Meet My Lucky M&M

Well, I guess you won’t actually *meet* my lucky M&M, but if you check out my interview at Pretty Hot Books, you can find out about him, including what makes him lucky. You can also find out some cool things, like what’s next, what I like to do on Facebook, and what Erma Bombeck has to do with my vampire stories. So stop in, check it out, and say hello! I promise no one will bite you (unless you ask!)

The Pretty Hot Interview

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FRONT COVER smallAnd don’t forget that you can pre-order book 8, Masque of the Vampire, from all major ebook outlets:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks |Kobo

Spotlight Saturday


by davidd via Flickr under a CC license

Adan Ramie has been awesome enough to have me for her Spotlight Saturday where we are discussing complex characters in speculative fiction – a genre that has so much room for complexities but often lacks them.


Characters. No matter the genre – or medium – of your story, characters are important. They have the job of presenting the plot, and a well written story feels like it is driven and ruled by their motives and personalities. Unfortunately, with only so much “face time”, rushed plots, and in some cases just poor writing, characters often end up one dimensional.

The basic characters of a story can be broken down into the old archetypes of the black and white cliffhangers. There’s the “good guy”, the “bad guy”, and generally someone “in distress”.  Though these character types are present in every story in one form or another, they are most easily recognized in speculative fiction such as fantasy, sci-fi, or paranormal stories. With the focus of many of these kinds of stories being on the adventure, things like motives sometimes get tossed to the wind. Oftentimes the villain is evil just because he is evil, the good guy is good just to be good, and for the sake of goodness he helps out whoever or whatever is in distress (whether it’s a village under threat from an invading hoard, native aliens threatened by unscrupulous earth men, or a human hunted by evil vampires).

Keep reading at Adan’s blog! And while you’re there, check out her amazing writing!

Book Reader Magazine

logotype-element-5-publicdo The people at Book Reader Magazine have been awesome enough to interview me. Check out the whole interview for questions like:

Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite genre is fantasy (everything from high fantasy to YA fantasy romance) with sci-fi and horror tied for second and historical romance in third place. Honestly I like a good romance, no matter what genre I’m reading. What can I say? I’m a romantic at heart.

You can check out the whole interview at Book Reader Magazine!

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Interviews with Writers

joleene naylor 2 (1)The folks at Interviews with Writers have been awesome enough to have me! When you get a chance, stop in and check out my interview. They had some great questions, like:

What inspires you to write?
I’ve always made up stories in my head, but what inspires me to write them down and publish is that I’ve been irritated by various main stream clichés. When I started the Amaranthine series I was tired of kick-butt females who seemed to go from plain Jane to vampire killer in a span of five pages, not to mention that there were never repercussions. No one bothered to explain how this new vampire life style affected her family, her friends, the house she left behind. And she was always so hot/sexy/gorgeous/clever/sassy that every vampire/werewolf/man that saw her instantly wanted her. Characters like that make me go “bleh”, so I wrote something different.

So stop in, check it out, and say hello!

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Interview at My Book Place

booksThe folks at My Book Place were awesome enough to post an interview with me! They had some amazing questions, and I hope my answers were (at least a little) interesting.

For instance:

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Masque of the Vampire – to be released April 1, 2016 – is the eighth book in the Amaranthine series and, though it has plenty of blood, action, and vampires, it is inspired by the classic British mystery; a guest at a well-to-do days long party ends up dead. Who killed them? Why? Instead of a dead guest I have a series of child murders, a mysterious locked door in the attic, a phantom stalker, and a cast of suspicious characters.

Check out the full interview to find out about timey-whimey writing, why deleting can be awesome, and why I find Tricia Drammeh and C.G. Coppola’s books inspiring!


Author Interview with Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr.

Last Saturday Katelina interviewed Diego, a character from the Crest of Dreams series by Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr. Today we have the author himself!

Thanks for stopping in! Can you tell us a little bit about your newest release?


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Venancio: My most recent book is Quantos Rising and it is the first in my Crest of Dreams series.

Crest of Dreams is the story of a world that has been split into four colonies after a Great War in which knowledge, civilizations, and time were lost from the world. After five hundred years of recreation civilization is split into four colonies: those that live on the ground call their colony ‘Damiroo‘; those who live in underwater cities call their colony ‘Retarctica‘; those who live in floating cities that hover above the clouds call their colony ‘Anotreshpore‘; and those who live in space cities following the same orbit as the moon around the earth call their colony ‘Centralis‘.

J: That sounds really interesting! What inspired you to write it?

V:The book was influenced by many experiences and it only makes more sense seeing as I took so long to write it—from 2012. However, there were two predominant accounts in my life that I referenced. Firstly was the idea of the city El-Versium which was domed on quarantine by reason of an outbreak of a deadly virus called the ATS-Dc which was allegedly engineered by the University of APEX’s research facility. When the Ebola virus broke out just over a little ago, all too often had I heard my friends’ panic and their greatest hope was that the virus never reaches the country. And when I took a little closer look at the situation, it seemed it wasn’t just my friends that were wishing that, rather even countries openly admitting that they would have done their best to make sure the virus doesn’t infiltrate their country. Now I never blamed anyone for that and it really wasn’t a bad thing, however I just personally thought no one was really looking at the bigger picture. Putting it in perspective, it seemed in a way that everyone was just thinking about their own personal safety and that was the funniest thing to me. I learnt earlier on in life that every problem faced by the people around me affects me either directly or indirectly. If I saw my neighbors dying of a disease from a distance, would it really be the wisest thing to start looking for a way to keep their disease as far away from me as possible? I just thought it was a little unwise and assumed that everyone’s first priority should have been looking for a cure together and that would help a great deal in, not only keeping the virus away from yourself, but also successfully keeping it away from others too as opposed to putting a glass dome over your neighbors’ houses each time one neighbor comes up with a strange illness. That experience greatly influenced a substantial portion of the story plot and it just helped me realize that it’s a little better to try as best as you can to help solve problems the people around you are facing because in one way or the other they do affect me either directly or indirectly.

Secondly was the project Lunar-Mount droid plot. I initially got the idea while learning about artificial intelligence and humanity’s persistence in creating artificially intelligent humanoid. And at that point I recall I loved watching a documentary series on the Discovery Channel called Visions of the Future when I saw the innovations. I never necessary pictured that the world would finally create a droid that would realize that humanity is obsolete and must be destroyed, being a computer savvy and a little of a programmer at the time I explored a little more on the notion of the danger of ambiguity in AI source code and how that would play a large role in the malfunction of a droid. The droid was programmed to wipe out any threat (or group of people with a large enough arsenal capable of wreaking a significant amount of havoc upon the world). It was programmed to detect threats and arrange them in an orderly array called “threat level” and wipe out threats based off who has the highest threat level first, then the one with the second highest threat level, and so on until it had completely eradicated every threat in its orderly array. However the algorithm was designed to constantly keep scanning for threats so the question became “when every threat was wiped out and the world was free of perhaps terrorists and rebel groups, who would be the next biggest threat?” How many more bad people does it have to eradicate until it starts considering good people as threats too?

J: Oh nice! This really sounds good! Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

V: How I love to write books is that I would first create or recreate a whole world before building stories inside, and what takes the longest in my process is the quality of the detail in the world I create so it shouldn’t come as much a surprise to know that it takes me quite a while to fully have a story ready because of the heavy processes involved. I began working on the Crest of Dreams world in the last few months of 2012 and I’ve been working on the story ever since. And since the story is so exciting and detailed, I would love to tell the story of each of the four Domiciles.Quantos Rising is simply the first and introductory short novel to the Damiroo Domicile and there will be three more short novels to tell the story of the other three Domiciles (T-16 to tell the short introductory story of Retarctica, The Superimposition to tell the short introductory story of Anotreshpore, and Sons of Time to tell the short introductory story of Centralis). After each of these short introductory stories will come full length novellas of each of the stories of the Domiciles.

J: What would you say is your favorite part?

V: My favorite part of the book is the three concepts of the Project Lunar-Mount (a threat seeking robot droid that built to destroy anything it considers a threat, be it innocent or otherwise), the Project-QR (resurfacing the long since sunken city, Quantos, fro, the times before the war that hit the reset button on civilization as we know it) and the idea of the deadly ATS-Dc virus and how and why it was developed.

J: And your least favorite?

V: Definitely the editing. QR was supposed to be a full length novel but it turned out to be far too long in pages with roughly around 600 pages to it. That was purely unacceptable: I want to entertain my audience, not try to bore them to death with a majorly long story. So as you would have guessed it, I chopped up the novel into four different short novels and these are the four introductory stories to the Crest of Dreams world (Quantos Rising, T-16, The Superimposition, and Sons of Time) before the launch of the full length novels. Now with a lifeline of around 8 months of writing 600 pages, editing and reading through those 600 pages line by line and over and over again was perhaps my least favorite part.

J: I understand that! I had that trouble with my first book – It later became two books, which is always challenging because now you have to do introductions, climaxes, restructure each one… *shudder* Sounds like you had your work cut out for you! What do you have planned next?

V: I’m currently working on the second Crest of Dreams novel called “T-16”. However since the series will take quite the number of years to complete, I would also like to start another series called “Ghost Tribes” and tell it simultaneous with the Crest of Dreams series, each of which will have 9 books and will take up a substantial amount of my next few years.

J: That sounds awesome! Love the title! In your Crest of Dreams series, who is your favorite character?

V: My favorite character in the novel is the Colonel Kurt. I love him mostly because he’s a reflection of one of the aspects of my own personality: the “Go hard” kinda personality. The man would do practically anything to get his job done and make sure with his own eyes that it’s done.

J: So he’s like you! That’s interesting – and speaking of interesting, can you tell us something interesting about you?

V: The most interesting thing about myself and my books is that I usually tend to model characters after individual elements of my own personality, experiences or feelings I felt but to only let out or portray in novel form.

J: And how about something interesting about your book?

V: What makes QR so compelling isn’t so much the story as it is the recreated world. The world of Crest of Dreams is a world that has been divided into four civilizations. And what makes each one of them interesting is that each Domicile is governed by a different arena of leadership. For instance, Centralis is ruled by a democracy, Retarctica is ruled by a monarch, Anotreshpore is ruled by an autocrat and Damiroo is ruled by Chiefs. The world of Crest of Dreams is also a world that had lost time because of the 100 year long war which forced humanity to recreate time and seasons because all the records of time and civilization before that war were allegedly wiped out during that war…or were they?

J: Oh! Great way to end the interview – I feel like some dramatic music should play there!


Thanks for stopping in and checking out today’s interview. You can find more of Venancio and Quantos Rising at:

Author’s website 

The Crest of Dreams series Facebook page 

Author Facebook page 

Author Twitter 

Author Instagram



The novel, Quantos Rising, is available  at:




Featured on C.G. Coppola’s Blog

4927856418_78c63e5de3_nWhile I was away with computer issues, C.G. Coppola was awesome enough to feature an interview with me on her blog. She asks greats questions – and she writes amazing books, too! Check out the interview to read my lame attempt at a Joe Coffey imitation, and a few other sad jokes. While you’re there, be sure to check out her other posts and her books!

They Write The Books: Joleene Naylor

The Seventh Question



Simon Goodson, author of The Wanderer’s Escape, among others, was kind enough to interview me on his spiffy updated website. His cool interview format is a twist on the traditional interview, with the seventh question being one the author asks themselves! So check it out, and see what question I wish interviewers would ask me more often.

While you’re there, sign up for the free starter pack – four books by Simon delivered straight to you. How cool is that?

And on a side note, hubby finished the Meet the Characters page updates. Yes, he is awesome.

Author Questions Part II

joleene naylor 2 (1)Those who missed the week long facebook party missed a lot of games and fun. One of the games we played was “Ask ANY Character a Question” – I shared the resultant questions and answers in a pair of blogs earlier. Another game we played was “Ask the Author”. I got a LOT of really good questions, and some of the answers might be interesting so I shared part I the other day, and here is Part II!

What are the most valuable lessons you learned as a writer. (Could be related to the craft of storytelling, publishing, or the business end of being a writer.)

Learning to take criticism, actually. I used to be really bad about it. If someone criticised my writing I’d think “Ha! They just don’t understand!” Then I had a friend who started critiquing my first book (she is awesome by the way!) And my first reaction to each “edit” was “Bah!” So I thought “I’ll show them!” So I made changes and read both versions back to back to hubby. Every time he liked the edited version better, until I finally realized that, yes, she was right. It needed editing. That ability to take criticism and view it as positive has been helpful in many aspects, not just writing.

What inspired you to write?

My mother is a writer and poet (she has some free poetry collections on Smashwords, B&N, etc.) So I just grew up with the idea that writing was normal. As for writing this series, Jorick was actually an original character in an RP group I was writing in at the time, named Drenkan, though when I changed his name some of his personality changed.

Do you drink coffee or tea out of your Amaranthine mug?

I like both-  though actually right now I am drinking a Baja Blast.

What is your most favorite thing in the world to do? (besides writing)?

I’d say spending time with hubby, but that’s probably cheating, so instead I’ll say that it changes depending on my mood. It bounces between drawing, watching anime, taking pictures, and playing with my Super Poke Pet

How do you like being an author?

It’s a lot of fun – and more work than people portray it. Still, the challenge of making scenes and characters work is exhilarating – there’s a certain “aha!” moment when things come together. The best part is the readers; being able to share the universe with others and hear how they see things, because so often then have insights that I missed (forest and trees and all that).

Are you an only child?

I actually have a younger brother – Chris Harris – he’s an artist and writer too, though he’s such a perfectionist it’s hard to get him to do any of it. He has a couple of books rough drafted (one is a vampire) and we’re working on a fantasy novel together. He’s quite a character and his imagination is waaaaay out there!

Who is your favorite and least favorite character to write?

As writing goes, Malick is one of my favorites – he can fill up pages all by himself and I can just put my feet up and transcribe it. Verchiel and Micah are the same to a lesser extent. If I’m ever stuck I just tap one of them on the shoulder and they’ll get things moving – though I cringe at Micah’s language, and some of the stuff he says makes me want to smack him – if I thought he really believed  it.

Katelina is actually  hard to write sometimes because we’re not the same, so I have a diffucult time with the decisions she makes. Xandria is also hard because I don’t have a total grasp on her character – and Etsuko and the other Japanese vampires are so formal! Maeko was easy to write, but then I had to back track and rephrase everything into the way that she would actually say it. Troy is my ultimate least favorite to write. though, because he is just a sick bas**** and I don’t like being inside his head. I censored him down a lot when I wrote his short story and I censored him down in the Patrick prequel (not released yet) because I think he could easily be one of those crazy serial rapist/murderers and I don’t know if I’m comfortable with the things he’d do. He will never get a book of his own, and I’m not planning any more stories for him, either.

What author do you look up to and enjoy?

J.R.R Tolkien. He created such a massive, massive world with so many layers and pieces to it – he could have written a million books and never mined it all – and each civilization and race had their own language and art and everything – just amazing! Also I loved how VC Andrews could make the most mundane things sinister. (The real VC Andres, not the one who took over after she died – he just doesn’t have that ability). There’s a children’s room in the book My Sweet Audrina that was shut up after their first daughter “died” and there’s a shelf of stuffed animals, and she makes them seem melancholy and creepy all at the same time, with their black button eyes staring out at you… It just made such an impression on me! That whole book has this creepy sinister vibe running underneath it. It’s my favorite of hers.

Where do you get inspiration for writing, characters?

Sometimes it’s from anime/manga. Verchiel actually comes from a character in Kingdom Hearts 2 – Axel. He was supposed to die, so I thought what the heck, I won’t have to explain any of it… and then he didn’t… Kai and his chain are from a manga cover I passed in Barnes and Noble for Loveless (I’ve still never read it) – I tend to imagine the characters as anime characters in fact, and try to emulate the anime/manga pacing to a degree.

How did you get started writing? 

I always enjoyed writing – we used to write and illustrate children’s books when I was a kid – but the first novel length was when I was 12. It was called The Devil’s Niece (the title came from Madd Magazine – ha!), about the niece of Satan who is sent to earth to help usher in the end of the world… but the story got too adult and I got embarrassed and threw it away.

How do you keep everything straight? (I’m picturing a big corkboard, note cards, push pins and string

I have a biiiiiiiiig document named Notes that’s about 300 pages (literally) and then I often have to look stuff up on the previous books because I forget about a lot of the little things I poke in and about last minute changes… Someone asked me yesterday if Katelina knew that Jorick had used his power to get her to come inside and I can’t remember!

If you could trade books with Stephanie Meyer and have the claim to Twilight; would you?

Even if I got to edit it (ha ha!), I think I still would have to keep mine instead because I like them. But it would be fun rewriting Twilight! (maybe that’s why Meyers keeps doing it?)

What gave you the ideal of this series?

I wrote the first (and part of the second) book for NaNOWriMo waaaaaay back. Jorick was actually based on an original character I was writing in a Role Play/Writing group, and it went from there. Chapter two of the first book was really the original chapter one, and as I wrote it, I had no idea what was going on! Luckily from there I have figured a few things out.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you still do NanoWriMo?

It ends up taking me a year, but a lot of that is because I don’t work on it the whole time. If I make myself really do it I can write it in three months and edit in two but I like some time in between to let ideas simmer. I actually did NaNoWriMo for book five and six and might do it to finish this one.

What do you do to get into the mood to write when you just don’t feel it but you know you should write, anyway?

Music is usually the best way – Don McClean’s American Pie album works for more poetic writing, or sometimes Rasmus or HIM or whatever song is driving me nuts (“Evans Blue “Cold” does that a lot!)

Do you have a question that wasn’t asked? if so, leave it in the comments below!

Author Questions Part I

joleene naylor 2 (1)Those who missed the week long facebook party missed a lot of games and fun. One of the games we played was “Ask ANY Character a Question” – I shared the resultant questions and answers in a pair of blogs earlier. Another game we played was “Ask the Author”. I got a LOT of really good questions, and some of the answers might be interesting so I thought I’d share those too.

Have a question no one asked? feel free to post it in the comments!

What stops you from getting your books out and in the mainstream?

Mainstream is subjective. If you mean bookstores, you can order the books from Barnes and Noble’s counters (at least the first one anyway) but as for being in stock, they only stock books they can return and CS won’t allow returns. If you mean a traditional publisher or small indy press, I don’t want to hand my rights over to them. That’s a matter of choice and some authors prefer it, but indy authors usually get higher royalty rates and, no matter how you’re published, unless you’re a power house name you still have to do your own advertising anymore.

Is there any part, in any of the books in this series that you wish you would have written differently? Or parts that you want to change?

Ooooo. I wish in the first book we’d gotten to see more of the action, but I still can’t think of any way to do, it short of writing a different character, because there’s no way they’d have allowed Katelina to *see* it. There are several other scenes in the series – like that – that I’d like to “see”, so I guess sometimes I wish I’d done as romance and fantasy books do with multiple PoV. It sometimes gets hard to make Katelina always in the right place at the right time.

When you started writing the series did you have a long term goal in mind or has it just evolved book to book and how many books do you foresee for this series?

Nope! I had the first two in mind (originally they were one book that got cut in half) but past that it’s kind of been touch and go. I know there will be Masque of the Vampire (book 8) and book 9 (might be Goddess of Night) but after that I don’t know. I have a poll set up for reader input. (Feel free to go vote! ha ha!)

Have you ever considered a different genre?

My brother and I are working on a fantasy novel – as yet untitled but fun- and there’s a fantasy romance I and a friend would like to write someday (it will be awesome if we can get out schedules aligned!) And I’ve done sci-fi and contemporary horror short stories. I can do straight contemporary, but it’s usually awful. Not so much awfully written as awful things happen to the characters. The Patrick prequel is a pretty good example of that, and it even has vampires.

Who inspired you?

As far as vampires go, I took a good dose of inspiration from the movie Interview with the Vampire and then later from the first few Laurel K. Hamilton books (before it became Erotica). But as for who inspired me to write, that would be my mom – Bonnie Mutchler. She’s a writer and poet (she has poetry books on Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iBooks for free) and so I grew up with the concept that that was just “normal”.

Do you ever see yourself adding some other supernatural creatures to the books

I’ve actually thought about it (Jorick and Katelina discuss it in book 2, even) but at the time EVERYONE was doing that (it was all vampires and werewolves mostly) so I refused because I figured there were enough of them already. At this point I think I’d probably do a new universe for other creatures because it would be too difficult to weave them into what I’ve already set up.

Are your drawings of the characters a reflection of how you see them in your mind?

They’re close. Like I always picture Zuri with white hair instead of black and Claudius I see as a skinny version of Bradly James – bowl haircut and all (probably sort of based on a younger version of the guy who played Gisbon in the old BBC Robin Hood with Michael Praed.) In my head they’re a mix of anime and real people – And of course there’s the artist’s lament that it “never comes out exactly as you imagined it”. I’m currently working on gathering images of real people – okay, my mom is actually gathering them. I just say “yea” or “nay”.

How did you get started to get your books out there?

First I queried agents – everyone was apparently sending in vampire stories at the time, and so what few letters I got back said “no vampires”. I had some friends on MySpace (this dates it!) Who had indy published (this was 2008 when it was still a dirty word) and though I thought about it but was too scared. Then a friend of mine named Dan – who had the manuscript to read – made me a ” fake ” publishing website and formatted the book into paperback (along with writing the awesome review which is still on Amazon) and said “See? This is what it would look like. You can do it.” There was still a lot of research and terror and learning and research, but he gets the credit for the push.

If you could rewrite one scene from any book, what would it be and why?

Ooooooo. The fight in Claudius’ den when Jorick rescues Katelina. Troy just rolls down the stairs already dead, and after writing the prequel he is waaay more important than to die unseen like that. He needs a more satisfying death. I might work in into a short story somehow.

If you wrote a romance novel, what would the plot be?

It would probably end up being fantasy… Actually the one my friend and I want to write is a romance. It’s a pair of angels who end up on earth in human bodies and forget who and what they are so they have to find one another again. Meanwhile Lucifer wants them.

I have two questions – 1 if the books were made onto a movie who would you like to play Jorick and 2 would you ever write any of the book from Jorick’s point of view. I would love to know what he is thinking. I would also love to have a look at what is was like for him watching Katelina and coming to terms with falling in love with her. 

Hmmmm… I honestly don’t know. With makeup they can do wonders, but the actor would need to have a presence. Kind of like Roman Reigns on WWE has. Here’s really not as big as a lot of the guys he wrestles but he “seems” big. Jorick needs to have that kind of presence about him. And YES! I want you see that too! That’s why I did the flashback in Katelina’s dream in book 2, but it wasn’t really enough. I’m actually turning over writing a Jorick book either after Masque or else after Goddess of Night.

How many years have you been writing stories?

Since I was a tiny tiny kid. I have an illustrated story somewhere of a girl who gets a telephone call and goes roller skating that I wrote before I could read (the spelling is phonetic ha ha!) She had curly hair and her dress color changes on every page. It’s hilarious.

Do you foresee this being a long running series?

I’m actually not sure. After book nine I’ve been thinking about taking a break from the main series and doing some stand alone books – I have Patrick’s written and rewritten already. Also considering a book about Jorick’s past (which my brain is ahead running with) and there are a lot of other characters that might be fun. But I’m undecided because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. There is actually a poll on my website about whether the series should continue.


What advice would you give someone who is wanting to write ..

The most important advice is: write. Just write the story/book/novella and then get someone who can be honest to read it. This is really hard to do because most people don’t want to hurt your feelings or don’t know how to edit. It took a long time for me to find someone – and you NEED someone. I don’t care how good a writer you are, your story can be eighty percent better if you have someone honest who says ” this isn’t working ” because even the best writer has parts that aren’t working. But this honest person has to be someone you trust because if you don’t trust their suggestions you’re not going to take them. Not that it means you have to take every one of them. My best critic right now doesn’t read vampire books, so there are things he says he’d change that are important to the genre. I ignore some of those suggestions, but on other things he’s completely right. Anyway. Important advice. Write. Find an honest editor who can tell you the truth nicely and can also tell you what DOES work, because that’s just as important to know. And the compliments help break up the ego crashes.

Do you have ideas you can share on how you see this series ending?

Right now I see it ending, whether at the ninth book or not, with Katelina and Jorick retiring to their house in Maine to live happily ever after. In the end I’m a romance junky and I want a happy ending!

Have a question they didn’t ask? Put it in the comments and I will add it to Part II!

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    Joleene Naylor

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