Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Now Reading: Hexed by Kevin Hearne

Hexed by Kevin Hearne
Book Two of the Iron Druid Chronicles
Published June 7, 2011
ISBN-10: 0345522494
ISBN-13: 978-0345522498

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

There's really not much to be said for this post other than I'm stoked to start reading it. I literally just finished Hounded the other day and immediately downloaded Hexed to my Kindle. The cover art is a nice change up from the Hounded, also. You can clearly see the celtic knots on Atticus's arms (from which he can recharge his magic).

So based on the back cover run-down, I'm putting my guess on Atticus will be in deep shit this time around. In the climax of Hounded, he pissed off some people, but saved more. He has gods and deities watching his every move because he's finally shown how much a powerhouse a two-thousand-something year Druid can be. The flap makes me guess he's going to be taking on more witches and Atticus despises witches over any other creature. Should make for some good, clean family fun.

Review of Hexed to come.

Peace and Writing Love,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Book One of the Iron Druid Chronicles
Published May 3, 2011
ISBN-10: 0345522478
ISBN-13: 978-0345522474

Review: 5/5

So I don't think I've reviewed a book yet and given it a five. However, Hounded is just that awesome. I finished in about a week, which could have been done faster given more time. In my "Now Reading" post of Hounded, I compared the protagonist Atticus O'Sullivan to Harry Dresden. I went on to say how Atticus could be Harry's apprentice.

After completing Hounded, it's clear Atticus is on a whole different level than Harry. Granted, Harry is still amazing, but the method behind Atticus's coolness can't be described in a simple review. While Harry has an array of magic at his disposal, Atticus blooms as the first warrior Druid protagonist. He uses earth magic primarily, having to be connected physically in some way to the ground. He draws all his power, and then some, from the earth. His celtic tattoos act as anchors which give him all that power.

At one point, after duking it out with a god-gone-bad, Atticus is weak beyond weak. His method to recharge is to camouflage himself, strip bare ass naked, and sleep in the grass for the night. I wasn't only laughing (respectfully), but I was also amazed at the simplicity Hearne used to super power his Druid.

Also like Harry, Atticus has an array of strange allies that come through for him at the climax. Of these, you're looking at werewolves, vampires, an Idian witch trapped in a gorgeous bartender's body, a mentally speaking Irish wolfhound and then there are some gods.

I'm very exicted to begin Hexed, Book Two of the Iron Druid Chronicles. I can't wait to see what Atticus has up his sleeve after he trumps the big bad in Hounded. Believe me, that's no where near a spoiler.

Peace and Writing Love,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vote For Me!

Hoorah! I'm a semi-finalist in Brenda Drake's "Redesign a Book Cover" Blogfest Contest.

Please visit her blog to vote. There are some great contestants. It all ends Friday, June 24th when the top three are announced.

Please, VOTE FOR ME! 

Friday, June 17, 2011



While I never really advertise my own work, I've been slowly producing more and more these days as my writing (unfortunately) is slowing back to a hobby.

My rates are reasonable. I will also draft contracts on a project to project basis for whoever wishes work done.

Below are projects I've completed on a personal level, but whatever you're looking for -- blogfest banners, blog headers, margins, badges, cover art, exterior or interior illustrations (color or black/white) -- I'll consider any project.

Hook, Line & Sinker Blogfest badge.
Awkward Writing Blogfest badge.
NaNoWriMo 2010 badge.
Writing Share Wednesday banner.
The Fantastical Society of Writers and Liars banner.

Redesign a Book Cover Blogfest Contest

Today marks Brenda Drake's "Redesign a Book Cover" Blogfest Contest. I thought this was just a fantastic idea because I'm an artist and it was right down my alley.

Please visit Brenda Drake's blog for the list of participants.

I began with designing a cover for a book (or story) that didn't have a cover, and that proved more difficult. I then switched to redesigning a cover for Ender's Game, suggested by a friend. I haven't read Ender's Game since high school, but that doesn't mean I don't forget how epic it is. While the original cover(s) show space battles and Ender Wiggen, I went with a more digital-in-appearance route.

Links (made tiny for convenience):

Best of luck to all participants.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Now Reading: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Book One of the Iron Druid Chronicles
Published May 3, 2011
ISBN-10: 0345522478
ISBN-13: 978-0345522474

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

I've been hearing only wonderful things about this new series, so I of course had to give it a try. Like all other reviews have stated, the first few pages have excitement. Atticus has magnificent voice that is reminiscent of Harry Dresden, which in all respect to Kevin Hearne, could very well be the druid's mentor. He has flare and style in the way he moves and talks, and that all shows in the writing.

Atticus wears an amulet imbued with iron, the natural weakness to faeries and all things magical. What I found instantly fascinating is the way that it all is described: Hearne has a finesse about giving you a lot about Atticus's history and what he did to get to this point in his life. I'm only three chapters in, but I can see this series being one to gobble up.

There's a great handful of mythology behind the story, too. Two characters that I've met in a previous series (The Secrets of Immortal Nicholas Flamel), the Morrigan and Hecate (or Hekate), make an appearance. Celtic lore is the backbone of this series and I'm extremely excited to learn more about it.

Review to come.

Peace and Writing Love,


Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: The Warlock by Michael Scott

The Warlock
Book Five in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Published May 24, 2011
ISBN-10: 0385735332
ISBN-13: 978-0385735339

Review: 4/5

In the fifth installment of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Nicholas, the Alchemyst, is minutes from death. In a desperate attempt to have him for one more day, his wife, Perry, gives one day of her life to revive Nicholas to health. At this point in the novel, I was more connected to the Flamels as a couple than ever. Perry would truly do anything for Nicholas and this was a fantastic example.

Dr. John Dee is moving ahead with his plan to unleash monsters on the city of San Francisco, all in an attempt to have the people run in fear. He then plans to save the humans from the monsters by summoning the Elders to the city. They will all be worshipped as gods. The plan is foiled to an extent however as the separated twins, Josh and Sophie, miraculously reunite under strange circumstances. However, it is not a happy meeting. They blame each other for choosing the wrong side -- Sophie with the Flamels and Josh with Dr. Dee.

The end of the novel does not, however, leave a hint to the title character as it did in the previous five books. The last chapter of book four had something to the effect of: "The world is in need of a warlock again."

Nothing at the end of this novel. Makes me excited to learn who The Enchantress (title of the sixth book) will be.

# # #

In other news, my good friend and (occasional) blogger Tara is hosting a blogfest for her one year blogiversery. You can sign up at her blog, Aleatoire. It takes place Saturday, June 18. It's a rather simple contest challenging you to write a scene while taking inspiration from a song. More details are on her page.

Finally, I'd like to give a huge flyby congratulations to my critique partner, Steph (at Scribbler to Scribe) for receiving her first short story publication!

That's all for now.

Peace and Writing Love,


Monday, June 6, 2011

Staying Motivated

While I slowly progress in the outline of my current WIP, I use my talents in illustration and painting to carry me along. Basically, it gives me something else to do. Most of you don't know I freelance, so I'll add a shameless plug of my website.

If you're ever looking for freelance for any reason, whatever the project, I'd be glad to take a look and help you out.

Here's the latest progress of my current project.

SUBJECT: Nicholas Flamel, protagonist of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series.
MEDIUM: Pencil > Illustrator Render > Corel Painter Render