Monday, September 14, 2020

Mayan Adventure – Movies Filmed in Belize and Latin Flavors Blogfest! Plus Bill and Ted Face the Music, Project Power, and More

Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure!

Movies Filmed in Belize

Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure takes place in Belize. When Alex asked me to come up with a movie-related post, I thought it would be interesting to see if any movies had been filmed there. I knew from my own visit that it had a lot of cool places that would be perfect for filming beach and jungle scenes. Sure enough, I found six. Here they are:

1. Curse of Xtabai (2012). This 80-minute thriller is the first dramatic movie filmed entirely in Belize. When a sealed Mayan cave is blown open, the evil Xtabai is freed. She infects the inhabitants of a nearby village with a deadly virus and wreaks havoc on the world. Maybe she’s the one who caused the corona virus pandemic! 

2. Alien Origin (2012) This action-packed movie features scenes of Belize’s cave system. The premise is that the origins of life on earth are revealed in these deep, dark caves.

3. The Dogs of War (1980) A mercenary on a job in Africa is tortured and deported. He comes back to lead a coup. This one features many well-known Belize landmarks. 

4. Mosquito Coast (1986): Starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. An inventor moves his family to the jungles of Central America to make a utopia. I wonder how that worked out! It features San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Belize City. I’d like to see this one because these are all places I saw or stayed at on my trip to Belize.

5. Mega Piranha (2010): Action movie shot entirely in Belize about killer piranhas that threaten to destroy everything in their path. I’m sure glad I didn’t meet any of those when I went SCUBA diving there! 

6. The Cay (1974): Staring James Earl Jones. This one is about people wrecked on a tropical island following a WWII torpedo attack.

Have you seen or heard of any of these movies? Are there any you’d like to see?

Thanks for having me as a guest, Alex!

Latin Flavors Blogfest

Prompt: What is your favorite Latin-flavor recipe?

I have to go with my standby favorite – chicken fajita quesadilla!
Bell peppers, onions, chili powder, Mexican cheese blend, and chicken cooked and finished off in a tortilla sandwich. Easy and tasty!

An Ancient Mayan civilization!
That’s what Bubba and Squirt find when they travel through the mysterious vortex for another wild adventure. There they meet archeologists who are unearthing priceless artifacts.
But someone is stealing them. And an encounter with the Tat
e Duende awakens magic within Bubba. Throw in the mysterious Alux and a new discovery and things get sticky.
Will Bubba and Squirt solve the mystery, or will they be stuck forever in the jungles of Belize?
Find it at Amazon, iTunes Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Goodreads, Books A Million, Amazon UK, and Amazon CA

About the Author: Sherry Ellis is an award-winning author and professional musician who plays and teaches the violin, viola, and piano. When she is not writing or engaged in musical activities, she can be found doing household chores, hiking, or exploring the world. Ellis has previously published, Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China; Don’t Feed the Elephant; Ten Zany Birds; That Mama is a Grouch; and That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN. Ellis lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Find Sherry at her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon

Movie Reviews

Bill and Ted Face the Music

From the IMDB:
Once told they'd save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.
The last Bill and Ted was in 1991 – their Bogus Journey. It ended with them returning after studying with the masters for two years with kids – Ted Jr. and Bill Jr.
Only, they weren’t boys! Nope, this movie kicks off approximately twenty years later with their teen daughters, who act just like them, trying to help their fathers create that perfect song that will save the world. (Special props to Brigette Lundy-Paine who plays Billie, Ted’s daughter – she is more Ted than Keanu Reeves.)
Where it works, it really works. We’ve missed Bill and Ted! But the film is a bit uneven. There is a lot happening and several groups of people time jumping through the phone booth and more. Plus one thing that is noticeably absent is the music soundtrack. There is no Extreme’s Play With Me or Winger’s Battle Stations. And William Sadler does show up as Death, but not until towards the end of the film.
This was supposed to be a big release this past summer. Now you can either rent it for twenty bucks or buy it for twenty-five. If you’re a fan, you might as well just buy it.
Despite the issues, we will be watching it again.

Project Power

From the IMDB:
When a pill that gives its users unpredictable superpowers for five minutes hits the streets of New Orleans, a teenage dealer and a local cop must team with an ex-soldier to take down the group responsible for its creation.
Starring Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback.
Had I gone to the theater, I would’ve been very disappointed. It’s not bad, but it’s not anything groundbreaking or new. A lot of average.
Probably the best part is the relationship between Foxx and Fishback. She was one sharp cookie. And Foxx is always entertaining.
Gordon-Levitt was a little bit lost in the film. Odd to hear him with a Louisiana accent, that’s for sure.
If you’re bored, there are worse ways to kill time.

Ninja News

Urgent! My friend Roland Yeomans is homeless due to Hurricane Laura. He lost almost everything and if he doesn’t find a place to stay by the end of the month, he will be homeless and lose his cat, Midnight.
You can help him by donating to his PayPal account - rxena77 @

Author Jacqui Murray read and loved CassaStar. She featured it so please be sure to visit her!

Katherine’s Corner is hosting a Tell Me a Story series through September.
Every Tuesday is a new author and excerpt.
On September 8, she featured me and Dragon of the Stars!
Please visit her site for my Tell Me a Story feature.

New releases:

Zero Usage by Pat Hatt

Day by day. Meter by meter. That was my life for years. But then I came across a meter that read zero usage. If only I hadn't read that meter. If only smart meters had gotten in sooner. If only my fair-weather vehicle hadn't broken down. If only could be my life story. Instead, I have this story to tell.
Find it on Amazon

Tales from the Toxic World by Sean McLachlan

A scavenger with a wondrous artifact from the Old Times sets out to avenge his past …
Find it on Amazon

And finally – Wonder Woman 1984 has been pushed back to December! (I should get to see it in the theater by then.) Apparently the numbers for Tenet, expected to be sixty million but with theaters at one third the capacity, was only twenty million.
And yes, for those who asked if I would dare go out to a theater – I would! Goodness, I am in more danger at work than I would be at a theater. And life must go on. Mask, distance, and I am on it.

Have you seen any of those films filmed in Belize? What’s your Latin flavor? Seen Bill and Ted or Project Power? Visited either of those amazing features – what an honor for me!
Be back in two weeks with some music reviews and more!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Upcoming Movie Releases, New Book Releases, 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 PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

September 2 question - If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

I’d want to go with someone who writes what I enjoy and who aspire to write like, so it would be either Timothy Zahn or Terry Brooks. Zahn’s Star Wars books are excellent and Sword of Shannara is the book that formed my love of fantasy.

Author Jacqui Murray read and loved CassaStar the feature is up now!. Please be sure to visit her!

Katherine’s Corner is hosting a Tell Me a Story series through September.

Every Tuesday is a new author and excerpt.

On September 8, she will be featuring me and Dragon of the Stars. And it's live now!

Please visit her site for my Tell Me a Story feature.

Don’t forget today, September 2, is the last day to enter the IWSG Anthology Contest!

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. (MUST be a member to enter.)
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.
Our judges: Dan Koboldt, Lynda R. Young, Colleen Oefelein, Damien Larkin, Ion Newcombe, Julie Gwinn, and David Powers King

The next #IWSGPit Twitter pitch event is January 20!
Will you be ready?

When’s the last time we had a blog hop outside of the IWSG? We need one!
Sherry Ellis is hosting the Latin Flavors blog hop September 14-18 in celebration of the release of her next book, Bubba and Squirt’s Mayan Adventure.
Join us!

New Releases

Love and Other Lies by MJ Fifield

For years, Lavinia Kelly has gone through the motions, content to let life pass her by…

Find it on Amazon

Wielder’s Storm trilogy by Lynda R. Young

The Wielder's Storm Trilogy is an action-packed epic fantasy that will sweep you across the high seas on a thrilling adventure full of exciting twists.
This complete box set contains Wielder’s Prize, Wielder’s Curse and Wielder’s Fire.

I’ve read the first book and it’s awesome!

Find it on Amazon

I Am a Quarantine Survivor by PJ Colando

All proceeds will be donated to a food bank that helps people survive despite the COVID-culture that surrounds us…

Find it on Amazon

Upcoming Movie Releases

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

September 3 -

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki
Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
Yes, this comes out tomorrow. No, I will not be able to see it because our theaters are still closed!!! I hate my state.

September 25 –

Ava is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.
Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich, Common
If more theaters are open, this one might have a chance.

October 2 –

Wonder Woman 1984
Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Gal Gadot, Connie Nielsen, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine
Our theaters damn well better be open for this one! Or it’s road trip time.

What author would be your beta partner? Entering the IWSG Anthology Contest last minute? Joining the Latin Flavors Blog Hop? Picking up some new books? What movies will you miss in the theater over the next month?
Monday is Labor Day, so I will be offline. I will be back on September 14 with movie reviews (including Bill and Ted Face the Music) and more!