Monday, May 29, 2023

Bound by Blood Teleplay Scores Again

Notching another contest win for Bound by Blood, the Mortal Path series pilot teleplay that covers the first part of BOOK ONE: DARK TIME. An especially fun festival that I was invited to attend. Great people! 😍 

Logline: A Colonial woman unjustly burned as a witch struggles to reclaim her soul from the ancient Sumerian demon who saved her and used her as his Ageless assassin for over 300 years.

ThrillerFest XVIII - International Thriller Writers Annual Conference

 Ongoing now! Walk-in Registration and conference information. Panels, signings, Awards dinner.

ThrillerFestXVIII - 2023

Mortal Path Teleplay Bound by Blood

 Dakota is pleased to announce the latest contest win for the pilot script for the first book in the Mortal Path series, Bound by Blood. 😀

Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival

Monday, October 18, 2021

Bound by Blood Teleplay Official Selection

The Big Apple Film Festival and Screenplay Competition chose the teleplay Bound by Blood, adapted from the first book of the Mortal Path series, as an official selection! 😊😊😊

Bound by Blood is an action-thriller TV Pilot with strong mythological elements 
in which a Colonial woman unjustly burned as a witch struggles to reclaim 
her soul from the Sumerian demon who saved her from the flames and used 
her as his Ageless assassin for over 300 years. Adapted from an award-winning
 book series by the same author.

Love it!


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Mortal Path Screenplay wins Best TV Script!


 Feedback Excerpts for "Bound by Blood," TV Pilot Episode for the Mortal Path series:

The concept for Mortal Path is refreshingly original in both its idea and execution. The way history and mythology are merged to together to create a unique story is astonishingly intelligent. There is a near limitless possibility of episodes in each of Susannah’s attempts to save souls.

Susannah is a deep, complex protagonist that has a tragic, yet interesting story. The teaser is an effective of way showing her heightened spiritual sensibilities and how that arouses skepticism in those around her. Despite her moral failings, there are a lot of scenes showing that she has a deep desire to do good, which makes her more likable.

Mortal Path is rich with impressively written emotionally poignant dialogue. One of the strongest aspects of Mortal Path is the vivid way a wide variety of emotional scenes are depicted in the script. The strong concept gives it an exciting amount of market potential. The dynamic nature of the story easily lends itself to serialization. The fact that its already based on an established book series inspires more confidence in producers looking to pick up the series.

Final Comments:

Mortal Path ("Bound by Blood" TV Pilot) is an impressively written pilot that sets up an amazing idea for a series. The characters are easy to empathize with and the writing of the script is emotionally poignant. The level of detail that went into the vivid descriptions is highly impressive.

Register for Virtual ThrillerFest XVI - 2021 Now!


An exciting opportunity from International Thriller Writers: Virtual ThrillerFest 2021!

Take advantage of this opportunity to participate in
 MasterClassPitchFestConsultFest, and the brand new X-Treme CraftFest!
June 28 - July 10, 2021
All Online!

There’s no travel, no hotel stay—but you can still hone your craft in small classes taught by ITW bestselling authors, you can learn to pitch your novel with confidence, and get insider details on the business of writing from agents, editors, and marketing professionals.

Spots for pitches to top NY Agents in PitchFest are filling fast! Don't miss this great opportunity.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

ITW's Winter Thrills Conference - Register NOW


Virtual Winter Thrills!

ITW is delighted to host an online conference to stoke your writing fires and keep those dreams alive during the winter months. We’re excited to include Master Class, Practice PitchFest, and the brand new Thriller MBA. You’ll learn about the craft of writing and the business of publishing, including the opportunity of breaking down Thriller MBA to focus on your own topics of special interest.

Winter Thrills Master Class - $399

ITW's bestselling thriller writers will meet with you virtually in a small class format to discuss the craft of writing—YOUR writing.

Winter Thrills Master Class will be held via Zoom with one instructor in a private Zoom room with up to 10 attendees. The traditional full-day class will be broken into two four-hour sessions.

You'll need to submit a ten-page writing sample and a completed form to participate in this session. More information will be sent in an email you'll receive after you register.

Questions? Email Jessica Saunders,
Co-Executive Director, ThrillerFest

Dates: Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12, 2021

This year’s instructors are: J.D. Barker,  Allison Brennan, Karen Dionne,  Steven James,  Mary Kubica Gayle Lynds,  Donald Maass, and Hank Phillippi Ryan.




Winter Thrills also includes the following exciting and informative sessions:

Practice PitchFest - $30 each session 
(Zoom) Practice PitchFest offers an opportunity to hone your pitch for either an in-person meeting with an agent or for the creation of a fabulous logline in your query letter. Qualified ITW authors will work with you in a one-on-one virtual meeting that will leave you feeling energized to pitch to agents and editors.
Thriller MBA - $299 (All inclusive; à la carte pricing available)
(Vimeo) The ITW team has created a powerful line-up of authors, agents, editors, and other professionals to teach you about the different elements of publishing. Their insights will be incredibly helpful as you navigate the publishing world, and they will be helpful for aspiring writers as well as established authors.

When you sign up for Thriller MBA (or purchase the individual Query Critiques session), we'll invite you to submit your query letter. A panel consisting of agents and editors will provide immediate and constructive feedback. The moderator will read a query letter out loud and feature the letter on the screen (eliminating any personal information). The expert panelists will raise their hands when they would stop reading if this letter landed on their desk. When all the experts’ hands have been raised, the moderator will initiate a discussion to learn why each agent/editor stopped at their chosen moment. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of what makes a successful query letter, priceless information for when you are querying.

Click here for a complete list of the
sessions and panelists for Thriller MBA.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Online ThrillerFest 2020 now available!

Virtual ThrillerFest 2020

International Thriller Writers, Inc

Due to the pandemic this year, International Thriller Writers has canceled the in-person ThrillerFest Conference at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The health and safety of attendees is ITW's top priority. 

But we have fantastic news! We are offering a virtual conference so attendees can remain safe in the comfort of their homes yet still participate in the learning and camaraderie that is the hallmark of the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers. No travel, no hotel stay, but an even more extensive array of bestselling ITW authors who can help you polish your thrillers and top drawer New York agents and editors to whom you can pitch— along with attractive prices! 

Check out the incredible events ThrillerFest is offering and REGISTER NOW!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

New Book Trailer!

I'm pleased to show off the new cinematic book trailer for Dark Time, the first book in the Mortal Path series. I'd love to see Mortal Path as a TV series and I'm working toward that, with a screenplay named "Bound by Blood" as the pilot episode and this trailer to help stir up interest. Maliha's story is captivating and I think it's binge-worthy, too! Wish me luck.

Want a book trailer like this for your own book? Authors, get the highest quality and an unbelievably low price (really) for a cinematic book trailer at Motion Tank! I'm excited about my new trailer and wouldn't think of looking elsewhere in the future. Why not work with this new company founded by a professional producer/composer to launch your book in style? Don't wait, business is going to be brisk at Motion Tank!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day in Paris

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Myer, Virginia.

Yet Trump didn't want to get wet in a light rain Saturday and stayed warm and dry inside the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris rather than honor American soldiers who died in WWI at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. Learn about the cemetery in the video below. Then he skipped town on Sunday as the Paris Peace Forum was about to start. The Peace Forum is a global gathering of leaders dedicated to international cooperation and multilateralism.

Tomb of the Unknowns Arlington National Cemetery

Our president is, among many other failings, not a patriot. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

ThrillerFest XIV - 2019 Best Prices End October 31st

ThrillerFest XIV - 2019

ThrillerFest XIV - 2019


The ThrillerFest team proudly announces that the 2019 conference, held at the Grand Hyatt, New York City from July 9-13, 2019, will include: 

ConsultFest: New! One-on-one fifteen minute session with a top acquiring editor or agent to get instant feedback on your query letter or first two pages of your manuscript. The writer will be assigned a time during CraftFest or ThrillerFest. Up to two consultations may be purchased when registering for any package.
ATF Pre-Conference Workshop: Presented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Add authenticity to your thrillers! The pre-conference ATF Workshop is a limited attendance event on the day before the main elements of the ThrillerFest conference. Space is limited and has previously sold out quickly. The workshop will be held at the Grand Hyatt.
Master Class: This one-day intensive writing program allows your instructor to focus on your craft and your story. Everyone is welcome, from beginning writers to well-established authors. Teachers for Master Class 2019 include top-selling members of ITW who will work with you in a small class setting. Instructors this year will be Grant Blackwood, David Corbett<, Karen Dionne, Robert Dugoni, Steven James ,D.P. Lyle, Gayle Lynds, Donald Maass, and F. Paul Wilson. Space is limited, so sign up soon.
CraftFest: Learn the craft of thriller writing from the best in the genre! Hone your thriller writing skills on many topics to provide you with the tools needed to take your writing to the next level. Special feature: CareerFest! Now that you've written that sparkling manuscript, where do you go from there? You don't want to miss it! 

 Face-to-face pitching with fifty-plus top agents and acquiring editors who are actively looking for new thriller writer clients. Don't miss this exceptional opportunity. Purchase an admittance package that includes PitchFest.
Spotlight guests, extraordinary programming, author book signings, and camaraderie. Includes the ThrillerFest Grand Opening Reception on Thursday evening, July 11th.
Thriller Awards Banquet:
 John Sandford will receive his 2019 ThrillerMaster Lifetime Achievement award. 2018 Silver Bullet Award James Rollins will present the 2019 Silver Bullet Award. All Thriller Award Winners will be announced. Fun, entertainment, and before and after cocktail parties!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Win DARK TIME in an Amazon Giveaway

Win 1 of 50 free ebooks of DARK TIME: Mortal Path Book One by @DakotaBanks! Yes, 50! No purchase needed. Limited time Amazon Giveaway of this supernatural action thriller. 

“Sometimes you just need a kick-ass former demon’s slave to tackle life’s problems. Especially one wielding a whip sword….Not to be missed!” – James Rollins 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mortal Path Dark Time Ebook on Sale!

Dark Time
Mortal Path ebooks are selling well lately, so Amazon and B&N surprised me with an ebook sale:

Dark Time $.99

What if a woman sells her soul to a demon and 300 years later wants it back?

The compelling story of Maliha Crayne begins in the 17th century when she's ripped from her husband's arms and unjustly set afire as a witch. Saved from the flames by a Sumerian demon, she becomes the Black Ghost, his Ageless assassin gifted with otherworldly skills and superbly trained in martial arts. Centuries pass before she finds a way out of the life she hates. Setting her feet on the Mortal Path, Maliha must save as many people as she's killed as the demon's creature, or face his horrible wrath – forever. The odds aren't in her favor. 

"A breakneck ride through worlds visible and invisible — who knew the ancient Sumerians were this thrilling?" – Joseph Finder, Top 10 NYT Bestselling Author

"Seductive, sophisticated, and imaginative. Dakota Banks is firing on all cylinders!" - Steve BerryNYT and #1 Internationally Best Selling Author

"Dark Time has the flavor of an action thriller urban fantasy novel. The historical aspects and ties to Sumerian legends particularly intrigued me. Maliha has the typical earmarks of an urban fantasy heroinetough and independentbut there is something else to her. As young-looking, agile and into high tech as she may be, Maliha comes across as a much older soul. It's easy to believe she is 300+ years old. And I really liked that about her." – Musings of a Bookish Kitty, about Dark Time

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

"Readers who like their paranormal romantic suspense novels to feature nonstop action, twisting plots, and deadly heroines will devour Banks’ clever and compelling Mortal Path series.” – Lisa Gardner, #1 NYT Bestselling Author 

"Deliverance is a gut-kick of a read, with non-stop action and as inventive a world as I’ve ever seen. Maliha Crayne, not a character to be trifled with, could give other Urban Fantasy heroines a pointed lesson in real ass-kicking." – Vicki Pettersson, NYT Bestselling Author 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Registration Open for ThrillerFest 2018!

International Thriller Writers Presents 

 More guests to come - stay tuned!

  • ATF Pre-Conference Workshop - Presented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Add authenticity to your thrillers!
  • Master CraftFest - One day intensive writing workshop in a small class setting with bestselling ITW writers.
  • CraftFest - Hone your writing skills with the experts.
  • PitchFest - Face-to-face pitching to top agents actively looking for new thriller clients.  
  • ThrillerFest - Guest interviews, extraordinary programming, book signings, and camaraderie. 
ThrillerFest is held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Don't wait - take advantage of early registration rates. Master CraftFest and the ATF Workshop are standalone events, so you can attend those without attending any other part of the conference. PitchFest has to be combined in a package with Master CraftFest, CraftFest, or ThrillerFest; it's not available as a standalone event. 

Conference Information:
Online registration:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dark Time is a Top 25 Finalist!

The Tracking Board Launch Pad Manuscript Competition provides a way for novelists to get exposure to film and TV sources for adaptation of their books. That's so difficult to obtain if you don't already have a high-powered Hollywood agent.

If your novel is showcased in a prestigious site such as Launch Pad, competition judges will be looking at your book. That's the position Dark Time finds itself in this week, having survived the Top 75 and Top 50 lists and landing on the Top 25! I'm eager for the release of the Top 10 list, but thrilled to have gotten this far.😄

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mortal Path Ebooks on Sale Now!

Mortal Path series by Dakota Banks

All Mortal Path ebooks are on sale 38% off at Amazon and elsewhere. 

$4.99 at iBooks

If you're missing any of the series (or the whole series!), now's a good time to warm up your Kindle or other e-reader. How can you resist those covers?

"Mortal Path 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, New York Times bestselling author of Map of Bones and Black Order

"Maliha Crayne, not a character to be trifled with, could give other Urban Fantasy heroines a pointed lesson in real ass-kicking." - Vicki Pettersson, author of the bestselling Signs of the Zodiac series

"A breakneck ride through worlds visible and invisible - who knew the ancient Sumerians were this thrilling?" - Joseph Finder, NYT bestselling author of Buried Secrets

"Chilling, thrilling, and a page turner!" - Heather Graham, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Killing Edge

"Dakota Banks delivers everything I love in suspense fiction: great characters who jump from the page; a smart, layered plot, and pacing that screams. This is the kind of book that makes you look forward to a rainy day." - John Gilstrap, author of Nathan's Run and Damage Control

"Readers who like their paranormal suspense novels to feature nonstop action, twisting plots, and deadly heroines will devour Banks' clever and compelling Mortal Path series." - Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love You More

"Fans of supernatural and dark fantasy will be intrigued by Maliha Crayne's quest to save her soul."  - Publishers Weekly 
For Deliverance

Friday, March 13, 2015

Women's Mystery Month at Open Road Media

Ebook On Sale During March for $1.99

March is Women's Mystery Month at Open Road Media
and I'm delighted to have my book Burning Rose included!

Yes, that's me, Shirley Kennett - my real name. Here is some information about the book. It's a stand-alone.

An environmental journalist stumbles into the deadly world of mega-corporations
Burning Rose
is a gripping mystery from Shirley Kennett, author of the beloved PJ Gray series. The story follows Casey Washington, a freelance journalist with environmental convictions. When she lands a rare interview with Robert Gunner, CEO of World Power, a company building a controversial dam in the Amazon rainforest, she anticipates a personal triumph—only to have the story go terribly awry. Heads of other big corporations start dying in gruesome fashion, at the hands of a mysterious group known as “The Six.” Washington’s investigative instinct kicks in but her search is not made any easier by her improbable attraction to the reclusive CEO Gunner. Burning Rose is an eco-thriller full of puzzles and high-gear action with global consequences.

“Kennett writes with pace and clarity. If you’re hungry for vivid characters . . . your ship has come in!” —Kirkus Reviews

“Shirley Kennett has Hawaii-based freelance journalist Casey Washington grappling with a mysterious troupe called The Six— whose members have names like Wrongful Death and who seem to be behind a spate of CEO murders—and her own lonely heart.” —Publishers Weekly

“Lots of action keeps the characters on their toes as they travel the world. The exciting conclusion in the South American jungle leaves Casey with far more than an exclusive story. Readers who enjoy a good puzzle with pieces that never quite fit will have fun with this suspenseful thriller.” —Booklist

“[Burning Rose is] tightly woven, intricately complex and fascinating to follow the various plots that Kennett has successfully created. The finish of this book is dramatic and wonderfully satisfying. If you enjoy thrillers, Burning Rose, as the back cover says, showcases ‘Shirley Kennett at the top of her game.’ Unforgettable!” —Book Reader’s Heaven
"Talk about exotic characters! There are some in this book that will be giving me the heebie-jeebies for a long time. Most of the characters have a dark side, so that you can't decide whether they are good guys or bad guys right away. Imagination rules the day here. You have to grab on and not let go until the last page. The pace is breakneck and the stakes are high. This is an absorbing, very different read. It's like the author just went on a romp, and if you want to keep up, you'll have to turn the pages fast." ***** Amazon review

Are you still here reading? Click to buy Burning Rose!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Brenda Novak's Auction for Diabetes

Every year, for the month of May, New York Times and USA Today Best selling Author Brenda Novak runs an online auction for diabetes research. The auction takes a full year to plan and pull off, but it’s a labor of love—an effort to help all the people who, like her youngest son, suffer from diabetes. Her very first auction ran in 2005. It started small but has grown every year by leaps and bounds, and has raised over $2 million for research.

The Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research is the biggest online event for diabetes research in the world. Each year, with the help of generous donors
which include some of the biggest and brightest stars in publishing, like Debbie Macomber, Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Diana Gabaldon, Michael Connelly and John GrishamBrenda offers up over 2400 fabulous items, creating a shopper’s paradise. 

But the auction is more than your every day charity gala. It’s a blast to participate in
a real community. Shoppers quickly become donors and donors quickly become shoppers. 

Authors, there's still time to donate! To make a donation or for more information, email Brenda's assistant, Anna, at

I've been a donor to this auction for several years, and this year my item this year is a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

The auction starts MAY 1ST and runs for a month. Check it out, and bid on my item! But don't bid on the item I have picked out ... I want that one all to myself. :)

Connect with Brenda and the Auction: