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Friday, September 21, 2012

Guest Post/Giveaway: Desire by Blood by Melissa Schroeder

Desire By Blood
(By Blood, #1)
A Vampire Alliance Novel
Melissa Schroeder

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.

Hey, everyone. First I want to thank Liz for having me on the blog today! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Melissa Schroeder. I am best known for my best selling Harmless series. Today, I want to talk about my newest release Desire by Blood. It is a Victorian vampire romance.

When I came up with the idea for the series, Nicodemus Blackburn was the first character that came to mind. He is a good man, a Born, a vampire who was the result of a Carrier (a woman who can birth vampires) and a vampire. His duty forces him to London to find a vampire who is making vampires, or Mades. They are unstable and threaten to expose the underworld of vampires to humans. While he is a good man, he is also set in his ways. And that is when the character of Lady Cordelia came to me.

She is a woman who has been left to make her way in the world, and she has survived.  She his smart, opinionated and head-strong—which makes her perfect for Nico. I like throwing opposites together and seeing how they fare together, and Nico and Cordelia did not disappoint. Here is an EXCLUSIVE excerpt that I have not posted anywhere before to show you just that. Cordelia has been “compromised” by Nico and he has arrived the next morning to sort it all out.  You can also read the entire first chapter on my site.

Desire By Blood


Setting her cup aside, she squared her shoulders and faced him. “I know you did not come here for the refreshments.”

The smile he offered her told her he had been testing her. He placed the cup back on the saucer. “No. I have come to discuss our situation.”


He studied her for a moment. “Indeed. By now, what happened in the Smythe’s library has been recounted to every nosey dowager and debutante in London. If not, it will be by sundown.”

“Every detail?”

She watched as his jaw flexed telling her he was grinding his teeth again. It seemed he was always doing that around her. “Well, not everything. Just...the particulars.” She could not help the snort that came out of her. “I'm sorry, but I find that unbelievable.”

He frowned. “You do not think that Lady Smythe did not tell every gossipy hen she knows she found us in the room, your hair a mess, and your dress...well, it did not look as it had earlier.”

She waved that away. “No. I expect that to be making the rounds this morning. It will probably end up in the gossip pages. Most people expected that kind of behavior out of me a long time ago, if you must know.”

A look of understanding lightened his eyes. “Yes. It is hard to live up to society's expectations.”

Her throat closed up, and tears burned the back of her eyes. His voice had turned so gentle, as if he knew exactly what she spoke of, of what it felt like being an outcast in your own family.

Cordelia cleared her throat. “I was speaking of the fight.”

“Oh, that.” He sighed. “More than likely Lady Smythe will tell everyone he was fighting for your honor.”

She rolled her eyes. “If anything he was trying to replace you.”

Nico's eyes widened then narrowed as he studied her. “Indeed. But he is no concern of yours.”

She opened her mouth to respond to that, but the icy look in his eyes told her not to pry. She would let it go, but only for now. She would find out just what was going on with the viscount’s strange behavior.

“Now, to get on to the business at hand. Gray is going to make sure we have a special license.”

A strange combination of relief and irritation twisted through her. He meant to marry her, but he was not planning on proposing. Granted, their situation—especially hers—was perilous. Without a marriage, she was ruined. They both knew it. It did not mean she didn’t deserve a proposal.

“Is he?”

The foolish man did not hear the warning in her voice and continued his explanation.

“I assume that we can get married any time after that, and we can actually have the archbishop oversee it, thanks to Gray again.”

When she said nothing, he turned to her. “Is there something wrong?”


Finally, he truly looked at her. “Yes, there is.”

“You seem to have everything planned.”

He nodded. “Yes. That way you will have no worries.”

“You have every detail taken care of.” He smiled at her. Stupid man. “You, however, do not have a bride.”

He frowned, confusion clearly stamped on his features. “You are my bride.”

She cocked her head to the side and studied him. “Am I?”

“Who the bloody hell do you think I am going to marry?”

She pursed her lips as if in deep thought. “Maybe a woman you asked?”

His face blanked then flushed. Seeing Nicodemus Blackburn blush was somehow endearing.

“I beg your pardon, my lady.”

“It was not as if I expected poetry, but I did expect to be asked.”

He cleared his throat. “My apologies.”

It took every bit of her propriety not to laugh. He was being subservient but he did not like it, not one bit. It went against everything she knew of his character. He stood then came to her side. Her nerves jumped to life, her heart beating faster. She stared up at him, wondering what he was about now. He sighed as he took her hand, signaling that he expected her to stand. With an arched eyebrow, she stood and he dropped down to his knee. Mortification filled her.

“Oh, for goodness' sake, get up.”

He gave her a knowing smile. “Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”

She looked down at him, the clear intent in his eyes, and knew that no matter if he asked or not, they would be married. Blackburn had an impeccable reputation...not even the whisper of a mistress, and he took great pride in that fact. There was no way this man would allow her name to be ruined.

“Yes, Mr. Blackburn, I would be,” she swallowed, “pleased to be your wife.”

He rose to his feet and, before she could stop him, pulled her hard against his chest. And just like that, her pulse fluttered, and her breath caught in her throat. “I think we should seal it with a kiss.”

His rough voice shivered over her flesh, caused her head to spin. He dipped his head and brushed his mouth over hers in an innocent caress. With a sigh, she leaned into him, into the kiss. He deepened his touch, slipping his tongue between her lips. The intimacy of the action had her head spinning. He pulled her tighter against him, his body surrounding her. She slid her hands up his arms and behind his neck and gave herself over to the kiss. He slanted his mouth over hers, again and again as he built up the heat that burned her the night before.

Would you like a chance to win a print or digital copy of the book? Let me know, what is your favorite kind of coupling? Do you like opposites, best friends, etc. Answer for your chance to win. Make sure to leave your email in the comments for a chance to win!

Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and ENDS 9-25-12

**9-26-12** Giveaway is over, and winner has been notified

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