The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Friday, February 17, 2012

Author Spotlight Special Tori Michaels

Get all settled in for a great day with Tory Michaels, fellow Evernight author and awesome talent. I am so excited to have her here with me today sharing her newest release. And she is offering you a chance to win her book Blood Rage PLUS a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card!
Entering is easy just leave a comment on my blog. Tory will be naming the winner in one week so you have plenty of time to tell all your friends. 


For eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived in relative peace together. The peace is threatened when three bodies turn up less than a mile from the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs in Tampa, all bearing the signature of vampires who once terrorized Europe.
The Bureau’s chief liaison to the vampires, Dara MacKechnie, learns that the Tampa victims are not alone when her ex-lover, and head of the vampire’s Great Council, Anthony Caldwell comes calling.
The pair discovers the lie that separated them two centuries ago only banked their passion, not extinguished it. Dara must decide whether she can trust Anthony with her heart a second time as they try to head off the war that threatens all they hold dear.

Chapter One
From the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs’ FAQ Page: Telepaths Question:
What should I do if I catch a telepath (species unimportant) using telepathy to read my mind and steal my personal information?
Answer: Call your local Bureau office immediately. The Privacy Act of 1974 makes it illegal for anyone to scan another person without a court order. Such orders may be granted to determine guilt or innocence of a crime, if requested by the accused.

“Do you have any idea what time it is?”
Dara rolled her eyes at her assistant’s lazy inquiry as she paced in front of the elevator. “About three hours later than it is here, which means you’re probably in the middle of a date, Ronnie, not in bed.”
A delicate giggle escaped the other woman before she said, “Who says I’m not in bed in the middle of my date, darlin’?”
“Spare me. Just swear to me, one last time, he’s not on the guest list.”
Her assistant groaned loudly, likely for effect on whoever the lucky man was to emphasize her put-upon status. “Dara, you’re calling me at nearly eleven at night to bug me about that man again?”
The elevator doors “swooshed” open in invitation. Unwilling to risk losing her connection because she suspected Ronnie would ignore any subsequent call, Dara shook her head at the car’s occupants and spun to stalk down the hall toward her suite door. “Please, just tell me he’s not going to be here!” She heard the whine in her voice. How could she be so pathetic? Two hundred years of life experience should give me more dignity than this.
She could practically see the other woman’s eyes roll as she said, “According to the Society’s president’s secretary when I talked to her three hours ago in anticipation of this discussion, no. Anthony Caldwell declined his invitation three weeks ago and has made no attempt to reverse that decision.”
Dara’s shoulders slumped in relief. Everything would be fine then. No known child-killers in attendance at the Society’s 80th Anniversary Bash made for a good evening. “All right, thanks,” she murmured in genuine appreciation.
“How’d the LeTourneau dress look when you put it on?”
She blinked at the abrupt change in topic, and her gaze dropped to her half-bared chest where fluorescent lights glinted off the pale, ropey scars that marred the surface. “I feel like an overstuffed sausage, Ronnie. I wore a corset when they were fashionable and hated them. I almost needed one today to get into this infernal outfit.” So she exaggerated, a little.
Ronnie snickered, and Dara heard a low male whisper in the background. “I don’t need my powers, or a picture, to know you’re lying to me. Sarah would never put you in anything that didn’t look spectacular. Go make your speech, darling. Tell me all about it when you get back to Tampa.”
Dara slowly pressed the disconnect button and wandered back toward the elevator with a sigh. Ronnie was right, knowing Dara’s insecurities about her appearance entirely too well. Sarah, the last descendant of her little sister, Caila, had exquisite fashion taste. The LeTourneau dress, the first and only one she’d ever bought from the exclusive werewolf designer, was a new purchase, bought specifically for this party.
Attending the Bash on behalf of the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs certainly hadn’t been Dara’s idea. But when invited as the honoree and keynote speaker, one must attend, especially when one’s boss said to go or be fired. Therefore, she’d allowed the Society to fly her out, put her up in the exclusive Bearings Hotel and Casino for three nights with Sarah, and had agreed to give a single speech and attend a ball afterward in exchange. Overall, it really was a good deal for her. The short, enforced vacation offered her an escape from the wet heat of Florida in late August.
She pressed the down-button on the elevator and tapped her foot with just the first hint of impatience. Less than thirty minutes remained before her speech. As the keynote speaker, she didn’t intend to show up until she had to, to avoid the inevitable attention that would be focused on her. At least Anthony’s absence was assured.

“Would you care for another drink, Mr. Caldwell?”
Anthony looked up from the blackjack table as the leggy blond waitress leaned over to ask her question. He gave her a lazy smile and finished the last of his blood and gin, noting the faint flush that spread across her cheeks. Another lifetime, perhaps he might have asked for her phone number, but not now. Not when his objective of so many years was almost at hand.
“No. Thank you just the same, madam.”
She flashed him a smile that revealed just a hint of fangs and sauntered off. He eyed the long legs for a moment more and repressed a scowl that he felt nothing at turning down what could have been a very pleasurable evening if he’d accepted the implied invitation. What was the world coming to?
“Ante up, gentlemen,” the dealer said. After a glance at the rose-gold, Atlas watch around his right wrist, Anthony shook his head. “I’m out. Duty calls.”
Duty didn’t call, not yet anyway, but the time was close enough at hand that his conscience didn’t prick him for the slight inaccuracy. If he intended to track down his quarry before they met in the ballroom, he needed to go. His senses, on constant alert in the crowded casino, had yet to detect her, but she couldn’t be much longer. Even she wouldn’t be late to a ceremony intended to honor her.
Then again, when has Athdara Genevieve ever been on time for anything? he thought with faint amusement.
He closed his eyes for a moment to filter through the hundreds of minds pressing in around him from around the casino. For a younger vampire, it would have taken much longer. After more than twelve hundred years of practice, it didn’t present that great a challenge, regardless of the population density.
About to give up the current search, he paused when he recognized her presence. Anthony turned. With little effort, thanks to his height, he looked across the main room to see her just exiting the elevator.
The breath he didn’t need to draw in caught in his throat. It had been sixty years since their paths had crossed, a deliberate move on his part out of respect for the hatred, however well-deserved, she held for him. Sixty long, boring years.
Athdara looked the same of course, eternally twenty-six as a vampire. Unfashionably curvy, lush, and perfect. She’d pulled her long red hair back in an ugly braid. The coiffure failed to detract from the fragile face. So many hours spent brushing that hair. She wore a long, black satin ball gown, Le Tourneau if he were any judge, that swished when she moved past a bank of bleeping and flashing slot machines.
Anthony allowed a trace of a smile to curve his mouth upward, and he turned toward the staircase leading to a landing that would give him an unimpeded view of the main room. Now to have some fun.

Dara spared a glance at the delicate diamond and emerald watch attached to her wrist. Twenty-six minutes, plenty of time for some blackjack before she went to the ballroom. Her best friend, Chris, who was attending with Sarah, would text if the speaker ahead of her moved more quickly than the program indicated. If nothing else, gambling would take her mind off the unpleasantness to come.
Her hand trembled a little as it fell back to her side, the first hint of nerves. God, why do I agree to these things? I detest public speaking.
As she approached the tables, something felt off. She saw nothing concrete, no sign of anyone acting out of place, but instinct guided her. After falling in love with a murderer, she always paid attention when she got that little tingle at the base of her neck. Other than a dapper human who seemed fascinated by the expansive view of her breasts that the low-cut gown offered, no one seemed to be looking in her direction.
Such realization didn’t alleviate the impression someone was watching.
The moment passed, and Dara shook her head in annoyance. “You’re paranoid, girl,” she said to herself. “Ronnie said he won’t be here.”
Her palms itched, and unease returned as she reached the tables. Her eyes narrowed warily. Someone was definitely watching her. But who? And from where?
She brushed her tongue against one of her razor-sharp fangs, took a deep breath, and brought her mental barriers down. Few other vampires her age would dare lower the protective barriers that blocked out the chaotic mishmash of thoughts from other beings when amongst a large gathering. She prided herself on her strength, the only gift from her unknown sire that she was grateful for.

Well, I for one am going to put this on my TBR pile!

Do you do anything to get you into the zone to write?

Drink coffee, read blogs and feed demanding twins who like to get up for food in the wee hours of the morning (when it’s first thing in the morning, aka 3:30-4:00a) or drive in to the office (for my hour if I’m lucky pre-work writing session).

 Which authors inspire your writing?

Christine Feehan, Christina Dodd, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kim Harrison, Keri Arthur, and JD Robb. New, more recent favorites include Cherise Sinclair <blush>, Alyssa Fox, and Alyssa Day.

Oh, wait, you asked about inspiration – well, okay, some of those do inspire me, I have to say. The others are just in my “favorite authors” list (and it was not all-inclusive).

What is your favorite book, character and why?

I have to pick just ONE?!  But, upon obtaining clarification of the question (biggest impact/impression on me), I’ve got a surprising answer to it. The book character that scared me the MOST, because he was so well written (at least in the first book, and at times in later books) was Nicolae, from the Left Behind series. Specifically, in the scene at the end of Left Behind (book one in the LB series), where he’s at the UN. 

Let’s just say I didn’t sleep well that night. Read the entire series because of the strength of that one book (later books were not nearly as good, though there were a few that were pretty good).

Do you prefer to write erotic or sweet?

Pure sweet – no, but I’m definitely on the lower end of the sweet to erotic spectrum.

Which famous person, living or dead,  are you drawn to?

Hrmm, I don’t really feel connected or drawn to almost anyone famous. Sorry, I wish I had a better answer. Maybe Akhenaton (fascinating pharaoh in ancient Egypt), or Lady Jane Grey (as based in the movie of the same name – I find the idea of a 9-day queen fascinating).

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still in Jacksonville, I hope. On the writing side of things, hopefully with a nice following and at least 10 books published.

Finish this sentence: I know I’ve made it when_______________?

When I see my books on the shelf at either Barnes & Noble or Walmart.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Be patient. Don’t query or submit too soon. I’ve done both, and while in one case it still worked out, most of the time it doesn’t.

What do you see yourself writing in the future?

Probably continuing to stay with the urban fantasy and/or paranormal romance, though probably with a futuristic bent in some of them. I might try a fantasy series too. I doubt I could ever do just straight contemporary romance. It just doesn’t hold my attention, either to read or write (Harlequin Presents doesn’t count).

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

Super speed or the ability to freeze time (I could get a LOT more done).

What time of the day are you at your best to write?

Morning. I’m too tired by the time the day winds up and the spawn are all in bed.

And now for something completely different…

What do you look at first with an attractive man or woman, face, body or smile?

The smile is part of the face. Followed by a total package check (no, not that package, people).

Explain your perfect day.

It starts with sleeping a straight 8-10 hours, no crying babies. An elaborate breakfast with perfect, well-mannered children (after which I wonder what aliens possessed them), a chance to spend happy play time with them, followed by a nice quiet writing sessions, a pleasant dinner and then, um, lights-out time. <cough> With hubby.

What is the most decadent desert you can’t say no to?

Chocolate lava cake.

Do you have a favorite holiday what is it and what makes it special to you?

I’m not a holiday girl. I s’pose at this point it’s Halloween. Valentine’s is up there in appreciation, given I met the hubby on the day before V-Day.

What key words describe you best?

Punctual. Restless.


  1. SOunds awesome, and I like the cover!

    celjla212 at aol dot com

    1. The more I read about it, the more I WANT it!! I can't wait to get my hands on it!!

      Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

      Best wishes, Tory, and continued success!!

  2. Whoops... sorry, it posted in the wrong spot while I was multi-tasking and apparently not paying attention... yikes!

    Anyway, back to the message at hand - the more I read about it, the more I WANT it!! I can't wait to get my hands on it!!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    Best wishes, Tory, and continued success!!

  3. Count me in. This books sounds very interesting.


    1. Thanks for saying that, Andrea. It's a lot of fun to write too. :)

  4. Blood Rage sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win it! cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

  5. Blood Rage sounds great! Adding it to my wish list! Thanks for sharing.

    beckerjo at verizon dot net