Movie Review: Her

Details from IMDB:

Her

Her (2013)

126 min  -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  10 January 2014 (USA)

Ratings: 8.6/10 from 13,876 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 113 user | 133 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.

Director:

Spike Jonze

Writer:

Spike Jonze

Stars:

Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

As anyone who reads this blog knows I often see movies because I like certain actors (as I’m sure lots of people do), I combine this with positive things I’ve heard about the movie and the rating it gets on IMDB (while I’m always getting details from it, hell of a site). I had heard this was a great movie and of course I love Scar Jo and Joaquin Phoenix (when he’s not doing some stupid stunt), so I went this past Sunday.

Main Points:

I have been thinking and talking about this movie for days, I loved it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s flaws but I’ll talk about the positive first. The movie has the fascinating idea that computers become so advanced that your OS (a nod to Apple I think) can be a person just as real as you, minus the physical form. Theodore (played wonderfully by Joaquin) is a lonely guy going through the last stages of his divorce. He doesn’t have many friends and spends a lot of time alone. The movie explores well what it’s like (not that I’ve done it) to live in a big city and yet feel all alone. Everything changes when he buys his new OS and she name’s herself Samantha.

Also present in the movie is general thoughts on the future. The clothes people wear are different, just slightly. No one seems to wear belts, or buttons. Cars are nowhere to be seen and neither are planes. Physical books are almost non-existent as everyone uses there computer or phone to read. The idea that despite the incredible ease of using our devices to communicate people still feel isolated and alone. The only form of long distance travel seems to the train and video games become hologram based and fully interact (and are aware) of the person playing it.

Even Theodore’s job is fascinating and a comment on society. He works for a company that writes letters for other people (presumably without one person knowing). So while he feels connections to all these strangers, he feels a great disconnect to his own feelings. The idea that you would get a stranger to write important letters to someone you care about not just once but for years is both disturbing and very interesting. The idea that we are unable to express our feelings and need a stranger to do it properly and that this would become accepted in society is rather depressing (and unrealistic).

Theodore acts like a regular guy would, he’s curious about his OS, makes mistakes and doesn’t realize at first what a complete person she is. As time goes by (and he goes on a very disastrous blind date) he starts to develop feelings for Samantha. They have cyber/phone sex (which thankfully doesn’t involve seeing Joaquin Phoenix naked) and he is in a relationship with her.

She acts like many other girlfriends, excepts she’s not there physically. To go on means…

SPOILER ALERT!

So one of the really interesting scenes in the movie is what Samantha suggests they use a surrogate to have sex. Meaning that one of the real physical people (in this case the woman), wears a camera and takes cues from Samantha as her and Theodore have sex. Of course Theodore can’t quite do it and the woman leaves. The point of the scene is not just what an amazing girlfriend Samantha is but what it says about our sexuality. Right now I’m sure there are lots of men and women who have sex and spend the whole time fantasizing about someone else. This movie just takes that idea to the next step, our imagination and kinks are so tied into sex I think combining them is often essential for many people.

As time goes by Theodore begins to find it hard to have a virtual girlfriend, society and people who knows puts doubts in his head. Samantha seems to pick up on these doubts and admits to "cheating" on him with many other OS (and possibly other real people, though this isn’t stated). She comes to realize that since Theodore is mortal and will die (and they can never be together physically) she wants to leave him and explore her life with other OS systems and reach her greatest potential.

Final Thoughts:

I could go on and on with about this movie and what I enjoyed but I will point out some flaws. At a full two hours I have to admit there were several places in the movie I thought it dragged. They didn’t need to have 15 minutes of Theodore lazing around his apartment or staring out at the city. I know he leads and isolated life and we are supposed to feel it but it does get depressing after a while. Also the notion that a company could exist and write letters for other people doesn’t make much sense. It would be too easy to discover this fact and the cards/letters would lose all meaning. In fact Theodore has letters he has done over the years published, so at least THOSE people certainly know they’ve been lied to. Also I really would have liked an explanation on this massive plane statue. Theodore leans against it in one scene but there’s no sign and no one ever talks about it.

This movie really makes you think about what it means to be in a relationship and to be alone. If you had someone to talk to all the time (with a computer or just someone who was always available) would you need to physically be with them? How important is touching, sex and physical comfort? If you never meet a person (as I know happens now all the time) and carry on a relationship is it real? Is is fulling? Most of these questions are never answered in the movie. I think ultimately though Theodore is learning from his failed relationships, he’s learning more about himself and learning how to connect with other people more effectively. Perhaps in the end this movie just says that no matter what relationship you are in as long as you learn and grow as a person then it was worthwhile.

I know that was a very lengthy review but it was a fascinating movie that was already won a Golden Globe and will hopefully win at least one Oscar. I give it a strong 8/10 and a big recommendation. All the acting is excellent, the story is well done and it will make you think. There is sexual language and this is certainly not a movie for children. Well that’s it for me for now, have a great morning/afternoon/evening everyone and I’ll talk to you soon.

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Two blog tours, one month, the details!

Hi all =)

I had a cold the past week and I was really busy preparing for my two blog tours. Now you can enjoy the fruits of my (and all the great people on these tours) labor! Here is all the stops for each blog tour. I hope you’ll check some of them out, going to be fun!

Bewitching Blog Tour:

October 7 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com
October 11 Spotlight
Lis Les Livres
www.lisleslivres.blogspot.com
October 15 Interview
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine
www.issuu.com/bewitchingbooktours
October 16 Interview
Mythical Books
http://mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/
October 19 Spotlight
Books & Tales:
http://www.booksandtales.blogspot.co.uk/
October 23 Guest blog
Cloey’s Book Reviews and Other Stuff
cloeyk.blogspot.com
October 24 Spotlight
Jodie Pierce’s Ink Slinger’s Blog
jodiepierceauthor.blogspot.com/
October 25 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.
www.pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com
October 28 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books
www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com
October 29 Interview
Dalene’s Book Reviews
http://dalenesbookreviews.blogspot.com/
October 30 review
Tanya’s Book Nook
http://tanyasbooknook.blogspot.com
October 31 Halloween Guest blog
Roxanne’s Realm
www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com
Page Turner Book Tours:

7th October – Spotlight – Page Turner Book Tours – http://pageturnerbooktours.com

7th October – Guest Post – Dina Rae’s Write Stuff – http://dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.co.uk/

8th October – Spotlight – M.M. Shelley – http://mmshelley.blogspot.co.uk/

8th October – Spotlight – Guerrilla Wordfare – http://www.guerrillawordfare.com/blog/

9th October – Spotlight – The Book Junkie – http://thereaderhaven.wordpress.com/

10th October – Interview – Love Books? Blog Books! – http://www.lovebooksblogbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

11th October – Spotlight – Unwritten – http://www.mystiparker.blogspot.com/

14th October – Spotlight – Ronda Caudill – http://rondacaudill.wordpress.com/

15th October – Guest Post – The Book Mystress – http://thebookmystress.blogspot.co.uk/

16th October – Spotlight – Decadent Decisions – http://wlynnchantale-decadentdecisions.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=6745a5aba5523549

17th October – Guest Post – Tink’s Place – http://myblog2point0.blogspot.co.uk/

18th October – Guest Post – Leona Bushman – http://www.leonajbushman.com/blog/

21st October – Interview – The One Saga – http://www.theonesaga.com/

22nd October – Spotlight – The Council Blog – http://jscouncil.com/site/the-council-blog/

23rd October – Guest Post – Castle Macabre – http://castlemacabre.blogspot.co.uk/

24th October – Spotlight – IWAssociation – http://iwassociation.com/

25th October – Guest Post – Horsham Writer’s Circle – http://horshamwriters.co.uk/

28th October – Review – The Evolution Of Nikki – http://nicoleireland.com/category/its-my-life/

29th October – Guest Post – Random Reviews By Leanne – http://author-leanneherrera.blogspot.co.uk/

30th October – Guest Post – Laxmi Writes – http://www.laxmihariharan.com/

31st October – Spotlight – My World – http://stephsgrn.blogspot.co.uk/

1st November – Interview – Reading Writing & More – http://stephsgrn.wordpress.com/

4th November – Interview – Vixie’s Stories – http://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.co.uk/

5th November – Interview – Luscious Literaries – http://lusciousliteraries.wordpress.com/

6th November – Guest Post – The Writer’s Life – http://thewriterslife.blogspot.co.uk/

7th November – Guest Post – M.J. Kane – http://authormjkanebooks.wordpress.com/

8th November – Guest Post -MarianL – http://marianl.com/main/

11th November – Review – Lynn Reynolds – http://lynnareynolds.wordpress.com/

12th November – Interview – C.C. Cole – http://shevata-cccole.blogspot.co.uk/

13th November – Review – Read 2 Review – http://read2review.com

14th November – Spotlight – Bookish – http://evie-bookish.blogspot.co.uk/

15th November – Review – Jonel Boyko – http://purejonel.blogspot.co.uk/

Busy times for me! Some more news, a movie review and other things to come later this month

A Ranger’s Tale Spotlight from PTBT

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Hi all,

My website is being update, promise! Hopefully in a few weeks you’ll see the results. In the meantime here’s a new post on Mysti Parker and her novel “A Ranger’s Tale”. Mysti follows me on Twitter and seems like a great person. I just had a look at her blog and really enjoyed it. I agree with her that while freedom of speech in important and has to be protected, that doesn’t give you the right to go berserk and attack someone personally over their writing. I also thought her blog looked great, I love sunsets and bright colors. It had a clean feel and I found the section on dreams quite funny and entertaining. If I may also say so I think the artwork for this cover is excellent, people say don’t judge by it’s cover but at least in the case of books, most people still do. But on with the show…

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Title: A Ranger’s Tale

Series: Tallenmere

Author: Mysti Parker

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Melange Books

Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print

Release Date: January, 2011

Blurb: In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done…

High elf Caliphany Aranea leads an enviable life as King Leopold’s niece and daughter of Sirius, Leogard’s most famous wizard. Yet, being forced to follow in her father’s footsteps and being betrothed to a man she doesn’t even like makes her want a taste of life outside the city walls.

As a young boy, half-elf Galadin Trudeaux witnessed his parents’ death at the hands of pirates. After being raised by those same murderers and forced to do their bidding, he escaped and now lives an honest life as a sea merchant and ranger.

When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap Caliphany while she dreams of faraway lands, Galadin comes to her rescue. Impressed by his skills, she asks him to train her as a ranger. Though he is hesitant at first to train a woman of her class, Caliphany’s hefty sack of gold finally persuades him. Unfortunately, her father is not amused, and the two must escape before Caliphany faces a forced marriage and Galadin faces a noose.

From that moment on she and Galadin embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Only if they can survive the trials ahead, will they find a love that stands the test of time.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:

Caliphany lowered her hood and smoothed out her robes. She smiled. I admit I’d held a vague hope we would cross each other’s paths again, but I’d also told myself a woman of her class and a man of mine had no business being seen with one another.

Even though I didn’t know who she was exactly, the clothes she wore told me she didn’t mingle regularly with us working classes.

She tucked some hair behind her ear and blushed. “Captain Trudeaux.”

I bowed. “My lady.”

“Please don’t bow.” She avoided my gaze and clenched her robe. “You weren’t at the docks this morning. I thought you had gone.”

Razor had started tearing into the rabbit, so I held up my finger. “One moment, please.” I knelt to retrieve him and the carcass before it was gone.

Razor eyed Caliphany when I returned to her side. “I sent my men on to Faewood. They’ll be back by the week’s end. We had some Tilliyan coffee beans to deliver.”

Her shoulders slumped. “I’ve read a lot about Tilliya Island.” Her eyes focused somewhere in the distance, and then rested on me again. “So, you’re a falconer?”

“I’m a ranger. Razor accompanies me from time to time. We sell what we hunt and gather. Sometimes I help thin out wildlife. It’s just my job.”

The words rolled off her tongue. “A ranger.”

I nodded, a bit annoyed she found my profession so curious. I killed things for a living. It was a hard, dirty job, one I was sure she could never understand. I cleared my throat. “I’m glad to see you’re in one piece, though still unescorted. Would you like me to walk you back to Leogard?”

She held up a satchel. “I’m gathering plant specimens.”

“As you wish. Well, good day then. I’ve got work to do.” I began to walk away.

“Wait,” she said.

I turned, and Caliphany approached me, opened her mouth, shut it again, and finally spoke. “I wanted to thank you for rescuing me.”

If she was any other woman, from the lower end of society, I might have thought she was flirting. “You already did, I believe, and it’s not necessary. Good day.” I tried to walk away again.

“Wait.”

Razor screeched and puffed his feathers when I turned back around. “Easy, now. Look, Caliphany, it’s really not necessary—”

“I want you to train me.”

I stepped closer. She blushed. I wrinkled my brow and asked, “Pardon?”

The words tumbled from her mouth. “You know how to handle yourself, handle weapons. I want to learn that as well. Will you train me?”

I puffed out my cheeks and exhaled.

Should have known she wasn’t interested in me, just in what I could do for her. “I’m not sure what you think I am, my lady, but I’m no trainer. I’ve got work to do. Forgive me, but I can’t waste precious hours teaching you to handle a bow.”

She reached into her cloak and pulled out a sack. From the jingle inside, I estimated a month’s wages in gold. She got my attention.

“I’ll pay you. If this isn’t enough, I’ll pay more.”

That definitely got my attention. “My men will have to take up the slack. I’ve got orders to fill. But, why would you want to do…” I pulled out a bloody, limp rabbit carcass. “…this?”

“My reasons are personal. So, are you willing to train me or not?”

I scratched my chin. “When can you start?”

A smile flashed across her lips. “My father leaves for Mirrochet citadel in two days. He’ll be gone for a month. I can train with you every day for a few hours during that time. After that…” She frowned and turned her head, then met my eyes again. “After that, I don’t know. I can meet you at the ranger outpost just east of here. My family should not know about this.”

Desperation settled in her eyes, and I had a strong urge to take her in my arms and kiss her until we both had to come up for air. But she stood waiting for my reply.

“L-Look, I don’t know if I should be skirting trouble. Being caught out here in the woods with you wouldn’t look good for either of us.”

She stepped a little closer, reached out as though she would touch me, but withdrew her hand. “Believe me; they would know it was my idea. And with my father gone, they don’t pay as much attention to my whereabouts. So, is it a deal?”

She held out her sack of coin with one hand, and the other for me to shake. I took the gold and shook her hand. Her skin was warm and soft. Damn shame it would be to mar those pretty fingers.

 

About Mysti Parker:

Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger’s Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya’s Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind’s ‘Sword of Truth’ series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti’s other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s six week free course, F2K.

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

 

Blog

Facebook Page 

Twitter

Goodreads

Tallenmere Series:

A Ranger’s Tale, Tallenmere #1

Serenya’s Song, Tallenmere #2

Hearts in Exile, Tallenmere #3

Movie Review: Clear History

Details from IMDB:

ClearHistory

 

Clear History (2013)

TV Movie  -  Comedy  -  10 August 2013 (USA)

Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,288 users
Reviews: 16 user | 21 critic

A disgraced former marketing executive plots revenge against his former boss, who made billions from the electric car company they started.

Director:

Greg Mottola

Writers:

Larry David, Alec Berg, 2 more credits »

Stars:

Larry David, Bill Hader, Philip Baker Hall | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

I love Larry David, I’m bias, there I said it. When I saw he was going to be in a HBO movie I knew I had to see it. The fact that it has a bunch of other good actors (including J.B. Smoove who is always funny) and Danny McBride whom I also like.

Main Points:

Larry always plays a very similar character from Curb Your Enthusiasm except this time he has a big secret. As a consequence Nathan/Rolly has become a nicer person, if for no other reason than to hide his true identity.

Enough of the plot though, this movie is filled with laughs and is a lot of fun. I found the main problem was that I’ve seen so much Curb that I could see a lot of the jokes coming and the story is predictable on the whole.

For a comedy the scenery here is excellent and I liked the message of an electric car really catching on (I hope that really does happen Smile There are a couple of surprises that I won’t spoil here.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re a Larry David or J.B. Smoove fan you have to see this. Larry continues to do what people wish they could do, get revenge, goof off completely at work, say whatever is on your mind and damn the consequences! Open-mouthed smile It’s not that Nathan/Rolly has a great life or is even a very nice person but there’s something about him you like despite it all. 7/10 from me and a hearty recommendation Thumbs up (just not for kids as usual). Next time will hopefully be an author interview. Until then I am, as always…

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‘Scam Factory’ Spotlight/Interview/Giveaway

Here is the details for the blog stop for G. Gordon Dean’s ‘Scam Factory’ Blog Tour. First off a spotlight, followed by an interview and then a giveaway, Enjoy and Thanks to Gary for the interview, enjoy! Smile

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SCAM FACTORY started out as a dream I had about a job interview with a high-end consulting firm. I initially thought that my dream would make a great movie, but I decided to write a book instead. As I began to develop the plot and storylines I realized I could tie it all in with, past and current, real life events in the U.S. from 2001-2009. It was also relatively easy to combine some of my business experience, and people I have run across over the years, into this story. I grew up in Las Vegas and lived there for about thirty-five years so knowing about Scams, or coming up with my own for this book, wasn’t so hard. The TRUE events that led to the U.S. financial crash, mass business failures, and declines in property values in late 2007 were nothing but ammunition for this novel.

SCAM FACTORY is not a story about the guy in the white cowboy hat saving the town and riding off into the sunset. It is fiction based on reality with a ‘true to life’ outcome. The characters in this story get away with White-Collar crimes just as the real life participants did. The characters are sadistic and have a knack of getting away with almost everything, just like the in real world. It is as simple as that. One of the messages I wanted to convey in writing this story was to show what kinds of professionals were out there exploiting our businesses and citizens without legal retribution. The characters are mostly cold, calculating, and narcissistic.

I figured that using a first person narrative was the best way to tell the story. There are many subjects involved in this story so I divided SCAM FACTORY into four parts to further make it easier to read and understand. Loyalties are lost and revenge is certainly in the plot, but figuring out how to write about it was the key to the story. There is no mention of any existing, or real life, companies-only industries and fictional business entities. Another challenge was making the fictional writing seem realistic. Several of the initial book reviewers were asking if some of the events in the story actually took place. The answer is probably yes, except that only a hand full of people knows how those events really took place.

The consulting firm in (TierGroup) in this story, that represents the seventeen major industries, is politically neutral. The idea is that if your money is green then TierGroup, and its clients, do not really care what your political affiliation is. This is also very relevant in the real world, but it seems to be changing for the worst. Although SCAM FACTORY contains many dark sides, it strongly reflects a ‘behind the closed door’ characterization of the reality we have faced over the last six years. The lessons we are still learning as a country are obvious and it may take many more years to recover. Control, perception, manipulation, and greed are still the number one driving forces in the business world today, but on the other hand, there are always two sides to a coin. Only time will tell.

Enjoy SCAM FACTORY and become a fan on Facebook.

Scam Factory


G. Gordon Dean’s Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/SCAM-Factory/219147311549998?fref=ts
G. Gordon Dean’s Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6568947.G_Gordon_Dean
Scam Factory Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16120621-scam-factory

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-Books-Blog-Tours/242431245775186

Scam Factory blog tour site:
http://scamfactory.blogspot.com/

Scam Factory Book Summary:

Whoever said ‘white-collar crime doesn’t pay’ never lived in Washington D.C. TierGroup is a business consultancy firm located in the heart of DC. Its Division Heads have a very cold and calculating unorthodox approach to conducting business. Protecting and serving their clients is the only thing that matters. Nevertheless, loyalty can swing both ways in this journey through greed, corruption, and absolute lack of accountability.
As a former Las Vegas Casino Surveillance Director, Michael Crayter, a straight shooter, becomes an unaware, almost, employee of TierGroup in mid-2001. His transformation takes many shapes from idea man to fraud guru. He embarks on a journey to Iraq, through Hurricane Katrina and eventually takes part in one of the biggest scams in the history of the United States – the TARP funding program. His boss, Charles “The Czar” Zarin, is the ultimate manipulation mentor. Michael Crayter’s experience will last for more than eight years and will make his old Vegas job seem like child’s play.
The investment opportunities the United States has to offer during this timeframe are seemingly endless and the public joins in on the greed. The whole country is riding high on the inflated value train with careless abandonment. There are no regulations followed or laws unbroken by the Mortgage Lenders, Stock Brokers, and Bankers. The bubble is getting bigger and the clock is ticking. It’s every man for himself. Divide and conquer. Borrow and spend. No one sees the tsunami coming, except for Charles Zarin. Capitalism will be turned upside down and the money spigot will run dry.
By late 2007 the bubble bursts and our country’s economy is left in ruins. The Treasury is sent in to bail out the white-collar thieves. While losing most of its clients TierGroup and Michael Crayter are left to fend for themselves. The tables are turned on the fat-cat bankers who caused the meltdown. Michael Crayter uses his hard gained experience to get even with the fake bastards. Almost everyone loyal to TierGroup gets away with highway robbery and the American taxpayer is left holding the bag. Michael Crayter begins to tell his story, in this Four Part first-person narrative, during a 2005 interview at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

Bio:

G. Gordon Dean is a Real Estate agent and Business Consultant currently living in Arizona. He has been a media buff for over two decades. As a media buff he has kept himself well aware of past and current events in business, government, and politics. He lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for over 30 years. This is his first novel.
Price/Format: $4.99 ebook
Pages: 263
Release: October 15, 2012

Kindle buy link ($4.99):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009RP6NU0?tag=tributebooks-20

Nook buy link ($4.99):
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scam-factory-g-gordon-dean/1113508194?ean=2940015503814

Interview:

GARY DEAN RFP PICS 013

Please tell us about your current release.

SCAM FACTORY is a modern day White-Collar Crime Novel that begins in 2001 and continues into 2009. The 4-part story tells about the events that led to the U. S. Financial Crash that started in late 2007. The story’s main character, Michael Crayter, begins a new career, in mid-life, with an ultra-private Washington D.C. Consulting Firm. The Consulting Firm (TierGroup) represents seventeen of the worlds’ largest and most powerful industries who are making tremendous financial gains with no end in sight. SCAM FACTORY is also a story that takes its reader to Iraq, New Orleans, the Caribbean, and other major US cities. I believe I have described the story well in the Back Cover Copy and Prologue.

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

The journey for writing SCAM FACTORY started with a dream I had one night about interviewing for an executive position at a major Consulting Firm. I landed the job in my dream, but after I woke up, I still had no idea what they did. I thought to myself: That was not a legitimate company, it was a Scam Factory. Then I further thought to myself that it might make an interesting book or even a movie. The war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the U.S. financial crash, which all occurred within the last 12 years, were also a perfect fit for this story.

Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?

I designed and created the book cover with help of an associate. The title says it all: SCAM FACTORY. There is a silhouette of Washington D.C. in the background on the bottom of the cover, with the Washington Monument broadly standing out almost like a smoke stack from a factory, and sub tittles give the reader added information about the story. The font colors are also mean to stand out. I may add a light watermark of hurricane Katrina in the background later.

What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?

That is a very good question. I had to do some research on this since SCAM FACTORY is a work of fiction. I only found one white-collar fiction book being sold today to compare it to: “RUDIGER” by David Lender. It had some of the same types of crimes committed in parts of my book. Several modern Nonfiction books, currently on the market, also include many of the same types of crimes that I wrote about. I didn’t have much luck, but it could be that I don’t know where to look. Maybe someone out there will find other comparable books and share them with us.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Over all I can say that writing SCAM FACTORY is the biggest quirk because I only type with two fingers! I was not using the ‘Tab’ key where needed and hit the ‘Hard Return’ key too often, which made more than double the work for editing and formatting. This is my first novel and I am almost surprised that I was able to accomplish the challenging task of writing it.

Typing with two fingers! That blows me away. I admire you persistence, I imagine that would make the actual writing a lot longer as well.

Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.

SCAM FACTORY -PART 3- Chapter 20 –Failure Is An Option:

During a private meeting with the three largest U.S. bank owners Michael Crayter (the CEO of TierGroup) speaks privately with Henry Strassburger (the secret owner of 100 independent banks) against the strong advice of his legal team. Michael knows that now is the time to take advantage of a very lucrative opportunity, find cracks in the system, and manipulate Strassburger. Their ‘mutual’ goal is to keep Strassburgers interest in the 100 independent banks a secret while acquiring the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funding from the US Treasury Department. The amount Strassburgers’ banks need is about $125 million for each bank (or $12.5 billion total). Michael Crayter does not trust Strassburger at all. He senses Strassburger is hiding the 100 banks loses and making false statements about their true financial condition to the government. What Henry Strassburger does not realize is that Michael Crayter does not intend to help him keep the banks from taking major loses or closing…

Do you plan any subsequent books?

I am not sure about that right now. I have two or three other fictional book ideas in mind, but want to see how this one goes. I have been told that SCAM FACTORY would make a great movie, so a movie script may be in the works in the near future.

Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.

I am not an avid reader, but I am always interested in new documentaries, news, and events that help me stay connected to current events. I watch programs on public television, cable and learning channels, and other major media outlets. I am usually going over Business and Real Estate opportunities being offered by others. Sometimes I am doing the actual business planning, modeling, and research for others, which requires a ton of evaluation, writing, and revisions.

It was a pleasure to have you Gary, best of luck with your book and blog tour.

The Giveaway! Open-mouthed smile

I believe in keeping things simple. So here is super-easy super-simple giveaway. Be the first person to comment on this post (with your name and E-mail address) and you win a free Ebook copy of Scam Factory. How easy is that? Thanks for reading, have a great day all Hot smile

Movie Review: Judge Dredd (2012)

Details from IMDB:

Dredd 3D Poster

 

Dredd 3D (2012)

95 min  -  Action | Sci-Fi  -   21 September 2012 (Canada)

Ratings: 7.7/10 from 16,403 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 193 user | 191 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

Director:

Pete Travis

Writers:

Carlos Ezquerra (characters), Alex Garland (screenplay), and 1 more credit »

Stars:

Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey | See full cast and crew

Initial thoughts:

After several unsuccessful attempts to get my wife to go I finally convinced a friend of mine to see this (ok he wanted to see it and I tagged along Smile). I’ve never read the comics but I had heard good things about this movie and I was sure Karl Urban as Judge Dredd would do a better job than Stallone. Vampire bat

I just read a comment about this film being shown primarily in 3D and I tend to agree it is usually a rip off. A lot of movies just aren’t worth the extra money. I saw this one in 2D and thought it looked great, 3D wasn’t needed.

Main Points:

As always no plot summary. After about 5 minutes Dredd puts the helmet on and the action starts (and he doesn’t take it off, that’s the way Dredd rolls Hot smile). I loved how this was a straight forward action movie with some fun parts and good acting. (Lena Headey did a nice job as the psycho criminal Ma-Ma).

There is plenty of action here and while there were a few gory parts, I found most of the shots were quick and I was never grossed out long enough for it to bother me.

I know this movie is commenting on society and what we could come to with violence, gangs, criminals, cops and drugs but I never paid much attention to that. It was just fun to see Dredd and his partner Anderson (played by the talented up and coming Olivia Thirlby).

SPOILER ALERT!

Not much really but Ma-Ma does die in the end and despite her technically failing her test, Dredd does give Anderson a pass for what should have been another movie.

I would also have liked to have seen the whole mutant idea developed more. Anderson is a telepath and there is a comment that she “lucked out” because she didn’t have 3 arms. What caused the mutations? What can other mutants do? I guess I’ll have to read the comics to find out.Open-mouthed smile

Final Thoughts:

I would have seen a Dredd 2, I hope somehow it gets made. Another excellent comic book movie than I had a lot of fun watching. If you can find it near you and you don’t mind a little gore and lots of violence I would highly recommend this movie Thumbs up. I give it a 8/10. Next time will be my review of Argo (another really good movie). Until then I am as always…

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Walmarts GET IT ON THE SHELF contest

 

ImageWalMart is hosting a ‘get it on the shelf’ contest for independent authors and publishers to get the books shelved in WalMart. Voting starts March 7. Walter Knight, author of the humorous military sci-fi series AMERICA’S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION has entered a video promoting his series.

 

PLEASE VOTE – go here – http://www.getontheshelf.com/product/1187/”America’s-Galactic-Fore