Malice Striker

Jianne Carlo
Malice Striker

TOP PICKS


Publisher
Etopia Press
Release Date
October 2013
ISBN
9781937976736
Series
Book 1 of Viking Vengeance
Genre
Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance

SUMMARY
When Scotland's King Kenneth orders his death and kidnaps his sister, the Viking Brökk—the Malice Striker—plans his vengeance: he'll steal the king's bastard daughter from Sumbarten Abbey and use her to buy his sister's freedom. But his schemes go awry when his liege lord commands him to wed Skatha—and he finds five women instead of one at the Abbey, none of whom will claim the King as father.



When the Viking abducts Skatha and her women, she's bewildered. Why did Brökk seize her? Why does he want her for his wife? She weds him willingly enough when he threatens to kill her companions, but she vows to control her own destiny and escape. For if the Viking discovers her secrets, the laws of his people will force him to cast her aside… or kill her. And even Skatha, daughter of a goddess, might not escape the Viking's wrath…








BOOK INTERVIEW on December 2012
Interview by Rho

Jianne, thanks for speaking with us about your latest book, MALICE STRIKER. It was an awesome read, and I can't wait to learn more.


Thank you, Rho, for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Q: Let's start with the easy stuff. Where did you get the idea for the Viking Vengeance series?

Believe it or not, I had a dream about the beginning of MALICE STRIKER. I am more and more amazed that women back then not only survived forced marriages, but made them work. But often, women were taken for hostages and affections developed between captives and prisoner. Thus, MALICE STRIKER and Viking Vengeance was born.

Q: Along the lines of that, MALICE STRIKER is the first book in the Viking Vengeance series. How many books to you envision for the series?

Ah shoot. I planned three, but this wonderful character, a Scottish Highlander, the god Aegir, transforms into a mountain lion, butted into the second story in the series, Death Blow. Now Mús (the lion nee Ciárrán) is hounding me for his own book.

Q: This is your second series about Vikings. What is it about Vikings that attracts you to writing them?

Everything about the Vikings fascinates me. Really, every tiny trivia, every maudlin nuance. Let's start off with the fact that women and men were almost equal in Viking society. Truly – a woman could divorce her husband by simply proclaiming the divorce in public. Yay Viking!!! It took us in the 'civilized world' how many centuries to get that right?

I could go on and on, but suffice to say that if I have my way, I will always be penning a Viking tale – be it intermingled with time travel, paranormal, or contemporary.

Q: Skatha, our heroine in the story, is blind and she's able to hide that from all but those closest to her. I would think that it would be hard to do back in those days. What kind of research did you have to figure out the accommodations that were made for her? It was quite clever! Please also do tell us more about her.

It's always incredible to try to figure out how the handicapped survived in the 900 B.C. Most babies who were born with an issue were simply left to die or killed outright. To avoid that complication, Skatha is born sighted but loses her vision at a young age. There was no braille back then and her only way to survive meant relying on others and learning things by rote, like how many steps to the garderobe, how many turns to the kitchens. She had to have everything always in one place. Certainty of position was the only way for her to survive.

But I didn't want her to be weak. I wanted her to be adamant about her strength. To not cower to anyone, so I gave her a mentor, Lady Gráinne, the abbess. Through Lady Gráinne, Skatha learns to be independent and strong.

Q: Brökk is such a yummy hero! Please tell us more about him.

You liked my Brökk? I am so glad. I'll tell you a secret – each one of my Vikings is modeled in part after my dh or one of my sons. I can truly say they are all honorable, kind men.

Brökk is the oldest brother and has to take charge of his siblings after his parents die. He is overprotective, an overachiever, and fiercely loyal. While his second brother, Konáll, is unscarred, Brökk countenance is covered with ugly gashes. He believes no woman could ever love him. Skatha's blindness allows him to feel he has a chance to woo her.

Q: Wow, lucky you then, to be surrounded by such men! *smiles* Which character did you find it harder to write, Brökk or Skatha? Why is that?

Skatha, because it's so easy to make a mistake with a heroine who cannot see. Don't get me wrong, that was the reason I wanted to write her tale. I had talked about the idea for the book with a friend, and she remarked that there was no way to write a strong handicapped heroine in the Viking age. Nothing I love more than a challenge.

Q: I have my own theories, but why do you think that Brökk or Skatha are perfect for each other?

Both Brökk and Skatha have been judged on their appearances and abilities, or lack of, during their short lives. Skatha cannot see Brökk, but she can 'see' his kindness and his devotion to his little sister. Brökk, on the other hand, can reveal what he thinks are his weaknesses, his love for his sister and his admiration of his brothers.

Q: When writing MALICE STRIKER, what was the motivation to adding the mythology aspect of it? Did incorporating the gods and goddesses into background of the story make the story more or less difficult? Why is that?

Okay, here's another secret – I am totally enthralled by Viking mythology. Honestly, exploring the Viking gods and goddesses is golden time to me. I notice it in movies all the time – in Avatar, in Thor (of course), even in Sherlock Holmes. Believe me, the only difficulty I had was how much to leave out. And in Death Blow, the mythology really explodes. I wish I knew how the whole trilogy will finish. Thank goodness I start work on Vengeance Hammer soon.

Q: You are truly piquing our interest with those hints! Now, what is your favorite scene in the book?

I love the courting days (my editor did not like them in the least at first, but I persisted). Here's a snippet:

Courting Day One

"Think you 'tis a fitting present?"

Brökk glanced at the bone-enameled mirror in his hand, and then swathed a square of cloth around the oval object. He glanced at his brother and quickened his pace up the steep incline.

"Aye. We are speaking of a woman who has seen little in her life. And she knows not what she looks like. 'Tis fitting indeed." Konáll halted at the fork in the dirt path. "I take your leave here. Sigrid, Árne, and Eldar depart on the morn tide and I am to meet them at Gufa Fiskr. I learned last eve Eldar fostered with the Earl of Moray."

Brökk blinked. "By Loki's balls. You have the luck of the Roman goddess Fortuna. Yet, this news makes the hairs on my nape bristle. Olaf Longface receives an edict signed with Harald Bluetooth's and Kenneth of Scotland's seal that the marriage between you and Earl Moray's daughter is confirmed yester morn. And you discover Eldar was raised with the man last eve? I am uneasy of the coincidence."

Konáll let out a long sigh. "I, too, find it remarkable. But, I can nay refuse the chance to gain insight into the Earl."

"You have the right of it." Brökk scanned the clear sky and calculated the peak of the tide. "Make haste brother for the midday approaches."

"Aye." Konáll adjusted the handle of the axe sheathed on a belt slung low on his hips, gave Brökk a by-your-leave nod, and then marched to the right.

′Twas a rich alliance both kings had arranged. The marriage contract called for Konáll to donate the gold coin Kenneth of Scotland needed to arm his warriors against the contender, Malcolm.

Harald Bluetooth added another stronghold to secure the shipping routes he craved.

Konáll gained the vast lands and rich estates his betrothed had inherited upon consummation of the vows. All gained, none lost.

Brökk tramped up the muddied path and greeted the men standing guard over his quarters.

He knocked on the door of his own lodge, a fact that caused him grievous irritation.

When Lady Gráinne, with her placid smile, greeted him, he bared his teeth. "I am here to court my wife."

"Your betrothed."

Lady Gráinne smiled that smile that made his cock go flaccid in a second. How he hated that serene smile. He fought the need to adjust himself and pasted a grin that spoke of pain on his face.

"I am here to court my wife." He refused to admit Skatha wasn't his wife.

"Your betrothed. Skatha, the jarl is here."

The way the abbess said jarl made him shudder. But then Skatha came to the door, and she curtsied so delicately and so perfectly his cock engorged to boiling and he nigh spilled his seed.

"My lord."

"Brökk." He wanted her to wrap her mouth around his cock, taste him deeply, and suck him to the core.

"'Tis for you. A courting gift." He shoved the parcel into her hands and immediately felt like a fool. She was his wife. No matter what the damned abbess said.

She unfolded the green velvet that wrapped the gift and frowned. "A mirror?"

"For you to see yourself." He pulled at the tunic that felt too close to his neck. "It does not please you?"

"Aye. 'Tis a fine gift. I should like to see your face in it." She curled her hands around to hold the mirror but her seeing eyes never left his. "All my life I have wished to see. And now I am so happy because your face fills my mind. I crave every inch of you."

"You may join us while we sew and read verses from the bible, Jarl. The day is too wet and too chilly for any other activities." The abbess sat in his chair and picked up a length of cloth from the floor.

Brökk nigh choked on his own spit. He was not to be allowed alone with his own wife?

Q: I love that scene! Thanks for sharing this excerpt. If you could to choose to go anywhere (including a specific time) that has been featured in any of your books, where would it be and why?

I have a feeling you thought that would be a hard question. Not so. Three time periods and places I would give my eyetooth to see and be in and okay I cheated a bit, I have not written about Shakespeare or Neil Armstrong:

On Leifr Eiríksson's langskip when he sights Greenland
With Shakespeare when he pens that very first play
At Neil Armstrong's side when he takes that small step for a man…

Heck I'm tearing up just thinking about those three moments.

Q: They are momentous. *smiles* What is coming up next for the Viking Vengeance Series?

Death Blow, Konáll's book is the next in the series and it comes out on December 7, 2012.

Vengeance Hammer, Dráddřr's tale, will arrive sometime in early 2013.

Q: Wow, can't wait! Please share with us any other upcoming projects or events you'd like us to know about.

I recently started the following:

Vengeance Hammer – the last planned book in the Viking Vengeance trilogy

Torch the Wind – a new SEAL paranormal

Damned if I Do – the fourth book in the White Wolf series

Satan's Angel – the last book in the Hades Squad Series


Thank you so much for spending the time with us talking about MALICE STRIKER. I always love getting your insights, your answers keep me as thoroughly entertained as your books do! I can't wait to see what's going to happen next in the Viking Vengeance series, and I look forward to speaking with you again.


Bio:


Award winning, author Jianne Carlo's motto is simple: Alpha Me Please.

While strong heroines, exotic locations, and cultural differences are her forte, she goes weak in the knees and salivates for warriors of any type – rebels, SEALs, Vikings, and bad-ass mercenaries. Send her a man with an attitude and she'll find the right woman to tame him.

Jianne's writing career began in 2008, and since then she's been lucky enough to have over twenty books published. Most of her books are TOP PICKs and several have been nominated for and won numerous awards and prizes.

Nothing makes Jianne's day more than an email from someone who's read one of her books. So far, she's received emails from almost every continent on the planet. Almost…

Website: http://www.jiannecarlo.com
Blog: http://http://www.jiannecarlo.com/WordPressBlog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jianne123
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jiannecarlo


Backlist:

Manacled in Monaco

A Paratrooper in a Pear Tree

White Wolf


The Dragon Slayer

Valentine Voodoo




GIVEAWAY!!!

Jianne is giving away one digital copy of Malice Striker! Thanks, Jianne!


ADDITIONAL GIVEAWAY!!!

For all Featured Book Interviews, TRR is sponsoring a prize!

Each comment you make on the following featured book interviews:

Christmas on Mimosa Lane by Anna DeStefano
Commitment by Margaret Ethridge
Malice Striker by Jianne Carlo
Tirzah's Allure by Gabriella Bradley


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ROGUE RIDER by Larissa Ione (paperback or ebook) – Read this review! – International winner!


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Contest ends December 31.

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