Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: The Sugarspear Chronicles by Nicole Arlyn

THE SUGARSPEAR CHRONICLES
By Nicole Arlyn

NOTE: The book is FREE!
Rafflecopter for Prize Below!


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GENRE: Fantasy

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BLURB:


The Sugarspear Chronicles, the incredible twenty-six-novella saga that started with a little girl and her willow tree, is finally available in one complete collection.

The Sugarspear Chronicles: The Complete Collection is the story of young Sadie Sugarspear, a girl who endures intolerable abuse by reading about a fantasy world filled with incredible sights and outlandish people—a place she’s only ever encountered through her real father’s storybook.

One day, when the cruelty becomes too much to bear, Sadie runs away and hides inside her beloved willow tree. To her surprise, the tree opens, sending Sadie down into the abyss, into a land she’s only ever read about—where she must being a long, terrifying, and heartbreaking journey home.

Readers can now enjoy the entirety of author Nicole Arlyn’s dark fantasy saga in one complete book. This complete collection also includes a note from the author detailing the inspiration and events that led to The Sugarspear Chronicles.

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Excerpt:



The wind was ripping through the dandelion fields. The fence that stood alone shook but the blue flowers hanging off it stayed still. A pale girl walked on the dirt road through the fog and mud puddles towards the fence, her long brown hair slapping against her face, covering her green eyes that seemed blue when she turned them to the sky. She pushed her thin body through the wind, the black Rolling Stones t-shirt she wore as a dress blowing into her stomach. When she stood in front of the fence, the flowers finally swayed. Sprinkles of dew dying. Then she pulled them off, the crushed flowers in her hands, falling to earth. The wind never took them.

She sat on top of the fence watching the sky for rain. Instead she saw the faces that the clouds made morphing from evil to angel in one blink of her eyes. She ran her hands along the old brown wood, digging her fingertips hard in, crusted blood under her fingernails. She kicked her legs against the fence half wanting to knock it over and half wanting to fall with it, but it wouldn’t fall. She rubbed her thighs with the splinters until they burned and then made a fist with her right hand and bit down on it. She bit hard enough to stop her own tears. Only cry when the rain comes, she thought. That way the rain would wash away her tears and no one would know. She saw a caterpillar sitting beside her and picked it up.

“No one knows youʼre here but me,” she whispered. She laid the caterpillar where she found it. She opened her hands and kept waiting to catch the rain. She waited as the sky twisted around her, sealing her in a mist she wished only the sky could see through.






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AUTHOR Bio and Links:




Nicole is a writer and an actress born in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked in films such as Clay Pigeons, opposite Joaquin Phoenix; The Wedding Planner; and Brooklyn Bound, among many others. She has performed, written and directed theater productions in New York, Los Angeles, and Europe. She has also read her poems in many poetry lounges in Europe and America, and is a song lyricist for musicians.
After living in Rome, Italy, for the past several years, Nicole has returned to New York City where she lives with her husband and son. She is at work on more novels.

my authors page on Full Fathom Fives website:
(all buy links on on here)
http://fullfathomfive.com/writers/nicole-arlyn/

my authors page on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/NicoleArlynAuthor/?fref=ts

twitter:
https://twitter.com/NicoleArlyn

The Sugarpsear Chronicles webpage:

http://www.thesugarspearchronicles.com/

me on goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7315359.Nicole_Arlyn

Nicolearlynwrites on wordpress (building this up into a website)

https://nicolearlynwrites.wordpress.com/

Prize Raffle:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Showtime's Billions


Billions is a new drama about a billionaire (Axelrod) played by Damian Lewis who cuts a lot of corners, has inside information on stock trades, and revered among middle class New Yorkers.  His only problem is a prosecutor, played by Paul Giamotti, who wants to bust him for inside trading.  The case is the kind of case that advances political careers which is why Axelrod is such a target.  The first show in the series aired last night.  The story introduced the main characters.  Besides Axelrod and the prosecutor, there is Axelrod's wife who comes from humble beginnings and enjoys her new social standing, threatening others to keep it all in tact.  And then there is the prosecutor's wife, a psychiatrist who works for Axelrod's hedge fund company.  She is used as a life coach and motivates brokers who feel they are in a slump.  Her husband (Giamotti) wants her to quit her job because he is getting ready to arrest Axelrod.  She gets her hours reduced.  She and her prosecutor husband like kinky sex.

My Review: I love both of these actors and had a feeling they would pick a great script to star in.  Besides the acting, the story was good.  Most shows do not go into much detail about the Bernie Madoffs of the world, but this one made the effort.  
I don't know much about high finance so a few scenes were a little confusing, but it didn't matter.  I figured out something illegal was going on.  The show was a glimpse into the world of ambition and greed.  
Despite the gaudy display of wealth that Axelrod symbolizes, I found myself liking him.  He doesn't just consume.  He also saves those who are about to go under.  For instance, his favorite pizza restaurant was about to close, and he prevented that from happening because he liked the owner and the food.  In another scene, he gave the children of former partners who died in the World Trade Center full scholarships to college.  He has a Robin Hood flair.  Conversely, Giamotti likes to view himself as a 'superman' ridding the world of greedy investors.  He is far from altruistic.  He and his father set a scene showing how serious he is at busting greedy traders for the sake of the press.  I look forward to watching this on Sundays.  5/5 Stars


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Movie Review: The Revenant


The Revenant is a simple story about a man and his son who hunt animals for pelts.  The story takes place in the 1800s.  Hawk (Leonardo DiCaprio) flashes back to when his wife was murdered by the U.S. army.  His son was only a baby and is all that he has left in the world.  While animal hunting, a tribe of Indians ambush Hawk and his band of men with the intention of stealing the pelts.  More than half of the men are killed.  Hawk and a few others barely get away.  While they are in the rugged mountains struggling to get back to their base, Hawk gets mauled by a bear.  He is immobile.  His so-called friends are stuck hauling him around on a cot through the mountains, through the freezing temperatures, and through the icy rapids.  One of the men, Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), is sick of the extra baggage and wants Hawk dead.  The captain of the hunting party along with Hawk's Indian son will not even entertain the idea.  When Fitzgerald is left alone with Hawk, he tries to kill  him as he lay helpless.  Hawk's son intervenes, but gets killed by Fitzgerald who officially becomes the villain of the story.  He hides the dead boy from the rest of the survivors and then lies, claiming they are on the verge of an attack.  They leave Hawk in a pre-dug grave.  Despite the odds, Hawk survives.  He also survives an Indian attack, a blizzard, starvation, frostbite, and much more.  He's on a mission to get revenge against Fitzgerald who killed his son.  

My Review: Some movies need to be seen on the big screen and this is one of them.  The setting is almost like a character in itself-mountains, snow, ice, rapids, forests, and wild animals.  I wonder how difficult this must have been to film.  DiCaprio who just won the Golden Globe should be a shoe-in for the Oscar.  He brilliantly portrays a man who is determined to survive, if only for the sake of revenge.  He looks cold, scared, determined, and in pain during most of the movie.
I wasn't sure what the word 'revenant' meant, so I looked it up-a person who returns from the dead.  It's the perfect title.  But Hawk doesn't only return from the dead, he also sees the dead.  He sees his dead son at a dilapidated church.  He sees his dead wife a few times, once floating over him.  Besides survival, there is a theme of the afterlife and spirituality.
The movie constantly moves with action over dialogue.  Tom Hardy also pulls off a top-notch performance as the self-serving hunter.  He, like the entire cast, has little to say but speaks volumes in facial expressions.
I loved this movie and recommend it to anyone.  I'm still not sure about the ending-did he live or die? He sees his dead wife and follows her up the mountain.  
DiCaprio almost always makes a great movie, but this one is in a class all by itself.  It's actually based on Hugh Glass, a fur trapper.  Go treat yourself!  It's worth the 9-10 dollar ticket price!
5/5 Stars

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Jump Cut by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Jump Cut
by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Libby is giving away $50 GC!  Enter her Rafflecopter below!

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

Hired to produce a candyfloss profile of Chicago-based aviation giant, Delcroft, Ellie is dismayed when company VP Charlotte Hollander, the architect of a new anti-drone system for Delcroft, trashes the production and cancels the project. Ellie believes Hollander was spooked by shots of a specific man in the video footage. But when Ellie arranges to meet the man to find out why, he’s killed by a subway train.In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now dead man.

Ellie has the drive’s contents decrypted, but before long she discovers she’s under surveillance and thrown into the middle of a situation filled with drones, hacking, and Chinese spies that put her life and those she loves in mortal danger.

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Excerpt:


Chapter Two

Monday

Before my gangstah-rap neighbor emptied his AK-47 into his buddy, the most exciting thing to happen in our village was the opening of a new grocery store. The store hired a pianist who played Beatles tunes, no doubt to persuade shoppers to part with their money more easily. My neighbor, rapper King Bling, was helping his fans part with their money too, but the shooting ended all that. Once he made bail, he moved and hasn’t been heard from since.

And so it goes in my little corner of the North Shore, about twenty miles from downtown Chicago. There are benefits. The King, as he’s known to his disciples, gave our cops something to do besides ticket speeders. And the new grocery store gave me the chance to buy prepared dinners so I could dispense with cooking.

Both of which come in handy when I’m producing a video, as was the case now. We didn’t finish the shoot until seven. I raced up the expressway toward home, dropped into the store, and was eyeballing a turkey pot roast—the only one left—when my cell trilled. I fished it out of my bag.

“Mom, where did you get the shoes?” I heard chatter and giggles in the background.

“What shoes, Rachel?”

“The ones you gave Jackie.” My daughter, Rachel, had successfully, if unbelievably, graduated from college and lived in an apartment in Wrigleyville. Jackie was her roommate. “Everybody thinks they’re awesome.”



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Twelve novels and twenty short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. *

With the addition of Jump Cut in 2016, her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 4-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and three stand-alone historical thrillers that Libby calls her “Revolution Trilogy.” Her latest release, The Incidental Spy, is a historical novella set during the early years of the Manhattan Project at the U of Chicago. Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection.

More at http://libbyhellmann.com.

* She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony, twice for Foreword Magazines Book of the Year, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne and has won the Lovey multiple times.


http://www.libbyhellmann.com/

Author of Compulsively Readable Thrillers

The Incidental Spy, Sept. 2015: http://www.amazon.com/Incidental-Spy-Libby-Fischer-Hellmann/dp/1938733843/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439437050&sr=1-1&keywords=the+incidental+spy+hellmann

Facebook: facebook.com:authorlibbyfischerhellmann

Twitter: http://twitter.com/libbyhellmann

Google+: google.com:+libbyhellmann


BUY LINK:


http://www.amazon.com/Jump-Cut-Ellie-Foreman-Mystery/dp/1464205191/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1444748309&sr=8-1&keywords=Jump+Cut%2C+hellmann
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

George Dalton's Holding on to a Dream of Dreams-Review


Dalton's Holding on to a Dream is a sequel to Collision of Dreams.  Sam McClanton is back.  The first book left off with a happy ending.  Sam marries the woman of his dreams, Mattie, and they have a baby.  In the sequel he loses his wife but has a son.  He meets a new woman, Sally Jo, and eventually finds love again.  During the story many exciting things happen-he loses  his cow herd, gets scammed by a hustler, his best friend/ranch hand Juan almost dies, and his financial situation is grim.  Not to ruin the ending, but it's a happy one despite the curve balls that life throws him.

My Review:  I really like George's writing.  He knows how to tell a story and has a knack for slipping in a piece of history here and there without bogging the reader down.  Like the first book, I learned so many new things.  For instance, I now know what a bear sign is (donut) and the primitive ways doctors performed surgeries.  George deftly includes the problems with the fragile banking system of the wild west and the problems of the rancher.  The story has an undercurrent of faith in God.  As a Christian, it's nice to see the power of prayer in a novel.  I am not a fan of the western genre, but am a fan of Mr. Dalton and his cowboy, Sam.  I recommend this to anyone who likes to learn about the West back in the day while being entertained at the same time.  5/5 Stars

Goddess Fish Presents: Debra Holt Books by Debra Holt

Debra Holt Books by Debra Holt ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GENRE : Contemporary Romance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BLURB: Mercy’s Rescue   ...