Sunday Surprise

… and it’s a guest! Another leg of her blog tour… please welcome Amaranthine author Joleene Naylor and – erm – her guest! :)

blog tour bannerHello! Joleene Naylor here, the author of Children of Shadows, book six in the Amaranthine series. First I’d like to thank Barb for letting us hang out on her blog today. Hopefully we don’t make a mess.

I’m here with Jorick, the hero of my vampire series. Although he looks unenthusiastic, I promise you he’s really excited. Just look at that face:

Jorick (insert Barb drooling over him here)

Jorick (insert Barb drooling over him here)

See? It has excitement written all over it.

Jorick: The only thing I’m excited about is the potential break between books.

Jo: Why? Thanks to my real life problems, you already got an extra five months between the last book and Children of Shadows.

Jorick: And you made up for it by torturing us, didn’t you?

Jo: I don’t think so. If anything I was too soft on you in the new book.

Jorick: You would say that. Sorry, but I think that resurrecting an ancient cult to try to kill us, letting Munich keep us prisoner, having us attacked by our allies-

Jo: Hey, hey! You wanna give away the whole book? Geeze. Quit complaining. At least I didn’t kill you.

Jorick: You can’t. The fangirls would riot.

Jo: I don’t know. Verchiel – that vampire you love to hate – is getting quite a following. In fact I had a request for a picture of him in his underwear. I mean there you were in yours and people thought-

Jorick: Excuse me?

Jo: You know, the paper doll of you? So they wanted to see Verchiel too, so I posted it on my FB author page and-

Jorick: I don’t want to have this conversation.

Jo: All right then, back to the book. Would you like to tell our readers what it’s about?

Jorick: It’s the sixth book in the series, wherein our horrible author finds new and creative ways to make us sorry she ever learned to string two sentences together. Not that she does that effectively, mind you.

Jo: Hey!

Jorick: It starts on a lovely beach, but our author can’t leave us there. No. She makes Wolfe, the minion of Munich, demand we go back to the vampire stronghold in Germany and testify about what happened in the cave at the end of the last torturous book. That’s when an extinct vampire cult resurfaces and decides to try to destroy half the world, which leaves us in a precarious position for a lot of reasons. The only semi-good thing is that someone shows up who claims to know that idiot, Verchiel, and he’s in a tight spot for several chapters.

Jo: You really dislike him. Why?

Jorick: He’s arrogant. He’s obnoxious. He doesn’t take anything seriously.

Jo: And you can’t read his mind so you have no idea what in the hell he’s up to.

Jorick: I don’t need to read his mind to know what he’s up to. He’s always trying to get Katelina alone.

Jo: You’re really suspicious, huh?

Jorick: Of course I am! Especially with you as an author!

Jo: Well I can promise that at the end of children of Shadows she’s most certainly not alone with Verchiel.

Jorick: Oh, ha, ha. I know where she is, thank you very much. What I’d like is a guarantee on the next five hundred books. Or you could just let me kill Verchiel.

Jo: I could but…no. Not happening, slappy. If I let anyone kill him it would be – whoops. Never mind.

Jorick: What? Are you considering it?

Jo: I think that’s about all the time we have. Thanks to my surly vampire hero Jorick for taking the time to talk to me, to Barb for hosting us, and to you, the reader, for reading. Be sure to check out the giveaway link and enter for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

Barb sez: It was a pleasure having you both. You’re the reason why I started reading about vampires again (after reading Anne Rice in the 20th century)… And sorry Verchiel is driving you crazy, Jorick, but someone has to, otherwise you’re too cool! ;)

joleene naylorBio:

Joleene Naylor is the author of Amaranthine, a paranormal series where vampires live in the shadows and don’t sparkle. In her spare time she is a freelance artist, book cover designer and photographer. You can find information on all of her pursuits at her website . She also maintains blogs full of odd ramblings and hopes to win the lottery. Until she does, she and her husband live near Bolivar Missouri with their miniature zoo and a couch coated in cat fur.


CoS-thumbThe sixth installment of the Amaranthine series pulsates with the dark blood of vampire lore.

The Children of Shadows, a vampire cult not seen for hundreds of years, resurfaces to wage war on the vampire guilds. Led by a familiar face, the cult wreaks havoc while Katelina and Jorick are trapped in Munich. Ume, a mysterious vampiress, claims to know Verchiel and offers the help of her secret organization. But can they trust her?

As mysteries are solved, new ones appear. Why have the Children of Shadows returned, and is it really a former ally that leads them, or a look-alike?

Legends rise and secrets are revealed in a world where vampires walk, drenched in blood and shadows.

Buy links:


Amazon Kindle

B&N NOOKbook

Smashwords -


Find Joleene:


author blog

FB author page


good reads

facebook profile


and last but not least:

giveaway link

enter for your chance to win one of three awesome prizes:

1st prize: Amaranthine t-shirt (size is winner’s choice), set of bookmarks, and $20 gift card for Barnes and Noble or Amazon (winner’s choice).

2nd prize: Amaranthine t-shirt (size is winner’s choice), bookmark set

3rd prize: The last Executioner trading card set

blog tour banner

Random Friday

Did you miss my Art Fridays? ;) Yes? No? Well, you could expect one, since last Friday I said I’d spend the weekend drawing Da Muses! Except I managed to draw only one, because I spent the Sunday doing something else.

Ahem! Whatever… last Saturday pencil portrait…


And then on Sunday I did this – to be composed on the next Amazons cover, probably titled Uncommon Amazons (yes, that’s the one I was talking about in the previous post). I don’t know yet if I’ll use both ladies or not, I’m trying different compositions. And yes, there’s also a man, although men shouldn’t be on the cover of Amazons stories! ;)

AmazzoniCol_resizeSometime on Monday Firefox crashed and I’ve been struggling with Internet Explorer and Google Chrome since. Hopefully today I can snatch Cristina’s copy of Firefox and reinstall it. I managed to save the bookmarks, thanks to Techie Bro, but I hate these changes. Like the Facebook layout changes (or even the WP changes for that matter…).

Suggested reading – not by me, since it’s still on my ToBuy list, but I still have dozens of fiction and non-fiction books on my Kindle to read (some I bought when I bought the Kindle, so in 2011!!), so it will stay there for a little more. Anyway, according to Michelle, it’s unmissable – whether you’re an introvert (like most writers) or an extrovert (like the rest of the world)!

Have a great weekend! I’ll be drawing with Cristina tomorrow, but Sunday is formatting/uploading day… POD included… sigh! :( But if I finish early, I get to do another pencil portrait, yay! :D

Writer Wednesday

Okay, today I have plenty of writerly updates, so I’ll delight you with my ramblings. First, I sent my submission to Fantasy Magazine. If it gets rejected, I’ll submit it to Wyrd Worlds II. If you write SFF, you might want to contribute a piece too – check Wyrd Worlds I (it’s free) and here are the guidelines for Wyrd Worlds II.

I also entered my novelette in Writers of the Future, but results for this quarter will come out in June/July, so you won’t read it before the end of July. End of written stuff – that’s the only two works in English completed this year so far, and since they’re shorter than average, I’m trying submission to traditional magazines first. Just in case, I might be nominated for a Hugo next year, LOL!

I’m in full writing mood now, so here’s the latest. First, I want to thank Da Muses, who do drive me crazy in real life (as if I ever met any of them, LOL!), but they gave me that sparkling idea for the new body switch. So that’s what I’m going to write next, B.G. Hope’s third body switch.

In the meantime, I’m back on Silvery Earth, more precisely the Queendom of Maadre for an Amazons story that will be included in Amazon Summer – book 2 of the stories of the Queendom of Maadre. I “recycled” two short stories I wrote last century (bone) and I’m now putting the meat on it as I get back into the (new) story.

I’m saying this realizing how my writing routine has changed in 30+ years. First drafts of new stories are still quite improvised, but when I translate/rewrite (a.k.a. recycle) old stories, it’s a different process now. This particular story (underwent a couple of title changes already, so I won’t name it yet) springs from a summary dated 1987, written in 1991 as a fairly longer outline with lot of telling to which I have added a prequel about Miria (princess of the Amazons who ends up marrying the Varian Emperor in CVE3) that I won’t use in Amazon Winter (where I’ll keep another short story about her youth).

So I had to mix two different stories with different casts and make up a new virtual cast for myself before actually being able to work on this. Only at that point did the characters start talking to me and the story is now developing fine. But instead of writing in chronological order, I’m throwing in the new scenes as they come – which means when I’m done I’ll have to carefully reread a probably messy first draft for continuity. But that’s the beauty of creation, so I’m not complaining!

So that’s all for this week. Just keep writing, and remember: No One Knows, like Joe Konrath rightfully pointed out!

Happiness is…

92Do the two people involved remember this conversation? ;) Although I’m afraid that group is quite dead by now, LOL! :D


Sunday Surprise

…and it’s the writerly wisdom of the month! Enjoy these writers’ quotes and have a great Sunday! :)

In fact, long ago I set a goal: if I’m going to write something, I want it to accomplish two ends: the project must be commercially viable, and I have to have fun doing it.

Sometimes, I admit, I worry far more about having fun than about making money. I tend to mismanage my career. If I only wanted to make money, I’d write as commercially as possible, sticking to a single genre. I do neither. In any case, there are good reasons to write for fun.

- David Farland

Just continue to write, writer.  Find your audience.  Don’t waste your time on promotion.  Write, write, write your a$$ off. That’s the best promotion there is. Forget about Twitter, spamming Facebook walls, getting all your friends and family to leave you glowing reviews.  Don’t do it.  Just write.

- Indie Books List

Write a lot of good stories. Not beautiful words. Good stories. Remember, fiction gets translated into a variety of languages, and in those languages, your original words get lost. Only stories get translated, stories with great characters, great plots, and unforgettable moments.

- Kris Rush

A writer knows they’re successful when they personally feel like they’re successful. That may sound like cheesy mumbo jumbo, but it’s true. Depending on one thing to be an indicator for success is unhealthy whether you reach the goal or don’t reach the goal. Success isn’t static, nor is it solid. As long as you keep moving toward the next thing you personally want to succeed in rather than trying to succeed in something that holds more public value to you than personal, you’ll be successful. (…)

Give yourself goals to achieve, but don’t write your books solely to reach some general indicator of success. Write your books because you love writing them and you want people to love reading them. Give your books your best effort and, when/if you succeed on a public level, it’ll come as a pleasant surprise.
As long as you personally feel successful, you’ve succeeded as a writer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

- Tiffany Cole

So the indie publishing movement near the end of 2012 is still in some flux, as it should be after only three or so years in this new electronic-added world. Many writers are doing books or backlist titles themselves, but at the same time indie publishing is seeing the early adaptors starting to get discouraged and dropping out.
Again, this is nothing new in publishing. To make a career in publishing, you have to be ready for a long haul, often over decades. Most writers who went indie two years ago didn’t want to do that, didn’t find the “gold” they were promised after a ton of wasted promotion efforts, and have stopped. Nothing unusual at all. Writers starting off and then quitting was always the way it was even when I came into publishing back in the dark ages. Nothing different. But now it’s not quitting after fifty rejections, it’s quitting after three books up and very few sales.

- Dean Wesley Smith

Random Friday

Yesterday I noticed the WP emoticons looked different – and yes, they’ve changed them. Oookay… whatever… I wonder if there’s the secret emoticon for rolling eyes… 8-)

It’s good to have two Muses, but this year they’re both driving me crazy! ;) I don’t mean to intrude on their privacy, but I’m worried about Hirthik’s health (since he dropped out from a project and seems to have fallen off the face of Earth at the time I started really following him, meh!), so I wouldn’t mind him posting on Facebook from time to time to show he’s still alive.

Okay, he’s back to work, and in Delhi no less. Fine. Still have a movie coming out  in October, so OK. But lack of news is not always good news. And I would have loved some English subtitles on the extra DVD of Krrish3 as well – some things didn’t need them, but the discussion about the screenplay was all in Hindi. Grr. Okay, I forgive you even if you don’t kiss me, Hrithik (that’s Keanu in Something’s Gotta Give, in case you’re wondering)! ;)

As for Keanu, I had my Sunday-bad-news, since my Google alert lands in my inbox every Sunday at 8am. And most of last week’s alerts were about Passengers being dropped in development hell again. My (private profile) Facebook status Sunday morning:

WTF?! Why am I not an actress?! I’ve read the screenplay in 2008 and been looking forward to it since then…. AAAARGH!!!

Yes, I read the script when it was blacklisted in 2007. I was told “It’s at K.R.’s company, it will be made soon”… Six years later I’m still waiting. I loved it, it’s a great sci-fi story, why can’t they make it?! :(

My Actresses friends either don’t speak English or are not interested. I’m a very good virtual actress (in my head, haha), but in reality I’d rather watch a movie than be in it. So my suggestions for a female lead – from Keanu’s co-stars (who hopefully are still friends with him):

Sandra Bullock – c’mon, Sandra, this is very different from Gravity, more like The Lake House. You can get mushy with Keanu again. And it would be your third movie with him! :)

Charlize Theron – c’mon, Charlize, it’s not Aeon Flux, more like Sweet November. And it would be your third movie with Keanu as well! ;)

Cameron Diaz – if you did sci-fi, Cams, it escaped me. So you should try it. It would be only your secon time with Keanu, but well… why not?

And no Angelina Jolie, thank you! :(

47 Ronin came out in Italy last week, but not in any cinema showing the original version. Since I hate to hear him dubbed, I’m going to pass… Now I’m going to spend the weekend drawing both Da Muses and trying to forget they drive me nuts! :) Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday

First of all, I’m guest at Rita Lee Chapman’s so go and read the interview ASAP, since it’s only for a week! :) And since I’m not shy when it comes to written interviews, I’m going to add the 4 questions of #mywritingprocess even if I’m not on Twitter (that’s why I’m not really tagging anyone, but I got it from Viv’s blog – go check her answers!)!

What am I working on?

Okay, I’m done with translating Star Minds, so I’m back on Silvery Earth. A few short stories to translate and rewrite about the Amazons (the first volume of stories of the Queendom of Maadre will come out in April, these will go in the second) and a few more that are “new” (from old notes and summaries) and then I’ll probably write a few more tales of the Southern Kingdoms, so I can have another anthology set before TSK1, BoI – Air and TSK2 later in the year. Then I’ll do the last bit of translation (Male Lovers of Silvery Earth needs to be in Italian, since the cover artist is Italian, although can speak English, LOL) and then I hope to get back to the Assassins’ Guild of Southern Varia (Saif’s Legacy). Busy busy – those popcorn kittens never leave! ;)

How does my work differ form others of its genre?

Well, it’s labeled “adult unconventional fantasy” for a reason… no quests, no heroes’ journeys… And a lot of characters who are or feel different from the rest of the world, and either try to fit in or not. No Good vs Evil or Go And Save The World stories, but I think there’s a lot of conflict anyway (or there wouldn’t be a story, right?)

Why do I write what I do?

Because it’s fun, I like to make up stuff and I write what I’d like to read but don’t seem to be able to find it! ;) Yeah, I’m my #1 fan! :D

How does my writing process work?

Idea – can be a sentence, an image, a thought, anything. Either notes and brainstorming with myself, or I tell myself the story before going to sleep (but then lose something when I transcribe it, so I try not to use it too often). Draft zero is mostly improvised (and written longhand). Draft 1 revises and adjusts, and then goes out to betas. When I get all the comments back (from 1 for a short story to as many as I can get for longer works), I rewrite and send off to Editor. Final pass and formatting or submitting…

And in reminding you the sale of Technological Angel – at 99cents only on Amazon, Kobo and DriveThruFiction and only until Saturday – I will now move to the writerly links!

Dean Wesley Smith has started the Killing the top ten sacred cows of indie publishing, so don’t miss them! I’m indie, even if I haven’t set up Unicorn Productions as a business – but then I live in Italy, not in the US. Most complicated country to start a business in. Sigh. But I still consider myself indie and not self-published! :) But I’m also available at Powell’s Books – even if 2 covers are missing! Whoot for CreateSpace’s extended distribution (the paperbacks are also at B&N)! :D And I live in Italy, so you see, it’s not impossible to get into US bookstores! ;)

And then go check the latest post on discoverability by Kris Rusch. And don’t forget to read what Joe Konrath knows and print it out and pin it in front of your desk! ;) In short, welcome to the new world of publishing. You’ve written a book? Good. Don’t look for an agent. Don’t look for a publishers. Check those three pros blogs and just publish it! :) Have a great week!

Happiness is…

91whahahaha! And now I want to buy the brunet! Poor Barbie (who will be 40 this year) will faint, in spite of the help of 4 Collection Barbie in Medieval Clothes! :D Besides, two Millennium Ken could handle 5 20th Century Barbies? Who knows…

the whole bunch

the whole bunch

Sunday Surprise

To celebrate the brand new cover by Cristina Fabris, Technological Angel will be at 99cents ONLY on Amazon, Kobo and DriveThruFiction and ONLY from today and until March 23! See the neat little email KWL sent me when I experimented with their brand new button “Set Promo Price”?

KWLsaleSorry for all those other currencies, the 99cents is valid only for US$ and euro on Kobo (link to Kobo US). As for Amazon, I set the price to match the US$ amount, sorry (link to It should be lower on the other Amazon shops as well, but not as neat as Kobo.

DriveThruFiction is only in US$, so… ;) You can still choose between PDF, e-pub and mobi. Grab the first book of Star Minds at a discounted price for a limited time! :D

Check also their Sales Guide for more special offers – DriveThru specializes in SFF, comics and Games, so if that’s your cup of tea, go and check them!

I also have bundles with them, like the five Books of the Immortals or the Chronicles of the Varian Empire – PDF or e-pub or mobi bundled for a discounted price. I have a banner running at the bottom and even managed to squeeze Star Minds in the Featured Product Window, see? ;)

DTFsaleHave a great Sunday!

Random Friday

Since one of my Mighty Editors (yes, I have more than one because I’m too prolific, LOL!) is fighting cancer, I’ve helped by going to her wishlist. See if you can find something you’d like to give her – not only in this particular wishlist, but all of them!

Which made me muse about my own use of Amazon, although I never really made a wishlist there, but today’s rant is about my history of Amazon purchases.

Being Italian, I was definitely an early adopter, since I started buying from Amazon in 2004.

My first order was Oct.20, 2004 (two books and one VHS). The latest was in January when I got me Da Muses latest movies on DVD…

In almost ten years, Mighty Zon provided me with:


6 CDs

49 DVDs (half Bollywood, one quarter Keanu’s and the rest various)

19 comics and graphic novels

26 non-fiction books (mostly Osprey for my historical research)

6 fiction paperbacks

1 Barbie collectors edition (even had to send it to Jen’s, since they didn’t ship to Italy!)

1 Kindle Keyboard

12 Kindle books (+ 13 on Amazon UK and 15 on – I moved my Kindle every time a new Kindle shop opened, LOL) – that’s 40 in total, not counting the ones I don’t get from Amazon… yes, my Kindle is full of books to read, sigh!

And that’s not counting the shopping on Amazon.UK, Amazon.FR and Amazon.IT. I guess it’s time they start paying back in the form of royalties from KDP, right? ;)

I haven’t reviewed everything, since I’m not a reviewer and it’s too time-consuming. Besides, I review only what I loved. Sometimes I get those emails saying “Your review has helped a customer”, but this doesn’t push me to do more! ;)

Now back to writing… Don’t forget to help Katy by getting something on her wishlist… Especially if you’re an author and you see your books on her list! :) Have a great weekend!


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