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Monday, November 26, 2018

The Christmas Chronicles, Now on NETFLIX

I’m certain that many people are aware of the subtle inundation of Christmas specials geared toward putting the paying public in a more Christmassy mood. The subliminal message to "shop 'til you drop" is piped in everywhere like bad elevator music.

I’d be the first one to admit that I subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the more one views Hallmark movies and Netflix specials, the more one spends on Black Friday / Cyber Monday / yatta yatta yatta.

But, I’m a sucker for a good movie. This time of year, there are numerous new specials and some old classics we watch again and again as we slowly max out our credit cards.  I seem to be batting a thousand these days, because over the long holiday weekend, I’ve seen several great movies, both new offerings and timeless classics.

Last night, I saw a wonderful movie starring Kurt Russell.  Well, the man needs no introduction, but if you insist:  Kurt Vogel Russell, an American Actor whose accomplishments include “Escape from New York”, “Overboard”, “Tombstone”, “Stargate” and many, many more.

In “The Christmas Chronicles,” Russell plays an edgy Santa Claus whose sleigh crashes in Chicago because of a couple of young, curious stowaways.  Impish Kate (Darby Camp) blackmails her brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) into helping her get proof of Santa’s existence on film.  This sets a string of events landing Santa in the slammer and the kids in all sorts of trouble.  But Santa fights every sterotype and shows once and for all that it’s always a party wherever he ends up.

This is a new movie for 2018, one that will likely become a classic.

If you have Netflix, you need to see this movie. It was a riot. I laughed my butt off. You will enjoy it, I just know. And there's a little surprise ending I’m not going to tell you about.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fortune Favors the Bold - Fearless Lives Forever

“Now we’re four misfits who don’t belong together; we’re playing for the other misfits. They’re the outcasts, right at the back of the room. We’re pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.” – Freddie Mercury

As I’m sitting here, I’m listening to the Twenty-Four minute, thirty-seven second performance of Queen at Live Aid of July 13, 1985.  This just hours after seeing the movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (20th Century Fox), the song of which was written by Freddie Mercury for Queen’s 1975 Album, “A Night at the Opera.”

I remember Live Aid. And I remember this performance. It was talked about over dinner tables and water coolers throughout the world. A packed venue with 72,000 people in attendance at Wembley Stadium in London.

I grew up loving Queen.  I couldn’t get enough of them.  Their music spoke to me.  I was the outcast in the back of the room that Freddie was talking about.

Yet I had no clue of Freddie Mercury’s life. Nobody had any idea what a train-wreck his life was, and nobody knew just how ill he was when he gave that remarkable, earth-shattering performance.

Queen’s music was something to listen to while I did my homework, drank my RC Cola, and smoked my weed. Later, Queen’s music would console and encourage me as I went through some astoundingly difficult times in my life. It was a go-to. It was a constant.

Then, in 1991, they were gone.

Fast forward forty years.  I watched in awe as Rami Malek, (Night at the Museum; Mr. Robot; Twilight – Breaking Dawn, Part 2) recreated Freddie Mercury’s persona on the big screen with such eloquence. The speaking voice, the body language, the little nuances, and the amazing resonance of his singing (a mixture of his own voice, Freddie’s and Canadian singer Marc Martel). Even the eerie finger movements on the piano were spot on.

If I didn’t know better, I would have said I was watching Freddie.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biographical film about the British rock band, Queen. It follows lead signer Freddie Mercury’s life, who defied stereotypes to become one of the most beloved entertainers on earth. The film traces events leading up to Queen’s reunion at Wembley’s 1985 Live Aid performance.

The movie, written by Anthony McCarten and produced by Graham King, Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro opened on November 2nd with mixed reviews. However, the box office doesn’t lie.  Opening weekend payouts were at $51,061.119 on a movie that cost $52 million to make, with an astounding $254,423.150 total worldwide gross as of November 8.

If you see nothing else this year, make sure you don’t miss this.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

.......... Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon ............ ............... Book Blitz and Give Away! ...............

Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon
Gareth Worthington
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Fifteen thousand years ago, the knowledge bringers—an amphibious, non-humanoid species known as the Huahuqui—came after a great global flood, gifting humans with math, science and civility. We killed them all.
Seventy years ago, we found one of their corpses preserved in ice and eventually created a clone, named K’in. Our governments squabbled over the creature and we killed that, too.
Now, a sinkhole in Siberia has opened revealing new secrets and humans may once again have a chance to prove we deserve the gifts the Huahuqui bestowed.
Freya Nilsson has spent the last five years trying to forget her role in the Huahuqui cloning program. Instead, she hid her son, KJ, from the regimes and agencies who she believed would exploit him for the powers he acquired through his father’s bond with K’in.
An innocent trip to help KJ understand his abilities results in the global conspiracy she fought to bury exploding back to life. Chased by new foes, and hounded to put the needs of the world first, all Freya can think of is protecting KJ—at all costs.
Location: Somewhere on the Southern Indian Ocean
No one saw the attack coming.
The first blast tore a hole in the hull at 1:37 in the morning. By 2:15 the aft portion of the supply vessel, Marion Dufresne II, was pointing to the starless sky, while its nose was dipped below the frigid black ocean. A cutting wind battered the exposed keel and the remaining crew who managed to hold on to the outer railings.
Freya Nilsson clung to the thick frame of the eighteen-ton oceanographic crane, though it too was already slipping beneath the waves. She cried out, but her voice was drowned by the howling Antarctic maelstrom and the ship’s three, huge, Wärtsilä diesel engines, now churning nothing but air. Freya shivered uncontrollably, her hair and clothes frozen to her skin. “KJ!” she cried out, again.
Her son didn’t answer.
Freya sobbed, tears freezing halfway down her cheeks. “KJ, where are you?”
A flash of lightning illuminated the angry ocean and a thick layer of clouds covering the heavens, but the attacking vessel was nowhere in sight. A deafening clap of thunder filled the air followed by a wave of needle-like raindrops that shattered across her face. The vessel reared up and the engines roared. A muffled explosion beneath the water cleaved the ship in two and the nose began to sink.
Have to jump, Freya thought. Can’t let them take KJ! She pushed off the crane and dropped into the icy ocean below.
Despite already being frozen, the shock of the glacial water stole the breath from her lungs. Before she could swim to the surface, Freya was sucked under. Tumbling down, down, down, she struggled to find her bearing. Her lungs burned, poisoned with carbon-dioxide. Instinctively, she kicked and fought and pulled until somehow, as if pushed upward, she eventually broke the surface.
Freya took a massive gulp of life-giving salty air, only to be pulled beneath again as a piece of the ship crashed into the ocean beside her. The falling debris dragged her farther and farther into the deep. She jerked and thrashed, but it only served to steal the energy from her stiffened limbs.
Blackness enveloped Freya’s mind, the cold claiming her will to fight. Yet, even as death stalked her, she couldn’t let go. KJ needed her. She couldn’t die. Refused to die. Freya summoned her last drop of power and kicked. Once. Twice. Three times. And then, she could breathe again. The wind whipped her jet-black hair about her face, and the rain stung her eyes. But she was alive.
The silhouette of the supply vessel bobbed in the distance, ass up, before gurgling down into its watery grave. Gone. Still the attackers were invisible. With only the lasting image of where the Marion Dufresne II had just sunk as a destination, Freya paddled forward. Fighting against the chop of the ocean, she inched along. The spray blinded her and the salt burned, but she had to find him.
“KJ where are you?” she called. “Answer me, baby. Please.”
Only the squall howled back.
Her legs tightened and Freya plunged below the surface again, choking on yet another mouthful of seawater before once again scrambling upward—to a light. A bright circle of light rippling on the surface.
A strong hand clasped her under the armpit and pulled. Freya was lifted from the water, her hip smacking into the hull of the lifeboat. She fell backward into the bow, panting and coughing. “KJ … have to find KJ.”
“Cover her. Someone cover her,” a familiar voice said from above.
“I got it. Are there any more?” a woman asked. “We’ve got to get the hell out of here.”
“I don’t think so. I only saw her,” the first voice answered.
Freya lay in the boat, covered in a thermal blanket, her eyes screwed shut. “I’m sorry, Kelly,” she whispered. “Our son. I’m sorry …”

Author Bio:
Gareth holds a degree in marine biology, a PhD in Endocrinology, and currently educates the World's doctors on new cancer therapies for the pharmaceutical industry. He has hand-tagged sharks in California; and trained in various martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, and MMA at the EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and Phoenix KampfSport Switzerland.
As an author, he is represented by Renee C. Fountain and Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo-Helin-Fountain Literary Management. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won the Sci Fi category at the London Book Festival 2017 and has been optioned by Vesuvian Entertainment for TV/Film. His second novel, It Takes Death to Reach a Star co-authored with Stu Jones, will be published by Vesuvian Books in 2018 and has optioned by Vesuvian Entertainment for TV/Film. Book two in both series is forthcoming.
Born in Plymouth UK, he currently reside outside of Zurich, Switzerland.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Book of Watchers by Mary Ting

Book of Watchers by Mary Ting
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Publication: March 26th, 2018

Before the Bible, there was Book of Watchers

Enoch wants to live an ordinary life. He's content to lie low, skip his college classes, and avoid committing to any one girl. But ordinary isn't on the syllabus for Enoch because at night, he dreams of demons. Vivid dreams that leave him wanting escape more than ever. When they escape his dreams and attack him during daylight, his reality becomes a nightmare.

As he pieces together the meaning behind the encounters, supernatural creatures emerge. Demons. Vampires. Witches. Angels. And they all want something from him. In a supernatural world he never thought possible, Enoch uncovers a secret that either will destroy him or force him to become much more than he ever wanted.

Book of Watchers will be on sale for 99¢ May 24th - May27th!


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Author Bio:
Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Author Links: