Beautiful by Design

The Noracast has been awarded the Liebster Blog Award! Who took the time to give the Noracast a shout out? None other than Jenn from The Blog Starts Here. If you’re up for a good time, then make sure to visit her outstanding blog!

It’s the dead of winter, a chilly February day, so to celebrate this award—I’ve indulged in scorching hot chocolate accompanied by my favorite things in the entire world…Dunkin’ Donuts!

Thank you, Jenn, for the lovely award. Now, before I devour my decadent donut, I must think of five blogs that rock this crazy world. Hum, let’s see…we know The Blog Starts Here is a rock star…

Hold up! Here are the rules: Background The Liebster Blog Award originated in Germany. Liebster means dearest or beloved, and Liebe is love. In accepting the Liebster Blog Award from Jenn, the recipient agrees to:

  •  Thank the person who gave them the award and link back to that person’s blog
  •  Copy and paste the award to their blog with these instructions
  •  Reveal the 5 blogs they have chosen to award, by posting on their blog to break the news (and/or tweet it!)

Hope those people in turn pay it forward by accepting and awarding “The Liebster Blog Award” to others they would like to honor.

Okay, the donut is dead. Time to announce who has been awarded The Liebster Blog Award!

Mysti Parker Unwritten

Cambria Hebert

C.S. Splitter

Nikki: Close Encounters With the Night Kind

Michelle: A Lil of Dis, A Lil of Dat Chelle Style


I get it. A book cover does not make the words within any book better or worse—but, a striking book cover can attract readers. Color, or the lack of it, unique fonts, or maybe fonts that are arranged perfectly on that rectangle, and intriguing subject matter on book covers pulls me in. I love looking at book designs, especially since I’m writing the sequel to Guardian 2632. Cover ideas are constantly on my mind.

Hum…shall I use large or small fonts? Blasts of supernova spirals may be an option, or the subdued and elegant splatters of black and white could be utilized too since Guardian 2632 is science fiction. If I include the main characters in this sequel, Lindsay and Zane Grayson, I also must decide if I want them to look stylized or completely realistic. See? So many questions arise when book cover design takes place.

Have a look at these book covers. Do you think they are beautiful by design? I sure do! I need inspiration, so feel free to suggest a book cover that you feel is gorgeous. Are you planning on providing input for your next book cover? Consider the size and style of the font(s), colors used, how the background (negative space) is manipulated, subject matter of your book, if the cover looks too busy, your tagline, and if possible, get some opinions on various options before a “final” is approved.

As you can see, I like various designs, some of which have lots of color…others do not. I like bold fonts and ones which are sleek with bright color. It all depends how the designer puts everything together. Millions of book covers show themselves when this topic is researched, so be sure to enjoy all of the hard work that’s been done to get great ideas for your next cover.

Did one book cover catch your interest more than another? I’m really stuck between Black Numbers and The Language of Flowers as my favorite from this group.

I appreciate that you stopped by the Noracast. Come back soon!

No intent to violate copyrighted images. All images used to illustrate the beauty found in book covers.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Numbers by Dean Frank

The Castings Trilogy by Pamela Freeman

Dust by Allison M. Dickson

The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe

hold still by Nina Lacour

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman   

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Prince of Tanith by Terry Mancour

The Runes of the Earth by Stephen Donaldson

Walking The Tree by Karron Warren

what the night knows by Dean Koontz


TYPE-OHs! Kill Them One by One

Books? Love them! Typos found in my books? HATE them.

Maybe hate is not the correct word. Despise, loathe…well, I can’t think of a strong enough word to describe the feeling of seeing those wicked, little syllables that are misplaced, misspelled, and/or repeated too many times. Who knew I’d feel the need to use the word sublime, eleven times in one manuscript! Once those sneaky, extra sublime(s) were found, I murdered them with glee.

Funny thing? If I run across typos in other books, they don’t bother me! That may be because I realize many books have them, and if they are not excessive, I still enjoy the story. The story matters more to me, and I know how easy it is to miss these annoying tidbits of literature. However, writers want to avoid typos like the Black Plague, so a typo check list can help. In addition, remember—a good editor is worth his/her weight in gold.

Let’s get this typo seeking rampage on! Be sure to check your novel and make sure the plot has enough conflict, memorable characters, and a good story arc. Is there a nice balance between dialogue and narrative? Look for plot holes. Is the sequencing of events correct? If so, then gear up with your favorite caffeinated drink, and make sure it is strong, because hunting for typos is a challenge.

Catch Typos

  • Slow down! One reason typos are missed is that all-important deadline. Is the world going to end if your book goes to print one day, or one week late? NO. It is definitely preferable to make the deadline, but not if the price to pay is allowing those pesky typos to live. I say—read, breathe…hunt for typos, eat chocolate and Twizzlers, plus drink lots of hot tea. Repeat; and I mean repeat those actions 100 times. Yes, it does seem like the editing process never ends!
  • After your masterpiece is finished, acquire not only a marvelous editor, but other readers who will help find typos too. Here’s a thought…have a contest to see who can find the most typos in your manuscript! Hard work deserves a reward, so make it fun for your volunteer proofreaders.
  • Words used too often are disappointing to find, but keep track of them while working on your manuscript, and kill them when you feel the need. Since it seems I have a special attachment for some words, I must do this typo check often, like every six to ten chapters. Words to look for: about, amazing, and, beautiful, because, big, enjoy, even, funny, good, great, happy, just, kind, oh, okay, small, that, very (Google commonly overused words and sift through the lists. They are quite handy!)
  • Find/Replace Tool: Distracted by your character’s plight, it’s super easy to quickly mix up homophones like, they’re, their, and there. (Also check one, won, board, bored, hair, hare, it’s its, pore, pour, sea, see, to, two, too, wood, would) Use the Find/Replace tool to locate these words and correct them. Check out this page to confuse you a bit more! HOMONYMS, HOMOPHONES, HOMOGRAPHS, and HETERONYMS
  • Commonly misspelled words are never desired, but these little monsters living within the world of words must be banished! Here is a wonderful list to get you started. Acreage, entrepreneur, fiery, gauge, guarantee, memento, rhythm, and vacuum all made this list.
  • Spacing/Bold/Italicized Words: Have you checked your print and digital books for formatting issues? For instance, are all of your chapter headings the same, and have you looked for any big gaps with spacing or letters crunched together? Also remember to check the words you want italicized.
  • Keeping your characters’ names consistent is important. If Jacob has the nickname Jake every other page, that might get confusing. The spelling of a name can cause problems too. Are you going to use Rachael or Rachel?  See! Typos are easy to unleash.

The above tips will get you started. Please feel free to leave a typo check tip for us all to use. Better yet…brighten the day with the funniest typo you’ve had to correct.

Have a typo free day, and thanks for visiting the Noracast!