The genius you should be reading now

October 29th, 2014

I had the very great privilege of spending a couple of days with Cherie Priest recently, who is a goth genius and a lover of doggies. We went into a bookstore in Chattanooga and there was a rat terrier in there, so of course in about two seconds this is what was happening:

cherie

We also took a walk through a cemetery because it’s October and it’s foggy and you instantly lose all your goth cred if you don’t lurk and/or skulk in a foggy cemetery when you have the chance. I took lots of pictures but I love this one the most because I can imagine just about anything coming out of that fog to attack me and shiver me timbers, etc.

graveyard

BUT LOOK. Besides being an awesome human being, Cherie can flip a switch and write beautiful, haunting stories. And she wrote my favorite book of the year. It’s truly genius, y’all, and you should be reading it—right now, during the spooky season! It’s called MAPLECROFT. I think of it as a combo of Lovecraft the way it should have been written (that is, well) and the structure of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein without the florid prose. This is what it looks like:

maplecroft

And dudes! Do NOT go thinking this is some kind of historical romance. THERE IS A BLOODY AXE BEHIND HER BACK FOR A REASON. LIZZIE BORDEN KNOWS HOW TO USE IT. I’m telling you this book is so delightful. And gory. And horrifying. And so very cleverly done. I think it’s an instant classic.

You can win a signed copy of MAPLECROFT plus a signed copy of any one of my books (your choice!) by merely following Cherie on Twitter. Her handle is @cmpriest. Follow her between now and Thursday, October 30, and Cherie will pick one new follower at random. And yes—only new followers, because I want new people to discover Cherie! She is one of my favorite writers—she’s written twenty books or so—and introducing you to her is my Halloween treat for you. (If you already follow Cherie you are One of the Cool People and probably already have MAPLECROFT anyway.)

Cherie will pick one new follower and let me know. I’ll announce the winner on Halloween and mail him/her a signed copy of MAPLECROFT and a signed copy of one of my books too. But everybody wins, really—following Cherie and reading her books is a win, period. And if you ever get to meet Cherie’s pooch, Grayson, he will give you kisses like this:

grayson

Run! Follow Cherie if you don’t already! And read MAPLECROFT and thank me later! :) Here are handy links:

MAPLECROFT on Amazon Barnes and Noble iBooks Kobo

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A novella and stuff

October 16th, 2014

Some quick news!

1. I have a couple of Iron Druid goodies coming out next year while I’m working on the epic. One is a novella and one is a short story, and both will be featured in small collections. The novella’s in a bundle of three novellas, which should be out early-ish next year, and the short story is in a wee book of four short stories. More details on those as the release dates get closer!

2. I’ll be in the Atlanta area on Saturday, October 25 at 1 pm at FoxTale Book Shoppe! I’m appearing with Cherie Priest, Delilah S. Dawson and Molly Harper! It’s a cornucopia of awesome, I’m tellin’ ya! If you can make it I’d be delighted to see you! (I have it on pretty good authority that there will be an epic Granuaile cosplayer there with a badass Scáthmhaide replica AND EVERYTHING.) If you can’t make it, you can still call FoxTale at 770-516-9989 and order signed books from any of us, and they’ll ship ‘em to you!

3. This website is five honkin’ years old. That’s like 83 in Internet years, long past its expected lifespan. Soon it will look different, for a redesign is in the works! And there will be NEW THINGS on it too!

4. Super duper über author Carrie Vaughn has joined the Holy Taco Church! (Have you joined us yet? Just go to the site and click on Join Us for monthly silliness, recipes, and book news.)

Peace n’ hot sauce,
Kevin

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Oberon for the holidays

October 1st, 2014

I have TWO spiffy deals for ya! First up, an ebook deal for US/Canada only. (It was put together by my US publisher so I can’t do anything about it not being available overseas, sorry. Orbit UK would need to put together a similar package if you’re overseas.)

idc bundleIt’s the first six books of IDC, plus two novellas and two short stories for $37.99! If you were to buy the paperbacks and the novellas you’d pay $53.92, so that’s a huge chunk o’ savings, and a great gift for peeps in your life who dig ebooks! Links here: KindleNookKoboiBooks,Google Play, and Books-A-Million.

SECOND DEAL (extended bonus intro): Ever since SHATTERED came out I’ve been getting requests to write THE BOOK OF FIVE MEATS, Oberon’s magnum opus on his favorite subject. I admit that the project has appeal to me but I have little time to devote to it when I still have Other Books to write. Still, a wee bit o’ fun might be had. Oberon has certainly begun to work on it, and maybe he’ll finish it before he gets distracted by something else. Would you like to see the introduction, before his first recipe? Here it is:

The Book of Five Meats, Vol. 1: Sausage!

By Oberon, the Irish Wolfhound

(with a tiny bit of help from Atticus because he has thumbs)

 

Okay, I’m going to write this, but writing a book is hard—especially with Atticus as your editor. NO, ATTICUS, YOU LEAVE THAT IN BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

I’m going to tell you the truth about meat now, and it’s the undisputed truth among people who aren’t vegetarians! Are you ready? Here it is: Meat is delicious!

But some meats are more delicious than others. Some meat is overcooked; some meat is spoiled; and some meat is served in 24-hour waffle joints, and it is my duty as a hound to help you avoid the terrible fate of eating any of it. I know that pedantic people—and I should totally get a snack for using pedantic properly—pedantic people could argue with the details of my classification system and say in a snooty voice, “Well, actually, Oberon, blah blah blah,” but I’m not going to listen to them because they said actually with an unacceptable amount of snoot. Even if they’re pedantic butchers, I won’t listen. Humans are omnivores, so what do they know? The way this hound sees it, there are five basic kinds of meat, and I classify them like this: Beef! Poultry! Seafood! Deli! And Sausage!

You are not allowed under any circumstances to leave off the capital letter or the exclamation point when talking about these meats as one of the Five Meats. This is vitally important.

For example: When speaking of beef bouillon or ground beef or other recipe names or ingredients, leave out the capital letter and exclamation point. But when you are in the mood for Beef! for dinner, you capitalize and include the exclamation point. You will be excited and enjoy your dinner more: I promise. You will sit down with your family and say, “We are having Beef!” and there will be joy.

I will delve into the other four meats in other volumes—and yes, I am including freshwater creatures in Seafood! because there wasn’t a single human in charge of dictionaries who had the foresight to call it Waterfood!—but this volume is dedicated to the meat nearest and dearest to my heart: Sausage!

In this volume, I’m going to share with you some Sausage! wisdom and recipes that Atticus and I have accumulated over the years and I hope you will find them delectable and filling and maybe you will even have some hot poodle dreams after you eat them like I do.

A warning before I begin: Follow all food safety rules that humans say you should follow. Humans are very good about establishing rules so I will direct you to one of them if you don’t already know how to keep food safe to eat. All of the humans who follow cooking rules are on TV and have bad haircuts.

And TURBO WARNING: You should probably not share these recipes with your own hounds unless you are giving them Immortali-Tea like Atticus is giving me. Hounds will eat almost anything, of course, but human food is not always good for them. Excessive fats in Sausage! could give them pancreatitis, onions can poison their blood, and so on. Enjoy these recipes with your human friends and family and then give your hounds a belly rub and a safe snack to eat.

I should probably also mention that my recipes will have two different settings:

1) “I can do that!” in green text and

2) “GODS BELOW, OBERON, ARE YOU SHITTING ME?” in red text and said in the precise tone of voice Atticus uses when he feels his boundaries have been violated. And yes, I made Atticus do all of these things for testing. You have to test recipes before you print them and we conducted extensive tests because I wanted this book to be good.

Shall I give you an example of these settings from my ingredients?

1) A stick of salted butter from your local store, or

2) A stick of salted organic pasture butter made from the milk of Brighid’s personal heifer and churned by an Amish bachelor named Jedediah on a Pennsylvania homestead. I’m not kidding about Jedediah. Atticus had him whip up a batch on a Tuesday and the man knows his butter; he’s like a Butter Wizard. He might sell you a pound for three ancient Roman denarii or a favor to be named later.

And why do I do this? Better ingredients, better Sausage! Oberon’s!

Heh! Good times.

Oberon wrote his first recipe after that and I’m including it as a freebie for those who’d like to give the gift of IDC for the holidays. I work with an indie bookstore in Arizona called the Poisoned Pen that ships signed editions anywhere in the world. Since I’ve moved to Colorado, though, I’m not quite as close to the Poisoned Pen as I used to be, so it’s not as easy to sign books as needed like I did before. I have to plan. So here’s the plan AND THE DEAL:

I’ll be in Phoenix on Nov. 24 to sign & personalize books. Order between now and Nov. 15 (to give them time to order all they need) and the Poisoned Pen will ship ‘em out to you before Thanksgiving so you’ll have them before Christmas or Kwanzaa or Damn Let’s Just Eat a Lot!

They have some in stock and you can get signed copies now if you like. But if you are okay with waiting until I get there, say so in the Instructions field (“Please hold until Kevin signs on Nov 24″) and then ALL OF THIS WILL HAPPEN IF YOU ORDER SIX OR MORE SIGNED IDC BOOKS:

1. I’ll sign your books and personalize them too if you want (you leave that in the Instructions field also)
2. I’ll throw in a signed Oberon bookmark
3. I’ll also send you Oberon’s first sausage recipe in THE BOOK OF FIVE MEATS, including the two different difficulty settings and photos.

Doesn’t matter to me which six books you order. You can order six copies of Hounded to give away if you want—great stocking stuffers. :)

And if you just want one or three signed books and don’t care about the rest of it, that’s cool too! You can still have the Poisoned Pen hold on to them until I get there on Nov. 24 if you’d like them personalized, just say so in the Instructions field.

DEAL RECAP:

1) Ebook bundle deal in the US/Canada where you get six books, two novellas, and two short stories for cheap, bought wherever you buy ebooks
2) Order any six autographed IDC books from the Poisoned Pen, have them hold it until Nov. 24, and I will sign them and also send you a signed Oberon bookmark and his first Sausage! recipe from THE BOOK OF FIVE MEATS.

Hope one of those deals appeals to you, and thanks as always for reading & spreading the word! Peace & sausage~

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Read for Pixels

September 17th, 2014

Spiffy peeps, I’m participating in a campaign to end violence against women (VAW) and I hope you’ll join me. I agreed to join Read For Pixels (part of the Pixel Project) before the very high-profile case of Ray Rice became public, but that case certainly underscores the need to focus on this. Broadcaster James Brown said something about it during Thursday Night Football and it shouldn’t be missed:

I like what he said there about “healthy, respectful manhood.” If you get a Y chromosome at birth that’s your ticket to manhood, but what kind of manhood it turns out to be depends largely on the values one learns while growing up. And there are an awful lot of men out there who could stand to grow more respectful of women—and, by extension, of humanity. Because women’s rights are human rights. And being a feminist is not in any way emasculating—it means you support equal rights for women. Period.

It’s been said before: Just because you have a dick doesn’t mean you have to be a dick.

So I’m doing a Google Hangout (simultaneously broadcast on YouTube) on September 28, 8pm EST, during which I’ll be reading a Granuaile chapter and taking questions and so on. I’m not the only author doing this, either! Here’s the full schedule of hangouts, including mine. And lookit, a picture!

reveal-read-for-pixels-slide

We will, of course, ask you to support the Pixel Project, for which you can win goodies. I and some other authors wrote these 100-word stories called Drabbles, and mine is a scene between Leif and Atticus that will give you a sneak peek at book 8! The drabble pack is available if you contribute either through  IndieGogo or Razoo. Also through those same links, you can snag a 30-minute Skype chat with me, which can be either a one-on-one deal or a group like a book club, and a signed, personalized copy of SHATTERED. Please join me for the hangout! And please donate! If nothing else, talk with dudes, especially the young ones, and change this culture.

Where does your money go? To the Pixel Project and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The full breakdown is here.

Here’s how your support helps, from the Pixel Project:

Your support will help make an impact on 3 levels:

Level 1 – Helping efforts to shift the Global Perspective on Violence Against Women:

“Read For Pixels” is held in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign through which we are working to accelerate the end of Violence Against Women (VAW) by re-characterizing it from a “women’s issue” to the human rights issue that it really is. VAW impacts families and communities regardless of gender. Men may be responsible for most violent acts against women, but decent, non-violent men far outnumber them and have largely remained silent on the issue. For VAW to end, these men need to be involved in efforts to end the violence.

The Pixel Reveal campaign intends to do just that by triggering conversations about VAW worldwide and inspiring men and boys to take action to stop VAW in their communities.

Level 2 – Keeping anti-Violence Against Women work alive and kicking, grassroots style!

Anti-Violence Against Women is a cause that is chronically underfunded despite the global severity of the issue.

The $1 million we are aiming to raise via the Pixel Reveal campaign will be shared between The Pixel Project and the U.S.’s National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

It’ll help keep both organization’s respective anti-Violence Against Women campaigns, programs, and projects alive and thriving.

Level 3 – Helping Reach Your Communities To Get The Conversation Started

We’ve listened to many folks over the years who wish to help stop the violence but don’t know where to begin.

Therefore, as part of the outreach efforts of “Read For Pixels”, we’ll be providing all “Read For Pixels” donors with a special virtual toolkit – a set of links to resources for you to learn more about violence against women, how to start the conversation in your communities (and with the men and boys in your communities), and how to help victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape.

You can check out these links here to learn more:

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Old story is new again!

September 8th, 2014

demonbarkercoverSo this is a bit different.

Back in July of 2013, I had an Iron Druid short story appear in a nifty anthology called CARNIEPUNK.

It’s nifty still—it’s an anthology of dark urban fantasy written by awesome authors & available wherever you snag books. YAY!

However, you can now snag “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” singly for nine-nine cents. Links below.

This story is set just a couple weeks after the events of the novella Two Ravens and One Crow—during Granuaile’s training period, in other words—and Granuaile alludes to it briefly in Shattered. As you might guess, it’s set at a carnival. Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon visit Kansas, where they meet some ghouls that aren’t nearly as refined and polite as Antoine and his boys with the refrigerated truck. Lots of blood and guts and creepy stuff, a demon named Gobknob, and to make it extra tragic, absolutely no barbecue.

iBooks
Nook
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The Chapel_cover art FINAL COVER DESIGNAnd in case you missed it, I’d like to throw in a plug for “The Chapel Perilous,” another Iron Druid short story that’s available for ninety-nine cents (except in the UK and affiliated territories, where it’s bundled with the anthology UNFETTERED).

Featuring beautiful, perfect cover art by Galen Dara, “The Chapel Perilous” tells the story of Atticus in Wales in the year 537. It’s the events of this story that inspire him to make his cold iron amulet and silver charms, and it’s full of juicy Grail legend geekery.

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Nook
Kindle

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A Make-Up Kiss for Atlanta

August 12th, 2014

Fear not: I’m speaking metaphorically about the kissing.

I have to miss Dragon*Con this year because that’s the weekend we are closing on our home and I have to move from Arizona to Colorado. But I feel badly about it because I’ve heard that Dragon*Con is a good time and I know there are some people who are going who would have liked to say howdy.

Well, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY HOWDY ALSO.

So I’ve arranged a little something to make it up to all you spiffy southern peeps. On Saturday, October 25, at 1 pm, I’m coming to the Atlanta area to say howdy and I hope if you can manage it you’ll come say howdy too! I will be at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA. So it’s near Atlanta but without Atlanta traffic! Reachable in an hour or two from points in Tennessee and Alabama! And, uh, also points in Georgia!

But guess what! It won’t be just me! I’m also appearing with Super Duper Turbo Spiffy Authors Delilah S. Dawson and Cherie Priest! IT’S A TRIFECTA OF TERRIFIC! A TRIO OF BRIO! (How’s that for an obscure word?) LOOKIT I HAVE MADE A POSTER OF OUR LATEST COVERS FOR YOU TO PRINT OUT AND BRING FOR US TO SIGN IF YOU WANNA

dude

I will baldly admit (because I am pretty damn bald at this point) that I am so stoked about the chance to hang out with Cherie and Delilah. I’m a fanboy of both of them. They have written a couple of my favorite books this year and they just have these GIANT STORYTELLING BRAINS so I will be geeking out a bit. Cherie wrote MAPLECROFT and Delilah wrote SERVANTS OF THE STORM and they are awesome stories.

Both Cherie and Delilah have also written many other books. I have written a few myself. All will be available at FoxTale Book Shoppe. You are welcome, of course, to bring whatever you’d like for us to sign and to just say howdy. (We sign e-readers and e-reader covers too!) However, it’s polite to buy something from FoxTale since they are going to the trouble and expense of hosting us. I will just gently drop the words “Special Holiday Gifts!” here and hope that inspires you to get some signed copies for your friends & family.

We three amigos will burble happily for a wee while, answer questions, then sign goodies and chat with you and take selfies. I HAVE HEARD THERE WILL ALSO BE CAKE.

Sometimes when I say I’m going somewhere I get asked to go somewhere else, so let me be clear up front—I’m just going to this one store on this one day to make up for missing Dragon*Con. I cannot conveniently go to your hometown elsewhere in the south or make a little tour out of this; my daughter’s in high school now and I want to be around in case she wants to talk about the books she’s reading (We discussed Fahrenheit 451, her summer reading, and it was so much fun). If you’re an hour or three away, I hope you can make it to Woodstock on Saturday Oct 25 at 1 pm to say howdy to us. We’d love to see you! Much love!

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Stuff to read!

July 29th, 2014

Every so often readers ask me for suggestions about what to read next. I tend to squee about things quite a bit on Twitter but I thought I’d squee some more here because more folks might see it that way.

These are all upcoming titles in the next couple of months—I wind up reading stuff ahead of publication because, well, publishers send me things now. But I don’t squee about stuff I don’t genuinely love, y’all. I mean, I will point to things by authors every so often and say hey, you might want to check this out because this person has a good rep and I have heard good things, or perhaps I have read other books by that same person in the past and loved them. But when I read something and love it I will say so. I squee because I genuinely enjoyed that read and think you will too, though of course your mileage may vary.

I have read and squeed over all the books below (with one exception, but it’s a guaranteed squee anyway). I may have slobbered on a couple of them. Some of them are out NEXT WEEK—and if you can, pre-order ‘em. It’s the single most helpful thing you can do for an author besides spreading the word to your friends after you’re finished. I have pre-ordered all of these through indie stores even though I’ve already read early copies because I must hunt these authors down and get their autographs because I’m a fanboy.

In order of release:

BROKEN SOULS by Stephen Blackmoore, out August 5!

blackmoore

So lemme tell you about Stephen Blackmoore: He writes this super-gritty, face-punching L.A. noir about a necromancer named Eric Carter. But Eric’s not a dark-lord-Sauron kind of necromancer. He can see dead people and it complicates the hell out of his life. Eric’s not a sweet guy by any means. He carries a straight razor because, well… reasons. These are fast, badass reads and I desperately want everyone to buy this series for very selfish reasons—I WANT MORE. And authors don’t get to write more unless people buy their books.

Pre-order the paperback or ebook wherever you wish, but here’s a link to Stephen’s local indie store Mysterious Galaxy, which will ship anywhere. And if you call ‘em and ask ‘em all nice, they’ll make Stephen sign it for you before it ships! (That’s what I did.) Their number is 858-268-4747.

SERVANTS OF THE STORM by Delilah S. Dawson, also out August 5!

servants of the storm

Delilah gave me this book at RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans (because I begged for it). I was tired as hell after the con and wanted to nap on the plane home but I opened this book to read a little bit and DAMN, NO SLEEP FOR ME. I read most of it in the air and finished it when I got home before I hit the hay. Yeah. It grabbed me.

This is creeptastic Southern Gothic YA, definitely a juicy horror pie. I mean, LOOKIT THE COVER.

I like what Delilah did here. I mean she did a lot of stuff, but here’s one bit I especially appreciated: The heroine, Dovey, has to deal with some grief early on and she retreats from the world for a while, and when she comes back it’s a horror show out there. Kind of like life is sometimes. But the thing is, living in a haze isn’t life; ignoring or avoiding pain instead of dealing with it just keeps you saddled with baggage and you can’t grow that way. You have to fight through it and I admire Dovey for it.

Delilah’s book can also be pre-ordered wherever you like, but her local indie is FoxTale Book Shoppe in Georgia and they’re taking pre-orders for signed copies! (Scroll down to August 8 for the order link.) Delilah’s also really good to follow on Twitter if you’d like to be a writer yourself one day; she often delivers a series of tweets on different writing topics and I dig ‘em myself because it reminds me of stuff that you forget sometimes.

CURSED MOON by Jaye Wells, out August 12! 

jaye

Every time I see someone bemoan the lack of “strong female characters” in SFF I’m like, FFS, have you heard of Jaye? Because she’s been writing them for years. So have many other writers. If you can’t find them, you’re not looking very hard.

Jaye finished her Sabina Kane series a couple years ago and now she has a new one called Prospero’s War that I really dig. ALCHEMY! POTION PEDDLERS! IS THAT A HOMUNCULUS GROWING OUT OF THAT PERSON’S CHEST OH MY GOD WAUUUGH!

Kate Prospero is a single mom with a bit of a sketchy past. She’s trying to play it straight now and be a good cop as well as a good mom. But you know, there’s these dudes out there cooking up addictive dirty potions that turn up aggression and strength while turning off most of the frontal lobe. HAVOC IS BEING WREAKED. And Kate’s constantly tempted to cook up her own dirty stuff—for the greater good, you know. Great tensions here, great characters, great writing.

And yo: Jaye is one of the authors being directly affected by the Hachette/Amazon dispute. Amazon’s refusal to display a pre-order button for CURSED MOON hurts Jaye, period. This is why I order from indies. Jaye’s indie store is Murder By the Book in Houston, an absolutely awesome store that I visited in June on my tour. While I was there, I pre-ordered a signed copy of CURSED MOON because I knew Jaye would be there. You can order using the link above, email using orders@murderbooks.com, or give them a call at 713-524-8597 to order a signed copy. I should note that I haven’t read CURSED MOON yet—I’ve only read DIRTY MAGIC (which I loved). So I cannot wait for this to arrive in my mailbox!

MAPLECROFT by Cherie Priest, out September 2!

maplecroft

I have been a Cherie fanboy for a good while now. (By the way, she pronounces her first name like “Sherry,” not “Cher-REE”.) She is so masterful at creating a sense of place & time coupled with exquisite dread. I think this cover captures what I mean perfectly. You look at it and go OH HOW LOVELY AND NINETEENTH CENTURY but then OH GOD THAT AXE HAS BLOOD ON IT AND SHE’S GONNA USE IT AGAIN ISN’T SHE.

Listen: This book is delicious. I couldn’t contain myself while reading it. I tweeted that it was my book of the year before I finished the book (or the year).

Here is why: It’s written in epistolary style. Diary entries, in other words, like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, except with a much clearer style than Shelley ever managed. And the voices are so well done, some of them descending into madness with a very Lovecraftian kind of vibe to them. It just hit all my geek buttons and I relished every page.

Oh, and yeah: It’s Lizzie Borden, y’all. Cherie did this so cleverly. She’s working on the sequel now and I cannot wait.

I don’t know whether Cherie works with an indie bookstore to get you signed copies—if you’re interested in that, maybe reach out to her via Twitter (she’s @cmpriest) or the Interwebs somehow? But yeah, you should be able to pre-order this from a buttload of places.

THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER by Beth Cato, out September 19!

clockwork dagger

Beth has been publishing short stories and poems for quite a while but this is her debut novel. If you squint at the bottom of the cover you’ll see my blurb there; I really enjoyed this. It’s not every day you see a healer as the protagonist. Usually the healer’s someone the badass protagonist calls in for a couple pages to fix him/her up before going out to stomp some more bad guys. So Beth is doing something different here and it works well. Octavia’s a great character and I’m looking forward to the next book! Want to give it a try and see what kind of conflicts a healer deals with? You can read the first chapter for free right here. I think you’ll dig it and want to read the rest.

You can of course pre-order wherever, but if you’d like to get a signed copy, you can order from venerable indie Changing Hands or call ‘em (like I did) at 480-730-0205 because Beth will be there.

And there you have it, friends! That should give you some good stuff to read!

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What I’m working on now

July 13th, 2014

Ye gods it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Things have happened. Let’s catch up!

1. SHATTERED hit the NY Times bestseller list! Thank you all for your pre-orders and picking it up in stores and coming to see me on tour and the many nice things you have said to me in person and online. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story!

2. For various reasons I had to cancel appearances at San Diego Comic Con, Dragon*Con, and Salt Lake Comic Con. Apologies to all; I was looking forward to seeing you. Feeling especially guilty about missing Dragon*Con because I know lots of people wanted to say hi, so I am going to see if circumstances will allow me to visit Atlanta sometime in September or October. Check back on my Events & Appearances page every so often for updates and of course if something comes together I will announce it here and on Twitter & Facebook.

3. I started a Twitter account for Owen Kennedy under @ArchdruidOwen. Like @IrishOberon, he tweets in character. He’s a bit ornery about modern language and the way we live. :) Here’s a sample:

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And, of course, Oberon usually tweets about food and pop culture:

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So if you’re on Twitter and you’d like some occasional entertainment to fill the void between books, you might have fun following Oberon and Owen. You might find other IDC accounts out there but those aren’t run by me, just random peeps. I figure that since Atticus & Granuaile are trying to keep a low profile they wouldn’t spend much time on social media.

4. I’m getting lots of questions about when the next book is coming out. Well, my next book is STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE JEDI, coming out February 17, 2015. It’s a first-person Luke Skywalker novel set in between Episodes IV and V, and it’ll be available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. And it’ll be canon, if that matters. :)

5. I don’t have a publication date for the next Iron Druid book. I haven’t even started writing it yet because I’m working on another project. The next IDC thing is a short story called “A Prelude to War” that picks up right after the events of SHATTERED. I don’t have a publication date for that yet either, but rest assured I will let you know when I do! This will be a story integral to the series plot in the same way that TWO RAVENS AND ONE CROW was; you won’t want to miss it.

6. The project I’m working on now is an epic fantasy called A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Once I finish that I’ll get back to the Iron Druid stuff. Of course I hope you’ll give my epic a try and dig the hell out of it. SPOILER ALERT: It contains giants. And also people who are not giants, for otherwise how would the giants know how freakin’ giant they really are?

7. Book 8 of IDC, when I get to it, will be called STAKED. I’ve done some preliminary setting research already and have some more ahead of me.

8. If you haven’t checked out the Holy Taco Church yet, I promise it’s worth a look. Very good recipes in the Taco Files already and new content posted M-Th. And of course, if you decide to become a Tacolyte (or a Tacoist?) and sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get more foodie goodness along with a chance to win signed copies of books written by the church authors. (And by the way, if you’re looking for someone new to read, I highly recommend any of the church authors. They all know how to tell a damn fine story.)

I’ll be throwing myself into writing my epic for a while and might be a bit scarce on Facebook as a result, and though I won’t be completely absent from Twitter I might scale back quite a bit just because I need to immerse myself in the world.

Thank you always for reading and spreading the word. You’re the bestest!

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Atticus’s necklace

May 29th, 2014

This has been in the works for a while and I’m so happy to finally be able to share it with you! Badali Jewelry has been working with me to create an officially licensed version of Atticus’s necklace, and I love it!

FullShot

Bit of background on it: The necklace you see on the covers of my books was a complete (and pleasant!) surprise to me. It was commissioned from a jeweler by the cover artist for the photo shoot and I was blown away that he would go to the trouble. And it looks great! However, it was based on a sketch I’d made for charm placement and I wasn’t consulted on the design of the individual charms, and the jeweler also decided to connect everything with twine rather than use the silver chain that I specifically state Atticus uses in the book. These are quibbles, to be sure, but important ones if you’re making an official version. And Badali wanted to make an official version.

On our left side of Atticus’s cold iron amulet we have the shapeshifting charms and the bear charm that Atticus uses for energy storage. From l-r it goes bear, stag, hound, owl, and otter. Here’s a closer look at them:

RightSideCharms

The stag charm was modeled after the design on the Gundestrup cauldron and the others are fairly straightforward. The charms on the other side might require some explanation.

Here’s a close-up shot of them. From l-r we have camouflage, night vision, magical sight, healing, and the soulcatcher.

LeftSideCharms

Camouflage blends him in with his surroundings but is not true invisibility, so Atticus represented it with a hammered silhouette. The night vision charm employs a Celtic sun. Magical sight is represented by the third eye—which Atticus uses for the name of his shop and says is a reference to Vedic beliefs. Several deities in the Hindu pantheon have a third eye. When Durga, for example, opens hers, it triggers a transformation into Kali the Destroyer. That’s not what happens for Atticus, obviously, but he does see the world from a different perspective when he casts that particular binding and it seemed to him an apt metaphor to use. The healing charm is a representation of the many healing wells throughout the UK. In legends of the Tuatha Dé Danann they would heal warriors or other wounded in such a well, the waters gifted with magical healing powers. Dian Cecht was said to have an especially powerful one. Atticus & Granuaile visit and use such wells in TRAPPED when they go to Mag Mell. Christian churches were often built near the sites of pagan holy wells and their nature assimilated into Christian tradition. Many of them were called St. Brighid’s well, which gave rise to names like Bridewell, and so on.  So to Atticus these wells would be more symbolic of healing in his mind that a Greek caduceus with a snake twined around it or whatever. Lastly is the soulcatcher, a nine-pointed star in a circle and also containing a circle with a shiny soul in there. When reading the stories of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the importance of nine becomes clear rather quickly—it comes up often. It’s one of the reasons I’m writing nine books instead of fewer or less: Atticus would associate anything important with the number nine.

Badali Jewelry does great work. They sell officially licensed jewelry for Patrick Rothfuss and Jim Butcher as well and some spiffy Lord of the Rings stuff too. They’re offering two different versions of this necklace regarding materials: Sterling silver and white bronze. The amulet is iron! They did their best to keep the price down but it’s a labor-intensive piece; it’s like doing 11 items instead of one. They will be on sale for the first time at Phoenix Comicon June 5-8, and online as well at that time. Regular retail for silver is $205 but will be on sale for $139 at shows and online; regular price for white bronze is $135 but will be on sale for $89 at shows and online. And, of course, they have Granuaile’s iron amulet for sale as well. (Or the Morrigan’s, if you prefer.)

If you’re headed to Phoenix Comicon, I hope to see you there (my schedule was in the previous blog post), and please stop by the Badali Jewelry booth to check out the Iron Druid stuff!

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Phoenix Comicon

May 22nd, 2014

The lineup of authors that will be at Phoenix Comicon this year is the best, period. Have you SEEN the full list? It’s insane. Plenty of chances to see your favorites and get them to SIGN ALL THE THINGS and TAKE ALL THE SELFIES. Can’t wait to see everyone!

Here’s where to find me:

Signing at my table thingie: Friday 10:30-11:30

I have a table in author’s alley that I’m sharing with Jaye Wells. If we’re all lucky Jaye will be there at the same time. I need her to sign my copy of DIRTY MAGIC. I won’t have any stuff with me, so please bring whatever you want to have signed, or just come by for a selfie and a chat, whatever. :)

Signing at the Del Rey Booth: Friday 1:30-2:30
My publisher is giving away free copies of HOUNDED and I’ll also sign whatever you bring! And yes, I’m doing this Saturday and Sunday too!

The Taco Council : Friday 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Half silly and half serious and a whole ‘nother half amazing, where you shall receive news from the Tacopope and be introduced to the Holy Taco Church (yes, this is a thing). With Delilah S. Dawson, Jason Hough, Sam Sykes, Chuck Wendig, Brian McClellan, and Leanna Renee Hieber! Maybe MOARRR authors in the audience!

Beyond Thor and His Hammer : Saturday 10:30am – 11:30am
This panel is mythology centered, focusing on the Norse but not so much on Thor. We’ll talk more about the lesser-known members of the pantheon. And by we I mean authors who have all used Norse myth in their books besides me: Greg van Eekhout, Janni Lee Simner, and Elizabeth Bear!

Signing at the Del Rey Booth: Saturday 1:30-2:30
My publisher is giving away free copies of HOUNDED and I’ll also sign whatever you bring! And yes, I’m doing this Friday and Sunday too!

Creating Your Fantasy World : Saturday 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Fantasy worldbuildin’! With Brian McClellan and Zachary Jernigan.

Drinks With Authors : Saturday 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Not really a panel. It’s just what it says. Informal. Boozy. Fun. Kind of a party. It’s in the Renaissance hotel Salon 5-8. Come on by and raise a glass with us. There are door prizes and things!

Supernatural Elements in Contemporary Fantasy : Sunday 10:30am – 11:30am
Kind of a magic-system/worldbuilding thingie devoted particularly to urban/contemporary fantasy. With OMG LOOKIT Charlaine Harris, Amber Benson, Chuck Wendig, Seanan McGuire, and Weston Ochse!

Keeping a Long Running Series Fresh : Sunday 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Gotta do more than save the world every book. There’s, uh, other stuff that we will totally talk about. With luminaries Jim Butcher, L.E. Modesitt Jr. and Gini Koch.

Signing at the Del Rey Booth: Sunday 1:30-2:30
My publisher is giving away free copies of HOUNDED and I’ll also sign whatever you bring! And yes, I’m doing this Friday and Sunday too!

Writing Rogues : Sunday 3:00pm – 4:00pm
I can’t believe who’s all on this panel. I will spend the entire time smiling, just happy to be there. With Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Butcher, Sam Sykes, Scott Lynch, and Pierce Brown.

And here’s where to find an OFFICIALLY LICENSED REPLICA of Atticus’s Iron Amulet & Necklace: The Badali Jewelry table! This has been in the works for a while and it looks spectacular! More on this in another post, but just wanted you to know that these are going to debut at Phoenix Comicon!

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