Corrected Link! LOVE IS IN THE AIR BOOKLOVER CONTEST

Corrected Link!  Sorry for the goof! 



Night Owl Reviews is hosting one of their now-famous scavenger hunts during the season of love -- and I can't resist the opportunity to be part of the fun!

The hunt is a great way to discover dozens of new authors and new books, and it's EASY-PEASY to enter. Just go to each author's page on Night Owl and read a book blurb so you can fill in the missing word. (And no, you're not required to do every one on the list --- but you could!) 

MANY WINNERS! 
Dozens of Amazon Gift Cards will be up for grabs, plus a Grand Prize of a $100 Gift Card!

There'll be a Winner's Chat on Feb. 29 at 6pm PT / 9pm ET. Come for the fun if you can, but you don't have to be present to win.

Corrected Link - LOVE IS IN THE AIR Giveaway Hop

Corrected Link!  Sorry for the goof! 



Night Owl Reviews is hosting one of their now-famous scavenger hunts during the season of love -- and I can't resist the opportunity to be part of the fun!

The hunt is a great way to discover dozens of new authors and new books, and it's EASY-PEASY to enter. Just go to each author's page on Night Owl and read a book blurb so you can fill in the missing word. (And no, you're not required to do every one on the list --- but you could!) 

MANY WINNERS! 
Dozens of Amazon Gift Cards will be up for grabs, plus a Grand Prize of a $100 Gift Card!

There'll be a Winner's Chat on Feb. 29 at 6pm PT / 9pm ET. Come for the fun if you can, but you don't have to be present to win.

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY of THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Go to this site and scroll down the page to find the giveaway:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27126039-the-holiday-spirit

Goodreads is giving away THREE paperback copies and YOU could win one!


A woman who talks to ghosts. 

A man mistaken for dead. 

An ancient evil that stalks them both.


Writer Kerri Tollbrook spends her free time counseling the newly departed, but the tall, dark and handsome spirit she meets at the shopping mall claims he's not dead. Is he just in denial? Or is something more sinister at work?

Firefighter Galen McAllister has felt like The Invisible Man ever since a malicious spell separated him from his still-living body. Kerri is the first person he's met who can actually see him. Now if only he can get her to listen ... because the nightmare creature that trapped him between two worlds is far from finished!

GIVEAWAY OPEN TO US, CANADA, AND UK
 Entries accepted between January 28, 2016 and February 11, 2016

"Hello Giveaway Hop" - Dani Harper's Post

Many thanks to THE HERD HOPS for
hosting this great giveaway event!
In keeping with my New Year's resolution to wrestle order out of chaos in my office, I've cleaned out my closet of long-forgotten swag and found some surprising goodies. (One of them is being offered as part of my prize!)

But first, this Blog Hop requires me to dust off some lesser known facts about myself! So here goes...


1. I'm seriously addicted to gnomes. I pick them up as souvenirs whenever I travel, plus I rescue them from folks who don't appreciate them. Over the years, I've accumulated a flourishing colony. And as you might expect, they've taken over the yard. In fact, the gnomes recently applied for a permit to begin building an apartment complex....  
(BTW, it's no surprise that gnomes even crept into my recent faery PNR - Storm Warned!)
One of many gnome families in my garden
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2. I'm a HUGE science nerd! I realize now that I should have followed a career in geology, astronomy, physics or biology -- but probably didn't because I couldn't narrow it down! Tough to specialize when you're interested in EVERYTHING!  I admire big-brained folks like Albert Einstein, Nicola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, Lynn Margulis, E.O. Wilson, Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker, and Richard Dawkins. 

I adore fictional smart guys as well, like Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Mr. Spock (I'd make a terrific Vulcan!). Though I don't have an advanced degree in anything but hard knocks, I've read enough to be able to hold my own in an episode of Big Bang Theory -- especially since I also have a passion for comic books!
My favorite comedy show.
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3. Maybe I'm just unusually balanced, but in addition to my love of hard science, I have a passion for the paranormal. I collect myths, lore, legends, superstitions, and folktales from many different cultures, and I draw inspiration from them for the stories I write. I also have several sets of tarot cards, a drawer full of crystals, and shelves of books on magic. 
One of the decks in my collection,
The Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson 
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4. I ADORE chickens! I have a friendly flock of 14 who follow me everywhere in the yard. My current favorites are Araucanas (they lay BLUE eggs!), Cuckoo Marans, Cochins, Speckled Sussex, and Crested Polish! Looking forward to chicks this spring and a chance to become acquainted with some new-to-me breeds like the Salmon Faverolle!
This is Bigfoot, a black Cochin rooster, with
a Buttercup hen in the background.
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5. I collect Maneki Nekos ("beckoning cats" in Japanese) just because they make me SMILE. These good luck felines are often seen in Asian businesses. The cat is most often white with spots, but can be any color. One paw is always raised in a welcoming gesture to draw customers into the establishment. All my lucky cats live in my office in the form of clocks, posters, and figurines. Even my desktop mousepad has a Maneki Neko on it! (The PC was replaced by a laptop long ago, but I refuse to part with this mousepad!)
I have this particular figure on my windowsill
in my office, watching me as I write this blog post.
The more kittens a Maneki Neko has, the luckier it is!
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GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!  CONGRATS TO TRACI U.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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There's a giveaway at every stop in the hop, so be sure to visit them all! 
Here's the LINKY LIST of participating sites:





Ensuring Good Fortune for 2016 - Tradition of the First Footer

While most folks may be thinking about what to wear, what to serve (and in my case, what to watch on TV!) for the advent of 2016, some will be taking steps to ensure their luck for the new year. 

For instance, once the clock strikes midnight and the new year arrives, did you know it's often considered bad luck for anyone to leave the house? (Not even to take out the garbage and the empties!) 

In Ireland, it's luckiest to have a handsome,
dark-haired man enter your door after midnight!
Instead, many people still wait for the “first footer” to arrive – the very first person to cross the threshold and enter your home in the New Year. Whoever that first footer is will influence your luck for the next twelve months! 

This belief in the importance of the "first footer" is found in a surprising number of cultures all over the globe! For maximum good luck in Ireland, a dark-haired man should be first through the door. If he’s handsome and single, so much the better. And it’s really lucky if he arrives on a horse! (I'd have story material for the whole year after an entrance like that!) 

In Vietnam, the first person through the door influences the family's prosperity for the entire year. A person of great prestige, success or integrity is actively sought to be their first footer. (At New Year's, no one visits a home uninvited!) You'll find the same tradition in Greece, where the first footer is specially selected in advance. Once he's crossed the threshold after midnight, the lady of the house passes out treats and coins to all of the guests to ensure good fortune.

Bread and salt are traditional
gifts to ensure good luck.
As with many first footer traditions, the man should bring a few symbolic gifts with him such as:

      a loaf of bread
      a bag or bowl of salt 
      a lump of coal or peat for the fire
      a branch of evergreen
      some silver coins
      

Ideally, the first footer will make his way through the entire house and then leave by a different door. (And yes, the first footer may well have more than one house to visit!)

Sorry - red heads may have to
wait to get in!
So who wouldn't make a good first footer? In some parts of the British Isles, it was considered very bad luck for your first visitor after midnight to be a woman! A fair-haired man wasn't always welcome either  too much like the Viking invaders of old. Other first footer rejects included people with red hair, doctors, ministers, thieves, grave-diggers, or anyone with crossed eyes or flat feet!

Also on the "no" list was anyone whose eyebrows met in the middle of their forehead – it was thought to be a sign of being a werewolf! (The Macleod family from my Changeling series would find this rather insulting.) Any such visitors would be shooed away from the doorstep or made to wait until someone more desirable had entered the house first.  

Not even garbage should leave
the house on New Year's Day!
In most countries with a first footer tradition, it's critical for the very first traffic across the threshold to be headed IN rather than OUT. (Remember what I said about taking out the garbage? I know it's tough to resist but DON'T DO IT!) The symbolism is simple  it's desirable for people and prosperity to flow towards your home during the year to come. 

My favorite "first footer" tradition of all is said to come from the southern United States. The sex of the first visitor through the door doesn't influence prosperity, but is said to shape the balance of power in a marriage for the coming year! If a man enters, then the husband will have more power. If it's a woman, the wife will be the more powerful partner. (As for myself, I think I'd invite a couple who had been happily married for many years to step over the threshold at the same time. I think that would be the luckiest thing of all!)

Wishing you a positive, safe, happy New Year -- and an adventure or two for fun!

Dani Harper