• Review Policy
  • Post Promotion
  • Ratings 
  • Disclaimer
  • FTC Compliance
  • Affiliate Declaration
  • Privacy Policy
  • Comment Policy
The what and the way I review pretty much shots me in the foot in regards to receiving review copies or ARCs for review consideration. This is not to say I wouldn't absolutely love to get books in the mail for review, I would, but single books are not my primary focus. My main focus is on the completed series which are reviewed on Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

Review Guidelines

So here are my guidelines, limiting though they are...


  • When I receive a book for review consideration I reserve the right to decide if and when the book will be reviewed. 

  • If I receive an ARC, I will try to post a review just prior to its release date. However I cannot promise I will always be able to meet any deadlines.

  • If I do decide to review book(s) which have been sent to me for consideration, I do not promise it will be a favorable review. I will only promise to give my honest opinion, as spoiler free as possible.

  • DNF books are typically not reviewed. I may do nothing or choose to do a promo post instead. If I do decide to review it, I promise to be fair and honest with my assessment of the portion I did read.

I Do

I DO review "Traditional" Fantasy ~ High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Secondary World or Alternate History/Historical Fantasy with strong elements of magic.

I Do accept single books ~ But series for Dragons, Heroes and Wizards are preferred and will take precedence. Singles may be reviewed on Old Bat's Belfry.

Emails ~ I do answer emails if they pertain to the types of books I read, and are a request for a review, shoutout or an author interview. If not, the email will be politely ignored. 

Formats ~ I do have a Kindle Paperwhite and can accept Mobi files. Actual books are always better but I will accept either or even a combo of both will work. Since I'm primarily asking for entire series for review I'll take anything I can get.

I Do Not

No PODs ~ independent, vanity, self published and most small press. Yes I know some are awesome but most are not. I will accept books from any publisher listed by SFWA (Scroll down  linked page to see Qualifying Professional Markets)

I do not host giveaways ~ I still have every book I have ever received and I plan to be buried with them.

No Urban, Steampunk or Contemporary Fantasy ~ Yes I know those have been the more popular genres for the last oh, 10-15 years or so but as hard as I've tried, I just don't like them. Industrialized or modern civilizations hold no interest for me.

No Horror ~ Dark Fantasy yes. Supernatural-chainsaw-massacre-exorcist, no.

No Dystopian, apocalyptic fantasy ~ I hate zombies with a passion and I consider most end-of-the-world stories to be closer to Sci-fi horror than fantasy.

No Science Fiction ~ Hybrids are ok. I know sometimes there is a fine line between Sci-fi and Fantasy. So, if it has alot of dragons or magic and very few spaceships (Think Pern) I'll read it. If its about intergalactic storm troopers, I won't.

No Focused Romance ~ ie as the center theme. Most epic fantasies have some romance but it is not the main topic.

See what I meant by shooting myself in the foot?

*limps off to check the empty mailbox......*

Post Promotion

When I do receive a series or single in the correct genre for review, this is what I'll do with it.

1. Read and post a honest review of the book on the appropriate blog.

2. Post the review on both Goodreads and Librarything with a "read original" link back to blog. I'll post to Amazon or other retailers only if requested to.

3. Pin the book cover to Pinterest linking back to review.

4. Announce review on Twitter several times. I may also post a photo link on Tumblr.

5. If a series, write a final post summarizing the series as a whole.

6. Summary post gets a repeat of 2, 3 and 4.

On Recommended Ages

On some reviews I may discuss, briefly, possible reading ages. This is only MY opinion. I am fully aware that some teens are more mature than others and what one might read without a qualm, another might find offensive or uncomfortable. I get asked so I try to answer but unless a book/series is specifically YA targeted best bet is to read it yourself before gifting it to a young adult. On the rare occasion that I see an official rating on the publisher's website I'll stick to their recommendation.

Rating Guidelines

1 star = Could not finish. Chances are though, if this happens, you won't see a review, you might however find it lining the bottom of my birdcage.
2 stars = Just sad but I am not giving up on it yet. Some series start off sad but end up awesome.
3 stars = fair to middling, not great, but not bad either. Often found on weak middle books.
4 stars = pretty good, I liked it, but had some minor piddling little issues
5 stars = Awesome! Going on my reread over and over shelf.

Note: If a series review I rate each book and then I rate the series. The two are not the same thing. The individual books can have a 5, a 3 and a 4 and I still might rate the entire series as a 5 because the overall story was greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Review Disclaimer

The opinions here are all mine as are any mistakes. If I am in any way unfair to my readers, or the authors and publishers of the books I review, I'm sure that karma will exact its due.

I am not a publisher, editor or literary genius so my reviews will not be expert critiques on plot, theme, voice, syntax, or writing style, they will be from the viewpoint of one reader to another. The reviews I write are not structured in any way, they come from my heart and are based on my gut reactions. And remember that we are all different, what appeals to me -- or doesn't -- may or may not affect you the same way. All I can suggest is read the books and decide for yourself.


FTC Rules

Obviously while I was on "vacation" the FTC set down some policies for bloggers who do product reviews. IF the book I review has been sent to me from a publisher, agent or author I must indicate this in my post. I do not see this as problem since 90% of of the books I review on: Dragons, Heroes and Wizards are paid for out of my own pocket. On the other hand, the few books I review here: Old Bat's Belfry ARE usually sent to me by authors, publishers or agents. I will be careful to comply in either case. If and when I actually do get any review copies I will note it in the post. Can't have the FTC suing me for $11,000 per violation. After all I need my money for medical bills..... since there is a bullet hole in my foot.... oh and for more books.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

Affiliate Links

I do use affiliate links on my reviews and on the blog itself. They do not in any way influence my reviews. The pittance I get from them (every little bit helps!) goes towards buying more books to review.

If an image links to an affiliate, a title tag will say, for example, "Amazon Affiliate Link". If the post itself includes a text affiliate link (most do at the top of the book cover) a title tag will indicate that also. I DO NOT cloak affiliate links.

Links included on the right hand side of the "additional info" table, which is located at the end of each post, ie Kindle, Audible and the Buy Book links ( such as: AbeBooks, Books-A-Million, Book Depository and Amazon) are all affiliate links, just as the table header indicates.

Buying through an affiliate link in no way affects the price of the item you are purchasing.

In addition, affiliate vendors do not share any of your personal info with me. ( such as:  name, email, address or payment info). The only information I get is what was sold and how much commission I received from the sale. If you are concerned about your privacy I suggest checking the privacy policies of the vendor (Amazon, Audible, BAM, AbeBooks, Book Depository) before making a purchase.

The rest of the ads located in the header, footer, sidebars and below posts ( such as: Project Wonderful, Google Adsense, etc. ) are content related ads but have nothing to do with any specific product I am reviewing. They are simply another means of getting revenue for new books.

For more information on your privacy in relation to this blog please see my Privacy page.

In conclusion, ads, affiliate links and free review copies do not influence my reviews. If I don't like the book, I will say I don't like the book! (Honestly but politely of course.)

Official Amazon Disclosure

The owner of this website, Dragons, Heroes and Wizards is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazonsupply.com, myhabit.com, and/or any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

Privacy Policy

Google Adsense requires that I post a privacy policy. So here it goes...

I respect your privacy and I am committed to safeguarding your privacy while online at my blogs: http://dragonsheroesandwizards.blogspot.com and http://oldbatsbelfry.blogspot.com The following discloses the information gathering and dissemination practices for these blogs.

Log Files

Like most blogs I use services like Sitemeter, Feedburner and Google Analytics to track data about who visits my blogs. This includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks to analyze trends, administer the blog, track user movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses, etc. are not linked to personally identifiable information.


A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user's computer tied to information about the user. I personally do not use cookies. However, some of my business partners use cookies on my blogs (for example, blogger and advertisers). I have no access to or control over these cookies.


These blogs contain links to other sites. Please be aware that I am not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. I encourage my users to be aware when they leave my blogs and to read the privacy statements of each and every Web site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by my blogs.


I use outside ad companies to display ads on my blogs. I work with ad companies like: Google Adsense, and Project Wonderland. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on my sites, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP , the browser you used to visit my sites, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing New York real estate ads to someone in New York, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites).


In addition, affiliate vendors do not share any of your personal info with me. ( such as: name, email, address or payment info). The only information I receive is what was sold and how much commission I received from the sale. If you are concerned about your privacy I suggest checking the privacy policies of the individual vendors or advertising companies. Individual vendor privacy links can be found in my Review and FTC policies listed above.

DoubleClick DART cookies

DART cookies may also be used for ad serving through Google’s DoubleClick, which places a cookie on your computer when you are browsing the web and visit a site using DoubleClick advertising (including some Google AdSense advertisements). This cookie is used to serve ads specific to you and your interests (”interest based targeting”).

The ads served will be targeted based on your previous browsing history (For example, if you have been viewing sites about visiting Las Vegas, you may see Las Vegas hotel advertisements when viewing a non-related site, such as on a site about hockey). DART uses “non personally identifiable information”. It does NOT track personal information about you, such as your name, email address, physical address, telephone number, social security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers.

You can opt-out of this ad serving on all sites using this advertising by visiting Ad Settings or you can opt out of other network advertising and third party ad servers’ cookies from the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

You can also choose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.

Deleting cookies does not mean you are permanently opted out of any advertising program. Unless you have settings that disallow cookies, the next time you visit a site running the advertisements, a new cookie will be added.

Comment Policy

Image courtesy of Gavreads

This is an old issue. I saw it back in 2009 before I took a break from blogging and I am reasonably positive I will see it again and again in the years to come. It is also one in which I absolutely refuse to take sides. What I will do however is clarify my commenting policy for the record.

Disclaimer: this policy reflects my views and my views only. My opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any of the past, present or future discussions.

Authors, regardless of what they have to say, have been and always will be, welcome to comment on Old Bat's Belfry and on Dragons, Heroes and Wizards. If they comment acting badly that is their right and the consequences are on their heads, not mine. If I respond badly, respectfully or choose to not respond at all, that is my right and any consequences are on me and me alone. Let the chips fall as they may.

I sincerely hope a confrontation never happens but I will never, ever deny anyone - regardless of who they are - a chance to express themselves. Unless they threaten violence, which would cross even my broad stance, words are just that, words. What doesn't kill me, just makes me stronger.

In a nutshell I feel it is the height of hypocrisy for me to express a negative opinion while denying others the right to challenge that opinion. If you (readers or authors) want to come here and rant, rant away. If you have something nice to say, please do so. If you have nothing to say, well that is your right too. Only thing I ask is that you try to restrain from using vulgar language but that is more for my reader's sensibilities than mine.

The sole exception to this rule is SPAM which has never and will never be welcome here. Sorry, I do have a few limits... (Amended 02/2014) Due to community input I have opened up comments to Anonymous but as a result I am also moderating again. I will delete any comment that contains a link that is unrelated to the SFF community, especially if it is masked. This also means that your comment may take up to 8 hours to appear.

And now, with this little issue addressed, I return you to your previously scheduled blog reading...

Contact Information

If users have any questions or suggestions regarding my privacy policy, please contact me at: mulluane[at]live[dot]com

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