Category Archives: Uncategorized

Movie Review: Fury (4 *’s) (2014)

I don’t usually watch military movies—they normally don’t interest me, but Fury seemed like an unusual and intriguing story; so I went to see it with a friend. It’s a war movie set in Germany during the final Allied Invasion in World War II. The main characters are the five man crew of an American tank called Fury. It stars Brad Pitt (as Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier), Shia LaBeouf (as Boyd “Bible” Swan), and several other lesser-known actors. Logan Lerman plays the latest recruit to the crew: Norman Ellison, a green private who is ill-prepared for the job ahead.

The story begins, roughly speaking, with Fury’s return to an Allied base after a brutal combat in which they lost their gunner. The master sergeant assigns private Norman Ellison to replace him, much to Don Collier’s dismay. In any event, they are given a new mission: to assist in the capture of a nearby town. Six tanks short, they proceed on their mission. It is a quick success; they capture the town, execute an SS Nazi, and disarm the children who were being armed against them. (Yes, according to the film, the Nazi’s used children as soldiers, and if they resisted, they were hung up to die and serve as examples to other children).Then, they are assigned another mission: to take and hold a crossroads. It’s a critical juncture between the Allied Forces and the Germans. It is there that their courage, resolve, and stamina are truly tested. A lone tank with limited ammo against several hundred troops. Can they hold their position? Or is their destruction inevitable? I’m not telling.

Strengths: the special effects were good, the acting was good—Shia LaBeouf, in particular, did an excellent job. For once a religious person was represented by Hollywood in a non-demeaning way. The plot held my attention throughout the film. And there were no logical loopholes (but, of course, I think it was supposed to be based on a true story—I think) that I detected. Weaknesses: there were none that I noticed. For a moment, I was going to say that the use of plastic was a problem because I wasn’t sure how long that material has been around, but according to Wikepedia, it’s been around for quite long.

Anyway, I’ll give Fury a full four stars out of five.

Reminder: Book Signing and Talk for Drasmyr and The Children of Lubrochius

Matthew D. Ryan will be giving a talk on the writing process at Plattsburgh Public Library for its celebration of Teen Read Week. Afterward, he will be holding a book signing for his dark fantasy novel, Drasmyr, and its sequel, The Children of Lubrochius.

 

Talk and Book Signing Schedule
Thursday, October 16th, 6:30 p.m.— 7:30 p.m. Plattsburgh Public Library, Plattsburgh, NY

Movie Review: Left Behind (4*’s) (2014)

Left Behind is the latest Hollywood release that focuses on a fundamentally Christian event, although one that supposedly occurs in our future and not one from the distant past. The event: The Rapture: where Jesus of Nazareth gathers the worthy up into the sky so they don’t have to face the final tribulations before the end of the world. It’s based on the novel of the same name which is the beginning of a series of novels about the end of the world and the experiences of those people left behind from the Rapture. If you can accept the premise, it’s actually a good movie. Non-Christians, obviously, will probably find the movie to be too “Biblely” in concept, but I enjoyed it. There are a number of main characters in the movie: Rayford Steele (Nicholas Cage), Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson), Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray), and several others of less importance.

 

The movie begins with Chloe Steele flying home into an airport to visit her family for her father’s birthday party. Unfortunately, her father Rayford, a pilot, has been called in to work so he will be flying out soon. They meet each other at the airport and have a brief, tense, conversation. Chloe is angry that Rayford is working while she’s visiting. At the airport, Chloe also meets Buck Williams a famous, investigative journalist for the news and there is a little bit of romantic tension. There is also a ‘bible-thumper’ who is on-screen only for a couple minutes to relay the usual spiel that all the wars and disasters are signs of the Second Coming. Chloe tells her off, and she does not reappear in the film. Of course, a short while later, while Chloe is at the mall with her brother, and Rayford is flying a plane, the Rapture occurs. There is an initial bout of pure chaos as the people of the world try to cope with millions of people simultaneously disappearing in the blink of an eye. The story follows Chloe and Rayford in their search for answers and the desperate attempt to land Rayford’s plane.

 

Strengths: like I said, you have to accept the premise. Once you do so, this is a pretty good film. It held my attention the whole way through. It was religiously motivated, but it didn’t seem too over the top—at least to me. The characters were just average people dealing with a very unusual situation. Weaknesses: I don’t think there were many weaknesses. The only thing I’ll say is that it probably won’t appeal to non-religious, or non-Christian people, at least in concept. Those with an open mind, however, might like it.

 

Over all, I’ll give Left Behind a solid four stars out of five.

Give-A-Way On Goodreads

I am doing a Giveaway for The Children of Lubrochius on Goodreads:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Children of Lubrochius by Matthew D. Ryan

The Children of Lubrochius

by Matthew D. Ryan

Giveaway ends August 11, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Blog Tour: The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

Today we are doing something different. A tour within a tour. We are hosting another author forNBtM The Unholy Book Cover Banner copy their blog tour. Today we present to you The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III presented in cooperation with Goddess Fish Hosting. He’s on a “Name Before The Masses Tour” that started on 2/4/14 and will last until 8/19/14. Basically, he’s visiting a different web-site every Tuesday for the duration of the tour. You can find a complete list of his tour stops here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/12/virtual-nbtm-book-tour-unholy-by-paul-d.html

He is awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn commenter on the tour. So make sure you leave a pithy comment on this page and follow his tour on the other sites and comment there to increase your chances of winning.
Blurb:
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
Excerpt:
“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.

Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room. Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.

Turning toward the window, Claire saw a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning, and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.

All but two flew off, disappearing into the piñon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.

Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.

The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.

The crows waited, watched, then flew away.

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Paul DeBlassie III Author PhotoPaul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic.  He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Author Links
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-DeBlassie-III/e/B00E5TBJXY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Website: http://www.pauldeblassieiii.com/
Blog: http://pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com/
 

Buy Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Unholy-Novel-Paul-DeBlassie/dp/0865349592/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379592287&sr=8-1&keywords=the+unholy+paul+deblassie
BN.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-unholy-paul-deblassie/1116061527?ean=9780865349599

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

World-Building Athron: Spellcraft Skills

The spell system developed for my gaming system for the world of Athron is unique and complex. Early generations of system, in fact, proved to be too complex and the system had to be simplified. The final result is a list of skills accessible by any character: Magical lore, Any Spellcraft, Any Rune Lore, Any Alchemy, Energy, Scroll Lore, Command Item, Item Lore, Minor Magical Lore, Minor Spellcraft. These skills provide the backbone of the magic system as player characters understand it. As far as casting spells are concerned, the most important skills are Spellcraft, Rune Lore, Alchemy, and Energy. These are not singular skills, however; there are different spellcraft disciplines, and rune lore disciplines. For example, one discipline is fire. So, wizardly characters have the option of purchasing any of the following skills: flamecraft, fire rune lore, and fire alchemy. Originally, the energy used to activate these skills was divided by discipline as well. That is, there were separate skills like fire energy, and water energy. Unfortunately, this proved to be too complicated for the purposes of a game and involved far too much note-keeping. So it was simplified to a single energy skill. That cleared up a lot of note-keeping problems and headaches.

 

I used to have a list of spell disciplines or types somewhere. I probably still do, but I’m just too lazy to find it. Anyway, going from memory: there were the four basic elemental disciplines (fire, earth, water, and air) and a random assortment of others (wood, blood, flesh, bone, soul (conjuration), seer (divination), hell (demonology), death (necromancy)). In the gaming system, I was able to develop the elemental disciplines for the game. I have separate lists of spells, potions, and runes for each of those four spell disciplines. The other eight, however, were never fully developed. I can use the elemental disciplines as a template for the others in the future and get a general sense of what each spell discipline is like, but I don’t have hard-fast details. Fortunately, I don’t need quite so many details for work in a novel that I do in a game. My needs can be satisfied with a few quick notes. So, the spell system in my novels has an open-ended twelve disciplines or so, while the gaming system has a mere four. For the gaming system, the idea was always to expand it some at a later date.

 

Next week we will begin examining the fire discipline.

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Announcement: Upcoming Blog Tour for The Children of Lubrochius

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Book Tour for The Children of Lubrochius by Matthew D. Ryan (me), a Fantasy book available now. The tour will run June 9 – 27, 2014. The tour will consist of guest posts, promotional blurbs, interviews, and perhaps the occasional review. Throughout the tour, The Children of Lubrochiuswill be available for 50% off at Smashwords for those who use the appropriate coupon. I will be awarding a $20 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.

The list of tour sites is currently under development. We will keep you informed as we get more information. Remember to check out Goddess Fish Promotions; it wouldn’t have been possible without them!

June 9: Andi’s Book Reviews
June 10: Rogue’s Angels
June 11: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
June 12: Books and Other Spells
June 13: 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
June 16: MAD Hoydenish
June 17:
June 18:
June 19:
June 20:
June 23:
June 24:
June 25:
June 26: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
June 27:

VBT_ChildrenofLubrochius_Banner

Announcement: Upcoming Blog Tour for The Children of Lubrochius

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Book Tour for The Children of Lubrochius by Matthew D. Ryan (me), a Fantasy book available now. The tour will run June 9 – 27, 2014. The tour will consist of guest posts, promotional blurbs, interviews, and perhaps the occasional review. Throughout the tour, The Children of Lubrochiuswill be available for 50% off at Smashwords for those who use the appropriate coupon. I will be awarding a $20 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.

The list of tour sites is currently under development. We will keep you informed as we get more information. Remember to check out Goddess Fish Promotions; it wouldn’t have been possible without them!