Saturday, April 22, 2023

Virtual Tourist 04/21/23


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swap 1
Virtual Tourist – Coral IslandStoryOrigin Swap 2
Soul of the Paranormal Group PromoYoung Adult Freebies Group Promo
Reviewers Corner!


I hope your allergies haven’t been getting the best of you! Colds seem to abound everywhere at the moment. We’ve felt unusually nasally but have managed not to get any colds so far. *knockonwood*


Our dog Minerva does one of the sneakiest and cutest things EVER! She’s a ninja dog in multiple ways—the quietest dog ever when she wants to be! But there’s a trick she does to tease the younger Xena that is too cute! She can take a small stick or stick treat and flip them sideways with her tongue and hide the whole thing in her mouth! Then she will flip it the other way to show you she has it and then hides it again. Isn’t that adorable? What a tease!



Writing News

Daiyu Wu Mysteries Book 3 – The Music of Death Blues is slowly forming – I’m up to 10K words so far. Doing research on Deep Ellum, Freedman’s Town, and Blues! Research can be fun, eye-opening, and frustrating! I do love learning new stuff though. 😍

You would not believe the agony authors sometimes have to go through with regard to covers. There’s a fine line between what you want and what the market expects… So both Pay It Forward’s cover and The Secret Humankind have changed. Purple is currently the rage for Book 1’s, leather jackets are a must, and so are fighting poses. The placement of typography also needs to be consistent across a series, so since one changed, the other had to, too.

So below is the new cover for Pay It Forward and a sneak peek at new and improved The Secret Humankind cover. 😁
Edits for the novel should be in this weekend. *fingerscrossed*

Pay It Forward - The Discoveries of Julia Xero Prequel Short

The Secret Humankind Cover Sneak Peek


Part 2 of the freebie prequel short Pay It Forward was in the newsletter this round. If you want to catch part 3 (and links of parts 1 and 2) make sure to sign up for the newsletter! 😎


Extra content today:

1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Freebie)

2) StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

3) Soul of the Paranormal Group Promo

4) Young Adult Freebies Group Promo


Scroll on down to get all the deets. 😉

The OtherSide Chronicles

The OtherSide Chronicles

StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Freebie)

When the Magi find a pair of children on the battlefield wearing ancient relics they realize that there is more to them than meets the eye. They are from Otherside, a world of mythical creatures and magic, and are the only ones able to wield the Relics of Skolt.

Separated and each thinking the other dead, Stella and Darc are raised by the Magi in secret to be ruthless assassins for a cause they aren’t able to name.

Why are they kept in the dark about their pasts and away from each other? Too many questions and not enough answers will lead them to a shocking discovery.

**This is part 1 of a serial fantasy set of short stories**

Coral Island

This super cute game comes from Stairway Games. For those of you who have played Stardew Valley, the game will seem very similar. I would say Coral Island is Stardew Valley 2.0!

The game is still in beta, but a chunk of it is complete and for sale. It has/does everything from Stardew Valley and more. The graphics are great and the look and feel (and decor options) are vastly greater. There is even a riff of the theme song from Stardew Valley that pops up here and there. Super cute!

You can see all the currently uploaded pics here.

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Start screen – you can see the quality just from that! You do things on land and underwater! There are even merpeople!

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Tell me that boat does not look like Heyhey from Moana! ROFL. That’s the ship that brings you to the island to get your inherited farm from your grandfather. Heh heh heh.

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The town meeting in front of Pufferfish—an oil company wanting to use the island to house its workers. Islanders are NOT happy about this. Especially as their tourism and businesses have been greatly hurt due to an oil spill from a nearby island. Dum Dum DUM!

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There are several sacred trees scattered around the island. There are also spirit gods and a ghost!

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Dock area by the two beaches at Coral Island. Professor Lin will get you started with scuba gear to help clean the waters. Lovely graphics, no?

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As you progress, new storylines/paths will open up! This tree opens the first path toward the spirit village.

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A temple/shrine north on the lake on the island. She will grant power and rewards for offerings which are grouped by type—gathering, fishing, growing, cooking, etc.

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The entrance to the mines! There are four entryways off the main cabin. Each corresponds to an element and a spirit. Seemingly, fire trapped three of the others. The statues by the back are the trapped spirits. You can open more doors and free a spirit when you work your way down to level 40.

Every Trick in the Spellbook

Every Trick in the Spellbook

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

The fate of Segmimn’s School of Sorcery hangs in the balance and Astrid is determined to tip the scales.

In the mystical mountain town of Quincy, California, Astrid Saunders is the most beloved professor at Segmimn’s School of Sorcery. She manages to champion students and teachers alike while deftly keeping herself out of the spotlight.

But when her childhood friend-turned-rival, Claudia, is charged with murder, Astrid can’t shake the feeling she didn’t do it, and no matter how badly she’d like to see Claudia eat a slice of humble pie, she just can’t walk away.

Speaking up for a spoiled princess will put all eyes on Astrid, and right in the middle of the drama she despises.

All the clues point to Claudia, but something isn’t right. There are too many secrets surrounding the people involved, and those people go too high up for Astrid to be content with simple answers.

She’s going to prove Claudia was framed because if she can’t, Segmimn’s will be embroiled in scandal, be forced to close its doors, and Astrid will lose the closest family she’s ever known.

With so much at stake, it’s going to take everyone working together to solve the puzzle. Rag-tag students, a cranky old sorceress, and even Astrid’s intuitive dog find a way to help. The detective assigned to the case is trying to keep it professional despite the chemistry he feels with Astrid,

And Astrid, well, she’s in the middle⏤the reluctant champion of a fight she didn’t choose but one she can’t afford to lose.

Soul of the Pranormal Group Promo

Paranormal and Urban Fantasy titles are up for grabs in the Soul of the Paranormal Group Promo!

Young Adult Freebies Group Promo

There’s still time to grab some Young Adult Freebies in this April Group Promo!

🌟 Shout out to Reviewers Corner! 🌟

Thanks this month go to:

The Joy of Murder – Beckyb58, Rebecca Brown, Louise, Louisesk, and PhireAngel

The Joy of Murder Audiobook – Ysobella Black

Romeo’s Revenge – Linda Kimura and Louise


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!)

Have an awesome week! See you next time!



Saturday, April 08, 2023

Mind Seive 04/07/23


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swap 1
Mini Movie/Show ReviewsMovie/TV Show Previews
StoryOrigin Swap 2Just for Fun!
Soul of the Paranormal Group PromoYoung Adult Freebies Group Promo
Strong Women – Strange Worlds




Between the temp changes, pressure changes, and very high pollen counts, we’re all struggling not to get sick at our house! I hope you’re feeling well!




The cats and dogs seem to have finally reached a plateau of tolerance. YAY! 😍 We still have to keep an eye on them, but the cats have areas the dogs can’t get into and that’s helped a lot. I just wish Boy had not reverted to bullying Starsong again. 😢 I would have thought after him getting ‘bullied’ by the dogs, he would have learned something, but noooo!

Still, improvements for the win! 😁 Yay!

Writing news

I got Pay It Forward (short story prequel) back from the editor Wednesday and I busted buns to get part 1 ready for the newsletter. Not yet subscribed to the newsletter? Well, there’s no time like the present! 😋 You can subscribe here. (There’ll be links in the next newsletter for those who missed part 1)

The editor should have the manuscript for The Secret Humankind (Book 1 of the Discoveries of Julia Xero) back to me in the next two weeks, so I will be setting up the preorder page for the Kindle version presently. (Can’t do it with paperbacks! Boo!) I will be sharing a sneak peek at the cover soon! 

The publication date will be 7/20/23. *fingerscrossed* 


The Secret Humankind Teasers Banner

(Pre-editor teaser of the week!) 

The Arts District’s train station was more of an open-air stopping point for the DART Rail than what most people thought of as a station. Though many riders were disembarking, those waiting to board the next train were less than a handful. Even so, Julia found herself staring intently at each one, wondering which, if any, were part of this Secret Humankind. Were they spying on her even now?


Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:

1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

2) StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

3) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (Freebie)

4) Soul of the Paranormal Group Promo

5) Young Adult Freebies Group Promo

6) Strong Women Strange Worlds Rapid Fire Reading


More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

The Ring Keeper

Caught between twin brothers—one courting demons and sorcery, the other the ruler of an empire protected by magic, Ana bears a ring of unknown powers, her legacy from a mother she never knew.

Discovering the ring’s ability makes her both a valuable member of the emperor’s court and a target for abduction by his jealous brother. Soon Ana finds herself betrayed and kidnapped, ultimately held at the mercy of the emperor’s twin and his dark secrets.

The ring exposes a web of love, hatred and unimaginable betrayal. Though its power drains her life force, the fate of the empire depends on her ability to unlock the ring’s secrets. She must find the will and strength to use it, for its magic can save the lives of everyone Ana has come to love. Or it can destroy them completely…

For fans of Annette Marie’s Taming Demons for Beginners.

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!


Despite my best intentions, there are no Mini Movie Reviews this time around. I did see stuff, but time got away from me. DOH! 

Apologies! 😔

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

Murder at the Vineyard Inn

Innkeeper and vineyard owner, Avery Parker, is thrilled to play a part in the town’s long-awaited wedding.

Guests from near and far have gathered for what was meant to be a joyous union.

But instead of ringing toasts and happy cheers, a mysterious death casts a pall over the festivities.

When a dead body is discovered in her newly opened inn, Avery’s dear friend is quickly put at the top of the suspect list.

Now it’s up to Avery to prove her friend’s innocence and discover the identity of the murderer before they strike again.

It’s a race against time that could prove deadly if Avery fails.

Will she be able to uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Wine pairings and irresistible recipes included!

Movie/TV Previews 🎥

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken Trailer – oooh! Turning fairy tales on their heads. Looks fun!

Elemental Official Trailer – the more I see, the cuter it looks!

Blue Beetle Movie Trailer – looks like they are turning this one family-centric like Shazam. Should be fun! (This incarnation is a lot different from the one in the comics back in the 80’s…but I am game!)

StoryOrigin Swap 3 (Freebie)

StoryOrigin Swap 3 (Freebie)


Why Did The Koru Leave? And where have they gone?

When the enigmatic but powerful Koru unexpectedly abandon their embassy on Proxima Centauri, Vik—a one-time activist and war hero—and his shadowy friend Copeland attempt to find out if this is a prelude to a war that would prove disastrous for humanity.

Their search for answers leads to dangerous discoveries. Will Vik now risk his marriage and comfortable life if it means a chance to finally find out the truth?

Just for Fun!

Simon’s Cat 15th Anniversary Video! – the top skits colorized! So cute!

UFO Beginning and Ending Sequences – British SF show from 1970-1971 – such high hopes they had for 1980’s tech! 😁 They came up as a subject this week. This theme has stuck with me since I saw it as a teen. Commander Striker was such a hottie! 😝 (The ending theme version is super psychedelic!)

Intro video of a new Jeff Duhnam character! Url. LOL. I just got that. DOH. (U R L) 😋

Soul of the Pranormal Group Promo

Soul of the Paranormal Group Promo – tingles and chills abound!

Young Adult Freebies Group Promo

Young Adult Freebies Group Promo – all sorts of flavors for your eyes!

Strong Women Strange Worlds 04.20.23

Strong Women – Strange Worlds QuickReads for 04/20/23. Sign up early! 

I hope you and your family have a great Easter! 🐰🐣

Till next time!


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