Tara Fox Hall's Blog, page 5

June 23, 2012

This was a short piece I wrote for NPR - would be interested in any comments, if you liked or disliked this! :)


She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.
How long had this day been coming, April thought to herself as she walked downtown. Not months, but years. Yet it wasn’t too late, by some miracle. There was still time to say everything she’d held back during these long years of silence. God, that had been an appropriate book title.
She arrived at Starbucks. Selecting a table which had a clear view of the door, she sat down, and ordered a caramel latte.
A half hour later, a familiar stranger appeared in the doorway. After one glance, the figure made a beeline to her table, only to hesitate a foot away.
“Sit down, Mom,” April said gently. “It’s good to see you.”
“I’m glad to see you,” her mother said, a relieved smile etching her lined face. “I wasn’t sure you’d come.”
“You sent me your book. You knew I’d read it. You knew I’d see myself and Jenny in the story, as well as Dad.”
Her mother bit her lip, then nodded, looking away.
“You’d know I’d come and meet you here, when you asked me to.”
Her mother shook her head. “That I didn’t know. We haven’t spoken for so many years, April. I thought maybe you hated me.”
April reached out her hand, placing it over her mother’s, gently clasping. “I never knew how it was for you, how much he hurt you. I’m sorry I blamed you for Jenny’s death.”
“I blamed myself for so many years. If only I’d stood up to your father, gotten the police involved sooner—”
“You did try. No one believed you. Dad was a charming man. Everyone thought he was the perfect husband. That’s what they wanted to think.”
“Not anymore,” her mother said, her smile righteous, but sad. “He’s facing assault charges. This time they’ll stick. He’s not going to be able to talk his way out, not when they see pictures of his second wife’s face and body. And I’ve agreed to testify. My years of quietly acquiescing to his brutality are over.”
“I’m proud of you,” April said softly, hugging her mother carefully, then more powerfully as her mother returned the embrace with a muffled sniffle. “That’s why I came here today, to let you know that I’m on your side. I’ll be with you when you testify, if you want me to be.”
Her mother drew back, amazed and affected by her daughter’s admission. “But he’s your father. I understand if you can’t be there—”
“You’re my mother,” April said firmly. “I didn’t say anything so many times. It’s past time I did.”
“Are you sure?”
April nodded. “Yes. I was sure when I finished your last paragraph. It was all there, Mom.”
Her mother smiled, a tear slipping down her cheek. “These long years of silence had taken their toll; the laughter she had missed, the smiles that went unreturned, the tender words she had waited too long to speak. What she would have given now to grab back those moments. Born out of that desire had come a soft murmur, weak at first, then growing stronger. It was her voice, at long last.”
“It’s our voice,” April said, smiling as she brushed back tears. “Yours and mine.”
Her mother nodded, then embraced her again.
“Let’s get out of here, Mom. It’s a beautiful day. Do you have time for a walk? We can catch up.”
“Yes,” her mother said happily, standing. “I’d like that very much, April.”
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Published on June 23, 2012 12:17 • 102 views

June 18, 2012

A true tale to brighten your week!

It was a day like any other shopping/errand day. Rushed and frantic, we hurried through each stop on our list, eager to get to the end and the tasty lunch out that was our reward for all our tenacity. The bank was one of the first stops.
As we were waited on, my mother and I chatted with the tellers. As we finished our transactions, and turned to go, the teller, Steve, added, “Take a look as you go out. There’s a huge moth there on the ground.”
Intrigued, we went outside. There indeed was the moth; a Prometheous Moth, huge and beautiful, but far too still. Likely his stillness and ability to blend in was why we had missed him on the way in. I tried to pick the moth up, and it began spasming. My heart sank as I watched it flop about on the stone, unable to fly. Something was clearly wrong with it. Worse, as I looked around, it was both raining, and there were some landscapers mowing.
My mother and I retreated to the car, worried about our dilemma and list of errands still to do. We couldn’t take the moth home immediately, and imprisoning it in a small container might damage its wings. Leaving it where it was might allow it to get stepped on, if it flopped onto the walkway. Moving it to the wild ditch area behind the bank might be just as lethal; rain could cause it to fall into the filling ditch. Finally, we decided to put it up on a bush if we could get it to grab on, as the landscapers were done with the bushes.
When mom picked it up, I said to myself, “God, if we ever needed a miracle, we need one now. Please, help the moth to fly.”
The moth flopped out of her hands several times, landing back on the ground. But finally she picked him up, and brought him closer to a large bush. As she spread her hands to set him down on a branch, a gust of wind caught the moth. It began to beat its wings frantically, taking off from her hands into the air. As the moth took off, it dropped slightly, then recovered and flew upwards, circling around the building and disappearing from sight.
“Thank you,” I said softly under my breath with tears in my eyes, as my mother looked at me happily.
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Published on June 18, 2012 20:11 • 104 views • Tags: miracle, moth, tara-fox-hall

June 14, 2012

See my short story about a killer and his freezer here : http://www.microhorror.com/microhorro...

and read the chilling political flavored TakeUSBack.com here: http://flashesinthedark.com/2012/06/1...
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Published on June 14, 2012 18:03 • 126 views • Tags: new-publications-in-june-2012, tara-fox-hall

June 7, 2012

I've just received word that On The River, the e-magazine and print magazine, is no longer going to be published. So I am taking all my saved stories that were to be published there and putting them online. This blog will be my new home for those non-fiction stories. Here is one, for your reading enjoyment! :)


To most people, mice are an annoyance, a creature usually abhorred, if not hated. They are a nuisance to be endured, no matter if your home is the city or the country. Despite all my tales of saving animals, I’m inclined to agree. Yet in several occurrences, I’ve found my reason deserting me.
I’ve sometimes let mice trapped in my kitchen cabinets in early fall free, taking them to the far edge of the forest. A mouse dead in a trap is recycled outside with a little solemnity, but no real sadness. It’s just a necessary part of everyday life. Yet when faced with a live mouse, whiskers quivering, eyes wide and fearful, my cold rationale is often overwhelmed by my pity.
That is not the only case. While burning up a pile of branches and deadwood this summer, I discovered a nest of baby mice within the pile, their hairless bodies pink, their eyes not yet open. Immediately I set about moving them, even as the fire crackled closer, threatening me along with them. Though several tried to escape, squeaking, I managed to get them all moved out of harm’s way in time. When I returned a few weeks later, the nest I’d moved was intact, the babies gone.
That might also be viewed as normal, as death by burning is universally seen as cruel, and those mice were outside. But there was also the instance of The Boat and The Baby Mice.
We’d decided to sell an ancient boat stored in a garage. Upon moving it, we’d found evidence of mice: gnawed foam, dropping, and mouse-house litter. Cursing mice in general, we moved the boat a few inches only to have a furry baby mouse stagger over the floor. Two more baby mice were still inside, eyes blinking at us in terror.
The baby mouse I’d caught was clearly hungry and lethargic, his tail sunken. Immediately, the consensus was they needed to be fed. A paper plate with Cheerios and other bits of food was quickly placed in the boat’s bottom, with the errant baby. Within moments, one baby was feasting; another grabbing treats to carrying further inside the boat. A decision was made not to move the boat until the following week. When we returned, the food was all gone, and so were the mice, never to be seen again.
Other actions of mine, besides the one above, are probably viewed as strange. Perhaps my mind is unsound, my saving of some creatures illogical. Still, no act of clemency I’ve ever committed ever brought me regret, only serenity.
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Published on June 07, 2012 10:01 • 120 views • Tags: tara-fox-hall

June 1, 2012

I'm not sure how to put into words the suffering I went through to get Promise Me published. I'm not talking about the editing or crafting of the book cover. Melange made all that easy. Here is the whole story, not the bits and pieces from interviews.
Promise Me by Tara Fox Hall
My mom had a drug interaction with some medication she was taking in August 2007. Instead of taking her off it, her doctor of the time instead misdiagnosed her with cancer, and told her she had a year to live, at most. She called me at the fabric store on my cell in tears. It dawned on me on my way home from visiting with her that afternoon that I’d always been telling her I was going to write a book, but I never had gotten past a few paragraphs. I was busy with other things and never took the time to write, other than to craft a page-long nature related story for a friend’s magazine now and then. Now I was out of time, and didn’t know if I even would have the time to finish a novel length work before she was gone. I came home that night and started on Promise Me.
She of course hated the first few chapters I did, and I madly rewrote them a few times, trying to make them more exciting, so she would get wrapped up in the story and not think about what was happening to her. It was a way to escape for both of us, because none of the doctors understood what was happening for more than a month, and they had to do a ton of tests on her before they understood it was drug interaction. When I got to the end, she wanted to know what happened next, so I kept writing. By the time she was well again five months later, I’d finished Promise Me, and three sequels. Because they were all finished and she loved them, maybe I should try submitting them. I’d won awards in school for writing, and published short animal rescue stories for years in a friend’s nature magazines, but never went further.
I was sure if I just submitted to a few agents, I'd get accepted, and would be able to get the book published.
The next year, 2008, was a torture session of rejections, made all the worse by the repeated nibbles of interested agents that never went beyond the manuscript. 2009 was more of the same, when I began to try publishers as well. Near Christmas, 2009, my white German Shepherd, Legolas, died. I had already lost my black German Shepherd, Strider, in 2008. Working on my Promise Me novels was painful by that time, not only for the rejections I'd suffered, but also because these books contained both dogs alive and well.
And then, like an answered prayer, I got the good news that I was accepted into the Wolf-Pirate Project workshop on the strength of Promise Me's premise. Over the next six months, I worked with my mentor, Eve Mattel, and reworked every single sentence of the work. She took the first part, tore it to pieces, then took out 15K. I rewrote massive portions, some over and over, and a whole new ending. This consumed all my free time, just as writing sequels to Promise Me had to that point. Better yet, Eve's mentoring helped form my new work, Lash. By the fall, I was ready to submit again. once more came the almost contract, the almost agent. I even hired a submission agency to help rework my query letters that January 2011(I was on version 9 by that point). But by Spring 2011, I decided I'd had enough. I was not going to query any more agents or publishers. I was giving up, and going back to enjoy writing. But before I did, I wrote down some nightmares, and sent them in as short stories, for a lark. They got published, to my sheer joy. Then the submission agency told me to take a piece of one of my books and make it into a short story, to get a publisher interested. I thought that was a waste of time, but decided to do it before quitting. Surrender To Me was born in June 2011. Melange, the second company I offered it to, signed it. And now, a year later, all this suffering I went through has been worth it, as I hold my print copy of Promise Me in my hands.

If you have a dream, don't give up on it!

And here is the quick promo:
The summer NOR webhunt is on now until July 31 Enter for your chance to win more than 75 prizes! http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Pa... Promise Me by Tara Fox Hall
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Published on June 01, 2012 18:30 • 81 views • Tags: promise-me, promise-me-the-whole-story, tara-fox-hall

May 19, 2012

A huge thank you to Tony-Paul, who reviewed Lash and awarded him a special ranking because he felt the book deserved more than 4 stars!

See Tony's review here: http://www.tony-paul.com/

Click Book review, and look for the Lash by Tara Fox Hall Review. You can also see part of Tony's review right here on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Thanks again, Tony-Paul! :)Lash
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Published on May 19, 2012 08:09 • 116 views • Tags: tara-fox-hall

May 16, 2012

I don't really think of myself as a Blogger, but anytime someone wants to call me beautiful, I'm all ears.

Thank you to Amelia Curzon for the nomination! ( http://ameliacurzonblogger.wordpress.com)

So, this is what happens when you are nominated:

You write seven facts about yourself
You link to the blog of the person who nominated you
You link to seven bloggers whom you think deserve the award and let them know they have been nominated

:Beautiful Blogger Award

7 Facts:

1) I like to swear. A lot. But I try to always be polite in decent company.

2) I love sushi, especially eel and avocado

3) I put an air conditioner in every year, vow to not wait until a day that is 80 deg. to put it in, and yet always manage to end up sweating and cursing, like today.

4) I worked up the courage to begin tweeting today! Bear with me, as I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing.

5) I love writing. I'm glad that I found it again after so many years and I'm very grateful to my dear husband Eric, for supporting me in my writing endeavors.

6) I had to go to Amelia's site again at this point to look for inspiration :)
I try to always give new blogs, or say something in interviews that I hadn't said before. It's a challenge and it takes time, but my fans are worth it :)

7) I'm thinking about cutting my hair in the fall. My husband is against it. I'm debating having a poll to decide, or some kind of contest. Any comments?

8) Yes, I know there were supposed to be 7 facts, but I'm on a roll. I figured out how to post the HTML for the award above myself, through trial and error with the Goodreads instruction. Maybe I'll learn HTML eventually!

9) Promise Me, the first book in my romance series, has been moved up to release in late May. I can't wait!


Now, my nominees are:
Jenny Twist, Mysti Parker, T Fox Dunham, Lisa B Kruysman, Sandra Bunino, Elaine Cantrell, and Joan Itaska :)
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Published on May 16, 2012 18:43 • 289 views
Get it now:

Here is the Blurb: Scarred from a childhood spent in perpetual indigence after being forced from their home in the Everglades, weresnake Trystan Valeras and his family make their way to the Case Hotel. When his wealthy gangster father arrives the summer he turns sixteen, Trystan’s dream of a better life, along with the lovely aristocrat Mara, is suddenly within his grasp. Instead of paradise, a series of devastating events unfold, leading Trystan to become the instrument of his dying father’s revenge. His violent reprisal instigates a backlash of murder and death, forcing Trystan to flee with the remains of his family to the sultry city of New Orleans where he sells himself into the service of the Vampire Lord Abraham. Becoming the assassin Lash to hide his identity, Trystan finds a measure of peace, even as his skill with killing heightens, bringing to him not only new allies, but also new adversaries.
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Published on May 16, 2012 09:16 • 87 views

May 12, 2012

Here is the Blurb: Scarred from a childhood spent in perpetual indigence after being forced from their home in the Everglades, weresnake Trystan Valeras and his family make their way to the Case Hotel. When his wealthy gangster father arrives the summer he turns sixteen, Trystan’s dream of a better life, along with the lovely aristocrat Mara, is suddenly within his grasp. Instead of paradise, a series of devastating events unfold, leading Trystan to become the instrument of his dying father’s revenge. His violent reprisal instigates a backlash of murder and death, forcing Trystan to flee with the remains of his family to the sultry city of New Orleans where he sells himself into the service of the Vampire Lord Abraham. Becoming the assassin Lash to hide his identity, Trystan finds a measure of peace, even as his skill with killing heightens, bringing to him not only new allies, but also new adversaries.

Download it here! http://www.amazon.com/Lash-ebook/dp/B...
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Published on May 12, 2012 15:37 • 119 views • Tags: free-book-tara-fox-hall, lash-by-tara-fox-hall, tara-fox-hall

May 5, 2012

Hello! My newest flash fiction piece, Say Goodbye, is up at Unwritten as part of Mysti Parker's May Flash Fiction Contest: http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/2012/...

Here is just a taste!


I never expected to be in this position so soon, saying goodbye to my son...
Forcing a smile, I reminded myself that this wasn’t goodbye, really. Brandon was just going camping overnight in Chenango Park with his father, Kirk. Kirk has promised to have Brandon call tonight to check in. I should be thinking about how to pamper myself for the first time in five years instead of sitting here worrying…
Glancing up into the rearview mirror, my eyes widened in horror at the sight of Brandon’s bag peeking out from behind a trashcan. I threw open my car door, scrambled out, and ran for the bag. Ripping down the zipper revealed not just the clothes I packed so lovingly, but also my cell phone I’d loaned Brandon.
I’d put the bag in Kirk’s SUV myself. Someone had taken it out, deliberately.
Kirk’s black Forrester had left a good ten minutes ago.
I darted for my car, already dialing 911.
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Published on May 05, 2012 11:22 • 93 views • Tags: say-goodbye-by-tara-fox-hall, tara-fox-hall-s-blog