Welcome, Trakena! Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.
Cursed is about one young girl’s journey to fight the darkness within herself. It started out with me asking myself a simple question: What if the drug problems of our world came from a paranormal source? And with that question the Dorgai and Suecai were born.
The main conflict is Jazz’s fight to maintain a sense of humanity in spite of the growing hunger that starts to take over her. This journey also forces her to open her eyes to new possibilities – to the love she’s always had for her closest friend, Khan.
Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?
Jazz is a typical firstborn child with a very unconventional life. She’s being trained to take over her dad’s leadership of the Chicago region for the Dorgai and has always felt the weight of that. Her bond with her parents and her team is very strong, and her desire to protect humans is her first priority behind her love for those closest to her. But when something terrible happens to her mom Jazz becomes consumed with a need to protect her mom at any and all costs. That need guides a lot of what she does, making her very reckless.
Khan, our love interest, has been by Jazz’s side since they were kids. They’ve grown up as the best of friends, and he wants nothing more than to protect her – even if that means protecting her from herself. He’s also harbored a love for her for quite some time and has quietly been waiting for her to discover that she feels the same way, not wanting to disrupt her responsibilities. He’s very responsible, fiercely loyal, and downright deadly when it comes to doing whatever’s necessary to protect Jazz.
They sound like really strong characters–and fun to read about!
What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?
The scene I loved writing the most was the first kiss between Jazz and Khan. When I write I like to have a fairly detailed outline to guide me, but sometimes my characters will go completely off script. Jazz and Khan’s first kiss originally was planned for later in the story, but then they were in the tent, having this very intense and serious conversation, and suddenly Khan made his move. The moment was filled with desperation, and love, and passion, and was completely hot!
Sounds like my kind of scene… 😉
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I started writing in 2007. At the time, I was surrounded by a plethora of creative folks of color…and they were magnetic, and wonderful, and inspiring. Being around them made me want to find my own creative voice, so I began to search for my niche. What I loved to do the most was to read…Paranormal YA Fantasy to be exact. So, one day I tried my hand at it and never stopped.
What do you like best about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is how I get to spend so much time in worlds where the impossible is plausible. It’s really great for my inner seven-year-old!
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
The biggest challenge I faced as a writer was dealing with rejection. It’s hard to put your heart and soul into a written work and to have others not recognize how awesome it is =). But what I found is that if you keep going, and never give up, eventually your skin thickens. And with that perseverance, one day, someone will say, “Yes!”
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
Right now I’m mid-way through a YA Paranormal featuring Djinn (formal term for Genies) where I focus on the idea of free will and what that means to us all. I’m also outlining the second book in the Guardian Chronicles. What you can continue to expect from me is great, action filled adventures, featuring kick-assed heroines, that are filled with a diverse cast of characters. I remember quite vividly growing up loving to read, but feeling disappointed that no one in the books I loved looked like me. I want to remedy that.
Fantastic! Can’t wait….
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
I’m a huge fan of J.K. Rowling and Melissa Marr. The way that Rowling weaved the many storylines featured in Harry Potter, and how a lot of the details you read about in early books became pivotal in the latter ones, was just brilliant. If I can build something even half as wonderful as HP, then I’ll be a happy camper.
I’m with you–that would make me a happy camper for life!
What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?
Currently, I’m reading A Cursed Embrace, by Cecy Robson. I love how she mixes in the various paranormal elements that we’ve all seen in separate books into one massively amazing story. I also am enjoying how wonderful the love story is, though she’s making me a bit upset with where it’s going right now (I’m sure she’ll bring it back on track soon…hopefully?).
Oh, I hope so! Nothing worse than when that doesn’t happen… 🙁
Please share a favorite scene from your books with our readers.
My favorite scene is below:
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.
Wow! What a scene! Thanks again for being here, Trakena, and best of luck with this series–sounds great!
Keep reading for author info and buy links….
Trakena Prevost was born and raised in the great state of Texas, where everything IS bigger and the people are very friendly. She spends most of her time oscillating between being completely obsessed with reading and watching Korean dramas, and writing down the fantastic tales rumbling around in her head. When not reading and writing, Trakena spends her time working in HR for a major medical system in Houston, and hanging out with her family and friends.
Trakena has always loved the many worlds she’s found in books, where everything was possible. As a child, you would often catch her enjoying a good story in the comfort of the AC, instead of wilting in the Houston heat (she showed great intelligence…even then). It didn’t occur to Trakena that the fanciful stories she made up for fun could one day be out in the world, but now that they are she can’t imagine it any other way!
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Half-succubus Jazz Watkins spends her days navigating the halls of Moreland High and 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 her sexy best guy-friend and team member, 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?
Buy Links: Amazon Evernight Teen Barnes and Noble
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