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Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 9/17/17

Sorry, if I seem to have fallen off the face of the planet lately. Life just seems determined not to let me do stuff I need to! Ugh! (Writing? What’s that?)

The movie this week was “American Assassin” – lots of great action and acting. Not sure their radiation treatment was correct for the protagonists, but they took it further than anyone has before. Made for some awesome scenes with the fleet!

Secret World Legends

Some definite ugly buggers are walking about Kingsmouth! Eek!

One of the survivors in the area trying hard to keep the creature population down.

One of the many types of draug. I think most are reconfigured villagers. Ack!

Weird, unearthly fires.

Harbor area. The beaches are all being used as hatching zones. Ugh

Looking back towards the harbor and town from the edge looking in.

The ladies and their tentacles are so eek! lol.

One of the things that hatch at the beach.

The Raven’s Knock – town psychic lives here. Once fake, now real! She’s not excited about it. lol.

One of the bridges in town. A total mess.

I need to remember to lighten the pics before uploading. DOH!

Mostly just wanted to get at least a post done this week! So tired! 😛 (And this is the slow month? Ugh!)

International Read an Ebook Day

International Read an Ebook Day

 

This weekend one of my publishers, Zumaya Publications LLC, is running a 30%-off sale on all titles in their company ebookstore. This is in conjunction with Overdrive’s International Read an Ebook Day.

GET $1.50 OFF ALL ZP’s EBOOKS AND CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL READ AN EBOOK DAY

 

Twenty years ago, some talented writers who were tired of being rejected by the New York publishers. They started a business selling the work of other talented writers in an electronic form.

Because their books cost much less than those coming from traditional publishers, they tapped a market of avid readers who were delighted to discover new authors and excellent reading. Thus the ebook industry was born.

 

Overdrive, the company that gets ebooks to your local library, has designated September 18 as International Read an Ebook Day.

In celebration of the industry Zumaya Publications helped pioneer, we are offering all of our titles at $1.50 off the regular price in our website bookstore.

 

Just fill up your shopping cart and use the coupon code 2017IEBD at checkout, and discover your new favorite authors. AND you can use the code up to three times now through Monday.

We have books for every taste. To see our offerings, choose one of our Imprint links below and see the titles available.

Happy reading!

Arcane Imprint Boundless Imrpint Embraces Imprint Enigma Imprint
Arcane Boundless Embraces Enigma
Otherworlds Imprint Thresholds Imprint Yesterdays Imprint ZP Logo
Otherworlds Thresholds Yesterdays Eclectica

If you want to find mine, specifically, you’ll spot them in the Otherworlds and Thresholds Imprints. 😛

 

New Release – A Lone Star In the Sky

New Release – A Future Classics Anthology Volume 2 – A Lone Star in the Sky

New Release - A Lone Star In The SkyReleased this week is the Future Classics volume 2 anthology – A Lone Star in the Sky.

Edited by William Ledbetter and Melanie Fletcher, the collection features stories from the members of Future Classics – a DFW Writers Group. I’ve been part of the group since around 2002! They even still talk to me! 😛

Here are the deets and the stories inside the anthology:

The Texans are at it again!

A man sent to stop the world’s first zero-G birth. A deep space pilot who runs headlong into Einstein’s theory of relativity. A synthetic human fighting for survival in a world that sees her as disposable. All these stories and more can are in A LONE STAR IN THE SKY, the second anthology from the Future Classics speculative fiction writers’ group of North Dallas. Featuring eighteen stunning stories of science fiction and fantasy. Including works by Nebula winner William Ledbetter (“The Long Fall Up”), and Nebula nominees Jake Kerr (“Biographical Fragments of the Life of Julian Prince”), and from Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (“The Orangery”). A LONE STAR IN THE SKY covers the gamut of speculative fiction and proves once again that everything is bigger in Texas.

Stories Included are:

“The Rings of Mars” by William Ledbetter
“Afterimage” by J. Kathleen Cheney
“Biographical Fragments of the Life of Julian Prince” by Jake Kerr
“The Damaged” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
“The Lotus Eaters” by Michelle Muenzler
“Surfing USA” by Gloria Oliver
“The River of Lost Souls” by C.A. Rose
“Ghosts To My Fingertips” by Rachelle Harp
“Kosher Beef” by Rook Riley
“The Lark Ascending” by Melanie Fletcher
“The Life Expectancy of Cockroaches” by Michelle Muenzler
“The Wanderers” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
“The Long Fall Up” by William Ledbetter
“The Queen Lorellai” by Gloria Oliver
“On Trial” by Rachelle Harp
“Lost in Whitby” by Melanie Fletcher
“Taking a Mile” by J. Kathleen Cheney
“The Old Equations” by Jake Kerr

I’ve got two stories in this one. “Surfing USA” which was first published in a CD Anthology back in 2004 and “The Queen Lorellai” which won Honorable Mention at the Writer’s Of the Future for Q1 2016.

Check us out and get a little Texas in your bloodstream! 🙂

Available from Amazon in both Trade Paperback and Kindle.

Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 8/27/17

 

Morning!

Things eased up a little this week at the day job, but I felt crappy on Friday, so no movie review… Again. So here’s a quick one.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – (Rated R – mostly for language and graphic violence – so definitely NOT for younger kids). Excellent stunt work and they even had some really fun and fresh ideas in several spots. When the two guys meet for the 1st time face to face – awesome! Then when AAA complains to the bartender at the outside bar, more super awesomeness appears! The movie was a ton of fun, and the soundtrack totally rocked! Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s rating: Pay Full Price to See Again!)

 

Secret World Legends

View at the top of the central tree. A lot of energy and light float around it.

Too weird not to take a picture of. Man of gold? Behind him is a portal leading to another location on Earth.

Other locations on Earth and their portals.

The other side of one of the portals. Hello, New England!

We’ve arrived at Kingsmouth Town. The glowing area is a spawn point.

This fellow fills you on what is going on around here. It isn’t good. Major paranormal stuff is going down!

The Sheriff – one of the few survivors in town after the fog rolled in. They’ve fortified the police station until more substantial help comes.

View of Kingsmouth Bay. Zombies and worse roaming everywhere.

The view when looking to the left of the bay.

Hope your Sunday is productive and restful!

Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 8/13/17

This month has been super crazy so far. Quarter End last month and now implementing system changes and new processes. Dealing with the fallout as we find stuff that didn’t work right. I am so tired! lol. AnimeFest is next weekend as well. Whee!

The movie this week was – The Dark Tower. While I enjoyed the film and the special effects were fab, so much was lost by them shoving everything into a two-hour movie. The flavor of Roland’s world and the intertwined and twisted mess that has worked for years to bring all this about is not there. While I like Jake, I so wanted to see Susannah Dean! lol. (Hubby has not read the series and he did enjoy the movie.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

I am so in love with how they do this city. The mix of old and new.

Isn’t that a gorgeous building?

Then you find this kind of cool futuristic architecture. So awesome.

My little helper. Super paranoid computer geek. 😛 Once was a criminal.

Back to the bombed out train station. Trying to get some evidence before it is destroyed in a cover up.

I loved the 3D hologram/modeling. He’s trying to reconstruct the bomb mechanism.

Psychiatrist assigned to check out the people at HQ. It’s hard to tell if she’s legit or not. Or maybe a little of both.

Hidden dance club. All of the customers are high as kites. If they have implants, they might also soon be dead! The new drug has some serious side effects for the augmented.

More Awesome architecture!

This advertisement was so unexpected and yet so awesome and scary! lol. This is an entrance to one of the train stations. I can so see a pharmaceutical company paying to do this for ad space. lol.

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 7/30/17

Morning!

Haven’t been able to do movie reviews the last few weeks. Just too darn busy! Figured I’d do a few quickies for the ones I have seen recently, then get on with the virtual tourist. 😛

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – 95% gorgeous and quirky, 5% giant plot holes. 🙁

Dunkirk – decent film but could have been great! Not once did it look like 400,000 people on the beach or thousands of small boats. With CGI anymore, there was no excuse. Time issues as well. And the added noise to the soundtrack? Horrible! No blood either. Like war movies in the 40’s. Weird and disappointing. 🙁

Atomic Blonde – Awesome fight scenes. The plot was contrived, and even hubby left feeling blah about it when it was over. Said it was only worth matinee. 🙁

 

Secret World Legends

Since my screenshots of the character screen wouldn’t take, I found a different way to take a selfie. Bwahahahaha!

My poor unsuspecting character in the game. 😛

Dragon Cabal’s leader is the child sitting in the chair. The lady next to him is his mouthpiece.

Entrance building to get to the portal to Agartha.

The little floating square that looks like a honeycomb is very important. You will find them all over the place, many in hard to spot locations. They give you lore and legends which will help with your personal museum of the bizarre. Since you were given your powers by a bee, this seemed apt. 🙂

A closeup view of the portal itself.

Behind me, you can see where I just came from. Now I am in Agartha. A different dimension with a giant life tree.

Guardians of the tree – so steampunk. Love it! The gentleman with them introduces us to the place.

A higher view of the zone. The little lit round objects boost you up to the central tree area or take you to other portals out.

A really neat place, no?

This players jetpack is a movement boost item you can buy. Weird looking!

Inside the central tree trunk.

Hope your weekend has been fruitful and fun!

 

Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 7/23/17

July has been catastrophic with regards to getting stuff done. Quarter Ends at work are just brutal. Didn’t help we had some major projects due and a hierarchy system conversion all at the same time! Wheee!

Secret World Legends

I remembered to lighten the pics before I uploaded them to the photo albums this time. The game is at times very dark and the details I might see while playing, are not so visible in the screenshots. Doh!

For example, this guy looked normal on last week’s pic. But look at him now!

Dragon Cabal Emissary

He has some super cool tats! 😛

We’re still in the newbie intro phase. Here we’re about to get a glimpse of the trouble out in the world before I meet with the actual leaders of the Cabal.

The lady from last week has somehow sent my soul/entity into the body of another. This is where I woke up.

These are the manner of creatures we have to deal with. It’s more than just undead.

People from other Cabals. Uniting in the trenches to fight. The Illuminati, the Templars, the Dragons. They are just the top three organizations.

Together we’re trying to get out of the subway up to the streets. Lots of weird nastiness all over.

Definitely not in Kansas anymore!

She is the person I am currently inhabiting in this place. She was dead before I arrived to use her shell.

I leave her as I found her. (Not that I had control in any of it.) What manner of things are making into our realm from rifts like these?

Dragon HQ in Seoul Korea. Gorgeous!

This is the leader of the Cabal. He did not speak. Letting the woman beside him do it for him.

She explains how the Dragons believe in controlled chaos.

Fascinating!

One curious thing. My character never talks. She only listens. People tell her all sorts of things. Between the great voice acting and the weird characters, it’s always fun to listen to all they have to say. 🙂

Hope you have had a restful weekend!

 

Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 7/16/17

Morning!

Quarter End has proved as harrying as usual this quarter. Ugh. There are still reports and more to do. One of the ladies came in sick last week, and I am horrified that I might have caught whatever she had. Noooooooooo!

Anyway, more peeks into…

Secret World Legends

Two weeks after the bee flew into my mouth, I have finally learned to control my new found power.

That’s when they come for me.

(I should have lightened these up! Argh!) He is a representative of the Dragon. They believe in controlled chaos.

 My first view of the streets of Seoul, Korea.

Nice work!

Following butterflies to get to one of the Dragon’s places. Yes, butterflies!

A gentleman who gives me some insight into what I am getting into as well as the other major players out there.

Look at all those tattoos!

More tattoos!  This lady is about to send me on a mental trip. She’s also a major tease. 😛

Did I mention she’s a tease? 😛

Hope your coming weeks is more fun than mine! 😛

 

Virtual Tourist – Secret World 7/9/17

Morning everyone!

During the July 4th weekend, Funcom made their supernatural MMO called Secret World Legends a free to play game.

Looked interesting, so we gave it a shot. Been loving it so far! Like that there are a variety mission types – main storyline, investigative, side quests, but the most unusual part that sets the MMO aside is that there are also puzzles within the game. There are even achievements for not being seen/caught during your mission. It makes the MMO act a lot like a regular PC game. Sweet!

Finally remembered to go locate how to take screen pics in the game, so I’m farther along than the beginning on these.

This is part of an underground pyramid hidden inside a normal-seeming cemetery. To the right is a trapped floor. You have to step on only the tiles with the symbol on the wall. (Have not yet figured out how to do pics without the UI. Sorry!)

 Lovely hieroglyphics!

They’ve done a nice job on the textures too!

The cobwebs came out nicely! Great for the atmosphere.

Isn’t this corridor just too awesome? They obviously did some research.

Those are some gargantuan doors!

War Machine Robot I had to deactivate and then get info out of. This was a sneak part of the mission as being seen by him before deactivation would mean my death! (He got me the first time, too! Wah!)

Look at the back of the picture. See those giant tentacle things? This is what this war is about. A neat section of the tutorial/game where you are placed inside the body of someone who’s died and get to see a glimpse of what the societies are fighting against. Eek! (We don’t win. Then you get to wake up.) 😛

A better view of one of the tentacles. Yes, they have mouths! Eek! (Just noticed the Orochi building! Those guys are scientists and more involved in containment but are not aligned with any of the three secret societies you get to pick to join.

That’s me waking up. Every since the bee with glowing pollen flew into my mouth while I slept, life has gotten very weird. Two weeks of hell. And then they came for me, just as I was finally getting a grip of the energy that seems to course through me.

They have great voice acting on the characters. And one was a giant surprise! Tim Russ! He played Tuvok on Star Trek Voyager! How cool is that?! (Went to IMDB ands starting looking at the lists of voice actors, and they got all sorts of cool people doing the voices for this! Dang!)

Hope you have a fabulous Sunday!

 

 

Movie Review – Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man Homecoming

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, and more.

Directed by: Jon Watts Screenplay by: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers Based on the Comic Book by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Cinematography by: Salvatore Totino Music by: Michael Giacchino

Premise: After getting a new suit and helping out during the Civil War, Peter is dying to help again. Unfortunately, he’s not getting any callbacks. But he makes do by going out every night and helping people where he can. But after tangling with a group of robbers using alien technology, he’s told to stay out of it. But Peter can’t let it go. (Rated  PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Tom Holland does a nice job as Peter Parker. Michael Keaton did a fresh and cold spin on Adrian Toomes to great effect.  (His talk on the way to the prom and his picking up on things was almost creepy!) Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau brought some lovely additional dimensions to the story. Nice work by all parties.

Additional kudos to Jacob Batalon. He was adorable as Peter’s friend. He brought a lot to the film as well.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: The special effects department was kept very busy in the movie. They came up with some neat human and alien technology hybrids – vulture’s gear is a prime example. Toomes looked creepy in the mask and glowing green eyes. Brrr.

Tony’s Spider-man suit was fab! More gadgets and gizmos than James Bond. Wait till you see all the awesome ways Tony has given him to use his web thrower. The suit is just too cool!

The cutter machine at the bank, the shock puncher, and the phase gadgets were excellent. If Toomes had been a little less messed up in the head, he could have helped bring some super amazing advances to the world.

The ferry scene and the Washington Monument scenes were great. The destruction at the bank and the deli were well done, and we even get bus wars! The group looked to have had a lot of fun with the Stark plane as well. There were some terrific bits in that sequence. Tons of neat stuff for out viewing pleasure.

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: They started the movie right – with a mutated version of the cartoon theme song! Booyah! It got me right in the mood. 🙂 Then the beginning sequence (shaky cam, but not for long – yay!) where we see Peter picked up and taken to join Tony and the others in Civil War.  Priceless!

With six people credited for the screenplay, I was amazed it came out so good. Toomes motivation wasn’t well grounded but wasn’t bad enough to be jarring. No way he didn’t make a ton of cash from his illegal sales. You’d think he would have saved some. 😛

Tons and tons and tons of adorable moments. (Guy in a chair!) The introduction of the Captain America tapes was a genius idea! This is especially so because they take the gag all the way to the end of the credits! (So stay until he shows! :P) I laughed myself silly at the last one. 😛 The comments from teachers and others in different parts of the movie were also rather humorous and came up when you least expected them.

I was a little puzzled that they decided to make Peter fifteen years old. That seemed a little young. Plus he didn’t look fifteen. Seventeen would have been much more believable, and he would have still had all the same problems. 😛 Spidey is super tough, so his getting knocked out by a small tap at one point seemed a little convenient, but it was a minor nitpick.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: CGI mixed with real stunt work gave the audience all sorts of fun to enjoy.

5) Music – Total Thumbs Up: Like I mentioned before – Michael Giacchino had me at the groovy version of the original 1967 Spiderman cartoon’s theme music. Some snazzy tracks and great action tracks. It added to the enjoyment of the film.

Conclusion: This Spider-man reboot is well worth seeing. All the small and fun moments truly make it a delicious film. Great effects and cool gadgets are ‘frosting on the cake’. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)