Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Blog Tour Stop and Guest Post: Blind Allegiance by Violetta Rand



Please welcome Violetta as she shares her release, Blind Allegiance, with us. Do be sure to comment as she is giving away a $25 Amazon GC! Now read on to find out more behind why she wrote Blind Allegiance and its setting.



Why Blind Allegiance?

I admit Norway isn’t the typical setting for a romance novel. I hear it all the time. I smile. That’s what made writing Blind Allegiance so much fun. Prior to the resurgence of interest in Vikings, I finished my novel. Sure, we saw the occasional Viking tale (Sandra Hill always makes me laugh). Why not more? Why aren’t these monolithic warriors met with the same enthusiasm as Highlanders or Vampires? I’ve never been able to figure it out. Then the History Channel made a bold move, their new series Vikings premiered this year. Everyone loved it. I considered it a good omen. 
Timing is everything. 
Although my story primarily focuses on Norse culture, snapshots of the stunning Norwegian landscape are described in my book. I see similar sights in Alaska (my home). Mountains, rivers, glaciers, fjords, boreal forests, the northern lights, and abundant wildlife are all within walking or short driving distance of my home. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Norway yet, I’m surrounded by similar beauty. I’m fascinated with Scandinavia. I often fantasize that Vikings skimmed the Arctic coast of Alaska. Why not? There’s much we don’t know. 
I don’t want to write about civilized or cultivated places at this point in my career. Endless possibilities exist with Vikings. Eleventh century politics and religion was vitally important to the Norse. Christianity infiltrated Odin’s lands. Thor’s hammer versus the cross—a conflict of epic proportions ensued. I want to capture these moments. By 1066 (years after my tale), the Norse loss of the Battle of Stamford Bridge (England) which altered Norway’s and England’s futures forever. Officially, it’s considered the end of the Viking Age. 
I couldn’t disagree more. These fierce men didn’t go quietly into the night. I believe they started over.


It’s a risk of a lifetime loving a man you’re supposed to hate…

Betrayed by a brother she hardly trusted before the bloodthirsty Viking, Jarl Randvior Sigurdsson, attacks her home, Noelle Sinclair is conveniently bartered as a means to save her cowardly sibling’s skin. Forced to leave her homeland and accompany the petulant Viking to the untamed wilderness of central Norway, Noelle is ever-aware of the burgeoning dangers around her—including her weakening resolve to resist Randvior. 

Should Noelle surrender to his resplendent charms and seduction, or fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home?
     Dark clouds always gathered in Noelle Sinclair’s dreams. Hundreds of nightmares had played out in her mind since childhood. Why should tonight be any different? 

The smell of burning wood invaded her sleep. Smoke snatched her breath and she tried to purge her lungs by taking deep breaths. She ran for the great hall and all she could see were scorched rafters and floorboards. Guards scrambled to the battlements, while women and children fled the castle. She searched for her sisters among the people migrating outside ...

“Fire!” 

Noelle’s eyes snapped open at the sound of dire warning. By God, this was no dream! She flung blankets aside and rolled over, shook her older sister awake, and jumped out of bed. 

“What’s wrong?” Margaret asked sleepily.

“The castle’s on fire. Get up, now!” 

 Margaret scurried from bed and ran with Noelle to the windows overlooking the eastern edge of the castle. Through the swirling fog, Noelle could make out a tangle of men with torches and weapons in the courtyard below. She further scanned the shoreline where the North Sea pounded against the rocks and dunes. The castle was under siege and poorly defended. Most of the soldiers and her father were in Ireland, leaving only her brother and a skeleton army behind. 

Her gaze still locked on the beach, Noelle caught sight of three, silvery-white longships anchored beyond the walls. Their blood-red sails snapped in the wind. She stared in horror as the pattern on the sails came into focus—the shape of a dragon. 
Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see. 

Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

21 comments:

  1. I must say that I am enthusiastic about Vikings. I always have been.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. I love Vikings! Just fascinating. Good luck, Mary.

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    2. I must agree Mary, I love them. Season 2 of the Vikings series on History Channel can't start soon enough. Thanks.

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  2. I love atypical settings. There are tons of books set in England, or like...California. I love it when an author looks outside of the box despite what is a "popular" location! You get kudos in my book!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

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    1. I agree, Andra. An exotic or interesting location is always great to read about.

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    2. Good afternoon Andra. Thanks so much. I hope your writing is going excellently. Good luck.

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  3. I agree that while I do love a good regency romance it is always fun to see a story set somewhere new where you can actually pick up historical tidbits along the way. Thanks for taking one up for the vikings

    fencingomein at hotmail dot com

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    1. It's always nice to have a break from the usual I think. I love reading about lesser known periods of history in between my usual reads.

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    2. I enjoy Regency too Shannon. I love the sophistication and glamour. But I also love bloodthirsty warriors (with big hearts)with no sense for dancing and champagne. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Nice excerpt, thank you.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Best of luck!

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    2. Great to see you Ingeborg.

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  5. I think Noelle should fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home.

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  6. Thanks Eva ... she tries. I hope you enjoy the story.

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  7. Thanks for hosting Samantha. :)

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  8. It is about time someone wrote a really exciting book about Vikings. This one really sound good.

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  9. Hello Mom Jane, thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy the story.

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  10. I can tell that those mighty Viking names are going to be a mighty challenge for this reader! They don't just roll off the tongue.

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  11. I'm smiling Catherine. I probably pronounce them wrong myself. I fell in love with the name Randvior. Insert the name Jack where necessary to make reading easier. Thanks for stopping by today.

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  12. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
    kareninnc at gmail dot com

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