Much of my feeling is based on relief. Initially, this series was published through a small press called Bradley Publishing, which opened its doors in fall of 2011. I was one of the first to sign with them, and Lash Book #1 came out the following spring, in April 2012. It was well received---even the accredited Kirkus Reviews, who I worried would rip it's newly formed scales off, gave it a stunning review. Shadow Man, the sequel, came out six months later in the fall of 2012. This also go many 5-star reviews, though several readers thought it was too graphic for their taste. The series seemed to be a successful one, with rock solid fans who were willing to go to the ends of the earth for their venomous yet tortured weresnake antihero.
Then...Bradley Publishing closed its doors in January 2013.
Suddenly, all the work I'd done seemed moot. I either had to find a new publisher fast or self publish the rest of the series, which seemed an enormous undertaking I did not have time to do. Happily, I was able to procure a new publisher, Double Dragon Publishing, in almost no time at all. they relaunched both the first and second books in the series last spring, scheduled the third, War, for publication, and gave me a contract for Revenge, the partly done book #4 of the series.
I should have felt secure...I had contracts in hand, and Double Dragon said they wanted the rest of the Lash series as I wrote the books. But I still worried that something would happen. These past months have been an anxious wait for War to publish. It's only now that I feel tremendous relief and excitement in my creation. Viva Lash!
Weresnake Lash journeys to Europe on the eve of war, desperately searching for not only his nephew, but also his former lover Nancy. Leveraged into service to Germany by the malicious German werecougar Theodor von Kessel, Lash befriends fellow soldier and weresnake Dieter, even as he secures safety for Nancy. When Theodor divulges The German Final Solution and the part they are destined to play in it, Dieter and Nancy attempt escape to England while Lash orchestrates distraction. Horrified to learn upon his escape that Nancy and Dieter were captured, Lash returns to Europe in a second rescue, banding with another weresnake called Nails and his motley crew of various weremen to free Dieter and Nancy from the camps where they are imprisoned. Caught by demons in an ambush, Lash is imprisoned in a death camp, but breaks free with Dieter in time to join the American Forces near D-day. Resolute, Dieter and Lash fight onwards with Allied forces to Germany itself, their goals to find Nancy, kill Theodor, and survive the final bloody days of World War II.
Excerpt: “Don’t ask any questions,” I said coldly. “Just meet us here before your next mission.”
“That is tomorrow,” Dietrik hissed back at me, his own fangs growing in anger. “There is no rotation of crews.”
“Watch your temper,” I cautioned, another evil smile gracing my lips. “The snake will come out of you with any strong emotion. And that includes sexual release.”
He jaw worked, but to my grudging respect, he contained the transformation this time. “Thank you for the warning.” He put on his hat, then holstered his gun. “I’ll send a car for you.” He strode out.
I’d either engineered our escape or sealed our doom. I went upstairs to Evans, praying he was asleep.
“I can’t believe you turned him,” Evans hissed to me the next morning as we waited for the car. “You realize he can now make his whole crew snake, right?”
“Being snake doesn’t save you from drowning,” I hissed back, remembering my mother’s warnings long ago. “We’re not immortals. You were done for if I hadn’t saved you. We’re both done for if we don’t get out of here. Now shut up.”
After the car’s arrival at the shoreline, we were blindfolded, then taken to the underground bunker where the U-boats were docked. After boarding, we were left alone in a small room, the only sound the whine of the boat’s engines. I could feel the pressure as we dived and resurfaced, but that was all. Evans’ constant hissing and bitching drowned out all other noise.
Hours later, we were taken to the deck of the U-boat and our blindfolds were removed. Dietrik was there in front of us alone, waiting.
“You are AWOL, Lash,” he said softly. “You’re wanted for questioning in the disappearance of another officer as well.”
He was no match for me, not newly turned as he was. “Yes,” I replied, then stared at him, waiting for him to make a move.
Barnes and Noble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/war-tara-fox-hall/1116373328