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Saturday, March 24, 2012

PAF: Interview with Dakota Banks + giveaway!

Paranormal April Fools

Today's guest is the talented Dakota Banks! I'm so happy she was able to join us to talk about DELIVERANCE, the upcoming third book in her Mortal Path series.

Read on to learn all about DELIVERANCE and enter to win an amazing swag bag from Dakota!

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Hi, Dakota, and welcome to Paranormal April Fools’! Would you mind starting off by telling us about your Mortal Path series?

The Mortal Path tells the story of a woman who sold her soul to an ancient Sumerian demon in colonial America in the late 1600s. In exchange for immortality and other gifts, she works as the demon’s assassin but gradually sickens of the killing. Finally she rebels and breaks the contract she signed in blood. It’s not so easy turning your back on a demon who owns your soul! Maliha Crayne, now over 300 years old, must redeem herself by saving a person for each one she’s killed, and it’s a huge number. That balancing act plays out on a scale carved into her chest by a demon’s claw. She’s also collecting shards of a diamond lens that will enable her to destroy all of the seven remaining Sumerian demons. Maliha gradually collects a team of close friends who know her story and are trying to help her succeed, but filling a heart that was empty of love for three centuries is more of a challenge. The Mortal Path books are action-filled paranormal thrillers.

You’ve put Maliha through the proverbial wringer in DARK TIME and SACRIFICE. Can we expect more of the same in DELIVERANCE?

More of the same? How about doubling down? In DELIVERANCE, the stakes are intensely personal as one of Maliha’s inner circle of friends is kidnapped to force Maliha back into assassin mode. She doesn’t take kindly to anyone messing with her friends, but she doesn’t want to be the kidnapper’s remote-control killing machine either. It’s a dilemma. She’s looking for a way out of it, and I, for one, wouldn’t want to get in her path.

I love that the series draws on Sumer for inspiration. How did you choose this ancient civilization’s religion as the base for the Mortal Path series?

I came up with the idea for the Mortal Path series in 2003, during the Iraq war when coalition forces entered Baghdad. The Iraqi National Museum, left unguarded, was looted. Priceless artifacts from Iraq’s past, including the Sumerian period, disappeared or were damaged. (Much has been recovered now, due to an international effort.) There was a lot in the news, including photos, of artifacts that had survived in some patched-together or intact form for 7,000 years only to be smashed under an angry Iraqi’s boot. I’m an amateur archaeologist with a particular interest in this region. Remember your fifth grade social studies about the valley between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers and the Cradle of Civilization? That’s Sumer, located in modern-day Iraq. The whole museum episode started me thinking that if some dusty, dry artifacts plus piles of gold and silver treasures survived to this day, what else conceivably could have survived? Since I was already interested in Sumerian mythology, it didn’t take much to bring some Sumerian demons forward and turn them into malevolent forces in our day. The mythology in the books follows real legends from Sumer until you get to the part about demons surviving to current times. I made that part up!

Are we ever going to see Maliha’s face on a cover? ;)

No. ;) I suggested at the start that Maliha always be shown looking forward into a compelling scene, so that our eyes were seeing what she sees. I was thrilled to see the suggestion rendered in the first cover (art by Don Shipley), and as far as I know that style will continue.

Are there more books planned in the Mortal Path series? If so, can you tell us a little bit about them?

Maliha has things left to do: balance her scale to redeem her soul, find all of the shards to eliminate the demons, and of course the HEA. Yes, there will be one. She deserves it.

And now a couple April Fools’-related questions:

To prank or not to prank?

Depends. If the prank is the mean kind, just hurting someone disguised as humor, then that’s not for me. If it’s something the “victim” can really laugh about, count me in.

Would anyone survive pranking Maliha?

Hmm. Maliha has a good sense of humor and would take a good-natured prank. The mean kind—well, keep in mind she has a whip sword that can slice people in half, and being humiliated isn’t her thing.

Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by, Dakota. It’s been a pleasure!

Thanks for having me here. It’s been fun!

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Intrigued? Here’s the scoop on DELIVERANCE, which hits bookshelves on Tuesday:

Dakota Banks DeliveranceKill . . . or be damned.

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. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, her life is 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.

Read an excerpt (scroll down)

Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository

And here's the rest of the series in case you need to get caught up:

Dakota Banks Mortal PathDakota Banks Sacrifice

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giveaway

Dakota is generously offering one (1) swag bag to a very lucky reader!
I wish I could win this one :)

Dakota Banks Swag Bag

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Open internationally.

Ends Sunday, April 15, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal April Fools’ giveaways)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Dakota BanksGrowing up in a converted 1890s funeral home, complete with blood gutters in the basement floor, fueled Dakota Banks' interest in the paranormal. She's no ghost whisperer, but she keeps an open mind. She's fascinated with both archaeology and the paranormal, especially when the two intersect, as they do in Mortal Path.

Dakota is a member of the Horror Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America and Paranormal Romance Guild. She lives in a St. Louis suburb with her husband, two sons adopted from Peru and Ethiopia, and a couple of cats who keep her writing on track.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Jenn

Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

117 People left their mark' :

  1. Hi,

    thanks you again for this new opportunity to win this wonderful prize. You are so generous

    if i were immortal, i think i would be sad to see all my loved ones dispapears so i will probably occupy myself with studying a lot of langauges and all to have a better understanding of people and the world and to "save" history and language nearly forgotten

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    1. An excellent idea, Miki. Languages spoken by small, isolated groups of people are disappearing all over the world.

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  2. Thank you very much for this giveaway :)

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  3. If I was immortal I would soooooo take a few weeks off to knock out my TBR pile!! And I would constantly keep trying to get my books published!

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  4. If I was immortal...Hmm, I think I would use the time to travel around the world. See all the nooks and crannies that not many people travel to.

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  5. Can I be immortal AND instantly rich? 'Cuz if I'm immortal and have to keep working my bleh job, that takes a whole lotta fun out of it! ;)
    Now, if I don't have to work anymore, I'd love to travel and read and shop to my heart's content. (Yes, I am that shallow! Ha!)

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    1. At least you included traveling and reading in your activities. Nothing shallow about those! ~♥~

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  6. I've always wanted to read this series. Thanks for the great interview and awesome giveaway.

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  7. You know, I don't really think that I would want to be immortal, but if I was, I'd take the time to get wealthy and then help others with that wealth. I haven't been able to read this series yet, but I can't wait to start. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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    1. Maliha has a charitable foundation. I think I'd like to be wealthy just for that reason.

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  8. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I love the idea of the April Fools!

    If I were immortal I think I'd love to travel all over the world and see new places. Plus, you could always revisit places because they would change over time!

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  9. If I were immortal I'd want to wander the world living in different countries for a few years before moving on. I'd need to have amassed a fortune along the way though so I could enjoy it in luxury.
    This is such an awesome prize , thank you.

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  10. Since I'm a chicken sh*t if I were immortal I think I'd try skydiving.
    Thank you so much for the giveaway.

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  11. If I were Immortal I would go around saving people from accidents ie burning buildings etc so fight the bad guys!

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  12. If I were Immortal I would travel the world - every single country even the small, tiny ones to see how everyone lives and all teh beauty of the natural world. I also think I'd have to learn some basic skills like cooking - an enternity of takeaways would not be nice! :)

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  13. I'd stop wasting time working 8 hours a day and just enjoy life!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  14. I would love life to the fullest and conquer my fears.

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  15. If I were immortal I'd spend a lot of time learning all I could and reading as many books as I want to. I'd probably still never catch up with all the great books out there, but I'd have more time to try. :D

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  16. I keep my fingers crossed! what an amazing giveaway, hope to be lucky!
    Thanks a lot!!!

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  17. If I were an immortal I'll be more of an adrenaline junky and start doing more extreme stuff like jumping off steep cliffs and traveling to dangerous places.

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  18. What would I do if I were immortal? I think a better question would be what WOULDN'T I do if I were immortal! Lol. Think of all the possibilities!

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  19. I would get to travel around the world and try different outdoor activities.

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  20. If I were immortal, I'd have all the time in the world, so I would try everything.Especially everything I was afraid of as a mortal.

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  21. If I was immortal, I would take the time to travel and learn more about the world: past and present.

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  22. Jenn, thanks again for the wonderful opportunity to visit Tynga's Reviews, especially during PAF. I had a fun time with the interview, and the comments about immortality are thought-provoking. {{hugs}}

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  23. I would take the time to learn lots of things- other languages mostly, and the best way to do everything. And invest!

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. That investment part certainly worked for Maliha. Wouldn't it be nice to work only if and when you wanted to?

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  24. If I had all the time in the world...that's a lot of reading I could do. I would probably try to learn as many languages as I could. Thank you for the super giveaway.

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  25. Wow... if I was immortal I may have time to read all of my books *winks*. Thanks for the awesome contest!

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  28. This is a wonderful contest and I would love any of these books!!!

    I would love to be very very strong and get all the bad guys.

    dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

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    1. Me too, but I'm not sure we're talking about the same definition of the word "get".

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  29. If I were immortal, just think of all the books I could read LOL I would like to think I would use that give for good to help others and meet out justice and when I was not out kicking ### I would curl up and read ;) Thank you for taking the time to share with us today and for the awesome giveaway prize!

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  30. What wouldnt I do :)) i guess i could try to enjoy my life and be a little more confident(i'm kinda shy :">) and do whatever i want :D

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  31. If I was immortal. I would live life like a normal person. But in different countries for each lifetime.

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  32. If I were immortal I'd save my money till I could travel the world.

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  33. If I was immortal I would travel all over the world.
    Thank you for the opportunity of winning.

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  34. If I was Immortal I would learn so many different things ! Maybe travel a lot.

    Thanks for the internationnal opportunity

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  35. I don't know if I would like to be an immortal. It would be heartbreaking to see all my loved ones die and either make new friends all the time and get attached to them just to lose them all the same or be lonely.

    But if I had all the time in the world I would read and study everything that interests me :-) and also as I would be an immortal there would be no need for me to exercise :-D lol

    Thank you for the very generous giveaway Dakota and especially for making it international! Thank you!!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Maliha has the same worries that you do about living longer than her friends, especially her elderly friend Yanmeng. Over the course of her life, she's had to start over a number of times in new places with new people, because it would raise a lot of questions if she remained in one spot, as the same person, and didn't visibly age. As an immortal, she didn't have any attachments, so this was easy to do. As a rogue, not so easy.

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  36. Thanks for the great giveaway! This series is for sure on my wishlist! Love the covers as well.
    If I were Immortal, I would be a little braver, do things that scare me or are dangerous. Racing a car, learning to drive a motorcycle. And as stated before, if wealth came with that, I would travel the world at my leisure. And if Immortal powers came with it as well, I would use those for good. I can so not see myself in a Superwoman outfit, so I would stay anonymous.

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  37. I would not like to be immortal , but if I were I would try to connect so that I would not be lonely.

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  38. As I would travel to every place in the world there is, I would learn every language. That would so much and what an experience.
    Thank you for the chance to win!
    DeAnna Schultz

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  39. Thanks for the giveaway! What would I do if I were immortal? I would hope I'm not working. :)

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    1. There's the thing. I'd still want to be writing, so imagine how many pen names I'd have to use!!

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  40. I'll try to learn as many languages as I can, and master the art of fighting. Haha:P

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  41. I would travel the world! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  42. Thank you so much for this interview :) !! I hadn't heard of this series until now and I'm glad I read your review on the third book Jenn because it sounds awesome !! I especially love the fact that Maliha has to save a person for each one she’s killed .. I also think the covers are stunning and I like seeing what the heroine is looking at .. If I was an immortal I'd try to enjoy my life as much as possible : I'll of course travel the world and try everything I can think of .. And of course I would be able to read every book I've ever dreamed of !!
    Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway !!

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  43. If I was immortal, I would travel all over the world and try to help people. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

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    1. Too bad the prize of this giveaway isn't immortality. There are some wonderful comments here.

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  44. With all of that time? I would do the usual - travel and explore. That seems to always be the first thing to come to mind. I would like to ride the cutting edge of electronics, the internet, and whatever comes next. Also be involved in space exploration.

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    1. You'd be perfect for space exploration for those long, long voyages of traveling to the stars!

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  45. being immortal would be cool on one hand..traveling the world and experiencing new things. On the other, I guess you can't get attached to anyone unless they are immortal too, for obvious reasons!!!! And yes Dakota, still stalking you!!!

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  46. If I were immortal I would probably go nuts eventually seeing everyone I cared about die, but until it reached that point, I think I'd enjoy learning new trades and professions. Gotta keep the mind active and stay current.

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  47. If I were immortal I would learn as much as possible languages ,cultures,history,Id go exploring maybe do some treaure hunting.I would make each day an adventre of some sort.

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  48. What would I do if I were immortal? EVERYTHING!! I'd travel all over the world, learn all there is to learn, read everything I can get my hands on, and enjoy not having an definite expiration date!

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

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  49. I would travel around helping people with their troubles.

    Lag110 at mchsi dot com

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  50. If I were immortal I'll go on the moon and I'll change the world!

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  51. If I were immortal I would learn medicine and genetics so that I could try and find cures for ageing. That way I could make everyone else the same as me and I wouldn't end up lonely.

    ilona
    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

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    1. A great plan, Ilona, one that would take away the problem of having to go through loved ones dying.

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  52. Thanks for an awesome interview! I really liked the other books in this series and I can't wait for this latest!

    If I were immortal, I would study pretty much any/all subjects. I love to read, so to finally have the time to read all the books in my TBR mountain would be awesome!

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  53. Id go to a lot of book signings!!

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  54. traveling!!! i always wanted to travel around the world and try on a bunch of things

    thanks for the giveaway and hope i'll win it this time :)

    smile_1773@yahoo.com

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  55. I think if I was immortal I'd have to move around a lot so people wouldn't realize that I was immortal-but I'd hope that I'd be able to help people along the way. I'm hoping that I'd gain a lot of wisdom with immortality.

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  56. I would just take my time and travel and see the world and read!
    Erin
    loveeria@gmail.com

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  57. If I was immortal I would definately sit and relax for awhile. Then I would love to travel to different places around the world.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

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  58. I would finally have the time for all the books on my to read list :)

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  59. Travel and taste the food....drink coffee while reading...
    Thanks for the giveaway.....Can't wait to read them...

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  60. WOW! Great Giveaway! cant wait to read them!


    thenorms_12@yahoo.com

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  61. I would probably travel, work part time in a bookstore or cafe in a medium sized town and complete my nail polish collection.
    Thanks for the international giveaway.
    Arani

    arani_kk@yahoo.com

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  62. WOW what an amazing giveaway! If I was immortal I would travel, travel, and travel some more. It is something I have yet to do.

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  63. If I were immortal I would travel around the world and experience everything there is to explore.

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  64. Is it sad that my immediate answer to this question was "probably go crazy." I guess it would depend on if the people I love were immortal too, otherwise I could see it getting lonely and such. Though the idea of traveling and seeing history could be great.

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  65. Honestly I have no clue. The possibilities are endless really and I'd certainly like to explore many of them.
    Thank-you for the interview and chance to win this fabulous prize.

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  66. If I were immortal, I would save as much money as I could and travel. See everything I possibly could. Then write about it, changing pen names every few decades, of course.

    Thanks for the great prize pack!

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  67. Hmmm, I suppose I would travel extensively and learn, learn, learn.

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  68. Hi
    I'd try to find someone to spend eternity with.

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  69. I would read a lot. Then start planning my travel plans and finally see all the places I want too.

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  70. If I were immortal, I would travel and explore. I would also read even more (LOL) and study whatever interested me, without worrying about how long it would take.

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    1. I'm also intrigued by how much I could learn, and in so many different areas, if I could spend a few decades on a topic.

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  71. I would enjoy living a long life, instead of worrying that life is to short.

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  72. Id buy a library and hole up for a few centuries reading. Then Id travel and enjoy myself.

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  73. I would travel and try things that I have never done before.

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  74. I would probably store up money while under multiple identities, and then travel around the world :D

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    1. Maliha took that approach. What's the fun of looking forward to neverending years of work? Maliha accumulated wealth (some of it ill-gotten in her early days as a demon's assassin when her conscience didn't plague her), and continues to do so to the present. It gives her the freedom to play around as a writer of pulp novels, just so she can be seen to have some visible means of support. But she doesn't have to rely on that. Plus it frees me to have Maliha do lots of fun things I wouldn't mind doing!

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  75. If I was immortal, I'd finally catch up on all books I don't have time to read, go to college again (and study different languages), learn how to play piano and guitar, grow a vegetable garden and give the vegetables to the local charity kitchen, take an art class, try out all the crafting ideas I pin to Pinterest, finally finish that novel... So much to do :)

    Thank you for this great giveaway!

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    1. Finally finish that novel... Wow, it just dawned on me that if I were immortal, I would have the time to write in all kinds of genres! There's something to learn and appreciate in each type of book, so that would make a wonderful challenge.

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  76. I would read books...lol..and study music (learn how to play violin and piano)..That would be awesome..:)

    Thanks for the giveaway..:)

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  77. I would spent my immortal life reading, learning new things, building companies, making money and travelling the world! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  78. I'm fascinated by the premise of these books. Immortality - sign me up. I'd finally catch up on my towering TBR pile, finish writing all the books in my head, and have time to go back to school and pick up a few degrees. I love to learn! Thank you for the lovely and generous giveaway!

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    1. I'm excited to see you here, Dani--I'm a great fan of yours! Just finished reading Changeling and it's fabulous!!

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  79. I would travel everywhere. I would also try stuff that I am to scared to do now....because I would die, LOL!! These books sound so interesting! Thanks for the chance.

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  80. I'd probably study 7 degrees in university, and enjoy trying out different jobs. I'd also travel the world and publish a memoir.

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  81. Well, I'd probably travel around the word and find a great husband who would be willing to share forever with me :)

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  82. If I were immortal I think I would travel the world some and help out those who need it. I guess I would try to not get attached to people because it's so hard to lose them.

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  83. If I were immortal... I'd probably be in not rush to finish school, of course :) But I would also want to make some money so I could build like a secret library in my house! I would bury myself in books, and who knows? I'll probably travel the world

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  84. If I were immortal I'd probably try to find a way to commit suicide (getting published first XD ). to live alone while all your loved ones are getting old and dying? I won't call it a life.

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  85. I would travel and learn different languages. I would have to turn my best friend so I could have someone to go with me.

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  86. If I were immortal, I'd visit all those places I've not had a chance to see and take the time to really learn about them. I'd also read all the books that are on my ever-growing wish list!

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  87. looks super series and interesting

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  88. I would travel and study, as much as possible, if I were immortal.

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  89. I would travel and learn everything that I could. What i would hate to do is get close to anyone. That would be terrible. Cause they would die and leave me...

    Uhhhg

    Mary

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  90. if i was immortal, i'd keep traveling all over the place.

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  91. i would learn as much as I could about other cultures, travelling and living all over the world!

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  92. Fab question and giveaway - thanks :-)
    If was an immortal, I would investigate all of the myths, test all of the old wives tales and ponder the meaning of life. A lot! :-)

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  93. I don't think I'd like to be immortal. Losing my loved ones would suck. But if I were immortal I'd travel around the world. It would be great to meet so many different cultures :)

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  94. I would travel around the world!

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  95. if i were immortal... i would have a TON of books!! lol.. i would love to travel.. hopefully have money so that would be possible...

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  96. That would be awful but if I were immortal I hope I would be some type of superhero. I would want to spend all that time doing good things and having a little fun along the way!

    Thanks so much for a terrific offer! Books about tough chicks are the best!

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