Saturday, July 30, 2022

Mind Sieve 07/29/22


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swap 1
Mini Movie ReviewsMovie/TV Show Previews
StoryOrigin Swap 2Just for Fun!
Strong Women Strange WorldsForward to the Future Giveaway


It is still hot, Hot, HOT down here in Texas. 🔥 I hope you are keeping cool. We’ve been doing okay for most of it, just a couple of hours when the A/C, fans, etc. can’t keep up.



The JOY of Murder Release Celebration Giveaway Banner

The JOY of Murder Release Celebration Giveaway is almost over! If you’ve not entered yet for your chance to win the three hardcover prize pack, you need to do so ASAP! (US Only)

Loads of freebies from cozy/mystery/thriller authors are also up for grabs on the same page and those are good for everyone!


I was originally going to a post on 7/22/22 to let everyone know that the JOY of Murder’s ebook editions were live, but I decided to skip it. The last thing I want is to become spammy!

That being said, you still have a few days to send me your purchase receipt to get the BONUS short story Romeo’s Revenge.

I got a shock a couple of weeks back or so. I had believed the header fonts were coming through in the ebook editions. (The two I republished after the publishing company went bankrupt and the two mysteries.) I was terribly wrong! (I could see them because the fonts were on my PC. But no one else could! Despite embedding them.) 😭

Then I had a bit of an epiphany! I could use images not only to preserve the font headers but also to add even more bling to the books themselves! 🤯

So I spent a frantic week trying to spruce them up! The four books and Jacques are done. Amazon has approved them all, though I have two I need to fix for the Smashwords catalog (Cross-eyed and Black Jade) and the third parties they send them to. There’s an issue with the default navigation data. The plan is to have those fixed before the end of the weekend. Booyah!

I also decided to spend the $$ and get my reader magnets professionally edited. It hasn’t felt right to give them away without making them as shiny as can be. I’m updating the bling on these as well! (Jacques was already professionally edited, but it now has more bling!)

So right now, both Jacques and Elixir of Life have been updated. Join the Newsletter and then feel free to download one or both and see the improved versions!

As I get the other reader magnets done, I’ll post about them in the news section of the newsletter/blog post. Enjoy!


Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:

1) One StoryOrigin Swap (Review Copy)

2) Two StoryOrigin Swaps (Freebie!)

3) Strong Women – Strange Worlds Readings

3) Forward to the Future Giveaway (More Freebies!)


More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Review Copy)

StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Review Copy)

Monarch in the Flames

Once you’ve been burned, everything is fire.

Stephan’s peaceful reign as the king of Frenland is in jeopardy. Only one person stands a chance at preventing his assassination. Unfortunately, Valerie is in exile.

What could entice the crown princess of the former tyrannical regime to risk burning at the stake to help him? Nothing, unless he succeeded in capturing her heart last summer.

Monarch in the Flames is book 2 in the Modutan Empire Series.

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!

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

Mel Brooks is back! And so are several old jokes. Lol. This film makes fun of so many things. Scenes from West Side Story, Bruce Lee films, Mel Brooks films, Kung Fu films, the 4th wall, anachronisms, and more. They explore several themes, several to amusing effect. Fun popcorn and nostalgic flick. Much fun to be had. 😁

Rating: ★★★.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)


Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder

Though the previews make it look like a comedy, there is a lot of seriousness in here, too. The first few minutes as we are introduced to the “bad guy” Gorr are quite tear-jerking and dramatic. The narrated storytelling by Korg sets a nice tone for the hijinks. The goats, the jealous hammer, and the interactions with the Guardians of the Galaxy brought many snort moments. You almost rubberband back and forth between the drama, comedy, and touching moments. There are a lot of harsh truths covered in candy sprinkles to help viewers through them without getting too depressing. Overall, it was a fun ride!

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


Minions: The Rise of Gru

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Like Paws of Fury, the film has a very 70’s vibe. The themes touch on group trust and team building. Prepare yourself to groan or snort through the names of the Vicious 6 – Wild Knuckles and Belle Bottoms but two of them. Lol. Nun-Chuck: a literal nun who wields nunchucks. (Lucy Lawless?! Squee!) A lot of poignant and fun moments. Minions doing what minions do best – causing chaos! These films are so much fun. Nostalgia for the win!

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


Movie Previews 🎥

SHAZAM 2: Fury of the Gods Comic-Con Trailer (2022) – looks awesome!

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Movie Trailer – oh! Some of my fave creatures, too! Looks great!

She-Hulk Attorney at Law trailer – this looks fun! And a funny Bruce Banner, who knew? Lol.

Story Origin Swap 2 (Freebie)

Story Origin Swap 2 (Freebie)

Where Weaver Daire

On a world where ancient magic and technology exist, the skeletons of the past never stay buried for long. Melinda Scott should know. She just found a big one.

Where Weavers Daire is the first book in a new rip-roaring space opera series in the same vein as Babylon 5, Farscape and Star Wars!

Just for Fun!

Love Runs Out by One Republic – funky video! Some cool visuals. The song is good, too! 😎 (Hubby shared this one.)

How Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Should Have Ended video – this is a riot. I did watch the movie again and I still like it. A lot of parallels between Strange and Wanda, like two sides of the same coin.

Smooth Criminal – with Chinese Instrument Guzheng Cover – she’s amazing! (Hubby shared this one, too!)

Strong Women Strange Worlds 8/05/22

Strong Women Strange Worlds is having their next virtual reading on 8/5/22. Click the link to register.

Forward To The Future Jul 2022 Giveaway

Forward to the Future Giveaway – free science fiction reads for July 2022 – only a few more days to grab them.

Stay cool out there! 🧊


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Virtual Tourist 07/15/22


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swap 1
Virtual Tourist – Sherlock Holmes Chapter OneStoryOrigin Swap 2
Forward to the Future GiveawayBookSirens Bundle
Reviewers Corner! 


The heat has been unrelenting. Since late June, we’ve hit over 100 degrees almost every day. Eek! Doing my best to keep cool! 😎 Are you?


If you’ve not signed up yet, make sure to throw your name in the ring for a chance at the three-hardcover prize pack to celebrate the release of The JOY of Murder! The main prize is US only, but the freebie ebooks in cozy/mystery/thriller are for everyone! So don’t miss out.

The JOY of Murder Release Celebration Giveaway Banner

Both the hardcover and paperback versions of The JOY of Murder are LIVE! The ebook versions are still open for pre-order. If you’re new to the newsletter, you can read sample chapters here.

Don’t forget to send me a copy of your order to get Romeo’s Revenge – A Daiyu Wu Mystery short story as a BONUS! It will be available now through the first week of the ebooks going live. So hurry before it’s too late!

More book reviews keep pouring in for The JOY of Murder—you’ll find a sampling of them at the website. They’ve been great so far!

On a totally different track, I’m taking an ad course this week. It has homework and even extra credit! Not the best month to do it, but what the hey! Lol

Extra content today:

1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

2) StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

3) Forward to the Future Group Promo

4) BookSirens Book Review Bundle for July 2022


Scroll on down to get all the deets. 😉

Pool of Memories and Serpents

Pool of Memories and Serpents

StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

He devoured a dark dragon spirit, and now it will consume him from the inside out.

Less than a month into Hidekazu’s journey to find where all the dragons disappeared to, he and his travelling companion are attacked by a dark spirit belonging to one of the very creatures they’re hoping to find.
Instead of receiving answers, Hidekazu is forced to tap into the power he can’t control to save his partner’s life. Only by surrendering to the darkness inside of him again, this time Hidekazu might not be able to return… or stop himself from feasting on the innocent spirits who get in his way.

Pool of Memories and Serpents is a fantasy tale filled with magic, dragons, and wonder, and is a supplementary novella in the Yumihari World. This story can be enjoyed after reading the Yokai Calling series or on its own.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One

Started a new game called Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. I was a little reticent as I was not impressed with the previous game for Sherlock called the Devil’s Daughter. But it looks like Frogwares has things under control again. Yay!

Pics currently uploaded can all be seen here.

This Sherlock game is from the POV of a young Holmes. He’s gone back to the island of Cordona to find closure over his mother’s death many years before.

What’s rather awesome about this version is how they handled not having a Watson. They gave Sherlock an imaginary friend called Jon. (He refers to Sherlock as Sherry!) Why Jon exists is actually an integral part of the main storyline. Plus, he’s a total hoot! (Unless you use the wrong search criteria at the archines. DOH!)
They’ve added combat to this incarnation. It’s tricky, multiple waves of bad guys (which you are supposed to disable and apprehend not kill—sometimes not so easy to do), but gets repetitive after a time. Luckily, there’s not a ton of it.

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Our first view of Cordona as Sherlock’s ship docks at his old stomping grounds.

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This is Jon. He’s Sherlock’s wilder and more emotional side. He’s a riot!

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The hotel Sherlock first stays at in Cordona. Awesome detail!

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The first of many in-jokes. The portrait on the right is Sir Author Conan Doyle, the creator of the Sherlock Holmes stories. 😁

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The first case revolves around a stolen jewel during a seance!

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There are some truly gorgeous vistas. The island is multicultural, so each area has a flavor. Some are more affluent than others.

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Gravesite of Violet Holmes, Sherlock’s mom.

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​Finally, took one where you could see Sherlock’s young face! Lol. (Later on, I take some of him in his costumes! Yes, there are disguises!)​

The Poisoned Clergyman

The Poisoned Clergyman

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

Poppy adores Constable Dyngley, but he is engaged. When his fiancée hires Poppy to clear her name, can Poppy put her jealousy aside?

Welcome to book two in the exciting new series The Perfect Poison Murders from bestselling author E.L. Johnson!

When Poppy’s uncle is called away, in his place arrives Mr. Ingleby, a pretentious clergyman with a passion for pies, a penchant for puddings, and a distaste for poor and sick parishioners. It’s not long before Poppy wishes he was gone, especially when she learns he has been gossiping to the neighborhood about the humble fare served by her and her aunt.

But when the tart-loving clergyman dies at a local baking competition, it is clear that Mr. Ingleby has been poisoned by one of the bakers present. But who?

Poppy and her favorite constable, Henry Dyngley, must work together to find the poisoner among the bakers. But her romantic hopes for their future are dashed when he introduces her to his fiancee, who begs for Poppy’s help to clear her name as a murder suspect.

Can Poppy and Dyngley find the true poisoner, or will the murderous baker pull off a sweet crime? Can Poppy overlook her jealousy to save Dyngley’s fiancée, at the risk of losing the man she adores? It is a bittersweet feeling to know you may do the right thing, only for someone else to reap the benefit.

Forward To The Future Jul 2022 Giveaway

Forward to the Future Giveaway! Freebie ebooks through the month of July.

BookSirens July2022 Books for Review

BookSirens books for reviews for the month of July 2022.

🌟 Shout out to Reviewers Corner! 🌟

Thanks this month go to:

Kathryn, Kat M, Jetagen, JArens16, Kuzlin, Jan, Kritika, Mrs LIR Linda, TooLittleReading, mydoxie, and Kavab12!

(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 can’t wait for the release to be over! Lol. Soon, soon!



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