me polish my book for submission, and then did simultaneous submissions that resulted in a two-book contract with a major NY publisher. Keep in mind that Dark Time is not a conventional urban fantasy; she saw the merit in my unconventional approach and targeted editors who would be open to it.

    Jill is great to work with, very knowledgeable about what sells and what doesn’t, supportive, responsive when I have questions, and on top of all that, she’s a very nice person. I’m so lucky I have her to work with and help guide my career.


  14. Candi Wall says:


    I’m glad you mentioned Jill.

    Since we all are looking for an agent, it’ so nice to hear great things like this. We learn so much from the opinion sof others, but when it’s just a blanket “She’s great”, it relly doesn’t give anyone a ‘feel’ for who they are as a person.

    I like that you say she saw the difference in your writing, the way you told your story, and that she did what was best to find your novel a home.

    Thank you!


  15. suzanne lazear says:

    Wow, what an amazing cover. I’m a huge mythology/folklore buff so books that draw on them intrigue me. Looking forward to reading it!



  16. I love mythology mixed with suspense and your story sounds fascinating. The cover is gorgeous and striking.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with Jill Marsal. I agree with Candi, it’s good to hear someone is great, but so much more helpful to hear why.


  17. Dakota says:

    John – To tell you the truth when I first conceived Maliha’s character, I was angry at the senseless destruction or theft of artifacts (some of the items taken from the Iraq National Museum were done by people with a knowledge of the museum’s storage areas, with no signs of forced entry). Maliha version 1.0 was a woman who traveled the world recovering artifacts using her supernatural abilities–the thieves’ and smugglers’ nightmare. Then I thought there might not be enough people as passionate about the subject as I was, so Maliha 2.0 was born. Who knows, one of these days I might try to resurrect the first version!

    Suzanne – I love having the folklore of different cultures and real characters from history in my writer’s toolkit. Maliha has a long life to draw upon and prior to that, millennia of civilizations’ stories.


  18. Dakota says:

    Babette – I have had two agents prior to Jill, and one of the most noticeable changes for me is how accessible Jill is. She returns emails and phone calls usually the same day. If you’ve ever been in an agent relationship where it’s hard to get a response, you know how important this is to the author. Jill manages to provide a one-on-one experience even though I know she’s handling other clients too. It’s a wonderful business practice that isn’t always available from agents–I know!


  19. Candi Wall says:

    Dakota, I’ve heard this before with other authors, numerous times actually.

    You’re very lucky to have found Jill, although from the reviews, Jill managed to come up lucky having you in her corner as well.


  20. Dakota says:


    Oh, I’m blushing. Okay, I’m done blushing so I can be blatant enough to say that if the commentators (and lurkers–I know you’re there–a special hi to you!) read Dark Time and enjoy it, please let your friends know about the book. Word of mouth is so important.

    Here’s an excerpt from a 5-star review at dealing specifically with Maliha’s character that we’ve talked about quite a bit today: “Dakota Banks has created a new breed of heroine, strong, bold and willing to do the right thing despite a seriously dubious past…. Yet despite this strength, Maliha remains realistically vulnerable; still grieving over the loss of her daughter and worried about the lives of her few friends and the dangers they face. She is a complex individual with some intriguing relationships with equally intriguing characters.” – Book Addict


  21. Billi Wagner says:

    Dakota, I don’t think I’ve mastered the blog comment because it ended up somewhere in April. I didn’t know comments could time travel, but there you are lol. Basically, I love the cover and premise and am looking foward to reading your book. Billi 🙂


  22. Dakota says:

    Billi – Thanks for your comment. It made it into October this time!

    Thanks again, Candi, for having me in the author spotlight. I had a wonderful time. Good night, all!


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