Ali will be hosting a grand prize of Simply Ali T-Shirt and Swag!!
Our next guest is Author Tara Fox Hall and she has prepared an excellent post for you all!! If you haven't had a chance to read this author I hope you learn more about her from today's post. I have grown to love her writing this past year.
A huge thank you to Simply Ali for having me here today!
I’m here today to promote Broken Promise, the second book in the paranormal romance Promise Me series, and also Shadow Man, the second book in my paranormal action adventure Lash series. Most readers of paranormal fiction are well aware that there are many supernatural series with a dashing yet brooding heroic shifter (and in the romance series, a strong female lead). Here are two reasons why my series are different.
First of all…they are more realistic.
Fiction would lead you to believe that 500-strong packs of werewolves are lurking in state forests and preserves where they hold rituals beyond the curious eyes of civilization, such as fights to the death for supremacy or mates. I’m sorry to say that the country and forests are not full of wild ravening manbeasts. They ARE however full of hunters, most of which would love a chance to bag a mythological creature like a werewolf or werecoyote, much less a terrific prize like a weretiger or werepanther. Most hunters know their territory—either private or state owned—and the creatures in it. They are familiar with scat, tracks, calls, and other signs, and know how to read what these clues tell. As such, they would not only be sure to notice any large new animal, but also have the knowhow to hunt it successfully. Theo, a werecougar from the Promise Me series, mentions this in the excerpt from Broken Promise below:
“Sar, I am going to have to change form very soon. Change form all the way, I mean.” Theo seemed embarrassed or not sure how I was going to take this.
“Its okay, Theo. I expected this sooner, actually. What do you need me to do?”
“You shouldn’t need to do anything,” he said.
“But?” I prompted.
“I try not to change, but it can only be kept from happening for so long,” he said uncomfortably. “I take a drug that helps me to keep control. Sooner or later, I have to go all the way and become a cougar. And later is now.” He paused, running his hand back through his hair.
“You sound worried, yet this must have happened many times. What’s the matter?”
“The longer I put it off, the wilder I become. It’s been almost four months now since I last changed. I’ve got to do it this weekend,” he said. “I’m just worried about changing with you around. Your neighbors are pretty close by.”
I didn’t like where this was going. “What do you usually do?” I asked.
“I usually change in the forest near Danial’s home, and hunt something. I kill it and eat it. I wake up naked in the forest wherever I am, and walk back.”
“Are you going to do that here?” I asked nervously. “I have over thirty acres of forest, but it’s nowhere near Danial’s expanse. He has over two hundred acres.”
“I’m afraid to. You have neighbors with livestock around. Also, people will hear me screaming as a cat and hunters will come with guns. To them I’m a trophy,” he said bitterly.
“What can I do to help you?” I said, scared.
Lash, my protagonist from Shadow Man, also makes reference to this:
We usually hunted in snake form, though that was the only time we changed forms, emerging from the house only after the transformation was complete. My mother was afraid of someone finding out about us and told us we couldn’t risk changing form outside. Even deep in the swamp as we were, sometimes swamp tours traveled off the beaten path, the white ghost faces looking all around in fear before the guide got the boat turned around. We would always hide and were never seen in snake form, only as humans. We spent at least a few hours every day in snake form, so it wasn’t as if we were deprived. But feeling of shame was there even then, that non-weresnakes would not accept us, that what we were was something to be hidden away and only let out when no one was watching.
Second…they are more truly a mix of animal and man, though not all “weres” relish this. Theo is a man turned in an attack who regrets what he has become, and tries his best to separate the animal from his waking mind with the use of drugs. This denial of his nature causes Theo not only anguish, but also puts the woman he loves in danger.
A terrible thought suddenly struck me. “Theo, when Cia was here and she changed for me, she knew who I was and understood my words. Will you know me, understand me?”
“Probably not, Sar. I don’t want you near me when I change. I could hurt you, even think you were prey.” Theo looked away, unwilling to meet my eyes.
“Why is it that she has control and you don’t?” I asked bluntly
“Because she changes every week at least once, sometimes every night,” he said in exasperation. “She doesn’t take the drug, never has. None of the foxes do. The drug separates the human and animal, putting a wall between them, so it’s harder for the animal and human to communicate.”
The drug made it harder for the animal to get through to influence the human. The flip side was it also made it harder for the human to control the animal and its urges, when the animal finally assumed control.
“Why would you do that to yourself, Theo?” I asked. “Why cut yourself off—”
“Because I hate it, Sar! I hate it! I never asked to be this way!” he shouted. “Do you know how it feels, waking up with blood on you, naked in the forest? How it feels knowing that you have to do it again and again for the rest of your life?” His eyes flickered from blue to yellow, and then changed back to blue.
Lash, in contrast, was born a weresnake and fully relishes his ability to change form and become a snake.
The change is not like it is in the movies. I retain complete power over how much of myself changes, and can stop the transformation at any time. Anger does influence it; if you lose control of yourself, it’s easy for snake to slither out in places; a few scales, flat eyes, or a forked tongue. But there is no rule that your eyes change first, or anything. Also, the speed isn’t set in stone; the transformation can be fast or slow, though fast is often more unsettling as your bones reform and organs and skin mutate and stretch. Like anything else, each werecreature—or “were” in slang—is different, and they do what’s comfortable for them.
I let my eyes go flat, my eyelids retracting as my arms slowly sank into my sides and my legs grew together. My hair pulled into my head and my tongue split as my skin became smooth and patterned scales erupted down my body in a wave. My fangs grew, my other teeth shrinking as my jaws widened and my nose sank in. Wriggling myself slightly, I felt my tail push out and lengthen, my spine stretching out as my ribs shrank down and duplicated. Stretching what had been my shoulders, I twisted abruptly, moving my jaws open and shut, and then writhed a few times, making sure everything else had reformed correctly.
My muscles obeyed perfectly as my thick ten-foot form thrusted forward and across the rock, the warmth of the stone like heaven seeping through my cool skin. Coiling up my length, and then stretching out again with the sun’s warm rays bathing me, I thought with utter happiness how good it was to be both snake and human, to have this power to change at will whenever I wanted. Those asses at the hotel might have everything their stinking human world had to offer, but they would never have this.
Now take a look at some titles from Tara Fox Hall...
Broken Promise (Promise Me)
Tara Fox Hall
Promise Me, Book 2
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?
Danial followed me. “Sar,” he said hesitantly.
I turned reluctantly to face him. “Danial, say whatever you have to say and get out,” I said wearily. “I’m exhausted.”
“I love you,” he said, his eyes tearing.
“I know you do,” I said evenly, meeting his gaze with my own, before turning from him to start washing the dishes.
I felt him behind me in an instant, and put down the dish I’d been holding before I dropped it. His hands rested on my shoulders, and then slid down my arms, enfolding me as he pulled me close. His hands were cool, as they had been the first time we embraced.
How many nights had I longed to be back in his arms? How many nights had I wished he would come to me like this, and tell me he loved me? Almost every night since we parted. But it didn’t change anything between us.
“I was wrong, Sar. I was wrong to do what I did.” He leaned his head on my shoulder, holding me. “I want you to know, I didn’t have sex with her. I left her, after talking to you. Please forgive me, for the things I said to you that night,” he whispered into my ear. “Please forgive me, my Oathed One.”
Grab your copy of BROKEN PROMISE here...
Shadow Man (Lash)
Tara Fox Hall
A renegade vampire begins amassing a flock of true believers, threatening America’s vampire hierarchy. Weresnake Lash partners with old enemy Danial and new allies Burl and Spiderboy to track down and annihilate them. Betrayed and left for dead, Lash reemerges the victor, edging ever upward in the Assassin’s Ranking, and catching the eye of the sultry nightclub singer Cassandra Nile. Drawn into drugs by Cassie, Lash begins to doubt himself, yearning to leave his life of violence, even as enemies close in from every side.
“What’s that smoke?” Spiderboy asked, changing back as he pulled on his clothes as fast as he could. “Something’s burning, and it’s huge!”
My gut clenched like a fist, and I hit the accelerator, swearing to myself.
I drove up to the small town outside Lafayette at dusk. It was smoking, and the grocery store and the diner were partly burned. There was no one in their homes, and no pets to be seen. The old man I’d spoken to years ago was gone, his house empty, the lights on. But something made me curious. By the breakfast plates set out in the kitchen, it was clear that he’d been fixing breakfast this very morning. So how had the vampires come for him in daylight?
We checked the other houses, our guns out and ready. Everyone was gone, though some, by the blood and mess left in the houses, had not gone willingly. By the time we were done, it was full dark.
When we went to the church, we found that it was burned too, to the ground. Standing in the still-smoldering ashes was a three-foot-tall pole, the top covered with a black bag. Spiderboy’s eyes were very wide as he stood, staring, but I just walked up to the pole, and gently took the bag off. As soon as I did, Spiderboy threw up behind me, making mewling sounds.
Stuck on the end of the pole was Jeanna’s head, her mouth lolling open to reveal a tongue that had been split by a knife so it was forked. Her fangs had been pulled out, and her eyes burnt to cinders. The word ‘traitor’ had been deeply burned into the flesh of her forehead.
I stood for a moment, considering the message. The forked tongue meant Eli knew I was spying on him, or that I’d been working with her. The brand of ‘traitor’ and the pulled fangs meant he knew it was Jacob behind this, that Jeanna hadn’t been working just with me. She’d been covered to ensure that the sun wouldn’t be able to erase what she’d suffered before I got a chance to see it.
I didn’t know who’d killed her or tortured her, but someone had come for the humans here in the day, to take them. And there was only one group I knew of that worked for Eli who could walk in daylight: the members of the werecreature church.
Grab your copy of SHADOW MAN here...
Learn more about Tara here...
Website / Email / Facebook / Twitter
For info on my recently published books Lash and Promise Me go
Woohoo!! Tara is giving Two Lucky readers copies of her enovella...The Chalet
Tara Fox Hall
When Madeline honors her mother's dying wish and returns to The Chalet, she discovers the true secret of the old mansion; a seductive spirit whose undying love has waited decades to claim her for its own.
Thank you Tara for joining us today and hosting this fabulous giveaway!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To enter both contests please leave a comment below. The contests are open until Jan 2nd @ Midnight and open internationally.
Please come back here on Jan. 6th to see if you have won!!
Tomorrow we are excited to welcome Author Jess Haines!!