Monday, September 25, 2017

Upcoming Movie Trailers, Mastodon: Cold, Dark Place Review, #IWSGPit and News, Sports Movie Trivia Answers, and Ninja News

Movie Trailers

Some interesting new trailers up at JoBlo:

First up is Anna and the Apocalypse, a zombie musical. Yes, you read that right…

Next is Revolt, a science fiction alien invasion film.

If you haven’t seen the new Tomb Raider trailer, it actually looks good. (And it’s based on the newer version of Laura Croft in Tomb Raider.)

Of course, one of the movies to watch for is The Shape of Water, directed by Guillmero Del Toro. They are already calling it another Pan’s Labyrinth…

And quick thoughts on the new Star Trek Discovery - great looking show with high production values, first episode moved a bit slow, don't like new Klingons, and one character's actions were handled wrong and done just to force the plot. Verdict - while it looks great and could get better, I won't be paying for CBS All Access to watch it.

Review - Mastodon - Cold, Dark Place

Recorded during the last two albums, this four track EP is a curious animal indeed. Just when I think I have them figured out, they release an EP more musically adventurous and odd than anything released on the last two full length albums.
Full of mood and tone and chock full of crazy time changes, this is why I love prog rock music. "Toe to Toes" stands out as one of the most interesting and challenging compositions (so many time changes in a 4:30 minute song).
Mastodon once again tramples my musical expectations (in a good way).


Today’s guest at the IWSG is the narrator of Joylene Nowell Butler’s Matowak: Woman Who Cries, and he outlines the process of creating an audio book.

We have a date for the next #IWSGPit – Thursday, January 18, 2018!
We’ve already amassed a list of over three hundred agents and publishers and will continue to build through the end of the year.
So polish those manuscripts and pitches!

October 4 is the next IWSG post day and it’s also the Show Your Writer Insecurity contest. Prepare your photos and post them on your blog that day. Cool prizes for the winners!

And the deadline for the next IWSG Anthology Contest is November 1. The genre is mystery/crime/thriller and the theme is Tick Tock.
This is a great opportunity to see you work in a royalty-paying anthology.
See the IWSG site for full details.

Ninja News

Jeremy Hawkins has a cool new t-shirt design!
Check out The Monster Club at his Neatoshop.

New Release!
Black & White by Nick Wilford
What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?
Find it on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Goodreads

Author Michelle Gregory shared this article about writing fears from Medium - The Startup.

Movie Trivia Answers

Name the movie from the year released, sport, and star of the film:

1 - 2000’s, football, Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
2 - 80’s, baseball, Tom Berenger – Major League
3 - 90’s, golf, Kevin Costner – Tin Cup
4 - 2000’s, horse racing, Viggo Mortensen - Hidalgo
5 - 90’s, hockey, Russell Crowe – Mystery, Alaska
6 - 70’s, boxing, Sylvester Stallone - Rocky
7 - 90’s, football, Sean Astin - Rudy
8 - 2000’s, football, Mark Wahlberg - Invincible
9 - 70’s, running, Susan Anton – Golden Girl
10 - 80’s, baseball, Kevin Costner – Field of Dreams or Bull Durham
11 - 90’s, bobsledding, John Candy – Cool Runnings
12 - 2000’s, jousting, Heath Ledger – A Knight’s Tale
13 - 80’s, rowing, Nicolas Cage – The Boy in Blue
14 - 2000’s, skating, Will Ferrell – Blades of Glory

Any of those trailers look enticing? Ever heard of Mastodon? (This would be a great album to sampl.) Ready for the IWSG contests and pitch party? And how many movies did you guess? Pat Hatt got thirteen right…

And three months until Christmas!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Television App War, Jessica K. McKendry’s Lies and Truth, Sports Movie Trivia, and Ninja News

Jessica Therrien has a special feature called My Publishing Journey. Today, I am the guest of honor. If you’ve ever wondered how someone with no desire to become an author ended up with four books, numerous anthologies, and audio books, not to mention starting the IWSG, then visit Jessica.

The Television App War – No More Free

There’s no more free television. You’ll need an app for that. As a matter of fact, you’ll need many, many apps…

If you subscribe to cable or satellite, you still have access to most of the channels either online or through the app. With Direct TV, you can still access most of the content your paid package provides. Most. Not all.

CBS now has CBS All Access. If you want to see the new Star Trek series, you’ll have to get the CBS All Access app. By getting, I mean pay for it. Ten bucks a month.

Now, ten bucks a month isn’t bad. NetFlix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are all about that much. Each one has its own original content as well, so it’s worth the price.

But what happens when each station or channel wants a slice of the pie and its own app like CBS All Access? What happens when they start pulling their content from other apps and starting their own – like Disney, who will pull everything including Marvel movies from NetFlix next year?

What happens is a giant mess. And as it fractures more and more, it will cost more. Even if you cut the cord on cable, you’ll still need an app. Or two or three or four…

Anyone else concerned where this is going? And where it might end…?

Jessica K. McKendry and Two Lies and a Truth

Hello lovely people!

The past few days have been incredibly exciting, because first, I turned 21 on Friday! And secondly, my second novel The Inferiors (From the Ashes #2) is being released TODAY! In honor of The Inferiors release, I’m hosting a lil blog hop that you can sign up for on my blog here.

In honor of my book release and my blog hop called LIES, I’m going to give you two lies and one truth about a character in my book. (If you sign up, you can write two lies and one truth about you, about a character you’ve written about, or a character in your favorite story.) So here goes.

AGE: 17

1. I used to be best friends with my worst enemy
2. I’m a player, I live for the game
3. I’m a hopeless romantic

Now you get to guess :)

Add From the Ashes and The Inferiors on Goodreads, and you can buy both on Amazon as a paperback or an eBook! (Direct link - The Inferiors)

Everyone who takes a guess and gets it right will have a chance to win a free copy of your choice of From the Ashes (#1) or The Inferiors (#2).

Have a lovely day everyone!


Ninja News

Anne R. Allen had a great article on Sunday - Want to Increase Your Blog Readership? Kill that Popup! If you use popups on your site, or you’re thinking about it, you definitely want to read this.

C. Lee McKenzie’s young adult book, Double Negative, is up for the Readers Choice Awards. Voting is now through December 10. Find Double Negative on page 12/16.

The IWSG is partnered with Reedsy, as site that offers great content and great services. What you might not know is that IWSG members get a discount! To qualify, register with the site HERE and you’ll be eligible to get twenty-five percent off of their services. A great deal!

Don’t forget the deadline for the annual IWSG Anthology Contest is November 1 and the IWSG Show Your Writer Insecurity Contest is October 4!

New Releases!

Long time blogger buddy Helena Soister has two new releases!

Charity MacCay and the Almighty Dollar
Charity MacCay persists, and resists, and she's scheming to pull herself up by her high-heeled bootstraps while helping the people she loves.
Find it on Amazon

Charity MacCay and the Saintly Wives
In this sequel to the Almighty Dollar, Charity MacCay knows how to get into trouble, and how to be trouble for anyone who tries to hurt her or her man.
Find it on Amazon

Sports Movie Trivia

Soon we will hit the great sports overlap – football, hockey, basketball, and baseball all at the same time.

To celebrate, here is some sports movie trivia for you. Some are easy, some you’ll have to think about. But name the movie from the year released, sport, and star of the film:

1 - 2000’s, football, Sandra Bullock
2 - 80’s, baseball, Tom Berenger
3 - 90’s, golf, Kevin Costner
4 - 2000’s, horse racing, Viggo Mortensen
5 - 90’s, hockey, Russell Crowe
6 - 70’s, boxing, Sylvester Stallone
7 - 90’s, football, Sean Astin
8 - 2000’s, football, Mark Wahlberg
9 - 70’s, running, Susan Anton
10 - 80’s, baseball, Kevin Costner
11 - 90’s, bobsledding, John Candy
12 - 2000’s, jousting, Heath Ledger
13 - 80’s, rowing, Nicolas Cage
14 - 2000’s, skating, Will Ferrell

Answers on Monday!

What’s your thoughts on the app war? Can you guess Jessica’s truth and lies? Checked out Reedsy? And do you know any of the trivia?
Don’t forget to visit Jessica Therrien!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Reviews – It, RiffTrax: Live–Five Doctors, The Defenders; Movie News and Remakes; and IWSG News

Movie and Show Reviews

Based on the Stephen King novel, which I’ve never read, this version is far superior to the TV miniseries.
It also became the highest weekend gross ever for a horror film and the second highest weekend gross for an R rated filme behind Deadpool.
It’s less a horror film than a drama. It has some creepy elements and a bit of gore, but it’s not really scary. While Pennywise might be snatching people and kids from the town, the real horror comes from what the kids face in their day-to-day lives.
Ultimately, the strength in the story lies with the kids. It’s a lot like Stand By Me. The interactions of the kids and how they deal with their problems is the heart of the story. (And you’ll feel like you had a really normal childhood compared to what they go through.) Kudos to the director for casting normal-looking kids and guiding them to respond like kids their age would.
You’ll also recognize Finn Wolfhard, who was the main kid in Stranger Things. Plus Jaeden Lieberher, who was the kid in Midnight Special, and Wyatt Oleff, who played young Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Overall, it’s an excellent film and very well done.
Highly recommended.

RiffTrax: Live – The Five Doctors
Broadcast mid-August, the RiffTrax guys took on a Doctor Who classic.
Sadly, the film hasn’t aged well. Production values look 60’s, not 80’s.
There was a lot to riff. From the outlandish egg costumes to the woman slipping down a ten degree incline and having to be pulled out with a rope. Plus one of the doctors was in the film a whole five minutes. Maybe. A lot of it didn’t make sense, but that only added to the riffing fodder.
A friend who’s a big Doctor Who fan thought it was hilarious, so RiffTrax didn’t ruin it forever for the fans.
They did make it highly entertaining for the rest of us though!
Highly recommended.

The Defenders
Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist team up to take on The Hand.
This is a tough one to review. Parts of it are wildly successful while other parts are a muddy mess. The first few episodes are slow going (think glacial) but give you just enough to carry forward. The middle episodes are the strongest and allow the dysfunctional team to shine.
The ending is truly a head scratcher. It didn’t make sense to me, and from reading other reviews, I’m not alone in that sentiment. I won’t give away the plot (or what I understood of it) but suffice it to say, if you liked Daredevil you might enjoy this crazy mess. The cast is game and Sigourney Weaver plays an imposing villain (even if I didn’t understand her nefarious plan.)
It’s better than the Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist stand-alone series, but it could have been so much more.

Movie News

Chris Pine will start as Robert the Bruce in Outlaw King.
From JoBlo:
…the historical figure has a rich and exciting history worthy of his own movie. He’s now getting that film – OUTLAW KING – courtesy of HELL OR HIGH WATER director David Mackenzie with Chris Pine starring as the legendary Scotsman.
It’s currently filming in Scotland and set for a 2018 release.

Also from JoBlo, director Colin Trevorrow was fired from Star Wars: Episode IX. Visit the site to get the scoop on what went wrong.

In an interview with Seth MacFarlane, he discusses the new series The Orville and how he wants to reclaim science fiction. Read about what looks like a really great new show on Blastr.

Movie remakes – we’re getting them whether we want them or not! Here are some scheduled and proposed upcoming movie remakes:
Suspira – with Tilda Swinton, 2018 release - but will Goblin be doing the soundtrack? That’s really what made the first film so damn creepy.
Tomb Raider – with Alicia Vikander, 2018 release - Angelina Jolie too old already?
A Star is Born – with Bradley Cooper, 2018 release - because the special effects will be so much better now!
An American Werewolf in London – plot twist: the lead is a woman!
Pet Sematary – like the first one wasn’t crappy enough…
WarGames – only if they nuke North Korea.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Another great IWSG post day! Big thanks to everyone, especially my co-hosts.

A couple things we noted:

Be sure when you leave a comment, your profile leads back to your blog! If it links to Google+, make sure you have your blog listed in your ‘About’ section. We encountered a lot of comments that we could not return because that person’s gravatar was not linked to a blog. And since some people comment with a name but it’s their blog name on the IWSG list, that makes it extra challenging.
And remember, if you’d like your link title modified or changed on the IWSG list, we have set up a IWSG Google Document where you can request that change!

Visit others and return comments. (And turn comments on – it’s a requirement!) I saw many IWSG posts with almost no comments. That’s either from no one visiting, the blog owner posting without commenting, or a combination. The point is support and encouragement, so get out there and be sociable.

The annual IWSG Anthology Contest is now open!
Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Theme: Tick Tock. We have an awesome panel of judges this year and the winning entries will be published in a royalty-paying anthology.
See the IWSG Anthology Contest post for details.

Plus the Show Your Writer Insecurity Contest is October 4, so get those photos ready.


The Kindle Book Review’s September Author Meet & Greet Giveaway is open until the end of the month. Dragon of the Stars is one of the Featured books and you could win the “Ultimate Reader Gift Basket” ~ A 7″ Kindle Fire HD, a $25 Amazon gift card, and a bottle of wine.

Anyone else see It? How about RiffTrax? (Next live show in October – the original Night of the Living Dead.) Going to watch The Orville? Can people find your blog by clicking on your gravatar? Entering either IWSG contest? And what movie remake are you dreading?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology Contest! Plus September Movie Preview, Ninja Around the Web, and New Releases

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 co-hosts today are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

September 6 Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in??

I’ve always written science fiction. Blogging taught me how to write articles and guest posts and such. But a submission to Geekdom House and their magazine sent me in the direction of contemporary fiction.
And you know what? It was kinda fun.

Don’t forget the Show Your Writer Insecurity Contest is October 4! See the site for details. Cool prizes.

September marks six years for the IWSG group and four years for the website. You know what that means…

The annual IWSG Anthology Contest!

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Story deadline: November 1st 2017

How to enter: Send your polished, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please format double-spaced, size 12 font, and no headers or footers. Include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges:

Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base.

Anne Hawkins is a partner in John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense, and thrillers and a wide variety of serious non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, and natural history. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Candace Havens is the Editorial Director of Covet has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists, runs a free online writing workshop, and teaches comprehensive writing class.

Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.

Patricia (Pat) Stoltey is the author of four crime fiction novels published by Five Star/Cengage including a historical mystery called Wishing Caswell Dead ( (December 2017). She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat. To learn more about Patricia and her books, visit her website/blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Mason Canyon had a love of books since childhood encouraged by a mother who loved to read. A 30+year career in journalism fueled her desire to know what a story is all about. Blogging at Thoughts in Progress since 2009 and operating MC Book Tours for over a year. Loves to read and share great stories with others. MC Book Tours

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

Ninja Around the Web

I have a special feature involving the song that inspired Dragon of the Stars at West of Mars.
Feature Opportunity West of Mars - Susan Helene Gottfried is looking for new books to feature! See her guidelines for a Feature Opportunity West of Mars.

The Kindle Book Review’s September Author Meet & Greet Giveaway is open until the end of the month.
Dragon of the Stars is one of the books involved in the Meet and Greet.
You could win the “Ultimate Reader Gift Basket” ~ A 7″ Kindle Fire HD, a $25 Amazon gift card, and a bottle of wine.
Multiple ways to enter! And you can enter every single day. Visit September Author Meet & Greet Giveaway to enter.

New releases!

SIX STRINGS - SEASON 2: ISSUE 5 is now available!
Put together for Howling Wolf Records by Jeremy Hawkins, is packed with cool stuff.
10 Years working with "LORD OF THE RINGS: ONLINE"
And more! Download your free copy of SIX STRINGS - SEASON 2: ISSUE 5.

Two Princesses by Tara Tyler 
Toss together two troubled princesses from feuding families, and see how well they work together to make their own happy endings. 
Find it on Amazon and Lulu
Dread by Shah Wharton

September Movie Preview

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

8 –

In Derry, Maine, seven friends come face-to-face with a shape shifter, who takes the form of an evil clown who targets children.
Director: Andy Muschietti
Stars: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis
It has potential. It looks good. I might see It. I hope It doesn’t suck…

15 –

American Assassin
A story centered on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.
Director: Michael Cuesta
Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch, Scott Adkins
He’s an American, she’s an assassin. Together, they just might learn a thing or two about each other…and love! Wait, that might not be the storyline…

Kingsman: The Golden Circle
When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Channing Tatum
Not sure if it’s appealing or not. (Also Golden Corral’s new slogan.)

29 –

American Made
A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.
Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Wright
Combine it with his last lame film and you have American Made Mummy…

Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience - giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife.
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Stars: Nina Dobrev, Ellen Page, James Norton, Diego Luna
Here’s a twist – instead of remaking films you loved as a kid, Hollywood is now remaking films you didn’t care about in the first place.

Submitting to this year’s anthology? Ready for the Writer Insecurity contest? What surprised you as a writer? Want to win a Kindle Fire? (Or a bottle of wine?) And what movies have your attention this month?

Be sure to visit my feature at West of Mars and enter the September Author Meet & Greet Giveaway!