Saturday, September 09, 2023

Virtual Tourist 09/08/23


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStory Origin Swap 1
Virtual Tourist – Kena Bridge of SpiritsStory Origin Swap 2
Great Detectives Form All Over Group PromoAwesome Audiobooks – FREE for Reviewers Group Promo
Strong Women – Strange WorldsReviewer’s Corner


We had a heat reprieve for about a week, but now we’re back to 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. Whee! 🔥🔥🔥 🍳 Talk about being able to cook eggs on the sidewalk any time of the day and night! Whee!


I don’t think I mentioned it, but I had a test to measure my leg bones to see if one was shorter than the other. Despite making progress with the chiropractor, I’d noticed I kept sliding back so it had to be something gumming up the works! And yep, one leg bone is slightly shorter. So they’ve added the height to one of the orthotics. So far, so good! (Thank goodness!) 🥰

I guess the older we get, the more little things like this have a bigger effect that youth is no longer compensating for. DOH! 


Writing News

I’ve hit 63K words on the first draft of The Death of Music Blues – less than 10K to go! Then I can start the first draft of the Discoveries of Julia Xero Book 2! I’m pumped to get started!

Well, it seems the magic of 50 Amazon reviews is a myth, but still so awesome to get there! Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen! 🎇✨🎆

I even broke the highest ranking number for SH again! Woot! Check it out! 

The Secret Humankind Rankins at Amazon for 09.6.23

I am back down into the 50,000 range, but it’s a miracle I caught it at just the right time to get that screenshot. 📷 I think Facebook Ads have been the difference this time around. Ad Cost vs. Revenue is coming out about even, but otherwise, it is definitely getting my name out there, so that’s awesome! I’m grateful for whatever I can get. 😍

As I’ve mentioned before, this business is NOT for the faint of heart. But I just keep plugging on. (I am rather stubborn.😱) 

Extra content today:

1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Free Review Copy)

2) StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

3) Great Detectives From All Over Group Promo

4) Awesome Audiobooks Group Promo

5) Strong Women – Strange Worlds Rapid Fire Readings


Scroll on down to get all the deets. 😉



StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Free for Review)

True blood meets Bitten. Danger and love collide.

Raine has found her first mate Liam Grimm but in doing so she discovers that her Witch heritage isn’t her only surprise. When her first mate was attacked, she pushed her magic to the brink of exhaustion releasing the final seal that was containing her wolf. Now she is summoned to the wolf mating games or risk angering the Alpha of Alpha’s. Problem is since then she can’t duplicate the action.

To make matters worse the only wolf she knows hid who he truly was. Lucian is attractive and broody and until the battle she thought him nothing more than a man with a talent for fixing things. Finding out he was the black wolf/ dog she’d seen around town left her feeling deeply betrayed.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

I have to be careful when purchasing PC games, as more and more of them don’t take dizziness into account. If they have settings you can change (like motion blur) I can cope. But there have been some with no options whatsoever.

Happily, this game isn’t one of them! But even with motion blur at 0, I still can only play for an hour—if I am lucky! (One of the skills is controlling a compiled entity, and for whatever reason moving it around does things to me!)

It’s gorgeous and the premise and stories are great so far.

You can see all the currently uploaded pics here.

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The game’s title screen.

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This is Kena. She’s come to this forest for an unstated purpose. I am assuming we will get more on why she is here as other issues are solved.

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There is an energy Kena can manipulate thanks to her staff’s stone and her innate skill. She can set things right and also free spirits.

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One of the many power-enabled locks. Some are ready to open once she uses her spirit energy, others need fixing first.

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It has a bit of an oriental feel. Different shaped stones and some with carvings that will glow with energy.

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You find friends along the way called Rots. They will help guide you, fight with you, lift statues, and more. So cute! (You can even buy them little hats. Both Rots and hat styles have to be found to get added.

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Since the village here was abandoned due to famine, some of the souls were trapped and won’t move on. This has caused a malicious type of energy to grow and spread. Part of Kena’s job is to get rid of it and restore areas.

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Not all of the corrupted souls want to be healed and will fight to stop you! They will create things to get in your way.

Johara's Choice

Johara's Choice

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

Locked in a tower with the fear of prophecy holding her parents back, Johara dreams of freedom.

However, her time in confinement is spent well, researching the true state of her country. When she realises her father has ignored the importance of ancient ritual, Johara must find a way to break free and avert the gathering catastrophe at the risk of being stamped a heretic, or face the annihilation of her people and their way of life.

Haunted by the horrors of war, Erik has given up hope of ever finding anything truly worth fighting for. With the guilt of his past weighing him down, he’s unable to shake off what has been or move forward to a better future. When a twist of fate allows his path to cross Johara’s, everything changes and he begins to hope there might yet be a chance at happiness. But can he embrace life and the spitfire princess who never does as she’s told, running headlong into danger at every turn? Or will he let that, too, slip through his fingers.

Embark on a magical high-stakes adventure in this standalone retelling of Andersen’s classic fairytale, The Tinderbox.

Great Detectives From All Over Group Promo Banner

Great Detectives From All Over Group Promo – An all-genre diverse mysteries giveaway!

Fall Into A New Audiobook Group Promo Banner

Awesome Audiobooks – FREE for Reviewers – Group Promo for fall!

Strong Women Strange Worlds 08.17.23

JO🌟 Shout out to Reviewers Corner! 🌟

Thanks this month go to:


Alien Redemption – Momio A

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles – Startime

Jacques– Kuzlin and Linda

Pay It Forward – Kuzlin

The Secret Humankind – SV Fansworth, Arthistorygirl, Mary Winger, Kindle Customer, Kmitcham, Melanie Fletcher, Amber Keenan, Cheryl Ames, Laura J, Chrissy Spulak, Melissa Saxton, Heather Goodman, Lori Potter, Momio A, Barbara Harrison, Mandy M, Lajones, Katrina Evanochko, Jennifer Reimer, Heather Goodman, Kim, Laura, Sheri


A great big THANK YOU to all the reviewers!

(Do you want your name in here, too? All you need is to post a one or two-sentence review at Bookbub, Goodreads, Amazon, or send me a link if it’s posted elsewhere and I will add you here next round!)

​I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day holiday! 

​Until next time!



Sunday, August 27, 2023

Mind Sieve 08/25/23


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swap 1
Mini Movie/Show ReviewsStoryOrigin Swap 2
Movie/TV Show PreviewsJust for Fun!
I Want To Go There! Group PromoUrban Fantasy Mysteries Group Promo
Strong Women Strange Worlds




I’ve been freaking out a little bit this week but in a good way! 😉 More deets under the writing news section!




It’s still so hot! 🔥 It’s bloody scary when you check the temperature at 10:30 PM and it’s still a 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.l7 Celsius) outside! 🤯

Our dogs must not have much in the survival skills set as I’ve seen them go outside to run around when it’s been 106! Crazy pooches!  🐕🐕 We do make sure to have plenty of water around. ⛲ Can’t have them getting too dehydrated.


Writing news

So I mentioned at the top how I’ve been freaking out a little this week. (Not that it takes a lot! 😋) But it’s a good kind of freakout—aside from having me on pins and needles and watching Amazon rankings and review counts every day. (It’s a great way to stress yourself out to an early grave! LOL. Who said being an author didn’t have its dangers? 🤣 )

Last time, I shared the highest rankings I’d ever seen for one of my books. Well, on 8/18 I got another surprise—after dropping down to around a 100,000, it perked up again and broke the previous record! Check it out!

The Secret Humankind Rankings at Amazon at 08/18/23

It’s come down since then, but just seeing it was a blast. Then this week, I saw the number of reviews go up again. Now I have two titles close to the Amazon Magic Number of 50 Reviews!

Supposedly, magical things can happen if you can get past that hump. It’s taken two years to get Black Jade to 47 reviews—just shy of the magical 50. Now The Secret Humankind has caught up to 47 in a month! And now sits at 49! Oh yeah!

I could not have done this without YOU GUYS! And kudos, too, to the awesome folks at Itsy Bitsy Book Bits!

Will I reach the coveted number of 50 reviews for either book? Who knows! Will the nebulous magic of reaching 50 reviews actually do anything? Only one way to find out! Whee!


Black Jade Review counts at Amazon 08.22.23
The Secret Humankind Review counts at Amazon 08.26.23


Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:

1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

2) StoryOrigin Swap 2 (U)

3) I Want To Go There! Group Promo

4) Urban Fantasy Mysteries Group Promo

5) Strong Women Strange Worlds Rapid Fire Reading


More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

Welcome to Fae Cafe

There are ten golden rules if you want to survive an encounter with a fae:

  • Don’t ask their name.
  • If they ask you what your name is, lie.
  • Avoid looking directly into their eyes.
  • Don’t invite them to your book club.
  • Don’t instigate a snowball fight.
  • Never let them burn their mouth on coffee.
  • Don’t ask them where they’re from.
  • Don’t tell them where you live.
  • Never mention their queen.
  • Don’t try to kill them with an ordinary human gun.

If you fail to do any of these things, enslave them immediately.

On a cozy fall morning, Kate Kole is nestled in a coffee shop in the city of Toronto reading her favourite novel when she accidentally kills a guy who’s being rude to the coffee shop’s cashier. Unfortunately for Kate, the person she killed was a fae assassin of the North Corner of Ever, visiting the human realm in secret.

From there, four deadly fae assassins come to the human realm to hunt her down for breaking a fairy law and killing one of their own. Leading them is Prince Cressica Alabastian, the most feared and deadly fae assassin of the North and heir to the North Corner of Ever.

After the assassins arrive in the human realm, things go terribly wrong. To Prince Cressica’s horror, his assassins unwittingly get roped into running a cozy café on Kate Kole’s behalf. To blend in, the fae assassins are forced to learn how to do basic human activities like cleaning up after themselves, driving without road rage, reading popular fantasy books at book club without getting into alpha male fights over what they’re reading, and in general, be nice, all to blend into regular human society.

With a temper like no other, and deadly power that’s unmatched, Prince Cressica seeks to get revenge on Kate Kole. But as he aims to strike where it will hurt her the most, the Prince finds himself enchanted by his human target in more ways than one. And when the darkness of the Ever Corners comes knocking at the human realm’s door, he needs to make a choice that could cost him everything.

WELCOME TO FAE CAFÉ is like Holly Black’s tricky FOLK OF THE AIR schemes meeting your grandmother’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. With a sweet, comical romance and relatable slice-of-life moments colliding with manipulative fairy games and deathmatches, this book puts a spin on the typical fae stories readers know and love and aims to be the coziest rom-com fae book of all time.

This book may leave you with answers to questions you never know you wanted to ask, such as, “How many fae assassins does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”

With coziness for days, WELCOME TO FAE CAFÉ is a new spin on some of the most popular fae fantasy tropes, in a setting where fae most definitely don’t belong. If you liked LEGENDS AND LATTES by Travis Baldree this may just be your cup of tea. (Or coffee.)

Mini Movie/TV Reviews 🎥

★ – 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!


Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

This was a super cute film. Sadly, most of the surprises were given away in the trailers. The animation was fantastic and they poked fun at people in general. Family issues, secrets, and trying to fit in were some of the major themes. Worth a watch just for the craziness. The sea captain’s crab was the bomb! Lol.

Rating: ★★★.75 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission!

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

Eddie Murphy did the first Haunted Mansion movie back in 2003. Didn’t get to see it before watching the new incarnation though, so I can’t do a comparison. There were some deep themes explored in this new version as well as a lot of gags. The special effects were great, and the cast was fun, but it still somehow seemed to miss the mark. Perhaps it was trying to be too many things at once? It entertained, but didn’t really excite.

Rating: ★★★.5 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Better for Matinee

Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle

Though I enjoyed Blue Beetle, my hubby was not impressed. I was a fan of the comics eons ago, so the fan service was much appreciated. I’m also Latina (born and raised in Puerto Rico) so a lot of the cultural jokes were right up my alley. (My research into the Cristero War also helped, at least where the grandmother was concerned. 😋) I even cracked up at the animated version of El Chapulín Colorado (The Red Grasshopper), a live-action superhero comedy show from the 70s. The intro for him shown during the end credits goes something like this: “More agile than a turtle, stronger than a mouse, nobler than a lettuce, his shield is a heart…”

The movie was filmed in Puerto Rico, which was a nice surprise! (The city portrayed is not from PR.) Plot-wise, it pretty much ran the usual superhero gambit not really exploring or delving into new ground aside from the hero’s ethnic background and troubles.

Rating: ★★★.75 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Better For Matinee



Jason Statham is back! Nope, this is not a high-brow film, but all the action and high production value make for a great popcorn flick. And boy did they up the ante on this one. Megs, giant squids, and some nasty pack critters that can hunt on sea and land. Evil corporate heads, unscrupulous mercs, and all kinds of crazy action. They even brought back side characters from the first film back. Leave logic and believability at the door and you’ll have a good old time! 

Rating: ★★★★ out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission!

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

Red Parade

It’s not yet time to exhale….

A child that should not have been born in the Rimworlds, is hidden behind the impenetrable wall that screens the dominion of frontier gods from the tribal factions. Shortly before they were slaughtered by New Hebrides pirates, baby’s parents named her Miranda. She is the hereditary princess of Bollidor, and a Duchess on her father’s side. But the little girl doesn’t know any of this. Her caretakers named her Kitaya. It is a name that fits the frontier—primitive, raw and savage. Yet it fits her far better than those other aristocratic titles of the DeWynter Dynasty.

The blockade of the passage to the Rimworlds lasts thirteen years. Then finally, the Confederation manages to push the pirates back to their region in New Hebrides. And Admiral DeWynter, who had buried the mother part of herself for many years, allows it to surface. She sends a single ship through the newly liberated passage. The captain has orders to ascertain what happened to Commander Daniel DeWynter and his wife. There is little hope that any of the Allied personnel stationed on Synoor at the time of the attack, survived.

Kitaya’s caretakers would prefer to keep her on Synoor. It’s the only home she’s ever known. However, something so extraordinary happens that the frontier gods have no choice but to return the child to those who came to look for her parents.

Keenly aware that they are releasing someone who should have never existed to join the human ranks, the frontier gods worry they may have doomed galactic humanity. The only consolation they have is that when risks seem to outweigh the benefits, the Universe seeks to re-balance itself. Because somewhere on the other end of the galaxy, another little girl stands on the lip of a horrendous crater, trying to understand the nature of the tragedy that orphaned her at such a young age. And this little girl understands the meaning of revenge only too well….

Movie/TV Previews 🎥

She Came To Me Trailer – loads of heavy hitters in this one. Looks whacky! Lol. 

REPTILE – not sure what to make of this one.

Freelance Movie Trailer – action, comedy, and romance?

Just for Fun!

El Chapulin Colorado – intro of the live-action series!



EDNORA​ – 2D animated short film (student thesis film) – too cute!

Course of Nature – CGI 3D Animated Short by Lucy Xue & Paisley Manga.

I Want To Go There! Group Promo Banner

I Want To Go There! Group Promo—An All-Genre Book Fair for Stories with a Strong Sense of Place —you’ve got less than a week to check these out! Better hurry!

Urban Fantasy Mysteries Group Promo Banner

Urban Fantasy Mysteries Group Promo – magic, mystery, detectives, oh my! Grab them before they’re gone!

Strong Women Strange Worlds 09.21.23

Strong Women – Strange Worlds QuickReads for 9/21/23! 

​Stay cool and happy reading!

Till next time!


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