May is here! Can you believe it? Raining cats and dogs! 🌧
Speaking of dogs… The family suffered a loss on 5/4/22. Our beloved dog, Serenity, had to be put down. She was a runt when my daughter and her husband got her, but she quickly grew into a massive dog! But she was super friendly, spoiled rotten (John, I’m looking at you), and was a big part of the family.
Serenity always had minor health issues as she’d been the runt of the litter, but she got checked frequently. (Allergies, skin rashes, ear problems, etc.) By the time we realized something was up with her health, and though the vet mentioned we did catch it early, the cancer was so virulent, that it was already too late to do anything about it. 😭 So they had to put her down. We’re all taking it rather hard, especially as it was so unexpected. 😭
Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:
1) Two StoryOrigin Swaps (Freebies!)
2) Three May Giveaways (more Freebies!)
More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊
StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Freebie!)
The Forgotten Mystery
How it all began…
The Forgotten Mystery takes us back in time two years to Wren’s very first murder mystery, the day she first got her cat Gracie, a day that was wiped from her mind. But why was it taken from her? And was her first mystery a success or a failure? Find out in this funny, intriguing little cozy mystery.
Time is running out and there’s no turning back.
Mini Movie 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!
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Prime yourself for a crazy trip! The beginning is slow, trying to show the audience the humdrum life of Evelyn Wang. Then the whole thing goes sideways. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan (Short Round!!!!), Stephanie Hsu, Gong Gong, and especially Jamie Lee Curtis, were fabulous! The turning-on-a-dime character portrayals were fantastic as alternates took over. Some super bizarre humor is thrown in as well, making fun of a ton of things. It shows how hubby and I do differ in some of our tastes as while I thought the film was great, he was not as excited about it when it was over. 😋 Worth watching for the acting and craziness alone! Lol.
Rating: ★★★★ out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Better for Matinee)
Yes, we finally saw it. There were things about it I did love, while there were other things that were odd or just meh. The chemistry between Batman and Catwoman was great! It totally sizzled. Though it was super weird they kept calling him vengeance rather than Batman. This new tendency of making the main characters dress like crap and be unkempt is beyond me. Bruce Wayne is a millionaire, he has no reason not to have t-shirts without holes! Long hair will get you killed during combat (imagine the long bangs getting into his eyes as Batman – no way to move it! LOL). The Batmobile was underwhelming. Loved the rocket engine, but just stuffing it into a muscle car seemed unimaginative. I did like the broodiness as that was very much like the comics back in the day. Nothing new was really explored, but if you’ve nothing better to do, it might be worth a watch. 😝
Rating: ★★★.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)
The Bad Guys
This film was as fun as it looked in the previews! Think Ocean Eleven as an animated film, with more heartstring-pulling. 😁 For Lupin the 3rd fans, there’s one scene where Wolf leaps with a bag of cash in the exact pose Lupin does. It was awesome! There are some surprises, emotional discoveries, and lots of one-upmanships. They explore the concepts of what you look like vs. who you are, amongst second chances, and other things. It was a lot of fun.
Rating: ★★★★ out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission!)
The Secrets of Dumbledore
Overall, we enjoyed the film. I love Mads Mikkelsen, and while he did a fabulous job, the muted eye color differences, and Johnny Depp’s previous work on the character weren’t all there to better merge with the last film.
The lack of Tina’s presence, despite the flimsy excuse given for her absence, for one of the biggest problems ever to confront the Wizarding World, really took away a lot. Though the character of Lally Hicks was a riot, she was still not the character we expected to be hand in hand with Newt to solve this mess (especially as her sister had been dragged into it!) They also never explained how Jacob’s wand activated magic he did not throw. Far as we know, you have to be touching your wand to use it, and since he has no magic, Jacob could not initiate a spell. (Maybe they can pre-program one?)
While enjoyable, it didn’t seem as well thought out as the previous films. With all the weirdness between the film company, Rowling, and Depp, I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
Rating: ★★★.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission to See Again!)
Memory Trailer – first time I’ve seen a trailer on this one, though I think it’s out?
Story Origin Swap 2 (Freebie)
Talisman of El
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?
Population: Human … 7 billion. Others … unknown.
When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He’s afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him… because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago — the day before his dad died.
Charlie doesn’t know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.
He belongs with the others.
Just for Fun!
Simon’s Cat has a 13-minute full-color special called Crazy Kitten! It will definitely fill up your cat meter. 😋
I hope 2022 has been treating you well. Temps are seesawing like crazy!
I decided to tackle a couple of things these last few weeks.
First, prepping the files and cover for a BONUS Daiyu Wu Mystery short story called Romeo’s Revenge. More details on how you can get your hands on it and not have to wait until Oct 2022 to get it—coming soon!
Second, since I still had not received a resolution about the Black Jade paperback over at Barnes & Noble and the KDP fiasco, I set out to get it published through the B&N Press. While the setup wasn’t bad, I ran into an issue with the ISBN. 😭 B&N wants a whole new one. After a few emails, searches, etc. I had to cave in. So in the next few days, a paperback version should be available for those of you who shop through Barnes and Noble. Yay!
Third, KDP/CreateSpace had announced they would offer a Hardback option to authors/publishers. I finally decided to try it out. As of this morning, Black Jade – A Daiyu Wu Mystery is now also available as a Hardback book! It’s already LIVE on Amazon. I’ve ordered a proof copy to get a better feel of the production value, but it won’t be here until mid-May. Boo! I will take pics once it gets here and share those so you too can take a look. 😁
Fourth, I could not resist a special offer on Photoshop styles, so I used them to spruce up the Daiyu Wu Mysteries FB banner. I also used it to give a little more of a jolt to the cover for Romeo’s Revenge. See below for the results. 😎
Extra content today:
1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (freebie)
2) StoryOrigin Swap 2
3) A Galaxy of Books – Science Fiction That Takes You to Other Worlds – Giveaway
4) Survey for future giveaway
Scroll on down to get all the deets. 😉
StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Freebie)
Quick-paced, primal, and full of suspense… A thrilling sci-fi short with an “Aliens” feel.
As his warship comes under attack by a devastating alien horror, a drug-addicted recruit stumbles upon a secret super soldier compound. In his hand is the one hope to save the ship. But to do it, he’ll have to face his crippling fear of the alien on the other side of the hatch.
I’ve made some progress on the game. There is so MUCH extra content in here! Aside from the main storyline and side quests, there’s rapport (building trust with NPCs (Non-player characters) as you complete quests. You give them gifts, songs, or do small quests for them to get them to like you more and more.
As you reach certain levels, they throw more stuff to do, like give you your own island! Later, your own ship to go to other continents as you continue trying to gather the seven Arks.
Pics currently uploaded can all be seen here. (There’s a selfie mode, but I haven’t found where they hide those. DOH!)
Inside one of the dungeons. There are main dungeons that are part of the storyline and also hidden dungeons you can only find if you get a map from defeated enemies.
In this first major dungeon, the city/temple was entirely covered in water. As you clear a section and open the flood gates, more and more of the structures is revealed.
The boss for the flooded dungeon. The only thing I’ve been unhappy about is how you can’t get a closeup of the bad guys unless they put it in the videos. Which they don’t always do.
Closeup of the demon pulling strings—Kharmine. He’s using the characters to weaken those above him, then taking their power for himself. Climbing the ladder the backstabbing way. 😝
The half-demon priest, Armen, after giving in to his demon side to bring forth enough power to fight against Kharmine. (Though Kharmine wants him to do this. He has plans! Bwahahahaha!)
Character loading screen – I LOVE the picture in the background!
One of the boss demons Kharmine is planning to use as stepping stones in his quest for power.
The throne of the kingdom of Luttera. While searching for the Arks, you befriend Prince Thirain who is battling to retake the throne stolen from him.
StoryOrigin Swap 2
When a mysterious asteroid awakens monsters of myth on Earth, mutant Evolutionaries like Andromeda Bochs are forced to protect what’s left of humanity.
Elite monster hunter with the E-gene might sound prestigious, but Andromeda just put on her last pair of jeans not slimed, burned, or eaten on the job. She expects to die by monster in spectacular fashion until she meets a scientist who believes in magic. And he claims she has it.
Monster hunter becomes the hunted when Andromeda’s new-found power draws the attention of an Ancient Magic. Can she still die by monster? Absolutely. But if she escapes the Ancient and embraces her magic, she might prevent ALL Evolutionaries from dying on the job.
Science and magic collide in this dystopian urban fantasy!
“If you want to read a fantastic book of magic, monsters, heroes, and villains, buy Evolutionary Magic.” • N.N. Light, Amazon Vine Voice
“When I need a ride or die after the apocalypse, I’m calling her.” • Amazon Reviewer