Saturday, November 30, 2013

Goddess Fish Presents The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

THE UNHOLY
By
Paul DeBlassie III

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BLURB: 

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.


Excerpt 

Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the world was about to end.

Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it; still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.

The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because she didn’t want to be noticed.

    

AUTHOR INFORMATION:


Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic.  He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. 



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Friday, November 29, 2013

Movie Review: Delivery Man

Delivery Man is about a man (David/Vince Vaughn) who finds out he fathered over 500 children through sperm donations during the 1990's.  When over one hundred of the brood become young adults, they petition the sperm bank to waive confidentiality results in order to meet their biological father.  


Before any of the legal stuff gets going, David gets his hands on his children's profiles.  One by one he seeks them out and attempts to help them in some kind of way.  He wants a connection.  One of his kids is a professional ball player, another one a drug-addict, and another one is in a home and confined to a wheel chair.  And so it goes, kid-by-kid he tries to make a difference despite being broke and average in every way.  Meanwhile, David owes some not-very-nice people $80,000 and has knocked-up his girlfriend.
As the lawsuit gets going, the children organize as brothers and sisters, forming Facebook pages and family reunion parties.  David legally wins to maintain his anonymity along with a huge amount of money from his counter suit.  He gives it all up because he wants his children to know him.
 

My Opinion:  If you are looking for laughs, this is not the movie for you.  Yes, it's got some funny parts, but also some emotional and uncomfortable parts.  What I loved about this movie is the emphasis on the important role that fathers play.  We live in a society that almost suggests that fathers are a nice extra in a child's upbringing, like frosting on a cake.  Fathers are not an upgrade, they are a need. This movie brings up the emptiness a child feels without having a father.  
Another theme bravely opens the door to the downside of science playing God.  This is something that could really happen.  Half-sisters and half-brothers could meet unaware of their DNA relation and procreate, committing incest without even knowing.  Overall, Vince Vaughn is growing as an actor-his 2D comedy one-liners are taking a seat to some real acting.  I really enjoyed the movie as did my kids.  Just about any man can father a child, but it takes a real man to be one.  Great stuff and very inspirational!  4.5/5 Stars

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Movie Review: Catching Fire (Hunger Games 2)



Catching Fire begins precisely where the Hunger Games leaves off-with Catniss and Peta returning to District 12 as victors.  She continues to hunt with Gale, but has obviously been affected from the games.  She hallucinates about killing a person while aiming for wild turkeys.  A touch of PTSD?  Not in the book, but I like the added touch.  
The audience is led to believe that Peta is out and Gale is in as they share a romantic kiss.  Her glory days are immediately cut short when returning home.  President Snow awaits and then threatens her because of her defiance of almost committing suicide (poisoned berries) during the last Hunger Game. He explains that this very act has become a symbol in an ongoing rebellion.  Catniss agrees to act like a promoter for the Capitol rather than a dissident, immediately offering to continue her staged romance with Peta.  
 

While on the Victory Tour, Catniss is greeted by crowds with an odd but unified hand salute.  SPOILER ALERT:  Fans, the movie people decide to end the foreshadowing while Suzanne Collins infuses more clues of how the districts plan for an overthrow.
President Snow, with the advice of Plutarch, issues a special Hunger Games that comprises of all of the victors who are still alive over the last 75 years.  Like all of the games, this one can only have one winner.
During training, Catniss and Peta find their allies-Nuts and Bolts, a couple of winners who won from intelligence and out-of-the-box thinking, Finnick, a champion who Hamish's picked for them, and lastly Mags, an old woman who won decades before but is a mother figure to Finnick and he won't leave her.  Joanna, another champion who is very outspoken against the Capitol, joins them later.
The special Hunger Game takes place on an island filled with deadly obstacles such as wild monkeys, lightning, poisonous fog, and tidal waves.  Through team work, they stay alive.  Nuts and Bolts help Catniss figure out the pattern of the natural disasters-a clock layout.  They devise a plan with electricity to ruin the game but fail.  In anger and desperation, Catniss tries something else.  Without spoiling the ending too much-and the ending is almost identical to the book, Catniss prevails.  But at what cost?  You'll have to read the third book and wait for the third movie.

My Opinion:  The special effects were outstanding.  Some movies have a video game look to them-not this one.  Like the book, themes of government oppression ran rampant.  I especially loved when Catniss was shot up with a "tracking vaccine"-think twice about getting unnecessary vaccinations!!!!!  The acting was superb. Jennifer Lawrence is quickly becoming one of my favorite movie stars.  She is so beautiful, but in a non-classical way.  At times she looks quite ordinary but then transforms into something extraordinary.  And she also has a body to die for!  The costumes in the movie surpassed the description in the book.  I loved the wedding gown/mocking jay dress and the fire outfits that Catniss and Peta wore to the games.  The book told the story through Catniss's eyes, but the director occasionally took the camera back to what the Capitol is doing, adding another perspective to the story.  This is my favorite book out of the three and my favorite movie for 2013-a 5 star no-brainer!  Oscar worthy?  Tell me what you think and leave a comment!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review of Divergent by Juliet Tosto

Divergent opens with five factions or tribes that make up most of Chicago.  Each faction consists of people with the same character trait-bravery, selfless, honest, kind, and intelligent.  Beatrice, the main character, turns sixteen years old and has to choose which faction to join.  
She was born and raised by the Selfless faction.  When she takes stimulation test on which faction she would best fit into, the results aren't conclusive.  She does not excel in one character trait, but three-selfless, brave, and intelligent.  Having multi-character traits makes one divergent.


Tori, the test-giver, deletes the results to protect Beatrice and warns about the dangers of being divergent.  On "Choosing Day", the 16 year-olds have to make an oath by cutting their palms with a knife and allowing the blood to drop into the faction they want to be a part of-kind of like creating an allegiance.  Beatrice chooses the Brave faction (called Dauntless) and leaves her family.  
Her initiation involves three steps.  The first is the fighting round. She lands in the middle of the group in terms of talent, but in the second round called the stimulation round she places first.  The stimulation is a hallucinogen that tests what one would do in certain situations.  Because Beatrice is divergent, she can control the stimulation and escape them quicker than everyone else.  
The boy who administers the stimulation tests deletes her results, again warning her of the dangers of divergence.  SPOILER ALERT: They fall in love and he is also divergent.  Like Beatrice, he is from the Selfless faction.  His dad is also a leader in the faction.  They share a common history in almost everything.
The third round is the fear stimulation.  This round forces you to face your fears.  Most people have fifteen fears.  Beatrice only has seven and her boyfriend only has four which dubs him the nickname Four.  This round is the most important of three.  She is ranked first of all the initiatives.  
After initiation all of the "Dauntless" or Brave faction are forced to have a stimulation shot.  Later on, she wakes up to find all of the other initiatives sleep walking.  She figures out that the shot was for mind control.  She is unaffected because she is divergent and plays along so no one knows her secret.  
The Intelligent faction is using the shot to start a war against the Selfless faction.  By the way, the Selfless faction comprises the government of all of the factions.  The Brave are therefore brainwashed to be used as soldiers.  Because Beatrice and Four are divergent, they are well aware of what is really happening.  Can they stop the war in time?
 


My Opinion: The book reminded me of Hunger Games which is probably why I loved it.  There is an obvious theme of mind control with a side story of romance.  The writer has a page-turning quality that got me to read this book in two days.  I thought is was ironic that the government was called "Selfless".  Obviously, the book is fantasy.  Nevertheless, I can't wait for the movie and have already downloaded the next book in the series.  I am a teenage girl and recommend this book for anyone who loves sci-fi thrillers and the Hunger Games.  4.5 Stars out of 5

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nymrod Resurrection: Goddess Fish Presents Hawk McKinney

NYMROD RESURRECTION
By
Hawk McKinney
 
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BLURB:  
Investigating an unlikely murder, Ex-SEAL and part time PI Craige Ingram discovers an officially sanctioned assassination.  His investigation quickly stirs beyond the dirty backrooms of the nation’s capital with more killings across Europe and the Middle East.  The dead woman is somehow connected to stolen artifacts from a time before Babylon.  As he probes apparently unconnected clues, he locks horns with an enigmatic enticing secret agent with her own agenda and her own way of doing things.  Craige faces train wrecks and deadly assassins doing business with a rich mercenary selling biotoxins, rare stamps, deadly nerve gases, and smuggled nuclear material to the highest bidder. As Craige peels away at the shadowy Operation Nymrod, he finds an elusive power-hungry dead-set mind – a driven obsession with a frightful arsenal of bioweapons ready to fulfill ancient prophecies with a very personal Armageddon that makes the monstrous last day of the twin towers of the World Trade Center pale in possibilities.



EXCERPT:  

            On the second-floor landing I spotted familiar faces from the department's forensic team.  The smell was worse inside.  With that first look I didn't need to be told that the pulpy lump with swollen pumpkin dimples where eyes should have been was one very bloated dead body.  The corpse was well into being recycled.  It no longer looked human.  The body had been cooking in the sweltering oven of a Dixie mid-August scorching summer in this dreary one-flight walkup of apartments with no AC and painted-shut windows.  Near the peeling paint archway and a worse kitchenette beyond I spotted Gray huddled with just over five feet plus, roly-poly Coroner-Medical Examiner Fred Dinkins.

            "What you got?" I asked.

            Gray indolently heaved a getting-paunchier fried chicken and beer belly and idly mumbled, "We’re not quite sure...." threw me that MacGerald we-got-trouble look.  "Right now all I know for sure is, it's no run-of-the-mill homicide."

            There was more in his look than his words.  It was all over his face that things weren't going the way he liked.  I’d known that from the moment I disconnected from his call.  He wouldn't have made the call for a squabble between drifters over street drugs or a grocery cart of scrounged throwaway clothes.  When a corpse is concealed, long term or otherwise and left to rot, decomposition can alter forensic evidence until it tells other stories—but not usually ones you want to hear.  Dinkins had his work cut out for him and his crew.  It’s one way perps buy themselves time, and concealment usually means there’s considerable more that went down.  In my wildest night-stalks I could never’ve imagined how right-on-the-money that would prove to be.  Ignorance is bliss…our SEAL team learned real quick. It can also get you killed.

            Without looking up Dinkins said, "One more pitiable devil that died alone.” Piercing blue eyes peered over his ever-present black wire-rim glasses perched unsteadily on the end of his nose.  In low-key measured words, "Prelim exam leads me to believe the corpse is female, but we'll wait till we get the body to the morgue, see what the autopsy and lab tests tell us.  I don’t want any second guessing the evidence. Besides, we’re about finished up here."

            The dreary apartment was busier than it’d seen in decades with double shifts of the forensic techs bustling-sorting the whens and hows of death.  The cracker box kitchen adjoined a corner next-to-nothing squalid dinette area furnished with a dirty Masonite wobbly table barely big enough for two.  In the front room the melon-round, no-neck head squatted square on the bloated chest of the oozing corpse.  The whole misshapen inhuman mess had sagged into the soggy sofa.





AUTHOR INFORMATION:

With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.

Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention.  Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.

"Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East."

Barbara Casey, President
Barbara Casey Literary Agency




Goddess Fish Presents: Harper's Place by Sheryl Winters

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