What I’m Watching This October/November, by Tammy Marshall

 

You may be asking yourself, who is this Tammy nerd and why is she telling me what she watches?

Well, truth-be-told, I’m not just any nerd. I wore glasses before Geek Chic became a thing. Now the Kardashians are trying to sound smart and I’m still trying to figure out the difference between them and a Cardassian.

They may own reality television, but they’ve got nothing on me when it comes to talking about the magnificent art of Science Fiction.

Yes, most television these days centers around a real-life car wreck human who goes about his or her daily life being deeply disturbed and somehow winning at life.

This may be entertaining, but it takes away from our human need to belong to a group that is pointed toward doing something great. We all need this. That is why The Martian made bank at the box office. We loved watching Matt Damon’s character problem solve and eventually come out on top.

That’s why there will always be a spot on the A-list for Science Fiction.

Humans want to belong. While comics were initially invented for nerds like me who never quite fit in, we are finding that all the plastic people like the Kardashians coming at us make us all feel inferior. Therefore none of us can compete and all of us are now clamoring for Science Fiction to become mainstream—and it is.

Some of the list are reboots and some of them are newly formed television centered around an epic drama. One thing they have in common is they are all a part of the art of Science Fiction. The real-life train wrecks may have reality television, but they will never own SciFi. Science Fiction searches for a better future, reality television appeases an audience of apathy.

Charmed

The original show first aired in 1998 and centered around three sisters with special gifts who took on foes in order to bring calmness to the world. This trope can be threaded throughout all science fiction and film – even zombie cinema. What is different about this show, is that the mother is murdered in the first episode. In the original show, she died when the sisters were children. This mom disappearing act doesn’t sit so well anymore. Think the reboot of Beauty and how fans wanted to know what happened to Belle’s mom. This all-too-often way of cutting out mom no longer fits into current Science Fiction drama. This series shows on Sundays on the CW.

First Man

There are a million reasons to see a movie with Ryan Gosling, but this one you want to see for an understanding of the brilliant work of Neil Armstrong. It was a singular vision that launched us into space and made him the first man on the moon. If you really want to see a movie about problem-solving, then this movie will do that justice. This is a must-see film and landed into theaters on October 12 and will likely not leave for some time.

The Walking Dead

This may be the last season you get to see Andrew Lincoln. We all remember how he rode into the square and was immediately surrounded by zombies. Know that zombies reflect our own loneliness in a world projected to us to be full of dummies. In reality, we are all unique individuals seeking our own adventures. That’s why the zombie trope will never go away. Who knows if anyone can really top how they do it on The Walking Dead. New episodes air on Sundays on AMC.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

This epic story lands in theaters on November 9 and is a continuing story of resident badass Lisbeth who also happens to be one of the greatest characters ever created. “Why doesn’t a spider get caught in her own webs,” begs the question in this film. The answer is simple, she is the smartest person and fearless on top of it. With those combined she is the creator of outsmarting villains. This focuses more on current science fact and not fiction. That’s what’s cool about Science Fiction. It gives a lensing into the current world of science and one bright mind can come up with an idea that will eventually be used in the future. Some of her concepts are ideas not put into action yet. That makes it Science Fiction.

Tammy Marshall is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of writing. If you really want to get her on a subject, bring up Star Trek. She loves talking about traveling through space and what Gene Roddenberry’s vision did for science. Her hope is to inspire the first person to go to Mars and become the next Neil Armstrong. Her favorite movies are The Martian and Contact. She got to see Neil Degrasse-Tyson and George R.R. Martin. She wishes she could have met Carl Sagan. When she’s not plotting interstellar travel, she’s digging in the dirt. Her vegetables are legendary and her chickens have won awards. When her hands aren’t in the garden, she’s traveling to conventions around the country hoping to inspire the next person willing to go to Mars and aid Elon Musk on his mission.  

https://www.amazon.com/Tammy-Marshall/e/B06XTT6DL6

New Books for October 14 – 19th

 

This is a big week for LMBPN publishing.  We’ve got six new releases and three of them are series starters.  Books include Superdreadnought 1 (Book one in a new Age of Expansion series), Strange Is Her Life (School of Necessary Magic), Crucifix – the first book in Damien’s Chronicles (Protected By The Damned), Justicar (Vigilante Chronicles), and Death Match (Animus Book 3).  Last but certainly not least, The Principal Is Missing, the first book in the new School of Magic series for children.

Now, how about some details:

Superdreadnought (Today – WOOT!)

Alone and unafraid. Sometimes you prevent war by hunting down your enemies.

Integrated with a superdreadnought, the artificial intelligence known as Reynolds takes his ship across the universe in search of the elusive Kurtherians. He comes to a revelation. He’s better in the company of living creatures.

He needs a crew. He needs information. And he needs to continue his search and destroy mission.

Needing a crew and getting a crew are two completely different things. Reynolds is out of his element as he tries to reach out and make friends. Through it all, he has his vessel, the superdreadnought, the most powerful warship in the galaxy.

Or so he believes.

Strange Is Her Life (Tuesday, Oct 16th)

Dark magic has infiltrated the School of Necessary Magic.

Spies stalk the halls. Traitors whisper lies to impressionable freshmen.

And devious wizards distract with charming smiles.

If Alison and her friends can’t see past the friendly masks of their fellow students to the dark purpose they hide, it’s not just the school that will be destroyed.

But the forces of evil should have kept one thing in mind before targeting Alison Brownstone.

Hell hath no fury like a Drow princess defending her family.

Crucifix – (Damien’s Chronicles book one, Wednesday)

After a long time with mercenaries, the Church has called their demon-possessed Priest home.

A London flat nestled into the outskirts of a small alcove, a beautiful courtyard with bright shining sun, and as many books as he could read.
It was going to be quiet, calm, and… oh wait, its actually the demon apocalypse.

With incursions, hauntings, and poltergeist to take care of Damian is one of the only priests the Church can call on.

At least for now.

They did send a welcoming gift in the shape of a young trainee, Max, who may or may not know his head from his… well… you get the point.

Will Damian, with the help of some friends along the way, be able to kick the slay and start to save the souls of his attackers? Or will his red-eyed granny of a neighbor poison him with a pie first?

If his demon has anything to do with it, exorcisms will only be done in the most fashionable style. 

Secrets and action await you as you follow Damian up his own path from hell.

Justicar (Thursday)

Justicar is book five in The Vigilante Chronicles from Natale Grey and Michael Anderle. 

We expected this one last week, but Tabitha wanted her book to be the feature last week, so this was pushed 😉

Barnabas may not be Ranger One anymore, but one thing definitely has not changed: when someone screws over the powerless, Barnabas is going to bring the pain.

Death Match (Friday)

Book three in the wildly popular Animus series comes your way Friday.

And finally, we released our first children’s book yesterday. Nine-year-old Sienna Lawson wrote The Principal Is Missing. Please check this one out if you have children or grandchildren in the six to ten-year-old age brackets.

Have you ever wanted to go to a Magic School?

Callie was wondering if she would have to give up hope of ever attending.

Until one week before she was due to start fourth grade when Callie heard her dog Buster talking to her.

The shock was soon replaced with the realization that she wasn’t mundane, she was a witch.

Now, the wish to go to the school has been replaced with the unknown of going to the School.

What kind of adventures would she have?

Enjoy the week!

EC016: Michael Anderle and Emily Beresford Discuss The Kurtherian Gambit Audio Series

To celebrate the conclusion of the 21 book Kurtherian Gambit Series in audio, we connected with series author Michael Anderle and series narrator Emily Beresford to discuss the series, how the two of them came to work together, and the process of creating this memorable audiobook series.

Spoiler alert – lots of laughter and some great stories.

Our original intent was to release this entire interview as a part of the Life Goes On audiobook, but we learned that we were limited with the amount of bonus material we could add to the end without negating our ability to offer whisper sync to listeners.

We decided to compromise, putting about twelve minutes of this conversation at the end of the audiobook, and letting listeners know where to get the full interview.

Life Goes On, the audiobook, should be available at Audible, iTunes, and Amazon within the next ten days.

Links:

Join the email list to be notified of new audiobook releases and to be eligible for free stuff from LMBPN Publishing.  Click here to signup.

Subscribe via Apple Podcast here

Subscribe Via Google Play here

Subscribe Via Stitcher here

LMPBN Audiobooks at Audible.com

Comic Book Inspired TV: An Analysis

Let’s face it: the comic book reading generation is slowly (& sadly) coming to a hiatus. That being said, it makes perfect sense to bring back old childhood favorites, especially comic books.

We’re currently in an era where one can merely change the channel and watch zombies like AMC’s The Walking Dead, or young adult adventures such as the CW’s Riverdale. Despite their differences, both shows continuously maintain high ratings among their audience(s). In recent decades, TV shows have ranged from westerns, cop shows, and teen angst, to superheroes, villains, and everything else in between. The comic book industry is doing a 360-spin on some beloved classics.

Image Source: CWTV

Something for Everyone

With today’s wide spectrum of TV shows, there really is something for everyone. On the one hand lies the more sinister and serious shows such as Hulu’s 2017 premiere of Runaways. On the other hand is the total opposite- a show full of comedic tropes, such as Amazon´s The Tick. Furthermore, viewers can also enjoy animated and lighthearted TV series based on comic book characters, like Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans Go!

Producers are swooping in and bringing back these beloved comic book characters- the same ones we used to read in bed late at night, hiding under the covers with just our handy flashlights. Over the past few years, TV producers have presented numerous shows featuring superheroes, villains, or both. One show that has received amazing feedback is Netflix’s Luke Cage, starring Mike Colter. Yet, one show that has not done so hot is Netflix’s MCU show Iron Fist. Unfortunately, production did not acknowledge the viewers’ pleas to cast an Asian-American actor, instead hiring Finn Jones.

Image Source: Marvel

Diversity Matters

Nonetheless, viewers continue craving these comic-based shows. The popularity of these TV shows is partly due to their wide diversity of cast members. Back in the day, producers were against diversity; nowadays, it is crucial in order to keep the cult following and to avoid backlash from viewers, the media, etc. Production companies have, indeed, been pushing the realms of their characters. It seems that they truly aspire to create a more diverse cast, however, it appears that all it really takes is just the right actor.

Comic(ally) in Demand

Unlike in the past, today’s producers have the advantage of readily available, sophisticated, and affordable visual graphics to utilize for special effects. With several different channels and streaming platforms featuring unlimited consumption capacity, there is an undeniably higher demand for new content. And what better source of material than decades of old comic book strips? With these graphic scripts ready to use, many executives and producers seem to have their work cut out for them. Luckily for viewers, there is more than enough content for future comic-based series!

Perhaps the most important takeaway is that watching an episode of a comic book-based TV series provides an escape from the present world, without forgetting the morality and social norms displayed in these shows. This may be just a phase of television. Who knows? Maybe we will eventually become overshadowed by cheesy sitcoms, soap operas, or cop dramas, but the truth is that the end of seeing comic books coming to life is not only remarkable, but crucial to these changing times. In any case, we totally ship it.

Let us know in the comments below what your favorite new show is!

New Books Coming October 8-12th

 

 

Tabitha here,

Now they’ve got me writing blog posts. When I say my work is never done, I’m serious, right?

But maybe, just this once it’s okay, because if you look closely at the Birthright cover you’ll see yours truly.  That’s right, Deuces Wild (aka, the Tabitha series) is coming this Wednesday.  Set your alarm, mark your calendar and have Siri or Alexa remind you because you don’t want to miss this one.

Of course, Barnabas is back this week as well, BUT I’M first! (at least this week)

Friday brings Brownstone, and you’ve got to love that partially done cover.  I’m anxious to see the final when the book releases.

What? You want details?  Your wish, my command, but don’t get used to it.

Birthright (October 10th)

Birthright is book four in the Deuces Wild series featuring Tabitha and Nickie.

When Nickie follows Prince Prissey-Pants to a random, isolated location in space, what she discovers next leaves her reeling.

And cussing…

In the way that only Nickie can.

Justicar (October 11th)

Justicar is book five in The Vigilante Chronicles from Natale Grey and Michael Anderle.  Barnabas may not be Ranger One anymore, but one thing definitely has not changed: when someone screws over the powerless, Barnabas is going to bring the pain.

Karma Is A Bitch (October 12th)

The Council Is Dead… Long Live the New Council.

How do you have a Council of one?

Brownstone is working to get back into a rhythm, but the last remaining Council Member is seeking Brownstone himself.

Shay has jobs to do, but can she leave Brownstone alone without him dying?

Can Lt. Hall go back to the AET after delivering a personal beat down without doing paperwork?

James runs across a dog, but it disappears on him. Can he find it again, or was it just an Oriceran trick?

Brownstone has the whispers of Doom in his head all of the time. Can he ignore the desire to lose his mind to the power the amulet contains? When everyone has blood on their hands, who will Karma decide is going to die?

Because we all know, Karma can be a Bitch.

EC015: Let The Bits Run Free, Part 3 by Marc Stiegler, Narrated by Katharine McEwan

This week brings the conclusion to Let The Bits Run Free, and the author Marc Stiegler joins us again to share a parallel he sees between this story and the Braintrust Series, the way that Rogue One relates to the Star Wars movies.

If you’re interested in reading along with us, or if you just can’t wait for next week’s conclusion to the Let The Bits Run Free, you can grab a copy for yourself at Amazon, for just $.99.  Just click here to buy your copy.

If you missed parts one or two of Let The Bits Run Free, you can download them here:

Ear Crush Episode 13 – Part One of Let The Bits Run Free

Ear Crush Episode 14 – Part Two of Let The Bits Run Free

If you enjoy this series, you can grab the books of the Braintrust series, beginning with The Braintrust: A Harmony of Enemies by following the links below:

Telltales No More

The End of Telltale

Telltale Games employees were appalled after hearing the shocking announcement during what seemed like another routine meeting on a recent Friday. Pete Hawley, CEO of the popular video game developer, brazenly stated that the company is reinforcing a “majority studio closure”. This was immediately followed by layoffs of about 200 employees. Immediately– as in the employees had precisely 30 minutes to clear the building after hearing the news. Dismayed as they were, the employees took another hit as they learned they would not be receiving a severance package. AND their health insurance would be shortly concluding at the end of the month.

What Happened?

What brought on this sudden change, anyway? Why did these loyal employees receive no warning whatsoever? No matter what the reason (or excuse), there is no answer that can justify the Telltale’s rash actions. However, Co-Founder Dan Connors recently spoke up about the company’s financial situation. He stated that they “had no choice” as to everything that occurred with the company’s downfall.

Telltale Games was allegedly working hard to close a major financing deal when one of their key potential backers unexpectedly pulled out. This sudden move pushed the company over the edge, forcing them to take such drastic measures. As several rumors continue milling around, one fact remains consistent. There has been a clash of direction occurring for quite some time. Former Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner claims this is what ultimately pushed him to step down last year. Issues with management and the overview of the company’s direction ultimately led to their downfall.

Now What?

So, what happens now? After all, Telltale Games is what graced our presence with the development of epic video games like Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Batman (just to name a few). What about all those promised releases that are scheduled to come out? (i.e The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, The Wolf Among Us, p.2).

“Multiple potential partners have stepped forward to express interest in helping to see The Final Season through to completion,” Telltale said on Twitter regarding TWD. “While we can’t make any promises today, we are actively working towards a solution that will allow episodes three and four to be completed and released in some form. In the meantime, episode two will release tomorrow across as planned. We hope to have answers to your other questions soon.”

So there’s hope, after all! (?) But what about Telltale’s collaboration with Netflix’s Stranger Things? Fans were excited to take a sneak peek at some of the leaked footage that was just released, Yet, many are still left wondering the game’s fate considering Telltale’s recent turn of events. Netflix notified Polygon that they are “in the process of evaluating other options for bringing the Stranger Things universe to life in an interactive medium.” Hopefully, this means there will be a Stranger Things game but are Telltale’s remaining 25 employees up to the task?

This meager group is responsible for finishing the project of Minecraft: Story Mode adaptation for Netflix, so it appears they already have their hands full. Fans are all curious: what video game developer will assume the responsibilities of these binge-worthy games?

Let us know your thoughts on Telltale’s closing in the comments below!

 

EC014: Let The Bits Run Free, Part 2 by Marc Stiegler, Narrated by Katharine McEwan

Katharine McEwan joins Ear Crush this week as our co-host, and as the narrator of our story, Let The Bits Run Free.

We connected via Skype while Katharine was enjoying a beautiful Southern California day outside the studio where she was recording the third book in the Braintrust Series, Rhapsody For The Tempest.

She and I spent some time chatting before part two of our story about the characters and the world of Marc’s Braintrust series. Following the story, you’ll hear us discussing Katharine’s other careers as both an actress and a film producer in Los Angeles.  You can learn more about Katharine at the following places:

Her film website, https://solitaryfilms.com/

Her Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/katharinemcewan/

If you’re interested in reading along with us, or if you just can’t wait for next week’s conclusion to the Let The Bits Run Free, you can grab a copy for yourself at Amazon, for just $.99.  Just click here to buy your copy.

If you wish to contact Steve you can do so via email at steve at lmbpn dot com.

If you missed part one of Let The Bits Run Free, you can download it here:

Ear Crush Episode 13 – Part One of Let The Bits Run Free

If you enjoy this series, you can grab the books of the Braintrust series, beginning with The Braintrust: A Harmony of Enemies by following the links below:

Books & D&D: A Short Story

Books & D&D: A Short Story

As a person who reads a plethora of books each month, I tend to let my imagination get the best of me. After some research, I’ve come to learn that there is a stigma surrounding girls and Dungeons and Dragons. A good amount of females play the game, and some even make it their living. Well, I’m here to change the idea that it’s a “boys game”. After all, I’m just a girl, who got sucked into this world. (But not like in real life, because that would just be freaky.)

Image Source: Wikipedia

Once Upon A Time, My Partner Decided to Eat, Live and Breathe D&D

It wasn’t always this way. I was always more into pop culture; movies, TV shows, and strange celebrity diets. Although pop culture inhabited a nice chunk of my life, books are what hold the largest place in my heart. Lately, however, my household has been filled with characters, fantasy, and not from my books, but this world where you can be anything or anyone.

No, it’s not a setup for My Little Pony.

Image Source: Pinterest

Hi, I’m Yesi, and this is the story of how I, an avid reader, became a D&D-er.

(Is that what it’s called? I’m still technically new to this land.)

If anyone were to ask, “well, what first drew you to D&D?”, I would probably mention that I’ve actually always wanted to play, but my friends weren’t as open-minded as I was. My partner, however, is the polar opposite. He is an extreme gamer-although he will never admit it. He once had roommates who played, but at that time he never truly dove in and immersed himself. Until six months ago. *Enter me*- a total book nerd who sees the opportunity to bond more, and gives this game a shot.

I mean come on; at the end of a long day, who doesn’t want to shed their skin and be someone else? Dungeons and Dragons is a de-stressor. People who are natural creatives or are interested in using their noggin for daydreaming are ideal in order for this game to truly work. And the best part, you ask?

Image Source: Pinterest

No one will judge your character, questions your ideas, or get pissed off when you choose to do something wild in the game.

In fact, its encouraged! All the world’s a stage, and so is Dungeon and Dragons. It’s been around since the 70’s. It’s only growing more popular as the years roll by. I bet at least one person in your friendship circle has either heard of the game or even made a character once. The eccentricities of D&D start to shine when the development of your favorite self is forged into your own characters. Once they begin to progress along, you soon come to realize this is your own action-packed adventure.

For the love of Tieflings, D&D is not “geeky”.

D&D encompasses more than just a small portion of “geeky” culture. Without truly knowing it, everyone can find themselves lost in this wonderful, ever-expanding world of RPG, sci-fi, steampunk, and everything else in between. There’s a little bit of everything when it comes to playing this tabletop game. Another fun fact? You can play in-person OR online. Sites like ROLL20 and Fantasy Grounds offer players a virtual escape from reality.

Ironically, my books began to look less and less appealing the more I got into Dungeons and Dragons.

What D&D offers me is the emotional connection I had with books when I was younger. Once again, I felt myself forming a bond with the hero of the story and finding myself lost in the adventures of fiction. D&D accentuates that feeling as it allows you to bask in the glory of your accomplishments with friends. Who doesn’t want to bring their daydreams and aspirations to life? Lost in a world as exciting as you make it, the possibilities are endless.

Seriously, take it from one reader to another. Books will always be my main interest. In fact, I will continue to have books to catch up on. Dungeons and Dragons is an experience like no other. So play it, watch it, and have fun.

Marvel vs. DC: The 4 Main Differences in Their Movies

Image Sources: Wikipedia

Marvel and DC have been the two chief superhero comic book franchises since the era first began. Although they are both multi-million dollar franchises, these two rivals have been fighting for first place since the beginning of time.

In recent years, the feud between these two comic book companies has evolved not only to TV, but the big screen as well. Marvel and DC universes continue to grow an expanding audience and gain higher demand in today’s pop culture. As movies remain a favorite hobby among many individuals, these two comic book moguls continue their ongoing battle. Yet, while there are a select few who deem themselves die- hard aficionados, others can’t help but wonder: what’s so different about them?

So, without further ado, here are the four main differences between Marvel and DC films:

Individual characters vs. an entire group.

In 2008, Marvel started its cinematic universe with movies exclusively featuring their more popular characters, such as: Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. This was done intentionally so that each character would continue to grow and improve his status over time. Ultimately, this unique blend of characters was combined to form the 2012 classic The Avengers. DC, on the other hand, is known for creating the most notorious Batman trilogy to date. The beginning of its filmic world was created by first introducing Superman. However, DC ultimately veered into more group- inclusive cinemas. For instance, the premiere of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice featured several other well- known characters including Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Doomsday- just to name a few. The same concept applies with Justice League, distinctively branching off from Marvel’s more individualistic style

The role of the super heroine.

In one corner lies Marvel with Black Widow, who has been the leading feminine role in most recent films. Ironically enough however, she still does not have her own movie. Considering the impending introduction of Captain Marvel into the MCU, Black Widow may have hope of starring in her own film one day. Captain Marvel will, hands down, give Black Widow a run for her money.

In the other corner, DC proudly shines the spotlight on Wonder Woman. Not only has she starred in her own film played by Gal Gadot, but DC assured she was featured in several group flicks as well, setting the high-desire tone for more films to come.

Main protagonists.

While Marvel has been focused on giving each of their characters some “me time” in their movies, DC has alternatively opted to provide their leadership roles to both Superman and Batman on various occasions.

Should only one character be deemed the MCU leader, Iron Man would be ideal. He not only assisted in the creation of MCU, but also starred in multiple Marvel films. On the other hand, Batman should be considered the designated leader of DC films, although some aficionados may not agree. Yet, with his tactics, brains, and money, he successfully managed to assemble the entire Justice League.

Diversity.

Various news outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, have pointed out that Marvel does not include enough diversity in its films. They predominantly select heterosexual white men to portray the leading role in the majority of their motion pictures.

However, DC wisely opted to mix things up by altering the ethnicity of many of their characters. For instance, they prompted a young Israeli woman to play Wonder Woman, an African American man as Cyborg, a Polynesian as Aquaman, and an openly gay actor as Flash in the recent Justice League movie.

So, there you have it. Both Marvel and DC continue their opposition among fans, yet they each have their own distinct differences that make them unique. It will be quite interesting to see how each of these comic book publishers will continue to evolve over time. Either way, fans can eagerly await the next epic film made by these talented comic companies.

Let us know what your favorite universe is in the comments below!