Sunday, October 18, 2020

Change is a-coming!

  

Change is a common fact of life.

 

Change is a common fact of life.

Sometimes it is easier to take than others.

I've been doing some courses online from fellow authors about expanding mailing lists, how best to give back to fans, and how to deepen author/reader relationships. I'm hoping the changes I'm going to implement from all that new knowledge will be the good kind. 

2020 has been chock full of change, some good, some bad. So to roll with the punches, I thought I would make some changes of my own.

Most of what I hope to do, you may not even notice - a logo update, website theme change, different EMS, splitting the timing between newsletter and blog posts. But it is my hope we all come out of it better and happier than before. 


Possible updated Logo for Gloria Oliver 
WIP Logo change - I must make it better!

 

Above is a slightly altered logo for my stuff. I added a space station now that I have a science fiction novel. :P  What do you think of this version of the logo? Let me know! I would very much appreciate your input. (I might need to shrink the space station a little? Need to try doing an arch with the name again, I think.) 

Anyway, I wanted to give everyone a heads up! Hopefully, nothing will crash or go weird as I muck about with all the different services and software. But please let me know if you see anything that's not working. :) 

What to expect.

Once everything is in place, I'm going to get back into posting stuff more frequently. I should be able to get on a schedule again once we hit 2021, as change has hit my workplace, and soon we'll all be out of jobs.

After a lot of info searching and deep conversations with hubby, I will take the plunge to write full time. Being told that the company got sold because we were too good at our jobs after all the OT, hard work, and dealing with huge changes over the last few years has left a bitter taste in my mouth. My ongoing health issues post gallbladder surgery haven't helped either.

But it might all be for the best in the long run. More time to write, more time to give you content, more time to get to know you better.  Huzzah! 

Wish me luck!

 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Virtual Tourist - Assassin's Creed Origins 9/27/20

 Morning!

I hope everyone is doing well. Still shopping around for an agent for Black Jade and got some work done on Breaking Dawn Cleaners. For my WIP projects, I've been setting up Pinterest Boards so you can follow part of the creative process as I find things to add to the story or research on bits.  Just click on the following links if you're interested - Black Jade Pinterest Board and Breaking Dawn Cleaners Pinterest Board.  

I've been trying some experiments to try to get Alien Redemption some traction out in the world - small nibbles, but nothing big. Since this one has been getting great reviews, I was hoping it would do more. Ugh. If you have the time and inclination, would you help me get the word out? I would so appreciate it!

Anyway, now it's time for...

Assassin's Creed Origins 9/27/20

Assassin's Creed Origins - Hippodrome

This is a hippodrome! Chariot races for the masses! I did the learning run and did abysmally, so I did not try to compete. I may be back later though, on my own time, as hubby didn't find it interesting.  Crazy stuff!

Assassin's Creed Origins - hippodrome interior

Here's a view of the interior of the hippodrome. Impressive, no? 

Assassin's Creed Origins - shipyard

The same town has a shipyard. Something I came to realize as I toured the country is that some tasks people did every day are emulated in the game. Like, people actually going through the motions of making pottery, dragging a rock for construction, etc. Such awesome detail!!!!! I think it is the coolest thing EVER!

Assassin's Creed Origins - tiled floor

As you venture to different places in the game, the interiors and exteriors change showing more Roman or Greek influence depending on the place. Love the tile work!

Assassin's Creed Origins - Royal Palace

A view of the throne room at the Royal Palace. The melding of the different cultures is clear. :P

Assassin's Creed Origins - Bathhouse

A bathhouse - different soaking pools, oils, and ways to get clean. (I forgot to lighten some of the pics for easier viewing. DOH!)

Assassin's Creed Origins - Lighthouse of Alexandria

Far off view of the lighthouse at Alexandria - one of the seven wonders of the world!

Assassin's Creed Origins - building facade

Is that impressive or what? Definitely full of Roman influence.

 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Cleopatra

We finally meet Cleopatra. Interestingly enough, though she loved all things Egyptian, she was Greek! She was the descendant of Ptolemy I Soter, a Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great.

Assassin's Creed Origins - mummified head

Mummified head. The guys in the back are working behind the scenes to usurp power and destabilize Egypt even further for their own ends. 

Stay safe and have a great week!

Also, if you need books to read, consider checking out the fabulous works of Rachel Caine! She is one of my all-time favorite authors, and she has terminal cancer. I want to share her awesomeness with you and also help her out, as the medical bills are stacking up. She does thrillers, science fiction, vampires, supernatural, and so much more! I totally recommend her books! You won't regret it! (And she needs the help!)

Thank you!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Virtual Tourist - Destroy All Humans 9/13/20

 Good morning!

Looks like we're heading towards cooler weather. Or it could just be a feint. Here in Texas, you never know for sure. :P 

Destroy All Humans

Destroy All Humans - leaving the ship disguised

Crypto is about to board his ship. The Holobob energy is almost depleted. You steal the image from a human who then freezes and turns invisible, and you read thoughts to grab energy to maintain the disguise. The cow you see here is a giant cow statue. 

Destroy All Humans - forest

They have really nice detail for the graphics. 

Destroy All Humans - Alien Pool Party

Each major mission gets a cool postcard intro. These crack me up! This is where you get a new weapon that can do what you see behind him. Crazy stuff.

Destroy All Humans - beach shot

Is that not a beautiful scene? Look at the gorgeous sky colors! 

Destroy All Humans - Motel Party Madness

Each mission end, or if you die, gives you these super whacky newspapers. Majestic is working hard to keep everything under wraps. Some of the articles are hilarious.

Destroy All Humans - Television of DOOM

Television of DOOM! They are not exaggerating. While Crypto is running around doing missions and stealing brain stems, he also finds out Majestic is doing things to the general population as well at Santa Modesta. DOH!

Destroy All Humans - Aliens Stole My Brain Stem

Ah, the evil gleam in his red eyes. Glorious! :P

Destroy All Humans - Stunted Sniper Strikes Again!

Honestly, these headlines crack me up! Deformed lurker - hah!

Destroy All Humans - This Island Suburbia

Why yes, that is brains in his ice cream cone. Eek! 

Destroy All Humans - Santa Modesta beach

Crypto is reading the mind of the gentleman before the palm tree. These can be quite funny. But the important takeaway here is that gorgeous view of the water!

Buttons for psychic powers from left to right that I have so far. R - mind-read/energy, E - brain stem extraction, F - Holobob image, X - Forget (very handy), C - takes over the human and makes them act like a chicken - used for distraction purposes. LOL. 

In case you missed it, here's the new book trailer video for Vassal of El! :P 



 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Virtual Tourist - Destroy All Humans 8/30/20

Morning, everyone!

I got woken up in the middle of the night by a giant lightning strike. It looks like some heavy storms rushed through the area last night. It made for a rude awakening. :P

 

Destroy All Humans

This game grabbed my attention hard. It's an amalgamation of all the B movies from my youth with snarky splashes of humor. This time, we are the aliens!

They have a ton of gadgets and powers, and you get to upgrade your small ship! The first mission was full of videos, which got bothersome, but once they are out of the way, the craziness goes on full tilt. :P

The fundamental premise is that the genetic material from which your race creates clones are degrading. You need new genetic material, and since they made humans from your race, they are an excellent source for what you need! 

Destroy All Humans load screen

This is you! This is the image on the loading screen but is a great closeup of who you get to be. His predecessor got his ship damaged and became the Roswell incident. :P

Destroy All HUmans - One Giant Step on Mankind

You can immediately see the snark before you even start! Heh heh. One giant step ON mankind. Hahahahahaha!

Destroy All Humans - crashed ship

My predecessor after getting too close to a missile test. Proof of why we need new genetic material. :P

Destroy All Humans - the boss

My boss, Pox. He stays safely tucked away in the mother ship. He nags you with orders and general commentary when you are on the ground doing missions. 

Destroy All Humans - mothership and single UFO

This gives a good view of the mother ship and my craft. Upgrades as you gain experience. :)

Destroy All Monsters - mission card

All main missions get a postcard like this one. Lol. You have a lot of skills to use based on the power you draw from the humans nearby. The main one is the ability to appear like a human while the actual human goes into limbo. (And yes, we will capture cows to send to the mother ship!)

Destroy All Humans - dumb blonde

This is the winner of the local county fair beauty contest. I lured her away to be taken to the mother ship. The humans around here are dumb as a box of rocks. But they also have itchy trigger fingers. Lol. 

Destroy All Humans - view of the small ship

Full view of my ship. It has cloaking capabilities, so the natives can't see it while I am away.

Destroy All Humans - beam me up!

I am taking the prize aboard my ship. Mission complete! Bwahahahaha! Further tasks get weirder. 

Once you have done the primary missions on a town/area, it opens it up for side visitations. There are hidden robots to find, and some timed items you can struggle through. The more you play, the more of them open up. Some challenges are anything but easy! Taking over the world is hard work. :P

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Virtual Tourist - The Council 8/16/20

 Good morning!

This past week had some bad news - the company I work for has been sold. Closing is expected in three to four months. No one had a clue. The worst part is that in a roundabout way, we were told it's our own fault. We worked too hard and made the company too attractive, so this other company had to buy us. Go figure.... :P

I finally got the Landing Pages for the Grand Experiment active. The first is with a specific domain for Alien Redemption here. I created this one with the free MailChimp landing page creator. Some good things about it and some bad, but it's free, so one can't really complain. The second is using a WordPress plugin to recreate the page in my primary site. It fought me tooth and nail but finally got it done last night. I never did figure out how to add the MailChimp integration, so had to get creative. (Might only be available on Pro, but the plugin site did not make it clear (or I am blind and I just could not find it! :P) That one you can see here

I'm doing a week of $5 a day with Facebook to see if it will drive traffic to the first one and see if any traction occurs. I will need to get with the publisher to make sure if it converted any sales or not. Then I will try a different venue for the second one. The budget is super low, so I can't get carried away. But, hopefully, something will work! It would be sad to sell out and cave to some of these more aggressive techniques and still get nowhere. :P

The Council

The Council - Corridor

The posh corridor on the second floor where all the guest rooms are located.

The Council - Mother's Room

The room assigned to my mother. Our host likes to theme each guest room with specific art to send a message. Most are not all that nice. :P

The Council - balcony

Open balcony area outside my room. Several of the rooms share the balcony area, though some are cut off by obstacles you can't get around. Still, a lovely view, is it not?

The Council - Front Door

The imposing front door - hell made tangible.

The Council - view from dining area

This is the view from the dining area. Unlike most dining rooms, this one is open at the end. No rails to impede the view - assuming you dare get that close to the edge. Eek!

The Council - The Edge!

All that awaits below should you step too far. :P

The Council - view of the dining area from outside 

On the edge of this area, like several other spots, you can allow the game to show you a moving vista of the area or object. This is during that tour and you can now see what the dining area and the house look like from the outside. 

The Council - The Library

The rounded tower you can see in the picture before this one is where the library you see here is located. In the game, you can only go around one passage, but seeing the whole thing is just amazing. Books! So many books!

The Council - The library - down view

Downview of the library. The place is huge! Not the awesome work on the iron rod walkway. Who wouldn't want this library! Drool.

The Council - art gallery

The art gallery hallway linked to the library. Note the giant gyroscope - did our host steal that from Alexandria? (See the Virtual Tourist post from 8/2/20. :P) A lot of stuff in this room, in the entire house, appears to be the original works or some darn excellent forgeries.   

Thanks for your time! Until next time! 

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Virtual Tourist - Assassin's Creed Origins 8/2/20

Morning!
Life continues in its usual chaotic cycles. I used a few days of vacation this week, and instead of vegging I spent them working on writer stuff. :P I never learn.
I have been learning a lot about landing pages and opt-in pages and figuring out how to get more traction for my novels in general. Writing a good book is but one of the many things you have to do. The writer's life is not for the faint of heart. Heh heh.

Assassin's Creed Origins

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Our first view of the city of Alexandria! A sprawling metropolis and cultural melting pot.
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A temple in Alexandria. Depending on where you are will depend on whether they are Egyptian, Greek, or even Roman. Some are hybrids.
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A Ptolemy statue. He was Cleopatra's younger brother and has usurped her rule. Destroying them is one of Bayek's little pleasures. :P
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Side view of part of Alexandria. The game has a photo shooting utility and the photos will show on the main map. So you can like other peeps pics. A neat idea! They even do a picture of the day. Encouraging us all to be Virtual Tourists. :P
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Here is some gorgeous tile work. Definitively showing Greek influence.
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Inside one of the homes in Alexandria. I so love all the detail!
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One of the major streets in Alexandria.
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The Library of Alexandria. Imposing, is it not? Yet a perfect example of the mishmash of cultures in the magnificent city. (Ah, makes me think of Rachel Caine's awesome series The Great Library set in an alternate history where this bastion of learning was not destroyed.)
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Pharos the Lighthouse in Alexandria - one of the seven wonders of the world.
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Inside the Great Library. There are scholars everywhere you look.
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A giant gyroscope inside the library.
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It's awe-inspiring to see what people managed to build in ancient times.
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View of the top area of the Pharos Lighthouse.
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Statues in the waters of Alexandria. Just how did they get these out here?
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The Tomb of Alexander the Great
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