Hi there, everyone!
So, finally, today, the cover for The Woken Gods can be shown. I think it's a nice mix of the mythical and the modern, the old and the new, which I hope the book is too. And my HUGEST thanks to my publisher Strange Chemistry and all the bloggers participating in the reveal:
*beams in your general direction* Visit them! And I'll add others as I catch them.
And the traditional bonus giveaway: If you'd like to win a signed copy of Blackwood and of The Woken Gods (as soon as it's available) say so in your comment here (email address required)–I'll count entries made until midnight on July 2, one per person. Let us know what you think!
Some of you might remember that this book was originally to come out in July and the eidetic might remember that the original synopsis and draft snippets were quite a bit different too. That's because I needed a little extra time to make this book what I wanted it to be. (And to figure out what that was. Remember all those stressed out, panicked revision tweets? They were about this, my rebellious heroine navigating scary trickster intrigue in a strange D.C. book.)
I hope you like the book, and pre-orders are always appreciated, from wherever you prefer to get your books. I also hope that if you're excited about it, you'll help spread the word as we travel from now to its release date September 3 (US) and 5 (UK). That extra time I needed means I now need all of you more than ever to help out in that respect. As any author will tell you, a second book is often even more important than a first. So, thank you all, again, for your support. You are amazing.
And now the cover (designed by Amazing15), with book description and a snippet to follow…
(Click to embiggen yet more)
ABOUT THE WOKEN GODS
Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke around the world.
This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school.
Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems. She escapes with the aid of Osborne "Oz" Spencer, an intriguing Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous relic. The Society needs it, and they don’t care that she knows nothing about her father's secrets.
Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary gods, her estranged oracle mother, and, of course, Oz – whose first allegiance is to the Society. She has no choice if she’s going to recover the missing relic and save her father. And if she doesn't? Well, that may just mean the end of the world as she knows it.
From the author of Blackwood comes a fresh, thrilling urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan.
"Unique, fast-paced, and rife with tension, The Woken Gods brilliantly pits loyalty against survival, trust against inevitability, and love against fear." – Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series
And how's about a little sneak peek? The prologue is behind the cut:
The City Asleep
Night enfolds the sleeping city, shadows unfurling like wings across deserted streets and empty parks. Many of the painted townhouses stand vacant. In others, people succumb to the insomnia of ordinary worries – misbehaving children, unpaid bills, stressful jobs – or dream of the extraordinary that has become commonplace: blazes caused by gods, friends vanished into cults, the Society’s reassurances that everything is fine. Everything will be just fine, so long as everyone listens. So long as everyone believes them.
Across the city, in a nearly abandoned neighborhood that used to belong to politicians and lobbyists, the gods are awake. In the strange embassies of the seven tricksters willing to live in this place, to risk everything that they are, the inhabitants never sleep. They slept for thousands of years, after all.
The pyramid of Set House rises from a jungle. Milk-white columns front the temple of Hermes House. The black fortress of Loki House juts into a night as dark as its walls. Rough hide slants into the massive teepee of Coyote House. The bright tiers of Tezcatlipoca House stand on barren sand. A sacred grove of thick trees surrounds the ornate shrine of Legba House, situated at the convergence of two wide red-and-black paths. And at the end of the property, the ziggurat of Enki House towers over a marsh.
Broad steps ascend the base and two long ramps extend from the flat surface at the top, where a towering stone temple soars. A man climbs the ramp, deliberately, a small lantern held in one hand to light the way. He has not been invited here. But when he reaches the temple’s arched entrance, a god with two faces is waiting. He is taken inside, where he shares a secret and asks for help.
He leaves before long. He does not focus on what lies ahead. Instead the past replays itself. He remembers five years ago, the day of the Awakening, when the gods rose from the earth. He remembers the plan the Society put into motion. The gods’ own magic turned against them, the relics men had gathered while they lay sleeping the only thing that could allow humanity a chance to survive. The doors were sealed, one on this side of the world and the other far away. The Society held its breath.
He is one of them. He held his.
The god they captured was one of the most powerful. She had a lion’s head, and a warrior’s heart. They marched her from the Library out onto the green mall of the United States capital, torches blazing along each side. The relic that slew her was a blade, a curving scimitar collected from beneath the ruins of a Babylonian palace. It had been a gift from a god to a king during the first time. The time before the gods vanished, when they ruled over humanity.
The cameras broadcast Sekhmet’s death around the world, giving humans hope. Gods swarmed the city and watched, some with eyes like many-faceted insects, others with wings and tongues sharp as knives, with glimmering scales and skin hard as armor. They watched Sekhmet, her lion’s head and warrior’s heart both still as she lay on the bed of green, green grass. Black blood spilled from the wound at her neck. The torches burned until the oil inside ran dry. She did not move again.
And they knew it was true, gods and men alike. The world above and the world below are denied the gods now. Closed off by the Society. Stuck here in the world between, so long as those doors are shut, gods can be killed. Gods can die.
So the treaty. So this city became the Society’s stronghold and the home of the seven tricksters most sympathetic to the humans, the ones who volunteered to deal with the murderers of gods. This is the city where deals are cut. Sometimes in the light, more often in the shadows.
There should be billowing black clouds, the man thinks, thunder and lightning to shatter the silence. The world deserves some sign that the peace is fraying. His hand grips the lantern’s handle tightly, as though if he can hold onto the light he might keep it all from unraveling.
He alone sees the storm approaching. He alone knows what tomorrow will bring.
He walks back into the city holding onto the hope he can at least save his daughter.
So, there you go! You still have Kyra and all her friends to meet. And now I will just hide under my desk and bit my nails until September! (Or until the book goes up on Netgalley.)
And, remember, if you'd like to win a signed copy of Blackwood and of The Woken Gods, say so in your comment here, until July 2.