♥ Welcome To Old Bat's Belfry! ♥

♦ What You'll Find. Single Fantasy book reviews, funny author and reader interviews, SFF lists, (blogs, websites, authors), articles, a fledgling discussion forum and experiments in the art of blog promotion.

♦ Purpose. This blog is a companion to Dragons, Heroes and Wizards where I do nothing but Fantasy series reviews. This blog is where I put everything else.

♦ So where should you start? Try the menu bar located at the top of the page. (Tap menu in mobile) and pick your poison from the list!

♦ Thank you for stopping by and I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Isopod Got Your Tongue? | Tuesday Trivia

Cat got your tongue? No? Well if you are a red snapper a parasite named Cymothoa Exigua just might!

***Warning*** This is kinda gross but extremely fascinating.

Cymothoa Exigua replaces tongue in red snapper
Source: wired.com

Is it me or does that tongue have 2 little eyes!

From Wikipedia:

Cymothoa exigua extracts blood through the claws on its front, causing the tongue to atrophy from lack of blood. The parasite then replaces the fish's tongue by attaching its own body to the muscles of the tongue stub. The fish is able to use the parasite just like a normal tongue. It appears that the parasite does not cause any other damage to the host fish. Once C. exigua replaces the tongue, some feed on the host's blood and many others feed on fish mucus. This is the only known case of a parasite functionally replacing a host organ. There are many species of Cymothoa, but only C. exigua is known to consume and replace its host's tongue.

Proving once again that truth is stranger than fiction...

Both of the linked sources have more detail on this unique creature. Well worth the read if you'd like more information. The various lengths that some creatures go to just to survive and procreate is an endless source of amazement to me and this ranks right up near the top of my list of strange and unusual!

So what odd creatures are on your list?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Weekly Quote 19 ~ Mercedes Lackey

“Three things trust and cherish well-

The horse on which you ride,

The beast that guards and watches,

And your shield-mate at your side.”

-- Mercedes Lackey, By The Sword --

Quote from "By the Sword" by Mercedes Lackey

About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is Mercedes Lackey's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. The lineart horse used in the background was done by Ellie on DeviantArt. 

If you would like to suggest a quote (I prefer it be from a SFF author) let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. No promises though. If a quote is too big I may not be able to reproduce it in the space available. I do promise to try though!

Usage: Non-Commercial Fair Use is permitted. The following restrictions apply: Please do not remove or mask the watermark url. Do not sell, print or claim this work as your own and when sharing, pinning, reblogging or posting, a direct link to this post is appreciated. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interview with A. J. Martinez ~ Author of the Ungifted Elf

(Wacky Interview Series)

In case you missed the first interviews in this series, here is the deal...I read alot of author interviews and they are good, informative, and interesting but rarely tell me all that much about an author's personality. I often find myself thinking, "Well that's all good and everything but I want to know more about the real live person behind the book!"

So, I decided to conduct a "fun" interview; something that will give my readers a good laugh and be fun for the authors. You will not find serious questions covering books, publishing, writing or future plans. Instead you will get a chance to see how they react to a bunch of crazy questions and scenarios.

This time around I asked A.J. Martinez, author of Ungifted Elf -- which I spotlighted here -- if he would consider doing one of these. He said it sounded like fun! So, I sent him the 10 wacky questions, plus the 2 bonus substitutes and like those before him, he answered all 12! So here for your reading pleasure is a look inside of the mind of A.J. Martinez...

A. J. Martinez

1) Which magical power would you like to have and why?

I want the power to teleport like the guy from the movie Jumper. So that I can go where ever I want.
2) What would you do if you had a time machine?

I probably wouldn’t use it honestly. I rather not know what will happen in the future and live in the present. However I might experiment and put a monkey in the time machine.
3) What was your funniest/most interesting encounter with a fan?

They knew my real name….scary
4) If you had a chance to spend some time with one mythical being, what would it be and why?

Maybe an angel. I don’t know. A being that has wings. I just want to fly
5) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

I would ask them. “So yeah what with the Bermuda triangle dudes?”
6) What quirky habit do you have that often gets you teased by your peers or family?

Interesting question. I space out a lot and people always tell me that my head is always in the clouds but then again maybe that is just part of being a fantasy author. 
7) What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to tell stories. I was actually writing and drawing anime characters. At first I wanted to make comic books. Then I learned about the kindle.
8) If you could be reincarnated as an animal, what would you be and why?

  An eagle. Because they are the greatest birds of all.
9.) My readers want to know what you had for breakfast. Not sure why exactly...

Smash plantains with ketchup. I am Hispanic.
10) Why in the world did you consent to doing this wacky interview? I mean there is not one question here about your books, your writing or your future plans!

Maybe one of your followers will like my dorky answers who knows. Plus is a fun interview so why not. 
Bonus Questions!

11) Who is your favorite comedian or cartoon character and why?

Favorite comedian so far is Louie CK. Favorite cartoon character ….thats a hard one. I am hoping you are counting anime into this. I would say Naruto. 
12) How would you describe your sense of humor?

Dry british humor.

Thanks AJ for consenting to do this interview!

(Author info, Book info, Affiliate links)
♥ A.J. Martinez is currently seeking reviewers for Ungifted Elf. If you are interested please contact him!

♥ Available in Amazon Kindle and Paperback ~Kindle | Paperback

♥ You can connect with A.J. Martinez on his Facebook Page, WebsiteGoodreads or on Twitter

♥ Check out my Spotlight of Ungifted Elf

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