Welcome!

♦ 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.

♦ Site is mobile friendly: however I can not insure that external links will be the same. A few of my larger indexes may view better in landscape mode but most should scale.

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

Monday, December 15, 2014

'Tis The Season To Be Busy!

Well here we are.



This year is waning and another isn't far.



Life gets crazy as holiday celebrations are planned.

Decorated Raindeer


Even my cat tried to lend a hand!

Cat knocks down tree
(Well it tried, that is what counts right?)


There is a winter storm forecast, I hope that it snows...

Festive House


Maybe this year rabbit won't try to take snowman's nose!

Rabbit stealing Snowman's nose

Stockings have all been hung with delight...

Stockings on firplace


And Santa is ready for a long christmas night...

Santa and sleigh


Through all of this chaos I'm trying to read...

Reading Chair

A task at which I just can't succeed...

Elves on strike

So I think that I'll be taking a break...

exhausted Santa


To see just how many posts I can make...
Santa on computer



You'll see 2 reviews before I go on holiday...

Elf waving



But I will be back after New Year's day...

New Year's Banner
See you all soon!


Clipart/gif source: Webweaver's

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rick Riordan Quote | Weekly Quote 29

“Jason scratched his head.

"You named him Festus?

You know that in Latin,

‘festus’ means ‘happy’?

You want us to ride off

to save the world on

Happy the Dragon?”

-- Rick Riordan, The Lost Hero --

Book Quote from The Last Hero by Rick Riordan on a background designed by @Mulluane

About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is Rick Riordan's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

I probably should have done something holiday themed but I saw this one, and when I stopped laughing, got to work putting it all together!

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!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Elizabeth Kerner | Weekly Quote 28

“What good I thought I could do,

all alone, against thousands

of years of mistrust and

the power of a Demonlord,

I cannot now imagine:

but such are the dreams of youth,

too gloriously stupid to realise

what cannot be done.

And without those dreams,

how should we ever accomplish

the impossible?”

-- Elizabeth Kerner, Song in the Silence --

Quote about the dreams of youth by Elizabeth Kerner on a background design by Mulluane

About: This is a weekly feature here in the old belfry. The quote is Elizabeth Kerner's. The design, along with any flaws, is mine. 

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!


My Review of Song in the Silence.


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, December 3, 2014

Book Blogging Tips: Make Sharing Easy | Prequel

I remember fondly starting my blogs back in 2008. It did not take long before I was a part of a community I never knew existed. A community of book bloggers. Back then it was a small group. Maybe 200 SFF bloggers worldwide. And it was awesome. We were featured in each other's blog rolls. We shared each other's posts. We commented religiously. We even had our own forum. SEO was easy. It depended heavily on backlinks and as a community, we made sure to link to each other frequently.

Unfortunately, in 2009 I lost internet access and could not blog anymore.

Fast forward to 2014. My area finally gets DSL and I quickly started blogging again. And I discovered a vastly different atmosphere.
  • Seo is now so complicated it has spawned its own community of bloggers just to help us navigate the changes. 
  • The small, select SFF community has now exploded into 1000's, maybe even 10's of 1000's of bloggers. More than I could ever hope to develop a relationship with. 
  • Twitter has exploded as has Goodreads. 
  • Facebook is now worthless unless you can pay and Librarything is almost dead. 
  • On the upside I discovered Tumblr, Pinterest, DeviantArt, Buffer, PicMonkey and Listly to mention a few. Yay! New programs to play with!
So I've spent the last year exploring, testing, reading, researching and redesigning my blogs. My posts as a result have been a bit sparse, my followers a bit slim, but I now feel alot more comfortable with the process.

And you know what I discovered? Sharing is still the key to SEO. Main difference is that it is alot more visual, less likely to be reciprocated and the focus is different. Now the focus is to sell yourself as an expert in your genre. The more quality content you share, the more people will take you seriously and visit your blog!

Personally, I miss the old way so I still tend to share content from the blogs I admire, even if nobody notices. But that brings us to the purpose of this post and the series to follow. There are a plethora of blogs I either can't share or I have to put alot of work into creating a good share from scratch. Here is a quick list of the reasons why:
  • No image or image is too small or too wide.
  • No alt text on images
  • No RSS feed. 
  • No subscribe by email either.
  • No share buttons.
  • No tweetable text.
  • No pinned tweet or Facebook post.
  • No follow buttons or hard to find.
Old Bat's Belfry: Make Sharing Easy! | Prequel post outlining what I'll be discussing. Stay Tuned!What I plan is to to do a series of posts which suggest solutions for each of the listed issues plus I have a bunch of tips and tricks on how to make your content stand out in the crowd while increasing your SEO.

Note: I will be focusing on the blogger platform. Some of the things I'll be going over, Wordpress already has plugins for.

Blogger on the other hand has the tools you need in place but you'll have to manually make use of them. Something you are likely already accustomed to doing. And the reason why I love blogger. I want to learn how to make blogger do what I want it to do instead of just installing a plugin.

Please understand that I am not a trained expert. Everything I do is self taught. I have however, done alot of research, experimenting, coding and testing. My solutions may not be perfect, or WC3 compliant, but they work. Plus, I'll be linking back to the real experts whenever possible.

So what do you think? Love the idea? Is there anything you are particularly interested in learning about? Anything I missed? Do you hate it? "Hey Mulluane, I just want you to post more reviews and quotes, I don't care about SEO, sharing and visibility!"

Let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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