CHICAGO, Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Rising-star author Shelby Westland is a storyteller. Plain and simple. The same terms, however, could never be used to describe her extraordinary characters who seem to unapologetically explode from the page and come to life before her readers' very eyes.
In her new novel, The Legacy of Blood, she explores the profound, soul-binding romance between William and Quinnlyn—a 900-year-old vampire born into royalty and a woman with a few secrets of her own; namely, those surrounding her mysterious birthright.
"In the year 1066, the Normans brought about a historic change in the bloodlines of the English royals—one in which all of the kings and queens of England that followed share, even now. Only, Norman blood wasn't all that was passed down throughout their descendents. The blood of the vampyre passed down as well," Miss Westland begins to explain the fascinating premise behind her book, blending real-life historical facts and events with an imagination that seamlessly transforms those royal figures into something much more.
"I just found it amazing that William the Conqueror, the very first Norman King of England, is said to be related to over a quarter of the English population. Including some Americans as well. That's millions of people sharing a part of the same bloodline! I just had to use his family as my cast of characters. With one major spin, of course."
"I'm drawn to that balance between reality and fiction, history and make-believe. That interesting dichotomy between the two makes for a really fascinating approach to telling a story. The harsh lines get blurred in the process, lending the reader to get caught up in the magic of it all and fully immerse themselves in that suspended world of what was and what could be."
"Plus, vampires are just cool," she adds with a grin.
When asked what she likes best about the romantic historical fantasy—that's set dually in the Septembers of both 1710 and then 300 years later in modern-day London—Miss Westland states, "the playful push-and-pull between the two main characters is a delight; as well as the deep and profoundly-moving love they clearly have for one another."
"Above all else, it's a great love story."
"Women, especially, have a need to read great love stories. And I wanted to bring one to fruition that encompassed the depth, the rawness, the heartache of it all. The humanity of true love. And I also wanted to give women a great escape—from their own day-to-day lives. Someplace they can run off to in their minds, a time and place that's different from their own. But, most of all, I wanted to give women great hope—hope that they can experience their own true-love story, no matter who or where they are in their lives. It's the greatest thing there is."
Read an exclusive excerpt of The Legacy of Blood below:
* * *
She, a beacon of light and warmth.
And he, a creature needing to escape the bitter coldness of the dark.
At least in his mind.
There was no turning back for him.
She was all he wanted.
A love unbidden.
William's strides were purposeful as he neared her, a fierce look in his eyes.
She found it difficult to swallow.
Let alone breathe.
A wicked heat crept along her skin, even as a surge of something indefinable sent a chill throughout her body and caused a thousand tiny bumps to spring up on her bare arms.
The only thought that came clearly to her mind she said next.
"What are you doing here?"
"I thought it would be obvious by now. I came for you."
His face was intense with determination and something more.
Always something more.
The heat crept up now, burning her face like a brand.
Turning her pale cheeks red.
She would have given anything at that moment to hide such a reaction, such a knowing display of vulnerability and unveiled emotion.
Why must he be allowed to see what he does to her?
He shouldn't be given such satisfaction.
Even now, knowing who and what he was, how he would treat her in the end, she still wanted his touch, his taste, his scent wrapped all around her.
And she could not forgive herself the insanity of it all, the sheer destruction she willingly damned herself with, and the utter lack of instincts for any semblance of self-preservation she could ever hope to possess.
Christ, save her soul.
Then she kissed him.
* * *
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