Posted in book addict, book review, book series, reading, series review

Series Review: The Land By Aleron Kong

I honestly never heard of LitRPG books until a friend of my started talking about writing one. I was full of questions. He ended up suggesting a few series to read in LitRPG. I was hesitant at first, because I do love playing RPG video games, but never considered reading a story that was like a video game. So decided to take the plunge. Wow, what a ride!

I started my adventure with Aleron Kong and his LitRPG series called The Land.

I won’t lie, the first book took me several weeks to finish. It took me awhile to adjust to how LitRPG books work.

One of the major differences of a LitRPG compared to a regular novel is there are regular status updates on the character and “game play”. In this particular series, it happened with tabled charts showing the progression of the characters points, level attributes, upgrades, ect.

At first this was very jarring to me, because I felt liked it halted the story big time. On the other hand, I did like knowing all the progression and upgrades as the story progressed. I think for me, it was just getting used to this kind of new reading style. Once I did, I literally could not put these freaking books down. I felt like I was right there with Richter as he stepped into The Land and began a wild journey of adventure and exploration.

aThe story starts out with a group of real life gamers playing a video game. One of the players ends up finding a hard to reach place in the game that he’s been searching for a long time. He’s expecting epic loot, but ends up finding himself catapulted into a new reality.

Once inside The Land, Richter quickly makes new friends and enemies as well as discovers an old place of power, which he claims and plans to erect a village. He quickly becomes a powerhouse as he racks up points and power, determined to find as much loot as possible and rise to the top.

Right now this book has eight books with a ninth on the way soon. The titles are…

Founding, Forging, Alliances, Catacombs, Swarm, Raiders, Predators, Monsters.

This book is set in a fantasy type setting with swords, dwarfs, elves, magic, monsters, and many more fun and imaginative things. There’s a lot of exploration and learning about this new world. There’s also lots of fighting action with sprites, goblins, demons, banished gods, and hordes of monstrous creatures.

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Posted in book addict, book review, book series, ebook, series review

Book Series Review: The Iron Druid Chronicles By Kevin Hearne

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a series review, but I recently finished this series and really wanted to share my thoughts on it.

I have to tell you the Iron Druid books left an impact on me. I can honestly say that this is definitely one of my favorite series, but it’s also one that I dislike as well. But before I get into all of that, let me tell you a little bit about what this series is about.

The Iron Druid Chronicles starts with the book Hounded. A 2,100 year old druid is masquerading as a 21 year-old who owns an occult book store in modern day Arizona. To every one he looks like some stoner college student, but in reality he’s packing a lot of ancient knowledge and power. But don’t tell anyone, because he’s supposed to be hiding out from an Irish god who wants to kill him.

And it just gets better (and more complicated from there). lol…

The story follows Atticus on many and crazy escapades as he tries to hold his own against a bunch of religious pantheons that don’t like him very much. It might be because he’s a little bit snarky and doesn’t really care what anyone might think about him or what he does, he also has a big issue with people (or gods) who harm the earth, because he’s druid, duh. So that can really get him riled up sometimes.

My absolute favorite part of this story is that Atticus has a faithful companion named Oberon who is an Irish wolfhound, and Atticus has taught him how to speak (mentally). So it’s just a lot of fun to watch their awesome conversations play out, and see this deep friendship between hound and human grow over the course of the series.

This series includes 9 books and a bunch of novellas and short stories. The short stories and novellas help to bring more depth to the main story, and in many cases, I found the novellas and short stories to be superior in story quality to some of the novels. So I highly recommend them.

I’m not going to list out the whole chronological order of stories, novellas, and novels. You can find that information on Hearne’s website. But here are the 9 books in the series.

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Posted in author, author interview, book series, books

An Author Interview with A.W. Exley

Isn’t it fun to get obsessed about a book, or a book series? It’s a great feeling to get lost into something exciting. And my latest addiction happens to be A.W. Exley’s Artifact Hunters series. If you missed it, please check out my review of the first book Book Review: Nefertiti’s Heart By A.W. Exley, and earlier this week I did a review of the entire series Series Review: The Artifact Hunters. Now it’s time to get a peak at the author herself. Check it out below.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! First, I have some questions about the Artifact Hunters series.

This is a fantastic series that brings together an amazing cast of characters. All of the characters loveable with their own quirks. Did you find one character that you liked the absolute most, and why?

Jackson! He didn’t have much of a role in the first book and he was supposed to be this thug in the background. But as the series progressed, he grew on me. He’s got this really tough exterior, and as the story unfolded, I discovered why he was like that. As Cara says he’s a crème brulee––crack that tough outer shell and he’s all soft and gooey inside LOL

I love the way you brought Cara and Nate together. Their stories so intertwined, especially once Nefertiti’s Heart became involved. What gave you the idea for this complex and fascinating artifact? And does it prolong their life in any way? How long will Cara and Nate be around (if you can say without ruining any potential new books in the series)?

Oh gosh… I wrote the book so long ago, I’m going to have to scrap the memory banks! Lol I remember trying to decide what to write and I pulled out my Egyptology books, a stack of true crime, and decided I was going to mash them together. That got me thinking about Nefertiti and what sort of artifact she would inspire. As to how long Cara and Nate might be around… I’ve tried killing them both off already and it didn’t work, so its safe to say they will be around for a bit longer yet 😉

This series is set on the backdrop of cool steampunk artifacts in the Victorian age. It’s a great world you built with lots of history, but with your own personal spin complete with mechanical hearts and beasts. Where did you get your inspiration to create this impressive world? Did you find it difficult to walk the line between fact and fiction?

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Posted in book addict, book review, books, series review

Series Review: The Artifact Hunters

I picked up a book in November that sent me on an exciting reading spree. I did a Book Review: Nefertiti’s Heart By A.W. Exley in November, but after finishing the series decided to contact the author directly. I loved her books so much, I wanted to find out more about them, and her. But before I post her author interview, I wanted to do a post summarizing the five books of her series.

The Artifact Hunters is a series set in the Victorian age with steampunk as the background. The two main characters are Cara Devon and Nathan Lyons. They are two members of the London peerage, but with much different backgrounds. But it’s their fighting spirit and love of adventure that draw these two together.

A series of five books showcase each of their stories, and the their combined story that throw them into some intense situations that will have you on the edge of your seat. Each book also showcases a particular artifact that either needs to be found, or stopped from creating chaos. Here’s a brief summary of each of the books.

Book 1: Nefertiti’s Heart is where the characters Cara and Nathan meet under precarious circumstances. Cara has to decide if she should trust the nefarious Lyons so she can get the money she needs to set herself up for a comfortable life. She also has to deal with her recently departed father and all the ancient artifacts he left behind. You can read more about this book through Book Review: Nefertiti’s Heart By A.W. Exley

Book 2: Hatshepsut’s Collar finds Nathan on Queen Victoria’s bad side. She’s detained Nathan in the Tower of London. Cara must decide how far she will go to help him. And when she discovers that the Queen is wearing a dangerous artifact, Cara must find away to convince the Queen to give it up. In the meantime, Nathan and Cara have a lot of trouble on their heels as they travel by airship to Russia and Siberia.

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Posted in A Writer's Life, better writing, build confidence as a writer, free writing, How to Be a Writer, how to write, The Writer's Toolbox, writing, writing advice, writing discipline

5 Steps to Setting Up a Daily Habit of Writing

image from Pixabay

In order to be a writer, one must write. But let’s face it, it’s not always easy to find the time to fit writing in, especially as a daily thing. But I’ve been writing long enough to know that I’m a lot more successful at writing, when I make writing a daily habit. So let’s take a look at five steps to be a daily writer.

Step 1: Time of Day

First identify the best time of the day to write for you. Everyone will be different, so don’t judge what works for you against someone else’s writing time. If you aren’t sure, do some experimenting. Is it first thing in the morning that you do the best writing? Is it midmorning or midday? Or is it the afternoon, or late at night?

Step 2: Set a Time Period

Next, set a period of time that you will write. This can be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, to several hours, or more. Even if it’s just a short writing session, if you are writing everyday, then that time will add up. You may find too that somedays you will get more writing in than others, and that’s okay.

Step 3: Have a Routine to Get You Started

It’s a lot easier to start writing if you are in the right mindset. Otherwise you could be sitting for half your writing time or more just trying to get into the piece you want to write on. There are many ways to get into a writing mindset. I will list a few here.

  • Listen to music you have specifically for writing
  • Start by free writing for 10 minutes or so to get into writing
  • Spend a few minutes clearing your mind and setting an intention on what you plan to do
  • Have a specific spot that you write and only write so when you sit down you are automatically put in the writing mood
  • Use a “writing hat” which is anything you wear or have near you while writing

You can do one or more than one of the above, or even come up with your own way(s). The important part is having a routine, so that your mind knows you are sitting down to write, and it’s time to get to business.

Step 4: Do Things to Prep for Writing

It’s important to only write during the time you allot to write. This may mean doing some prepping before hand such as letting anyone who lives with you know not to bother you during this time, turning off distractions like the phone or access to internet, and deciding the day or night before what you will be writing on. If you set an intention to write on something specific, you will be far more likely to have a great writing session the next day.

Step 5: Have Fun With Writing

Most important step of all. Don’t forget to have fun with writing! That’s why you started writing in the first place isn’t it? Writing was fun. It was exhilarating as you created new characters and worlds, or mind-blowing nonfiction. That should still be the case. Don’t let your deadlines or feelings of obligations suck all the fun away. Remember why you started writing, why you keep writing, and how much fun it is to play with words!

Do you already have a writing routine, and would like to share? Please feel free to post in the comments.