What to Read Wednesday

04 Sep

Thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday! Today I have author and friend Gina Conkle visiting with a wonderful Viking guest post. If you’re a viking virgin like me, you’ll find her post very informative 🙂 She’s also sharing her latest release from Entangled Publishing and their Scandalous line…which is historical romance. Fall in love with a Viking after you check out her amazing cover and cinch the deal after you read the excerpt from NORSE JEWEL.

Loved a Viking Lately?


That’s right. When’s the last time you slipped back in time and visited Vikings?

Rough. Evocative. Beautiful. The era’s rich in colorful characters brave and independent in a time historians call “dark.”  True, the Viking Age lands in the Dark Ages. 

But, they get some bad press.

Thankfully History Channel’s “Vikings” series sheds new light on people who did more than raid (but yes, they did raid). 

Vikings farmed. They were craftsmen. They made cutting edge advances in ship design, and their art is elemental and worth a second glance. But, you won’t find Viking artisan’s on canvas.  The Norse left their imprint in metal and wood — longer lasting media.

shutterstock_37422955As a culture, they went through 6 major art styles in about 400 years.  My favorite is “Urnes,” known for graceful lines and elegant animals.  Such carvings framed doors and some furniture.  Silversmiths worked their magic on metal, creating beautiful jewelry.

But, most people can’t get past the bellicose nature of a culture rife with alpha males.  Honestly, sometimes neither can I.  Yet, I read the Sagas and find hot Viking men, talented warriors, who show wisdom and who don’t always think “fight” first.

Hlildarendi shows up in Njal’s Saga, but get this: He’s a famed warrior, adored by women, yet he dislikes killing.  His exploits in battle are impressive to read. Hlildarendi could easily solve his problems with ax and spear, but he uses his head first for peaceful resolutions. 

My hero, Hakan the Tall, is a warrior of similar renown.  He craves something different.  Norse Jewel is his story, and Hakan just might be the Viking you fall in love with.

 Norse_Jewel-800px (2)

Norse Jewel excerpt:

The tides waited for no man.

Yet, his long strides stretched one in front of the other, returning him to her. The closer he came, the Frankish thrall inched back, her long legs folding underneath her until he towered over her.

“I’m here,” he said in Norse. Convince me.

The thrall rubbed color back into her wrists. She blinked rapidly. His presence could be like a wall, or so his sister always chided him. Thus, he crouched low to meet her eye to eye. She brushed away dark hair, and her deep blue stare penetrated him.

“Hakan…Svealander?” She said.

Her voice flowed nicely to his ears, the kind of voice a man could listen to in the dark on a cold winter’s night.

“Aye, Svealander.” He draped his arm over his thigh and willed the picture of her wrapped naked in fur from his mind.


Hakan dipped his head a fraction, searching her face. This close, he couldn’t miss the wound: one side of her face was smooth except for a thin, curving scab which curled toward her ear. She would scar. Dirt smudged her slender nose and the soft, uncut cheek. He angled his head, trying for more from the quiet maid.

“Frankish?” He gestured to his mouth but spoke Norse. “You are Frankish?”

After Magnuson’s attempt at deception, Hakan had to be sure. Her gaze darted to the tents. The thrall took a deep breath and spoke in Norse.

“Aye, Frankish.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “And I’m not mute.”

Hakan jerked at the unexpected display. She blushed and dipped her head. Faint freckles sprinkled her nose, and his hand clenched his thigh, tamping down the urge to explore them. He came to the camp to transact business only, not flirt.

“You know why I didn’t purchase the other woman,” Hakan said, and the beginnings of a smile spread.

She smiled back, displaying fine teeth. He liked her courage.

“How did you come to be here?”

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Gina’s a lover of history, books and romance, which makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer.  Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations.  Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll.  When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver.


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15 responses to “What to Read Wednesday

  1. ChristineWarner

    September 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Thank you for joining me on What to Read Wednesday Gina! Enjoyed your post 🙂

  2. lizaoconnor

    September 4, 2013 at 8:33 am

    When I worked in Netherlands, I learned all about the horrible Vikings sweeping in and raiding. But so did everyone else. Their country was constantly invaded. I blame it on the flat land making for easy access.

    • ChristineWarner

      September 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks for sharing Liza…I love learning something new 🙂

    • Gina Conkle (@ginaconkle)

      September 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Hi Liza,

      That’s great that you had the chance to visit the Netherlands. Going to a foreign country gets you a little bit closer to seeing and experiencing history without a time machine.
      Have a great day-

  3. Jennifer Lowery

    September 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Love the new look, Christine!! And love the premise of this book! Great cover, too!!

    • ChristineWarner

      September 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Jennifer..I thought the blog needed a change 🙂 Glad you came by and glad you liked Gina’s book!

    • Gina Conkle (@ginaconkle)

      September 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Jennifer,
      The website is fun, isn’t it? Love the old fashioned blackboard look. I hope you enjoy Norse Jewel. Gotta love those Alpha males…especially when you as a reader get to see their soft side.

      Take care-

  4. Pat F.

    September 4, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I need a Viking!! This book sounds amazing…….adding it to my TBR!
    Thanks Christine and Ms. Conkle.

    • ChristineWarner

      September 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Awesome Pat…thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy Gina’s book 🙂

    • Gina Conkle (@ginaconkle)

      September 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Pat,

      Thank you! I hope you fall in love with Norse Jewel and that Viking world. There’s more stories to come.

      Have a great day-

  5. Robynn Gabel

    September 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Just finished reading the Norse Jewel. Not only was it very historically accurate, the hero and heroine were great characters. Definitely a great read.

    • ChristineWarner

      September 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Ooohh…thanks for sharing Robynn! I always love testimonials. I have Norse Jewel on my Nook and am looking forward to finding the time to dive in.

  6. Sharon Cullen

    September 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I love reading about Vikings. There are too few fincational books about them, IMO. Your cover is gorgeous too!

    • ChristineWarner

      September 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      I hope you grab a copy Sharon and enjoy Gina’s book. Thanks for coming by!


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