Viking Warrior Rising
Author: Asa Maria Bradley
Series: Viking Warriors, #1
Pubdate: October 6th, 2015
Immortal Vikings are among us
Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.
Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.
But Naya doesn’t want to be found...and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.
This November Asa Maria Bradley releases the first in her exciting new Viking Warriors series, Viking Warrior Rising! To celebrate, Asa’s here to play a game of Marry, Kiss, Kill with three names we provided. For this round we gave her Aladdin, Prince Adam from Beauty and the Beast, and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid.
So many Princes, so little time! I'll marry Prince Adam, because even in human form he has wide shoulders--which is one of my catnips. And he's slightly damaged--with that beast form and everything--and that's another catnip for me when it comes to romantic heroes. Plus, I think I'll like living in a castle with talking furniture and cutlery.
I'll thoroughly enjoy making out with Aladdin. Especially if he takes me on a ride on his magic carpet. No, that was not a euphemism! He has a flying carpet! Plus, his monkey is adorable. Still not a euphemism, people. He has a real monkey named Abu! I know my Disney movies and princes.
Unfortunately, that means I have to kill Prince Eric. Somehow I don't feel too bad about that. Maybe because growing up in Sweden meant I read a lot of Danish Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and the original Little Mermaid story is brutal and very sad. It made me cry every time.
Leif strode toward her, stopping a few paces away, concern on his face. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” she croaked. The air between them crackled, making the hairs on her arms stand up. Was she the only one feeling this?
He took a step closer and cupped her cheek in his palm. “Are you sure? You look a little pale.”
She resisted the urge to rest her head in his hand. “No, I’m fine.” She took a step back.
“We found one more bug in the game room.” Her voice sounded rough.
“Ulf told me.” He stepped toward her, eyes blazing.
“We’re working on the computers tomorrow,” she whispered, taking another step back. He crowded her. His body heat confused her, making her want impossible things. She cleared her throat. “It shouldn’t take us long to improve your firewall and install a few security checks.”
Leif watched her silently.
“You want to sit down?” She gestured toward the arm chairs.
“Sure,” he said, but didn’t move.
Naya had to step around him. Her skin sizzled when her arm accidently brushed against his. Relieved, she sank down in one of the blue chairs. A small table created a barrier between her and Leif. “So,” she said. “You were going to explain what makes you different from regular humans.”
He sat down in the empty chair, elbows on knees, studying his clasped hands. After a few moments he tilted his head and looked at her. “I’ll try to answer all of your questions, but some of this may sound a little crazy.”
“I’ll keep an open mind.”
Leif’s eyes met hers. Whatever he saw in them seemed to satisfy him. “I died in 1050.” He paused, watching her reaction.
Naya kept her gasp from escaping and instead nodded encouragingly.
“In the Norse culture, warriors who die in battle or die a heroic violent death are sent to live with the gods in Asgard. The men spend their time training in Valhalla with Odin. The women are schooled by Freya.”
Naya’s mind reeled. What he described didn’t seem possible, but he was so sincere. Obviously he believed his story to be true. “I thought there were only male warriors in the Nordic tradition.”
“Most stories are based on the old Icelandic sagas. They describe Valkyries as leading the men to Valhalla.”
“And that’s not the way it is?”
Leif smiled. “The sagas were all written by men long after the Viking age ended. They didn’t know what happened in Freya’s meadow and took some poetic license.”
“So, typically male, instead of just saying ‘I don’t know,’ you make up shit instead.”
He smiled, his dimples stealing her breath. Again.
She looked away. “So, this place where the gods live, this is the Nordic heaven?”
“Not exactly. It’s the warriors’ reward for dying an honorable death. They are allowed to live on, to fight again.” He studied his hands. “I don’t remember much of Valhalla. Time flows differently there. All my memories run together as if they happened the same week.”
She looked up to find him watching her. “I’m sorry, I’m trying to follow what you’re saying. But—”
“It is a little crazy?” He smiled.
“A little.” A lot.
“Is it any crazier than being abducted and kept in a camp? Any crazier than enhancement injections?”
Asa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired the immortal Viking and Valkyries in the Viking Warriors series. She came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student and liked it so much she never returned home. Asa holds an MFA in creative writing and an MS in Medical Physics. She lives on a lake deep in the pine forests of the Pacific Northwest with her British husband and a rescue dog of indeterminate breed. Visit her at www.AsaMariaBradley.com.