Monday, July 8, 2019

Spider-man: Far From Home, Stranger Things 3, Murders on Boats with Ellen Jacobson, and Ninja News!

Spider-man: Far From Home

Picking up after Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker needs a break and takes a school trip to Europe. Of course, Spider-man is needed!
This film was a ton of fun. Marvel just keeps getting better and better. It was a great idea to get Spider-man out of New York for a bit.
Tom Holland is excellent as Spider-man/Peter Parker, bringing just the right elements to the roles. His friends and classmates also made for a great cast.
The special effects are spectacular. However, it’s the human element that makes this film so engaging.
And remember this name – Night Monkey!
As always, stay through the credits. The first bonus scene is very critical and really sets up an interesting third Spider-man film. And at the end of the credits is the second bonus scene.
Highly recommended!

Stranger Things – Season Three

The third and possibly last season of Stranger Things dropped on the Fourth of July and I may or may not have watched half of it that day!
The kids are now teens and enjoying their summer. Everyone but Will has a girlfriend/boyfriend, so there are a lot of raging hormones. The familiar faces all return – the kids, the young adults, and the adults – plus there are a few new faces in the crowd.
The first episode establishes where the characters are in life, taking its time to introduce the weirdness. Oh, but it does come! There are also a lot of different subplots running along, but as the episodes progress, they all start to come together.
NetFlix had a lot of faith in season three and put a lot of money into the production. The special effects are really great and on a much bigger scale.
The Duffer brothers have a great grasp on all things 80’s. It feels like you are watching something from Steven Spielberg or Joe Dante.
Eight episodes is the perfect length. And all those subplots come together for one explosive and surprising ending. And certainly stick around for the post credit scene. It will make you wonder if this really is the final season. (They are now talking two more although maybe not with all the same characters.)
Highly Recommended!

Murders on Boats!

Please welcome Ellen Jacobson!

I love reading mysteries and I live on a sailboat, so it only seems natural that I would seek out movies and TV shows that feature murder on boats.

Death on the Nile (1978)
This classic adaptation of Agatha Christie’s book stars Peter Ustinov as the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. When a wealthy heiress is found dead on a paddle steamer, Poirot puts his little gray cells to work identifying the killer.

Murder Mystery (2019)
This comedy stars Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler as a married couple who get caught up in a murder investigation on a billionaire’s mega-yacht. If you’re looking for a light-hearted whodunit, this might be just the ticket.

High Seas (2019)
This Netflix Spanish language series features two sisters who travel on a luxury cruise ship from Spain to Brazil. When someone ends up dead, they try to discover who the murderer is. The 1940s vintage period decor and setting add to the appeal.

Dead Men Tell (1941)
Charlie Chan investigates the death of a woman who planned to seek out treasure on an old sailing ship. A pirate ghost with peg leg, missing pieces of a treasure map, and a talking parrot add to the fun.

The Mystery Cruise (2013)
When two best friends set off on a three day murder mystery game on a luxury cruise ship, they end up putting their investigative skills to work after they discover a real murderer is on board.

Poisoned by the Pier is available in ebook, paperback and large print on all retailers. If you’re new to the series, you might want to start with Murder at the Marina. The ebook is currently on sale for only 99c/99p on all retailers. Find out more on my website.

Get Ellen’s books here - Poisoned by the Pier and Murder at the Marina

Ninja News

We are looking for one more admin to join the IWSG team! If you are interested, please email us. Must be active member of either the blog hop or Facebook. Email - admin @

Don’t forget the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest is open and taking submissions!
Genre is middle grade historical – adventure/ fantasy and the theme is voyagers.
See the site for full details.

A Not So Heartless World by Pat Hatt
This is book nine in the series!

After facing time travel, time fractions, the time axis, the Time Junction, alternate realities, Olympus, the Freton, aging, and even being turned into cartoons, Jack, Jeremiah, Emily, Trudy, Orlin, and the rest of their family have finally made it safely home. But as a battle as old as time itself comes to a head, they soon find that home is the least safe place they have ever been.

Pick it up on Amazon

After sixty-seven years, Mad Magazine is shutting down.
From Rolling Stone:
The comedy mag will be pulled from newsstands after the release of issue nine in August and from then on will be sold exclusively via subscriptions and comic book store (Mad reset its numbering in 2018 after moving offices). Starting with issue 11 in October, “new” issues of Mad will only feature new cover art, while the rest of the magazine will comprise articles pulled from previous issues.

Upcoming DVD releases:

July 16 – Shazam!

July 23 – Alita: Battle Angel

And in case you missed it, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series debuts on August 30 on NetFlix. The series is a prequel to the movie released in 1982.

Fingers crossed they stay pure to Jim Henson’s style and vision!

With a vacation coming up soon, I’m going to take the rest of July off. I’ll also be writing! So enjoy your summer and after this week, I’ll see you on August 7 for the next IWWSG post day.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Sci-fi Fantasy Movies, July Movie Preview, and More!

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 for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

July 3 question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

Most of my characters are nothing like me. Aden from Dragon of the Stars is pretty much my polar opposite. Only Byron from my Cassa series got any of my traits – I’m also a perfectionist and like my privacy. When I was younger, I had his temper, but I outgrew that. Like most rock stars, I mellowed with age…

And on a side note, I have been writing! Around a thousand words a night for the past week. But I’m in the groove and should have a finished story by August.

Science Fiction - Fantasy Movies

I'm so excited to have a spot on IWSG day at the grand poobah's place!

Alex is a top notch movie reviewer and sci fi writer, among other fantastic things... So as I celebrate the release of WINDY HOLLOW, fantasy adventure, I thought a short post about my favorite sci-fantasy movies would be apropos. Sci-fantasy incorporates sci fi settings or tech with some mystical or magical components. In Beast World, the fantasy creatures are no strangers to modern-day technology!

Here are some of my favorites of yon and of late... I didn't want to take up too much space, and I bet you could name a bunch more in the comments!

Star Wars (1977 sci-fantasy at its finest!)
Time Bandits (1981)
The Secret of Nimh (1982)
Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
The Matrix (1999)
I, Robot (2004)
WALL*E (2008)
Inception (2010)
Wreck It Ralph (2012)
Ready Player One (2018)

I always thought my Beast World stories would be awesome for an animated film series. They have everything I look for in a fantasy adventure movie: hijinks, young romance, difficult journeys, friendship, action, suspense, justice, unpredictability, highs, lows, soul-searching, unsung heroes, and lots of laughs. (Side note: I wrote this article back in January for my expected release back then... after some agony, I finally published it myself, then discovered a movie will be coming out next year: ONWARD by Pixar that is basically set in my Beast World. It’s been a devastating blow, but I’m working on getting noticed and taking it back!)

Anyway, thanks again for having me, Alex. I enjoyed the stroll down my sci-fantasy movie past and future. And for helping me get the word out about WINDY HOLLOW!

Did you think of a sci-fantasy movie you love? Ever wish your book could be turned into a movie?

Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

This summer, Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings. 

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

twitter: @taratylertalks
Instagram: taratylertalks
newsletter: tara tyler news

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

IWSG Anthology Contest

Don’t forget the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest is open and taking submissions!
Genre is middle grade historical – adventure/ fantasy and the theme is voyagers.
See the site for full details.

For those who are confused by the genre:
Middle grade – suitable for 9 – 14 year-old children.
Historical – it must have historical aspects and be set in a time before 2000 or earlier. It just needs to be set in the past.
Adventure/fantasy – the subgenre can be either adventure OR fantasy. The fantasy genre is acceptable as there are many ancient cultures and times that believed in supernatural occurrences.

Book News!

My publisher is running a Fourth of July special - buy a book and get a free book.

Full details on their site.

Poisoned by the Pier by Ellen Jacobson

Life without chocolate and junk food—completely miserable. Finding someone poisoned by a cake—even worse.
Can Mollie nab the murderer before someone else is poisoned?
Spoiler Alert: You’ll never look at rutabagas the same way again after you finish reading this book!

Find Poisoned at the Pier on Amazon and Goodreads
Find Ellen at her website and blog

July Movie Preview

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

2 –

Spiderman: Far From Home
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.
Director: Jon Watts
Stars: Zendaya, Angourie Rice, Tom Holland, Jon Favreau
Saw this on opening night - awesome! Don't miss it. And stay for the double ending. Totally worth it. Review next week!

12 –

A detective recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure.
Director: Michael Dowse
Stars: Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Betty Gilpin, Kumail Nanjiani
Drax takes an Uber…

A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators. Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson, Anson Boon
Alligators attacking during a hurricane. I dread the Asylum/SyFy rip-off coming – Sharknado vs. Hurrigator.

19 –

The Lion King
After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: John Kani, Seth Rogen, Donald Glover, Keegan-Michael Key
At this point, Disney doesn’t need an original thought ever again…

26 –

Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood
A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Sydney Sweeney
Tarantino puts 70’s Hollywood in a blender.

Do your characters have your personality traits? What are your favorite science fiction - fantasy films? Picking up Windy Hollow,  Poisoned at the Pier, or another book? (Ellen will be here on Monday!) Submitting to the IWSG Anthology Contest? And what July movies catch your eye?