Monday, May 8, 2023

Shark Tales, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Review, and Insomnium/Enslaved Concert Review

Shark Tales by L. Diane Wolfe

Alex asked me about shark movies that were similar to my newest release, In Darkness: The Shark. Unfortunately, there aren’t any! My story is a paranormal romance involving a human (Jewels) and a great white shark (Clarence). (And no, there is no beastiality.)

Several shark movies came to mind: The Meg, The Shallows, Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, 47 Meters Down, Open Water. But I decided to go with something closer to my actual story.

Finding Nemo – Nemo happens upon three sharks who recite the phrase “Fish are our friends!” They don’t want to hurt fish, anymore than Clarence wants to hurt Jewels.

– This was actually a 70’s Saturday morning cartoon, and yes, I watched and loved it. Jabberjaw is an amphibious great white shark and the drummer for a rock group consisting of four teenagers. It’s silly, but it showed a shark as friends with humans.

The other three are documentaries.

Playing With Sharks – Photographer Valerie Taylor becomes a trailblazing advocate for the ocean's most maligned and misunderstood creatures. He shows that sharks are not just evil eating machines.

– Arguing that sharks are misunderstood as dangerous creatures, biologist Rob Stewart travels to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica and other places where the animals can be found. Another one showing they are more than just eating machines.

Sharks –Oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau documents face-to-face encounters with a wide variety of the ocean's ultimate predators, including white, hammerhead and whale sharks. The son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, he also had a passion for sharks.

Ultimately, the one film that is similar to my story was a 70’s Saturday afternoon TV movie about a boy who befriends a baby nurse shark. (There is also an obscure 1962 movie called Ti-Koyo e il suo pescecane about a boy who makes friends with a shark.) So, I would have to say that 70’s movie influenced my story and set me on a path to show a deep friendship between a shark and a human.

Of course, one difference—Clarence the shark can talk!

In Darkness: The Shark by L. Diane Wolfe

Release date - May 9, 2023
Romance/Paranormal - Fantasy/Paranormal - Fantasy/Romance
eBook ISBN 9781939844910 $3.99
Souls shrouded in darkness…
Focused on her studies and duties at the aquarium, Jewels prefers her solitary life. Burned many times and short on trust, she has more in common with her aquatic friends than the people around her. But she never imagined coming face to face with a shark named Clarence…a shark who talks!
As their friendship grows, Jewels must overcome her deep set mistrust. There are dangers, both in the Australian ocean and on dry land. Can Jewels depend on the great white or will his animal nature betray her?

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Find Diane at her website, blog, and IWSG

Find In Darkness: The Shark at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribed, and Goodreads


Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3

Wasn’t sure what to expect after the last few disappointing Marvel films, and it did have a slow start, but then it gained steam and found its footing.
It was enjoyable and presented many funny moments. Nice also to see some older characters return.
It could’ve used some editing though. There are scenes that would’ve benefited from a cut, bringing the movie down from its two hours and thirty minutes run time.
It also tackles a dark subject – Rocket’s origins. If you are an animal lover or animal experiments upset you, be warned. The villain is one twisted maniac.
And as always, two end credit scenes.


Streaming on Amazon and starring Mason Kane, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Stanley Tucci.
From the Russo brothers (Marvel movies) comes a spy show that reminds me of Agents of Shield meets James Bond. Only the first two episodes are available as of this review, but so far it’s enjoyable, well-produced, and fun. All the standard spy tropes are front and center, but there are enough fresh ideas to keep it interesting.
We’ll see where it goes!

Concert Review - Insomnium/Enslaved!

It’s so great that live music is back. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. As a fan of Scandinavian metal, I’ve been a huge fan of Insomnium for a long time. They are one of the godfathers of melodic death metal.
And they brought the goods. Playing selections from their new album as well as some of the classics, they had the crowd rocking and moshing through the entire set. The standout tracks for me were While We Sleep, Lilian, and Valediction.
It was great to finally get a chance to see them and I hope it’s not the last time.

Enslaved is a band that I wasn’t too familiar with, so I checked out some of their stuff a couple weeks before the show. They started as a Norwegian black metal band (not really my cup of tea) but have morphed over time into a band that is very progressive.
It’s these aspects that I really enjoyed. They also brought the tight musicianship and even a sense of humor.
Overall, a great night of live music and the heaviest music I will subject my wife to. (She was such a trouper!)

What shark movies do you enjoy and would you like a shark romance book? Did you see the new Guardians or watch Citadel? Fan of Scandinavian metal? What’s the heaviest band you’ve ever seen?

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group; May Movie Preview; and Reviews – Mandalorian, Battlebots, Picard, and Nope

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 May 3 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Meka James, Victoria Marie Lees, and M Louise Barbour!

May 3 question - When you are working on a story, what inspires you?

This should come as no surprise – music! Whatever prog-metal band has me captivated at that moment. Jam some tunes and the words flow.

We are sad to say Elizabeth Seckman will be stepping away from the IWSG Admin team. Juneta Key has assumed her duty of producing our newsletter.

Elizabeth, we’ll miss you!

Quick Reviews

The Mandalorian

It just wrapped up its third season and is still as great as ever. A little more focus on Mando as opposed to Grogu, but you still get plenty of ‘Baby Yoda’ cuteness. Also a bit more side-quest and not as focused on the overall story. And the final ten minutes are just perfect. So far Disney is still telling a great story without any agenda and it’s refreshing.


Also on its third season, it’s an improvement over season two which I never could finish. (Season two was an insult, three more of a love letter, although it still falls a bit short.) Lots of previous Trek characters are back – lots! Still slogs in part when the villain goes into a long dialogue about why she’s so evil. But the action is good and some episodes harken back to Next Generation in feel.


Yes, it’s another round of ‘Robot Fighting Time!’ A few surprises and a few lame fights, but as always it’s great to see giant metal monsters beat the crap out of each other. Finals approaching soon, so don’t miss it.


This is one weird film. It’s a mesh of many genres, from Western to science fiction to horror. Mostly horror. But it was too long and some of the subplots were unnecessary. It was well done, actors were great, and it was very unique. Just…weird.

May Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for May. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

5 -

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own - a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.
Director: James Gunn
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
From what I understand, James Gunn has replaced all of the Guardians with DC characters. (Just kidding! Looking forward to it)

12 –


A detective investigates a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Star: Ben Affleck, William Fichtner, Alice Braga
Perhaps they can hire a hypnotic to get people into the theater?

19 –

Fast X

Dom Toretto and his family are targeted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes.
Director: Louis Leterrier
Stars: Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Tyrease Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Momoa, Ludacris, John Cena, Jason Statham
Finally! A Fast and Furious-Aquaman mashup.

26 –

The Little Mermaid

A young mermaid makes a deal with a sea witch to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress a prince.
Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy
I understand they changed the lyrics from something I don’t care about to…something I don’t care about.

What inspires you? Have you seen any of those shows or the movie? What May movies catch your interest?
I will be back next Monday with a special guest!