Official Upcoming Release Schedule!

Due to changes in how my publisher assigns dates, I won't have release dates until I finish the book. I'm currently working on:

Taking the Realm which is book 3 of Sha and Connor's trilogy (previously titled Shaking the Balance)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interview with Tara S. Wood and Review of the Shade

It's that time again! I have discovered a new love of interviewing my fellow indie authors and reviewing their books, so naturally I begged the amazing Tara S. Wood to let me interview her! If you haven't read her books, you really must. I had the privilege of beta reading her latest book, The Shade, and if it were possible to literally dive into a book, I'd be all over Cillian. But I digress. First let's find out more about Tara.


Welcome Tara! I know you are busy right now working on several projects, including an upcoming anthology ;) I appreciate you taking the time to sit down with me. Let's get started. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think I always wanted to be a writer. Books have always been a major part of my life, and I can remember, even from an early age, wanting to create stories of my own. I have written for a great deal of my life, poetry and the like, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually sat down and put my mind to penning a novel. Redemption in Blood is the first novel I ever completed.

I feel the same way about books being a major part of my life! What has been the most difficult part about being a writer?

Finding a fresh voice for each project and keeping the excitement alive. Not just for the reader, but for myself as well. I find that as my writing is growing, I am pushing the envelope personally to create storylines and characters that are more vivid and complex. 

I can attest to the vividness and complexity of The Shade. It was amazing how much depth you achieved in such a short novel. Why did you choose to write romance?

Simply, because I like to read romance. I love the push and pull between characters in that type of dynamic. It's a certain way that people relate to one another, and in the confines of a relationship, all sorts of things can be explored. I love bringing that to light.

One thing I've noticed is how unique your character names are in every story. How do you choose them?

It sounds silly, but baby name guides, for one. Especially if a character name hasn't popped into my head. I find if I think about the character's personality and do a little digging into the meaning of names, the right one eventually comes along.

That makes a lot of sense to me! Do you have any favorite characters from your books?

Cain. He is my absolute favorite!! He's a troublemaker and mouthy little snot. I love him and all his snark.

When you're writing, do you like to plan out your scenes or do you just wing it?

I like to plan, but not rigidly. I like to have an idea of what should be happening, and then take that idea and let it go where it wants. Sometimes I stay true to the rough outline, and sometimes I don't.

I like when a person isn't too rigid in having to follow a plan! One thing I've learned is that sometimes your characters just have a life of their own and you just need to ride it out :) I must know, how did you come up with your ideas for Redemption in Blood and The Shade?

Redemption in Blood started out with a character idea: Vesper. Once I started thinking about her, I went from there. And as for The Shade, there was a certain photo of a male model in a hoodie that I came across on the internet. Five minutes of staring at his pretty face, and I had Cillian's character and a rough storyline. I love it when ideas happen quick like that.

I've seen that picture of Cillian and can completely understand how inspiring it can be. I considered including more pictures of Cillian with the interview, but decided people may not actually read it lol! Redemption in Blood was your debut full length novel and the first in the Penitent series. How many books will there be in the series?

Currently, I am projecting five to six books in this series.

I am thrilled to hear that! I must read more from you and this means you'll be writing for some time :) Now it's time to learn a bit more about you. Who are your favorite authors?

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Greg Iles, Gena Showalter, Michael Connelly, and a few indies such as Miranda Stork and Trish Marie Dawson.

All are fabulous authors. Gena Showalter is a personal favorite of mine as well! What authors inspire you?

Recently, I have been inspired by a talented and supportive group of indie writers that I have connected with on Facebook. Their passion for the craft and their attention to producing quality work has been a blessing. Not only do I admire them as writers, but I am proud to call them friends.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to cook and sew, and of course, read. LOL. I am also active in my daughter's preschool as a volunteer. I like to wind down and watch movies and the BBC.

I love cooking and sewing too! You must teach me your ways :) What type of books do you like to read?

Romance, suspense and thrillers, mystery and the occasional historical.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

I love to cruise, so there's not really a favorite place I like to go. I like the unpack once, visit several places idea.

You know, I still have never gone on a cruise before. That does sound appealing though. Well we are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up, inquiring minds want to know: what's next for you?

I am currently at work on the next book in my In Blood series, tentatively titled Burning In Blood: A Novel of The Penitent, and I am writing a steampunk-themed romance novella loosely based on the "Snow White" fairytale. It is scheduled for release this Halloween in an anthology with several other talented ladies and their spins on a couple of different fairytales. I'm very busy and very excited.

I can't wait to read your next books! Is there anything else you want your readers to know?

I love hearing from my readers. Either by tweet of FB comment, or on my blog, or in a review. I really like getting feedback on what they think! Drop me a line, people!!!

Thank you so much, Tara! I loved getting to sit down and learn a bit more about you. I hope you'll stick around for my review on The Shade!

The Shade Review

About the Book:
Length: 47 pages
Price: $0.99
Description (from's product description):
Cillian is a Shade, a man who walks among the world of Other Realm, spreading the seeds of discord and chaos into the Dreams of mortals as punishment for a life ill-lived. As he casts the sands of Nightmares into Everly Whitcombe’s dreams, he finds himself taken with the haunted beauty. He defies his vocation by visiting her Dreams more often than he should and trying to comfort when he should destroy. As he commits his transgressions, he puts them both in danger. Can he find a way for them to be together, or are they destined to only meet in Dreams?

Note: I was given an advance copy of this book to beta read. I did however buy the final book upon its release and this unsolicited review refers to the purchased copy.

What I liked:

At only 47 pages, this is a very short book, but I hardly noticed the length when I was reading. Tara wasted no time in immersing the reader in the story, and truthfully I felt I knew Cillian and Everly better than I have the main characters in some full length novels. I also loved the unique premise of the story. Rarely do you find a story centered around The Sandman. At first, I was a little afraid that I would find the physical attraction between Cillian and Everly hard to believe given the short length, but Tara did a beautiful job of making it quite believable. The blend of tension, both sexual and from the conflict of The Sandman, kept me enthralled. I also want to note that the editing of this novella was superb. I can't remember any areas where mistakes jumped out at me.

What I didn't like:

Honestly, I wish this could have been a bit longer. This story was so interesting, the characters so rich, and the villain was wonderful. I hated that it had to end! I also wish there had been a little more dialog between Cillian and Everly. That's a minor gripe though, because you get plenty of insight into the individual characters.

Overall Verdict: 5 Blue Duckies!!

Author Info

You can stalk Tara S Wood:


  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to be on your blog today!!! And thank you for the glowing review. Cillian thanks you as well. O_o

  2. Everyone must buy this book! And Redemption in Blood! And if you haven't read them yet, I pity you. LOL

    Awesome interview, and I agree about the baby names-I have a book of them that is now about 13 years old, and I still use it :)And great review! It deserves no less.

    Also, LOVE your blue duckies hun! :D

  3. What a lovely interview! It was so interesting to get to know more about you, Tara. We love taking taking cruises, they are so much fun. And of course the BBC rocks. Your book sounds amazing and it's on our list to read!

    1. Thanks so much for checking out the interview and review!

  4. Fantabulous interview ladies!! Tara, I find my character names the same way - I love looking up names in baby books or online! And Squeeeeeeeeee - Indie Author fave? WOOT! Love ya both! Excellent interview Linds!! XOXO

  5. Great interview. Very insightful and it's fantastic to learn a little about the author behind the book. Putting this one on my reading list. Thanks, Lindsay & Tara.

    Best wishes
    Suzy Henderson

    1. Thank you so much Suzy! Appreciate you stopping by :)

  6. Awesome interview! Thanks for letting us into your head, Tara. I look forward to being pulled into your world.

  7. Hi, always love the interviews you do and this was great. I really must read Tara's book :-)