Friday, September 10, 2021

Virtual Tourist 9/10/21


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swaps
ControlAudiobooks for Reviews
Books for ReviewsStrong Women – Strange Worlds


I hope you had a fun and safe Labor Day.

We stayed home and I goofed off in the afternoon, which was sweet! 😊



Not much to report. The Amazon AMS experiment is still showing mixed results. I’ve tweaked what I am using on the book page for the Excerpt, but the first time it messed up and the Amazon peeps have not fixed it yet. 😭

One thing I did do, is use Fiverr to contract an artist to do headshots of Dai, Jacques, and Prince Razor to use on the Amazon A+ Content past of the page. I’ve gotten Dai’s and Jacques, and added them to the page already. You can see them at Amazon’s Black Jade page. I will be adding them to the website when I have all three. (I also need to add reviews there, too. But not all reviewers want their reviews reposted.)

I’ll add the headshots here so you don’t have to go looking for them. 🀩




Artwork by orenjilemonade at Fiverr

Miss Daiyu Wu

Miss Daiyu Wu (AKA Dai)

Jacques Haskin

Jacques Haskin



Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:
1) Two book info swaps from StoryOrigin.

2) One opportunity for you to get books πŸ“š for reviews.

3) One opportunity for audiobooks for reviews

4) Info on the next Strong Women – Strange Worlds virtual readings!

Scroll on down to get all the deets. πŸ˜‰


Story Origin Swap

Story Origin Swap

Skald’s Hollow by J.A. Brooklyn

Everyone handles their soap operas differently. The Lausch family does it with blood and magic.

A fantasy story that will hit you like a thunderbolt.

Set in a magical kingdom, Skald’s Hollow shows Stefan Lausch purchasing a mountain. Stefan tells Gustav he wants to spend quality time by going on a hunt to find dragon bones, wolves, and nightshades. He doesn’t tell him that the safari is really an excuse to kidnap mountain soldiers and execute Nazi-like experiments on them.

To distance himself from his father’s crime empire, Gustav built a million-dollar car company and got married to an exiled princess to start a new family with less blood on its hands. Now, Gustav must struggle to prove he can protect himself from his Goliath-like father and the evil he exhibits.

Skald’s Hollow is the prequel to the Chronicles of Alder’s urban contemporary fantasy series.



Story Origin Swap

Story Origin Swap

​Blood and Loyalty – The Dracomancer Book 1 by Lona Fox and F. Lowberry

“The world needs to change. That much is obvious. But what kind of change does Parthenis need, I wonder?”
“A drastic one, no doubt. Let it be born over and better. Or is that too much?”

At ten years old, Kalindra Therin, throne-princess of Lundell, is tested to discover whether she has the potential to become a Dracomancer. When she’s proven worth it, despite her father’s protests, she chooses to travel with her mentor Yenderen to the Iclindir Dracomancy Academy to learn the arts of combat and spellcasting as well as to commune with her new dragon companion Rina.

But after 5 years of training as a keeper of balance, is she still willing to obey her father, the King, and secure a political alliance with a nearby kingdom out of duty? What would become of her if she dares to take a stand for herself and her dragon?


Control is a mind-bending science fiction third-person shooter. I’d had it on my wishlist for a while and grabbed it when it went on special. 😎

The story follows Jesse Fadden, a young woman who has been looking for the Federal Bureau of Control for years in order to find out what happened to her younger brother thirteen years before.

It’s a very atmospheric game with twisted visuals as reality is malleable. Unlike a lot of games, it doesn’t come with preset levels of difficulty you can choose, but rather, down in the guts of the options menu, you can choose assist mode and then choose which aspect you want to increase. I like that a lot as if one area is way too difficult, I can tweak the damage I take and this give me a chance to get through it! Lol. Combat is harsh here. 😁

It has been super trippy so far, which is awesome! Like when the Board (Astral conglomeration of aliens?) give Jesse the job of Director since the last one shot himself, all the picture frames in the building showing Director Trench all switched to photos of Jesse! Time is fluid!

More pics here.


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Street view of the entrance to the Federal Bureau of Control. Jesse has been to New York several times and this is the first time she has seen it. Most people are not aware it is even there.


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This is the lobby of the Federal Bureau of Control. As you pick up random documents, you’ll find one stating the protocols for anyone who actually sees it and walks in. Depending on the answers to some simple questions, visitors are either asked to leave or detained.


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​Director Trench. He will be dead by the time Jesse meets him. She does the one thing one should NEVER do when they come upon the crime scene—grab the weapon.

In Control, grabbing the bio-gun has a different consequence than being accused of murder though. 😁

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I thought it funny that for a bureau no one can find, they still want to show off the logo! Heh heh

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​This is Ahti, the bureau’s head janitor. Except, I am sure he’s way more than that. He’s the one who sends me to the Director’s office. I also have a feeling he’s aware of the entity who came in with Jesse. She talks to him/her/it on occasion.


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A giant file room in the midst of its reality being changed. Red is the signature color of Hiss (Jesse finds paperwork calling it Hiss, but the first time she meets a live person after Ahti, Jesse calls it that and they act as if she’s named it for the first time. Yes, lots of reality is being bent!)



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The Board. Jesse first meets them after picking up the bio-gun in the Director’s office. Bwahahaha!




Audiobooks for Reviews Exchange!

HMT Audiobook Reviews

HMT Audiobook Reviews! For the month of Sep 2021, these audiobooks will be available in exchange for reviews.


Books for Reviews Exchange!

Paranormal Romance And Urban Fantasy Books for Reviews

Back to School! Paranormal romance and urban fantasy books for reviews for the month of Sep 2021.


Strong Women – Strange Worlds

The next Strong Women – Strange Worlds virtual readings are set for Thursday 9/16/21 at 5 pm EST. Check out the graphic below for the participants. Here’s the pre-registration link. They’ve now added a little time for those who don’t need to rush off to do a Q&A with the participating authors. Nice!

Strong Women - Strange Worlds Virtual Reading 9/16/21

That’s it for this round. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. 😁



Friday, August 27, 2021

Mind Sieve 8/27/21


Table of Contents

News/Musings StoryOrigin Swaps
Mini Movie ReviewsB&N Sales from Zimmer
Movie PreviewsReads for Reviews
Just for Fun!Strong Women – Strange Worlds



Back again with a myriad of things to share!



Exercise for the win! πŸ‹️‍♀️ Yes, I am back on the exercise horse! Booyah! Ring Fit is a major workout. I am on the lowest setting, only do a level or two, and I still feel like I’ve run through a gauntlet. 😜 This stuff gets harder as I get older. DOH!

Work continues on Book 2 of the Daiyu Wu Mysteries. I started something new, and I’ve been posting WIP quotes once or twice a week on Twitter and Facebook. The name for book two will be White Gold. (I went back and forth a few times, but now that I have some of the plot points nailed down in my brain, this one should be it!)

The Daiyu Wu Mysteries now has a Facebook page! Feel free to like/follow so you won’t miss anything Daiyu Wu related or just to show the love. 😊



Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:

1) One info swap from StoryOrigin.

2) Last chance for two opportunities for you to get free books πŸ“š if you leave reviews of them in exchange.

3) Last chance for the Zumaya Publications B&N ebook sale that includes some of my titles.

4) Latest set of authors that will be doing readings for Strong Women – Strange Worlds.

More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


Conspiracy: Book One of the Rim Chronicles by Edita A. Petrick

Conspiracy: Book One of the Rim Chronicles by Edita A. Petrick

StoryOrigin Swap

When a signature has the power to start a galactic war….

Parv Zarinth learned early in life that if he wanted to defy his father, he’d have to do it from somewhere half-way across the galaxy. He does his best on Hettamir to represent his father’s interests. He steers away from any conflict that may threaten the family business which translates into galactic empire.

Hettamir is a world with no other than hospitality industry. It’s a pleasure to do business on Hettamir, in every sense of the word. And Parv has been mixing business with pleasure for five years now, flying under the radar of his tyrannical father. The business is to expand his father’s business empire. The pleasure has a name: Arun Dyem. She is as beautiful as she is crafty, having risen from the ranks of sex industry to lead her people in a ‘velvet’ revolt.

As the champion of her people’s rights and freedom, she is relentless in lobbying the Galactic Confederation for a treaty that will bring Hettamir protection. It is the last thing the warlords of New Hebrides want.

Parv watches the preparations for the grand event, even as he tries to shake off the feeling that something…or everything is going to go wrong. He finally has what he’s always wanted—a woman he loves and means to keep. She is his whole life, his destiny. And he will fight to his last breath to hold on to his future….
Everything changes when he discovers a power of his own – the ability to converse with Beasts.

Consumed by this new magic, Fulco devises a plan to earn the respect of the elves – he will join the elven academy and earn his place through Portare; a dangerous game played upon horses and monsters where the riders wield their magical gifts to influence the outcome.

However, it seems that getting into the academy isn’t the largest of his concerns. There is more to his wizardry than meets the eye, threats he never imagined possible and an epic destiny that he must fulfil.

Now, with the guidance of a mysterious witch and a bow-tie wearing werewolf, Fulco must unravel its mystery and harness this strange magic in order to protect his adoptive family and the elven girl he loves… even if it costs him his life.

Mini Movie Reviews πŸŽ₯

★ – Why did I go see this? Why?!

★★ – Showed promise but on execution, crashed

★★★ – Enjoyable, just don’t look under the hood too closely

★★★★ – A great film, totally worth seeing!

★★★★★ – 🀯 Too fabulous for words!

Free Guy

Free Guy


This movie was a blast! There’s so much going on in the background you can’t catch it all. There are a ton of inside jokes in this film as well. If you’ve ever played an MMO, this is for you! Favorite Quote: “But they don’t have a button for that!” The showdown between Guy and Guy2 cracked me up!

Rating: ★★★★ out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission to See Again!)


Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes

If you totally and completely ignore anything and everything you know about Snake Eyes from the GI Joe comics, it wasn’t a bad film. It had great stunts and fight scenes (some made me think of scenes from the game Yakuza O. Otherwise, they hosed up so many points, the character resembles the true Snake Eyes in name only. One of the snafus was blatant – ninjas do not use samurai swords, they use ninjato, which are straight swords rather than curved and have a square guard. They introduce a romantic element with no time to mature and is not Scarlet. Snake Eyes, by the time he joins GI Joe, can’t talk but that was ignored as well. (Adding his clan’s symbol to his uniform made no sense! The whole point of ninjas is to not draw attention to that fact! Doh!) 

Rating: ★★★ 1/4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise

African Queen meets Pirates of the Caribbean! 

Lots of fun moments, and a decent film if you don’t look under the hood. One of the major plot push items would have never happened as secrets revealed later in the film mean it was impossible for the german bad guy to know where to look for the cursed ones. (Made me sad…) Special effects were great, lots of action, winks in Disney’s direction, and more.

Rating: ★★★ 1/2 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Price of Admission)



There were a lot of good things about this film as well as some bad. The acting was top-notch, which helped me overlook the bad science and bad explanations for the flooding and how the rich made it worse (Any possible displacement of water they could have done would not have affected the height of the water one bit.) Unlike a lot of movies that pull memories and show the person who owns them as well as what they remember, these guys at least tried to give an explanation of how that could be. Was it a good enough explanation? That’s for you to decide. The very end, while emotionally satisfying, was also far-fetched/bad science.  

Rating: ★★★.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Better on Cable)

Zumaya Publications August 2021 Barnes and Noble eBook Promotion!

Zumaya’s August Promotion is almost over –  get your 30% off promotion on already discounted select ebooks over at Barnes & Noble.

Use Promo/Coupon code “BNPZUMAYA08” at checkout for your 30% off already discounted ebook pricing.

***US ONLY***

Below is a list of the ebooks in the promotion.


Boundless - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual OrientationYesterdays - About UsAgents, Adepts & Apprentices
Alien Redemption by Gloria OliverBad Day for the Home TeamDark Legend by Christopher Stires
Otherworlds - DeemHaven's End by Greg J. AustinHeart of the Morning Calm by Galen Kindley
In the Service of Samurai by Gloria OliverMilky Way Marmalade by Mike DiCertoMurders in Manatas by Roberta Rogow
Ordinary Women NOT! by Shelly Gail MorrisReality Ali by Christine MarciniakThe Crown of Zeus by Christine Norris
Thresholds - Door to Far-MystThe End of the Tether by Harold R. ThompsonThe Library Beneath the Streets Anthology

Movie Previews πŸŽ₯

The Batman – looks like there’s going to be another NEW Batman remake. Lol. Looks very dark. Batman will be played by Robert Pattinson from the Twilight Saga. 🀯

Queenpins – I love Kristen Bell, but not sure if this my speed. Lol.

The Duke – looks adorable! 

Find Your New Favorite 08.2021
Take some time in the sun and review a historical fiction book

Yep, this one is for historical fiction! Click the banner or here for a full list of books included.

Time is almost up to get in on this one, too!

Just For Fun!

This month over at the Animal Rescue Site they had the cutest story about a Golden Retriever names Leny who loves to slide down a hill on his back! So cute! The article and a couple of videos can be found here

Hubby sent me the link to this video called Ice Age – No Time For Nuts 4D. Scrat has been his favorite character for years! It’s a long video at 9 minutes, but it was a blast! 

Strong Women - Strange Worlds - Virtual reading for 9/3/21

The next Strong Women – Strange Worlds virtual reading will be on 9/3/21.  More info and a link to pre-register can be found here.


Have a great Friday!



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