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

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Color Them Gray

“It’s an art to live with pain… mix the light into gray.” Eddie Vedder

Edmond Dantès from Alexandre Dumas,’ The Count of Monte Cristo is a successful merchant sailor living in Marseille, France (in 1815) who is wrongly accused of being a Bonapartist traitor. Edmond is imprisoned for fourteen years in the Château d’If. Pain and suffering ruin his colorful outlook on life…he transforms into a protagonist determined to seek revenge upon the men who imprisoned him, and he does this, so beautifully. Once Edmond becomes the Count of Monte Cristo, anything and everything he has is used to manipulate the wickedness in his life for the sake of vengeance.

Edmond feels justified; his motives for becoming a “gray” character…one whose thoughts and actions are not entirely right or wrong, whose morals have blurred into the gray area, adds danger and excitement to Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.

I love characters smothered in gray—who are torn between right and wrong, who ache to do what’s right, but have lost their way. In my science fiction adventure, Guardian 2632, Zane Grayson fights with his conscience about betraying the time monitoring facility he’s in charge of, called Guardian TMF, because a pastian from 1998 needs his help, or she will perish. He is forbidden to assist pastians without clearance from the Elite Guardians, yet Zane is drawn to this pastian, named Julia Emerson, like never before. His desire for Julia becomes incessant, secrets are revealed. Zane’s sense of belonging in 2632 is stolen by Julia, so he dives into the gray area where chaos rules. A murky, dark shade of gray envelopes Zane, while he plans the most important mission of his life, however, if caught…merciless Time Mercs will execute him. Yeah, Time Mercs are big, bad, and ugly.

Adding gray is good for character building! Why? Do you know anyone who is perfect? I do not, and that’s okay because the imperfections found in us all make us unique. Spicing up your characters with moral dilemmas where they will either rise to the occasion and do the right thing, or fall into an abyss of misery are ways to push a story forward. Perfect characters would always decide to do the safe and logical thing, which doesn’t make for much of a story. Oh, but when a character, like Edmond Dantès goes to the pits and back to finally see the light…ah, now there’s sweet satisfaction found in that!

Going Gray

Think about your characters. Are their personalities, desires, and goals so lovely…and absolutely dreamy that they come across as unbelievable people?

For example, Zane Grayson (protagonist in Guardian 263) is a mastermind in charge of fixing paradoxes throughout time. I even used his last name as a hint to show he’s a character splattered with gray traits. It would’ve been easy to make him a super techie with a personality similar to a robot. His looks, temperament, dialogue, and habits could’ve been the typical, calm genius who wears glasses, always has a white lab coat on, has no desire for anything other than knowledge, and his only hobby would have to be building computers. B-o-r-i-n-g!

Zane left that nonsense behind. Going gray meant this character had to…

  • Be at odds with his conscience-Zane is a good man, but flaws exist. He time surfs (looks for paradoxes throughout time in unauthorized time zones), refuses to follow Guardian TMF’s dress code for executives, is an adrenaline junkie…needs danger and risk too often, he’s stubborn to the point some would say he’s insane, has quite a temper, and Zane is willing to risk everything he has in 2632 to help a pastian (Julia Emerson) in 1998. His ancestry is a mix of Japanese and European, and he is quite sarcastic. Going gray made him more interesting!
  • Understand his definitions of right and wrong are not written on white paper with black ink-Zane comes to realize laws must be written to serve people…all people, and not be written as a means to justify helping only the history makers. The gray area is an uncomfortable one to be in, but it forces characters to do something…Zane decides to fight for change.
  • Finally make decisions about what he believes is right and wrong-Once Zane becomes aware of things that needed altered, his grayness fades a bit as he steps back toward the light. He chooses to set things right.

What characters come to mind who are painted with gray? Riddick, from The Chronicles of Riddick is one of my favorites! He has a whole lot of gray going on… If you’re an author, what have you done to your characters to make them a bit on the gray side?

Feel free to leave a comment, and thank you 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

SHINING STARS GIVEAWAY

The Noracast just wrapped up a horror giveaway with The Twelfth Paladin, so on to a science fiction and fantasy giveaway that sparkles with starlight. STAR TREK is well…you know, one of the shows I watched as a child that helped to warp my mind, so it had to be featured! Keep in mind, this movie is light years ahead of what I viewed, so do enjoy! STARDUST is a fantasy-filled, fun movie for the family.

Star Trek and Stardust have action/adventure, magical settings, and magnificent heroes who will stop at nothing to succeed. Both movies take you away into another place and time…like the scenario that plays out in my science fiction adventure, Guardian 2632. If you’re in the mood for some high-tech gadgets, time travel, Time Mercs, and Zane Grayson…a man on a mission to save the life of his beloved, Julia Emerson, then enter the giveaway!

SHINING STARS GIVEAWAY/US/International/December 2-December 15)

The winner receives…both movies and a copy of Guardian 2632!

Print, e-book, or Kindle versions available. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment and your contact info. Happy Holidays!

 GUARDIAN 2632 

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.

STARDUST

Escape into the enchanted world of chivalry and romance in Stardust, an epic tale starring Claire Danes with Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro. In hopes of wooing a beautiful girl (Sienna Miller), Tristan (Charlie Cox) promises to bring her a falling star. But he’s in for the adventure of his life when he discovers the star is actually a celestial beauty named Yvaine (Danes). When an old witch Lamia (Pfeiffer) attempts to steal Yvaine’s youth, Tristan must protect her at all costs, in this magical family adventure that will make you fall in love over and over again. (Amazon Product Description)

 

STAR TREK 

The greatest adventure of all time begins with Star Trek, the incredible story of a young crew’s maiden voyage onboard the most advanced starship ever created: the U.S.S. Enterprise. On a journey filled with action, comedy and cosmic peril, the new recruits must find a way to stop an evil being whose mission of vengeance threatens all of mankind. The fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of bitter rivals. One, James Kirk (Chris Pine), is a delinquent, thrill-seeking Iowa farm boy. The other, Spock (Zachary Quinto), was raised in a logic-based society that rejects all emotion. As fiery instinct clashes with calm reason, their unlikely but powerful partnership is the only thing capable of leading their crew through unimaginable danger, boldly going where no one has gone before. (Amazon Product Description)

Thank you for visiting the Noracast!