Thursday, October 31, 2013

#ThorLove Bloghop Rafflecopter and PRIZE-talk!

Firstly, the Rafflecopter for the #ThorLove bloghop is now LIVE! So that means you can start earning entries to win our fabulous prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, let's talk about the prizes. I know for me, being able to VISUALIZE things is so much nicer, so I took some pictures of the loot!

For the GRAND PRIZE, we've got an ARC of HOUNDED by Kevin Hearne, and the Double Rainbow Edition of Thor: The Mighty Avenger:

AND! A signed paperback copy of Forged by Fate and Fate Forgotten! (Looking mighty fine together, if you ask me.)

Plus! e-editions of ELSKER and ENDRE, and Sundries! Which are not pictured here only because they have not all been assembled quite yet -- trading cards are on their way!

For the Runner-Up, we've got Ultimate Comics New Ultimates: Thor Reborn (say that three times fast) and issue one of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, because somehow I collected 3 copies of the first issue and everyone in this world must know its greatness.
Plus! E-editions of ELSKER and ENDRE, and e-editions of FATE FORGOTTEN and TEMPTING FATE! And Sundries of course! because who doesn't like sundries?

Can't wait to read all your #ThorLove entries, and there's still plenty of time to sign up and be part of the bloghop!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Character Art Reveal: Eve and Athena

Before I show you the pretties (and let me just tell you that Athena is absolutely gorgeous, and Eve is pretty awesome, too!) a couple of quick reminders:

Firstly: #ThorLove bloghop! Sign up! Tell your friends! Comics, fantasy novels, poems and stories from the Eddas, television and film, tell us about your favorite Thor!

Secondly: Street Team Sign Ups! If you signed up before October 25th, your bookmarks are in the mail! If you'd like bookmarks, there is still time to sign up, and there is definitely still time to put your name on the list for avatars and banners -- I'll be emailing those out in early November.

And now!!! THE ARTS!

From the fabulous El Husband:







They'll be appearing on the Fate Forgotten trading cards, which will be shipping out to winners of both the Street Team drawing and the #ThorLove bloghop! I'll also be dropping them around and about locally and (not-so-locally by proxy -- thanks family!)

Special thanks, as always, to El Husband for his fantastic art!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rehashing Brynhild OR When Wisdom Isn't Enough

If you're not familiar with her, Brynhild is a brilliant woman. Not just because she's a shield-maiden warrior, but because she's flat-out wise. She knows things, and she isn't afraid to share what she knows with the men around her. Whether or not they listen, sadly, is beyond her power. And even when they have the best of intentions, it seems the default in the Saga of the Volsungs is to "Forget" if not "ignore."

When Brynhild meets Sigurd, she passes her vast wisdom on to this strange man without hesitation. She shares not just her common sense, but also everything she knows about runes and magic. He's an appreciative audience -- an admiring audience even, appearing to take it all in with the respect and weight it deserves.

Specifically, Brynhild tells Sigurd:
Ale runes shall you know
If you desire no other's wife
To deceive you in troth, if you trust.
They shall be cut on the horn
And on the hand's back
And mark the need rune on your nail.

For the cup shall you make a sign
And be wary of misfortune
And throw leek into the liquor,
Then, I know that,
you will never get
A potion blended with poison.

Not much later, Sigurd begs Brynhild to tell him more of her wisdom, and she says this:
Beware of ill dealings, both of a maid's love and a man's wife; ill often arises from these.
And do not swear a false oath, because hard vengeance follows the breaking of truce.
and then:
Beware of the wiles of friends. I see only a little of your future life, yet it would be better if the hate of your in-laws did not descend upon you.
Sigurd professes his admiration of Brynhild's wisdom, and we are left with the impression that he takes her words to heart, treasuring them along with the apparent love he holds for her after this first meeting. Brynhild accepts Sigurd's praise, and admiration, but she warns him that they are not meant to marry or live together. Still, Sigurd insists, and Brynhild is persuaded. They exchange vows with one another, privately, and then part.  

In these three pages, Brynhild has both warned Sigurd of how he will be betrayed and given him the information he needs in order to prevent his downfall. Everything that happens to him after this point might have been avoided, had he used the "magic" Brynhild gave him, and kept her words of warning and wisdom in mind. Had he used the runes, Queen Grimhild could not have used the ale of forgetfulness on Sigurd, which caused him to forget his love for Brynhild. Had he been cautious of other women, and the "wiles of friends" he would not have trusted her to drink from the cup she gave him, and never would have married Gudrun, or helped Gunnar, his brother-in-law, win Brynhild's hand in marriage.

Brynhild knew everything that was coming, her own fate and Sigurd's, but even her knowledge and wisdom, given freely, wasn't enough to prevent the future from following that grim script. Because for all her wisdom and strength, she did not have the power to make Sigurd follow her advice. 

Even for the wisest among us, wisdom will only get a woman so far.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cait Greer talks GARGOYLES!

This is our second post on Monsters of Myth. The first, by Diana Paz, covered the Snake Ladies of Classical Mythology. Today, we have Cait Greer to talk about one of the mythological monsters in her book, Para Wars: Uprising, the noble Gargoyle! I had the pleasure of reading an early version of this book, and let me tell you, the way Cait mixes her monsters is a LOT of fun.

Gargoyles. Stone beasts built to guard.

As far as the mythology behind them goes, there isn’t a lot to go on. Architecturally, the name refers to a grotesque, or a stone figure, with a carved spout. They were designed to carry rainwater away from masonry walls, keeping it from eroding the mortar.

Boring, I know. But that’s hardly the whole story.

It all goes back to a French legend, from around the 7th Century. The story is about a dragon, La Garouille, that lived in the River Seine. It terrorized the village of Rouen, until the Archbishop St. Romanus killed it. They set the dragon’s body on fire, but the head and neck survived, and were then mounted – you guessed it – on the wall of the newly built church, so that it could ward off evil. And the legend was born.

When I started writing ParaWars, I knew it would turn into my own little mythological playground. I didn’t want to focus on just one paranormal family, and I was just as tired of vampires and werewolves as everyone else. Angels, demons, and ghosts were quickly following in their footsteps. More than anything, I wanted something new, something I could have fun with. The broad scope the idea of a war between mythological/magical/paranormal/supernatural beings and humans gave me was exciting, but I still needed a para main character to counterpart my human MC.

I wanted a guardian and protector, a para that wasn’t fighting his nature to protect my heroine. And what better than a gargoyle, whose entire mythology is built around protection and warding?

But I didn’t want some clown- or demon-faced statue. I needed a guardian the story could sympathize with. So my gargoyles look a lot like us. They use the same kind of glamour magic that the fae use. They can look like the classic grotesque, or they can look like people. They can hide their wings, or show them. And at night, they change from stone to flesh.

But even stone, my leading gargoyle Axel has a beating, bleeding heart, and I can’t wait for you all to meet him.

If you want to learn more about PARAWARS: UPRISING, check it out on goodreads, or pick up your copy online on Amazon or Barnes and Noble! But here's the blurb for an immediate fix:
The Paranormal Uprising brought myth and legend out of the shadows and into real life. The war that followed tore the world apart. Two years after the Uprising, twenty-year-old Kendry is learning the hard way that the battle lines aren’t as clear-cut as human versus para. And the hard way means being hunted down by both human militants and para separatists. Trouble is, she has no idea why.

On the run with only her mysterious gargoyle guardian, Kendry knows that finding out why she’s on everyone’s most-wanted list will be no easy task. It means charging headlong into a war she’d hoped to avoid, and is woefully unprepared for. So when she realizes that everyone in her life has been lying to her, discovering that she’s somehow the key to ending the war is the last thing she needs. With both sides tearing up the world to find her, it’s decision time for Kendry—keep running, or stand up and fight.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Timetraveling Sketch Party

So, while helping my mother assemble the notes she needed to teach a course on New Testament scripture (yes, that does explain some things, doesn't it?) I came across a handful of my own art from back in the day -- also known as high school. Twelve Years Ago, I apparently had so much time on my hands that I colored a sketch in paint, also so. There's that, too.

For Your Pleasure, a peek at high school me's artistry (or lackthereof -- you decide!)

and, with glorious paint-in-color!

Some of you might recognize this pose/etc from the cover art for Anne McCaffrey's The Rowan, which was one of my most favorite novels at the time. (I still enjoy it, but not with the same ardor as I did then.) 

I think I like the pencil version better. But man, what a trip down memory lane. It's like reading old high-school writing or something, to find these things. And it makes me want to get serious about art-other-than-writing again.

Maybe someday!

And also, don't forget to sign up for the SUPER AWESOME THOR LOVE BLOG-HOP RELEASE DAY PARTY AHHHH!

And if you want to be a part of the FATE FORGOTTEN Street Team, there's still time to sign up for that too via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fate of the Gods: Book Chick City Review Recap!

So I got two awesome reviews from Book Chick City that I just wanted to take a minute to highlight on the blog -- the first was for FORGED BY FATE, which received 4.5 stars:
"I liked how both Thor and Eve were often at war with themselves about which course of action was often the right one to take, as both are aware of the huge weight which rests on their shoulders alone. I am also highly intrigued by the plotline which the author kept dropping us little hints about; with it becoming apparent that Thor is likely to have had contact with Eve in her last incarnation." (Read More)
Yes, there is a reason I chose to highlight that particular quote. But also you should go read the whole review because YAY! I'm absolutely thrilled that they loved Forged by Fate so much, and the review itself reflects a wonderful understanding of the book and the characters!

I will say this much about FATE FORGOTTEN (less than a month away now ahhh!): We'll be continuing to follow Thor from that final Council meeting in FORGED BY FATE onward. I can't wait for you to read on and discover what happens as the wheels of time turn through history! There are two periods in particular that I'm extra excited about sharing with you all, but you'll just have to wait and see what is the what!

The second review was for TEMPTING FATE, my Fate of the Gods e-novella:
"I was surprised that this novella gave me a differing perception of Adam than I had interpreted from the first book. I had the feeling that he was cold and ruthless, which in some ways he still was, but at the same time he also demonstrates a sense of vulnerability." (Read More)
Adam Lovers, this is a reminder that Tempting Fate is a story you're going to appreciate! Book Chick City gave the novella 3.5 stars, and suggests it to fans of FORGED BY FATE who are looking to get a Fate of the Gods fix before FATE FORGOTTEN's release (November 5th!). So! If you haven't yet, definitely give it a read now!

(Thanks so much for these amazing reviews! And *I* highly recommend Book Chick City because as reviewers, they really do a wonderful and thorough job!)

Also! FORGED BY FATE is a finalist in the debut novel category of the Book Junkie's Choice awards!! Voting began on October 14th, so please do consider casting yours! In the meantime, don't forget to sign up for the #ThorLove bloghop!! 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

My Favorite Norse God: Thor

In celebration of the release of SECRETS OF THE ASH TREE by Siv Maria Ottem, she's hosting a blog hop wherein we all post a post about our favorite Norse God. You know I couldn't say no to a blog hop about Norse Gods, guys, come on.

I think it goes without saying who my favorite Norse God is, at this point. Especially if you're a regular reader of the blog! But if you aren't, and somehow we have never crossed paths in the blogosphere -- in my life, there is no competition for the title. My absolute most favorite Norse God is Thor, and from this love a great number of creative endeavors have been born. The Fate of the Gods series, for one, and Thor in Zombie Land, of course. A number of sketches of dubious quality, and my sometimes-avatar image of Mjolnir, created in paint. Pretty much my whole web presence is an ode to Thor Love, and my personal slogan on social media (which I didn't come up with myself so I cannot take credit) is "Come for Thor, Stay for More." (and you should check out my twitter background if you've been enjoying Name that Butt, just sayin')

You might be asking yourself, "but why do you love Thor so much?" And if so, allow me to quote from a blogpost I wrote a while back about his essential character:

I think the reason Thor was so beloved was because he always helped his people. Thor was the god that could be depended on, no matter what had happened, to go out and do what had to be done-- whether that was beating down on Loki, or killing off giants, or drinking a ton of mead, or dressing up as a woman. Thor was intensely loyal, unwavering, and good.
Thor might have had a short temper, but just because he was angry didn't mean he wouldn't help you out. And maybe that was what was most appealing about him. Unlike many of the other gods, in any pantheon, Thor was not a god to hold a grudge. He was quick to forgive. Quick to move on. And for humans, imperfect as we are, as we know ourselves to be, a god who forgives would be attractive.
This is Thor's character. This is the god who was loved by his people, and honored more than all the others. The god who showed, if not love, at least benevolence toward those who did not have his strength, and called themselves his friend, regardless of whether their actions proved their words or not. Is it any wonder that he was so popular? In his essence, Thor was not just a god of thunder, and wielder of incredible raw power, Thor was also, in character, a god of friendship.

Maybe that's why he's my favorite, when it comes down to it. For all his faults, for all his violence, his heart was in the right place.

 And if you want to know more about my love of Thor, and particularly, my most favorite version of Thor in pop culture, as well as Thor's role in my Fate of the Gods novels, tune back in November 5th for my own Thor Love blog hop, to celebrate the release of FATE FORGOTTEN, book two in the Fate of the Gods trilogy!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

FATE FORGOTTEN Bookmarks and Street Team Sign-up!

Friends, I have been holding this back for MONTHS, but it is time to share with you the Fate Forgotten bookmarks and banner art!

BOOKMARKS FIRST! They're so pretty, I'm beside myself. And I have a LOT of them -- which means more Fate Forgotten love to spread around! If you're interested in being part of the FATE FORGOTTEN bookmarks extravaganza and general street-teaming, you can sign up in the rafflecopter below because there-be-prizes for your participation! Including a signed paperback copy of FATE FORGOTTEN, deliverable after release!

And below are my beautiful Fate Forgotten banners -- one for blogs and one for facebook! Again, mark yourself down with a bonus entry on the rafflecopter in that category, and I will email the arts to you directly to post where you will, along with an avatar image for twitter/facebook. To be eligible for that bonus point drawing, you just have to post the banner/avatar on release day, November 5th! Either or will do!

For blogs! Klikky to Embiggen!

For Facebook! Klikk Klikk to view full size!

Adam and Eve -- looking like they're BOTH kind of tempted to destroy the world! Find out if they give in, or if this is all just a big tease in FATE FORGOTTEN! November 5! In the meantime, sign up to be part of the release by street-teaming it, below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 04, 2013

#ThorLove Bloghop! With Prizes! Coming November 5th!

The fabulous S.T. Bende and I are hosting a bloghop to celebrate the release of FATE FORGOTTEN, the second book in the Fate of the Gods series, and also S.T.’s Elsker Saga, featuring Thor’s stepson, Ull! The Theme for this fantastic event? THOR LOVE, of course!

To participate, sign up with Mr. Linky, and then from November 5th (Fate Forgotten’s release day!) through the 8th (Thor: The Dark World’s release in theaters!) post about your favorite Thor in pop culture, or, if pop-culture isn’t serving your Thor Love properly, post a creative Ode to Thor of your own!* Any Thor is fair game, be he from comics, novels (mine and S.T.’s too, of course!), television, movies, music, or ye olde Norse Myths! After that, just link back to our blogs and the bloghop, and include the bloghop banner in your post! Bonus prize-entry points for spreading the word – just make sure to klikky the appropriate entries on the rafflecopter (when it goes live in November) and provide links!

And of course there are prizes! To celebrate the Thor Love properly we’re giving away a slew of Norse/Thor literature and swag! The Grand Prize will feature a signed print copy of both FORGED BY FATE and FATE FORGOTTEN, an e-edition of Elsker and Endre, (Marvel’s) Thor comics, an ARC of HOUNDED by Kevin Hearne, Thor and Avengers movie trading cards, and of course some awesome Fate of the Gods/Elsker Saga sundries! Also, one runner-up will get a Thor graphic novel, e-edition of Fate Forgotten and Tempting Fate, and e-editions of Elsker and Endre, plus sundries!

1. Spread the Word – Thor Love Bloghop, November 5th-8th!
2. Sign up with Mr. Linky
3. Post about Thor
4. Link back and banner up in your post
5. Enter to win via rafflecopter
6. Enjoy reading about everyone’s #ThorLove on the blogs of other participants!
Sign ups begin NOW!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*But, you know, keep it PG13. Shirtless Thor is totally okay, but pantsless Thor (in words or pictures) is a little too far for this event, and subject to disqualification. (Not that I don't love a little smexy Thor, but we want this to be all-ages friendly!)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Name that Butt WINNER(S)!

Last week's Butts were from the sculpture Hercules and Antaeus, 16th Century Paduan! 

Now, I promised TWO winners today -- one for phase two points and one for most points overall -- but it so happens those persons are ONE AND THE SAME: 

The fantastic FaithlessOne is our Champion by a rockin' 15 points!

And your prize, should you choose to accept it, includes NAME THAT BUTT postcards, for being the phase two winner, and a book of my choice for your overall award! Email me to claim your prize and we will discuss!

Thanks for playing NAME THAT BUTT, blogfriends! And Tune In Friday for a Very Special Blogpost of Awesome! (Hint: it involves Thor.)

Stick with me through October because we have some exciting things coming up, leading to the release of FATE FORGOTTEN on November 5th and I cannot wait!