Wednesday, December 29, 2010


"RuneWarriors: Ship of the Dead" -- Book 3 of the RuneWarriors Trilogy -- is now available at your local bookstore or online retailer. The final chapter of the RuneWarriors Saga, Ship of the Dead takes Dane and his rowdy bunch of Norseboys on another rollicking adventure, this time to the very Underworld itself.

The story? With his true love Astrid seemingly lost to him forever in service as a Valkyrie, the despairing Dane learns it’s possible to reunite with her. All he has to do is track down and kill his nemesis, Thidrek the Terrifying, who is leading an army of the undead and threatening to unleash the dark forces of Hell itself upon the world. No biggie.

Plus, we're getting some very nice reviews!


". . . Dane and his boon companions set off in their usual hilarious and quarrelsome manner to save the world. The plot and subplots are handled with masterly finesse: Action and suspense are nonstop.... Established fans will devour this excellent series finish."

FROM 'THE HORN BOOK' (on Book 2):

“Rip-roaring adventure.... at once funny and thrilling. An excellent next step for fans of Percy Jackson.” 


"Classic rite-of-passage storytelling. This rigorous, vigorous modern telling of ancient adventure, complete with body-odor, belches and well-timed flatulence, barrels along with a salty grace which makes the reader glad to know it's only the first of a planned trilogy. RuneWarriors ruggedly Nordic mythscape will send shivers of anticipation down even the most jaded middle-school spine."

Friday, November 26, 2010


Five hundred years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Native American woman may have voyaged to Europe with Vikings, according to a provocative new DNA study. 

Analyzing a type of DNA passed only from mother to child, scientists found more than 80 living Icelanders with a genetic variation similar to one found mostly in Native Americans.

This signature probably entered Icelandic bloodlines around A.D. 1000, when the first Viking-American Indian child was born, the study authors theorize.

Historical accounts and archaeological evidence show that Icelandic Vikings reached Greenland just before 1000 and quickly pushed on to what is now Canada. Icelanders even established a village in Newfoundland, though it lasted only a decade or so..

CLICK HERE to go to ARCHAEOLOGY DAILY NEWS for the full article...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

There IS Talking In The Library....

On Tuesday, June 1st, 2010, the RuneWarriors authors gave a talk and signed books at one of the greatest libraries in California. The Cerritos Public Library at 18025 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, CA 90703.  Not only an architectural and artistic wonder, but a place packed with fabulous books and fabulous people who love to read them!

Thanks to Charles Ford, the Community Outreach maven from Borders Books, for providing copies of the RuneWarriors books, and to Padmini Prabhakar of Programming Services for producing the event. To contact Padmini, call 562-916-1389.

Borders Books rep Charles "Boom Boom" Ford, author Jim Jennewein, and Cerritos Library cultural attache-at-large, Padmini Pradhakar.

Kudos to our new friend Hari, age 10, for showing the audience the right way to hold a war shield and sword. I dig the sandals, too.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Spellbinding New Video!

Well, maybe not spellbinding, but fairly interesting and totally free.
That should count for something, huh?


Friday, March 5, 2010

"Yo, Teach!"


On February 23rd, we had the pleasure of visiting Valley Christian Middle School in Cerritos, California, to speak to four separate classes of seventh-graders about our Viking-themed book series, RuneWarriors. Thanks to English teacher Ellen Stenson and Shaelyn Koops, owner of Blue Chair Books. Once again, the kids are smarter than the authors could ever wish to be!

Jim tends to get excited when discussing the nuances of Norse history.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


KidsBuzz & AuthorBuzz



have been chosen!

Due to the overwhelming response, we’ve decided to give away a lot more books. Instead of just giving away one book to one winner—that’s no fun—we’ve decided to give away FIVE books!







They’ll each receive one author-autographed hardback copy of “RuneWarriors: Sword of Doom” (Book 2 in the RuneWarriors Series). If your name is listed above, congratulations! You’ll be getting your books soon. Thanks to all the teachers, librarians and other book lovers who entered the RuneWarriors contest by emailing us at our website. We wish we had free books for everyone who wanted them, but keep trying. We’ll be holding more contests from time to time so keep checking our blog for news and reviews on RuneWarriors and other fun freebies. Most of all, keep reading! Because as all young Vikings know, reading can help you conquer the world!

Best Regards,

Jim Jennewein & Tom S. Parker


Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – 1521) wasn't a Viking. He was a Portuguese explorer who later obtained Spanish nationality in order to serve king Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the “Spice Islands.” Magellan's expedition of 1519–1522 became the first expedition to sail from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean (then named "peaceful sea" by Magellan; the passage being made via the Straight of Magellan), and the first to cross the Pacific. It also completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Magellan himself did not complete the entire voyage, being killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines. Of the 237 men who set out on five ships, only 18 completed the circumnavigation and managed to return to Spain in 1522, led by the Basque navigator Juan Sebastian Elcano, who took over command of the expedition after Magellan's death. Magellan also gives his name to the Magellanic Penguin, which he was the first European to note, and the Magellanic clouds, now known to be nearby dwarf galaxies.

"The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore. Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over these things that seem impossible. It is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors -- to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown."

--Ferdinand Magellan

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Careful, These Videos May Draw Blood...

More Viking videos for your viewing pleasure...



Still More Author Hype...

"RuneWarriors: Sword of Doom,"
Book 2 in the series, is now in stores
from the nice people at HarperCollins.

(Buy a copy so they can keep their jobs.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010




We were deluged with entries! So due to the overwhelming response, we’ve decided to give away a lot more books. Instead of just having one winner—that’s no fun—we’ve decided to have one First Prize winner, two Second Prize winners and ten runners-up!

The judges have drawn the names from our ceremonial Viking war helmet, and we have our winners…

FIRST PRIZE goes to…. (drumroll, please)….


At the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia, New York

(Kelly A. March, Youth Services Library Assistant)

Congratulations, Wooly Bookworms, your books are on the way! They will receive FIVE signed copies of “RuneWarriors: Sword of Doom” (Book 2 in the RuneWarriors Series).

Now for our 2 SECOND PRIZE WINNERS, who, coincidentally, both hail from the Windy City…

Mrs. Johnson’s Kids at the Parker Academy, Chicago, Illinois

(Gail Johnson, Teacher)

Fairmount School Book Club in Downers Grove, Illinois

(Kelly L. Wood, Director of Library Resources)

They’ll each be receiving three signed copies of both Book 1 and Book 2.

AND HERE’S TO THE 10 (count ‘em, ten!) LUCKY RUNNERS-UP!

Karen Kosko, Library Media Specialist, Cambridge, MA

Celia Taylor, Media Specialist, St. Gregory the Great School

Rebecca Greene, Lawrenceburg Public Library, Lawrenceburg, IN

Cheryl Vanatti - Reading Specialist Glenridge Middle School - Orlando, FL

Kathy Vogel, Chittenango, N.Y.

Jane Spence, Media Specialist, Indian Ridge Middle School, Davie, FL

Julia Pitau, Denair Charter Academy, Denair, CA

Jennifer Lorenz, Bateman Elementary School Library, Chicago, IL

JJ Martin, St Peters, MO

PLUS… a just-cuz-we’re-nice-guys-special-bonus to Tracey Byram, Donna Kane

and Lauren Pettigrew!

Runners-up will each receive one paperback copy of “RuneWarriors: Shield of Odin”, Book 1 in the RuneWarriors Series. Thanks to all the readers, teachers, librarians and bookclubbers who entered the RuneWarriors contest by emailing us at our website. We wish we had free books for everyone who wanted them, but keep trying. We’ll be holding more contests from time to time so keep checking our blog here for news and reviews on RuneWarriors and other fun freebies like the videos posted below. Most of all, keep reading! Because as all young Vikings know, reading can help you conquer the world!

Best Regards,

Jim Jennewein & Tom S. Parker

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Contrary to popular belief, the Vikings didn’t spend all their free time sacking and pillaging. They engaged in all kinds of recreational activities, including what are known today as board games.

The most popular board game in Viking times was “Hnefatafl” (meaning “king’s table” in Old Norse). According to growing archeological evidence, thanks to the far-reaching influence of the sea-faring Vikings the game was played in Iceland and throughout the British Isles, all over Northern Europe and even east of the Baltic Sea.

The game itself, played on a wooden or textile board (shown above), is as unique as it is asymmetric. The chieftain with his soldiers is outnumbered but defends himself against attackers and tries to escape. The chieftain in his castle in the center of the board may save himself from the attackers by fleeing into one of the corner castles without being taken prisoner during the flight. Although the rules of the game are rather simple, it requires tactical skill to take the enemy by surprise and win the game.

Seems a lot more challenging than Candy Land, that’s for sure!

Hnefatafl was often mentioned in several of the Old Norse sagas, including Orkneyinga saga, Friðþjófs saga, Hervarar saga, and others.

The term tafl (Old Norse for "table" or "board") is the original name of the game. However, Hnefatafl became the preferred term for the game in Scandinavia by the end of the Viking Age (circa 1066 CE), to distinguish it from other board-games, such as Skáktafl (Chess), Kvatrutafl (Tables, the medieval forerunner of Backgammon) and Halatafl (Fox And Geese), as these became known.

Hnefatafl and other “table” games were commonly played all across Northern Europe from as early as the year 400 CE, until it was replaced by Chess in the 12th Century.

A carving of two men playing Hnefatafl found on a Viking runestone in Sweden.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thumbs Up For RuneWarriors !

KIDS LIKE "RuneWarriors". . . .

"This was an awesome book! I loved it! From the moment I started reading I couldn’t wait to learn more."


"One of the most interesting fantasy novels I have read in a while. Two thumbs up."


"Wow! This book was a rush of adventure, excitement, love, hatred, and heroism. I can’t wait for the sequel!"


"This is a wonderfully written tale. Great for all, but those familiar with Norse myth will find it even more enjoyable. A must read! Great plot and character development."


"It reads almost like a Nordic Indiana Jones meets Princess Bride. Truly fun to read and a real page turner! I found it hard to put down."


"RuneWarriors is absolutely enjoyable adventure. A villain who likes to knit, a farting sidekick, a damsel who can hold her own—mix in some Viking mythology and irreverent storytelling to create one wild ride!"


"I hated to read the last page of this book because I felt like I was saying goodbye to dear friends. I was entertained all the way through and had a very hard time putting it down. Dane is the kind of hero everybody loves and all of his friends became my friends, too."


. . . . AND SO DO THE CRITICS. . . .

PRAISE FOR "RUNEWARRIORS: Sword of Doom". . . .

“Rip-roaring adventure. Dane and his mates are merrily boyish with their flatulent tendencies and strict codes of friendship while the adventure itself abounds with noble deeds and daring acts of valor. Dane’s quest for revenge and his romance with Astrid, Mistress of the Blade, provide a nice balance to the gross-out humor, and the resulting tale is at once funny and thrilling. An excellent next step for fans of Percy Jackson." ---THE HORN BOOK

"…a page-turner... a rollicking adventure, lots of body humor and a rousing climax.” ---KIRKUS REVIEWS

PRAISE FOR "RUNEWARRIORS: Shield of Odin". . . .

“…Hideous perils and hilarious misadventures. A rollicking page-turner…”


“A rollicking, big-hearted coming-of-age tale... classic rite-of-passage storytelling. RuneWarriors’ ruggedly Nordic mythscape will send shivers of anticipation down even the most jaded middle-school spine…” BLOOMSBURY REVIEW

“…should keep boys and girls alike spellbound.”

KLIATT School and Library Review

Monday, February 1, 2010


Win a set of RuneWarriors books for your book club!

Enter to win by emailing the authors (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

RuneWarriorsDear Readers,
One day we came across a book called The Poetic Edda, a collection of heroic Viking sagas. This, and the many stories in The Prose Edda, completely captured our imaginations and we became fascinated with the world of the Vikings, especially, their belief system, what is now known as Norse mythology. Thus, RuneWarriors was born. A series that follows the epic adventures of 13-year-old Dane the Defiant and his many rowdy but lovable friends. Encountering fantastic creatures, otherworldly beings, trolls, frost giants and other perils, Dane's journey of adventure and self-discovery is told with equal parts heart and irreverent humor. Tom Parker

Email us with your questions at and we hope you enjoy the books!

James Jennewein and Tom S. Parker

Book Reviews for RuneWarriors:

"...Hideous perils and hilarious misadventures. A rollicking page-turner..." - Kirkus Reviews

"Classic rite-of-passage storytelling... will send shivers of anticipation down even the most jaded middle-school spine..." -Bloomsbury Review

Discussion Suggestions for RuneWarriors Sword of Doom:

1. Lut uses the runes to tell fortunes. Would you like to know your exact future, or would you rather be surprised?
2. Would you risk your life to save the life of your best friend? Would you do it to save your worst enemy?
3. What does the death of Dane's father do to Dane's character?

See the RuneWarriors website to listen to the characters speak, read a fun interview with the authors and watch free videos.

James Jennewein and Tom S. Parker are happy to call your book club. Email the authors to submit your request (write "Book Club visit" in the subject line).

Thursday, January 28, 2010


An arrowhead and unfinished axhead found at 11th-century metalworking sites
presumed to have been used by Vikings in York, U.K.

It’s true! As reported recently by James Owen in the National Geographic News, new excavations in the U.K. suggest that the famed Norse warriors – especially those who settled parts of England -- recycled on and off the battlefield.

“An 11th-century metalworking site recently discovered in the city of York is likely evidence of a makeshift recycling center,” writes Owen, “where Vikings took weapons for reprocessing after battle, according to historian Charles Jones, organizer of the Fulford Battlefield Society.” Owen goes on to write that Jones and his team “have found hundreds of pieces of ironwork—including axes, sword parts, and arrowheads—along with lumps of melted-down iron and the remains of smelting pits. ‘We found several 'smithing hearth bottoms'—the remains of the molten metal which dribbles down during the reprocessing of the weaponry ironwork,’ Jones told the York Press.

"The iron finds support the idea that metal was gathered and recycled in the area just behind where the fighting took place," Jones said. The artifacts are currently undergoing x-ray analysis at the University of York. The university's Søren Sindbæk said the tests should reveal whether the corroded items were forged using Norse ironwork, which involved using distinctive alloys of soft iron and hard steel.

"The Vikings were very skillful metalworkers," Sindbæk, an archaeologist, told National Geographic News. "Their weaponry is famous for the way iron is treated. Any metal was a precious material that would be recycled," he added. Recent excavations in York, which was captured and settled by the Scandinavian seafarers in 866, for instance, show that Vikings recycled boats for building material for houses and even sidewalks, Sindbæk said.

--This post courtesy of National Geographic News

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We Came. We Signed. We Conquered.

The book launch signing party for "RuneWarriors: Sword of Doom", book 2 in the RuneWarriors series, was a great success. Held on Friday, January 22nd, 2010, at the venerable Village Books (or should that be "Pillage Books"?) in beautiful downtown Pacific Palisades, California, the authors were seen signing books and speaking extemporaneously on Viking culture and Norse mythology. Fine wines and cheeses were provided by Allison Robbins Wines and videography by Jake Jennewein, Jim's thirteen-year-old son.

Thanks to Katie, owner of Village Books, and her entire staff for all the tireless support that they've shown to us and our books. In a very challenging economy, Village Books continues to be one of the finest independent bookstores in Southern California, and we salute all that they do to keep the love of reading alive and well.

Thanks also to everyone at HarperCollins, especially our brilliant editors Donna Bray and Ruta Rimas. A special shout-out to the fabulously talented artist Greg Call whose amazing artwork adorns both book 1 and book 2.

The event was also held to promote the release of book 1 in paperback, "RuneWarriors: Shield of Odin."

RuneWarriors fan Chad Horwitz
awaits his moment with the authors

Co-author Tom S. Parker with his lovely daughter Laura

Tom signs as Jim mouths off

Jim tries to remember how to spell "Viking"

iPhone fotos courtesy of Michael Clebanoff