Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Guest Post: Jean Murray

It’s a colorful world.

Color is such a substantial part of our lives.  It covers our walls, floors, cars, clothing, even our hair (especially the gray ones).  We even have designated colors for the holiday seasons.  It allows us to express our moods and preferences.  Everyone has a favorite color.  Mine is any variation of blue.  Right now, dark teal is my fav.  Throw it with brown, gray, or lime green for pizzazz.  I’m in heaven.  Which brings me to my next point –

Colors can affect our mood and emotion.  Ever wonder why a doctor’s waiting room is usually blue?  If you haven’t noticed, check the next time you go. Blues keep us calm. Bright yellows keep us awake.  Greens sooth and relax. Reds elicit excitement and aggression.

Color can even be found in your favorite book.  Color imagery has an amazing way of conveying meaning in words you are reading whether a scene, character, object etc...  Why are all those alpha males dressed in black leather?  Black triggers an immediate picture in our mind of the hero whether the author wrote the words or not.  It symbolizes power, danger, evil, sexuality.  Now, put that same alpha hero in an orange shirt and green leather pants.  What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?  For me, I think of a clown.  The change in color alters the image you have of this character.  In your head or through the author’s words, you have to make that character work for his bad ass image.  I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it takes skill to get there.  A sword slinging, buff alpha in green leather pants and an orange shirt. Oh, my—so not working for me.

We often glaze over the use of color in novels.  Our subconscious does the work for us.  I love to use color imagery in my writing.  In Soul Awakened Kendra has this overwhelming fear of the dark.  She carries this little green flashlight.  Yes, I put conscious effort into the picking the color of this flashlight.  Obsessive, I know, but yet how it is used in the novel lends very well to its color choice.  Green not only sooths and relaxes, it is the color of renewal and health.  As readers, we may not consciously catalog the fact that it is green, but our minds use that information to process the circumstances.  It wasn’t until I watched the bonus material for the movie, The Sixth Sense, did I find out that the director used red objects in scene shots where Bruce Willis was with the boy.  It was his way of delineating the two planes of existence.  I know, now everyone is going to run back and check that movie out. LOL :-)   

My novels are based on Ancient Egyptian mythology.  This culture used colored turquoise gems to protect them from evil spirits. Properly placed charms on the mummy protected all the vital organs of the body for their journey to the afterlife. You will find in Soul Awakened, a turquoise veil of magic covering the entrance to the demotic vault that houses all the black magic texts.  Only those without sin can pass through the veil and Kendra is just that kind of girl.

So, to make this fun I’m going to make you think back to a novel you read.  Did the author use color to convey a meaning or mood?  Can you give an example of how it was used in the book?  Or just share your favorite color.

Giveaway:  Commenters will be entered to win the following: Of course, a little green Maglite, plus signed cover flats. (US only) Plus, don’t forget to join the book tour giveaway, Kindle Fire HD plus e-copies of Soul Reborn and Soul Awakened.

The Author:
Bio: In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.

Author Jean Murray brings a wonderful new spin to the paranormal world with her Egyptian Underworld gods.  She broke ground in the paranormal romance genre with Soul Reborn (ARe Best Seller/NOR Reviewer’s Top Pick) and now continues the Key to the Cursed journey with Soul Awakened (NOR Reviewer’s Top Pick).  See what readers and reviewers are saying about her new book ~ http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16484518-soul-awakened?auto_login_attempted=true

BOOK I:  Soul Reborn

Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.
Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess' undead army unleashing hell on earth.  But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.
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Romantic Times (RT) Book Reviews (Sept2011) -  4/4.5 stars/Scorcher, http://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-review/soul-reborn
Night Owl Reviews:  Reviewer’s Top PICK/ 5 Stars (Abigail, Feb2013)  “The first book in the “Key to the Cursed” series was absolutely phenomenal. Anything that deals with old world deities and is written well always hooks me from the get go. This was definitely an excellent book to begin a new series.”  http://paranormal.nightowlreviews.com/V5/Reviews/Angibabi4-reviews-Soul-Reborn-by-Jean-Murray

BOOK II:  Soul Awakened
Book Blurb:
Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.

Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most-- his Parvana. His butterfly.
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Guest Post: Tessa Stockton

Elected as the Songstress, Aria takes her place on the sacred platform to sing before every dawn. As long as she does so, peace and abundant life belong to her people. One morning, amidst a strange wind that brings with it a curse in its eerie howl, Aria loses her ability to make music. But the encroaching death that transpires isn’t her biggest tragedy. It’s that she adores the cause of her blunder, for he’s a magnificent winged creature who’s stolen more than her voice.

Fog continued to dance around them covering most of his body, to her dismay. Just curious, she convinced herself. She closed her eyes and squeezed the bridge of her nose to concentrate . . . something that seemed hard to do at that moment.
“Feeling better?” The smooth notes of his words swam through her ears.
“Mmm.” She nodded. “I guess.”
He continued to stare.
Aria cleared her throat. “Um . . . can I ask you a question?”
“You may ask . . .”
“But will you answer?”
“That depends.”
“Oh. Well. How did you get to be so huge when all the Meleyans are rather small? And why haven’t I seen you before?”
“That’s two questions.”
He exhaled a steady stream of air, adding to the mist, as if deliberating.
Aria felt the strength of his breath, blowing strands of her hair across her face.
Slow, yet with precision, he lifted a lock from the curve of her mouth and rubbed the strands between his fingers. He murmured, “Soft and orange, like the petals of prairie-tails.” Then he bent and smelled her hair, closing his eyes. “And sweet like the honey of bees.” Again he held her gaze. The corner of his mouth twitched upward. “Do you have a sting?”
“I asked you a question first—”
“Two,” he corrected. Then he smiled.

A former choreographer, dancer, and musician, Tessa Stockton now writes romance and intrigue novels in a variety of genres. Wind’s Aria is the first in her fantasy romance eNovella series, The Brother’s Keep.

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