Okay. Back now? Mouth closed? Heart settling down? Good. Take a deep breath. We wouldn't want to lose anyone.
Vikings. What is it about those fierce Norsemen that sets modern hearts racing? In real life, they struck terror into generations of women from Scotland to Spain. But in the covers of a romance novel, they are the ultimate alpha male lovers: dangerous, powerful, out to conquer, and willing to kill to protect their own once they have.
I never imagined I would be writing about Vikings. They weren't on my radar at all. And then one morning I awoke with the image of a man in my head–-tall, blond, powerful, clearly a warrior, and yet dressed in formal evening clothes. As I came to full wakefulness, I knew precisely four facts about this man: he was a thousand years old, he had been cursed to turn into a bear every day, he was a Viking, and I was already in love with him.
Hmm. Book. No, series, because as I started researching, I realized there were more of them–-nine, to be exact, because nine is a sacred number in Norse cosmology–-and that every one of them had been cursed to take on the animal form of his fylgja, his spirit companion. And then one day I sat down and a piece of the story spilled out, not in my voice, but in the voice of Ari, the warrior-skald (storyteller) who is one of them and who has recorded the story of the this immortal brotherhood throughout the thousand years. I knew what had happened, why they had been cursed, who had done this foul thing. And I knew how terribly lonely each man was.
So I started pulling together the whole series and quickly figured out that each man must live out his story in a different century. The first man out of the woods, it turned out, was not the bear, but the eagle, Ivar Graycloak, the hero of IMMORTAL WARRIOR. As a mercenary spy to the Norman kings of England, he lives on the edges of society, earning just enough silver to keep himself comfortable. But now he wants more. He asks for land, hoping to be able to have a place to call home, just for a little while, never expecting that with the land, the king will give him a wife.
What's a man who becomes an eagle every day supposed to do with a wife? Well, there are always the nights, and Ivar knows just what to do with those. What he doesn't count on is falling in love with the fair Alaida of Alnwick almost from the first moment. He knows he can never truly have her, and yet he can't bring himself to leave–-especially not when he learns of the unexpected danger he may have put her in. But what happens when she finds out who–-what–-he is?
You don't think I'm going to tell you here, do you?
Just know it's a happy ending, for I'm a firm believer in the idea that Love Conquers All. And know that there will be others. The second Immortal Brotherhood book, Immortal Outlaw, will be out in June '09, and there are seven more in the pipeline.
IMMORTAL WARRIOR is on the shelves as of today, 11/4/08, and I hope you'll run out and buy it this week and help propel it to a bestseller list or two. I also hope you'll click on over to my website, where you can read an excerpt, enter a contest (or two!), drop me a note or comment on my blog, and sign up for my mailing list so you know when those other books will be coming. Also, be sure to friend me on MySpace, Facebook, and Goodreads (where I met Terra).
So, what turns you on about Vikings? What favorite sexy beast do you hope is represented in the crew? Just how big do you think that cover model's, um, chest is? Comments are now open.
And speaking of Comments: One lucky commenter will win their choice of one of my backlist books PLUS an autographed ARC (Advance Read Copy) of Book 2, Immortal Outlaw (to be sent as soon as the ARCs become available next spring). I'll let Terra explain the rules.
You must leave a comment about Lisa's blog article and your email addy to be eligible for a chance to win her wonderful prize.