• Roman Housing – Minecraft Edition

    February 7, 2021 by

    If you know me well, you’ll know that I have a lot of varied interests — history, obviously, but also a rather dedication passion for video games. Some time ago, I had the brainwave while playing Minecraft to demonstrate a little historical flair while scratching my itch for playing with, essentially, pixelated Legos. What follows… Read more

  • Book Review: The Dark Side of Glory by Raven Kamali

    January 25, 2021 by

    Book SummaryAbigail is a young girl growing up in Judea during the last turbulent years of the reign of Herod the Great. Orphaned at age ten, she is taken in by her uncle, a sophisticated man who contrasts sharply with her father’s dogmatic piety. Under his care, Abigail develops into a cultured young woman free… Read more

  • Book Review: Nav’Aria: The Winged Crescent (Book 3) by K. J. Backer

    January 9, 2021 by

    Summary (Via Amazon) Wait. Watch. Destroy. Returning from the Shazla Desert, Darion is riddled with worries. Will his desert-journey’s revelations prevent the annihilation of all that is good? Can he fulfill his prophetic purpose as the Marked Heir? And will anyone even survive this fight? Darion, Triumph, Soren, and Edmond return to find that much… Read more

  • Book Review: Battle of Fire by Chesney Infalt*

    December 17, 2020 by

    *I was given a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review Book Blurb (Via Goodreads) The Anell bloodline is known for their loyalty and dedication to their family, kingdom, and the Crown. When tragedy strikes, the Anells do what they can to put things back together… which means… Read more

  • Book Review: The Petticoat Pirate, by C.R. Pugh

    December 7, 2020 by

    Book Summary (Via Goodreads) Josephine Teversin was fifteen years old when her father was murdered by pirate hunters. She’s the last of her kind—an immortal pirate without a ship or crew, and her magic is unstable at best. It’s 1773, and tensions are rising between England and the American colonies. Rumors of war are running… Read more

  • Book Review: The Tailor of Riga by Jonathan Harries

    November 26, 2020 by

    Synopsis “The tailor of Riga is a crime thriller story about a family that has been assassins for 70 generations. Dating back to the 19th century, the tale begins with the protagonist expressing his doubts over joining his assassin family and how it all started when he was only 17, drinking liquor, and was considering… Read more

  • Book Review: In Numina by Assaph Mehr

    November 12, 2020 by

    Book Description (Via Goodreads) This is the second story of Togas, daggers, and Magic – for lovers of Ancient Rome, Hardboiled detectives, and Urban Fantasy.A rich landlord finds tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.Enter… Read more

  • This is a Test…

    November 2, 2020 by

    It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I know everyone’s said it’s been a hard year, but…it’s been a hard year. And to explain where I’m at right now, let me back up a little bit. When I was a student, I was probably the kind of student most of my friends hated. I didn’t have… Read more


    August 17, 2020 by

    This post represents me getting back on my horse. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my summer vacation (and become more proficient in games such as Rocket League and Overwatch in the process). Still, it’s time to recenter as I enter the next phase of my current project. Darlings will be killed, and much will be scrapped and… Read more

  • What I Listen To

    July 22, 2020 by

    Greetings once again! I’m in between drafts at the moment on my current project, and getting ready to ramp up production once again. In the meantime, I want to focus on what’s become a critical part of my routine: the music. Now, my house doesn’t have a dedicated office space. Most often, I’m writing on… Read more

  • Book Review: The Three by Chesney Infalt

    June 21, 2020 by

    Introduction From the Goodreads summary: One has magic in his veins that puts those he loves in danger, keeping him on the run. One is trying to secretly finish a quest before anyone catches up to her. One has been in hiding to keep the world safe. Kory has taken many precautions to make sure… Read more

  • Book Review: Dark Matter

    May 15, 2020 by

    Introduction (Description from Goodreads) Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters. It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him at gunpoint, for reasons Jason can’t begin… Read more

  • NaNo Victory #2: What Worked for Me (Again)

    April 29, 2020 by

    Way back in November (which feels like years ago now), I posted my first ever blog about how I owned NaNoWriMo on my second try as I devised a system that worked pretty well. Like any first draft born from that event, mine needed a *lot* of work. I think that, with the project born… Read more

  • Quarantine Update #3

    April 25, 2020 by

    So it’s been a little while. Life has been our own little ball of crisis mode within our house over the past six weeks. We’ve been far luckier than many: both of us still have paying jobs, albeit working from home is the very definition of organized chaos; we have our health, praise God, as… Read more

  • Quarantine Update #2 (Or, Absence Makes the Heart…)

    March 30, 2020 by

    Dickens began A Tale of Two Cities with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” That was week 2 of my family’s shelter-in-place. We spent the overwhelming majority of it inside, although we at times forced the kids outside in the form of wagon rides and chasing each other around… Read more

  • Once in a Lifetime

    March 17, 2020 by

    Here’s a quick mid-hiatus update! First of all, everyone in my family is doing well. None of us have any health issues as of now, and we’re blessed to only have upturned schedules and routines to worry about. We’re stocked up, still working (from home), and ready to ride this out. My wife and I… Read more

  • Blogging Break: Time to Write!

    February 25, 2020 by

    If you haven’t followed my social media accounts (Twitter: joedonnewrites, IG: authorjosephdonne), then I have some bad and good news for you. BAD NEWS: I’m taking a break from blogging for a little bit. The combination of work and family time leaves me with only a scant amount of creative time in the evenings. HOWEVER… Read more

  • 5-Star Book Review: The Man with Two Names by Vincent B. Davis II

    February 17, 2020 by

    Introduction This is a book that’s right in my wheelhouse (historical fiction) using real people from the time period to tell the story. It’s book one of The Sertorius Scrolls, telling the story from the perspective of Quintus Sertorius and, occasionally, his lifelong friend, Lucius Hirtuleius. Sertorius (It’s common to refer to people by their… Read more


    February 10, 2020 by

    I gotta be honest: I’ve been struggling again with a few bouts of Imposter Syndrome (which I’ve previously documented here). In my quest to read while I prepare to write once again, I’ve been experiencing some really, REALLY good fiction. I’ll be reviewing them later on, but suffice it to say they’ve been exactly what… Read more

  • Football in Fiction

    February 2, 2020 by

    As I write this, it is Super Bowl Sunday. Now, I have no dog in the fight (My Panthers are, in fact, in the midst of blowing up and starting all over again). However, I do love the hubbub that surrounds the event: The millions (billions?) of people watching, the commercials throughout the game, the… Read more

  • Book Review – Nav’Aria: The Pyre of Tarsin by K.J. Backer

    January 31, 2020 by

    Introduction You know the usual stereotypes about unicorns, right? Happy, sparkly, wholesome kids stuff right? Three things often synonymous with one another are sunshine, rainbows, and unicorn poop (even that seems to be held with awe and wonder) Well, dear reader, I am about to present to you a different take on unicorns. And centaurs.… Read more

  • Be Someone’s Light Giver

    January 26, 2020 by

    I’m writing this post from my shiny new laptop! If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is: This week has been something of a disaster. Both kids caught varying stages of the flu from their Grandma, which made the house more of a triage center. Thus, both my wife and I had to take… Read more

  • I’m Late! I’m Late! And Other Musings

    January 20, 2020 by

    I usually aim to post new stuff each Sunday, but yesterday took so much energy out of me that I just had nothing left at the end of the night. Sorry! I have the day off today, and so I shall update you all on what is going on in my world. First, I’m eagerly… Read more

  • Book Review: Battle for the Valley by C.R. Pugh

    January 18, 2020 by

    Jimmy Valvano once famously said you should do three things every day: laugh, think, and have your emotions moved to tears. I can say without exaggeration that the latest book I’ve read made me do all three over the course of the finale to this YA science fantasy series. It gets a five-star review from… Read more

  • What’s Working Right Now: Finding a Balance

    January 12, 2020 by

    So at the time of this writing, it’s been not quite two months since I conquered NaNoWriMo and added 50k in the first draft of my historical WIP. (You can read about that victory here.) What, you may be asking, is the deal with not adding to that project? For starters, December was an insanely… Read more

  • WAS

    December 29, 2019 by

    It goes like this: I’m watching a movie I haven’t seen in ages (in the most recent case: Home Alone), and I look up the cast on IMDB or Google (My wife and I do this constantly). I tend to zero in on actors I’ve heard of, or know I’ve seen in other films, but… Read more

  • My Battle with Imposter Syndrome

    December 8, 2019 by

    Show of hands: who here struggles with Imposter Syndrome? I struggle often with Imposter Syndrome. This occurs in other parts of my life too, where my penchant for self-deprecating humor takes a step into unnecessarily piling on. Some nagging part of my brain just does not like to take credit for the good things that… Read more

  • NaNo is over. Here’s what worked for me

    November 29, 2019 by

    Last year, I decided sometime in early October to give it a try. My professional obligations always kept me from participating in the past, so when I realized I’d finally have the time to try it, I jumped in with both feet. 50,000 words? In 30 days? Piece of cake! That’s what I thought at… Read more

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