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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Introducing Dakota Franklin
PLUS a giveaway:
Be one of the first to read Le Mans!

For the past several months, I have been involved as a co-editor of a new series of books by first-time author Dakota Franklin.

Today I am proud to have Dakota as my guest and to announce the release of the first in her Ruthless to Win series, Le Mans.

‘In the lower classes some auto racers are jumped-up mechanics. But in Mallory's class you need to be a near-genius. It is not just reflexes. Great intelligence and will-power are the minimum prerequisites, and a certain disdain for the lives of others. Most of them do not believe they are mortal, that they can die. To be a champion, a racer needs to be a near-sociopath’
“On the track a racer has no friends”

Mallory is a crashed-out, half-dead, never-has-been auto racer. Triple Le Mans winner Charlie Cartwright gives this human wreck an engineering job at Cartwright-Armitage because nobody can take an MIT degree away from her. Now, Mallory is on her way up. As an engineer, as an executive, as a driver — in a winning car! She has a man in her life.

When ambitious tycoon Fred Minster steals the winning Cartwright-Armitage design, Mallory spearheads the investigation which uncovers his accomplice inside Armitage.

Minster, threatened by her investigation, orders Mallory abducted, raped and killed by a Detroit criminal.  Mallory knows that she must race at Le Mans, or her career is over.

With heart-stopping realistic racing sequences both in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and at Le Mans itself, set against an insider’s portrait of the high-tech jet set milieu of amoral predators whose only justification is winning, where violence is never as much as skin deep, and ambiguous sexuality is merely another facet of power, written in powerful, direct, often sparklingly witty language, Le Mans is the key thriller for the new millennium.
Stay tuned following Dakota's guest post to enter to win a copy of Le Mans, the first published book in the Ruthless to Win Series.

I asked Dakota how it feels to now be a published author. Here is what she had to say:

How I Feel About Being Published
Dakota Franklin

Le Mans is the first volume to be published by CoolMain Press in my thirteen-book series Ruthless to Win. I’ve been working on the series since 1996.

How do I feel about being published? I write for myself. I continue writing because the world I created is now a living, breathing thing with an existence of its own. Readers who want to come share in the excitements of the world of Jack Armitage are welcome, but I don’t want to commit the dishonesty of pretending that I created the world for them. I created it for me and for the characters who now live and breathe in it.

I’ve heard writers expressing sadness when their characters go out into the world, as if they are their children leaving home. Some of the recurring characters in my series Ruthless to Win are children, but they’re not my children. The adults in the series have long since grown to have an independent persona each, and I feel as little compunction about letting them cross the street to your side as I would if you invited some old, real, live friend of mine for dinner. It would be offensive to adults, even fictional adults, to fuss about them.

Maybe if each book wasn’t so substantial at over 100,000 words, and the series so large, with nine books finished, a tenth almost finished, and substantial parts of several others already written, all with a rich panoply of characters, maybe if there was only one small, thinly populated book, I would feel different.

In fact, I’m not so sure it is my world and characters any more. It is everyone’s world and characters. Any reader who wants to can claim a piece simply by entering the world of Armitage Cartwright and living in it for a while, a few hours a day until they finish the story. Mallory in Le Mans, and the other leading characters in the stories to follow, have made this world their own, and so does anyone who reads these stories and thereby steps through the looking glass into Armitage.

Yes, that is what publication feels like, giving away a world I created but possibly no longer own outright. And that’s okay. I want only the small piece any reader takes, nowhere near as big a piece as a character takes. The excitement arises not in owning the world but in building it.

Come into my world and take something of mine away with you.

Dakota, thank-you for being my guest today! 

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Dakota Franklin ~ Biography

Dakota Franklin was born in Palo Alto, CA, the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of automobile engineers. It was therefore predictable that she would become an engineer. Her mother, an educationalist, didn't believe in putting children in boarding schools, so Dakota travelled the world, wherever her father consulted. By the time she was ten she could swear fluently in every European language, and carry on a conversation in all the major ones.

After college at Stanford and MIT, and further postgraduate studies in France, Germany and Italy, she worked on jet engines for Rolls-Royce, for Ford and Holden (GM's Australian branch) on high performance vehicles (HPV), then joined her father and grandfather in the family consulting business, where she has specialized in high performance machinery. She has since worked on contract or as a consultant with all the major automobile makers with a racing or HPV profile, and in powerboat and propellor plane racing. She insists racing regulators around the world love her, whatever they may say behind her back!

Dakota started writing in 1996 when a painful divorce coincided with a testing incident that put her in hospital for several even more painful months. After a false start which resulted in having to trash three complete novels, she finally acquired the right creative writing guru, and started creating the series RUTHLESS TO WIN.

She lives in Switzerland with her husband, an inventor, and drives or flies to the motor cities for her current consulting projects. She has one child, a teenager who travels with her and whose eclectic schooling has turned her into a linguist, just like her mother, but who has no intention of becoming an engineer.

Dakota says, "I'm finally happy. Fulfilled may not be too large a word."
Source: http://coolmainpress.com/Dakota%20Franklin.html

By the way, the picture on the cover of Le Mans is of Dakota. Publisher, Gemma Coole says: "We couldn't find a model who looked as beautiful in a helmet as Dakota, and we paid for her publicity shot already, and the designer loved the photo. There was only one outcome!"

You can now follow Dakota on Twitter.

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More about the series, Ruthless to Win:

A structured thriller series

All Dakota Franklin’s novels are set against the background of the top auto racing classes and their ancillary activities.

All stories are told in the first person, with the male or female lead on stage throughout.

Though each novel thrills in its own right with a fully realized central character and complete plot, they belong to a series in that all the central characters work for the auto racing teams of the ruthless Jack Armitage.

Protagonists from earlier books are secondary characters in later novels or make cameo appearances, a fine thread for building reader involvement, loyalty and anticipation for the arrival of the next book.

Seven novels are edited and available for scheduled publication 

In Racing Justice Wall Street lawyer Simon Aron fights an Atlanta courtroom battle arising from the events in Le Mans (first to be published). Tennessee ex-Secret Service security expert Joanne Bartlett arranges a Requiem at Monza. Hillbilly racer Flicka Revere is trouble in NASCAR First. Angelino Raf Ferenghetti in Queen of Indy saves 425,000 spectators under terrorist threat at the world’s greatest auto racing spectacular, the Indianapolis 500. Triple Threat Thrill features Californian driver Thrill Morgan. In God’s Scofflaws the mathematical boy genius Grant Scarfe is driven to murder.

More are in progress

Troubleshooter and American Racer are complete and ready for editing. Last Gentleman Racer, Blue Riband and Lashback are in progress. More are planned.

Read in any order

Though the series has a central core, each novel is complete and selfstanding, intended to be read and published in any order.

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UPDATE: Le Mans is now available through these sellers:

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Enter to win one of three copies of Le Mans!
Giveaway copies courtesy of Gemma Coole, publisher of CoolMain Press, a micro publisher celebrating its first year. 

There are 7 ways to enter below. Note that none of these are mandatory, so you can pick and choose how you will enter the contest. Enter once, or enter multiple times. There are two "Tweet about the giveaway" options, each worth one entry, which can each be done once per day until the end of the contest. The contest will be open for 6 days. It is possible to earn up to 17 entries! The winner will be selected randomly once the contest has closed. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This giveaway is linked up with:

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Beck Valley Books Weekly Book Blog Hop


Linda Mc said...

Wow, this series sounds Awesome! Dakota sounds like a very interesting person. Her outlook and the way she describes that the books are a world of their own is fascinating.
I look forward to reading her books even if I don’t win a copy! Thank you, Dakota, for being willing to share these stories with us!

Thanks you Sue for hosting this giveaway! I love your blog.


Cookie’s Mom said...

Linda, thank-you so much for your support, as always! Good luck in the contest. I hope you get a chance to read one of Dakota's books - though I expect it'll be like eating potato chips in that you'll have trouble stopping at just one!

Claudine said...

Having helped edit a few of the novels available so far for publication, I can honestly say that the stories are intriguing, thrilling, never ending with the action. Well worth entering this competition.

Cookie’s Mom said...

Claudine, I feel the same way. It's been a fun project to work on. The writing is high quality, witty and engaging. The characters are fascinating.

Andre Jute said...

Oh, this is such a fabulous job, Sue, I've written on my blog that people should come here. You have more material than is yet on the publisher's netsite; this is the best read currently on the net about an exciting new writer. I don't know how you do it. You must know all the right people. And you were ready before us...

Hey, Linda Mc, we met her before. I'm another of Dakota's many editors; I work with Sue and Claudine and others. They're right, it's a super series, great big meaty reads, very tightly written so that the action never stops, and it all slots together into an intriguing world not many ever get a peek into. You'll love the wit.

Mandi said...

I'm very intrigued by this author and the series, how fascinating! Thanks for sharing her with us Sue! I'm going to add this series to my GoodReads account!

Cookie’s Mom said...

Andre, I am privileged to have been involved in this project!

Mandi, nice to hear from you! I hope you enjoy the series as much as we editors have been. Good luck in the contest!

Doreen said...

This series sound so intriguing as does the author. It actually sounds like a tv series. I am looking forward to entering the world Dakota created.

Linda Mc said...

Andre, I agree that Sue is wonderful! I am looking forward to Dakotas books! They really do sound great.

Andrew McCoy said...

Welcome to the ranks of the published authors, Dakota. This is a really inviting spread that Sue's given you. Your books sound SO good, I just know I'm going to be lost in them for weeks on end.

Dakota Franklin said...

This is so beautiful, Sue, I've been taking photographs and a movie of the screen, in addition to screen dumps, just in case it suddenly disappears.

Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome. It really makes me feel like I've returned home after a long journey.

I'm holding thumbs for you in the giveaway and I hope my books live up to your expectations.

This is so exciting, I have to go sit in a quiet corner by myself for a few minutes to calm down.

Ruth said...

I have only stumbled on your site through the Mid-Winter's giveaway hop. I think your blog is great, and this series does sound intriguing. Just keep doing what you are doing!

Cookie’s Mom said...

Dakota, is was my absolute pleasure to feature you here. I wish you much success with RUTHLESS TO WIN!

Cookie’s Mom said...

Congratulations to the winners, Mandi, Doreen and Ruth! You are all among the first to read LE MANS, the first published book in Dakota's fascinating series RUTHLESS TO WIN! Email to follow.

Dakota Franklin said...

Congratulations to the winners of the three copies of LE MANS, Mandi, Doreen and Ruth! Enjoy.

Sue, if I'd known you'd make being published for the first time so painless, I'd have done it a long time ago. Thank you so much.

Cookie’s Mom said...

Dakota, thank-you for your kind words. I am happy to help!

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