Smoke and mirrors, A review, a blogspot, new mini-book and new releases.

Celebrate the magic on Smoke and Mirrors Day.

The day is also known as Festival of Smoke and Mirrors Day, this unofficial holiday is celebrated annually on March 29.


Smoke and mirrors is an English language phrase describing things that are illusions.

Act of Illusion

It is believed the phrase originated from the classic act of illusion where a magician makes objects or people appear or disappear by using smokes and mirrors as a distraction. Because of this, the phrase is often used to refer to actions that distract from the reality or cover up the truth.

Things That Do Not Exist

In computing, the term smoke and mirrors is often used to refer to programs that seem to exist, but in reality do not.

Mirror Magic

Magic as a performance art has been used to entertain people around the world since ancient times. In smoke and mirror magic tricks, magicians create optical illusions by diverting a spectator's attention away from the actions that create the "magic". Mirrors are also often used to create illusions by manipulating light and using the properties of reflection and refraction. Some of the popular magic tricks using mirrors include the Sphinx and the Vampire. In both tricks, mirrors are used to hide the object, usually the head of a person.

Celebrate by learning a magic trick - Maybe one with smoke and mirrors!

Little Red Hooding Ride - Crystal Benson

I've read a few retellings of "little red riding hood", and this was another, but it was quickly complex and full of a multitude of characters. It's set in modern times and is a story of a young lady named Red Hooding (who is a blond) She enjoys walking in the forest, except there are parts of the deeper wood known as The Demon Forest where all sorts of not exactly humans, plenty of shifters, and fantasy creatures live. She meets a young man, Alator, from there who saves her life. They fall in love but from there the story takes quite a few surprising turns that keep a reader engaged and occupied. My only issue was a personal one. I'm pretty uncomfortable reading first person present, and would have found it a smoother read in first person past. At the beginning there were quite a few characters introduced which slowed it down a bit. I did really like the story and would recommend it to any reader of fantasy and fairytales.

Choosing Happiness. As I grow older and more experienced in my allotted time, I realize I had to learn to be happy. I recently began scanning some of the slides my Dad took of our family when I was young. It became clear to me that I was unhappy and quite likely angry much of the time. My memory was that I hated smiling and thought smiles as well as hugs were contrived. I told people again and again even into adulthood “Don’t judge me by a smile or a pleasant voice, get to know me by looking me in the eyes.”

I was always a deep thinker. We moved a lot so I was the new kid; the outsider learning to be emotionally self-sufficient in a world where we might pick up in the summer and move. I read. I wrote. I drew pictures. I wasn’t shy. In fact I was often too loud and something of a show-off, mixing real life with an alternate reality of other times and worlds.

As a teen that became depression – not severe enough to require medication or present the spectre of self-harm which gradually deepened. About that time I began to contemplate the actual nature of what it was to be a happy person. I hit bottom with post-partum depression after my son was born which became double viral pneumonia (with symptoms identical to Covid)in 1986. Like many of those who became long-haulers it took several months for me to come back. As I recuperated, I realized that I had to be stronger than that for my children and for my family first, and so that I could then awaken to my purpose in the wider world. I took a step; a small one each day in choosing to be happy. Some days are tough, but I’ve found out so much is attitude.

Just read what people post on the internet. Some never post happy things, just misery and complaint - that desire to manipulate others - to "wake them up" to what? - FEAR?

What if they woke them up to bliss? Others have simply made the decision not to give sadness oxygen despite the world situation or how they feel.

I’m still a work in progress, far from having all the answers but the Beatles classic from the song “The End” rings true. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Give someone or something love today.


Bad Loki: Mythic Fated Mates Paranormal Romance (Rebel Gods Book 1) Kindle Edition by Rosemary A Johns 3-18-21

When the gods turn bad…

…reapers come out to play.

My name’s Autumn, and I was raised by a fanatical cult. I made a deal to be possessed by a god. I was tempted by forbidden whispers of eternal pleasure. Then a lethal but sexy-as-hell god broke me, stealing my magic.

Loki, God of Mischief.

Now, I’m the Infernal: a witch who reaps both gods and demons. I guard the Tree of Life in an English forest, which is stalked by scorching-hot but dangerous monsters.

When a curse binds my greatest enemy, Loki, to me as mate by his shifter spirit, it’s my turn to break a god. I’m seduced, however, by his beautiful mayhem. Then he spins a wild tale, and it turns out that everything I’ve known could be a lie.

Can I trust Loki and my other gorgeous rebel gods and demons?

Hades — My brooding Hellhound God of the Underworld who’s a giant of muscles, midnight black hair, and shadows

Ra — My Phoenix Sun God who’s tall, blond, and my loyal friend and lover

Kit — My Kitsune Fox Spirit with powerful magic and mesmerizing eyes, which I could lose myself in forever

Oni — My roguishly handsome Demon with a lady-killing smile who’s my first love and Soulmate

They’re the enemy, royalty, friend, bonded, and second chance. They’re also my obsession...and secret protectors.

When the gods are rebels, the demons are wicked, and the shifters are savage, it’s lucky that I love bad boys…

From USA Today Bestselling Author Rosemary A. Johns comes your next paranormal addiction!

Rebel Gods is packed with magic, mythology, and soulmate romance, where the men know how to share! Perfect for fans of Laura Thalassa, Amelia Hutchins, C.N. Crawford, Elizabeth Briggs, Linsey Hall, Eva Chase, and Sarah J. Maas. Complete series!


Springs Showers Romantically Seasonal Spring

by C.A. King (Author) Format: Kindle Edition

Book 1 of 4 3-23-21

They were gods. They were celestial beings. They were mythological creatures. It didn’t matter what they were called. Names were merely a reflection of the current age and occasion. Throughout time, there was only one constant: a strong dedication to their own worthless pride. Wars were fought... humans suffered... tricks were played... and all in the name of competition; a way of determining a hierarchy amongst themselves. The strong thrived. The weak suffered. He was at the bottom of the totem pole; taken for granted and ridiculed. Enough was enough. It was time to climb the ladder, aiming for nothing but the top. There was only one way to accomplish that goal. The gauntlet was thrown. The challenge accepted. Respect was at stake, pitting deity against deity in a winner take all competition. Cupid shed his stereotypical persona, to bring about the bet of the century. For once and for all, he was going to prove helping people fall in love was, is, and always would be, the hardest job of them all. Four challengers stood at the plate, ready to swing. But would they actually find a way to bring about the romance of Valentine’s Day in their designated seasons? In book one of this four part series of stand alone books, spring has sprung and Mother Nature is laying it all on the line. Nurturing flowers and growing a lasting love between two people couldn’t possibly be all that different, at least that’s what she is banking on.

Esmerelda: A Rogue Enforcers Novel Kindle Edition

by Darlene Tallman 3-23-21

Esmerelda I grew up knowing I had a great purpose in life, which I thought was my protection of Landry. Now ensconced within the rogue enforcers, I find that while I enjoy the family we’ve created from a motley crew of supernaturals, I’m still lonely. My smile never reaches my eyes, something my best friend notices. However, we have bigger problems now since Geralynn’s admission before her death and one of them shows up in a black Range Rover. My mate. Something I wished for in my heart of hearts, but never expected or anticipated. Beast I’ve never had any qualms about having my best friend, Ice’s, back so when he called and asked for help during a mission where he found his mate, I didn’t hesitate to pack and hit the road. Pulling into that campsite, I never in a million years expected to meet her. My mate. Full of sass, my little sorceress thinks I’ll wait to claim her. She’s wrong. So so wrong. The rogue enforcers are working hard to find and eradicate this threat so that humans continue to remain clueless as to the existence of the supernaturals, while also keeping them safe.

A Necessary End: Iconoclast Trilogy: Book Three (Fortune's Fools 9) Kindle Edition

by E.M. Swift-Hook 3-24-21

"When it comes to the crunch point, all you can count on are your own wits, and the only person you can trust completely is yourself." With the last strands of his grand plan meshing together, Durban Chola is beset by doubts about his own motives and identity. The consequences of his past actions make it difficult to persuade old allies to support him or to find new ones. His enemies have their plans well advanced. Then there is the price of his ultimate success to consider - a price that will be paid by all of humanity for good or ill. A Necessary End is the final volume in Fortune's Fools. The last book of the last trilogy, Iconoclast.

Retribution: A Vengeance Novel (Vengeance Series Book 3) Kindle Edition

by Crystal North (Author) Format: Kindle Edition

Book 3 of 3: Vengeance Series 3-26-21

Some secrets refuse to stay buried... it’s time for Retribution. *** Raven hasn’t had it easy; her life has been a whirlwind of clusterfucks and disasters, but the latest has left her reeling. She’s faced with a tough decision: crumble and break, or rebuild and come back fighting harder than ever. With the help of the guys she loves picking her up and supporting her every step of the way, she chooses the second option. But as secrets and lies are revealed, even with fierce love on their side, it might not be enough to help Raven in the fight of her life. Can a secret that refuses to stay buried be the key to serving up the ultimate retribution to Cordelia and finding Raven’s happiness once and for all? Or is this a secret too far – something there’s no coming back from that will threaten to tear them all apart for good? *** Retribution is a contemporary New Adult reverse harem revenge romance, with some dark themes. It is told from multiple points of view and is a medium burn with a HFN/HEA. It contains hot guys, bad language, and sexual scenes. I would love for you to read this book, but please be aware that it comes with triggers, a warning of 18+, and you really need to have read Vengeance and Atonement first, as this is the final book in the trilogy.

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