Monday, January 11, 2021

Disaster Series, Best Movies of 2020, Best Albums of 2020, and Love and Monsters Review

Disaster Series with Chrys Fey

Alex Asked: What’s the disaster in A Fighting Chance? TELL US!

Chrys Fey’s Answer: Yup. This is the first book in the Disaster Crimes series that doesn’t reveal the disaster in the title. Or in the blurb. Or the tagline. The tagline even says “a surprise from Mother Nature.” It says that because it is a surprise. The disaster is not the main event in this story as it is with Books 1-5 (Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes, Frozen Crimes). In those books, the disaster is something that takes place during a large chunk of the story, and we experience the aftermath. This is not the case with A Fighting Chance. The disaster literally is a surprise. It’s not even totally shown on the cover, although you could probably guess what it is.

Okay…so I stalled long enough. I’ll spill.
The disaster is…a tornado. To be specific, a EF3 tornado in Florida.

*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*
Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he's worried the truth will frighten her away.v And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.
Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?

Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes


Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes

Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*

The Disaster Crimes Series:
*The Crime Before the Storm (prequel)
Hurricane Crimes (novella, #1)
Seismic Crimes (#2)
Lightning Crimes (free short, #2.5)
Tsunami Crimes (#3)
Flaming Crimes (#4)
Frozen Crimes (#5)
A Fighting Chance (spin-off, #6)
The Disaster Curse (short story, #7)
*Free exclusive story to newsletter subscribers.

***LAUNCHING A WEBSITE*** is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.


Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle
Enter here

Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.
Author Links: Newsletter, Website, Facebook Group, Blog, BookBub, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon

Movie Review

Love and Monsters
From the IMDB - In a monster-infested world, Joel learns his girlfriend is just 85 miles away. To make the dangerous journey, Joel discovers his inner hero to be with the girl of his dreams.
Staring Dylan O’Brien, Michael Rooker, Jessica Henwick, Dan Ewing, and Ariana Greenblatt
Released in October of last year, we actually caught it this weekend as a rental.
Overall, it was really enjoyable. The lead was a bit of a wuss (although fortunately not a complete idiot) but I really liked the dog, Boy. Michael Rooker was excellent, as always, as the surface wanderer who knows how to survive.
The creature effects are quite good and there is a big variety of critters from small to very, very large.
The pacing is good and there are some great action scenes along with a few very human ones.
This one surprised me and was definitely worth the rental!

Best of 2020

While that might seem an oxymoron, there were some great albums and good movies released last year. We’ll start with the movies. I went with a top five instead of ten since there were so few out in the theaters last year and a lot of dumping in the streaming services.

5 – Bill and Ted Face the Music
Not as good as the other films but good to see the band together again.

4 – Enola Holmes

Came out of nowhere and I was thoroughly entertained by its humor and charm.

3 – 1917
Tough, gritty, nail-biting film from start to finish. (Almost forgot this one came out January 2020)

2 – Wonder Woman 84
Again, not at good as first but a fun superhero movie.

1 – Tenet
One of the few films I saw in a theater and I’m so glad I did – it blew me away.

Unlike movies, music seemed to boom last year. Here is a top ten of prog rock/metal/hard rock of 2020.

10 – Ayreon – Transitus
As a concept album, it loses points for the confusing narrative, but the music is still amazing.

9 – Kvelertak - Splid
Little concerned as it was a new lead singer, however this is their best since their debut.

8 – Allen/Olzon – Worlds Apart
Russell Allen is the man and pairing him up with former Nightwish singer Anette Olzon makes for a great listen.

7 – Armored Saint – Punching the Sky
These guys have been around since the eighties but the album isn’t retro or old school, it just kicks ass.

6 – Novena – Eleventh Hour
The side project from Haken’s lead singer is a killer prog album and I look forward to more.

5 – John Petrucci – Terminal Velocity
Not only showing that he’s the greatest guitarist in rock or metal but the songs are catchy and captivating.

4 – Katatonia – City Burials
It doesn’t stray from their signature sound and I have no problem with that – this album is amazing.

3 – Haken – Virus
Named before the pandemic hit, Haken continues to put out one prog masterpiece after the next.

2 – Dynazty – The Dark Delight
Totally took me by surprise, this disc is one great song after the next and it’s criminal these guys aren’t more well-known.

1 – Countless Skies – Glow
Take one part Insomnium, one part Devon Townsend, and one part While Heaven Wept, mix it all together and you have a mellow-death-prog-doom masterpiece.

Have you ever experienced a tornado? Seen Love and Monsters? What movies did you enjoy last year? What were some of your favorite albums?
Thanks to everyone who volunteered to co-host the IWSG – we are set until June.
Don’t forget the IWSG Twitter pitch event, #IWSGPit, takes place on January 20.
Next Monday is a holiday here, so I will be offline. I’ll catch all of you on January 25!


Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex, and hello to my friend and Florida neighbor Chrys Fey!

Within a month of moving down to Florida from The Keystone State in the mid 80s, I saw my first tornado, a waterspout coming directly toward me as I stood watching mesmerized from the balcony of my apartment on the shore of Tampa Bay. The funnel lifted back up into the cloud mass just before getting to me. In years since that episode, Central Florida has been raked several times by more powerful tornadoes, the most deadly and destructive a cluster that skipped over my vicinity and did severe damage on the east side of the peninsula. That terrible day, which as I recall was in the late 90s, might have been the inspiration for the new disaster novel written by Chrys.

Love and Monsters are two subjects that interest me and therefore I think I'll check out that movie. Seems like 2020 spawned a high number of prog rock albums.

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Tenet is on my list to watch. :)

I think this is a great time to have a disaster series published! It definitely suits the mood.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We've had tornadoes nearby but I have never seen one.

I loved WW84.

Joanne said...

Fringes of tornado wind and sirens blaring, but fortunately no touchdown on my block in TX. Very scary though.
I liked Enola Holmes a lot, and 1917 was stunning.
Tenet - what the heck just happened? I'm still reeling from that one.
And congrats to Chris for her book, series, and all of her hard work.

Truedessa said...

I have seen a twister which is rare here. I have never seen a sky like that it picked up a gazebo in the park twirled it around and dropped it in the park parking lot. I watched this happen from my window. Then it disappeared. I have been through a hurricane. There were some tremors here that made us evacuate the building at work. Strangest thing as my chair rolled away from my desk with me in it and the building shook. Scary stuff for sure.

Music has been my healing balm in the last year. I haven’t been to a theater in a year. In all fairness they have only been open a couple of month. I had trouble with Tenet in the beginning.

Have a great week everyone!

kaykuala said...

Never seen a tornado. Apparently, it is a frightening experience. Late New Year greetings Alex!


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good to know about Love and Monsters - we've had it on our To Watch list for awhile now. Every time I see Michael Rooker, all I can think of is Merle from TWD. :)

Birgit said...

Congrats to Chrys and her new novel and I love the cover! I have actually seen 1917 which is excellent but nothing else which is typical of me these days. I never heard of the film you spoke of but it sounds interesting although not sure I will see it. I want to see Wonder Woman and Mank.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shady, scary to see a waterspout coming right at you!

Joanne, that's why I have the DVD and am excited to watch Tenet again. Then I will know what the heck just happened!

Truedessa, watching that gazebo fly would've been so unsettling.

Happy New Year to you, Hank!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've never been in the middle of a tornado but have twice seen one approaching. Very scary!

Jemi Fraser said...

I hope to never experience a tornado!! But I love Chrys' books about the disasters!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've seen a tornado from a distance on the prairies. It's an ominous sight. Congratulations, Chrys. Alex, I'm glad you liked Enola Holmes. We did too. I hope they have more.

J.Q. Rose said...

Congratulations to Chrys! I grew up in the tornado belt that blew through the midwest. I've seen lots of tornadoes, but never experienced the damage seen in the aftermath. We rescued a kitten from a place that had been blown away and took it home. (I don't know why my mom let us do that. She had a kind heart for kitties?) We named the kitten, Tornado.
We haven't been to a movie theater since COVID set in. But we have devoured hours of movies via Netflix, Peacock, Youtube and Roku. I appreciate knowing about the new releases. Some day we will be back to the theater on Wednesday afternoons for free popcorn and a movie with all the senior citizens.

Chrys Fey said...

@Shady, oh wow. That is amazing. To see a waterspout and then to have it disappear before it reached you... I did, indeed, do research into tornados in Florida to make sure an EF3 would be possible and realistic, and I did read all about

@Elizabeth, well, my series is ending now. ;)

@L. Diane, I've never seen one, either, and hope I never do.

@kaykuala, a very frightening experience, indeed.

@Brigit, thank you!

@Patricia, to have seen two in your I can't imagine. Well, maybe I can a little bit since I wrote about a character seeing one approaching, but very different than real life.

@Jemi, thank you! I'm glad you like my stories. :)

@Joylene, thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

@Shady...whoops forgot to finish my comment to you. I had read all about 1998 Kissimmee tornado outbreak.

Chrys Fey said...

Alex, thank you so much for having me on your blog!

There's a couple of movies on that list that I really want to see. :)

Computer Tutor said...

Good summary, Alex. I just got my copy of A Fighting Chance--never doubted it would be great. I liked Enola Holmes--like many of those spinoffs. Monsters and Love? Hmm...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, I've seen one pass by.

Joylene, the actress intends to do more, so also hoping!

JQ, nice she let you keep the kitten. May the movie theater be open to you very soon.

Chrys, you're welcome, and sorry I forgot to send the permalink yesterday!

Chrys Fey said...

@Truedessa, very scary stuff. And for your chair to roll away from your desk with you in it? That would've shaken me for sure.

@Joanne, I hope there is never a touchdown on your block or close to you.

@J.Q. Aw. That's sweet that you guys took in that kitten and your mom let you do that. I would've done the same. :)

@Jacqui, thank you for getting a copy! said...

Glad to see The Fighting Chance website. That's great work.
Chrys is awesome. Congrats to her!

Be well, Alex.
Happy 2021 (hopefully).

John Wiswell said...

Tenet had some really lovely music! I'm actually listening to the OST right now.

J E Oneil said...

Good for Chrys.

I remember seeing the trailer for Love and Monsters before we knew theaters were going to be closed for the foreseeable future. How naive we were.

Andrew Leon said...

There were -five- movies last year?!?!
Are you sure...?
That can't be true.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've been wanting to see Enola Holmes. Now I will for sure since you enjoyed it so much. And congrats to Chrys on her new book!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

John, very cool!

JE, yeah...

Andrew, there were a lot more, but most came out streaming and were average and below. They saved the good ones for this year.

Natalie, you have to watch it! Very quirky and funny.

Chrys Fey said...

@Robyn, thank you! I am really proud of

@J E and Natalie, thanks!

RaveAir said...

Enola Holmes was quite good, I saw what I had expected. Not more, not less. The other was... easily forgetable. :(
However I saw many-many great series last year!

Liz A. said...

Enola Holmes is still on my Netflix list. I should probably watch that soon. I did like Wonder Woman.

Susan Kane said...

1917 had meaning for me, as my grandfather was there, in those trenches. He had lung damage which made him vulnerable for diseases and cancer.

We enjoyed Enola Holmes. "11" actress was awesome.

No tornadoes or hurricanes here. We have had some earthquakes this past year. California. What can I say?

Ray Rousell said...

Still not seen Tenant. Gotta see it soon.

Sarah Foster said...

Glad I've never been anywhere near a tornado.
Congrats to Chrys!

Botanist said...

Ali & I enjoyed Enola Holmes recently, although I felt that Mycroft came across as a rather disappointing pompous ass rather than the brilliant schemer from other Sherlock incarnations. Apart from that, it was good.

BTW, thanks for the pointer to Nightwish a while back. That album has since become one of my favorite writing background choices.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

So many good books coming out. We need more hours in the day to read them.

Powdered Toast Man said...

Im getting too old. I haven't heard of any of those musicians and on a few of those movies. Coming to your blog is like eating comfort food. I always know what to expect.

Jenni said...

Chrys' new book sounds really good! I like the whole idea of disasters mixed with romance and crime. I've never experienced a tornado, but my sister lived in Oklahoma for awhile, so I've heard about them second-hand at least.
I'm not sure what my favorite movie of this year is. I saw Empire Strikes Back this summer in the theater, and that was a lot of fun. Enola Holmes is definitely one I want to see!

nashvillecats2 said...

As always a great post on news and reviews Alex. I have never seen a tornado.....or want to.
Sorry for the lateness in writing a comment.
Hope all is well.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

The doge definitely stole the show in Love and Monsters. It was an enjoyable enough romp.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex – love the sound of Chrys’ new book … and clever she’s started a new series with new characters. We need some interesting stories … where we learn, are anxious as to the outcome … and a good read – congratulations Chrys.
I enjoyed Wonder Woman 84 – just able to switch off and relax as the story unfolded. I expect I’ll watch some of the films you recommend as we live through these times …
I’ve enjoyed watching the Bowie films recently …
Thanks again for an interesting post –all the best - Hilary

Chrys Fey said...

@Patricia, thank you! I'm looking forward to being on your blog.

@Susan, yup...California and earthquakes...that's why I set Seismic Crimes in San Fran. lol

@Sarah, thanks!

@Jenni, thank you! I had fun writing these stories and blending disasters with crimes and romance. They all surprisingly go well together. lol

@Hilary, just two stories with the Thorn and Amanda (A Fighting Chance and the short story The Disaster Curse), no series. I don't have anymore disasters I want to write about. lol Thank you!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Huge congrats to Chrys!

Enola Holmes was fantastic. We sat and watched it not knowing what to expect and I was blown away.

Mary Kirkland said...

I'm going to watch Tenet when I can. It's on my list.

Magic Love Crow said...

Congrats Chrys with everything! My brother has watched Tenet 4 times. I haven't seen it yet! LOL! Actually, I have experienced a tornado. At my old house. It went through very quickly. A tree landed right beside my car! Not a scratch on it. Very lucky! Take Care, Alex!

H. R. Sinclair said...

That fact that Chrys spilled the beans after saying how secret it was was adorable! And it brought a smile to my face.

Fundy Blue said...

Congratulations to Chrys! She is amazing! I've never been in a tornado, but I've endured many memorable tornado warnings. You have lived until you've huddled in an elementary school bathroom for a couple of hours with thirty or forty terrified little kiddos. Fortunately I always ended up in the girls bathroom and not the boys. All the best to you, Alex!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

RaveAir, yes! There were many really great series. I should do a top ten of those.

Liz, you should.

Susan, sorry he had lung damage from the war.

Ray, yes! Be sure to bring your big brain.

Ian, excellent! Glad you are enjoying the album.

PTM, that's good I guess!

Jenni, wild how many old movies came back to theaters.

George, yes he did.

Hilary, glad you enjoyed WW84.

Annalisa, we were just as surprised!

Magic Love Crow - wow!!!

Louise, small blessing for that!

Carrie-Anne said...

I've been through mild tornadoes, with really heavy winds, but nothing like the destructive tornadoes in the Midwest. They were like the fairly mild earthquakes I've felt tremors of or hurricanes that usually manifest as heavy rain by the time they reach my neck of the woods.

Cockeyed Jo said...

TY Chrys for the free copy of ur book. I'll leave a review after I read it.

Sandra Cox said...

I love the unique concept of Chrys's series. Wishing her much success.

Alex, wishing you good health and good writing in 2021.

Chrys Fey said...

@Annalisa, thank you!

@Magic Love Crow, thank you!

@H.R., lol I'm glad I made you smile with that. :)

@Louise, thank you! I remember having to huddle in the hallway with my head down a couple of times when I was in elementary school.

@Carrie-Anne, mild tornadoes and earthquakes are much more preferable than destructive ones.

@Cockeyed Jo, thank you for getting a copy of The Disaster Curse. As a new reader of my series, I hope you enjoy it. And hope that it might pique your interest to check out the other stories. :)

@Sandra, thank you so much!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I loved Enola Holmes! I've since gone in search of the books.

mshatch said...

I enjoyed Enola Holmes as well and can't wait to see Tenet. Parasite was an excellent movie, imo.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carrie-Anne, I've been through both.

Same to you, Sandra!

Donna, yes, it's a whole series.

Marcy, I just didn't care for it. All of the characters were terrible people.

mail4rosey said...

It's good to be surprised in a book sometimes. :) We saw Wonder Woman. I was surprised it got such a bad rap. Like you said, not as good as the first, but still enjoyable enough. I saw a preview of a Loki movie. I never thought of him carrying his own movie, but I guess he could!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

The cover for Fighting Chance is gorgeous, Chrys. I've entered the giveaway.

Alex, I love reading your blog. I always find something interesting here. All best to you, sir!

Michael Abayomi said...

I'm glad you liked both TENET and Wonder Woman 1984 enough to have them at number 1 and 2! I actually toyed with the idea of having 1917 as number 1 on my list, but decided it would be unfair on the other great movies we got last year.

The Liberty Belle said...

Enola Holmes was indeed good. I agree with you entirely on the Wonder Woman film. Have a great day!

Pat Hatt said...

Forgot about Bill and Ted, but yeah, enjoyed that one. Bad Boys 3 I'd go with.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rosey, Loki is going to have his own series, not movie. Coming soon to Disney+!

Victoria, thank you!

Michael, all three vie for the top spot.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Great timing for a Disaster series and the launch of the website on DV, all the best! I believe DV spiked up during the pandemic...

I am personally looking forward to getting back to big screen viewing in 2021..

Lynda Dietz said...

I don't have a whole lot to comment on, since I've not seen any of the movies mentioned, haven't yet gotten to Chris' books (but yay, Chris!) and am woefully behind on new music at the moment. But I wanted to say happy new year! Looking forward to what 2021 has in store.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Congrats to Chrys.

I loved Love and Monsters. Lots of fun.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Hmm, I posted a comment. May not have gone through. I'll try again:

Congrats to Chrys

I loved Love and Monsters.

Sandra Cox said...

I love that Chrys has set up a website to help those who are dealing with domestic violence. So needed.

Alex, stay safe. Be well.

Katherines Corner said...

Love and Monsters is on our rental list. but it is 19.99 right now so we have to wait for the "cheap seats". Or maybe it'll be available on Amazon or Netflix. Praying you and yours are happy and healthy Hugs!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Chrys - Congratulations on your newest book! I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I will soon. I'm so glad you write what you write!

Alex - Love the movie reviews! I felt the same about Love and Monsters (also a rental for me). I read the Enola Holmes books a while back, so I was glad to see the movie so well done and with such a great cast! I haven't seen the others yet, and theaters aren't open. I am holding off on WW1984 until I can see it in a theater...which may mean in one of the small theaters that run older movies some time in the far distant future.

Patsy said...

Thankfully I've never witnessed a tornado. Closest I've come is waterspouts at sea, seen from a ship. That was plenty exciting enough.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nila, I bet! Seeing WW84 on the big screen was so much better.

Katherine, we found it for $5.99 rental on NetFlix.

Tyrean, hope you get to see it on the big screen - it was much better than at home.

Patsy, wow!

Sandra Cox said...

Disaster Series: Not only a freebie, but a giveaway too!
'Lo, Alex:)

Blue Grumpster said...

It's a sad, sad day, Alex. said...

I’ve heard so many recommendations for Ebola Holmes. I need to check it out. said...

Congrats to Chrys!

I’ve heard so many recommendations for Enola Holmes. I need to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Chrys is such a talented writer. I love that she teased the disaster! Brilliant!

Okay, I think you may have swayed me. Hubby has been asking me if I want to watch Love and Monsters with him and I keep putting it off. Maybe I need to give it a chance. You and I seem to have the same taste in movies and TV.

I'm also glad you shared your Best of 2020. I didn't expect to see Bill and Ted on there. Good to know!

Have a great weekend!


Sandra Cox said...

I wasn't familiar with Love and Monsters but it sounds entertaining.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I need to get off my tukus and actually see Tenet. I haven't checked, but I probably can rent it. But it wouldn't be the same. I've just been afraid to go into a movie theater. I live in a part of the U.S. that is full of violent anti-maskers screaming at the top of their lungs about freedom and all that. People regularly get masks ripped off their faces here by roving mobs of Trump supporters.

Mark said...

I always thought of Florida as a place of hurricanes, but I guess it makes sense there can be tornadoes there too. :)

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for hosting Chrys. I adore her Disaster Crime Series.
Thanks for sharing your Best of 2020.
I experienced a tornado as a kid growing up in Texas and thought that moving to Virginia would be the end of that. Unfortunately, sometimes tornados can be precursors to hurricanes. Oh well, at least I've survived them all up to now.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

The movies I've been watching have been mostly docs, and I'm not sure how current they are (probably not very), but I've seen some eye-opening ones. The one I watched last night, The No Impact Man, was really thought-provoking.