The Seventh Question

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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?

SimonGoodson.com

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

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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Heart of the Raven Halloween Sale

halloweensaleHalloween is one of my favorite holidays, and what better way to celebrate than to curl up on a stormy night with a nice cup of cider and a hawt vampire (or two)? Or, even better, hawt vampires that are on sale!

Through the month of October, Heart of the Raven, the newest in the Amaranthine series, is on sale for 66% off! So, instead of paying $2.99 you’ll only pay $.99 – a $2.00 savings – and you’ll still get all the Jorick and Verchiel yumminess that you can handle.  Or why not send someone else the gift of vampires? Nothing says you care like bloody battles, steamy scenes, and fanged creatures of the night.

Join Katelina, Jorick, Verchiel and a host of others as they hop across the globe in an effort to find the powerful relic, the heart of the raven, before Malick and his henchmen do. It’s a trip fraught with fear, betrayal, and passions that could unleash a nightmare worse than any of them have ever imagined.

Grab your copy today at:

Amazon  | Smashwords  | Kobo  | Barnes and Noble  | Apple  | Sony

And have a happy Halloween!

Shades of Gray Second Edition

SoG thumbIt’s officially uploaded and available at Smashwords (and will follow elsewhere as other retailers catch up)! No, not a new book, just the second edition of Shades of Gray.

Say what?

I’ll let the second edition notes speak for themselves:

I hate authors who rewrite their books, don’t you? That’s a little bit of ironic sarcasm, since I’ve done just that, though this isn’t a complete re-write. The original goal was to add some information and (hopefully) clear up some questions, but once I started I tidied up a few conversations, cut some words here, added some words there, and, well, now it’s a second edition. For the most part it’s the same; the same things happen in the same places (sorry, the scene at Claudius’ is what it is), the same people die, and Senya still smirks evilly. But in some instances what the characters say has changed. I’ve tried to make a couple of incidents more obvious, for instance how Katelina is able to recover after Claudius’ lair and why Troy does what he does, and updated Katelina’s answering machine (who has those nowadays?). If, in the process, I ended up chopping out a couple thousand words, know that they must have been superfluous and that you’re not missing anything. It just means you can get to book two faster, and that’s always a good thing. Right?

Do you need to rush out and get it? Probably not, but if you want it and you purchased it via Smashwords you can redownload it for free. I’m going to mail Amazon to see if I can get them to do the same for the kindle customers, but I don’t know how to do that for Barnes and Noble or anyone else. If you do, by all means leave me some directions in a comment.

And there’s still a couple days to enter the raven giveaway for your chance to win a fluffy, decorative raven just in time for Halloween.

And speaking of ravens, if you haven’t gotten a copy of Heart of the Raven yet, then look for October’s $.99 Halloween special sale and grab a copy.

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Official Website Launch!

It’s official! The new website – http://JoleeneNaylor.com – is finished. Done. Ready for world wide release.

So what does that mean?

It’s time for a giveaway! Since the latest book is Heart of the Raven… what? No, sadly I don’t have any vampire hearts up for grabs, but I do have the next best thing – some adorable little ravens!

crows

That’s right, up to three lucky winners will each get one of these little ravens. They come with wire on their feet so you can attach them to anything you want. They look great as everyday decor, or with Halloween around the corner you can use them as part of you holiday decorations. How do you enter? It’s easy, just checkout the updated site at http://JoleeneNaylor.com and then let me know in a comment below what your favorite part is. The more entries I get, the more winners there will be (up to three), so be sure to share it (there are some handy Facebook, twitter, Pinterest buttons etc. at the bottom of this post).

And that’s it! Check the site, leave a comment below (with a way for me to contact you, either email or your facebook profile) and you’re entered. Random.org will choose the winner(s) on the 30th of September and I will notify them by mail or FB message no later than October 2nd. If I don’t hear back within a week I will choose a new winner. Etc. Etc.

Thanks for stopping in and good luck!

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Smashwords Interviews

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Image via CrunchBase

Smashwords introduced author interviews several days ago, but being the pokey puppy I am (does anyone else remember that children’s book?) I’ve only just gotten mine done.  You can check out my Smashwords interview here.  And, for the sake of some meat in this potato-style blog, here’s one of my answers.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in the south west corner of Iowa in a tiny pocket of unreality; a place that time literally had not caught up to (and still has not). Everything was a little slower, a little smaller, and a little quieter. Farmers with withered sun tanned skin woke up at five in the morning and had coffee in the small cafe at seven. Carhart and coveralls were the fashion, the county fair was one of the big events of summer and the volunteer fire department still had dances in the street. I dreamed of escaping to a metropolitan area that was “like TV”, but moving doesn’t matter. Those kind of places aren’t only around you, but in you, and you can’t run from what’s inside. It oozes out in my writing; in my settings and my descriptions. There is nothing creepier to me than a dark field of corn or an abandoned barn. The backdrops of my books are small towns, slowly dying, with grass choked parking lots and rain striped motels. My monsters lurk in the woods and live in the abandoned farm house. They drive down old highways and shop in the local chain stores. And why not? There’s a subtle beauty in the Midwest; in old gray barns and rusted windmills. I only hope I can capture it.

I promise the rest of the answers aren’t as long winded.

And while you’re there check out DM Yate’s interview. I loved her answer to “What do your fans mean to you?”

“Readers of my work are precious to me because they’ve taken the time to read what I’ve written. I enjoy introducing readers to my new world and waiting for their reactions.”

and Roger Lawrence’s interview. His answer to “What is your writing process?” is similar to what mine would be:

I just get it all down as it comes out and edit much later, since the majority of my books are written with no planning. I just begin with a sentence, or perhaps a line of dialogue and see how it goes. This often results in dead ends and frustration, but for me is the only way to write. That includes my newest book about the potentially eternal man. I knew how it would begin and even knew what would happen in the middle, but I let the end take care of itself. In fact I have two endings written and shall let my wonderful beta readers advise as to which they think is the better.
There are hundreds of other interviews, so take some time and browse around. You might find a new favorite author.
if you’re an author and you’ve done a Smashword’s interview, leave us the link below.
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Interview on Sallie’s Book Reviews!

Sallie was kind enough to host me on her blog today! 

Sallie: What do you think makes a good story?
Jo: Good characters. It’s like the Harry Potter series, some of the storytelling was a bit lackluster, the final battle was a letdown, but everyone loves the series anyway because they love the characters. If you make great characters that leave people lots of room to play with (whether this means fan fiction or just ‘fantasizing about’) then readers will forgive a less than stellar story because they just want to see more of the character and learn more of those all important details.

Stop by to see the answers to other questions, such as what is the most common comment I get from readers and the all important one: Buffy or Xena?

http://yesterdaydaugher.blogspot.com/2013/02/joleene-naylor-author-of-ties-of-blood.html

 

Special Edition Official Release!

Balloons

by edenpictures via Flickr under CC license

Hello! This is Katelina from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. I’d like to announce that the (un) awaited Special Editions Vols I and II are finally available everywhere. And here to tell us more about them is my author!

*Verchiel strolls in* Um, that’s a no go. Our amazing author is too busy.

Katelina: You’re joking.  What am I supposed to do with the rest of this post? I guess that’s it folks. Here are the links to grab your own copies of the Special Editions:

Amaranthine Special Edition Vol I:

paperback
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
Smashwords
Sony ebook

Amaranthine Special Edition Vol II:

.

paperback
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
Smashwords
Sony ebook

Verchiel: Wait, wait. What’s that? It doesn’t make people want to check it out. You have to tell them why they want to. You have to make them excited! Offer them some cookies, some punch, maybe a balloon!

K: You go ahead. besides, why do they want to check the Special Editions out? They probably already have the books, so why buy them again?

V: That’s true. Though there is a bunch of bonus content, like character artwork, flash fiction, links to downloadable content, deleted scenes and character interviews.

K: You mean those interviews where the blog readers asked us questions?

V: Those are the ones. Jo tidied them up a bit, but they’re basically the same. So for all those who asked questions, if you’d like to see your name in print…

K: And what deleted scenes?

V: You know, the Lost Chapters from Legacy of Ghosts. Geeze, where have you been?

K: And character artwork? that’s weak.

V: Not at all. Some of it is new, and the Executioner gallery has never been published anywhere before except those cool cards she gave away to three people.

K: Fine, so there’s a little bit of bonus content. Still not worth buying it.

V: You’re a tightwad. But fine, if someone already owns them then maybe it’s not worth it. What if they don’t, though  What if they’ve put off buying the ebooks, or even the paperbacks? I’ve done the math an it’s cheaper to buy the two special editions than it is to buy all four paperbacks. And as for the ebooks it works out to the same price for the Special Editions as buying all four individually, and there’s still bonus features. You can’t get better than that. And they make the perfect gift! What could be better than two books in one? Especially when I’m in them?

K: How about two books you’re NOT in? I just don’t see the point in combining them, except to give them shiny new covers without admitting that her old covers need some work.

V: You’re pretty negative when it comes to our wonderful author, aren’t you? The point is to put them together the way they were meant to be. If you remember, there were originally two loooooong books she split into four.

K: Whatever you say. Since you seem so enthusiastic about this, you finish the post up. I’m going to go do something more interesting like take a bath or watch paint dry. It’s not like our author cared enough to even show.

V: She’s very busy this month.

K: Yeah, writing more horrible crap happening to me. Oh boy, oh boy. Seriously, have fun. *leaves*

V: You’ll have to excuse her, dear readers. I’m afraid she’s a little bitter right now because… well, no spoilers, but let’s say Munich isn’t working out like she planned. In the meantime, if you haven’t completed your Amaranthine collection, or if you’re a new reader, or if you’re looking for the perfect gift, check out these links and snag your copies today!

Amaranthine Special Edition Vol I:

.

paperback
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
Smashwords
Sony ebook

Amaranthine Special Edition Vol II:

.

paperback
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
Smashwords
Sony ebook

And here’s a cookie!

Vampire Cookies (in honor of the new season of #trueblood starting tomorrow!)

by ijokhio via Flickr under CC license

Vampire Morsels Collection

Have you enjoyed the freebie Vampire morsels? Now, get them all in once place, edited and updated, including seven morsels that were never published!

WARNING: The stories may contain spoilers as well as violence, strong language, sexual content or other disturbing scenes not intended for a young audience. Do you dare to walk in the shadows and taste the darkness?

Seventeen short stories from the world of Amaranthine; a universe of blood and darkness where vampires don’t sparkle and night is eternal.

Includes:

Kateesha – When Kateesha and her partner are sent to apprehend a rogue coven, things so awry and carry terrible consequences.

 Michael – Michael isn’t interested in finding a job, so his mother finds one for him. If only she’d known she was sending him to work for vampires.

 Troy – Claudius is having a get together, and leaves Troy in charge of greeting the guests. But what happens when he finds himself stuck babysitting a pretty boy vampire?

 Jesslynn – When Jesslynn’s baby gets sick, she sees only way to save him; by discovering whatever dark ritual keeps their neighbor, Jorick, healthy and eternally young. She gets more than she bargained for.

 Also includes: Velnya, Sarah, Nirel, Kariss, Herrick, Elsa, Claudius, Bethina, Benjamin, Ashton, Arowenia, Alexander and Adam.

Get your copy today:

Paperback – https://www.createspace.com/3950963

Amazon kindle – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008QJTRX8/

Barnes & Noble Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vampire-morsels-joleene-naylor/1112302992?ean=2940014996617

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/209410

Interview with Kateesha


 

Hello! My name is Verchiel and I’m from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo-author magic crap, Jo usually has Katelina interview other authors’ characters but now we’re finally interviewing fellow Amaranthians. Even better, the questions come from you, the readers!

There was quite a debate about who should do this interview. I think Katelina would have been a fun choice, but no one else agreed. Then there was gloomy boots Jorick but… anyway, I volunteered, so here I am! Yay!

Verchiel: Why was there a discussion? Because, today we are interviewing Kateesha! *bum bum*

Kateesha:  Verchiel. Well, it has been awhile. Thank you for that… introduction.

V: Aw, come on, it was pretty good. Would you prefer something about being the dark queen of the night, with eyes that sparkle with menace and power?

K: Yes, well. What have you been doing?

V: Ah, tut tut. This interview is about you, my dear. So let’s see what our discerning readers want to know, shall we? This comes from Juli, “You obviously are/were a woman of great power. What are some of the challenges you faced on your journey?”

K: My biggest challenge has always been the ignorance of men. And I don’t mean “men” as in humans, or “men” as in mankind, but rather men as in the male of the species. Their superior attitudes towards women have been, and remain to be, the biggest bane of my existence. Over the centuries I have met thousands whom I could crush with the merest effort and yet they believe themselves above me because I am a woman! And a “woman of color”, as they once called it, no less. One of my greatest amusements has always been to make them squirm! To grind them under my heel and then ask “who is superior now?”

V: You know not ALL men are like that. “Blinks eyes innocently*.

K: *laughs* No, my pet. You always did know your place. *chucks him under the chin* And what is next?

V: Here’s one from Donna. (hello, Donna!) “I think you’ve got a real attitude – want to tell us why?”

K: Ah! What a question! It is an attitude of superiority, nothing more. Next.

V: Mmm-hmmm. Ah. Juli says, “*I believe that I read that you had worked in a brothel.* If that’s correct, how did you end up in a place like that? What happened?”

K: *smile disappears* Someone has been telling stories, have they? Well! *lifts head* Yes, perhaps I was in such a place, long ago. Though brothel isn’t the word they used for it, but the definition is… similar.

V: That’s not much of an answer. Where was it and how did you end up there?

K: The Ottoman Empire is as good a name for it as another, and how does any woman end up in such a place? I was taken of course, or sold by my… biological father. It’s hard to say which, for each man has his own story that absolves him from guilt and blames another. I was not the only one taken from faraway lands in the night to be dressed like a queen and used like a whore as some exotic plaything to those foreigners who could afford the “delights of the East”. Next question.

V: Really? That’s it? After all the hours our amazing author spent researching the history of prostitution in the Ottoman Empire, that’s it?

K: What more do you want? Next question!

V: Fine, fine.  Here’s the last one from Juli, “Did you have difficulty, after you were first turned, overcoming your human past?”

K: No. I was quite ready to let it go and move on to something better; a life of power. Take a starved, beaten child and hand them the whip. Do they cringe and cry, or do they turn on their oppressors?

V: Lovely visuals there, sweet one.

K: Well, I haven’t heard that name in a long time. You’re getting nostalgic.

V: Oh, just buttering you up before the next question. *smiles innocently*  From Donna, “I also think you really want Jorick, so you must feel totally upset that he isn’t interested, right?”

K: Hmph. And who says he isn’t interested. I can read his thoughts, you know.

V: *coughs* So can I…

K: And?

V: Oh, nothing. I was just saying.

K: Are you trying to imply something?

V: Only that ol’ Jorick seems pretty happy with Kately-

K: Does he indeed? Let me tell you of a time long before your dear little friend was born, shall I? Jorick was not always so prim and proper! His high ideals of morality are a recent addition to his personality. I have been with our dear Jorick, more times then you can count. I have tasted his skin and his blood and I have feasted on his deepest, most inner thoughts, something which that petty, pathetic creature he now calls his consort will never know! So which of us is more qualified to say what our Jorick does or does not like?

V: You know, that’s something I admire about you. You just won’t admit defeat. And for our last question from Sue, “do you have any regrets?”

K: Oh yes, there are things I regret. Allowing that ridiculous human to live is one.  Malick is another.

V: Malick?

K: Yes. I gave him too much loyalty. I should have known that in the end he was a man like any other. I should have gouged out his heart early on and then Jorick and I would have been freed of him. Had we never come to this accursed ‘New World’ things would have been very different.

V: Speaking of Malick, there is an unofficial question from Bonnie. You know, she thinks that you and Malick… well, you know….

K: *Laughs* She wants to know if I and Malick were lovers? Mmm. Perhaps. And then again, perhaps not.

V: That’s not very specific.

K: And it is not an official question, is it? Do you have anymore?

V: Nope, that’s it. I was really surprised, I thought for sure they’d bombard you with questions about me!

K: Why would they?

V: Well, since you turned me and all that. But I guess no one thought about it, or else they like me being mysterious.

K: You’re hardly mysterious. Strange, perhaps, but mysterious? No.

V: You wound me! *clutches heart* But alas we are out of questions, and so ends our interview series! Next week Katelina will interview a character from a different author and then… Well, I don’t know. If you guys want anyone interviewed then I suggest you appeal to our illustrious author and perhaps she’ll do it.

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  • Tales of the Executioners

    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

    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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