Book Title: Blooded
Author: Nat Kennedy
Cover Artist: Silvana Sanchez – Selfpub Designs
Release Date: September 25, 2021
Tropes: Hurt/comfort, antagonists to allies/lovers, past student/teacher, vampire blood feeding, vampire blood bond
Themes: Redemption, Personal Acceptance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 113 500 words/290 pages
It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.
How far will two sorcerers go to save humanity? Will they give up their lives? Will they give up their hearts?
A broken mage. A penitent vampire. Can they put aside the horrors of the past to save each other?
Plagued with erratic. volatile magic, Nicodemus Green focuses his entire life to stop an evil sorcerer who brainwashes or kills anyone in his path to domination. Ten years into this crusade, Nick stumbles upon his former Academy instructor in the Austrian Alps. The strict and pious Byron Domitius has cloistered himself in an isolated manor. Alone and starving, he hates the twisted, damned creature he has become.
A prophecy calls for Nick and Byron to bond by blood to finally bring an end to the sorcerer’s hidden agenda. The two are forced to see beyond their shared past, and Nick finds himself desiring more from his old instructor than just his magic. But are these emotions real, or do they come from the heat of their bond?
Exclusive Excerpt – Feeding
Nick shifted his weight, turning from the bookcase and driving them towards the real purpose of his visit. “So, um… Beatrice informed me about this joining thing.” He pulled a folded paper from his back pocket. Nick stared down at the words on the creased paper and then back up at Byron, holding his gaze. There was something in those lively hazel eyes that Byron wondered at. There wasn’t any fear there, or abhorrence, but whatever it was, Byron couldn’t read it, or perhaps it was something he just didn’t recognize.
It wasn’t completely foreign, though. He’d seen it in Samson’s gaze, too.
“It looks like Jenny’s prophecy wants us to form a blood bond,” Nick read from the paper in a very level and dry voice, like one giving a lecture aimed at sending students to slumber, or for directions to the local market. Turn right at the city park, left at the gas station, and continue straight to find your destiny. Nick looked back up at Byron and asked, “Do you know what that means?”
“I am a vampire, Green. Of course, I know what that means,” he spat. No matter that he’d just learned this unwanted lore.
“Okay. Well… um… There’s another aspect to it. Uh… if we…” His impersonal façade was breaking down.
Byron decided to take pity on the man. “Love and sex strengthen it,” Byron said with a sigh. Nick nodded, a kind of wild, uneasy look about him. “Are you homosexual, Mr. Green?” he asked, though he knew the truth already.
Nick shivered, but then said, “I’m bisexual.”
“Ah, I see. So you understand the mechanics of male sex.”
Nick shrugged, looking as embarrassed as if he was standing naked on stage, and then nodded when Byron made an impatient snort.
In a flash, Byron was before Nick, using one of his newly understood powers. Why bother with fast, short-distance teleportation spells using mochit blood when he could move at such speeds? Nick took in a sharp breath and stepped back towards the door.
“Is that what you want, Green? To take my power and turn it against Wormwood?” he said in seductively dark tones, leaning close, but not close enough to touch the immortal blooded before him.
“I want him done with. I want this wandering lifestyle done with. I want to get on with real living,” Nick said with conviction. “If it means joining with you, if it means fucking you, sir, then I’ll do it.” Nick said the word ‘fucking’ with such sultry confidence that Byron was taken aback and realized how eager he was to drink from Nick again.
Hello Lily! Let me start by thanking you for this opportunity to answer your questions. I’m Nat Kennedy and I live on the West Coast, USA. I write mainly gay fantasy with romantic subplots that can (often?) include steamy scenes. My books always include magic, a bit of angst, dedicated and supportive romantic partners, and dastardly bad guys. In the romance subcategory, I always deliver an HEA.
I love both dogs and cats, though I’m more of a cat lady now (living in the city.) I still love hiking and camping and for those on my Instagram (@natkennedybooks), you can see a lot of pictures from those adventures.
The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…
I wish, as a young girl, I would have stood up for myself more. Developed a backbone. I’m not sure how one does that, other than through experience, but it’s my one regret. Wow, that was a bit more straight to the gut that I expected.
The temptation you wish you could resist…
Video games. I get completely sucked in. I’m weak to a good story and quests.
The book that holds everlasting resonance…
Illusions by Robert Bach. It is one of those soul searching/spiritual books that are perfect for teens trying to figure stuff out. I think I’d still like it as an adult, but I’m afraid to re-read it, in case I ruin its memory.
The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…
Actually, being invisible has never been a huge draw. Now, if I could talk to animals for a day, I’d bond with my cat and try to map out what each chirp and mew means.
The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…
I’m not sure what is unlikely. I’m always fascinated by construction and how things are made, but that’s part of my job. I’m fascinated with systems, especially natural/environmental ones. Connections, I like to follow the threads.
The poem that touches your soul…
One that I often come back to is The Waste Land by TS Elliot.
“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.”
The POWER of the lines of this poem. The passages of this poem have inspired scenes or they’ve sparked the core of a character, etc.. Love it.
The event that altered the course of your life…
My first ‘real’ job out of college. It moved me across the state to a city where I knew nobody. And that was probably very good for me. It’s always a wonder to have a clean slate. I won’t say that I redefined myself, because at the core of it, I’m still and always will be the same person, but I no longer had to ‘put up’ with things. And moving to a new place always boosts one’s energy to go out and meet new people, try new things, go to new places. Now, I’ve been here for over 20 years and I haven’t done too much new!
The happiest moment you will cherish forever…
One of my happier memories – I went to a Harry Potter convention in New Orleans, back in 2007. I was a big fan and I knew people online through Livejournal. I show up, and there’s all these other fans and Whammy, Just Like That, we were all friends. Everyone included everyone. We talked, ate, went on the tours and to the lectures, and it was like the most accepted I’d ever felt. I was a part of something grand. That was a very fun weekend and one I still cherish. (I imagine this is just generally how popular people feel. Ha!) I’d gone to a few others after that, but nothing compared to Phoenix Rising.
The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…
There are many. One of the bigger ones is that I’ve always wanted to live overseas. I almost moved to Japan to teach English, but didn’t follow through. I am now plotting that for retirement, but we’ll see what life brings us.
And the promo…
Blooded comes out on September 25! It’s is a contemporary fantasy with a thick romantic subplot involving a vampire and mage. There are heavy doses of angst and a redemption arc. All of my favorites! Byron (the vampire) and Nick (the mage) are battling against an evil megalomaniac (heroes need an evil counterpart – Sauron, Voldemort, Palpatine) to assure he doesn’t gain enough power to rule the world. The real story is about the characters learning to live with the lives the dice have given them. The dice don’t seem to be kind, but there is often a silver lining.
The seeds of the novel were inspired by a poem: The Old Astronomer by Sarah Williams. The quote that drew me to write this story is listed in the opening to the novel, but I’ll share it here. “Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” I read this excerpt in another angsty book, and it just struck me as VAMPIRE. Then I stared thinking of the stars and loving them. That helped me devise my magical system, which takes power from the stars. It’s amazing how one little thing like a poem sparks an entire novel. But, that’s where it came from.
Plus, I wanted to write steamy vampire feeding scenes.
It was wonderful to stop by and share a little about myself with your followers. Thanks for having me!
Thank you, Nat. It was lovely to hear more about you.
About the Author
Nat Kennedy writes fantasy fiction of all kinds. She strives to create engaging, plotty romantic stories. In her worlds, Heroes abound. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain keeps the world green. Find her online at natkennedy.com or on IG natkennedybooks.
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