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!

twelfthpaladin

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

Advertisements

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!

Happy New Year!

Hopefully, 2012 was a year that passed with good friends by your side and precious moments spent with your loved ones. As winter creeps in, I appreciate the chilled beauty all around me and stay warm by drinking lots of scorching hot tea. I always read a bit more during the frozen months, plus my mind races with short story ideas, and poems emerge with a distinctly cold bite to them.

Short stories and poems need to be published! So check out this post to venture into the exciting land of submissions. Keep in mind while searching for markets these all-important things…

  • Read the guidelines for each market carefully. If said magazine or e-zine states they only accept literary poetry and fiction, then do not submit horror, fantasy, or science fiction.
  • Take notice if the market for your work accepts simultaneous submissions (submit that poem or story to other markets at the same time) and/or multiple submissions (submit more than one piece at a time), and if your chosen market accepts reprints.
  • Read examples of what has been accepted to that market to provide a better idea of what those editors are drawn to. Some editors are all about surreal experiences that can be interpreted differently by each reader, yet others prefer details galore that make sure the reader gets exactly what the writer is saying. It’s fun to write both ways, so give it a try!
  • Does the market insist upon a bio and intro letter? Most of the time, I’ve included these with my submissions. If it is stated no such things are welcome, then do not send them. Why would an editor not want a bio or cover letter? I’ve worked with a handful of editors who want to judge a piece solely on its own merits and not the background of the writer. If the piece is accepted, then a bio may be requested.
  • If possible, find a submission editor’s name to use with your submission. It shows you have taken a little extra time to read about that market.
  • Unless the publisher’s guidelines state otherwise, use industry standard manuscript formatting. What is that, you ask? Check out William Shunn’s post on industry standard manuscript formatting.
  • Does the market pay? You must decide if this matters, but be sure you know before agreeing to anything.

MARKETS

IDEOMANCER: One of my favorite markets, Ideomancer publishes speculative fiction and poetry. Their guidelines state, “We want unique pieces from authors willing to explore non-traditional narratives and take chances with tone, structure and execution, balance ideas and character, emotion and ruthlessness. We also have an eye for more traditional tales told with excellence.” Their site is beautiful, and the work published is top-notch.

INTERSTELLAR FICTION: If writing about little, green Martians, robots gone mad, or Slide1doomsday devices are your thing, check out this market. Interstellar Fiction loves the old clichés, but if something new blows them away, chances are a publishing credit is coming your way.

THE SOUTHERN REVIEW: You’ll have time to submit to The Southern Review because unsolicited fiction and nonfiction is only accepted (postmarked) September 1st through December 1st, and unsolicited poetry is accepted (postmarked) September 1st through February 1st. If you have poetry ready to go, hurry and submit! Fiction, poetry, essays, including nonfiction and literary essays that are previously unpublished, are considered. Simultaneous submissions are permitted but they ask to be notified promptly if your work is accepted elsewhere.

PERIHELION: If hard science fiction is what you write best, I hope you submit to Perihelion. This e-mag says, “No fantasy. No horror. No fan fiction. No poetry. Stories do not necessarily have to restrict themselves to robots, rocket ships, and extraterrestrials. However, the science and/or technology must be integral to the story. If you remove the science, the story falls apart, or disappears altogether. If the plot can be easily reconstituted as a western, a swashbuckler, or a bodice-ripper, it is probably not for us, either.” Doesn’t this sound like a challenge? I really want to submit to this market!

THE BARCELONA REVIEW: All genres and a diverse styles and techniques are all open game at The Barcelona Review. “We’re after original, potent and powerful writing with a contemporary feel that is literarily sound; writing marked by a strong sense of imaginative distinction. (We do not publish tales, fables or re-worked fairy tales; nor are we after vignettes.)” Submit!

ABANDONED TOWERS MAGAZINE: A market for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, Abandoned Towers Magazine has an online presence for fantastic reading material and a print publication as well. Guidelines are listed for Art, Books for Review, Audio, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Video, so take your pick and submit.

ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE: A publisher of crime, mystery, and suspense short stories, AHMM has delighted readers for over fifty years by releasing mystery fiction of “the broadest range and the highest quality, featuring every subgenre of mystery fiction.” Kirkus Reviews adds, “The lack of a specific house style is its greatest strength.” This is an impressive market because many stories featured in AHMM have won dozens of awards, including numerous Robert L. Fish awards for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine features 12 issues (8 single issues and 2 double issues). Guidelines here.

PRISM: A quarterly magazine whose home is Vancouver, British Columbia, Prism International’s mandate is to “publish the best in contemporary writing and translation from Canada and around the world. Writing from PRISM has been featured in Best American Stories, Best American Essays and The Journey Prize Stories, amongst other noted publications.” Regular features include creative non-fiction, drama, and translations.

FIND MORE MARKETS

NEWPages.com: Do dreams come true? If you dream about a huge listing of links for literary marketsNEWPages.com states, “The most up-to-date and reliable lists of literary magazines on the web.” An example listing for Sliver of Stone shows a writer everything needed to pursue this market. Emerging and established poets, writers, and visual artists from all parts of the globe are welcome to submit.

Speculative Literature Foundation: Speculative fiction is close to my heart, so this absolutely amazing list of market links is one to visit if you’re all about science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Ralan.com: Providing links to speculative writing markets for over sixteen years, Ralan.com is a site I often visit.

Good luck submitting in 2013, and if you know of a great market, leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting the Noracast.

RETURN TO CAER LON by Claude Dancourt/Review & Giveaway!

RETURN TO CAER LON

Thirty hundred years ago, Arthur Pendragon, High King of the Ten Kingdoms, was betrayed and the royal city of Caer Lon became a myth.

Fifteen years ago, the sorcerer Wolfryth killed King William Pendragon in his quest for power and usurped the throne of Camelot. Queen Ylianor and her five year old son fled the kingdom to take refuge in Haven at Duke Geraint’s court.

Today, Prince Derek follows Geraint’s beautiful daughter Sacha into a reckless mission to save her brother from Wolfryth. He will need to embrace his heritage and to trust magic if he wants to find his way back to Caer Lon and unlock its secrets before the sorcerer kills them all.

REVIEW

In RETURN TO CAER LON, Claude Dancourt takes readers on a grand adventure with a descendant of Arthur Pendragon named Prince Derek, and he is accompanied by a feisty seer named Sacha…who will stop at nothing to save her twin brother, Elwyn, who has disappeared.

Son of King William Pendragon—killed by the wicked sorcerer Wolfryth, Prince Derek embarks on this all important and dangerous quest because not only is Elwyn’s life depending on his success, but the fate of Camelot’s people. It is time to reclaim his throne after escaping Wolfryth’s wrath fifteen years ago to survive in Haven at Duke Geraint’s court. Prince Derek has his hands full though, because Sacha, the beautiful, and headstrong daughter of Duke Geraint refuses to believe Elwyn is dead.

RETURN TO CAER LON’s characters are memorable, the dialogue is wonderful, often funny…especially between Prince Derek and Sacha. The way Dancourt allows their relationship to grow and not just “all of a sudden” happen provides many opportunities for romance lovers to be pleased. Sacha is my favorite character due to her passionate determination to save Elwyn. Who wouldn’t want her on your side?

The descriptive locations, the fight between good and evil, loyalty to family and friends, reclaiming a birthright to be king, and, of course, magic…all make this novel a very enjoyable read! It certainly allows readers to escape the humdrum of everyday life and go back in time to fight the good fight, where nothing is more important than family and friends. This is a fantasy adventure that I highly recommend. 4.5/5

Here are a few excerpts. Enjoy Dancourt’s lovely prose!

The older woman picked up the job the maid had abandoned, twisting the dark locks

together. Sacha said nothing, her eyes seeing beyond the reflection of their figures in the mirror.

The former queen caressed her head gently.

“Your father has to see to everyone’s well-being, Sacha, not just his son.”

“And what will be our well-being, if his heir dies?”

Ylianor closed her eyes briefly. Behind grief and anger, Sacha’s reasoning had its logic. She had said more or less the same thing to Derek in the morning. She tried another approach.

“Sebastian escaped, so maybe Elwyn-”

“Sebastian did not escape. He was sent back; as a warning.”

Ylianor stiffened. The young woman met her eyes in the mirror.

“I saw it, Ylianor. Wolves attacked and our men lost the battle. All were killed but the Swan and the Cub. Sebastian’s heraldry is a swan, with wings spread.. Elwyn…”

Sacha continued telling her dreams, so low her companion could barely hear the words.

“The wolf leader tortured and sent the black swan back to deliver a message.”

“What is that message, Sacha?”

“Hand over the son of the Dragon, before I slaughter you all.”

________________________________________________________________

“Elwyn is in Caer Lon.”

Derek stared at her in befuddlement and she calmly held his doubtful gaze.

“We have to go there.”

Irritation perked through his answer. “That is impossible. How would you know where Elwyn is anyway? We will ride northeast at dawn.”

He did not believe her. How could she explain? He would simply laugh and dismiss her

vision. Sacha took another swig of ale and immediately regretted it. The beverage was far stronger than what she was used to. She inhaled deeply to chase away the dizzying sensation.

Derek chuckled and walked to her shelter to take the jug from her hands.

“You want to be careful with that.”

She glared but her displeased glance was lost to him as he sat away from her, his attention entirely devoted to the recipient he started playing with, making it turn between his knees on the dusty floor.

Sacha took his pensive attitude for an opening and tried again.

“Derek, I know I am right. Elwyn is in Caer Lon. We need to go there…”

He continued his little game in silence, though she was sure he had heard her. Why could not he rely on her? Frustrating, stubborn, idiotic specimen of a…

“Sacha, Caer Lon is a myth. It was where the High Kings of Camelot held their court. The place was lost three hundred years ago. Elwyn cannot be there or it means he is dea-”

“He is not dead!”

She nearly screamed in anguish. He was her twin, her other half. If he had died, a part of her would have died too. He was alive. He was. She knew he was.

__________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author:

Claude Dancourt lives in Montreal, and wherever her job as an engineer takes her. She is fascinated by books and museums. To discover more about RETURN TO CAER LON, Claude Dancourt’s work or simply drop a word, visit her website: www.claudedancourt.webs.com

Author Links:

 Website

Goodreads

Buy Link

Want to WIN a copy of this amazing novel? Either head on over to Lightning Book Promotions and enter or enter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 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!

BEWITCHED by Cambria Hebert: Cover Reveal!

Do you love beautiful book covers? If so, then look no further! Cambria Hebert has revealed the cover for Bewitched, the latest edition to her Heven & Hell Series, which includes Before, Masquerade, Between, and Charade. The books are amazing! Action/adventure, mystery, and romance are what you’ll find in Hebert’s books, plus supernatural chaos inciting danger around plot twists and turns is there for your entertainment as well. Ready to read Kimber’s take on life, death, love…and hate?

A feast for your eyes…

Title: Bewitched (Heven and Hell #2.5)
Genre: YA paranormal
Publisher: Cambria Hebert
Release date: October 5, 2012
Format: Ebook only (for now)
_________________________________________________________________________________

Bewitched Blurb

For years, I accepted that Heven was more popular than me. I never liked it but I lived with it. I walked in her shadow, I stood by her when no one else would. When I finally thought her spotlight was mine things began to change. She began to change. Now she hardly ever calls me back, she spends all her time with her hot new boyfriend and everyone at school thinks she’s back on top. She had it all. But apparently she wants more. She wants Cole – my boyfriend. What’s worse is that it looks like she got him. I’ve had enough and she’s going to be sorry. Why?

Because I am bewitched.

Check out the Book Trailer for BEWITCHED!

BEWITCHED Excerpt

Working out was for jocks. Homework was for nerds and I wasn’t a jock or a nerd. Yet, here I was, sweating through my favorite Victoria Secret yoga pants and tank with a headache the size of Macy’s. Learning about my powers was hard work. I thought it would come naturally. My brain was hurting from concentrating and my muscles were actually sore from effort. I thought longingly of the potion in the green bottle that Hecate had given me—a little sip would make it that much easier to use my powers, but she took it away. Apparently, I had all the power she wanted me to have. It kind of pissed me off.

In fact, I was feeling pretty disgruntled all around.

I was hot, I was sweaty, my head hurt and my hair was frizzy. Not to mention I had been wearing sneakers far too long. Thank goodness Hecate was gone. I actually had been glad not to be alone after the “bone incident,” but now I was ready for some alone time. I felt stronger.

Feeling strong plus feeling disgruntled equaled somebody was gonna get hurt.

I was standing in my yard near the lake and I glanced up at the moon before heading inside. It was low and swollen tonight—a haunting moon. It sent a shiver up my spine. I thought briefly about going to Heven’s and treating her to a little of what she deserved. I even looked toward the driveway as I walked, but I wasn’t going anywhere looking like this.

I went into the house and began climbing the stairs. Halfway up, I heard a noise in the kitchen and I paused. My parents were still out of town. It wasn’t the maid’s day to be here… unless she came early. Another thud in the kitchen had me spinning on the stairs to see what it was.

“Mary?” I called out. “Is that you?” Maybe she switched her schedule around and I didn’t know about it. Maybe I could get her to make me a latté.

No one answered, and the noises in the kitchen fell silent. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and listened, wondering if I had heard anything at all. “Hello?” I called again, this time more unsure. This time a fine chill raced up my back.

Suddenly being alone in this big house was scary.

Clink, clink, clink.

Okay, I wasn’t hearing things. Someone was there.

I stepped off the stairs and walked through the foyer in the direction of the kitchen. I heard the cat hiss and I paused again. Clover was too lazy to hiss at a mouse. Something in my stomach turned cold and hard.

I looked over my shoulder at the massive front doors to the alarm keypad and the distress button.

But it was too late for pressing buttons.

Clover burst around the corner with a hideous screech and barreled into me, hitting me in the knees and causing me to stumble. The cat didn’t even stop. I could hear his claws scraping frantically across the tiles. “What the…” I began as I straightened, but then something lurched around the corner after the cat.

It was hideous.

It stood about a foot taller than me with wide shoulders that were uneven looking—one was lower than the other—and a wild mane of bushy orange hair that seemed to create a cloud around its pasty, white face. Its lips were black and it had a nasty row of teeth that had seen a lot of decay. It had large purple circles around its eyes, which seemed to have no color at all.

It looked like a psychotic clown.

I screamed and took a step backward, and the thing grinned. I went running but it lunged and caught me around the wrist, pulling me back. I struggled, kicking out, but it was no use, his grip was too strong.

Without any warning it reached up and snatched my silver pendant right off my neck. “Hey!” I screamed as it shoved me away. I fell onto my butt and stared up at the glittering silver heart as it dangled from the nasty clown’s hands.

Cole had given that to me. It was the last gift he had given me before we broke up.

Anger surged into my chest, making me hot. “Give that back.”

 Freaky Clown gave me another frightening grin and ran back into the kitchen, disappearing from sight. I ran after it, running into a solid wall of… offensiveness.

***

Okay, doesn’t Bewitched sound great? I think it does, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Congrats, Cambria, on such a lovely book cover! Visit Cambria Hebert…

Website: Cambria Hebert

Goodreads

Thanks for visiting the Noracast! 🙂

Beauty by Kimber: Charade by Cambria Hebert

Today is “Charade” day! Yes, Cambria Hebert, author of “Charade” has sent Kimber, a beauty-loving character from her latest release, “Charade” to the Noracast to offer up her opinion on some beauty products, plus my review of “Charade” is yours to view as well.

“Charade” by Cambria Hebert

Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible. Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.

Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?

Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.

If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.

Take it away, Cambria and Kimber…

Hello Everyone!

In celebration of the Heven and Hell Tour: Charade we have a very special post today. I think that all the ladies out there will be especially excited. As many of you know Kimber is a big character in the novel of the series. Kimber is Heven, the main characters, BFF. Kimber is very outspoken, loves a good time and she loves fashion and beauty. So we thought that we would invite Kimber to the blog today to tell us all about her beauty must haves, must toss and products to lust after.

Maybe there will be something in her line-up that you use too!

Here ya go Kimber…the blog is all yours!

Okay, ladies, have no fear Kimber is here! I like to shop til I drop, and I like to look good. To me, I think there is nothing wrong with a girl taking pride in her appearance. So here is a list of all the products that I love, hate and lust after!

Must Haves:

#1 Luster Now Instant Whitening Toothpaste

A girl always looks best when she is smiling. And a white smile is like icing on a cupcake (white icing of course!). This toothpaste whitens teeth immediately and gets rid of stains over time (which is good because I drink a lot of lattes!) Oh! And it’s peppermint flavored! Bonus!

#2 Nail strips by Sally Hansen

Love these little gems! Talk about a no-brainer manicure! When a girl can’t get to the nail salon then this is the next best thing. They come in a ton of colors and patterns so you can change up your look with ease! They are basically like stickers for your nails but they are made out of real lacquer so they stay on and look great and there’s no dry time like with regular nail polish! Some people think the patterns are for 13 year olds. I say, live a little and rock that pattern! I’m wearing zebra print right now.

#3 Avon Anew Sunscreen

Sun damage? Ewww, gross! I am a red head. You know what that means: fair skin and major burnage if I even think about going outside without sunscreen on. Besides, sun damage causes wrinkles and who wants those? This sunscreen gets bonus points because it can actually help reduce lines and wrinkles (yeah, I’m seventeen but it’s never too early to think about prevention!) Even better? It smells like green apples and pears which is wayyy better than the regular stinky sunscreen smell!

#4 Bare Minerals Foundation and make-up

This stuff is good for everyone. It’s like magic powder in a jar. It’s lightweight, covers well and makes me look ready for a close up. It’s got sunscreen in it too! Who doesn’t want make-up that can improve your skin?

#5 Simply Smooth Xtend Keratin replenishing magic potion

This stuff is new and amazing! It can actually help smooth split ends, repair them (it won’t get rid of them, because once your ends are split they are split) and make your hair majorly healthy. It also controls frizz  (I’m a red head with curly hair so frizz is a major factor in my life). It also smooth’s your hair and hydrates it. Just put a little on wet hair and style as usual. It smells yummy too! This is a MUST have.

# 6 KMS California Hair Play Makeover Spray

Dry shampoo is awesome. I don’t always have time for a wash and blow out. Or if my style goes limp at cheer practice and there’s a party right after this stuff is a lifesaver! It instantly refreshes any style, it adds volume and body, absorbs oil and makes me look hot. I can go an extra day or two between shampoos because of this stuff. It’s that good.

To Use: Shake well. Spray onto roots and let dry for a few seconds. Then comb through to absorb oil. Layer through mid-lengths and ends to add bulk for a finished style ( I always add a little around my ears and at my crown to bump up the volume).

Beauty Products to Toss

#1 Lush Jungle Conditione

This bar is conditioner. You have to soak the bar in water, rub between palms, and then spread it into your hair and rinse out after a minute. Detangler? No. Gross? Yes.

#2 Lash Lure

Okay so this was popular before I was born wayyy back in 1938. But its so heinous I had to list it here. I mean really, who would do this? People dies from this. People went blind from this. Although there is one benefit of this  “permanent lash tint” is that it helped rally support for the passage of 1938’s Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Beauty Products to Lust After

#1 No 7’s Limited edition Sun Drenched Lip glosses

*Swoons* This lip gloss has 22 carat gold in it! Those gold flecks are real!! This takes glittering like a fairy tale to a whole new level. fairy tale to fact.

#2  A Swarovski crystal-studded delight (2553 crystals to be exact)

The limited-edition C2 Crystal Styling Iron from Corioliss, £457.98, spoils your hair and itself in expensive shine. With a digital remote control to set the ideal temperature and even heat technology expansion on the plates, it straightens without the tell-tale damage. Apart from being sleek and lightweight, it has the world’s first automatic 30-minute sleep mode. It’s truly a bejewelled luxury beauty product must-buy. Available at buyhair.co.uk. (This product and information was found: http://blog.shesaidbeauty.com/2012/01/22/the-lust-list-10-luxury-beauty-brands-and-their-best-products/)

#3 Alterna 10 luxury shampoo

Alterna Ten contains exotic ingredients including African cacao extract, caviar age-control complex, photozyme complex with “color hold,” white truffle oil, Champagne grape seed oil, Bulgarian Evening Primrose and Arabian Frankincense. The shampoo is inspired by enzyme therapy, a process that uses enzyme supplements to treat conditions from digestive problems to cancer.

Sounds awesome right? Here’s the cost of this awesome: $60 for an 8.5 oz bottle.

(shampoo details and price courtesy of http://most-expensive.net/shampoo )

So that is my list of beauty must haves, products to toss and to lust after! Now go forth and get beautiful. I have to go, I have an appointment to get my hair done. Laters!

Kimber knows her beauty products, right? Did you see any you want to try? How about leaving a comment with your favorite beauty product suggestion?

Nora’s review of “Charade”

Would you risk everything, even your life if need be—to save the one you love?

For Sam and Heven, the main characters in Cambria Hebert’s thrilling Heven and Hell series, life means nothing if they can’t spend it together. In “Masquerade,” the stage is set for these two characters to plunge into danger and despair so they can eventually find happiness together, and then things escalate as good and evil vie for their souls in Hebert’s latest release, “Charade.” Sam’s younger brother, Logan, adds quite a bit of drama to the “Charade” storyline, but Kimber, Cole, and Gemma certainly have their fair share of new developments as well.

Twists and turns, betrayals that have a most wicked bite, plus angels offering heavenly intervention and demons…naturally raising a little hell, all make this novel hard to resist and easy to enjoy. Although, “Charade” is not just about the battle between good and evil since it hits upon other facets of being human that, at times, affect us all. For instance, Heven matures in this follow-up to “Masquerade” as she comes to accept her unique abilities and use them to fight against what’s been unleashed from Hell. I was pleased to see her growth and loved that Heven could take care of herself, but Hebert made sure to keep Heven a compassionate character, one who thinks about others.  This book targets YA readers, so if they can relate to Heven (Sam and Cole) who are all young but trying to make a positive difference in the world, then all the better!

Another huge part of this book follows the heavy emotions Heven and Sam must deal with as they constantly become positioned between right and wrong, between letting truth shine or allowing lies to temporarily cover their tracks. The choices we make, good and bad, affect the people in our lives, and the way Hebert showcases this is fantastic. Her characters pay a price for the choices they make, and some of these consequences come handed to them with a supernatural fist, yet again…lessons are gained by the characters and readers.

You’ll have to read “Charade” to meet my favorite new addition to Hebert’s Heven and Hell series, and that would be the Supernal Beings. Believe me—they are as cool as they sound! I’ve known a few people like them, and they are mysterious and seem as though they’ve been sent from above. If fallen angels, young adults with supernatural abilities, the age-old battle between good and evil, plus a marvelous amount of mystery wrapped up in a fantasy novel, sounds good to you, then do check out this wonderful series. I can hardly wait for the next book! 5/5 stars

Cambria Hebert bio: 

Author. Blogger. Latte Sipper.
Cambria Hebert is an author who wrote her first book at the age of fifteen. It was terrible. But the passion for writing never went away so years later when she opened her laptop and started typing she worked until she wrote a book that she hopes everyone will be as excited about as she is.

Cambria is obsessed with werewolves and is terrified of chickens (they are creepy!)She is an animal lover that would choose coffee over food and her favorite TV show is the Vampire Diaries (Hell-O Damon!)

Please visit her blog and her author website:
http://www.cambriahebert.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/cambriahebert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138