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?

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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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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Movie Review: Isabella Tosto's Take on the Exorcist

The Exorcist by Isabella Tosto 
Tis’ the season of trick or treat, as the classic horror films continue to pop on cable T.V. After forty-two years, The Exorcist still remains one of the most successful horror movies of all time. This Warren Brothers '70s classic is bound to send chills down your spine. 

The movie consists of a basic plot line of an oblivious mother, Mrs. McNeil (Ellen Burstyn), who suspects the demonic possession of her daughter, Regan (Linda Blair), after realizing a rat problem was never an explanation (The Exorcist). Throughout the story, doctors continue to pawn off the bed shaking, growling and ever-so-obvious scratched look on Blair’s face as a “mental illness.” Eighty-eight doctors later, Burstyn goes berserk and demands an exorcism (The Exorcist). 

The special effects and acting are bound to leave a haunting impact. Moreover, the overall theme of testing faith is just as fascinating. The special effects give the audience a subtle sense of eeriness, as they jump out of their seats. Throughout the movie, clashes and thumps hint something bazar is in the house (The Exorcist). Demonic faces pop up subtly, but what really traumatizes the audience is the grand finale-final exorcism. When the doors break, Blair’s body floats up, and her head makes a full 360. Blair laughs undeniably and looks like a tranquillian doll, as green vomit lands on the priests. These effects may seem cheesy to the 2015 kid.  Nonetheless, they were revolutionary to the film industry. 
The movie was made in the '70s when people never experienced anything as convincing. The perfect timing of these special effects were done with ease and really enhanced the story. The acting on the other hand, only enhanced the realism of the effects, making them all the more enjoyable. The acting was superb, as it resulted in several academy awards. Twelve- year old Blair does a phenomenal job playing Regan, the possessed daughter of Mrs. McNeil. Regan’s character is rather complex because it contains multiple people inhabiting one body. For instance, one moment she is a sweet little girl, who loves her mother; the next she is the devil himself. Blair pulled off these character transitions excellently. For example, when Blair visited a psychiatrist due to her “mental illness,” the psychiatrist performed hypnosis and asked a series of questions, thus releasing the demon inside. This resulted in an astounding character transition, as an emotionless look is mastered by Blair’s face. The character transitions she made throughout this movie were remarkable, as if something had actually taken over her. 
Mrs. McNeil (Burstyon), however, played the loving parent role to a key. Although she was in denial about her religious beliefs, she later realized her daughter must be possessed by the devil. Burstyon gave up on doctors for once for all, as they continued to claim this was a “vascular displacement” in Regan’s brain. She hysterically cried, “Do you see her or not! She’s out of her fucking mind! With a split personality!” The look on Burstyon’s face could not have been any more convincing, as tears dripped down her cheeks. Burstyon develops a change in her character by giving up on the minds of men, and turning to God in hopes of finding a witch doctor. The character development that she created left the audience wanting more. 
 Blair and Burstyon are amazing actors individually, but do an even greater job of responding to the special effects in order to create a realistic vibe all throughout the film. For example, Burstyon storms into Blair’s room after hearing Blair scream from her bed shaking. Blair cries, “Make it stop! Mother, make it stop!” Therefore, Blair and Burstyon cry together, holding faces filled with genuine fear. The mother daughter connection that is shared is extremely realistic and heart wrenching, especially when life gets rough. The movie’s overall theme of testing faith is fascinating as well. In the beginning of the film, Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow) performs an exorcism in Iraq. He follows a light that leads him to the edge of a ditch, and finds a creepy head, representing a daemonic spirit on the other side of the ditch. This symbolizes shows that Father Merrin is called to America to finish what he started. It is interesting to find that the movie is about Father Merrin’s journey, yet he appears only twice in the film, once at the beginning, and once at the end, where, spoiler alert- he dies. This creates a mysterious aspect of the movie, making it all the more chilling, nonetheless enhancing the theme of God’s faith versus the devil. Once Father Merrin dies, Father Karras (Jason Miller) makes a bargain with the devil and asks to take him instead. Father Karras claims he has“little faith,” and is not deserving of God’s salvation, therefore, Regan is now freed. Throughout the movie, there is a constant struggle between good and evil. After Father Karras sacrifices himself to the devil, the audience is left to question the winner of this battle between good and evil. 
 This movie is a must see for all horror junkies, or even those who just love the classics. The acting and special effects intertwine together, like bread and butter. They are also suspenseful as well as realistic, giving the audience a subtle sense of eeriness. The overall theme of faith, however, is an extra plus that will leave the audience in awe.

Who are the Reptilians?

Short Answer: The Reptilians are a race of aliens that resemble reptiles.  They come from the Draco constellation.  They are some times ca...