Melange Books 2015 Giveaway Extravaganza!

black                                                                                                                                                              Love to read? I know! Me too, so have some fun—visit Melange Books to enter this fantastic giveaway! Check it out, because ebooks, ARC’s, and autographed print books are up for grabs, plus one lucky winner receive a brand new Kindle Fire HD6 AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card to stock it full of books! Sounds awesome, right?

Please check out my books The Twelfth Paladin (supernatural/thriller) and Guardian 2632 (science fiction/adventure). Romance, murder/mystery, and fantasy/adventure themed books are there and accounted for as well. Take your time while scrolling to find the books that are perfect for you!

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guardian2632

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kragan

 

FindingTWBack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To enter, go HERE: http://melange-books.com/2015NYGiveaway.html
Keep in mind: A LOT of giveaways will load on that link above. Please let the page fully load everything before entering. Click the link, go check your Facebook or Twitter, then check back!

HeartExile

And for the blog comments entries, visit, and then leave a post here! http://www.melange-books.com/blog/new-years-giveaway-extravaganza/

GRAND PRIZE

One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive a Kindle Fire HD6 and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Two (2) second place winners will each receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

SecondBest

 

 

1CovertExposureHappy New Year!

Thanks for visiting the Noracast.

 

 

ForgettingFallenwood

fence 3Quite a while ago, before my brain was frostbitten, the poem below was published for a holiday issue of Soul Engravings.

Recently, I came across it and had to smile because it reminded me of how this blasted winter storm in Michigan, with its unforgiving icy prisons and below zero temps has affected the attitudes of many people around me.

***

Frozen Decadence

Usually, I can force
all who have desires to hastily drink up
and drown in a spiral of never-ending wants.
I can lick souls to death and catch hope on fire;
it’s almost too easy, but someone has to do it.
Most days, the game of manipulation brings
forth sparkling innocence, which I shred to pieces
with only a glare of sugary lust.
I can blind those who would otherwise give
and I can deafen those who habitually listen.

But, alas…when the autumn air chills
and snowflakes fall upon my misery,from aaron ice2
I seek refuge for a smidgen of time and freeze.
Strange red and green balls of light
drape over my power and weaken me.
Silver and gold tinsel, surely infused with optimism,
strengthens my everyday victims; they do not feel me.
Quite foreign to the likes of me, hope rules without fear.
I am left abandoned in an abyss of frigid solitude
where I fester until ‘tis the season is over.

True, in the poem hope rules, but heavens! Has anyone noticed the winter blues…more like blustery grays, have saturated optimism and replaced it with negativity dipped into chilly dispositions? A friend of mine got her little car stuck in a huge snow drift and since no one stopped to help her, and her cell phone refused to work, she walked about twenty-five frigid minutes back to her home. Even with all of her winter attire, she said it took hours for her body to warm up.

ryan outside2Now, almost the same thing happened to my daughter, although she had the good fortune of a neighbor with an awesome truck to assist. So, yes, not all is lost! I like to think this visit from Jack Frost will not completely destroy hopes and wishes for 2014.

Many stories swirl around in my head most of the time, yet I’ve never introduced “weather” into the storyline as a driving force. Sure, weather conditions are in my stories, and a demonic storm does attack Jake Cottrell in The Twelfth Paladin much to his dismay. This latest bout with Jack, with his mind numbing temps, skin slicing wind, and so much snow cars disappear into drifts has inspired me to use weather much differently. Too cold, too dark, day after day and then maybe into months…what might happen to people not used to it, like me? I hate being cold! I sip on either hot chocolate or hot tea all day and night. Just the warmth of it helps, you know?

If your imagination is held captive by Jack, don’t let him triumph! Consider how the weather might enrich a story or poem you are working on.

• Frosty temps with snow, ice, high winds, loss of electric, and gasoline shortages lead to desperation settling in. How will your characters react? Can they hunt for food? Did they plan for a disaster, or were they caught off-guard?
• It’s so cold your characters no longer feel their limbs. Starving, who will survive? Who stands out as the leader, and who falls well below everyone’s expectations? Are any of the characters willing to sacrifice big time for others?
• Possibly, a character once believed to be mundane, weak, or simply irresponsible is the one who has the smarts to rise to the occasion and think his/her way to beat Jack at his own game. Or, turn this around. The supposed genius of the group proves to be unable to function once fighting for basic needs comes to play.

Have the harsh winter conditions changed your attitude? If so, what prevents your spirit front2from ice overload? Have you considered using the weather as a character in your work? Feel free to share!

Off I go! It’s tea time.
Thanks for visiting the Noracast.

*Also a big thanks to Aaron and Ryan for the lovely pics!

The Twelfth Paladin Book Tour/Let the Games Begin!

TTP PIC

The latest tour for The Twelfth Paladin, organized by Paranormal Cravings, was a blast! The entries and lovely comments were all greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone who has checked out the tour and to the tour hosts. Visit the Noracast a few more minutes for one more GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway 5/19/2013-6/14/2013:

Enter for your chance to win either an e-book or print copy of The Twelfth Paladin and a $25.00 Amazon gift code.

In The Twelfth Paladin, Jake Cottrell is a roguish hero who tests the patience of an angel who has been ordered to protect him, all the while pushing his luck to infuriate Satan as well. Jake must decide who he really is…a good guy with an ornery side, or a bad guy with a wicked core.

To enter this giveaway, simply comment to say “hello,” OR answer these questions: Do you believe hope always exists so anyone can change for the better? If so, do you know of anyone who has done so?

The WINNER is the 9th comment…ARREYAH! Please email me (noraweston.nw@gmail.com) and say if you want the e-book or print copy.

Congrats to Arreyah, and thanks to all who entered.

Random.org June 2013

Two reviews were completed by Kaidans Seduction and Books, Books, and More Books. Feel free to explore a bit about The Twelfth Paladin. Good luck in the giveaway!

Kaidans Seduction Review

The Twelfth Paladin is a crazy story with lot’s of action and suspense that will leave you reeling. This story had side stories that made the whole book come together. There was never a dull moment and I really enjoyed it. Plus the characters all seemed to feed off of each other and need one another.

We have Jake who is angry because he has been marked by Micah a crazy rebellious angel with angelfire. Jake’s life changed after he was in an accident on his bike. He woke up and he was able to heal quickly and his senses were different and he started having dreams well more like nightmares. With a rebellious streak in him Jake decides he is going to test hell and tells them to come and get him and burn his soul. What hell decides is they will grant him his wish and they send a temptress Rachel.

But things start to go haywire because Davis Jake’s old enemy comes to town and together they stir up the pot with lot’s of drama and trouble. Then if things could not get worse Jake finds out the only girl he has ever loved is going to marry Davis. Man this sets Jake off into a tail spin and he decides he wants to complete his transition into the Twelfth Paladin and save the girl he loves. Only one small problem Jake has pissed off hell and they want their soul and they are coming for it.

What will Jake do? Will he be able to save the girl he loves? Will he find redemption?

(5 of 5)

Books, Books, and More Books Review

This was a really intense book to read.  It was very much about the battle between Heaven and Hell, right and wrong, good and evil.  It has angels and demons, virtuous women and succubae, and choosing to do good or evil.  It contains a strong sexual theme and furious battles where personal souls are at risk.  It was at times funny and at times very difficult to read.

That said the story was gripping.  I was on the edge of my proverbial seat, the entire time I was reading.  I have read angel/demon stories before but none quite so compelling.  I loved the characters, even when l hated what they were doing.

I give this book 5 out of 5 clouds.

The Twelfth Paladin

Blurb: In The Twelfth Paladin, good against evil battles as an angel, demons, and a temptress extraordinaire, named Rachel Darnell, vie for the soul of Jake Cottrell. Jake foolishly dares Hell to burn him. Hell agrees.

Scarred with angelfire by a rebellious angel, named Micah, Jake Cottrell is sanctioned to become the twelfth paladin in Micah’s supernatural unit of slayers. However, regret abounds as Micah is banished and ordered to protect what he now despises…a human he believes is unworthy of such an honor. Never fear, Jake is a seeker of mischief who soars on a blistering blacktop to escape the wrath of Hell while he transforms into the twelfth paladin.

TTP Giveaway

Website: http://www.2noraweston.com

Blog: Noracast https://noraweston.wordpress.com

You Tube Trailer: http://youtu.be/_Nwz8GBdlvE

Twitter: almostsanelady

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noraweston.nw

 EXCERPT

Preface

Forbidden desire incited, I fell into Rachel’s maddening world feeling her splendid, bare breasts upon me. No rest for the wicked. A bit delirious, “Damn you,” slipped through my lips knowing I stood upon the jagged edge between life and death. Fuming with monstrous hunger, I danced on that edge feeling good and evil collide in every cell of my body. “Wait…oh…my God, just wait,” I said running my fingers through her black as midnight hair.

“I’ll wait for nothing,” said Rachel skimming my neck with claws fit only for a beast. “You’re mine.” More bewitching kisses, irresistible and dreadful at the same time, demanded I fall into chaos.

Tightening my grip on sin, I said, “You’re unbelievable, magnificent.” The computer screen flickered with a deep blue light as hatred in my soul grew for Rachel, but my flesh…cursed and weak, was so anxious for her essence it made me sick. You’ll be the death of me, but I’d die a happy man. Uh, hold on a second. I don’t want to die. Ready to escape her vindictive entrapment, I dared to look upon Rachel’s eternal beauty saying, “I won’t…can’t let you in.”

“Too late.” Refusing to budge, Rachel slithered her smoking-hot body all over mine sparking a wildfire in my lust filled skin. “You beckoned me,” she said mesmerizing me with eyes so dark they had to be portals to Hell. Soft laughter, accompanied by a playful caress, extracted all fear while Rachel ingested the precious beams of moonlight. “You need me, Jake.” Left awestruck by the mystical presence, shadows froze at the mere sight of her.

“Wrong…you need me,” I proclaimed as every inch of my throbbing, hard body burned for her.

“Choose your words carefully, well…that is if you want to keep your tongue.” Sitting on top of me, she scraped my jaw with those deadly claws saying, “So shut up. I know what you crave. Yes…I…do.” Rachel slid down my tormented body making sure I’d regret rejecting her. Molten hot lips scorched my flesh, and then she chanted a devilish spell that devoured all guilt.

Sexual torment, synthesized to the nth degree of potency, ignited in my veins with a vengeance. No, stop—don’t ever stop. Sh—shit. This can’t be happening again.

No mercy existed as Rachel licked my face and then bit my bottom lip drawing fresh blood to quench her primitive thirst. Glaring into my eyes, she smiled wiping warm blood from her perfectly glazed, red lips. “Um, sin-filled wine.” Soulless eyes gleamed with unadulterated evil as her intoxicating scent and mouthwatering body seduced my soul.

Choppy, maniacal rambling echoed like thunder and then dulled to become a terrifying murmur the likes of which only the Tower of Babble could contain. The hushed turbulence in the room frolicked with Rachel’s enticing lawlessness, until at long last…my conscience revved up to kick my ass. I halted Rachel saying, “I don’t want you anymore. To Hell with you!” I awoke sweating and exhausted from the lunacy buzzing throughout my mind.

Heavy from the encounter, my eyes twitched. Free from Rachel’s spell, moonlight attacked optic nerves extinguishing the rampant fire inside me. Light? Yes, it’s virtuous…and when light is summoned, it’s an almighty force to be reckoned with. That was a priceless lesson for this seeker of mischief to learn.

In the unguarded stillness of the night, I sat up in bed shaking my head while marveling at Rachel’s ardent pursuit. That beautiful…but dangerous bitch is still messing with me. Will it ever end? Feeling fresh, blood-ridden wounds on my chest made my heart flutter. “I let her into my dreams and now look at me,” I whispered catching my breath. Well, thank God I survived this one. Close call…yeah, really close. Sorry to say, the netherworld had splattered my nighttime reality with enviable, but hazardous sexual antics that, if accepted, had the ability to conquer any sense of righteousness I still retained.

Buy Links:

Melange Books:

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/noraweston/westontwelfthpaladin.html

Amazon-

http://www.amazon.com/The-Twelfth-Paladin-ebook/dp/B005HHUKY2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1365126003&sr=8-1

The Book Depository-

http://www.bookdepository.com/Twelfth-Paladin-Nora-Weston/9781612351766

Bio: Nora Weston’s fiction and poetry slips in-between and all around science fiction, Nora Weston PK1fantasy, and horror. Her publishing credits include the novels Guardian 2632 and The Twelfth Paladin, plus anthologies, magazines, and e-zines. Themes found in Nora’s work relate to good against evil, Internet safety, the powerful consequences for one’s actions, and the ability we all possess to improve the world. She’s had the pleasure of reaching people through the airwaves on radio stations throughout the US. Recently, her work was published for Bête Noire and Crack the Spine. Feel free to download previous interviews and segments from Desmond Haas/Romance Radio Network and Blog Talk Radio’s Not Picture Perfect, plus B.K. Walker has interviewed Nora on Blog Talk Radio as well. Contact Nora Weston:noraweston.nw@gmail.com

________________________________________________________________

Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact Nora. noraweston.nw@gmail.com

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

Charlie2Inspiration has bitten you hard! You have a grand idea for a novel…maybe it involves a guy, let’s name him Charlie McAllister. Charlie finds himself waking up in the middle of a desert with no idea where he is, or how he got there, but he’s quick to notice his entire left arm and shoulder are throbbing in pain from a freshly inked tattoo—elaborately applied and looking like a fierce dragon. Some of the scales of the dragon have names written in an ancient language on them.

 

Yikes! Who is this guy? What has he done? Is he the good guy or the bad guy?

If, at this point, you feel a bit stuck, simply run a background check on Charlie to evaluate his potential to be the protagonist or antagonist in your novel. Yes, I do realize a background check is usually used by employers before hiring someone to discover facts about his/her employment references, character, gaps in employment history, identity and address verification, credit history, and probably one of the most important areas of a background check…the criminal history report. Also of interest might be a person’s driving record, litigation record, citizenship, and military history.

Character building can be a tricky thing. If handled as though Charlie is a real person, then the pieces will fall together quite easily. Pretend you are about to hire Charlie for a position in your company, called Prime, which writes computer code…secret code, for the US military. No way would he be hired on the spot.

So, Charlie got a background check that is revealing. Hum…maybe he knows it will be and doesn’t care for some reason because this is all part of his plan. Would you hire him?

Here’s some of the information CEO of Prime, Ethan Cromwell, has to ponder about…

BC1

*The STATE BY STATE criminal background check turned up a criminal history in four states: Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Offenses included Driving Under the Influence-DUI’s 3X, Aggravated Assault 2X, Driving With Suspended or Revoked License, and Disorderly Conduct.

*Educational background checked out with a Graduate Degree in Computer Science earned from Michigan State University in 1990. Military service in Marines from 1993-2005 ended with a dishonorable discharge, no other details provided.

As you can see Charlie’s life has been anything but ordinary, especially since the background check also brought to light he was buried in debt for over six years with four credit cards, a car loan, and a hefty mortgage. Then within a four month period, that debt was paid in full. Where did he get the money to pay off everything?

BC3A

Looking at the details about Charlie make shaping him into a memorable character much easier now because motivation for some of his actions can be instigated from his background. See! He is shaping up.

BC3C

  • He’s a loner, and does not play well with others.
  • Charlie is not an honest person.
  • Frequently, he was found where he should not have been at work…sneaky.
  • He is a dangerous man with a criminal past.
  • Is it possible he has a grudge against Prime somehow connected to his military service? Does he want to steal code to sell it?
  • According to this report, he was “Kind of a scary guy.”

Continue adding details to Charlie’s background check until he becomes so real you’ll feel like you could pick him out in a crowd. Use neighbor references, other social references, psychological workups found on him, anything to give this guy depth. It may be possible he has been undercover for years and is actually the good guy!

How do you make your characters interesting? Please feel free to share!

Good luck building strong characters, and thanks for visiting the Noracast.

Book of Death by S. Evan Townsend Visits the Noracast!

Today at the Noracast, I have a special treat for you! S. Evan Townsend’s Book of Death sounds amazing, and I can hardly wait to read it. Plus, you’ll get to know Mr. Townsend a bit, because he’s also written a guest post called The Allure of Horror…Why We Love to be Frightened?

I do, indeed, love to be frightened, and Mr. Townsend makes a lot of sense in his guest post. Now, back to his book! It caught my interest mainly because the speculative world fascinates me, and in Book of Death—witches, wizards, and fairy godmothers are real. Wouldn’t it be thrilling to live in a world where fantasy creatures and myths from long ago were actually part of our history? I mean, they are part of our history, but imagine a world where the world governments utilized magic as a weapon and/or to help others.

Check out the Book of Death!

Title:  Book of Death

Author: S. Evan Townsend

Publisher:   World Castle Publishing

Length:  266 pages

Sub-Genres: Vampires, Paranormal Entities

 

 

BLURB:

They live among us. We know they are there. No government can control them; no authority can stop them. Some are evil. Some are good. All are powerful. They inhabit our myths and fairy tales. But what if they were real, the witches, wizards, and fairy godmothers? What if they were called “adepts” and were organized into guilds for mutual protection and benefit? And what if some of them discovered a power that other adepts could not match.

During the turbulent 1960s, when American adept Peter Branton agrees to go to Transylvania for the CIA, he suspects it’s not about ball bearings as he was told. What he finds is a plot that could kill millions of people and plunge the world into eternal tyranny and bloodshed. Branton doesn’t know it, but he’s about to face the adept guilds’ worst nightmare: practicing necromancers with a taste for human blood.

EXCERPT :

I’d never seen this type of meta before. At least I assumed that’s what it was, as the wooden man inexorably walked toward me with a creak of moving wood, like tree branches in a heavy wind. It was raising its arms for another blow so I stepped back and shot an airbolt at it. I heard wood crack, but that didn’t stop it. It swung again and its wooden fist pounded into my face, knocking me down and back on the sidewalk. Somewhere I heard screams and yells. A guy sitting on the sidewalk, his back to a storefront, muttered, “Wow, bad trip, man.”

The Indian was bending over, its face expressionless except for the painted-on peace sign as it seemed to prepare for another attack. I shot fire at it, assuming old dry wood would ignite easily, and it did: the hippie dress went up in flames, and now the monster was a burning mass, still attacking me. It smacked me again with a flaming arm and I suffered from both the impact and the burns. Nearly screaming, I scrambled away on hands and knees. I don’t think I’d ever been that scared. Still it came, oblivious to the fact it was on fire.

A motorcycle cop I hadn’t noticed jumped off his bike, pulled his service revolver, and shot it into the Indian with six cracks of bullets being fired. It had no effect other than sending burning splinters of wood flying. The cop suddenly looked frightened, and was gripping his billy club but taking no further action.

People were screaming loudly now. I looked around, looking for an escape. If I could teleport away I might escape, but I could see no clear place to teleport to. Briefly I wondered what happened to Ernestine and if she were safe. I didn’t sense the presence of another adept, but I didn’t really have the ability to be quiet enough to do so. I just hoped she was okay.

The burning Indian smacked me again, hard, in the chest and I felt as if my feet left the ground as I was knocked into a car’s side. I heard and felt sheet metal crumple and knew I’d hit the car hard. My vision was going gray. But I realized my shirt was on fire and that kept me from passing out; if I passed out I was probably dead. I pulled water from the air to douse the fire, but this took time and the Indian was on me again, even though it was moving very slowly.

I wondered if I’d survive until the wooden Indian had been consumed by the flames. It hit me again, knocking me to the sidewalk. There was an unpleasant smell and I realized my hair was burning. I used my bare hand to pat out the flames. This gave the Indian time to hit me again, hard. It almost felt as if I flew through the air and was slapped painfully to the sidewalk, the Indian still lumbering toward me.

In desperation I shot another airbolt at it. It must have been on the verge of falling apart because that hit blew it into flaming pieces that scattered over the street and also hit me, burning my skin or singeing my clothes. But it was no longer attacking.

The Allure of Horror…Why We Love to be Frightened?

I have a confession.  I’m a 52-year-old man who refuses to watch/read anything that has to do with horror.   And I blame that on Lassie.

Yes, Lassie, the cute collie who was always rescuing Timmy after he fell down the well.  The problem was, if you started watching an episode of Lassie, you knew something bad was going to happen: Timmy is going to fall down the well.  And when I was a kid, anticipating the bad just drove me nuts.  And I hated it.  And I still do to this day.

Now as an adult I can watch bloody, violent movies if they are action-based but not horror based.  I think the last time I had a visceral reaction to something violent I saw in a movie was in Eastern Promises when a man gets stabbed (bloodily) in an eye.  But that was okay because I didn’t have to spend ten minutes worrying about when he was going to get stabbed in the eye.

So it’s the foreshadowing that does it, and that’s what horror does.  It builds up anticipation of something bad happening and then . . . it happens (usually) and I hate that anticipation.  In the Johnny Cash bio-pic Walk the Line, his older brother is sawing wood on a machine with a huge circular saw blade.  And you just knew something awful was going to happen (and it did).  I was very uncomfortable until the awful thing happened.  I hate the anticipation of the awful thing: the bad.

But a lot of people love horror.  And I think it’s the same reason a lot of people (including me) love rollercoasters.  You get scared, your heart gets pumping, the adrenaline courses through your veins, but you know in reality you are safe.  Getting scared safely makes us feel more alive.    As Winston Churchill is reputed to have said, “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”  That’s probably true and horror, or rollercoasters, are as close as many of us are going to get.  Or want to get.

The allure of horror is the ability to get the heart pumping without the added fear of being in actual danger.  Maybe there’s something in our DNA that wants to be running from the saber-toothed tiger that we can’t get in modern life with its health and safety emphasis.  Me, I drive fast (sometimes on a racetrack) which isn’t as safe as rollercoasters and scary movies.  Others do rollercoasters.  And a lot of people watch or read horror.  I’m just not one of that last group.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

S. Evan Townsend has been called ‘America’s Unique Speculative Fiction Voice.’ Evan is a writer living in central Washington State. After spending four years in the U.S. Army in the Military Intelligence branch, he returned to civilian life and college to earn a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. In his spare time he enjoys reading, driving (sometimes on a racetrack), meeting people, and talking with friends. He is in a 12-step program for Starbucks addiction. Evan lives with his wife and has three grown sons. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, history, politics, cars, and travel.

Author Links:

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/Gnike_j2KSI

Websitehttp://sevantownsend.blogspot.com/

Blog:  http://www.radioactivecommunistzombies.com/writers_thoughts/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-Evan-Townsend/120699138076862https://www.facebook.com/adeptseriesbook3

Doesn’t this look like a great read? I’ve already added it to my TBR list!

Have a question or comment for Mr. Townsend? Feel free to post away.

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

“Between” By Cambria Hebert

Spring is in the air…somewhere. Here, in Michigan, in my neck of the woods it is still a bit too chilly for me. It snowed last week! However, that means drinking lots of scorching hot tea, munching on Twizzlers, writing, and, of course…reading is a must do since I refuse to weed while it is snowing. So, I finished up “Between” by Cambria Hebert, and I loved it. Take a look at what is soon coming your way…

Between by Cambria Hebert

Between (Heven and Hell #1.5)

Between is a Heven and Hell novella available in Ebook only. It details the life of Logan, Sam’s little brother, and what life was like after Sam left the place he grew up.

Release Date: April 20, 2012

Publisher: Otherworld Publications

Format: Ebook Only

Synopsis…

I grew up in a comfortable house with two parents and a white-picket fence. My brother, Sam, and I used to play with sticks in the backyard and pretend they were swords. There were always cookies on the table and milk in the fridge. Then, one day, things changed.

Sam changed.

Life was never the same again. Sam left. My parents abandoned him when he needed them most, and I was left to survive in a house that was merely a shell of what it used to be. Mom cried all the time and Dad expected me to fill the void my brother left behind. But mostly, all we did was pretend. We pretended that things weren’t messed up. We pretended that Sam never existed.

Until I changed, too.

Now, everything’s a mess and I’m so confused. It’s like there are two different people trapped inside one body—my body—and one of them wants out. I do things. Bad things and I don’t know how to stop. I’m not sure I want to. The only way I can be normal again is if I find Sam. He’ll know what to do.

He has too.

Here’s my review…

 “Between,” the new teaser to “Charade” by Cambria Hebert, allows Logan, (Sam’s younger brother) to add his frightful experiences to the “Heven and Hell Series,” which also includes “Before” and “Masquerade.” This novella transports readers to Logan’s hellish world where supernatural events lead to murder, and a beautiful—but deadly creature, pits Logan against Sam’s beloved Heven. A peek into Logan’s past makes it possible to understand why he sees the world as he does and why Sam’s sad departure from his family changed them all. A sense of doom found in Logan’s dark dreams, that are all too real, tell the tale of a boy who cannot stay home, but has nowhere to go…except to find Sam.

Although some questions are answered in this novella, more arise as I wonder how Logan will react to the lovely Heven, and will Sam be able to tell that Logan’s been poisoned by jealousy? Will Logan be smart enough to see Sam will not exist without Heven, or will Logan merely compete for Sam’s affection not realizing enough love dwells within Sam for them all? I’m hoping Heven is ready for a fight, because it will not only be Logan who is gearing up to destroy her.

Yes! “Between” is an exciting, fast-paced teaser that certainly fuels my curiosity about all of the characters involved in Hebert’s “Heven and Hell Series.” In “Before” and “Masquerade,” Sam was the character who most intrigued me, but Logan is a determined character to watch as well. I’m looking forward to reading “Charade,” and now that I’m acquainted with this series, I expect lots of excitement from dangerous situations, plus Sam and Heven’s romance will (hopefully!) explode in a realm of fantasy that manages to stay hidden in the world as we know it. 5/5 Stars

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If it must snow in April, so be it. My TBR list and hot tea are awaiting me! Off I go to choose another literary treasure. 🙂

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

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

BEAUTIFUL BY DESIGN

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

Before Masquerade

Magic happens when an exciting book sweeps you away into another realm where all things are possible.  All things might include a fantasy romp through a medieval forest that is overrun by trolls, witches, and dark lords…or maybe, high-tech, genetically altered soldiers of fortune are the things found that provoke a reader to keep turning the pages.

In “Before,” the prequel to Cambria Hebert’s “Masquerade,” what is found? How about an unusual boy, named Sam, who is aching, dying to meet the beautiful girl of his dreams…who seems out of his league. Mystery and a sense of imminent danger are found in this wonderful prequel as well. I can hardly wait for “Masquerade” to be released…because I’m up for a little more magic from Cambria Hebert!

Before (Heven and Hell, #0.5)

By Cambria Hebert

Reviewer: Nora Weston

Possessing the looks of an angel and high school popularity topped off by becoming the new head cheerleader, Heven has it all—or does she? In Cambria Hebert’s perfectly spun prequel to her debut novel, “Masquerade,” nothing lasts forever, especially the idyllic world Heven exists in. On the other hand, Sam is a mysterious teenager captivated heart and soul by the bewitching Heven, who can only imagine a perfect world, and if that world is to be perfect, it must include Heven. “Before” is a quick read, setting the stage for Heven to go through hell so she can crash into her destiny, which is nothing she could’ve ever imagined.

Sam is a fascinating character because he has dark secrets, but he’s also willing to forgo ever meeting Heven to keep her safe. He sounds clever and heroic…but naive too since he underestimates the power of evil. And the evil found in “Before” certainly piqued my interest and left me dying to know what it is and what its intentions are. Absolutely, the evil in this teaser is a force to be reckoned with. I have a strong feeling Sam will be faced with quite a challenge as his life collides with Heven’s.

Heven is caught off-guard by the wickedness that is somehow entangled with Sam…yet from the synopsis, it seems even though Heven’s world falls apart and she suffers greatly, she still would not change what happens to her. That means Sam…with all of his dark secrets and a dangerous past, is worth it. Who, or what, is Sam? Can he escape the monster stalking his every move? What does this monster do to Heven, and how does she prevail? Oh! So many questions have arisen from reading “Before,” which I greatly enjoyed. Now, I’m ready for after; I’m ready for “Masquerade!”

Cambria Hebert’s blog: The Unlocked Diary

Cambria Hebert’s Website

“Before” on Goodreads

Thank you for visiting the Noracast!

Interview with Zane Grayson/Executive Director of Guardian TMF

It’s been awhile since I posted. Where have I been? Well, let’s just say I’ve had my hands full keeping up with Dr. Zane Grayson. This handsome guy, whose linage is a mix of Japanese and European, not only controlled my waking moments, but also my dreams where he wreaked havoc. For weeks, I’ve tried like crazy to catch my z’s, but alas, they belonged to the ups and downs of Zane.

What’s a girl to do? I mean this guy is unstoppable.  Dark eyes, a body to die for, strong and determined in every way…I had to help him. Who is he? Take a minute, and go on a literary adventure to find out about the protagonist in my latest novel, from Melange Books, called Guardian 2632. It hits the market in February 2011. The interview with Zane follows the excerpt.

Book Blurb:

Dr. Zane Grayson, the most accomplished executive director Guardian TMF has ever seen, is breaking the law…his law against time surfing. Zane has the supreme power, in 2632, to decide which paradoxes in time need altered, or deleted, but he’s frustrated. Something, or someone, is missing from his life.

Time surfing in illegal time zones is the rush Zane can’t live without. As addictive as the Martian dust called kilred, time surfing becomes Zane’s obsession. And knowing full well if caught by the Elite Guardians, he’ll suffer an unwelcome death by Time Mercs, Zane still dives deep into trouble. Soon, he discovers a mission in 2035 left him trapped in a timehole. This timehole places him in Pittsburgh, PA in 1998, instead of home. In Pittsburgh, Zane strolls into a coffee shop to see the bewitching Julia Emerson. From that point on, his life spirals out of control as he fights to protect what he loves most.

It’s possible Zane’s future is no longer in 2632…but actually in 1998. Guardian 2632 reveals what a man will sacrifice to save a life. This is the amazing story of Dr. Zane Grayson.

GUARDIAN 2632

“Man…can go up against gravitation in a balloon, and why should he not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his drift along the Time-Dimension, or even turn about and travel the other way.” H.G. Wells, The Time Mahine

Prologue

April 18, 1955

“Albert is dead.”

“I’m terribly sorry. This is awful,” said Sophie, “but yesterday, I knew the end was coming when he was admitted to Princeton Hospital. Didn’t you sense it, Dr. Rosenthal?” she asked shoving her teal rimmed glasses back in place.

“Yeah, I suppose so. He’ll be greatly missed here at IAS and—”

“Forgive me, Dr. Rosenthal, it goes without saying he’ll be missed. More importantly, Albert will never be forgotten. Albert Einstein changed the world during his seventy-six years,” said Sophie as a few tears slid down her pale cheek.

“Um, Sophie…Miss Cervantes, head home. I’ve put you in charge of organizing Albert’s office, but that can wait,” said Dr. Rosenthal in a soft-spoken voice eliciting true compassion.

Feeling her stomach flip, Sophie grabbed her raincoat to leave, but then stopped. Picking up a black and white photograph of Einstein, she said, “This one’s my favorite…he looks happy. It was his 70th birthday party at his home in Princeton, New Jersey.” Sophie’s trembling fingers skimmed the photograph’s glass as a half-smile momentarily eased her pain. “He loved the kids, you know?”

“Yeah, Albert sure did,” he said while admiring the photograph. “They are the future.”

“Yes, well…the future will have to wait on me.” Placing the photograph back on Einstein’s cluttered desk, she said, “You’re right. No way can I work now.” Hurrying past Dr. Rosenthal, Sophie mumbled, “This is a dark day, indeed. I’ll miss you, Albert.”

* * * *

May 23, 1955

Slipping away from Sophie, the dusty box hit the floor to break open. Documents, notes, and files spilled out making a huge mess.

“Fantastic. I’ve killed an antique lamp and a picture frame, and now this happens. Jeez, what’s next?” Plopping down beside the paper mountain, Sophie then instinctively alphabetized the labeled files and stacked everything else in small piles. “Hum, where do these belong?” she asked looking at a bunch of papers. “This is not Albert’s handwriting.”

Flipping through the stapled hodgepodge of wrinkled papers, written in various colors of ink, curiosity got the better of her. “Time Travel 1953? Whoa, is this a short story? Yeah, maybe one of Albert’s previous students wanted him to see it.” After reading a few pages, Sophie confirmed Time Travel 1953 as fiction. “Oh, boy…Charlie will get a kick out of this. I mean, seriously, a time machine?”

* * * *

June 30, 1955

“Charlie! Open up…I have something for you,” said Sophie while pounding on the office door, IAS-238.

“No. I’ll pass. Just go away, Sophie,” replied Dr. Charlie Wilkinson.

“Oh, come on, don’t be a baby. I’ll pay to have your car fixed, okay? It’s only a scratch.”

The door opened like a hurricane had just passed by. “Just a scratch? It runs down the entire left side of my Jaguar. Hell, I knew something would happen, but I ignored that voice of reason in my head,” said Charlie still peeved about her irresponsibility.

“Yeah, well, I’m here to make amends.” Shoving Time Travel 1953 into his chest, Sophie’s pale blue eyes lit up. “Since your British skin won’t come to the July 4th party, read this. It’s hilarious. I almost forgot about it.”

“Um, thanks,” he said grasping the papers, “but the last piece of literature you recommended was total crap.” Moving Sophie’s black as midnight hair away from her eyes, Charlie sounded insincere saying, “I don’t want it.”

“Uh-huh, right. You’re dying to know what I found and I can tell,” said Sophie violating Charlie’s space. “I know you all too well.”

“Am I that obvious? Damn.”

“Yep, I’m afraid so. You’re biting your bottom lip while staring at me like I’m offering you a ride to the moon…that’s a dead giveaway. So, lighten up, it’s just some gibberish, maybe compiled from one of Albert’s past students.” A warm smile smothered Sophie’s face as she turned away from Charlie knowing she was forgiven for her unwanted, yet still highly proficient skill-set of destruction. “See you next week.”

* * * *

December 23, 1955

Michael? Are you still here?” Agitated, Charlie hit the door harder. “Michael!”

“What is your problem?” asked Dr. Michael Hodges opening the office door to greet his co-worker and best friend, Charlie. “And, yeah, I’m still here. Well for about two more minutes anyway. Why?”

“Hey, I know Christmas is days away and all, but…um…I—”

“Is something wrong, Charlie?” asked Michael. “You look like shit.”

“Oh, thanks…sleep deprivation for almost six months will do that.”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve been pushing it too hard. So what’s up?” asked Michael concerned for his friend. “It’s like you left the planet as of late, and the excuses for ignoring me are getting ridiculous.”

Placing a folder in Michael’s hands, Charlie leaned in to whisper, “Okay, I’m sorry. You’re right, but what’s up is that folder. You’ll understand everything soon enough. So read through Time Travel 1953. Do not show it to anyone, and I mean anyone. When you’ve done the math, abandon reality as you know it—and then we’ll talk. I know you’ll be impressed. I have to go.”

* * * *

March 22, 1956

The grease-slicked parking lot at IAS felt the downpour as puddles swelled on this rainy day. Thunder crashed and lightning flashed, maybe warning Charlie he was about to embark on an adventure of once believed impossibilities that held the fate of mankind within its realm.

Come on, Michael…why are you always late? Tapping on the steering wheel of his black Jaguar, Charlie’s heart raced like a runaway train while sweat rolled into his gray eyes. “My God, what are we doing? Michael has filled in most of the holes so it just about works. What if this is a huge mistake?”

The car door opened. Michael entered saying, “Stop it right now.”

“Stop?”

“Yes, I can tell from your unshaved face, your refusal to get a haircut, and by the repulsive smell of that cheap cologne, used to mask the fact showering is no longer part of your routine, that you’ve become a grotty prat…as you Brits say. You’re cranked on regret because we’ve solved so many of the mathematical problems within Time Travel 1953.”

A heavy sigh escaped Charlie as he glared at Michael. “Yeah, uh-huh…well we can’t all be Gregory Peck, so back off.”

“That’s funny and all, but only a few students have said I look like him. And that’s hardly worth mentioning. All joking aside, the data we have is—”

“We should burn this dangerous data and you know it.”

A contorted, arrogant smile overtook Michael’s handsome face. “But we’re not going to burn anything, are we, dear friend?”

Rolling his eyes, Charlie’s British accent was especially thick as he quoted Einstein saying, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” Staring at Michael, Charlie grinned.

“That’s right. We’re going to transform the world,” said Dr. Michael Hodges.

* * * *

August 22, 1978

“So, it’s a done deal? Time Travel 1953 is mine…to do with whatever I see fit?” asked the highly renowned physicist, Max Kieto, of Outscape Technology located approximately 100 miles south of Kugluktuk, Canada.

“Yes, as long as you follow the guidelines in the contract, you’ll grow old,” warned an elderly, but still intimidating, Dr. Michael Hodges. “Charlie’s dead, but before he died, he hired watchdogs…hounds from hell if you get my drift, who will monitor Outscape Technology’s every move.”

“I understand,” said Max. “I’ll follow the guidelines you and Charlie outlined in the contract. I’m a smart guy, you know?”

“Yep, and I’m counting on that. You’re the only person we considered to protect this volatile data. At this moment in time, you’re above reproach…the most ethical physicist we know, but don’t be seduced by the power of Time Travel 1953. Always do what’s righteous, Max or—”

“I get it, Michael,” said Max. “I won’t disgrace myself by disregarding the incredible trust you both put in me. You and Charlie got very close. I believe with OT’s equipment, we’ll move subatomic particles through time within a decade…possibly sooner, God willing.”

“Well, I won’t live to see that happen. Damn,” said Michael.

“Hey, you never know, maybe you—”

“Uh, lung cancer says no I won’t. And lose the long face…it’s pathetic. I’ve lived an amazing life, so you do the same.” Michael shook Max’s hand placing the fate of mankind with Outscape Technology.

* * * *

February 8, 1991

The world is forever altered on February 8, 1991, although only Max’s crew of physicists, scientists, and technicians witnessed the subatomic particles as they traveled through time. Experiments intensified, people lived and died working at Outscape Technology as the data from Time Travel 1953 annihilated old theories while inspiring new ones to ensure the success of time travel.

* * * *

March 2, 2299

Three-hundred eight years vanished. World War III (2082-2086) altered the map of the world, including Canada, so Kugluktuk became Terents.  Research and experiments performed on the private site of Outscape Technology eventually gave birth to Guardian TMF…a time monitoring facility that had its first, small scale time machine routinely working after March 2, 2299. By 2343, Guardian TMF’s responsibilities toward the past, present, and future expanded with the completion of the time chamber…an enormous, silver sphere capable of escaping the so-called parameters of time.

* * * *

May 19, 2632

The spec of time called 2632 belongs to Dr. Zane Grayson, and he’s in charge of exploring paradoxes in authorized time sequences. He decides which tragedies and mysteries to bring before the Elites so they can be evaluated for missions. The Elites at Guardian TMF trust him unconditionally and why shouldn’t they? A mastermind and a gifted military surgeon, Zane has a perfect employment record.

Guardian TMF couldn’t be more pleased, but they are in the dark as to Zane’s crippled state of mind. He’s a daring man, determined to continue his quest of illegal time surfing, meaning time scans in unauthorized time sequences, because he believes something is out of sync. No matter, Guardian TMF has mastered the art of time travel taking a pledge to protect the world from its worst enemy…mankind.

____________________________________________________________________________

Interview: Dr. Zane Grayson

NW: Okay, so you work in the year 2632 at Guardian TMF. What is Guardian TMF?

Zane: Guardian TMF is a monstrous time monitoring facility located in Terents, Canada. At Guardian TMF, paradoxes in time are explored and, if possible, fixed. Its roots go all the way back to Albert Einstein’s death in 1955.

NW: Really? That’s interesting. How is Albert Einstein’s death involved?

Zane: Well, after Einstein died, curious looking papers, written in different colors of ink, were discovered by his assistant, Sophie Cervantes. Eventually, as you read in the prologue, the Time Travel 1953 papers found their way to Outscape Technologies and to the famous physicist Max Kieto. Guardian TMF was birthed from the findings at Outscape Technology.

NW: Good to know. Now why are you qualified to be the executive director at Guardian TMF?

Zane: I was elected by the Elite Guardians. They are the corporate owners of Guardian TMF. They decide what time zones, and then on a smaller scale…what time sequences, are authorized. From the time sequences, I choose what paradoxes to alter or fix. The Elites are; Victoria Merrick, Nathan Westfault, Marcus Rhoades, Sasha Yurtanu, Urik Rosdale, Max Reinhold, and Harrison Bellows.

NW: So, that’s it, you just get elected?

Zane: Oh, no…it’s not that simple.  I was born and raised at Guardian TMF. My father, Dr. Christian Grayson, met my mother, Asuka Ishikawa, at Guardian TMF. I followed in my father’s footsteps by joining its military, and my specialty is medicine. I became a surgeon. While in the military, I realized no way could I do a standard “nine to five” job. Whether this is good or bad, I don’t know…but I thrive on dangerous situations. After my military stint, I ran against Nathan Westfault, Aaron Cranston, and Kayla Preston for the executive director position at Guardian TMF.

NW: Can anyone run for that coveted position?

Zane: No. A person has to pass a series of tests, both physical and mental, before candidacy is announced.

NW: That makes sense considering you work with quantum computers, time machines, high-tech weapons, and so on and so forth.  I noticed Nathan Westfault became an Elite. Do you guys get along?

Zane: Yeah, I could write a book as an answer to that one. I’ll keep it simple…no.

NW: Now for an easier question. Your favorite color?

Zane: Black.

NW: Is that really a color?

Zane: Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask a scientist, the answer might be, “no.” If you ask a six-year old, who is coloring with crayons, the answer will be a resounding “yes.”

NW: Okay, I’ll drop it because if I push it…I imagine I’m going to get a lecture about the Additive Color Theory.

Zane: Yes, you will. I like theories.

NW: Are you addicted to anything?

Zane: Hum, mostly time surfing. And caffeine. There are days I would kill for it. Chocolate is also high on my list, but don’t tell anyone. Oh, and of course, feeling a rush from the onset of a perilous situation that may lead to my death.

NW: Your biggest fear?

Zane: You have to read Guardian TMF to find out.

NW: No problem, I can handle that. What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?

Zane: This almost sane lady brought me to life so I could share my story.

NW: Ah, thanks.

Zane: You’re welcome! See you in your dreams, Nora.