Mind Sieve 01/12/24

Table of Contents

News/Musings StoryOrigin Swap 1
Mini Movie/Show Reviews StoryOrigin Swap 2
Movie/TV Show Previews Just for Fun!
Thrills For The New Year Group Promo January Cozies Group Promo
Strong Women Strange Worlds



Happy New Year, ya’ll! 🎆🎇

I hope you had fun celebrations over the holidays and much to look forward to in 2024!



I hope 2024 has been treating you well so far. While nothing ‘bad’ has happened here, we have had a bucket full of chaos so far. Hopefully, this is not a sign of things to come for the rest of the year. LOL. 😝

In the spur of the moment, I decided to do a “free” sale with Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles. Hopefully, you saw the social media posting; Peeps subscribed to the newsletter got a special heads-up, so if you want one next time – subscribe! 😈 If you live outside the US, I believe you can make an account at the ‘.com’ address anyway. I did this myself for Amazon in Japan a few years ago to get ahold of some Hojo Tsukasa manga that was not then available in the US. 😁

Writing news

I’ve heard from my editor! 😍 Woot! She sent me the edits for The Prince and Dai last Thursday.  (Her December 2023 and January 2024 have been unbelievably insane!) So send good vibes or prayers her way!

This also means peeps signed up for the newsletter get to see it for FREE! You still have time to subscribe, as I’ll link to the previous newsletter showing part 1 and you can get it for free as well. 

Continuing my ‘pile way too much on my tray’ trend—I posted for auditions to turn The Secret Humankind into an Audiobook! I got some great auditions, and the producer accepted my offer, so that’s in the works.

ACX had issues with their automated email system, so the first producer I sent an offer to didn’t see it before it was auto-rejected. (The thing has a timer on it.) I felt so bad when she wrote me and told me the emails had failed that I decided to have her work on Alien Redemption, even though I’d only planned for one audiobook. (Luckily, both producers were agreeable to royalty share, or I would not have gone any further with it.) Here’s hoping for some fabulous reads to share with ya’ll!


Extra stuff I’ve shoved in here:

1) StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

2) StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

3) Thrills for the New Year Group Promo

4) January Cozies Group Promo

5) Strong Women Strange Worlds Rapid Fire Readings



More deets on all of these in their sections. 😊


StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

StoryOrigin Swap 1 (UBL)

Death in the Dunes

Retired FBI agent Genevieve Jensen is pulled back into the world of crime when her best friend Sandra Benedict is accused of murdering her husband, Jack.

As she investigates to clear Sandra’s name, Genevieve discovers that nothing is as it seems in the small coastal North Carolina town of Spartina Beach.

The local detective on the case is inexperienced and overwhelmed, tempting Genevieve to take matters into her own hands. As she delves deeper into the investigation, the questions come faster than the answers and Genevieve finds herself torn between her loyalty to her friend and her duty to seek justice. With the help of her trusted network of contacts and her unwavering determination, she’ll stop at nothing to uncover the truth. However, the closer she gets, the more she realizes that the danger may lie on her own doorstep.

Will Genevieve solve the case and bring the killer to justice, or will she become the next victim in this deadly game of cat and mouse?

Mini Movie/TV Reviews 🎥

★ – Why did I go see this? Why?!

★★ – Showed promise but on execution, crashed

★★★ – Enjoyable, just don’t look under the hood too closely

★★★★ – A great film, totally worth seeing!

★★★★★ – 🤯 Too fabulous for words!




Wonka is a musical prequel to the 1971/2005 versions of the Willy Wonka stories. It is colorful, magical, and endearing. There are a ton of little details and quirky bits. The film uses and ties back to things in the two previous films. (After seeing it, we went home and watched the other two again!) Reading the fine print is a lesson he learns and takes to heart here. LOL.  

Lots of homage to the 1971 version, even changing the Ompa Loompas (we only see one – but Shorty is a hoot!) back to the original orange and green coloring. 

Gorgeous sets, hilarious characters, subtext, catchy songs. Too much fun! Some fidging with cannon, but not enough to detract from the tale.

Rating: ★★★★.25 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!



A super fun family film. Quirky characters abound. And the coolest-looking helicopter ever! The backdrops and animation are excellent. Chuck-full with popular actors and actresses.  Fun family dynamics and events help all those involved to become more than they were before.

Rating: ★★★★.25 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

As Arthur Curry is discovering, being a king is not all it’s cracked up to be.  His efforts to be a bridge between humans and sea dwellers are getting nowhere. But he is finding joy in parenthood. Black Manta returns to exact revenge, but all is not as it seems. There is a new element threatening to destroy the land and seas. More than Aquaman can handle alone, so he frees the last person anyone would expect him to go to for help—his imprisoned brother.

There are lots of sweet and bitter-sweet moments. Mera is sadly relegated to the back to give more room for Arthur and Orm to clash, learn more about each other, and gain a deeper understanding of who they are.

Great graphics and special effects. Several comedic and poignant moments. Fun and action-packed. 

Rating: ★★★★.25 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Worth Price of Admission

The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat

When hubby showed an interest in seeing this one, I was surprised and more than happy to check it out. Based on a book based on actual events, the story follows the travails of eight college boys as they struggle to become a cohesive unit for 8 man rowing. 

The story centers mostly around Joe Rantz and Coach Al Ulbrickson, but we get info on the others as well. The film squeezes together three years into one. It’s set during the Great Depression and ends at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany.

Overall, I enjoyed the film a lot. And they did explain some of the mechanics of 8 men rowing, though I do wish they’d done more. Despite the great acting, cinematography, etc., however, the end will leave you a little dissatisfied. Something the filmmakers could have easily resolved. They did show pics of the real people during the credits, but unlike most historical films, they don’t tell you what happened to any of them afterward. They don’t even tell you if Joe married Joyce or not! (He did, by the way. I went and looked it up! Lol.) So they shot themselves in the foot there and made viewers feel unfullfilled.

Rating: ★★★.75 out of 5 Hubby’s Rating: Better for Matinee

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

StoryOrigin Swap 2 (UBL)

Undead Menagerie

When the world ends, you adapt or die. Can two strangers trapped in a zoo survive as zombies close in around them?

Zookeeper Imogen is flying high. She loves her work caring for endangered Iberian Lynxes and a promotion is on the horizon. Then a colleague throws her under the bus and her entire life goes into free-fall.

Mike dropped out of college to raise his sisters. Now, twenty years later, it’s time to live for himself. First step of his new life: marry his girlfriend. But an unwelcome surprise derails his proposal, and the future he’s longed for slips from his grasp.

When the zombie apocalypse strikes, Imogen and Mike are trapped inside the zoo. If Imogen wants to protect her lynxes, she’ll have to adapt. If Mike wants to find his family, he needs to survive.

Together, they must find a way out of the zoo—before it becomes as deadly as the ravenous hordes beyond its fence.

Steel City Apocalypse is a sister series of The Undead Age zombie apocalypse adventure. If you like Sarah Lyons Fleming and Christopher Artinian, you’ll devour this gritty adventure.

Grab your machete and join the Steel City Apocalypsetoday!

Movie/TV Previews 🎥

​Beacon 23 Movie TrailerSuper creepy looking. Nice!

Abigail Movie Trailer -it started as one thing, then turned into something totally different! LOL. A horror dramedy? Weirdness!

3 Body Problem Movie Trailer – looks super trippy!

Just for Fun!

Thrills for the New Year

Thrills for the New Year 2024 Group Promo – chills and thrills to start the new year!

January Cozys Banner

January Cozies! Group Promo – snuggle up, keep warm, and read!


Strong Women Strange Worlds 01/18/24 Banner

Strong Women Strange Worlds Rapid Fire Readings for 1/18/24.

May your new year be warm, productive, and calm!


Till next time!