Creature Feature Anthology: Featuring Joleene Naylor

Who likes a sale? (*raises hand*)

Who likes a sale on really awesome stuff? (*raises hand more aggressively*)

Who likes a sale on really awesome baddass stories from badass authors? (*THROWS MONEY AT QUESTIONER*)

Okay, good. I’ve got your attention:

Vampires… Werewolves… Monsters… They stalk our dreams and nightmares… the stuff of legends and fantasies…

Featuring short stories by Joleene Naylor (the Amaranthine series), Amber Naralim (the Monsters series), and Gabriella Messina (the Bloodline series), CREATURE FEATURE invites you to take a taste of the worlds these three authors have created, and the creature characters you will never forget. 

Okay, I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Amber Naralim or Gabriella Messina’s stories quite  *yet* (though I’m sure they’re amazing) but I was able to sneak a peek at one of Amaranthine-world-creator, Joleene Naylor’s and it’s AWESOME. First, if you haven’t delved into her series yet- what are you waiting for? And second, this story is a Jorick origin, which means you get to see how he became a vampire. Woop!

Jorick dreams of leaving his native country but, after poor harvests, he can’t raise the funds. When a mysterious foreigner arrives with a job offer – care for his animals and stay away from his house until sundown – it seems like easy money. Except, something is killing the herd one by one. When Jorick sets out to stop it, he’ll discover the horrifying truth about his employer and will have to decide: Is the money worth working for the devil?  

Want a quick sneak peek? You’ve got it! Take a look below:

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The following evening, Jorick didn’t meet Malick at the door. Instead, he ate a meager dinner, and readied for the night’s plan. Malick might not care what was killing the sheep, but he was tired of being outsmarted. How the thing could get in the barn was a mystery he must have an answer to.

And once I see what it is, I’ll kill it.

He loaded up a bag, grabbed a lamp and his musket, then headed off through the night. The walk was familiar, but strange. A heaviness hung around him, like invisible mist. Every breath he took was laced with some dark presence; a sense of danger. There was even a moment when he was tempted to turn around, but his stubbornness pushed him on.

Soon the barn was a hulking shadow in the distance.  As he drew closer, he saw the moonlight glint on the boards, on the roof, on the open door-

Open door?

He’d put the sheep away and locked everything up himself! He dropped the bag and quickly set to work readying the gun, filling it with powder, loading it, snapping the ramrod back in place. A breeze blew, the door swung, and he quickly used the lamp to light the gun’s wick. A quick blow, a flare from the burning rope and he started forward, the musket shouldered and ready to go.

The few moments between where he’d left the bag and the barn turned into aching long hours. He moved softly over late summer grass, his feet wet with dew. His heart hammered. His breaths were quick, rasping sounds that seemed too loud in the stillness.

He got to the door and pushed it gently with the barrel of the gun, pulling it the rest of the way open. Inside, the sheep were silent, though not bedded down. They stood, pale shapes washed in shadows, unmoving. A dark figure stood among them, large for an animal, hunched. Jorick aimed the musket and blew again at the wick. The light flared. In that momentary glow he saw Malick, bent over one of the sheep, his lips drawn back from fangs, a drizzle of blood down his chin.

In the shock, Jorick fired. The gun jerked in his hands and the smoke puffed past him. He saw the dark shape of Malick stumble back, followed by a roar more animal than human.  Jorick knew he’d hit him, knew that the damage would be severe – he’d seen the balls push bone out of wounds before. Still, he saw the dark shape lumber back to its feet, let out a second roar-

Jorick ran. The pounding of his heart drowned out Malick’s fury as he raced away, not bothering to grab his bag as he passed it. On he ran, until he reached his own home. Inside, he slammed the door and knocked the bolt in place, too exhausted to do anything but sag against it, gasping for air.

The wick burned his hand. He reflectively dropped the musket, but retrieved it quickly. His hands shook as he moved through the rooms to his store, as he tried to load the gun again, preparing in case the monster had followed him.

Monster.

In that flash of light, that’s what he’d seen. Malick’s long white hair fell around a contorted face, his pale beard stained scarlet with the lamb’s blood, while the motionless sheep surrounded him, silent, glassy eyes looking on, but not seeing.

No wonder he wasn’t worried about what killed the sheep. He knew what it was. It was him.

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Want to know what happens next? You’re going to have to grab your copy!

The good news is that Creature Feature has a special preorder price of $.99 until it’s release date (June 21st) when it goes up to $2.99. All proceeds go to the Book Born Children’s Christmas Book Fund, sponsored by Book Born Facebook group. (link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bookborn/ )

Click here to pre-order on Amazon. Click here for everywhere else.

Aren’t you excited? We get to see how Jorick became a vampire. JORICK! Again, if you haven’t gotten into the Amaranthine series, what are you waiting for? This baby’s not set to come out for another two weeks so you have plenty of time. And with a pre-order sale of .99, you really can’t beat that!

Grab your copy of the Creature Feature Anthology for amazing stories from amazing authors like Joleene Naylor, Amber Naralim, and Gabriella Messina!

This is What I’m Reading

I’ve decided to try something.

It’s called: This is What I’m Reading.

Any guesses to what it might be about?

So… I’ve wanted to do reviews for a while and… just… never got around to it. But I think about writing them. I think about going home, sitting down and typing them out. Never happens. So. What I think I’m going to do instead is have a weekly (biweekly?) post called This is What I’m Reading. It’ll give you a heads up for some new titles out there and you can hear my honest opionion and judge accordingly to see if this is something you might like for yourself. It’s sort of an ongoing answer to the question my dad always asked before Harry Potter hit the scenes in the 90’s (and maybe even after): What are you reading?

This week and last week and I think the last three months, I have been gorging myself on Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series. You’ve probably seen me mention it here a few times. If you haven’t, you’re most likely new to my blog. Hello. And welcome. 🙂 I’m up to book 7, Clash of Legends—the last one in the series SO FAR and I’ve got to admit they’re a bit addicting. So if you’ve got something more time-consuming like children or heroin, go, do that. But if you don’t (or you’re looking to skip out on the children and heroin) I would suggest giving these books a try. It’s one adventure after another with sexy vampires and not so sexy vampires and wars and betrayals and histories and executions and oh man. NO ONE sparkles, but there is some sexiness. A lot of sexiness, actually, which I don’t mind 😉 Characters are great. Story is great. I’d recommend it for anyone who:

  1. Enjoys Vampires (of the non-sparkly nature).
  2. Thrives on sarcasm and smartass comments.
  3. Doesn’t mind cursing, violence or sex.
  4. Doesn’t want to fall asleep.

So there you go. That’s what I’m reading. I’m at the tail end of numero 7 which means I’ll have one more to add to my completed books of 2015 even though Goodreads will still bookshame me for not finishing my goal of 30. *sigh*

**I may write reviews for these. Probably not (please refer to first paragraph) but I’d still like to throw out a few of the awesome and not so awesome books I’ve sort of read recently:

Go. Read now:

Evanescent by Gabriella Lepore

Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Eleanor and Park & Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

 

Dude, you have children. And Heroin.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Freefall by Tess Oliver

P.S. I thought about titling this blog “Children and Heroin” but thought people might be disappointed at how little children and heroin are actually mentioned. And I’m honest like that. You’re welcome.