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2017 in Numbers

The American New Year started January 1, 2017. The Chinese New Year started January 28, 2017. The astrological new year began March 20, which also coincided with the first day of Spring. What all these dates and “new beginnings” tell me is this is the perfect time to share a forecast for 2017. Yeah, I know some of you are saying, “she’s late.” I say, “not.” Only recently have I started feeling like I was finally out of the clutches of 2016. Only recently have I started feeling like a change is happening. Like I have a new sense of confidence, of hope and joy. It feels good to finally shake the severity of 2016 and smile more, laugh more, be more. I attribute this newness to the new year–regardless of the date it actually started.

So on to the 2017 forecast, a year that I’m sure will be like no other. Let me start by saying, I am by no stretch a forecaster. But lucky for us, I know one who is:  Cindy L. Herb. Cindy is a numerologist. She has studied numerology for over 30 years and knows it better than the backs of her hands.

 Cindy Herb

Cindy L. Herb – Numerologist, Author, Friend

When I asked Cindy to write a short post for me about 2017 and what to expect, she so lovingly agreed even though she no longer consults or counsels with individuals or companies on numerology. She only asked one thing of me…be sure to add a disclaimer informing readers this is a forecast only, not a done deal. Freewill and one’s own attitude is as forceful as the universal energies. So remember, how this year plays out rests with you and your heart!

Year 2017 Numerology Energy Vibrations

by Cindy L. Herb

Every year has a specific ‘Universal Year’ number associated with it, giving everyone the dominant general trends for the coming calendar year. In addition, all numbers exert vibrations from both aspects of our world, light and dark. Therefore, in any Universal Year you can expect to see both the constructive and destructive meaning of numbers. Since we all have choice, it is up to you to bring forward those traits you wish—either the constructive side, the destructive components or a combination of both.

The 2017 calendar year is a 1 Universal Year in numerology. Whereas 2016 signified a time of death of the old, 2017 is new birth. This year marks the beginning of a new 9-year Epicycle in numerology. Therefore, you will have more determination and self-confidence. Use this energy, as the things you do this year will affect the next nine years. So be decisive. Now starts a time of new things and major changes. So, if you have wanted to change careers, improve your health, retire or change directions in any way, now is a good time to begin.

Set new goals and begin the process of working towards them. Plan, have a clear vision and direct yourself with strong drive in order to achieve those goals. Look at 2017 as a year of opportunities. Do not worry if it takes a few months to get things rolling (especially since we are still in the shadow of 2016). Therefore, you may be more emotional within the first 3 months. However, if you stay focused, keep a clear head and are organized, things will work in your favor.

You can expect the following monthly highlights for 2017:

January: Emotional month as the energy of 2016 is still around conflicting with the new energy of 2017.

February: Events inspire creativity and optimism, as well as need for adaptability.

March:  Focuses on hard work, progress and opportunity. A time to set the foundation for plans.

April: Brings changes and the unexpected (such as career or residence), requiring more flexibility.

May: Concerns relationships and all affairs of the heart. Responsibility and home are featured.

June: Inward soul searching leaves you more serious and less social.

July: You will begin to see fruits of your hard work. This begins the best couple of months of the year to increase finances and career.

August: A time to let go of things no longer necessary in your life, making room for the new. It could mark the end of a certain era of your life.

September: Could be an emotional month, especially if you have waited to take advantage of the energy this year provides, NOW is another big opportunity to begin new projects. This month highlights heightened confidence, independence and individuality.

October: A time to work in the background, using an indirect approach.

November:  You may start to see your plans taking a more concrete form.

December: Finishing the year with a final push towards the goals set at the beginning of the year.

Copyright Statement: This article was written by Cindy L. Herb and may NOT be reproduced on any related website without express permission of Cindy L. Herb. Copyright 2017 Cindy L. Herb. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Didn’t I tell you she was great? I love her dearly and appreciate her more than words can express. I hope you were encouraged by Cindy’s knowledge and wisdom. Write to me throughout the year and let me know how things are going for you. And I promise to do the same via this channel. In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about Cindy and her amazing journey to becoming a numerologist, check out her book “Awakening the Spirit:  The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles” by clicking here.

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Make it a GREAT 2017!

 

New Year, New Book

It feels good to start the new year with an accomplishment and that’s exactly what the release of “Voices from the Block” is…a major accomplishment.

 

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I was heavily involved, along with three other writers, in bringing volume two of “Voices” to life, and I can honestly say that even with my first self published book in 2013 (with a high learning curve to overcome) I never encountered so many delays and production issues. It’s like Mercury Retrograde shadowed this book its entire twelve months of production. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. But, finally, it is here!

Like volume one, volume two of “Voices from the Block” is a compilation book of poems, short stories, creative non-fiction essays and for the first time ever – fiction starts. “What is a fiction start?” you ask. A fiction start is a way for an aspiring author to showcase a work in progress by publishing the first few scenes of their fiction novel in an anthology. This allows the author to garner readers and build interest in the story even while it is in the draft stage. Basically, it’s a tease!

In this volume of “Voices,” readers will encounter four new writers, all members of the Writers’ Block. As well, three veteran writers/members have returned to put their stamp on the project. In spite of the production issues, I am extremely proud of this collection. As Toyette, one of the co-authors in this work said, “It just keeps getting better and better,” and I couldn’t agree more. There are some really strong pieces in this anthology and the feedback from early readers has been amazing. If you’d like to check out the first few pages of the book and judge for yourself, click on one of the links below.

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

In March, I plan to spotlight some of the writers whose works appear in this anthology. Please stay tuned to learn how they kept the vision alive. And now…on to the next goal of 2017–write, write, write!

Loving Lady Lazuli – A Book Review

I do most of my reading in the early morning hours between two and four a.m. So since I’m sacrificing valuable sleep to engage in my absolute favorite pastime – reading – I want to make sure the book is really, really good. And I’m happy to share I’ve only had a few misses. Most of the stories I’ve read this year have been great, enjoyable, recommendable. As is the case with Loving Lady Lazuli by Shehanne Moore.

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When you have a story where the heroine has a wicked background and the hero, too, there are soooooo many interesting ways the story can work itself out. So many interesting ways for the characters to grow and change…or not. So many interesting ways to put a nice, red bow on the ending. And that’s exactly what Moore has done: created an interesting story that is ripe with potential and the fulfillment of expectation; one that doesn’t disappoint.

Page three puts the main characters—Devorlane Hawley and Sapphire—in a forced encounter, which we quickly learn is not a first for them. Their attraction is rekindled immediately, and readers, hold on to your e-readers because it goes fast from there. In the next few hundred pages, there’s lies, sex, betrayal, bloodshed, sex, conditions, misunderstandings, sex and finally, love (breathy sigh!).

I won’t spoil your enjoyment by sharing story details but I do want to point out that this is a historical fiction novel. Moore expertly blends English customs, various dialects, and factual points of history into the telling of the tale. All combined, it adds even more depth to a story pregnant with strong story conflict, a cast of savory and unsavory secondary characters, humor, and an ending to please.

You’ll be glad you read this one and here’s an additional bonus (drum roll!)…it’s book one in the London Jewel Thieves series. That means there are more gems (characters and books) to come.

Loving Lady Lazuli is a creatively-thrilling and engaging read. I hope you’ll join me on this wickedly jeweled reading adventure.

To learn more about Moore and additional titles she’s written, click here.

Happy reading and happy holidays!

Halloween Reading

In about three weeks, one of my favorite holidays occurs–Halloween. Naturally, it’s a favorite because I am a paranormal/supernatural writer. Naturally, it’s a favorite because I am a paranormal/supernatural reader. So considering all this, I thought it appropriate, not to mention fun, to feature a paranormal book this week. I choose…

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Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

by Charles F. French

The paranormal/supernatural genre chose me through weird circumstances so I am always curious how other authors fell into this particular genre. I posed this question to Charles and his response is below. I hope you find it as revealing and interesting as I did.

Why I Write Horror, Paranormal, and Speculative Fictioncharles-french-maledicustee

“I am Charles F. French, a writer of speculative fiction, including horror, paranormal, and young adult fiction. I have had an interest in the genres of Gothic, horror, and science-fiction since I was a youngster. As a young teen, I read Dracula by Bram Stoker and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, and these books immediately appealed to my youthful imagination.

I continued reading works in these genres throughout my life, including in my academic studies, as well as for pleasure. Now I teach some of these books in various courses as an adjunct professor at Muhlenberg College and Lehigh University.

One of the great strengths of books in these genres is that their authors are able to make social critiques about their real worlds but offer them as metaphor in the fictional environment. The plots capture the readers’ attention but then often go deeper into discussions of life and societal concerns. Mary Shelley, in Frankenstein, deals with such issues as limits of scientific research, abandonment of children, the position of women in the 19th Century, and justice/injustice.

While I am not placing my writing on the level of Mary Shelley, I hope that I both create a compelling story and also include important themes. It is in the writing of speculative fiction that I can work simultaneously on both creating interesting plot and characters but also speak to matters that I find important about the world. But always, story comes first. If the piece is not interesting, if I lose the reader, then nothing else will succeed.

I believe that in Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, I have created a novel that will capture the readers’ interest and imagination and also aid them in considering important thematic issues.”

I am in total agreement with Charles’ thoughts on writing and reading paranormal/supernatural fiction, and am pleased to feature his book. If it’s been a while since you’ve indulged in a paranormal read I can think of no better time than now, what with Charles’ new book and Halloween. Click here to purchase your copy. Go on, I dare you!

Conflicted Hearts – A Book Review

Conflicted Hearts by D. G. Kaye is the latest book I’ve read, enjoyed and reviewed.

 

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Conflicted Hearts is a memoir — well-written, emotional and full of life lessons that we can all embrace. It chronicles the highlights (and lowlights) of Kaye’s life as she moves from co-dependence to freedom; from duty and obligation to healthy choice; from emotional insecurity to a solid emotional base; from fractured to wholeness.

The story begins with Kaye as a child, a product of a two parent home with a loving dad and a less loving mother. I believe there is no other relationship more powerful and influential than that of mother and child (unless one is blessed to find their soul mate and of course setting aside the relationship we have with ourselves and our Spiritual Deity.). Get that relationship wrong and it can negatively impact a life, which it did in Kaye’s case. Or at least it did until as a young adult she realized the hazards of maintaining an off-balanced relationship and took appropriate means to restore herself. dg-kayeKaye used two major means to counter the effects of her mom’s early influence. She journaled to identify and understand her mom’s issues and how they impacted her, and she surrounded herself with honest friendships. People who told her the truth, who supported her, cared for, inspired and encouraged her. If not for those means, I’m thinking the ending would not have showcased a woman as balanced, purposed, strong and emotionally stable as Kaye.

I found this a bittersweet read. One likes to think all moms are natural caregivers, giving priority to their children. But Conflicted Hearts reminds us that not all women who birth children want to be or should be mothers. That’s the bitter part. Thankfully we have the sweet…where Kaye overcomes her childhood neglect to lead a productive, loving life. That’s not only sweet but encouraging for all.

In addition to being bitter and sweet, I found this an emotional read. Because Kaye withheld little in the sharing of her overcomer’s journey, we feel her anguish, her fear, her joys, and tension. We are there with her when she ends toxic relationships. We feel her pain when she goes through illness and uncertainty. We share her happiness when she learns to love and prioritize herself. We feel joy when a good-hearted, caring man enters her life. In the telling, she gives full access to her heart, mind and emotions, displaying at the end, her strength and wholeness.

October is a month where we recognize a number of issues related to women (cancer awareness, domestic violence awareness, baby loss and mental illness awareness, etc.) and I can think of no better month to buy and read this book. It just seems fitting for the focus on women and the issues buffeting us. Besides, what better month to show off such an attractive cover!

This book is worth your reading time. Buy it. Read it. Be blessed.

Book Review – Not by Design

Not by Design “Not by Design” is the latest offering from multi-published women’s fiction author Carol Balawyder. It is a sequel to “Getting to Mr. Right,” which you should read if you haven’t. “Getting to Mr. Right” is the story of four women who meet at a support group (the focus of which is women who have men/father issues) and form lasting, sincere friendships.

“Not by Design” is Felicity Starr’s story. She is one of the women in the support group, and she has it all—looks, youth, a rich father, talent, true-heart friends and the love of a handsome, successful man. She is living a fairy tale life in France, studying art and pursuing a career in art, while enjoying an active social/love life. But even fairy tales are wrought with obstacles and that’s exactly what our heroine encounters—one setback after another. There’s the death of her father, a dwindling bank account which brings on financial woes, an art career that has stalled, and the painful decision to end her relationship with her fiancé and call off the wedding. But that’s not all. The biggest blow of all—a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). With all this dumped on her, Felicity makes the hard decision to release her dream of being an artist and living in France. She returns home to Canada to try and piece a life together.

The move back home is met with more bitterness. She fights to recover her reputation in the work world. She has disagreements with her mother and step-mother. She gambles on several romantic interests and loses. And, she must make a slew of difficult choices in regard to her living arrangements and medical treatment, decisions made more difficult because of her limited funds. One wonders if Felicity will ever catch a break when…help arrives. At the strong suggestion of her doctor, she attends a MS support group meeting and finds the support and acceptance she so desperately needs. With the encouragement of the group, she shares her medical condition with her friends, who surround her with love, care and acceptance. The end of the story details the good life Felicity has finally secured. No, it’s not the one she would have designed for herself, but it works. She’s happy.

This is a story that will take you low on the scale of human emotions and then pick you up. You will feel despair, then happiness; fear, then joy. This emotional seesaw is achieved in part by the story’s conflict—dreams and desire versus medical and financial worries, a situation many readers may relate to. I certainly did. And then there’s the overall story question: are we willing to release our version of our dream or life in exchange for an uncertain version? This is the question Felicity struggles with throughout the story but I dare say it is one many readers struggle with as well.

There are many things to appreciate about this story. It is inspiring, well written and has relatable characters. But the one aspect I appreciated the most was the focus on MS. Reading about the symptoms, the various treatments, the expense, and how it requires life adjustments was a real education. Thank you Carol for that.

I finished reading the book and shut down my e-reader thinking, I can’t wait to read the remaining sequel. The other three—“Café Paradise,” “Missi’s Dating Adventures” and “Not by Design”—have been purely enjoyable. Check ‘em out and see for yourself.

Dream Fulfilled

Two sisters, Deanna and Christine loved reading. They both loved books. They both were creative and savvy businesswomen. They shared the same dream:  own a bookstore.

After years of planning and dreaming; wishing and toiling, it happened. In June 2015, the sisters opened Dog Eared Books in Weatherford, Texas.

I was fortunate to visit their store this past weekend and I hope one day you can visit it too because it is fabulous. Very well organized. Seemingly every genre represented on the shelves. Comfortable seating and refreshments. Creative displays. Fair pricing and trade policy. Wide selection of new and used books. Plus, movies and music for all.

In just a few short months, the sisters have already anchored Dog Eared as more than a bookstore (not that there’s anything wrong with being simply a bookstore). It is a community center; one that hosts education sessions, children’s activities and book signings. That’s how I met the sisters. I was invited to participate in the store’s first Paranormal Book Signing to kick off the Halloween season.

And what a time we had! …speaking with young readers, meeting fans of the genre, reading the store’s educational display, meeting other like-minded authors, and the conversations… Where else but at a paranormal book signing can there be in-depth discussion on time travel, fairies, banned books, gravity, ghosts, movies, Elvis, pumpkin spice coffee, book cover colors, cake balls and more?

I am already looking forward to October 2016 for the second annual Paranormal Book Signing. I hope I get invited back (after that third cup of pumpkin spiced coffee, I did get a little hyped, meaning, I could not stay in my seat), but even if I’m not on the roster, I’m attending because the hospitality, the staff, the owners, the book selections were just that special.

Below are a few of the pics I managed to snap in between sipping coffee, browsing shelves and signing books. Silly me forgot to get a pic of the sisters who birthed this dream oasis on Main Street (Where else? Every town needs a bookstore on Main Street.), but enjoy just the same.

Dog Eared Books 3 Dog Eared Books 4 Dog Eared BooksDog Eared Books 2