Joleene Naylor


Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine vampire series, a world where vampires aren’t for children. As a compliment to the novel series, she has also written several short stories, including the Vampire Morsels collection, and has plans for an Amaranthine Encyclopedia.

In her spare time, Joleene is a freelance book cover designer and for-fun photographer. She maintains several blogs full of odd ramblings, and occasionally updates her website at She and her husband live in Villisca, Iowa near the famous – and reportedly haunted - “axe murder” house. Though she enjoys the paranormal, she refuses to invite the ghosts for a visit. Between the cats, dogs, and turtles, her house is full enough.

Ramblings from the Darkness at
You never know what you’ll find in the shadows…..

Smashwords Interview

Who are you and why do we care?
I'm one of a million plus indie authors who writes vampire fiction. Except, my Amaranthine series isn't for teenagers.My vampires don't drive a Prius, they're not vegetarian, and they happily kill both humans and vampires alike - even the good guys. A reviewer once commented that they didn't find my good guy "good enough" and that made me happy, because no one is the proverbial white night good guy that movies and novels sometimes portray, just as no one is ever evil for the sake of being evil. The best "good guy" has darkness lurking behind his eyes, and the best villain thinks he's righteous. If you agree, and like a dose of violence and romance with your vampires, then you might like what I have to offer. You can always start with the free stories first.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Children of Shadows is the sixth book in the Amaranthine series, but even so I had pretty much zero plot when I started. I cobbled the name together from some suggestions from random title generators, and then had to figure out why it was named that - and so the vampire cult Children of Shadows was born. I knew there were a few basic things that needed to happen; Malick needed to make an appearance and the readers needed to see that he wasn't completely all powerful, and Samael had to do something, etc. etc. but other than that I wrote it one random bit at a time. I'm satisfied with the results and hope the readers will be, too.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Joleene Naylor online

Where to buy in print


Ark (Tales of the Executioners)
Series: Tales of the Executioners, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 4,270. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2014. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Short Story. Not for children. The second in a collection called Tales of the Executioners about the vampires in the elite "police force". Ark has been an Executioner for two hundred and fifty years, and has always done his duty, but when he's handed an assignment with a familiar perpetrator, will he be able to follow orders?
Verchiel (Tales from the Island)
Series: Tales from the Island, Book 6 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 20. Price: Free! Words: 3,870. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Katelina finally gets her beach vacation, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. How can it when her companions are vampires? Get ready for book 6 in the Amaranthine series, Children of Shadows, with this collection. Day 6: It's just a lazy day for Verchiel in the hot tub. Though his efforts at making friends go awry, he refuses to be deterred, much to the chagrin of his fellow vacationers.
Oren (Tales from the Island)
Series: Tales from the Island, Book 3 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 17. Price: Free! Words: 3,700. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2014. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Katelina finally gets her beach vacation, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. How can it when her companions are vampires? Get ready for book 6 in the Amaranthine series, Children of Shadows, with this collection. Day 3:Haunted by ghosts of the past, Oren's vacation is more torture than pleasure. But perhaps it's time he let some of his old agonies go and tried to shape the life he has left.
Torina (Tales from the Island)
Series: Tales from the Island, Book 2 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 16. Price: Free! Words: 4,360. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2014. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Katelina finally gets her beach vacation, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. How can it when her companions are vampires? Get ready for book 6 in the Amaranthine series, Children of Shadows, with this collection. Day 2: Torina is ready for a vacation in the sand. But can she find peace on the tropical island, or give into the ghosts of her past under the swaying palms?
Aine (Tales of the Executioners)
Series: Tales of the Executioners, Book 1 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 14. Price: Free! Words: 4,290. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Short Story. Not for children. The first in a collection called Tales of the Executioners about the vampires in the elite "police force". As one of the newest, Aine gets the job nobody wants: arresting a vampire for breaking The Laws. As if everything going wrong wasn't bad enough, things are complicated when he discovers that his target has broken yet another one.
Heart of the Raven: Mini Prologue Collection
Series: Amaranthine Freebies, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 10,530. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
This is a collection of nine flash fiction “prologues” for the book Heart of the Raven, the fifth novel in the Amaranthine vampire series. These stories are not intended to stand on their own, but as a supplement to the novel. Meet Cyrpus, Neil, Sadihra, Wolfe and others as they go about their business not knowing that their actions may have consequences that will echo for a lifetime.
Kariss (Vampire Morsels)
Series: Vampire Morsels, Book 11 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 13. Price: Free! Words: 3,510. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Short Story. Not a children's story. The eleventh in a collection about different vampires from the Amaranthine universe. Told in flashbacks between 1784 and 1820, Kariss must come to terms with her owm immortality and her mother's death. You can also find Kariss in the novel legacy of Ghosts.
Amaranthine Special Edition Vol I
Series: Amaranthine Special Editions, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 192,820. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Two books in one: Shades of Gray and Legacy of Ghosts, the first two novels in the Amaranthine series weave a bloody tale of death, war, love and most of all vampires. Includes the “Lost Chapters” from Legacy of Ghosts, the short story “How to Silence a Human”, links to downloadable content and a character gallery featuring original artwork. Why should DVDs have all the fun?
Jesslynn (Vampire Morsels)
Series: Vampire Morsels, Book 10 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 12. Price: Free! Words: 5,280. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Short Story. Not for children. Part of a collection called Vampire Morsels about vampires from the Amaranthine universe. When Jesslynn's baby gets sick, she sees only way to save him; by discovering whatever dark ritual keeps their neighbor, Jorick, healthy and eternally young. She gets more than she bargained for.
Herrick (Vampire Morsels)
Series: Vampire Morsels, Book 9 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 11. Price: Free! Words: 4,290. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Short Story. Not for children. Part of a collection called Vampire Morsels about vampires from the Amaranthine universe. Takes place during Shades of Gray (the full length novel also by Joleene Naylor). Herrick's unrequited love for the mortal Caroline has left him on the fence. Should he take his friend's advice and reveal the truth to her? When tragedy strikes, his mind is made up for him.
Elsa (Vampire Morsels)
Series: Vampire Morsels, Book 8 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 10. Price: Free! Words: 3,940. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Short Story. Not for children. The eighth in a collection called Vampire Morsels about different vampires from the Amaranthine universe. Twenty year old Elsa is devastated when her "true love" remorselessly skips town. When she sets off after him, she finds more than she bargained for. You can also find Elsa in Shades of Gray by Joleene Naylor.
Bethina (Vampire Morsels)
Series: Vampire Morsels, Book 6 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 8. Price: Free! Words: 3,100. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2011. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Short Story. Not a children's story. The sixth in a collection about different vampires from the Amaranthine universe. The year is 1947. With her tuberculosis getting worse, Bethina's only future is to languish in a TB San. Then the mysterious family she works for offers her a full time position, one that will change her life forever. You can also find Bethina in the novel Shades of Gray.
Ashton (Vampire Morsels)
Series: Vampire Morsels, Book 4 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 6. Price: Free! Words: 4,980. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2011. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Short Story. Not for children. Part of a collection about different vampires from the Amaranthine universe. After Ashton's parents die it's up to him to take care of his younger brother. He tries to escape the pressure by befriending the new guy in town and his dangerous friends. But he discovers that his new reality is far worse than the one he tried to escape.
Alexander (Vampire Morsels)
Series: Vampire Morsels, Book 2 · Amaranthine Freebies, Book 4. Price: Free! Words: 3,520. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2011. Category: Fiction » Horror » Undead
Short Story. Not for children. The second in a collection called Vampire Morsels about different vampires from the Amaranthine universe. A child vampire in 1831. Not allowed to play with the slave children, Alexander, is in for a lonely evening that turns even lonelier as he struggles to come to terms with the concept of his own immortality. You can also find Alexander in Shades of Gray
The Do-Nothing Day
Price: Free! Words: 1,050. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2010. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
The tale of a stuffed bear who tries hard to decide what to do with his day, never noticing all the adventures he's having along the way. Illustrated. Ages 4+
How to Get a Cheap Book Cover
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,290. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2010. Category: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
A great book cover doesn't have to cost a fortune. This book covers everything from hiring someone else, to all the DIY tips you need like finding the right font, locating the perfect picture, and illustrated step by step instructions on how to put the cover together in four popular art programs.
101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire
Series: Amaranthine Freebies, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 9,470. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2010. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire is just that: a list of tips for traveling with a vampire. Some are useful even if you aren't traveling with the undead. It's not a novel. It's not a short story. But, if you're looking for a quick chuckle and to get a sneak peek at book 4 in the Amaranthine series, then give it a shot.

Joleene Naylor's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Joleene Naylor

  • The Cowboy's Wish on March 24, 2010

    This is an incredibly cute story - it made me laugh more than once - and I, too hope that Ruth continues it.
  • Eye of the Beholder on March 31, 2010

    Mary Peters live in Maine in the late 1800's. A nineteen year old girl with a "too big" nose, "too thin" lips and freckles, she's left behind without so much as a suitor while all of her sisters have left the house to be married. With an eye to the papers, she stumbles across an ad from Neil Craftsman, a Nebraska farmer seeking a bride. He asks for a woman who is hardworking, dependable and capable of bearing children, yet he never mentions the word pretty. It fits Mary to a t. Despite her parents' objections, she boards the train and spends a week traveling to the prairies of Nebraska. Only, when she gets there, she discovers that Neil did want something pretty after all, and Mary is just too plain! A lesser woman would have run crying, but Mary is a strong woman who refuses to go cringing back home. It's this exact resilience that impresses Dave Larson and leads him to ask her to marry him instead. Though reluctant to accept, he manages to convince her and, by the end of the day, Mary Peters is a married woman. But, her mother never taught her about marriage, and certainly no one instructed her in the ways of farming back in her hometown in Maine. The next several months are a learning experience for her, in more ways than one, the question is can she learn to trust Dave's feelings and see herself through his eyes? When I started this book I only intended to read a couple of chapters; I ended up reading the whole book in one setting. Mary is a character that I could quickly identify with, from her desire to please, to the rejection she has so often gotten from men, who see only what's on the outside, not what's inside. But this isn't just Mary's story, it is also Dave's who, after tragedy strikes, has to learn how to cope. Interwoven between the lines is the story of Neil Craftsman who finally gets what he wants; a beautiful east coast bride, but is she really as fantastic as everyone thinks? More than just a historical romance, this is a story about looking under the surface, least we forget that there's more to people than what they look like and that, while a pretty face may appeal at first, there has to be something underneath it. But most importantly, it's a reminder the beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Inside the Worm on May 07, 2010

    A wonderful set of poems! "Lindy's Lover" and "A Part of War" are my favorites :)
  • The Egg of Orlin on May 09, 2010

    A great collection! Has many of my favorite poems by Ms. Mutchler :) "Ride Away, Johnny Boy" and "Jamie of the Glenn" feel almost more like songs than poems.
  • From the Pit on May 24, 2010

    More great poetry from Ms. Mutchler. These are easy to read and the whole book goes down smooth. Very enjoyable.
  • From the Mist on July 26, 2010

    Another great poetry collection from Ms. Mutchler. An English murder is both mysterious and fun, and Katie Morrell is another great story poem. However, this collection includes what i consider to be her most memorable poem, Lyda. I highly recommend this!
  • My Lord Hades on Sep. 27, 2010

    Hades and Persephone have always been my favorite of the Greek myths, so I wasn't sure whether I would love this book or hate it. I loved it. When the book opens, we find Hades as a prisoner in Tartarus, tortured by specters of his past. Zeus and Poseidon appear and offer both Kingdom and bride to Hades if he will help them finish the ongoing war with the Titans. It's a simple choice between agony and revenge. Meanwhile, Persephone is living with her mother Demeter. She's lost all of her powers, but even worse, she's lost her memories as well. Unhappily sheltered, Persephone knows there is something more; something she is missing. And, when she meets the dark, mysterious Hades one day, she discovers what it is. Stephannie Beman takes the story of Persephone and Hades and adds enough twists to make it new and bring out the underlying passion I always felt was hiding beneath the myth. Her representation of Hades as the smoldering bad boy with a dark, regretful past and a desperate need for the salvation only love can bring is dead on. Meanwhile, Persephone slowly changes before the reader's eyes from a very timid creature to a woman who is more than capable of holding her own. There were several surprising plot twists (The underworld's first ruler, for instance!) and even some humor in the form of the Nymphs. In short, all I have to say is that if Hades came thundering towards me on a chariot, I most certainly wouldn't argue ;)
  • Of Yellow Snow and Christmas Balls on Dec. 20, 2010

    With a dry wit and a flair for the sarcastically descriptive, LC Cooper tells the story of a family trapped in the nightmare of the Christmas Family Portrait, further complicated by the joys of extended family, that leaves them with a photo to remember. Anyone who's ever been talked into signing away their souls by smoozing salesmen - whether a family portrait package, or even a vacuum cleaner - will find themselves in good company in this hilarious short story.
  • Halloween's Perfect Storm on Dec. 29, 2010

    Another good short from LC Cooper! An easy read with a good flow and great descriptions ("The property manager was a kindly, yet dusty old man" is just one example) Cooper has a definite talent for dry humor and **spoiler** the twist at the end will leave you either laughing out loud or smacking yourself in the forehead.
  • With This Ring, I Thee Dread on Jan. 17, 2011

    With This Ring, I Thee Dread is a fun contemporary romance. Ryan Jackson is a successful advertising executive at his father’s company. His life is great, if you discount he airheaded bimbos his friends Zac and Benset him up with for dates. That is, until his parents arrange a marriage for him – with his arch nemesis Elizabeth Valentine. Elizabeth spent her school years teased and tormented by Zac, Ben & Ryan. Now a grown woman, her past has led her to be harsh and guarded, especially when it comes to men. So, when her parents announce that she’ll be marrying – and “enjoying” an isolated four month honeymoon with Ryan, her temper flares. Forced to marry or lose their jobs and inheritance, Elizabeth and Ryan are stuck together in a cabin in the Alaskan Wilderness. What promises to be a miserable time, slowly softens into something more enjoyable as the weeks pass. The pair learn that their shared past isn’t what they thought it was, and learn to see one another in a different light. At a glance, Elizabeth sometimes seems to be a harsh woman, but if you put yourself in her shoes and imagine that you’ve been forced to marry one of your tormentors from high school, would any woman be different? If anything, she is more forgiving than I would be. Like Ruth Anne Nordin’s other books, this was a fast, smooth and enjoyable read. Ms. Nordin does an excellent job of executing humor in just the right places. Some of the funniest moments are the “man bashing” talk show that Ryan watches. She also adds suspense when a pair of bank robbers, on the run form the law, stumble into Elizabeth and Ryan’s neck of the woods. If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining and romantic read, then this is the book for you!
  • Dan's Accidental Convertible on Jan. 18, 2011

    Dan and LC return from "Yellow Snow...", the holiday short story by LC Cooper. In this continuation we see signs of Dan's growing temper problem, and the quick, decisive way that LC deals with it when she's had enough. The dialog is realistic but fun, and I especially loved the ending of this! Very clever!
  • The Gift of Joy on Feb. 21, 2011

    Joy lived a life of repression and fear until one Christmas when her father snaps and murders her mother. Now a grown woman, Joy blames herself because that Christmas when she told her Santa her wish she didn't wish for her mother's happiness, but her own. Only, the wish never came true. What Joy wanted more than anything was the protection of Gabe, the boy across the street. but as the years have passed they've exchanged no more than a handful of words. However, that's all about to change. Back for the holidays, Gabe summons up the courage to approach Joy, who still lives across the street from his parents. Though she;s now a grown woman, he still sees her as the innocent girl who needs taken care of - and though he's long denied it, he wants to be the one to take care of her! But, can they both let go of their pasts or will they let their own guilt destroy their relationship before it even starts? This was a good book that reads very fast. I intended to sit down and read for only half and hour and two hours later I was suddenly looking at the clock in surprise. The story weaves between tragedy and magic, and back again, but the ending will leave you with a smile.
  • Shades of Plaid (A Very Unconventional Weekly Journey into Christian Living) on April 05, 2011

    I've been waiting for this book to come out for awhile, so I was happy to finally get it! Shades of Plaid is a weekly devotional but, as the title implies, this is not your average devotional. Instead of the usually serious, inspiring, tear inducing stories, Shades of Plaid has fifty-two humorous short stories, followed up by serious, inspiring lessons that can be applied to most any Christian faith, whether you're Episcopalian, Baptist, or a denomination in between. In Shades of Plaid, Jonathan Harvey has shown that being a Christian not only can be fun, but is fun! And even if you're not interested in the devotional aspect, the short stories are funny by themselves. In fact, you don't even have to take a whole year to read it. I devoured it in two days.
  • Let's Do Lunch on April 05, 2011

    9/11 effect Lindsey's family in many ways and now her restaurant is what keeps the family going; her father grows the produce and even her scatter brained sister helps out now and then - though she usually does more harm than good. Even so, things are going good until her long time cook has to quit to keep an eye on her grandsons. Lindsey hires Brandon, a good looking, charming, fun guy. But there's something about him just crawling beneath the surface. When Lindsey's mother gets hurt, she has to leave the restaurant in his hands while she helps her recuperate.A new waitress, lost invoices, and mixed up orders are just the beginning of too many problems. Enter Tag, an ex soldier that her father hires to help around the garden. Though Lindsey doesn't want to trust him, she finds herself getting closer to him. But can she trust him with her problems? This was a well written book that kept me turning the pages. Without giving away too many spoilers, I found the portrayal of most of the characters delightfully realistic - even the "bad guy" was still likable at the same time that he wasn't, just like real people. Also, I'm not usually a fan of the ex-soldier romances, but I have to say that I found Tag incredibly sexy and I'd go for him ;)
  • One Wish on May 03, 2011

    It took me a couple seconds to get the ending, but when I did - HA! Nice twist! :)
  • Legacy on May 12, 2011

    It is World War II. A group of American pilots do a routine bombing on a train loading with German weapons, never knowing what it is they're really bombing, or the Reich's true plans. Fast forward to the 1990's. Collin Roggero works as a restoration mechanic, though his current task doesn't interest him at all. As luck would have it, while looking through the warehouse he stumbles upon something that does; a group of world war II era crates. Inside he finds the parts to a German plane and something else. A mysterious cylinder and a bunch of random parts that he knows don;t belong to the airplane. And that's when the dreams begin. Led to his fate by a mysterious "feeling" - call it destiny - Collin has to abandon his current life, and even his identity to unravel an age old mystery and stop a plot that's been over fifty years in the making. Legacy was a book that was full of twists and turns. LC Cooper does a good job of giving the reader the right information at the right time and maintains a good sense of suspense as well as a conveying a sense of urgency. You want Collin to succeed. You want him to be careful. You want him to watch out behind him... I don't want to spoil anything, but this book has one of the creepiest "monsters" (though I hesitate to use that word, as it doesn't quite fit) that I've run into in a long time! It will definitely stick with me for a long time to come!
  • Dead Silence on June 28, 2011

    This was an entertaining novella with several twists (one of which completely surprised me!). i enjoyed the angel/demon tie-ins and found the main character's empath abilities interesting. I can't imagine trying to go to high school and have such a gift. The fight scenes were not bad, the gore descriptions were well done and i thought that pool scene (no spoilers) was also handled well. There's enough details so that the author did not "shy away" from the subject matter, but not too many to make it gratuitous. In all this was an enjoyable read that made me think of my high school days, and I'm looking forward to the next one!
  • Gardener Luyten's Unused Hour on Aug. 18, 2011

    This was a fun fairy tale that made me think of Barbara Leonie Picard's stories. Magical, detailed descriptions worthy of any fairy tale!
  • Books of the Immortals - Air on Sep. 19, 2011

    A good fantasy book should have six things. 1) A diverse world with distinctly different cultures. Air has this. Silvery Earth has no only different magical races (each with their own customs and ideals(, but also distinct cultures of human occupants, as well. Like Tolkien and Middle Earth, Barbara Tarn has been working on Silvery Earth for many years through different stories and characters to create a world of great depth. 2) A large cast of diverse characters. Air also has this. From the dark, brooding human Kumar, to the Sila Winged Jesminder, to the Naveen, the captain of the Guard and beyond, the story is told through a host of characters. This allows the reader to see all of the subtle pieces to the puzzle and watch as they fall into place to complete the full picture. 3) Magic. Air has this in the form of the Magical races; winged Sila, Fajrulo who turn into dragons, Waiora who live under the water, not to mention the Immortals themselves: Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Ether. 4) Something evil to fight against. There has to be a bad guy for the heroes to band together and defeat. The sect, a group of people who use blood and sex to gain power from the dark pond, fit the bill nicely. Though Ramesh, the high priest, is suitably twisted, I think it is Keiko who wins the prize for the most sadistic. 5) Some romance. Whether it’s hinted at behind the scenes or out where you can see it, romance is a must. Air has several romance subplots, though to keep from spoiling surprises I won’t say who they are. I will say Kumar’s final decision was the most satisfying, though. 6) Fighting. Wars. Death. Air has just enough of this to make the world believable, but not too much to make it seem gratuitous or overtly bloody. This book has just the right mix of twisted, darkness and sweet light to make it a real page turner. I like that Barb didn’t pull punches when it came to the sect. They did despicable things and, though the actions are not detailed blow by blow, there’s enough that you know how atrocious their actions are. I can imagine some women may take exception to the scene with Indira and Prince Anjan, but this is a fantasy novel, and fantasy societies are based on medieval societies. Social attitudes were very different then, and I was also glad to see that she stuck to that, too. I also have a deep, personal admiration for Ms. Tarn as I know English is not her first language. I can’t imagine the challenges of writing novels in another language! In closing, did I enjoy this book? Yes! Do I recommend to to fantasy fans? Yes! AM I going to read the rest of Silvery Earth (including the short stories)? Yes! And, I’m looking forward to it!
  • Romeo and Juliet For the Rest of Us! on Sep. 22, 2011

    A fun, fast read! Not only humorous, but a great companion for anyone who's ever watched/read Romeo and Juliet and felt like they were missing something (exactly who is that fighting in scene 1 and why?) Looking forward to the next one!
  • A Man Walks Into a Bar....A Compendium of Filthy, Uncouth, Lewd, Lusty and Lascivious Jokes. Written, Compiled. Borrowed and Stolen by Rob Loughran on Sep. 29, 2011

    if you're looking for wholesome, clean fun, then keep looking! But, if you're looking for hilariously bawdy jokes then you've some to the right place. With sections like Animals, dead Babies, Lepers, Cannibals, Michael Jackson and Blonde Jokes there are laughs in here for everyone. Smashwords lists the word count at over 130,000 words - and since this book is nothing but one joke after another, you can guess how many there are! I certainly recommend it!
  • Arquon (2 Tales of the Southern Kingdoms) on Feb. 14, 2012

    great back story for the Immortals series :) Barb has created a very complex world and it's interesting to see the different pieces through the eyes of different characters.
  • Conall's Sons on Feb. 14, 2012

    Loved how the stories intertwined with one another. Works well as a stand alone or a companion to her novels.
  • Penelope and The Birthday Curse on Feb. 14, 2012

    This was a fun read. Penelope is a strong character with a fun personality and at times reminded me of Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet stories. Lots of funny moments and enough chills to keep the reader hooked. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
  • The Russian Idea on July 08, 2012

    I'v heard that another reviewer called this an odd book and I'm not sure why. The only thing I can figure is that they found the philosophy angle to be strange (and there is a good deal of philosophy discussion between the characters) However since I knew it would be there already, I did not find it odd in the slightest. Daniel is an Englishmen who is invited by a Russian oligarch to come work on a project that will "save Russia" by installing cultural centers around the globe that will "sell" the Russian Idea as they call it, aka a way of looking at life/spirituality/religion etc. - that is based on the philosophy and work of Nikolai Berdyaev. (the reader does not need to be familiar with this to understand the story, as Steve Evans does an excellent job of explaining it - for example I was not familiar with it.) But on Daniel's first day in Russia - in fact on the first page of the novel - there is a murder. The police must be called, but they only do more to complicate and already complicated situation that is full of twists turns, and more secrets than you can shake a stick at. And f course, the killing doesn't stop. It seems someone is out to sabotage the Russian Idea. But who? I don't want to give anything away, so I will just say that this is a novel with a good mystery and very interesting characters, some of which I wish there'd been more time to examine further (but that's the point of reading a book, isn't it? then YOU get to examine them further yourself in your own mind!), a good romance and a lot of surprises.
  • Lady Ice on July 08, 2012

    Another great one shot from Barb! I always enjoy her art style and her hot, hot heroes - and this is a love story too! Five stars for sure :) Only wish it was in color.
  • A Bloody Story of Vampires on July 23, 2012

    Another great short by Barbara G. Tarn! Both sweet and bloody - it has vampires, it has hot males and it has a sweet romance. What else does one need in a short story? :)
  • Penelope and The Ghost's Treasure on Aug. 24, 2012

    This book picks up where the last Penelope book left off. She's on her way to start boarding school - and more than a little miserable about the prospect. And no wonder, on the first day of school she earns the nickname "teacher Killer". things can only get worse from there. With a new batch of zanny, off beat characters, and a visit from a few old ones, this was easily as good as the first book, if not better. Again, I would recommend this for 10 +. Also of note, it's not necessary to have read the first book in order to enjoy this one, though it does make it better. As to the mystery? I did solve a portion of the mystery (no telling which bit) but not all of it. Well done, again, Mr. Voigts. (though this said reviewed right after purchase it is because I read a version given to me by the author, so I had to buy it now in order to review it.)
  • A Man Walks Into a Bar....A Compendium of Filthy, Uncouth, Lewd, Lusty and Lascivious Jokes. Written, Compiled. Borrowed and Stolen by Rob Loughran on Nov. 24, 2012

    broken up into categories, this book has enough jokes to keep any party/get together/random family picnic busy for hours. While going through it, I had to keep stopping to read some out loud to the various people I was with. Some of them appreciated it, some of them didn't. Like everything, humor is subjective and for every joke that made me go "eh?" there was one that made me laugh out loud. Something for everyone, except maybe small children.
  • Penelope and The Christmas Spirit on Dec. 14, 2012

    This short story is actually a bit of a prequel to the first Penelope book (Penelope and the Birthday Curse), and a fun one at that. Penelope's eccentric family decides to celebrate Christmas with their own unique twists. No store bough Christmas tree or decorations for them! But, even as Penelope is enjoying her first attempt at the holiday, a mysterious neighbor moves in nearby - or at least some of their furniture does. With nothing but a chair, a lamp and a Christmas tree, can there really be anyone living there? And if so, then who? A fun short story and perfect for this time of year!
  • Technological Angel (Star Minds Book 1) on Dec. 21, 2012

    As a fan of the Silvery earth series, I was interested to see how Ms. tarn would tackle a sci-fi - and she did it spectacularly. It had all the elements that I have come to expect from her work: hot men, good plot, intricate societies/species and a no holds barred approach to the different things the characters must endure, which makes the most fantastic seem real and grounded. For example, it would have been easy for her to write a cliche, fairy tale romance between a couple of the characters, but she chose a different path that ultimately makes more sense and works out for the better. As usual, I can't choose which of the heroes I like the most, and I can't wait for the rest of the series!
  • Mind Link (Star Minds Book 2) on Jan. 29, 2013

    The second in the Star Mind's series, this story picks up where the other left off. though it is shorter than the first book, it's just as good and left me wanting more at the end. The same cast of characters is back, though Kol-ian takes center stage this time. He and his brother-in-law Ker-ris have a lot to come to terms with from the previous events, such as the deaths of their families, and Ker-ris' missing years while he was under mind control. As they start to deal with their pasts, they grow closer and to everyone;s surprise fall in love. By accident, Ker-ris is able to mind link with Kol-ian - a rare gift and a gateway to a special kind of relationship. But, when Kol-ian is taken prisoner, it's a gift that could kill them both. Eagerly looking forward to the next installment, though I sadly think it's the last one. Barbara's flare for creating interesting, multi-faceted characters continues to shine in this series.
  • The 4 Types of Artists – Starving, Dying, Dead, and Rich! on April 01, 2013

    A fun little piece that is too, too true!
  • Escape from Harrizel on Feb. 12, 2014

    First I have to say this was an awesome book! We all bandy about books we can't put down, but this was really one of those in those in the most literal sense, in fact I made my family mad (they got over it) and sloughed off work to finish it because I had to KNOW what happened next. Fallon wakes up in a small house, disorientated, and in the company of a man she doesn't know. It's not only her companion that's unfamiliar; she doesn't recognize anything, including herself. With the promise that her memories will return soon, she is whisked away to Harrizel, a planet run by an alien species who are "rescuing" the humans from a war ravaged earth. But Fallon doesn't even remember the war. Despite her desire to escape to the lush jungle surrounding the compound she's forced to call home, Fallon soon falls in with a group of fellow refugees, including the child Pratt, her new bestie Abel, and the tasty Reid, and discovers a dark, sinister secret under the facade of friendly help that the aliens are offering. Can Fallon and her new found friends stop the disappearances, or will they be the next victims? As I said, I loved this book! Like a good anime, the beginning leaves you scratching your head, and then slowly the puzzle pieces fall into place and leave you shouting "Aha!" The romance is well done - I had several "squee" moments - and I didn't see several of the plot twists coming, which is a nice change. I'm looking forward to the second book!
  • Star-Fire: Poetic Collection on March 04, 2014

    Great collection full of raw emotion.
  • Plague of Mybyncia on March 19, 2014

    Fallon, Reid, and the gang are back - yay! This book picks up where escape from Harrizel left off. Fallon, Reid, Clarence, Sampson, and the others are on their way to the ocean planet of Mybencia, originally to see the last political leader who is on their side in the war - except the planet has been attacked and he has been evacuated. So now it's up to them to help make repairs. But it's never that easy. Mybencia is an ocean planet, whose inhabitants live underwater, and not all of them are friendly to the strangers. A rebel faction will stop at nothing to get the strangers off their planet - alive or dead, and preferably the second. When they kidnap one of them, whose side with the Queen take? I loved the first book, but I have to say this one was even better - the prose were tighter and the action was non stop. Reid and Fallon's budding romance has tension in all the right places, and enough squee moments to leave me giggling. The book is well paced, and just when I found myself thinking "What about x" boom! There it was. I can't wait for the third one!
  • Always on March 25, 2014

    Always tells the story of two souls who have been intertwined for many lifetimes and are now incarnated as Simon, a lone wolf who refuses to get close to anyone and April, the teenage niece of Simon's best friend. When April sets her sights on Simon, he rejects her for many reasons: her age, her immaturity and the vehemence with which his best friend, April's uncle, forbids their relationship. But, if love can transcend time and dimensions, it can also overcome such obstacles. The story of their current incarnation is woven together with their previous one, as well as the time they spend in between "lives" in the great beyond. By seeing the full picture, you get to understand not only Simon, but the other characters as well, and see how their various relationships play out. Not to mention the sweet love story between Simon and April - who doesn't stay a child for long! I've heard that the author is planning more books to follow this and I am looking forward to them!
  • The Lone Hero on March 25, 2014

    In her first novel, Always, DM Yates gave us a contemporary romance with a touch of spiritualism, and in Lone Hero she gives us a fantasy novel with a touch of spiritualism. though some readers may feel she has switched genres, I wouldn't say that; the spiritualism is the connection. It's not the only connection. All of our favorite characters from Always make an appearance via different incarnations. Simon aka Einarr is again the main character. This is the story of his first incarnation, which takes place on a different planet; a world of dragons and violence. After a mishap caused by two human boys the dragons of the world, who had hitherto had an uneasy peace with men, take revenge and wage a bloody war. This is the world Einarr is born into, and one he is destined to save, whether he wants to or not. Einarr's father is the last of the dragon riders; brave warriors who, in the new war torn world have been forced to give up their titles. But his father has secretly maintained contact with his ancient friend, and by infusing his son unborn son with the dragon's magic, he becomes the father to the Lone Hero, a figure prophesied to save the world. But when dragons destroy their village, Einarr and his family are forced to live on the run, hiding out in caves ad forests. This strange, isolated life leaves Einarr with heavy scars that he must learn to heal in order to fulfill his destiny. DM ytaes has come up with a genius series idea; by using reincarnation it allows us to follow our favorite characters again and again, but instead of being stuck in the same lifetime/story line there is so enough flexibility to keep even the most finicky reader entertained. I've been looking forward to this sequel since I finished Always and enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than I thought I would.