Saturday, July 29, 2023

Mind Sieve 07/28/23


Table of Contents

News/MusingsStoryOrigin Swap 1
Mini Movie/Show ReviewsStoryOrigin Swap 2
Movie/TV Show PreviewsJust for Fun!
The Secret Humankind Release CelebrationCruel, Cruel Summer Group Promo
Strong Women Strange Worlds




Life is weird. Life is chaos! Hurtling through release week madness, juggling things like crazy, think I am doing okay, and then….  🥁🥁🥁🥁 (Drum roll please!)




Watering your lawn can be dangerous to your health! 

Yep, that’s what we discovered for our surprise chaos this week. 😋

It’s been super hot out and we’d been neglecting our lawn and bushes. I got hubby to fish out the sprinkler connection for the hose so I could set it up and have it water the lawn a bit in the cooler evening. Like a super sweetie, he took it on himself at the last minute rather than have me do it. But little did I know…

Hubby said his foot was bugging him before we went to bed that night and took an Advil just in case. He didn’t think it was his gout, he just figured he stepped wrong somewhere. So I was surprised to see him up early and in the family room rather than at his desk surfing the internet or watching videos.

He admitted that his foot was actually hurting him a lot. So he finally gave in and we went to the emergency room. Several hours later, we’re told he has a sprained foot, they wrap it up, put it in a boot, and give him some crutches. Should take a couple of weeks to heal. Whee!

So the day is pretty much shot, my to-do list needs a lot of revising,  and now we have more things to juggle. Life is never boring! 

So if the newsletter this time around seems a little rushed, blame the lawn! 😁


Writing news

Zumaya Publications (one of my publishers) has added a new online retailer for the ePub versions of my books! You can now find those titles at Smashwords! You can see them all here. Until 7/31/23, Willing Sacrifice, my ya fantasy novel will be 25% at Smashwords! The novel has a new cover and a revamped interior. 

Willing Sacrifice by Gloria Oliver

The Secret Humankind is LIVE! Woot! I’ll try not to mention it again, I swear! I’m just glad it’s out! Reviews have been great. Thanks to everyone who’s posted one. All the names will be in the place of honor in the next newsletter! 

This time around I used the services of ItsyBitsyBookBits and they’ve been doing a great job building up hype and getting the word out. So big kudos to them! 

Book 3 of the Daiyu Wu Mysteries is now around 42K so I am past the halfway mark on the first draft. As soon as I can get that first draft, I’ll start on Book 2 of the Discoveries of Julia Xero. I’m chomping at the bit to get to it, but Dai also has things to do. 😋 Still trying to stick to my goal of two books a year. 🤞


Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:

1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

2) StoryOrigin Swap 2 (Freebie)

3) The Secret Humankind Release Celebration Giveaway

4) Cruel, Cruel Summer Group Promo

5) Strong Women Strange Worlds Rapid Fire Reading


More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

Darkness Within

I thought my problems were bad until a voice in my head keeps talking to me.

As an orphan, I grew up bouncing from home to home within my church. All I wanted to do was get over my fear of the dark, graduate college and join the police force. Now, a voice is telling me it can help me if I’ll just let it take control. People are asking me if I’m ok because I keep talking back to it out loud.

To make matters worse, two homeless girls get kidnapped in front of me. When I report it to the cops, they think I had something to do with the kidnapping and that I’m high on something.

The guy I like may be hanging around me because of this voice that keeps telling me to “Punish the Sinners.” My best friend thinks I’m shutting her out but all I’m trying to do is keep her safe. After I wake up next to a dead girl and freeze some bad guy’s fingers, I realize things have to change. Time is running out and unless I take control.

But between the cops tracking me, people asking me if I’m ok and the voice in my head, will I find the girls before time runs out for them and me?

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!


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

I refused to get my hopes up, so it ended up being better than expected. A vast improvement over the Crystal Skull (not that it would take much). Great cast, great effects and action sequences. Even a subtle subplot about Indy himself and the effects of his son’s death in the Korean War. Several nitpicks but nothing that was horribly glaring. YAY!

Rating: ★★★★.25 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price To See Again!

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1

Just when you thought the stakes couldn’t get any higher! And don’t ask me how I missed this, but Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) is in it! YES! She was perfect as Grace! Nice give and take between her and Cruise. A ton of action and stunts, and loads of locations. They even use the same stairwell near the Vatican as they did in the last Fast and Furious film. Lol. A wild ride!

Rating: ★★★★.5 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price To See Again!



It took me several minutes to realize Lewis Strauss was Robert Downey Jr.! DOH! But he knocked his part out of the park. Cillian Murphy was also great as Oppenheimer. The film has a bit of the surreal about it in its presentation. Oppenheimer’s imaginings blend with the reality around him at times. All scenes he is not involved in are in black and white, while those he experienced are in color. Especially poignant was the short but rousing words he gives to those who worked on the project after the first bomb is dropped—even as his imagination reveals to him the horror that’s been unleashed. A ton of subtext throughout.

Rating: ★★★★.5 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price To See Again!



This film won’t be for everyone. Wes Anderson’s films tend to be quirky, odd, thought-provoking, and even weird. I’ve seen a number of them, so I knew what to expect. 😋

This film wasn’t made for kids, but for their parents—thus the PG-13 rating. I thought it was awesome. The tongue could not have been more firmly in the cheek. In-jokes abounded from all over the place. My favorite was the first – one done from 2001 a Space Odyssey. Brilliant! Pay particular attention to the Matel offices and people-they are as much in a Barbie world as the Barbies are. They never do tell us where all the Kens go at night! ROFL. Slightly heavy-handed in a place or two, but a fun time all the same. 😋

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

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (Freebie)

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (Freebie)

Red Parade

A washer woman’s daughter claims her place in the crown princess’s army.

(The origin story of Commander Ashlyn of Cairn featured in the Modutan Empire Series.)

Young Ashlyn of Cairn doesn’t dream of war. Her village sits at the farthest point from the battlefront. Thus, rumors of the crown princess’s all-female army seldom reach her ears.

Ashlyn’s fate has been set from birth. She will marry her third cousin Rupert and be a cobbler’s wife. That’s a vastly better situation than being a washer woman’s daughter.

If only the taxes weren’t due and Ashlyn’s father hadn’t gambled away her mother’s meager earnings, then a humble girl might never have been set on the path to aid the return of the Modutan Empire.

Movie/TV Previews 🎥

WonderWell – looks fun!

The Pod Generation – this should be a hoot!

Napoleon – a big-budget historical – sweet!

Just for Fun!

Palia – a new upcoming MMO Beta. Supposed to be super laid back with crafting, farming, and more. Looks super pretty!

Pulp Fiction as a Pixar Film – I have never actually watched Pulp Fiction, but the concept of this sounded like a hoot!

The Secret Humankind Giveaway Banner

The Secret Humankind Release Celebration Giveaway Group Promo—last chance to sign up to win and grab some urban fantasy freebies!!

Cruel Cruel Summer Group Promo Banner

Cruel, Cruel Summer Group Promo – creepy books to chill your blood and keep you cool – grab them before they’re gone!

Strong Women Strange Worlds 08.04.23

Strong Women – Strange Worlds QuickReads for 8/4/23! They’ve switched signups to Eventbrite.

Have fun ya’ll!

Till next time!


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