If you’ve been waiting for a blog, first off I have to say Thank You! I know I had posted what was going to be a schedule I planned to stick to and didn’t follow through. Pretty much right after the last post, I was in too much pain to do much of anything. The problem was solved, but it took about a month and a half. I should have come back to the blog at that point, but I was putting all my time into getting Christmas crochet gifts done, and the last gift took longer (I literally only finished it 2 days ago and now I don’t want to touch a big project for a long time).
Anyway, I hate feeling like I’m making excuses when blogging should just be FUN. And when I get into it, it is a lot of fun. I struggle with making the time for writing though, now that I’ve added more hobbies to my life >.<. Crochet kind of took over (I became addicted to the craft, I have a ton of passion for it as it turns out), and it does great things for my anxiety. However, now that the holidays are over with and I have no “deadlines” in regards to it, it’s time to make writing more present in my life. I just need to find that balance, which can be very difficult to do.
So this is not an excuse, or an apology for not being able to follow a set schedule when I got sick. I’m not going to put myself down for that, life happens and sometimes it takes time to figure things out. With that said, I won’t be making any promises.
I’m going to treat this blog as a hobby, something I do because I have something to say or just for fun. If that translates to regular posting, then that’s great. If not, so be it, that just means I’ve been occupied with other things that take precedence. I don’t see myself writing another checking in post like this unless I have something big I want to share outside of on topic posts. So this should be the last one I do for awhile.
Next post should be about my 2015 reading, maybe gaming as well. After that, who knows? I hope to find and solidify a routine this year, so hopefully that can happen. But again, no promises.
If you’d still like to check in with the blog, subscribe to be notified for when I do post, or just follow me on Twitter. Once again, a huge Thank You if you’ve read this far. It can be so lonely working on a post that takes a minimum of one hour to write and not knowing if anyone will read. So if you ARE reading, I really appreciate it!
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and features weekly top-ten lists! This week’s topic is 10 Wishes I’d Ask the Book Genie to Grant Me. This is going to be a fun list!
1. My wish would be to read 40-50 pages an hour consistently. I could get so much more reading done if I could! Right now I’m still very slow, wavering at 20-30 pages per hour. Once upon a time, I could do 40. I’d love to get back to that speed, even though that’s probably still slow to many people.
2. If the book genie wants to give me more Brandon Sanderson books, I’ll happily accept :D. It might take me a long time to read, but his writing is worth it! No longer “intimidated” by their length, because there’s a high reward with them. I need more, but I’m kind of on a book buying ban.
3. An epic library room. Who doesn’t want this? It would be lined with bookshelves, with a nice writing desk (I like to write too), and a comfy chaise lounge to read in. Also being my room, it’d have a healthy stack of crochet blankets lol.
4. I’d love to know what kind of books Hermione Granger would read for fun, outside of the nonfiction we read about in Harry Potter. Like what does she read in her downtime? And how does fantasy work in their world? Does she like the genre, even while being a witch at Hogwarts? So many random thoughts lol.
5. A new bookcase. I need more space for books.
6. I wish I could know the name and author of a book I loved as a kid. It was a really cool book about a house this family moved into and the kids found this whole creepy attic that seemed massive, and all I remember is it was a scary story starring this boy and girl who I think were siblings with this house that was bigger on the inside. The odd thing is I do remember what the cover looked like, but that’s not too helpful…
7. Another book I loved and also read as a kid was about this girl who went to the mall and bought this creepy dollhouse and found herself sucked into it. It was fabulously creepy and I wish I could remember!
8. I wish the book fairy could give me a list of every book I’ve ever read, honestly. I only started keeping track in 2010. 😦
9. Dear book fairy, just make one person close to me read the books I like. It’d be so much fun to flail and fangirl with someone in real life. Hubby and friends have read HP, but I’m talking about currently, newer books or current series like Winner’s Curse.
10. Remember the last TTT? Make a book from Libba Bray and Neil Gaiman happen. IT WOULD BE SO COOL.
I loved the first book, so when I had the chance to be part of the launch for Gabriel, I grabbed at the chance! Read on to learn about these books and then enter the giveaway for your chance to win Signed Hardcover copies of both Lailah and Gabriel, provided by the author herself!
Author: Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #2
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: October 27th 2015
The handsome Angel from Lailah gets center stage in this continuation of Wattpad sensation Nikki Kelly’s romantic and action-packed series about mortals, vampires, and angels.
Gabriel is an Angel Descendant. He’s also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?
Once again, Nikki Kelly looks deeply into the heart and soul of good and evil to create a romantic, action-packed reading adventure.
Check out the Styclar Wattpad page for preview chapters of Gabriel!
What did you do on your research trip to France?
Mainly, I visited all the locations used in the book! I also spent some time writing while I was there of course! I think the nicest thing about my research trip was that I ended up using my Auntie and Uncle’s barn conversion as a base for the property our gang find themselves staying in! Everything in the story from the barn, the village itself and various locations (including the snowy mountains) are completely real – you could even go and visit them all yourself!
Was the writing process for Gabriel a lot different than Lailah?
The writing process for GABRIEL was shorter, because this time around I was writing full time! But the actual ‘writing’ part was much the same. I start with a premise, have an idea in my head of the beginning/the ending/a specific character etc. and start writing! I only ever do rough outlines, it’s all pretty much in my head, which is another reason why I have often said I feel like this story was implanted in my brain sometimes and I am the mere mortal who gets to put pen on paper to bring it to life!
What can we expect from Gabriel (the novel)?
Gosh, A LOT! The story picks up right where it left off, and continues to be told form Lailah’s POV – The main cast are back, but we get to meet some lush new ones too! I am still a great fan of the twist – suffice to say, just when you think you know, really you have no idea! 😉 Oh, and also, did I mention… #NoMercy 😉
Would you say that you’re similar to Lailah in any way?
Naturally, Lailah and I have a few of the same traits, I think every character in my stories have a little piece of me, whether intentional or not! But I think we can all relate to Lailah’s plight, I think most of us go through a time in our lives where we are working out who we are and making choices that carve out who we ultimately end up becoming.
What are you currently reading?
I have a new baby, so my hands are a little tied at the moment! But I can tell you what I will be reading next *grabby hands* Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo!!!
Any advice for aspiring authors?
If you have a story to tell, don’t stop until it’s told… and Never.Ever.Give.Up
How much of your personal experience is tied into this series?
A very large percent! A good example — In GABRIEL, Ruadhan tells Lailah ‘You only fail, if you never try.’ That is the very advice my Mom gave me, and one of the reasons I am living my dream today… I think it all goes back to that great advice you hear again and again about writing – about writing what you know. So in this case, for example, I know very well the true meaning and the importance of that message… Even down to the mythology in the story — it’s all based loosely on my own belief system (you’ll see plenty more of that in Book 2 and especially in Book 3).
And if you haven’t read Lailah yet. . . .
Author: Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.
NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to Wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).
From the author herself: LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6 months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.
Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series released on October 7th 2014.
These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.
**Click the link to enter the GIVEAWAY!!**
I’ve decided I will be doing this tag, but with a little twist. I’ll be featuring not just an upcoming book, but also a game. This might evolve to also mentioning a movie at times. However, you can always count on a book and a video game, which could be for any platform, as I’m not going to break it down. Anyway, what am I excited for this week? Read on!
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff has been on my radar ever since watching videos from BEA 2015 (Book Expo America, if you’re not familiar). This book looks so AWESOME and I am kind of a sucker for books written in a non-traditional, more experimental way (which is why I’m forever attracted to House of Leaves but am too much of a wimp to actually read the whole thing). It comes out on October 20th, though I don’t know when I’ll actually get to buy it. However, I’m eager to read this one!
Here is the synopsis: It follows a girl named Kady and she has a typical life until her planet is under attack from an unknown enemy. She manages to escape on a ship, with her mom on another and her ex-boyfriend on another. While their trying to escape their planet Kerenza, the enemy is in pursuit and at the same time a virus is spreading through one of the ships while the main ship’s AI goes haywire. It just seems like a fun ride and I love sci-fi and space operas, so I’m excited. I actually haven’t read sci-fi in quite some time, so this will be a nice foray back to the genre.
For games, I’m actually listing two that are technically out already. However, they’re still brand new, so it still applies. Both games are for 3DS.
The first game to mention was one I learned about back at E3 week, so if you read my Nintendo post, you might remember this title. That game is Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash. It actually was released on October 9th. I preordered this game with the amiibo figure, despite not having a New 3DS or NFC reader, but it was a good deal and the amiibo is adorable (also, I plan on getting a New 3DS in the future, so it will be used, just not right now). I just couldn’t resist the cuteness of this platformer, and I love collectibles in these types of games, so I’m looking forward to trying to collect all the snacks available. It should be lots of fun. Reviews have come out that were unfavorable, but I still think I’ll enjoy it for what it is.
The other game I went to mention actually released yesterday (the 13th). It is Legend of Legacy which I heard about through Atlus, since they’re the publisher. It was actually developed by a studio I never heard of, but includes former members of Square Enix and Level 5. When I heard the writer of Chrono Trigger was working on it, my interest was piqued. I have a love for JRPGs admittedly, and I look forward to adding this one to my collection. There are 7 characters to choose from, each with their own side of the story, so you have to play through the game 7 times to get the full experience. When I play games with multiple endings like this, I usually never end up playing them all, but I’m okay with that. The focus is on exploration, and you can freely progress through the game rather than having your hand held throughout. Anyway, I hope it will end up being a great game, but check it out if you find this interesting at all.
*dusts off the cobwebs, spruces up the place*
My last post was sadly in June… let’s just say this summer was absolutely crazy and had been the main reason for the unexpected blog hiatus. I wanted to reboot it in September, but the month was still busy. So now that it’s October and things are finally settling into place, here I am.
I have come up with a sort of schedule that I hope to follow, but I can’t make promises. I can only try my best, just like every other blogger out there. Hopefully I can stay at least one week ahead in posts, barring events like read-a-thons and such.
I hope you’ll start reading and enjoying my posts again as I aim for a good balance in book and game coverage. That has probably been the hardest to manage, but I hope to make it more of an even focus.
I’ve been ridiculously slow in reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, but should be finishing it up this month (or possibly this week actually). I don’t think monthly TBR’s work for me honestly, but I definitely want to up my reading overall now that I’ve finished a major editing project. So I’m not saying what books I’ll be reading this month, but I hope to read a handful.
I’ve played several games since the last time I posted, but my current game is Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millennium Girl. I played through halfway, and then set it aside for Pokemon Shuffle as I didn’t really have time to spend on it. Now I’m back to the game and hope to finish it soon, as I have several games I want to get to. But I’ll often switch between games, so my currently playing switches very frequently.
Anyway, I’m writing this post mainly to say, “Hey, I still care about this blog!” And I do, very much, despite the lack of posts. If you’re still around, thanks for your patience! If you’re new to my blog, I hope you’ll stick around.
For me, the conference opened slowly as they started with Just Cause 3, coming December 1st for PS4, Xbox One and PC. I don’t care for the franchise personally, but this was one of the few games shown for 2015. TBH, it did look fun, but I won’t be playing it.
Next, they gave us a sneak peek at the new NieR game for PS4, being developed by Platinum Games (they’ve been a very busy studio, having done Star Fox, still working on Scalebound for X1, this new game and the newly announced Transformers game). This game looks great, I enjoyed the first game from what I watched in a Let’s Play (I don’t own a PS3 at this time), so I’m sure it’ll make PS4 fans happy. They’ll reveal more details later this year in the Fall. Also this segment of the conference featured this creepy mask, which no one said anything about:
After this, we saw Rise of the Tomb Raider again, then they did a quick reel of Hitman mobile games before announcing their Lara Croft Go mobile game. Then they quickly showed images from Heavensward FF XIV Online, Life is Strange and Dragon Quest Heroes, but nothing was said about them.
Finally, the Kingdom Hearts producer comes on the stage…and there’s no English translator so the assumption is we’re going to see the KH3 trailer. Instead, we get a repeat viewing of the FF7 Remake trailer so the wait continues. The only news here is that we’ll get more info this Winter and that they’ll be releasing the original PC version to iOS and PS4 at that time.
Just when we get pumped for the Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, they extend the wait again with a mobile game called Kingdom Hearts Unchained. But finally they show the trailer and we learn that Tangled is a confirmed world. However, it’s still in development with no given date still.
The conference then moved onto World of Final Fantasy, which was first seen at the Sony conference. The director came on and from his speech we gather this is an “all ages” type of game and that his thoughts for the game were to make it like venturing through the world of toys, hinting at this being a possible “toys to life” game. It comes out sometime in 2016, first to play on PS4 and PS Vita.
Next we got some more details on Hitman, and another reel of three other games, including FF XV.
Then there was a reveal for a new Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness slated for 2016 on PS4. After this, they covered some more details for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
The conference ends with a look at a brand new IP with a new studio called Tokyo RPG Factory. The game is currently known as Project Setsuna and the art is a beautiful watercolor paint style, though whether this is what the game’s art will be like remains to be seen as it could very well just be concept art. It is planned for global release in 2016.
Overall, I was very happy with what they had to share, though we didn’t see Bravely Second. Check it out for yourself below:
Nintendo started off with a skit featuring puppets…similar to how they started off last years’ with Claymation, except that the puppetry didn’t show up in a game like Claymation leading to Kirby’s Rainbow Curse. This led to the first Star Fox trailer.
Star Fox is officially named Starfox Zero and given a launch window for this holiday season. I want to say it’ll either come at Thanksgiving or at Christmas time; I don’t see it coming any earlier than that. It does not support online multiplayer; the focus this time is on the single player experience. Regardless, the game looks great and I’m excited to play it. The Arwing also transforms, which is kinda fun.
Reggie then sat down with Activision and exclusive Skylander/Amiibos were introduced. They have Hammer Slam Bowser and Turbo Charge Donkey Kong, and they hold data for Skylanders and whatever game you use the amiibo version for (which is a simple turn of the base). These work with the new Skylanders Superchargers game for all Nintendo versions (Wii U, Wii and 3DS).
Then they announced a new 3DS game in the Zelda franchise, Zelda Triforce Heroes. It plays much like Four Swords, but with 3 Links instead of 4. You work together in 3 player co-op and this does have online multiplayer so you can have play sessions with your online friends. If you play single player, you simply switch between control of characters. I rather like Four Swords, so this is a game I’m looking forward to. It is slated for Fall 2015, so just a few more months!
Hyrule Warriors for 3DS was leaked a bit early, but we got to see a trailer and the actual name of Hyrule Warriors Legends. The game includes DLC characters from the Wii U version and includes new characters, one of them being Tetra. It has a launch window of first quarter 2016. I still need to get the Wii U game, but I might just end up with both.
Remember Blast Ball? It’s a side game that’s part of a new game called Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Apparently a lot of fans are disappointed by this, but Federation Force looks like a very fun FPS. I want another Samus Aran focused game as much as the next fan, but I know this is a game I can enjoy to. It’s slated for 2016.
We saw Fire Emblem Fates (originally seen under the Japanese title If) and it’ll be on 3DS in 2016. Next we saw the Fire Emblem X SMT crossover, which still doesn’t have an English title and given the same 2016 window. Hopefully it won’t be long before we see it again.
One of my happy moments was seeing Xenoblade Chronicles X get an official release date. It comes out on December 4th. If you have a Wii U and love epic, open world RPGs, this is a must buy. I’m seriously so excited for this!
Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer got a release date of September 25th, 2015. It comes with an amiibo card to start you off, and the first series of cards include 100 characters with more to come later. I love interior design, so I’ll probably be picking this up.
Fans have been wanting Animal Crossing on Wii U… Nintendo answered in a way no one expected. Disclaimer here though: I honestly didn’t see a traditional AC game on home console, I believe that simply won’t happen due to the real-time aspect being much easier on a handheld. If we got an AC game that was anything like the traditional ones, it would have had to change to in-game time. Instead, they gave us a board game called Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival similar to Mario Party and Fortune Street. I personally love board games, virtual and physical, so I’m still going to enjoy this.
Yoshi’s Wooly World hits stores on Oct 16th, Super Mario Maker arrives on September 11th. To Level-5 fans, they got the announcement of Yokai Watch finally localized for NA and Europe, something people have been wanting. I didn’t know anything about it, but after watching Treehouse play, I’ll be picking it up as well. It’ll be out sometime this holiday season.
I’m finishing this post with two new games announced for Spring and Holiday 2016 respectively. First, there’s Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam, combining both series into one action-packed RPG. There’s a lot to like if you played any of the previous games from Mario and Luigi or Paper Mario, and it’s on my list. Then they announced Mario Tennis Ultra Smash for Wii U, which I’m decidedly less excited about (I’m not really a fan of the tennis games).
Overall, I’m fairly happy. There are certainly more games coming, such as Fatal Frame, but they were left out of this event. However you can see trailers online. Like always, the full video is posted below. I’ll be posting on Square Enix tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
Sony opened their conference to a game fans have been clamoring for since Ico, a game fans had been asking and hoping to one day see. That game is The Last Guardian and it comes sometime in 2016. The only thing that might have softened their excitement was the graphics, as they were sorely lacking for a PS4 title. They look somewhere between early to mid PS3-level graphics. Perhaps they’ll improve as it moves closer to launch.
From that small start, we got a world premiere that would make me consider buying a PS4 for. Unfortunately, it also comes in 2016 and I didn’t see another game here that made me feel quite the same way. However, Horizon: Zero Dawn is definitely a title to keep your eye on. From what I saw of what was shown, the game has an engrossing story, beautiful visuals and an epic, grand feel similar to games like Xenoblade, which is high praise. Seriously, I would recommend all PS4 owners to keep this title in mind over the months to come, because this could be a huge hit.
Then we saw the next Hitman game and Street Fighter 5. After that, we got a glimpse of No Man’s Sky. I liked the exploration aspect more than the space combat, and it could be a cool game for those interested.
Next came a unique game from the creators of Little Big Planet and Tearaway. It’s called Dreams, and it’s basically a creative sandbox tool to create scenes in a lovely watercolor style. This unique game is hard to describe, and there’s no date on it yet.
Then we saw a game called Firewatch, a look at the Destiny expansion, and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Square Enix showed off World of Final Fantasy for PS4 and Vita, which is a cute chibi style game that at first glance seemed Pokemon-like but we don’t actually know much about gameplay… FF spinoffs are a gamble, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this one turns out.
Another bright spot of the conference was the FF7 Remake announcement, and it is gorgeous. I can’t wait to play this game without blocky, ugly characters! It’s not exclusive, but it is available first on PS4. We should hear what other platforms this game will be available during Square Enix’s own conference.
To much fanfare, Shenmue 3 was finally announced…except not in the expected way. It was announced as a Kickstarter, which by the time you read this, has probably already reached its goal. I never played 1 or 2, but if you’re a fan, go check out the Kickstarter anyway for more info.
To end this wrap-up, games we’ve already known about were shown and so was Sony’s VR which I didn’t get. The conference ended with Uncharted 4. So far this E3 has been pretty exciting, and it’s going to get even more awesome with Tuesday’s reveals from Nintendo and Square Enix. There’s the PC Gaming Show as well, which will round out my coverage. Hope you’re as excited as I am for some of these titles shown this E3!
View the full conference here:
Halo 5 Guardians was the first game shown (no surprise there), but I really enjoyed seeing more of the game and it made a better impact on me than earlier teasers. I love all the Halo games, and this seems like no exception. Also love that Buck is back, I really liked ODST.
Then they unveiled ReCore, by some of the makers of Metroid Prime and it looks very interesting but I have no idea if it’s an RPG, Action Adventure, or what. I’m looking forward to learning more though, because you get a cute robot buddy. It comes in Spring 2016, so we have awhile to wait.
One of the biggest announcements from Microsoft was giving us backward compatibility with 360 games natively, something that admittedly should have happened day 1. This will officially happen this holiday. They also showed off a new controller for Xbox One and PC, which looks really good.
Fallout 4 isn’t graphically amazing, but the content packed in makes me eager for it. You can create your own settlement, using any item in game and you can decorate your “home” and set up defenses. I think I’ll have a lot of fun with this part of the game, but I just really hope the dog stays alive throughout it. Also, if you get the Xbox One version, you get Fallout 3 for free and you can also use all PC mods with the game. This game comes out November 10th this year.
Next we saw Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. I’m not really into this game, but in case you are, it will be available next Spring.
Then we saw Forza 6 coming out on September 15th this year (my enthusiasm for Forza dropped with 5, but it might have more content?).
Three more games dropped that I’m not interested in: Dark Souls 3, The Division, Rainbow Six Siege. Then there was a great indie game montage but there was no way I could write down all those titles. Out of the ones they did focus on I most want Tacoma, Beyond Eyes (you play a blind girl and it has a very nice art style), and Cuphead which has a charming classic Disney cartoon style.
Rise of the Tomb Raider looks cool and it comes out November 10th. This looks better to me than previous modern Tomb Raider games, so I’m thinking of jumping in with it.
My favorite reveal though is the Rare Replay, a $30 collection of 30 Rare games including Banjo, Conker, Battletoads, Perfect Dark and so much more. I have been waiting so long for this, so I’m super excited. It comes out August 4th, so I won’t even have to wait too long except that now I suppose I need to buy an Xbox One lol.
Other than that, they showed off the HoloLens with Minecraft (looked cool, but remember the Kinect? I remain skeptical). Then they announced the Gears of War Ultimate Edition, which is a remaster of the first game rebuilt in 1080p, 60fps, including 90 minutes of content previously exclusive to the PC version. This comes out this August 25th. Gears 4 looks more like a horror Doom 3-esque game, but it doesn’t come out until Holiday 2016.
Watch the full conference here:
So that’s my wrap-up on the Microsoft conference that kicked off E3, and there’s plenty more to come. I’ll be covering the Sony conference next, and tomorrow I’ll be covering my most anticipated events, the Nintendo Direct and Square Enix’s conference. Stay tuned for more on my thoughts of E3 reveals!