Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Art & History Feature - The Vikings of History Channel & Lagertha

Vikings poster for Season 2 (History Channel)

I'm a big fan of the History Channel's Vikings, which is currently in its second season, and has already been renewed for the 3rd season.

Vikings does a beautiful job of setting up dark, moody atmosphere in each episode. The morality and the choices of these Vikings are often teetering on the edge of good and evil, only its not seen as good and evil but a fact of life. They live by different rules and they die by different rules. The ruthlessness of vikings is well documented, but this is how they survived, how they conquered and how they lived.



The show also does a formidable job of bringing strong women to the forefront of the story, whether the shield-maiden (warrior) Lagertha, the first wife of the powerful Ragnar Lothbrook (the main character of the show), or princess Aslaug, Ragnar's second wife, whose strength lies in her maternal instincts and character.

Lathgertha by Morris Meredith Williams, 1913
The historical Lagertha comes to us through the 12th century Danish work of history called Saxo Grammaticus. The account in this tale talks of Ragnar meeting this shield-maiden when she fought, along with other abused women, on his side when he came to avenge the death of his grandfather, Siward. She is described as a skillful fighter, her hair loose around her, fighting with the courage of a man. The legend continues with Ragnar courting Lagertha, and her setting two wild beasts on him to protect her home, which he ends up killing, so winning Lagertha's hand in marriage. He had a few children with her but, still not forgiving that she set beasts on him, he eventually divorces her and marries another woman. While this tale is considered a fiction for the most part by scholars, it clearly shows how she was perceived as a noted warrior and courageous personality. There are a few different theories about the real Lagertha, which all lead us to believe that she held considerable power and was possibly a ruler in her own right.


In the Vikings TV show, Lagertha is played (superbly, I might add) by Katheryn Winnick.



Do you enjoy Viking history? Do you watch The Vikings on History Channel? How do you like it?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance Book Blitz & Giveaway

Book & Author Details:

Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance
Authors: Alyssa Day, Bonnie Vanak, Caris Roane, Erin Kellison, Erin Quinn, Felicity E. Heaton, Jennifer Ashley, Laurie London
Publication date: April 14th 2014
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:
Eight hot paranormal romances by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Alpha-male bad boys will fulfill your darkest, most deadliest desires in these stories about shifters, werewolves, vampires, magic, special powers and other realms. But only if you dare…
Featuring the bad boy heroes of:
BODYGUARD by Jennifer Ashley
ALEJANDRO’S SORCERESS by Alyssa Day
BEWITCH by Felicity Heaton
DARKNESS FALLS by Erin Kellison
ROGUE’S PASSION by Laurie London
THE FORBIDDEN LIFE OF ALEX MOORE by Erin Quinn
THE MATING HEAT by Bonnie Vanak
TRAPPED by Caris Roane

Purchase:


 

Excerpt from ALEJANDRO’S SORCERESS by Alyssa Day

Poe’s Avenue, Virginia, FBI Paranormal Operations Division HQ
Alejandro cocked the shotgun they hadn’t been able to force him to give up and followed his teammate into the burnt and jagged opening in the side of the building, hoping that—for once—there weren’t any trolls.

He hated trolls.

“Clear,” Mac, already moving through the narrow hallway, called back to him. It was Mac’s turn to go first. They kept score.

Lately he’d been keeping score on a lot of things. Like time. The year, two weeks, and five days since he’d seen the sunlight outside of the academy, for instance.

Not that he was counting.

Anyway, the year-long course at the FBI’s sister division, P Ops, had kept him plenty busy.

“Shotgun!  You coming or scratching your ass back there?”

“No, my friend, I was just thinking of asking your sister to scratch it for me,” Alejandro said. “She reaches all the itchy parts so well.”

“I will kick your ass if you get any of your itchy parts anywhere near my sister. Or she’d kick it for you. Jenny scares even me.”

The sound of Mac’s Glock firing three shots in rapid succession caused Alejandro to break into a run as he slapped his night-vision goggles in place.

“On my way,” he called, not bothering to try to be stealthy. “Save some for me.”

He caught the shifting glimmer of light in the corner of one eye and whirled around, aiming and firing in one smooth motion. Whatever it was, he missed. Too short to be a troll, so there was one mercy. If he were the type to have nightmares, he’d still be having them about the last one’s breath. Green, moss-covered teeth. What the hell was that about?  Toothpaste was cheap.

“Shotgun!  Could use a little help here!” Mac sounded just the slightest bit out of breath, which was unusual for the man who’d beat the all-time speed record for the FBI’s obstacle course at Quantico in an inter-agency competition. Alejandro had won a hundred bucks on that one.

He took off running, cocking the Remington as he moved. The vampire who jumped him five feet down the hall took a blast to the head. Alejandro vaulted over the vamp’s disintegrating body, not wanting the acidic slime of decomposing vamp on his new shoes.

A high-pitched scream warned him of the approach from overhead of a deadly Mngwa, but he had a silver throwing knife at hand. One lethal toss later, a couple hundred pounds of mutant killer cat lay on the floor, blood gurgling out of its throat.

He skidded to a stop at the end of the corridor, not willing to rush headlong into a blind turn, and Mac called out to him again, his deep voice rough and strained. “Alejandro, if you’re coming, now would be a really good time.”

Alejandro instantly switched from student-taking-his-final-exam mode to deadly-predator mode. They had a code between them, he and Mac. They were only Alejandro and Maxwell to each other in the event of a dire emergency. Whatever faced Mac around that corner was no training-ground obstacle. Somebody had set a trap, and Mac was caught in it.

Alejandro was going to kick somebody’s ass for this one.


Who is your favorite bad boy of Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy?
Comment for a chance to win one (1) ebook copy of Dark and Deadly.
 Open internationally. Winner will be chosen at random. Prize will be sent on May 14th by Xpresso Book Tours.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Release Day - Fight For You by Magan Vernon

HAPPY RELEASE DAY MAGAN VERNON!!!

Fight For You

Magan Vernon

Cover
synopsis
Nicky Ragusa lives his life inside the cage, circuiting the underground ring to escape his fate as the mafia prince. When Jackie Marks crashes into his life, he’ll take the fight outside the cage.
But the battle for Jackie’s heart comes with a steep price. Nicky’s father has wanted him to take over the family business for years, and the time for running is over. Now Nicky is right where his father has always wanted him: in the middle of a war.
All Nicky has ever wanted to do was fight. Now all he has to do is fight for her.
Buy Links
about the author
Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. When not writing she spends her time fighting over fake boyfriends via social media
Author PIc
Tour Host - Brenda

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cover Reveal - Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway and Giveaway

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Call Me Grim
The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi Pancake -- and it would have, too, if Aaron hadn't shown up and saved her life. The problem? Aaron's the local Grim Reaper... and he only saved Libbi's life because he needs someone to take over his job. Now, Libbi has two days to choose between dying like she was supposed to, or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
And the choice goes from hard to sucktastic when her best friend shows up marked: condemned as a future murderer. Libbi could have an extra week to stop the murder and fix the mark... but only if she accepts Aaron's job as Reaper, trapping herself in her crappy town forever, invisible and inaudible to everyone except the newly dead. But, if she refuses? Her best friend is headed straight for Hell.
add to goodreads
Title: CALL ME GRIM
Publication date: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Elizabeth Holloway
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Elizabeth Holloway
Elizabeth Holloway is a registered nurse living in Southern Pennsylvania with her two teen children, Bam-bam the dog, and Tinkerbell the cat. CALL ME GRIM is her first novel.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!



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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guest Post by Elizabeth Corrigan, Author of Raising Chaos

Today, Elizabeth Corrigan, the author of Raising Chaos, is stopping by on her Raising Chaos tour to explain her views and twists on worldbuilding Christianity in her books. Look for the Giveaway at the end of the post.


Find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo

Add it to your Goodreads shelf


Worldbuilding Christianity

I don’t remember when I heard someone suggest that the Bible may have happened differently than what is explicitly stated. I’ve seen the movie Dogma many times and consequently know that the 13th apostle, Rufus, was left out of the Bible for being black. (Actually, I’m pretty sure that if this were the case, a good many of the apostles would have been left out of the Bible for their dusky skin.) I read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, which informed me that Jacob’s daughter Dinah wanted to have sex with the guy who her family killed for raping her. And I’ve read my children’s Bible, which decided to tone down the bit about Moses killing the worshipers of the golden calf by saying he just made them drink water with gold in it (so they would have died of heavy metal toxicity anyway). 

When I decided to feature angels and demons in Oracle of Philadelphia, I knew I had to include some of the versions of the Bible stories and characters that had floated around in my head. For example, I envisioned the Archangel Gabriel as a kind, generous, holier-than-life kind of guy and Michael as something of a jerk, so I made them prominent figures in the plot. But my interpretations of the Bible and its veracity became more than just flavor for the story. They became the basis of the entire world. My characters had witnessed and participated in Biblical events. The tales from Scripture were the defining moments in their lives. And things didn’t always happen as the Church taught.

In some cases, I didn’t make up anything new to the Bible stories, but I told them from the point of view of someone who experienced the events. The language of the Bible is often distant and epic-narrative style, so when I rewrote the stories in concrete terms with details and emotions, the results sometimes surprised me. Before I had Bedlam talk about the Israelites in the desert, I never understood that they had escaped from slavery only to kill each other for temporarily worshipping the wrong god.  I’m working on some similar stories for book 3, and have come to realize that the ten plagues of Egypt wreaked an insane amount of suffering on a lot of innocent people.

For other back stories, I did imply that the Bible got some stories wrong. In the case of the virgin birth, I indicated this was somewhat deliberate on the part of historians—no one wanted to know that Mary’s family didn’t react very well to her pregnancy. In other cases, I attributed the changes to the natural ebb and flow of the oral tradition. People forgot about the nephilim in Abraham’s story and just remembered angels visiting his wife and God ordering him to kill his son. 

I guess the best way to describe it is that I treat Christian scripture as mythology instead of religion and consequently feel comfortable playing with it in the same way I might Greek or Norse myths. I do sometimes worry that people will be offended. But then I remind myself that I can always tell them that my book, unlike the Bible, is shelved in fiction.


Elizabeth Corrigan has degrees in English and psychology and has spent several years working as a data analyst in various branches of the healthcare industry. When she’s not hard at work on her next novel, Elizabeth enjoys singing, reading teen vampire novels, and making Sims of her characters.
She drinks more Diet Coke than is probably optimal for the human body and is pathologically afraid of bees. She lives in Maryland with two cats and a purple Smart Car.

 


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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quote of the Day



The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.

~ Clarence Shepard Day
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