Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pale Kings by Micah Yongo


Pale Kings by Micah Yongo

When the gods return to claim their world, the Five Realms will fall, in this earth-shaking epic fantasy thriller following on from the author’s seminal debut, Lost Gods

The Sovereignty has been at peace for three centuries, but now the war to end all wars has finally come. The border cities of the Reach are destroyed, others are falling rapidly, and a nameless force lays waste in the north. When Neythan and his friends are led to the Summerlands in search of answers, he is unexpectedly confronted with secrets from his forgotten childhood, long buried beneath past trauma, and linked to the ancient scroll he has always carried. As the mysterious invasion continues, and the supernatural forces responsible are revealed, Neythan must learn the truth that lies in his blood… before it is too late.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman


The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman

Sorcerers fight for the right to exist and fall in love, in this extraordinary alternate world fantasy thriller by award-winning Israeli author

Throughout human history there have always been sorcerers, once idolised and now exploited for their powers. In Israel, the Sons of Simeon, a group of political extremists, persecute sorcerers while the government turns a blind eye. After a march for equal rights ends in brutal murder, empath, moodifier and reluctant waiter Reed becomes the next target. While his sorcerous and normie friends seek out his future killers, Reed complicates everything by falling hopelessly in love. As the battle for survival grows ever more personal, can Reed protect himself and his friends as the Sons of Simeon close in around them?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Shrouded Loyalties by Reese Hogan


Shrouded Loyalties by Reese Hogan

A soldier returns home with a dangerous secret from an alternate realm, unaware that she is surrounded by spies and collaborators, in this intense military science fiction novel.

Naval officer Mila Blackwood is determined to keep her country’s most powerful secret – shrouding, the ability to traverse their planet in seconds through an alternate realm – out of enemy hands. But spies are everywhere: her submarine has been infiltrated by a Dhavnak agent, and her teenage brother has been seduced by an enemy soldier. When Blackwood’s submarine is attacked by a monster, she and fellow sailor, Holland, are marked with special abilities, whose manifestations could end the war – but in whose favor? Forced to submit to military scientists in her paranoid and war-torn home, Blackwood soon learns that the only people she can trust might also be the enemy.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Tariff Impact ► Things You Might Buy Before Tariffs Make Them More Expensive


Tariff Impact ► Things You Might Buy Before Tariffs Make Them More Expensive

President Trump's latest tariffs on Chinese goods could make the holiday season — and beyond — much more
expensive. Your budget might feel the impact of the next round of tariffs sooner and more keenly than with previous tariffs. President Trump recently announced that the U.S. plans to levy an additional 10% tax on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China. But unlike previous tariffs, which focused on goods that are parts for the manufacture of other things, the new batch of tariffs falls heavily on finished goods, according to CNN.

This new round of tariffs will kick in on 1 SEP, Trump said. So, while some companies may still successfully plead for exemptions, many household items and holiday gift favorites stand to be hit with new ongoing taxes next month.

Since those additional costs could be passed on to consumers, now is the time to consider stocking up on anything you need that may face fresh tariffs. Here is a look at some of the things that may soon increase in price.

1. Office and school supplies -- Erasers, Scissors, Pencils, Crayons, and Sharpeners.

2. Cellphones -- The proposed list includes telephones for cellular networks as a whole. Prices could rise by 14%, according to a June report compiled for the Consumer Technology Association. That would mean that the average retail price for a cellphone ($492) would increase by nearly $70.

3. Baby products – Diapers, Strollers, Walkers, Playpens, Nursery monitor systems, and Child safety seats.

4. Toys for children and pets alike.. Consumers could soon be paying 30% to 40% more for toys, a toymaker executive recently told The Washington Post.

5. Batteries. Nickel-cadmium, lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries all appear on the list of proposed tariffs.

6. Shoes. With 70% of shoes sold in the U.S. coming from China, the industry is bracing for a hit, CNBC reports. Industry analysis suggests a 10% tariff could bump up the consumer price of popular canvas sneakers from $49.99 to $58.69 and that of running shoes from $150 to $187.50, according to CNBC. More than 170 shoe retailers and brands have asked the Trump administration not to raise tariffs on footwear.

7. Winter clothing – Gloves, Mittens, Scarves, Sweaters, and Coats

8. Laptops and tablets -- Laptop and tablet computer prices could rise by 19%, according to the June report compiled for the CTA. That would mean the average retail price for a laptop ($622) would increase by about $120, and that of a tablet ($264) would increase by $50.

9. Video game consoles -- China accounts for more than 96% of imported video game consoles, and there is very little production in the U.S. As a result, nearly all of the higher cost of tariffs on consoles would be passed on to consumers. The CTA expects prices in the U.S. would rise by 19% which would increase the average retail price for a video game console ($294) by $56.

10. Drones -- The CTA expects the new tariffs on this category of goods to push up prices of toy and “starter” drones by 15% overall, or by $61 for a drone at the average retail price of $404.

11. Cameras -- Digital still image video cameras, old-school instant-print and film cameras, appear on the proposed list of goods facing the new tariffs. Photography accessories and parts are also included.

12. Bedding and other linens -- Bedspreads, blankets, quilts and comforters, Pillows and cushions, Curtains, drapes and valances, Kitchen linens, and Bath linens

13. Dishware -- Many kinds of cutlery, drinking glasses, and porcelain and china tableware all appear on the list.

14. Eyewear – Corrective/non-corrective glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses that originate in China.

15. Watches and clocks -- wristwatches, clocks and alarm clocks.

16. Musical instruments -- a number of categories of musical instruments, ranging from accordions to grand pianos — and their various accessories.

17. Bibles -- “Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter,” a wide-ranging category that covers everything from maps and calendars to postcards and greeting cards plus most-sold book, the Bible. As many as 150 million bibles are printed in China each year.

18. Fishing and sports gear -- Fishing rods, hooks and line plus a variety of other sports and outdoors activities, ranging from skis and ice skates to tents and camping goods.

19. Fireworks, signaling flares, matches and other explosives.

20. Home entertainment – TVs.

21. Home improvement – Doors, Blinds, Wallpaper, Ceiling fans, Kitchen appliances such as ovens, stoves and dishwashers, Washing machines and dryers

22. Certain motor vehicles – Motorcycles, Tanks, Snowmobiles, Golf carts

[Source: MoneyTalksNews | Brandon Ballenger | August 9, 2019 ++]

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Ash Kickers by Sean Grigsby


Ash Kickers by Sean Grigsby

It’s dragons vs firefighters vs the Phoenix in the scorching fantasy sequel to Smoke Eaters.

With ex-firefighter Cole Brannigan in command of the Smoke Eaters, the dragon menace is under control. Thanks to non-lethal Canadian tech, the beasts are tranquilized and locked up, rather than killed. But for Tamerica Williams, this job filled with action and danger, has become tediously routine.

When a new threat emerges, a legendary bird of fire – the Phoenix – it’s the perfect task for Williams. But killing the Phoenix just brings it back stronger, spreading fire like a plague and whipping dragons into a frenzy. Will it prove to be too much excitement, even for adrenalin-junkie Williams?

Friday, August 16, 2019

THE DEEP by Nick Cutter, Gallery books, $26.00, reviewed by Jim Brock


Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for Canadian writer Craig Davidson. He also uses the pseudonym Patrick Lestewka. I tell you this because I suspect after reading THE DEEP you will be like me in seeking out other books by “them” – especially THE TROOP, the first Nick Cutter book.

The phrase that kept bouncing around my mind as I read THE DEEP was “sickeningly horrific’. This thing touched on some of my “deepest” fears in every sense of the word. First, the world is beset by a plague called the ‘Gets. This is a scary thing to me because it seems so much more possible than zombies, vampires, and etc. People just start forgetting things and these things go from small to large – eventually forgetting to live.

There is some possible hope to be found from a newly discovered substance called Ambrosia which seems to be a universal healer. Ambrosia has been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the Pacific Ocean. Multiple governments and corporations have built a trillion dollar lab at the bottom of the ocean to gather and test Ambrosia. This installation is populated by three scientists, the most brilliant of which is Dr. Clayton Nelson. But now, communication has been lost between the lab and the surface.

Veterinarian Dr. Luke Nelson has been summoned, at his brother’s request, before communication was lost. He must get into a small submersible with a deep sea pilot and go eight miles down (that’s 8 miles down) to the lab at the bottom of the Mariana Trench to see what’s going on. This hits my claustrophobia a gigantic blow that stays and pressures me the entire book.

This only brings us to the miserable and horrible backgrounds of Luke and Clayton and the others and to the secret of Ambrosia’s source and what was really waiting for them at the bottom of the ocean. It becomes clear that the ‘Gets might be the mildest horror in THE DEEP. And don’t ask me about what happens to the dig, L.B. I am still traumatized by that. If you like your horror extra strong, THE DEEP is for you.

Friday, August 9, 2019

So You Think You Know Everything? Part 3


 Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

 TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

 Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

 Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

 Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; Otherwise it will digest itself.

There, now you know (Almost) everything! (According to Virgil).

[Source: Tailwaggers & Jokes | December 17, 2017 ++]

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

So You Think You Know Everything? Part 2


 If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.

 It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

 Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

 Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

 No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

 Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and Ears never stop growing.

 Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

 Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

 "Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.

 The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

 The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of Diesel that it burns.

 The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

 The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

 The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

 The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read Left to right or right to left (palindromes).

 There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

 There are more chickens than people in the world.

 There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": Tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

 There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

 There's no Betty Rubble in the "Flintstones Chewables Vitamins".

Monday, August 5, 2019

So You Think You Know Everything?


Did you know the following?


 A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

 A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

 A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue, Google "Crocodiles: Facts & Pictures - Live Science"

 A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

 A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (actually disputed at this time, to "might be 30 Seconds, if not active)

 A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. Not sure about the builders measurement of a Poofteenth, (said to be about 1/128th of an inch)

 A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

 A snail can sleep for three years.

 Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

 All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

 Almonds are a member of the peach family.

 An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain. (I know a few people like that)

 Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

 Butterflies taste with their feet. (Not standing on that again)

 Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.

 "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "MT".

 February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

 In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

 If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.