Cards, Coffee, and Books!

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans,

Renaissance Press is running an amazing Kickstarter that involves sending beautiful cards to your loved ones this holiday season. You can even opt for adding JenEric Gourmet Coffee, and/or an amazing Renaissance Press book.

Aren’t the cards gorgeous?

What are you waiting for? Go give your family and friends what they really want: Cards, Coffee, and Books.

Be kind and stay safe,


The Holiday Sitter – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film The Holiday Sitter.


This is the Hallmark Christmas formula at it’s best. I appreciate that they took a little time to show how hard it can be for gay men to date and the trauma involved.

Score: 0.5


I was worried at the beginning because the main character was a complete ass, but once he calmed down and started to open up about his feelings, he became a lot better. He was actually quite charming and funny when he wasn’t trying too hard to be a jerk.

The handyman next door who just wanted a family was charming and adorable and the two of them had pretty good chemistry.

The kids were cute if forgettable and the rest of the cast was good.

Score: 1


Some of the dialogue was terrible and the only thing that kept them from making the movie unwatchable was the earnestness and quality of the actors.

There are also a few cute quips and lots of family adorableness.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie was well filmed and showed that each shot was well thought out from a framing point of view. It bugs me in these movies when people leave on vacation and they still have food out. In this one his popcorn machine was still filled with popcorn.

Early in the movie the little girl wins a massive quantity of stuffed reindeer toys; from that point forward there are stuffed reindeer in almost every scene and it was a lot of fun looking for them.

The music was standard and did it’s job.

Score: 0.5


This is a Hallmark Christmas movie. You should know in advance if you’re into that sort of thing. I thought the romance was fun and the movie was easy to watch with little to no forced drama.

Score: 1


A nice gay twist on the Hallmark Holiday movie formula with two actors that had great chemistry. It’s cute, fluffy, and warm; everything a holiday romance should be.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Speculating Canada interviewed Jen

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

Speculating Canada is an award winning podcast and interview series that interviews fantastic Canadian and genre personalities.

Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see the interview on their website.

It’s a great interview and gives you a great insight into how she works and does so many fantastic things.

Jen says:

I was interviewed for Speculating Canada yesterday!! It was so much fun.

We discuss Queer writing, the interrelationship between craft-making and writing, writing with a community, and writing with a partner (specifically my husband).

It’s a long interview, about 50 minutes, so get comfy!

It certainly made me blush from all the compliments.

Go listen to it.

Stay safe and be kind,


The Suns of War – Chapter 11 (Serial Story)

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Chapter 11: A Rescue and a Trap

As far as rescue missions went, this one didn’t start well. It actually didn’t start for a little while.

They flew their cloaked ship close enough to the other to be able to get across but there was no way in without the other ship finding out.

“They’re opening their shields long enough to let out fighter ships. We could try and time it so we can jump in while they’re going out?” Bart asked.

“We won’t fit in there.” Nessa pointed out the obvious.

“Not the whole Galahad, just my little fighter. Once we get everyone on the transport carrier, someone’s going to need to fly it out. I’ll be sad to leave the old fighter behind, but that’s an easy sacrifice.” There wouldn’t be room in the transport with all those people and the fighter wasn’t fast enough to keep up.

Alexandre, Em, and Tanya had volunteered to stay in the Galahad while the rest of them crammed into the little fighter and got ready to leave.

“It’s been an honour serving with you. We are all representative of our people and despite our systems being at war for a millennium, we have come together to become a damn fine crew. Now remember, the Sun Speakers can see the future especially when it’s governed by the actions of a Sapian. They have no idea what we Feline or Canine are doing. Hopefully that will extend to Serpents like Alexandre. Follow his lead and let’s save our people.” It wasn’t her best speech, but it got the reactions she’d hoped for. 

The fighter ship was designed for two people and it had felt cramped when they had gone out with three. Now at four with Zuri, Nessa, Bart, and Peri, it was pretty squished.

They waited as close as they could with the bay door open. Peri scanned them all as they were waiting. Finally, the other ship released its fighters and Bart flew toward their hold as fast as possible.

The hold was massive and still had some fighters getting ready to launch. Nessa, in the gunner’s chair, shot the remaining ships before they had a chance to move. 

Alarms blared. “We weren’t going for subtle, were we?” asked Peri rhetorically.

Instead of landing, Bart took advantage of the large corridors in the Blue Sun ships and crashed through the door. Nessa shot at any soldiers in their way. Through the twisting corridors, they passed the prisoner cells and took a sharp right into the large cargo hold that had the Tyrite Troop Transport. They landed outside the doors and ran back toward the prisoner cells.

With the guards taken care of, they moved quickly. As they ran, Peri whispered to Nessa, “I found Arthur.”

She whispered back, “If it’s Bart, don’t tell anyone, he’ll be insufferable.” 

Yelling from the front, Bart said, “I’m a canine. I can hear a whisper as well as you could, feline, we all know it’s not me but the girl.”

Peri looked surprised at Bart’s comment, “How did you know?”

“Only one of us was raised by an old-Earth cult and looks like the guy on the screen.”

Zuri stopped running and said, “I’m Arthur? But I’m a girl.”

“Bah!” Bart barked. “The Tyrite Empress is a girl. The leaders of Avalon are girls. The royal Family of Ares are all non-binary.” He paused before yelling, “Welcome back, Queen. Now move your tiny butt, I’m going to need help hacking the cell locks. Unless we find a living guard, my method won’t work.” It felt like months since they’d thrown a guard at the forcefields to open the cells, but it had been only a few days.

Relaxing at his casual tone, Zuri rushed forward to hug him and the two ran ahead to the central chamber.

The Sun Speakers couldn’t follow what was going on with her, but Zuri was a Sapian and that meant they probably already knew. “We need to speed things up,” she said.

Zuri made quick work of the console and released the prisoners. Releasing them was easier than organizing them. You don’t move a thousand people quickly unless you want some of them trampled.

Nessa and Bart directed the flow while the doctor made sure everyone was alright. Finally, as the last of them was moving toward the ship, Nessa and Zuri were alone at the end of the line. “Did you know?” the older woman asked.

“No. I was told my whole life that my brother was Arthur. That Arthur could never be a woman.” Zuri still looked uncertain.

“Did you finding out unlock some sort of latent memories that would teach you about your powers?”

Laughing, Zuri said, “No, and you know it wouldn’t. The Avalon lady said she needed to train him, I mean me.”

“I guess we need to get you to her then.” Nessa felt the fur on the back of her neck rise in alarm and she pushed Zuri out of the way of a stun bolt. It hit the bulkhead beside her.

Behind them were a dozen soldiers and Aria the Sun Speaker. She still looked young but her eyes were old and angry. “Hello, cat.”

“That’s Captain Nessa Muldune, you prepubescent prophet.”

Zuri snickered at Nessa’s snarky tone.

The Sun Speaker didn’t seem amused; she said, “Did you think you could save them?” When Nessa didn’t reply, she continued, “We knew if we had enough people and started a fight, you’d eventually show up and we knew that you’d bring us back Arthur.”

“You knew I was Arthur?”

“Absolutely. Now you have two choices. Die with them or live with us.”

Zuri looked confused, then her whole face went blank, and then she furrowed her brow like she was watching something absolutely fascinating. Finally, the girl slumped a little and started to cry.

Looking smug, Aria said, “That’s right. We’ve rigged the ship to explode and unless you stay with us, we’ll detonate it.”

Barely audible over the hum of air and the smugness of the Sun Speaker, Zuri whispered a series of numbers. She repeated the ten digit code twice and then said, “Fine. I’ll stay, but you have to let Nessa go with the others.”

“I won’t leave you alone with these people,” Nessa argued.

“Go, please.” Zuri looked worried enough to be sick. 

Nodding, Nessa turned and ran to the transport. Peri was waiting at the door. She got to him and said, “There’s a bomb on the ship, but I think Zuri gave me the disarm code.” She gave him the code and when he didn’t move she added, “Go disarm it.”

“What about you?”

“I’m going to save Zuri”

Read Chapter 12 (December 2023)

While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Help for the Holidays  – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2012 film Help for the Holidays.


Adorable story that didn’t take itself too seriously. Everything is wrapped up nicely and well explained.

Score: 0.5


The main character is adorable beyond reason. They manage to make her innocent and full of wonder without infantilizing her.

The kids were adorable and better actors than most, and the love interest was appropriately attractive and sweet.

The actor who played Santa was fantastic and did a great omniscient Santa.

Score: 1


Lots of holiday sweet and lots of optimism. There were several very appropriate confused moments that made for great humour.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The camera work is great, the sets simple but pretty, and the sparse special effects are good.

The music is jingly but forgettable.

Score: 0.5


If you like saccharine sweet and adorable Christmas movies, this one’s for you. Everyone in the family that watched it loved it.

Score: 1


Filled with the holiday spirit and lots of adorable charm, if you like your holiday movies with a little more magic, this is a great choice.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

The State of Éric – November 2023

Hello Family, Friendns, and Fans,

A lot of stuff is happening so let’s do this rapidfire:

Queer Christmas Craft Fair

As we mentioned in a previous post, we’ll be at Queer Christmas Craft Fair tomorrow (Saturday November 25th) from 10-2. Come get your coffee!!!


Jen and I are writing the next book in The Gates of Westmeath series and it’s awesome. The only thing keeping me from binge writing right now is that we’re doing the first pass at editing Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests (Coming June 2024). As much as I love writing, I despise editing. Like everything else in the writing process, it’s much easier to do with Jen.

Renaissance has Copper Tarnish, Stories! The First Unexpected Collection, and Faymous and I will hopefully hear in the new year if they’ll publish or pass.


I’ve been acting (in government that means I’m doing the job but it’s not permanent) at a higher level as a Web Accessibility specialist. It’s pretty much an evolution of my old job as print and PDFs fall out of favour, but it’s a promotion.

This week I signed my papers to make it permanent. It’s better pay and duties that are no longer 10 years antiquated. So yay!


I’ve seen a neuro-opthamologist and had lots of tests including another MRI. Everything came back clean except for a loss of vision in my left eye and the fact that my left eye dilated slower than my right. He thinks I had some sort of nerve issue and he’s sending me to a neurologist and has set up a follow up for June.

Yay nothing serious and that he believes me but boo I didn’t get any answers.

That’s about it now.

Stay safe and be kind,


Queer Christmas Craft Fair

We’ll be at one last show this year, so if you haven’t yet bought coffee for your friends, family, teachers, and neighbours, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!

Renaissance Press will also be attendance, and will have all our books! If you want to get them signed (you can buy the books at your local bookstore and bring them in to us too), we’ll be there!

From the organizer:

Get ready for a festive and inclusive event you don’t want to miss! The Queer Christmas Craft Fair is here, and we can’t wait to see you on November 25th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at The Good Companions (670 Albert Street).

This is not just your average craft fair – it’s a celebration of diversity, creativity, and community! By joining us, you’ll not only be supporting Ottawa’s small LGBTQ2+ businesses but also local service agencies that do incredible work for our community. It’s a win-win!

What’s even better? Parking is absolutely free, making it hassle-free for you to come and enjoy the day. And let’s not forget about our famous chili! For just $6.20, you can satisfy your taste buds with a delicious bowl of chili and a side of corn bread. Trust us, it’s the perfect fuel to keep you shopping and mingling.

But wait, there’s more! The Queer Christmas Craft Fair will showcase an array of incredible handmade products. From unique jewelry and fashion accessories to home decor and art pieces, you’ll find the most wonderful gifts for your loved ones (or even yourself). Support local artisans and find something truly special to spread love and joy this holiday season.

So bring your friends, family, and colleagues to this fabulous event. Together, let’s create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, celebrating love, diversity, and the magic of the holiday season.

Mark your calendars and don’t miss out on the Queer Christmas Craft Fair on November 25th. See you there!

Under Wraps 2 – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Under Wraps 2.


They frame the story with a wedding and that structures it slightly differently than the first one. Makes it fresh and keeps the story going. The plot is good and flows really well. The parallels between the mummies and the kids is a little overdone and the messaging a little juvenile, even for a kids movie.

Score: 0.5


Often times a sequel will manufacture drama by changing a character. They skirted the line with this one, but made it believable. More importantly they solved their issues with good communication.

The kids were fun and the mummies did a great job.

I loved the dads; they were sweethearts.

Score: 1


Lots of clever pieces of dialogue and some really fun moments.

Often felt younger then it should, considering the age of the characters.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Typical Disney TV low budget effects, but the film makers leaned into the classic monster movie practical effects and that made it feel more grounded than bad CGI would have. The camera work was excellent.

The music was okay, if forgettable.

Score: 0.5


This was a fun movie with lots of exciting moments. Even though it felt a little young, everyone loved it.

Score: 1


A fun movie and a great sequel. It combines everything that was great about the first one and improves on it.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Is Marvel Mid?

Hello movie and superhero lovers,

A friend posted this meme:

Two panels one on top of the other. First panel says, “You thinking the MCU is dead after Endgame and hating everything.” with a ninja turtle drinking a soda and looking sad. Second panel says, “Me knowing the MCU has always been mid and still enjoying it.” with the same ninja turtle looking smug.

It got me thinking, and I realized I class Marvel movies (all superhero movies really) into 5 categories: Excellent, Okay, Forgettable, Didn’t Age Well, and Bad. I’m adding Didn’t See Yet as a category too.

So here is my non-definitive ranking of Marvel MCU movies. Note that within the categories, they’re by release date not preference.


These are the movies that balance fun, character growth, and a good story.


These movies aren’t great but they certainly are a lot of fun to watch.


These are the movies that didn’t do anything terrible, but didn’t do anything memorable either.

Didn’t Age Well

Both of these were in my top tier for a long time, but rewatching them made me very uncomfortable. They have some great moments, but the jokes and treatment of women and minorities is not great.


Some of these movies are good except for something that really brings down their quality, and others are hot messes all the way through.

Didn’t See Yet

Not much explanation needed. I’m not a big fan of the Guardians and haven’t seen the third. Everything I’ve heard leads me to think it’s a little too heavy and dark for my taste. The Marvels just came out, but I’m hoping to see it soon.

Obviously, tastes are subjective.

What do you think?


We’re Writing Again :-)

Hello Friends, Family, Fans, and Readers,

It’s happening again! AGAIN! Jen and I are writing another book.

This is the third Gates of Westmeath book and I’m absolutely loving writing and reading it.

I absolutely love writing with Jen. It’s like having a super-fan to pump you up for writing and like getting to read your favourite book as it’s being made!

This going to be book 3, and book 2 Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests will be coming out spring 2024. We’ll post pre-order links as soon as we get them, and stay tuned for the cover reveal and other sneak peeks!

I’m so excited to be writing this book and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Stay safe and be kind,