Grab Some Bargains At The 99 Books At 99 Cents Holiday All Genre Book Fair!

Holiday99@99

Who wants some Christmas cheer?

If your craving a great read but your wallet is down to pennies, check out our Holiday
Book Fair, where we have 99 books on sale for 99 cents each. All genres and heat
levels of romance, plus mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and more!
That’s just 99 pennies for hours of awesome fiction!

Plus, check in daily to play our scavenger hunt games for your chance to win a $30
Amazon gift card. A new hunt will be posted every day of the fair.

Look for Books from Your Favorite Authors!

Angelica Kate • Bernadette Rowley • C.D. Gorri • Cailin Briste • Candace Sams • Cara
Marsi • Cate Parke • Cathy MacRae • CB Samet • Cherry Christensen • Chloe Flowers •
Christina McKnight • Crystal Dawn • Cynthia Cooke • Dakota Willink • Danni Roan •
Dawn Marie Hamilton • Debbie White • Denise D. Young • Denise Devine • Donna
Fasano • Donna Schlachter • Dyan Chick • E.B. Black • Elizabeth Rose • Elsie Davis •
Em Petrova • Emberly Hart • Erin Zarro • Honey Phillips • ID Johnson • Isabella Thorne •
Jacki Delecki • Jacqueline Diamond • Karen D. Bradley • Kat Samuels • Kerry Blaisdell •
Kim Hornsby • Lane McFarland • Laurel Greer • Leeann Betts • Lucy Lakestone •
Margaret Tanner • Maria Elena Alonso Sierra • Maria Geraci • Mariah Stone • Marsha A.
Moore • Michelle Courtney • Naomi Bellina • Noelle Fox • R.M. Gauthier • Rachel
Tsoumbakos • Ravyn Wilde • Ruth Kaufman • S. K. Gregory • Sabrina Kade • Shana
Gray • Sierra Kay • Sydney Jane Baily • Tana Stone • Tee Smith • Theresa Beachman •
Theresa Hodge • Traci Douglass • Victoria Saccenti • Whitley Cox • Zoe Forward •
Aileen Harkwood

All the details can be found by clicking on the link below — GOOD LUCK!

FIND OUT MORE!

Posted in Books, competition, Giveaway, Myrddin Publishing Group, Rachel Tsoumbakos, sale, Scavenger Hunt, The Truth About Lagertha and Ragnar, Vikings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas The Viking Way: Here’s How The Vikings Celebrated Yule

[Image credit: congerdesign / Pixabay]

With Christmas approaching, many are busy decorating their trees and preparing ahead of the Christmas feast — both of which hark back to pagan times and have roots in ancient Viking traditions.

As The Vintage News points out. the pagan Yule came before the Christian holiday. In fact, the birth date of Christ was chosen to be celebrated specifically on the Roman pagan holiday of Saturnalia. This was cleverly done in order to help lessen the shock of the change of religions as well as creating a day in which both traditions could initially be celebrated.

Since the takeover of Saturnalia went so well, when it came time to Christianise the Vikings, the same approach was taken. And, considering the Viking Yule celebrations took place around the same time, it was a no-brainer when it came to amalgamating the two once more.

However, many pagan traditions have remained woven through the Christian ones. Over the years, they have become an accepted routine to be celebrated at Christmas.

PLEASE NOTE: This post contains affiliates links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

{Image credit: KlausHausmann / Pixabay]

So, what traditions actually came from the Vikings?

Many details regarding the Christian takeover of the Viking holiday can be found in the Saga of Hákon the Good, which can be found in the called the Heimskringla (also known as The Lives of the Norse Kings) by Snorri Sturlason.

It has been detailed in the Viking sagas that at Yule, it was a tradition to have a great feast. Gathering together, many animals were sacrificed and the meat from these beasts was later boiled and used to celebrate the occasion. This can be observed in modern times with the long-held tradition of having a large Christmas feast with family.

In addition, if you enjoy your Christmas ham, you can thank the Vikings for that treat as well since boars were often sacrificed at Yuletide and offered up to the god of fertility, Frey.

[Image credit: pasja1000 / Pixabay]

For those that have heard of the Yule log or make a cake that looks like one, this tradition also harks from Viking times. There is some conjecture regarding the tradition of the Yule log itself since its origins can only really traced back as far the 16th century and not earlier in its current form, Vikings did have huge fires at midwinter when Yule occurs. This fire would signify the lighting of the darkness on the shortest night with the hope that light would now return to the world.

As for the Christmas tree, there are many pagan traditions that see trees decorated with trinkets as offerings to the gods. In relation to Yule, it is often an offering, once again, to see the return of the dark and the lengthening of days.

As Dr. Dominique Wilson from the University of Sydney told ABC Australia, the Christmas tree tradition may date as far back as 8th century Germany.

“The common story goes that [English Benedictine monk Boniface] encountered some native Germans performing some sacrifices in front of a mighty oak tree — oak trees being sacred to the god Thor,” Dr. Wilson said.

“Boniface seized his axe and felled the tree in order to stop the pagans worshiping a false idol and the pagans were waiting for him to be struck down by lightning, but it didn’t happen. So at this stage he took the opportunity to convert them.”

[Image credit: Myshun / Pixabay]

The story then goes on to state that a Fir tree grew out of the Oak.

“That became a symbol of Christ — being triangular in shape it represents the trinity — and from there came the idea that the tree should be a symbol of Christ and new life. That’s one of the main origins of the Christmas tree and bringing it into the house.”

Finally, the current tradition of caroling can also be linked back to medieval times. Wassailing is the term that was used then and it involved groups travelling from door-to-door. They would sing and offer a drink from the wassail bowl. In exchange, they would receive gifts.

So, there you have it! While Christmas may be very much a Christian holiday today, it certainly harks back to much older times and traditions. While I don’t make much mention of Yule on any of my books about the Vikings,  in my short story, The Lost Viking, I do refer to the Viking celebration called Disablot. This event was also held in Winter but at the start of the season and was held in honour the female spirits called Disir.

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NaNoWriMo 2019: A New Story From The Viking Sagas Emerges

As I previously posted, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) once again this year.

At the start of the month, I had the outline for a story detailing a new Viking character called Melkorka. Born an Irish princess, she was captured by raiders and sold into captivity. Using silence as her only weapon, Melkorka manages to survive after being sold to a Viking called Hoskuld and introduced to the new country, Iceland.

PLEASE NOTE: This post contains affiliates links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Also, at the start of the month, I thought this story would be a short novel that would act as a prequel of sorts for my upcoming series focusing on the love triangle between Gudrun, Bolli, and Kjartan, who all feature in the Sagas of Icelanders.

However, as is the way with some stories, I soon realised that Melkorka’s story needed much more than I originally anticipated. As a result of this, her story has now been broken up into two parts, the first of which is now available for pre-order and will be released in the new year.

So, why not order your copy of The Irish Viking Princess from Amazon today!

Plus, if you want to view an exclusive excerpt from The Irish Viking Princess, all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter!

The Irish Viking Princess by Rachel Tsoumbakos

BLURB

Born into power, sold into slavery. Her only escape is silence.

Melkorka is raised the princess of one of the most powerful men in Ireland. Expecting a life of luxury, instead, she is captured by Rus raiders and sold into slavery.

Eventually, she becomes the property of a Viking man named Hoskuld. It is terrible enough that Melkorka has gone all the way from the highs of being an Irish princess to the lows of a slave but it gets worse: Hoskuld is already married and now she is a concubine slave.

Her only solace is silence and she wields it like a weapon until fate steps in and she discovers that the man who bought her might actually be her greatest ally.

Set in the same world as the Viking Secrets and Valkyrie Secrets series, Melkorka’s tale expands the universe and introduces readers to the epic Icelandic sagas.

 

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Who Likes Their Heroines To Be Feisty?

Feisty Heroines Anthology

Of course, the correct answer is that we all do!

This means that you will want to get your hands on the anthology I have just joined. Called Feisty Heroines, the anthology features more than 30 stories where the heroines are as plucky as hell. So, if you enjoy your romance in flavors of historical, paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary, make sure you secure your copy as soon right now!

PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON NOW

The Feisty Heroines Anthology is now available on other platforms such as iBooks and Nook. Make sure to grab your copy now!

PRE-ORDER ON OTHER PLATFORMS

Plus, at 99 cents, this anthology is a steal.

So, what is my story about?

Keeping in my current theme of writing about the Vikings, my short will feature a Norse take on the Sleeping Beauty fable. Many people link this story back to the 1300s. However, there is actually an older myth to be found within the Viking sagas.

While many people have heard of the story of the Valkyrie Brunhild and her affair with Sigurd, most get caught up in the dragon in the story or the modern-day link to the Lord of the Rings. However, the very first meeting between Brunhild and Sigurd occurs while Brunhild is under a magical sleeping spell.

This spell was cast by Odin himself and Brunhild was forced to sleep until a man with no fear appeared by her side.

Luckily for Brunhild, Sigurd was just such a man!

Feisty Heroines Facebook banner

 

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NaNoWriMo 2019: Let The Story Begin!

NaNoWrimo 2019

Image via Pixabay / rawpixel

Here it is, 6.30 a.m. on November 1 in Australia and I am already at it regarding my word count! I have a busy day ahead of me so if I don’t get it done now, it will never happen. Plus, Day 1 is merely a mapping day, so the words come a little easier as I plot out each chapter and decide on the flow of the story. Tomorrow will be much harder.

So, what am I writing about?

If you missed my previous post, this year’s novel will be about a very special Irish princess called Melkorka (although, there are debates on whether or not this is her real name) who gets abducted by the Rus and sold into slavery.

Melkorka gets bought by a Viking called Höskuldr. He is travelling to Norway to collect decent construction wood for his farm back home in Iceland. And, to be honest, he is probably taking an extended vaycay from his wife, Jorunn. The Laxdæla saga from which Melkorka’s tale originates is quite specific in mentioning that their relationship is strained.

Melkorka, devastated by her new life as a slave refuses to speak, so everyone thinks she is actually mute. However, over time, her true identity is eventually revealed and her children go on to become much higher in status than their father as a result of her lineage.

PLEASE NOTE: This post contains affiliates links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This is not the first time that Melkorka’s tale has been explored through the world of literature. Previously, Donna Jo Napoli has written Hush, which details Melkorka’s life.  Octavia Randolph has also written a novella called The Tale of Melkorka, which delves into Melkorka’s tale. Finally, Alfreða Jonsdottir has also published Melkorka: The Thrall Prinsessa’s Saga.

All of these books have used Melkorka’s original tale in order to inspire their own story. As I have done previously with my Vikings Secrets and Valkyrie Secrets series, I plan to take the story and use it in its entirety in order to bring the original saga to life. I will keep as close to the original tale told in the Laxdæla saga and only change those details that cannot be maintained in order to tell the story.

The Irish Viking Princess: Melkorka's tale from Irish princess to Viking captive (Gudrun's Saga Book 0) by Rachel Tsoumbakos

The Irish Viking Princess by Rachel Tsoumbakos

Melkorka’s tale in The Irish Viking Princess will be a standalone book that you can enjoy without having read any of my previous works based on the Viking sagas. However, it will also be a segue into my next Viking series!

This new series will be based heavily on a series of stories in the Laxdæla saga about a Viking woman called Gudrun. Over her lifetime, she marries many men but most of her marriages end in tragedy thanks to a prophecy revealed to her when she was young.

One of those men, Kjartan, is actually Melkorka’s grandson and named after her father, the Irish king, Myrkjartan. Another of her husbands is Kjartan’s best friend, Bolli. So, you can imagine this is going to be a heartbreaking love triangle for all involved.

However, for now, Gudrun’s story is yet to be told and Melkorka’s tale is the one I will be focusing on in its entirety during NaNoWriMo.

I will be posting some updates here but the best way to find out more about Melkorka’s tale is via my Facebook page or my newsletter. The advantage of signing up for my newsletter is the chance of catching a chapter or two of Melkorka’s tale well before the book is even finished! So, I hope to see you there 😉

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