Can you believe it’s Wednesday already? And closing in on the end of April to boot? WOW..time flies, but the good thing about today is that it’s time for WHAT TO READ WEDNESDAY!
Today we have the fabulous Tory Michaels joining us and she’s going to tell us deep, dark secrets about herself and her latest release BLOOD-MAGE RISING! So sit down, relax and get comfortable :)
Welcome Tory! Always fun to talk to you. Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences.:)
I am a twin mommy. I love chocolate and spicy food (not necessarily together, although……). The legal field is awesome and I’ve seen wide swaths of it (worked personal injury from both defense and plaintiff sides, done a smattering of real estate law, two years of collections work, and now almost 2 years of corporate law).
Interesting work! If you had to live one day as an animal, which one would you pick and why?
Probably a tiger, because it’s been one of my nicknames and I think they’re gorgeous creatures.
Tory the Tiger…LOVE IT! Tell us one thing you hate…one thing you fear….and one thing you love.
In order: prejudice, enclose spaces, my husband.
Aww..love that last answer :) What genre (s) do you write?
Paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I honestly can’t say it’s one or the other because I straddle the barrier. To my mind, Blood Rage (first book) was para-rom, but my publisher classified it closer to the Urban Fantasy side. Blood-Mage Rising, on the other hand, is truly urban fantasy though a growing romantic attachment between the two main characters is definitely there.
Describe your writing space.
Wherever I sit down with my laptop, pretty much. I have the main computer which I use in the early morning, the laptop when I’m at work, and then it depends on whether hubby or I am on the computer as to where I work in the evening. I just need no children running around demanding attention and I’m good to go.
In the eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived side by side, relatively at peace. In an attack that leaves his wife dead, Jordan MacNaught is caught up in the start of a war meant to turn the other races against the vampires. He knows beyond a doubt the vampires of yesteryear are not involved in the attacks. They’re all dead, except for him.
Jordan asks for Chris Javert’s help in hunting those who murdered his wife. She’s no stranger to hunting vampires. After all, she nearly destroyed Jordan when she ended the reign of his Aristocrats in Europe two hundred years ago.
Despite doubts about Jordan’s innocence, Chris joins forces with him, the man who once tried to kill her, to save the inter-species peace from the New Aristocrats before war consumes them all.
What’s your favorite line from your book?
“I’ve thought of something too. It involves you, me, and no clothes.”
Yep, that’s a good line! Tell us what excites you the most about writing.
The chance to make the voices go quiet, at least for a little while. Jordan, the villainous hero from Rising, was quite mouthy in his demands that I provide him with a woman worthy of him, whereas the heroine was quite verbose in her insistence that she couldn’t possibly develop feelings for a sociopath.
How did you come up with the title?
The story focuses on Chris, who is a blood mage (she was mage-born and became a vampire, which is specifically against the rules of all non-humans). The rising part sounded good, and part of the story involves her coming to terms with the possibility of learning to use the gifts she’s always had to hide. Add in the main villain, Ares, is likely also a blood-mage, and Blood-Mage Rising just seemed to fit.
She assumed a casual pose, crossing one leg over the other. Her gaze flitted over the room, looking for any sign of his misty form. The only thing she picked up was the dark suit coat draped nonchalantly over the back of the widest piece of the sectional. “A few minutes or hours of torture. Sure, that might be fun for you. But if you kill me, I’d be gone, and you seem to like popping in from time to time.”
Most of the time, the approach worked. One day it wouldn’t, and then she’d die.
No answer, not even a giggle. Chris thudded her head against the wall behind her. “You can’t hide forever. Even Xan can only hide for twenty-nine minutes that way, and she’s a lot older than you.”
Sharp pain swiped at her neck, fang-like. She put her hand to her throat to reassure herself the bite wasn’t real. No blood. Just a phantom touch. She would love to use telekinesis, but it was too risky. Those her age rarely had the strength to do it, and she didn’t need any avoidable attention focused on her.
Teeth scraped down the side of her throat at the same moment ghostly fingers caressed her thigh, sending a shiver of a different sort zipping merrily through her. Damned dirty trick. Time to end this.
“Why are you here?”
God help her, she had to draw him out. He wanted to play. Until she went along, they couldn’t get down to business.
“It’s been nine years, six months, and fourteen days, Chrissy. Why do you think I’m here?”
She shuddered, drawing in a shaky breath. Like him, she knew to the day how long it had been since their paths last crossed. Tides and taxes were no more reliable than their need, the hunger, for one another. They’d definitely lengthened the time between their encounters in the past forty years, but she hadn’t been able to totally steer clear of the man. Chris hated needing him, even as she craved his touch. But now was not the time. She moved away from the wall and let her guard down. Just enough.
Prepared to take the first blow, she still saw stars when blunt force slammed the back of her head. She staggered, caught herself before she fell, and spun around with her second weapon drawn now. No sign of Jordan.
Chris snarled. “I’m not afraid of you. Stop playing, and let’s get down to the real reason you’re here. I know it’s not just to annoy me.”
“You’d be surprised. Play the game first. You know the rules: no weapons, and we play until one of us wins. Only then will we deal with why I’m here.”
Life would be so much easier if he’d just die already. Or kill her. The universe “gifted” her with an attraction to a sociopath, thanks to weakness in her youth. Jordan thought fights that might turn deadly with the first spilled blood “fun”, and to make matters worse, he appeared to consider her a friend, or at the very least like a puppy in need of training. Ugh.
The sooner she finished playing the scuffle out, the sooner they got down to business, and then she could get on with what she needed to do. She edged to the sideboard, and slowly set her knives down on top, though didn’t release her grip on the hilts. She wanted the rules established first.
“Unless you care to make it really interesting and offer me your blood.”
She needed to avoid that at all costs. He was far too old and would recognize irregularities in her taste. The forfeit sucked, especially with Anthony so close, up in Tampa. The last thing she needed was to get caught stepping out with Jordan. “You might lose.”
Swallowing hard, she made herself release both knives and step away. No reason she had to fight to her best ability. Her competitive nature demanded victory, but the realist in her pointed out the slim chance of that. Better to let him win so they moved on. “Let’s go. Show yourself, you piece of crap.”
The air in front of her swirled; mist heretofore unseen coalesced, and just like that, there he stood. Just a smidge taller than she, swimmer’s lean physique wrapped in a three-piece navy suit sans jacket, topped with an angel’s too-pretty face, the Bloody Baron smiled pleasantly, thumbs hooked in his vest pockets. Blond hair, impeccably combed into place, brushed his forehead just above brilliant green eyes that could alternate between passion and ice in less than a blink. He smiled, showing his fangs. “Always a pleasure to see you, too, Chrissy.”
Which is the most difficult for you to write: beginning, middle or the end?
Beginning and end. I have trouble getting started with the first draft, and then in revisions/draft 2 and beyond, sometimes I have trouble coming up with an actual ending. I certainly struggled with Rising’s end. I’m a pantser, so sometimes this is understandable.
Do you have a writing quirk, something you need close by when you’re writing…a certain drink, a lucky pair of socks, a candle burning, dove chocolates?
Just no crying babies/little boy going “Mommy mommy mommy”.
Oh yeah, that’d be mighty distracting! Lol What are you working on now? :)
As of writing this interview answer, round 2 of edits to Blood-Mage Rising. As of the time it posts, hopefully I’ll be at least halfway through with writing Book 3 in the Dream-Walker War. Who knows though?
If you could give 3 pieces of MUST DO advice to anyone starting out on their road to publication…what would they be?
Take two aspirin and don’t call me in the morning. Don’t give up on your dreams. Write the book of your dreams, but don’t forget to keep an eye on what’s marketable (but do NOT write for the market).
And finally Tory, where can we find you and your book(s)?
My books are available at:
Thank you so much for joining us on What to Read Wednesday!