Ten Day Book Challenge: Day Three

I’ve been tagged by the spook-tacular Rami Ungar to do the ten day book challenge – Blog Style!

Anyway, so the rules are simple:

  • Thank whoever nominated you with big, bold print. If they have a blog, link to the post where you got tagged there.
  • Explain the rules.
  • Post the cover of a book that was influential on you or that you love dearly.
  • Explain why
  • Tag someone else to do the challenge, and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Day three I’m doing a single book!

Image result for harry potter deathly hallows

I could have done the whole series, though it wasn’t the whole series itself that influenced me, rather the fan community. Thanks to a Harry Potter fan group I joined (on Yahoo groups. Ha ha! Those were the days!) I met tons of amazing people, and started writing again (including my Amaranthine Universe) but, as far as the individual books themselves, the seventh one influenced my writing in so far as showing me what not to do. In an earlier draft I had done the same kind of thing JK did – killed major characters offscreen and just revealed their dead bodies – but after reading it there, and seeing how unhappy that made me and my fellow fans, I realized we need to see the death of major characters, and if we can’t see it, then leave them for later. I also learned that the major characters really need to die for something. I get that senseless death is more realistic (and like JK I had it in an earlier version) but again, after the dissatisfaction I and my friends felt over some of them, I did more editing so that the deaths of major characters served a purpose (those nobodies are the ones you toss in just to up the body count). You also really need to hate the bad guy when they die so that you feel a sense of satisfaction. If they haven’t done anything really bad, you’re not going to care (again, it needs a purpose).

I guess you could say, though, that the overall series did teach me one thing, I learned how much people like a deep, complicated, immersive world. That was what a lot of people admitted to liking – not necessarily the writing style, or even the stories themselves, but the universe and the characters, which really hammered home important it is to craft those well.

And today I am tagging another amazing author, Roger Lawrence.

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Ten Day Book Challenge: Day Two

I’ve been tagged by the spook-tacular Rami Ungar to do the ten day book challenge – Blog Style!

The rules:

  • Thank whoever nominated you with big, bold print. If they have a blog, link to the post where you got tagged there.
  • Explain the rules.
  • Post the cover of a book that was influential on you or that you love dearly.
  • Explain why
  • Tag someone else to do the challenge, and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Day two is another kind of cheat because it’s a short story/poetry collection, but that’s life.

I know I’m crazy, but I spent way too long looking for a picture of the one we had when I was – again – a kid. Though we read the Telltale Heart in school (I’d actually read it before printed on the back of our “drawing paper” which came from the Shenandoah school’s recycle bin), I was never that impressed with it. (It’s still one of my least favorite stories), so I didn’t actually “discover” Poe until sixth grade when we read Annabel Lee. I went home enthusing about it, and my mother whipped this gem out of the bookcase and said, “yeah, we have that.” Oddly enough, the “Works of Poe” spine had never translated to Edgar Allan Poe in my brain (especially considering the other books in the set, such as Byron).

How has it influenced me? Um…I write creepy horror stories, that are often melancholy and/or depressing if I get my way (I try to make some of them not so dark, but I love them dark and heavy, really.) So, I think the influence is pretty easy to see without an explanation.

And today I’m tagging awesome author Barbara Tarn.

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Ten Day Book Challenge: Day One

I’ve been tagged by the spook-tacular Rami Ungar to do the ten day book challenge – Blog Style! This especially resonates with me because back in the day when social media was young, all tags were done in blogs. None of that facebook feed stuff, no quick five word statuses. No pictures without explanation.

Anyway, so the rules are simple:

  • Thank whoever nominated you with big, bold print. If they have a blog, link to the post where you got tagged there.
  • Explain the rules.
  • Post the cover of a book that was influential on you or that you love dearly.
  • Explain why
  • Tag someone else to do the challenge, and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Day one I’m kind of cheating because otherwise I have to use up three days to cover The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.

Image result for lord of the rings cover

Yes, these are the covers I grew up with, too. I still have Two Towers and Return of the King but Fellowship disintegrated. (I have newer copies of all, of course.)

Why were they influential? My dad was a big Tolkien geek, so we were raised on them. We started with the cartoons as toddler, moved to The Hobbit, as children, then on to the series proper in sixth grade, and later Silamarillion, etc. When I was four, the main characters were as familiar to me as Big Bird was. needless to say I was in heaven when the movies hit and it all became mainstream. People finally understood my jokes and references. I was no longer the only person I knew who was in love with Legolas. As to how it influenced me…Just as his universe (which encompasses so much more than just Middle Earth – named because it is the middle incarnation of the world, meaning there are other epochs besides that) is too expansive to get into in a single blog, so is listing all of the ways it has influenced me. However, I’ll pick one and say that I love the way the characters weave together to create the world, all of the little background people that pop up here, and then pop up there, and just the sheer expansiveness of it. It’s probably the reason I have a universe and not just a series for my own books.

I’m supposed to tag people, so I shall tag CG Coppola who is an awesome author and blogger!

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There’s more to read…

I’ve mentioned the Amaranthine Unlocked posts, but I haven’t mentioned the other cool things I’ve posted on Patreon.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve published all of the individual Tales of the Executioners that I’m going to*, though there are a few left to be written/edited that will appear ONLY in the collection (which I’m hoping to have out in October). Don’t want to wait that long? You can read some of them now, and the rest as I get them done. So far there is:

Philip– 1995. The Guild’s secret laboratory is Malick’s pet project, so when the scientists want to test the effects of stress on vampire abilities, Philip is assigned to “apply the stress”. If only he could tell anyone about it. (rough draft)

Roger: Just Another Night – A greater guard, Roger’s being punishment with citadel duty. Worse, he’s stuck on day shift. While everyone sleeps, he expects a quiet night. Too bad the universe doesn’t agree with him. (rough draft told in three parts: part 1 part 2 part 3)

Obrad – Fifteen years since Malick left, and Eileifr has decided to add new Executioners. Sent to Missouri to investigate rogues, the only thing Obrad wants to do is get home in time for the Executioner ceremony, not mess with messages from so-called vampire hunters. (edited)

As to what’s coming next, we have Senya, and Reymen still, and then it’s time to knuckle down and start Micah’s book before he goes off the rails and rebels. So, there’s going to be a lot to look forward to and, as a patron, you’ll get it before anyone else. Not that you have to read it right away. Take your time, it will still be there when you have a free moment to enjoy it.

So check it out! Becoming a patron not only entitles you to really cool stuff (like input on rough drafts) but it also helps me, so I can keep creating good content for you!

* In order to publish the collection on Amazon and charge money for it, I have to have some material in it that isn’t available for free elsewhere – aka there have to be “exclusive” stories in it. I ran into that trouble with Vampire Morsels, which is why I never released the last few morsels as freebies.

More Alternate Universe Fun


I asked what you wanted to see, and Leigha answered! So, this week’s Amaranthine Unlocked post over on Patreon is a continuation of last week’s Alternate Universe scene where Katelina runs away with Verchiel.

Did you miss part one? You can catch it here. Not sure what the heck this whole Patreon, Amaranthine Unlocked thing is? You can get that information over here. 

And no, I will eventually stop posting here about the posts there, so if you want alerts later on, you need to be a follower or Patron.

What would you like to see posted on Amaranthine Unlocked? Head over there and let me know in the comments!

Alternate Universe Scene with Katelina & Verchiel


I promise I’m not going to do a blog post every time I put up an Amaranthine Unlocked post over on Patreon, even though the Unlocked posts are free to everyone. Posting an alert here each time would defeat the point of posting there in the first place. I may post alerts for the first few, but after that it will stop unless it’s something really amazing.

Anywho, the first Unlocked post is up. It’s an alternate scene between Katelina and Verchiel that is not safe for work, if you get my meaning. Jorick shippers, don’t worry: this alternate scene, or even the storyline it could make, will never be part of canon. Look at it as fan fiction for fun. Steamy fan fiction.

Now, go give it a read and be sure to hit the follow button (which is free).

Complain and Ye Shall Receive.


The other day I complained that Patreon had not approved me yet – so today they did. Ha ha! Isn’t that the way it works?

What is Patreon? Patreon is a cool site that lets you subscribe to extra benefits from creators. It allows me to make a little bit of cash, so I can keep devoting time to the fun aspects of Amaranthine, and lets Patrons get interesting stuff that no one else does.

So I have to pay? It depends on what you want. The Amaranthine Unlocked posts are going to be free to everyone (more on that later). Or, for 1$ a month you’ll get the short stories I publish sent directly to your email or kindle (before they’re publicly available) and also get your name listed on the thank you pages of everything I publish (while you’re a patron). For 5$ a month you get those perks, plus access to every rough draft I write, as I write it. For instance, right now I have the rough draft of Tales of the Executioners: Philip posted for patrons. I just finished it last night. My beta readers haven’t even seen it yet. You can’t get much faster than that, unless you’re sitting next to me.


Amaranthine Unlocked? Amaranthine Unlocked posts will be special, fun posts aimed at Amaranthine fans. They might be character interviews, alternate POV scenes, alternate universe clips (think fan fiction scenes but written by me), background information… whatever it is YOU want to see. That’s right, I want YOU to tell me what it is you want, and I’ll do it. These posts will be free to everyone.

Why aren’t you just posting this stuff on your blog? That’s a good question. The blog, while useful and fun, doesn’t really excel at creating participation. There are also new notification issues with it, and fun stuff gets lost in between posts about new releases, interviews, and even promotions of other authors. The Amaranthine Unlocked will be JUST the fun stuff.

So, what are you waiting for? Go check it out!  


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Tales of the Executioners: Migina


To protect themselves from one another, the Executioners took on human slaves – or guard dogs,. Fifty years later, with no attacks, the vampires have decided to get rid of them. To protect the immortal’s secrets, the law says they must be destroyed. They’re only humans, so why is it bothering Migina so much?

Available on:  Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks


This may be the last one I release until the collection comes out because I have to have some content in the book that is not available free, or Amazon will have a tizzy. 😦

No Newsletter?


photo by John Vervie via Flickr used under CC license

Why has there been no newsletter this month? Simply put, because I’ve been waiting on Patreon and now it’s really too late.

Patreon? What?

Yes, Patreon. This cool place where you make an account and sent up monthly rewards for your patrons (or think of them as subscribers). It’s a cool idea, and since I submitted my page for review in July, I assumed I’d have it approved and ready to go in early August.


I’ve messaged them to find out WHY this is taking so long to approve (I haven’t gotten anything saying it’s NOT approved, the account just says it’s still being reviewed), so hopefully I hear back from them before September. If not, I’m not going to wait on them to send out the monthly newsletter, so you’ll get it with – or without – all the Patreon information.

I know everyone is heartbroken not to have gotten an awesome Amaranthine newsletter this month, but don;t worry, I’ll try to find a way to make it up to you next month. Sans prizes, do you have any ideas for what would help repair your heartbreak? (I want something everyone can enjoy, not just one lucky winner).

Hogwarts Tag

My friend Rami tagged anyone who was interested and being a Harry Potter geek I had to do it. Eventually. It’s taken me a bit but here I am.

While this seems better suited to a personal blog that my author one, I thought it would fit because Harry Potter is, in a roundabout way. the reason I am writing now. I’d quit writing for a few years (2001-2004) but then I joined an HP yahoo group (originally just to spam them about my fun Harry Potter website). The “cool kids” in the group eventually started doing a sort of role play game. I wanted to play, too, so I had to get back into writing to do it. Eventually it morphed into its own group, complete with character sheets and class schedules, and yadda, yadda, that November I wrote a book (Jorick is actually based on my OC character’s vampire boyfriend) and here we are. I had a lot of fun back then, and still miss the old RP groups.

Anyway, to the tag!

What is your blood status?

Hmmm. Do I get to pick? Rami listed a couple of tests we can use if we want, so I’ll give those a try (here and here to try them out). I got Muggle on the first one and Half blood on the second, so your guess is as good as mine 😉

What wand chose you?

According to Pottermore, Hawthorn wood with a phoenix feather core, 11″ and hard flexibility. This gels with the tests I have taken in the past, or at least the phoenix feather does. I forget what wood I had before. Maybe it was holly? It’s been a minute, people!

Did you take a cat, an owl or a toad with you?

In the role play group I had a crow (Naktis) but of these options a cat, of course, because I love cats. My old cat Nermal would have been the best, but since she’s in the great kitty beyond now, I guess Shelob, who is a cantankerous, ancient thing and looks slightly moth-eaten.

Where did the Sorting Hat put you?

Ravenclaw, baby. The best house. I was even the official Ravenclaw Quidditch cheerleader. (Yes, we played online quidditch once a week, house vs house) I made up cheers and a house song and everything. I wonder if I have that somewhere? (goes to look) Yes. Yes, I do.

Bronzed eagle on a field of blue
forever we will be true
to our house, the one and only
mighty Ravenclaw!

Standing true against the storm,
We will rise, defeat them all,
Champions with brilliant minds,
Ravenclaw are we!

What house did you want to be put in?

I admit, waaay back when I was sorted (we’re talking 2004 here) I wanted Gryffindor because those cool kids I mentioned were all Gryffindor (the HP group had individual common room groups for each house), but once I was assigned Ravenclaw, that meant Ravenclaw MUST be the best since it’s mine 😉

What are your favorite and least favorite lessons?

History of Magic would be my least because of Binns’ teaching style, though I normally love history I think I’d go to sleep during it. And my favorite would probably be…Hmmm…Charms I guess would be the most useful because 99% of your real day to day spells come from there.

What is your Patronus?

While I had a bat back in the old group, Pottermore says it is a Marsh Harrier. It’s still a flying creature, though, so I think we can determine that it’s on to something there.

What does your boggart look like?

If you’ve seen the Lights Out (more tiny film that floated around a bit back than the movie), that’s it. That figure that is darker than the darkness. Yeeeeeaaaaah.

Do you partake in any magical hobbies or school sports?

Though they never mention artists or art classes, there are artists and photographers because of all the paintings and photos, so those would be two of my hobbies. Art would be especially cool since painting something sort of brings it to life. (as much as I doodle, though I hope you need to cast a spell for it to come alive or my room would get crowded. As for sports, I’ve never been big on them, and I can’t see being magical would change that too much. I’d watch Quidditch, but that’s about it.

Where would you spend your spare time?

The library, Ravenclaw common room, and some random unused tower where I could get some peace and quiet 🙂

What would you most likely get detention for?

Probably hexing someone after they’d made me mad.

What career do you want after graduating Hogwarts?

Nothing with the ministry, that’s for sure! Photographing for the Daily Prophet could be fun.


Anyone who wants to do this tag! I mean, it is a lot of fun, so why shouldn’t you? Just make sure to link back to me when you do.


  • 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.

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    Joleene Naylor

    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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