Mia Marlowe - Vikings
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Fun Facts About Vikings
by Mia Marlowe
When Connie Mason, my co-author for Lord of Fire and Ice, told me she wanted this book to be about Vikings, I was tickled to pieces. For one thing, Connie’s fans are adventurous enough to embrace other settings and time periods in pursuit of a good story. For another, I’d already written two Viking romances, Maidensong and Erinsong, so I was already in love with our soon-to-be created hero, Brandr the Far-Traveled. Why do I love Vikings so? Here are just a few reasons I find them fascinating: The Vikings were snappy dressers, but don’t believe the movie versions with horned helmets. The only Northmen who wore those were the pagan priests. I solved the problem of how to dress our hero by having him be NAKED in the first scene of LORD OF FIRE AND ICE. Check out the excerpt at http://www.miamarlowe.com/books/fire.php#excerpt
Forget about tattoos. Vikings were hard core when it came to altering their appearance permanently. Some warriors filed their teeth to sharp points or stained them blue. One well-known Viking was Harald Bluetooth, who was good at bringing feuding factions together. (Is it just coincidence that the Bluetooth technology we enjoy now links different electronic devices together?) Needless to say, however historically accurate it might be, our hero Brandr didn’t have either filed or blue teeth.
They weren’t always raping and pillaging. Sometimes they came to settle and, rather than bring wives from their home fjords, they courted local women. One English chronicler complained that those Norse invaders were trying to “overcome the chastity of our English women through their foreign wiles.” What were those wily Vikings up to? Combing their hair and wearing clean underclothes. I’m a sucker for a guy in clean drawers, aren’t you? Our hero Brandr is a man of clean habits, though he doesn’t have to worry about combing his hair at first. When he was taken as a thrall, his captors shaved his head (think Vin Diesel!), but once it grows back out, he looks sort of like a hunked-up version of Dancing with the Stars, Derek Hough!
The Vikings were not mindless barbarians. They were master shipbuilders, the first to develop a keel for their longships, putting them light-years ahead of the seafaring technology of other peoples of their time. They used that advantage to push the boundaries of the known world, sailing down the wild rivers of Europe to the Black Sea. They set up trading empires that extended as far as Constantinople and even Baghdad! Can you imagine Sven the Terrible on a camel? Brandr didn’t make it as far as Baghdad, but at the beginning of Lord of Fire and Ice, he’s returning home from a 5 year sojourn to Constantinople.
The Northmen turned westward and discovered the remote islands dotting the north Atlantic. They founded a settlement on Greenland that flourished for 500 years and set foot on the North American continent centuries before Columbus arrived. And all without a modern compass. Brandr sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar and hugged the European coast on his journey home. Nine men started out on the treacherous trip. Only five returned.
While most of Europe was bathing once a year whether they needed it or not, the Northmen were inventing the sauna. A communal bath was part of most households, even though the moisture from the steam meant they had to be rebuilt every twelve years or so. For Lord of Fire and Ice, we had fun writing a scene with Brandr and the heroine in the bath house.
Long ocean voyages could be mind-numbing if the wind and the waves aren’t trying to kill you. The Vikings needed some entertainment. So on long voyages, while the crew held the oars extended outward, a couple of warriors would race around the bobbing longship, leaping from oar to oar. Then just to make it interesting, they’d juggle knives while doing it! These people seriously needed cable. That little tidbit was just too off the wall for us to include it in LORD OF FIRE AND ICE, but there’s plenty of action and adventure in this new story.
Hope you’ll enjoy Lord of Fire and Ice! Thanks for having me here today at NightOwl Romance.
LORD OF FIRE AND ICE BY CONNIE MASON AND MIA MARLOWE – IN STORES JULY 2012
His Duty is to Fulfill Her Every Desire...
Brandr the Far–Traveled has seen the world and a good many of the beautiful women in it. His bed skills are the stuff of steamy legend, his sword sings death, and he can call up fire from thin air. No one ever thought he could be enslaved through trickery and forced to wear the iron collar of a thrall—least of all him.
Until All She Desires is Him...
Katla the Black isn't just called so for her dark, silky hair. His new mistress has a temper as fierce as a warrior's and a heart as icy as the frozen North. But inch by delicious inch, Brandr means to make her melt...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connie Mason is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels. She was named Storyteller of the Year in 1990 and received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times in 1994. She currently lives in Florida. Mia Marlowe is a highly acclaimed new voice in romance whose debut novel released in Spring 2011 from Kensington. She lives in Boston, MA. Together, they are working on a new Regency romance series for Sourcebooks Casablanca, the first of which will be in stores in January 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.conniemason.com, http://miamarlowe.com and follow Mia on Twitter @Mia_Marlowe.
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