For anyone new that doesn't know what T n'T's are about, I'll explain. T n'T's Confidential are Tuesday and Thursday's dedicated to visiting authors. Sometimes they'll hop by with just a quick blurb and excerpt about their latest release, other times I will have had the possibility to interview them and delve into their devious minds and other times there will be a little of everything along with some extra surprises (such as giveaways).
My first visitor this year is Florida resident, Tory Michaels! I've had the chance to interview Tory and find out more about her and her Dream Walker-War series of which book 3, Prophecy of blood just came out.
Originally from the Sacramento Valley, Tory packed up and moved all the way to Southwest Florida in 2004 with her husband (a Florida native) under the premise that ‘hurricanes almost never hit that part of the state.’ That year, 4 blasted the area. 4 more came the following year, and her husband blames her for bringing the hurricanes. She now resides in Jacksonville and is relieved that, thus far, no more hurricanes have followed her around.
She began writing in kindergarten when a turnip wished to be human and, other than a hiatus shortly after getting married, has never stopped. Her love of vampires began somewhere in junior high, and combining the two loves didn’t take long. She loves music, considers herself a ‘book slut’ whose reading habits would break her family financially if given free reign, and is (usually) delighted to be a mommy of twin Shrimpettes and a Shrimp.
Welcome Tory! You work in law, have three children a husband and a dog… Are you some sort of superhero in disguise!? How do you manage to find the time to write?
I don’t sleep. Seriously, I routinely get by on 5-6 hours of sleep. It drives my husband CRAZY! I really need to get more sleep, feel better when I do, but I’ll lie awake trying to sleep and ideas just keep coming on how to either fix something already written, or what I might try.
Now if only my self-doubt wouldn’t paralyze me when I try to actually write them down…..I’d probably have 5 or more books beyond what I already have if I wrote as much as I think about my writing.
Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Every so often, something on TV or a movie will trigger an idea. I’ve got a new series idea brewing at the moment that’s sci-fi rather than paranormal. It’s bizarre, the idea of a book that doesn’t involve vampires.
Prophecy of Blood is the latest book in your Dream Walker War series and there’s still one more book to go according to your website. Why did you decided to write a series? How hard do you find the process?
There’s at least one, but probably more than that based on what I’ve been thinking lately about the series.
I didn’t actually originally intend to do a series. Dara’s story was intended as a stand-alone and stood up by itself for the first two versions (differing plotlines, with different titles, with only a couple of scenes that remained in every single version). And then…along came the plot that led to the title Blood Rage. Ares presented himself as the motivator behind the murders that brought Dara and Anthony together, and it was on from there.
Granted, there have been some hiccups along the way. There’s an entire book written that I can never publish that featured Chris (heroine from books 2 & 3) hooking up with an incubus named Marcelo. Unfortunately, there was more spark between Chris and Jordan than between Chris and Marcelo. So I pitched that book and wrote one starring Chris and Jordan. A couple of scenes from the Chris/Marcelo book found their way into Rising and Prophecy.
Writing a series can be BRUTAL, especially this third book. I’d been very vague about certain details in Blood Rage and Blood-Mage Rising, but as the war moved toward its first serious climax (the end of Prophecy), I had to lay out a lot of details to set up the rest of the series, however many books that ends up being. It also sucked that Rising & Prophecy covers the same time period as Rage because it meant I couldn’t use Dara and Anthony much, since they were off having their own dramas.
Out of the Dream Walker War series, which character thus far has been the hardest to build? Why?
Jordan. He’s my resident pain in the ass. He went from being a one-chapter, throwaway villain in the earliest version of what became Blood Rage (originally Love & Lies), to a minor character in the throw-away book, to demanding his own book (which turned into two). And he wanted to be a ROMANTIC HERO! He’s a freakin’ sociopath with a thousand years of torture, murder and mayhem under his belt.
Finding a way to make him a romance hero was a trick and a half. He’s still a sociopath, but I think he developed nicely in the end to be a villainous hero (and no, there’s no hidden heart of gold under that darkness).
What are you currently working on?
I’m between projects at the moment, though I’ve got a couple of ideas on the back-burner (book 4 of the Dream-Walker War, and a new sci-fi series that I’m keeping under wraps for the moment).
If you could change one thing from one of your novels, what would it be?
A couple of typos I found in Prophecy. Seriously, I’m psyched with how well they turned out and I have no real regrets/problems with them as they stand. Oh, Chris is reportedly a bit whiny in Rising, and I acknowledge she needed to grow up a bit, buuuut it served its purpose, I think.
Song – I Surrender, Celine Dion
Moment of the day – When I get up and no kids are around yet and I have a chance to drink that cup of coffee in peace.
Animal – If you mean real ones, orcas. Fantasy ones – Pegasus.
One wish for 2013? – An agent and traditional publishing contract! (okay, that’s two, sorry)
One hundred ninety-eight seasons after the mushroom-shaped clouds first blossom to poison the humans of the Rising Sun, near the beginning of the Season of Inundation, Atlantis will return.
With those words ringing in their ears, vampires Christine Javert and Jordan MacNaught find themselves in a race against time to stop the return of Atlantis. As they hunt for the deadly Ares, they discover the true depths of his plot to incite a world-wide species war, turning the humans against all the non-humans, not just the vampires as they’d originally thought.
“Dude, next time just tap me on the shoulder.”
She needed to lodge the protest, though her body sang at the familiar touch. She and her body needed to have a good, long talk about this situation. He shouldn’t be able to make her go mushy just by putting an arm around her. Not when they’d sated their lust so recently.
As expected, Jordan wore a suit that evening, and it suited him perfectly. No tie for a change though, and his crisp shirt was unbuttoned at the collar. So for him, he was going for a casual look.
The arm around her back drifted south until his hand rested on her ass and gave it a gentle squeeze. “My way’s more fun. Admit it, wasn’t it fun, seeing him slink off?”
He grinned. How a grown man frozen in his early twenties could continually look like a mischievous little boy when he grinned was beyond her. But it worked for him. Chris shook her head and groaned. Protest. Remember? You’re doing the whole friend thing, and friends don’t grab friends’ asses. Not even friends you bounce at every opportunity. With an effort, she leveled out her breathing. “I didn’t expect to see you here so early. I was heading out soon.”
Even with the attempt to moderate her voice, her words came out breathy. She cringed internally. If Jordan noticed, he didn’t comment. “You need a keeper. I’ve appointed myself to the task.”
Arrogant jackanapes. Rather than draw a scene by having a conversation in the middle of the dance floor without dancing, she sighed and looped his arms around his neck. At least she didn’t have to bother with the intricacies of a waltz. The last time she’d danced with him had been in London, the night before he buried her.
The hand on her butt squeezed again. “What was that thought? You just scowled.”
She shook her head. “Nothing.”
He frowned, but let the matter drop. “You look smashing, Chrissy. Why were you wasting it on the dog?”
“It was a dance, nothing more. Not that it’s any of your business.”
Dozens of people surrounded them, but she saw only Jordan. Felt him as his other hand trailed lazily down her back. His lips brushed her ear as he leaned close. “After earlier, I might just make it my business.”
Her mouth went dry, and she blinked at him. “Huh, wha’?”
“I make a lousy friend, as you well know.” He cupped the back of her head and kissed her. Her knees threatened to buckle. “And since I intend to be inside you again at the earliest possible moment, the ‘friend’ label doesn’t fit.”
Oh. Wowser. She licked her lips, saw an answering flare of arousal flash in the green eyes staring into hers. “You’re not serious. Like, you want to date?” He blew my mind, but it was that good for him, too?
“Such a dull word, but sufficient.” He drew her closer. Fire followed the path of his lips around the bottom of the dark-blue choker she wore to cover up the nasty scar from the attack that left her almost dead. He took a long sniff, no doubt smelling the Princess perfume she daubed on. “You smell good enough to eat, Chrissy. I could spend hours doing just that.”
The already warm nightclub turned scorching. Maybe it was just her temperature.
“In that obnoxious pink bed of yours.”
She squeezed her eyes shut, tried not to picture them in her room. It definitely was her temperature soaring, not the club’s.
Jordan’s voice dropped to a husky whisper. “Arms and legs restrained, holding you open for me. No escape, no retreat.”
Her non-existent imagination conjured the image up in startling detail, bolstered by the memory of the handcuffs around her wrists earlier. She whimpered, couldn’t help the moisture that trickled from her to soak her panties. Oh damn, no. That should not turn me on. Not him. Not like this, not again.
She moved with the music, turning to press her back into him. His strong, sure hands pulled her hips against his in a dance they’d done so many times together, one that had nothing to do with music.
“And the thought, being with me like that, excites you. Letting control go earlier like you did, gave you a rush you’ve never gotten before in sex.” Jordan pushed the hair at her neck to the side. Sharp fangs sank against her throat, not quite breaking the skin, his other hand drifting up to cup her breast. The fabric of her dress did nothing to shield her against the heat of his palm. “Did you sneak out afterward because of how it made you feel?”
Teasing touches trades down her sides until he reached the hem of her skirt. His hand slid beneath to caress the skin of her thigh just above her garter.
Take back control, Chris. You steam-roller. Men don’t do this shit to you. Nor did she want them to. Right? Except him, damn it all to hell. And he was talking about feelings? What the fuck? Struggling to keep her head against the sensuality he dragged out of her, she clamped her hands over his wrists to still his movements. With only a hint of her normal forcefulness, she said, “Knock it off, MacNaught.”
“Or what, hmm? Let go, Chrissy. You’d enjoy yourself more if you relaxed. Remember?”
He twisted his wrist, broke her admittedly weak grip on him, and the exploration of her leg continued. She colored, prayed no one was staring at them. The display, while making her hornier than a bitch in heat, was mild for the ‘Cor. It didn’t matter, because she flat out didn’t do public affection. None of her boyfriends crossed the line with her, knowing she’d flatten them if they pushed too far.
She couldn’t flatten Jordan though. To make it worse, she didn’t want to.
Goosebumps rose in the wake of his caresses over her thighs. His fingers inched upward, just brushing her mound, only blocked by the flimsy barrier of her soaked panties.
He laughed softly in her ear. “You say no, but your body, your oh-so-pretty pussy says yes, doesn’t it?”
Chris twitched. If she didn’t move away, didn’t break this off, the bastard would think he could maul her whenever he wanted. And what’s wrong with that? So what if he does the caveman thing? You read the trashy romance novels, and are surprised when someone acting like those alpha assholes turns you on?
A harsh blast of noise from behind her head where it plastered against Jordan’s suit coat worked as effectively as a bucket of water.