Sunday, October 30, 2016

Movie Review: Inferno

I LOVE Dan Brown.  He has a way of getting me to Google everything he writes about.  I always finish one of his books knowing something new.  The movies made from his books all star Tom Hanks as Professor Langdon, the famous symbolist who uses history to solve a crime.  Inferno fits into his formula.  A billionaire madman uses the Malthusian theory of population control as a means of culling half the population in order to save the planet.  He develops a plague that will wipe out half of the people and then hides it.  Eventually the World Health Organization along with other governments who are interested in the weapon catch up with him and he kills himself, but leaves his weapon in a position to set itself in motion.  He has a legion of followers who believe that murdering half the world will save lives.  
Langdon to the rescue once again.  Without spoiling anything, he gets the job done using Dante and other artists/writers from Florence, Venice and Istanbul.

My Review: The movie followed the book for the most part.  I don't remember a character named Elizabeth (Hanks love interest) in the book.  I am going to guess she was a Hollywood add-in.  Tom Hanks is a poor choice to play the famous professor.  He is too old for the part.  Langdon is supposed to be in his late thirties/forties and Hanks is pushing sixty.  Despite the age, he does a decent job.  But then anyone can do a decent job because Dan Brown isn't known for his complex characters.  They are all two dimensional at best.  But that's not why I paid 13.50 for the ticket.  It's the mystery, action, and story line that keeps me glued to my seat.  And Hollywood delivered.  The beginning of the movie starts off with a bang and doesn't slow up until the end.  I was thoroughly entertained and engrossed in the film.  The settings are authentic and make me want to go on vacation to Italy and Turkey.  I would have liked to see more of a back story about the character Sienna, who had a fascinating life in the book, but Hollywood barely mentioned her genius status.  All in all, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves action.  5/5 Stars.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Brandon Zenner's The After War

The After War
by Brandon Zenner

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GENRE: Dystopian, post apocalyptic

NOTE:  The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour

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BLURB:

Two years have passed since mankind faced extinction.

Brain Rhodes and his cousin, Steven, are leaving the protection of their underground bunker for the first time, after a cataclysmic war and unrelenting disease ravaged the earth.

On the other side of the North American continent, young Simon Kalispell is leaving the safety and seclusion of his cabin deep in the woods, traveling with his aging canine companion, Winston.

For individual reasons, these men are traveling east, where the fragmented lives of a small number of survivors will soon be decided by the choices of a corrupt few.

Simon Kalispell and Brian Rhodes are not yet aware, but the strength that resides inside them will soon be tested, and destiny will call for their fates to be forever intertwined.

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Excerpt:

Brian Rhodes cracked open the solid steel trapdoor of the bunker, using his shoulder to carry its weight as he stepped up to the next rung of the ladder. A rush of warm, dusty air sucked down the entry chute, pulled in like a vacuum from the plank-board shed built to conceal the shelter door and the two men who had been hiding below ground. Brian kept his pistol at eye level as the metal door creaked, and a horizontal slit of light—real sunlight—hit his eyes for the first time in over two years.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Brandon Zenner is an American fiction writer and an Amazon best selling author. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon's best seller list many times. His second novel, WHISKEY DEVILS, was released in early 2016. THE AFTER WAR, a dystopian thriller, is available now as a pre-order, at 80% off the final sale price. You can follow the author on his Amazon page, or through his email list on his website. All email subscribers will receive his futuristic short story, HELIX ILLUMINATED, for free as a thank you. His genres of choice are thrillers, crime, dystopian, and science fiction.


https://www.facebook.com/brandon.zenner/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel


http://www,brandonzenner.com


https://twitter.com/SlapstickII


https://www.amazon.com/After-War-Complete-Novel-ebook/dp/B01JMS9CA4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1470471780&sr=8-4&keywords=Brandon+Zenner#nav-subnav



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Brandon Zenner will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.


NOTE:


In addition to the commenter prize, the author is also raffling off five signed copies of THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS (drawing will be October 21). Here is the sign up: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c4c89eb41/


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 17, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Pale Rider: Zombies vs. Dinosaurs by James Livingood

Pale Rider: Zombies vs Dinosaurs
by James Livingood

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GENRE: Science Fiction & Fantasy

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BLURB:

Two worlds collide in this action novelette. Zombies have destroyed civilization. Gasoline fuel is no longer an option, but humanity must find a way to survive. In response to trying to restore our way of life, we engineer franken-monsters. Because of their small brains and massive sizes, these beasts make quick work of farming and clearing land. These large creatures are immune to the zombie virus and perform excellently in loud conditions. They are easy to train. They behave like war horses, prone to help charge in and defend our livelihood.

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Excerpt:

Blues often hunt for weaker and sick humans. Standing your ground and appearing strong will scare off blues. In the beginning, we had become so used to being the top of the food chain, that the thought of being hunted was frightening. Most of the population ran, and that led to massive feasts. Furthermore, our distaste for mandatory physicals meant pockets of blues formed. Gun owners and others brazen enough to stand their ground often kept their ground. Yet, as humans became replaced, the blue’s tactics became more complex. Soon, only standing your ground with a gun was not enough. The practice still works in isolated regions, but the best escape from a blue is to retreat to a safe city.

New Eye City was formed for just that reason. Survivalists knew how to build flash communities, which would then focus on walls. As many of you know, gasoline fuel was no longer an option as the infrastructure collapsed around humanity. Cars, trucks, and farming equipment gathered rust from disuse. Humanity needed a new approach to surviving.




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

James was born in Montana, raised with three brothers, and provided trouble for two parents. In his 20's he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He then moved out to Seattle after college and started a life. In 2014, he started to write full time.

Author website: http://longtailwriting.com/books/

Author RSS: http://longtailwriting.com/feed/

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/longtailwriting

Author Google+ : https://plus.google.com/107058260672202172221/about

Author Twitter: http://twitter.com/longtailwriting

Author Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1592962.James_Livingood

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/James-Livingood/e/B00R39T9M6

Buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/Pale-Rider-Zombies-versus-Dinosaurs-ebook/dp/B00UORO2KS/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8  CURRENTLY FREE



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE



James will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Movie Review: The Accountant

Last night I saw Ben Affeck's new movie, The Accountant in a Cinemark XD screen.  It was my first encounter with this fancy screening and hope it won't be my last.  The picture and sound made the movie more enjoyable. 

The basic story is about an accountant who sub-contracts himself out to shady money-launderer types in exchange for huge fees.  His newest client is so-called "legit" (John Lithgow) and only wants to see why the books in his tech company don't match up.  As the story progresses, Lithgow has ulterior motives.
Ben Affleck's character was sort of like a modern-day Rain Man. Like Rain Man, he had a form of Autism and like Rain Man, he was brilliant with math.  He had issues with light and sound but managed to overcome it all through weird rituals he performed at night.  He had social problems, but did not have the tantrums associated with many autistic children.  Affleck also had unbelievable shooting and fighting abilities, making him a nerdy, brainy superman.  Without spoiling too much of the movie, he ended up saving the day.
My Review:  This movie had a lot going for it.  I loved the autistic element of Affleck's character.  It was somewhat credible along with being original and fun compared to most of Hollywood's one dimensional type of heroes.  I also loved Affleck's childhood back story.  As a little boy, his mother left him and his younger brother. His abusive father refused to accept his disability, raising Affleck as an aggressor instead of a victim.  His father never treated him like a child with a disorder which in turn gave him a 'ends-justifies-the-means' sense of justice.  Some of things I didn't particularly care for were some of the subplots.  The FBI girl's hunt seemed slapped together.  The hitman character who worked for CEOs also was poorly constructed.  Despite the movie's flaws, it was highly entertaining.  I recommend the movie to those who love action flicks with a decent plot. 4/5 Stars

 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Book Review: Captured-The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Expericence by Friedman and Marden

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting the famous nuclear physicist, Stanton Friedman, and famous niece of Betty Hill, Kathleen Marden, at the Alien Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. They were selling several books.  I bought Captured and had them sign the inside cover.  

The book is the true story of America's first abductees, Betty and Barney Hill, in 1961.  Perhaps others were at one time abducted in this country, but this interracial couple of 1961 were credible and had evidence of the visit.
Me with Marden and Friedman

The book is not written like a story, but rather like a documentary/persuasive essay in which Friedman and Marden set out to prove Betty's and Barney's story while refuting all those who have debunked the so-called abduction in the past.  We learn about Betty's and Barney's interracial marriage which was frowned upon in the early '60s.  They start their marriage off with an alien siting in New Hampshire.  A UFO came down and studied both Barney and Betty.  They were taken in the ship and medically examined.  Afterward, they went home and were hazy about the events that took place.  Their car had weird splotches on it, Betty's dress had a powdery residue and the zipper was torn, their watches stopped, and Barney's shoes were scuffed.  Both oft the Hills could not remember what happened.  Through dreams and then hypnosis, their memories came back.  Pease Air Force base got involved.  
Betty and Barney slowly revealed what they remembered aboard the spaceship.  Both of them shared a similar story that seemed to suggest the aliens were studying their reproductive parts.  Betty was shown a book they had written.  The characters in the book were unrecognizable to her.  The lead alien showed her a star map of where they were from that was later on drafted by Marjorie Fish.  Betty who was a social worker would not have had the knowledge of constellations to accurately make up a star map.  The planets and stars she described really did exist by the Reticuli.  Barney who did not want to make their siting public became active in civil rights and then later died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1969.  After her husband's death, Betty continued looking for other abductees and alien sightings.  There were a few times after the initial siting that the aliens seemed to come back, wanting to communicate with her.
My Review:
The story remains one of the most fascinating stories in modern day.  It could have been written in a more compelling format, almost like a novel instead of a scientific proof, but then maybe that was the point.  The authors went out of their way to make it sound like a report rather than a story so that it remained credible.  I loved how they included what people said about the Hills during the respective time era.  There were several pictures, drawing, and documents to go along with the Hills' story.  What if we were being watched by extraterrestrials?  What if we were one big experiment?  This is a must read for all alien believers.  5/5 Stars

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Cooking for Ghosts

Cooking for Ghosts


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GENRE:  Science Fiction/Fantasy, Magical Realism

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BLURB:

A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past. The women are surrounded by ghosts long before they step aboard, but once they do...

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Excerpt:

Somewhere in the Atlantic, 1949

In an ocean as dark and still as death, the Queen floated. The scythe-shaped moon engulfed in mist gave off only a dank tinge of light. Waves skimmed lazily along the Queen’s sides, like the careless caress of an indifferent lover. She was only fifteen years old, but she’d already witnessed so much misery: war, love lost to tragedy, and once, a vile murder that had left a stain on her no sea she traveled had ever washed away.
           
Now she was about to witness another. The killer’s rage was silent and patient. And yet, she could feel it. In desperation, the Queen willed her fog horn to blow…

***

Under the cover of the dimly lit stairwell on the deserted sports deck, the sailor waited. He’d timed it well. The watch wouldn’t make his rounds up here until after it was over.
           
Long before he could see his prey, he heard the click of her heels on the planked wood, echoing off the water as she approached. He pressed himself back further into the darkness as she came into view, her eyes focused on what he’d stolen to lure her, carefully placed so that it would be visible to her while he remained hidden. As she bent to pick it up, he stepped swiftly behind her and clamped his forearm around her throat, cutting off her scream and her breath as he pulled her into the shadows.
           
She felt her windpipe close up and the blood rush to her head.  She couldn’t twist around to face him, but ─ oh, God ─ she knew who he was. How ironic. In a life as mousy as the color of her hair, the one impetuous thing she’d dared do, would end her. As dreary as her life had been, she didn’t want it to be over.
           
So she struggled. She dug her nails into Death’s rigid forearm and clawed at the skin on his elbow. But he only swore at the blood she’d managed to draw and kept that arm hooked resolutely under her chin, dangling her legs up off the deck, pressing even tighter against her throat as she kicked. He shook her and she felt the cool night air hit the sole of her foot as one of her shoes fell off. The thump it made against the deck startled him. He lost his vice hold on her for an instant and she tried again to scream. He slammed his other hand across her nose and mouth. With a rush of stinging pain, the salty iron taste of blood filled her mouth, mingled with the smell of his familiar aftershave. Who’d have thought Death would come wearing Old Spice?  He’d groomed himself as carefully for her murder as he once had for her seduction. She went queasy with the realization that his arms were not the only part of his body that felt rigid against her.
           
But mere seconds later, she was too lightheaded to feel disgust or even fear. She now lay in his arms, compliant, his hand still pressed against her bloodied mouth and nose. Her head was tipped back as he continued to suffocate her and she could see the night sky, a depthless backdrop for the stars that flickered through the gauzy veil of ocean fog. And the moon looked like a grin. Lovers walking the decks below must think it all so romantic.  Dimly, she could hear the band playing in the ballroom. She was amazed she could even recognize the tune ─ a new one, just come out that year:
           
“Some enchanted evening, you may meet a stranger…” 
           
Her final act was to pray that he wouldn’t dump her before she was truly dead. As cruel as his arms were, at least they were warm. She didn’t want the ice cold water to be the last thing she felt.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Patricia V. Davis is the author of the bestselling Harlot's Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece, and The Diva Doctrine: 16 Universal Principles Every Woman Needs to Know. Her latest work, "Cooking for Ghosts: Book I in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy" first of three novels set aboard the RMS Queen Mary, is due to be released in October 2016.  Despite the diversity of Patricia's writing projects, they share the universal theme of "female dynamism," a term she's coined which signifies women taking positive action to support each other and better the world around them. To that end, Patricia also founded The Women’s PowerStrategy™ Conference:  http://womenspowerstrategyconference.com/

Website URL: http://www.TheSecretSpice.com
Facebook Contest and Updates Page: http://www.facebook.com/thesecretspice/
Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Ghosts-22The-Secret-Trilogy-22/dp/0989905640
COOKING FOR GHOSTS is also available at retail book outlets.
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2091952.Patricia_V_Davis?from_search=true
http://www.patriciavdavis.com/
http://twitter.com/patriciaVdavis
https://www.facebook.com/patriciaVdavis

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Patricia V. Davis will award a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter a $30 Amazon/BN GC.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Zombies Are Real: Voodoo Background for Rae's New Book

With the so-called zombie apocalypse approaching, one must be educated about the different kinds of zombies before prepping for defense. First, there is the most common and believable-the human that turns into a zombie because of mental collapse, disease, infection, and/or radiation. They stagger around dazed and confused and cause panic to others. Then there is the man-made monster kind or the kind Hollywood and horror authors like me tend to capitalize on.
Zombie interest continues to fascinate the world. Jeffrey Dahmer drilled holes then poured acid down his victim’s heads in hopes of creating his own zombie. His madness didn’t work. Can man make his own zombie? Are these monsters real?
According to Wade Davis, author of The Serpent of the Rainbow, zombies are real. They are a product of the Voodoo religion. He was originally hired by a pharmaceutical company to find out about the drugs Voduists used in their death rituals. He believed that datura also known as zombie’s cucumber was a plant that could medically make one who ingested it appear to be dead for a certain length of time. Sounds like the stuff Juliet Capulet used to fake her death. Could Shakespeare have known about the magical zombie-making plant?
Datura or sometimes Cimora, a close relative of Datura’s, eventually wears off but leaves the victim in a state of confusion, highly susceptible to the art of persuasion. Presto! A zombie slave is at the captor’s disposal. Mr. Davis didn’t just find his datura flower, but witnessed zombie phenomena as he immersed himself within the Haitian culture.



Revenge, Lust and Voodoo is a unique blend of paranormal, romance, and fantasy. Besides The Serpent and the Rainbow, I read volumes of other Voodoo material and watched hours of TV specials. Some of the terms I learned can be found below:

Bokor: A wizard who practices black magic, a zombie maker.
Loa: deity/spirit
Ghede Family: A family of loas known as the spirits of the dead. Three barons rule the family. Baron Samedi is the loa of resurrection. Baron Kriminel is the most feared loa associated with cannibalism and souls. He’s honored on The Day of the Dead. Baron LaCroix is the loa of the dead and sexuality.
Poppet: Voodoo doll
Ti-bon-ange: “little good angel” The part of the soul that represents a person’s individuality.
Gros-bon-ange: “great good angel” Part of the soul that is collected into a reservoir of the Cosmos or spirit world.
Baka: Voodoo spirits in animal form.
Loup Garou: werewolf
Djab: a devil
Dessounin: Death ritual that separates the gros-bon-ange from the body.
Bizango Society: Secret society of Vodouists. They have Freemason-like qualities such as aprons, secret handshakes, oaths, hierarchy, and symbols. Legend states they change into animals at will. They are known for stealing black cats and boiling them to death for Voodoo services. They drink each other’s blood from a human skull chalice.

Revenge, Lust and Voodoo is available for 3.99 on Amazon.

LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Revenge-Lust-Voodoo-Dina-Rae-ebook/dp/B01LX22TC3/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475445658&sr=1-1

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Real American Horror Story: Roanoke Island

American Horror Story is really scaring the heck out of me with their Roanoke Island themed season.  The story line is about a couple (Cuba Gooding and Sara Paulsen) who buy their "dream" house in North Carolina.  The house is dingy, but really cool.  I love the character of unique windows, floating stairs, and arches everywhere.  The house is in the middle of nowhere and has quite a history that comes with it.  Matt (Cuba Gooding) has his sister (Angela Bassett) and niece who stay with them.  The niece makes friends with a ghost and gets lost in the woods.  This of course happens after Shelby (Paulsen) also gets lost in the woods and finds a colony of ghosts.  Scary ghosts and symbols include animal-like children, pigs, old people, nurses, cannibalism and hillbillies.  

My daughter told me the Roanoke Island theme is based on a true story.  I looked it up and she was right.  
Facts:
John White, the appointed governor of Roanoke Colony leaves to England for more supplies. (Kathy Bates plays his wife and is left in charge per the show)
Everyone disappears (115-116 people) when John White returns in 1590.
The word "Croatoan" was carved into the fence.
The rings of a tree suggest that there was a drought between the years of 1587-1589.
There is no evidence of the group moving somewhere else or dying. 
An Indian tribe took over the area.  The tribe was called Croatoans and some believe the colonists were taken in.
The mystery still remains unsolved.

If you like the paranormal, check out Revenge, Lust and Voodoo.
https://www.amazon.com/Revenge-Lust-Voodoo-Dina-Rae-ebook/dp/B01LX22TC3/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1475372513&sr=8-4&keywords=dina+rae



XPresso Book Tours Presents: Christina Lay's Symphony of Ruin

Symphony of Ruin Christina Lay Publication date: July 25th 2017 Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Death is stalking The City. From out ...