Monday, September 13, 2021

Small Forgotten Moments, Movie and Show Reviews, and New Releases!

If you loved these films, you might like Small Forgotten Moments

It’s my husband’s bugbear that I rarely watch new films. Of course, I do, but not as many as him, so when Alex suggested I share the films which tie in with my latest novel, Small Forgotten Moments, I realised I’d be taking you on a small detour into the dark and murky past…

The Others
Intense and claustrophobic, this is a film where nothing is what it seems. Despite the peaceful, almost docile ambience, the viewer is left unsettled and, personally speaking, more than a little creeped out.

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
A wonderful observation on the effect and importance of memories. Although Small Forgotten Moments had to follow a linear path, I love books and films which don’t, and this is an excellent example.


While Eternal Sunshine looks at giving up memories, Memento deals with those which are never made and the struggles Guy Pierce’s character endures – battling through the fog to discover the truth.

Vincent and the Doctor (Doctor Who, series 5, episode 10)
I’ve included this because it’s such a beautiful portrayal of the artistic mind – fragile yet resilient. And because I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who. I doubt there’s anything more poignant than Amy running back into the museum when she thinks they saved Vincent expecting to see brand ‘new’ work. And nothing more stunning for an artist/author/musician to hear what their work means to people so far into a future they’ll never know. Bill Nighy gives an excellent speech where he expresses how important van Gogh is to the world. I cried when I first saw it; I’ve shed a tear each time since.

Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall, UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and canine writing partner, Artoo. She is the author of four short story collections, and two novels.

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

Movie & Show Reviews

The Suicide Squad

Definitely the best film I’ve seen all year!
James Gunn brought his A game as director and brings out the best in every character.
It’s funny on so many levels. Plus sleek and stylish. So many great characters and moments.
A superior follow up to Suicide Squad, this was well worth the movie theater tickets and the HBO Max viewings. (Many!)
My wife would like to mention that you really have to pay attention to Weasel.
Highly recommended!

F9: The Fast Saga

Another entertaining entry in the saga.
Not the best, but it brought back a lot of favorites and a few you thought were long gone.
Charlize Theron returns as Cipher and just as evil as ever.
Still missing Paul Walker, but as always, a special nod to him.

Black Widow

A side adventure with Natasha and a final farewell to the character.
David Harbour is hilarious although it is Florence Pugh as Natasha’s ‘sister’ that steals the show.
Not the best Marvel film, but a lot of fun.

RiffTrax: Hobgoblins

MST3K did this film years ago, so I’d seen it riffed before. However, probably 90% of the jokes were new, which was a lot of fun. After almost two years of nothing, it was a delight to see the guys again. They brought their A game (plenty of time to practice!) and it was hilarious.
Enjoy the screen shots.

Monsters of Man

A very low -budget film, it’s actually quite impressive. The robot-killers are Terminator-like and the special effects really good.
It’s a bit long, but the cast and crew really put forth an effort.
The last third is a bit tedious as the Millennials do what they do best – scream and don’t follow instructions. If this were A Quiet Place, they would all be dead!


Starring Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) the movie starts out slow and depressing. This guy’s life really sucks! And then, something happens, and his past life comes out with a vengeance.
From that point, it is bat-crap crazy. Super violent fights. Super-spy type clever set-ups and twists. Odenkirk owns the role and plays it with gusto. Awesome ending!
Highly recommended

What If…?

An animated series exploring the ‘what ifs’ of the Marvel Universe. What if Peggy Carter became Captain America instead? What if T’Challa became Star Lord? The stories grew progressively better as the show went along.
While interesting and sporting many original voices (although not all) my interest waned.
Watch if you are curious.

Brand New Cherry Flavor

Naked Lunch meets Blue Velvet. Bat-crap crazy but not in a great way. Very disturbing, gross, and weird. Well shot and well acted though – high production values. This is a show for a very niche audience looking for something completely different and unsettling.
I can’t recommend it.

New Releases!

BETRAYED : A Renaissance Vampire Romance - Vipunin (Book One)
by Silver Tree/Denise Covey
Vampires have killed Vipunin’s family, now they’re coming for him!
Duke Vipunin de Castellina is his murdered father’s rightful heir.
To claim his inheritance, he rides from Florence to Castellina in Tuscany, where not all welcome him.
Vampires lie in wait in the forest. Vipunin and his army of de’ Medici knights battle for survival.
He calls on every one of his talents – his speed, his sword, his dagger, but is powerless against the vampire queen.
Is everything he gained - his beloved, his inheritance – lost? Lost to a betrayer? Or will revenge be bittersweet?
But to enact revenge he must become the very creature he despises.
Duke Vipunin de Castellina must embrace a wholly new life.
The life of a vampire.
And so the saga of Duke Vipunin de Castellina begins!
Betrayed, first in Denise Covey's series of Renaissance Paranormal Romance, follows the adventures of Duke Vipunin de Castellina. Come with her on a glittering trip through Florence, to Castellina in Tuscany where the action begins and never lets up.

Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, and Amazon AU

NIGHT SEASONS: An Occult Thriller of World War Two by Roland Yeomans

Existence has seasons.
The cruel winds of WWII destroyed with the Storm Season. A frigid dawn threatens with the Season of Treachery and its cold war of uneasy allies turned enemies.
Four former O.S.S. agents, one a Seraph Provocateur, are trying to survive the Night Season prior to that dawn.
It is an uncertain struggle:
Across dark waters aboard the ghost ship, SS Ourang Medan, spawned by WWII,
Fighting the gnomes of Zurich desperate to keep the spoils gained from that war,
Striving to keep “their tickets from being punched” aboard an occult train to Vienna filled with vengeful fellow passengers: gypsy witches, vampiric S.S. officers, and greedy human spies.
With pit stops in the past and in an eerie future yet to be.
It is a dark season, but it has its lights:
Friendship, Humor, Courage
But the greatest of these Lights is: Love
In the end, it is not if you survive the journey, but only if you traveled it well.

Find it on Amazon

Think you’d enjoy Small Forgotten Moments? Did you watch any of those films or shows in the past couple months? Picking up Betrayed or Night Seasons?
And who is ready for the next RiffTrax movie on October 26 - Amityville: The Evil Escapes?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, September 2021 Movie Preview, #IWSGPit, Defining Success, and New Book 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 awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

September 1 question - How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

Success to me was just having a book published. Holding it in my hands and watching people read and enjoy it was success.
Since that first book, there have been several others (and audio books), some hitting the top of the charts on Amazon, and providing royalty checks that did indeed pay the mortgage. Plus the reviews and readers reaching out for more. Opportunities to be in multiple anthologies. Not to mention being able to start the IWSG!
But it all comes back to that first book. That was success. All else has been bonus!

Today is the deadline for the IWSG Anthology Contest! Sweet romance – first love. Get your entries in by midnight EST tonight!

The next #IWSGPit Twitter pitch event is January 26, 2022!
See the IWSG site for details, hashtags, and more.

New Releases!

Small Forgotten Moments by Annalisa Crawford

Is Zenna a muse, a sleep-deprived apparition, or something much more sinister?
Suffering long-term amnesia, artist Jo Mckye is ready to start a fresh, new project after the success of her debut exhibition. But the fictional subject of the collection, Zenna, won’t let go so easily. Infiltrating Jo’s dreams—and increasingly, her waking hours—Zenna is fast becoming a dangerous obsession.
Jo is confident the answers lie at her childhood home, an idyllic Cornish village on the south-east coast; she just doesn’t know why. Only when she walks into the sea and almost drowns does the past start to unravel.

Universal purchase links HERE

One Year On Broadway: Finding Ourselves Between the Sand and the Sea by Kathryn McKendry

A true story of forbidden love, adventure, and letting go
How do you know when it’s time to close one chapter of your life and begin a new one? To let go of the past, open your heart, and trust in a new beginning?
At first we said, “no.” We knew it was ridiculous.
And yet something in our hearts led us back to the Island.
Having no idea where it would lead, my husband and I took a leap of faith and became co-producers of the Broadway Revival of Once On This Island, the musical that had given us so much.
Even if it failed, we would have a great story to tell.
We ended up with so much more.

Find it on Amazon

The Cure by Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne

Every human in the world becomes a zombie when they die. But Erin refuses to accept the world as it is now. She’s heard about a cure locked away in a lab in Upper Michigan, and she plans on retrieving it. To do so, she needs a zombie. Not just any zombie, though.
Zee is Erin’s link to the lab. His connection to the living world is her bargaining chip. But only if she can teach him to control his mindless impulses.
Can a zombie be trained? Or will Erin be Zee’s next meal and become a zombie herself? The fate of humanity rests in her hands.

Universal purchase link HERE 
Add on Goodreads

Fractured Princess by Debra Renee Byrd

Jonnie is the last princess of the Crystal Bearers, once a powerful people. When she was a baby, the metal army destroyed what was left of them, and now it is hunting her. Her watchmen keep her just out of the metal army’s reach, but she has spent her seventeen years running and hiding. Instead of standing by while her watchmen keep risking their lives for her, she decides to learn how to fight alongside them.
On the journey to hone her skills, long hidden secrets about her people reveal a connection between the Crystal Bearers and the metal army that only fuels Jonnie's will to defeat it. But the more she learns about her own powers, the more she realizes she may be responsible for the metal army – and the destruction of her people.

Find it on Amazon

September Movie Preview

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

3 –

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi, the master of unarmed weaponry based Kung Fu, is forced to confront his past after being drawn into the Ten Rings organization.
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Stars: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michelle Yeoh
When One Ring isn’t enough to rule them all...

17 –

Cry Macho
A one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder takes a job to bring a man's young son home and away from his alcoholic mom. On their journey, the horseman finds redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam, Fernanda Urrejola, Brytnee Ratledge
Finally - a movie where Eastwood teaches Millennials how to be men…

What is success to you as a writer? Will you have something ready for #IWSGPit? Picking up more books? Either movie catch your eye? Don’t forget – last day to enter the IWSG Anthology Contest!
Next Monday is Labor Day and I will be offline. Come back the following Monday for a slew of movie reviews and more!