A year after meeting and falling for the young, mysterious vampire, Dr. Brian Preston is now living and working side-by-side with Kyle Hayes for the agency guiding vampire-human relations at a secret underground facility. As the couple adapts to the demands of Brian’s career tending to vampires, Kyle’s return to school and the needs of their evolving relationship, a dangerous conspiracy puts everyone they know and everything they have been working for in danger. The sequel to 2014’s Bleeding Heart, Tainted Heart is Book Two in the Mi Corazón Sangrante series.
Molly: How do you feel about e-books vs print books?
Melissa: I believe that they’re both vitally important. E-books are reflective of the growing convenience and mobility of entertainment in fictional form, and the easier it is to purchase, enjoy, and share media, the better. Digital publishing also allows for a wider audience as well as a wider author base, opening up previously unexplored avenues. Print books are the heart and soul of the industry, though—there’s nothing like the weight and smell of a book, old or new. There’s something magical about holding a book in your hands, about turning the pages and running your fingertips over the ink. Physically sharing a book that you’ve truly enjoyed with others is like temporarily parting with a beloved pet—you love them enough to let them go for a while, but worry that they’ll come back to you as they were.
Molly: What process did you go through to get your first book published?
Melissa: After devouring romance and erotic far younger than I “should” have (but don’t we all?), I began writing fanfiction (mostly in the sci-fi/fantasy genres) in my teens. It wasn’t until just the last few years when the opportunity to become published presented itself—I received a very generous and unexpected offer from the then-new Interlude Press, and was thrilled to begin working with them to take my vampire romance to a new level. I’m still kind of shocked at how far a year (plus) has taken us!
Molly: How do you find or make time to write?
Melissa: When the words are there, this isn’t even a question. Writing is a part of my make-up—it’s not a chore or even a hobby, it’s simply life for me. Of course, when the words aren’t there, I feel different! But on good days, I’ll find time, even if I have to become a hermit or cancel plans. The characters don’t stop talking until the words are on the page.
Molly: Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?
Melissa: My best friend Johnna is probably my biggest cheerleader. She’s constantly and unwaveringly in my corner. Even though she isn’t a writer herself, she’s as creative and inventive as one, and her suggestions and reactions regularly have a huge impact on my work. She attends my events whenever she can, and she’s always involved in the publishing process. I don’t know what I’d do without her!
Molly: Tell us about a book you’re reading now.
Melissa: So this is kind of cheesy and expected but nonetheless accurate—I’m currently about a quarter of the way through about half a dozen Interlude Press books. The variety of LGBT fiction they’ve put out in the last year is truly stunning—you can’t find the mix they provide anywhere else, hands down, and that is one of the reasons I’m so proud to have been published by them. It’s hard to even pick a title. Just dive into whatever strikes your fancy!
When it gets dark, he texts Brian that he’s going to be out late, and avails himself of not one but three vampire-human nightclubs set along a dense strip of Chicago nightlife. Going alone to places like this always attracts immediate attention, and he isn’t surprised when he has to pry both humans and vampires off of himself. But he doesn’t mind—the blood from the center is humming in his veins, and that buzz takes on a new dimension every time that he swallows a thimbleful of blood from a donor, which he does at least a dozen times over the course of the evening. When he’s more relaxed, he allows bodies against his own, dancing with strangers until strobe lights become normal and everything outside is too dim and still.
The blood changes the world around him. Every color, every sound and every source of light takes on a life of its own.
He loses track of how many donors he pays. All he knows is he’s spent all of the pocket money that Brian gave him for the weekend.
He feels like a bloated tick. He’s been away too long. Brian. He has to get back to Brian.
A veteran writer of fan fiction with thousands of followers, Melissa Graves wrote her first story at age thirteen, and by age sixteen had met her future husband in an online vampire fiction chat room. A fan of science fiction and fantasy, she has a degree in anthropology and a passion for good chocolate, amateur erotica and fan worlds that celebrate diversity. She is mother to two cats.
Bleeding Heart, book one of the Mi Corazón Sangrante series, was her debut novel for Interlude Press.
Where To Buy:
Interlude Press Web Store: store.interludepress.com
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=InterludePress;
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