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Feature Author – Tamara Hughes

Uncaged welcomes Tamara Hughes

Welcome to Uncaged! This year you released the third book in the series, Bewitching the Beast, called The Goddess of Magic. Can you tell readers more about the book and the series?

The Bewitching the Beast series is about a family of witches battling the dragon spirits who have invaded the world. These spirits are possessing hosts and feeding off humans, and can only be defeated if these women, their significant others, and their friends band together. All of these books are stand-alone romances and follow the love stories of those on this growing team of dragon hunters.

The third and final book in this series, The Goddess of Magic, centers around Holly, a family friend, who has been kept in the dark about the dragon spirits for her own protection only to find herself in the sights of the most powerful dragon spirit the team has ever encountered.

She is put under the protection of Peter, the brother of one of the dragon hunters. He tries his best to keep Holly out of trouble and safe, and in the process, they grow close, although there’s no stopping the evil forces that stand against them.

What is the most difficult scene for you to write? What is the easiest?

For me, writing love scene is the most difficult. There’s just so much to them. Not only do you have the act itself to describe in a sexy way, but the scene should be unique to that particular couple. Emotions, thoughts, and dialogue should reflect their individual personalities and character growth. It’s also important that the scene carry the story forward. That’s a lot to think about!

The easiest scenes for me are probably action scenes. Once I plan out what I want to happen, it seems like I can get the words on the page fairly quickly.

Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? Has there been a character that’s been hard to write about?

In this series, I have a handful of characters that I really enjoyed writing. Tess, the heroine in the first book, Bewitching the Beast, has a fun midwestern sense of humor (very wry and deadpan) that tickled me. I hadn’t planned to write her like that. She just came out that way, and I loved it! I also have a couple of secondary characters in these books that I had fun with—Gram (who is Tess and Faith’s dead grandmother) and Dorothy (an eccentric witch who owns an occult store). Both these older ladies were somewhat odd but funny.

Faith, the heroine of the second book, Spellbound Captive, gave me a little bit of trouble at first. I think because I loved Tess’s sense of humor so much, I assumed Faith would be the same. But just like in real life, sisters are not exactly the same. They find different things funny. She ended up a bit different, still enjoyable but different. Part of the reason she wasn’t as open and free as Tess was because of the trauma she’d survived—she’d run away from home and tried for years to save her friend from the dragon possessing him.

Read the rest of the interview in the January/February issue of Uncaged Book Reviews below

A small town girl with a big imagination, Tamara Hughes had no idea what to do with her life. After graduating from college, she moved to a big city, started a family and a job, and still struggled to find that creative outlet she craved. An avid reader of romance, she gave writing a try and became hooked on the power of exploring characters, envisioning adventures, and creating worlds.

She enjoys stories with interesting twists and heroines who have the grit to surmount any obstacle, all without losing the ability to laugh.

Bewitching the Beast
Tamara Hughes
Paranormal Romance

Ethan Lockwood hates what he’s become—a slave to a parasitic monster whose victims’ names pepper the obituaries. He’s possessed by The Beast, a dragon who feeds off human spiritual energy. After a year of fighting The Beast’s demands, Ethan is losing the battle. The creature is taking over his mind, body, and soul. When he spies Tess, he can relate to her weary look and the sadness in her eyes, but her aura shines like a beacon, attracting The Beast. Ethan is forced to drain her energy, but for a split second, she subdues the creature inside him, compelling the spirit to slumber. How? Can she somehow free him from The Beast? Ethan chases after her. He can’t afford to let Tess die.

Since her fiancé’s death, Tess Edwards struggles to find new meaning in life. She doesn’t expect that new meaning to involve a sexy photographer who says he’s possessed by an energy-stealing beast. He claims she’s in danger and that he’s the only one who can save her. Great. He’s a nut job—cute, but delusional. She doesn’t believe in dragon spirits and magic, not until she finds her grandmother’s Book of Shadows. She’s descended from witches, and the book warns her of her fate. Although the beast inside Ethan needs her alive, he isn’t the only one of his kind. There’s another, and he wants Tess dead


Chapter One

Tess knew guilt. As a former Catholic schoolgirl, sometimes she felt like she had a sign on her back that read “Guilt trips work here.” What else would explain why she’d let Holly talk her into coming here tonight? When Holly had found out her boyfriend, Wade, had invited his bro Jay out for New Year’s Eve, she’d begged, “Tess, I’m going to end up being the third wheel. Please come out with us. Save me.”
Blind dates sucked, and this one wasn’t going to be any different.

Flashing strobe lights distorted the movements on the dance floor, while a pulsing beat rattled the glasses on the tall table in front of Tess and reverberated through her chest.

The Mood on New Year’s Eve. Big whoop.

Tess adjusted her position on the stool and scanned the dim interior of the club. She should have told Holly she was busy. Her imaginary cat, Arty, needed his toenails polished.

The DJ bobbed his head and shuffled back and forth, his eyes closed, consumed by the music. Of course, this might have been fun with Matt by her side. She would have liked to see his awkward dance again. The one where he swayed from foot to foot and punched his arms out in wild directions. She’d always needed to duck and cover whenever they danced together.

Matt. The one she was supposed to grow old with. That dull, empty ache gnawed at her stomach again. Good going, Tess.

She downed the last of her champagne and set the flute on the table, then turned from the dance floor to the seating behind her. Couches and plush chairs were grouped together toward the back of the club, each seating arrangement dimly lit by hanging cone-shaped lamps. A group of five women sat huddled together, deep in conversation. They whispered and chatted before twisting in their chairs to ogle someone seated along the opposite wall. Tess followed their stares to an ungodly handsome man—gorgeous in a model-meets-biker sort of way. His wavy, dark hair brushed the tops of his shoulders, framing his angular jaw and piercing eyes. A black leather jacket hugged his broad shoulders, while snug jeans emphasized his lean build.

He drained the last of his beer and set the empty on the table. His arms resting on his knees, he focused on the beer bottle as if willing it to refill, then pinched the bridge of his nose. His hand was covered by a black leather glove.

Was wearing one glove coming back into style? Man, she hoped not.

He surveyed the room, his eyes blazing with intensity. Tess could almost hear the collective sigh from the women eyeing him.

His gaze edged her way before darting past toward the door, a wistful expression on his face. He stiffened and flexed his gloved hand.

The need to escape. Tess knew the feeling. But what was stopping him? She gave a short laugh. He’d probably promised someone he’d stay until midnight, like she had.

Not that she cared. She had her own problems. Tess studied the crowd, but her attention was drawn back to him. She was such a sucker for sad, needy people.

A cute brunette waitress approached him, and he sat up. She smiled and ran her fingers through her pixie cut as she crouched beside him. He tossed back the shot she handed him and returned the empty glass.
The waitress laughed and touched his arm, her over-the-top flirting painful to watch. The biker shook his head and took the fresh beer she offered. A slight frown marred the woman’s face as she rose and left, swaying her hips. No doubt the motion usually attracted loads of attention, like the hypnotic flashing lights at a railroad crossing. He barely noticed. His stare veered away from the spectacle and toward Tess. This time their eyes met and held.

Read the rest of the excerpt in the January/February issue of Uncaged Book Reviews below


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