Wendy reviews ‘When I First Saw Red: Soldiers and Mercenaries, Book 2’ by Kasia Bacon. Published by The Order Universe June 5, 2020, 212 pages.
Lázhien’s human. A common Imperial soldier. And my soulmate.
How could fate get it so wrong?
The demon in me craves this bond with every shred of his being. He pushes me to accept it.
This time I won’t yield to his demands.
Red’s a lust demon, a whore and a stuck-up snob.
The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. Pain in the arse. And he hates my guts.
I’d be an idiot to pursue him. Yet something about him compels me to make him mine.
When I First Saw Red is a complete and standalone short novel with an HEA ending, featuring a couple of reluctant fated soulmates—a demon and a human—trying and failing to defy destiny.
*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review
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First of all, Happy Release Day to Kasia Bacon and congratulations on another Order Universe tale!
Kasia was gracious enough to answer a few questions for our readers.
RGR: Plotter or Pantser?
Pantser all the way! I always know the beginning and ending, as well as the general direction the story is going to follow, when I start writing it. But how we get from A to Z is forever a surprise. I write out of sequence, on top of everything else, so that increases the element of mayhem present in my creative process. That’s the way I like it, though!
RGR: Your cover art is always amazing; can you tell us a little about them?
Firstly thank you! I’m delighted you say so because covers, in my opinion, are an essential part of the book and I obsess about mine. I’ve been fortunate finding amazing artists so far and I’m super proud of the Order Universe covers and book-related art. I get complimentary comments about my art all the time, even from people who haven’t read my stories. I always have significant input in how I want my covers to look. I favour custom-made illustrated covers featuring bold colours and gender-defying qualities.
RGR: Do you listen to music when you write?
Yes, absolutely! Always. I can’t write without music or my noise-cancelling headphones, even when I’m alone. Ridiculous, I know. I usually listen to Latin music or Japanese bands. I sadly speak neither Spanish nor Japanese, so the lyrics don’t mess with my concentration.
RGR: Who is your biggest influence?
In mainstream fantasy? Sapkowski, Erikson and Cook without any doubt. In MM fantasy, I’m very fond of Ginn Hale’s stories. Often, I find sparks of inspiration in anime, manga, and Wuxia web novels.
RGR: Is there anything you do to celebrate once you’ve finished a book?
Ha! For starters, I usually get a good night of sleep (which cannot be underestimated for someone who struggles with insomnia). Sometimes I buy myself a quirky little something. I tend to have a nice meal with wine and dessert on release day.
RGR: Had you planned out the entire Order Universe from the beginning or do you let the stories develop organically?
Both. LOL. I mean I dreamed up this world years ago, so I had a pretty good understanding of how stuff worked in that environment—politically, culturally, socially and magically–before I started writing the books. Then, I expanded the concept a bit to fit new ideas and new characters as they appeared in my head. I knew from the get-go that I’ll end up with several books grouped into different series, but set in the same universe. It all started with Lochan and the Assassins’ Guild!
RGR: What is your most embarrassing moment as an author?
Well, during GRL in Albuquerque last year, I participated in a group event with some author friends. That afternoon, the altitude illness hit me badly and I got a migraine from hell. My vision was blurry and I struggled to stay upright. I couldn’t do my own reading and ended up asking a fellow author to read for me. But at least I didn’t vomit in front of everyone, so that counts for something, I guess.
RGR: Would you like to be friends with any of your main characters?
If I had to choose one, it would most definitely be Käyru: reliable, loyal to a fault and true to his word. Clever. Caring. Plus no one would mess with him. #IdealFriend
Rago would be a close second, because hello? A dragon shifter! Doesn’t that explain all?
RGR: Red seems like the kind of character that might take on a life of his own. Was he easy to write or did he give you trouble?
To be honest, he was a pure delight to write. Somehow, writing moody, snarky characters with thorny sense of humour, numerous issues and tragic pasts comes naturally to me. I refuse to analyse this matter any further. LOL
Thank you, Kasia for taking the time to share with us!
Ohhhh boy! I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Why does it always seem like time stands still when you know something is coming? LOL. Anywhoooo… I saw a peek of this one in Kasia’s blog and knew it was going to be something special.
You could read this as a stand alone but I encourage you to read the entire Order series because it’s fantastic, won’t take you long to go through and will give you an understanding of how her Order Universe rolls.
What can I say about Lázhien and Red? As characters go, they are both stubborn and opposites. They both have vast difference of opinions due to their upbringings. Red despises anything to do with military and Lázien loves that way of life with the order, routine and discipline. Red is one of the “Elder” races, a lust demon sharing bodies with his elven half. Lázien is human. Oh, and they’re mates.
Following their journey to a beautiful HEA was a bumpy ride in true Kasia fashion. I was not disappointed. One more unique layer to the people in the Order Universe.
10/10 Pots of Gold or 100% recommended
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.
Find Kasia online at: http://kasiabacon.com
Sign up for her mailing list to receive freebies and learn about new releases: http://kasiabacon.wixsite.com/orderseries/newsletter