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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Movie Review: The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is one of the most beloved children's stories ever told.  I grew up with the animated Disney version and instantly wanted to be Mogli, the boy who was raised by wolves.  The story is simple.  Mogli, who lives in the jungle, grows into a boy who uses 'tricks' or objects as tools to make his and his animal friends' lives easier.   The tiger has it in for him and his days are numbered.  Mogli leaves his wolf pack and ends up befriending a bear.  The tiger eventually catches up with him.  No spoilers here.

My review: A real boy and animals that certainly look real took this magical story to a whole new level.  Everything, from the tree branches the boy was running on to the silky black coat of the panther look real.  John Favreau, the director, hit the ball way, way, way out of the park with this one.  I can not say enough about it.  The 3D Imac theatre experience only enhanced the movie.  I would spend the money on this ticket-worth every penny.  Bill Murray, the bear, was my favorite, but the entire cast of all-stars was amazing.  This movie will thrill kids as well as adults.  Still love the old version, but this one is too good to pass up.  Hope to see it win big at next year's Oscars.  5/5 Stars



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: The Dawning Scarlett by Jennifer Osborn

The Dawning of Scarlett
by Jennifer Osborn


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GENRE: YA Paranormal

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BLURB:

As a pale revenant—the vampire faction believing all life is sacred—sixteen-year-old Scarlett Ellis has learned to hide in the human world. She goes to night-school, works at a coffee shop, and her uncle Chasem trains her in martial arts. No matter what, she has to be prepared, because when she turns seventeen, she’ll be of Dawning age—and her biological father Apollo vows to see her dead first.

Expecting her Dawning to be impossible, she accepts the fact that she will become a rogue, forever hunted by revenant renegades and outcast by her own people. Scarlett thinks she’s prepared for this—until the curly-haired Nicholas Lightener walks into her life and asks her out on a date.

Torn between her feelings for Nick and the danger of the revenant world, Scarlett’s strange life is turned inside-out when she’s kidnapped and forced to do the one thing she swore she’d never do. Plus, she has no idea whose memories keep appearing in her dreams, or if they can even help her. Determined to free herself from a death sentence, Scarlett must fight to become who she was born to be.

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Excerpt:


Suddenly, I’m standing in a field, illuminated by sunlight, but I'm not burning. It's warm and relaxing. I look down to the translucent skin of my hands and can see the blood coursing through my veins. I turn my hand over, staring at it.

A movement catches my eye and I look up. Before me is a beautiful woman with dark hair and clear eyes. At first, her gaze is loving, adoring almost, and then it fades into a bone-chilling shriek as she turns to run away in horror. I try to reassure her that it’s okay, but the words get stuck in my throat. Her skin burns and flakes away, and before I know it, her scream fades to a muffled shriek, abruptly cut off as she becomes a pile of ash. A maniacal laugh sounds beside me, and I turn to see a dark-headed man with a deviant grin. 

"Wasn't that lovely?" he asks me, laughing right as I feel my skin start to burn.




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


After working in the legal and technical fields for many years, Jennifer Osborn took the plunge into full time writing in 2015. She is the award-winning author of The Shilund Saga and The Sentinel’s Insurgency.  When not writing, she listens to a different muse and creates paintings and collages of all sorts.

She lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband, three dogs and two cats.

You can find out more about her at

Website: www.jenniferosborn.org
Facebook:  AuthorJenniferOsborn
Twitter: hondagirljen
Instragram: hondagirljen



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE




Jennifer will be awarding a digital copy of The Dawning of Scarlett via iBooks to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Book Review: Jeff Bowles The Unselfish Geneome

This book is FREE TODAY! 
http://www.amazon.com/Unselfish-Genome-Darwin-Dawkins-Evolution-ebook/dp/B01A2O3JYC?ie=UTF8&keywords=jeff%20Bowles&qid=1461514483&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Best-selling author and personal friend Jeff Bowles has a new book about aging.  Before recapping the book's premise, I'd like to put out a disclaimer-I am not familiar with the specifics of evolution, the selfish gene theory, or the other dozen theories and studies he goes over in the book.  So with my very limited mindset, I will try to explain this fascinating hypothesis.
Jeff's new book is about aging, or a way to prevent aging.  In the sci-fi novel world we call this immortality!  Is it possible?  According to Jeff it is.  He lays his case out by taking Evolution down!  (Jeff, I'm a Christian, Dah!  The Big Bang Theory will never make sense!)  But Jeff thinks it scientifically wrong based on the group selection as well as the selfish gene theory.
So what am I talking about?  I'm not really sure, but here's my Evolution for Dummies perspective:
Selfish Gene Theory:  Some theory that was "invented" by Richard Dawkins and states-This way of looking at selection, from the perspective of the gene, gets extended to such emergent behaviors as kin selection, eusociality, and altruism, by way of the fact that an allele not only gets propogated through the gene pool by helping the immediate organism survive, it also helps other copies of itself survive in other members of its species. Meaning, altruistic behavior is a natural outcome of selection, even if it is bad for the individual organism, because the genes themselves are acting selfishly by protecting other copies of themselves. Of course most genes don’t directly influence behavior, meaning that most genes are, at best, indirectly selfish – but in the case of parochial altruism (within a family or other inbreeding group), most organisms benefiting from altruism likely carry copies of the same non-behavioral genes anyway.

Group Selection: When organisms sacrifice something (including their lives) for the good of the survival of the group.

Jeff Bowles

Anyway, Jeff believes that aging has nothing to do with evolution, the selfish gene or group selection.  He mentions a direct link between menopause (the end of reproduction for women) and aging/death.  When sex hormonal levels decrease, then aging sets in. I think he implied that if we don't reproduce, then we are programmed to die.

Jeff cites dozens of animals and plants that produce asexually, have homosexual tendencies, and have extremely long lives.  He explains how our genes are activated and how certain chemicals/proteins/whatever cover/block the sequence of other genes before they are ready to be activated. He then goes into how we could use this to stop and even reverse aging.  
Jeff offers a few solutions that help stop aging-resveratrol and Fo Ti (a Chinese vine).
The book is outstanding and belongs in a biology class.  If I could sort of/kind of follow it, then anyone can.  Jeff writes with a teaching style that doesn't assume that you know everything.  He walks you through some really complicated DNA chemical reactions.  
Before reading this book, I always wondered about aging.  I've seen trees that are thousands of years old as well as reading about people in the Bible who were hundreds of years old.  Egyptian pharaohs reportedly lived ridiculously long as well.
This is a 5 star no-brainer.  Jeff's scientific imagination has no boundaries.  He might be onto the DNA 'fountain of youth.' 
Jeff-Here's one of my personal favorite holes of the Evolution Theory.  Rhesus monkey-supposedly where we "evolved" and why we are Rh positive in blood.  Problem-10% of the population is Rh negative (myself included).  If evolution is real, then we all should be Rh positive.  What do you think?  Bookworthy?  Loved the Unselfish Geneome!  Keep on writing, comrade!!!!





Monday, April 11, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhus

Killer Pursuit
by Jeff Gunhus

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GENRE: Thriller

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BLURB:

When a secret webcam is found in the Georgetown bedroom of a murdered high-society call girl, everyone in Washington, DC wants the recording...especially the killer. 

After a high-society call girl is brutally murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is a webcam with an encrypted connection...and no-one knows who's on the other end. Whoever has the recordings has embarrassing leverage against some of the most powerful men in DC, not to mention a video of the murder showing the identity of the killer.

FBI Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder because of the murder's similarity to a case she worked a year earlier. Allison knows the most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but rumors that the victim's client list may include some of Washington's most powerful men makes her doubt the director's motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she's not the only one pursuing the recording...but that the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.

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EXCERPT



The two members of the tactical squad approaching from the front reached the deck that wrapped around the front of the building. As they strode across it, the old wood floorboards groaned. The men froze. The seconds stretched out. Allison became suddenly aware of the hum of insects in the air around her. The dampness of her own skin. The sound of a bird calling in the distance. All of her senses were wired tight. An entire year of her life was wrapped up in the next few seconds. And if she’d got it wrong, Garret would have the ammo he’d been looking for to get her out of his unit once and for all. But she wasn’t worried about herself. What really bothered her was the chance that she had it right, that this was Kraw’s hideout, but that somehow they’d spooked him and he’d already slipped away. If that had happened, he’d be hundreds of miles away by tomorrow, scouting for his next victim as he traveled.

Movement in the cabin. Just a flutter. Like a bird trapped in a cage. Only her intuition told her it was more than a bird. It had been an arm. A human arm. Sam Kraw.

Based on the lack of movement from the tactical team, she realized no one else had seen it.

“I’ve got movement,” she whispered into her mic. “Window to the right of the front door. An arm.”

“I didn’t see anything,” Garret whispered.

Allison ignored him. The men around the cabin responded immediately, reorienting to the front door. Guns pointed at the window.

One of the men produced a miniram, a high impact, brute force breaching tool. Coordinating with his partner, he crouched next to the door while the other man readied a flash-bang grenade.

There was a pause, as if someone had pressed a button on a TV remote. Everyone was in place. The air seemed to still as if the world knew something was about to happen. Allison had her binoculars trained on the window where she’d seen the movement. If Kraw was inside, then the nightmare was almost over. She’d know in a few seconds whether that was the case or not.

But in that second, she saw the movement again.

Only this time, she knew something was wrong.

It was a man’s arm, she saw it clearly this time. But it was too stiff. The color was off. And, attached at the shoulder, she saw a coil of wire.

A mannequin arm on a spring.

Meant to make them think someone was inside.

It was a trap.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jeff Gunhus is the author thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Website: http://www.jeffgunhus.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffgunhusauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeffgunhus
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/963702.Jeff_Gunhus

The book is on sale for $0.99 on Kindle or Nook

Killer Pursuit on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Killer-Pursuit-Allison-McNeil-Thriller-ebook/dp/B017AC8KSY

B/N:


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: You Can Have My Heart, But Don't Touch My Dog

You Can Have My Heart, But Don’t Touch My Dog
by Dixie Cash


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GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

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BLURB:

After two divorces, Sandi Walker, entrepreneur extraordinaire, is on her own and loving it. As a devout animal lover, she has made a success of the only gourmet pet food bakery in Midland, Texas. She’s also a pet foster parent and has fifteen assorted abused and unwanted animals at home. When a golden-colored stray dog with an abundance of personality appears at her door, she can’t refuse him and she can’t keep from falling in love with him. She names him Waffle and gives him a permanent home.

General Manager of the Flying C Ranch, Nick Conway, has searched for months for his lost dog, Buster. Giving up on ever finding him, he looks for a new dog and finds a puppy at a pet grooming shop. While he went to the shop to see a puppy, he also encountered a beautiful redheaded woman he can’t put out of his mind. Little does he know that she found Buster in an alley and has now claimed him as her own. Sparks fly between Sandi and Nick when he steals Buster and sues her in court for custody. It will take a mouthy parrot, a sitting judge, the matchmaking skills of the Domestic Equalizers and Cupid himself to resolve this conflict.

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Excerpt:

Close to sputtering, all Sandi could manage was, “I love Waffle and he loves me.”

“Look, I apologize for coming across wrong. I got overexcited when I realized I’d found my dog.” His deep voice almost became a purr. Sexy and seductive. “I know that women who are alone tend to get involved with their pets, especially if they don’t have much social life or kids to take care of and—

“What? You know nothing about me. About my life.”

“Now don’t get upset. I asked the woman who gave me this puppy about you. She told me you’re divorced and don’t have any kids, so you give all your love to animals.”

Such a rage raced up Sandi’s spine her head might explode and her eyes might burst from their sockets. She squelched the powerful urge to grab her head with both hands in case that very thing happened. She would kill that Prissy dead, dead, dead the very next time she saw her. “Prissy Porter discussed me and my personal life with you?” Her voice had become as shrill as a harpy’s. “Why, in all my life, I’ve never—”

“Now, calm down.” Nick patted the air with his palm. “I didn’t mean to upset you. What I mean is, you said you were in love with a parrot, too. What that says to me is you throw that “love” word around pretty freely. Maybe you need a boyfriend or something.”

That was the last straw. “What?” She sank to the floor on her knees beside Waffle and wrapped protective arms around his neck. Summoning her dignity, she set her jaw and lifted her nose. “I’d like for you to leave my store, Mr. Conway.”

“But—”

“I’d hate to call the police, but I will.” She leveled a searing stare at him that said she meant business. But it was hard to be tough when she was sitting on the floor and he stood six feet tall above her. Their stares locked.

“Okay, I’ll leave,” he snapped. “But I’ll be back. Buster is my dog and you can’t refuse to give him to me.” He reached down and stroked Waffle’s head, putting only inches between her face and his. “Don’t worry, Buster,” he said to Waffle. “I’ll be back to rescue you.”

He straightened and stepped back. Waffle sprang forward. Even with all her strength, Sandi barely held him in check. She scrambled to her feet, still hanging onto his collar. “We’ll see about that. Have you ever heard possession is nine-tenths of the law?”

He glared at her. “Oh, yeah? Have you ever heard a picture’s worth a thousand words?”




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Dixie Cash is Pamela Cumbie and her sister Jeffery McClanahan. They grew up in West Texas during the great oil boom, an era filled with "real-life fictional" characters who cry to be written about. Pam has always had a zany sense of humor and Jeffery has always had a dry wit. Surrounded by cowboys and steeped in country-western music, when they can stop laughing long enough they work together creating hilarity on paper. Both live in Texas--Pam in the Fort Worth-Dallas Metroplex and Jeffery in a small town near Fort Worth. Jeffery also writes steamy contemporary romance novels under the pen name of Anna Jeffrey.

LINKS

https://www.facebook.com/Dixie-Cash-342620327656/
https://twitter.com/dixie_cash
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4310.Dixie_Cash
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29427026-you-can-have-my-heart-but-don-t-touch-my-dog
https://www.harpercollins.com/cr-102073/dixie-cash


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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ted Cruz: Self-Proclaimed Outsider or Ultimate Insider

I never heard of Ted Cruz until I moved to Texas.  He famously led the twenty-one hour speech on the Senate floor in protest to Obamacare.  Pundits all said his speech wouldn't change anything so it was quite obvious then as it is now that the only reason he made it was to get noticed.  Ted Cruz obviously had presidential plans since his entrance into Washington politics.  I think he's a very intelligent guy who talks a good game, but there was always something about him that I could never put my finger on...  Was it the holier than thou attitude?  The constant theatrical way he talked whether being interviewed or giving a speech?  Was it his plastic smile?  There is something just phony about him, and there are enough phonies already in Washington.  He claims to be the ultimate outsider.  This is perhaps the biggest lie he has told to date.  Here is a public list that is circulating around Facebook and Twitter of who Ted and Heidi Cruz are:

1) Ted's ties to the Bush Family-Neil Bush recently endorsed him.  Now there's someone you want an endorsement from-NOT!  Some say as much as 1.5 billion was swindled under the supposed S and L crisis while his daddy was VP.  He of course got away with it despite his obvious involvement.  He loaned millions and millions of dollars out to people who never paid it back.  (Hmmm...Kick-back time?  Neil never was investigated)  Neil's wife claimed to have known Hinckley (the guy who shot Reagan) but later recanted.  Neil also was involved with Chinese prostitutes during a deal with China. 
2) Cruz was also George W. Bush's top advisor during his 2000 presidential run.
3) Cruz was given zero interest "loans" by Citicorp and Goldman Sachs for his campaign-details to these loans are sketchy.  Remember Goldman Sachs's involvement in the real estate crash of 2008?

4) Heidi Cruz met Ted while working for Bush as an economic advisor.  Her career is the most telling of the two of them.  She was a member of the Council of Foreign Relations or CFR.  New World Order conspiracy buffs point to this group of people as globalists who have a covert agenda of selling America out and forming a one world government.  Her committee has held talks about forming a North American Union (US, Mexico, and Canada).  This explains the lack of borders.  BTW-Queen Hillary was also on this commission.
5) A group called 'anonymous' is claiming that Cruz was a regular at a Washington brothel.  (This could easily be rumor and so far not proven.)
Comments?  Love to hear from you.  This article was inspired by the talented, beautiful, and amazing Queen Tutt!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Three Weeks to Wed by Ella Quinn

Three Weeks to Wed
by Ella Quinn


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GENRE: Historical Romance (Regency)


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BLURB:


In the first book of her dazzling new series, bestselling author Ella Quinn introduces the soon-to-be Earl and Countess of Worthington--lovers who have more in common than they yet know. The future promises to be far from boring…

Lady Grace Carpenter is ready to seize the day--or rather, the night--with the most compelling man she's ever known. Marriage would mean losing guardianship of her beloved siblings, and surely no sane gentleman will take on seven children not his own. But if she can have one anonymous tryst with Mattheus, Earl of Worthington, Grace will be content to live out the rest of her life as a spinster.

Matt had almost given up hope of finding a wife who could engage his mind as well as his body. And now this sensual, intelligent woman is offering herself to him. What could be more perfect? Except that after one wanton night, the mysterious Grace refuses to have anything to do with him. Amid the distractions of the Season he must convince her, one delicious encounter at a time, that no obstacle--or family--is too much for a man who's discovered his heart's desire…

"Oh, the tangled webs we weave…especially when our hearts are involved. Three Weeks to Wed is a delightfully heartwarming escape into the sparkling world of the Regency.  Ella Quinn weaves magic." --Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author

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Excerpt:

“Yes, my lady.” He nodded, tapping the side of his nose. “You were never here. Don’t expect to see anyone else in this weather. You and your servants will sleep warm and dry tonight.” He pointed to the door next to the stairs and within easy reach of the common room. “I’ll put you in this parlor for dinner.”

She gave him a grateful smile. “Thank you. That will be perfect.”

Susan, one of Brown’s daughters, showed Grace to the large chamber at the back of the inn on the first floor. She handed the girl her cloak to dry, then shook out her skirts. “I’ll call for you when I am ready to retire.”

“Yes, my lady. Anything you need, just pull the bell.” Susan bobbed a curtsey and left.

Grace glanced around. Although she had stopped here any number of times on family outings, she’d never spent the night. The inn had been in the Brown family for several generations. The building was old, but it was clean and well maintained.

She took a book and Norwich shawl from her large muff before descending the stairs to the parlor. Although it was early, not much past two o’clock, Mr. Brown had closed the shutters, and a fire was lit, as well as sufficient candles to brighten the room.

An hour later, warm and dry, she was engrossed in Madelina, the latest romance from the Minerva Press. Over the storm, sounds of another carriage arriving could be heard. Grace lowered the book, wondering who the newcomer could be.

The inn door slammed opened. Moments later, Mr. Brown’s agitated tone and that of another man, a gentleman by his speech, reached her.

Her heart skipped a beat. Worthington? Could it really be him? She hadn’t heard his voice for four years, but she’d never forget it.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series will start in April 2016.

 She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and granddaughter, one cat and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America.

She loves having readers connect with her.


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Ella will be awarding signed print ARCs of THREE WEEKS TO WED to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. (International)



a Rafflecopter giveaway
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