Thursday, July 28, 2011

Deliverance: Hot Thrills, Cold Chills

Barbara E. is the winner of the first two books in the
Mortal Path series, Dark Time and Sacrifice. 
Thanks to everyone who commented!
I have a title, I have a title ... Deliverance! Mortal Path #3 is listed online with a release date of March 27, 2012. It's official. My heart went pitty-pat when I saw the listing for the first time, as it did with every other book I've published. What a thrill! :)

I wish I could show you the cover but it's still under wraps, behind those curtains over there. I'll just say it was done by the same artist who did the first two covers in the Mortal Path series, and it's stunning.

This book has been a challenge for me because my personal life went through some bumps while it was being written. I came out of that period fired up and ready to renew my writing life, and I think Deliverance fits the bill! Writers, if you're working on your first book, hang in there! The rewards from completing a book into which you've poured your heart and soul are immense and when you see it published you will absolutely melt. Can you tell I'm happy?

Here's a brief excerpt from Deliverance, a tense confrontation for Maliha.

Maliha Crayne placed her feet carefully on the old clay-tiled roof. Freezing rain made the passage treacherous. Xietai, the man she was chasing, seemed as sure-footed as a gazelle. She had already sent a tile sliding to the street three stories below.

It was three in the morning, and although New York never sleeps, the residents of this neighborhood did. Most of them, anyway. As another tile clattered to the sidewalk, a window was flung open and a woman’s head appeared, her neck twisted to look up at the roof.

“What’s goin’ on up there? Think yer Santa Claus or somethin’? Get off my roof!”

With flat roofs all around, he has to choose one with tiles. Should have gone around and picked up his trail on the other side. Maliha 0, Xietai 1. 

Xietai had been in her sights twice before, and he’d eluded her. He ran a human trafficking ring, bringing Asian girls to America, and then sending American girls to Asia. Round-trip profits. Complicating matters was that Xietai was the son of one of Maliha’s dearest friends, Xia Yanmeng. Maliha planned to bring Xietai to justice but with his record of confrontation, it was possible she’d have to kill him.

Maliha came to the end of the tiled roof and paused briefly. Xietai’s footprints led her on into the moonless night. Using her ability to view auras, she could see the outline of his footsteps and the tendrils of red and black twining together, rising from them. Normally she used her aural vision for a few seconds at a time, a quick check to see if someone was lying or to make sure she faced a truly evil person before plunging her sword into him. Constant viewing, as she was doing now to track Xietai, was draining. His aural footprints were clear, but her surroundings were a little out of focus. As long as Xietai kept out of her normal sight, he had an advantage.

She swung over the edge of the roof, hung briefly by one hand, and dropped down to an adjacent flat roof. Landing with a forward roll to break the momentum of the fall, she put out a hand to avoid sliding on the patchy ice. She scraped the side of her hand raw on the rough roofing material. She wasn’t an accomplished traceuse—tracer—so her hands weren’t calloused. The man ahead of her was a highly skilled practitioner of parkour, a method of crossing obstacles in the most efficient way and the shortest time.

She ran barefoot, with loose black shorts, a black t-shirt, a belly bag with a few throwing stars secured inside so they couldn’t shift and hurt her, knives strapped to her thighs, with her thick black hair flowing behind her. It was late November, and an icy rain pelted her face and other exposed skin. Maliha wasn’t prepared for this pursuit, but when Xietai crossed her path, she had to try it.

Maliha jumped to a building a dozen feet away. She rolled, then ran and dropped to the fire escape.

Could he be Ageless?

Her bare feet landed lightly on the fire escape’s icy stairs, and at each landing, she vaulted the railing to the next run of stairs. She dropped the last ten feet to the ground. Thin red wisps spiraled eerily up from slushy puddle he’d passed through. She cleared the puddle in a small hop. Ahead a wall loomed. He’d taken her down a dead-end alley. Using the momentum of her run, she stepped up the brick wall to a balcony, used a spring from the rail to power another couple of steps, and then muscled up to the roof.

No good. Blind corner ...

Anticipating a trap, Maliha threw one of her knives, then ducked and rolled as a sword swung powerfully where her neck should have been. She lashed out with her second knife, scored a deep gash in Xietai’s calf, and felt the splash of hot blood on her hand.

That should slow him down a little.

Xietai took off into the night, running away before she’d come fully out of her roll. She retrieved her thrown knife from where it had landed. Her opponent took them down to street level. She was gratified to see a blood trail in the pale cone of light from a street lamp.

He bleeds too much to be Ageless.

Then she spotted Xietai on the roof of a run-down theater, standing next to the marquee with its hundreds of broken bulbs. His aura was blacker than the night sky washed by city lights, and the spidery electric red web of his anger had intensified since she’d wounded him.

This is it.

One of them was going to die.

For a giveaway, I'm offering the first two books in this series, Dark Time and Sacrifice, to get you caught up for the release of Deliverance.The winner can have the paperbacks or ebooks, and the giveaway is open internationally, as all of my giveaways are. (I just sent a book to Malaysia, what fun!) Leave a comment below to enter the giveaway. The last day to enter is August 2, 2011. If you include your (disguised) email, I'll contact you if you win the random drawing; otherwise, check back to see the winner's name at the top of this post.



jessica said...

sounds like a good series. interested to see where it goes.

hellokittiexoxo said...

This series sounds great! I would love a chance to win a copy and have a chance to read them. Thanks for the awesome Giveaway!

- Monica

Lori M. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeni B said...

I probably won't win, but I'll love them anyway! ^^

tavai.the.hydra @

Casey H said...

Congats on getting a release date for Deliverance!! I can't wait to read this series =)


Kimberley Jones said...

Congrats on such a good-sounding series. And I can't believe your giveaway is really international. I would love to read your series so greetings from Germany :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the release date!

Looking forward to reading your books.

bj AT darksideofthecovers DOT com :)

Rain Maiden said...

This series is new to me, please count me in.

Jnmt3 (at) hotmail (dot) com

SandyG265 said...

I haven't read your series yet but would like to. Thanks for the giveaway.

sgiden at

llamannerdymama said...

Oh I can hardly wait for release date. I love this series. Maliha is a strong female character. Congratulations on the release date!! How exciting!!

angel said...

It sounds like a very interrsting series. I would love to win. Thank you for the contest.

Amy said...

This is a new urban fantasy series for me and I would love to read it. She looks really badass in the covers of the first two books!


CrystalGB said...

Awesome giveaway. Your books sound great. Love the covers.


Harpreet Singh said...

WOOT WOOT! Congrats and thanks for the chance to read books that sound AMAZ-ING!!!

Na said...

Your books are new to me and I would love to read them. I like deadly heroines.


lish said...

i have not yet started to read this series would love to win these books!!:)

jfort357 said...

This series sounds very intriguing!!! Definitely adding it to my TBR list!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!! :-)


Barbara E. said...

Sounds like such a great series, I can't wait to get started.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

would love to win the first 2 books. i haven't started this series yet so, something to look forward too!!!

valeriew said...

i havent read these two books yet actually just started reading your books i really do like your books so far i would really like to win these books so i can read them around my town its kinda hard to find ur books unless i order them off line

Anonymous said...

This is so on my "to read" list!!!

lynnrush (at) cox (dot) net.

Llehn said...

I'd love to read them!


ilona said...

Interesting sounding series. Would love to win so that I can find out if it lives up to the blurbs :D

William said...

Sounds great, I will have to hit the book store soon.


Gabbie said...

Another great series to dive into. Thanks for the opportunity :)

Gabbie-ethela AT hotmail DOT com

gigis said...

Please include me these sound great!

Gigi s


Alicia0605 said...

I've seen these books in stores but I have never picked them up. Now that I know what they are about I think I will be taking a trip to B&N soon!!

Mindy said...

Great excerpt Dakota, I LOVE a kick--- heroine & a man determined to avoid being kicked.

Mindy :)