Saturday, April 30, 2011

HOUNDED Haiku contest

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Win Hounded and pre-orders of Hexed and Hammered 

All three books will be sent from the  The Book Depository and the contest is international as long as you live in a country that the Book Depository ships to.

Hounded Haiku contest = write a haiku about your favorite god/goddess from any of the mythological pantheons be it Norse, Greek, Irish, etc.... 

Examples:
Athena the smart                                                Thor god of thunder
Born of brain power she was                          Mjölnir crushes all foes
Zeus had a headache                                          Ragnarök who knows?


1.) Haikus must be in 5-7-5 form.
2.) Write your haiku along with your name email address in the comments.  If you don't want to leave your email address leave your Twitter, or Facebook details.  Just make sure I'm able to contact you to let you know that you've won Hounded, Hexed, and Hammered.
3.) You don't have to follow the blog to win, but feel free to follow if you like what you see and leave any comments on reviews or posts that you find interesting.  :)
4.) The contest will run from April 30 - May 7th.  It will start on April 30th at midnight (Central time) and end at midnight (Central time) on May 7th.

*  Winner will be chosen by me and Tiny Reverse Vampire.  The winner will be posted on May 9th.

Friday, April 29, 2011

HOUNDED - My Favorite Quotes/Lines

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
"Sometimes I forget what I look like and I do some-thing out of character, such as sing shepherd tunes in Aramaic while I'm waiting in line at Starbucks, but the nice bit about living in urban America is that people tend to either ignore eccentrics or move to the suburbs to escape them."

"The local col-lege kids would describe Thor as a "major asshat" if they ever had the misfortune to meet him.)"

"Anyone with a cursory knowledge of mythology knows that it is suicidal to sexually harass a goddess."

"Being honorable is an excellent way to get yourself killed."

"<Will you tell me about Genghis Khan's whores while I'm in the bath?>   
    Hordes, not whores.  He had both, though, now that you mention it."

"She'd deliberately tried to provoke me, and one cannot sass me with impunity."

"He said, 'a friend will help ye move, Katie, but a really good friend will help ye move a body.'"

"<Okay, fine.  But seriously.  You think she has a magic sausage for me?
     How would you know the difference if she did?  You think all sausages are magic."

"<She's kind of like a Mary Poppins just before she turns to the dark side of the Force,> Oberon said."

"<I'd rather come to work with you from now on.  It's fun to watch you pretend to be normal.>"

"Did that big fucking bird do all of this?"

"Monty Python is like catnip for nerds.  Once you get them started quoting it, they are constitutionally inca-pable of feeling depressed."

"You have no idea how bitchy werewolves can be!>"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Character Interview: Oberon the Irish wolfhound from HOUNDED

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Here's a picture of an Irish Wolfhound so you can have a clue as to what Oberon might look like:


Today at Bibliognome I have my first ever character interview.

I was lucky enough to have my interview questions answered by Oberon the quite awesome Irish wolfhound from Hounded by Kevin Hearne.  Oberon is very entertaining in the story and will make you literally laugh out loud a lot while you read.  


Bibliognome: What is your favorite animal to hunt?


Oberon: <Rabbits. Every time I catch one, I laugh at Elmer Fudd. Dude had a gun and everything.>


Bibliognome: What is your favorite thing to eat?

Oberon: <Sausage! But I'm talking about the kind you cook. I don't like those sausages people give each other for Christmas with those little jars of mustard. They're too full of chemicals.>


Bibliognome:  What was your first impression of Atticus?

Oberon:
<He found me on a rescue ranch in Massachusetts. Most humans thought I was a bad dog because I kept tearing things up. But that was only because they didn't let me hunt and gave me dry dog food. Atticus spoke directly to my mind, and the first thing he asked was what I wanted besides sausage. That was a really perceptive question, and I thought, "Finally, somebody gets me!" So I told him I wanted to hunt and he said he'd take me hunting often if I would be his hound, and when we couldn't hunt he'd feed me sausage. I don't think it's possible for a human to make a better first impression than that.>


Bibliognome: What’s the best story that Atticus has told you?

Oberon: <Oh, you mean story time in the bath? My favorite was the one about Crazy Horse. I spent weeks plotting ways to crush the U.S. cavalry. Atticus taught me a Lakota war cry and I tried it on Mr. Semerdjian. I think he may have lost bladder control.>


Bibliognome: Is Genghis Khan still one of your favorite historical figures?

Oberon: <Yes, isn't he inspirational? I hope I can outdo him! Someday my empire will stretch from Beijing to Lisbon.>

Bibliognome:  How does it feel when you’re able to walk around without anybody seeing you?

Oberon: <It tickles. That camouflage spell messes with my skin somehow. But it's fun to mess with the widow's cats when they can't see me coming. One time I just went up to the Persian tom and smacked him upside the head with my paw. He was so startled he left half his fur behind getting out of there. Good times.>

Bibliognome: Have you always loved poodles or have you just recently become interested in them?

Oberon: <French poodles are so posh. I mean, whenever I go up to sniff a poodle's ass, the scent is so intoxicating, and—oh. Wait. Atticus said I wasn't supposed to talk about ass-sniffing with other humans. Is this a trick question? You'd better not get me into trouble.>

Bibliognome: You certainly seem to be a great protector and friend to Atticus so what is the best thing that he has done for you?

Oberon: <He taught me language and how to type. But it's slow going with just my nails. Sometimes I accidentally smoosh my whole paw down like this oij;;klm,plokjip and I have to delete and start over. I wish Steve Jobs would design an iDog Touch or something.>

Bibliognome: Do you think Atticus will ever find anybody to settle down with?

Oberon:
<He's been settled before. He was married to a woman in Africa for two hundred years or something like that. He was keeping her young like him with Immortali-Tea. But she got killed and he was very sad. I don't think he's been married since then. I kind of think he might still be sad.>

Bibliognome: Anything else that you would like to let people know?

Oberon: <Yes. If anybody wants to join my horde, please muster on the Mongolian steppes as soon as possible. Soon I will join you and we will ride to glory. I promise all the yak milk you can drink! Nothing but the best for my horde.>


Quick Questions:
1.) Marrowbone or Beggin Strips?
<Marrowbone.>
2.) Rawhide or Pig Ears?
<Rawhide.>
3.) Squeaky toy or Plushie?
<The widow's cats are both squeaky and plush.>
4.) Frisbee or Stick?
<Stick.>

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interview - Kevin Hearne, author of HOUNDED

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Today at Bibliognome, I have Kevin Hearne the author of Hounded.  I loved this book and I highly recommend it.


Bibliognome:  How/when did you come up with the idea for Hounded?

Kevin: The idea was spawned in 2008. It was originally going to be a comic book called American Druid, but once I realized how fun the characters were, I decided to try writing an urban fantasy instead. The ideas behind the world formed from there, after much research—it took a while for me to realize that I didn't just have a single book on my hands, but a series.


Bibliognome: Which character in Hounded is your favorite?  

Kevin: Oh, definitely Oberon. I've always wished I could talk to dogs, and the original comic book (and then the novel) was always about a man and his dog looking out for each other.


Bibliognome: Which character did you think was the easiest to write for and why?

Kevin: Oberon was also the easiest to write, because dogs are pretty uncomplicated. They like to eat and play and smell things, so their motivations are clear.  


Bibliognome: What author do you enjoy reading the most?

Kevin: I've always loved Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.


Bibliognome: What's the best part of the writing process for you?

Kevin: I love it when something awesome happens unexpectedly. I don't want to give anything away, but while I was writing HEXED some characters walked into the story and never left; they became significant antagonists in the HAMMERED. They were never plotted ahead of time; they just sort of appeared spontaneously and demanded a role. I really enjoyed that.


Bibliognome: This book was chock full of paranormal creatures, magic, and pretty much a whole pantheon of gods/goddesses, so did you do a lot of mythological research or just look it up as you wrote?

Kevin: I did quite a bit on the front end for the Irish stuff in HOUNDED because I had to get that straight in terms of history and who was who. All other pantheons got researched on the fly as I needed it.


Bibliognome: What word is your favorite to say or write?

Kevin: This changes from time to time, but right now it's "asskitten." It amuses me to wonder what an asskitten's meow would sound like.


Bibliognome: What is your favorite paranormal creature?

Kevin: Demon rams. They are so intimidating and cool-lookin'. But I suppose a close second would have to be asskittens.


Bibliognome: Do you think the cover model looks like how you pictured Atticus?

Kevin: Yes, he's brilliant. I sent Del Rey some sketches and some lengthy emails on the subject and they really came through for me. I couldn't be happier. If you'd like to see a discussion of how the cover got made, my editor and I did a fairly lengthy post about it: http://suvudu.com/2011/01/making-a-book-cover-a-behind-the-scenes-look.html


Bibliognome: What are you writing currently or percolating in your mind to write soon?

Kevin: I'm working on the fourth book of The Iron Druid Chronicles, as well as an epic fantasy and another project that's kind of secret.


Bibliognome:  Anything else that you would like to let people know?

Kevin: Well, I'd love to say howdy. Feel free to chat via Twitter (@kevinhearne), comment on my blog or on my author page on Facebook; I always do my best to respond.


Quick Questions:
1.) druid or witch?
Druid
2.) pop or soda?
Beer
3.) silver or gold?
Silver  
4.) Starbursts or Skittles?
Skittles  
5.) pen or pencil?
Pen. Gel ones, though, no ball points.  
6.) Dog or cat?
Dog

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happily Hounded

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
* Won this book from the author and couldn't wait to review it after I read it. :)

This story 5 out of 5 gnomes for Hounded by Kevin Hearne for having an awesome main character who is very creative when it comes to fighting and getting in and out of trouble.  The characters and mythology that are seen in the story are a lot of fun and educational especially if you don't know a lot about Celtic mythology.  I'll admit that much of what I knew about Celtic mythology before came from reading and the TV show Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog which to my middle school brain was a super show because it was like a medieval version of Power Rangers.

I loved this book, Atticus is a very refreshing character and has quite an interesting view on the world and one heck of an intriguing background.  He has see a lot as a druid in the modern world who just happens to look like a 21 year old instead of the over 2000 years of his actual age.  This is the kind of engrossing book that will keep you up all night and not caring about the lack of sleep.

I personally love mythology and had heard of some of the gods and goddesses before like the Morrigan and her ability to turn into a crow.  It was great learning more about the Celtic mythical pantheon.  I was grateful for the pronunciation guide in the front of the book but found myself just kind of making up how I thought that the names should sound as I went along.  As pronunciation guides go though, it was helpful and easy to read.  My favorite enunciation tip was, "Ura = OO ra (make sure you're not turning this into a military cheer.  Both syllables are very clipped and you roll the r a wee bit)."

My favorite character in the book is Oberon.  Oberon is an Irish Wolfhound that Atticus is able to communicate with through magic.  He is an excellent addition to the story and says some of the funniest lines in the book.  You can really tell how much Oberon cares for Atticus and well since he's a dog his thinking is kind of blunt and his remarks help lighten up the mood a lot.  With Oberon's point of view the reader gets a fun point of few on the events that are happening and see how much he and Atticus care for each other.

Atticus thinks his life in Arizona is pretty great but it seems that his past will soon catch up to him.  A really long time ago he acquired a certain sword from the not very nice Celtic god of love who has been chasing after him ever since.  Through the centuries he's always escaped but this time it looks like all sorts of forces are lining up not in Atticus's favor.

Every character you meet in this story is distinctive from Perry the store clerk to Atticus's lawyers.  His lawyers are a unique pair, one's a werewolf and the other is a vampire.  The wide range of paranormal and mythical creatures is surprising and really makes the story move along and make you wonder what's going to happen next.

I know I for one am thankful that the first three books in this series are being released so closely together.  According to Kevin Hearne's site the books are being released like so: Hounded on May 3, Hexed on June 7, and Hammered on July 5.  This book is a must read for anyone who likes mythology, a good laugh, and a story chock full of paranormal goodness.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sentence Sneak Peek - Hounded

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

The first sentence from each chapter of Hounded, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Won this book from the author
* Spoilers are highlighted :)

"There are many perks to living for twenty-one cen-turies, and foremost among them is bearing witness to the rare birth of genius."

"I looked around to see who might have witnessed the fight, but there wasn't anyone close by
—it was lunchtime."
 
"I have been around long enough to discount most superstitions for what they are: I was around when many of them began to take root, after all."

"You know you cannot get one of these drinks in T
ír na nÓg?"

"Pillow talk in the modern era often involves the shar-ing of childhood stories or perhaps an exchange of dream vacations."

"Located just north of the Phoenix Zoo, Papago Park is an odd formation of isolated hills surrounded by teddy bear cholla, creosote, and saguaro."

"With much apologizing and simultaneous thanks for the gift of her company, I suggested to Flidais once I returned home that if I were to be attacked shortly by a party of Fir Bolgs, I had much to do in the way of preparation."

"It actually turned out to be quite a busy morning, making my opening of the second register seem like genius."

"Now, that was a pretty good bomb to drop on me."

"Time to go home!"

"How can one freeze and put their hands above their head at the same time?"

"Ugggh."

"I assumed that the frowning woman must be Malina Sokolowski."

"Brighid was a vision."

"I thought Sundays were supposed to be relaxing."

"You know that old saw about your life flashing before your eyes at the moment of death?"

"I beckoned Perry over."

"I awoke in the morning remarkably refreshed but with urgent pressure on my bladder."

"Gods Below, I hate witches."

"I hope we remain at peace," I said to the witch in Granuaile's head."

"I showed the text to Magnusson, unable to summon anything coherent to say."

"The Haunted Canyon trail Emily spoke of is in the Superstition wilderness, which spans the infamous range of mountains where over one hundred stupid people have died trying to find gold."

"I was doubly resolved never to shape-shift around Flidais again."

"People in this part of the world like to envision demons as fiery red creatures with horns sprouting from their foreheads and barbed, whiplike tails."

"<All right, that's over."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Winnings of the Week

Here are the awesome books I've received this week:
Received this book from Doubleday publishing after seeing a post on Twitter for a chance to win a copy :)  Looks like a very cool book.

Received this book from Pam at http://bookalicio.us/ and promised to review it.  I'm reading it now and it is really good so far.

Was pleasantly surprised to find out that the book was signed too, so an extra thanks to Pam for that :)

Got this great signed book and a $20 giftcard to Starbucks from a giveaway I entered at Literary Escapism a while ago.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Catalog Craziness

Background:  I'm a Library Assistant at a community college and we don't exactly have the most reliable catalog, it crashes if it is left idle for more than half an hour or so.  This is why I've started putting random word searches into the catalog.  Usually I don't look at the results but this time I did and ended up finding a rather curious book.

This book is part of the Opposing Viewpoints collection which is usually about controversial topics like cloning, marijuana, global warming etc...

So if you know any college students in need of a book that has pro and con essays about unicorns, then well this may be just the book for you.  :)


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Engaging Emerald

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
This was such a great book, it gets a definite 5 gnomes out of 5 gnomes.  Towards the end of the book I stayed up until after one in the morning so I could finish reading it because towards the end it's hard to tell whether the ending will go well or horribly for the characters.  This story feels like a grand mix of the Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events books with the best things about both series combined.  This looks to be a very promising new series and I know I can't wait to read the next one.

The story starts with an unknown danger as parents have their three children whisked away from the only home they've ever known.  All the children are left with to remember their parents is a promise to Kate, the oldest child, from her mother that they all will be together again someday and a one consonant last name, P.

The plot of the story picks up again ten years later at an orphanage.  The three siblings have been to a lot of orphanages and have heard nothing from their parents, so they have only themselves to rely on.  Kate is the one who gives her brother and sister hope about their parents and she's the one who has the best memory of them.  Michael, the middle child, is awkward and gets picked on.  The only thing he has to remember their parents by is a book about dwarves.  The youngest child, Emma, doesn't remember her parents at all and only has Kate and Michael to rely on.  She is really tough though and will stand up to anybody.

Emma is my favorite character because when we first meet her she has a kid cornered in a tree and is trying to throw rocks at him because he tore one of her books.  She's a little outspoken but is truly a fun character to read about because you see her vulnerable as well as her tough side throughout the story.

They are sent to an orphanage in a town that has seen better days and the house they are staying in is pretty dank and foreboding.  There is a mystery to solve once they find a strange book.  The book, the house and the town are all full of secrets and have a tragic past.

The big bad in this story is truly bad and looks like it might be an unconquerable force and then you find out that this bad guy has an even worse boss.  On the other side is the main ally of the children, Dr. Pym, who knows many secrets but just isn't very keen on sharing any of them most of the time.  One thing that bugged me was how little Dr. Pym told the children at first, hopefully he's more forthcoming in the future.  

Overall this is a story full of questions, magic, and a mystery about what could happen next.  It has a little bit of everything and there's something to like about each of the characters because they are not inherently good or bad, there is some gray area in their characterizations.  The ending of the book is great and will leave you wondering what will happen in the next chapter of these character's lives.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Magick Book Necklace

I was the very happy winner of the Kat's North American Book Birthday (and Giveaway!) that Stephanie Burgis put together in celebration of her book Kat, Incorrigible.  The book is great so I was even happier to win the giveaway for the awesome necklace.  It even showed up in the mail in time for me to wear it to work today.
Emily Mah is the designer of the necklace, her Etsy store can be found here
 

The necklace is available to order here and she even has a limited combo pack where you can buy the necklace and get a signed copy of the book too, found here