Guest Post with author Gwenda Bond, author of THE AWOKEN GODS

Here today I have special guest Gwenda Bond celebrating the recent release of her book "The Woken Gods"! Seeing as I'm a super geek when it comes to books with mythology, I knew from the beginning I wanted to read this. Here's a little more info on the book:
The Woken Gods
The more things change…
Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke all around the world.
The more things stay the same…
This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school because of an argument with her father.
Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., dominated by the embassies of divine pantheons and watched over by the mysterious Society of the Sun that governs mankind’s relations with the gods. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way home, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn't what it seems. She escapes with the aid of Osborne "Oz" Spencer, a young Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous Egyptian relic. The Society needs the item back, and they aren’t interested in her protests that she knows nothing about it or her father's secrets.
Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary Sumerian gods, her estranged oracle mother, and, of course, Oz--whose first allegiance is to the Society. She has no choice if she’s going to recover the missing relic and save her father. And if she doesn't? Well, that may just mean the end of the world as she knows it. From the author of Blackwood comes a fresh, thrilling urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan.

     The name of my blog is Take Me Away beccause I get to finally visit places I more than likely wouldn't be able to go any other way. I like to see books that feature actual places or actual things that can be found in the setting of the book. That way I can match the location in the book to the location in real life (well that's on the internet.) It's just interesting to see what's reality and what the author made up! Because of this, Gwenda Bond has a different kind of post for me today! Take a look below to find out!

     My thanks for the invite and being into a slightly different kind of guest post. Because THE WOKEN GODS is set in Washington, D.C., but a version that's been transformed by the gods' awakening, and particularly by the presence of the human Society of the Sun and the seven tricksters whose embassies are located there, I thought it would be fun to do a few posts spotlighting some of the real-life locales and how they changed in the book. Especially since I have lots of photos from my research trips there.
     Let me introduce you to Dupont Circle, which in the book becomes Oracle Circle. It's where the main character Kyra Locke's mother lives, instead of with her family. I can't say why I chose it, really, just that I'd been through the neighborhood on a previous trip to D.C. The placement was right, and there's something magical about the fountain, the green and shaded park, and all those great old buildings surrounding it. I could easily see it transforming into a fortune teller's paradise.  I'm going to intersperse some photos below with relevant excerpts from the book...

Where Oracles Might Live

     Tall buildings wear tattered remnants of bright paint, and lush green trees dot the sidewalk. The street is wide, with plenty of other people traveling the same way on business of their own. Every third streetlight or so works, and a few trash can blazes help... if not so much with lighting, then with conjuring a dangerous ambience.
The street opens up on the abandoned traffic roundabout and circular park that gave first Dupont Circle and now Oracle Circle their names.

Dupont Circle

     Stalls and tents and tables are arranged one after another in a jumble of noise. Candles and strings of fairy lights illuminate the market, which I've never seen at night. Besides fortunes, people come here to get charms to stave off the evil eye, amulets to hide someone from the attention of the gods. The effects are probably make-believe, but I wouldn't say no to one of each to loop around my neck, pin to my sleeve, hide in my pocket.

Dupont Circle Fountain

     Now that we're closer, the tall fountain at the center is visible. It spews water from a bowl lifted by three carved beauties. The city leaves it on so the oracles will have a ready source of clean water. Something about the circle feels different tonight, and I don't think it's the time of day or my nerves. I never come here calm.

Me + Ladies of the Water

     Or maybe what felt different was me at the edge of the fountain, tired and sweaty after a day of tromping all over the neighborhood! I hope you'll visit Oracle Circle too, and thanks again to my host here today.

     I hope you enjoyed your trip to Washington D.C and Oracle Circle with all the gods and goddesses! And please, go out and snag The Awoken Gods!