Friday, November 26, 2021

New Release and Experiment - Jacques - A Daiyu Wu Mystery Prequel Short Story

New Release Time! Booyah!

I mentioned last week that I’d sent off two short stories out for editing, the first being “Jacques” a prequel short story to Black Jade – A Daiyu Wu Mystery.

Well, “Jacques” is now LIVE! I am using it as an experiment to see what difference it makes to do a release through the Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited.

I do plan to release the story under other retailers and formats once the 90-day hold has passed. And for anyone posting reviews of Black Jade and sends me a link, the story will still be coming your way regardless of the file type needed.

Check out the cover below!

Jacques - A Daiyu Wu Mystery Prequel Short Story

Here’s the current blurb and excerpt.

How many times can a boy lose his home?

When Jacques is transferred to the Buckners Orphans’ Home in 1916 at the age of six, he hopes this will be a place to belong. But a crafty bully named Gary has other plans. Plans that drive Jacques away from the orphanage and to try his luck on the Dallas’ streets.

He’s befriended there by Emmett—a young pickpocket who’s escaped from his wire mob to make his way in the world alone. Things appear bright until Emmett’s past catches up with him. Jacques loses yet another home.

Creating a hidey-hole under a maintenance shed in Dallas City Park, Jacques has few options. But when he gets curious about the odd family that only visits the park during the weekdays, he’s about to reach a new crossroads. He will experience a final strange encounter that will change the rest of his life and perhaps give him what he’d been searching for all along. If he is brave enough to take the first step.

Origin/Prequel short story for Black Jade – A Daiyu Wu Mystery. Stand-alone fiction.


“How’d you do that? Isn’t stealing wrong?”

“Holy bejesus!” The boy jumped backward, sending two wallets flying. “Where the heck did you come from?” He glanced back toward the Dallas Union Terminal. “Where are your parents?”

“Don’t got none.” I hurried to pick up the closest dropped wallet and held it out to him.

The boy threw me a scrunched look, as if not sure what to make of me. “So what do you want?”

“They didn’t know you took stuff. So, how did you do that? Was it magic?”

The scrunched stare deepened. “Do I look like a mark to you?” The boy snorted. “I’m no twit.” He started to walk off, looking around as if expecting someone to jump at him from the spindly shrubs.

Confused, I rushed after him. “No, you’re aces! What you did was amazing. But, it’s wrong, too, right?”

“It’s only wrong if you get caught.” He slowed down a bit and looked me up and down. “What happened to your collar?”

My neck grew hot. I’d forgotten all about it. “A bully.” I stared at the ground, not wanting to say anything more.

“So you ran away. Buckner’s?”

My eyes grew wide, once more amazed by his skills. “How do you know that?”

This made him laugh. “You didn’t notice they make y’all dress the same?”

I had, but unless you’d been to Buckner’s, you wouldn’t know that. “You were there, too?”

He shrugged. “What do they call you, squirt?”

“Jacques.” I watched his face, wanting to see if he would make fun of it, like most others.

“Fancy. I like it.” He gave me a sideways grin and held out his hand. “I’m Emmett, but call me Em.”

Obligatory Pitch! (Apologies!)

If “Jacques” sounds interesting to you, click the button below. If you know someone who would be interested, I’d be super grateful if you’d let them know about it!

Thank you!



Saturday, November 20, 2021

Mind Sieve 11/19/21 πŸ¦ƒ Thanksgiving Edition!


Mind Sieve 11/19/21

Table of Contents

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


I’m baaaaackkkk! Bwahahahaha!

So I don’t forget, I want to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! It’s good to remember there are things we should be grateful for. 😁


Happy Thanksgiving Day!


I sent the Daiyu Wu Mysteries prequel short story “Jacques” and a Daiyu Wu Mysteries Halloween short story currently titled “Romeo” to get edited by Serenity Editing Services. I’d been giving “Jacques” away previously to people who posted a review of Black jade and I will continue to do so. This version will just be super sparkly! 🌟🌟🌟

I’d meant to do so sooner, but the chaos of life let my plans slip on by.

I will be using both short stories as experiments for Kindle Unlimited to try to get traction for my other words from that end. However, I will have versions of “Jacques” in the other formats for reviewers to get their free copy if so desired.

Work continues on Book 2, though it’s going way slower than I had hoped. I’ve also been putting myself through the Death of a Thousand Cuts as I torture my writer’s group with chapters from The Secret Humankind. It too is not yet finished. Must write more!

Hubby’s kidney stone is still hanging in there, though it has been behaving better on the torture front. Things to be thankful for!

Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:

1) Two info swaps from StoryOrigin. One of the three is a reader magnet – so no cost to you.

2) One opportunity for you to get books πŸ“š if you leave reviews of them in exchange.

3) Link to the Strong Women – Strange Worlds Year End Party!

More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


Story Origin Swap 1

Story Origin Swap 1

Princess Melia’s Plight Issues 1-5 by Julia C Gilbert

The fate of the Seven Kingdoms rests upon the Shadow Princess …

Melia is content being a princess of an obscure kingdom.

But then, a madman raises an army of men and dragons, conquering much of the world.

Melia would die to save her family and her people, but what if the true cost is even higher?


This book contains Issues 1-5, so you get to witness Melia’s complete adventure all at once.

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!

Due to hubby’s kidney stone and the Evil Back Muscle – movies were not seen! 😭 Except for…



HBOMax featured this one on release day or we would have seen no movies at all. This one is definitely a must-watch on the big screen!

First – this is PART 1! So keep that in mind. I read the books eons ago, and have watched the 1984 version through several incarnations. (When the original came out, you got a pamphlet at the theater to help viewers with a lot of the stuff not spoken. Later, they added a soundtrack by the princess to add context.) A lot of the pivotal scenes are eerily similar between the two. The brutality of the Harkonnen is muted and mostly implied. They also downplayed the importance of Spice, mostly by not showing how the different guilds used it, or how it changed them.

Not having read the book in so long, I can’t say if this rendition is more faithful or not. It was definitely enjoyable and the ornithopters were very cool. The sandworms rock! The look and feel kept reminding me of the 1984 version. And I do think a few bits in the old one were better regarding mood and setting. But Paul looked the correct age in this new version. Overall, it is definitely worth watching. No previews for Part 2. Bah!

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


Movie Previews πŸŽ₯

Spider-man: No Way Home Official Trailer – oh boy, they are bringing bad guys from other universes. Doc Oc is back! I hope this works… πŸ˜“

DOG Trailer – This looks adorable!

Don’t Look UP trailer – this one looks mighty weird. Lol.

Story Origin Swap 2

Story Origin Swap 2

Paradise Dawn: C’Mon Inn Mystery Prequel by D.N. McNicol

From Woodstock to communes, to Vietnam, and then on to Hawaii. Find out how it all began…

Go back to the beginning and follow the Thompson twin sisters as they graduate high school and wend their way across the United States before settling on the beautiful island of Kauai.

As owners of the C’Mon Inn Bed & Breakfast, their ohana encompasses those looking for missing loved ones, taking care of lost dogs, dealing with killers on the loose, and a lot more.


Books for Reviews Exchange!

Books with Dragons! Banner

Books with Dragons! Reads for reviews. 🐲


Just for Fun!

OwlKitty in Jurassic Park – awesome video editing on this! They replaced the T-Rex with a cat and more! LOL.

This one is hubby’s fault – The Art of Noise with Max Headroom – Paranoimia – talk about a blast from the past! Love their work! (I hear this one in my head every time I can’t sleep. LOL)

The Art of Noise – Dragnet – the movie was so-so but the soundtrack was AWESOME!

Strong Women – Strange Worlds

Strong Women – Strange Worlds is having a Year-End Party! Save the Date – December 12th! All the deets can be found here. There will be fun on Twitter and Facebook leading up to the big day! 

Strong Women Strange Worlds YE Party
Happy Thanksgiving Banner

​Remember to eat responsibly during Thanksgiving. NOT! 😁


Saturday, November 06, 2021

Virtual Tourist 11/05/21


Table of Contents

1) News/Musings

2) StoryOrigin Swaps 1& 2

3) Virtual Tourist – Control

4) Books for Reviews

5) Strong Women – Strange Worlds


It’s been 🧊 chilly the last few days. Brrrr. I hope you are keeping warm! πŸ”₯

I hope you had a fun Halloween! If you celebrate it, a warm family celebration of Day of the Dead as well.


I did do a newsletter on 10/22/21 but due to the mad chaos of October, I never did get a chance to post it as a post on the website. If you want to see what you missed, you can find a copy of that newsletter here

In general, the rest of October kind of stunk. Hubby’s kidney stone is still navigating his insides, so he’s had a lot of trouble. The Evil back muscle came back for an encore as well. So couch potatoness has continued to be enforced! Boo!

I did have a couple of good productive days, but overall, little to nothing has been accomplished. 😭

I am really hoping November turns it all around! I got stuff to do! 😁

Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:
1) Two book info swaps from StoryOrigin. (Including the Woman of the Stone.)

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

3) Info on the Strong Women – Strange Worlds Year End Party!

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

The Melody of Three by S.D. Reeves
The Melody of Three by S.D. Reeves
Story Origin Swap 1
The Melody of the Three by S.D. Reeves

Sorcerer Christaan De Rein’s return to Liverpool does not go well, starting with the fact that his trusted apprentice, Higgins, dies on the way. Then again, Higgins dies a lot. Of course, Rein doesn’t expect to be welcomed with open arms after being banished for nine years, but a cryptic summons from The Musician herself cannot go unanswered.

But when Rein arrives all is in chaos. People with fairy blood are turning up dead. The Forum Magicae is undone and the Curators sieged.

And in another world altogether, where Earth is just a legend, a girl named Niena and a cursed lyre hold the key to saving both realms. Or destroying them.

Prophecy by Amanda Lynn Petrin
Prophecy by Amanda Lynn Petrin
Story Origin Swap 2
​Prophecy – The Owens Chronicles Book 1 by Amanda Lynn Petrin

I was falling, the air like ice against my face, but a calm rushed over me, like I was finally at peace. He wasn’t going to get me. We were safe…

When eighteen-year-old honor student Lucy Owens discovers her family secret, she must leave the world she knows behind or suffer a fate worse than death.

Dubbed “that weird Owens girl” since grade school, Lucy struggled to find her place in the small, New England town she grew up in. She lived a quiet, sheltered life with her guardians, surrounded by the memories of her ancestors. Lucy bears a striking resemblance to some of these Owens women, down to the crescent moon shaped birthmark on the back of their necks.

Among her only visitors are two young men, Embry and Gabriel, who claim to be friends of the family. When prom night takes a sour turn, Lucy is forced to take shelter with them from a mysterious man hell-bent on acquiring her.

She also discovers that Embry and Gabriel are Gifteds, a subset of humans with supernatural abilities who don’t die until their job is done. In this case, they claim their job is to protect Lucy’s line. But as she gets to know them and her family’s history better, she has to wonder if their ultimate goal is to keep her safe, or to stop the man who’s after her?

Prophecyis a coming of age supernatural novel by Amanda Lynn Petrin. If you like strong heroines who keep fighting no matter how many times they are knocked down, then you’ll love this paranormal adventure.


Still having mind-bending fun with this one.

All currently uploaded pics can be found here.


This is a pic of the entity currently connected to Jesse. You will see it in the game almost like a marker of where it wants her to go. (As in letting you know the direction for the current mission.)

ControlAn open area that leads to several divisions. Office workers are floating in the distance.


Close up of Jesse Faden. Really nice work on the facial features and details.


3D Mockup of the Astral Plane area controlled by the Board.


Tainted zone – reality has shifted ahead.


The Black Quarry – it’s on another plane of existence. The stone has multiple qualities. I rotate often employees as it will slowly affect those working there. Eek!


In the motel. The room is showing a future picture of where Jesse will be once she clicks the light for the third time and it includes her in it. Time and reality are so fluid in this place!


If you had any doubt you weren’t in Kansas anymore, just look up. 😁

Books with Dragons! Books for Reviews
Books with Dragons! Books for Reviews

Books With Dragons! Books for Reviews Exchange. πŸ‰ You can see all the participants here.

Strong Women – Strange Worlds

​SWSW will be having a Year-End Event πŸ₯³ on 12/12/21 from 12 to 6 PM EST. Get more info here. There will also be fun stuff on the days leading up to it! Should be fun! πŸŽ‰ Reserve your spot today! 

Strong Women Strange Worlds YE Party
Strong Women Strange Worlds YE Party

I hope you have a fabulous week! ​😍


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