Speculating Canada interviewed Éric

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

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

You may remember a few months ago that Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see her interview on their website.

Well I (Éric) was interviewed last week. It was a lot of fun, and Derek is a fantastic interviewer, steering my hectic mind in a semi-coherent direction.

Go watch the interview on their website.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

The Secret World of Arrietty – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2010 film The Secret World of Arrietty.

Story

I found it very soothing and calm but I can see where it could be considered stressful. I remembered just enough from the books and reviews to know nothing bad happened.

The overall story is similar to the book but fairly different at the same time.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are extremely well animated and voiced. They grab attention, even in the slower talky moments.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is cute and I love the term Bean for humans. There’s some interesting thoughts on what it means to be alive and trust.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation is breathtaking and absolutely spectacular. I could re-watch it in slow motion and still not catch all the details.

The music was lovely.

Score: 1

Fun

I grew up reading the Littles and the Borrowers, and although I barely remember them, I still love the aesthetic.

The kids absolutely adored it and the rest of the family loved it too.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a wonderful melding of cultures, with a sweet and fun story. If you liked the books you’ll love the movie. Highly recommended.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

If Kennedy Fairfield had Instagram

If Instagram existed in 2003, this is what Kennedy would’ve posted during the first portion of the book Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests.

@jendesmaraisauthor

If Instagram existed in 2003, this is what Kennedy would’ve posted during the first portion of the book “Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests”. “Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests” is an Urban Fantasy Romance. What happens when superheroes plan a wedding? Monsters, that’s what. Kennedy and Jason are ready to get married. They just have to deal with evaporating monsters first. Available for pre-order now! https://www.jeneric-designs.ca/books-and-timeline/universal-book-links/#MIWG Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 #MonstersIncidentalWeddingGuests #JenDesmarais #ÉricDesmarais #authors #book #PressesRenaissancePress #pinkpiggy93 #artist #UrbanFantasy #RomanceBook #superheroes #BattleCouple #original #booktok

♬ Magical Fantasy – Dmitriy Sevostyanov

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests is an Urban Fantasy Romance. What happens when superheroes plan a wedding? Monsters, that’s what.

Kennedy and Jason are ready to get married. They just have to deal with evaporating monsters first.

Available for pre-order now!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests by Jen and Éric Desmarais is available for pre-order now!

49th Shelf Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Indigo Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Archambault Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Amazon Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Rakuten Kobo Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Apple Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests

Add it to your “Want to read” on Goodreads here!

Introducing Secondary Characters – Others

With a wedding book, there are many characters that show up from the first book, but there are also some new faces, or at least new faces that deserve introducing. We already introduced some of the family members last month, so here are some of the other new faces that are important in Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests.

Reverend Patrick Mitchel

Appearance inspired by Sam Neill

Age: unknown

Appearance: Grey hair, pale blue eyes, average, white

Job: Reverend at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Anglican Church in East Westmeath, professor at Westmeath University (Ethics and Mythology), sits on the Oldtown Council, Watcher

Family: Niece Veronica Giles

Dr Karen Mästare

Appearance inspired by Salma Hayek

Age: unknown

Appearance: Golden brown hair cut in a bob a shade darker than her skin, light brown eyes with flecks of gold, average height

Job: museum curator at the Royal Canadian Museum of Natural and Cultural History (NCH, or Niche)

Ellen O. Door

Appearance inspired by Alicia Witt

Age: 27

Date of Birth: November 22, 1975

Appearance: Red hair, tall, white

Job: CEO of Door Technology, main office in Westmeath

Parents: Margery Door and Robin

Siblings: 11 older siblings

Carol Jenkins

Appearance inspired by Erica Durance

Age: unknown

Appearance: Curly light brown hair, average height, white

Job: Archeologist, works for Door Technology Foundational Technology Division

Sibling: Brother Jacob

Jacob Jenkins

Appearance inspired by Bruno Langley

Age: unknown

Appearance: Brown hair, average, white

Job: head of Door Technology Foundational Technology Division

Sibling: sister Carol


Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests by Jen and Éric Desmarais is available for pre-order now!

49th Shelf Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Indigo Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Archambault Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Amazon Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Rakuten Kobo Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Apple Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests

Add it to your “Want to read” on Goodreads here!

Geek Charming – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2011 film Geek Charming.

Story

It’s a teen rom-com where the popular kid has to work with the nerd and they fall in love. I did like the gender-swapped makeover scene.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The female lead almost seems like she’s a bad actress to start with but it turns out that it’s the character who’s a bad actress and she’s nowhere near as shallow or vapid as she seems. This is a hard transition to pull off without seeming fake and the movie did a great job.

The male lead became more accepting and confidant but didn’t have much more development than that.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Sometimes I forget what the 2010’s was like, but this is filled with dated slang and quippy one-liners.

When the movie decides to be serious, it does a great job in those softer moments. Bonus points for explaining relativity in one breath.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The camera work was very early 2000’s Disney channel. The clothes, sets, and everything else were okay but low budget.

The music was acceptable but nothing special.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I get irritated watching the characters flinging their cameras while filming and I found the idea that a film club would be all sci-fi a little unlikely. Film nerds tend to look down on the genre.

That being said, the actors did a great job and it was cute. I really liked that this movie showed the world what made him fall in love with her. It was a nice touch and made everything more believable.

Bonus point for having the poor kid showing the rich man Metropolis, a film about the class divide between workers and wealthy land owners.

Score: 1

Overall

A product of its time, it celebrates nerds and love with lots of innocent heart. The actors do a great job with a predictable script.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Springing into life… arg.

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans;

Everything is currently trying to reproduce and I’m not a fan. My allergies have been really bad, which means I’m extra tired and weak on top of cold-like symptoms. Not fun. But I’ve already written about that: It’s Just Allergies and Allergies, Life, and Writing.

Every year, I try to distract myself from all these allergens by creating more and gardening.

This year I’ve added two planters and I’m planning on growing: beans, peas, zucchini, chives, rhubarb, cherry tomatoes, large tomatoes, pumpkins, dill, lemon thyme, hot and sweet peppers, and rosemary. As if that’s not enough, I’m planning on getting a purple flowering raspberry bush, an elderberry bush, citronella, and as much milkweed as I possibly can.

I’m hoping to grow the pumpkins along a trellis and get little baby hanging pumpkins.

With the fatigue though, it’s hard to motivate myself. I’m trying to do a little each day and try to avoid burning out. I’m so happy that Jen, Dragon, and Pegasus are willing to help.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Travelling TARDIS Nominated for Aurora

Hello friends, family, and fans!

The nominations are up!!!

I’m so proud of Jen, this is her 7th nomination in seven years. It’s the TARDIS’s sixth.

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

Thanks to all who nominated. You really made a difference.

Now, it’s onto the voting! You will receive an email on how to download the voters package sometime in mid-May. If not, check the website when you’re logged in, and follow the instructions.

The Travelling TARDIS isn’t part of the package because you can access it for free on this site.

Voting

If you think The Travelling TARDIS is worthy of your vote, voting for the Auroras will be open on June 8th.


Thank you to everyone who nominated and especially to everyone who reads and enjoys our content.

Thank you!

Éric

The Beekeeper – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2024 film The Beekeeper.

Story

This was a pretty standard action movie but it did have an fun twist. Following the FBI agents that are trying to catch him was an interesting study in morals, justice, and law. The main character is mostly treated like a force of nature, so much of the character growth is put on the two FBI agents.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The Beekeeper is a natural disaster and is established early as nearly unstoppable. He has no character development after the first twenty minutes.

The FBI agents have significantly more and they’re really the audience stand-ins.

The antagonists are pretty one dimensional but extremely hateable.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Quippy action movie dialogue punctuated with so many F words that the script probably looked like a Jack Torrance manuscript.

The more moralistic dialogue is well done and certainly more than apt with today’s political atmosphere.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Jason Statham still has an impressive skill set and the choreography in this is amazing.

The music wasn’t bad but wasn’t particularly memorable.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This was a lot of fun. It’s cathartic to watch bad people get what they deserve. I watched this on my own, thankfully, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Score: 1

Overall

There’s a wonderful feeling of joy in watching Jason Statham beat the crap out of fraudsters. The movie is pure action with lots of swearing and a tiny bit of philosophy.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises – Chapter 4

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

Characters | 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 4: A Flashback to a Diamond

The closer we got to Sol and his system, the more powerful my visions became. The visions were intense and terrifying.

There was more than just Black-Sun massing to attack. There was a whole rainbow of suns. The full spectrum; Black, White, Blue, Violet, Red, Orange, and Yellow. 

The irony is that Sol’s system spawned the humans that comprised these fleets. Old Earth had had three mass exodus, the first two had colonised the Sol System, the third had seen them colonise the galaxy.

As they’d travelled, they’d come across the sapient stars and those same stars saw the human’s potential. It had taken just over five hundred years for the whole thing to go from scattered explorers to trillions of soldiers. The suns worked fast to try and quell the rebels among them.

Sol believed in the sanctity of life and freewill, while the others believed it was their right to rule the universe. I, newly renamed, ironically, Diamond Stars, wanted one thing. The same as the name of my ship, Revenge.

How was my small, mostly unarmed, ship supposed to exact revenge on a fleet counting millions? I had no idea. 

We were cloaked from the fleet, both from their scanners and from their Sun Speakers. I had found a nifty device that blocked the Black-Sun from finding us. From wormhole to wormhole we followed them, since we didn’t have our own wormhole generator, and caused havoc when we could.

It was just me, Onyx, my boyfriend, and his little sister Sphene. We had all the expertise to run the ship and take care of ourselves, but not to cause any major damage to the fleet. After almost two years we got our chance.

Sol gave me the answer in the form of a vision. The Sun Speakers from Black-Sun are trained from birth in how to handle and survive the visions. I had forced the information out of one of their Sun Speakers, which meant I wasn’t in constant pain or slowly killing my brain. That didn’t mean it was pleasant.

After the vision, I ran to a computer terminal and started typing. When I was done, Onyx massaged my shoulders and asked, “What is that?”

“I have no idea,” I said.

“Your sun god is really vague and like I’m not sure he knows what he’s doing,” Sphene said from across the room, lounging in the way only a teenager could. She stood up and walked over. She read the gibberish in front of me and said, “That’s computer code. Looks like a program to hijack their wormhole generator.” 

The three of us were geniuses, me with mechanical devices and ships, Onyx with anything biological, and Sphene with code, although she preferred weapons. 

“Where will it send them?” I knew it was sending them somewhere the moment she described it.

“Looks like the galactic core,” Sphene chuckled. “That many ships that close to the core would definitely get sucked into the black hole.”

Onyx played with my hair, which was making thinking hard, and asked, “How do we get that code to them?”

“We’ll need to infiltrate a ship,” Sphene replied.

I shook my head, “No. We just need a comms antenna. I could do it from outside a ship.”

The strong brown fingers stopped playing with my hair. Onyx said, “Wouldn’t we be stuck here?”

“We have a matter-replicator and the Black-Sun plans. I’m sure I could build a wormhole generator.” I didn’t say that it would have to be one jump and if I screwed up the math, we’d die a horrible death with our atoms spread across a dozen systems.

I suited up and Sphene took us close to one of the ships. The cloak worked better from a distance and the closer we got, the easier it would be for Black-Sun to see us. 

The calm of space is also its scariest attribute. The quiet, cold, and seemingly unending distances seem safe, until you factor in the fact that space wants you dead. Despite this, I jumped out of the ship with nothing but a spacesuit to protect me. I had a little jetpack that propelled me to the ship. 

I floated toward the comms array, and when I got there, I unscrewed the panel and plugged in my small pad. It took me a few moments to download the code and send it to the fleet.

“They’re activating the wormhole generators,” Onix said into my earpiece, sounding worried. “Get out of there!”

It’s called space but it’s pretty full of stuff. Space radiation, debris, and other things fly around at high speeds everywhere. As I headed back to the ship, I was hit by a small meteor and tossed off course.

I was about to get hit by the ship I’d added the code to when a well-aimed grappling hook caught me and pulled me back into the Revenge.

“Thanks, Sphene,” I said panting as I got back into the ship.

“Go to medical. You’re bleeding.” She sounded annoyed but I could hear the worry behind her tone.

In the room that was deemed medical, I watched the last of the Black-Sun ships fly into the wormhole. “Good riddance,” I said. A vision from Sol told me that the fleet would be decimated by the gravity wells and the creatures that lived there. Horrifying humanoid dog alligator creatures, I’d seen them before, they were nightmare creatures we’d called Void-Beasts.

“You look pale, let me sew that up,” Onyx said, gently helping me in bed. “I’ve seen you hurt worse. Why do you look terrified?”

“We just destroyed ninety-percent of the Black-Sun fleet.”

“That’s great!”

“Those ships that survived are going to be joining the fight with void-beasts by their side.” We’d won a victory, but at what cost?Sol gave me a new vision and it was of the same battle I’d been dreaming about, but this time there were less Black-Sun, and I could see a fleet of Sol ships led into battle by three ships; the Warship Ennill, the Hey-Sunny, and the Revenge.

Read Chapter 5 (May 2024)


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