Category Archives: Uncategorized

Biblio – Rare book!

This blog post has an affiliate link which if you use and make a purchase will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales which will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website.  You can find further information on my affiliate usage here: https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/

Books are amazing, as I have probably said about a million times here on this blog. Some books are more amazing than others. Whether it is because they are classic stories the compete with the test of time, they are beautifully bound, have taught the world something, or any of the sundry other reasons, books are amazing. And if you are a fan of collecting lovely and rare books, like myself, you can look at Biblio.com!

Biblio is a great place to find rare books such as first editions, signed books, and even books from the 16th and 17th century! Real antique books! But don’t let the fancy prices get you down, Biblio also has discounted books for you to look at!

As usual, right now if you use my link to shop on Biblio.com you will also help support Books-and-Games.com so I can keep bringing you honest reviews! Feel free to click the link here to check out Biblio! Find beautiful, rare, and out-of-print books at Biblio.com.

Second Sale – Used books for sale

This blog post has an affiliate link which if you use and make a purchase will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales which will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website.  You can find further information on my affiliate usage here: https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/

Let me start by stating that books are amazing. I absolutely love them and if I did not live in an apartment, I would probably have an entire room full of physical books. Sadly though, books take up space and aside from a favorite, they usually only get read once and then left on the shelf to collect dust and rot in unused book purgatory. However, there may be other people who would enjoy these no longer read tomes of excitement and knowledge. That is where placed like SecondSale comes in.

SecondSale sells used books. The prices start at $3.78. The site sells all the major genres, plus a variety of education and religious books. I was happy to see that they had pages dedicated to one of my favorite authors, J.R.R Tolkien and his various works, not just The Lord of the Rings.

If you’re looking to sell your stuff, you can also find the information on SecondSale how to do that!

Right now if you use my link to buy used books on SecondSale you can also support Books-and-Games.com and allow me to keep bringing you great reviews! Feel free to give this link a click and check it out! Second Sale

Bookroo.com – Book clubs for kids!

This blog post has an affiliate link which, if you use and make a purchase, will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales which will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website. You can find further information on my affiliate usage here: https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/

So if you have read any of my reviews for books aimed at children, you know that I take children’s literature very seriously. I have a few reasons for this, but the main one is I grew up with dyslexia and hated reading. Even beyond kids with learning disabilities, it can be hard to help a child learn a love of reading. Let’s be honest, the required reading in school is not always the most entertaining. So that is where a book club like Bookroo can come in handy!

Bookroo offers book clubs for children ages 0 to 12! That means you can find entertaining stories to help grow your child’s love of reading from the time they are in the cradle till you’re crying because they got their first crush in school!

You can check out Bookroo today with this link and not only will you find some entertaining book clubs for children, you will also help support Books-and-Games.com so I can continue to bring you content! Check out the link below!

Join our Middle Grade Chapter Book Club now! Monthly, 3 month, and 6 month subscriptions available on bookroo.com!

Grammarly – Helping you Proofread

This blog post has an affiliate link which if you use and make a purchase will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales that will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website. You can find further information on my affiliate usage here: https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/

If you write a lot for a living, or just for fun, you probably find that you spend a lot of time editing your content. Which can be time-consuming and difficult at times. The English language is a tricky one, even for a native speaker. We do not remember all the rules we were taught back in school. And sometimes you never even think of the more complicated ideas. Like, the difference between a comma and an Oxford comma. Thankfully in today’s modern internet world, we have applications like Grammarly, which help you quickly and easily fix your writing.

Grammarly is more than a spellchecker, so do not let that fool you. It also displays how well you are doing right on your screen, telling you the correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery of your writing making sure that beyond spelling correctly, your writing also makes sense. Now these are just the free features, the premium also offers you even more, such as punctuation in complex sentences and word choice suggestions!

I used Grammarly to write this affiliate post, and I strongly suggest people give Grammarly a try, and if you use my link here with this post, you can also help support Books-and-Games.com with your purchase. Check out Grammarly here: https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=864277&u=2915328&m=26748&urllink=&afftrack=

The Provenance Book One of Astar’s Blade – A Review

The Provenance (Book One of Astars Blade) is a history of a fictional world. Particularly the area of the Mid-Run Valley and a few other locations within the world. This fictional history is told through two time lines, the present period of the world and the distance past of the world. The stories follow both the actions of the world’s deities and their children, and the life of a young man whose family is cursed with the vision of ghosts. 

As the story progresses, you learn about how the past worked to create the world that the rest of the story takes place it. You experience everything from flawed gods with an ancient Greek mythology feel to them, to a young man’s desperate climb of a mountain to learn what ghosts so desperately want him to know. Is he simply mad or is there really something waiting for him to learn?

The Provenance is a great story. It is not very often that an author offers such an in-depth history of the world they have built. Often you are merely given as much knowledge as a current plot requires you to know. Sneak peaks in to different aspects of the world the main character sits in. The Provenance, however, pours two histories at you which tie together in to a wonderful story line allowing you to learn much of the world. If other novels by Joe Lyon provide as much detail in to their stories as this one, I will be hooked to the series for life.

The story of The Provenance flows well until the end, where my one issue arises regarding this story. The ending seems far too sudden, as though it was thrown in rather quickly. Despite this single issue, reading about the journey that leads to this climax makes up for sudden ending, and also leaves one interested in future books of the series. There are some questions that I hope the other novels answer.

Fans of fantasy should pick up The Provenance and any other work by Joe Lyon they may get their hands on! 

You can find out more about The Provenance on Reedsy Discovery https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/the-provenance-joe-lyon#review

Readability – Helping kids with reading comprehension!

This blog post has an affiliate link which if you use and make a purchase will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales which will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website.  You can find further information on my affiliate usage here: https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/

As someone who grew up coping with dyslexia I can say for sure, that reading, or learning to read can be pretty difficult for a child. Thankfully there are plenty of tools to help with that these days. One of those is Readability. 

Readability is a fantastic application that turns your phone or tablet in to an amazing way to increase your childs reading skills and comprehension. Your child will learn with interactive questions and answers as well as real time tracking to help you keep an eye on your child’s ever growing skills. The application also helps your child with pacing and pronunciation. 

Now these are just a few of the benefits you can take advantage of using Readability with your kids. Check out the link here for full details! 

#1 Reading Program App for struggling young readers

Paladin Dream – A Review and Interview

Paladin Dream is a turn based RPG in the style of all the old favorite classics. You play as a Paladin going on a journey to find out the meaning of a dream he has been having repeatedly over the years. He leaves the abbey where he has spent his entire life and heads out to find the reason for his dream.

The game was made with RPG Maker, which I know, can leave you questioning how good it really is. But Paladin Dream is a pleasant surprise. With about five hours of gameplay and original music composed by the creator, Paladin Dream stands out where many RPG Maker games may leave you wonderful what the heck you just spent money on.

With an original soundtrack composed by creator Matthew Myers, the music alone is enough to make one want to continue the game. 

So is Paladin Dream worth playing? If you enjoy a classic turn based RPG feel with a nice story? Sure is! I would suggest you pick it up sooner rather than later.

I was lucky enough to be able to get some questions answer by the creator of Paladin Dream. Here is the Q&A I had with Matthew via email!

Tawny: How did you come up with the concept for Paladin Dreams?

Matthew: Creatively, Paladin Dream(singular, not plural) was inspired by a short story in high school during a King Arthur unit in English class. There are some significant changes and expansions from that story, but the concept of the dream duel to motivate the heroic quest is much alike. The main character, Josiah, is loosely inspired by personality traits of Christian athletes I was around at a job I had living in Texas. The areas he explores are influenced by my experiences traveling in Italy, which included cathedrals, castles, walled cities, mountains, fields, farming villages, and religious art.

When the COVID quarantine era around March 2020 started, I realized I wouldn’t be going anywhere for awhile, and took the opportunity to try something I wanted to do for years, which was to make an RPG. I also had family members who were sick at the time (they recovered, fortunately) so it was a stressful time when I was looking for an imaginary escape. The rest was learning, planning, and asking for help.

Tawny: What did you use to make it

Matthew : I used RPGmaker as an engine to develop the game. RPGmaker is a great tool for (surprise) building RPGs, where you can easily create exploration and combat systems without having to do any programming. It allowed me to immediately focus on what I was excited about, which was telling the story and building the world around it.

For me RPGmaker is a wonderful storytelling platform, even when the subject matter isn’t necessarily a medieval fantasy like Paladin Dream. Before this project, I was inspired by Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, which is essentially an RPGmaker-made documentary game about a real-world American tragedy. I appreciated the way that game handled mature themes while being truthful, and felt that if someone can turn a school shooting into an emotionally powerful RPG then anything is possible.

Tawny: How much of this game did you make yourself?

  Matthew: I conceived the story and wrote close to 8000 words of dialog, designed more than 100 maps, devised the combat logic featuring over 50 enemies, and composed all the music myself. Before Paladin Dream, I served as a music composer and producer professionally for numerous games spanning a 15-year career. I also did all the bug fixing and other thankless tasks. I can’t take any credit for building the engine, the many modification plugins I used, or the art assets (whether licensed or commissioned), or the sound fx. I also (obviously) didn’t sing the female vocals in those songs.

With the RPG genre, it seems inevitable that people will compare it to something enormous like The Elder Scrolls, and there’s no way one person in their spare time can do the work of a huge team with millions of dollars. For me telling a short but polished story was more important than churning out hours and hours of quests both as a developer and in terms of what I’d want to play. To that end I was inspired by Dragon Quest 4 in particular, which features a few small adventures that feel like they could be their own small game.

Tawny: Being a turn based RPG, it’s easy to guess you may be a fan of that genre what’s your favorite video game?

Matthew: I’ll answer this question with a shout-out to an obscure title I grew up fascinated by, which is Tunnels & Trolls: Crusaders Of Khazan. Imagine something like the original Final Fantasy on NES, but with more of an open world and more effort placed on the writing. The encounters featured prosaic passages of text like a visual novel, and the combat system was wonderfully deep. The graphics were generally primitive, but the incredible lore and logic breathed life into the world. Sometimes the best graphics are the ones you imagine in your mind, right?

Tawny: Were there any particular influences when you deigned Paladin Dream?

Matthew: I lived in Boston when Bioshock became popular, so Irrational Games creative force Ken Levine was a big influence on my game design philosophy. Comparable to Bioshock, Paladin Dream has no cut scenes to passively watch, everything that happens in the story is a playable event. Also similar is that the player explores a relatively small region of a world rather than a full globe. My favorite Levine quote which I’ve taken to heart is “If you want people to follow your plot, then it has to be really f***ing stupid.” If you watch Indiana Jones and pause the film at any moment, Jones is looking for the ark. Similarly, if you ask what Josiah is doing at any moment in Paladin Dream, he’s looking for the meaning of his dream. 

Tawny: Do you intend to make anymore games?

Matthew: I am still under publisher contract to provide support and updates for Paladin Dream for a number of months, so I’m trying to keep focused for that reason. I have several other game ideas that would be cool, so we’ll see what happens in 2022. 🙂

ShareASale – A great place to get Affiliate merchants

This blog post has an affiliate link which, if you use and make a purchase, will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales which will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website. You can find further information on my affiliate usage here: https://books-and-games.com/affiliate-disclosure/

So it can be hard to make a living doing what you love. In my case, this would be blogging about books and games. And if you are a regular reader, you know I try to do so as often as possible. I have been lucky enough to be able to put ads on my WordPress site, but it takes a lot of ads to be able to get a payment out. So, like many people, I decided to go looking for ways of gaining affiliate partnerships! In doing so, I found ShareASale!

ShareASale has hundreds of merchants you can get affiliate partnerships with. This site makes it easy to apply to different merchants as well as keep track of the various links you need to be able to share and promote the merchandise. As well as keep track of sales! I have found it particularly handy to have an easy view of all the information I need to know how well the links I post are doing, instead of having to search through various websites and find the information!

You can check out ShareASale here for more information! https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=47&u=2915328&m=47&urllink=&afftrack=

Readability

This blog post has an affiliate link which, if you use and make a purchase, will supply me, the owner of Books-and-Games.com a percentage of sales which will go to continuing to pay for the use of this website. You can find further information on my affiliate usage here:

As someone who grew up coping with dyslexia, I can say for sure that reading, or learning to read, can be pretty difficult for a child. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools to help with that these days. One of those is Readability. 

Readability is a fantastic application that turns your phone or tablet in to an amazing way to increase your child’s reading skills and comprehension. Your child will learn with interactive questions and answers and real time tracking to help you monitor your child’s ever growing skills. The application also helps your child with pacing and pronunciation. 

Now these are just a few of the benefits you can take advantage of using Readability with your kids. Check out the link here for full details! 

Turn your phone or tablet into a professional virtual reading tutor

Proven to Increase Reading Level in 90 Days

Awesome Female Video Game Heros

Women in video games are nothing particularly new. Any gamer can name a handful. And even someone with little game exposure can often at least name Princess Zelda, even if they may mistake her for Link and Princess Peach. But there is much more than a handful of well-known damsels in distress. And no, I am not discounting the heroic actions of the previously mentioned princesses; they have of course had their moments in the various settings and situations of the multitude of games that their male counterparts Link and Mario span.


But we want to look at more empowered heroines. The characters that make you feel as though you should cheer or weep for them regardless of gender. These are characters that show strength and skill that are not bordered by a sense of gender requirements. Some may be slightly sexualized, a subject that is slowly being corrected by many companies as years go on, after all video games are still a predominately male aimed genre. While others may seem oddly androgynous to the point, the player may not have even grasped their gender until it is revealed. Sometimes gender is simply not important to the story. In this series, we will cover several badass female video game characters.

Let’s start with Samus Aran. 

Now if you have been gaming for a while. Or simply do not live under a rock, you probably know who Samus is. For those who do not, I will take a moment to explain. Samus is the main character of the Metroid series. Introduced in 1986 game Metroid. Since then there have been numerous games with the character either as main character or playable in some manner. 

In the first Metroid game, we assumed the gender of the character male throughout the entire game, and she was even referred to as a male in the game booklet. It was not until the end of the game that the helmet of our hero is removed and the flowing blond hair reveals him to in fact be a her! Despite knowing this, I still got a thrill when I finally got through the game once I was old enough to play it.

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