This is a culmination of my too many interests. It's is an in-between place. It's more focused than my Myspace blog, but less so than my author blog. Here you can find artwork, photography, writing, poetry, book covers, manga and pointless videos. All of these things mesh together to become a reflection of their creator in an in-between place colored like shadows and flavored like frappuccinos and chocolate. It's one heck of a world.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August Newsletter

(I'm periodically experiment with posting my monthly "Ramblings from the Darkness" newsletter here. I may or may not do it again. If you'd like to get this newsletter sent to your inbox every month for free, please sign up at )

First, I want to thank every one who voted for me in The New Covey Awards last month. No, we didn't win, but thanks to some discussion in the New Covey group, I've been invited to be a judge instead! I think that's better, so, yay!
Anyway, "Happy August!" I say that because I can't think of any holidays worth mentioning. But, that doesn't mean August is uneventful, by any means! For one thing, the CPC is hosting their third annual poetry profile art contest, this year using the art of Sharronlee. If you're not familiar with this, I'll take a moment to explain. Contestants choose from six poetry categories, then craft up to two poems inspired by the art in Sharonlee's "Art" folder. And, this year's Judge Award prizes are autographed copies of Shades of Gray. All the rules, details and link are available on the CPC backup blog, so go check it out!
I actually got a lot accomplished last month, which is pretty rare, I know. First of all, Legacy of Ghosts has had my last round of edits and is back with The Mighty Ed for a last look over. What's Legacy of Ghosts? If you've managed to miss it, I'll be happy to tell you!

After the events of Shades of Gray, Katelina seeks rest and recovery at Jorick’s house by the sea. But peace is something that seems impossible to find, so long as she’s determined to stay with a vampire – and she is determined. Or is she?

Despite her growing attraction to her vampire “hero”, there are so many things she doesn't know about him; so many secrets left hidden in the shadows. While Katelina struggles to unravel the mystery of a locked room and a faded photograph, a storm brews in the world beyond. Kateesha, a former ally, builds a secret war coven to fight the same battle as Jorick’s fledgling. But, a common enemy isn’t enough to overcome past betrayals, and the tempest explodes into a violent frenzy that may leave one of them dead, if not changed forever.

Old enemies will resurface and the past will come back to haunt both Jorick and Katelina as they’re pulled by opposing forces into a battle that neither had anticipated. Can they band together and stand strong against the waves that threaten to tear them apart, or will they loose themselves to old regrets and older guilt? And even if they can survive, is there any way to lay the memory of past mistakes to rest, or will they both be haunted by their ghosts forever?

Coming in October 2010, Legacy of Ghosts, the second installment of the Amaranthine series, plunges back into a world of blood and cruelty where the darkness hold dominion and vampires don’t sparkle.

I thought the last line was kind of catchy. I admit, with Shades of Gray I didn't try to emphasize the differences between Amaranthine and Twilight, but I've found that Twilight devotees aren't fond of it because it's much more "adult", so I've decided I might as well make it clear.

The book cover is actually done except for the "blurb". If I can't find one by the end of the month, I'll put up a poll about it and let people vote.

(for fun preview)


Aside from that, I also got the website redesign done (note, the designing, not the programming. The latter falls to hubby to do). here's a sneak peek at what it will look like:


You might recognize the banner from my new Author blog on wordpress. If you haven't seen it yet, then you should check it out at I plan to use this blog to post only Amaranthine, vampire or self publishing related items instead of the wonderful randomness I have at Myspace. I've actually contemplated an author blog for a while because I'm pretty sure that my Myspace readers get tired of listening to book related things. However, I still intend to cross-post some things. I'm also going to add a list of Amaranthine blog posts to the newsletter every month. Oh boy, huh?

Now for the obligatory "blah, blah, go buy my books, blah, blah..."

101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire is available through Amazon Kindle for $.99 or Smashwords where you can set your own price and pay only what it's worth to you!

Of course, if you've missed Shades of Gray, you can still get it through Amazon/CreateSpace for $11.00 , Amazon Kindle for $1.50 and Smashwords where you can set your own price!.

Feel like you're missing out because you're only on Facebook? Why not become a fan of the very cool Shades of Gray Fan Page Since Facebook has changed the way the pages work (of course) I am thinking about making an author page in the near future, so more details on that when/if it happens.

And if you're in the market for a book cover, or book cover art, you might want to check out and see what I have to offer. This last month I made seven book covers:

harassment sands

the social function of the poster The Affordable Wine guide

legacy smoking a cigarette

The Gryphon Killer

On a side note, I can also format documents for publication on Smashwords.
Now, let's get on to the

Random Fun

The Interesting link: Mike Naylor's ACII Art. No, this guy isn't related to me, but ASCII art is something you don't see as much anymore, so I enjoyed browsing through this website. He has galleries divided up into categories, and he's really good at what he does! Go take a look and see what I mean.

The Lots-O-Fun link: If you can type, you can make movies, or so the folks at XtraNormal say, and they're right! Choose the backdrop, choose your characters, and type the script into the input field, save and you have a movie! Some of the site is free (some characters or backgrounds require "points" in order to save your movie, and points cost money), but if you're not too picky you can produce some fun, free movies. I spent about half an hour making one to test it:

The Read of the month: Out and About: Photos by Kerri Anne Messner a full color coffee table book of beautiful photographs taken by Kerri Ann Messner and available in hardcover or softcover (softcover is cheaper). Well put together, this book features some of my favorite photos by the rising photographer and is defiantly worth a look-see! And, while you're there, you can even vote for this book *hint*hint*.

The Music of the month: Kevin MacLeod: Royalty Free Music Kevin MacLeod releases music under the Creative Common Attribution license, which means all of his music is free to use, for anything commercial or non commercial, so long as you credit him somewhere (whether in the credits or video details). Broken up into genres and even sortable by "feel", there is a lot of fantastic stuff here! You may just see one of them turn up in my next book trailer!

The Video of the month: If Cartoons Were Real It was this or some weirdos dancing around Bolivar, Missouri's Wal-Mart (yeah, that is a real video), but this has cool special effects so it won. Okay, they aren't super special, but they're there. Either way, this video poses the question, "How bad would cartoons suck if they were real?". Pokémon is my favorite.

(if you have suggestions for the links of the month please email them to me at – you will be credited by whatever name you choose.)

My Updates


I am looking for some Affiliates to trade links with. If you have a website and would be interested please let me know!

Looking for Reader Reviews! Have you read the book? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Well write a blurb and let the world know what you think! Please send all reviews to and I'll post them on the site!

The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy:

The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy is a weekly manga/comic written by Jonathan Harvey and illustrated by Joleene Naylor that tells the story of the giant turtle attack in Tuttlesville and the interconnected aftermath.
In May we continued Chapter Four: Let There be Dragons, in which the disgruntled characters from Day & Dark Comics seek help from the more professional Ruby Lightning, only to be told they must return to those lunatics at Day and Dark to save Veronica from the clutches of the evil dragon, who used to be a dog...

Read Chapter Four!

Check out the Table of Contents for past chapters

Can't access MySpace, but you want to get in on the Turtle Action? I am now posting the comics on Blogspot as well. So, if MySpace won't work for you, then check it out there!

Website Updates

I have added a few new things this month to the Ramblings from the Darkness website at

This month I added a new flash fiction to the Short Story Section of the site called "The Magic Box". it's a re-edit of a story I wrote in 1997 and haven;t posted on my blogs yet, so go take a look!

I've also added 8 new photos. Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of them:

wet glass

Golden Sunset

Flickr Updates

In the last month I added the following albums to my Flickr account. All of my photography is licensed under Creative Commons license unless otherwise noted. You do not need a Flickr account to view these. Clicking on the links will take you to a photo album with thumbnails.

Fourth of July 2010
44 photos of fireworks, sparklers and such.

Smoke and Cigarettes
14 photos of smoke, cigarettes, and an ash tray. My first experiment with lighting techniques.

Playing with Rain
20 photos of rainy windows, and even some night shots through a wet windshield.

Walls and Such
46 photos of brick walls, textured walls, fences, and other suitable surfaces. Also includes a few shots of an abandoned bank.

Rainy Sunset
25 photos of some fantastic sunsets created by a thick shelf of clouds. Also includes some neat water puddles and a rainbow.

Misc July 2010
18 random photos including a lawn umbrella, wet grass, dark clouds, strawberries, fence shadows and my dog, Fido.

Blog Updates:


Who am I and What am I Doing?
An introduction to me and the new blog.

101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire
Watch the trailer, read a sample.

Shades of Gray
Watch the trailer, read a sample.

The Self Publishing Debate: A Cartoon
A cartoon by Zoe Winters that illustrates some of the points in the Self Publishing vs Traditional Publishing debate.
The New Covey Awards
Details on how you can enter the contest, and a brief history of the awards.

Do Chupacabras Glitter?
in a news clip from NBC, locals in Hood texas debate on whether a mysterious creature killed by an animal control officer is the mysterious chupacabra, or something else. I know one easy way to tell...

Vampire Awareness Month
head over to the Vampire Awareness month blog and get your vampire on through August 9th, 2010.

Characters from Legacy of Ghosts
Yes, i will be posting drawings and bios of the most important characters from the Amaranthine series for your enjoyment. If you haven't read Shades of Gray yet, these have spoilers.

Characters from Legacy of Ghosts: Jorick
Katelina's dark, mysterious hero. Oh, he happens to be a vampire, too.

Characters from Legacy of Ghosts: Katelina
Katelina Mauldin, a woman who found herself submerged in the world of vampires after the death of her friend.

Characters from Legacy of Ghosts: Oren
Jorick's friend and fledgling.

How to Win a Free Book
Links and details for the CPC poetry contest where you can enter to win an autographed copy of Shades of Gray

Characters from Legacy of Ghosts: Torina
Oren's man eating sister.

Characters from Legacy of Ghosts: Kateesha
Once Jorick and Oren's accomplice, now, perhaps, an enemy.


More Random Photos
Photos of Rain, flowers, bugs and birthdays

The Dragon's Maid Part IX
Part 9 of the continuing fairytale about Fenrick and the dragon.

Cover Art: Legacy
Cover art for Legacy by LC Cooper.

More Cover Art
Cover art for The Gryphon Killer by Chapel Harlow and The Affordable Wine Guide by Mark Spivak. Includes a rejected version that I also liked.

Random Photos: Fourth of July
Photos from the 2010 Bolivar Fireworks display. There are some good ones here.

More Cover Art
Cover art for Sand Against the Wind by Riccardo Maffey and The Social Function of the Poster by Josep Renau, translated by Kathryn McAlister

The Dragon's Maid Part X
part 10 of the ongoing fairytale about Fenrick and the dragon.

Even More Book Covers
Cover art for Harassment and Fumando una sigaretta (Italian for "Smoking a Cigarette), both by Riccardo Maffey. Also some bonus smoke photos.

The Dragon's Maid Conclusion
Choose your own ending to the ongoing fairytale about Fenrick and his quest to slay a dragon.

On a Rainy Monday
Photos of rain, a rainbow, a cloudy sunset, a rainy night, and more.


Gratuitous Photos
Photos of flowers and more, as well as a funny story about a turtle.

Fairytale Part IX
Part 9 of the ongoing fairytale about Fenrick.

Tipsy Randomness
Mostly a lot of links.

Sober Randomness
More random, and probably more interesting

Making a Memory
A poem written for Lyrical Lines at the CPC, using a line from the song Tapestry by Don McLean

I Quit!
Lisbon the butler is forced to write my blog when I refuse. Also features some random photos.

Fairytale Part X
Part 10 of the ongoing fairytale.

Contest Time
All the details about the upcoming CPC poetry contest.

Fairytale Part XI
The conclusion to the Fairytale with a choose your own ending.

Projects I hope to finish in August are
Book cover for Legacy of Ghosts
Legacy of Ghosts Trailer
Two book covers for someone else
The special Bonus comic for the super secret TTTC Publishing Project
I wouldn't mind finishing up some other misc artwork, but we'll see about that

If you have ideas or suggestions on what could make this newsletter better, or just want to give me your opinion on something, drop me a line at

If you would like to unsubscribe from this mailing, please send a mail to with the subject UNSUBSCRIBE.

Have a great month!
Jo :D


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