Sunday, December 29, 2019

Book Review: American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups by Douglas Cirignano

American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups by Douglas Cirignano is a nonfiction collection of various interviews from various key people involved in various conspiracies.  Mr. Cirignano has done an enormous amount of research in some of the most questionable historical events in America.  
https://www.amazon.com/American-Conspiracies-Cover-ups-Interviews-Chomsky-ebook/dp/B07G1J7SM9/ref=sr_1_2?crid=N2YPMQ23VEC2&keywords=american+conspiracies+and+cover+ups&qid=1577671286&s=digital-text&sprefix=american+conspiracies+an%2Cdigital-text%2C167&sr=1-2

The book begins with an interview with a WWII veteran about FDR and Pearl Harbor.  The author then interviews one of LBJ's lawyers about the possibility of Lyndon Baines Johnson's involvement in JFK's assassination.  Another interview about Martin Luther King's assassination follows.  All the interviews were loaded with interesting tidbits that have not been widely known or reported.

Cirignano interviews an IRS agent about the constitutionality of income tax.  This is followed up with the unconstitutionality of the Federal Reserve Bank.  Causes and cures over AIDs and cancer are other chapters.  He even interviews an activist on the accuracy of our voting.  The Oklahoma bombing as well as 911 are other chapters that question whether or not the government was involved with these acts of terrorism.  New World Order is mentioned once, twice, or maybe a few dozen times, but who is counting?  It's becoming more and more obvious!
My Review:  This is a long book that is dense with information.  I especially loved Cirignano's chapters on 911, the Federal Reserve, and the IRS.  For example, I did not know that a Bush (from the Bush Dynasty) was in charge of security at the World Trade Center.  Nor did I know that the independent council that followed 911 was ran by a Bush insider!  
The entire book was educational, informative, and well-written.  Without spoiling the book, it manages to add fuel to the New World Order fire that continues to burn brighter than ever throughout the world. Our country has sold out to bankers, big business, and overall greed.  We cannot rely on the media to tell us the truth as they are either part of the problem or just sheep like the rest of us.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history and questions how it is written. BTW-I hope Mr. Cirignano follows up on the impeachment/Trump/etc. 5/5 Stars.


Saturday, December 28, 2019

VBT Presents: Power Lies by JL Phillips

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Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Elite Online Publishing
Date Published: 12-10-2019

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Power Lies is a captivating thriller about power lines that kill and a corrupt industry that knows it. Follow Sterling Barrington, Public Relations Vice President for The Franklin Energy Institute, as she investigates this cover-up from within the bowels of the beast. The Institute’s archives lead Barrington to a retiree ready to reveal the industry’s lies. But he ends up dead before confessing. Sterling’s continued hunt for proof results in her being accused of murder, arrested, threatened, assaulted, and nearly assassinated. Despite these tribulations, she remains determined to expose the corruption and reveal the truth.



About the Author

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Jana Laird Phillips is a native Texan, who has lived and worked in Dallas, Washington DC and Houston. She is a BBA graduate of Baylor University with a double major in Marketing and Journalism. Ms. Phillips worked in the Energy Industry for several years, and has numerous articles published in Energy trade journals. She is currently the publisher/owner of an online magazine, www.houstonhipandhaute.com

Ms. Phillips enjoys travel and resides with her husband in Houston, TX.



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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Cats: The Play Vs. the Movie




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Cats is a broadway hit musical that's been playing in theaters for decades.  The story is simple.  Each year a cat is chosen by Deuteronomy, the ancient cat, to go to Heaviside which I'm assuming to be Heaven for cats.  An outsider cat is taken into the world of the Jellicle cats and introduced to a variety of characters and the Jellicle ways.  The story kind of acts like a variety show of amazing singing and dance numbers.  At the end of the play, a pathetic, old cat named Grizabella gets picked to go up in a spaceship.  She is the cat who sings "Memories".  The setting of the play remains the same and the musical numbers have amazing ballet, tap, singing, and acrobatics.  I recently saw Cats in Dallas and it was spectacular. 5+/5 Stars.

Cats, the movie is a little different.  The story includes all of the songs, but the setting changes frequently.  Some of the dance numbers have special effects such as extra high jumps and impossible spins.  Francesca Hayward plays the lead cat Victoriam although there really is not a true lead.  She is the outsider looking into the lives of the Jellicles.  Her dancing is jaw-droppingly exquisite.  I looked up her bio and to no surprise, she is the principal ballerina in the Royal Ballet.  
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Taylor Swift has a small but memorable singing role as Bombalurina, the cat who sings "Macavity", a bluesy showstopping number.  Her performance is awesome.  Equally impressive was Jennifer Hudson who nails "Memories" as Grizabella in a hauntingly beautiful style.  Other amazing numbers include "Railway Train", a tap dancing masterpiece, and the Jellicle Ball scene.



Some parts of the play were changed and other parts were added.  I thought Rebel Wilson was a waste.  I really liked the song she was assigned in the movie, however, she ruined it.  On stage, the song was so much better.  Rebel's "comedy" put a dent into an otherwise great movie.  The producers should have casted someone else.  I also didn't like the hot air balloon/chandelier in place of the spaceship.  With these minor points aside, the movie was still entertaining and elaborate, but the stage will always supercede the screen for me.  Nonetheless, it's a great holiday flick! 4/5 Stars.

Monday, December 23, 2019

VBT Presents: Fill Your Mind Before You Fill Your Plate by Faisal Alshawa


Non Fiction / Health & Nutrition
Date Published: October 7, 2019
Publisher: Writing Matters (UK)

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Fill Your Mind Before You Fill Your Plate offers practical advice so you can create and maintain a healthy lifestyle, amidst the fast-paced and stressful world we live in. If you are confused about where to start in your health journey or looking for ways to live a healthy lifestyle consistently, then this book is for you!





About the Author

Faisal has always been passionate about health and fitness. As a child, he stayed active and played various sports. In 2008, Faisal moved to the US to study Kinesiology at the University of Maryland, College Park. After completing his undergraduate degree, he went on to attain a Masters’ degree in Sports and Exercise Science at Loughborough University in the UK. Faisal moved to Doha, Qatar after graduation and was designated as a sports nutritionist for the U23 Qatar National Olympic Football team. During this time, he was also assigned to administer sports nutrition services to athletes in track and field, squash, and table tennis. His experience working in various sports, as well as competitive and recreational athletes, led Faisal to start Believe Nutrition consultancy in June of 2017.

His intention behind Believe Nutrition is to help individuals and all levels of athletes, from beginner to pro, to believe in the power of nutrition. As the founder of Believe Nutrition, Faisal wants to instill a positive change in peoples’ lives through a holistic approach, which focuses on the mind, body and soul. Faisal does not want to help people for the short-term; rather, he strives to impart a passion for health on anyone he works with to ensure they become the best and healthiest version of themselves, for the long-term.


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Friday, December 20, 2019

VBT Presents: Arachana by William Harris

Science Fiction/Colonization/Science Fantasy
Date Published: 12/5/19
Publisher: Chandra Press


The adventure continues in the second book of the Chronicles of Malick Series.

Reunited, Malick and the crew of the Pioneer embark on a new adventure to solve the mystery of the Domes. The Domes make it possible to travel vast distances instantly. But where do they go and how do they work? Their quest leads them to an abandoned civilization. It’s citizens are gone and have left no clue as to why they left of where they went. The capital of this far reaching society is meticulously maintained by sentient robots who offer little information.

Something happened in Arachana that led to the disappearance of an entire species. As Malick and the crew attempt to find answers, they are drawn deeper into the mechanical heart of the city. When Malick vanishes and the robots suddenly turn against them, can Nep, Daxx,Trell, and the rest of the rest of the team put the pieces together before it’s too late?



About the Author

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The author spent his childhood in Colorado skiing and riding dirt bikes.  After spending way too much time in college, he took his engineering degree to the deserts of southern California.   After retiring to the mountains of northwest to play golf, his wife dared him to write a book.  The rest, as they say, is history.


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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Mental Game of Real Estate by Brad Bevers


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Real Estate Investments, Buying and Selling Homes
Date Published: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Lucid Books

When Brad Bevers started in real estate fifteen years ago, he wanted to learn as much as possible. But after reading all the real estate books he could find, he quickly realized he needed to ignore the collective wisdom on becoming a successful agent. He would go on to grow his business more than twenty times his average income from his first few years.



If you love making cold calls, smiling like a mannequin, and scream-selling your way to the top, this book is not for you. For those who would rather build a strong business the right way, 'The Mental Game of Real Estate' gives you the map to succeed.



In this book, you will learn:

• The (only) four ways to make money on a property

• Psychological principles that will build rapport fast

• A Negotiation 101 crash course

• The crucial skills to making a killer first impression

• Three closing techniques that won’t make you feel slimy

• And much more



Brad’s goal with this book is to let you in on the principles he has learned so that you can get started faster and serve your clients more effectively, while putting more money in your pocket. May this book help you on your real estate journey!


About the Author

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My name is Bradley Bevers and I’m a real estate broker in Chappell Hill, a small Texas town located midway between Houston and Austin. I’ve sold real estate full-time since I graduated from Texas A&M in 2004.

Despite starting off in the family business, I struggled in real estate for many years. It was hard to know exactly what to do and how to do it, and I did not get off to a fast start. I was able to sell almost three million dollars of real estate my first year, but then the market stalled, and I failed to sell even one million dollars for the next three years. Despite having a business degree and being a born entrepreneur, I made a lot of mistakes along the way and learned mostly through trial and error.

In 2017, I sold over seventeen million dollars of real estate. My income has gone up more than 20 times since those early years. Out of almost thirty agents, I’ve been the top producer in my company for six years in a row. Now, I want to share what I’ve learned so you can get a jump start on your own career.

If you’re looking for a book that will give you the secret sauce to cold calling, social media prowess, or working for-sale-by-owner and expired listings, this book isn’t for you. I’ve never made a cold call in my life, and I post on Facebook once or twice a year. If you want to make more money, build your reputation the right way, and avoid some of the pitfalls of selling real estate, then this is the book you’re looking for.


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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

VBT Presents: Return of Anarchy




New Australia Book 2
Science Fiction/Post-apocalyptic/Dystopian
Date Published:  11/21/2019
Publisher: Chandra Press

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The thrilling sequel to Rijel 12: The Rise of New Australia.


A planet on the verge of destroying itself. A young woman determined to stop it before all is lost.

Ten years have passed since Earth invaded. The volcanic blast that turned the tide of the war has changed the face of the planet forever. What was once a scorched wasteland has been quenched by frequent rains. Farms now cover the surface. The citizens of New Australia have thrived.

Anarchy, the flagship of the resistance thought lost during the war, suddenly returns. To Admiral Slout and his crew, it’s only been 6 months since the raid on Star fantasy. But on New Australia, seventeen years have passed, and much has changed. The pirates struggle to reintegrate into a society with rules and laws. Unfortunately that’s not all.

The Anarchy brought something back with it. Something more dangerous than anyone could have expected. With the planet on the verge of civil war and leadership in disarray, can anyone stop New Australia from tearing itself apart?



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About the Author


King Everett Medlin has been writing since 2013, when he first developed the idea for Rijel 12. It was originally designed to be a SciFi series, with the objective of creating several short installments. Instead he got a lucky break when Chandra Press from San Diego responded favorably to the original draft, deciding to publish it as a full length novel. King lives in Denver, Colorado with his lovely wife Caroline and has two grown children. He's a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he played college Rugby; and remains a diehard Sooners fan to this day. His specialties are Science Fiction and Mystery/Suspense novels, focusing on unusual stories with intriguing plot-lines and amazing characters.


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Saturday, December 7, 2019

VBT Presents: The Enigma Stolen by Breakfield and Burkey


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TechnoThriller
Date Published:
April 2015 (Paperback and eBook)
Jun 12 2018 (Audio Formats on Audible and iTunes)
Publisher: ICABOD Press

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A brilliant mathematician and spoiled rich girl, Gretchen, is focused on harnessing Big Data and computing power to control the world stock markets not only to optimize her family’s wealth but also to control the future.

As a descendent of the Nazi Werewolf Clan, is Gretchen being maneuvered into leveraging unlimited computer power along with the ethical nihilism to manipulate lives, or just stretching her genius?

Is Gretchen working alone or is she adding additional computing sources from the Dark Net?

The R-Group, a high-level information gathering and security team, composed of Quip, Otto, Jacob, and Petra along with Julie and Juan’s fledgling group of Cyber Assassin Technology Services teams are trying to isolate the source of the massive computing power required.

Could these cyber schemers be as good at analyzing the information as the R-Group themselves? 

Are people unwittingly feeding an ever-growing tsunami of information into increasingly sophisticated computer systems? This begs the question: who controls whom? 

Breakfield and Burkey shared their 5th book, The Enigma Stolen, from their award-winning series focused on the relevant world of Big Data and analytics. This one will make you ask who are the winners when humans are herded to a machine's targeted end point?



What Readers are Saying

Kirkus “The covert Werewolf Clan, with ties to Nazis, may be responsible and has been using a computer program to accurately predict stock futures. But it has an even more ambitious plan to link supercomputers around the world and potentially manipulate the future.”

“Wow this series gets better and better with every book I feel. Stakes are high in this one. More people are using the technology to hire assassins to go after high profile people.”

“Yes, I am hooked. I love the way the plot twists and turns throughout the book. As one completes, another arises.”



About the Authors

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Breakfield – A renowned technology solutions architect with 25+ years of experience in security, hybrid data/telecom environments, unified communications, enjoys leveraging his professional skills in creating these contemporary TechnoThriller stories. He likes studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges everywhere he can. Charles’ love of wine tastings, cooking, and Harley riding has found ways into The Enigma Series. He is convinced that being a part of his father’s military career in various outposts, has positively contributed to his many characters and the various character perspectives he brings into the series. He has accepted the challenge to try to teach Burkey humor and has added this to the stories in an unexpected manner.

Burkey – A renowned customer experience, business architect optimizes customer solutions on their technology foundation. She has been a featured speaker, subject matter expert, interviewer, instructor, and author of technology documents, as well as co-author of The Enigma Series. It was revealed a few years ago that writing fiction is a lot more fun than white papers or documentation and Rox took it to heart. As a child she helped to lead the other kids with exciting new adventures built on make believe characters. As a Girl Scout until high school she also contributed to the community in the Head Start program. Rox enjoys family, learning, listening to people, any kind of travel, outdoors, sewing, cooking, and imagining the possibilities.

Breakfield & Burkey – Combine their professional expertise, knowledge of the world from both business and personal travels, many characters whom have crossed their paths are a part of the series character universe. They find it interesting to use the aspects of technology people are actually incorporating into their daily lives and make it one aspect a primary theme for each story. Breakfield & Burkey claim this is a perfect way to create stories that pit the cyber good guys versus the cyber bad guys. The books in this award-winning series can be thoroughly enjoyed alone or in sequence.

You can invite them to talk about their stories in private or public book readings. Burkey also enjoys interviewing authors through the Indie Beacon/iHeart Radio programs with dates of interviews showing inside the calendar page of their website www.EnigmaSeries.com. Followers can see them at various book fairs, book Stores, Comic Book events, libraries and other fun venues.


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Friday, December 6, 2019

VBT Presents: Edj of the Empire: Revenant's Omen


Empire of Ninety-Nine Stars book 2
Science Fiction/Adventure/Space Travel
Date Published: 11/21/2019
Publisher: Chandra Press

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The riveting second installment in the Edj series.


How do you stop an enemy that can see the future?

After the harrowing events of Herrig’s World, Edj is hot on the trail of D’Orneo. His pursuit leads him to Villalba, a world of tropical island paradises where over a hundred thousand luxurious resorts cater to every whim or flight of fancy. Fortunes are won and lost on Villalba twenty-nine hours a day in the casinos that never close. Gambling on anything for anything from cards to shark fights, dice to gladiators; if it can be wagered on, it can be found on Villalba.

Edj arrives to find that the once powerful economy of Villalba has ground to a halt. A new drug, Peek, grants users the ability to see the future. The casino industry is in tatters and the new governor is at wit’s end. Suspecting that D’Orneo is somehow involved, Edj plunges into an investigation. Going undercover as a member of the galaxy’s premier drug cartel, The Revenants, a group of beings who prolong their lives by harvesting body parts, Edj begins to unravel the truth.

What he uncovers has larger implications than anyone could imagine. With his cover blown, his guardian, Sam, neutralized, and his enemies able to see his every move before he makes them, can Edj find a way to stop Peek from becoming a weapon capable of bringing down the Empire?


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About the Author

Mr. Burns is a factory worker who sidelines as a carpenter, computer technician and jack of many trades handyman whose primary interest is hard science-fiction. He has read and loved that genre all his life and has always dreamed of writing books that others would enjoy reading as much as he himself enjoyed those of the great S/F masters. He is very interested in high technology and tries to impart accuracy and plausibility into his work. Other reading and writing interests include fantasy, magic, the paranormal, the Norse runes and nature-centered religions. He lives in northern Mississippi.


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Thursday, December 5, 2019

VBT Presents: Behind Friendly Lines by Mark McGraw


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Memoirs of a US Marine in Chile
Travel, Military, Religion, Personal Memoir
Date Published: November 4, 2019
Publisher Lucid Books

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Behind Friendly Lines is the story of a US Marine officer serving as the only foreigner in the Chilean Marine Corps’ most important combat unit. Lieutenant Colonel Mark McGraw arrives with his young family to Chile full of optimism and certainty about his ability to navigate the obstacles of language, customs, and security, but quickly runs headlong into difficulties presented by a tragedy in the home, a commander initially hostile to Americans, and the isolation of his family’s inability to speak and understand Spanish. The author takes the reader far off the tourist’s beaten path on dangerous missions from the far-flung arid northern deserts to the frigid Straits of Magellan where he lived, trained, and suffered alongside the Chilean Marines. Behind Friendly Lines explores the challenge of recalibrating nearly every facet of a family’s existence while forging lifelong friendships and learning irreplaceable lessons.


What does it mean to serve your country while learning to love another one on the other side of the world? How does a family adjust to life in a new place and then find that they must adjust again to the place they always considered home? This memoir raises questions about the nature of nation, service, and belonging, while providing an honest view of American foreign policy decisions from a retired military officer.


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About the Author


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Mark McGraw was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, grew up in Alexandria, Louisiana, and lived and worked in thirty-four countries during his twenty years of service as a U.S. Marine officer. He is a writer, translator, and language professor, having earned a master's degree in Modern Languages and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Texas A&M University. He has also translated Joseph Avski's Heart of Scorpio (Tiny Toe Press, 2012) and One Step from Juarez (Mouth feel Press, 2015).




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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

VBT Presents: A Company of Monsters by Shami Stovall


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Fantasy
Date Published: 11/19/19
Publisher: Capital Station Books

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A secret war of sorcerers threatens to tear the world apart.

The year is 1917, and the Russian Empire is on verge of collapse.

Florence Cavell—codename Geist—takes her special forces team of sorcerers into allied territory in an effort to hunt down spies and keep the Russian royals alive. If the Russian Empire falls, the Germans and Austro-Hungarians will turn their full attention to France and Britain. That can't be allowed to happen.

Unfortunately for Geist, the enemy has sent the Eyes of the Kaiser, specialists who hunt and destroy sorcerers. And they came prepared to eliminate not only the Russian royalty, but the Ethereal Squadron as well.



Praise for Ethereal Squadron:
"In tense, precise prose that skillfully conveys detailed descriptions, Stovall delivers this engrossing story of fantasy adventure with utmost precision. The Ethereal Squadron's riveting fantasy world will fuel readers' imaginations and leave them crave for the next book in the sequel."
- The Prairies Book Review




About the Author

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Shami Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family earning a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was at that moment Stovall realized story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world and she hopes you enjoy.


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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...