Thursday, February 22, 2018

Making it easier to read ebooks again

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
Holding the Kindle Oasis

Like a lot of writers—and really, a lot of creative people in general—I’ve been feeling a heavy hit to my ability to create art in the current political climate. I’ve seen a lot of different folks talk about their strategies for trying to rekindle that ability, and I am certainly trying several myself. One of these is an attempt to reconnect with what made me want to be a writer in the first place: the simple joy of reading a book.

And given that I’m a tech nerd who loves her some ebooks, this has meant making some changes in how I do that!

For the last few years my reading device of choice has been a Nook tablet. This has been partly because of my day job, where a big focus of what I do is testing web pages, and sometimes being able to do so on a mobile device is useful. So cutting down on the number of devices I carry with me on a daily commute was a goal. But a few things have all combined to make me want to switch back to an e-ink device to read my books.

One: Like it or not, I’m getting older and my eyes are getting weaker. I’ve had to start wearing reading glasses. And given that I spend a great deal of my day staring at various screens, reducing that by even a little will help make my eyes happier. Particularly if I’m reading in the evenings, after spending a long day working on computers at work as well as my computer at home.

Two: My day job’s focus has shifted and I haven’t had to do as much device testing in the last few years. So having a device with me that’s capable of doing web page testing is less important.

Three: I’ve been making an effort to cut down on the ways my mobile devices can distract me. Part of this has involved turning off almost all notifications they give me, as well as removing almost all social media apps from them (with the exception of Twitter, which I keep on my phone so I can check local traffic on my commutes).

And with that in mind, I’ve remembered how very nice it is to read on an e-ink device that has just one purpose in life: showing me whatever book I want to read. It can’t distract me with Facebook, or games, or the Internet in general.

(“Well, Angela,” I hear some of you suggesting, “you know what else does that? Print books!” You are correct, Internet readers. Let it be noted for the record that I do also want to return to my backlog of unread print books in my library, too! But this post is specifically about digital reading.)

The end result of all this?

I’ve gotten myself a new e-ink reader. Specifically, and to my own surprise, a Kindle Oasis. I didn’t buy a new e-ink Nook out of strong concern about the future of Barnes and Noble as a viable store. And while I do the majority of my ebook purchases from Kobo these days, they still don’t have a major presence in the States. So what kept me from getting a Kobo device was the low likelihood of being able to go talk to someone in person if it should happen to break.

Which left Amazon as my only other major option. And the good thing about the Oasis is, good gods this thing is pleasant to hold. It’s specifically designed to be held one-handed, with buttons I can click on with my thumb to turn the pages. Which will make reading on the bus a lot easier, particularly if I have to stand while I’m doing it. (A big risk, on the Seattle bus systems!)

Its screen is very crisp and clear, which is a bonus for my less-young-than-I’d-like eyes. And since the screen is backlit and can even adjust to ambient light, it’ll be easier for me to use it to read in low-light conditions. Like, say, a dimly lit bus during a Seattle winter.

With a nice origami-style cover for it, I can also stand it up to read hands-free. I like to read during my lunch break—and sometimes during dinner as well. So the ability to stand the reader up is critical.

Ready to Read
The one major drawback with dealing with an Amazon device now is that it doesn’t talk EPUB, which I do find annoying. But I am also very familiar with Calibre, having used it for years now to manage my huge ebook library. So I’m easily capable of converting an EPUB to a MOBI, and using Amazon’s Send to Kindle utility to shoot a given book over to the device.

Given the size of my library (we’re talking over 1,700 titles here, people, and that’s just my ebooks), it’s not practical for me to try to shove the entire lot of it onto the device at once. So I’ve had to think instead about doing it in waves. This means I’ve had to focus a bit more on the idea of “what do I think I’ll actually want to read next?”

But really, that’s all to the good. Because the entire point here is to reconnect me with my books. And so far, I’ve already started reading two different things on the Oasis!

I’m very much looking forward to reading more.



Angela writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series as Angela Korra’ti, and the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy trilogy as Angela Highland! Come geek out with her about books—her own, yours, or anybody else’s!—on her website at angelahighland.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Fantasy Novel - The Troll Bridge

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
My fantasy novel, The Troll Bridge, has just released, and I thought I'd share an excerpt with you. First the blurb - and the enticing information that The Troll Bridge is currently only 99c on Amazon, or you can read it for free in Kindle Unlimited.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079VRR76K

Blurb


A witchling child befriends a troll boy and changes the fate of a kingdom.

Trolls aren't born. They're made, and they fight for the Kingdom of Adynn. They are its first and fiercest protectors, guarding the roads into the mountain kingdom.

When young Morgana befriends a newly made troll boy and names him Peter, she unwittingly reveals her magic to his creator. Sorcerer Veritas removes her from her remote village to the School of Sorcery. There she will learn to cast spells and forge charms, but she’ll also learn the high price of friendship, and the reality that someone with her magical ability will always be a target for others who seek power.

War is coming to the Kingdom of Adynn. The Vlad Empire, with its death magic and slaves, is closing in. Morgana will be trained as a war wizard, but in her heart she resists the role. She doesn’t want to fight and she refuses to kill. So Sorcerer Veritas will provide a little motivation.

A powerful story of friendship, magic and high adventure. 

Excerpt

Advocabit lux.” This time I summoned a palm-sized ball of light that floated between us.
“Very good.” Pavel turned to depart.
I tugged on his trousers before he could enter his lab. “But that’s not the light I want.”
He turned back to me, one eyebrow raised again. “There are different kinds of light?”
“Yes! I want the one like Sorceress Selina has drawn on her ceiling. I want it to work even when I’m not there. I want Peter to be able to touch it like Matron can make Sorceress Selina’s stairs move even though Matron has no magic.”
“Ah. Sigil magic is significantly more complicated.”
“I can read and write,” I said, in case that was the problem.
Pavel scratched his beard. The short bristles made a raspy sound. “Who is Peter? Does he have any magic of his own?”
“Peter is my friend,” I stated the most important bit first. “He’s the troll guarding the bridge to the school. I want to spend time with him, but he won’t let me stay out in the dark and cold.” I kicked the floor. “And it is dark under the bridge. Peter doesn’t feel the cold, but I don’t want him living in the dark.” I peeped up at Pavel, but couldn’t read the sorcerer’s expression. “Peter likes to read news-sheets. If he had a light, he could read in his home under the bridge.” 
"...home under the bridge.” Pavel sighed, heavily. “This is the troll Sorcerer Veritas created, yes?”

Continue reading at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079VRR76K 





Tuesday, February 20, 2018

From Print to Silver Screen - What Books Would You Like to See Made Into Film?

Posted by: Linda Mooney
Have you ever been in the mood for a good romantic movie?

There've been many times when I've wanted to watch one, rather than read one. But the past few times I've rented a "romance" movie, or caught one on cable, either the hero or heroine dies, or they don't have an HEA. That's when I got to thinking. What books have I read in the past would I like see become a feature film?

One question I often get asked, other than "Where do you get your ideas?", is "Which book of yours would you like see as a movie?" That answer is simple. It's The Battle Lord's Lady. In fact, I can easily see the entire Battle Lord Saga becoming a mini-series. The idea of it coming to life is a nice fantasy I'll never see actually happening, but it makes for terrific daydreaming.

Is there a particular book you'd like to see brought to film? Or maybe anything by an author you especially like?

Authors, which of your own books would you like see get the Hollywood treatment?

Oh, and since we're on the subject, I'd love recommendations for good, schmaltzy, HEA movies.

(The DVDs pictured above are from my special stash of guilty pleasures.)
~~~~~~~
New!

LUCIEN
The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 1
Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic Romance

Word Count: 64.5K
$3.99 e


As the youngest Battle Prince, Lucien D'Jacques is discouraged because the affinities with weapons that his siblings have shown aren’t showing up in him. Being half-Mutah, that little something extra should be a given, but he’s no better than the average Normal soldier.

Meanwhile, the Damaged are back and slowly taking over. After receiving word that neighboring compounds are suffering, Lucien is tapped by his parents, Yulen and Atty, the Battle Lord and Lady of Alta Novis, to accompany them on a rescue mission to Green River. Now would be a great time for those specialties to shine.

When fighting an invisible enemy, it’s almost impossible to tell who is friend or foe. But if left unchecked, that enemy could wipe out all Mutah. It’s up to the D’Jacques, with the help of their army and newfound allies, to defeat the Bloods and stop the spread of the maddening disease, before it’s too late.

Warning! Contains sneezing, tainted blood, mutant insects, rabid bats, a diabolical plan, a fake battle lord, a haunted compound, and one man trying to prove himself as he struggles to survive.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
New Releases:

Other News:
Veronica Scott's Star Cruise: Outbreak audiobook received 4.5 Stars in a review from Audiobook Reviewer!

Bring It Back(list) Feature:
Veronica Scott shared "Why I Wrote AYDARR," plus an excerpt for this past week's feature.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Few Tips on Crowdsource Funding

Posted by: Shawna Reppert


I’ve run a few moderately successful crowdsource funding campaigns. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve sat at the feet of a few experts and soaked up their wisdom, plus picked up a few things from trial-and-error. Recently (well, kind-of recently, I procrastinate) a fellow author and a musician friend asked for tips, Since I was stuck for a blog topic, here we go. Free advice, guaranteed to be worth at least what you paid for it. Though my experience is primarily with fundraising to cover costs associated with publishing quality indie novels, the principles apply to most creative endeavors. (In fact, some of the tips I got early on were from Irish trad musicians.) 

The first thing you need to decide is what platform to use. Kickstarter used to be the big boy on the block, to the point where Kickstarter started being used as a generic term for crowdsource funding. It remains a viable choice, although the trend seems to be moving away, sort of like the migration from My Space to Facebook. They had a security leak a few years back that compromised some donors’ information, which left me a bit wary. 

The biggest downside to Kickstarter, though, is its all-or-nothing model. You set a goal, and if you don’t reach that goal, you get none of the monies pledged. Some people like this model, thinking it shows that you are more serious about needing the money and feeling that people are more likely to give if they think that the book/CD/film project will never be released if the creator doesn’t get whatever sum they decree is essential. To me, it feels like a weird combination of playing chicken and a hostage situation. If you are like most creative people, you are determined to find a way somehow, even if it means selling blood, busking on street corners, or working yourself into an early grave with a second job. Wouldn’t you rather get a little help than no help at all?

Indiegogo was the next crowdsource funding site to go big, and one of my musician friends said he’d had much more success on that site, so I used them for my second project. The biggest advantage to Indiegogo, in my opinion, if the flexible funding option. You can still play chicken if you want with an all-or-nothing goal, or you can set your campaign up so that you will get the funds pledged whether or not you make your goal. An artist friend of mine living in another country also said Indiegogo is much easier to use than Kickstarter if you are not based in the US.

Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo are intended to raise funds for a particular project to produce something tangible (a book, a CD, a computer game, etc.) You are expected to offer tangible ‘rewards’ at different donor levels. I used e-copies of short fiction at the lower levels, through e-copies of the future novel and on to physical copies of the novel. At the highest levels, a donor would get a physical copy of the novel plus a mention in the acknowledgements. You can limit the availability of a certain reward; for example, you could say that only 25 people could claim a place in the acknowledgements, and only one, for an even higher donation, could claim the dedication. If you are lucky, friends and associates in the creative world may donate a reward. For example, my editor offered a manuscript evaluation to be offered as a reward on my last campaign. (This worked out to everyone’s advantage since the person who claimed it went on to do a series with her and is doing fabulously well with it.)

Be creative in your rewards. I have seen musicians offer lessons and private house concerts (to be scheduled on mutual convenience, naturally.) Or an artist trying to raise funds for a print run might offer the print on t-shirts, sweatshirts and note cards. 

You want to be certain to offer rewards for a wide range of donor levels. One of the biggest pleasant surprises I had in the world of crowdfunding is the number of complete strangers who may have never heard of you or your work who see your campaign and are willing to kick in five bucks for an e-copy of whatever you’ve got plus the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from helping make art happen. Depending on their budget, they may not have the ten dollars or feel comfortable giving it to a stranger. On the other hand, you never know when you might find a rich patron with money to burn who decides a private concert is the best way to celebrate a beloved’s birthday.

One bit of advice I got early on was not to offer a choice of rewards for one donation level. If, for example, you offer a choice of a t-shirt with your book cover or a framed print at the $25 donation level, some of your would-be supporters may spend so much time waffling between the two choices that they never get around to donating before the campaign is over.

The next thing to decide is how much to ask for. My approach is to make an honest assessment of what I absolutely need to cover expenses in order to bring my product to the market. Since my editor has a set per-book fee as does the company that does my formatting, that’s easy enough for me to calculate. I also state where any overage would go—in my case, to promotional costs to help the book reach a larger potential audience.  There are, however, many approaches to goal-setting. Some people set a pie-in-the-sky figure believing that will encourage people to donate more. Others feel if they set a smaller, more do-able figure they will look less greedy or more realistic. Honestly, I think it all comes down to guesswork.

You will need a graphic image for your campaign. Yes, both Kickstarter and Indiegogo will let you put up your campaign without one. Don’t. Remember that the internet is a very visual medium and you are competing for attention (and money). In terms of catching the eye, a picture is, quite literally, worth a thousand words. Also, you want to convince people that you are serious about the project and should be taken seriously.

Artists have it easy when it comes to a campaign image, since you can create your own. You will want to create your own to showcase your talents. Writers and musicians have it tougher. Your book or CD cover is the obvious choice, but if one of the expenses you need to cover is funds to pay a cover artist, it becomes a frustrating Catch-22. Musicians may have a nice gig photo (bonus points if it was taken at a well-regarded venue). Or you may already have in your PR kit a studio portrait of you with your instrument.

For the first book in the Ravensblood series, I cobbled together a cover using an image purchased from s stock-image site. It was. . . serviceable. But it got the series launched, at least, though I hope to redo the cover someday soon. For the second book, a very generous reader donated funds toward the cover. Since then, I have an amazing graphics artist who has been donating covers. Yes, I know how fortunate that makes me, and I’m aware that not everyone is so lucky. But just keep in mind that odd, unexpected things happen. Get creative and think laterally.

Next, you will need a video. Yes, you do. I tried launching the first campaign without one, and it lagged until I took the advice of a fellow author and put up a video. Now, that first video wasn’t fancy. I’m camera-shy so I got one of my long-time booster/beta readers to make the appeal over photos she had taken of places that appeared in the book. (That particular series is urban fantasy set in an alternate-universe Pacific Northwest.) Later videos were fancier, again thanks to volunteer labor, in this case a pair of dear friends who are talented musicians, one of who also knows how to edit audio and video. You can check one of the videos out here.

In the video department, musicians have the advantage, since you can just put a voice-over plea on top of one of your tunes. For artists and authors, if you don’t have generous volunteers there are companies that will make you a trailer for a price. Or, if you have confidence in your own charisma, you can just look into the camera lens and talk to your potential donors directly. However you get your video made, remember less is more. You don’t want to go much more than two minutes, or people will get bored and click to something else.

This is just a brief overview of some tips I have picked up along the way. Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo have extensive advice sections, as well as walking you step-by-step through the process of setting up your campaign and you will want to take advantage of those free resources.
Good luck!

 Shawna Reppert is an award-winning author of fantasy and steampunk and an Amazon best-seller. You can find her works on Amazon. To find out more, go to www.Shawna-Reppert.com

Bring It Back(list) - Why I Wrote AYDARR #SciFi Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Since I just recently released MATEER (Sectors New Allies Series Book 2), I thought it was a good time to talk about book one, AYDARR.

The post below originally appeared on Pauline B. Jones' blog:


Aydarr  (A Badari Warriors Scifi Romance Novel), Sectors New Allies Series Book 1. This is the first book in a new series I’m launching, connected to my scifi world of the Sectors, but with the action taking place elsewhere. I’m excited about writing an actual series with a specific overarching plotline, although of course each individual book has a satisfying Happy for Now ending for the hero and heroine. No cliffhangers! One of the reasons I wrote this book is that I’ve wanted to tackle an actual series for a while now, where each novel has a different couple front and center in the story, but the other characters will be showing up in the story too!

My Sectors SF Romance series is more of a connected series, all being set in the Sectors and with some characters mentioned in more than one book, plus a few direct sequels. But for this New Allies series, I had to come up with a longer running story arc that could stretch over 3 to 5 books before the conflict is resolved, but not do too much detailed plotting, because my Muse balks at telling a story where I’ve already figured out too much in advance. I lose the desire to write it all down then.  It’s a total no go.

I’ve long been a fan of the Lora Leigh Breeds series and the Laurann Dohner New Species series, both centering around genetically engineered soldiers. I can’t ever get enough of those stories! So I decided to challenge myself to write my own novels with genetically enhanced warriors as the heroes (for the most part – there are a few Sectors Special Forces guys appearing in the books already and I think Gabe may get his own book soon. He’d demanding one!).  The heroines in the first two books are Sectors women, Jill and her sister Megan respectively.

And I’ve thrown in a few other elements of my own brand of scifi romance along the way…
I thought the concept of these warriors created by alien scientists lent itself to a series arc I could handle and write some exciting stories for. I also see a lot of potential for ‘sidequels’ about other characters, that might not advance the main series arc, but which would be fun to tell. It’s going to depend if the readers like the books or not!

There are so many scifi romance novels these days with unusual and strong names that it was a fun challenge to pick a good one for my warriors. ‘Badari’ is sort of an Easter egg, because on our planet it refers to an agricultural society in Upper Egypt around 5000 BCE. So it’s a wink to my love of ancient Egypt – but let me hasten to add the New Allies books themselves have nothing to do with Earth or Egypt or ancient cultures here. I just liked the sound of the syllables and the private connection to things Egyptian was a bonus smile for me. My Badari did not come from ancient Egypt.

One other influence on me when writing Aydarr was the overall feel of the 2010 movie “Predators,” where a group of tough humans wake up in an alien jungle and have to fight to survive, while trying to figure out how to get home to Earth.

The blurb: Jill Garrison, a maintenance tech at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown stranded in the middle of a forest on an unknown world. There’s no time to think as she’s stalked by carnivorous predators and rescued by genetically engineered warriors calling themselves the Badari. Turns out they and she, along with her whole colony, are now prisoners of the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.

Aydarr, the Badari alpha, isn’t sure he can trust Jill but his attraction to her is undeniable. He impulsively claims her as his mate to prevent her death at the hands of the Khagrish.
Can he continue to protect her from the experiments already underway?  Will his claiming her put his pack in jeopardy from their alien masters?

As Jill searches for a way to rescue her fellow humans and get them all to safety, she finds herself falling for Aydarr, despite the secrets he’s keeping. She has a few of her own.

The situation becomes dire when Aydarr and his pack are sent offplanet on a mission, leaving Jill unprotected, prey for the senior scientist. Can she escape the experiments he has in mind for her? Will she be able to thwart the Khagrish plans and liberate humans and Badari alike? How will she and Aydarr reunite?

The excerpt – Jill has been rescued from a dire situation by Aydarr and the Badari. In this snippet, she’s trying to figure out where she is and who they are:
               “Stay and talk? I have so many questions.”
               “And I may not have answers.” His grin was wide and cheerful.
               “Where are we?” Jill glanced around. “Because this isn’t the world where I went to sleep a few days ago.”
               He leaned against the cave wall. “We have no name for this planet.”
               Odd, if they live here. “You’re Aydarr, right?”
              “Of the Badari. I lead this pack.”
              “Pack?” An odd word to choose. She wanted much more explanation than he was providing.
              He shook his head. “You have much to learn and many of the facts will be highly unpleasant to you, I fear. Upsetting. The healer will give me a hard time if I overtax your mind so soon with too many details of our situation.”
              Annoyed, she touched the smooth black bracelet on his arm, noticing they all wore one. Tapping her fingers on the matching band she wore, she asked, “Did you put this on me?”
              He shook his head. “The Khagrish placed it there, as they did on all of us.”
              “Which tells me exactly nothing.” She took a deep breath. Venting her fear and frustration on this man wasn’t going to help the situation. “I’m grateful for you rescuing me from the bug-eyed thing in the pit and nursing me through the poison venom attack. Can we start the conversation over? The last thing I remember before I had to sprint blindly across the grasslands in a thunder storm and fell in a pit, is going to sleep in my own bed on Amarcae 7. After which I woke up here in the rain. Do you know how I got here? Did—did you kidnap me?”
               “My pack and I weren’t deployed on your world. Others may have been—I have no way to know.”
               The military term gave her pause. Two of the men approached, with servings of meat and fruit on large, leathery leaves, and one carried another gourd of water.
               “These are my enforcers, Reede and Mateer,” he said, as he accepted the food and handed her the water.
               Mateer, a burly guy with a friendly expression, was the man who’d carried her out of the pit. “You did well, fighting the vermore the other day.”
               “Thanks for coming to help—all of you. I’m grateful.” She glanced from one to the other, trying to keep her face pleasant despite the fact she was itching for real answers.
Aydarr nodded in acknowledgment of her thanks as he chewed a hunk of the meat. He washed it down with a swig of the water then said, “We haven’t decided yet what you are, Jill of Amarcae, but I pledge to ensure your safety to the full extent of my ability to do so. If anything happens to me, my enforcers will watch out for you. Unless you’re the cause of danger to us.”
Jill inferred from their expressions that the two men weren’t entirely on board with their boss’s decision. “What I am? I’m a human woman, obviously, a resident of the Sectors. Why would I be dangerous to you?”
             “You could be an innocent trapped in this situation as we are, or you could be a trick of some kind, or worse. The Khagrish never take any action without a hidden purpose and placing you here in the Preserve, in my territory, must carry a meaning.” Mateer and Reede walked away in response to a signal from Aydarr. “Time will tell, but I wasn’t going to leave you to die. The Badari have honor, despite what the Khagrish believe.”
              Plucking the water gourd from the spot where he’d set it, she took a cautious drink then a longer swallow, deciding what to ask next. “And who are the other men with us here?”
            “Soldiers. And newly promoted cadets.”
            The two clearly younger men at the fringes of the cave had been watching her with open curiosity but now lowered their eyes.
            Jill did a double take as claws materialized at the tips of Aydarr’s fingers, and he shredded the cooked meat for her, as if he was wielding knives. Then the talons were gone as if nothing had happened, and he handed her the plate leaf.
            She swallowed. “How did you do that?”
           He shrugged as he bit off a chunk of his own meal. “I’m not prepared to explain myself to you. Forgive me for being rude, however. Not offering to share the meat earlier.”
           OK. A bit affronted, Jill scooted further away with her plate and ate a few bites of the savory meat. She set the empty leaf on the sandy floor beside the pile of sweet smelling grasses. “Am I free to go then?”
          Aydarr eyed her. “Why would you wish to venture into the Preserve unarmed and unaware of the dangers here? After what you just went through?”
          “Merely testing the limits of your hospitality.”
          “I would have to risk my men to save you again. No. You’re in my territory, I’ve declared you mine, you will stay safe with the pack.”

 Buy Links: Amazon    B&N  Google  Kobo     iBooks


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Happy Chinese Year of the Dog!

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR
Wishing you Happiness, Prosperity, Longevity!
Image Bigstock.com

As we get over the candy heart hangover, few of us are thinking about New Year’s (except to feel a bit guilty about our resolutions due to the half-price chocolates we couldn't resist putting in our shopping carts…) 

Yet Friday, February 16th marks a very important date: it’s the beginning of the Chinese New Year! 

Last year was the Year of the Rooster, made even more tumultuous than usual since it was influenced by the element of Fire.

Welcome to the Year of the Dog! And not just any dog – this friendly canine is firmly rooted in the element of Earth.

A little background here… The traditional Chinese zodiac is a fascinating system of 12 animal symbols in a recurring 12-year cycle called the Sheng Xiao. The animals in order are:  Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. The Sheng Xiao is based on the lunar calendar (so its New Year falls between January 21 and February 20 each year) and predates our Western zodiac. According to Chinese records, this particular Year of the Dog is actually Year 4715!!!

The Sheng Xiao is the 12-year Cycle in Chinese Astrology
Image Bigstock.com
If you were born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, or 2018, then the Dog is your sign. The dog is an auspicious animal in Chinese culture, bringing good luck. As might be expected from man’s best friend, the dog embodies some of the best traits of humans. Those born in a Dog Year may be loyal, faithful, friendly, sincere, and brave. In the workplace they are thought to be serious, responsible and clever. Of course, you can’t be perfect – a Dog person may also have a tendency to be very emotional, conservative, and stubborn!

Don’t forget the additional influence of the elements. While the symbolic animals rotate through a 12-year cycle, the elements that govern them rotate through a five-year cycle: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth. This not only has a powerful effect on the events and overall tone of a particular year, it lends some interesting personality traits to people born during that time. So, if you’re a Dog person whose birth date falls in an Earth year, you may be unwavering in your goals and have a tendency to attract wealth. (Did you know? This is the first Earth Dog year since 1958!)

The Earth Dog will be the reigning animal from now until February 4, 2019. What kind of a year is being predicted?
Image Bigstock.com
Generally, it’s believed to be a good time for starting a new business or changing your lifestyle for the better (yup, back to the gym…). Finances may improve, but you may also need to put a higher priority on your health (okay, okay, more vegetables in my diet). Family relationships will be especially important. As you might expect from an earth-influenced sign, it’s a year of stability. Even better, it’s a year of increasing hope.

You’d think if you were born under the sign of the Dog, that this would be a really great year for you, right? Apparently not so much... In Chinese astrology, it’s considered unlucky when your birth sign is the same as the current ruling animal. Rooster people had it rough last year! 

So, if you’re a Dog in a Dog Year, the best advice may be to be patient, keep quietly doing what you’ve been doing, and don’t start any large ventures until the year runs out – but also be sure to invite good karma by using your natural tendency to treat others with kindness.

And no matter what your sign, you might help your luck along by wearing greens (to symbolize Wood) and blues (symbolizing Water) to balance out the prevailing element of Earth. Add a splash of red to your decor (for Fire), and the result could be increased harmony.

Me? I’m going to be extra nice to my very own dogs this year. And I have several canine characters in my novels. Maybe they can put in a good word for me…  


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LEGEND LORE LOVE MAGIC

The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim.

Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…

In this enchanting romance series from Dani Harper, the ancient fae come face-to-face with modern-day humans and discover something far more potent than their strongest magic: love.


THE GRIM SERIES by Dani Harper
  
STORM WARRIOR, STORM BOUND, STORM WARNED, STORM CROSSED
Note: Every book in this series is designed to stand alone.
It's fun to read them in order, but you won't get lost if you don't!

See ALL Dani's novels on her Amazon Author Page
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