Friday, April 29, 2022

Your Weekend Read: GRUMPY OLD GODS



Blurb Grumpy Old Trickster Gods

What happens when trickster gods wane, retire, or just decide they need a change of employment? Trouble. Lots of trouble.

The Grumpy Old Gods are back in this fifth installment of mythical fun!

Thirteen writers took up the challenge with total irreverence, a great deal of wit, and, in some cases, more alcohol than was strictly necessary. This mythical author alchemy led to an anthology that is nearly-always amusing, somewhat insightful, and completely irreverent as we imagine the trickster gods of yore in retirement:


In Anansi and Robert go to Queens by J. Malcolm Stewart, the spider trickster Anansi is about to pull off the greatest prank in the history of the cosmos – and a humble spider named Robert from Queens is honored to be a part of it, at least until he isn’t.

When Thor’s hammer is stolen from Asgard, Loki reluctantly puts down his laptop long enough to get up to his old tricks in The (Mostly) Retired God of Mischief by Vanessa Wells.

Only an idiot would try to trick a trickster god – right? In Huehuec├│yotl and the Dead Irish Hero by E.J. Tedrow, we find out there’s always one smartass who thinks he can get away with it.

In Rules of the Game by Melanie J. Drake, the Goddess of Thieves desperately wants to retire – she just needs to find the right sort of patsy – er – person to take her place.

A group of retired Gods and Goddesses dragoon the Goddess of Mischief into a contest of wit and wiles in Blaze of Glory by Ronel Janse Van Vuuren.

What’s trickier than an ancient Goddess in the form of a cat? Certainly not a werewolf pack. We find out who is the cleverest in The Werewolf’s Old Clothes by Raven O’Fiernan.

Taranis and Cerne come out of retirement when some local musicians need a little help from some retired Gods on Harleys in It’s a Deal by Lyssa Medana.

Clever Ganesha is forced to get a little crafty when some bureaucratic nonsense upsets the order of the cosmos in Kaelan Strouse’s Ganesha the Trickster.

In That Kind of Mojo by Vanessa Finaughty, some young tricksters come to understand the value of experience when it comes to pranks.

Jemma Weir introduces us to a seemingly prosaic retiree named Ernie in Granddad Swap; another reminder that looks can be deceiving.

A bored nature deity with a lot of friends is a dangerous nature deity – just ask the president. In Bastille Day by Carlton Herzog, Pan and his coterie of gods and goddesses form the Beguilers; they might not be able to dazzle them with brilliance, but they can certainly baffle them with bs.

Hailing from the bloody past of the Aztec empire, Huehuec├│yotl is forced to make the decision between his pantheon and the innocent people who will die if they are revived in The Worst Trickster God of All by Katharina Gerlach.

In Subterfuge, Sleep Deprived by Juneta Key, we visit the underworld to figure out who kidnapped the God of Sleep – spoiler alert, Hades isn’t a happy camper without his shut eye.

Pick up your copy of Grumpy Old Gods today!

*Warning: Reading Grumpy Old Gods anthologies can lead to uncontrollable laughter, grinning, snorting, and other signs of glee. Eating or drinking while reading this book may lead to choking with laughter. Ask your doctor if laughter is right for you. Seek professional help if your grin doesn’t go down after forty-eight hours. Not recommended for children, politicians, war criminals, or Zeus.

Get it on Amazon.

Excerpt “Blaze of Glory” by Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Grumpy Old Trickster God Anthology

Kit was curled up on top of a cabinet in her fox-form, high enough not to attract unwanted attention from the rowdy partiers, but central enough to keep an eye on everyone. Especially Apollo.

The Greek was not only looking like a handsome American frat boy but also acting like one. Attractive gods and goddesses alike were steering clear of him. He was as likely to wink at women and high five men as to do it the other way around. Not that there was anything wrong with that. But tonight he was in a mischievous mood and kissed anyone he fancied witless.

Kit yawned. The party – someone’s birthday? She couldn’t remember – was running past her bedtime. Actually, it was probably still going to be going strong by the time she usually wandered the halls.

She yawned again, showing off her pointed teeth. Apollo had taken his bow and quiver – where was the orderly in charge of keeping weapons out of the hands of residents? – and was intercepting ping-pong balls where Horus and Thor where playing beer pong.

Kit shrank into the shadows against the cream wall as Thor chased Apollo with his hammer and Horus swooped around as a bald eagle of all things, trying to peck out Apollo’s eyes. Anubis was brooding in a corner. Only Ammit dared approach him. Even Apollo swiftly changed direction when he spotted him.

A blaze of light brought everything to a stop – even the ABBA remix by Cher blazing over the speakers. Isis held Thor and Horus away from Apollo with an invisible wall while dragging the Greek by his ear to another room where Dionysus and others were happily drinking wine from the red plastic cups provided for the party.

‘You are ruining Ra’s birthday party! Stop messing around or I’ll hand you over to Hera’s tender mercies.’

Apollo bowed his head and then looked up at the goddess through his fringe. ‘How ‘bout a reconciliatory kiss?’

‘Argh!’ she flung him from her and stalked away.

Apollo grinned puckishly and whipped his bow and an arrow out from nowhere and shot a cup of wine off Dionysus’ head. Wine splattered everywhere. The cream walls dripped as with blood. Bast, in her cat-form, came streaking out from beneath a table – soaked in wine.

‘Now you’ve done it,’ Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister, said and snatched the bow from his hand before handing it to a stone-faced orderly dressed in white.

Light and heat blazed in the building. As the light faded and Kit could see again, a large Egyptian barque stood in the middle of the rec room, the ping-pong table and other furniture flattened beneath it.

‘You dare be the centre of attention at a party in my honour?’ Ra roared from his throne on the barque. ‘You young upstarts think you know everything!’

‘It was just a bit of fun, lord Ra,’ Apollo said in his most appeasing voice. ‘All the gods at Sunset Rest Home are in great need of entertainment. And watching us duke it out in the sky for dominance over the sun isn’t cutting it anymore.’

‘Indeed. A contest then,’ Ra declared.

Kit had thought that he would blow his top, but even though a vein was throbbing in his temple, he kept calm.

‘Contest?’ Apollo asked excitedly, pulling out a lyre from somewhere.

‘No. Not like that, young-god-of-everything-silly. No. You shall compete against my champion, Bast, in a contest of trickery.’

Fun Character Facts Grumpy Old Trickster Gods

Apollo loves music and clothing from the 1980s. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” from Wham! is his favorite song.

Bast, from the same story, collects and rehomes stray cats. Even ones with collars…

Bast, Apollo and Kit from “Blaze of Glory” love all ice-cream flavors, but choc-mint is Kit’s favorite.


Bio Ronel Janse van Vuuren


Award-winning Dark Fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren writes about kick-ass heroines, the duality of being human and loves to use folklore to underscore her point.

She’s a Rottweiler pack leader, chicken wrangler and horse servant.

All of her books are available for purchase from major online retailers.


Sign up to be notified of new releases, giveaways and pre-release specials – plus get a free eBook – when you join her newsletter.


Twitter: @miladyronel

Instagram: @miladyronel