Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Interview with Tara Fox Hall and her Promise Me series, and Excerpts


Tara Fox Hall-Author



 Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.


WHY: I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.




My Interview With Her-

What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?

My pen name is the same as my real name: Tara Fox Hall. I thought about using a pen name, but decided I had enough to keep straight already. J I’d likely sign books with the wrong name!

Tell me a bit about yourself:

My bio says it all: Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.


What type of genre do you write?
Mostly I write supernatural-related fiction stories, such as the paranormal fiction series Promise Me and Lash. But as per above, I also have written erotica, suspense, horror, contemporary fiction, and non-fiction.

What genre to you personally read?
Thrillers as a rule are my favourite books, the more graphic the better. But I occasionally branch out to YA, historical, romance, graphic novels, action/adventure, westerns and other genres.

Tell me about your latest?
My latest book is Taken for His Own, the fourth instalment in my Promise Me Series. It takes up where the third book left off. Sar had done her best to rebuild her life when her fianc√© Theo went missing. She’s partnered with her former vampire lover Danial to raise Theo’s daughter Elle (Elle’s natural mother is dead from childbirth complications). She’s also had a child of her own with Danial, Theoron, and is trying to come to terms with her inevitable turning from human to vampire. When she finds out Theo’s alive, she can’t stop herself from journeying west to find him, and confront him about where he’s been for the last year and a half. This is where Taken for His Own begins. After a passionate reunion and a hasty marriage, the two lovebirds are headed back east. But picking up the pieces is far from easy. While Danial is accepting of Theo’s return, Elle prefers her vampire adoptive father over Theo. More than one enemy is waiting in the wings, making repeat attempts on Sar’s life. Add into the mix Devlin, Sar’s old enemy who’s now turned good guy, and a new paramour for Danial and you’ve got a powder keg primed to explode.

What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?
I’ve always enjoyed reading…a very passionate teacher taught me to read my first words in kindergarten, and I began devouring short books by first grade…and novels for YA by third grade.

Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way? The Hobbit. I like the message; that it’s not who you were or what you can do that influences what you will do, it’s how willing you are to step outside your own boundaries and push for what you think is right.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
That it’s never too late to take control of your destiny…and that you are the only one that really ever can. You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can always control how you react to events. And that it’s important to always try to do the right thing…but that isn’t always possible.

What challenges have you faced in your writing career? Getting published. I spent 4 years getting rejection after rejection from every agent under the sun and also some publishers. But the near misses were the worst, to think that I finally had an agent or a publisher and then to have it fall through at the last moment. Those were the crushing blows. The newest thing I worry about are bad reviews J

What has been your best moment as a writer?
Getting that first acceptance…though every 5 star review is another perfect moment for me. I love getting validation for the world I created. J

Who is your author idol?
Pretty much anyone who is able to write for a living has my respect, as it’s so hard to make a living writing.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Bits of me are in all my characters, being my creations.

Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
There is MUCH more to do….I won’t be able to rest easy until all of the Promise Me series is out and sitting on my bookshelf in a lovely row J and after that, I’ll probably say the same until the Lash series is done!

What does your workspace look like?
A jumbled bed with stickies, sheets of notes, crumpled papers that have been imputed into the computer, the phone so I don’t have to get up, a data stick for backup and now a little pad of paper that says “Tara is WORKING” so my husband knows when I’m going to be irritable if he interrupts!

Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
Of course. Getting my first 2 star review on Amazon made me want to quit. Poor sales in a given quarter makes me want to quit. Having no free time makes me want to quit. But I didn’t survive years of fighting to get my stories out to give up now.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Lately….I sew catbeds for animal shelters, review books, clean, exercise, bake, work my day job, sleep, eat, and do chores like making firewood, spring cleaning, and pet maintenance.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Keeping your perspective that your every little creation is not going to be perfect…or get critical or popular acclaim. Some stories will be better than others. The key is to always try to make the next one better than the last one was.

Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?
Yes. I realized I was good at imagining both sides of a conversation between two characters or more. It’s something that comes naturally and I don’t feel affinity with either character especially, so I can imagine to be both with equal believability. That makes really good dialogue, which is an essential part of any story. The other key part of story is a good plot. When I’m reading what I wrote, I ask myself if I’m interested at every paragraph. If I can’t keep my own interest, how can I expect to keep a reader’s interest? And what a writer wants to produce and what a reader wants to read are not always the same things. To gain—and keep—series readers, you have to give them what they want while keeping enough back to entice them to keep reading subsequent books. I try to do that.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? Don’t give up until you do what you set out to do.

After this book, what is next? There will be more books in this series. Two more will be out this year—Immortal Confessions and Her Secret—with more in 2014 and 2015, until the series is done. The next installment in the Lash Series, Revenge, will be out this fall, and hopefully my second anthology of short suspense/horror stories will also publish. There will also be the first Promise Me anthology and a Latham’s Landing anthology this fall. A new Lash short story,Spiritwalker”, will debut in the Shifters charity anthology from Hazardous Press, and I also have a short story called “The Lie” in the upcoming anthology Brief Grislys, both due out in a month or less. I’m also working on a sequel to my transgender short Grow a Pair, and another compilation of BDSM stories for the late summer/fall.


Your blog?

Other websites?




Book Title: Promise Me (Promise Me Series #1) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Pages: 233
Date Released: June 2012

Blurb: 


When young widow Sarelle McGarran finds the vampire Danial Racklan unconscious and hurt in her woods, intuitive concern quickly becomes passionate love. Together Danial and Sar work to overcome their own past heartbreaks, their vastly different lifestyles, and Danial's relentless enemies. Yet Danial needs more; an Oath of forever. But can Sar give Danial his greatest desire?


BUY LINKS:






Excerpt: 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. But I want to be clear that I don’t expect you to give me money because we…because we’re—”
“Intimate?” he supplied with a leer. “Lovers?”
I blushed, glad my back was to him. “Yes,” I said curtly.
“It’s my feelings for you that make me offer. I understand you’re independent and used to taking care of yourself. But I want you to have an easier time of it than you had trying to go it alone. I want to take care of you. It’s your right, as befitting your station.” 
“What station?”
“As my lover.” He nibbled the back of my neck, his hands sliding down my arms. “That is, if you still want to be.”
Did I ever. God, his lips felt good. I could feel little pricks where his fangs brushed against me...
Focus! “What about the shirt?”
Danial paused what he was doing. “What about it?”
“Did you take some of my life force? Did you deliberately try to seduce me with a spell to get me to feed you?”
He didn’t reply. I shifted back from the fire and made to get up, but he pulled me off balance and I went down, falling into his waiting arms. I struggled in vain as he rolled me over on the carpet and straddled me, holding both my arms over my head with one hand, while the other caressed my cheek. I fumed as I looked at him above me, his upper half silhouetted by the fire. His eyes sparkled, his face in shadow.
“Now, Sarelle,” he purred, “why would I need to seduce you to get you to feed me?”
He stretched down against me. I felt my body betray my anger as my breasts hardened and my breaths came faster.
“You gave me your blood when I was a stranger, willingly.” He leaned in closer as if to kiss me, but remained just out of reach. His dark eyes were locked on mine, filled with desire and familiar arrogance. He bent down to kiss my throat. “You gave yourself to me a night later, with no hesitation.”
His lips moved to the side of my throat. He ran a fang down my neck. I writhed, both in desire and a touch of fear.
“That was a dream. I knew it—”
“You knew nothing of the sort,” he said, his breath warm against my neck. He drew back and used his free hand to start unbuttoning my nightshirt.
“Stop,” I said, my breath tearing out of me.
“Stop what?” he said teasingly. “You want me, just like you have from the first moment you saw me. I can feel your body beneath mine, aching for me. Just as I’m aching for you.” 
He continued unbuttoning my top. 
“Stop screwing around! I need to know if you—”
“It was your fantasy. A predictable one,” he said, his hand on the next to last button. He paused to run that hand between my breasts, up to clasp my throat. “But I was never in control of you. I couldn’t feed from you—not that I didn’t try. You seemed so willing to let me. But I couldn’t draw any energy from you and I awoke hungry, almost ravenous.”
“Terian was right—”
His hand tightened on my throat. “Why are you so determined to be the victim? Nothing happened that you didn’t choose to happen.” He gave me a half smile, his eyes growing darker. He brought his hand back to my nightshirt and undid the last button. He pushed my shirt to each side, baring my breasts and my lower body as he gave me a slow savoring look. That nimble hand slid up to grip my neck loosely. I knew he could feel how fast my heart beat. “That you could resist and take control from me in the dream amazed me.” His voice was full of wonder and affection. “No one has ever been able to do that. Not with me. Not in three hundred and seventy-five years.”




Book Title: Broken Promise (Promise Me Series #2) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Pages: 240
Date Released: September 2012


Blurb: Shocked at Danial’s betrayal, Sarelle returns to her old home to consider her options. Yet even as Sar plans a reconciliation with Danial, Terian arrives, confessing his desire. When Theo witnesses Terian and Sar kiss, he angrily confronts Sar, leading to startling consequences. Will Sar’s heart choose Danial, Terian,…or Theo?


Buy Links: 





Excerpt:

“Sar, you were here last night? Ivan said you gave him the ring, but I assumed you came in the day, to avoid seeing me. Angelica said nothing,” Danial said emotionally. 
He was suddenly before me, embracing me before I could stop him. Theo moved closer to us, but I told him with my eyes to keep still, and he stopped. 
“Sar, I’m so sorry for Angelica, for what you heard,” Danial murmured into my ear. “She is no substitute for you. I will tell her to leave tonight, that she and I are done, and you’ll never have to see her again. Please forgive me,” he added regretfully.
“Aren’t you oathed?” I said nastily, trying to push him away. “That was no mere necklace she was wearing yesterday—”
“No, of course not,” Danial said, hugging me more tightly. “I’ve given her no promise. I’m so glad you have come back to me, my love. I missed you so much. I filled our bed with her because I was so lonely for you—”
“You had sex with her because you were lonely for me?” I said sarcastically.
“Sar, I didn’t mean that, I—” Danial was backpedaling fast.
It didn’t matter; it was too late. “Danial, I told you that I needed time months ago. You said you couldn’t wait for me. I came back because I promised you I would, because I wanted to believe that you would wait. But you didn’t. Please let me go.”
I moved back from him, as he reluctantly let go of me. It was on his face now that he was finally getting it.
“I am not here to offer you another chance,” I said tiredly. “I’m here to end what we had, end it completely. Take off the collar. Take it off me and let me go.”
“I will not, Sar,” Danial snarled, his eyes tinged red again. “You are mine. Mine! I want a life with you too much to give you up now, not when you’ve come back to me—”
“Did you hear what I said?” I shouted at him. “It’s over! Do you think you can hold onto me by making me wear it? It’s too late! You’ve lost me, Danial!”
Danial stood up in a quick motion, the redness in his eyes glowing lightly. “Who have I lost you to, Sar? I thought I smelled some other male’s scent on your body, and in your hair. Whose is it?”
“Mine,” Theo growled. “Because she’s mine, Danial, not yours.”
 

Book Title: Taken in the Night (Promise Me Series #3) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Pages: 194
Date Released: Late January 2012

Blurb: 


When Theo disappears, Sar is left bereft, the uncertain guardian of Theo’s newly born werecougar daughter, Elle. As months pass, clues emerge about Theo’s disappearance, yet the twisting trail ends repeatedly without answer. In her grief, Sar turns to Danial and hesitantly begins to build a life with him and Elle.


Buy links: 
 





Excerpt: 

“I should go,” Danial said reluctantly. “It’s late.”
I stopped him, my hand on his arm. “Please, stay with me a little while.”
“Sar—” he began warily.
“Please, Danial. I have to talk to you. Come with me.” I held out my hand.
He sighed, and took my hand. I led him below to the bedroom that had been his not long ago. Danial sat on the edge of the bed with me.
“She understands us,” I said quietly. “I didn’t want to talk in front of her.”
“What is it, Sar?” he said tiredly. 
“You remember the Hallows party a year ago?” 
“Of course,” Danial said with longing. “I remember being so nervous, worried you wouldn’t show. I remember how you looked in the dress, dancing with me.” He paused. “Why do you bring it up?”
“Because you must be going to have another one soon, unless you’re skipping this year.” 
“Yes, in late November,” Danial said edgily. “I closed the business while looking for Theo, and am going to reopen it next year. I need the last months of this year to finish up loose ends of old business.” He sighed. “And I need to hire someone to replace Theo, if such a thing can be done.” 
“I want to be there, Danial,” I said. “If you would permit me to come.”
“I had hoped you would be,” Danial said, kissing me gently on the forehead. “I wanted to invite you, but wasn’t sure you’d want to—”
“I know you will invite Samuel,” I said forcefully. “I want to question him about Theo—” 
His eyes tinted red immediately. “Sar, that is not what I had in mind. I have already talked to him, and he said he did nothing.”
“I don't believe him, Danial. You weren’t there when he and Theo had words.”
“That doesn’t matter,” he retorted. “He is a Ruler. You cannot question him as if he were a mere human.”
“I certainly can—”
“Sar, I forbid it,” Danial said arrogantly, grabbing hold of me. “And that is the end of it.”
“Who are you to forbid me anything?” I said furiously.
“I’m a man that loves you,” he said furiously back, and kissed me hard, pulling the length of his body against mine as we fell backwards onto the bed. 
I struggled, but he kissed me more thoroughly, his lips and body cool against mine. I shuddered in his arms, the feeling of being held and desired making me weak with relief and happiness.
Danial moved, rolling me from my side unto my back, his kisses intensifying. He shifted suddenly, pressing down with his hips. I felt his erection pressing firmly to my belly, and I shuddered, my mouth opening to let out a gasp. He saw the opportunity and took it, sliding his tongue into my mouth to taste me. I trembled, and then kissed him back for all I was worth.
Danial broke the kiss, his black eyes staring at me beneath him as he pulled off his shirt. I arched my back, pulling my sweater off over my head. All I’d needed to do was kiss him, and I wanted him so badly I could taste it.

 
Book Title: Taken for His Own (Promise Me Series #4) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Pages: 247
Date Released: late April 2013

Blurb: 

After learning Theo is alive, Sar immediately embarks on a mission to find him. Reunited, the lovers return to New York; Danial, Terian and Theo uneasily combining forces to protect Sar from Al’s assassins still seeking her. But when Sar is taken prisoner in an all-out attack, only one man can save her: her old adversary, Devlin.

Buy Links: 





Excerpt:

“What about what you did to me?” I whispered, gazing at him and biting my lip. 
“That wasn’t a whim,” Devlin said, dropping his eyes. “That was my bad judgment. Sadly, it wasn’t the worst mistake I’ve made in my life.” 
“What was?” 
Devlin didn’t answer. I reached out and took his cool hand in mine. 
“When you lead others you must do whatever you have to in order to save your people,” he said with a sigh. “Compromising values should matter less than saving lives.” 
“I agree with you,” I said. “If you rule others, you have a responsibility to them above the responsibility to yourself. But even then, I think your family should come first.” 
“They should,” Devlin said in a cracked voice. He swallowed hard. “But the past can’t be undone.” 
I squeezed his hand. “What happened to Danial wasn’t your fault.” 
“Yes, it was,” he said softly. 
“How is it your fault?” I said curiously, easing closer to him. 
“Because I should have known what the thing was when it attacked. I didn’t know anything back then, except strategy and tactics. I was too concerned about rising through the ranks as fast as possible, so I could leave my family behind and become someone important.” 
“What did you want to be?” 
“A commander of men, either soldiers or police.” 
I was surprised that Devlin would want to uphold the law or spend his life guarding others. Yet it made sense. When he’d taken me from my house years ago, he’d insisted on taking me to Danial, because I wore the choker. He was here putting himself in danger now to keep me safe. 
“I knew something had attacked a few people on that road in that last month,” he continued. “I knew that there was a chance we might be attacked transporting the prisoner. But the road was the quickest way to our destination. I’d been assured that if I made the journey in good time, I’d get the promotion I wanted, and Danial would get my old position.” 
“You aren’t at fault for what you did. It wasn’t for an evil reason.” 
“Yes, I am,” he said despondently. “It was my greed and pride that doomed us.” 
Carefully, I reached for Devlin and put my arms around him. He tensed at my touch, then relaxed. 
“You did the best you could. You aren’t damned.” 
“Yes, I am. You have no idea what I’ve done.” 
I shifted uneasily. 
“And I wouldn’t want you to,” Devlin added, his arms snaking around me loosely. “My ends have always justified the means, no matter what they were. I’ve done great evil in the hope of averting worse evil. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not. Still, it’s likely that given the chance to do my life over, I’d do the same things, make the same choices. I’d find myself here, at this same point in time, a fallen king.” 
“In case you’re wondering,” I said deliberately. “I’m waiting for you to add into your speech somewhere that you regret everything you did to me while you were king…um, ruler.” 
“I regret hurting you,” Devlin said quickly. “Yet I don’t regret coming for you that night or taking you to Danial.” He looked up at me. “You might not have gone back to Danial after Theo went missing, if I hadn’t. Theoron might not be here. I can’t regret any action of mine that led to him being born.” 
I didn’t reply, considering his words. 
Devlin laid his head against my chest, and his arms tightened on me slightly. We lay there like that for a few moments, not speaking, then I slipped into sleep. 
I woke sometime later when Devlin stirred. According to the bedside clock, it was almost dusk. 
“I have only one regret,” Devlin said finally, propping himself up on his elbow, his expression intent. 
“What’s that?” I said, covering my yawn with my hand. 
“That it wasn’t me you found in your quarry that night,” Devlin said, kissing the back of my hand with cool lips. His golden eyes locked on mine, transfixing me, as he drew my hand away from my face. 
He was going to kiss me. My lips parted as my breath caught in my throat.




  


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me at your blog, Lynette! And for being part of the Promise Me Series Blog Hop!

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  2. It's a pleasure Tara, wish you all the best.

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  3. <3 great interview!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Jessi and thank you.

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