Uncaged: Can you tell readers more about your Red series? Red #1 is bundled in Once Upon a Twisted Time boxed set. Are there any plans to release it separately in the future?
Red started off as simply a fairytale retelling for a boxed set. After I wrote part 1, I really liked the characters and I didn’t really feel like the story was complete—so I kept going! I also took the opportunity to tie the story back to The Bloodlust Chronicles, my completed Vampire series, AND introduce some new characters with the possibility for future stories.
Yes! Red Part 2 will be released separate from the boxed set once the rights revert back to me later this year. I don’t have a definitive date on that yet, but it is something that’s coming.
Uncaged: What do you have coming up next that you can tell us about?
I have a few big projects on the horizon. The first one is a series of contemporary novellas I plan to release beginning in July. Right now there are 5 books, all standalones. If they are well-received, then there are plans for more. All 5 are up on Goodreads for anyone interested in contemporary romance. The second big project is a rewrite of Irresistible, book 1 of The Bloodlust Chronicles. I expect that will take me all summer to get through that one.
Uncaged: You are attending the Mayhem in the Midwest Author signing in September. What is your favorite parts of going to conventions and signings?
I LOVE getting to meet readers! The people who come to signing events just have the most amazing energy. Being able to make a connection with a reader in person is so great, some of my loudest cheerleaders on social media are the readers I’ve been able to hug and say hi to in person.
Uncaged: Do you read your reviews? What do you take away from them?
I know general advice is to avoid reading them, but I do. From the more favorable reviews, I take away motivation. Just knowing someone out there actually enjoyed reading something I wrote makes me want to write more! From the less favorable reviews, as long as they include constructive feedback, I do actually take suggestions into consideration.
A perfect example would be the rewrite of Irresistible. While the book has a substantial number of higher rated reviews, there were some detractors who were disappointed in how I portrayed the relationship dynamic between the hero and heroine. After considering what was being said, I took a closer look and realized that the feedback about the unhealthy relationship I built between these characters was dead on. From there, I decided I didn’t want to leave the story that way.
Uncaged: What is one of the nicest things someone has said to you about your books?
The nicest thing someone has said about my books was, “When does the next one come out?” I love that!
Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?
My favorite part is being able to take this idea, which may have just been a single phrase scratched into whatever piece of paper I have on hand, and make an entire story about it. I enjoy bringing those characters in my head to life.
My least favorite part is marketing! I’m not very good at it. I have a hard time “selling” to people, so it’s something I really need to work on.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? Where is one of your favorite places on Earth?
One of my favorite things to do when I’m not writing is working outside in my gardens. I’ve got so many gardens, probably more than I can really handle, but I love it. Flowers, herbs, vegetables, you name it.
My most favorite places on Earth are anywhere I can be in the woods. I tend to put a lot of forest and tree imagery in my books, and I suppose it’s because those are places I am able to call up vivid imagery from memory.
Uncaged: What can you tell us that is very unique about you?
I don’t know about very unique, but a lot of my inspiration comes from music. Most of my stories originated from some kind of imagery which came to mind when I heard a song. The original edition of Irresistible was conceived of while listening to Fall Out Boy’s American Beauty/American Psycho album. The third book in The Bloodlust Chronicles, Irreplaceable, was inspired by listening to PVRIS’ White Noise album. The opening scene for Irrecoverable, book four of The Bloodlust Chronicles is my play on Melanie Martinez’s song Tag, You’re It. Those are just a few examples I can come up off the top of my head.
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
Thank you so much for all your support! It means so much to me to know there are people out there who like to read my work!
You can head to my website to check out blog posts, upcoming events, and sign up for newsletters here: https://www.authortaravasser.com/
Red, Part 1
Packaged in a Box Set
In the aftermath of a tragic car accident, Red is resurrected by a Vampire. As repayment for her second life, she spends a decade being groomed to serve as a peace offering between enemies.
Upon arrival at the estate of her betrothed, Red soon realizes the cruelty of her husband-to-be and the sterility of his manse are more than she can bear. Seeking refuge, she flees to the woods where nothing is as it seems. There, she is drawn to a dangerous figure shrouded in secrecy. It is within the trees where Red will discover who is predator and who is prey.
The snap of a twig in the stillness of the night halted Red in her tracks. With a slow turn on her heel, she surveyed the darkness behind her, both listening and watching for the culprit. A rodent of some kind darted across the path, and Red observed its escape with sharp focus.
Wind whipped through the trees in intermittent gusts, creaking the branches as they swayed. The creaking was all at once comforting and eerie in the otherwise quiet of the woods. Taking in deep breaths, Red continued her leisurely stroll between the oaks, careful to avoid disturbing the flora and fauna of her temporary refuge. The animals that were awake at this time of night scurried into hiding places, having an innate ability to sense the danger surrounding her kind. Humans had once been able to rely on this instinct as well, but she supposed it had dulled with evolution and the use of technology.
In these woods, it didn’t matter. There were no humans here. There was no one here. This was exactly the reason Red glided gracefully through the oaks like a wraith in the night—to be alone. The sprawling estate she was confined to during most hours of the night and day had amenities aplenty, but room to breathe wasn’t one of them. Glancing up to the sky, she allowed her thoughts to quiet for a moment as she took in the sight of wispy clouds racing across the outline of the near-full moon. Dulled silver light filtered through the canopy of the trees, creating dappled patterns on the ground, much like Red imagined the sun would do during the day.
A melancholy sigh escaped her lips unbidden. She hadn’t seen the sun on the leaves in ten years, and she never would again, if she wanted to avoid turning to a pile of ash.
The moon’s illumination winked out once more as a thick cloud obscured it from Red’s view, her attention waning just like the light. Dropping her gaze from the sky, she focused once more on the trees and underbrush surrounding her. A surprised gasp escaped and she stumbled back a step when her attention was drawn to a man in front of her, instead of the tree as she’d expected.
A large gust of wind barreled through the oaks, ruffling the man’s hair and wafting his scent to her. Unable to control the instinct to identify the man as either prey or predator, Red drew in a deep breath. Scents of pine and earth filled her lungs, as if he was not a man made of flesh, but of the woods themselves.
Standing is if rooted to the earth like the trees surrounding him, his only movement the result of the wind, he appraised her just as she watched him. Eyes the color of deep amber held her gaze, as if daring her to look away and miss him slipping back into the shadows from which he’d materialized.
Red’s stare challenged him to remain where he stood.
Another blast of wind whipped Red’s hair into a whirlwind of raven tangles she knew would be a pain to comb out later. Panic gripped her as her dark tresses blocked the view of the enigmatic man, breaking their stalemate. When she could once again see, just as she feared, the space where he’d stood was empty.
Drawing his scent in with a huge inhale, she tried for the last time to identify him, but came up empty-handed.
“What are you?” Red whispered.
This novella is a good start into a series and it’s currently bundled with a boxed set. After Red is brought back as a Vampire, she learns that not only her sire, but everyone around her has lied to her about almost everything, keeping her weaker, so she’s easy to mold into a bride for a cruel leader who is only marrying her for a treaty of power and plans to kill her soon after. Red makes her escape, and is aided by a shifter – Colin.
The story was quick, but the backstory was started to be brought in, with well-developed action sequences. I think the love story itself was a bit quick and there was still a lot of unanswered questions that I hope will be addressed further into the series. I enjoyed the world that the author has created and am looking forward to the next books in the series.
Reviewed by Cyrene