Babies, Books and Bots

Greetings and salutations. Surprised to hear from me again so soon? Well, I actually have a few things to share, and I thought I would do so before said items escaped from my slippery mind into the void of oblivion.

I’m really excited about this first bit…

Photo by Johannes Plenio on

Willow is now a TV Series!

In case you wondered, this is the “babies” part of my post. Forgive me for stretching the truth a little in my penchant for alliteration. I also apologize if you’ve already heard this information; I’m accustomed to hiding under a rock and I don’t learn about these things until after they’re a done deal. But in case you weren’t aware, one of my most favorite movies of all time, Willow, has inspired a series by the same name on Disney Plus. Even better? Actors from the movie star in it! Warwick Davis reprises his role as Willow Ufgood. Fun fact: he was a teenager when he played Willow in the 1988 film. I did not know that until recently. It’s scary how much you can find out using search engines.

Once I found out, my husband and I had to watch the movie that very evening with our sons. Willow is an excellent film that hits all the fantasy high points for me. It follows the adventures of a reluctant hero who finally answers the call to action out of love for the infant his children discover floating in the river, a la Moses. The baby, Elora Danan, is prophesied to end the reign of an evil sorceress queen who, naturally, wants to destroy her. Unlikely companions embark on a perilous journey together for the sake of this child, through a breath-taking landscape of forests, hills, islands, and snowy mountains.

All the actors were perfect for their roles. Warwick Davis is a relatable protagonist, a character who must overcome his insecurities and grow into the hero he needs to be for Elora Danan. Jean Marsh played the evil Queen Bavmorda so convincingly, you love to hate her. Val Kilmer became my favorite actor for a while after I saw Willow in the theater. No one could have played Madmartigan so well as he did. And the friendship that develops between the two men–and how they both bond with the baby–is truly heartwarming. And, naturally, the babies who starred as Elora Danan were absolutely adorable. Her facial expressions are a delight to watch through the film.

Even though it contains all the required plot elements, Willow was not the typical sword and sorcery fantasy at the time. Usually the prophesied Chosen One is the protagonist, but in this case, she’s a baby who needs an advocate! Enter the hero, Willow Ufgood, a real underdog; an unworldly farmer who dreams of becoming a sorcerer. He isn’t a warrior, but he knows how to be a loving, protective father. Unlikely companions team up for the sake of the child–a female child. Also, several strong female characters with power have pivotal roles–as warriors and sorceresses. While Willow is not meant to be a comedy, it contains so many humorous scenes that lighten the mood. And the musical score is beautiful. If you haven’t seen it, then I highly recommend it. Keep in mind that it was filmed in 1988 and the special effects were groundbreaking in those days. 

If you have seen Willow–either the 1988 movie or the new TV series–then let me know what you think about it. Both negative and positive critiques are welcome so long as they’re PG and civil. I understand that not everybody likes the same things.

Presents All December

Here goes… another free book promotion. Over 60 different sci-fi and fantasy titles are available for free!

Wow, that’s a lot more than in previous promotions. So many interesting choices! This one runs until the end of December.

Next year, I promise not to do so many of these promotions! I’ll try to keep the newsletter promotions down to once a month. Or maybe share them differently. It’s a new thing for me and, of course, when I get excited about something, I go a little crazy. But who has a problem with getting books for free? Not me, that’s for sure. It’s a great way to sample indie talent and find your next favorite without spending a fortune… or any money at all, as it transpires. This is how I’ve discovered excellent indie authors and their wonderful stories. Also, you’re showing your support for indie authors by signing up for their newsletters and reading their books, novellas, and short stories. I’m sure many would love to hear your feedback on their work.

Here are the other free book promotions I’m taking part in this month. Click on the banners to see the promotions:

A Bot Made My Character Art

I’ve discovered that not all bots are bad. More and more, Artificial Intelligence is becoming a part of our daily lives. One of my writer friends shared an interesting new program–a Discord AI bot called Midjourney that creates character art based on provided parameters. My friend was designing her own character images and asked the program to create an image of one of my characters, as well. How neat is that? So, now, I have a new distraction–er, tool–to experiment with in my oodles of spare time. AI art is a great visual tool you can use to market and promote your book by introducing potential readers to your characters. 

Speaking of which, the character art features Peter, an irreverent, loud-mouthed syrax–a creature similar to a griffin–who happens to be pink. He works as a courier who delivers messages for both military and civil matters. You meet Peter in Wyldling Snare, which is available on Amazon via this link: He’s literally and figuratively the herald of tidings that send Enoch off on his journey.

I tried out the bot with Enoch, Commander Storm, and Raeden. The results were… underwhelming. Or flat out hilarious. I won’t share any images of my other AI-generated characters yet; I’m too embarrassed. Maybe next time–or after I’ve honed my abilities to communicate adequately with AI bots.

If you’ve played with this program and met with success, please, please tell me how you do it!

That’s all for today, folks! I have a stack of books calling my name from the To Be Read pile on Kindle Unlimited. Be safe and well during the mad, mad rush of the holiday season, and I’ll see you next time.

Seeking a Christmas gift for a fantasy fiction lover? Look no further! Book one of the Wyldling Dream Series, Wyldling Snare, is available for purchase in both e-book and paperback formats. You can also read it for free on Kindle Unlimited. Book two, Wyldling Trials e-book can also be pre-ordered. Click on the covers to order.

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