19 September, 2012

Guest Post: Author Melissa Schroeder Talks Vampire Classes + #Giveaway

Well, the weather has started to change and I've noticed that my reading habits tend to change during the fall and winter too. More fantasy, more paranormal, more historical, more urban fantasy. That's not to say that I completely abandon romance and YA, just that the cooler the weather, the more I tend to want something full of imagination and impossible things.

On that note, I am so happy to welcome author Melissa Schroeder to Read My Mind today. She writes a little bit of everything. Of course, I L-O-V-E her HARMLESS series, which feature any or all of hot military men, BDSM and Hawaiian landscapes. However, Melissa's newest novel, and book #1 in the BY BLOOD series, DESIRE BY BLOOD, has a historical setting, a marriage of convenience, vampires and intrigue. Just the thing for the season!

About The Author:
From an early age, Melissa loved to read. First, it was the books her mother read to her including her two favorites, Winnie the Pooh and the Beatrix Potter books. She cut her preteen teeth on Trixie Belden and read and reviewed To Kill a Mockingbird in middle school. It wasn’t until she was in college that she tried to write her first stories, which were full of angst and pain, and really not that fun to read or write. After trying several different genres, she found romance in a Linda Howard book.

Since the publication of her first book in 2004, Melissa has had close to fifty romances published. She writes in genres from historical suspense to modern day erotic romance to futuristics and paranormals. Included in those releases is the bestselling Harmless series. In 2011, Melissa branched out into self-publishing with A Little Harmless Submission and the popular military spinoff, Infatuation: A Little Harmless Military Romance. Along the way she has garnered an epic nomination, a multitude of reviewer’s recommended reads, over five Capa nods from TRS, three nominations for AAD Bookies and regularly tops the best seller lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Since she spent her childhood as a military brat, Melissa swore never to marry military. But, as we all know, Fate has her way with mortals. She is married to an AF major and is raising her own brats, both human and canine. She spends her days giving in to her addiction to Twitter, counting down the days until her hubby retires, and cursing the military for always sticking them in a location that is filled with bugs big enough to eat her children.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Harmless Addicts

The Classes of By Blood

First, I want to thank Alise for having me on the blog!

When I sat down to write Desire by Blood, I wanted to do something very different from the books I wrote before. I had never written vampires, so that was new, but I wanted to do something paranormal. I have written several paranormals, including The Cursed Clan, but I wanted to really immerse myself in their world. It is one of the reasons that I decided on Victorian England. The double-sided society they lived in would make it easy for vampires to hide. I knew, though, that they would have to have their own class system. Every society has one. It is almost impossible to have a group of people together without some kind of system—even in small groups of friends.

If you have an upper class in the By Blood society, it is the Quad. These are the four ruling families within the Vampire Alliance. Their roots go all the way back to the time of William the Conqueror and they have ruled the Alliance for years. While the hero’s family is considered royalty in the Alliance by being one of the Quad, they do not hold any kind of title in English society. They are rich, so they invited to all of society’s balls and parties.

But money and position are not the only thing that sets vampires apart. Within their world, there are Born and Made vampires. Borns, as they are called, have the oldest of bloodlines. They are born of a vampire father and a Carrier mother. These vampires are seen as legitimate since they have a birthright to their heritage.

Then, you have Mades. Mades were just that, made by a born vampire. In Desire by Blood, the first Born you meet is Malik, an old family friend of the Blackburns and best friend to Nicodemus, the hero. An Egyptian by birth, Malik has survived centuries thanks to his intelligence. In the By Blood world, anyone Made is looked down upon. It has something to do with the transition. Transition from human to vampire is not easy and it creates a blood lust that can turn the vampire into a craven beast, looking for the closest Carrier (female who can carry vampires). When he scents one, he cannot control himself and becomes a type of serial murderer, completely lost in the sexual sadism of feeding and sex. Because of this lack of control, they are looked down upon by most Borns.

Of course, being the freak that I am, I want to turn this world upside down. With a bunch of Mades rampaging across England, their world is thrown into disarray. While much of the Alliance wants to pretend there is nothing wrong, Nico and Malik know different. Their actions prove that there is a way to save the Mades, but by doing so, they also cause a rife in the Alliance that will play out later in the series. People need classes. They can’t seem to operate without them. With the change in the status of the Mades (craven beasts who should be killed), their world is changing. It is a parallel to what was going on in English society. Those of the underclass, without titles, were now gaining more wealth. The same type of change is going to send ripples of unease throughout the Alliance. I am really excited about the changes in their society in Desire by Blood and can’t wait to see what happens as I move on through the series.

What do you think of classes? Do you like to read a story entrenched in a class system thrown into disarray where people prove themselves above their class? I have a print copy for one lucky commenter (or digital if you prefer) open to US and International participants!

Thanks Melissa, for the great guest post AND offering a giveaway copy of DESIRE BY BLOOD! Readers, just leave a comment answering Melissa's question or asking one of your own to enter. Easy peasy!
Ends: September 30th, 11:59pm EDT

A man with a secret.

Nicodemus Blackburn has seen the best and worst of mankind. Five hundred years of dealing with them teaches the vampire to be very wary of the creatures. Unfortunately, alarming events leave him no choice but to enter the world of the ton to hunt a villain. He must find a rogue vampire, one who is making his own army of bloodthirsty vampires. Searching for the villain is not the worst of his troubles. That can be laid at the feet of bluestocking Lady Cordelia Collingsworth.

A woman on a mission.

Cordelia has always been an outcast, even in her own family. She has forged her way in the world with her ability to write, and Nico Blackburn is the focus of her next article. Before she can obtain any information about the mysterious man, she is pulled headlong into a scandal that leaves her with no choice but to marry Nico—a man with dangerous secrets.

A passion that consumes them both.

Thrust into a world she knows nothing of, Cordelia finds herself falling in love with a man who claims to be a vampire. As their passion grows, so does the danger around them and Nico will have to call on all of his powers to protect the one thing he has realized he cannot live without: his opinionated, infuriating, and thoroughly delectable wife.

Find On Goodreads

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  1. Everyone is created equal, but some are more equal than others. I don't like class systems but I realize that they are necessary for society.
    Thanks for the blog and contest.

  2. I agree with Becki I don't really like the class system of the old days, but sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong century. I love the Victorian age and even earlier. I am so glad you wrote this series and now I'll be anxiously awaiting the next in a bestseller series!!!! Melissa, thank you for all of your fabulous stories.......keep them coming! ;)

  3. I love reading stories that cause the class system to be thrown into question. While i understand society's need for classes, doesn't mean I want it to get stale. I think we need more shaking up of class systems, and if it's done in a bloodless fashion like in fiction books all the better. :) By the way I loved Desire by Blood, it was just the kind of different I was looking for, and I'm actually willing to try vampires again, now I'll wait semi patiently for the next one. :)

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  4. I dont like class systems. I think everyone is the same. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  5. I love historical fiction and class systems are often a part of those stories. I like when characters rise above the class they are born into or relationships that come together despite a difference in class.


  6. In life, I don't like separating people into classes, but when it comes to books I have a different opinion! I love it in stories when a person rises above his or her station through adversity and hard work - it makes for a feel good ending when they succeed :)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  7. I love reading about love between classes, and don´t mind it at all. All i need is a HEA, and i can read almost anything! =)

    best wishes & Happy Monday!

  8. I wish I had read this blog first. I was confused by the class system and the term "Carrier".
    As I got into the book it became clearer. I really enjoyed the story and characters. I can't wait to read the next book.

  9. Of course there should be no class systems. You are what you are and each person should be judged on their own merit. That is one of the things I don't like about regency, historical or victorian books it's too much of that. However, there are so great authors who do the genre well. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Belinda belgre@comcast.net


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