This month fans of all stripes showed up at San Diego’s ComicCon 2015. The convention brings in thousands of fans of reaching from comics to TV shows. The cast of my favorite TV show, history Channel’s ‘Vikings’ made an appearance.
In honor of the show, I’m featuring an excerpt from my Viking romance Norse Jewel.
Men tipped their heads respectfully as he passed. Solace,
his thus named sword, pressed across his back, an ever-present
burden. Many a warrior fought his whole life for renown. Not
Hakan. He had status, but not what he wanted, the one thing that
eluded him: a peaceful farmer’s life. He wanted to return home
and stay on his long-neglected farm…to die of old age, his hands
covered with dirt, not blood. Many would scoff, but he was ready
to replace Solace with a scythe.
Then, behind him, a woman’s voice called, “Hakan.”
He stopped. She called him, the dark-haired thrall. He already
knew her voice above the din.
He set his hands at his hips. Noticing one woman was nothing
more than inborn awareness, the kind that kept him alive. That
same awareness told him ten paces ahead, a fat Flemish merchant
and his round wife bickered. No threat there. Five paces to his
right, a lone, feral-eyed Dane slid a whetstone down his sword.
The seasoned warrior leaned over his weapon and nodded slowly
at Hakan. A true threat. Magnuson and a cohort of men welcomed
a rider more than fifty paces from the camp. A threat in numbers,
not skill…most were ale-soaked and unsteady on their feet from
last night’s revelry. Hakan glanced at the shoreline. Three of his
men lingered there. One battle cry and they’d be ready.
Straight ahead, his ship beckoned. Twenty paces behind, her
voice, a desperate cry, reached him yet again.
He turned. The thrall rose high on her knees. Her long, mussed
braid dangled like a dark brown rope. She strained against her
tether, and even from this distance, he saw the leather bindings
pinch her skin white. Hakan drew in a deep, rib-expanding breath.
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
“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
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
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?”
Audible.com (for the audiobook lover…note different cover)