Saturday, December 30, 2017

Review: Jumanji

I got to see Jumanji a couple of days ago with my kids.  I remember the original movie with Robin Williams.  Like the 1996 film, Jumanji is a game that becomes a reality for its players.  However, there are several updates within this movie.  For one, Jumanji is a video game the players get sucked into instead of a board game from the '90s.  The players become other people based on the characters/avatars they pick out.  They have a mission with various levels, just like a video game.  There is a little film in the video game that explains the game and what the players are supposed to do.  In this Jumanji, the players need to get the emerald eye that was taken from the jaguar statue and put it back so the curse of the jungle will be lifted.  Throughout the movie, there was action, humor, and adventure.

My Review: I like this Jumanji better than the one with Robin Williams.  The Rock, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, and the other actors were terrific.  This remake is well done and a great family movie to take in on the big screen.  4/5 Stars.  Fun flick!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Movie Review: Star Wars 2017

I've been on a mission to see every movie!  So far, I've seen four in the last three days.  I will start with the first movie that I saw, Star Wars (2017).  This is the most recent installment of George Lucas's space opera/epic.  The movie picks up where the 2015 Star Wars left off-Rae finds Luke Skywalker on a mountain and Lea is fighting off the Evil Empire with the rebel forces.  While Rae is on the island, Luke doesn't seem to eager to train her on how to be a Jedi.  She has shown a great deal of talent by moving things with her mind.  She also tele-communicates with Ben Solo (Darth Vader's grandson/Lea and Hans Solo's son).  Yoda eventually talks some sense into Luke and he starts to train her.  He is extremely impressed with her potential.  The audience eventually learns about the relationship between Luke and his nephew, Ben Solo.  Meanwhile, Lea and her troops are fighting off the Evil Empire in space as they surround her space station.  Without spoiling the movie, both storylines merge and leave room for another movie.

My Review: I love Daisy Ridley as the new Jedi.  She's gorgeous and fierce.  Everyone was amazing.  I know they continued filming the movie after Carrie Fisher died, but the way it was done I couldn't tell where the computers and director filled in and when she was filmed.  This movie is probably my favorite of all of the Star Wars.  The script, direction, special effects, and acting effortlessly pulled both old fans and new fans together while ensuring a cinema dynasty for decades to come.  Well done-a must see on the big-screen.  5/5 Stars  More reviews to follow!

Friday, December 22, 2017

XPresso Tours Presents: A Harmless Little Game by Meli Raine

A Harmless Little Game
Meli Raine
(Harmless, #1)
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Four years ago I lost my virginity on live, streaming television.
Too bad I wasn’t awake for it.
The video went viral. Of course it would. A Senator’s daughter on camera? Wouldn’t you click “share”? Besides, that’s what three of the four guys in the video did.
They shared me.
But that fourth guy? The nondescript one in the background in the upper left corner of the screen, just sitting on the couch? The only one who did nothing?
Not one single thing.
That was my boyfriend, Drew.
And that was the last time I saw him.
Until today, when my father—now on a path to the White House—hired him as head of security for my new team as I return home after four years of “recovering” in an undisclosed location that involved white lab coats, needles, pills and damage control.
You see, the other three guys never went to jail. Never had charges pressed.
Never faced consequences.
Until today.
Game on.
* * *
A Harmless Little Game is the first in this political thriller/romantic suspense trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.
FREE for a limited time only!
Short, clipped chestnut hair. Brown eyes the color of well-worn leather, eyes that blaze with intelligence and a guardedness no one could ever breach. He’s bigger than the last time I saw him, four years ago. Broader. More muscular. He’s a controlled, contained man who has a James Bond air to him.
And he’s looking at me right now with eyes so cold they might as well be icebergs.
“Lindsay, let me introduce you to Andrew,” Stacia starts.
Drew. Oh, God, it’s true.
“Andrew Foster will be your new security specialist. He and his team will keep you safe.”
I snort.
He stares.
Stacia’s eyes leap from Drew to me and back. “Is there a problem?” she asks, brows turning down. That’s more emotion than I’ve seen in her for four years. Her gaze darts between me and Drew, assessing the situation. No matter what, I lose if she decides something’s going sour here.
Even if Drew is the one gone bad.
“No.” Drew and I say the word at the exact same moment, in the same tone of voice. It sounds like a sharp clap, a single sound that shatters noise.
“You two know each other?” Stacia asks, her fingers caressing the paper. Without that discharge form, I can’t leave. If Drew ruins this for me, it will be the second time in my life he’s fucked up.
The first time was four years ago when he let three of our friends rape me.

Author Bio:
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.
Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Ghost Stories Straight Outta New Orleans

Anne Rice's old house in Garden District
A few weeks ago I went to New Orleans with my husband.  We both never been, so were especially excited about the food, culture, and haunted history.  We took several tours, and even saw Anne Rice's old mansion.  The ghost tour was by far our favorite.  Of all of the stories, two stand out.
Ghost Story One:
Omni Hotel-A young couple who lived in the French Quarter was the most recent of the gory stories our guide had to tell.  Zack and Addie refused to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina.  They soon became a millennial fave among young people as the two love birds drank and drugged their way through every reality TV/MTV special.  No one was aware that Addie was probably bipolar and Zack suffered from PTSD.  The couple constantly fought, broke up, and then reunited.  After their last fight, Addie 'left' and Zack proceeded to get loaded at the Omni Hotel.  He charged up over a thousand dollars and then jumped off of the roof.  The police checked out his apartment.  Addie's blood was splattered all over the bathroom, her head was boiling in a pot, and her torso was cooking in the oven.  Other body parts were chilling in the fridge.
Ghost Story 2: LaLaurie Mansion
This was my favorite story over the course of the vacation.  American Horror Story fans know all about Delphine LaLaurie as interpreted by Kathy Bates during the Coven series a few years back.  Sadly, the fictional version was not that far away from the truth.  Delphine LaLaurie married Doctor LaLaurie, both of whom were stinking rich.  They had a staff of twenty-five slaves within their New Orleans mansion.  If you saw the mansion, you'd wonder why so many slaves.  The beautiful house sat on a small piece of property.  The tour guide said that a city house the same size would warrant four or five slaves.  
The LaLauries loved to entertain.  Their staff of twenty-five slaves was constantly changing.  The turnover attracted several whispers among high society.  Also, Madame LaLaurie hit her slaves in public which was against a city ordinance back in those days.  Finally the evil this married couple participated in was revealed during a party.  
There was a fire.  The fire department ordered the LaLauries to open the iron attic door which they refused.  The fire department and then the police department hacked it down and discovered a first rate horror show.  Slaves were tied up with their intestines, some were nailed to the wall, others were hacked up with their extremities sewn in different places on their bodies.  Some were impaled or set up to be impaled, etc.  The list of gruesome torture went on and on. Anyway, the police took too long to arrest the LaLauries and they got away.  Later on, more slaves both dead and alive were discovered in between the 2nd and 3rd floor boards.  The house is said to be the most haunted house in America.
The man slammed the door in our face because we would not pay 20.00 cover

Many people have owned the house, but only for short amounts of time.  Currently, a billionaire owns the place, but hardly ever stays there.  Before the current owner, Nicholas Cage owned the house.  He lost it by not paying the property taxes.  Believing he was cursed, he consulted with a psychic and was told he had to be buried next to Marie LaVeau, the famous Voodoo priestess.  He paid the family members next to LaVeau to move their relatives and bought his future tomb. My husband and I drove over to the cemetery the next day to see Cage's and LaVeau's tombs.  The man slammed the door in our faces because we would  not pay an 'entry fee' in a public cemetery.  BTW-Nicholas Cage has also been implicated as a real time traveler, but that's another blog posting.
Love New Orleans!  Hope to someday go back!
Better pic of Cage's pyramid tomb-total Illuminati-ish!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Expresso Book Tours Presents: Randi Cooley Wilson's Nox

Randi Cooley Wilson
(The Royal Protector Academy #3)
Publication date: January 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Love has revived an ancient war
Jealousy has risen and torn lives apart
And one prophecy demands the ultimate sacrifice

What if rewriting your destiny means that you must sacrifice the one you love? Serena St. Michael has forsaken her future—for him. Tristan Gallagher has renounced the throne—for her. The Vergina Sun prophecy has been fulfilled, but at what cost? Their love has renewed an ancient war. With Serena gone, will Tristan save her in time? Or will the dark army of Diablo Fairies descend upon the Royal Protector Academy, destroying the London clan’s legacy and ending the existence of the gargoyle race forever?
Nox is the final novel in the Royal Protector Academy series. This dangerously exciting and darkly romantic conclusion will take your breath away. It can be read as a stand-alone trilogy or after the bestselling Revelation series. Intended for mature readers (18+) due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.
The Royal Protector Academy novels are a serial trilogy meant to be read in order:
Vernal (Book #1)
Aequus (Book #2)
Nox (Book #3)

Author Bio:
Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and "Covetousness" a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.


Monday, December 11, 2017

XPresso Presents The Second Window by Erica Kiefer

The Second Window
Erica Kiefer
Published by: CTP Pulse
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
As her senior year flies by on cruise control, seventeen-year-old Olivia Cole yearns for excitement—something her upscale private school no longer provides. Her job as a grocery store bagger isn’t much help…until the day she has a bizarre exchange with the cagey town recluse. When the woman abruptly surrenders to the police, Olivia feels compelled to dig deeper into her perplexing story. But the investigation stalls when Olivia receives another piece of news—Andre Steele, the golden boy of Westmont and her previous tormentor, has unexpectedly returned from his four-year stay in Brazil—and the whole school is buzzing! All at once, Olivia’s dull and predictable life is uprooted, and she wonders if “boring” was so bad after all.
A stranger to me, I knew nothing about Jodie except that she lived on the outskirts of town. People referred to her as a hermit because she rarely ventured from her home, and when she did, it seemed only long enough to purchase groceries. She was nobody important to me—just the occasional name carried through the wind when there was nothing else to talk about. However, like clockwork, I bagged her scant items every Thursday at four PM. The odd interactions I’d have with the woman would sometimes be the most interesting part of my shift at Wayland’s, a discounted store that served as employment during the summer, and now into my senior year.
I met her eyes again, which seemed to never leave mine, peering at me with an intense silence that I couldn’t explain. She didn’t frighten me, exactly. On the contrary, there was a meekness about her that suggested her gentle nature. While she hardly smiled, she didn’t have a mean face. It was more like the bland expression of a person who had little to smile about. Yet I wondered at her reservation, certain she had more to say than she ever allowed.
Jodie’s slender fingers pulled cash from her wallet and she handed over the bills. When she turned to me once more, her teary eyes alarmed me. She swallowed hard, like she was washing down emotions that rose against her will.
“Are… are you okay?” I asked, hesitating as I placed her grocery bags into the cart. Her hand fell swiftly on top of mine, squeezing my palm. Startled by the sudden physical contact, I jerked my hand away. I regretted my actions the moment her expression shifted.
Eyes wide, she shook her head, her mouth opening as though horrified by her behavior. A tear slid down her cheek, and she brushed it away in haste. “I’m sorry.” Sniffling, she snatched her three bags from the cart and scurried toward the exit. “Hey!” I called after her. I exchanged a look of confusion with Marlene before following Jodie to the automatic sliding doors. “Wait! It’s Jodie, right?” She paused, sniffing once more. She looked back at me over her shoulder, eyes red and sorrowful. “Um, can I help you to your car? I really should have double-bagged that one.” I pointed to the bulging bag containing the heavy soups, grasping for an excuse to stall her from leaving.
The tiniest smile crept along the corners of her mouth. Her green eyes brightened beneath the sheen of tears. Relieved, I smiled back. Her next words fell from her lips in a low, quiet tone. “You take care of yourself.” Then she walked out into the cool air.
I stood there perplexed, watching this strange woman escape to the parking lot. Jodie had been a consistent presence in my life for months now, a once-a-week visit in which she spoke no more than a murmured, Thank you. Why did I feel a sudden permanence to her goodbye?
A familiar female voice called out from behind me. “I need a bagger on lane three please!”
I rolled my eyes and flipped around to see my friend Jordyn standing at the other end of the store, hollering into her cupped hands. I glanced at Marlene. My grey-haired co-worker pushed out her lips with a frown, throwing a hand onto her plump hip. I cringed and held up my index finger. “One minute,” I mouthed, and hurried toward Jordyn before she could garner anymore unwanted attention from my employers.
“You know Marlene hates when you stop by, right?” I said to my best friend. She beamed confidence at me with her wide smile, her lips stained in a bright coral that I could never pull off. Though only one-eighth Native American, the tan skin she’d inherited helped her get away with wearing colorful makeup combinations that I would never attempt on my fair skin. Jordyn also relished in the theatrics that I shied away from.
“I’m a paying customer,” she said, grabbing a box of powdered donuts off the shelf. She held them up to make her point, waving wildly at Marlene’s scowling face. Jordyn raised her voice again, like she was hollering at the deaf elderly. “She’s just gonna bag these for me and I’ll be on my way!”
I shook my head at her. “You’re going to get me fired.”
“You’ve got other problems to worry about.” Jordyn put her hands on my shoulders, and spun me around.
“What am I looking at?” I asked, not seeing anything out of the ordinary. Leave it to Jordyn to make me guess, rather than just tell me. She rotated me forty-five degrees.
“Not what. Who.” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “Past the cashiers. Aisle twelve.”
I loved her to death, but sometimes her games were a bit much. “Jordyn, come on—” I stopped, suddenly very aware of just who she was pointing out to me. I caught a glimpse of his smile first, gleaming brightly against his bronzed skin—a deeper brown than I remembered, and a compliment from his Brazilian mother. I’d almost missed him, hidden behind the cluster of kids clamoring for his attention. But then I heard his laugh, boisterous and infectious. Unique.
And stirring memories I resented.
I crossed my arms over my black apron. “What is Andre Steele doing back in Arizona?”
Jordyn inhaled noisily, letting out her breath as she spoke. “I don’t know, but Brazil sure did a nice number on him.”
I scowled and nudged her with my elbow.
“But we still hate him,” she corrected, giving a nod of solidarity.
“Of course we do.” We watched him disappear down aisle nine with his posse. Another burst of laughter trailed behind him, coupled with giggles from the girls hanging on him and the other guy slapping Andre’s back like they’d never heard someone so funny.
“Then again,” Jordyn added, “Four years can change a person. Maybe he’ll surprise you.”
I stepped away from her, returning to my position at the end of the register. I grabbed the boxes of toothpaste and floss sliding past Marlene and tossed them into a fresh bag. “I never liked his surprises.”

Author Bio:
Erica Kiefer’s debut novel Lingering Echoes was published by Clean Teen Publishing in November 2013. She continued the series with Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel) and her newest release Vanishing Act. All of her books can be read as stand-alone contemporary YA fiction, touched with romance, emotional drama and suspense. With a degree in Recreation Therapy from Brigham Young University, Erica’s experiences working with at-risk youth have influenced the realistic and relatable nature of her writing. Her first inspirational non-fiction entitled Borrowed Angel (published in April 2014 with Currawong Press) describes the loss of her infant son and her journey towards healing.
Married since 2005, Erica resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her four children and can often be found satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk. Now and then, she dusts off her collegiate rugby skills and dives back into the game.


Two Truths and a Lie… and Then Some.

Before becoming an author, I first certified as a Recreational Therapist. Most people outside of my field don’t understand what that even means, so let me tell you. In short, recreation therapy uses team challenges and various methods of play to help individuals discover truth in themselves, like strengths and weaknesses or opportunities to heal. It also provides fun ways for groups to get to know each other. One of my favorite introduction games is Two Truths and a Lie, where participants prepare three statements: two of which are truthful and one that is made-up. (Every writer loves the opportunity to spin a good story, right?) So, to allow readers to get to know me better, let me offer the following possibly-true statements:
1)      In my high school, there wasn’t a wrestling team for girls. In my fight for equality, I put up enough of a stink that the boys team was forced to let me join and wrestle against them—at least until I quit.
2)      When living in Jakarta, Indonesia, my family and I were evacuated when political turmoil and rioting became too dangerous. I didn’t have to take final school exams that year!
3)      Since the age of four, I’ve had a scar that runs along my forearm, remnants of a severe burn when a hot iron fell on it. Ouch.

Now, if you had to guess… which one is the lie? (Answer provided below) While you’re thinking, here are five more TRUTHFUL facts about me:
1.      I am half-Thai and spent seven years of my childhood in Thailand, (and also lived in four other countries before graduating high school) but I’m not bilingual and can’t even imitate a decent Asian accent. Don’t talk to my mom about it.
2.      I am the grim-reaper of plants. Not one single plant or garden in my house!
3.      I’ve never lived in the same home for more than six years in my entire life. Las Vegas, NV is my first permanent stop and it’s scary and exciting at the same time to put down roots.
4.      I crave sports and would love to play competitive soccer or rugby again. I thrive off the adrenaline and feel the most comfortable in my skin running on a field!
5.      My ideal one-day vacation would include sunbathing at the beach with an intriguing book, while burying my feet in the warm sand, and (no matter how much I love them), no children to supervise so I don’t constantly wonder if they are drowning in those perfectly blue waves… followed by a ninety-minute massage at a luxurious spa. Plus, vacationing with someone (hopefully my husband) who doesn’t mind sharing a variety of food with me so that I can sample it all buffet style, leaving room for a plethora of desserts. Is that too much to ask?
And now, back to my truths and lies! Today’s falsehood is… #1! I stole the story from my husband, who did wrestle in high school and who also had a sophomore girl join the boys team, which made matches a little awkward. Zero interest in wrestling on my end. Instead, take me back to my college days playing rugby, where I also met my awesome husband who was on the men’s team.

Now it’s your turn! What are your two truths and a lie? Visit my Facebook page (www.facebookcom/ericakieferauthor) and let me know! Let’s play and get to know each other.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Review: Jim Marrs's The Illuminati-The Secret Society Who Hijacked the World

The Illuminati: The Secret Society Who Hijacked the World by Jim Marrs is a historical overview of the Illuminati, Freemasonry, and other secret societies.  He methodically records the beginnings of Weishupt, the Illuminati's founder, and their rise in popularity along with their downfall within the public eye.  He documents his beliefs on what happened to the group after they ruffled the feathers of Germany's elite.  Marrs also includes other secret societies like the Rosicrucians, Club of Rome, Bohemian Grove, the Nazi Party, and many more.  Marrs has written many works that have to do with conspiracy and the inner circle.  This might have been his last book.  He died last August.

My Review: I will always love the important work that Marrs has done in terms of research, publications, and getting the word out about the truth that many conspiracy theories hold.  The Illuminati is no different than his other masterpieces.  I knew quite a bit about the Illuminati before delving into this long book.  As usual, once I finished the book, I knew much more.  I loved how Marrs connected the dots between some of our most influential and suspicious families-Rothchilds, Rockefellers, Adams, and many more.  He brought up the question of whether or not Weishupt was George Washington.  He even mentioned the Jewish connection between Hitler's mother, a maid, who worked for a Rothchild, of course implying that Hitler himself is a descendant.  I also loved the Bolshevik/Communist connections he made between Engels, Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky.  He even mentioned the Iraq Museum and how the US government might have been in on the theft of ancient objects during the Gulf War.  This book was loaded with information.  It is a must read for conspiracy buffs and history lovers.  RIP, Jim Marrs!  You will be missed.  5/5 Stars

Monday, December 4, 2017

Rothchild Family and New World Order by Frank Fontaine

Who are the Rothchilds? For all of you who do not know who the Rothchild Family is, here's their back story.  Mayer Amschel Rothchild was a German-Jew who established a new kind of banking system back in the 1760s.  His five sons took his banking business and expanded it internationally.  The banking business remained within the family.  Rothchild men married their cousins to keep the wealth within.  The Rothchild family was given royal titles and a coat of arms throughout the years.  They traded gold bullion with England during the Napoleonic Wars, turning them into an international dynasty.  Funding both sides, they profited no matter who won the war.  
They have advised many royals on finance throughout the last two centuries.  Some of their other businesses include DeBeers, Eramet, Imerys, and the Rio Tinting Mining Company.  This mining company funded Cecil Rhodes in the colonization of Rhodesia.  BTW, Cecil Rhodes (Rhodes Scholar such as Bill Clinton) is a big-time New World Order figure, but that's another blog post.  A Rothchild set up the Rhodes Scholar fund.
The modern Rothchild is much more quiet in money-making than the ones in the 18th and 19th centuries.  They are still involved in banking and gold.  They also have quite a presence in the wine-making industry as well as oil and construction.
No one know how much this family is worth, since all of the assets are split within the heirs.  Some conservatively estimate over two trillion dollars.  Others believe that number is closer to five hundred trillion dollars, making them own 80% of the world's wealth.  They are connected to the IMF.  Many believe they are the inner circle.
Their magazine, The Economist, outright sees Trump as a threat to New World Order plans.  For all of you who can't stand Trump, prolonging a one world government is one hell of reason to be in his corner.  Thoughts and views appreciated.
Dina, as usual, thanks for letting me vent.  And I love the new book The Sequel!
Frank Fontaine

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Movie Review: Orient Express

The Orient Express is based on Agatha Christie's 1933 novel.  Her main character, Hercule Poirot, is a renowned detective who takes quite a train ride.  Johnny Depp's character is an unlikable thug who sells phony art and rugs.  He gets taken out early on in the movie.  A whodunit mystery evolves with Poirot being the only one who is able to crack the case.  He learns that many people on the train have motives for killing Johnny Depp.  Clue by clue, he solves the case. 

My Review: The cast of superstars-Michelle Pfieffer, Penelope Cruz, William DeFoe, Johnny Depp, and Judi Dench play their parts to a tee.  The train and the 1930s clothing add charm, romance and mystique.  I am a fan of Christie and her Poirot, so the film was a fun ride for me.  Without spoiling the ending, Poirot mentions his next trip would be in the Nile (Death on the Nile, another Christie book).  Kenneth Branagh is a terrific Poirot.  His makeup and hair make him unrecognizable.  The scenery and the story are very entertaining.  This is a treat for mystery lovers.  4/5 Stars

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday Deals: Great Novels on Sale Along With Rafflecopter


Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links! 

Don't forget to enter the Giveaway before you leave!

RABT Book Tours & PRRABT Book Tours & PRRABT Book Tours & PR

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The Bifurcation of Dungsten Crease

    Science Fiction Date Published: March 15, 2021 Publisher: Del Sol Press In the course of a morning, Dungsten Crease resurrec...