Peephole In My Skull

Worldbuilders Charity Fundraiser 2015

Posted by Karen

Hey everyone! Worldbuilders is in full swing and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it. For those of you not familiar with Worldbuilders, it is a charity founded by fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss that supports Heifer International. You can read more about Worldbuilders and what they do here.

Peat’s always been a huge supporter of Worldbuilders. You might remember when he shaved Myke Cole’s head with a straight razor?


Good times.

This year, we donated to Worldbuilders’ amazing auctions. There’s tons of great swag up right now, like books (including a signed copy of The Skull Throne), nerdy accessories, manuscript critiques, and more.

The auction for The Skull Throne ends THIS SUNDAY at 8pm. If you don’t get a chance to bid, don’t worry, the auction will be updated often. Be sure to check it out! If you’re looking to buy a gift for the holidays, this is a great place to do it. Plus, the money goes to a good cause, so it’s a win-win!


You can also find ALL the information on the Worldbuilders lottery, donations, auctions, and stretch goals right here.

The stretch goals ar particularly  awesome. Authors reading angry reviews. People (including Peat!) trying and failing to read Fox in Socks. Neil Gaiman singing… These are things I definitely want to see happen.

There’s no wrong way to help out! If you have a moment, consider taking a look at this amazing charity and the incredible things they’re doing. Seriously. It’s awesome.

Posted on November 20, 2015 at 8:00 am by Karen
Filed under Brayan's Gold, Karen, Worldbuilders
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D&D With Ed Greenwood This Saturday!

Posted by Karen

Hey everyone!  We’ve got some super exciting news. This Saturday, November 21st, Peat’s will be playing in a special adventure written by Ed Greenwood himself entitled A Darkness in North Ward.

Author D&D pic

The session starts at 8 p.m EST and will be broadcasting on the Twitch channel here.

I can attest that Peat plays a wicked game of Dungeons and Dragons. For this week’s session, he’ll be playing the ranger Delthrar Dawnstorm:


It’s definitely going to be an awesome time, so be sure to tune in. I’m definitely going to be watching to see what happens!

You can check out some of Peat’s  other D&D shenanigans here.

Posted on November 19, 2015 at 8:00 am by Karen
Filed under Author D&D, Events, Karen
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Arlen and Renna Halloween Cosplay!

Posted by Karen

Hey everyone! On Halloween, Daniel and Cat wowed us with their stunning Demon Cycle cosplays (Arlen and Renna respectively). We followed up to get the full scoop on their creative process. Check it out!

“Here are some Halloween pictures I mentioned on Goodreads of me and my girl dressed as Arlen and Renna. I think she already may have got you some via Facebook.

Hope you like them- it was a real challenge (and rather tedious at some parts) but I think we represented the characters pretty well”.

Arlen Halloween Costume2Arlen Halloween Costume1

There was so much more we wanted to do on our costumes- most specifically more of the smaller detail wards- especially on the hands and the very important detail wards around the eyes and such. As it was, we got to the Halloween party at about 11:30 so we had to skip some parts. 

So much like a messenger, we needed to have our wards up in a day before things started happening. We knew ward application time was the biggest factor we had to deal with when looking at Arlen and Ren. The way we saw it, the wards were the both the largest defining factor of the costume and also the largest time sink, and we would need a system to do it efficiently.

StampmakingkitAfter a couple different attempts, we came up with the idea to build stamps of the wards that we could (semi) rapidly apply all over ourselves. For that, we used simple rubber stamp making kits.

We then started drawing wards on the rubber and carving out stamps. I did most of the the drawing, so Cat did most of the stamp cutting- she found pretty quickly that an Exact-O knife was more precise than the base gouging tool, and she even started using a cuticle remover for some of the finer detail. 

inkOnce we had the wards cut, we used Temporary Tattoo ink. Early tests with this showed that this would stay on you once dry without transferring to other people, furniture, etcetera. It also does not come off when you touch it unless you really start to rub. It does come off with Oil Based make- up remover, but even then it takes a bit of scrubbing. This made it ideal, but it is important to note that when you are doing the initial application, if you mess up a ward, you will have to do some scrubbing to get the area clear to re-apply. I used straight black for Arlen, but Cat cut hers with her a gold base to get a different feel for Renna’s blackstem drawn wards versus Arlen’s tattoos, which I think came out as a great touch. 

Once the stamps were cut, the biggest challenge was how many could we get on the day we were going to wear the costume, and just making sure we had a basic pre-plan of where the wards were going. Establishing where the hero wards needed to be and building our arrays around that was good start. We did just cut cardboard stencils for the hero wards (saving the stamps for the repeat use). We didn’t get to the smaller detail wards that really would have completed the costumes, but this  also would have added a lot of time cutting smaller stamps. Since we didn’t get to this part, we really can’t say if these would hold up well via the stamps- we may have just done some make-up painting at that point. 

Renna HalloweenRennaCosplay

Cat did all the costuming and knife fabrication, and we both painted and stamped wards all over ourselves for most of Saturday. 

In addition to trying to streamline the application, the other element that helped us get this done was knowing ahead of time what areas need to be warded. For example, I initially was going to shave my head for this, but decided not to mostly to save warding time, and then found keeping the hood up kept the character with a more mysterious/ominous feel overall anyway. We could skip areas where we knew wards wouldn’t show- such as where they sandal straps cover, and Cat built a button strap on my sleeves so I could present the sleeves down, and then expose only warded skin up to the elbow. Basically we tried to be real deliberate with where we spent the warding time.

Arlen And Renna Halloween

Overall they were really fun costumes to put together despite a rather large time investment on application day alone, and I think if we get a chance to wear these costumes again, we’ll be able to do even better. 

Thank you so much to Daniel and at Cat for creating costumes and for taking the time to tell us about it! It was a great idea to use stamps and cosplays look absolutely amazing

You can grab a copy of The Warded Man hardcover on Amazon or Books-A-Million. If you’d like to stamp yourself with wards the way Daniel and Cat did, you can find the stamp-making kit here and the body paint here!

Posted on November 18, 2015 at 8:00 am by Karen
Filed under Fans, Karen, Warded Art
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Czech Cover For The Skull Throne Revealed!

Posted by Karen

Hey everyone! The Czech cover for The Skull Throne is here! Once again, it’s Larry Rostant’s absolutely incredible Renna:


Trun lebek was released on October 21. You can grab your copy here!

If you want to browse more of Larry’s work, you can do so at his website. It’s super awesome and I’m crazy about Larry’s Fiction work. You can also follow him on Twitter!

Posted on November 17, 2015 at 8:00 am by Karen
Filed under Czech, Karen, Skull Throne
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Pumpkin Contest: Winners!

Posted by Karen

Hey everyone! After a ridiculously long wait, we’ve finally got the winners of the Demon Cycle Pumpkin Contest. This was We’re going to list runner-ups first, because it’s more exciting that way.

First runner up is Carol with her double-entry of Damajah and mind ward pumpkins!


Our second runner up is Stefan with this beautiful snow warded pumpkin!


And our first-place winner is Katie with her amazing flame demon jack o’ lantern.


Thanks so much to everyone who sent in Demon-Cycle-Themed pumpkins! We’ll be contacting all winners individually and sending out prizes soon.

You can order your copy of The Warded Man here!

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 8:00 am by Karen
Filed under Karen, Pumpkin Contest, Warded Art
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