Monday, May 11, 2020

Nightwish - HUMAN. :II: NATURE., Music Videos and News, Underwater Review, Movies, and New Releases

Music News

Nightwish – HUMAN. :II: NATURE. Review

Truth be told, I didn’t pick up the new Nightwish album. In my mind, they are so incredibly popular that I equated their popularity to selling out to the masses. I listened to a couple tracks and was still unimpressed, but my wife dug it and she decided it was worth a purchase. Since we had it, I decided to give it a spin to see if my misgivings were founded. What I realized is whether or not they have ‘sold out’ is a nonissue - this is a very entertaining album.

Every track is an ear worm in the best way possible and the songs that didn’t quite click for me the first time work so well in a complete album context. Floor Jansen’s vocals are amazing with incredible range, control, and variety. (She sings in an operatic style at the end of Shoemaker and it’s really impressive.) The music is always lively and shifting from moments of rock, symphonic and folk melodies.

I’m super glad that the missus picked this one up because this is a great album.

A new Ayreon album is in the works!
The title is TRANSITUS.
Due out later this year.
Their last album was The Source.
Looking forward to this one!

From Metal Injection:
Canned water company Liquid Death turned all their negative publicity into one death metal song in 2019. Now with the help of Gus Rios (Gruesome, ex-Malevolent Creation), Seth Ringer (Eternal), James Malone (Arsis), Torin Ridgeway, they've turned the hate into a full album.
Liquid Death’s Greatest Hates is a full 10-song album available now on Spotify, as well as 12" vinyl over at the Liquid Death website.
Songs include Fire Your Marketing Guy and Selling Your Soul is Deplorable!

Now, enjoy some more videos!

Devin Townsend has been putting out a lot more quarantine videos, which are both master musicianship and rather funny. He still gets super nervous playing in front of others or the camera, even after thirty years of doing so!

And another Katatonia video, one a little more upbeat than Lacquer: 

Movie Review


From the IMDB: A crew of oceanic researchers working for a deep sea drilling company try to get to safety after a mysterious earthquake devastates their deepwater research and drilling facility located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. 
Staring Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, and Mamoudou Athie

This came out in January and despite the main two leads, received little fanfare. It’s derivative of a lot of movies (like DeepStar Six, Leviathan, The Sphere, etc.) but despite that, it works well and comes off as fresh.

Stewart has gone from a pouty teen (in almost every role she’s ever played) to a good adult actress. Her character is tough but not perfect – she doesn’t have all the answers and she’s just as scared as the others.

The effects are really good – very claustrophobic. (As is the whole vibe to the film.) And the creatures…like something out of a Lovecraft story.

Will it change your world? Heck no! But you will be entertained for ninety-five minutes, which is the perfect length for this film.


Book Releases

A Quick Bite by Patricia Josephine
These monsters tickle our imagination.
Sink your teeth into a collection of tales about paranormal creatures that go bump in the night. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to give you a quick bite no matter how busy your day is.
Are you hungry?
Find it at Amazon
Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.
Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Mateo’s Law by Sandra Cox

A modern day, shapeshifting sheriff. 

Find it on Amazon

The Matched Game anthology, featuring the work of Lidy Wilks

Find it at Amazon and Zimbell House Publishing

Available May 16!

Walking with Jesus: Stories from One Hope Church by Tyrean Martinson

An anthology of stories, poetry, and scripture.
Read to discover how ordinary lives become extraordinary in the light of God’s love. Real people. Real dilemmas. Real Jesus. 

Find it on Amazon and Smashwords

Movie News

How many new Star Wars films are in the works? A lot!
You can get a full list of stand-alones, trilogies, and series at Games Radar
And this November will bring season two of The Mandalorian.

Disney plans to reboot Pirates of the Caribbean!
But according to JoBlo, Karen Gillan from the Jumanji reboot movies will be cast in the lead role.
I’m all right with that…

Yes, this is for real!
Murder Hornet Movie on its Way
DVD available June 1.
So, you can only imagine the quality…

Fan of Nightwish? Enjoy the videos? Seen Underwater? Picking up some new books? Think RiffTrax will need to take a whack at the murder hornet movie…?
And I will see all of you again on June 3, IWSG day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

#IWSG Anthology Contest Opens! Voyagers: The Third Ghost Release, Katatonia – City Burials Review, 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.

The awesome co-hosts today are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

Today’s question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

Music! Progressive rock and metal. Loud. Always sets the tone.

2019 IWSG Anthology is out now!

Voyagers: The Third Ghost

Release date – May 5, 2020
Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99
Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure / Fantasy & Magic
Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press

Journey into the past…

Will the third ghost be found before fires take more lives? Can everyone be warned before Pompeii is buried again? What happens if a blizzard traps a family in East Germany? Will the Firebird help Soviet sisters outwit evil during WWII? And sneaking off to see the first aeroplane – what could go wrong?

Ten authors explore the past, sending their young protagonists on harrowing adventures. Featuring the talents of Yvonne Ventresca, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Sherry Ellis, Rebecca M. Douglass, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Louise MacBeath Barbour, Beth Anderson Schuck, and L.T. Ward.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a voyage of wonder into history. Get ready for an exciting ride!

The Third Ghost – Yvonne Ventresca
Winter Days - Katharina Gerlach
Feathered Fire – Roland Clarke
The Ghosts of Pompeii – Sherry Ellis
Dare Double Dare – Louise MacBeath Barbour
The Blind Ship – Bish Denham
A World of Trouble – Rebecca M. Douglass
The Orchard - Beth Anderson Schuck
Return to Cahokia – L.T. Ward
Simon Grey and the Yamamba - Charles Kowalski

Special thanks to our amazing judges:

Elizabeth S. Craig, author and honorary judge

Dianne K. Salerni, author

Lynda Dietz, editor

S.A. Larsen, author

Rachna Chhabria, author

Lindsay Davis Auld, agent - Writers House

Tonja Drecker, author

David Powers King, author

Our previous IWSG anthologies -
Masquerade: Oddly Suited
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life
Parallels: Felix Was Here

Doesn’t Louise look happy to get her author copies?

The 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest is now open!

Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 4500-6000

Genre: Science Fiction

Theme: Dark Matter

Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

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

Our official judges:

Dan Koboldt, author and #SFFpit founder
Dan Koboldt is the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy (Harper Voyager), the editor of Putting the Science in Fiction (Writers Digest, 2018), and the creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle (Serial Box, 2019). As a genetics researcher, he has co-authored more than 80 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. He is represented by Paul Stevens of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Lynda R. Young, author
Lynda R. Young is an Aussie writing fantasy novels as Elle Cardy. Wielder’s Prize is her debut YA epic fantasy. She is also an editor, game developer, 3D artist, graphic designer, photographer, gamer and more.

Colleen Oefelein, agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Colleen Oefelein is an author of YA, picture books, and author promotion guides, a devourer of books, and the owner of the book review site North of Normal. Formerly an associate agent and PR manager with Inklings Literary Agency, Colleen has hosted numerous “Pitch Perfect” and “Rejection Correction” workshops on Facebook and at conferences nationwide, and she’s mentored several authors one-on-one through online pitch contests such as Pitch Wars.

Damien Larkin, author
Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was published by Dancing Lemur Press and went on to be longlisted for the BSFA award for Best Novel. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is working on his next novel Blood Red Sand.

Ion Newcombe, eidtor and publisher
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.

Julie Gwinn, agent, The Seymour Agency
Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Recently, she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words.

David Powers King, author
David's works include Woven, The Undead Road,, and Full Dark: An Anthology. He currently resides in the Mountain West with his wife and 4 children.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. (Please see their site for general submission guidelines.) 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!

Music Review

Katatonia - City Burials

I was late to the party when I discovered Katatonia. Their last album, “Fall of Hearts” made so many year-end top ten lists in 2016 that I had to check it out.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to think after my first run through. But that’s the beauty of the band. They’re not about instant gratification. The more I listened, the more I loved it.

The album is meant to be listened as a whole experience. It flows and crests like a wave, and the journey is amazing.

City Burials is another great entry in the Katatonia catalog. It’s nuanced and subtle yet full of stellar moments that you yearn to hear over and over. The musicianship and songwriting are amazing. This one will be on my top ten list come years end, and I hope you check it out.

Highly recommended!

And to go with Monday’s Music Moves Me, hosted by Xmas Dolly, here is the video for Lacquer, a melodic and haunting song:
Movie Review

The Willoughbys
This animated film dropped on NetFlix last month and after a couple good reviews, we decided to check it out.
Let me just cut to the chase – I hated this film.
Who thought a whimsical children’s film on severe child neglect and abuse would be fun?
The parents are absorbed with each other and don’t like their kids. They ignore them, don’t feed them, etc. The kids decide to orphan themselves and send their parents on a trip just hoping they will get lost forever. (Spoiler – And when they go to rescue their parents, mom and dad leave the kids on the side of a mountain and end up dying a fiery death in a derigible.)
The message is supposed to be about family, but the twisted messages about families overshadow any good message buried there.
Extremely not recommended!

Picking up Voyagers? Entering the next contest? Familiar with Katatonia - what did you think of Lacquer? Had the misfortune to sit through The Willoughbys? And what gets you into that writing groove?