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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Book Review: The God's Eye View by Barry Eisler

by Barry Eisler
February 2nd 2016

Published by Thomas & Mercer
Paperback, 374 pages

NSA director Theodore Anders has a simple goal: collect every phone call, email, and keystroke tapped on the Internet. He knows unlimited surveillance is the only way to keep America safe.

Evelyn Gallagher doesn’t care much about any of that. She just wants to keep her head down and manage the NSA’s camera network and facial recognition program so she can afford private school for her deaf son, Dash.

But when Evelyn discovers the existence of a program code-named God’s Eye and connects it with the mysterious deaths of a string of journalists and whistle-blowers, her doubts put her and Dash in the crosshairs of a pair of government assassins: Delgado, a sadistic bomb maker and hacker, and Manus, a damaged giant of a man who until now has cared for nothing beyond protecting the director.

Within an elaborate game of political blackmail, terrorist provocations, and White House scheming, a global war is being fought—a war between those desperate to keep the state’s darkest secrets and those intent on revealing them. A war that Evelyn will need all her espionage training and savvy to survive, because the director has the ultimate advantage: The God’s Eye View.

We would only hope that this book is in reality a science fiction/thriller novel! is hard not to relate this story with present day actives/situations we hear about every day on many of our own electronic devices and the mainstream media. SHIVER! A frightening, eye opening and realistic account of the capabilities and culpability that all our new technology has afforded us. Paranoid much? After reading this you will find yourself looking for camera's, worrying about your computers browsing history and questioning all the space missions we think are generic and for research. I know it is not the usual paranormal fantasy thriller we review on this site but I strongly feel this book should be one in your library. I think I would much rather deal with a vamp, witch or shifter than try to fight against this global "know it all".

"Visions of Snowden dancing in your head" ... just imagine if you had come across something in your job as a surveillance technician that went against every marginally ethical bone in your body! Knowing you may hold a key to the government's power and control, all disguised under the heading of "homeland security", what would you do? How do you keep yourself out of the line of fire? Can you live with yourself if you do? Can you live period? Will they let you? All the questions the main character Evelyn Gallagher had to ask herself.

I read this story every free minute I had because the characters and storyline flowed easily, was very believable and has you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning. At first I questioned the episodes of erotic scenes included in this read but realized that even their intense moments added to the story about the boundaries people set for themselves.

Blake Crouch"s (author of Wayward Pines) endorsement statement read "...The God's Eye View is one of the most important books that will be published this year." I concur.

Please, give this a chance. You never know what you might learn!

I give this 5 "shivering" sheep! (And you know I don't give 5 sheep often!)

Jeanie G

About the Author:
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and theGumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he's not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxicab issue #4 (of 4) from Action Lab Entertainment

Writer(s): Dave Dwonch
Artist Name(s): Anna Lencioni
Cover Artist(s): Anna Lencioni
32 pgs. / Rated. A / FC $3.99 (reg.) /$4.99 (var.)

The stunning conclusion to the most innovative crime noir in comics! Will Cyrus solve Michael’s murder? Will Michael finally get the peace he deserves? If you think you know how the story ends, you are DEAD WRONG.

A thrilling end to the Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxicab mini-series. Cyrus solves the murder of Michael, but that isn't the end of this cabby's fare. Someone else has taken an interest in Cyrus, which means more comics from writer, and all around great guy, David Dwonch and artist Anna Lencioni, whom I've never met but is probably a great gal.

This series is for all ages and worth checking out. The story is well told through a great combination of writing and artwork.

5 "possessed" Sheep


You can grab all issues 1-4 in a trade paperback

Writer(s): Dave Dwonch
Artist Name(s): Anna Lencioni
Cover Artist(s): Anna Lencioni
128 pgs. / Rated. A / FC $14.99
Released: 2/10/2016
After a young boy dies in his taxi cab, Cyrus Perkins must solve the boy's murder... or be haunted by the spirit trapped in his car! Double Jumpers creator and co-writer of the hit all-ages series Vamplets teams with rising star Anna Lencioni to deliver a supernatural crime noir with a hero like no other: Cyrus Perkins! Collects Cyrus Perkins 1-4.

Fantasy Author Mike Phillips Guest Post: An Unlikely Hero (Hazard of Shadows book tour)

An Unlikely Hero

Thank you for joining me on this guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new book is Hazard of Shadows, the sequel to The World Below. For this post, I was asked to talk a little about one of the characters in the book. I thought it would be interesting to take on our hero, Mitch Hardy.

Many readers are interested in how an author chooses the names for his or her characters, so let’s begin there. Figuring out good character names, or even worse, book titles, is one of the hardest parts of writing for me. I actually named a character Boyn because in the draft I couldn’t come up with anything better to call him than boy. I told myself it sounded Sci-Fi and, in my defense, there is a whole city named Boyne in northern Michigan, but it’s totally pathetic, I know.

If I’m naming a monsters, it’s a lot easier. I use the old half-and-half trick made famous by CS Lewis with Screwtape. So we get names like Thudrott and Gullysack for the friendly goblins and Malfeat for an Oxford educated troll. Puttygut may sound like I came up with it the same way, but that’s actually a road name in St. Clair County, Michigan. People I’ve talked to say it’s a corruption of the original French but no one I talk to can tell me what the original was meant to be. Someone ought to goggle that. The moment I heard it, I knew I had to write a character around a name like that. I think it worked out well –no matter what it really means.

Back to the origin of Mitch Hardy. The last name honors Thomas Hardy, the great writer, someone who can make even the most mundane event interesting by the use of language. The first name, Mitch, is a bit harder. I’m not sure where it came from. I knew I wanted a name that hadn’t been used before, and protagonists with the name Mitch are few.

The thing about Mitch I like best is that he’s not the typical hero. He’s not the chosen one, not the son or daughter of anyone important. He’s not ordained by some unearthly force to become what he is. He doesn’t have any extraordinary talents or skills. Mitch is an average person. Like most of us, he’s trying to find his way in the world. He has a good heart, tries to help people when he can, but often has trouble making rent.

In The World Below, the first book in the Goblin King Series, Mitch is recovering from a workplace injury that left him flat broke and physically deformed. He travels to the tourist town of Traverse City, Michigan to try to make a few bucks and finish his teaching degree. Little does he know that this place is a hidden refuge for the magical creatures that were once so plentiful, a subterranean realm known as the World Below. Little does he know that his fate will soon be bound up with theirs.

It all starts when he goes to a party at an abandoned factory and meets the Lady Elizabeth. She’s one of the Elder Race, an actual Fearie Princess. She’s looking for a father she never knew, but there are people after her, dangerous people, powerful people. Without knowing it, Mitch draws the attention of the evil Baron Finkbeiner, despotic ruler of the World Below. Soon he is running for his life from a pan-dimensional, shape shifting monster. It’s no spoiler to say he escapes, mostly through the help of a friendly group of goblins. Life takes an unusual turn, and for Mitch, this rescue puts him on a path that can only end with a war against Baron Finkbeiner.

Starting a war, no less starting a fight, is the last thing you’d expect from a person like Mitch Hardy. He’s one of those big, dopey guys that have nothing to prove. He’s nice to everyone. If you were hungry, he’d split his last pizza with you. The real world has a tendency to run people like him into the ground, but with the help of some unusual friends, and for the love of a special young woman, he accomplishes remarkable things.

Don’t look to Mitch Hardy to be the strongest hero ever, the best swordsmen ever, or the best sorcerer ever. None of those things are what Mitch, and the Goblin King Series, are all about. It’s about friendship, teamwork, and most importantly what we can accomplish when we all work together toward a common goal.

Unfortunately that’s about all we have time for. Thanks for hanging in there with me. As you can probably tell, Mitch isn’t your typical hero. There are depths to him I’m only beginning to explore. Thanks so much for joining me for this guest post. I hope you check out The World Below and the new book, Hazard of Shadows.

Take care, MP

Hazard of Shadows (Chronicles of the Goblin King #2)
byMike Phillips
Publisher: Caliburn Press
Pages: 280
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Ecopy/Paperback
The enchanted creatures of legend still exist, taking refuge from an age of camera phones and government labs in a secret place called the World Below. After leading a revolution against Baron Finkbeiner, the despotic ruler of the World Below, Mitch Hardy has taken the throne. Unknown to him, ancient powers are at work. The Lords of Faerie seek to revenge the death of Baron Finkbeiner and recover the mysterious Blade of Caro. Soon Mitch is fighting for his life against hellish monsters, the likes of which he never imagined.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N  

About the Author:

Mike Phillips grew up on a small farm in West Michigan, living much the way people did at the turn of the century. Whether it was growing fruits and vegetables or raising livestock, Mike learned the value of hard work and responsibility at a young age.

While his friends spent their summers watching reruns of bad sitcoms, Mike’s father gave him a very special gift. He turned off the television. With what was affectionately referred to as “the idiot box” no longer a distraction, Mike was left to discover the fantastic worlds that only exist in books. When not tending sheep, gardening, building furniture, chopping wood, or just goofing off, Mike spent his time reading.

With all that hard work at home, Mike was always eager to go to school. He excelled as a student and went on to pursue a career in the sciences. Working as a Safety Engineer in the Insurance Industry, Mike soon became bored with the corporate grind. Writing engaged him like nothing else. After a few novels and numerous short stories, he thought getting published would be a pretty neat idea. And so, here it goes…

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool (2016)

Director: Tim Miller
Producers: Ryan Reynolds, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner
Executive producers: Stan Lee, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Aditya Sood, Jonathon Komack Martin
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller
February 12, 2016 (USA)
Fantasy/Science fiction film
1h 48m
20th Century Fox - Official Site
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when the evil Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

What a lot of freaking fun! The movie is everything the trailer promises. What the trailer doesn't show, is the serious side of the movie; Deadpool's origin story is pretty brutal, but they handle it well. Ryan Reynolds and the studio did the character justice. This kind of movie is best seen on the big screen.

I went with my 14 year old daughter and we came up with the top 10 reasons to see Deadpool.

1. A crisp high-five.
2. The Civil War trailer in IMAX (OMG, Captain America and Bucky Barnes are beautiful).
3. Colossus manners
4. 5 baby fingers
5. Wolverine sexual innuendos
6. Having a soft...and a hard spot.
7. T-rex fighting technique, cause they are the most feared dinosaur.
8. Breaking the 4th wall, in the 4th wall is like...16 walls.
9. moody teenagers.
10. Stan Lee cameo

Be sure to stay after the credits.

I give it 4.5 sheep, but my daughter says
5 out of 5 bullets...but you'll have to share


Book Review: A Scarlet Fury (World in Shadows #2) by Bridget Blackwood

A Scarlet Fury (World in Shadows #2)
by Bridget Blackwood
January 20th 2016
by Booktrope Editions
Paperback, 208 pages
It has been almost a year since mankind became aware of the world in shadows. Where peace prevails, prejudice still lurks among the masses. Madalaina Bonvillian believed nothing could harm her; she's the daughter of the former alpha and the sister of the current one. She counted on her status to keep her safe. Little did she know how naive she was. After surviving a brutal attack, Madalaina must try to move forward, but where do you go when you feel like you've lost yourself? Cleary Neil has kept his feelings for Madalaina to himself. He's been nothing more than a friend to her, and now that's what she needs more than anything. The only problem is he can't shut off the part of himself that wants to protect his mate from the pain and confusion he sees in her. Together they will go on an emotional journey to find out if love can heal all wounds. Time is of the essence, because enemies are gathering.

Last month marked the re-release of A Scarlet Fury, the second installment in Bridget Blackwood’s Rising Shadows series. The series is an urban fantasy telling of paranormal creatures and their struggle for survival and, at times, dominance. Humankind has only recently become aware of the existence of supernatural beings and the reaction vacillates between acceptance and extreme aggression. 

I fell in love with this series after reading the re-release of book one, Rising Shadows and the following novella Winter’s Kiss. I found the characters thoroughly intriguing and the plot irresistible. Book two surrounds Madalaina Bonvillian, a female shifter from a high-profile ruling class-type family. At the beginning of the book, Madalaina is abducted by a group of rogue militant humans and consequently suffers horrific, brutal abuse. Unlike other stories featuring a daring rescue where, with a little TLC, the heroine quickly bounces back, Blackwood writes about a broken woman and her long and winding road to recovery.

Eventually, the book develops into a tender love story between Madalaina and Clearly Neil, the seemingly laissez-faire lion-man. The long-time friends struggle with new feelings that develop alongside Madalaina’s trauma and recovery. The love story is poignantly written.

Ultimately, A Scarlet Fury is a reflective book and Blackwood has written a responsible tale about violence and sexual assault. She does not gloss over the healing process or the ugly side of survival. As a reader, my objective is to read books that provide an entertaining escape from the realities of life. So in spite of its descent writing and character development, the book didn’t meet my personal criteria. It was a slow read for me, which, given the subject matter, was appropriate I suppose. For me, it was a little too real for an urban fantasy. Nevertheless, I’m invested in this series and look forward to more from the World in Shadows series.

4.5 Sheep Review: Rising Shadows (World in Shadows #1)

Three Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
I'm a hopeless romantic and a sucker for love stories with a happy ending. I grew up in East Texas, where I met and married my high school sweetheart. Together we moved to Southern Illinois and have called it home for over a decade now.

The characters in my head are loud and bossy. I began writing down their stories in self defense. My first book, Rising Shadows, comes out on February 14, 2014, the first in a paranormal romance series called World in Shadows.

A social butterfly by nature, I love to talk. When I am not writing, I enjoys video games, going out for dinner so I don't have to cook, and laughing as much as possible. I am a big horror movie junkie, I watch gobs of them. I have an addiction to eye shadow, crazy hair colors, tattoos, and glitter.

At home, I'm a wife and mother of three children, Blackwood Boy, Ballerina Blackwood, and Baby Blackwood. I also claim my fur babies; a pug, a boxer, and four cats bent on world domination.