Paranormal author Tara Fox Hall is on a blog tour this month. Today she stops by Into Another World to answer a few questions and share an excerpt from her latest book, Taken for His Own.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 fiancé 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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
About the 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. 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.