Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Lilith Bloodstone Series

The Lilith Bloodstone Series is a series of fantasy short stories set in the fictional kingdom of Korovia and written by Canadian author Charles Moffat. The stories feature a young heroine known as Lilith Bloodstone who is as unusual as the land she lives in.

Korovia is a cold and brutal place, trapped in an ancient curse that has placed the kingdom in a perpetual ice age and it has been that way since the Last Demon War. As such the people of Korovia make their livings by hunting, fishing and trapping, mining and trading their goods with other kingdoms. Korovia still has a summer, but its comparatively short.

The curse that plagues Korovia has also made it possible for monsters and undead to flourish. Most people live in small towns or cities and very few farmers exist except in the southern reaches of Korovia, both because its not ideal farming conditions and also because of the monsters that attack people.

Amidst all of this is the Holy City of Kost, the site of a famous battle during the Second Demon War. The city was founded by an order of paladins (holy knights) and amongst their descendants was a knight known as Phoebus Bloodstone. Phoebus' wife died and he was called away on duty to protect a village of elves, and so he entrusted his only daughter Lilith to the knights for safekeeping. Unfortunately for both Phoebus and his daughter he died defending the elven village from an onslaught of horned trolls.

But you don't really find out all those extra details until later. The stories start with Lilith Bloodstone. How and why she got there and what happened to her parents are revealed as the stories continue.

At an early age Lilith Bloodstone began to exhibit signs of magical talent. At first the knights were uncertain what to do so they hired a tutor to train her in the arte of magic and she quickly mastered the simple spells provided to her. The tutor eventually came to the knights and said there was no more she could teach the young girl who was devouring spellbooks and was proving more adept than the tutor. The child prodigy was therefore sent to the Academy of Arcane (sometimes called the Academy of Magic by non-magic users). Amongst the dabblers, sorcerers and wizards Lilith Bloodstone found her calling, but each wizard typically makes a choice to specialize in one branch of magic...

She certainly had her options. She could learn divination and become a seer, or perhaps summoning and become a conjuror... Or maybe she had the explosive talent of an evoker or the mesmerizing talents of an enchantress. But none of these held interest to young Lilith. Instead she decided to follow a more complex and forlorn path...

NECROMANCY.

Considered to be a "dark arte" by many Lilith Bloodstone had chosen a path few wizards dared to tread and most wizards who went that way fell prey to the dark side of the arte, a dark side known as The Black Rose. And it is the story of the Black Rose wherein Lilith has her first adventure. But Lilith doesn't stop there.

Far from it, Lilith has many more adventures as she becomes a hunter of undead creatures, a vanquisher of evil, and she furthers her goals of expanding the boundaries of White Necromancy (using necromancy to destroy undead and save lives).

The series is written by Canadian fantasy author Charles Moffat and to learn more you're going to have to read the books which are available on Amazon Kindle.






The Black Rose
On Death's Door
The Astral Plane

Brutus and Avianna is another story set in the Korovia world, and also written by Charles Moffat.

Unlike the Lilith Bloodstone Series, Brutus and Avianna is a very different story. For starters its erotic. But its still set in the same fantasy world, Korovia, which is listed on korovia.com as a "free license fantasy world" where any author can self-publish their books using the setting.

Which is an interesting concept in comparison to other shared fantasy worlds like Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance, wherein authors can only publish their books via the company which owns the copyright, self-publishing isn't allowed, and they vigorously defend their copyright.

It does make you realize that if e-readers like Kindle and Kobo are the way of the future (which unlike tablets don't have glare), then self-publishing will become the chosen medium of authors, and free license shared worlds like Korovia are a sign that the publishing industry needs to adapt.

Review: One Simple Trick to get Women to Sleep With You

Okay, you've probably seen the ads for them online. The titles of the ads may vary, but they're all basically selling the same thing: Sex with Women via somekind of mental trick.

When you click the ad it takes you to a long-winded video which is basically just a huge waste of time and the primary goal is to get you to buy his book on how to trick women subconsciously into sleeping with you.

I am now going to save you some time.

Here are the tricks outlined in his video:

#1. Look at her mouth. Don't look at her breasts.

#2. Stand sideways. It makes you look more attractive and indifferent.

#3. Mention that you feel at ease talking to her.

#4. DON'T TALK ABOUT MONEY.

#5. DON'T TALK ABOUT SPORTS OR EXERCISE UNLESS SHE BRINGS IT UP.

#6. Give the impression you're already desirable. eg. Talk about your female friends, women trying to get into your pants. (Pre-Selection based on other women finding you desirable.)

The number six step is the one he stresses the most in the video.

Beyond that he will also try to convince you of all the other great stuff in his book, essentially things you can do that supposedly will make women want you sexually.

Indeed this video-promoting some guy's book isn't alone. There is a lot of books out there all claiming to sell the same thing. Here is some of the one's I found on Amazon.com




All the books are basically preaching the same thing: Be desirable, be confident, play hard to get, make them chase you, etc.

So in theory, yes, the advice in these books can help you get laid. In theory. But I would still argue that exercising and joining Toastmasters International (so you can learn to speak confidently) wouldn't hurt you either.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zombie Archery Target

It cost me $27.67 to have this Zombie Archery Target made at Staples Business Depot. Took about 40 minutes for them to print it off, but it was worth every penny and every minute of the wait.

For archery lessons visit cardiotrek.blogspot.ca.


Christmas Wish List: A Throwing Axe!


Note to Self:

Here is something I would like for Xmas.

"Condor Tool & Knife CTK4011BT - Double Bit Throwing Axe, Black Blade Double bit throwing axe with overall length of 13 3/8in. And 7in. Blade composed of 1075 high carbon steel with epoxy black powder coating. FEATURES Handle Material: 1075 Carbon Steel, Black Overall Length (inches): 14.50 Special Features: Double Bit Condor Tool & Knife CTK4011BT - Double Bit Throwing Axe, Black Blade."

Price? $27 on Google Shopping.

Why? Because axe throwing is one of those sports I would like to try and what the heck, why not buy an axe!

Aroma - Indian restaurant in Toronto's theatre district

Aroma is an Indian restaurant, one of many in Toronto's downtown theatre and entertainment district.

I've been there twice so far and the food and service is always impeccable.

Location: 287 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1J5

For dinner reservations call (416) 971-7242.

Otherwise they have a buffet between 11:30 and 3 PM seven days per week, which is always nice.

They also offer catering and free delivery. While I have not tried their catering or delivery service, my mouth is watering at the very thought of it...

Five Stars!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Twitter: Not as good as you think it is.

When it comes to promoting your website and your company's business there are a number of websites out there that are considered to be good investments in terms of advertising and promoting your company.

Twitter is one of those companies.

And it isn't as good as you think it might be. I shall explain why.

#1. According to Alexa.com (a website which tracks the popularity of other websites) Twitter is only used by approx. 8.5% of internet users. In other words it is really only used by the tech-savvy people who like tweeting to each other. The other 91.5% of the internet population apparently has no interest in Twitter.

What this tells you is that Twitter has reached its limit in terms of "market share" and would really only be good if you are trying to advertise directly to people who are tech-savvy.

Lets take for example the following company Twitter page for US Money Reserve, a company which encourages people to invest in gold and silver as the global economy grows and shrinks periodically. Whenever the economy turns sour the prices of gold and silver soar.

Now think of the type of people who would invest in gold or silver. Hmm. Business people. People with lots of money. Often well educated. Probably own stocks and a 401 K account. Chances are more likely that they're tech-savvy, own a BlackBerry or smart phone, and possibly on Twitter.

Thus a company wishing to sell gold and silver to investors would be wise to marketing via Twitter.

But someone who is marketing a small niche business, like 'Gary's Civil War Antiques Emporium', probably won't do so well on Twitter because it isn't the type of website that caters to American Civil War buffs. That doesn't mean that such a company can't try to promote their business via Twitter, I am just saying it is significantly less likely that Twitter will give them any edge advertising wise.

What does well on Twitter is celebrities like:
twitter.com/ParisHilton

Or renowned writers like:
twitter.com/MargaretAtwood

Or politicians like:
twitter.com/BarackObama

Or brand name companies like:
twitter.com/Microsoft

The point I am trying to make here is that for people or companies who are already famous or brand names, Twitter is added bonus. But it won't make your company famous on its own.

US Money Reserve Inc's twitter page does have lots of useful tips on it and news about the gold and silver exchange, prices, market valuations / predictions, etc... but by itself the company isn't going to see a huge benefit from its Twitter page. It will help it a little because its marketing towards the more tech-savvy people who are more likely to invest in gold or silver, but you first have to get people on to their website and/or Twitter page and that is the really difficult prospect which comes down to traditional marketing techniques and online marketing like Search Engine Optimization.

Twitter pundits like to claim that Twitter can help a website go viral. However the type of topics that do go viral are often not business related. They're always something funny and interesting, and therefore worth sharing on Facebook, Tweeting about, etc... But the problem is that most people on Twitter don't retweet things and even those that do retweet a particular topic aren't going to retweet something that is obviously an advertisement for a business.

"Oh but doesn't Twitter boost Search Engine Optimization"?

Actually no, it doesn't. Two reasons: Twitter links always have "rel=nofollow" in the link coding which means search bots don't follow them and it gives no benefit SEO wise. The 2nd reason is because most links are shortened using Bitly, which means the search engine doesn't even see any useful keywords because it is ultimately just a code like "http://bit.ly/QFytRk". So Twitter does zilch in terms of boosting SEO.

The only benefit of Twitter is to give a company or person the appearance of being tech savvy. Which ultimately can be an utter failure if the person isn't tech-savvy at all and just doesn't care.

Take for example twitter.com/sirseanconnery which shows what happens when an aging actor tries to use Twitter and gets bored with it quickly.

My review of Twitter?

0.5 of a Star out of Five. It doesn't even a full star because as a tool it is shamefully outmatched by Facebook which is a more effective social media tool and currently has a reach of 46% of global internet users and a growing base of active users. Twitter is a complete waste of time compared to the juggernaut that is Facebook.

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