On the blog today we have the fabulous ST Bende talking about her NA paranormal romance, Elsker!
Elsker is available right now!
Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. He’s an honest-to-goodness Norse God — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia’s crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms. Her orderly life just got very messy.
At eight o’clock, a firm knock interrupted my reading. I picked my way through the flower shop that our living room had become and opened the door.
“Oh good, you kept my peace offerings.” Ull treated me to a rakish grin.
“Just a few of them,” I muttered. “Come on in.”
“Oh, no. You must come with me.”
“Why?” I challenged. Ull sighed.
“Are you going to fight me at every turn?”
“Please come.” He looked so adorable standing on my stoop, his scarf casually thrown across the grey sweater under his coat. I gave in quicker than I meant to.
“Fine.” I grabbed my coat from the closet by the door and shoved my keys and wallet into the pocket. “Where are we off to?” I closed the door behind me and followed Ull into the brisk night, waiting for his promised explanation.
But he didn’t say anything. Instead, he put his hand on the small of my back and guided me away from campus. I shivered and noticed that Ull wore his jacket open, at ease in the chill. As we rounded the corner, Ull dropped his hand to clasp mine. It was so warm, so strong, and for a moment I forgot to be mad at him. We walked in silence as he led me down the main road. After two right turns, I found myself standing in a quiet garden.
Ull had brought me to a church.
Hey ST. It’s great to have you here. So, let’s chat….
I’m so excited to be here Louise! Hanging out with you on Twitter has been one of the best parts of this whole publishing experience. I’m so glad we met! Now let’s crack open a fresh pack of McVities Caramel Digestives, shall we? (I’m such a huge McVities fan I give them shout-outs in my books. That’s not weird, is it? Oh, you think it is? Well then, no McVities for you.)
Tell us a little bit about Elsker…
ELSKER is the first book in THE ELSKER SAGA. It follows twenty-year-old Kristia Tostenson as she leaves her small town to find adventure at Cardiff University in Wales. She gets a lot more than she bargained for when she falls in love with Ull Myhr. He’s not just a graduate student — he’s an Asgardian Assassin, and the Norse God of Winter. And he’s about to make Kristia’s life seriously complicated.
How long did it take you to write Elsker?
I have to confess that I wrote ELSKER quite by accident. It was a story I wrote just for me, in my journal, and one day I realized it had reached a ridiculous page count. I split the story into two parts, and those parts became ELSKER and its sequel, ENDRE. I think I did the bulk of the writing on ELSKER in about three months, and spent the same or less on ENDRE. I’d take breaks and read up on Norse myths, but it was basically one long journal entry I just kept coming back to. When you meet Ull, I hope you’ll see why I couldn’t walk away. 😉
Will there be a sequel?
Yes! ENDRE is Book 2 in THE ELSKER SAGA, and it’s scheduled to release in September 2013. It’s a continuation of Kristia and Ull’s story, and I absolutely love where it takes them. TUR is THE ELSKER SAGA prequel, and it releases April 15, 2013. It’s told from Ull’s friend Inga’s point of view, and it sheds some light on her job as Fight Choreographer for Odin’s army. Inga’s so cool. She’s the Norse goddess I wish I could be.
Because who doesn’t cast their book, right? Who’s playing Ull and Kristia in Elsker the movie?
This is such a fun question. I’d love to see Jennifer Lawrence as my small-town girl, Kristia Tostenson. (Who among us would not love an Oscar winner to play our heroine in our imaginary book-movie, right?)
I don’t have a perfect match for my Norse God of Winter/Asgardian Assassin Ull Myhr, but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a teensy bit (whole lotta bit) of Alexander Skarsgård in him. There’s just nothing even remotely unattractive about that man. Nothing.
I think Judi Dench would make a bang-up Elsker, my rogue matchmaking Norn…
and she’d banter beautifully with either Professor McGonagall — I mean, Maggie Smith — or Helen Mirren as Olaug, Ull’s Asgardian grandmother. No, wait. This is a fantasy, right? Can I toss Julie Andrews into the Olaug hat?
I have no idea who I’d cast as Ull’s best Asgardian friends, Inga and Gunnar. Will y’all help me? They’re the quintessential gorgeous 21 (ish) year old god-couple, and they’re both fierce fighters (Inga with swords and Gunnar with a crossbow). Inga has long, white blonde hair and blue eyes, and Gunnar’s ridiculously fit, with spiky brown hair and impish green eyes. Please, please tell me in the comments if you can think of any actors who might fit those roles. I’ve got nothing!
Okay so let’s talk about you…
What’s the last thing you read that you absolutely loved?
Libby Mercer’s Unmasking Maya. That girl is so the next Sophie Kinsella. And I’m quite excited for a little gargoyle book I hear is coming out later this year! (My name is Louise D. Gornall and I approve of this reference :))
You have to relocate to a desert island and are only allowed to take three things with you. What three things are you taking (excluding family & friends)?
Louise! That’s hard! Um…
Sunscreen, because I’m Scandinavian-American and my people burn like lobsters. Also because I want to avoid premature wrinkling.
My Complete Works of William Shakespeare, because who knows what moods I’m going to go through during my stranded-ness, and the Complete Works quite literally has something for every occasion.
A year’s supply of Norwegian Waffles (with a side of Nutella), because nothing cheers up a stranded islander like a tasty treat. And there’s no finer treat than Norsk waffles smothered in hazelnutty goodness. (I know they’re supposed to be served with a tart jam, but I’m going rogue here.)
Tell us a few of your favourite authors?
Shakespeare, of course — Benedick’s snark is absolutely fabulous. And JK Rowling. I just get lost in the Harry Potter books. Her world building is totally unparalleled.
Does Elsker have a playlist and what’s on it?
Ooh, this is a good one. It does, it does! Here are two of my biggies: Kristia’s theme song is Brighter Than The Sun, by Colbie Callait. Kristia is completely ordinary in every way but one — she sees visions of the future. She thinks it’s extremely inconvenient, but they take her to some pretty awesome places. And like Colbie says, who is Kristia to tell Fate where it’s supposed to go? Ull’s theme song is by Imagine Dragons — either It’s Time or Demons. Both songs hit on Ull’s desperation to protect Kristia from what he sees as his dark, unalterable future.
Thanks for stopping by to chat with us, ST…
Thank you so much for having me Louise! And thanks for keeping me motivated over the past few months. Your encouragement has meant more to me than I’ll ever be able to tell you. If anyone’s ever in need of a smile, check out Louise’s Twitter postings over at #DarksideResearch — she’s all kinds of awesome.
THE ELSKER SAGA is available from Entranced Publishing.
About the author: Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired The Elsker Saga. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.
And be sure to stop by http://stbende.blogspot.com/p/elsker-tour.html between April 11th and May 20th and enter to win fabulous prizes in the ELSKER Release Month of Giveaways!
Now help me out — who do you think I should cast as my gorgeous Asgardian couple, Inga and Gunnar? Tell me in the comments!