Chaos, News, and Oct 14th Impending Release!

Greetings all!

First, apologies for the lack of consistency on my posts of late. Between 2015 and 2016 life has been an ever filling bucket of chaos! Whee!

Most of it stems from the dreaded, but horribly necessary – Day JOB! I have to eat, pay bills, all those pesky things one does to survive while working above and beyond to push a writing career. Not for the faint of heart on a normal basis. And with all that’s been happening at work in the last couple of years…

People leaving the department like every three months or so in 2015. Owner ship changes. Duty changes. And in 2016 the added fun of an accelerated system conversion at the same time as declaring bankruptcy and coming out the other side. Then add in the layoff and people who survived it leaving at the worst possible time…and you can see how full the bucket is.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that 2017 will finally have things slow down. I want to be able to WRITE! Got a science fiction manuscript screaming for me to edit it so I can shop it around and a new urban fantasy manuscript with several thousand words already down and tabulated research on the side. Neither of which has seen anything from me in at least six months. 🙁

The peeps from the writers group I belong to are not sure I still exist! (Been with them for a long time and I’ve always been anal about getting my crits for any submissions in! Now they never hear from me except to catch a glimpse and a word or two from me at cons. (I’m still alive! I promise! I will do my part soooooooonnnnnn!)

The blog schedule has not gone unscathed, and has gotten worse the last few months Apologies! At least I’ve still managed to show up at the cons. (Though on the last two I missed a couple of my panels – *gack* – Even after looking at my schedule repeatedly! Mind exhaustion anyone?)

We’re hitting 3rd quarter close and audit – so it’s not looking good for October. But I’ll keep struggling to get back on track.

And so as part of this long apology for sporadic posting schedules and more I will also be a good author and announce the impending release of my novelette “Charity and Sacrifice.”

Charity and Sacrifice

Release date is October 14th! Less than a week away! And in case you missed the post a few weeks ago – it’s already available for pre-order! Kindle,  Kobo, and iBook.

The novelette is 10K words and will only be available in ebook. For a short excerpt check the book page here.  It is a historical/alternate history work set in London, England in the late 1800’s. 🙂

If you wouldn’t mind, please help spread the word! And wish me LUCK! (I need it!) 😛

 

Charity and Sacrifice – Ready for Pre-order!

With the release date of 10/4/16 for Charity and Sacrifice looming near…

I just found out Charity and Sacrifice (published by Uncial Press) is now ready for pre-order!

Kindle

Kobo

And should also be in the IBook store!

So if you’re so inclined – order your copy today! 🙂

Cover Reveal – Charity and Sacrifice

The final cover for Charity and Sacrifice has been approved! So that means I can now share it!

The 10K word novelette, which will be published by Uncial Press, will only be available as an ebook. The cover looks pretty snazzy though!

I love the big, fat X on the husband. Bwahahahaha!

They’ll be sending the novelette out for reviews soon. So I’ll share those as well as they become available. Publish Date is still set for Oct 2016!

I’ve added the blurb and an excerpt again to keep the it fresh in your minds for the future. BWAHAHAHA!

Trapped in a loveless marriage, will Elizabeth’s sacrifice to regain Robert’s love be in vain?

All Elizabeth hoped to do was to rekindle the love in her marriage. Yet despite ignoring her social obligations and immersing herself in her husband’s important work, somehow this only made things worse.

Her last hope is her unborn child — a source of unrequited love to fill the void inside her. But that too is taken from her. How? Why?

Her doctor avoids her. Her husband berates her. And there are whispers — whispers telling of things that cannot be.

Yet the more Elizabeth ignores the rumors, the more they press on her to seek the truth, so she concocts a plan to find it. To find it and hopefully exonerate both Robert and herself. To discover the reason she’s lost all that’s dear to her. And she will do it, even if she must venture into Whitechapel to do it.

Excerpt

“Dear, you have to eat something. Don’t you want to get better?” Ada once more offered a spoonful of porridge.

Propped up with hard pillows, Elizabeth could sit at an angle. Millie, her personal maid, had come by earlier and brought her a proper dressing gown as well as a brush and pins. The proprieties must be maintained despite the tragedy. She knew Robert would expect it. And it was the only armor left to her at present.

Chastised, she opened her mouth to take the offered food, though she wasn’t hungry and felt mortified to be treated like a child. A child…

Elizabeth’s eyes teared up but she refused to be embarrassed further by her own weakness.

“Has he been to see you yet?” The nurse’s eyes gleamed with curiosity.

“To whom do you refer?” She suspected, but she wouldn’t help feed the rumor mill any more than necessary.

“Lord Stainton, your husband.”

Elizabeth refused to meet her gaze. “I’ve been sleeping a lot, but I am sure he’s come. He wouldn’t wake me, knowing I need the rest.”

Ada’s eyes widened with feigned surprise. “Oh, that could be it, couldn’t it?” She fed Elizabeth another spoonful.

“He’s a very busy man.” Elizabeth wanted to bite her own tongue, knowing the excuse for what it was, and well aware the nurse did as well. “I’ve had enough, thank you.”

“Are you sure, dear?” Ada leaned forward as if to feed her again, except she left the spoon in the bowl. She stared intently at Elizabeth, her next words voiced in a whisper. “There are things you should know that you’ve not been told.”

Elizabeth’s eye twitched. The hollow hole inside her pulsed with need and apprehension. She presumed he was receiving news of her condition from the nurses as well as using them to pass on his orders.

Her gently worded requests for him to visit were just as gently denied. The suspicion something was being hidden from her had hardened into solid fact. Yet she still possessed no information.

To be forced to gain it from the likes of Ada … Everything that ever poured from the woman’s mouth was suspect. She’d watched her long enough to learn that much.

But how else was she to even glean a hint as to what was being kept from her? “Is that so?”

Ada leaned forward a little more. “I could get in trouble sharing what I know.” The nurse smiled at her, expectation tightening the lines on her face. “But a token, a valuable token, would go a long way toward easing my concerns. Think of it as a bit of charity to someone less fortunate than yourself.”

Charity? Extortion was more like it. Elizabeth wanted nothing more than to grab her bowl and shove its contents in the old hag’s face. Yet something in the back of her mind niggled at the word. It had been used in her presence recently… “I might have something at home which would satisfy you. I’ll have it brought for the morrow.”

Ada stood up to go. “My old heart bleeds with gratitude, milady. I’ll be sure to tell you all I know, once your charity has been received.”

Elizabeth clutched her blanket until her hands went numb, sure the nurse was laughing at her as she bowed her way out.

Coming Soon!

Charity and Sacrifice – Novelette to see release in Oct 2016

Several months ago I got a contract from Uncial Press for my 10K Novelette “Charity and Sacrifice”

Two rounds of edits later and I can share more info and an excerpt to wet your appetite. 🙂

Trapped in a loveless marriage, will Elizabeth’s sacrifice to regain Robert’s love be in vain?

All Elizabeth hoped to do was to rekindle the love in her marriage. Yet despite ignoring her social obligations and immersing herself in her husband’s important work, somehow this only made things worse.

Her last hope is her unborn child — a source of unrequited love to fill the void inside her. But that too is taken from her. How? Why?

Her doctor avoids her. Her husband berates her. And there are whispers — whispers telling of things that cannot be.

Yet the more Elizabeth ignores the rumors, the more they press on her to seek the truth, so she concocts a plan to find it. To find it and hopefully exonerate both Robert and herself. To discover the reason she’s lost all that’s dear to her. And she will do it, even if she must venture into Whitechapel to do it.

Excerpt

“Dear, you have to eat something. Don’t you want to get better?” Ada once more offered a spoonful of porridge.

Propped up with hard pillows, Elizabeth could sit at an angle. Millie, her personal maid, had come by earlier and brought her a proper dressing gown as well as a brush and pins. The proprieties must be maintained despite the tragedy. She knew Robert would expect it. And it was the only armor left to her at present.

Chastised, she opened her mouth to take the offered food, though she wasn’t hungry and felt mortified to be treated like a child. A child…

Elizabeth’s eyes teared up but she refused to be embarrassed further by her own weakness.

“Has he been to see you yet?” The nurse’s eyes gleamed with curiosity.

“To whom do you refer?” She suspected, but she wouldn’t help feed the rumor mill any more than necessary.

“Lord Stainton, your husband.”

Elizabeth refused to meet her gaze. “I’ve been sleeping a lot, but I am sure he’s come. He wouldn’t wake me, knowing I need the rest.”

Ada’s eyes widened with feigned surprise. “Oh, that could be it, couldn’t it?” She fed Elizabeth another spoonful.

“He’s a very busy man.” Elizabeth wanted to bite her own tongue, knowing the excuse for what it was, and well aware the nurse did as well. “I’ve had enough, thank you.”

“Are you sure, dear?” Ada leaned forward as if to feed her again, except she left the spoon in the bowl. She stared intently at Elizabeth, her next words voiced in a whisper. “There are things you should know that you’ve not been told.”

Elizabeth’s eye twitched. The hollow hole inside her pulsed with need and apprehension. She presumed he was receiving news of her condition from the nurses as well as using them to pass on his orders.

Her gently worded requests for him to visit were just as gently denied. The suspicion something was being hidden from her had hardened into solid fact. Yet she still possessed no information.

To be forced to gain it from the likes of Ada … Everything that ever poured from the woman’s mouth was suspect. She’d watched her long enough to learn that much.

But how else was she to even glean a hint as to what was being kept from her? “Is that so?”

Ada leaned forward a little more. “I could get in trouble sharing what I know.” The nurse smiled at her, expectation tightening the lines on her face. “But a token, a valuable token, would go a long way toward easing my concerns. Think of it as a bit of charity to someone less fortunate than yourself.”

Charity? Extortion was more like it. Elizabeth wanted nothing more than to grab her bowl and shove its contents in the old hag’s face. Yet something in the back of her mind niggled at the word. It had been used in her presence recently… “I might have something at home which would satisfy you. I’ll have it brought for the morrow.”

Ada stood up to go. “My old heart bleeds with gratitude, milady. I’ll be sure to tell you all I know, once your charity has been received.”

Elizabeth clutched her blanket until her hands went numb, sure the nurse was laughing at her as she bowed her way out.

Release date of October 2016! Mark your calendars! 😛

 

Uncial Press

Movie Review – The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur

Starring: Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Ryan Teeple, Jack McGraw, Marcus Scribner, Peter Sohn, Steve Zahn, Sam Elliot, A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin, and more.

Directed by: Peter Sohn Original Concept by: Bob Peterson Story by: Peter Sohn, Erik Benson, Meg LeFauve, Kelsey Mann, Bob Peterson Screenplay by: Meg LeFauve Music by: Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna

Premise: On an alternate timeline, where the giant asteroid missed Earth 65 Million years ago, dinosaurs continue to exist to develop language, civilization, and other skills. Three young dinosaurs hatch on a farm to live and grow with their Momma and Poppa, where they grow corn and raise chickens. While Libby and Buck prove quite apt for the life there, Arlo has problems. Trying to help him, Poppa gives Arlo the job of catching and killing the critter who’s been stealing from their corn stores, otherwise they might not have enough food saved for the winter. But things don’t go as his Poppa had hoped. (Rated  PG)

Review:

1) Voice Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Raymond Ochoa and Jack Bright are adorable as Arlo and Spot. Sam Elliot was perfect for Butch. His character was a neat surprise along with Nash and Ramsey. Jeffrey Wright and Frances McDormand were great as Arlo’s Poppa and Momma. Peter Sohn as Forrest Woodbush, the crazy old hermit triceratops, was a total hoot. 🙂

2) Artwork/Animation – Total Thumbs Up: I didn’t think it possible, but Disney and Pixar have pushed animation up another notch. From the first scene of the film to the last you’ll be trying to remind yourself the backgrounds are animated because they look so completely REAL! The seamless integration of the characters into their environment shows they must be animated; but you’ll still find yourself not believing it. Honestly, the realistic quality of the environment was a total jaw dropper! The reflections, the detail, I was flabbergasted!

The dinosaurs and other critters are easily identified as animated, and looked great. Lots of lovely expressions and other visual cues. Good textures for the reptilian skins and more. Everything around them though is so amazing, it makes you wonder if Pixar was afraid of doing the same with the characters, so that the drama might become a little too  real for young viewers.

The realism of the scenery make for some amazing cinematography! The two scenes with fireflies are utterly wonderful. 🙂

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: Think of the movie as dinosaurs meet Little House on the Prairie meet Bonanza and you’ll have the general feel of the film. It’s definitely a coming of age story and seems aimed more at the tween age group than the younger kids, though there’s enough going on to keep them interested as well, even if they don’t get everything being presented.

It was a lot of fun to see the dinosaurs as the civilized species. The human boy, Spot, has reasons for being wild but even then his ingenuity and intelligence shine through, showing humans are still in the game despite the meteor missing the planet. 😛 The swap between roles, though, was a lot of fun. And that isn’t the only surprise they’ve prepared for us either. (Arlo and the chickens are a hoot!)

So though the story itself will be familiar, the trappings and stage settings make it fresh. It was also very well done besides. Major themes are about family, belonging, finding your true self, and being open to experiences. There are several poignant moments, so if you’re like me, make sure to take a handkerchief or two.

Conclusion: The Good Dinosaur is visually fantastic! The animation of the surroundings is so detailed you’ll swear they’re real. Well worth it just for that alone! The short for the film is called Sanjay’s Super Team and it is super adorable!

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Saw two other films this week, but won’t have time to do full reviews – so here goes:  Mojin – The Lost Legend:  (Combo of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider) cool effects. Story a little disjointed, but still fun if not looked at too closely. 3.5 out of 5. The Hateful 8: acting is awesome, cinematography as well, but plot had several issues. 🙁 3.0 out of 5.