Week In Review – June 16-21, 2019

 

We hope you are all enjoying the weekend. Well, here are the books we released this week!

 

Excitingly, we had a new boxed set published – A New Dawn Omnibus! You won’t want to miss out on this one. Now you can have the complete series on your shelf.

We had another book in the School of Necessary Magic Raine Campbell series published. This time it’s senior year. What are the chances of two, nice and quiet semesters? Make sure to check it out!

There was also a new book published in a new series- Collecting The Goddess. In this book, what is a billionaire heiress supposed to do when all of her older siblings take to business like her parents, proving that business is in their blood? Don’t forget to read it to find out.

 

We really hope you have had a chance to check out the fantastic new releases! Keep looking for more new series as well as new books within your favourite series all coming very soon!

Here’s the Week in Review, enjoy!

 

 

It’s Another Fan’s Pricing Saturday – June 22, 2019

 

Note:  We request the price changes from Amazon on Friday afternoons. Unfortunately, they don’t change all of the prices at one time. Please double check the price before clicking “Buy”.)

 

All of these new releases are 99c for one day only! 
However, they are also available in Kindle Unlimited!
Grab them today before the prices go up!

 

Unrelenting Fighter eBook Cover

The Unrelenting Fighter

 

Probationary Agent ebook cover

Probationary Agent

 

A New Dawn boxed set cover

A New Dawn of Destiny Omnibus

 

If you see this message after June 21st and want to be notified of future price promotions, please sign up for our email list at www.lmbpn.com/email

 

 

Collecting The Goddess Book Trailer

Collecting The Goddess, book one is the Chronicles Of KieraFreya series releases today at Amazon.  While it’s going through the publishing process please check out this video, with narration by the talented Emily Beresford.

What is a billionaire heiress supposed to do when all of her older siblings take to business like her parents, proving that business is in their blood?

But not hers.

There are many good choices. Unfortunately, Chloe decided that partying was the right one.

Now a requirement to keep her money requires her to attend daily meetings with the family psychologist—a daily meeting about how she should change her life to change her future.

The worst part? The meetings are before noon, so she has to get up early.

Then he presents her with an offer.

Invest in a new game company and become the first player to stay inside their full-immersion pod.

For two years.

Two years away from her parents looking down on her, and not having to listen to her siblings and their success?

Done. 

There is only one problem…

Chloe’s avatar connects to a Goddess of Retribution who doesn’t remember her past.

Following the rabbit trail of armor to help the goddess will require more responsibility from Chloe than she has ever accepted in the past.

Will she return to being the party girl of her past, or will the Lagarde daughter tempered in fire from her upbringing wake up?

And herself.

Download your copy of Collecting The Goddess today at Amazon.com

 

 

Review: Shaft

The third film in the universe of this blaxploitation classic, Shaft is easily one of the most fun and enjoyable movies I’ve seen this year. A perfect mix of modern references clashing with the old head machismo of both Samuel L. Jackson’s (Captain Marvel, Glass) and Richard Roundtree’s (What Men Want, Being Mary Jane) iteration of the character. This one follows Jackson’s John Shaft’s son, John “JJ” Shaft Jr, played by Jessie Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence, Almost Christmas) who works as a data analyst for the FBI and discovers a mystery that only his father can help him figure out. While not for the faint of heart, as there are plenty of really terrible and problematic things that come out of Jackson’s character, it is nevertheless a fun ride.

Shaft is a love letter to the blaxploitation genre, from the music, the dialogue, and the situations the characters find themselves in, it’s as if this movie was written forty years ago. Drugs, sexy women, overwhelming violence, and spitfire quips, this film is everything you want if you love that genre of film. Moreover, it loves New York City, Harlem even more so, and recognizes that the New York of the original films is not at all that of the modern day, both for good and ill.

What’s more, it doesn’t just have Shaft say messed up things with impunity but strives to have him reckon the more problematic aspects of his personality and worldviews. Having chosen his work over his family once before, Shaft learns to realize that getting his man wasn’t worth missing out on twenty-five years of his son’s life or losing the woman he loves. Some of his views soften, and he learns to understand that his way isn’t the only way to get things done.

At the same time, JJ learns how to harden himself, to become more like his father and grandfather and be more ‘manly’. He defeats his villain, solves the mystery, and in the end, as such movies demand, get the girl. The ladies of this film are amazingly cast. Regina Hill (Little, The Hate U Give) plays JJ’s mother and Shaft’s ex Maya, who doesn’t want her son caught up in his father’s nonsense, and Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse, Love, Simon) plays the doctor, childhood friend, and crush Sasha, while is a badass in her own right, falls into the role of damsel in distress.

Special mention has to be made for the iconic Richard Roundtree, who originated the role. He isn’t in much of the film, only coming in at the end for the final sequence, he still steals the show. It’s amazing when we get to watch actors such has Roundtree reprise roles that made their careers, especially when it’s clear that they love them. You can see how much both Roundtree and Jackson loved being Shaft in the past, and how much all three love being Shaft now.

While this film won’t have as much appeal or be as enjoyable for those who either don’t know or don’t like blaxploitation films, it is still a fast-paced summer action movie and holds its own against more modern movies in that field, such as John Wick. But to get the full experience out of Shaft, at the very least if you haven’t already, go back and watch the original Shaft from 1971 and Jackson’s first iteration as the character from 2000. With those films in mind, you’ll catch all the references both to the film’s own canon as well as the common tropes of blaxploitation action films in general. I can’t suggest watching this film any more highly.

Shaft (2019) is open wide in theatres everywhere.

David Castro is a Puerto Rican writer from New York City. He has worked on the upcoming Undead supplement for Chill Third Edition and is working on launching a Patreon. You can find him on Twitter (@theinkedknight), on Tumblr (thedevilsyouknew), on Facebook (facebook.com/inkstainedstudios), and at davidrcastro.com.

 

Review: Men In Black International

Fourth in a beloved sci-fi series, this entry to the canon features none of the cast of the original, barely referencing the side characters and ideas of the first three and instead of marching off with its own ideas, but does it do this well? Even days after seeing it, I’m not exactly sure. The film I watched was enjoyable in and of itself, as a science fiction action movie it works, if only based on its reliance on said action scenes, but I’m uncertain it is a good Men in Black movie. It tries to be comedic to varying levels of success and does feature some alien sidekicks, but International doesn’t really deliver what I look for from a movie in this series.

Starring Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, Westworld) as Agent M, an intrepid investigator who upon discovering the truth about alien life on Earth, she spends her life searching for the agency that wiped her parent’s memories to join them, and Chris Hemsworth (Avengers Endgame, Bad Times at the El Royale) as Agent H, a famed agent who once saved the world, but isn’t as great as everyone thinks he should be. Both do service to their roles, and the faults in the movie are not on them, but there’s only so much good acting can save a faulty script. The same can be doubly said for Liam Neilson (The Commuter, Taken) as High T, who runs the London branch of the Men in Black, and Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually) as Agent O, who runs the New York City office. Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley) is the most successful comedic part of the movie, but as he plays the alien sidekick Pawny, he doesn’t have nearly enough screen time to save this movie.

Without a good script or enough of a connection to the world of the film, we’re just thrown into it. We don’t really know what The Hive is, why they are a threat other than they are told they are. We don’t really know why any of the threats are dangerous other than because we get told that they are. We get a whole lot of exposition, but nothing has a lot of backing, and thus, the movie is paper thin plot-wise.

That said, as mentioned before, everyone is doing their best and no one is bad in any of their roles. It is a Men in Black story, to be sure, it’s just a shame that it feels like a side story or fan fiction more than it does the fourth mainline film in the series. I would love to see Agents H and M team up again, see their relationship build into something deeper. While yes, Thompson and Hemsworth do have chemistry, probably from their time on Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers Endgame, and that comes through with the little bit of connection they’re given. Had almost any other actors been cast in these roles, I’m not sure if this would have worked even as much as it did.

Men in Black International is a perfectly suitable generic summer sci-fi blockbuster. It has lots of action, wisecracking characters, and very cool effects. Is it a Men in Black film? Yes, and I would say that it is better even than Men in Black 3 as well. But does it compare to the first two? No, I wouldn’t say so, and without the combination of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, it doesn’t pop like the first two do. Maybe there will be other films in the much more expanded International world, and we’ll get to grow into these characters like we did the classic K and J. Until then, if you want a sci-fi action film, International won’t disappoint, but if you are looking for another movie like the previous ones, this isn’t that.

Men in Black International is open wide in theatres everywhere.

David Castro is a Puerto Rican writer from New York City. He has worked on the upcoming Undead supplement for Chill Third Edition and is working on launching a Patreon. You can find him on Twitter (@theinkedknight), on Tumblr (thedevilsyouknew), on Facebook (facebook.com/inkstainedstudios), and at davidrcastro.com.

 

It’s Wild Wednesday – June 19th, 2019

It’s Wild Wednesday on June 19th, 2019!

 

Each week we bring you a list of books from not only LMBPN authors, but also friends of ours, that are on sale! Here’s a fantastic opportunity to discover some new authors or some exciting books you may not have seen yet.

 

Most of these books are FREE in Kindle Unlimited and are also on sale today.

 

Please remember to double check the price before you one-click.

 

A New Dawn boxed set cover

A New Dawn Boxed Set

 

 

Initiate

 

 

Nobody’s Fool

 

Hidden Magic Chronicles Boxed Set

 

 

Ghost Squadron Boxed Set

 

 

He Was Not Prepared

 

 

Vigilante

 

Tales of the Feisty Druid Omnibus: Book 1-7

 

 

Forgotten Gods Omnibus: Book 1-8

 

 

 

The Rebellious Sister

 

 

Her Father’s Daughter

 

Deuces Wild Boxed Set

 

If you see this message after June 19th and want to be notified of future price promotions, please sign up for our email list at www.lmbpn.com/email

 

 

Chronicles of Kiera Freya Snippet Time!

Frey Snippet Banner

Chronicles of Kiera Freya Snippet Time!

 

This week we have a brand new series from the creative mind of Michael Anderle! This one is going to give you chills when you read it! Get ready for a whole new type of litRPG novel. One that will take you from the boardroom to the game room and back again. All while earning billions of dollars! Well, maybe not you, but hey, one can hope, right?

Here’s the first chapter, read, enjoy, and look for the link come Friday, June 21st!

Freya cover

Chapter 1

 

Something was screeching at the top of its lungs, a grating sound that rattled the very bones of Chloe’s hollow skull. She rolled over, the light from her alarm clock causing her to squint as she slapped a hand on top. Once…twice…third time’s the charm.

“Eurgh.”

She sat up slowly, the pounding hangover taking her. Her mouth tasted like someone had opened it and taken a dump straight inside. Her hair stood out at all angles. She closed her eyes, rested her head against the wall and tried to recall what the hell had happened.

Cosmos at some hipster joint on the square. Chloe and her girlfriends gossiping and living the high-life. Weekend binges and shopping sprees. Her girlfriends pulling the guys while she sat and held their bags. Round after round on Chloe, the youngest daughter of the Lagarde legacy. It was all she had ever known.

Then why didn’t it feel right anymore?

“Good morning, Miss Lagarde,” Tabitha, Chloe’s personal assistant, said. Chloe jumped. How long had she been standing there?

“Already? Can’t I have a few more hours?”

“Actually, I was being polite. It’s almost noon, and you have appointments to keep. Your father won’t be pleased if you miss them.” Tabitha studied her tablet, tapping the screen and casting the information to a projector built into the end of Chloe’s bed. A holographic image appeared several feet from Chloe’s face.

“Wow. Much excite,” Chloe said, scanning the list of board meetings and project reviews with bleary eyes. Things she had learned to abhor after she realized she offered no real value to them. Her brothers and sisters? They came prepared. They knew the ins and outs. Chloe just sat quietly in the corner, nodding at the right moments and casting votes whenever necessary.

“Can’t you just tell my father to shove it? And Mother too, for that matter.”

Tabitha rolled her eyes. “For the millionth time, Miss Lagarde, your mother and father are my employers, not you. My job is to serve the family and ensure that you are where you need to be at the right times.” She checked her watch. “Speaking of which, in ten minutes, you will be exactly one minute late for your weekly appointment with Mr. Smythe.”

Chloe sat up, cleared her throat, and said in her best version of a pompous British woman, “Well, we wouldn’t want that, would we, Tabitha? If you would be so kind as to get me some ibuprofen, a sick bag, and something to comb the chunks of last night’s meal out of my hair, I’ll gladly chop-chop toward Master Smythe’s quarters.” She paused, putting her finger on her chin before pointing it into the air. “Lickety-split!”

Tabitha rolled her eyes once more and left the room.

Chloe made it to the office exactly three minutes late. The ibuprofen had kicked away some of the headache, but she still felt the overwhelming sense of shame that was customary after an evening of late-night drinking. She rapped on the door three times, heard the cursory, “Come in,” and took her place on the couch.

“Heavy night?” Demetri said without even turning to look at Chloe. He was prepared, one leg crossed over the other and a notepad in hand with which he scribbled notes feverishly. Chloe always hated that. Before she’d even opened her mouth, she was being judged. If it hadn’t been a condition of her receiving her full inheritance, she’d likely have blown off every last one of these sessions. It wasn’t like they’d helped her at all over the years.

“Something like that,” Chloe said, tapping her fingers on her chest. “You know, I’ve always thought it’d be fun to bring my own notepad and write my notes about you during our sessions. See how you’d like it.”

Demetri looked over the rim of his glasses. “And how would that make you feel?”

Despite herself, Chloe chuckled. As useless as these sessions had been, he’d always had a knack of making her laugh.

“So what is it today, Doc? Going to probe my subconscious? Take another trip down memory lane? Going to dive down farther into my deep-seated family issues and tell me why every one of my siblings is a success and I’m just a layabout who pisses away her money on the weekends with a bunch of girls who only use me for it?”

Chloe’s face straightened. She definitely hadn’t meant to say that much.

Demetri straightened in his chair. “Something like that.” He smirked. “Chloe, I’ve known you and your family for a great number of years now, and if there’s one thing I’ve always been astounded by, it’s the question of how can such a rich, talented, successful, charismatic family raise six children, yet only five of them inherited the characteristics of the mother and father?”

Chloe rolled her eyes and crossed her arms as if to say, “Oh, here we go again.”

“I mean, it doesn’t make sense. If we break this down into theory and look at the nature versus nurture debate, there’s no reason that this should be so.” Demetri stood up and moved to the bookshelf, eyeing the tomes as if studying them. “If we look at Freud or Frankl or Skinner or Pavlov, there’s nothing there that correlates or makes sense.”

“Bring it on, Doc. Tell me I’m a failure. Tell me I bring shame to my ridiculously talented family. Tell me I’m the mortal among the gods. I can take it. It’s not like I haven’t tried to keep up with the Kardashians.”

“Kardashians?”

“You don’t… You’ve never watched… Never mind.”

Demetri turned his attention back to the shelf, humming a little as he did so. He thumbed through a stack of books and extracted a thin, colorful item. “You know what you are?” He spun the book, displaying a cover that showcased a fluffy gray duck swimming amid its bright yellow siblings.

Chloe squinted at the cover. “A rat?”

“No.” Demetri chuckled. “An ugly duckling.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“A duckling who just needs some encouragement and persuasion to reach the heights of her brothers and sisters.” He flicked through the pages, showing the duckling as it left its family, only to return as a beautiful swan. “Sometimes, it simply takes the removal of a person from their natural environment to discover who they are inside. To discover where their strengths lie, and what can help them excel in the world.” He replaced the book on the shelf. “A flower cannot grow in the shade.”

“So what are you suggesting? That I run off to Ibiza and spend some time discovering myself? Because I could really get on board with that.” Chloe’s wrist vibrated. She looked at her watch, noting the reminder that her next meeting was due to start in 20 minutes.

“Not exactly,” Demetri said, returning to his seat. He picked up a tablet, unlocked the screen, and passed it to Chloe.

Finally! You’re ditching the pen and paper for something digital. I told you, Doc! Welcome to the twenty-first century. You don’t need paper anymore.” Chloe looked at the screen in her hand. There was an image of a blackened piece of glass in the shape of a rough-cut diamond. “What’s ‘Obsidian?’”

Demetri leaned forward, encouraging Chloe to swipe the screen as he went through the information Mia had given him, describing the fully immersive experience of the online virtual reality game and paying particular attention in relaying the potential well-being and health benefits the game offered its players. There were in-game images that looked as if a photo had been taken at a Renaissance fair, only with advanced CGI graphics for the trolls, dragons, and goblins.

“You see? With this, you can dive into a world in which you’re no longer a Lagarde. You can build colonies and alliances and guilds and towns and hash out any issues you have in the real world. You’ll start as a nobody from scratch. I can monitor you as you go, and we can track your progress as you develop. A clean slate.”

“This looks amazing,” she said, flicking through the screens. Her shoulders slumped as a realization struck her. “But you know my mother and father will never allow this, not with all the meetings and events I’m scheduled to attend. When will I ever get a chance to play?”

“That’s the best part,” Demetri said, handing over a crisp white sheet of paper with her father and mother’s scrawling signature at the bottom. “I’ve already spoken to your parents. You’re officially off-duty for the next two years. Doctor’s orders.” He winked.

“Two… Wait. I can do whatever I want for the next two years without a single interruption from my family?”

“You sure can,” Demetri said, pointing to the tablet. “As long as it’s in that world. You heard me say that it’s a fully immersive experience, right?”

Chloe didn’t know what to say. The idea that she could literally leave her life behind and see what her world would be like out from under the shadow of her family was an absolute dream. Would she miss them? Sure. But two years wasn’t forever, and the promises and benefits Obsidian offered seemed unbelievable. Almost too good to be true.

Which made her pause.

“Hold on a minute. What’s the catch?”

Demetri held out a second piece of paper. The black Obsidian logo on the top right, and there was a monetary figure in bold on the middle of the page. “This game is in early development. You will be among the first players to jump in and test out the environment. This could be your legacy, Chloe.” He held out a pen, clicking the top. “Are you ready to make your first real investment?”

Week In Review – June 9-15

 

We hope you are all enjoying the weekend. Well, here are the books we released this week!

 

Excitingly, we had a new boxed set published – The Kurtherian Endgame: Books 1-4! Now you can have the first four books of this best selling series on your shelf.

As promised, we had another book in the Monster Case Files published. This time the twins try to find a ghost and bring an end the the Roaring 20s. You won’t want to miss this one!

There was also another addition to the Deuces Wild series. In this book, Nickie is left with no choice but to give in to her destiny or give up the fight for good. Make sure to check it out!

There was also another episode of Team Savage. This time, Anderson and Savage have been given a task. Will they be able to keep it up?

Are you reading the Federal Agents of Magic series? In this next book, Special Agent Diana Sheen has been targeted. You won’t want to miss it!

In addition, we had the seventh book in The Unstoppable Liv Beaufont series published! Read it now to find out what happens when saving the world is your job, and it’s impossible to get a day off.

We really hope you have had a chance to check out the fantastic new releases! Keep looking for more new series as well as new books within your favourite series all coming very soon!

Here’s the Week in Review, enjoy!

 

 

Black Mirror Season 5 Review

Dropped rather unceremoniously on a Wednesday, Netflix’s science fiction anthology series added three more episodes to their canon with their fifth season. With each episode a little more than an hour with a star-studded cast, it makes for a faster watch that the previous longer season did. Add to the fact that these three episodes aren’t nearly as grim in comparison, this season is even more enjoyable than the others I’ve seen.  Even with a lackluster middle offering, series creator Charlie Brooker returns with a season that is worth the watch.

Season five begins with “Striking Vipers”, starring Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hurt Locker) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us, Aquaman). Abdul-Mateen’s Karl gifts Mackie’s Danny with the newest edition of the Street Fighter-esqe video game, which uses virtual reality to make the players feel the action in the game. While playing, it becomes an exploration of sexuality that frankly I didn’t see coming but fully enjoyed. Not quite on the level of “San Junipero” in quality and wholesomeness, “Striking Vipers” is still an interesting exploration of how virtual reality could allow people to explore things they otherwise wouldn’t be comfortable enough with themselves to do in the real world. It’s great to see Black Mirror shed it’s grimdark ‘technology is the root of evil’ stance once in a while to deliver great stories like this.

Following that is “Smithereens”, starring Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Spectre) and Topher Grace (The Hot Zone, That 70’s Show). Scott plays Chris, a taxi driver who takes an intern of Facebook or Twitter analog company, the eponymous Smithereen, hostage. The only demand is that he gets to talk to the founder and inventor of the app, Grace’s Billy Bauer. Yet another social media is bad or has bad effects on the populace episode, this story doesn’t do anything that hasn’t been seen before, and is a let down in comparison to the previous and following episodes. Furthermore, and though this is a point of personal taste, I’m not the biggest fan of Andrew Scott generally speaking, though his acting isn’t bad at all in the story told, it’s just an unoriginal story. “Hated in the Nation”, “Nosedive”, and “Be Right Back” all handle the pitfalls of social media better.

Lastly is “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too”, starring Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana, The Voice), Angourie Rice (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Nice Guys), and Madison Davenport (Sharp Objects, From Dusk till Dawn: The Series). It follows Cyrus as Ashley O, a thinly veiled allusion to herself as a musician who is forced to be a giddy and bubbly pop star by an abusive circle of handlers, as well as Rachel and Jack, played by Rice and Davenport respectively, young girls whose mother had recently passed. While Jack becomes obsessed with the punk bands her mother loved, Rachel is a fan of the optimistic and empowering pop music Ashley releases, and asks her father to buy her an Ashley Too, a robotic friend with an A.I version of Ashley’s personality. While the story is disjointed, trying to spend as much time with the girls as it does with Ashley’s not so glamorous life behind the scenes, I enjoyed it as a crazy tale that bridges the gap between ridiculousness and that grim darkness that Black Mirror is known for. While the episode does drag on heavily with Ashley’s life as a controlled pop star instead of delving deeper into the spooky tech that allows her handlers to take music and lyrics directly out of her mind while she’s infirm, I still had a great time watching it.

After the strangeness that was last year’s ‘choose your own adventure’ movie Bandersnatch, it’s good to see a return to form with season five. Was it perfect? Of course not. Nothing is, but it did try to do some things that were interesting for the most part. I would love it if Brooker could move away from using video games and social media as the backing tech for his stories, however, as eventually there will be no more room for anything new there. That said, if you wanted to get your fix of anthology storytelling and tech-based Twilight Zone-style fiction, season five of Black Mirror is not one to miss.

All three episodes of Black Mirror’s fifth season are available for streaming on Netflix.

David Castro is a Puerto Rican writer from New York City. He has worked on the upcoming Undead supplement for Chill Third Edition and is working on launching a Patreon. You can find him on Twitter (@theinkedknight), on Tumblr (thedevilsyouknew), on Facebook (facebook.com/inkstainedstudios), and at davidrcastro.com.

 

 

It’s Fan’s Pricing Saturday – June 15, 2019

 

Note:  We request the price changes from Amazon on Friday afternoons. Unfortunately, they don’t change all of the prices at one time. Please double check the price before clicking “Buy”.)

 

All of these new releases are 99c for one day only! 

 

However, they are also available in Kindle Unlimited!

 

Grab them today before the prices go up!

 

The Roaring 20s

 

Resolution

 

Savage Reload

 

Agents of Chaos 

 

If you see this message after June 15th and want to be notified of future price promotions, please sign up for our email list at www.lmbpn.com/email

 

 

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