Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday--DaSample - Shades of Gray

Joleene Naylor grew up in southwest Iowa surrounded by corn and very little entertainment – so she made her own. She’s been writing and drawing since she was a child, with a leaning towards fantasy, horror and paranormal. It’s this love of all that goes bump in the night that lead her to write the Amaranthine vampire series. In her spare time she’s a freelance artist and photographer. Joleene does freelance book cover art, maintains blogs full of odd ramblings, illustrates a webcomic and hopes to win the lottery. However, unless she starts buying tickets she may never actually win anything.

From Shades of Gray by Joleene Naylor, Book 1 in the Amaranthine series: Where vampires live in the shadows and don’t sparkle.

When they reached the motel, Jorick unlocked the door and hurriedly stuffed her into the room. He promised he'd be back momentarily and took off, leaving her alone.
She flopped onto the bed and flipped through the TV channels. She ran the gamut of the basic cable’s offerings without finding anything to hold her interest. In desperation, she settled on the local news. She was just ready to change the channel again, when a report came on about an abandoned farmhouse that had burned to the ground. Authorities weren’t certain yet what had happened, but there were human remains among the wreckage and they suspected that they’d been having a party when calamity struck.

Katelina’s mouth dropped open like a cartoon character. It was Jorick's house – or the house he'd been in, anyway. The blonde anchorwoman, shiny nailed hands folded on the desk in front of her, said that they were still trying to contact the owner and ID the bodies at this time. So far they had no idea who anyone inside had been. A stripped, abandoned car had been found nearby and the police were using the VIN numbers to find the owner, but so far the name had not been released to the media.
Katelina felt dizzy and strange. Seeing the skeletal remains of the small house on television and listening to the reporter’s neatly clipped voice seemed to make the entire thing really real. It made it an event. It made it an inescapable truth that she didn't want to face.

A terrible voice in her head told her that the “stripped and abandoned car” was her car; her happy, shiny red car that she’d paid on for three years. She groaned silently, thinking about how much it was going to cost to repair the damage.
Despite her shock, she found one thing amusing: she could imagine the look on the coroner’s face when they brought him a bag full of skulls with pointy teeth! How long would it take them to figure that out?

The news gave way to a sit–com, but the segment left her feeing unsettled. She found herself glancing at the door and wishing that Jorick would hurry up.
Another sit–com followed, just as ridiculous as the first. Katelina made it halfway through the second one before she gave up on it. She pressed the button on the remote and, in the second of silence as the television flipped from one channel to another, she heard a noise outside the door.

“At last,” she muttered, grateful for company. She switched off the TV and started towards the door when it suddenly burst open.
The pale man who came striding into the room – teeth bared and hair cropped short – was obviously not Jorick. His shining fangs made the word “vampire” scream through her skull and forced her to visibly cringe. There, before her, was a nasty reminder of last night and the truth the news had echoed.

“Where is he?” His eyes made quick, jerky movements as he surveyed the room.

“Wha– who?” she stuttered as another man came in the door behind him. His eyes were dark and a snarling smirk was pasted on his cruel, pointy face.
The shorthaired vampire drew closer to her. “You know who I mean; that conceited ass, Jorick.”

Panic surged in her and she stammered, “I – I don't know where he is.”
“Sure you don't.” He smiled evilly. “Perhaps some persuasion will jog your memory?” He took a step towards her. His long pale fingers stretched through the empty space between them, reaching for her.
She jerked away and tried to run for the door, but the second vampire blocked her path.

Katelina realized that she wasn't going to make it out the door; not with the pair of them in the way. Her heart pounded through her body. Her hands were slick and her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. She didn't know what she was going to do!

Buy the book:

Amazon US (paperback)
Amazon US (kindle)



  1. A lot of great tension! It would be hard to stop reading here.

  2. Thanks, Edie :)

    And thank you, Linda! The blog looks great!