Thursday, December 31, 2015

Movie Review: The Intern

The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro, is about a senior citizen who becomes an intern for a start-up Internet clothing company.  DeNiro gets assigned to the owner, Hathaway, as her assistant.  She doesn't want anything to do with this program and gives DeNiro little to do.  He eventually becomes her driver and a friendship begins.  DeNiro is old school-dresses in suit and tie, doesn't gossip, helps everyone, and believes in a hard day's work.  His style rubs off on the other workers as everyone gets to know him. Hathaway even calls him her best friend.  The main conflict is about her giving her company to a CEO  or running it herself.  DeNiro, the feminist of the two, believes that she will take the company to high places, but she thinks the extra help will give her more time to save her marriage.  In the end, she holds on to her company and makes up with her husband.

My Review: DeNiro was clearly the star of this movie, playing a kind, smart, and hard-working man who is not good at retirement.  Like most of his performances, you forget that he is Robert DeNiro and get sucked into his world.  He is truly one of the most versatile and talented actors out there.  Hathaway is also good at as a successful business owner who tries to balances out her family life and career.  I liked the story.  It shows the positive differences between the young and old people in the work force.  The movie was sweet, humorous, and entertaining.  4.5/5 Stars

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goddess Fish Presents: Whiskey Devils by Brandon Zenner

Whiskey Devils
by Brandon Zenner

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$20 GC Raffle-Leave a Comment!
GENRE: Crime Thriller

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BLURB:

Evan Powers has become the new manager in Nick Grady’s well-established marijuana growing operation. Led by his roommate and best friend, little has changed in Nick’s secretive business since the late ‘60s, which is just the way the aging hippie would for like it to remain. However, Nick’s complex past comes full circle, thrusting Evan in a scramble to decipher the truth behind the enigmatic lives of the people he holds dear. Deep in the woods, demons will be unleashed.

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EXCERPT


We walked directly across the hall, to a second door leading to a second warehouse. It was like those Russian Matryoshka dolls that get pulled apart to reveal smaller dolls nesting inside. A warehouse within a warehouse.

Nick took me to the door and knocked.

My previous work took place down the long hall to the left, in a room around the corner in the rear of the building, and I looked over my shoulder to where I normally worked with Becka. She was nowhere to be seen. Whatever Nick was about to show me was entirely new, but I had a very good idea of exactly what was behind that thick door.

A sliding viewing port opened, and a set of eyes looked out. The viewing port closed, and the sound of a heavy lock clacked from the hollows of the metal door. A moment later it opened and we stepped inside, shielding our eyes from the glaring light.

“Holy hell,” I muttered, stepping into the room. The temperature was hot in there, muggy, and my eyes were practically blinded from the succession of thousand-watt high pressure sodium light bulbs lining the ceiling. A sea of tall marijuana plants filled the room, all set in carefully arranged rows, some attached to an elaborate hydroponic system. The smell of fresh marijuana was as thick as soup. A silver tray holding orange slices and a knife sat on a table by the door.

“So.” I turned to Nick. “What exactly do you need me to do?”



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Brandon Zenner is an American fiction writer. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was just 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon's top-ten charts within its genre many times. His categories of choice are thrillers, dystopian, crime, and science fiction.


Links:

Vote for this book on the Kindle Scout program: 

 

Information about the Kindle Scout program: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about


The Kindle Scout Page: 

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2LQVZULLLRYJM


Social media, website:


http://www.BrandonZenner.com

https://www.facebook.com/brandon.zenner

https://twitter.com/SlapstickII

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE



Brandon will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Goddess Fish Preesents: Commander Henry Gallant by H. Peter Alesso

Commander Henry Gallant
by H. Peter Alesso
H. Peter Alesso will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

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GENRE:  Sci-fi

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BLURB:

He thought Alaina loved him, but now she’s found someone else. A tidal wave of loss and grief swept over Henry Gallant, leaving him undecided about what to do next, or how to move forward.

Despite his sorrow, he goes on a dangerous mission to an invading aliens’ home world in the Gliese-581 star system. There he uses a neural interface to penetrate their communication network and steal a high ranking alien’s identity. Through this artifice he learns about their history and society, and discovers a way to hinder and possibly defeat them.

A side-effect of linking into the alien network—which was created for autistic savants—is that Gallant’s mind was stimulated and enhanced to the point where he begins to experience superintelligence abilities.

Upon returning from his mission, there is concern that Gallant might pose an even more serious threat than the aliens. While he struggles to fend off those who doubt his loyalty, he fights to win back Alaina.

This is the fourth book of The Henry Gallant Saga, but it can be read as a standalone story.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.

You can visit his Web site at: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx
_______________________________________________

Author Social Media:

Author Web site at: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

Goodreads Address: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/413852.H_Peter_Alesso

YouTube trailer for Henry Gallant Saga: http://youtu.be/2eciKOBFBSM

 Facebook for Henry Gallant Saga: https://www.facebook.com/TheHenryGallantSaga/

Amazon link for the Henry Gallant Saga: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011M9O9RC/ref=series_rw_dp_sw



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Monday, December 28, 2015

Goddess Fish Presents: The Reader by M. Pax

THE READER
by M. Pax

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GENRE: Fantasy
$40 Amazon Giveaway-Leave a Comment and Enter Rafflecopter!

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BLURB:

With the rift closed for the season and no more monsters to fight, Daelin Long gets bored as librarian in the podunk town of Settler, Oregon. A job interview and her brother's arrival present a tempting opportunity to escape, until her brother and her best friend, a ghost, disappear.

While Daelin searches for them, more mysteries pile up: dead people coming back to life, portraits of the town founders replaced with strange white trees, and people on the other side of the rift returning. It’s impossible. The portal that allows monsters from other universes to come to Earth is sealed until next summer.

The Rifters, a secret group protecting our world, believe the troubles are nothing more than the tantrums of an offended ghost. Daelin disagrees. If she’s right, the evil hell-bent on destroying Earth has new technology making the rift more deadly.

Before the monster summons the next apocalypse, Daelin must find it and destroy it.

Book 3 in the Rifter series.

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EXCERPT:




Daelin Long raked her teeth over her lower lip. “Why didn’t you tell me our sister sent you a package? We’ve spoken countless times since I moved here.”

“You didn’t tell me she was in so much trouble.” Her brother, Cobb, crossed his arms. “She asked me to be discreet and to say nothing until I met up with you precisely on this day. The lengths she took to guard whatever it is she’s hiding gives me the willies. What in all the mangled circuits on the planet is she mixed up in?”

“This town is full of peril and secrets, Cobb. The biggest is a portal in the woods. It opens every summer and closes on the fall equinox. That has to be the reason Charming told you to meet up with me today.” Today was one day after the fall equinox.

“How will what she hid help?”

“I don’t know. Hopefully, the hidden item will tell us.”

“Hope isn’t more than a wish to go on.” He examined the tools and crystals on the workbench. “Have I been sucked into one of those fantasy books you were always reading when we were kids? What does the portal do? Where does it go?”

“I wonder the same thing. Are we trapped in a book?” Daelin laughed softly. “The rift connects forty-two universes. She and I are in the Rifters, a group of people who guard the world against what comes through the portal.”

“Wh-why? What comes through it?”

His wide eyes whisked Daelin’s memories back to a time when he was small and terrified of rubber toy snakes.

“No snakes,” she said, “but I’ve seen monsters. Monsters that will have you wishing for snakes.”

“Ha.” He threw his head back. “Nothing can make me wish for snakes.”

She patted his elbow. “I’ll make sure you never find out.”

“What have you fought?”

“A head-stealing ghost and a swarm of volcanic killer ash bees.”

“What kind of bees?”

“Stones that morphed into killer bees in the sun.” She explained the creatures and the harrowing days they had threatened the town. “Charming returned to help win the battle, otherwise the whole country would be having bee problems by now.”

“Returned?” Cobb’s face scrunched up. “Where is she?”

“The other side.” Daelin leaned against the workbench. “I don’t know exactly what, but she warns of a great evil coming. She’s fighting it over there.” Alone with aliens. Her sister depended on an alien acquaintance to keep her alive. Sense didn’t always matter to Charming. It did do Daelin. She couldn’t trust a man from another universe she had never met with her sister’s life. No way would Charming fight alone much longer.





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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds and the urban fantasy series The Rifters. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She ghost hunts for fun with a group of curiosity seekers, docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen.

Learn more at mpaxauthor.com.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mpax1

FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Pax/115874581852313

 See what inspires The Rifters on Pinterest :  https://www.pinterest.com/mpaxauthor/the-rifters/

The first two books in the Rifters series can be read for free by becoming an M. Pax Reader. at - http://mpaxauthor.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=5e298cfbe42080a411dcdd9a3&id=c01a285202

AmazonUK / AUS / CA / DE / FR / ES / IT / NL / JP / BR / MX / IN
iBook / Nook / GooglePlay / Kobo / Smashwords / inktera / Scribd


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The author will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Monday, December 14, 2015

Goddess Fish Presents: Sunset at Rosalie by Ann L. McLaughlin

Sunset at Rosalie
by Ann L. McLaughlin

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GENRE:  Southern Historical Fiction
10.00 Rafflecopter Below-Leave a Comment
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BLURB:

SUNSET AT ROSALIE tells the story of a young girl, Carlin McNair, and her family on a failing cotton plantation in Mississippi during the early 1900s. The coming of the boll weevil and the sharp decline of cotton prices cause drastic changes in the life of the plantation and in the lives of the family members. Carlin adores her Uncle Will. But like the plantation, Will is doomed and his story is an important part of Carlin’s growing up. McLaughlin describes this part of Southern culture in vivid detail, which brings Carlin’s young life close and makes that almost extinct plantation life come alive once again.

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EXCERPT


Carlin pushed back her brown braids and squinted down the long drive, hoping to see Papa and Uncle Will riding up to Rosalie. The ball of sun had turned the sky yellow-white beyond the pine trees, and she lifted one hand to shade her eyes from its slanting light. They were late. The dark, live oak trees that lined the road made a shadowy tunnel between the plantation’s cotton fields stretching out green and white on either side. But there was no sign of Papa on Graylie, his tall mare, nor of her uncle, whom her father had gone to meet at the train station.

Soon Uncle Will would dismount right there, Carlin thought, and sucked in her breath as she stared at the black hitching post at the end of the red brick walk. He would glance up at the white house for a moment with its columns and wide front gallery, and she would jump up from her seat on the top step and rush down. “Carlie!” he would shout and stoop, opening his arms wide to enfold her.

Of all Uncle Will’s returns, from Paris or from New Orleans, this was the most exciting because next Saturday he and Carlin’s Aunt Emily would be married. Carlin could see the slanting letters on the ivory wedding invitations, with Uncle Will and Aunt Emily’s names at the top, the name of the church, the date, August 28, 1909, and Warrington County, Mississippi, at the bottom. The whole plantation was getting ready.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ann L. McLaughlin is the author of eight highly acclaimed novels including Lightning in July and Amy and George. She teaches at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland and lives in Chevy Chase.

Links

Websites
Ann L. McLaughlin
http://www.annmclaughlinwriting.com/index.html

Bacon Press Books
http://www.baconpressbooks.com/#/sunset-at-rosalie/

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/65645.Ann_L_McLaughlin

Amazon Author Page
http://www.amazon.com/Ann-L.-McLaughlin/e/B001K7ZSB8

Facebook
Bacon Press Books
https://www.facebook.com/BaconPressBooks

Twitter
Bacon Press Books
https://twitter.com/baconpressbooks

Purchase
Amazon paperback
http://www.amazon.com/Sunset-at-Rosalie-Ann-McLaughlin/dp/098630607X

Amazon Ebook
http://www.amazon.com/Sunset-at-Rosalie-Ann-McLaughlin-ebook/dp/B01620YC96

Barnes and Noble Paperback

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sunset-at-rosalie-ann-l-mclaughlin/1013605893


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book Review: The Fourth Reich by Jim Marrs


The Fourth Reich by Jim Marrs is a nonfiction book about the Fourth Reich that hasn't "technically" happened, at least according to main stream media, but is alive and well all over the world, especially America.  The author immediately points out that Reich means empire but reich means rich.  The inference sets up accusations that banksters are quietly running the world.  When business doesn't go their way, a war is staged through financial decisions.The First Reich happened under the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and lasted the longest from 962 to 1806.  The Second Reich lasted from 1871 until 1918, spilling into the first world war.  The Third Reich, arguably the most famous, occurred during Hitler's reign (1933-1945). Marrs spends a great deal of time explaining how the Third Reich did not disappear, but found a new residence, especially in both of the Americas.  He goes into the conspiracy of Hitler's suicide and the massive import of Nazi doctors and scientists under Operation Paperclip.  He even talks about Hitler's fascination with the occult and possible alien technology.  The Nuremberg Trials were a show for the world. The handful who were caught served marginal jail sentences and then once released were given high salaried positions for global corporations within the pharmaceutical and defense corporations.  
One of Marrs's most convincing aspects of this conspiracy theory is the trail of the same people tied to the government and national banking.  He goes into the relationships that set up the Federal Reserve, World Bank, and EU Monetary Fund.  In short, Preston Bush, Rothchilds, Rockefellers, and Warburgs are some of the same names that repeat during the Third Reich and post World War II.  He continues his theory all the way up to 911 when high-ranking employees in the banking, security, and transportation world sold stock the day before the Twin Towers fell.  Did they know there would be a crash?  Suspicious.  There was so much more to this very long book.  Not sure if I agree with everything Marrs had to say, but he did an amazing job in researching all of his claims.  I do believe that he is on to something very profound.  He is obviously a believer in New World Order conspiracy.  Instead of coming off as a crackpot, his writing is clear, backed with facts, and easy to read.  This is a great book for anyone who loves an alternative perspective to CNN and Fox News.  I will definitely buy another Jim Marrs book.  5/5 Stars

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Movie Review:Spectre-Bond Takes Down New World Order

The new James Bond movie, Spectre, leaves Bond without a job.  "M" is dead, but leaves James a video regarding her murder.  The movie begins with him picking up where "M" left off.  

The British Secret Service is undergoing several changes, including getting rid of their 00 program.  James and his colleagues might soon be out of work.  Without any support the Secret Service, Bond solves "M"s murder and takes down an international conspiracy plot.  
The villain is a global group called Spectre.  Their goal is to take over the world through satellites, drones, phone taps, and other security measures.
My Review: I am not a fan of James Bond, but my husband is.  Most of the movies are too light on plot and heavy on car chases for me to follow.  Spectre is in a class by itself.  The story is about the formation of a one world government sharing surveillance on every citizen, kind of like a modern day 1984.  Being a New World Order conspiracy fan, I loved the story line.  The villains were almost believable.
The opening scene hooked me from the first second.  Bond began the movie in Mexico City during a Day of the Dead celebration, hunting down a cartel member.  The scene had me on the edge of my seat and held my attention throughout the film.  
Daniel Craig never looked better.  His James Bond character had more depth in this movie.  We finally learned something about his childhood backstory.  His love interest was drop-dead gorgeous.  She reminded me of a young Kate Moss.  Another actor who caught my eye was the new "Q", a skinny, nerdy computer geek who was incredibly sexy.  The settings (London, Rome, Tangiers, and Mexico City) worked almost like characters themselves, adding eye candy to the film.  The movie was worth the price of the ticket.  Spectre is highly recommended!  5/5 Stars

Friday, November 27, 2015

Goddess Fish Presents: Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn-Is the Book Like the Movie?

Leave a comment for a chance to win GC!

Like many people, I love the 1942 movie, Casablanca, staring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as the ill-fated lovers Rick and Ilsa. In fact, one friend encouraged me not to include the word Casablanca in my title lest readers become confused and disappointed that Rick is not the main character in Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn. It has also been suggested that people may be interested in any similarities between the book and the movie, so how about a little contrasting and comparing?

Obviously, both are set in the same Moroccan city, but they are set in different years. The book is set in early 1943 in the weeks leading up to the first Allied Conference, after the Allies took control of the city through Operation Torch in November 1942. For Rick and Ilsa, Casablanca is still under German influenced Vichy control and the Allied invasion is just a far off dream.

Pieces of paper are vital to the plots of both movie and book. In the movie, letters of transit have people lying and dying to possess them. In the book, a secret coded message sets Kurt and Sarah, the main characters, on the trail of spies, double agents, and murderers.


Rick and Ilsa love each other desperately, but being together is not possible. Sarah and Kurt fight falling in love with all their might, but in the end they can’t help themselves. Kurt and Rick, both Americans, are men of the world who know they face long odds of surviving the tasks that lay ahead of them. Rick is in Casablanca by choice. Kurt is there because he is a trained OSS officer with special skills that no one else can supply. Sarah and Ilsa really have nothing in common in their backgrounds, but they share certain characteristics. Both women are ferociously loyal to their friends, to those whom they love, and to their ideals. 

Both Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn and Casablanca, the movie, begin in nightclubs, but the book’s action quickly moves into greater North Africa, including the cities of El Jadida and Tunis and the Tunisian desert. In the end, both the book and the movie reveal sacrifices that must be made for the greater good of defeating the Nazis.


While the book and the movie share a few similarities, the stories are on the whole rather different. If readers are familiar with the movie, however, they may be able to find the two very small nods to the movie embedded within the novel. Do you think you will find them?   

Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn
by Linda Bennett Pennell

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GENRE: historical fiction with romantic elements

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BLURB:

Casablanca, 1943: a viper’s nest of double agents and spies where OSS Officer Kurt Heinz finds his skill in covert operations pushed to the limit. Allied success in North Africa and the fate of the First Allied Conference—perhaps the outcome of the war—hang on Kurt’s next mission. The nature of his work makes relationships impossible. Nonetheless, he is increasingly torn between duty and the beautiful girl who desperately needs his protection and help.

Sarah Barrett, U.S. Army R.N., is finished with wartime romance. Determined to protect her recently broken heart, she throws all of her time and energy into caring for her patients, but when she is given a coded message by a mysterious dying civilian, she is sucked into a vortex of danger and intrigue that threatens her very survival. The one person who can help Sarah is Kurt Heinz, a man with too many secrets to be trusted.

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Excerpt:

“I’m Heinz. What do you want?”

“Oh. It’s you.”

“Yeah?”

“From the restaurant on New Year’s Eve.”

Kurt was silent for a moment, then it came back to him. “I remember. Sarah, right? You’re the girl who refused to dance with me.”

A red flush crawled from her throat onto the apples of her cheeks. “Yes. I’m sorry if I was rude.”

“I’ve been cut dead before. I got over it.”

The girl’s eyes glittered. “I’m sure you did. Are you going to keep me standing here on the doorstep for everyone to see?”

“Why? I’m not expecting company. Would it be a problem?”

“It certainly might if the people who tore my apartment apart followed me here.”

Kurt looked into her eyes with complete attention for the first time since opening the door. Whatever had happened to this girl, she looked terrified and angry. Not a particularly good combination for the covert activities he and Phelps were up to.

Kurt made a quick decision. He stepped back and pulled the door wide while raising his voice.

“You better come inside and tell me why you think what happened to your apartment has anything to do with me.”

When they stepped into the living area, Phelps had disappeared. Kurt gestured toward the sofa and the girl sat down.

Propping himself on the sofa’s arm, he looked down into her frightened eyes.

“Now tell me how I can help you, Miss, uh…” “Barrett, Sarah. US Army. RN.”

“Well, Nurse Barrett, what can I do for you?”

The girl stuck her hand in her coat pocket and whipped out a scrap of paper that she waved in his face.

“By telling me what’s on this paper and why it’s so important that somebody took a knife to my furniture.”


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother's porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, "Let's pretend."

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

"History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." Voltaire 


Books:

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel from Soul Mate Publishing
Confederado do Norte from Soul Mate Publishing
When War Came Home from real Cypress Press
Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn available 8/28/15 from the Wild Rose Press

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaBennettPennell

Website:  http://www.lindapennell.com/

Twitter:  @LindaPennell

Buy link for Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel:  http://amzn.to/16qq3k5
Buy link for Confederado do Norte:  http://amzn.com/B00LMN5OMI
Buy ink for When War Came Home: http://amzn.com/B010RXNZRO
Buy link for Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn



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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Goddess Fish Presents: The Santa Clause Man by Alex Palmer

The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York by Alex Palmer Name

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GENRE: History/True Crime
Alex is giving away 20 and 10 dollar GCs!


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BLURB:


Before the charismatic John Duval Gluck, Jr. came along, letters from New York City children to Santa Claus were destroyed, unopened, by the U.S. Post Office. Gluck saw an opportunity, and created the Santa Claus Association. The effort delighted the public, and for 15 years money and gifts flowed to the only group authorized to answer Santa’s mail. Gluck became a Jazz Age celebrity, rubbing shoulders with the era’s movie stars and politicians, and even planned to erect a vast Santa Claus monument in the center of Manhattan — until Gotham’s crusading charity commissioner discovered some dark secrets in Santa’s workshop.

The rise and fall of the Santa Claus Association is a caper both heartwarming and hardboiled, involving stolen art, phony Boy Scouts, a kidnapping, pursuit by the FBI, a Coney Island bullfight, and above all, the thrills and dangers of a wild imagination. It’s also the larger story of how Christmas became the extravagant holiday we celebrate today, from Santa’s early beginnings in New York to the country’s first citywide Christmas tree and Macy’s first grand holiday parade. The Santa Claus Man is a holiday tale with a dark underbelly, and an essential read for lovers of Christmas stories, true crime, and New York City history.

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Excerpt:

It’s impossible to say who wrote the first Santa letter, but it was almost certainly from the mythical saint, not to him.

From the earliest conception of Santa Claus in the United States, parents used the voice of St. Nicholas as a means of providing advice and encouraging good behavior in their children. The earliest reference to a Santa letter in America that I could find came from Theodore Ledyard Cuyler, recalling his childhood in 1820s Western New York when he “once received an autograph letter from Santa Claus, full of good counsels.”

Fanny Longfellow (wife of poet Henry Wadsworth) regularly wrote her children Santa letters, commenting on their behavior over the preceding year. “I am sorry I sometimes hear you are not so kind to your little brother as I wish you were,” she wrote to her son Charley on Christmas Eve 1851.

Soon enough, children started writing back, generally placing their letters on the fireplace, where they believed smoke would transport the message to St. Nick.

By the 1870s, scattered reports appeared of the receipt of Santa letters by local post offices. But with no actual fur-coated toymaker to receive his mail, each January, the department destroyed them.

It was a depressing business. But, officials asked, if mailmen began delivering Santa’s letters, to which other fictional characters would mail be shuttled?

In the face of negative publicity, however, New York City’s postmaster finally relented. Every year, for the entire month of December, any approved organization could answer Santa’s mail. No one volunteered. Then, in 1913, just as the Post Office was about to give up, a man named John Duval Gluck stepped forward. He’d be Santa Claus.

He was also a con artist.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Alex Palmer is the author of The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York, called "required reading" by the New York Post and "highly readable" by Publishers Weekly.

Available at:

Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Claus-Man-Invention-Christmas/dp/1493008447/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430324363&sr=1-7
Barnes & Noble - http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Claus-Man-Invention-Christmas/dp/1493008447/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430324363&sr=1-7
IndieBound - http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781493008445


It tells the history of Christmas in America through the true-crime tale of a Jazz Age hustler who founded an organization to answer children's Santa letters -- and fuel his own dark dreams. Palmer curated an exhibit about this Santa Claus Association for Brooklyn's City Reliquary Museum, earning attention from the Village Voice, Time Out New York, and inspiring a memorable segment on WNYC (http://wny.cc/1bQIx5k).

The son of two teachers, Palmer's love of learning and sharing surprising stories behind familiar subjects has led him to become a secret-history sleuth. In addition to The Santa Claus Man, he is the author of Weird-o-pedia: The Ultimate Collection of Surprising, Strange, and Incredibly Bizarre Facts About (Supposedly) Ordinary Things, published in 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing. it offers up a wealth of unexpected facts of familiar things. His first book, Literary Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Literature, takes a look at some of the more colorful aspects of great writers and their works, and was published in 2010 by Skyhorse.

He is a full-time freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Slate, Rhapsody, Smithsonian, Vulture, the New York Daily News, Publishers Weekly, and The Rumpus, among others.

See more at www.alexpalmerwrites.com and follow him @theAlexPalmer.





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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Alex will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.



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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Big Pharma, Big Agri, Big Conspiracy is FREE!



Ever wonder why the world's food supply is controlled by a handful of people? Why are pharmaceuticals are so expensive? Curious about GMOs or black label warnings? This book is an ode to those who suspect something sinister about the quasi-monopolies of the world's food and drug corporations. Is this another layer to New World Order advancement? Big Pharma, Big Agri, Big Conspiracy is a collection of legitimate research that might make you think twice about crackpot conspiracies.
Download a free copy from November 22-26!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday the 13th-A Parisian Horror Story-Is there a Knights of Templar Connection?

By now everyone has seen the horrors that happened yesterday on Friday the thirteenth in Paris.  No one has been talking about the significance of the date.  Could there be some symbolism going on?  The terrorists like to tie there executions in with numerology and history.  So what happened on Friday the 13th in France?

Knights of Templar
In 1307 the French king ordered the arrest of Jaques de Molay and other Knights of Templar.  After months of torture, many broke down and confessed to trumped up charges.  Jaques de Molay refused to confess.  He cursed the pope and the king up until his death when he and the captured Knights burned on a stake.  One month later the pope died.  By the year's end the king died in a hunting accident.
Even though this event took place in October, the 13th didn't fall on a Friday last month.  Was November 13th, Friday, chosen for this reason?  The Templars were accused of denouncing God, homosexuality, and worshipping idols.  Hmm, this sounds like some of our ideals of today.  The Knights were also blamed for several financial claims as well.  Does ISIS hate the way we set up our economy?  Aren't our western ideals of today one of the many reasons that ISIS hates us so much?  
The Knights' supposed lack of morality was just a cover story.  Both the king and the pope wanted a legal way to take their money.  One month after the arrest, Pope Clement then issued a papal bull to seize all of their assets.  Could this war on the West be an attempt to take over the wealth and natural resources?   The Knights of Templar were known for their wealth.  They made a fortune guarding the pilgrim routes to Jeruselem.  Rumors claimed they found King Soloman's treasures as well.

Am I on to something or am I barking up the wrong tree?  My thoughts and prayers are with the French people.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Goddess Fish Presents: The Face Transplant by R. Arundel

The Face Transplant
by R. Arundel

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GENRE: Medical Suspense Thriller
$50 GC Giveaway Raffle Below!  Comment for chance to win!

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BLURB:

The Face Transplant

An epic journey of suspense, murder, and sacrifice

Dr. Matthew MacAulay is a facial transplant surgeon at a prestigious New York hospital. When his friend and mentor, Tom Grabowski, dies under mysterious circumstances, Matthew uncovers his friend’s secret: a new technique that allows perfect facial transplants. No incisions, no scars. Tom was able to accomplish this monumental feat with the help of Alice, a supercomputer robot with almost human abilities. While trying to find the people responsible for murdering Tom, Matthew realizes he is the prime suspect. He must flee for his life with the help of Dr. Sarah Larsson, a colleague and reluctant helper, who has a secret of her own, and Alice, who helps them make sense of a baffling series of seemingly unrelated events. The clues carry Matthew and Sarah around the world. They stumble onto a sinister plot of monumental proportions that leads Matthew all the way to the White House.

The Face Transplant is a powerful medical suspense thriller of the first order. The novel was written by a surgeon who weaves politics, medicine, and espionage into a tightly paced, intelligent thriller.


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Excerpt:

The man in the black fedora is going to kill Matthew MacAulay. It will bring him no joy. It will bring him no sadness. It is just something he has to do. He knows this one should feel different, but it does not. He sees Matthew and begins to approach him. He is very excited; it feels almost sexual. The small pin he carries in his right palm is a work of art. It is a two-inch-long needle with a hollow core. It is very difficult to have this manufactured. The mechanical specifications are exacting because the point is so fine it is invisible to the human eye.

He has to be careful with the point. If anyone looks closely at his right hand, they may notice a thick flesh-toned pad on his palm with a needle flat against it. As soon as he pushes the small button, the needle will become erect. The needle will penetrate Matthew’s skin and the plunger will inject the microdroplets. The amount is less than two grains of salt. Eight hours later Matthew will be dead. It will be relatively painless. Matthew’s muscles will violently constrict; it will be over in two minutes. Maybe it will not be so painless, but less pain than Matthew is causing him with his inquiries.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
  
R. Arundel is a practising surgeon. This experience brings realism to the story. The novel asks what would happen if a surgeon were to develop the perfect face transplant.  This would allow people to have a new face, in essence create a new identity. You can create the perfect double, the perfect Doppelganger.

Contact link: http://www.amazon.com/R-Arundel/e/B00EBCQVEC

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE BOOK, go here: http://www.thefacetransplant.com/contact.html FILL OUT THE FEEDBACK AND MARK SUBSCRIBE.

~~~~~~INTERVIEW 7
What is something you’ve lied about?
Can’t remember .
Who is the last person you hugged?
My partner.
What are you reading now?
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I usually start with a title, but when the book is finished I then change it. A title tries to encompass the entire novel in a few words. Hard to do.
Share your dream cast for your book.
All unknown actors. I don’t want preconceived notions about the actors influencing how the audience would receive the story.~~~~~~~


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