Signing – Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers

Hello Readers,

Have you wanted to get a copy of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers, but were waiting so you could get it signed? This is your chance.

Meet the Authors of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers Sunday February 12th, 1pm to 3pm at Indigo Pinecrest (2735 Iris St. Ottawa)

We might have some extra goodies for those that show up.

Hope to see you there!

Éric and Jen


Hello Readers,

I have plans. Lots of plans. So many plans!

Unfortunately, due to health and fatigue, I have very little motivation.

That should change. I have a doctor’s appointment next week and the weather is changing.

Hopefully I’ll get to those many plans.

Speaking of plans, I was thinking of recording me reading the serial story and posting it with the story. Is that something people would like?

Anyway, I should go do something.

Stay safe and be kind,


Monster Hunter – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 film Monster Hunter.


This is based off a game that I have not played, but from the writer/director’s past history, it’s probably not all that faithful. That being said, it was fairly simple and had some interesting world building.

After the first exciting bit, it was a little slow however.

Score: 0.5


There were a lot of characters that didn’t get much screentime and they were pretty cool. Hard to go wrong with Ron Pearlman.

The two main characters are interesting, but I’m not sure they were interesting enough to hold up the movie.

Score: 0.5


This was a very typical white story, the non-english speaker learned bits of English and the English speaker learned the names of the monsters.

Most of the dialogue is pretty boring but there were a few good action lines.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The visuals were spectacular when it came to the monsters and the fight scenes. The fight choreography was really cool. I love seeing monsters versus modern war machines.

The music was okay but at times distracted from the story and action instead of enhancing it.

Score: 0.5


I went into this expecting a silly monster movie with lots of action and that’s what I got. It was fun and exciting. It wasn’t as well paced as others by Anderson.

Score: 0.5


The movie is silly fun but doesn’t really shine the way it should have. It’s mostly just meh with a few moments of awesome.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars out of 5

The Suns of War – Chapter 1 (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 1: Vengeance Interrupted

When faced with the complete collapse of civilization, some people freeze, others refuse to believe, and even more break down completely. 

Nessa was in the first category to start with; she just stared, frozen in horror, as her homeworld floated by as countless pieces of rock. 

She was replaying everything she knew about science and weapons and coming up completely blank as to how this could happen, while her jailer kept repeating that it was an Aresian trick.

Nessa had a hard time controlling her tail in her current state. It insisted on puffing up as if there were some imminent threat.

“This is your captain speaking. All hands prepare for combat. Get to your posts, we’ll teach those Aresians what happens when they blow up our homeworld!”

The Camlann’s engines roared to life and the rubble faded into stars. Their stardrive was fast, but it would take them almost a week to reach Ares Prime at maximum thrust. 

“I have to talk to the captain! This is a trick, we’re being tricked,” Alfred was pale as he left her alone. 

No one came to check on her and no one came to feed her for a few days. She wondered if they’d forgotten her. “Maybe they just threw themselves out of an airlock?” she said aloud. Her voice sounded dull and dry. The lack of water was going to get her before anything else happened. 

On the fourth day of travel she was jostled awake by the ship dropping out of lightspeed. Once again she was grateful for the porthole in her cell. It showed a star system she didn’t recognize. It had a white dwarf star and from what she could see, only two planets. She thought there were a lot of asteroids, but upon closer inspection, they weren’t asteroids, they were ships. The ships were so black they seemed to absorb light. Their darkness and the insignia on their hulls were the only things that made them visible. The insignia was a dark blue thirteen pointed star.

There had to be millions of those ships and she had no idea who they were. The Aresian ships were boldly coloured and garish, the Martian ships were silver and sleek, the Tyrite ships were green living things, the ancient Earth ships were grey eyesores, and the other new ship they’d met had been round, red, with three golden crowns as an insignia.

Who are they and how did they manage to amass such a massive fleet without anyone knowing? she wondered to herself.

The lights turned bright purple and the alarms went off. “This is a mauve alert. Battlestations.” The captain’s voice had lost some of its battle lust over the past few days.

The ship’s weapons powered up and they shot at something she couldn’t see. As she looked out the porthole she saw a wave of blueish energy erupt from several ships and fly towards them like an ominous curtain. When the energy hit, the ship lost all power, and she started to float. There was a blast and she heard screams. They’d been boarded.

Her lack of food and water meant she had a hard time not falling asleep. She woke up briefly as men in black robes entered her cell, but didn’t have the energy to argue.

They took the entire ship into their hangar and then took the surviving crew as prisoners. She didn’t understand their language and couldn’t answer any of their questions.

Her cell was plush compared to the brig. Her bed had a pillow and she was given food and water right away. The cells were two metres cubed with one wall that was completely made by an energy forcefield.

Most of them looked like typical Homosapien. They were bipedal, mostly hairless, and their skin varied in colour from pale pink and white to dark brown. There didn’t seem to be any Felisapiens or Canisapiens among them. 

She could see cells just like hers across the hallway with various people in them. She recognized uniforms and people from all three empires. She couldn’t hear them and no matter how much she screamed, no one seemed to hear her.

After a day or two of being a captive, she started to feel better physically. Whatever they put in their food wasn’t very tasty, but it obviously had some healing properties. She was pacing her cell when they lowered the forcefield and a woman walked in. She was pretty with sharp features, pale skin, and short, bright red hair.

“Hello. I’m Sun Speaker Aria of Blue-Star fleet one. Whom am I addressing?” Her Martian was very good, if formal.

“I’m former Commander Nessa Hath of the United Martian Empire ship Camlann,” I tried to control my physical reactions to the woman, but there was something about her that didn’t smell right.

“You say former. Why is that?”

There was no harm in explaining. “I was stripped of my rank when I chose historical curiosity over duty to my captain.”

For a long time the woman said nothing as she looked through Nessa, then she said, “Yes. I see. You’ve made contact with the Myrddin. Do you know what it is and what it was searching for?”

Nessa shook her head, remembering that the ship had transmitted a message that said, Myrddin searches for Arthur. “It was searching for someone or something called Arthur.”

“Hm.” The redhead paused and then asked, “Do you know where to find Arthur?”


“A pity. Your crew mostly said the same thing. Those that didn’t die fighting.” She paused as if for dramatic effect. She must have thought it would shock Nessa to hear that some of her crewmates had died. She obviously didn’t understand Martians and their love of war. 

“Okay. Is this the point where you kill me?”

“You have a choice, former Commander Nessa Hath. You can join us in our holy mission to rid the universe of the heretic stars, or you can die in a vain display of obduracy.

Read Chapter 2 (February)

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

Health Update January 2023

Hello Friends, Familly, Readers,

I’ve finally been approved for the WSIB Specialty Clinic.

What that means is that I’ll be hearing from their nurse practitioner in the next week or so and should have an appointment by the end of February. At the appointment they’ll, hopefully, run a lot of tests and figure out what’s wrong or send me to a neurologist.

I’ve also leveled up to a Long Term Case Manager, since my injury is now over 6 months. Let’s hope they’re faster and more organized.

Overall, I’m hopeful.

Be kind and stay safe,


Venom: Let There Be Carnage – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Venom: Let There Be Carnage.


The story was simple to a fault, with more time spent on Venom and Brock fighting than anything else.

What story there was, was as predictable as the first, maybe more so. Again, this felt like a bad 90’s script with modern special effects.

Score: 0


I honestly can’t stand Eddie. He’s a complete fool. Venom isn’t much better. They’re at their best when they snip at each other but still work as a team, and we didn’t see much of that.

Woody Harrelson and Naomie Harris are fantastic, over-the-top, villains. They are tragic and cheesy and wonderful. There was a little too much time spent telling us they were evil vs showing us.

Carnage was super boring.

Again, these actors are way too good for the roles.

Score: 0.5


“Oh shit! He’s a red one.” and “Those two need couples counselling.” were the best lines. Beyond that, it was pretty bad.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

The special effects, cinematography, and directing were impressive. This movie looked good.

The music was excellent.

Score: 1


I watched this on my own and it wasn’t fun. I think it might be more fun with friends mocking it.

Score: 0


The acting, directing, music and visuals are spectacular. None of that saves the movie from a terrible script, unsympathetic characters, and dialogue that would feel cheap in a bad 90’s action movie.

Final Score: 1.5 Stars out of 5

Things I Didn’t Know About Pain


I thought I understood what pain does. I mean I have two tattoos, been scratched by a baby, and am really clumsy. Joking aside, I’ve had pain before. I’ve broken my ankle, sprained both several times, pulled a muscle in my leg, and have had a neck injury.

However, there are things I didn’t understand about long term pain and how it eats at your mental health and quality of life. Three things have really surprised me.

First, I’ve noticed that my anxiety, executive dysfunction, agoraphobia, RSD, and aversion to change have all been really hard to deal with the past few months. It wasn’t until last week after a stressful work day (that shouldn’t have been that bad) that I realized that the constant pain is amplifying the rest of my issues.

Second, I’ve found the oscillation between hope and despair to be really exhausting mentally and physically. From worrying that the pain and loss of mobility in my arms is permanent and only going to get worse to making plans for when this will be over and I’m back to normal. Hopefully this will get better once I’m allowed to see a doctor.

Third, I had never thought of how the pain would lead to a lack of sleep. It wakes me up two to five times a night and I don’t sleep well when I do. On really bad nights, despite the Voltaren and Advil, I lie awake and barely sleep. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 2-3 hours straight since last June.

The combination of the three means that I’m constantly tired, everything feels like a large task, and life feels more dramatic.

The worst part is feeling like I’m failing myself and my family.

I’m supposed to hear from WSIB this week with a decision on my care. Hopefully, things will get better after that.

Sorry for the sad post. No help needed, just love.

Stay Safe and Be Kind,


The Swoonie Awards are open!!

But only until January 30th!

If anyone would like to nominate our book:

Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers by Jen and Éric Desmarais

It is eligible in the following categories:

  • Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
  • Best Cover (add “art by @pinkpiggy93 ” to your nomination in this category)

Please and thank you!

Happy nominating, everyone!

Strange World – JenEric Movie Review

How This WorksRead Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Strange World.


The story mirrors the old pulp comics and stories, but with a modern twist. This felt like it would fit well with Treasure Planet and Atlantis.

The story definitely follows Disney’s new story structure of not having a villain and dealing with family/generational trauma.

I find that a lot of the screen time is wasted on the AMAZING visuals and not enough on the characters themselves.

Score: 0.5


I liked the characters, but the focus moved around a lot and the emotions were rushed for the actions. Splat was a perfect Disney sidekick, the mom was amazing, and Alan Tudyk should not be playing pilots any more.

The three male leads were stubborn and their changes of heart were nice but not heart-wrenching.

Score: 0.5


The banter and fights between the characters was great and the parent’s interactions were great.

Loved the pulpy intro narration.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This was an absolute joy to watch visually. The world was both amazing and fascinating. The camera angles and style were just perfect.

The music was very well done with a wonderful heroic score.

Score: 1


This movie was exciting, thought provoking, and lots of fun. The whole family loved it. My wife, who has a background in biology, noticed a few really cool visuals early on and we then spent a lot of the movie pointing out inspiration for the world.

I look forward to seeing this one again.

Score: 1


A family drama with a spectacular world pulled straight from older pulp science fiction. This movie is stunning, clever, and a lot of fun.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

The Suns of War – Prologue (Serial Story)

Hello Readers,

This year for the serial story I’m going to be continuing an old story from 2016. I’ve edited and added information.


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

Prologue: Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies 

“Nice of them to design these cells with portholes,” admired former security commander, Nessa Muldune. It seemed like a strange waste of outer hull but she appreciated being able to see the stars.

“Shut up, traitor,” sneered her jailer, his whiskers twitching with smugness. Lieutenant Alfred’s disdain was a relief after the months of him awkwardly hitting on her. “We’ll be at New Mars soon and you’ll get what’s coming to you.”

The United Martian Empire (UME) Camlann was a brand new Starcruiser class ship, with a crew of twenty-three. Her mission was to explore the outer edges of the galaxy for resources that could help in their war against the Ares Republic.

“Alfred, take a walk.” Doctor Anson’s commanding tone ensured he knew it wasn’t a suggestion.

Waiting until they were alone, Nessa said, “Peri, if you’re here to tell me how much you’ve always hated me, you’re an hour late for the parade.” Her tail wanted to tuck between her legs as she remembered the half dozen crew that had come to berate and insult their former commander.

The doctor’s hairless face broke into a smile. “You’re an idiot Muldune, but I don’t hate you. I agree with what you did, but they expect us medical types to be Peacers.” It was one of the worst insults for a Martian to be called a Peacer. Peace would only happen when the Empire’s enemies were all dead. Any other opinion was heresy.

The Doctor shook their head in either annoyance or amusement. Nessa couldn’t tell, humans were hard to read, and added, “I’ve looked over the logs and I’m going to testify for you at your court-martial.”

“Don’t be an idiot. It’ll just get you thrown into whatever hole they put me.”

“Doubt it. There are perks to one of my fathers being an Admiral. I’m not the only one who thinks the Captain went too far this time.”

Lifting her hand, Nessa said, “No. Shut up. Until we’re safely in dock on New Mars, I don’t want to hear about it and I don’t think you should talk about it either.” Pointing at her furry ears and then the walls, Nessa added, “What you’re saying could be taken as the M word and you know how the Captain doesn’t like that word.” The last person to hint at mutiny had been spaced without a trial. Her multiple commendations, stellar military record, and Red Star of Honour were the only reason Nessa wasn’t sleeping with meteors.

”Fine, but you’re not alone and I wanted you to know that.” Peri smiled again and turned to leave.

“Thank you, old friend.” They’d served together since Nessa’s first tour of duty when she was barely out of kittenhood at fifteen.

Alfred strode back in and started saying crude things about the Doctor. Nessa ignored him; doing the same thing she’d done countless times since she’d been put in here. She went over the incident to see what she could have done differently.

They were pushing the limits of known space when they’d gotten a distress call. It was ancient code. When they arrived at the coordinates they found three ships; an Ares Bird-of-Prey, an ancient frigate and a third ship they’d never seen before.

The ancient frigate was giving off the distress code. It must have been five hundred or more years old. Nessa’s first mistake was to suggest that the frigate might have star-maps that could lead them back to Earth. The Captain had laughed at her and mocked her for her silly superstitions. He was one of the many Martians who were convinced all sentient life had evolved on New Mars.

They’d hailed the Aresian ship and received no answer, but when they hailed the unknown ship, it answered with what sounded like a riddle.

Myrddin searches for Arthur

The message repeated itself as if it were a recording. When the mysterious ship opened its gunports, the Captain had ordered her to open fire. She hesitated and she still didn’t know why. It was like she froze. The Captain had thrown her to the side and fired on the ship himself.

It had done nothing, their weapons didn’t even leave a mark on the ship. The Captain was furious and ordered her to fire on the Aresian ship. Their stardrive was powered by antimatter and the explosion should wipe out all three ships.

That’s when she’d ruined her career by saying, “Sir, we can’t. If those aliens are powerful enough to take a full blast from our ion cannons, we need to get access to their tech, not blow it up.” And she’d made it worse by adding, “Not to mention that the frigate could hold the key to finding our original home world.”

“New Mars is our home world, you Peacer trash. Take the traitor to the brig.” To the security guards’ credit, they both looked uncomfortable jailing their commanding officer. The captain had blown up the Aresian ship and the frigate with one hit. The alien ship had given off one unintelligible message before it exploded. The Camlann barely made it out on time, despite its cutting edge stardrive.

She was now on her way to a court martial. If she was lucky, a life sentence on some mining asteroid. If she was unlucky, she’d be put in the Colosseum for sport.

Nessa felt the telltale wobble of the Camlann’s stardrive powering down. She was excited, despite the situation, to see the planets of the New Mars system; the crown jewels of the empire.

The ship shook violently and all she could see out the porthole was an asteroid field. Something was wrong.

“Brace for impact. We seem to have gone off course.” The Captain’s voice sounded calm, almost bored.

Nessa felt sick. There’s no way they’d been off course. Out her porthole, all Nessa could see was darkness and rocks. Where were the planets? Where was the sun? 

A large semi-spherical chunk of rock flew towards the ship. As it got closer, she could see the ruins of a city flying toward them. 

The Captain’s voice came back on, “Oh Gods! What have they done!” He was no longer calm.

Read Chapter 1

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