~ Character Interview with Michael Sykora ~
Tell us about your family.
You didn’t waste any time diving into the messy details of my life, did you? Here are the basics. I started out with a mother, father, and younger sister. My mother left when I was seven, taking my sister with her. Tracy was five then. According to my mother, boys needed their fathers. She left me behind and never looked back.
After that, my father used alcohol to drown the pain. I pretty much lost him when my mother walked out the door with Tracy. Fortunately, Ruby, my best friend’s mother, stepped in to fill the void. Her love and guidance saved me, and that’s all I’m saying on this topic.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
I’ve had a lot of scary moments but, without a doubt, the scariest was walking into the morgue to say a final goodbye to Christina. We were engaged. Had our whole lives planned. Kids. A dog. A suburban house in a quiet neighborhood. She would’ve been a great mother.
I was a regular guy in those days. Seems like another lifetime, now. I designed computer software, made a decent paycheck. We probably wouldn’t have been rich, but I could’ve supported a family. The most dangerous thing I did was mow the lawn. I’d never even held a gun.
Crazy how one moment in time changes everything. Christina was raped and murdered by a repeat offender who knew how to work our justice system. Guy’s name was Roger Dossing. I killed him. That didn’t bring Christina back, but at least Dossing won’t be able to destroy anyone else’s life.
What book are you reading now?
I can tell you what book I’m not reading. Just yesterday, Nicki plopped this thick hardcover on my desk. The Intelligent Investor, I think it’s called. We have to invest our money, and Nicki thinks I need to understand all the intricacies. All I need to understand is how to work my debit card.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My father loved old Westerns, particularly the ones with John Wayne. After my mother left, we’d sometimes spend entire weekends in front of the TV with a stack of video tapes for the VCR. I wanted to be a cowboy, just like John Wayne. That fantasy was more about wanting to connect with my father than liking the idea of riding a horse and having gun fights in the street.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
Peter Frampton’s cover of Black Hole Sun
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5
Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry
Follow That Sound by Sharon Little
Mercy by Duffy
What is your favorite meal?
Does warm chocolate chip cookies with a thick chocolate shake count as a meal? Dessert is usually my favorite part of a meal. I’m pretty easy to please, though, and will eat just about anything. Except fish. I hate fish. My stomach threatens to erupt when I smell the stuff cooking.
What would we find under your bed?
You’d find a few stuffed toys and possibly a bone. Nicki and I have a Pomeranian named Cassie, and her favorite hiding spot for her treasures is under our bed.
If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?
I don’t think the word “chirpy” has ever applied to me. Grumpy, sure, but never chirpy.
My temperament is the same, regardless of the time of day or night. If you came to visit me early in the morning, I’d probably strike you as being a confused ape. I’d be scratching my chest and studying you from across the room until I figured out the point of your visit.
~ About the Books ~
Title: No Justice
Series: The Michael Sykora Series Book # 1
Author: Darcia Helle
Published: June 13th, 2009
Page Count: 224 pages
~ Synopsis ~
How far would you go to right a wrong?
For Michael Sykora, killing started as blind rage. Then it became something he’s good at. To most of those who know him, Michael is a software designer, a smart but average guy with a workaholic nature. To a chosen few, Michael is a part-time hit man whose specialty is eliminating hard-core criminals.
Michael has managed to keep his two personas separate. Until now. When Nicki, a close friend, gets into trouble, Michael steps in to help. Having lost his fiance to a brutal crime, Michael will do whatever necessary to keep from losing another woman in his life.
At one time or another, don’t we all wish we could do the things our Justice system cannot or will not? What would it take to push you over the edge?
~ * ~
Title: Beyond Salvation
Series: The Michael Sykora Series Book # 2
Author: Darcia Helle
Published: September 12th, 2009
Page Count: 252 pages
~ Synopsis ~
A teenage runaway disappears from the streets. The only people that care, or even notice, are her two best friends who are also runaways. For reasons of their own, they can’t go to the police for help.
They seek out Michael Sykora, a software designer by day and hit man by night. Known on the streets as The Ghost, Michael has a reputation for taking on the twisted criminals. Rapists. Child molesters. He has never been hired to find the lost. Until now.
Michael teams up with ex-prostitute Nicki and full-time hit man Sean. Together they bend the rules of the justice system in order to find a young girl few people care about. In the process, they uncover a world where salvation comes with a price tag and God’s words are used to incite fear in a congregation of believers.
~ * ~
Title: Killing Instinct
Series: The Michael Sykora Series Book # 3
Author: Darcia Helle
Published: May 30th, 2013
Word Count: 86,000
Content Warning: Contains strong language, some graphic violence, and dark content.
~ Synopsis ~
Sandman built his dubious reputation by turning the dreams and nightmares of others into harsh reality. Now he’s pursuing his own twisted dream; the beautiful Maria Milan. But she doesn’t want to become a player in Sandman’s sordid fantasy.
Michael Sykora is a hit man who kills for justice. Sean Riley is a hit man born to kill. Together, they’re out to take down Sandman and his organization. Whether mercy is given depends on who catches him first.
~ About the Author ~
Darcia Helle lives in a fictional world with a husband who is sometimes real. Their house is ruled by spoiled dogs and cats and the occasional dust bunny.
Suspense, random blood spatter and mismatched socks consume Darcia’s days. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative. Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else’s mind.
Join Darcia in her fictional world. The characters await you.
~ Excerpt ~
Sean Riley looked down at the woman he’d been hired to kill. Even before he’d partnered with Michael Sykora and tamed his deadly skills, he’d disliked killing women. Back then, he’d probably have turned down this job. Not that he’d have altered the outcome. Someone else always stood next in line, wanting the money and willing to kill for it.
Even sleeping, with her jet-black hair scattered across the pillow and a drop of drool slipping from the corner of her mouth, her beauty took his breath away. This woman, whose name was Maria Milan, should be dead by now. Jake, the man who’d paid for her murder, wanted her to die slowly. To suffer. Jake had specified the use of a knife, keeping the plunges slow and only deep enough to shatter her nervous system. Keep her alive until the last possible moment.
Jake did not have balls enough to do it himself.
He wanted photos. A recording of her screams. He’d asked for video, as if Sean was a slice-and-dice movie producer instead of a high-priced hit man.
Sean stood in the shadows of the bedroom, watching Maria sleep. He’d done the unthinkable. For the first time in his long, restless and oddly successful career, he’d had sex with the intended victim. More than that. He’d gotten involved. He’d fallen for this woman who’d been marked to endure excruciating horrors at his own hands.
He shifted in the darkness, wishing he could crawl back under the sheet. He already missed the feel of her skin pressed against his own. With a quiet sigh, he tugged his pants on. He had a job to do.
Fully dressed, he gazed back at Maria. The moonlight fell across her face. She didn’t stir. Her beauty glowed. He knew things about her now. And she knew things about him. They’d become tangled in ways he hadn’t expected.
Sean went out to the kitchen and grabbed the backpack he’d left by the door. He flipped the light on, squinting at the brightness. When his eyes adjusted, he checked the contents. One roll of heavy duct tape. A few small towels for use as gags. Rope. Zip ties. A full syringe. His Black Ops knife. He fingered the metal, thought about the meaning of what he needed to do. What he might not have done a year ago. What it would all mean to him, to his future. To Maria.
He stepped back into the bedroom. Maria had rolled onto her side. Her hair spilled over her cheek. The sheet fell away, exposing flesh he’d lingered over not long ago. A smile played on his lips. He’d enjoy this job, this killing, more than anyone had a right to.
With a last look over his shoulder, he left Maria behind and headed out to his car.
~ Tour Schedule ~
- June 24th – Flora @ From the Bootheel Cotton Patch
Book Tour Post with Guest Post
- June 25th – Denise @ Rantings of a Closet Vamp Princess
Book Tour Post with Spotlight
- June 25th – Sabrina @ Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace
Book Tour Post with Book Review & Guest Post
- June 26th – Bianca @ Bianca2b (Excerpt)
- June 26th – Laurie @ Laurie’s Non-Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews (Character Interview)
- June 27th – Keira @ Keira’s Corner (Spotlight)
- June 28th – Pauline @ The Readers Realm (Spotlight)
- June 28th – Jaidis @ Juniper Grove (Book Review/Spotlight)