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. 


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


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. 


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 :
Not quite seasonal beers like the Oktoberfest mix set, this is more of a 'year end' event. But their seasonal, Bogwater, is out now:
A reminder that you can buy Beau's online through their site here, part of the BYBO program :
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.

November 25, 2013

New Edition of 'The Way of Kings' Coming

So you haven't picked up The Way of Kings yet, by Brandon Sanderson? That's OK! Because on March 4, 2014 there will be a new edition coming in trade paperback. 

Here is the info....

November 21, 2013

The Dragons Dance Everywhere

By now I am pretty sure that A Song of Ice and Fire Book Five, A Dance With Dragons, is now out in all countries and all formats on the planet.

I don't track international or foreign editions, so excuse my ignorance if you're still waiting for the book in some or form where you live. 

It exists as an audio book. It exists as an ebook. It exists in hardback. It exists in softcover (in some countries, split into subsequent volumes). 

In short, all the editions should be out by now. Since 'winter is coming' in exactly one month (and Christmas shortly after) I should also remind you that the first four books (as well as obviously the most recent one. George is working on the next book) are now out in all formats as well, allowing yourself or whoever you're buying for an easy catch-up in the series.

Although, waiting for things can be painful so I don't blame you if you're waiting for the final book to come out before even buying the series. 

The best value of the series: (ISBN captioned with corresponding book). These are the US editions by Bantam. The UK softcover editions by Harper Voyager are as nice also.





November 20, 2013

Coming Soon: XBOX ONE

No, not the Xbox that came out before the XBOX 360, the one that's coming out in a few days.

November 19, 2013

Sens Heritage Jersey

Next Thursday (the 28), The Ottawa Senators will reveal a new heritage jersey to be worn against the Vancouver Canucks in B.C on March 2. I'll post again once the jersey has been "officially unveiled".

Goodreads Choice Awards: Final Round

You have until the 25th to vote in the final round of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards...good luck!

To My Readers: Technology!

Again, in a series of blog posts, this is to help you out, the reader, for your shopping this time of year. I don't know what your budget is, but here are some suggestions I'm passing your way.....

November 14, 2013

'Hell on Wheels' Keeps Rolling

I haven't seen any episodes yet (it is on my Netflix list) but AMC's series Hell on Wheels was just renewed for a 4th season. Better than that - it went from 10 episodes for the season to 13. With Breaking Bad ending a few months ago, and Mad Men on its way out, this looks to be AMC's new flagship series.

Speaking of TV, where am I at?

Season 3 of Breaking Bad
Season 5 [final] of Damages (once I finish that I'll start up Hell on Wheels)
Watching Big Bang and Shield week by week.
Once Boardwalk Empire finishes its 4th season, I'll start watching that season. Likewise in March with Walking Dead.

November 7, 2013

Amazon Wishlist Update: *my* Turn

So far I posted two gift idea posts to help YOU out to shop, and will do a few more. But for now, I'm going to share a few things off my Amazon list....

November 6, 2013

To My Readers: The wii u

This post, I'm going to talk about, and recommend my newest gaming console - the wii u.

November 5, 2013


At last, here are the 'tracks' for the soundtrack for The Hobbit (Part 2).....

1. The Quest for Erebor
2. Wilderland
3. A Necromancer
4. The House of Beorn
5. Mirkwood
6. Flies and Spiders
7. The Woodland Realm
8. Feast of Starlight
9. Barrels Out of Bond
10. The Forest River
11. Bard, a Man of Lake-town
12. The High Fells
13. The Nature of Evil
14. Protector of the Common Folk

1. Thrice Welcome
2. Girion, Lord of Dale
3. Durin's Folk
4. In the Shadow of the Mountain
5. A Spell of Concealment
6. On the Doorstep
7. The Courage of Hobbits
8. Inside Information
9. Kingsfoil
10. A Liar and a Thief
11. The Hunters
12. Smaug
13. My Armor Is Iron
14. I See Fire performed by Ed Sheeran
15. Beyond the Forest
Please note that this is tracklist for the special edition. The regular has less material on it. 

October 31, 2013

To My Readers: Book Buying Suggestions

This is the first in a series of posts of gift-giving suggestions, as we are close to (American) Thanksgiving, (and therefore, Black Friday) as well as Christmas and other holidays in December. This post will look at books. I've suggested some ISBNs of ideal editions (cost, quality)

October 29, 2013

Chapters Weekend (Online) Sale

Chapters will be having an online sale. You save 15% off weekends. The sale applies Saturdays and Sundays only, and ends March 30th, 2014. The promo code is 15offweekends . you enter this at the online checkout. Starts Saturdays (12:01 EST) and ends Sundays (11:59 PM EST). There is no minimum spend, and on regular priced items. 

Can't be used on giftcards, ebooks, doantions etc.....

I'll be doing a Book Shopping Guide post, which I'm sure will help you buy books as gifts...either for yourself or others. 

October 28, 2013

Benefits of The Book Depository

Because I live in Canada, certain some things come from the United States, and others come from the UK. This post will examine books.

Struggling Sens

Lately the Ottawa Senators have been struggling. We haven't been winning a lot of games. We played the West Coast a lot, and had a late home opener. I'm not sure what it is, but we've got to start winning some more games. It's still early in the season, so the gang has still room to catch up and improve....though hopefully with more wins than losses. The next game will be tomorrow night vs Chicago.

October 27, 2013

The Hobbit (Part 2) Soundtrack Artwork

Once again, the soundtrack will be offered be in regular CD format, 'Special Edition' (2 discs with more tracks), as well as vinyl, which is basically a vinyl version of the standard CD. The itunes editions will most likely mirror the CD releases. 
Stand by for tracklisting and ordering info. I'm glad that the music for Part 2 is being released in a similar fashion to Part 1. And, Most likely, Part 3 as well. 

October 21, 2013

Gift Idea [Not for Me] : "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" set

With renewed interest in Tolkien due to the Hobbit films, here is a gift option for shoppers come Thanksgiving / Christmas [I will do a Christmas idea post in November or December sometime. This ideas are not for myself.]

October 19, 2013

Why the Wheel of Time is Ideal for ereaders

I am about half-done the Wheel of Times book series by Robert Jordan, and completed by Brandon Sanderson.

October 17, 2013

"Winds of Winter" Sample Chapter *Update*

It's going to be a Barristan Selmy chapter. Don't know details beyond that at this point. It may be 'titled' ("The Queensguard" or something) rather than 'named' ('Barristan')

If you want to get into the series, read past the jump for more.

Stomping Grounds

Tonight the Ottawa Senators will tackle the New Jersey Devils at their home of  CT Center. This is the Sens' home opener of the regular season, and we are looking for a big win. Get ready, cus here it comes! 

October 14, 2013

My Hockey Pool

Team: St Louis
(Daniel) Sedin
You have to pick:     HOCKEY POOLS SCORING

1 Goalie    - 2 pts by win - 4 pts by shutouts 
1 Team     - 2 pts by win - 1 pts by lost in OT
8 Forward    - 1 pts by goal - 1 pts by assist
2 Defence    - 1 pts by goal - 1 pts by assist

October 13, 2013

Fall Beer Season (and the End of Oktoberfest)

Some of my friends and family know that I like to drink. I wouldn't consider myself a drunkard or an alcoholic, but I like the taste of beer, and usually have it with food and / or in a social setting. That being said, I do have preferences of what I do like to drink.

October 9, 2013

Book Review: "Crown of Swords" (Wheel of Time book 7)

I've finished the seventh (of fourteen...getting there!) Wheel of Time novel. If you want to know what I have to say, read more....

October 8, 2013

The Spirit of St Louis

Ahh the St Louis Blues....

Make no mistake, I am first and foremost an Ottawa Senators fan..but that's in the East. After seeing St Louis' sports highlights during last season, especially during the playoffs, they are now my favorite team in the West

They are the only team from the expansion yet to win a Stanley Cup. And this may be their year. 

Before I go further, I should add that at work I entered a hockey pool (separate, next post). I chose the Blues as my team (basically, 'what if Ottawa doesn't go all the way?' I'd love them bu they aren't really a 'playoff team'. And besides, they are in the East, Blues in the West so I don't feel guilty following another team too) and Brian Elliott as my goalie. 

Now, back to my post.

About *2-3* days after my post, I saw this little dandy:

"NHL 14 picks Blues to win Stanley Cup"

EA games ran a simulator that had the Blues beat the Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, winning the Cup. Here is a rundown by EA games [this is the end of the note by me, click the jump to see the stats EA came up with].

October 6, 2013


I'm pretty sure most of the NHL teams have had their first game, at lest. Hockey season has now begun!

The Ottawa Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 in their opener, but lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4. Very close, very tense game. Toronto's lineup is improving.

Should be a good season; as well as hopefully goo standings in my hockey pool [more on that later]. 

September 26, 2013

Dexter Wraps Up

I have now seen the final episode of Dexter. Here is my review of the episode, the season, and the series.

September 23, 2013

Emmy Winners

Last night was the Emmy Awards. Here is a list of the winners, as well as my reaction....

September 22, 2013

TV Alert: 'Dexter' Final Episode

Tonight is the series finale, the last episode of Dexter. It is titled "Remember the Monsters?". I behind, but I will write a review of the episode, the season, and the series in one mega-post after I watch it. 
Goodbye....Dexter Morgan. 

September 17, 2013

iOS7 Arrives Tomorrow

Tomorrow there's a big update coming from Apple if you own an iphone 4 or newer, ipod touch 5th gen, and ipad 2 or newer (or ipad mini). It's the latest version of iOS, Apple's mobile / tablet operating system. The update will be available tomorrow, but I'm not sure of what times, or areas first. Expect some new features, and a revamped visual look. I haven't done a lot of research on this, but assume some apps won't work right off the bat, and there may be a few hiccups. I'll write again with how updating my 4S goes.   

September 16, 2013

Switch to Short Fiction

Well, I'm coming close to my deadline.That is, my deadline to submit a short story for potential publication is October 29. The next time I sit down and write, I will be putting A Climb of Chaos, and the rest of Kalvel, aside to work on my short story. After that, I shall resume writing, not jotting down notes, or doing shuffling, but writing those two things around Christmas time. 

I've got enough of a lead to write anywhere from 3-5 chapters once I return to Kalvel. And, that's not counting 'extra stuff'. Like I said previously, I'm not deleting anything, just moving it around. So come the end of my final volume, if I still have things to say about Kalvel that couldn't 'fit' or 'work' as part of the main series [either due to length, tone or editing], expect some of those things to pop in a book entitled The Lost Lore of Kalvel, which is a historic-type book, featuring a few short stories of what potentially couldn't 'work' with the main series of novels; while fitting in with the rest of The Lost Lore, of course.