Uncaged welcomes Trakena Prevost
Uncaged: Can you tell readers more about your book Cursed? Is this a debut novel?
The idea for Cursed came about when I asked myself what it would look like if the drug problems of the world had a supernatural source. That one thought spawned this crazy tale of a group of supernatural beings divided by what they feel is most important: Power or the value of life. My main character is in the throes of vengeance when that choice is thrown upon her and she has to fight for her humanity.
Cursed is my debut, though it was published a few years ago.
Uncaged: What do you have coming up next that you can tell us about?
I’m currently polishing and just beginning to shop a book on Djinn, the proper name for Genies. In this book, a young half-Djinn discovers that her parents are not dead as she’d originally been raised to think, but that her Djinn mom has been enslaved to her human dad for many years. At its core it’s a story of the love a girl has for her mom and her determination to freeing her from a horrible fate.
Uncaged: You’ve attended a couple conventions this year. What are some of the most memorable moments from the convention for you?
Really just meeting and hanging out with readers and authors! These are my people…they get me.
Uncaged: Do you read your reviews? What do you take away from them?
I try not to. My goal is to take the stories that are in my head and to put them down on paper. I know that some may love them as much as I do, and others may not, but I try not to focus on that. This business is seriously subjected and that’s just the way things are. If I do read them, I make sure to never respond. I try to be grateful for the feedback and to move on.
Uncaged: What is one of the nicest things someone has said to you about your books?
I participated in a teen writing program at one of my local libraries last year. One of the girls reminded me a lot of myself as a teen, young, passionate, and mildly irritated that the stories she liked didn’t have people who looked like her in them. She read my book and thanked me for writing something that she could enjoy with a main character that she could see herself in. It was pretty much that moment where I thought, “This is why I write!”
Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?
My favorite part is getting to explore all of the crazy stories in my head!
The constant, never-ending self-doubt. Most days I think that my writing is trash and that I should stop while I’m ahead…lol! But that’s where your writing tribe comes in. Those are the folks you meet who swoop in and remind you that this business is a tough one and that you’re amazing. I don’t know what I’d do without those folks.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? Where is one of your favorite places on Earth?
When I’m not writing I’m typically hanging out with my kiddo and husband. I like to read a lot. And I definitely have a few TV shows that I adore and keep up with on DVR. My hubby and I travel at least once a year to reconnect as a couple, and my favorite place is anywhere in the Caribbean. We went to Cabo last year and it was amazing to read outside our plunge pool and to stare at the ocean!
Uncaged: What can you tell us that is very unique about you?
Other than the fact that I spend a lot of my free time crafting crazy tales that have my family wondering what’s the matter with me? LoL!
I’m actually a decent singer. In another life I wanted to be the next Whitney Houston – without the addiction to illegal substances – but I quickly realized that I am slightly introverted so that would not work out for anyone. I still love to sing for my kiddo though. I sung to him when he was in my belly and he loves to hear mamma sing to this day!
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
That I’m so grateful for every single one I have and that I know I’d be nowhere without them!!! I’m most active on twitter (@trakenaprevost) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/TrakenaPrevostAuthor). You can also check out my website (www.trakenaprevost.com)
Trakena is dedicated to writing paranormal stories with multicultural characters, where race is not the main conflict. Her passion stems from being a young teen in love with paranormal fiction, but being unable to find any stories she liked with characters that looked like her. She hopes to change that reality for her son and all the other kids of color out there who love to read as much as she does!
Half-succubus Jazz Watkins spends her nights knee-deep in Chicago drug dens hunting Suecai—an evil kind of incubi and succubae who devour the souls of humans. But when a leader of the Suecai curses her, Jazz has to track him down. Either she kills him before the curse burns through her, or she’ll become a full-fledged, out of control, soul-sucking monster.
She’s got a handful of weeks, absolutely no leads, and only her sexy best guy-friend, Khan, covering her back. But will the growing attraction she feels for Khan get in the way of her mission to save her own life?
When he walked out the bathroom, the nerves I’d thought I’d turned to steel started to quiver. What if he refused me? Khan was just as stubborn as I was. How could I possibly ask this of him? How could I get him to understand?
I took a deep breath and looked at him. “Khan, we need to talk.”
“Uh oh, that’s never what a guy wants to hear from his girl.”
My stomach fluttered, but I refused to give into the distraction. “I have a plan…in case we don’t find and kill the Gunshi. But I need your help to pull it off.”
He didn’t look taken aback, just more determined than anything. “Jazz, it’s too soon for you to give up now. We’ve got some really good leads, we can do this!”
I shook my head. “I’m not giving up, Khan. I never give up…you know that.” I smiled at him and was rewarded with one in return. “But…being a leader means having to think outside of myself…you and my dad taught me that. We have to prepare for all possibilities – even this.”
His dark eyes flashed and, for a second, I thought I was in for a long and hard fight. Then understanding washed over his features and he nodded. “As long as you promise this doesn’t mean you’ve given up.”
“Not even close – and giving in doesn’t even sound like me.”
He snorted. “That’s for sure.”
I rolled my eyes. “Okay, I think we can do this, but if not…I have a forgetting tonic to erase my memories. That way, in the very least, the vermin can’t use my knowledge against everyone I love.”
Khan jerked. “Where in the hell did you…?” Then he groaned. “Claudine.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “She always has been good at knowing what I need.”
His face was hard. “Okay, so I’ll make sure to wipe away your memories. I’ll erase everything that makes you, you – everything I’ve grown to know and care about. We done?”
I paused. “Not quite.”
He flinched. “I figured something more was coming when you said, ‘In the least’.”
I almost didn’t have the guts to continue. “Think about it, Khan. You can’t just leave me there, a newbie Suecai with the urge to feed. What if I came across my mom one day? Or your dad?
“You might not be able to do it immediately – there’s no telling how strong I’ll be at first or how protected – but eventually you’ll have to take me out! I shuddered at the thought. “What else can we do?”
The rage flew through his features even more quickly than when I’d told him I couldn’t be his Valentine in the sixth grade.
“Anything, Jazz,” Khan whispered. “We fight. We search. We keep pounding the pavement until we find that bastard. We do anything and everything.”
Words escaped me. A boulder set squarely on my chest and wouldn’t budge. I should’ve known this wouldn’t be easy – hadn’t I spent my entire life traipsing around Chicago with Khan? I shouldn’t have expected anything else.
Khan seemed to take my silence as an opportunity to change my mind. “You could learn control, Jazz, become a full-fledged Dorgai.” There it was, that secret hope I held deep in my heart that I was too scary to speak out loud.
“Khan, that’s impossible. There’s no way I can learn control if I’m forced into feeding too fast. The only way we halfers manage it is by taking an entire year to ease into the process. All of Dad’s advisors are agreed that I’ll become an uncontrollable Suecai.”
“I can’t believe that, Jazz. It can’t happen. Not to you.”
I couldn’t focus. My need to be rational kept battling the little girl within me reaching for a solution, any solution.
I didn’t notice Khan moving until it was too late.
Before I could say something to break the bubble, Khan stood over me, his face inches from mine. His eyes were warm and I could feel the heat of his breath, minty from his recent trip to the bathroom. My heart stopped. And then he was kissing me, slow and deep at first, and then with a heat and passion I’d only guessed he possessed.
The reader is tossed headfirst into the action as soon as you get started, and it doesn’t let up much throughout the book. Good action sequences and the characters are well developed. The supernaturals in this book are the Dorgai and the Suecai – both need a human’s life essence to survive except the Suecai don’t control their hunger and kill humans by sucking out their essence completely killing humans. Jazz and her team find the Raves and parties and extinguish as many as they can, but one night goes wrong and Jazz is cursed to turn into a full-fledge in days, a process that normally takes a year – and could force her into Suecai, so the race is on to reverse the spell.
Jazz is a bit headstrong and teenage “stupid” at times, but she is only 17, and a lot of time she is driven by her heart and not her head because of when her mother was captured and tortured. And this book does have a brewing romance, maybe a romance triangle? Don’t know for sure, but the next book may answer some questions for us. This is a good, action-packed read that will keep you on your toes, and it was a refreshing change of pace in the paranormal genre. Reviewed by Cyrene
4 1/2 Stars