Clash of Legends is Getting Updated!

REVEAL BASE

Look for the new cover reveal right here on May 26, 2018! 

Can’t wait? Are you a fan of the Amaranthine books? Join the Street Team to get a heads up! (Please only request to join if you have read the books or stories. Thanks!)

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Pages from the Past: A Useful Item

Sadly the Pages of the Past event (where authors read of a story they’d written as children/teens) that should have been tonight, has been canceled. But, I don’t want you to miss out on the fun, so we’ll have our very own event right here!

Tonight I am sharing “A Useful Item”, a story I wrote in the summer of 1997 (when I was 17). My brother and I had just moved to Mt. Pleasant Iowa, and since we didn’t know anyone and had no TV, our main entertainment was walking (and walking, and walking, and…). One day, while walking, I found a blue and yellow hammer laying in the road. Being a hoarder, I snagged it. Later, sitting over my word processor, I wondered what might have happened had someone else found it…

A USEFUL ITEM

By Joleene Robin Harris

 

Miranda sat on the wide front porch swinging her legs back and forth and listening to the sound of her heels hitting the wood.  She stared into the firey red sun setting behind the darkened house across the street.  The rain soaked grass glowed golden‑orange and the iridescent butterflies looked like flames dancing in the evening air.

It was only seven but it would be dark soon.  Miranda kicked her black clad feet into the porch and smiled to herself.  When darkness came she’d be ready for it, ready to explore it, encompass it, evaporate into it.  She loved the night.

In the distance a train whistle wailed and she felt disappointed that she couldn’t see the tracks from the lonely brick house she’d chosen to sit at.  Looking once more at the butterflies she hopped down and strode quickly across the grass, looking both ways before crossing the street like mama’d always told her to.

A lone pickup zoomed past leaving a trail of heavy rock music behind it.  Miranda skipped across the street and down the smooth gray sidewalk.  This town was big, very big.  Not that she’d ever been there before but she could sense it.

She could also sense something else on the air that most others couldn’t: Blood.  Blood waiting to pour from open wounds and pool in dark sticky puddles.  Blood waiting to soak into beige carpets and splatter on creme colored walls.  Gallons and gallons of hot oozing blood trapped inside of mortal bodies, running through confining, restricting veins.   Blood that needed released.

Miranda reached the train tracks and hopped down them one board at a time.  Hop, hop, hop, hop ‑ then something off to the side of the tracks  caught her eye.  It was a hammer abandoned in the rocky ditch.  Hmmmmm, a hammer…

Miranda stopped and picked it up, enjoying it’s weight in her hand, she could use this hammer.  Miranda was a natural opportunist, she saw an opportunity in everything.  Instead of waiting for it to knock on her door she went looking for it and always found it.

This hammer would have to be disposed of later if it didn’t fit in her backpack.  Of course there was probably something in it she could throw out.  But then again everything in life was useful in one way or another.  Especially her doll.  It was hers because she’d stolen it from another girl her age, taken it right out of the little red‑head’s hands, watching the tears run down the little freckled face.  That had been a delicious moment and even more delicious had been when the child had stopped breathing and lay perfectly still.  Ah, what a wonderful feeling, the power, the joy, the, the…

But she couldn’t think of anything else and she didn’t really want to.  She just wanted the night to swallow up the sun and make her invisible so that she became merely a shadow behind peoples’ footsteps.  Merely a figment of their paranoia.

Miranda swung the hammer against her legs hoping off the track and taking a dusky sidewalk instead.  There were several couples walking together, hands clasped in silent affection.  Miranda skipped past them and they paid no more attention to her then if she were a barn swallow.  Each pair was wrapped in their own non‑inclusive world.

She stopped at the darkened school park and, standing very still, watched the street lights come on one by one.  She stood so still that she wasn’t even sure she was breathing anymore.  She’d always been best at the statue game.

And so she pretended she was a statue standing in the school park, watching the swings move back and forth in the breeze, the ghosts of children out to recess.  Then she tired of it.

Miranda climbed up a large oak tree and nestled herself in its branches, safe from view.  Someone was coming, she could smell the salt of their sweat and the sweetness of their blood.  It would be the night’s first kill.

She waited patiently and soon she saw them, a girl and a boy.  They were teenagers and what they were doing there she couldn’t be sure.

The girl was tall and fair, and barefoot, her shoes were in her hands and she wore a smile that was dazzling.  The boy was shorter than the blonde, but he was her twin otherwise.  They were obviously a brother and sister, and tonight they would die.

Miranda waited until they’d seated themselves on the cold metal monkey bars, their backs to the tree.  She slowly slithered down the rough trunk, hanging on tightly to the hammer ‑ a very useful item.

Her feet touched the damp grass and she crept across it silently.  The girl was laughing and had dropped down to the ground.  She turned around, her pretty face registering shock when she saw Miranda.

But Miranda didn’t give her time to react.  One moment she was near the monkey bars and the next she was swinging the hammer at the girl’s pretty porcelain face.

A scream escaped her lips and then she lay motionless, a broken doll with a shattered head.

The brother leapt to the ground but soon lay beside his sister, his brains and blood splattered across the grainy dirt for the children to find the next day.

Miranda lay the hammer down and bathed her hands in the crimson fluid that had been their lives.  She soaked it in, smiling wickedly and digesting their energy, their essence.

When she’d fully enjoyed her kill she scooped up her hammer and plodded out of the park and down the street in no particular direction, looking for the next victim. As she walked, she hummed, happy that she’d been right. That hammer was a very useful item, and it was going to get a lot of use!

****

Why did she kill them? What is she, exactly? No idea, but I’m sure the story would be interesting.

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Tales from the Island Gets New Covers!

Since Children of Shadows got a new cover, the corresponding Tales from the Island needed one too!

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Smashwords | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iTunes

This is a collection of six short stories that fit between the Amaranthine novels Heart of the Raven and Children of Shadows.

They are meant as a supplement to the series may or may not make sense if you have not read the accompanying novels. They may also contain spoilers.

After five novels of bloodshed and terror, Katelina finally gets her island vacation, but it’s not all she expected. How can it be when her companions are vampires? Get ready for book 6 of the Amaranthine series, Children of Shadows, with these tasty bites. What happens on a vampire vacation, stays on a vampire vacation.

Includes:

Micah: Micah is ready for some fun in the sand, but he’s not so excited about the ocean. The dark waters stir memories from his past that he’d rather forget.

Torina: Torina is ready for a vacation in the sand. But can she find peace on the tropical island, or will worries catch up to her under the swaying palms?

Oren: Haunted by ghosts of the past, Oren’s vacation is more torture than pleasure. But perhaps it’s time he let some of his old agonies go and tried to shape the life he has left.

Sadihra: Sadihra wants to return to the elite Scharfrichter force, but Wolfe has one condition. Can she accept it, or will their renewed relationship fall apart?

Loren: Loren seems to be the only one who understands what beach vacation means, or so he thinks until he and Micah stumble on Torina and a surprise friend.

Verchiel: It’s just a lazy day for Verchiel in the hot tub. Though his efforts at making friends go awry, he refuses to be deterred, much to the chagrin of his fellow vacationers.

BONUS: Chapter One of Children of Shadows

***

And even thought the stories exist in this collection, the single versions get more downloads (no idea why), so I updated those covers as well:

 

What do you think? Like them? Hate them? Think I need to make this available in paper back? Let me know!

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In Which I Get Interviewed

interviewOn Friday I was interviewed by the very awesome Don Massenzio. Check out the great questions he asked, like:

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Of course! There are some obscure references, such as the supplies closet in Ashes of Deceit, which is a nod to Weird Al’s UHF (Yes, a nod to Weird Al in a dark vampire book. Why not?) and a mention of Old Man Wickleberry in another…I’d tell you the rest, but then I’d have to, um, never mind.

See the other fun questions and be sure to check out the rest of his author interview series!

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Children of Shadows Cover Reveal


Ume got to keep her spot on Children of Shadows! How could I resist getting to see her in the flesh? Now, the real question: Who do you think will be on the next cover?

What do you think? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Want an autographed paperback copy? If so message me, otherwise leave your thoughts in the comments!

(It may take a few days for all retailers to update the listing with the new cover, so if you don’t see it yet, it’s coming!)

Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks | Kobo

 

The new Collector’s cover will appear in August, so you have until then to grab the old collector version where Ume is hand drawn.

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Interview with C.G. Coppola

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Today we have C.G. Copolla, author of Better Than This, with us. Let’s pick her brain! (Not literally, that would be too messy, and no one would ever agree to it anyway. Besides, I left my brain pick at home.)

Jo: Welcome Caitlin! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

Caitlin:  Better Than This is my first Contemporary YA Romance and I started writing it in 2016 without any intent to publish. I’d been toying with a scenario about a high-school girl who discovers the quiet skaterboy has been keeping a sketchbook of her, and I decided to write the scene. Again, there was no plan to let anyone read it, so I indulged myself and paired them together, just to see what happened. I kept going until I realized I was writing a series, but it wasn’t until I heard Kodaline’s “All I Want” that I understood the depth of my story. The boy with the sketchbook becomes a current-day famous musician known for his songs about the girl who got away. (I write HEAs. Just FYI)

J: It better be a HEA because I’m already invested! I love your characters, seriously, and not just these, but those in your sci-fi series as well. Speaking of the sci-fi/fantasy, what inspired you to write contemporary YA?

C: Like I said, it was just a scene playing in my head. Although, if we can be honest, there was some *slight* inspiration. The characters, Autumn and Alex, were originally modeled after the Extra Gum commercial couple featuring sketches on gum wrappers. I was such a sucker for that commercial that I Youtubed it on more than one occasion, and would quiet the room whenever it came on television. I was a little obsessed, but it worked out well in the end I think.

J: Hee-hee, I’ve seen that commercial! What was your favorite part of writing Better Than This?

C: Oh, geez. I loved writing the entire thing, but I’d say my favorite part is the ending. I wish I could say more, but that’d be silly.

J: No, no, you can tell me. *looks convincing* No? Alright then, what was your least favorite part? 

C: Not sure. I kind of like it all, but, maybe…the parts that made me cry when I was writing? I didn’t enjoy them so much.

J: Um…crying? Oh-oh. I guess I better buy some Kleenexes! What do you have planned next for us?

C: I have the second book (Better Than Now) coming out in August and the then the third and final installation (Better Than You) releasing in November. I’m excited for these two because while BTT shows the origin of the story, BTN and BTY explore the meat of the relationship and the thing that everyone wants to know: what’s happens ‘after the girl got away’. Told in both Autumn and Alex’s voices, the last installment answers the question of how and why he’s become one of the most famous young musicians, and what happens when the two are thrust back together.

J: Thrust back together. Thank God. I know you said HAE, but I still worry! Where can people find more of you and/or your work?

C: I have a very lovely blog that I update regularly; it should tell you anything you’d need to know about what I’m up to/what’s next. For those more interested in the in-depth, I have a Patreon where I keep an even more detailed account of writerly things, including original drafts, flash-fiction, how I do certain Indie items (cover image/blurb) as well as scenes from different POVs. After that, maybe try twitter -@writercgcoppola – or my author fb page – @Cgcoppola.

J: One final question before you escape.. erm, I mean, have to go…Leave us with something interesting about you or your book.

C: There was a lot of doubt writing this, even when I thought I wasn’t going to show anyone. Since I’m used to writing Fantasy/Sci-Fi adventures, conflicts come in the shape of monsters and impossible tasks and plagues and armies set to destroy everything. In high-school, you don’t get much of that. I was worried my conflicts wouldn’t be that bad, but as I went on, my characters assured me quite the opposite. All problems—whether big or small—can have a huge impact, even if you don’t see them at first.

J: This is very true! I know I’ve loved what I’ve read of it! And now, I suppose I’d better let you go (or I could pull a Misery and make you get those last two books edited. Hmmmm.) Thanks so much for coming in today and talking to us!

You can pre-order Better Than This from Amazon!

Pages of the Past…Canceled

Sadly, the Pages of the Past event I was to take part in next week has been canceled. I’m not up on the details, but I think it had something to do with the venue. Anyway, as an apology, I’ll be posting my own little Pages from the Past story right here on May 17th! And, if I get enough requests for it, I might even read it live on Facebook! So what do y’all think? Wanna hear me read something that predates the Amaranthine Universe? let me know in the comments below!

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P.S. If you’re a newsletter subscriber and haven’t confirmed your email and your preferences yet, please do so by the 25th of this month or you won’t get to be involved in the special Newsletter only giveaway this summer!

Children of Shadows is Getting Updated!

Look for the new cover reveal right here on May 12, 2018! 

Can’t wait? Are you a fan of the Amaranthine books? Join the Street Team to get a heads up! (Please only request to join if you have read the books or stories. Thanks!)

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Kioko: On Equal Terms

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Contains Spoilers for Ashes of Deceit.

Only an Executioner for two weeks, Kioko is assigned mid-job to drop everything and help Ark apprehend a vampire-human duo wanted for murder. But it’s not just any duo: it’s the legendary Hand of Death Jorick and his so-called human pet. With a record that involves killing up to five Executioners, has The Guild really decided that just the two of them can bring him in? Luckily for Kioko, Malick and the secret laboratory have something up their sleeves. Now, she just has to hope their experimental weapon works.

Get it FREE on Smashwords!

(Other retailers coming soon!)

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Reality Bites Issue #4

Issue #4 is out! Check it out for great deals, new releases and some fun articles including a spotlight and the history of April Fool’s Day.What are you waiting for? Go. Read.

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  • A Year of Short Stories

    A year of short stories kicks off with the Tales of the Executioners!

    Free short stories from the world of Amaranthine; a universe of blood and darkness where vampires don't sparkle and night is eternal. Each is about a member of the Executioners squad; the special vampire "police" force. Members both past and present share stories of assignments, origins, and more.

    Dark, light, love, laughter, death...you never know what you'll find in the shadows.

    Get all the details, including a list of available titles!

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    June 28-29 – Indie Author Book Expo – come visit us at the Valley West Mall in Des Moines, Iowa  for book signings, sales, swag, and lots of fun. And it’s FREE!

     

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    An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

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