For me Vikings do the trick. Whether I’m reading fiction or non-fiction, I love that era. Sure it was the Dark Ages, but not all so dark when you give the times a deeper look.
Let me share 3 reasons why Vikings invade my shelves:
Viking sagas are chock-full of alpha males, and we love ‘em that way! But, there are also stories of brave warriors avoiding capture by hiding in vats of whey…and the women who helped them. Within the sagas, there really is no “damsel in distress.” You find shield maidens (women warriors who fought alongside the men). You find the archetypal courteous highborn lady and the promiscuous servant girl. But, Viking women held little tolerance for the “fragile fainter.” I’m guessing Viking men didn’t either.
There’s a reason Vikings exploded onto history when they did. One word explains this: intelligence. Bet you didn’t expect to read that! While the rest of Europe scuttled around on flat-bottomed boats, Vikings changed the rules of mobility. They developed deep hulled ships with T-shaped keels. This enabled them to maneuver open oceans while Saxons and Frisians were slower to adopt the new technology.
In other cultures, women were largely subjugated, second-class citizens. With the Vikings, women enjoyed the right of divorce, could own land, and inherit wealth. Iceland’s Book of Settlements (Landnamabok) records many single women as independent landowners. One such woman, beautiful Gudrid of Iceland, travelled to North America back to Iceland and then to Rome before settling down for good in Iceland (c. AD 1000). Norse history’s full of pleasant surprises.
Simply put, Viking conventions bred men and women of strength and individuality.
Don’t you want that in your hero and heroine?
That’s why, for me, historical romance remains the best brain vacation money can buy.
Readers, what (or who) will you be taking to the beach this summer?
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. She welcomes you to check her website www.ginaconkle.com to learn more there.
A stolen woman of rare qualities…
AD 1022…Helena wants her freedom. The Frankish maid wasn’t born a slave but marauding Danes have taken her. She’s desperate to escape their camp. Her savior comes as a fierce Norse chieftain, Hakan, who takes her to the far, icy north.
A powerful warrior who’s lived by the sword…
Hakan wants to lay down his sword and live a peaceful farmer’s life. Betrayal left him cold to other women, yet his heart thaws to clever Helena. Her tender ways lure him, weaving kindness into his hard life. But, happiness is short lived. Old loyalties and deceit vex the warrior, calling upon his sword arm.
A clash of cultures amidst a kingdom in transition…
War erupts…a kingdom’s in the balance. Can Hakan defend his homeland and keep the woman he loves?
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