Vampire Authors Celebration

The three day Vampire Authors Celebration starts tomorrow (Friday the 7th) on Facebook. Vampire authors of all stripes will take turns delighting, entertaining, and maybe even scaring you! Oh, and giving away prizes.


I’ll be taking over Saturday from 7 – 8pm Central time (8-9 Eastern) and I have some fun planned, so be sure to stop in and say hello! And while you’re attending, why not visit with some of the other great authors and maybe discover some bloody good books?

(I couldn’t help it! Come on, it’s October! I get to do bad puns in October!)

signature for white

When the Lights Go Out – the Official Anthology Cover Reveal

Come one, come all, and bask in the official cover of the Ink Slinger’s Halloween Anthology:


Featuring 25 tales of Halloween inspired goodness and an intro by horror author Rami Ungar, look for the anthology October first at your favorite ebook retailers! (Links will come when I have them). Featuring vampires, monsters, human transformation, murder, ghosts, and more, there’s something for everyone in the Ink Slingers’ Anthology – but you might want to read it with the lights on.

Diary of a Reluctant Vampire – Free Ebook from LC Cooper!

Because I’ve been behind weeding through my email, this deal is about to run out . But don’t fear, it’s not over yet! Until August 14th you can pick up a copy of LC Cooper’s new book “The Diary of a Reluctant Vampire” for FREE by entering the following code on the Smashwords checkout page:


Eugene faces more than the usual challenges of a young teen. He’s given a very short time to decide whether or not to become a vampire. He trips into love, but is it too late? What will his stepmother and stepsister say if he joins the forever-damned? The perks are incredibly tempting. Oh, what’s a goofy little kinda-vampire to do?

I already grabbed my copy, so don;t forget to get yours. ūüėČ

A Shades of Gray Review & More Celebrity Vampire Fun

I hate people who post blog after blog of links to their amazing reviews, but at the same time I want to say a big public thank you to Amanda of Wicca Witch 4 Book Blog for taking the time to read and review Shades of Gray. It really means a lot!

So, to give this post a little more bite, I thought I’d share something funny I ran into the other day. You may remember the publicity surrounding the alleged proof of ¬†Nicolas Cage’s vampire-ness? Did you know John Travolta is one, too?

Okay, so you may have seen this already, as it similarly appeared on ebay around the same time as Nicolas’ supposed photo, but I thought it was still fun, anyway!

And as a special bonus link, for all you authors out there, check out Donna Yates post full of tips for your book release!

signature for white

The Anatomy of a Vampire Cover


Have you ever noticed that book covers in a particular genre are very similar? For instance:


Why do they look alike? Because the point¬†of¬†a book cover is to attract readers who will like it. For the most part, book covers are not an art, as¬†many¬†people¬†perceive¬†them, but rather a marketing tool – an extended¬†advertisement¬† if you will, and so there are certain “formulas” to it depending on your genre. They instantly tell the reader what to expect, usually because they look¬†similar¬†to every other cover that has an even remotely similar¬†story, as in the video above.For instance, let’s say you read a book with a tattooed lady’s back on the cover.You like it the book. Now you see a new book with a¬†similar¬†cover. Instantly, maybe without you even knowing it, you have associated this new book with the previous one you liked. It’s just a marketing trick like so many others.

But, if not applied properly that trick can back fire. When you associate that tattooed lady with the¬†previous¬†book, you don’t just associate that you liked it, but also elements of it that you liked. For instance if it had a lot of fight scenes you’re probably to going to expect this new book to have a lot of fight scenes. If it had a strong romance you’re going to expect the new book to have the same. In other words, whoever thinks of the new design first and manages to brand it – ¬†the first book that came out with a tattooed woman’s back – is the one that will forever subtly set the tone for all the following books using that cover.

If we go to Amazon and do a search for “vampire”, we see that there are only six styles of covers for them, and each cover tells us what to “expect” and attracts a certain audience.

1. Hunky man/Sexy scene.¬† This cover demonstrates that the focus of the story is on the hunky male and/or the sex between him and his counterpart. It caters to those readers who find hunky men attractive, most¬†notably¬†women, and tends to turn away straight male readers. If I buy this book I expect lots of sex. I expect the hero to be called ‚Äúbeautiful‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúsensual‚ÄĚ at least ten times. There might be some violence. If the hero is alone on the cover, I expect violent scenes to end with the female trembling from fear or shock and being rescued by the hunky hero so that they can go have sex. If the couple are pictured together she may be a bit tougher, but they will still leave the battle and have hot, steamy sex. If there are two men, we automatically expect a steamy M/M plot. There’s a good chance that the book will be either from his POV or switch back and forth between him and the woman. Either way, ¬†I wouldn‚Äôt be surprised if the hero has at least one¬†monologue¬†where he feels regret and angst and tells himself that he should ‚Äústay away‚ÄĚ from his¬†significant¬†other.

2. Kick ass/sexy/sad woman.¬†This kind of cover says that the woman is the main¬†component¬†in the story. Though this cover is more friendly to a male audience, it still attracts primarily women. If the female pictured is ‚Äúkick ass‚ÄĚ woman I expect the heroine to be ¬†super tough and not need a man, the kind who deftly outwits all the men who cross her path and always comes out on top. I also expect violence since she is probably some kind of hunter/assassin/killer. If it is a sexy woman then I still expect her to ‚Äúneed no man‚ÄĚ but she will be having hot,¬†tumultuous¬†sex with at least one, and possibly two or more. I expect very light violence, with the main focus being on her sensuality or her burgeoning relationship. If she‚Äôs in modern clothes I expect it to be clicky and feminist ala Sex in the City, but if she has¬†more¬†historical attire then the hero will ‚Äútame‚ÄĚ her. If the woman looks sad or lost then I expect the book to focus on her emotional journey as she overcomes some terrible tragedy. There may or may not be sex in this story. Violence will be light.

3. The totally clich√© vampire element. Dark castles. Bats. A man/woman with fangs. A goblet of blood. This cover is more male friendly and it shows that the main element of the story IS the vampires –¬†everything¬†else comes second. I would expect¬†something¬†heavy, historical and/or traditional ala Dracula with a lot of horror elements. Someone will use old fashioned/obsolete words. There is a good chance of violence and it will probably be bloody, though the descriptions may or may not be ¬†gruesome. There will probably not be explicit sex (if the fanged woman is pictured alone, see #2. If she is posed with a man in a sensual scene, see #1). There is also a good chance that it is told from a male POV and someone is probably wearing a cape.

4. Cutesy art work.¬†This cover says ‚ÄúChic-lit‚ÄĚ and makes me think of the Ya Ya Sisterhood and stuff like that. Cute, modern, edgy and feminine. I expect the vampires to be worried about fitting into their skinny jeans, or cleverly outwitting their boyfriends. They will drink margaritas and have girls night. Needless to say, these covers are more likely to¬†attract¬†women.

5. Totally random object/scene.¬†Think Twilight, or Fifty Shades. Though the artists will cite symbolic bull, this cover tells you nothing. Their goal is to catch your eye with their¬†simplicity.¬†It is the color scheme and font choices that will tell you whether it is a ‚Äúmasculine‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúfeminine‚ÄĚ book. If it has a funky font I expect a YA novel with light violence and some romance, probably a girl who is discovering her ‚Äúabilities‚ÄĚ. A serif font leads me to expect a more serious story, possibly with a male protagonist who has deep regret over something. Sex and violence are both¬†possibilities. A sans serif font will tell me that the protagonist (be they male or female) is tough, there is plenty of violence, and it‚Äôs probably going to be fast paced and contemporary. A script/cursive style font says it is a romance and more than likely the protagonist is a female. There is probably sex involved, violence is doubtful. If it‚Äôs super curly or cutesy then see #6.

6. Completely out there.¬†This cover says ‚ÄúI may have vampires, but I‚Äôm different‚ÄĚ,¬†which¬†makes me expect different. In fact I will expect it to lean heavily¬†towards¬†another genre, depending on the style, such as fantasy, sci-fi etc. That there would be lots of violence would not surprise me at all. The same with sex. There may even be deeper themes involved. I’m not going to lie when I say that these are the covers I am most attracted to.

signature for whiteWhen you run across these kind of covers, what do they say to you? Do they make you expect the same things they make me expect, or do you perceive them differently? Which kind is your favorite? Your least favorite? Why?





How to Assemble Your Zombie First Aid Kit Infograph

Vampires are my usual subject, but that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of the zombie plague that’s coming. You may think that just because we made it through 2012 without an apocalypse that it means we’re safe, but we’re never safe. not so long as zombie inducing plagues are incubating in a laboratory near you (and we know they are. TV says so.). How do you prepare for the zombie apocalypse? The infograph has some tips:

first aid kit

Isn’t that fun? If wordpress shrinks it too small follow the link underneath and hover over the image on their page to see it full size.

Now, back to worrying about vampires….

signature for white

Love in the Kitchen

Get a copy today!

It’s almost Valentines Day, so I thought I’d repost this as it seems fitting.¬†


Jorick and Katelina are cooking up a storm (erm, sort of..) in the a flash fiction story That Certain Sparkle, which you can read in the  FREE flash fiction/cookbook collection Love in the Kitchen: Recipes and Flash Fiction compiled by Ashlynn Monroe.

Jorick and Katelina aren’t the only ones serving up their own brand of romance. You can also find stories and recipes from authors Ryan Loveless, ¬†Leanne Dyck, Julie Lynn Hayes, Eden Baylee, J.M. Kelley, Berengaria Brown, Amy Valenti, Valerie Holyoak, ¬†Lily Sawyer and¬†Ashlynn Monroe.¬†

Get your Free copy from Smashwords and get to cookin’!


All Romance






Cooking with the Sheep

How do you make a Jorick?

Can you guess the finishing ingredient in a Verchiel?

For your dining pleasure I’ve whipped up a couple of delicious recipes at the¬†Alpha¬†Male Diner, over on the I Smell Sheep blog. Not only can you sample two hot and tasty dishes, but while you’re there you can enter for a chance to win paperback copies of BOTH the special editions – that’s all four books in one awesome prize pack. Read, sample, taste, win. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Be sure to check out I Smell Sheep’s other great contests and promotions.


signature for white

Interview with a *Real Life* Vampire

The Vampire Deutsch: Der Vampir

Yes, this is an interview between Top Secret Writers and¬†Sappho Wolf, the founder of¬†VampGeist. Though she doesn’t seem to be the blood¬†drinking¬† skulk in the alley kind of vampire, it’s still an interesting interview, as are the¬†comments¬†below. I say comments, but miniature war might be better, as there are different “types” of vampires arguing over the contents. Though it’s a couple of years old, I just stumbled across it the other day, and it’s¬†certainly¬†worth a read.

If You’re Going to Serbia, Take Some Garlic

At least if you’re going to¬†Zarozje, a tiny hamlet in Western Serbia. A local council has warned residents to hang crosses in their rooms and carry garlic to ward of the vampire,¬†Sava Savanovic. According to legend, the vampire lived, and killed, in a small mill, which has recently collapsed. With his den in ruins, the vampire is said to be seeking a new home.

While foreigners are laughing, some of the locals aren’t.¬†Miodrag Vujetic, a local municipal council member, has reportedly said,¬†“Five people have recently died one after another in our small community, one hanging himself. This is not by accident.”¬†Milka Prokic,a local housewife, had this to say,¬†“The story of Sava Savanovic is a legend, but strange things did occur in these parts back in the old days.”

Of course, there are always the¬†tourists¬†to consider. Vampires are a popular, pop culture icon at the moment, and the idea that paranormal lovers might flock to the area has crossed the locals’ minds.
As Vujetic has said,¬†“If Romanians could profit on the Dracula legend with the tourists visiting Transylvania, why can’t we do the same with Sava?”

So, is it a tourist trick, or is the tiny hamlet really besieged by a homeless vampire looking for victims? If your Holiday travel plans involve a stay in this are you might want to take some garlic. Just in case. 

For more info check out: ABC news story

Thanks to Angie Bailey for the story! Check out her blog at where she has Vampirism Mondays every week!

  • Eternal Night : Amaranthine Gender Swap

    When Kaden meets the beautiful but strong Johanna, he doesn't know he's entering a world of eternal night; a world of vampires. Is it worth the death, pain, and nightmares to stay by her side? Enjoy all the books in one long saga.

    This is NOT the gender swap previously published on Patreon.

    Start reading today on Kindle Vella!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 4,374 other subscribers
  • Shades of…Jorick?

    You asked for it, so here it is! Join me on Patreon to read Shades of Gray from Jorick's point of view! Peer into Jorick's mind and get all the behind the scenes events Katelina couldn't see.

    Become a patron!

  • Amaranthine: The Complete Saga

    Find the complete Amaranthine Saga, as well as Brothers of Darkness, the expanded Vampire Morsels, and the expanded Tales of the Executioners on Dreame, WebNovel, AnyStory, and more!

    Start reading today!

  • Blog Categories

  • Coming Events!

    Nothing for now

  • Joleene Naylor

    Joleene Naylor

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

    Personal Links

    Verified Services

    View Full Profile →

  • Find me on Facebook

  • get featured

  • Authors db

  • Want your ebook autographed?

    Check out to get your digital ebooks autographed!

    Get a free Authorgraph from Joleene Naylor

  • Editing services

  • Awesome Review Blog

    I Smell Sheep
%d bloggers like this: