Saturday, October 09, 2021

Virtual Tourist 10/08/21


Table of Contents

1) News/Musings

2) I Made a Boo Boo!

3) StoryOrigin Swaps 1 & 2

4) Virtual Tourist - New World

5) Book Review - A Most Malicious Murder

6) Books for Reviews

7) Strong Women - Strange Worlds


Looks like fall is here! 

Temperatures dropped for a couple of days, but look to be back to 90 degrees plus! ☀ Ugh! 

My sinuses are raging! (Not that that's anything new.) πŸ˜‹


TikTok has been around for years, but I never paid much attention. My father will sometimes send me links to posts there—mostly about cats. 🐱‍πŸ‘€ A writer friend mentioned it recently, and ever since then, I'd been thinking about it. 

Now, I have taken the plunge! Yes, I have my own TikTok page. As of today, I have made and uploaded five videos. They are all one minute or less. We'll see what kind of a disaster this turns out to be. LOL. 😁

If you want to take a look, my TikTok is

You may have seen them pop up on Instagram or Facebook. It's weird how it converts them. For example, for Instagram, it makes it square. The captions on TikTok don't seem to come over. Should be fun seeing all the weirdness and playing with options. 

I made a Boo Boo!

In the last newsletter, I made a Boo Boo with regards to the info on one of the StoryOrigin swaps. For S. V. Fanrsworth's Woman of the Stone—I'd added it was only available in print. This is NOT true! DOH! 🀦‍♀️ 

There are ebook versions of the book at Kobo and B&N. The author just made the decision not to have the ebook at Amazon. When I saw it didn't have one there, I assumed it didn't have any anywhere else. Mea culpa! πŸ˜“

However, there is some good news. The ebook is currently on sale for 99 cents!

Summer also has a new release coming up for a space opera. She said she is happy to give people the first-in-series ebooks in exchange for honest reviews. If you wish to see all her works, check out her website

Extra content today:

1) Two book info swaps from StoryOrigin. (Including the Woman of the Stone.) 

2) One opportunity for books for reviews.

3) Review of Melanie Fletcher's A Most Malicious Murder - Melanie is part of the Future Classics Writers' Group I belong to. I'd been waiting for this puppy for over 10 years! 

4) Info on the next Strong Women - Strange Worlds virtual readings.

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

StoryOrigin Swap 1

Woman of the Stone by S.V. Farnsworth

Emerald Stone broke her word only once.

As the consequences catch up with her, it may cost her life, has already taken her virtue, and for certain will exact a toll on her freedom.

Tasked by the Creator with a quest to reunite the ancient Modutan Empire, she escapes in search of a peace that can only be found on the other side of a war. If she survives the politics and peril of the journey, she will discover that oaths of the heart are not so easily broken.

Once Upon a Name
Once Upon a Name
StoryOrigin Swap 2

Once Upon A Name - Tales of the Strange and Unusual

What’s in a name? Names have power, names have magic, names can set the course for a great destiny.

Once upon a time, twenty author friends accepted a challenge by a fairy tale name generator. Now, twenty new characters have adventurous tales to tell.

In this clean YA anthology, meet goddesses, empresses, countesses, wannabe sorceress apprentices, female leaders of wolf packs, and guardian frog sidekicks. Search for missing persons with a hunter turned detective. Swoon over the gypsy sultana who must prove she is fit to rule. Cavort with our demons, wraiths, and demigods and lose your soul to the Bone Marsh. Root for a genie’s freedom or bite your nails as you pray for the witch to get the spell right. And yes, feel your heart palpitate at unexpected romance.

Escape into our strange and unusual collection of short stories written by award-winning and up-and-coming authors. Join us in far-off lands and learn. . .what is in a name.

All proceeds will be donated to charity in support of reading and literacy.

New World

New World is an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online Game). Hubby and I are both gamers, but finding a game we can play together is sometimes a bit of a challenge as we tend to look for different things.

We'd heard about this one six months or more ago and it's finally out! 

The premise is that you are one of many people shipwrecked on the supernatural island of Aeternum. You can forage, craft, and battle. Unlike most MMO's this one does not have classes, so players can mix and match armor, abilities, etc. It has both PVE (Player vs. Environment) and PVP (Player vs. Player). Hubby and I both dislike PVP, so it's great that only those who enjoy that style of play can opt to do it. 

We've been enjoying the game overall so far. The only frustrating thing has been the maps. Not very user-friendly. Slowly getting a clue on that. πŸ˜‹

More pics here.

Part of the introduction story. A survivor has sold the ship's captain a map to Aeternum. 

My character on the doomed ship. The man to her left is the captain. The box contains a relic to guide the ship to the island. The perpetual storms around it have other plans. Bwahahahaha.

After nearly drowning, the character awakes at this shipwreck-strewn beach. You can see Vikings, Conquistadors, and people from other ages and countries have come here seeking power.

All is not well here. There are evil supernatural forces at work. If you are infected, you become an undead servant to the Blight. 

As you can see, the graphics are quite nice. Where the Blight and contagion are held back, the island can be quite beautiful.

A view of the island of Aeternum. Definitely no longer in the normal world.

The ship's captain, once he's consumed by the blight. 

View from the beach at Monarch's Bluff, my starting town. Trying my hand at fishing. 

A Most Malicious Murder by Melanie Fletcher
A Most Malicious Murder by Melanie Fletcher

Book Review

A Most Malicious Murder

Alternate History and Cozy Murder for the win!

What if Edgar Allan Poe had not died in 1849 and turned his life around? Then finds himself on tour in England trying to drum up subscriptions for his brainchild, The Stylus magazine? His first stop is Oxford for a talk at Christ Church, one of the largest colleges at the University. Yet, a nasty encounter and a pushy publisher lead him to cave to his alcohol craving imp's wishes, despite his promise to his second wife not to imbibe. A lapse he comes to doubly regret when he awakens in the wrong room of the hotel but a foot or two from a murdered maid.

Melanie Fletcher does an outstanding job of weaving what has been to what could have been. The details are vivid, and she expertly shows the amalgamation that is Oxford and its varied challenges. Including Charles Dodgson before he became the famed Lewis Carroll adds a nice layer, as we see the author in his still formative years.

The two men, different in temperament, country, and age, must find ways to deal with one another and accept what each brings to the table in order to clear Poe's name and catch a murderer. With the viewpoints shifting from Poe to Dodgson and the killer, readers will get an immersive view of events.

A Most Malicious Murder is a sensory delicious and fast-moving read.

Books for Reviews Exchange!

Ghosts and Ghouls and Things That Go Bump in the Night! Books in exchange for reviews for the month of October! πŸ‘» You can see all the participants here.

Strong Women - Strange Worlds

The next Strong Women - Strange Worlds virtual readings are set for Thursday 10/21/21 at 5 pm EST. Check out the graphic below for the participants. Here's the pre-registration link

They have a BIG surprise coming for December 12th. More details soon!

Can you believe 2021 is almost over?!?!?! 😱😱😱😱


Friday, September 24, 2021

Mind Sieve 9/24/21


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swaps 1& 2
Mini Movie ReviewsMovie Previews
StoryOrigin Swap 3Audiobooks & Books for Reviews
Just for Fun!Strong Women – Strange Worlds


I hope September has been good to you.  😁


My sinuses have been misbehaving a ton the last few weeks. πŸ˜– I would be more than happy for them to start being nice! Maybe now that fall has started, they will become more cooperative. Right…  πŸ˜‹


The final headshot has arrived for the Daiyu Wu Mysteries crew. Last but never least is Prince Razor. Isn’t he cute? Art is by orenjilemonade at Fiverr.


Prince Razor

Prince Razor

Bodyguard, playmate, and ladies’ man. πŸ˜‹

Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:
1) Three info swaps from StoryOrigin. One of the three is a reader magnet – so no cost to you.

2) Two opportunities for you to get books πŸ“š or audiobooks if you leave reviews of them in exchange.

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

More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


Story Origin Swap 1

Story Origin Swap 1

Woman of the Stone by S.V. Farnsworth

Emerald Stone broke her word only once.

As the consequences catch up with her, it may cost her life, has already taken her virtue, and for certain will exact a toll on her freedom. Tasked by the Creator with a quest to reunite the ancient Modutan Empire, she escapes in search of a peace that can only be found on the other side of a war. If she survives the politics and peril of the journey, she will discover that oaths of the heart are not so easily broken.

(In Print Only)

Story Origin Swap 2

Story Origin Swap 2

The Jack Hansard Series: Season 1 by Georgina Jeffery

Jack Hansard is the man who can sell you anything. Luck in a bottle, fame in a box, dreams on a leash… anything is possible when you’re a trader on the occult Black Market.

Jack is used to a life of handling dangerous goods, dodging disgruntled customers, and sometimes running away very fast. But when Ang (a two-and-a-half-foot tall coblyn right out of Welsh folklore) buys his help to find her missing kin, Jack suddenly finds the goods are riskier, the customers more treacherous, and escape is anything but guaranteed.

The Jack Hansard Series is an episodic modern fantasy with a wide streak of humour and a lot of British folklore. Season One contains the first fifteen episodes in the series.

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!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

This film has a little bit of everything in it. Tons of action, comedy, magic, drama, and more. The relationship between Shaun (Shang-Chi) and Katy was refreshing as it shows that men and women can just be friends. The two are like a mischievous pair of siblings! I also loved how they incorporated the Mandarin character debacle in Iron Man 3 and played with it. So fun! There are two extra scenes at the end (the first one slew me!). Definitely worth seeing!

Rating: ★★★★.25 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission to See Again!)

The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad

I somehow missed doing a review on this one. DOH! I liked this one a lot better than the 2016 Suicide Squad with Will Smith. The plot was a little more solid and had more layers. It is as crazy and demented as ever, too! I had seen King Shark in one of the animated DC films before, so I was totally looking forward to seeing him in CGI. What a riot! Voila Davis is still creepy good as Amanda Waller. Not for KIDS!  

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

Movie Previews πŸŽ₯

Matrix Resurrections – This should be wild! Though I wish Keanu had shaved or cut his hair. In the last John Wick film and this one he looks too scraggly. πŸ˜‹

Spider Man No Way Home Trailer – I’m not sure Dr. Strange would do this? But it could be fun. πŸ˜‹

Hawkeye – I thought it was a movie, but it’s actually a TV show! Sweet! Trick arrows for the win!!!!!

Story Origin Swap 3

Story Origin Swap 3

The Neighbor You Don’t Know by Shane Shepherd

After countless years of preparation Mission Terra Firme One is finally ready to commence and give Earth the answers it has long waited for, about the planet Neighbor.

The TSS Cartographer is about to arrive and its First Officer Baldwin “call me Win” Tavares believes that he might just be able to touch his hand to that rocky ground and that’d be enough for him to learn everything there is to know about their old Neighbors, the things they’d done and what they’d left behind.

But not everyone is as kind-hearted or has such noble intentions, and Neighbor holds more mysteries than anyone could have imagined. Exploring it might open the gates for a flood that threatens to drown everything, and Win must make decisions that hold his life, and that of all around him, at stake.

(Reader Magnet)

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.


Just for Fun!

This month over at the Animal Rescue Site they had another super cute story – this time about a bookstore that serves coffee and has kittens for adoption! They roam the store! The story is here.

Speaking of the Matrix – watch the latest music video from World Order called Censorship. If you’ve never seen them before, they are a blast! Their synchronized movements are amazing!

A new video from Simon’s Cat called Pupsitting. This one is in color and 10 minutes long! Dang!

Strong Women – Strange Worlds

The next Strong Women – Strange Worlds virtual readings are set for Friday 10/01/21 at Noon EST. Check out the graphic below for the participants. Here’s the info link. Make your free reservation early!

Strong Women - Strange Worlds 10/1/21 Virtual Readings

Have an awesome weekend! 😁



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