Series should be read in order
Release Date: November 5, 2015
Pages or Words: 294 pages
Categories: Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller, Urban FantasyPublisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: RJ Shepherd, Buckeyegrrl Designs
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.
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.
Q&A with Melissa Graves
1. Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
It was mostly the result of writing what I wanted to read, how I wanted to read it. I think most writers start out as voracious readers, and succumb to the need to create in part because what they read either lacks something they’re looking for or inspires them to create their own version of similar events. I love all kinds of stories, especially queer ones, but there’s just something about two men together. I could never get enough, never found quite the stories or tone or explicitness I was looking for, so I started to write it for myself.
2. Where do you find your inspiration?
Anne Rice was my introduction to the combination of paranormal fiction and erotica, and her books have had a heavy influence on my writing style. But I am also a generic fantasy geek, as well. Those kinds of stories, the kind that transport you to another place and allow you to be someone else in a very explicit, provided escapism that I found crucial to my childhood.
When puberty arrived, I became obsessed with romance. I read more historical heterosexual romances than I could count—LGBT romances were never available to me. I discovered gay romance through fanfiction on the Internet, and I’ve more or less never looked back. Pairings like Spock/Kirk and Sam/Frodo satisfied me in ways I’d never experienced before.
The “vampire thing” became hugely popular again during the rise of Sookie Stackhouse, The Vampire Diaries, and Twilight. The urge to write a vampire novel with lots of sex, blood, and a queer-majority cast of characters would not leave me alone. I was tired of queer characters only playing supporting or background roles in vampire fiction. Thus Mi Corazon Sangrante was born!
3. What is for you the perfect book hero?
A hero who doesn’t realize they are a hero (until they do!) always appeals to me. For the most part, I just want someone I can watch grow—I don’t want my hero to start out perfect. As long as I’m on that journey of discovery and fulfillment with them, I’m happy.
4. When you start a book, do you already have the whole story built in your head or is it built progressively?
I am definitely a “go in ready” writer, without a doubt. I block out my stories scene by scene, so it’s necessary to plan the story ahead of time. Though there is wiggle room—I’m typically staunchly attached to the primary plot and the conclusion, but if the characters want to make detours in the middle, I’m content to deviate. It just has to bring me to my intended destination. It has to be concise, and it has to have a goal in mind.
5. Do you pay attention to literary criticism?
If it’s constructive, absolutely. I’m newly published, and what I’ve learned simply going through the editing of two novels has changed my writing and my knowledge of writing so much. I love learning, and literary criticism can be the most immersive kind you’ll receive. It can also be tainted by personal preference and biases—it’s hard sometimes to fully grasp where the judgement is coming from. But for the most part, I enjoy the feedback.
6. The days are 25 hours. How do you spend that extra hour?
Sleeping. Is there really any other answer to that one? You wanted me to say “writing dedicatedly”, didn’t you? Nope! I’ll take that extra hour of dreamland.
7. What is the book you would bring with you on a desert island?
Lord of the Rings, hands down. It’s a story I can read over and over again and discover something new every time. It never fails to enthrall me.
8. Favorite foods/Colors/Music?
Chocolate, pasta, and steak, in that order.
Purple! I own so much purple. It’s almost embarrassing.
My music tastes are ridiculously eclectic. Does “anything from the ‘90’s” count? Also, Broadway musicals, and the music the television show Glee put out. But I enjoy something from almost every genre of music, if it’s quality and finds its way to me.
9. If you were not a writer, what else would you have done?
Die of frustration. But in lieu of actual demise, probably some other avenue of story-telling or sex-related activity—I don’t think my passion could ever be directed away from making people happy in the pants.
10. Can you share something about your works in progress?
Mi Corazon Sangrante is a trilogy, and I’m in the beginning stages of planning for the third and final installment. I’m really excited to bring the story to a close and play with some plot points I’ve wanted to explore since the beginning. All I can tell you now is that it’s set in New York after a time jump from Tainted Heart, and one of the main characters is going to have to make a life-altering decision.
Meet the author: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.
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