Monday, February 14, 2022

Series Reviews: Book of Boba Fett, Peacemaker, and Clarkson’s Farm; CassaDark Help, February Movies, and New Book Releases

New Series Reviews
Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB.

Book of Boba Fett

On Disney+
Bounty hunter Boba Fett & mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the underworld when they return to Tatooine to claim Jabba the Hutt's old turf.
Created by Jon Favreau and starring Temuera Morrison and Ming-N Wen, this Star Wars series is fast paced and fascinating. You will learn a lot about the Sand People you never knew.
Boba Fett is an interesting and complex character. Certainly not the villain you thought.
The inclusion of the Mandalorian and Grogu helps ties it all together.
Every episode was more and more fun right up to end.
Highly recommended!


On HBO Max
Picking up where The Suicide Squad (2021) left off, Peacemaker returns home after recovering from his encounter with Bloodsport - only to discover that his freedom comes at a price.
John Cena returns as Peacemaker and is forced to work with a group tracking down Project Butterfly.
Whereas Peacemaker turned against his teammates in The Suicide Squad, making him the bad guy (or in the case of The Suicide Squad, the bad-bad guy), here you really empathize with him. He had a rough childhood and just wants to belong and be accepted. He starts questioning his own actions.
It’s very funny, but be warned – the show is crude, far beyond anything in The Suicide Squad.
The intro is hilarious and totally original.
And my wife’s favorite character – Eagly! (His best friend, the eagle.)
Recommended! (And if you can handle the crude, highly recommended.)

Clarkson’s Farm

On Amazon Prime
Follow Jeremy Clarkson as he attempts to run a farm in the countryside.
Clarkson, from Top Gear and Grand Tour fame, buys a good-sized farm and decides to run it like a farm. Hilarity ensues.
Actually, it’s equal parts hilarious and educational. I’ve learned so much about farming. But Clarkson’s dry British wit does steal the show. Especially when he’s driving around on his Lamborghini tractor!
Kaleb Cooper, the young buck he’s hired to help him, is both farm-smart and a smart-aleck. Then there’s very experienced Gerald Cooper who, well, no one can understand due to his thick, mush-mouth accent.

This is officially the only show about farming where I’m really excited for season two!
Highly recommended!

New Releases

A Dash of Murder

Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries | Book 19
By Elizabeth S. Craig
Food for thought: seasoning with these berries results in a dash of murder.
It's been a quiet autumn so far in the small town of Bradley, North Carolina. Or, as Myrtle would put it, a boring one. The slow pace and lingering post-summer heat are making life in Bradley very slow-paced, indeed.
That all changes when a local resident is poisoned by what looks like a scrumptious pie. The victim is a boorish man who has plenty of enemies in Bradley. Despite this, suspicion falls heavily on Myrtle and Miles's friend—a botanist who grows the deadly nightshade the man was poisoned with.
Can Myrtle and Miles solve the case and help their friend before the killer strikes again?
Find it at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Zanzibar’s Rings

Book 3 in the Viridian System series
By Jemima Pett
A galactic crisis: the entire comms system destroyed. No waypoints, no navigation aids, no database access... and how will spaceships in flight get home--or to any destination? Dolores is stuck in warp with a very dangerous passenger, Pete gets his shuttle back home on manual. But why does anything in close contact with pure orichalcum fix itself? Just flying through Zanzibar's Rings solves the problem--as the Federation's Fighters find, as they descend on the Viridian System to take possession of the planets.
Find it at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo on February 22.

February Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for February, which I didn’t have room for in my last post. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

Out now:

A mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Charlie Plummer
Name generic, trailer terrible, reviews abysmal – that’s all you need to know.

Just opened:

Death on the Nile
While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Kenneth Branagh, Russell Brand, Gal Gadot
I know a little of the plot – sounds like it would make a great book.


Travis Block is a government operative coming to terms with his shadowy past. When he discovers a plot targeting U.S. citizens, Block finds himself in the crosshairs of the FBI director he once helped protect.
Director: Mark Williams
Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Taylor John Smith, Emmy Raver-Lampman
Liam Neeson plays a man with a particular set of skills…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

18 –


Street-smart Nathan Drake is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor "Sully" Sullivan to recover a fortune amassed by Ferdinand Magellan and lost 500 years ago by the House of Moncada.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle
Will this finally break the video game to movie jinx? Place your bets now…

A Favor to Ask!

My next book (and first novel in seven years) comes out April 6.

CassaDark is the fourth in the Cassan series. (It does stand on its own as it follows a different character.)

Goodreads, like it or not, is a good place to get books noticed. The more ‘Want to Reads’ and reviews, the better.

Can you mark CassaDark as ‘Want to Read’ for me?

It's also on the list for 'Can't Wait Sci-Fi Fantasy of 2022, page 2 last I looked.

Really appreciate it!

Have you watched any of those series? Picking up a new book or two? Any movies interest you? And can you add CassaDark to your ‘Want to Read’ list?
I’ll see you March 2 for the next IWSG day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, My Magic Summer, and Jeremy Hawkins Tribute

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 for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!

February 2 question - Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?

My answer to that lies in the dedication today to Jeremy.

Thanks to everyone who participated in #IWSGPit – we were a trending topic!

We still need a couple more co-hosts for March and April – let me know if you are up to the challenge.

My Magic Summer Movie Influences

Today I welcome fellow author Brian Carmody as he discusses movies that influenced his new release, My Magic Summer: With the Moon Maidens.

Historically, I’m a screenwriter. It is only in recent years I’ve managed, extraordinarily, to actually start finishing novels, and, even more miraculously, find someone willing to publish them. But it’s hard for a zebra to change his spots, so I will acknowledge the cinematic influences on My Magic Summer with the Moon Maidens.

Summer of ‘42
Both Herman Raucher’s Summer and my own are bittersweet stories of first love steeped in nostalgia. I can’t condone the consumption of the former’s relationship, but nor can I deny the influence as a whole, and Michel Legran’s score is endlessly evocative.

For the immersive romantic imagery and compelling portrayal of how frightening and fantastic a romance with a higher being can be.

Lady in the Water
M. Night Shyamalan's misunderstood fairy tale is a bedtime story, and you’re either on board or not. Personally, I found it very powerful, and the catharsis of The Healing was a big influence on my lunar climax.

A Monster Calls
In both our stories, a boy coping with his mother’s imminent demise receives guidance and wisdom from a supernatural source. But is it imaginary? Read our books and find out.

Finally, there is A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L'Engle. This was adapted into a TV movie starring Mischa Barton and Jared Padalecki, but I have yet to see it for myself, so I cite the novel alone as an influence. Why the fantastical element of my Moon Maidens is more explicitly supernatural than Vicky’s possible ESP with the dolphins, both stories I would call magical realism that deal deeply with themes of faith, grief, and hope over the course of a very special season.

My Magic Summer
With the Moon Maidens

By Brian Carmody
Young Adult – Fantasy-Contemporary / Coming of Age / Boys & Men
Print ISBN 9781939844804 / EBook ISBN 9781939844811

Who are these moon maidens?

Summer of ’94 and Connor Whelan is excited to spend the last three months before his senior year with his uncle in Texas. Aware this trip is due to his mom’s cancer treatments, he still hopes this will be a season of magic.

He gets his wish when he encounters three magical women one night. Claiming to be from the moon itself, bewitching Iluna, flighty Eiru, and motherly Cassiopeia are about to make Connor’s last summer of childhood one to remember.

However, his interest in local girl Laura puts him in hot water with her tough boyfriend. His fascination with Iluna also confuses him. Will the moon maidens’ lessons about joy, wonder, and hope get him through this crazy summer?

An award-winning screenwriter and author, Brian Carmody is a dreamer, a wisher, a hoper, a prayer, a pretender and a magic bean buyer. He’s had moondreams from Texas to Virginia, and now California, where he has plenty of other flax golden tales to spin by his fire

Find My Magic Summer at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Scribed, and Goodreads

Jeremy Hawkins Tribute

On January 3, we lost an amazing guy – Jeremy Hawkins.
On February 2, we are paying tribute and give back to one who was so giving and involved in our community.
To honor his life and support the family he leaves behind, on that day:
• Post a story or memory about Jeremy.
• Post photos of Jeremy.
• Share some of the graphics he made for you.
• Post a photo of you wearing one of the t-shirts he designed.
• And to support his family, purchase one of his t-shirt designs, one of his books, or one of his prints. (He also created the IWSG t-shirt.)

There are not words for how I felt when I found out Jeremy was gone. I’d known him over twelve years and he was one of my best blogger buds. Jeremy was the person who would do anything to help his fellow man, and here online that meant he did a lot of free graphics and featured his friends whenever possible. I had several guest spots and ads in the Six Strings magazine, and he made a ton of graphics for my books, for the IWSG, and for the A to Z Challenge. He was a very caring soul, and I remember when we lost Tina several years ago, that really hurt him.

Jeremy, I will miss you, more than you will ever know. You doubted yourself sometimes, but I never did. And you were always there, encouraging me with writing and blogging. God bless you.

I’d like to share some of the designs he did:

Is there someone who supported you? Able to help co-host the IWSG? Seen any of those movies? Picking up My Magic Summer? And what do you remember best about Jeremy?