Thursday 28 June 2018

TEMPER the novel by Nicky Drayden


Today I bring you awesome news! The release of Nicky Drayden's next book is upon us!!
Mark your calendars because in just alittle over a month from now TEMPER will be released!
If you follow me, you know she's one of my favorite new authors & she's been featured a ton on this blog before. I'm so honored to have her on the blog again!
Check out this awesome GIF created by GIF Girl. Make me want to fanboy even more over this book.

TEMPER GIF {Click to Play}

Blurb Me!

In a land similar to South Africa, twin brothers are beset by powerful forces beyond their understanding or control in this thrilling blend of science fiction, horror, magic, and dark humor—evocative of the works of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor—from the author of The Prey of Gods.

Two brothers.
Seven vices.
One demonic possession.
Can this relationship survive?

Auben Mutze has more vices than he can deal with—six to be exact—each branded down his arm for all the world to see. They mark him as a lesser twin in society, as inferior, but there’s no way he’ll let that define him. Intelligent and outgoing, Auben’s spirited antics make him popular among the other students at his underprivileged high school. So what if he’s envious of his twin Kasim, whose single vice brand is a ticket to a better life, one that likely won’t involve Auben.

The twins’ strained relationship threatens to snap when Auben starts hearing voices that speak to his dangerous side—encouraging him to perform evil deeds that go beyond innocent mischief. Lechery, deceit, and vanity run rampant. And then there are the inexplicable blood cravings. . . .

On the southern tip of an African continent that could have been, demons get up to no good during the time of year when temperatures dip and temptations rise. Auben needs to rid himself of these maddening voices before they cause him to lose track of time. To lose his mind. And to lose his . . .


“Drayden is an amazing writer and deft plotter. The twists are unexpected and never feel contrived, just as the novel explores real-world issues without sounding preachy.” (Library Journal)

  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (August 7, 2018)
  • Publication Date: August 7, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B071SKJ2TD 


Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she’s not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required. She’s the author of over 30 published short stories and also serves as the Special Anthologies editor for The Drabblecast, a speculative fiction podcast. Her debut novel THE PREY OF GODS is scheduled for release Summer 2017, from Harper Voyager.

Fascinate ME!!

  1. Is this book related to or a sequel of your previously published book The Prey of Gods?
TEMPER isn’t related to THE PREY OF GODS, but they do have a lot of similarities. Both are set in South Africa (though TEMPER is an alternate, fantastical South Africa that is hardly recognizable), and both deal with the ways that technology and mythology intersect. The technology in TEMPER is repressed and studying science has only recently become legal. Religion has become a ruling institution at the expense of cultural depth and individuality.
  1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
Two main concepts formed this story. The first was reimagining an African continent that escaped the ills of colonization. Through examining the “could-have-beens” in this not-quite alternate history, I wanted to open a door to a world where anything was possible. The second concept came to me after reading about how some parts of Nigeria have very high rates of twinning, like nearly one in ten people are a twin. That left me wondering "What if we took it further? What if eighty or ninety or ninety-nine percent of people were twins?" And from that, this story was born.
That isn’t to say that life in this novel is a utopia. Far from it. People are dealing with lots of issues, prejudices, and discrimination brought into play by the fantastical parts of the story. In this society, twins are divided into groups based on the number of vices they are assigned as children. There are seven vices: Vainglory, Envy, Duplicity, Doubt, Lechery, Greed, and Temper. The twin with the least number of vices is deemed the “greater twin” and has better opportunities in life. The other is the lesser twin, pretty much destined for a life of poverty. The story is told from the point-of-view of Auben, a lesser twin, which leaves room for all kinds of vice-filled folly and dark character exploration.
  1. Which is your favorite vice?
Since I’m an author, I’m going to have to say Duplicity. People are literally paying money for me to lie to them! But hidden under the lies are nuggets of Truth that I hope are much more impactful than the lies.
Also, each of the chapters in TEMPER is named after one of Auben’s vices (or his one virtue), and if I had to pick which vice chapter was my favorite, I’d pick Doubt. That’s where we find out that Doubt is the worst of the vices, worse than Temper even, because while tempers flare and then eventually fade, doubt lingers. It burrows into your soul, steals away your happiness. It's a universal feeling, and I think a lot of readers will really connect with that chapter.
  1. If you were a twin how many vices do you think you’d have?
Oh....Would I be the good twin or the bad twin? I’m MOSTLY a goodie-two-shoes, so I’d probably be the good twin, but just barely. I’d have to go with 3 vices.
  1. Will there be a sequel to this book or is it a stand-alone?
TEMPER is a stand-alone, but it’s lengthy, deep and dark, with complex cultural details that will immerse you in a world like you’ve never seen. Lots of food, magic, demons, and family drama.
  1. Do you have any advice for up & coming authors or second time published authors you’d love to share?

Guard your writing time. Get used to setting your schedule now, because when you go from a writer to a published novelist, you’re going to have lots of things competing for your time. Prioritize, and keep your head and heart in your writing above all else. That’s where the real joy lies. (That, and the fans are pretty amazing, too!)
Cool Book Swag!

You can read more about Nicky Drayden on this featurette:

Author Interview on Catching that Golden Snitch


© Enricoh Alfonzo ~ Alfonzo Words
  • I’d love to keep connected with you! 
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~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Unstable Unicorns from PLAY'nuff: Game Review

Why Unstable Unicorns is the Unicorniest Game of them All?!

Buenos Dias~

"Jinkies!" Y'all are in for a treat today! This post is sponsored by PLAY'nuff 

Thanks to them I get to feature & give you my honest game review of this card-based game:

NB: In this review, you'll find mention to the card-based game, Yugi-OH. Since it's the only card based game I extensively & successfully have played.
SPOILER ALERT {I absolutely LOVE IT!!!} hahaha

As soon as it arrived I knew there was only ONE person who would appreciate & enjoy unboxing this game as much as I did. Cassarica Nadas!
If you recall, along with our other friend Sumarie, we came up with the

The Zemlja Dosta Chronicles

Chapter 5 - The Elven Trials
Chapter 6 - Hocirne's Return

And who better to play The Unicorn Queen, Ari than Cassarica who's love & obsession with unicorns is unprecedented & absolute. She's definitely the Unicorniest of them all.
So this past weekend I headed over to her place to unbox & play the game.

Watch this compilation video of our fun together 
{feat. voice of Cass's boyfriend, Gareth}

The way it begins...

Inside the box:
2 decks filled with both Unicorns {Baby, Basic & Magical} & Special effect cards
1 Guideline pamphlet with slight rules & instructions for the game

Not Included:
A game mat {not sure whether it's sold separately or at all but it would have been nice to have}

So we just made a makeshift one to play on.
Each face down card represents a spot in the "stable"/field that a Unicorn can be placed.

How to Play:

Gather all Baby Unicorns from the deck and place 1 in the "Stable" {refers to 1 of the seven spots above} of each player. Place the rest of the Baby Unicorns in a stack. This will be your nursery. Shuffle the remaining cards and deal 5 to each player. The rest of the stack will be your draw pile.
Additional rule: Each player receives a Neigh card. This is an "Instant" card which means it can be played during any turn and at any moment. This card allows you to STOP any card from coming into play. {E.g if your opponent is about to play a card to destroy a unicorn in your stable, you can use your Neigh card to STOP/DESTROY it.}
Sub-additional rule: {if there is such a thing} Now this might be more of a discretionary rule but you can use a Neigh card to cancel out another Neigh card and maybe even a second Neigh card to keep the card in play. Meaning if I play a destroy unicorn card & you play a Neigh card then I play a Neigh card to cancel out your Neigh card you can play a Second Neigh card to override my Neigh. Hope that makes Sense LOL!
The one with the Most colors on is considered the "Unicorniest" of them all and gets to play first. One guess who that is lol. Cass went first. She got to draw 1 card then either play a card or draw another card and end her turn.

From there it's all about reading the effects of the different types of Unicorns & special effects at the most strategic time, all the while keeping the ultimate objective of the game in mind. The nitty gritty & flow of the game will be figured out as you play along.

Focus on getting your 7 Unicorns in the stable.

The MAIN Objective of the Game is to get 7 Unicorns in the "Stable"/ on the field. Whoever lays down 7 first WINS the game.

Play the long game, think 2 to 3 moves ahead & how an effect now might save you some trouble down the road or even bring you luck. Don't go for the immediate satisfaction of playing cards just to snub your opponent. Learn to anticipate what cards they may or may not have. And just like in poker, learn to keep your poker face on least your opponent discern your intentions.

Ps xxx I got to play my FAVORITE Unicorn card
Woooohoooo! I can die happy now. 
The boxing is convenient, compact & very portable which is a plus. Very travel-friendly. 
Upon opening & during those first moments of laying everything out I did think the game might be complicated. Only because my reference to card-based games is Yugi-Oh, since that involved Attack & Defence points it was pretty straightforward, the one with the strongest, most badass monster on the field won. But since all of the Unicorn cards had no Attack or Defence points {certain ones have special effects when played} I assumed that it would be difficult to play. However as soon as I saw that the objective was to get 7 unicorns on the field, it became less complicated & as soon as we started our first game, it exploded into Nothing but pure Fun & Excitement. I suppose this begins with all games but sometimes you never get to the fun part so I'm glad this game is so easy to get into & just play. We played well into the evening before realizing the time, clearly, this game is immersive. 
It brought back great memories of when I was pretty much a Yugi-Oh master player {not to brag or anything} as a kid. I got to tap back into that strategic side of myself & enjoy what I enjoy most about card-based games...THE COMPLETE AND UTTER ANNIHILATION OF MY OPPONENT muuuuahahahahahahah!!!

Lol just kidding....maybe :-p

Unstable Unicorns is a wondrous game that I'm shocked wasn't invented sooner seeing as how crazy I've seen people get over unicorns. I'm truly honored to have been given the chance to play this game. I feel like it's one of those amazing family fun typed games that can be kept for all sorts of occasions & played with all sorts of ages.

I; Enricoh Alfonzo; undoubtedly, vehemently, and whole-heartedly recommend this game to everyone.

Visit their Facebook Page 
or Facebook Store

We just don't & we really should! From happy memories spent around the table with family and friends, for the child in or out of us all, for the love of games galore, the time has come to PLAY'nuff!

© Enricoh Alfonzo ~ Alfonzo Words
  • I’d love to keep connected with you! 
Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook Join my Instagram community | Watch me on Pinterest | Subscribe to blog post Updates |

~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres