Archive for June 2012

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, Katrina Rise of a Mage   Leave a comment

While I was at a recent convention I cam across the Book Katrina Rise of a Mage written by Travis Austen Lee and illustrated by Tamara A. Green.   I just finished reading my copy and I must say that it draws me in.  It begins with a tavern keep and the tale of a young girl who could control fire with her mind.  Travis Austin Lee does not waste time with bits of the story he does not have to so the book is very short but it leaves lots of room for sequels  and I very much want to see what Katrina does next as she has finished at least the beginning level of her training.  There are hints of adventures and wars to come.  I do hope that more books are written.

From the Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

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Poet At Large Reviews, Book, The Book of a Thousand Days   Leave a comment

I just read one of the best stories ever.  The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale is a retailing of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Maid Maleen only placed in a Mongolia like setting and with a few twists.  The story is told as if it were written day by day in the diary of a Ladies Maid bricked in a tower with her Princess and then their struggle to survive after escaping the tower.  The story is so full of character and what Humanity should be as well as love and intrigue.  it may be a princess tale but with fighters and monsters a boy might like it as well.  I would recommend it for young adult level readers.  My only complaint is that the Kindle version is extremely full of typos the most common being where instead of a w you find a ve  turning Law into Lave.  It is a little annoying but you can get past it.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, Tau Ceti (The Stellar Guild)   Leave a comment

Kevin J. Anderson’s latest delight is a story of a space race between a slow ship and a fast ship to a planet circling the star Tau Ceti.  The story of a world of hope and a broken world that we human’s have made.  The first part is written by Kevin J. Anderson and the second by Steven Savile.  It is a very wonderful story of the human soul  that can lead to much more if further books are ever written.  The characters are ones you either want to root for or want to hang.  Which are the best kinds of characters to have.  All in all a very worth while book to pick up and read the two bonus stories in the back they will make you think. Which as I have said before is what a story should make you do every time.

From the Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet at Large Reviews, Online Site, QuiBids Auctions   1 comment

I promised my followers on Facebook that I would post a review of the Auction site QuiBids.   Quibids is said to be cheaper than eBay but that is not true since QuiBids hides most of their income in the form of the $0.60 per bid that every person who uses the site must pay.  In my watching of the site I learned a few things.  first off they advertise new Apple iPads at a starting Price of $40 dollars.  Some times it works out that way but very rarely since the auction which bids in one cent increments means that for every cent of the final price the site collected sixty cents from someone that bid.  If you do not win an auction you do have the option to buy the item at retail price minus the cost of all Real Bids you made but they only give you a few hours to exercise that option.  There are also Voucher Bid that can be earned our won in auctions but they are akin to wasting your wishes on more wishes.

Since the site used iPads as their example I decided that would be the good thing to watch and I believe I was right.  The iPads were always the hard item to score since the site always only auctioned  2 iPad 2s a day and 3 New iPads a day.  The bidding for these Wi-Fi capable treasures was insane.  The highest price for a iPad 3 32 GB Wi-Fi came in on 6-7-2012 at $179.01 with the winner making (340) Real Bids worth $338.40 and paying a total of $517.41.  in this auction the site collected $10,740.60 plus the $179.01.  This does not take into account voucher bids or those who used Buy it Now after the auction ended because those are not publicly listed.  The next day the same model of iPad went for $6.47 with the winner paying $71.40 for (119) Real Bids for a total of $77.87 and the site collecting $388.20 in Bids but this price was a weird exception with most iPads even the older models going for at least $60.00 final auction price or $3,600.00 worth of Real Bids.  The retail price for an iPad 2 16 GB is $409.99 and the New iPad 32 GB Wi-Fi is $614.99.

This means the site is making a killing on those who believe the $40 iPad claim and happily pay for those first (100) or $60.00 worth of sign up bid that I was not warned about until they charged my credit card. and for that $60 dollars worth of bids I got a $25 bracelet which I won for $0.01.  Some time you can win nice things but it would be hard to believe that you ever win more than you pay for in bids even with the site limiting the number of auctions that any site user can win in a month.

My advice is that if you really want something is go to a retail store an pay full price.  At least they tell you up front what you will be paying.

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet at Large Reviews, Book, The Enchantress, The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 6   Leave a comment

The Enchantress is the latest and Final entry in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Irish, Writer, Michael Scott.  The Series is a wonderfully strange twist of Myth and History that takes us to the dawn of humanity and beyond wildest dreams.  The characters which include famous magicians from history as well as gods and demons in the adventures of twins Josh and Sophie Neman who are destined for things far greater than the average 15 year old.   All six books have given me great pleasure even if not everyone I have recommended them to agreed with me.  I am sad to see the end of the series but at the same time glad to find out just who and what Josh and Sophie are.

My only complaint is that I do not like to see the same line used too much in the same book.  Since there are battles in more than one time frame the fact that someone in each party was looking happy about it may have seemed appropriate but it can also be cliche the second time someone says it.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Online Game, Second Life   Leave a comment

My interest in the phenomenon of Massive Multi-Player Role Play Games has not waned since my report on World Of Warcraft.

I have for several years entered a online world called Second Life. A creation of Lindon Labs. Not everyone has heard of Second Life or even knows what it is. It is a micro economy world where you can be anything you want so long as you can build or are willing to pay anyone who knows how to build in the world. The exchange rate of US Dollars to Second Life Lindon dollars fluctuates but is usually somewhere around 250 Lindons or $L to $1 USD. The action of buying $L usually costs the amount of dollars you buy in Lindons plus $0.30 transaction fee.

The Lindons you buy can be used to customize you avatar with shapes, cloths, skin types, hairstyles, animal or robot forms. Anything you can dream someone can make. Lindons can be used to rent land or shop space upload pictures or textures for use in building or cloths making. You can buy anything you wish you had in real life or things that come from far beyond this mundane world we live in.

If you could be a fairy, a dragon or a robot would you? Would you like to live in the old west or visit the Titanic? How about becoming a steam punk or a furry? Maybe a tiny is your cup of tea…

All of these are options and all of these characters can interact or stay in their own communities.

If you wish to enjoy your second childhood now than you have the option of being a child and even being adopted by parents who may be from here in the US or even from the other side of the world.

I have tried just about every avatar that there is in second life. I have also seen more of it than I care at times.

Second life is not for those who are children in Real Life. There are sims in the world that are not for childrens eyes. There are strip clubs where one can get a virtual lap dance and things that cater to every kind of depravity, though there are rules against certain behaviors, there are those who try to live out things against the rules.

Sim admins and club owners are capable of kicking out those who do not behave or try behaviors called griefing. Setting off objects that annoy other people on the sims. In my first few weeks there I saw many such objects. Including something called Hitler boxes that will crash a sim while showing bouncing boxes of Hitler all over the place. Not exactly my favorite, but a good example of the behavior.

But there are good places in Second Life. If I am in Second Life I am most likely on the Island of Adam ondi Ahman. A place made by a Christian man so that those who are of a spiritual nature may have a place of peace. And a place where he can share the message of his faith.

If you wish to stay there your avatar must wear modest cloths and you are asked not to type swear words and if you are willing to discuss religion in a civil manor then you are welcome to join regular conversations at the welcome plaza. There are dances and poetry readings and shops that sell nice cloths and homes that are built by quiet folk whom I call my friends.

If I am not there I may be in in Tombstone Arizona. It is a role play sim where though there are saloons and dance halls most people live by the rules as if they were in the Victorian era and if you get caught swearing you might be handed a bar of soap to put in you mouth. Though there are shoot outs there are rules against shooting the children from the orphan’s home. The role play is a nice distraction when my husband is out of town and the people are for the most part very friendly and understanding.

I have not gone exploring for new places in a while perhaps I need to go on an expedition to find more of the nice places. The big thing to remember about Second Life is to find a place you feel happy and set that as you home destination so if you ever get somewhere you don’t want to be you can teleport back to where you want to be.

The next bit of advice I give I repeat from my World of Warcraft review. Don’t get into romances if you are already married in Real Life, e-cheating is still cheating. And don’t spend more time online than you spend in real life. After all, it is just a game.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron