Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Posts tagged “Fangs and Hearts Week

FANGS and HEARTS week featuring Joleene Naylor Author of “Vampire Morsels”

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Welcome

Author Joleene Naylor to

FANGS and HEARTS

I have the delight of featuring “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection” by Vampire Author Joleene Naylor!

She is an artist, blogger, author and friend!

I am tickled pink to feature her and her wonderful book today.

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My review of

“Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection”

by Joleene Naylor


This novel is a collection of seventeen stories about vampires in the world of Amaranthine. “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection” relates to her other books, “Shades of Gray,” “Legacy of Ghosts,” “Ties of Blood,” and “Ashes of Deceit.” 

Each short story is about a character from her other books. Sometimes showing insight into how these vampires were formed and inner most thoughts.

The book was well-planned and very easy to read.

This is an Adult read.

Ms. Naylor gives you the exact book the character is from and what year and country each story is taking place in.

My Thoughts

Each character’s story was sometimes emotional and shocking. The villains were hard to pick out but that is because some of the stories were about such flawed characters. Something I loved and was shocked about.

I cannot go into depth about each character’s story in “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection” but I will have to say you will be wetting your lips to read the other books. These snippets have made me hunger to read the other books because they were so captivating.

One particular story about Claudius, I wanted to read before his story and after his story in the worst way.

I was drawn in, in the first few pages of “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection”. Ms. Naylor delivers action-packed, fast-paced tales of vampirism. Some of the stories crisscross each other which I thought was so great.

I usually don’t like short story collections per se, but I have to recommend this collection highly.

For this and so much more, I have to give “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection” by Joleene Naylor an enthusiastic five-star review.

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Interview with Joleene Naylor

WELCOME Joleene! 

Please share about “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection”and the series which it is spurned from.

Thanks so much for having me, and for your kind review!

The Amaranthine universe is a place where vampires aren’t shiny. They don’t go to high school and pine; they fight wars, kill both humans and one another, growl, snarl and burn to ash in the sunlight. The main series is told through the eyes of Katelina, a human woman in her mid-twenties (though it never says, I imagine her to be about 25) who gets dragged into this vampire world and falls in love with Jorick, the quintessential black haired, dark eyed vampire. But, unlike the usual sigh and die and always say the right things kind of guy, Jorick is a little more… realistic. The Amaranthine books follow his and Katelina’s adventures and each one takes both her and the reader deeper into the realm of night and blood.

 

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I have a lot of favorite authors, so I’ll just name the first ones that pop in my head. There are the staples; Poe and VC Andrews because both could make anything seem macabre. VC Andrews had an especial knack for contrast; the sweet cherub children, the colorful paper flowers in the attic, the darkness that was really going on. Tolkien makes the list, of course, with his fantastic universe – so many layers and characters and history! Stephannie Beman who writes amazingly hot mythological romances, Barbara Tarn who has a super expansive fantasy universe, and right now I’m reading DM Yate’s first book Always, which is excellent. Okay, I’ll stop there, but I could go on for pages.

 

The wonderful vignettes of “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection” are so different what was the thought process behind it?

Winterfell Amaranthine

Winterfell Amaranthine (Photo credit: Ramona.Forcella)

When I started to prep my notes to write the third book, I noticed several characters that had made short appearances, but really deserved more. Character exploration is my favorite part of writing, and I really wanted a chance to see what some of these vampires had been through. Each story reads a little different because each character has a different voice. Jesslynn’s story is far more formal in the writing style and the word choices than, say, Troy’s, which has a LOT of obscenities in it.

 

If someone else wrote a blurb about what “Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection” what would it say?

Ha! I wish they would, I bet it would be better than mine! Blurb writing is not my strong point. ;)

For me, my ‘support crew’ is paramount; did you have a lot of help and guidance while you wrote this collection?

The morsels beta crew is sort of hodge podge because I wrote the stories so slowly. Different people looked over different stories, but after I put it all together I had three beta readers go over it. All of the help was so, so important, as they caught things I had missed – sometimes big things!

 

Why are you drawn to be a great Author of Paranormal? Why Vampires especially?

My mom is a lover of the macabre and morbid (She plans her funeral for fun), so I was raised with vampires and murder television shows and all of that as normal. It wasn’t really a conscious choice to write vampires, as in I sat down and thought it through and studied market trends. I wrote the first book in 2005 for NaNoWriMo and I just took the basis of a vampire character I’d created for another project, renamed him Jorick and dropped him in. Of course, he ended up to be a different personality.

I love this question because you never know what you will come up with… what is a random fact about yourself that would surprise your fans and our readers?

Though I’m a blood thirsty author, in real life I don’t even like to kill bugs – in fact I even save the flies that land in the dog’s water dish and put them on a towel to dry out. Since there’s been way more flies than usual this year, we have kind of a small herd. Hubby wants to get fly strips, but I’ve bought a “bug vacuum” so I can catch them and let them go outside, though it’s harder to catch them than you’d think!  Maybe because I’m not very coordinated.

 

If you could live during any period in time, when would it be and who would you be?

Victorian Mansion - Idlewild

Victorian Mansion – Idlewild (Photo credit: blmiers2)

I’m too in love with modern conveniences to love anywhere else, but I’d like to make some day trips. Victorian England would be fun, Feudal Japan, a quick trip on the Titanic (though we’d have to ship out before that last bit) and maybe a stop at Pompeii before Vesuvius erupts… the sad thing is I am too egotistical to be anyone but myself.

 

Do you have a day job?

I also make book covers and do formatting for other authors, though I’ve stopped taking new clients recently unless they are referrals because of the time constraints.

 

Any advice or news which you like to share with our readers/authors?

All free frontiers are finite; they’re only frontiers until they get settled and populated, and then people start to make rules and laws. They start to pick and choose who can do what, and who can be what and, before long, the frontier is “civilized” and no different from the traditional towns the frontiersmen moved to get away from. Self-publishing is a frontier and, like the Wild West, it won’t last forever. I really think we’re going to see more restrictions imposed on who can publish and what they can publish – more gatekeepers and vetters – all added under the guise of quality control. Readers and fellow authors will cheer for it, just like those frontiersmen did, and one day they’ll look around and realize all the gatekeeping they instituted to stop the “not good enough people” are now stopping them, too. So, if you want to join the not-so-new revolution, I suggest you do it soon.

Excuse the pun, but any “morsels” you can share with us about future books coming out?

Imperium (song)

Imperium (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right now I’m writing book 5 in the series, Heart of the Raven, and I *hope* to have it out this winter. It continues the story from Ashes of Deceit. I don’t want to give too much away, but Jorick and Katelina have to go to Munich, Germany to talk to the council who is in charge of all the vampires. Of course, things don’t work out the way they plan.

Patrick: A Prequel is back from most of the betas but I don’t think I’ll be able to get to it until January. And, as for more short stories, once I get book 5 squared away, I plan to run a poll and see what the readers would be the most interested in. I think reader participation is so much fun!

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This song and video was made

to go with

“Vampire Morsels: Short Story Collection”

http://youtu.be/FjTB6EG3xGo

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Stalker Links for Joleene Naylor

 COVER ART FAQ:
http://CoverArt.JoleeneNaylor.com – CHECK FOR UPDATED INFO!

For more info on how YOU can get YOUR book featured on my blog, please see:  http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/author-excerpts/

First time author? Check out The Self Published Authors’ Lounge for tips and advice!

Books by JOLEENE NAYLOR:
    ToB front cover         
To read sample chapters and more, visit her website!
http://www.JoleeneNaylor.com

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GIVEAWAY TIME! 

Joleene has decided to give one ebook of “Vampire Morsels” to a lucky winner.

What would YOUR vampire look like?

Please respond with email address.

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I want to sincerely thank Joleene Naylor

for taking the time out to be a guest

on FANGS and HEARTS week.  

She has been patiently waiting for me

to recover from Hurricane Sandy!


“FANGS and HEARTS” week featuring David Lee Summers “The Dragon’s Quest”

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My review of

“The Dragon’s Quest: Dragon’s Fall Series” 

by David Lee Summers

This novel is set at the time of Roman domination in Briton, Arthurian Legend and the spread of Christianity.

Aonghas (aka Desmond) is a warrior who is in love with Guinevere who is the daughter of the King.  They share a good and pure innocent love.  However, being a skillful warrior, Desmond is assigned to go into battle with a young Arthur.  Coincidentally, Arthur is “secretly married” to his half-sister Morgana.

During one of the battles, Desmond is dealt a death blow from an arrow.

Wolf, a vampire who can turn into a wolf, comes out of his cave at night to feed on the villagers but not to kill.  Wolf comes to the village after the battle to feed.

He sees Desmond close to death and starts to feed.  Desmond has nothing but his own teeth to deflect Wolf.  Once this is done, Desmond is turned.

Wolf, a vampire with a heart, and Desmond start a long relationship of teacher and pupil.

During this time Wolf and Desmond hear of the cup of Jesus and how it can heal along with a scroll Jesus penned.  They believe if they drink from the cup and read the scroll, they will be healed of their affliction.

However, in the meantime, everyone Desmond has known has aged and gotten along in life.  His love, Guinevere is in a loveless marriage to Arthur but infatuated with L’Ancelot but not in love.

 Wolf and Desmond go on quest to find the cup and scroll which might give them their humanity back.  Will they be able to complete their quest?  Will their search lead them to more uncertainties?

MY THOUGHTS

From the first pages of the novel, I was struck by the historical references which were true and amazed how Desmond’s story was wove through the fabric of time and space.

“The Dragon’s Quest: Dragon’s Fall Series” was wonderful and masterly written and the voice was perfect.

Desmond’s story was relate-able as I could imagine this story being told right along with the stories of the “Knights of the Round Table” in Camelot.  Even though it is a legend, I still have a hard time separating it from reality since the historical facts were written in so well.  Also little details were so real even down to the flea bites Desmond gets from sleeping under animal skins to avoid the sun.

Mr. Summers has a knack of making all the scenes of “The Dragon’s Quest: Dragon’s Fall Series” seem seamless and flowed with action and adventure.

I was seeing so much through Desmond’s eyes that I was cheering and tearing up at the same time.

I would have to say this novel is an Adult read.

However, I loved each and every word of the novel and have my appetite ready to read more of Mr. Summers novels in the series.

I can give this wonderful novel, “The Dragon’s Quest: Dragon’s Fall Series”  by David Lee Summer no less than a five star review.  Brilliant novel!

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This is the song that I relate “The Dragon’s Quest to… IT ROCKS!!!

http://youtu.be/tvsGg2tDVWI

<iframe width=”480″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/tvsGg2tDVWI&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

 

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Synopsis of The Dragon’s Quest:

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table...

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, surely is PD because of the age of the engraving – The Middle Ages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Dragon’s Quest is set in Britain at the fall of the Roman age and forms part of the Scarlet Order Vampires origin story.  The novella links the Scarlet Order to the Arthurian legends to create a vivid new twist with a paranormal edge.

Aonghas Deas-Mhumhan — called Desmond — is a dragon lord in the service of King Ambrosius. He longs for the king’s daughter, the beautiful Guinevere. However, her heart belongs to the king’s young ally, L’ancelot.

When Desmond and his friend Arthur are sent to battle Saxon invaders, Desmond is mortally wounded. He is saved by Wolf, a vampire who seeks the Holy Grail in hopes that it might bring salvation to their kind. Desmond knows he and Wolf cannot find the Grail alone. He returns to court where he finds that Guinevere is pledged to Arthur but still longs for L’ancelot. Now king, Arthur is anxious to remove L’ancelot from court for a time, so he agrees to Desmond’s request for aid in the search for the Grail cup.

Though Desmond, L’ancelot and Wolf find the Grail, they discover that an ancient being of great power defends it. Wolf is killed and Desmond realizes that they have not found the salvation they sought. His quest for salvation – and for love – will continue elsewhere.

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Interview with David Lee Summers

I had the delight of reviewing Dragon’s Fall: The Dragon’s Quest” by much-admired author David Lee Summers!  He is one of my very favorite authors and blogger!  I am fortunate and thrilled to feature him today. 

Hello and welcome David!

Hello, Emily!  I’m delighted to be here!

Tell us a little about the “Dragon’s Fall” series.

Dragon’s Fall was originally intended to be a series of five novellas that told the origin story of the Scarlet Order Vampires.  Once all five novellas were released, they were going to be collected together into the novel Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order with some extra material that was not in the individual novellas.  Two of the novellas, Bondage and The Dragon’s Quest, were released.  After that, my publisher went through a couple of ownership changes, which delayed the release of the later novellas.  Rather than draw the publishing schedule out further, the current owners decided to forge ahead and publish the entire collection.

 

When you wrote the “Dragon’s Fall” series what was the inspiration?

Dragon’s Fall was inspired by my love of history and folklore, especially those places in history that are steeped in shadow, such as King Arthur’s reign in Britain, the dark ages, and Vlad Dracula’s reign in Transylvania.  Not only that, but there are many stories of dark magic and night creatures that come from those times and places.  No doubt, those stories were inspired by the very real dangers that existed in the night and on the road.  Nevertheless, it struck me that vampires would thrive during those times.  They could easily use their strength, ability to manipulate minds and ease of navigating the shadows to build an existence.

 

Did you have a lot of support from friends and family while you were writing?

Absolutely.  My wife and kids have always been very supportive of my writing and do a great job of giving me as much time as possible to write.  The Scarlet Order vampires were first inspired by friends.  One was a co-worker at Kitt Peak National Observatory who first encouraged me to read Anne Rice and Bram Stoker.  From her, I got the idea of telling the story of a vampire who made his living as an astronomer.  Later, I moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Las Cruces literally means “the crosses.”  A writer friend made an off-hand comment wondering what a vampire would make of a town where there were crosses everywhere, not just on the churches and in the graveyard, but on police cars, city hall, and more.  The two ideas came together in a story called “Vampire in the City of Crosses” which became a central chapter in my first vampire novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order.  Once the novel came out, many friends supported me in the best way possible by asking for more Scarlet Order stories!  Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order is my response to that request!

 

You are very accomplished in your career, so how did you become an Author of Paranormal?  How do you divide your time?

In addition to writing, I have been a telescope operator and engineer, working at several astronomical observatories around the southwest.  Long before that, I had a real fascination with the paranormal.  Do ghosts exist?  Are there people on other worlds?  There are limitations to how far those ideas can be explored in my “official” capacity as an astronomer, so it seems only natural that I’d turn to writing as my place to explore these ideas.

As it turns out, I actually spent eight years as a full time writer and editor.  Five years ago, I was asked to return to Kitt Peak National Observatory.  My schedule there is basically one week on shift and one week off.  I don’t get to write much on-shift, but I have quite a bit of time to write during my days off.  Still, it’s a challenge to get all the ideas I have into the computer in my weeks off!

 

The Damsel of the Sanct Grael, by Dante Gabrie...

The Damsel of the Sanct Grael, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: medieval romance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Arthurian Legend and Vampires are an unusual combination.  What was inspiration for this book?

I first really delved into Arthurian lore when I was in graduate school.  While browsing a used book store, I found a collection of many of the original Arthurian texts.  I dived right into it and discovered that Arthurian lore is much more complex and shrouded in history than I originally thought.  From that time on, I knew I wanted to write some kind of a story that involved King Arthur.

The combination of Arthurian lore and vampires came like a lightning flash.  When writing Vampires of the Scarlet Order, I realized that the leader of the vampire mercenaries was a very old vampire.  He was from Britain.  It occurred to me right then that Desmond, Lord Draco had been a rival of King Arthur who had disappeared from history somehow.  When I set out to write Dragon’s Fall, I knew I wanted to tell the story of Arthur and Desmond.

Although you might not think about vampires going with Arthurian lore, there is more than a little dark magic in those stories.  The old tales are rife with witches, sorcerers, and enchanted animals.  It actually wasn’t too hard to throw vampires into the mix as well!

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Three of my favorite vampire authors are Suzy McKee Charnas, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Anne Rice.  All three are groundbreaking authors who told stories from the vampire’s point of view.  I love how each of them tell stories with a strong sense of history and how each developed their own, unique vampire mythology.

I also adore some of the great local New Mexico authors such as Tony Hillerman, John Nichols, and Rudolfo Anaya.  All have taught me to look at the world and see the magic all around me.  I hope I’ve brought a little of that into my vampire stories.

 

If you could live during any period in time, when would it be and who would you be?

I’m the kind of person who likes to strike out and explore new places and see new things.  I don’t take well to people telling me to stay in one place or make the safe decision.  If I lived during the 17th or 18th centuries, I would probably have been on a ship bound for the new world.  Early in the 19th century, I would have been on the western frontier.  That said, I would have most enjoyed living in the late 19th century in a place like Tombstone or Santa Fe, writing dime novels for people back east to enjoy.  Maybe I would have been tinkering with telescopes as well, such as the one at Percival Lowell’s observatory outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.  As it turns out, my novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order takes a look at what it would have been like to have been a vampire in the old west.  The vampire Marcella DuBois even meets Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid!

 

Any advice or news which you like to share with our readers/authors?

My advice for authors is to read everything you can get your hands on.  Don’t limit yourself to your genre of choice.  Like I mentioned above, I’ve learned a lot from local authors as well as my favorite vampire authors.  The more you read, the more tools you can place into your author toolbox.

As for news, look for my apocalyptic vampire story “A Garden Resurrected” in the anthology Apocalypse 13 coming soon from Padwolf Publishing.  Also my futuristic cyberpunk Scarlet Order vampire story “Dark Matter” is scheduled for this autumn’s issue of Hungur Magazine published by Sam’s Dot Publishing.  As always, you can get all the news about my releases by following my blog http://dlsummers.wordpress.com or liking my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ScarletOrder

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"How at the Castle of Corbin a maiden bar...

“How at the Castle of Corbin a maiden bare in the Sangreal and foretold the achievements of Galahad” by Arthur Rackham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finally, don’t miss out on an opportunity to win either a

$10 Amazon gift card

or a free copy of Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order.

Visit

http://authorjessicafrost.blogspot.ca/2012/10/david-lee-summers-dragons-fall-rise-of.html

for details

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Your next book is coming out soon…  Any titillating morsels you can share with us?

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order just for your readers.  In this scene, the slave Alexandra from Hellenistic Greece has entered her master’s bedchamber where she will make a frightening discovery:

The final room appeared to be a well appointed bedchamber. Like the sitting room, it was reassuringly ordinary. There was a chair and a cabinet where the master undoubtedly kept his clothes. I moved my lamp around to the bed and my breath caught when I saw that there was something on it, covered by a blanket.

A part of me said that I should leave the room without exploring further. I had satisfied my curiosity enough. However, another part of me was curious about what lay under the blanket. Theron is a bachelor, I told myself. He probably sleeps on the couch in the other room, or he sleeps in his sitting room. Those are probably just tunics, himations and chitons piled on his bed and covered over with a blanket.

That answer would have been reassuringly normal and I suppose I wanted to convince myself that it was true. I crept up to the bed and pulled back the blanket. I immediately dropped the blanket and stepped back several feet, bumping into the cabinet with a loud crash.

I had never seen him clearly, but it was apparent that it was Theron under the blanket. He was pale and appeared to be dead. I feared he would jump up and yell at me for waking him. However, in spite of the loud crash when I collided with the cabinet, he did not stir.

Gingerly, I stepped back up to him and held my hand over his nose and mouth. I could feel no breath. Theron was dead.

English: 'The Quest of the Holy Grail'

English: ‘The Quest of the Holy Grail’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mind immediately began to race and I wondered how long he had been lying there. I wondered if Democritus knew that the master had passed away. His body looked remarkably fresh, so I guessed that he must have died in the morning and I was the first to discover him. I reached down, took up the blanket and covered him again. As I did so, I wondered about the fact that I had found him covered in the first place. Perhaps Democritus already had found him, but if that was the case, why was he keeping the master’s death a secret?

As I turned toward the door to leave, I heard a shuffling from the other room. Someone was in the chambers with me. However, that person had not called out. They were looking around quietly as I was. My first thought was that it might be Kallius, but I quickly dismissed that notion. Kallius was so honest and trustworthy, I would have expected him to call out from the door. He would not have entered his master’s chambers without an explicit invitation. He either would have closed the door or left it just as he found it. Whoever had entered, was being quiet, looking for the person who had left the outer door open.

Quietly as I could, I stepped over to the entrance of the bedchamber and waited. A moment later, the curtain was pulled back and a man stepped inside. I reached out and hooked the other’s leg with my own, sending him tumbling to the ground. I lowered my lamp to the other’s face and discovered that it was Democritus.

“Why am I not surprised to find you here?” he asked. “Your curiosity will be the end of you. We must leave at once.”

“On the contrary,” came a faintly lisping voice from the other end of the room.

I held my light up and sitting on the bed was a man that not five minutes before I would have sworn was dead. He smiled, revealing fangs, much like the visage of the gorgon relief on the house’s wall. He stood up and stepped over to us. I felt frozen by the power of his gaze and could not will myself to stand or back away. For the first time, I really had a chance to look at my master and I found he was not grotesque like the gorgon relief, but beautiful like a masculine Medusa. His features were chiseled like those of an alabaster statue and even if I could, I did not want to look away. He reached down and retrieved the lamp from my fingers, then snuffed it out, plunging us into utter darkness.

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Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order was released as an ebook on October 20.  Order it from your favorite ebook retailer.  Find a list at: http://www.davidleesummers.com/books.html#dragons_fall

I want to sincerely thank David Lee Summers for taking the time out to be a guest

on my Hurricane Sandy DELAYED FANGS and HEARTS week!  

MY SINCERE THANKS FOR DAVID’S PATIENCE!

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