Thursday, May 30, 2013

Character Profile for King's Crusade by A.D. Starrling

Character Profile Zachary Jackson
Hello and thank you for having me on your blog!
Today, I am pleased to feature the character profile of one of the protagonists from King’s Crusade, the second novel in my supernatural series Seventeen. I normally compile a bio for the main characters of every book that I write, starting initially with their basic physical description and age. This bio grows as I write the novel and each character tells me more about him/herself. Note that Zachary’s profile is based on the story taking place in 2010.
Name: Zacharias Elijah Jackson
Date & place of birth: Montana, USA, 1973. 37 years old.
Physical description: 6ft 2 in, blond hair, ice-blue eyes, athletic build.
Skills/exceptional abilities: Eidetic memory. One of the most intelligent humans alive today. Holds post-doctorates in several of the natural and social sciences. University boxing champion.
Family background: Parents deceased. No siblings. Has a cousin in Montana.
Marital status: Single. Falls in love with Alexa King.
Occupation: Archaeology professor at Harvard University, specializing in anthropology.
Likes: Running, boxing, archaeology, research, jazz music, pizza.
Dislikes: Fast cars, guns, people trying to kill him, heavy metal music, boats, tidiness.
Weapons: None.
Car: None.
Miscellaneous facts: Became the youngest professor the world has ever known at age 17 years. Visiting lecturer to several internationally renowned universities. Was sacked by Dimitri Reznak on an archaeological dig in Mesopotamia in 2000, after he broke the confidentiality agreement in his contract and tried to discover the truth behind the organization funding the research project. Suspects that another race of intelligent beings walk the Earth besides humans. Computer geek and occasional hacker. Lives in an apartment in Back Bay, Boston.
Important people in his life: Alexa King.
Note that there are more Bonus features on the website! You are welcome to drop me a line for any comments you may have. 
Happy reading, writing, and blogging you all!
AD Starrling
King’s Crusade
Seventeeen Series Book 2

AD Starrling

Genre: Supernatural thriller

The perfect immortal warrior.
A set of stolen, priceless artifacts.
An ancient sect determined to bring about the downfall of human civilization.

The exciting, action-packed follow-up to Soul Meaning and the second installment in the supernatural thriller series, Seventeen.

When a team of scientists unearth scriptures older than the Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave in the Eastern Desert mountains in Egypt, a mystery lost to the tides of time is uncovered. Heading the expedition is Dimitri Reznak, the Head of the Crovir Immortal Culture & History Section. But the monumental discovery is spoiled by evidence of looting and half the priceless artifacts Reznak has been seeking for centuries have disappeared.

Alexa King is a covert agent for the Crovir First Council. When she is approached by her godfather for a mission that could help elucidate the enigma of her lost past, she finds herself delving into the dangerous and shadowy world of secret religious societies. Assigned by Reznak to assist her is Zachary Jackson, a gifted human and Harvard archaeology professor.

In their search for the missing artifacts, King and Jackson stumble upon the existence of a deadly sect whose origins are as mystifying as the relics they are searching for. From North Africa to the doors of Vatican City itself, they unveil a centuries-old plan that aims to shatter the very structure of civilized society.

With the help of Reznak and a group of unexpected allies, King and Jackson must stop the enemy and uncover the astonishing truth behind the missing artifacts and King’s own unearthly origins before all is lost.
 


Soul Meaning
Seventeen Series Book One
AD Starrling
 
Genre: Supernatural thriller
 ISBN: 978-0957282605
ASIN: B008L8IU8C
Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 108,187
Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics
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Book Description:
    A half breed immortal. An international manhunt. A race against time to stop a terrifying plot that threatens to kill millions. The gripping, action-packed debut novel by AD Starrling and the first in the supernatural thriller series Seventeen.
    
‘My name is Lucas Soul.
Today, I died again.
This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.’
 
The Crovirs and the Bastians. Two races of immortals who have lived side by side with humans for millennia and been engaged in a bloody war since the very dawn of their existence. With the capacity to survive up to sixteen deaths, it was not until the late fourteenth century that they reached an uneasy truce, following a deadly plague that wiped out more than half of their numbers and made the majority of survivors infertile.

Soul is an outcast of both immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.
    
One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. When a lead takes them to Washington DC and a biotechnology company with affiliations to the Crovirs, they cross the Atlantic to Europe, on the trail of a French scientist whose research seems intrinsically linked to the reason why the Hunters are after Soul again.
 
From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans.
    
Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war? 
 
 

About the Author:
AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Pediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.
Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in a supernatural thriller series entitled Seventeen. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the second novel in the series while drinking gallons of tea.
 She still practices medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.
    
    
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sparks, Laura Bickle, by Anya Kalinczyk

SPARKS
Anya Kalinczyk #2
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN 978-1439167687  
 
The second book in Bickle’s series about Anya Kalinczyk is just as wonderful as the first—Anya is a compelling and likable protagonist and Bickle does an outstanding job in her portrayal of the city of Detroit; there are ruins, yes, but also hope in the ashes. Anya never takes herself too seriously and there is a scene in a baby supercenter that is absolutely not to be missed. (4 stars)
- RT Book Reviews
 
...a charming and inventive read.
  -Elizabeth Bear, Realms of Fantasy Magazine, December 2010
 
WITHOUT A TRACE...
   Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.

   After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.
Embers
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN: 978-1439167656

 
“One of the most promising debut novels I’ve read in a great while… I’d highly recommend this book to anybody who reads fantasy. It reminds me in many regards…of another exceptional first novel…Emma Bull’s seminal War for the Oaks, and there’s not much higher praise that I can give.”
 
—Elizabeth Bear on Tor.com
“Bickle has something great in Anya. Embers has everything: demons, ghosts, dragons, love, sex, police, and murder.”

 
—M.L.N. Hanover, bestselling author of Darker Angels
 
“Gritty but never grim, Embers is a truly urban fantasy, where the soul of a city haunts every page. I can’t wait for more of Anya and the unforgettable Sparky!”

 
—Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of Bad to the Bone and Shade
 
Unemployment, despair, anger--visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit's unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.
 
Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya--who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern--suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya--with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team --can stop it.
 
Anya's accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she's risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she's ever faced.


THE HALLOWED ONES 
Laura Bickle 
Reading level: Ages 12 and up 
Paperback: 320 pages 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia 
(September 25, 2012) 
ISBN-10: 0547859260 
ISBN-13: 978-0547859262

 
If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in? 

In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenag-ers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a de-cree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?


About the Author 
 
Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. 
 
She has written several contemporary fantasy novels for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Superstition Mountain Trilogy by Stacey Thompson



Superstition Mountain
Superstition Mountain Trilogy Part One
Stacey Thompson

Genre: Parnormal Romance Western

The Order has been around for as long as Demons have roamed the earth, but when the first Demon starts a war, there are only a few left to finish it.
Ami's different and one of the best Monster Slayers there is, but she's not ready to face the dark with the one person who knows her best, Wesley the one who trained her. She might just fall in love with him.

Blood and Dust
Superstition Mountain Trilogy Part Two
Stacey Thompson

Genre: Parnormal Romance Western

Protecting the world against evil isn't easy when you are cursed with evil yourself. Ami is between the dark and the light. Will she be able to save herself and those she loves? Or will Price take her to the dark?

Truth in Lies
Superstition Mountain Trilogy
Part Three
Stacey Thompson

Genre: Parnormal Romance Western

Wesley thought the search was over, but finding Ami was just the start of his problems. When a shady Witch joins them, trouble is all they get. Can Wesley bring Ami back from the darkness that's trying to take over her, or is she their new enemy?



About the Author: 


Stacey has been writing since she can remember. She primarily writes Edgy Paranormal and Paranormal Romance, but has dabbled in the Horror and Young Adult Genres.


She is a mother of Three and lives in the beautiful state of Wyoming. You can find her at her blog and Facebook page.
www.staceythompsonauthor.info


www.blog.staceythompsonauthor.info 


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacey-Thompson/133494070000357 


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Friday, May 24, 2013

What's the Allure of Climbing?

by Anne Gimpel author of Alpine Attraction


It really is a good question if you think about it. After all, you knock yourself out for hours (sometimes days) to stand on the top of something for a few minutes. The trip back down is always hard. For one thing, you're tired. For another, you have gravity pushing on your steps. Over ninety percent of climbing accidents (fatal and otherwise) happen on the way down. So, no matter how tired you are, you have to somehow gin up enough energy to pay close attention. A physician I knew very peripherally died last summer in the Sierras. He made two fatal errors in his decision making (more on that below). The first was he started too late in the day to do a difficult climb. Error number two happened (and, yes, they tend to compound one another) after he made the summit at eight-thirty at night when it was almost dark. Rather than staying on a rather broad summit plateau and sitting out the dark hours, he decided to descend a steep, cliffy route in the dark with predictable results. Your depth perception goes to hell after dark. As a doctor, he should have known that. 
I read a book recently about the bare handful of women (there were five or six) who'd climbed K2 over the years. At the time the book was written, all of them were dead, either on K2 or other difficult peaks. While I didn't know any of these women, I've known several climbers who died in the mountains. I'm not certain quite what differentiates the ones who are still here from the ones who aren't. It isn't always skill. Some very skilled men and women have managed to die in the world's high places. After hours and hours of extreme physical output, people don't think all that clearly, though.
If you're still reading—and you may not be as this type of post isn't everyone's cup of tea—your eyebrows will go up very soon. With my next sentence, actually. The thing which separates climbers who die at home in their beds and those who end up with the mountains as their eternal shrine is luck. It's that simple. Either lady luck smiles on your efforts, or not. Of course, it helps to have a heaping dose of common sense and decide to turn back short of a summit if conditions turn to crap or your physical abilities run into problems.

Which leads to an interesting segue. I have a much more active imagination than my husband in terms of things which could go wrong. There have been lots of places where I've looked at a slope, assessed the conditions, and made, "Gee, I think we ought to turn around," noises. Hubby has looked at me like I'm nuts. Usually, it means we continue. Occasionally, though, I've stuck to my guns and turned around. Of course, then I settle into my sleeping bag in the tent and worry myself sick until he shows back up.

With the rest of this post as a backdrop, I'm not certain you'll believe me when I say there's nothing quite like standing atop a peak. There's an incredible sense of accomplishment. I live in the High Sierra. There are peaks, like Ritter and Banner, I can see from town. I've stood on top of each of them (twice). Memories flood me when I catch a glimpse of them. I'm getting older and slowing down, but I still climb something every season. It's like Kate Wolf said in the song Unfinished Life: The truest paths always lead through mountains.

What challenges you? What feeds your soul? I'd love to know.

Alpine Attraction
By Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN: 978-1-93176-193-2
Release Date: 5/20/13
Tina made a pact with the devil seven years ago. It’s time to pay the piper—or die.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Independent to the nth degree, Tina meets everything in her life head-on—except love.

When an almost-forgotten pact with the devil returns to haunt her, Tina knows she has to go back to the Andes to face her doom.

Caught between misgivings and need, she signs on as team doctor for one of Craig’s expeditions. Though he was once the love of her life, she pushed him away years before to keep him safe. Even if he doesn’t love her anymore, there’s still no one she’d rather have by her side in the mountains.

Trapped in a battle of life and death, passion flares, burning hot enough to brand their souls.




About the Author: 

 
Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains.

It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved.

Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers her solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company.

Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.
Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.
 
In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.
 
@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hot Summer Nights Blog Hop

BWS tips button
 

Interview with Danica Winters  

Q) What inspired you to write Montana Mustangs*? I’m from Montana and I love the beautiful mountains and valleys of this wonderful state.  When I was talking to my fans, several asked if I was ever going to write about where I live—and that was how the idea for Montana Mustangs was born.

*This was such a fun book to write. J  

Q) How long did it take you to write? This book didn’t take long. I think it was start to finish it took about four months.  I tend to write fast as I want to deliver as many great books to my readers/fans as possible.  I want to make sure that my readers aren’t kept waiting.  I know how it feels to wait on the next book in a series—it’s so frustrating!   

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? I love the entire process. I like sitting in front of the computer wracking my brain and struggling to find the right words.  Words are so real to me—I can feel them in my bones. 

My absolute favorite part of writing Montana Mustangs was all of the research I had to do in order to write the book.  I was so lucky.  I had the honor of riding along with some of my police/sheriff officer friends.  In addition to the ride-alongs, I also had to go on horseback adventures into the high mountain lakes of Montana.  I would like to say the horseback riding was all for work, but I have to admit I was mostly playing. 

Below is a picture of the lake we rode into for Montana Mustangs:



This particular lake lies at just over 7000 feet in elevation and usually has snow until late June.  During the month we went, it was fire season and you can see the smoke (not clouds) in the background. 

 
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? I think every author could say the same thing, but there is always someone out there who doesn’t like your book for some reason.  I put an incredible amount of effort and time into every step of the books I write—from research, to writing, and throughout the publishing process (which is long).  To hear someone doesn’t like one of my books always bothers me.  However, as a professional author I have learned to let go of the harsh criticisms that come with the business.  It’s just like life—some will love you, some will hate you, but you just have to do the best that you can.

 
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why? I think I would want to be Jane Austen—she was such an incredible woman during an incredible time. 


Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? I think it would have to be baked beans from Mother's Day. I love them, but I'm trying to get ready (or as ready as I'll ever be) for swimsuit weather.   
 

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? I have a lot of books coming out in the future.  The next book in the Nymph Series will be hitting shelves later this year tentatively entitled, Winter Swans.  Also, all of the books in the Nymph Series will be coming out in paperback starting later this year.  (They are slower to release than the e-books and they are more expensive.)  If you like the e-book versions of the books (as many of my fans do) then you may be interested in picking up your paperback copies.  (Let me know if you would be interested in a signed copy—I like to interact with my fans.)

After the release of Winter Swans, I’m hoping that there will be at least another two books in the works (I’m writing the outlines now). 

I’m also thinking about publishing another series in the future.

 

To the readers—Thank you for stopping by. If you have a question about Montana Mustangs, The Nymph Series, or anything else, please don’t hesitate in leaving a question in the comments box below.  I will be stopping by sporadically to check things out!  Thanks J
 
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Books To Go Now is offering two Grand Prizes!! In order to take part, you must leave a comment (about your favorite summer memory) and your email address. Two winners will be chosen at random and notified no later than May 31, 2013.
1st Grand Prize: (1) Kindle Fire!
2nd Grand Prize: (1) $100 Amazon Gift Card

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dancing in the Flame by Ann Gimpel

Dancing in the Flame
By Ann Gimpel


Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN: 978-1-93176-191-8
Release Date: 4/22/13
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Book Description:

Life in a were bordello is all Keira has ever known. Because of her mixed blood, none of the magicians’ guilds want her, or protested when the Weres bound her as an indentured hooker. Mired in the hopelessness of her dreams, Keira longs for more.

Barrett, one of the Daoine Sidhe, runs a magician supply shop in what’s left of Seattle. No one is more surprised than he when the Sidhe leader commands him to extricate Keira from the weres.

Magic and intrigue throw Keira and Barrett into one another’s arms. Convinced they have a job to do, they struggle against the heat of the passion between them. Until it gets way too hot to handle.


 About the Author:
Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains.

It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved.

Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers her solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company.

Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.
Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.


In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

www.anngimpel.com (http://blogspot.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=76c91d8a216e860d8c2acc2e7&id=ef472a8f77&e=8511c93d0c)

http://blogspot.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=76c91d8a216e860d8c2acc2e7&id=fdcfddfca6&e=8511c93d0c (http://blogspot.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=76c91d8a216e860d8c2acc2e7&id=d616618c4a&e=8511c93d0c)

http://blogspot.us4.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=76c91d8a216e860d8c2acc2e7&id=147ee89255&e=8511c93d0c

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lucid by Natalie Roers

Lucid
Natalie Roers


Publisher: 
Twilight Times Books

Genre: paranormal fantasy

Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-027-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-026-5

May 15, 2013 ebook
July 15, 2013 print

Pages: 168

Book Description:

Disfigured at birth and ostracized at school, Travis Hunter dreams of acceptance and secretly yearns for the affection of a beautiful young woman named Corrine. When a mysterious doctor promises to help Travis through something called lucid dreaming, Travis gets more than he ever bargained for and soon finds himself learning the secrets of love and life in a fantastic unconscious world.

Chapter excerpt:
http://twilighttimesbooks.com/Lucid_ch1.html




About the Author


A veteran writer, voice artist, and on-air personality, Natalie Roers has been the host of hit radio and television shows in just about every region of the United States.

She also owns her own voice-over business where she creates everything from songs and ringtones to commercials and sound effects for clients around the globe.

A journalist by trade, Natalie is excited to venture into the world of fiction and hopes to raise money and social awareness for worthy causes with each book she writes. She lives with her husband Cory, and son Austin, in Columbia, South Carolina.
 
www.Natasha-r.com
 www.jointhelucid.com

Friday, May 17, 2013

Legend of Sigurd, by Nancy J. Cohen author of Warrior Rogue

Mythological structure anchors many stories told throughout time. My Drift Lords paranormal series is based on Norse mythology. I got interested in this topic on the Maelstrom ride at Disney’e Epcot theme park. It’s in the Norway pavilion and employs a magical spell by trolls to supposedly send guests back in time to Norwegian history. I loved the idea of evil trolls, and they became the villains in my stories. I call them Trolleks, and they’ve invaded Earth through a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle.

One of the Norse myths I use in Warrior Rogue, book #2 in the series, is the legend of Sigurd. My hero is the Drift Lord warrior Paz Hadar. He’s dropped in unexpectedly on fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr when she’s in the middle of filming a video game commercial in Tokyo. The lead actor has called in sick, and a replacement is on his way.

When Paz turns up stark naked and with an American accent, Jen assumes he’s the substitute actor. He turns out to be a lot more as he displays skills in battle when they’re attacked mid-air on their way home in her private business jet. Once convinced of her destined role to play in an ancient prophecy, Jen reads up on the legends. Here is what she tells Paz when they have a quest involving a dragon.


“In Norse mythology, Fafnir was a giant who disguised himself as a dragon to defend his treasure. One of the items he guarded was a magic ring that brought its wearer unending wealth. However, the trickster Loki had taken that ring from the dwarfs who created it. The dwarfs were metal workers who made magical items for the gods.”

“Like our friend, Smitty?”

She nodded. “The dwarf who originally guarded the treasure cursed the ring that Loki took. Now instead of creating wealth for its wearer, it would bring death. A descendant of Odin named Sigurd killed Fafnir and stole his treasure. Sigurd bathed in the creature’s blood to become invulnerable except for a spot on his shoulder. He was in love with a Valkyrie named Brynhild. The Valkyries were virgin warriors of the god Odin. They could fly and carried the souls of dead warriors to Valhalla.”

He scratched his jaw. “What is Valhalla?”

“It’s Odin’s hall where dead warriors lived in honor while they prepared for Ragnarok, the end of all times.”

According to the prophecy, Ragnarok was coming again. Loki wanted to bring chaos and destruction to the multiverse in revenge for the gods banishing him.

He kept his dark thoughts to himself. “You’ve certainly done your homework.”

Jen beamed at him. “Listen to the rest. To mark his engagement to Brynhild, Sigurd gave her the magic ring he stole from Fafnir without knowing he’d been cursed by possessing it.”

“So what happened?”

“He set off on a journey to a foreign court. There a magic potion made him fall in love with the king’s daughter. When Brynhild found out he’d betrayed her, she persuaded one of the king’s sons to kill Sigurd. The fellow pierced him at his weak spot on the shoulder. Brynhild repented and killed herself on his funeral pyre.”

 

If you want to see a movie about this epic legend, rent Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King with Benno F├╝rmann, Alicia Witt, and Kristanna Loken. They change the name of Sigurd to Sigfried in the film but many of the mythical elements remain the same.

 

How is this legend relevant to my story? When Jen and Paz get trapped inside a cave with a descendent of Fafnir the dragon, the fire-breathing beast gives them a test.

 

“The dragon blew a thin flame at the knot holding the netting in place, burning it through. Suddenly [Paz] was free, tumbling to the earth. He landed with a thump on his side and a jarring bump to his sore leg that left him breathless.

“Thank you,” Jen said to the dragon, giving Paz a quick concerned glance. She scrambled to her feet.

“I will merely eat you alive, human, rather than roasting you first. But you may take my test like all the others.”

His large tail swept by as he turned to retrieve something from behind. The smell of sulfur in the air made Paz’s nose wrinkle. He pushed himself upright.

The dragon whipped around to face them, holding two small gold bands in its claw. “One of these will bring you all the wealth you’d ever desire. Choose the right one, and you live.”

Paz remembered the story. A dwarf had cursed the ring stolen from him so that its wearer would suffer an early death.

He leaned forward to examine the gold bands. One of them shone brightly like the nuptial rings he’d seen in jewelry stores. The other was dull with a dent here and there.

“The humble person would choose the dull ring,” Jen pointed out, “like in the Indiana Jones movie with the chalice. You know, the Holy Grail.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The greedy person would probably choose the shinier ring.” Straightening her spine, she pointed to the dragon’s claw that held the dull ring. “That one.”

The dragon grinned, its pupils dilating and its nostrils flaring.

“No.” Paz grasped Jen’s wrist. “It’s the other one with the polished surface. Think about it. The wearer is doomed to die. No one wears it for long. It’s the shinier one.”

“Choose, humans.” Steam spouted from the dragon’s nostrils. It stamped its feet in impatience, and the ground under them trembled.

Paz locked gazes with Jen. Her expressive brown eyes changed from doubt to trust.

“Very well. I agree with my partner.”

His heart warmed. He liked how she referred to him. More than that, he liked how she trusted his choice with her life.

The dragon snorted and clawed at the dirt. Paz’s pulse jumped. Had he been wrong? Would they be swallowed into its great mouth or fried to a crisp where they stood?



As you see, I’ve adapted this legend for the purposes of my story. Many characters in Norse legends appear throughout the Drift Lords series. Paz’s mission is to seal the rifts and prevent further Trollek incursions, but will he escape the dragon to meet his goal? Using myths as the basis for our stories gives us a wealth of riches to plunder, better even than the gold ring that can bring its wearer unending fortune.

What myths are your favorites?

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Warrior Rogue
The Drift Lords Series Book Two
Nancy J. Cohen


Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: April 26, 2013

Trade: 978-1-61217-739-7
Digital: 978-1-61217-740-3
ASIN: B00AU62NQS

Number of pages: 410
Word Count: 100,688

Cover Artist: Tamra Westberry
 
Amazon Kindle    The Wild Rose Press

LONG BLURB

When fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr loses her lead actor for a video-game commercial, a replacement literally drops from the sky. Reluctant to let him leave, she hires him as a model for her studio. But when terrorists attack their flight home, Jen must awaken powers she didn’t know she had to protect them both. Will she be able to keep her heart safe from the sensual man beside her?

When space ops warrior Paz Hadar falls through a spatial rift onto Jen’s set, he soon realizes she is essential to his mission. Not only must he protect her, his success depends upon her special powers. But as they struggle to stay one step ahead of the enemy, he discovers that fighting his attraction to the lovely Jen is as much a challenge as keeping them both alive.

SHORT BLURB

When fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr loses her lead actor for a video-game commercial, a replacement literally drops from the sky. Reluctant to let him leave, she hires him as a model for her studio. But when terrorists attack their flight home, Jen must awaken powers she didn’t know she had to protect them both.

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About the Author:

Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author of eighteen romance and mystery novels. Her humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list.

Shear Murder is the tenth and latest title in this series. Nancy's imaginative romances have also proven popular with fans. Her paranormal romance titles have won the HOLT Medallion Award and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews.

Warrior Rogue, #2 in the Drift Lords Series, is her latest title from The Wild Rose Press.

Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.

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