Cover Reveal - Magic In Disguise

You've marveled at the world hidden under our very noses, discovered the four families of magic (Terra, Ethereal, Shade, & Elemental), and witnessed the well-oiled machine that is A.S.S.E.T (Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce).

Now, watch it all fall into anarchy unless one rogue agent can destroy the Weapon of Magical Destruction once and for all. 

It's time to reveal the third installment in this epic trilogy.

Book Series

Magic In Disguise!

 Magic In Disguise

Using the Weapon of Magical Destruction wasn't Sage's smartest idea, and now she's become the weapon she had been charged with protecting. 

Hunted by the shadow clans, and cut off from A.S.S.E.T., Sage is forced to go deep under cover, on a quest to collect the elements and people needed to invoke the Mother Goddess and destroy the WMD before it destroys everything she's ever loved.

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Haven't started the Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series yet? No worries. Grab this FREEBIE so you can meet Sage Cynwrig and learn how she joined the ranks at Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce.

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Two Major Franchises are Creating Exclusive Streaming Services. Is This a Move that Could Backfire?

Give people easy access to what they want, at a reasonable price, and they will gladly become your customer. It’s a mantra that has seen the rise of many an internet streaming giant in the last ten or so years.

And now, we have two new contenders for our viewing dollars.

Officially launched on September 15, DC Universe ($7.99 per month or $74.99 Year) is a bright shiny new streaming service that promises subscribers a mix of "new original live-action and animated series," along with "classic TV series and films, a curated selection of comic books, breaking news, an expansive encyclopedia, and access to exclusive merchandise."

We all know how popular comic characters are these days, and Warner Bros is jumping in with both feet in an attempt to capitalize on the DC comic franchises.  

Not simply a place to stream new TV shows and old episodes of DC properties. DC Universe also features "a rotating, curated selection of digital comic books" that you can read on your phone or tablet as well as plenty of merchandise offerings you won’t find anywhere else.

The crown jewel of this new streaming service is a gritty and dark series, Titans following
Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) and a rag-tag group of soon-to-be superheroes including Starfire (Anna Diop), Raven (Teagan Croft), and Beast Boy (Ryan Potter).

Their initial offerings sound tempting but it should be noted that many of the DC properties and blockbuster movies like Wonder Woman, Man of Steel, or Justice League are still under contract with other streaming platforms. It’s unlikely they'll be popping up on DC Universe any time soon. The same goes for the CW's Arrowverse. This undercuts the “exclusivity” angle this service is aiming for and if their initial offerings are not enough to hold consumer interest, it is likely they’ll see subscription numbers decline quickly. 

While DC Universe might have a huge mountain to climb to become a streaming giant in its own right, another major player, Disney is also developing their own exclusive streaming service. And unlike DC, they have plenty of exclusivity to offer right off the bat. Hello Disney Vault… Yeah, well played.

Disney Play - Will launch in 2019 (Estimated between $8 and $14 a month.)

CEO Bob Iger revealed that about 500 movies from the Disney library, along with about 7,000 episodes of Disney TV shows, will hit the service. 

The entire output of the studio, animation, live action at Disney, including Pixar, Star Wars and all the Marvel films. Star Wars and Marvel fans will have plenty to be excited about.

Jon Favreau is making a live-action Star Wars series that's set three years after Return of the Jedi. MCU fans can look forward to live-action Loki and Scarlet Witch shows, starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.

While Disney will launch with plenty of exclusivity, there will be some initial co-mingling of Disney owned properties as contracts and rights expire.

Netflix currently has a deal with Disney for the streaming rights to Marvel and Star Wars movies until 2020. This means after Ant-Man and the Wasp, there will be no more MCU movies on Netflix. Starting with Captain Marvel, Disney Play will be the only place to stream the franchise.

Netflix also holds streaming rights to the Netflix original series featuring Marvel characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. This is unlikely to change.

In addition to the Netflix and Hulu offerings, there will be some delay on Star Wars Movies reaching the Disney Play service. Television rights to Episodes 1-6 of the movie franchise are currently held by Turner Broadcasting, and do not expire until 2024

It should be noted that the Disney brand is considered family friendly (though they own studios that produce adult oriented content) so there won't be any R-rated movies on Disney Play platform

With all the exclusive content, these services seem like true contenders to the three giants currently dominating the internet streaming services. But I have to wonder if Warner Bros and Disney have considered the implications of adding to the glut of streaming services already available to consumers. What impact will this additional exclusivity mean in the digital marketplace? Would it have been more prudent to team up with a current giant and share in the profits?

Looking back at the impact of the rise of streaming media, there is a very clear correlation between cost and ease of access that allowed the current giants to get where they were.

In the early aught’s Cable reigned supreme offering upwards of 400 channels to consumers for roughly $200 a month. Then between 2006 and 2008 consumers were introduced to streaming services like Amazon Video(06), Netflix (07), Hulu (08).
Hulu, at $14.99 a month, promised next-day views of most current cable Television season shows.

Netflix, at $10.99 a month, promised full season binging at the click of a button as well as a huge list of popular movies.

Amazon, (Included with a Prime Membership) $8.99 monthly, hosted a seemingly unending library of movies, television, and niche documentaries.

Give people easy access to what they want, at a reasonable price, and they will gladly become your customer.

These three giants changed the way we watched television. Their offerings overlapped some, but each had its specific target and hit the bulls-eye every time. Cost played a huge factor in consumers adopting the new platforms. Combined at just under $35 a month, consumers could stream all three for a fraction of the cable bill they were currently paying and switch to a lighter, and easier to afford internet service bill.

The rise of these three streaming services had another unexpected corollary effect. BitTorrent, commonly used to share files and known as a marketplace for media piracy began to see a serious decline. According to Sandvine’snew Global Internet Phenomena report

In 2011, file sharing was huge on fixed networks and tiny on mobile. In the Americas, for example, 52.01% of upstream traffic on fixed networks and 3.83% of all upstream mobile traffic was BitTorrent. In Europe, it was even more, with 59.68% of upstream on fixed and 17.03% on mobile. By 2015, those numbers had fallen significantly, with Americas being 26.83% on the upstream and Europe being 21.08% on just fixed networks.

During the rise of the three major Streaming services (potentially unethical) file sharing via BitTorrent was on the decline. Pirate streaming sites like,, and, found their end between 2010 and 2012 (Some still continue to operate, though less trafficked today) as the three streaming giants beefed up their video offerings while keeping cost low.

Give people easy access to what they want, at a reasonable price, and they will gladly become your customer.

Today there are countless streaming outlets and smart TV’s capable of connecting consumers with the shows they want, but the top three remain so because they have grown and adapted with the times.

New players emerged during the rise of streaming, offering specialty content, access to cable television channels without the high price tag, and seasonal favorites only available through their connection.

Price: $11 per month, or $9 per month when purchased through certain services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Price: $15 per month.
Price: $9 per month.
Sling TV
Price: Sling Orange costs $25 per month; Sling Blue costs $25 per month. A combined package still costs $40 per month. Add-on packs cost $5 to $10 extra per month.

While these offerings are not a complete list, they are at the top of the list. They represent services that consumers use when they want exclusive content, and cancel when they’ve finished watching. HBO for example, with its hit series, Game of Thrones, sees its subscriber’s rise and decline yearly as the season runs its course.

When you add up all the potential channels and offerings, the resulting monthly cost begins to rise to the levels of Cable TV subscriptions. A fact the big Cable companies are aware of and use to lure consumers back to their annual contracts.

Along with the rising cost of accessing all this exclusive content, the corollary effect we saw between 2011 and 2015, with the decline of BitTorrent, has begun to reverse course in the last two years. The rising cost of specialty streaming services with exclusive content are beginning to push consumers to seek other methods of finding what they want without going over budget.

Too many services, not giving people easy access to what they want, while adding to consumer’s financial burden, will undoubtedly see their customer base dwindle.

The market is already flooded by an overwhelming assortment of specialty streaming services and piracy on the rise again. I have to wonder whether or not the exclusivity of these two new streaming platforms was truly the best idea. And as I asked above. Would it have been more prudent for these media giants to team up with the current streaming platforms? Would that have been the more profitable move? Only time will tell. 

Never let them see you scared. Never let them know you’re weak.

Pretty Little Werewolf
Sample Chapter 1

Nerves frayed worse than the ends of her shoelaces she kept picking at, Giselle Richards was in no fit state to deal with people, but that didn’t matter. As a minor, her life was dictated by the will of others.
Breathe. Just breathe. Giselle closed her eyes as the taxi cab came to a stop. She focused on centering herself, controlling her breath, being in the moment. Yoga had never really been her thing, but she did appreciate the way the breathing exercises helped to calm her wilder side. And today of all days, she needed that control. Walking in with hands jittery and shaking would be a dead giveaway of her nerves and, with a reputation preceding her, that would just confirm what everyone had to suspect – that she was a freak.
Never let them see you scared. Never let them know you’re weak. A mantra ingrained into the very fabric of her being. Life was tough for Giselle, and she had to be tougher. No matter how much she wanted to run screaming into the open desert. No. She had to go in appearing confident, with her head held high. 
One breath at a time, in and out. Slowly. Easy enough, normally. Today, however, not so much. And not just because of where she was. All it took was a quick glance up at the sky and she spotted it, in broad daylight: the beautiful roundness of the moon. Even now it called to her. It would be full come evening. The worst kind of monthly visitor a girl could ever have.  And it had to happen on this day.
New home day.
Just outside of the taxi cab stood the house that would become her new home. However long it lasted. Maybe a week or two… maybe less, after the moon had its way with her.
She’d like to imagine she’d live there longer. Great big two-story home. Probably four or five bedrooms inside. Maybe one of her very own. Now that was dreaming a bit too high. New room or not, the house looked nice, and obviously loved. Christmas lights strewn all over the yard were blinking in time with music. And Frosty and all his winter friends were waving from the curb. If only there were snow to complete the winter wonderland. Still, even without it, this home looked like a dream, with warm and loving people ready to invite her into their family. But Giselle knew better.
“You’ll see. This place will be wonderful,” Mrs. Perkins, her counselor said, a little too enthusiastically.
Giselle rolled her eyes, already feeling the pull of the moon calling her wolf to rise to the surface. Dealing with Mrs. ‘Perky’ Perkins was bad enough on a normal day… She really had to control her breathing today. Jenny Perkins just had to place her right away. Couldn’t hold out for a day longer. If she only knew how wrong she was.
Mrs. Perkins’ lips pulled tight with disappointment. “Oh, don’t be like that. This place will be wonderful.”
“You said that already.”
What the hell did that woman know anyway?  She didn’t have kids, and was certainly not a child of the system. Nor was she a freak of nature. Sitting there in her pretty pink pants suit with perfect blonde hair. Perfect nails. Perfectly stylish shoes. Perfect life to match, probably. If Giselle rolled her eyes any harder, they’d pop out and get lost under her seat.
“Fine, then. That sour puss is not going to help your situation any, but you’re still going in there and meeting your new foster family.”
The front door of the house opened, and Giselle watched a woman step outside. She spotted the cab and cracked a smile, but as soon as the she stepped off of the front porch, caution replaced eagerness and she took her time walking toward the car. Tall for a woman. Thin, but hiding it behind the bulk of winter clothes. She might have been mid-forties, Giselle couldn’t quite tell, but she moved with the grace of a younger woman. The look on her face, though, was more than cautious. She was worried, and trying to hide it.
Great. Just great! Here we go again. Breathe. You can do this.
Giselle’s reputation had already preceded her. How could it not? She might not even last the night let alone the holiday season at this house. Problem child. Weirdo. Freak. The echoes of all the terrible things she’d been called came back to haunt her, stealing some of her resolve. She fit all of the above and then some, sure, but it was wholly another thing to be called them. Hurtful as they were, she understood normal people’s fear. When you wolfed out once a month, literally, you couldn’t expect anyone, even the most well-meaning of families, to accept you.
Shuffled from one foster home to the next, she’d seen one too many a house like this: pretty to look at, but never meant to be hers. Her life had been turned upside down in the last three years. Growing up had brought more changes than she had bargained for. Most girls only had to worry about boobs and training bras during their pre-teen years. Maybe a few awkward days with stained clothes. She’d gotten all those gifts – and the added bonus of growing a bushy tail and a set of impressive canines each cycle. And as soon as that started, so had the revolving door of foster homes. Sure, they were all happy and welcoming at first; until they saw what kind of a freak she truly was. Then it was a race to get rid of her.
At least they’d been good enough to keep silent about her condition as they shuffled her back into the care of her caseworkers. ‘It just didn’t work out’ became her catchphrase.
Hiding her abnormality bought her a few months, but even then, someone would get wise and it was, “Sorry, but you need to leave.” Same old song, only the tempo of it seemed to increase each time it was played. 
“You planning on living in there?” The woman, her new foster parent asked, gazing expectantly though the car window.
Could she? Only two years left until freedom. Two more years until she was aged out of the system and on her own as an adult. If only. 

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