The Woken Gods

Locus Recommended List!

Is out. And I am thrilled to be included in such amazing company!

Young Adult Books

Now go check out the entire list, which contains many wondrous books and stories. Too many friends to congratulate, so I will only say congrats to all. <3

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Extra, Extra: Arawn And The Wild Hunt Visit The West End

A while back, I participated in the YA Scavenger Hunt, always fun, and wrote a little extra set in The Woken Gods universe, giving a glimpse of the Awakening in London. I’ve been meaning to put it up here since, because a few people told me they missed it and, well, it needs a place to live. (The cool art I found via google, and is available as a card and maybe a print from UK artist Deborah Holman; check her stuff out.)

And now without further ado, a little story for you…


Arawn and the Wild Hunt Visit the West End

There are better places to busk than the one Alice chooses every weekend. But the broad streets that converge on Piccadilly Circus have become like a second home to her, the noise a welcome contrast to the unbroken quiet in the flat while her parents are working, always working. The tourists here are often fresh off airplanes, only a day or two in London. The Americans in particular never seem to pick up the value of coins until they’re leaving.

Many times Alice checks the top hat she places in front of her to find handfuls of pounds — round, metallic, heavy — inches deep along the bottom. She sits it in front of her now, and removes her violin from its case.

She saves the small oceans of money from the hat, never breaking over for so much as an ice cream on the way back home. That money is adding up, and when she tells her parents she’s not giving up music to study accounting or law or whatever they’ve decided is best for her…she’ll need it. Alice takes up her usual spot on the steps around the base of the tall statue of Eros, a cupid with his bow trained on the crowd, and admires the scooped detail of the wings that would hold him aloft if he were real.

Alice likes to think Eros helps her out, that invisible arrows grab the chests of passersby and draw them in close, until they pay her tribute. She draws her own bow across the strings, makes a few small adjustments, and begins to play. It’s not something people will know, because she wrote it — she’d probably make more if it was Bach or Mozart. But this, too, is part of her rebellion.

The din of conversation and cars and city is part of the concert to her, and she notices immediately when it starts to fall away. The mournful melody that emerges from her instrument grows louder and louder, and she might be hallucinating, adjusts her fingers until she knows that’s not it. There are gasps and shouts, and then there is silence.

A silent crowd and if she couldn’t hear the sound of her own music, she’d believe she’s been struck suddenly deaf. No cars are moving. No one is moving, except her, coaxing vibrations from the strings.

And then a new sound joins her. She hears the unmistakable clack of hooves on pavement, and she goes silent, finally, like everyone else. The man is too large to be simply a man, and branching antlers sprout from a thick helmet he wears. He sits a pale gray horse, its coat shining like silver. His face is green, sickly and healthy at once, above heavy brown leather armor. He holds the thick body of a snake in one hand, twisting, with a small horned ram’s head at the top.

Around the horse’s feet come the hounds, slipping through the crowd, crying and yipping. They are lean, hungry, with white fur and red-tipped ears. A woman follows them, with long wild hair and torn clothes, and urges them on in a thick voice, using some language Alice doesn’t recognize.




The…man?…on the horse rides toward Alice, his black eyes on her. The other people around the statue scramble away, but she is frozen there, the weight of her violin in her hands the only thing that convinces her she is real. That this is real. That she is awake and this is happening.

The man stops a half-dozen feet away from her. She is surrounded. The yipping white hounds, and the hag with them, array themselves around her. Trapping her where she stands.

Like I’m their prey, Alice thinks.

The green-skinned man on the horse cranes his horned head skyward, gazing up at Eros. His horse takes two more heavy steps forward. It feels as if the pavement trembles beneath Alice’s feet.

She should go. She should run, like everyone else did. But one of the dogs must sense the direction of her thoughts — if that’s possible? if any of this is possible? — because it snarls and lopes closer.

She has to do something.

And so she lifts her bow and resumes playing. The dogs let out a chorus of unearthly howls, and, finally, after who knows how much time passes, the man turns his gray horse away, and the hounds follow him. She plays until the horse’s hooves and the eery dog calls and the encouragement of the hag can no longer be heard. She plays as the people around her become noisy again, as they discover the cars and buses are still not moving, as the bright lights go dark, as screams reach out from the distance.

Alice plays until the piece is finished, and only then does she stop, and put her instrument back into its case. Only then does she try to decide where to head from here.


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Weekend Update

image from it been less than a week since my last post? And yet less than a week filled with excitement! Most of which is still of the TOP SECRET variety. (Okay, okay, I'll stop being obnoxious now and just get to work.)

Many thanks to everyone who came out to the Malaprop's panel last week, which was such fun. Not that it's possible for a visit to Malaprop's to be anything else. And how can you go wrong when talking about girls and monsters? It would be exceedingly difficult–especially with the delightful Megan Shepherd, Meg Spooner, and April Tucholke. Afterward we went to the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar (yes, it is in fact one of the most perfect locations on the planet).

Last couple of appearance-y things for the year: I'll be on WUKY's Curtains @ 8 tonight (Tuesday), talking The Woken Gods in advance of this week's Kentucky Book Fair. Annnd I'll be at the book fair for the first time, both Friday for Children's Day and Saturday for the main event. If you're attending, come by and chat. I will sign anything you put in front of me, but especially books.

And, last but definitely not least, I had the immense pleasure of interviewing Nicola Griffith, who long-time readers of this blog will know is one of my favorite favorite authors, about her newest novel HILD (out today!) for the LA Times. Snippet: "Women of the past, we're told, were objects not subjects, they had no agency, they were submissive. What a load of rubbish. Women are people — as human then as you and I are today. People find ways around their constraints, whether it's gender, status, physical ability, and so on. What counts is how you use what you've got. Hild has a singular mind." Go read the whole conversation and then get yourself a copy. You want to. Trust me.

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*tap, tap* Is This Thing On? And Asheville Event!

Well, I didn't mean to disappear, but there was a California vacation with lazy sea lions and gobsmacking art and excellent people (including a lovely stop by great bookstore Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach) and an edit letter and then a massive trip to the revision cave and car trouble that meant being stranded at home in the edit cave (serendipitous). Somewhere in there, I wrote a piece for PW about bullying, for which I interviewed many smart, excellent people, and and all the other things.

Busy, in other words, but life is good.

I have a couple of events coming up. I'll be in Asheville this Thursday night, talking about Girls & Monsters with a group of fabulous YA authors. The details:

  • Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.: Girls and Monsters Panel Event with Megan Shepherd (The Madman's Daughter), Meagan Spooner (Shadowlark), April Tucholke (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea) at Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, N.C.

And November 17th I'll be at the Ky. Book Fair in Frankfort.

You should come to these places, if you're nearby.

More soon, including that The Woken Gods extra I promised but haven't put up here yet and many, many hangovers. In the meantime, I leave you with this image from the Tar Pits Museum, called My Genre As A Saber-Tooth:


(You can find other pictures of random horizons and pieces of art and things snapped with phone here.)

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West Coast Invasion: Upcoming Event

MystgalaxSorry, so sorry it's been quiet around here. Posts soon and about things besides The Woken Gods. 

But we're headed out to Southern California in a few days for some hijinks, and I'll be at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach at 2:30 on Sunday. So if you're in the area, come out and say hi. I'll definitely read from The Woken Gods and take questions, but there will probably be a BONUS. Perhaps Christopher and I will do a short extra reading together or I might even pull out the juvenilia.

Can't make it? I'm sure the store will also be happy to arrange orders if you want a copy signed.

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YA Scavenger Hunt: The Game is Afoot!

Welcome to this stop on the YA Scavenger Hunt extravaganza!

(I'm Gwenda Bond, and my stop is being hosted by Rachel Harris. There you can find an extra for THE WOKEN GODS, a glimpse of the Awakening in London called "Arawn and the Wild Hunt Visit the West End." As some of you know, I hardly ever write short things, so I hope you like it.)

If you're new to the hunt, this tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Team redGo to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all three! (Go for all. These are pretty amazing prize packages we're talking about here.) I'm a part of the RED TEAM–but there are also red and gold team contests with a chance to win a whole different set of signed books.

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt and see links to all the authors participating, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage. (An extra round of *applause* for organizers extraordinaire Colleen Houck and Beth Revis.)



Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Oct. 6 at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


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MIA, But Event!

Swamped at the moment, but hope to be back to regular posting soon. In the meantime, if you're in the vicinity of Middletown, Ohio, this weekend, come out to see Christopher and I read. Details:

Sept. 28 at 2 p.m.: Reading and signing with Christopher Rowe at Straight Shot Coffee in Middletown, OH.

I don't think there will be books for sale, so bring anything you want signed. We will each have some shiny postcards, however (me for Woken Gods, C for "Jack of Coins"). We'll read solo, and then we might read a snippet of something together as well. Thanks to Laura Wooffitt for the invite. Fun!

Also, I decided to do a Goodreads giveaway with three of my author copies of The Woken Gods, which I'll inscribe with a little relic for the winners. Enter here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

The Woken Gods

by Gwenda Bond

Giveaway ends October 21, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

More soon!

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Thursday Hangovers + Signing Hijinks

A few nice reviews:

  • At My Library in the Making: "All the interconnecting conspiracies made The Woken Gods a true thriller, but it still had a twisted sense of humor that perfectly fit this twisted book. It was truly unpredictable, and there was a well-developed and swoon-worthy romance to boot. Despite a few slow moments, I was never bored. To sum this up, The Woken Gods is a freaking awesome book that I would definitely recommend to Rick Riordan fans, and oh, who do I have to beg for a sequel?" *beam*
  • At Much-Loved Books: "The synopsis gives a good idea about what The Woken Gods is about, but it's not until I began reading that I really got to see the world Gwenda has created, full of mythology, secrets, mysteries, and some pretty scary monsters." *beam again*
  • At Badass Book Reviews: "My favorite had to be the god Anzu, who was assigned to protect Kyra. Anzu was a flying lion griffin-like god and he was very protective of Kyra, especially after she helped him out." I include this because Anzu seems to be everyone's favorite!
  • And some nice words for Blackwood (and other Strange Chemistry books!) on e-book sale at YA Yeah Yeah: "Electric chemistry between the two, a truly chilling villain, and one of the best endings of the year make this a must read." *beam the final*
  • Updated list of all The Woken Gods promo stops so far, including the real-world imaginary tour ones. Remember: Reading and spreading the word makes kittens happy.

I often talk about how my local bookstore cup runneth over. We are so lucky, and I know it, to have such a vibrant literary scene and such great bookstores. I already posted about the launch day signing event at Joseph-Beth, but wanted to thank the fabulous Morris Book Shop, aka MoBoSho, for hosting me last weekend. Should you want signed copies, both have plenty (and personalizations can be arranged).

There were delicious cupcakes:




And a bookstore-owner with a chainsaw (because don't all bookstores have people come in on Saturday night to return a chainsaw borrowed from the staff?):


Bookshop Owner With A Chainsaw


 And my pal Alison saying nice things that I can't quite believe are true:


I Heart Alison...


Christopher's adorable nephew William, who assured me he was not listening during the scary parts of my reading (and thanks to Christopher for playing the mermaid in our bonus reading from the collaboration we've been working on–once again a show-stealer!):


Christopher, William et Moi


And then we went out for dinner and drinks and such, but not before goofily clutching the sign:


Lightning Strikes Goofily


Upcoming stuff! Next weekend, Christopher and I will be reading (and signing anything put before us) at Straight Shot Coffee in Middletown, Ohio, at 2 p.m. And next month I'll be at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach, on Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m., and then at Malaprops in Asheville (with several other authors) on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Details on the events page, and reminders closers to.


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Real-Life Imaginary Tourism, Part Three

Last week I did tour stops describing how Dupont Circle becomes Oracle Circle, and then how Dumbarton Oaks becomes the Houses of the Gods, and today is the last stop on the Tour of THE WOKEN GODS' D.C.

Over at A Dream Within A Dream, I talk about the Einstein Memorial (still itself in the book–and the site where Kyra is first stopped by the gods) and about the Library of Congress Jefferson Building (still itself too, but also the Society of the Sun headquarters).


ET MOI?(Bonus shot of my last name found within the LoC: a sign!
Or at least a coincidence… Either way, I nerdily photographed it)


Go there for more

And if you want to see even more photos, many featuring locales from the book, check out the entire Washington, D.C., Baby flickr set and other visual inspiration at the Pinterest board.

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Gabfest: A Convo With Kim Curran

StrangeChemLadies The delightful Kim Curran‘s Shift was one of my favorite books last year. It features teen Scott Tyler, who discovers he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made — something that turns out to be more problematic than it at first seems. Just before Control, the sequel, was set to come out in August from Strange Chemistry, I asked Kim if she’d like to have a little conversation over email about the past year — our debuts and what it was like having a second book coming out, and all the fun and angsty stuff that goes along with that. We started almost immediately, but release seasons tend to get crazy, which is why you’re only getting this now. And, might I add, both our debuts are still on crazy sale in e-book (probably not for much longer).

That’s a photo of me and Kim (along with our fellow Strange Chemists Cassandra Rose Clarke and Julianna Scott) at WorldCon in Chicago last year.

Gwenda: So, you and I debuted at the exact same time, as the launch titles for Strange Chemistry. We exchanged many excited and panicked and commiserating emails, and even got to do an event together in Chicago. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since that happened. Looking back from this lengthy vantage point (or you know, what feels like one), what came as the biggest surprise for you about publishing your first book?

Kim: Wow! How this year has flown. I remember that time so well: our increasingly panicked direct messages and emails as we got to know each other and realised that the idea of being published was driving us both a little crazy. Knowing you were there, strapped into the same amazing rollercoaster, was a huge reassurance and kept me sane. I couldn’t have asked for a better ‘book sister’.

As for what’s surprised me most, I guess it was the fear. I didn’t expect to be quite so terrified. You spend so long dreaming and hoping for this thing to happen. And yet when it does, it’s a mixed bag of excitement beyond anything else and abject terror! It feels very different this time around with book two. Calmer. More familiar. It’s a bit like falling in love: the first time is always the most intense. 🙂

How about you? How did you find the process? And how are you finding the idea of book two hitting the shelves?

(The rest of our chat continues behind the cut…)


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