Monday, January 23, 2017

Hero Lost Anthology, Tsunami Movies, Midnight Special Review, Movie Trivia Answers, and Ninja News

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology has a cover and a release date!

Hero Lost
Mysteries of  Death and Life

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption? 

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?
Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

Release date: May 2, 2017
Fantasy (FIC009000) Freedom Fox Press
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378

Chrys Fey and Tsunamis

Alex’s Question for Chrys: Do the movies accurately capture tsunamis?

I’m not as big of a movie buff as Ninja Captain Alex, but I love disaster movies! Movies like Deep Impact and The Day After Tomorrow mostly used tsunamis for visual effects. They wanted the audience to be amazed by the grand size, but they don’t really get on ground level, in the perspective of people, specifically people caught in the water.

In The Hereafter, there is a tsunami that sweeps away a woman. We get to see what happens to her, and it is shocking, but I personally felt that the water was way too fast. Yes, a tsunami is fast and fierce, but the speed of the one in this movie didn’t seem right to me. And the water is clear, whereas it would’ve turned dirty from everything it picked up on the ground.

The movie that is super realistic is The Impossible, which is based after the Thailand Tsunami of 2004. You have to see this if you haven’t. I took notes when I watched it the first time. Actual notes. It helped me to figure out what it’s like to be caught in a Tsunami, and what would most likely happen following one. We see Naomi Watts beaten by the water. We see a second wave. And we see the destruction. It is done so well. You will watch the tsunami scenes in absolute terror. I did.

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Find her at Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Website, Amazon, and Goodreads

Find Tsunami Crimes at: Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon CA Nook, Kobo, and Wild Rose Press

Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 cents.
Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Movie Review - Midnight Special

A man rescues his son, who has unique abilities, from a cult. Believing the boy is a savior, the cult will do anything to get him back. Believing the boy is a weapon and a threat, the FBI is also in pursuit.
The film is slow paced but not dull. It was super intriguing from start to finish.
It’s not an original story, but it’s wonderfully told. The director pulls everything together really well and on a really low budget. It’s engaging, thought-provoking, and truly a well-told science fiction tale.
And the science fiction is a very small part of the story. It’s part drama, part chase, and part science fiction.
Starring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Adam Driver, who all turn in great performances. (And where else are you going to see Superman’s General Zod and Star Wars’ Kylo Ren in the same film?)
On NetFlix – highly recommended.

Ninja News

Here is an update on Michael Offutt. He took a break over the holidays because he purchased his first house! However, he had no Internet, and there is a bit of a battle to get Internet to his new neighborhood. Until then, his only source of Internet is his phone. He’ll return to the blogging world when he has Internet in his new house.

Mason Canyon started a book blog tour service, MC Book Tours. She’s hosted several of my fellow authors and one of them will be making an appearance here next month.

Juneta Key posted about Mystery Thriller Week.
Get the details HERE.

New release:
Fall to Pieces : Book Seven in the Southern Quilting Mysteries
By Elizabeth S. Craig

When a quilting event falls to pieces, Beatrice works to patch things up…

Movie Trivia Answers

Here are the disaster movie taglines and the answers:

1 – Heads up - Armegeddon
2 – It’s five miles wide…it’s coming at 30,000 mph…and there’s no place on Earth to hide - Meteor
3 – We were warned - 2012
4 – Where will you be? – The Day After Tomorrow
5 – The pressure is building. Whatever you do, don’t look back – Dante’s Peak
6 – Oceans rise. Cities fall. Hope survives. – Deep Impact
7 – The only way out is in – The Core
8 – The coast is toast - Volcano

Excited about the IWSG anthology, Hero Lost? Have you watched any tsunami movies? Seen Midnight Special? Need to set up a book tour or interested in Mystery Thriller Week? And how many taglines did you get right?

Monday, January 16, 2017

CassaFire in Turkish, Secret Behind Disaster Films, Disaster Movie Trivia, Haken-Affinity Review, and New Releases

CassaFire in Turkey!

Now available – CassaFire in Turkish!

The title translates to Shotgun Fire, which is funny. I guess in the story, Byron isn’t a Cassan, he’s a Shotgonian.

Find it at Gurer Publishing.

The Secret Behind Disaster Films

Please welcome my Dragon Fellowship buddy and author, Carrie Butler!

Do you want to know the secret behind disaster movies? We enjoy them for all the wrong reasons.

Experts believe that the worse things get in “real life,” the more we take comfort in situations bleaker than our own. We flock to theaters to watch entire cities get wiped off the earth, our hearts pounding in time with those of the main characters, and it’s all from the safety of our sticky seats. Talk about a rush!

The thing is, unlike other film genres, we’re not exactly there for the storyline. Without the special effects and resounding booms, most disaster flicks would fold in on themselves. Why? Because there’s no reason to spin an intricate plot when you can just dust off a formula from the 1970’s. Right, Hollywood? Nudge, nudge...

Okay, truth be told, most of us don’t mind the lack of outside draw. In some cases, it’s all part of the cheesy allure. But the one thing that will always baffle me is the industry’s blatant disregard for science. Entertainment requires some liberties to be taken, but how can a studio with money and resources get things so horribly wrong? Case in point, San Andreas (2015). Having spent the better half of the past two years studying earthquakes and tsunamis—I just released an action/adventure centering around a catastrophic seismic event in the Pacific Northwest—I could not hold my tongue during certain scenes.


Ahem. Needless to say, the next time you catch a disaster movie, I want you enjoy it—just don’t count on it to prepare you for a real life situation. You know, like the next time you have to saw your way out of a shark. ;)

Thanks for having me, Alex!

Carrie Butler is an award-winning author and the owner of Forward Authority full-service studio.

Find As We Know It at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Haken – Affinity

Here’s a band flying under the musical radar that deserves serious attention from prog fans. Simply put, the album is amazing.
In each song, you’ll hear many difference influences from prog rock giants. (Such as Yes and Porcupine Tree.) They all blend together to give Hakan a very distinct voice. The music is complex. The arrangements are tricky. These guys are serious musicians.
It’s prog, so don’t expect instant gratification. However, the patient listener will be rewarded with an album they’ll enjoy for years.

New Releases

Shattered Spirit (Totem #4) by Christine Rains
Find it on Amazon

Teapots and Treachery by Donna K. Weaver
Find it on Amazon

FreeFall, Backworlds Book 7 by M. Pax
Find it on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble

Movie Trivia

In honor of Carrie’s story, today’s trivia centers around natural disaster movies. Name the movie from the tagline.

1 – Heads up
2 – It’s five miles wide…it’s coming at 30,000 mph…and there’s no place on Earth to hide
3 – We were warned
4 – Where will you be?
5 – The pressure is building. Whatever you do, don’t look back
6 – Oceans rise. Cities fall. Hope survives.
7 – The only way out is in
8 – The coast is toast

Answers on Monday!

Are you a fan of disaster films? Ever heard of Haken? Picking up some new books? Know any of the trivia? And have you ever been through a major natural disaster?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars Review, Best of 2016, Huntsman Review, and IWSG Update

Underworld: Blood Wars Review

Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is back and kicking more werewolf ass.
Begins after Selene has sent her daughter into hiding. The werewolf-vampire war is escalating and everyone is after Selene for either her blood or her daughter’s blood. Was it a perfect film that broke new ground? Nope. Did it fully entertain me for ninety minutes, making me forget the world around me? You bet!
Great effects, interesting and fun characters, and lots of blood and carnage. (Want to see a werewolf’s spine ripped from its back? It’s here.) Plus we have Kate in her black leather. What’s not to mindlessly enjoy?
If you’re a fan of the franchise or just into werewolves and vampires fighting, you’ll enjoy it. If you just want to rip a bad film with lots of plot holes, go watch Jupiter Ascending instead.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Now on NetFlix, this sequel shows young Eric and his love Sara training in Ice Queen Freya’s army, then skips ahead to after the first film as Eric tracks down the missing magic mirror before Freya gets it.
The effects are amazing. They did not skimp on making the movie look great. It also had some humor. All of the dwarves are funny.
It’s an easy film to figure out. Brain power not required. But it is better than the first film. (A lot of that is due to no Kristen Stewart. A pouty Snow White just doesn’t cut it.)
Worth a rental.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Last week was another amazing IWSG post day. Thanks to all participants and co-hosts for starting off 2017 with a bang!

Please note that my post originally omitted one of the contest winners:

Tyrean Martinson - Of Words and Swords

Sorry, Tyrean! Epic Ninja Fail.

A few things I wanted to mention:

Most important - I need co-hosts next month! Let me know if you can help.

First, if you would like to change your name/title as listed on the IWSG Sign-up List, please let me know! Some of you used your name, some your blog’s name, and some I’m not quite sure about… Please send me an email with your current name and the one you’d like to change it to on the list.

Second, thanks to those of you who go above and beyond with visiting other participants, including those who visit the newbies. They need to know they are in the right place and are encouraged to continue posting.

Third, please everyone check for your blog on the IWSG Sign-up List! I do cull the list every month – miss two months in a row and you are taken off the list. (Unless you contact me ahead of time.) So, some of you are posting but you have not added your name back to the list.

Finally, does anyone else get annoyed with these?
After visiting twenty-five or so Blogger blogs, verification comes up. Every…single…time.
And this one is the worst!
I clicked on all four squares (including the pole) and it was wrong.
The next frame was almost identical with a sign in the same place. I clicked on all four squares again and it was – right!
After over a hundred blogs of this, I was ready to go all Ninja on someone…

New Release

When Ash Rains Down by Cecelia Earl
Those of you who visit Christy and Erica’s blog know that Christy is published under the pen name Cecelia Earl.
Find it on Amazon

The Best of 2016

I’d like to take a moment and highlight what I felt were some of the best (and my favorite) movies, albums, and shows of 2016.
And if you don’t agree…my blog, no bashing! But do let me know what your choices would be.

Top Five Albums

1 – Dream Theater, The Astonishing – Went from least favorite to most favorite DT album in just three listens.
2 – Katatonia, The Fall of Hearts – One of the most moving and beautiful albums I have ever heard.
3 – Devon Townsend Project, Transcendence – Start to finish, this album is full of solid, amazing songs.
4 – Insomnium, Winter’s Gate – One epically long song in seven parts. This is Scandinavian metal at its finest.
5 – Haken, Affinity – A mix of Yes and porcupine Tree, it’s old school and refreshing at the same time.
Honorable Mentions – Killswitch Engage-Incarnate, Fates Warning-Theories of Flight, Metallica-Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, and Chevelle-The North Corridor
(Yes, they are all metal-prog rock bands. My list, my taste in music!)

Top Five Shows

1 – Stranger Things – Everything great about the 80’s wrapped in awesomeness and love. One of the best shows ever created.
2 – RiffTrax:Live – It’s comfort food you share (hysterically) with a theater full of people who get it.
3 – Game of Thrones – Filled with many, many holy crap moments.
4 – Flash – The show bounced back nicely this year.
5 – Better Call Saul – A train wreck you can’t turn away from in the best sense of the word.
Honorable Mentions –  The Night Manager, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Goldbergs

Top Five Movies

1 – Captain America: Civil War – The Avengers 2.5. Just a really meaningful, weighty, funny, and action-packed film.
2 – Rogue One – The Star Wars film I’ve always wanted to see as an adult.
3 – Arrival – It put my brain in a blender, set it on puree, and then poured it back into my head.
4 – Batman vs. Superman – I enjoyed the heck out of it!
5 – Deadpool – The funniest and foulest superhero film you will ever see. (Until the sequel comes out.)
Honorable Mentions – Star Trek: Beyond, Dr. Strange, Suicide Squad, and X-Men: Apocalypse

Anyone else see Blood Wars this past weekend? Seen the second Huntsman movie? Enjoy the IWSG posts last week? (Need to change your listing-email me!) And what were your favorite albums, shows, and movies of 2016?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Insecure Writer’s Support Group and Anthology Winners! Plus January Movie Preview, Warcraft Review, and Ninja News

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner!

Prompt question for today - What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

Today is the big day – the announcement of the IWSG Anthology Contest 2016 winners!

First, thanks to my awesome IWSG Admins for reading all of the entries - Lynda Young, L. Diane Wolfe, Michelle Wallace, Chrys Fey, Susan Gourley, Joylene Nowell Butler and Joy Campbell.

Then a big thanks to this year’s official judges: author Elizabeth S. Craig, author Richard Harland, senior editor Laura Maisano, author Russell C. Connor, literary agent Dawn Frederick, author Ion Newcombe, and author Lynn Tincher.

And now, the winners of the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest – Hero Lost:

Tyrean Martinson – Of Words and Swords
L. Nahay – Breath Between Seconds
Roland Yeomans - Sometimes They Come Back
Elizabeth Seckman - Mind Body Soul
Olga Godim - Captain Bulat
Ellen Jacobson - The Silvering
Erika Beebe - The Wheat Witch
Yvonne Ventresca – The Art of Remaining Bitter
Sean McLachlan - The Witch Bottle
Sarah Foster - The Last Dragon
Renee Cheung - Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight

And the grand prize winner:

Jen Stanton Chandler - The Mysteries of Death and Life

Congratulations to the winners and all who entered – we had a record number of entries this year. Look for the anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, late spring.

Movie Review – Warcraft

It’s actually one of the better video game to movie adaptations, but that’s not saying much.
It did have really good effects.
Unfortunately, some of the actors weren’t up to the task – they weren’t capable of being really good fantasy actors.
At two hours, it also runs a little long.
Overall, entertaining but forgettable.
Worth a NetFlix rental if you have nothing better to do.

Ninja News

The RiffTrax: Live MST3K Reunion is now available for download and on DVD/Blu-ray!
You can pick it up at their site or at Amazon.

We watched it again over the holidays and laughed just as hard as the first time. This is definitely the best RiffTrax: Live show you will ever see. Don’t miss it!

New Releases:

Howlin' Wolf Records: Six Strings - Season 2 Issue 1 [2017]
It's a highlight of the best soundtrack/score music and some of those we lost. Goodbye 2016, Hello... 2017
And all our favorite things; FILMS, MUSIC, BOOKS, ETC.
Get your free issue today!

Sold by J.L. Campbell
Find it on Amazon

A Bit of a Twist anthology
Including Happily Ever After by Loni Townsend
Find it on Amazon

January Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for January! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

6 –

Underworld: Blood Wars
Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.
Director: Anna Foerster
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver
If you’re not already committed to werewolves fighting vampires ad nauseam, this won’t change your mind. But Kate still looks gorgeous.

A Monster Calls
A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom's terminal illness. Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, Liam Neeson
This was supposed to come out last year – never a good sign.

13 –

A cop with a connection to the criminal underworld scours a nightclub in search of his kidnapped son.
Director: Baran bo Odar
Stars: Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour, Jamie Foxx
I like Foxx, but a January release might make one sleepy…

20 –

xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.
Director: D.J. Caruso
Stars: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Kris Wu
XXX is back! Not that I remember the first one. Plus it was Diesel, then Ice Cube, now Diesel again…so confusing.

27 –

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity's final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began - The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Ruby Rose, Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Iain Glen
The Final Chapter…unless it makes money.

What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard? Excited for the next IWSG anthology? Seen Warcraft? Picked up the MST3K Reunion show? Did you have a good holiday break and Christmas? And what movies excite you this month?