December 31, 2013

Book Review: "Winter's Heart" (Wheel of Time book 9)


My final read of 2013...just in time! Read for another Wheel of Time review.

December 29, 2013

Movie Review: "Catching Fire"


Here is my long-promised review of Catching Fire.

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas! (and 'Humbug' to the Hustle and Bustle)


Believe it or not, it's Christmas Eve! That means there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas. The only thing on my to-do list is to wrap the gifts, which I do every year on Christmas Eve. The rest is eating and drinking! 

But I must say, the past few weeks have been hectic. Or have felt so in my head, anyway. I will be moving in Jan, so I'm 'living' at two places at once at the moment until the big move day. Therefore, my brain has been thinking of two different locations when placing / finding stuff. Not that big a move - about moving a bedroom, sans-furniture. 

I'm usually able to finish my shopping by December. But this year the shift from Nov. to Dec. happened quickly. And I had more gifts to buy. I've made a vow that will keep me from gettin' flustered, grumpy, and short-tempered (as I may have been. It's due to the crowds, mostly. Not to sound like a Scrooge, but sometimes that people are slow, or can't decide where to walk.).

I vow to, no matter what, start my shopping no later than Nov. 1, and finish no alter than Nov. 30. I do not want to set foot inside a shopping mall during the entire month of December if possible. I will plan my budget accordingly and stop shopping 'for me' in Oct (not counting any potential amazing Black Friday specials) and do so again on Boxing Day, and sparingly afterwards. So if you don't tell me what you want, or have ideas by Nov. 29, you'll get surprised! Sorry, no shopping in December. 

Christmas isn't about the gifts anyway! That's why I want to do away the shopping before December hits. 

I may have one or two more posts by December 31; but keep checking here. 

No matter how you celebrate, who you're with, Marry Christmas! (or Happy Kwanza if you celebrate that as well, or instead). I am in much better cheer now, and will enjoy the next few days.

  

December 23, 2013

"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" ( Being the Adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall, and His Squire, Egg)



I have some great and unexpected news! It seems that on some websites you can pre-order the first few Tales of Dunk and Egg. Currently, the book is titled A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. There is no official artwork for the cover or release date yet, but I have the ISBN numbers which are key for searching for it. These are for the hardback edition. 

BANTAM / US


ISBN-10: 0345533488
ISBN-13: 978-0345533487


HARPER VOYAGER / UK


ISBN 13: 9780007507672 

ISBN 10: 0007507674

I don't keep track of 'foreign editions', sadly. I will be sure to update you with official word, but this is something! 

These tales take place about 100 years before A Game of Thrones, Book One of A Song of Ice and Fire begins. For the '(fake) history buffs' you get an even further view into the past, as well as the roots and beginnings. So far, it doesn't feel as 'integral' as The Hobbit does Lord of the Rings but they will definitely be enjoyable if you're fans of the Ice and Fire books. 

The Escape of Fantasy

The birth of my love of fantasy?
It's been a bit between posts, I know. The holidays are arriving a bit faster than usual, and I'm going for most of them, so busy busy! Even though I'm off work. My next 'planned' post is my review of Catching Fire (and it will happen!) but I wanted to tell my tale about fantasy.

December 19, 2013

Movie Review: "Frozen"


The next movie for me to review is Disney's newest (and one of their best!), Frozen. I'm working my way backwards from The Hobbit (Part 2) so after this review will be Catching Fire.

December 16, 2013

"The Hobbit (Part 2)" Spoiler-Free Review


I saw a few movies lately - Catching Fire, Frozen and The Hobbit (Part 2). Here is my review of The Hobbit, the rest will follow later.

December 14, 2013

Brandon Sanderson Completes 'Words of Radiance'


Brandon Sanderson has completed Words of Radiance, the second book in his Stormlight series. It will be released on March 4 in hardback, ebook, and audio editions. 

For those who missed my posts on social media in the wee hours of the morning last week, I have finished the final draft ofWords of Radiance, second volume in the Stormlight Archive. We turned the manuscript in to Tor, and they printed the thing off and showed how big it is in this blog post here. They also released one of the interludeson their site for free, as a preview. Enjoy!





A sample was also posted, which I have re-posted below:

“Lift,” by Brandon Sanderson, is an interlude chapter from his upcoming novel, but new readers or those afraid of spoilers need not fear; it introduces a new character and a new land entirely removed from the plot of The Way of Kings, and stands very well on its own.
Lift, a young thief who augments her skills with some magical “awesomeness,” infiltrates a palace where a council of viziers is choosing their new supreme leader from a large pack of applications. She wants to steal their dinners, but is being chased by a terrifying lawman she calls “Darkness.”
What kind of magic is she using? Is the word “awesomeness” commonplace in this part of Roshar? Read on!

December 4, 2013

The Wheel of Time Retrospective by Brandon Sanderson

What follows is Brandon Sanderson's own account of completing the Wheel of Time series. He published a series of blog posts on his site, here they are collected into one.

Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 - Winners!

 
 
The winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards have been announced.
 
 
 
Congrats to winners and nominees all! I may not have read all the books, but I am sure you are all deserving and there are no losers here. Who knows, maybe someday some of my work may get nominated. Speaking of which.....

"The Widow's House" (Dagger and Coin book 4) - Pre-Ordered!


I announced not long ago about The Widow's House, Daniel Abraham's fourth book in the Dagger and Coin series. Happy to report I was able to pre-order it through my national bookstore (saw it listed on other sites, but do support your bookstores, too!).

In North America / Canada, on day of launch it will release as trade paperback and ebook. Here is the ordering info for the trade paperback:

  • ISBN-10: 031620398X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316203982
The books in the series so far are: The Dragon's Path, The King's Blood, The Tyrant's Law, The Widow's House, and one more to follow. The Widow's House will release August 5. 

Winterbeer

Winter is here. For me, aside from (occasionally) nice winter weather it also means a change in the beer season.
 
There are three worth noting, however, in the winter stouts are in 'season' whereas in the summer it's usually blondes. 
 
 
 
Anyway, Beau's has 'collected' their 4 best of the year and released it in a mix pack. They are Screamin' Beaver, Doc's Feet Dubbel, Burnt Rock and Rudulphous VI. Go here for more info and beer detail : https://www.beaus.ca/beer/best_of_beaus
 
 
 
Not quite seasonal beers like the Oktoberfest mix set, this is more of a 'year end' event. But their seasonal, Bogwater, is out now: https://www.beaus.ca/beer/seasonal/bog_water
 
A reminder that you can buy Beau's online through their site here, part of the BYBO program : http://www.beaus.ca/store/beer
 
 
 
Finally, there's the Mill St Seasonal Sampler. You get : Organic Lager, Tankhouse Ale, Cobblestone Stout, as well as Vanilla Porter and Distillery Ale, and Weizenbock:
 
Distillery Ale is a 5.8% abv UK-influenced ale that is described as follows:
A copper coloured English-style Old Ale made with English floor malted Maris Otter pale malt and caramel & chocolate malt, and a whole pile of English Fuggles and Goldings hops. Old Ales are similar to Barley Wines only smaller. This is a style of English Ale that would have been around in the old days of the Distillery District and the founders would have been very familiar with.
Weizenbock is a 7.5% abv dark wheat ale with the following notes:
A traditional German-style strong, dark wheat beer brewed for winter. The dominant flavour in this beer comes from imported German yeast. This produces a profound bubblegum and banana aroma and distinct “banana bread” palate that complements the dark, sweet malts used in this bockbier perfectly. Bottled unfiltered with its yeast still in it, this beer is naturally cloudy and has a creamy texture and richness that is typical of this quintessentially German style.

So enjoy! And remember - drink smart.