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 info@runewarriors.net 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).