I love to showcase my friends. I think they’re all brilliant and today’s guest is no exception. I’ve known Joleene Naylor for a number of years and I’m a loyal fan of her ‘Amaranthine Series.’ I challenge you to read one of her books (I suggest ‘Shades of Grey’ to start or preorder ‘Brothers of Darkness’ and you’ll find that you can’t set it down and when you’re finished, you absolutely must start the next book.
I’ll tell you, those books are addictive and they’re not for those who want a sweet cutesie vampire to drool over. Jo’s done some heavy research and her vampires and their world are the kind you don’t want to anger or run into in the middle of the night. But her characters are very real and right off, you pick your favorites and hide from the others.
I mentioned that my favorite vampire is David Lee Summers’ Desmond Draco, and he is, but in the Amaranthine World there are those that I’d follow around like a puppy dog. Who wouldn’t want the brooding dark haired Jorick? Or Oren who seems eternally unhappy? Or Verchiel – the vampire that loves to drive other vampires insane? Well, there’s honestly too many to name, because Joleene’s characters are so well defined, you can see each clearly – and some you’ll dream about and some will absolutely terrify you.
Jo isn’t only a successful Indie Author. She does book covers (she’s designed most of mine), a talented artist, and an overall creative genius. She’s one of the most hard-working authors including spending time on marketing, which most of us avoid. And Jo is about the best friend you can have in this business. She supports, promotes, and encourages her friends.
Jo’s been working on a new book; one that’s taking her years to polish and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Patrick’s story is a horror story from his first encounter with a vampire, so let’s see what Jo has to say about it:
Thanks so much to Donna for hosting me today! While I have the chance, I’d like to talk about Brothers of Darkness, the prequel to Shades of Gray. It tells the story of Patrick and his brother, how they got tangled up with the vampires, and how they tried to escape.
“Not a love story…a dark spiral into blackness.”
“If you’ve read Shades of Gray, you know how this has to end.”
When Patrick’s missing brother Michael returns, he brings with him a world of darkness. Turned into a vampire against his will, Michael is the coven’s whipping boy. When Patrick tries to help, he’s claimed as a slave who spends his weekends preparing victims, scooping ashes, and falling prey to the vampire’s twisted desires.
There’s only so much hell he can take, and when vampires from a warring coven offer sanctuary in exchange for cooperation, Patrick quickly agrees. What he expected to be a few months drags out into a long smear of nightmares, and though he fights for hope and freedom, the cost of victory may be more than he bargained for.
If you’ve read Shades of Gray, you know I never wrote Patrick as an active character (and if you haven’t, it won’t be a spoiler!), so when someone requested him for a character interview I didn’t know what to do. I had no feel for him, no idea about his personality except what Katelina thought about him. When I did the interview I was surprised at how angry he was, but I set him aside and went on to the next interview.
And then my cousin sent me the song Anarchy by KMFDM – and the first verse was it! That was him! And suddenly he wouldn’t stop shouting at me. I even dashed out:
Snow fell from the sky in heavy fat flakes. They landed in Patrick’s hair, and lent an air of purity to a world of horror. As he walked through them, he could feel the eyes on him; always on him. Burning, angry eyes. Hungry eyes. The eyes of the vampires.
He lurched to a stop, then spun in a slow circle, arms out.
“Come out!” He shouted. “I know you’re there! Fucking come out and face me!”
And then I finally set down months later to write his short story for the Vampire morsels – except he wanted more than a short story, so I worked on a novella – only he wanted more than a novella – and now I have a full length novel to be released October 11th.
Unlike the rest of the Amaranthine series, Patrick’s story is NOT a romance. It’s a straight up horror novel. He didn’t want it written any other way.
You can pre-order Patrick’s Story: Brothers of Darkness for the special price of $2.99 (It will go up after release day!) from:
For once Claudius wasn’t having a party, just an informal gathering of ‘the favorites’ in a room that looked like a parlor – If the Windsor Castle had a parlor. Gilt framed paintings and expensive knick-knacks littered every available space. Rather than a victim in a punch bowl, Claudius made them pour bags of blood into crystal serving pitchers and stand at the ready, filling glasses as requested. The bags were the thick plastic kind, like the hospital used, but Patrick knew better than to ask where they came from.
Amanda stood behind one ornate sofa and Patrick stood behind the other. A sexy vampiress lounged in a chair across from him. Against his will, his eyes were drawn to her again and again. A dark haired male hovered near her. Though she tolerated him, she seemed to enjoy watching his eyes flame brighter and brighter as she flirted with the other vampires.
Not my business.
Then he called her Yulia.
With that name came nightmare memories of the basement, of the whip, of the darkness. He’d imagined her face a hundred time, but it never looked like that; full red lips, heavy eyelids, and foreign cheekbones framed by long glossy black hair. She dripped jewels and grace, as did the others, and suddenly Patrick understood Claudius’ ranking system. There were two tiers of favorites; those like Troy who were dumb muscle, and those who gained favor with their beauty and refinement, as if surrounding himself by elegant vampires would make Claudius elegant by default.
A dark complexioned vampire strode into the room. With his rugged features and long wild hair, he looked like a Native American. The scar on his cheek and the curt sharp way he moved showed which of the two groups he belonged to.
He bowed stiffly before Claudius. “Master, there is a messenger for you.”
Claudius sipped blood from his goblet, his expression bored. “Who is it, Joseff, and what do they want?”
“They’re from The Guild and they will only reveal the message to you.”
Claudius motioned Joseff aside. “Very well. I’ll deal with them.” He swept to his feet and towards the door. Joseff started to follow, but Claudius waved him back. “I can handle this myself.”
Joseff stepped back among the beautiful ones and shifted from one foot to the other. Yulia caught his eye and smiled. He grunted and looked away, but soon his gaze drifted back. She smiled and played with her low cut bodice, tracing her bright silver fingernail over the fleshy bubble of her cleavage.
The conversation tinkled around them. The pitcher and tray were heavy and Patrick’s arms sagged. He distracted himself with the unfolding drama. Joseff eyed Yulia and the jealous dark-haired vampire eyed Joseff. Patrick wondered how long until it came to blows.
Patrick jumped and spun to find an angry vampire standing next to him, glass extended.
“I shouldn’t have to tell you twice!”
Patrick hefted the glass pitcher with one hand, the tray balanced in the other, and poured out the blood in a thin stream. Patrick’s muscles spasmed. His arm shook. The stream buckled and slopped over the edge of the goblet onto the vampire’s shiny black shoes.
He slapped Patrick hard enough to knock him backwards. The tray flew out of his hand and the contents of the pitcher sailed through the air in a spiral of crimson. It splattered on the floor and splashed the nearest vampires.
They leapt up as one. The reaction was mixed. Part of them licked the ruby spots from themselves, their eyes gleaming, and the others screeched about their ruined clothing.
Patrick righted himself in time for the vampire with the shiny shoes to grab him by the scruff of his neck. “You made the mess!” he screamed. “Now lick it off!”
Before Patrick could comprehend the words, the vampire forced him to his knees and shoved his face against his shoes. The smell of leather and polish mixed with the scent of blood, and he choked.
You can find more about Joleene Naylor and the Amaranthine world on http://JoleeneNaylor.com
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