Are You Ready to Suspend Disbelief?

On May 27, 2012, Discovery’s Animal Planet channel aired Mermaids: The Body Found. The documentary featured video of a mermaid sighting in the Greenland Sea and an exclusive interview with former NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientist Dr. Paul Robertson.

The show followed a scientific team’s investigative efforts to uncover the source behind mysterious underwater recordings. It opened with video footage of a mermaid perched on a rock. Later in the program, a webbed hand touches the observation window of a submersible craft manned by a team of deep-sea divers. As the creature swims away, the divers catch glimpses of an alien-like face.

This program attracted the network’s biggest audience in its history: 1.9 million viewers.

Continue reading on Chris the Story-Reading Ape’s blog.


Poetry In the Time of COVID-19

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

April is National Poetry Month, a month set aside to appreciate poets, past and present. Today, I’m sharing a timely poem from Lynn Ungar.

Read more about Lynn Ungar and her poems here.


A Tale of Two Trailers

After signing the contract for Between Land and Sea with Soul Mate Publishing, I started brainstorming about different marketing tools. One idea that popped in my head was a trailer. In my research, I had discovered mixed messages regarding the effectiveness of trailers. Some authors and publicists were wildly enthusiastic while others suggested that trailers did not necessarily lead to more sales.

Weighing both sets of opinions, I reached the conclusion that it wasn’t just about sales. I wanted to celebrate the launch of my debut novel with a trailer. And to make the prospect of a trailer even more exciting, I could call upon the expertise of my musically-talented brothers.

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


Sharing Mermaid Humor

While fishing, three men catch a mermaid who begs to be set free in return for granting each of them a wish.

The first man shakes his head and says, “Okay, if you can really grant wishes, then double my IQ.”

The mermaid says, “Done.”

Suddenly, the man starts reciting Shakespeare flawlessly.

The second man is so amazed, he says to the mermaid, “Triple my IQ.”

The mermaid says, “Done.”

The man starts to spout out all the mathematical solutions to problems that have been stumping the scientists.

Impressed, the third man decides to one-up his friends. “Quintuple my IQ.”

The mermaid looks at him and says, “You know, I don’t usually try to change people’s minds when they make a wish, but I really wish that you would reconsider.”

The man is adamant. “No, I want you to increase my IQ times five, and if you don’t do it, I won’t set you free.”

“Please,” says the mermaid, “You don’t understand what you’re asking. It will change your entire view on the universe. Won’t you ask for something else….a million dollars, anything?”

But no matter what the mermaid said, the third man insisted on having his IQ increased by five times its usual power. So the mermaid sighs and says, “Done.”

And the third man is transformed into a woman.

Now, that I’ve got you in mermaid mode, I thought I’d let you know about a special promotion running until Saturday, April 4th.

Blurb – Between Land and Sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Blurb- the Coming of Arabella

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)


Movie Review: Just Mercy

Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx deliver stellar performances in this thought-provoking film based on a real-life injustice in Alabama.

A Harvard law graduate, Bryan Stevenson (Jordan), declines several lucrative jobs and heads to Alabama. There, he agrees to help local advocate Eva Ansley (well played by Brie Larson) run the Equal Justice Initiative. Their mission: Defend anyone who has been wrongly condemned or not given proper representation.

After interviewing inmates at Holman Prison, Bryan hones in on Walter McMillian (Foxx), a timber cutter who has been convicted of murdering a white teenage girl. At first reticent, Walter eventually accepts Bryan’s help.

From the start, it is clear that Walter, aka “Johnny D,” has been victimized by the Alabama justice system. Friends and family members, who could provide alibis, were not allowed to testify. The entire case was based on the coerced testimony of a convicted felon (Tim Blake Nelson).

Bryan maintains a steely reserve and tenacity as he battles against the covert and overt racism of the small town. I marveled at his ability to rise above the many roadblocks he encounters in his quest for justice.

I was surprised by the behavior of the other inmates on death row. While they can’t see each other, they do indulge in friendly banter between the bars and walls of their confinement. I would have liked more details about Herb Richardson (Rob Morgan), a Vietnam veteran who planted a bomb on a woman’s porch while suffering from PTSD.

Highly recommended!


Blurb Blitz Tour: A Savage Kultur

I’m happy to welcome author Monique Roy. Today, Monique shares her new release, A Savage Kultur.

Blurb

Ava is a Jewish art student who suddenly inherits her grandfather’s gallery in London. Acting on his final wish, Ava begins a journey to discover a valued Van Gogh, which was looted by the Nazis in 1937. As Ava unlocks this complex journey, we begin to travel between her timeline and that of the war itself, where we find out what ordinary people had to do to survive under the power of the Nazis and their wishes.

Excerpt

London, England

New Year’s Eve, 2013

It was an icy New Year’s Eve in London when Ava Goldman contemplated the bitter side of life. As she strolled home from a cozy bookshop before sunset, she noticed the wind crisscrossed between ancient buildings, thick snow blanketed the streets, and a single piece of newsprint swirled up in the gust. This weather was not everyone’s cup of tea, but Ava liked the invigorating, crisp air and the hoarfrost on the grass. She could stare for hours at the individual snowflakes that sparkled like glitter and diamonds.

The chilly weather scarcely dampened the mood as the city, on the dawn of another year, still hummed with activity and celebration. Ava knew she was not alone in her thoughts. Merry revelers stood on the banks of the Thames River, which lay frigid from below London Bridge. They, too, were on a journey, quietly observing the world before them as they tried to imagine the future and rehash the past. Glowing fireworks burst around Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, illuminating the night sky with explosions of bright and vivacious colors of light.

In these moments when nothing stirred, she remembered the past, understood the present, thought of the future, and she dug deep into her soul. Ava vowed to remain centered no matter what came her way. To her, this meant being more grounded and calm. She hoped the new year brought with it hope and renewal like a radiant flower that springs from a timeworn vine.

Author Bio and Links

Monique loves writing that twitches her smiling muscles or transports her to another time or place. Her passion for writing began as a young girl while penning stories in a journal. Now she looks forward to deepening her passion by creating many unique stories that do nothing less than intrigue her readers.

Monique was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and her grandparents were European Jews who fled their home as Hitler rose to power. It’s their story that inspired her to write Across Great Divides, her debut, historical fiction novel.

Monique holds a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is also the author of a children’s book Once Upon a Time in Venice. In her free time, she loves to travel, play tennis, pursue her passion for writing, and read historical fiction. In 2008, she was chosen by the American Jewish Committee’s ACCESS program to travel to Berlin, Germany, on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, to explore German and Israeli relations along with 20 other Jewish professionals from across the U.S.

Website | Twitter | Amazon

Giveaway

Monique Roy will be awarding electronic book copy of A Savage Kultur to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Monique on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.


2 Fitness Alternatives on YouTube

Since retiring in 2008, I have adopted a healthy regimen that includes a daily visit to the exercise room in my condo building. All that changed last Tuesday when I received a notice informing me that the exercise room would now be locked.

Determined not to fall back on bad habits, I started to search for fitness alternatives. Within days, I discovered two of Holly Dolke‘s YouTube videos. Shorter and less intense than my usual regimen, the workouts–especially the toning segments–are challenging enough.

Enjoy!

Any other YouTube finds…Please share in the comments.