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BLOOD THAT BINDS
(Blood Legends Duet Book 1)
By Melissa Winters
Everyone always told me I was crazy, so I believed them.
But I was wrong, and so were they.
I’m not crazy. It’s the rest of the world that’s blind to the monsters living among them.
I should rejoice in my sanity, right?
Being clinically insane would be better than reality. In that scenario, the only person who’s in danger is me. Stolen from my life to be sold off to the highest bidding vampire to live as a blood slave would seem like the worst of my problems.
Not even close.
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Excerpt from Blood That Binds:
An invisible magic weaves through the room, championing the desire and threatening to pull me under. The man Ratilda called Crown looks up at me, watching, knowing. He doesn’t turn away as more people paw at him. Instead, his eyes remain on me, his gaze intent and fiery. I’m wet in places I should not be, and my breath is coming out in unsteady spurts.
The man’s throat contracts as he gulps, seemingly affected by my current state of arousal, the simple move only making it worse. Tingles have me tightening and contracting, needing a release I’ve never once felt before. The tension builds low in my belly, and if I didn’t know better, I’d think I was going to c—
My hands fly to my mouth as the horror of what’s happening sets in. How? Why? As I shake off every last bit of the heady feelings, self-loathing takes hold. Why would my body react like that? More concerning, why am I attracted to the man that rules this world of darkness and death?
Jerking my eyes away from the suited royal, I suddenly feel sick at what I’m seeing.
He’s caused this in some way.
From the moment he walked into the room, all sensibility was wiped away. His looks have me acting like an idiot along with everyone else. For that I hate him even more. A tear slides down my cheek and I wipe it away, angry. My chin drops to my chest, eyes closing to drown out the room.
“Close your eyes,” I yell to my fellow donors. “They’re doing this. Don’t watch it.”
My lids slam shut as I refuse to be forced into seeing this. He’s to blame and I know it. I’m not sure how he’s managed it, but whatever he said to these creatures, it did this. I have no idea of his motives, but I won’t succumb to his wicked game.
“What’s your name?” That masculine voice has my head jolting up. My knees quake at the closeness of the two newcomers. Unsure of their motives, I’m desperate to escape.
“What’s your name?” the man Ratilda had called Lawrence repeats, a little more forcefully the second time.
“You can f—.” The words don’t come. I can hardly think, let alone form sentences. I’m frightened. My finger flops down at the number affixed to the floor in front of me.
“I dare say, brother. She’s ignoring us.”
The Crown huffs. “That has to be a first for you.”
Are they seriously making jokes?
“Are you afraid?” the man asks with a frown.
I consider lying, but the way my hands shake at my sides makes the answer obvious.
“Yes,” I hiss through my teeth. “But I’m pissed too.”
I’m not sure how I was able to form the last part of that, but it’s not a lie. Pissed is a gross understatement of what I am, but it’s the best I could do given the circumstances.
Meet Author Melissa Winters!
Melissa Winters‘ debut novel, Blood That Binds, has been in the making for over a decade. She finally mustered up the courage to push publish, and now she’s sitting back and biting her nails—which is one of her many bad habits. Writing and coffee keep her sane, but have also contributed to her being nocturnal! All things paranormal and witchy excite her, and recently, a series of fallen angels have sat on her shoulder, coaxing her to write them onto the pages!
Keep up to date with my new releases and sales ➜ https://bit.ly/3mPvTuN
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You can also visit my website ➜ https://authormelissawinters.
Interview with Melissa Winters:
Q: Hi Melissa! Tell us a little about yourself,
MW: Hi guys! I’m Melissa Winters and I published my debut novel, Blood That Binds in October! The conclusion to that story, Blood That Reigns releases December 24th. I write mature young adult/adult paranormal, magic realism and fantasy novels. My first release is vampire romance, but I’ve penned a fallen angel, mature young adult magic realism and a fantasy novel. In 2021 I plan to FINALLY release them all. I was born and raised in Ohio and currently live in a suburb of Cincinnati. I’m married to my college sweetheart and we have three incredible kids all under the age of eleven. I can’t wait to connect with you!
Q: Tell us about your publishing journey. Did you always want to be an author?
MW: Blood That Binds was actually written in 2009, but I was too scared to publish. I wrote the book while running a romance book blog. From there, I leaned into my college degree and started a PR and marketing company in the book world. After years of helping others publish their books, I decided it was my turn. Word of advice do what makes you happy, and don’t be afraid!
Q: Tell us about your heroine. What inspired her quirks and struggles?
MW: Marina is not your typical college kid. She spent most of her life out of the public eye because she saw things that others couldn’t wrap their heads around. Because of this, she’s very immature and disconnected with the world. However, in other aspects of life she’s had to be strong. Her twin sister had the same “issues” she did, but Maggie didn’t know how to handle it. Marina had to be strong for her twin. When she meets Julian—my hero—she finds herself allowing him to shoulder her burdens for a change, which ultimately leads to her changing and not necessarily for the better. Through Marina’s journey she recognizes her shortcomings and tries really hard to embrace that strong woman she knows is inside of her.
Q: Tell us about your hero. What motivates him?
MW: Julian has just inherited the job as Crown—think king—of all vampires. It wasn’t a position he wanted but is his birthright. When he comes across Marina, he knows that she’s special. He’s never been interested in humans, but he’s drawn to her. Her human emotions are something he struggles to understand because they aren’t things he’s experienced before but does through her (more on that later). He struggles throughout the duet to embrace his destiny while also caring for Marina.
Q: Is any part of your story or the characters based on personal experience?
MW: Marina is loosely based on me. When I was young my parents divorced, and my mom took it very hard. She shut down and I stepped into basically mother my four siblings for a time. I had to work two jobs while dealing with the pressures of high school and all the drama that comes with it. Needless to say, when I headed to college, I struggled a bit. It took the right guy to come along and help me see that I was stronger than that. P.S. I married him. 🙂
Q: Name a few of your favorite authors or books.
MW: This is tough because there are so many talented authors out there. I’d have to say Holly Black, Gena Showalter, Randi Cooley Wilson, Tish Thawer and Bianca Scardoni are at the top of my favorite list currently.
Q: What is your ideal reading experience?
MW: As a reader, I’ve said things like “I hate cliffhangers”, but let me tell you, my absolute favorite books ends in one. I love that intense emotion at the end of a good cliff where you want to throw your kindle across the room. I don’t like to have to wait for the conclusions, but the best books are worth it.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Melissa Winters!