The Writing Life
Monday, October 3rd, 2016 | Guests and Fun, The Writing Life | No Comments
Welcome to the lovely Gina Conkle author of the Viking romance TO FIND A VIKING TREASURE. So let’s ask Gina some questions and then take a gander at an excerpt…
- How did you go from Georgian romance to Vikings?
Actually I went from Vikings to Georgians. My first book was Norse Jewel (started around 2003). I worked on Vikings and some medieval exclusively until 2009 or so when I needed a break from the Norse hammers in my head.
Meet the Earl at Midnight (my first Georgian romance) poured out of me. It was a “dark and stormy night” kind of beginning with a mysterious man, his collar flipped up over his nose and tricorn pulled low. That’s what usually happens. A man shows up and I have to write down what he’s doing and saying. Sometimes he’s Viking, sometimes he’s Georgian.
- What is your favorite romantic hero and why?
As a reader and as a writer, I don’t have a favorite romantic hero. It’s more like what kind of hero am I in the mood to read. Sometimes I want the all-out alpha male. Other times I want to read a brooding, broken hero who scrapes through life (until a woman comes along to upend his world). Then again, sometimes I want the lone wolf or the adorable nerd. I also have a thing for stodgy uptight heroes. Reading how a woman drives those men mad can be so entertaining. Ironically, I don’t have stodgy Vikings. There is one stodgy Georgian hero, a secondary character (Samuel Beckworth, friend to the hero Marcus Bowles in The Lord Meets His Lady, book 3 in the Midnight Meetings series). Samuel will get his own story.
- How do you feel about strong women protagonists? Do your ladies stand up to their Viking lovers?
A strong woman is a must! However, I take different approaches to strength. In the Norse series, my first heroine, Helena, uses a special talent to stand up to Hakan. In book 2, To Find a Viking Treasure, Sestra uses a combination of sensuality, facing certain fears, and a willingness to challenge herself to ultimately stand up to the Viking scout, Brandr.
Another heroine, Gisla uses humor to stand up to the bad boy hero called the Black Wolf. It’s not always the iconic shield maiden fight-with-a-sword way of standing up to the hero. In two upcoming Norse series books, the women outsmart the men and use battle prowess.
Description of TO FIND A VIKING TREASURE:
Survival’s in his blood…
Rough-souled Brandr’s ready for a new life far from Uppsala, but the Viking has a final task —protect the slave, Sestra. Her life’s full of hardship…until she learns the location of a treasure. With war coming, stealing the enemy’s riches will save lives, but only one man can defend her —the fierce Viking scout, Brandr.
The two have always traded taunts, now they must share trust. Passions flare as secrets unfold, leading one to make a daring sacrifice on their quest To Find a Viking Treasure
A Glimpse into the Novel:
“You’re afraid someone will steal our little fishing boat?”
He dusted off his hands, his ribs expanding from labored breaths. The fire steel he’d found when they arrived flashed across his mind. This morning he’d stuffed the piece away to shelter Sestra, but the brave woman he saw in the clearing deserved the truth.
“If someone passes by tonight, sees the damaged boat, they will come ashore.” He slung his leather bag over his shoulder. “You should rest.”
“I’m not a highborn woman to sit aside and do nothing,” she said, planting a hand on her hip. “I can help. You know I can.”
Sestra tried for her usual brazenness, but sleepy-eyed and draped in his bulky fur she was no more ferocious than a kitten. She stood her ground, red curls falling free around her mud-smeared face. He stood squarely before her, breathing scents of fresh water and clean earth from her skin, good smells to a man who preferred forests to longhouses and women doused with scented oils.
In a moment of weakness, he tucked the fur’s open ends over her breasts. “It pleases me to take care of you.”
Sestra’s lips parted and starlight showed an entrancing indent on her bottom lip. How easily his mouth had fit there. It could again. If he kissed her, he’d test the tiny dip with his thumb, gently stroking her lip and the tantalizing freckle at the corner of her mouth. He’d not rush; he’d savor every part.
“All this time I thought you couldn’t wait to be free of me,” she said, her honest brown eyes searching him.
His pulse quickened, spreading molten heat through his chest, landing hot and hard between his legs. Sestra embodied Odin’s test, the one woman he had no business touching, yet his hands rubbed the fur over her nipples as if he had every right to her. And by the cadence of her breath, a tender flame kindled Sestra’s flesh hidden under layers of fur and wool.
If he didn’t take control of his impulses, he’d steal more than a kiss.
With a slow growl, he let go and slid the bag off his shoulder. “If you want to help me, take this and wait by the pine tree.”
She took the humble leather pouch. “What is it?”
“All my worldly possessions.” His voice was raw and mocking in the dark.
Sestra tested the weight easily with one hand, her cinnamon brows furrowing. “How is it a warrior of your stature and experience has so little?” Her gaze touched Jormungand’s hilt over his shoulder. “Yet you possess the finest of swords.”
“Maybe I stole it?”
“Maybe you did,” she said softly. “By strength alone you can take what you want.”
Challenge lit her eyes. The flame-haired thrall dared him to spill another truth about himself. Why did she want to pry open his deepest places?
“I’m good at taking what doesn’t belong to me.”
Sestra’s mouth curled in a tolerant smile when he glowered at her breasts swelling under his sleeping pelt. Fur lay flat where his hands had pressed the pelt.
She touched his arm and he nearly jumped out of his skin, the pressure of her hand palpable against his leather arm brace. “You’re good at a great many things, raiding, scouting, rescuing a woman dangling from a cliff.”
“But never enough to keep a woman.”
A thick red curl blew across her mouth. “I’ve never known you to want one.”
Behind him, water tapped the narrow shoreline, the rhythm of time and tides, a gentle going in and pulling out. Were the gods taking turns testing him? He was sure the wind carried Freyja’s seductive laughter. The goddess could laugh all she wanted. His will would be stronger.
Author bio (social media links on next page)
Hi, I’m Gina Conkle and I write Viking and Georgian romance, which makes for interesting characters in my head. I grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, I love books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now I live in Michigan with my favorite alpha male, Brian, and our two sons where I’m known to occasionally garden and cook. Living in snow gives me the perfect excuse to get lost in reading and writing. I’d love to connect with you on social media.
Newsletter for Free Reads & Giveaways: http://ginaconkle.com/join-ginas-mailing-list/
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 | Quote of the Week, The Writing Life | No Comments
But it is fun to try.
Or maybe instead of perfection, just an ongoing effort to get better and better with each draft and each book.
Monday, January 4th, 2016 | Reflections, The Writing Life | No Comments
A Writer’s Resolutions for the New Year
By Christy English
When I first thought about this post, I was torn. Make a joke, or tell the truth? Well, I decided to do a little of both. Though of course the best jokes always contain the truth, so I’ll start with the category of Amusing Resolutions.
1) I want to cut back on sugar. For those of you who know me already, you know why this one falls in the category of a joke. I adore all things related to sugar: candy, chocolate, soda, chocolate…This adoration has been with me all my life, and I fear it will always stay with me. Of course, you never know.
2) I want to cut back on drinking Coca Cola. Again, notice that this is listed in the joke category.
3) I want to stop reading in the middle of the night. I am a middle of the night insomniac. Instead of meditating on my breath or freaking myself out about all the things I need to do but haven’t gotten done yet, I read. And when I am reading a book by Lisa Kleypas or Grace Burrowes, I am up for at least two hours, sometimes more. Those women write addictive romances, but it is an addiction I don’t want to be cured of.
4) I want to exercise three times a week. I know that this resolution sounds perfectly reasonable. I personally know people who work out much more often than this, and live happy, healthy, productive lives. I admire those people. I am not one of them, but I admire them. I also know myself well, and at this point this goal is a lofty one.
Resolutions I Might Actually Keep:
1) Keep a gratitude journal. My friend Donna Russo Morin does this, and has done it for years, and it brings her joy. The few times I have done the same, it has made my personal world a better place. It changes the frequency of my thoughts, from all that I have to do and have failed to do, to all that I have been given. Reminding myself of all my blessings is a practice I can develop daily.
2) Go to Yoga Class. Now, I know myself well, so I know that this is very unlikely to become a weekly habit, but if I would resume my yoga practice even once every two or three weeks, the benefits to my mind and body would be enormous. That sounds good to me.
3) Be Kind to Myself. This sounds odd, no doubt. But I think we are each our own worst critics. I think we expect a great deal of ourselves, and are cruel to ourselves when we fall short. So compassion for myself is a vow I am going to renew this 2016. I can and will treat myself with love, the same way I treat my friends. I deserve it. We all do.
Friday, November 27th, 2015 | Gratitude, Reflections, The Writing Life | No Comments
I love this time of year. I love eating with friends and family, preparing to give presents, giving presents, making pies, eating with friends and family…wait…I already said that. But in the midst of the extra busyness that comes with the holidays, I find myself reflecting on my life, and on the many things I am grateful for. Aforementioned friends and family top the list, along with my work, the daily gifts of my life like my home, my waterfall, my car. And larger things, like my peace of mind. Some of these are given to me anew each day by the Universe, and some are hard won. But they all remind me that the path I have chosen, the path of an artist, is not always an easy road, but it is a blessed one. And I am grateful to be on it.
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