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Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed Origins 8/2/20

Morning!

Life continues in its usual chaotic cycles. I used a few days of vacation this week, and instead of vegging I spent them working on writer stuff. 😛  I never learn. 

I have been learning a lot about landing pages and opt-in pages and figuring out how to get more traction for my novels in general. Writing a good book is but one of the many things you have to do. The writer’s life is not for the faint of heart. Heh heh. 

Assassin’s Creed Origins

City of AlexandriaOur first view of the city of Alexandria! A sprawling metropolis and cultural melting pot.

Temple in AlexandriaA temple in Alexandria. Depending on where you are will depend on whether they are Egyptian, Greek, or even Roman. Some are hybrids.

Ptolemy statueA Ptolemy statue. He was Cleopatra’s younger brother and has usurped her rule. Destroying them is one of Bayek’s little pleasures. 😛

Side view of Alexandria Side view of part of Alexandria. The game has a photo shooting utility and the photos will show on the main map. So you can like other peeps pics. A neat idea! They even do a picture of the day. Encouraging us all to be Virtual Tourists. 😛

Tiled FloorsHere is some gorgeous tile work. Definitively showing Greek influence. 

Home in AlexandriaInside one of the homes in Alexandria. I so love all the detail!

A main street in AlexandriaOne of the major streets in Alexandria. 

Building in AlexandriaThe Library of Alexandria. Imposing, is it not? Yet a perfect example of the mishmash of cultures in the magnificent city. (Ah, makes me think of Rachel Caine’s awesome series The Great Library set in an alternate history where this bastion of learning was not destroyed.)

Pharos LighthousePharos the Lighthouse in Alexandria – one of the seven wonders of the world. 

Inside the Great Library Inside the Great Library. There are scholars everywhere you look. 

Giant gyroscopeA giant gyroscope inside the library. 

BuildingIt’s awe-inspiring to see what people managed to build in ancient times. 

 

The top of the Pharos LighthouseView of the top area of the Pharos Lighthouse. 

Statues in the waters of AlexandriaStatues in the waters of Alexandria. Just how did they get these out here? 

The Tomb of Alexander the Great

The Tomb of Alexander the Great

If you are not currently subscribed to my newsletter/blog – now might be the time!

I am giving away a FREE short story entitled “Elixir of Life” to any who sign up. (For those of you already on the mailing list, don’t worry! I’ll be sending info on how you can get it soon! 

 

Virtual Tourist – The Council 7/12/20

Greetings!

Last time I had shared with you my Pinterest Board for “Black Jade“. I realized later I should have also included the Dallas in 1930s Board. DOH! Research pics on distinct places and things from the 1930s.  

History can be very fascinating! Especially as not all the books out there read like the dry, boring dribble of high school history books! 😛 

The Council

 Steam had a sale over the 4th of July weekend, so we bought two games. My original purchase had included A Plague Tale: Innocence which I’d had on my wish list for a while. Sadly, I had to return it as it gave me terrible motion sickness. I checked to see if there was a way to fix it, but alas, there was not. So I returned it. (The premise was original, and the skill set you have to develop is unique (slingshot), but though it was 3rd person, the moving/bouncing perspective just made me ill.)

So after looking at some others and getting rather down as the ones I got excited about had comments about motion sickness there too, I got lucky and ran across The Council from Big Bad Wolf Studios. The first “episode” was on Steam for free, so I could make sure it would work for me before committing. Yay!

It has an interesting premise, and your choices can change the direction or information during play. It’s set in the late 18th century. Louis is searching for his mother (after the intro play) who’s disappeared after having spent several weeks on a remote island owned by Lord Mortimer. Sarah, Louis’ mother, is the head of the Golden Order in Europe.

You have to choose for Louis to be a diplomat, an occultist, or a detective, which will start the character with different skill sets. They also incorporate action points which you use when trying to use your skills. There are potions you can find to help with action points and with discovering character immunities and vulnerabilities as you go through dialogue choices. It’s been fascinating, so far!

The Council Opening ScreenYep, the characters are not pretty! Though still better looking than the ones in Skyrim! 😛 

The Council - FranceThe story begins, and in many ways revolves, around France. 

The Council - Lord Mortimer's IslandLouis first look at Lord Mortimer’s island. He sent Louis a letter inviting him to come as his mother has disappeared.

The Council - route to reach the houseIt is a long way from the docks to the house! Sheesh! 

The Council - Lord Mortimer's Mansion The front of Lord Mortimer’s Mansion. Quite impressive!

The Council - giant statueGiant statue coming out of the wall over the fireplace on the main floor. Everything in the mansion is rather impressive. Psychology at play on those who come to visit. (This definitely becomes clear as you explore some of the bedrooms. Lol.)

The Council - Paintings on the main floorTwo of the paintings in the main hall. You may not be able to tell from this picture, but the work on the paintings for the game is impressive. They did specific textures to show they are oil paintings. Oil paintings have a certain look because of the paints, how they dry, and the canvas they are painted on. It is much more noticeable in the better lit areas.  Kudos!

The Council - tiled floor of the main hallThe tile work in the main hall. Implying his guests are but mice in a maze, perhaps?

The Council - Lord HolmLord Holm – he plays host for Lord Mortimer in his absence. Quite disturbing in his powder and wig. 😛 

The Council - George WashingtonThe invited guests are movers and shakers in the world. Here’s Louis standing next to President George Washington. Duchess Emily Hillsboro is in the background. Napoleon Bonaparte is also one of the many guests, a force being groomed for the future.

Overall, they’ve done a great job with all the intrigue. Some hard puzzles here and there, timed responses, murder, the occult, politics, and a bizarre mystery. Booyah!

Have a great week!

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed Origins 6/28/20

Good morning!

News!

Last year I finished my first ever cozy mystery – Black Jade. (Set in Dallas in 1930 with a funky cast of characters.) This week I finished the second round of edits. So now begins the shopping phase! Hopefully, I can find an agent and once more try to shop something to the large publishing houses.

They say it is never too early to start getting the word out. 

Might this be the one that makes it? Only time will tell. Already gathering info for a second book in the Daiyu Wu Mysteries. Bwahahahahaha!

You can see pics and bits of the research over in the Black Jade Pinterest board.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins - Desert and pyramidsOut in the desert after leaving Siwa on the way to Alexandria. Behind Bayek, you can see pyramids! 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Desert and rockThe unforgiving desert sun. You stay out here long enough, and Bayek will start seeing minor hallucinations. (The weirdest one so far was of a fish flopping in the sand, then diving out of sight.)

Assassin's Creed OriginsOne of the small farming villages near a lake. I love the attention to detail. I would guess these are drying circles for making bundles of fodder to feed the farm animals.

Assassin's Creed OriginsThe lush plants along the lake, and some dangerous elements. Crocodiles are rampant in different areas. They are not shy about attacking anyone. Some of these guys are HUGE!

Assassin's Creed Origins - Lost CryptA lost crypt by the water. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - sweeping view of ruinsSweeping view of the lake, the pyramids, and some ancient ruins. (Forgot to lighten the pics – sorry!) You can even see one of the unique ships of the time.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of SekhmetThe Temple of Sekhmet in Yami. Impressive, no? The view is from the roof of a house across the street. Note the carpets and resting places. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Hypostyle HallIs this place grand or what? Hypostyle Hall. The years and manpower it must have taken to build it is mind-boggling. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Greek VillaA lakeside villa – notice the Greek and Roman influences. At this period, the Ptolemy line had been rulers of Egypt for close to 300 years. The Ptolemys were not Egyptian but Greek (Egypt was given to General Ptolemy by Alexander the Great – he was not Egyptian.) 

Assassin's Creed Origins - View of AlexandriaView of Alexandria! A center of learning and trade. At that time, the largest city in the world or second only to Rome.

Have a great week! Stay safe out there!

 

 

 

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 6/14/20

Morning!

I hope you are all doing well. Life is getting more back to normal, yet it’s too early to drop all precautions. The numbers are still climbing for COVID-19. Stay safe!

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins - Mountain of the DeadOne of the rooms in the Mountain of the Dead near Siwa. Canopic jars and all sorts of treasures for the afterlife. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsCat mummies! The Mountain of the Dead has a room just for cat mummies! Cats figure heavily into the game. They love Bayek. I think I’ve had five gather around and follow him. No pet command in this game, but if you get the angle right when you crouch, he will pet them. Still, a room of cat mummies! I was so surprised. Lol. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsTwo essential things in this picture. First is the tablet. It will show up over and over in different tombs you explore. Each will give you an ability point. So it’s well worth searching for them. (The exploration itself is fun, too. Though not always easy! They get tricky!) The second thing is the boy next to Bayek. He’s got the old-style bare head with a ponytail! Heh heh.

Assassin's Creed Origins - starsThere’s a quest for Bayek that he is doing for his son. There are 12 constellations that have been recreated on the ground. It was his son’s wish to visit all of them with his father. Here is the first. 

Assassin's Creed OriginsOnce you find one, you will see the corresponding stars and then the image of what/who they represent. On the first one, you have a flashback of Bayek and his son talking about the constellations. It’s a very touching sequence. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of Amun EntranceWhile there are a lot of ruins and crumbling statuary, others are still in perfect condition. Say hello to Wanderer (aka Roach) Bayek’s camel. Camels, horses, chariots, boats, there is a myriad of items you can use for transportation. Using them in town can be a little hazardous. You will destroy property like fences, jars, etc. (DOH!) Much to my surprise; you can get an achievement for it. (Double DOH!)

Assassin's Creed OriginsOutside view of the temple we started from at the beginning of the game. It lies some miles outside of Siwa. Since we had to follow Bayek’s old friend out from there, I didn’t get a look at the front! 😛

Assassin's Creed Origins - first temple interiorSuch lovely detail! I didn’t recognize I’d been here until I got this far in. 😛 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of AmunThis is the object that has brought such misery to Siwa. It is what lies beyond this door that has brought the calamity upon Bayek’s life. Yet, though it has been a year, his enemies still have not figured out the secret to getting it to open. I’m sure I will have to return here for that very thing later on.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Temple of Amun - upper areaTemple of Amun – upper temple area. Gorgeous! But also a place of tragedy and pain for Bayek. You can see the masked evil-doer right at the bottom. 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Bayek's TombModern Time – this is Bayek’s mummy, and that is Layla, the one using his DNA to look into the past. She’s built a portable Animus. Looking at all her files, they do some nice tie ins to the movie and some of the other Assassin’s Creed games. She’s fearless and a little crazy. Lol.

Assassin's Creed Origins - Bayek and Senu

Senu and Bayek. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

Stay calm, stay safe, stay optimistic!  Until next time!

 

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 5/31/20

Morning!

Almost half the year is gone already. People seem to be losing their minds left and right. It’s mind boggling.

Assassin’s Creed – Origins

Speaking of losing one’s mind… I somehow did 8 instead of the usual 10 pics last time… Hmmm.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SenuThis is a super important character – Senu!  He is Bayek’s companion. They have a psychic connection, so Bayek can see through Senu’s eyes. This helps Bayek map enemy locations and levels. Isn’t he pretty?

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaSiwa – Bayek’s home town. The place where things went wrong. At the bottom, you can see the top of a pigeon tower. They were used for food, pets, and for delivering messages. I would imagine they also used them for fertilizer for crops? (Egyptians raise pigeons to this day!)

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaA view of the other side of Siwa. Steep cliffs protect the town from desert storms.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - ShiledLook at all the detail! Isn’t his shield gorgeous? 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - Temple of AmunBayek just outside the walls of the Temple of Amun in Siwa. There are secrets here. Secrets those who destroyed Bayek’s life wish to find. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaThe other side of Siwa. On the left life, on the right, arid death.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - DesertDesert as far as the eye can see.  

Assassin's Creed - OriginsA cave in the cliffs around Siwa.

Assassin's Creed - OriginsNighttime view of the encroaching desert. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - SiwaView of Siwa from the nearby cliffs. 

Assassin's Creed - OriginsNight view of Siwa’s lake area. 

As always, stay safe! Until next time! 😛

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 5/17/20

Morning!

Tomorrow, I go back into the office for the day job after working from home for over a month and a half. I’ve got mixed feelings about it since there’s so much about Covid-19 we do not understand. It should be an adventure! 😛

 Assassin’s Creed – Origins

Assassin's Creed - Origins

They really did some amazing work on this first tomb. 

Assassin's Creed - OriginsIs that a possible way out? The torches have another use, they burn off spiderwebs. Such a neat touch!

Assassin's Creed - OriginsFreedom! Isn’t the column work, gorgeous?

Assassin's Creed - OriginsBayek runs into an old friend. 

Assassin's Creed - OriginsTake a note of the cool shields and weapons. They have a large variety to choose from as well as rare and legend categories.

Assassin's Creed - OriginsYou start with a trusty steed – a camel! Harder to drive in town than in the desert. 😛  I dubbed him ‘Roach’ – lol.  Look at all that sand!

Assassin's Creed - OriginsMy first look at Bayek’s home town – Siwa. 

Assassin's Creed - OriginsDreadful things have happened in the village over the last year. Sinister dealings at the temple. Note the mysterious orb. (And that gorgeous tile work!) 😛

Please take care out there. A lot of stuff has gone back to ‘normal’ but the disease is still going strong. If we relax too much too soon, the numbers will reach new daily highs. Stay strong and stay safe! 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Origins 5/3/20

Morning!

I am running late, but with some luck, I will get this post done on time!

Support Small Businesses

Remember to support small businesses during this time of uncertainty. (Like my publishers!) We’d all really appreciate it! I think Zumaya will try to set up a promotion in the next week or two. Get ready for possible deals. 😛

Assassin’s Creed – Origins

Hubby and I played an interim game between the two Assassin’s Creed games, but it ended up being just a preview. I may still share, as I enjoyed what we played, but this new (for us!) Assassin’s Creed is too gorgeous not to share!  

So far, the mechanics work a lot smoother than Black Flag. They’ve also added a neat feature with the iconic eagle and gives the player an aerial view and other fun goodies!

Anyway, here we go!

Assassin's Creed - Origins - Logo

I loved how they merged the normal Assassin’s Creed logo with the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Looks awesome! 

Assassin's Creed - OriginsA super cool combo of data streaming and hieroglyphics. Too cool! 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - DessertIntro film – showing us the unforgiving desert. As with the other one I played, they dump you in the middle of things without context, which is slowly revealed during gameplay.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - Siwa villageThe prosperous village of Siwa. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins

A royal visitor – and the moment things began to go wrong. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - buried templeA year has passed since Bayek noticed the masked figures with the royal caravan. Bayek is a Medjay for the Siwa village before tragedy struck. A Medjay is a protector and policeman of sorts. (I kept thinking they were saying magi! DOH!)

Assassin's Creed - OriginsIsn’t this gorgeous? The detail is outstanding. You even burn cobwebs with the torch. Bayek has just dispatched the first of the five men responsible for corrupting the country and destroying all he held dear. 

Assassin's Creed - Origins - buried temple statueI loved that he apologized to the gods for infiltrating their temple and pilfering some treasures. It was also fascinating to hear him say ‘ancients’ when that is how we think of him in 48 BCE or so.

Assassin's Creed - Origins - wall carvings

Just look at the awesome wall paintings! The neat columns! Such gorgeous work!

Assassin's Creed - Origins - wall decorSuch intricate work. Though you can’t take it with you, there are a ton of wonderful representations of actual items you’d see in the bigger tombs. Wait until I share the pic of the cat mummies! Squee!

 

I’ve put Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles and Inner Demons back for free at Smashwords if you need reading fodder. But if you can spare the cash, please support my still existing publishers! Much appreciated! 

 

 

 

Alien Redemption – Readers Favorite 5 Star Review!

After working 70+ hours this week for QE Close, I got a bit of good news! 

Readers Favorite gave Alien Redemption a 5 Star Review! Woot!

Readers Favorite 5 Star Review for Alien Redemption

Here’s the press release!

Alien Redemption by Gloria Oliver

Author’s new book receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Fiction – Science Fiction book “Alien Redemption” by Gloria Oliver, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0855BBBJP.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Reviewed By Scott Cahan for Readers’ Favorite

Alien Redemption by Gloria Oliver is a science fiction novel about mankind’s discovery of an alien race. The story follows Claudia, a doctor who has been disgraced within her profession. In her efforts to escape her past, she ends up working on a merchant spaceship called the Holiday, under the nefarious Captain Bennet. They fly across the galaxy to a planet that is home to a previously undiscovered intelligent race of beings. Claudia is intrigued at the discovery, anxious to learn from them and protect them. Captain Bennet, on the other hand, has evil plans for the beings that have humanoid bodies along with wings and feathers. Claudia soon finds herself their sole caretaker and protector, even as the Captain kidnaps them and forces them into a despicable life of servitude.

I found Alien Redemption to be one of the most original science fiction novels I’ve ever read. The story is simple yet nearly perfect in its execution. Gloria Oliver’s style of writing is fluid and very natural. I was easily carried away within the story as I turned the pages. The characters are believable and real. Claudia is so well fleshed out that I found myself fully invested in her thoughts and dilemmas. Many of the other characters were equally effective, especially Captain Bennet and the First Mate, Stevens. The most stunning story element of Alien Redemption is the avians, the name most often used for the aliens. I won’t give away any story details here, but suffice it to say, they’re handled very differently than aliens are in most other sci-fi stories. Alien Redemption is a fresh and satisfying science fiction read that I am happy to recommend.”

You can learn more about Gloria Oliver and “Alien Redemption” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/alien-redemption where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

 

Pancakes a la Oliver!

Morning, all!

Being Shut-In is not easy. Luckily, we live in a rural area and taking a short walk with no one around helps keep the cabin fever in check. 😛

Anyway, hubby made something yesterday that I made for myself this morning and thought I would share it! It might be fun to try with the kiddos! A new way to bling out breakfast. 🙂 

Pancakes a la Oliver!

  Pancakes a la Oliver

1 – Grab one stack of your favorite frozen pancakes.

2 – Heat the pancakes per instructions, unstacked on a plate.  (I add a tiny bit of butter to melt on top.)

3 – Once done, add a slice of Colby and a slice of thin-sliced ham on each pancake.

4 – Put them back in the microwave for 30 sec.

5 – Remove from the microwave and add a drizzle (or more) of syrup and eat!

Pretty tasty! (It’s like a pancake Montecristo!) 

Speaking of Montecristo, I am thinking of trying some jam on top the next time. 🥰

I hope you guys are safe and virus-free! Stay safe!

 

Virtual Tourist – Assassin’s Creed – Black Flag 3/22/20

Morning!

Let me get the mandatory stuff out of the way first!

Alien Redemption Trade Paperback

Alien Redemption is now available in trade paperback! You can find it both at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. B&N even has it on special at 10% off. Amazon will deliver it and B&N is offering curb side pickup for all online purchases.

Assassin’s Creed – Black Flag.

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag

Havana on a foggy night.

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - HavanaAnother part of Havana in daylight. Of all the places Edward has visited so far, this one is the most advanced. 

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - NassauIn comparison, Nassau has a long way to go. This is the main pirate port.

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - Pirate CaptainsThree pirate captains! Edward is in the middle, and Black Beard is on the right.

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - Dry TortugaThey do such awesome things with the water in this game! It’s like being in the Caribbean for real. Edwards just took over on the forts dotting the area. 

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - Captain KiddCaptain Kidd talking over a plan he’s concocted. He’s an enigma and makes Edward consider things he wouldn’t normally think about. (He has secrets!)

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - ruinsRuins in one of the many islands in the area. 

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - waterfallsGorgeous waterfalls. They even have a hint of a rainbow! 

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - the real worldThe real world – view from the office.

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - artworkGorgeous artwork on the way to the boss’s office.

Assassin's Creed - Black Flag - Boss's OfficeBoss’s office. There’s good money in DNA extracted pasts used for entertainment.

Stay safe and clear of the virus. Support your local small businesses so they can financially survive past this challenge. We’ve never experienced something like this. It will bring out many feelings, but let’s not take them out on people who had nothing to do with it. We can make it through as long as we stay calm and together!

Till next time!