Gina Conkle is a lover of history, books and romance, which makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations. Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll. When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver. Gina has an interesting guest post to share with us today about Viking omance. As I’m from Dublin myself, which was originally a Viking city, I’m fascinated.
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Time travel works in books. Romance novels in particular. From the comfort of your favorite reading spot, you mix with all kinds of people from all kinds of time periods. Today’s millionaires, billionaires, and moguls that populate contemporary romance are yesterday’s warriors, lords, and kings.
Or in the case of case of Vikings: house karls, landsmen, and jarls.
And in our modern times, if a woman wants to better understand relationships and men, she gets a book, reads the latest magazine, or chats with a friend. Right? With the exception of a few centuries time, men are still the same.
So, if you did find that mystical portal that took you back to the Viking Age, how would you understand the Norse male? Here’s a few things to consider:
1) The Protector
Axe and shield made everyday weapons for Vikings — battle tools for the common warrior. You’d also see bows and arrows, spears, and hammers. What about swords? The elite warriors who could afford such a costly weapon had a sword. But, Viking swords were unique, and some considered, mystical. Scientists now understand that Vikings brought back metal ore and the latest technology from the orient. Viking swords curiously had little “slag” in the iron. Slag is the impure material that in modern processes gets “cooked out” of the metal. The result? Less sword breakage. A good thing to avoid when in battle. Basically, a Viking with a sword could be counted on as “protector.”
2) The “Move”
We tend to think of Vikings as Neaderthal-ish…grab a woman and have his way with her. Yet, the Sagas show how befuddled they could be when it came to women. They were just as communication-challenged as the modern man when it came to the softer side of life.
That’s why I love when I run across “The Move” as I call it in the Sagas. One way for a Viking male to show interest in a woman was to lay his head in her lap.
Imagine a gathering in someone’s longhouse, lots of ale and food. A woman sits down on a bench, and a Viking stretches across that bench, resting his head in her lap. This is the ultimate trust to make himself so vulnerable to her. Often, personal grooming would take place (such as combing his hair and as they got to know each other, she washed his hair). Not the typical picture that comes to mind when you think of Viking men, right?
3) Your Independence
That’s right. This part’s about you. To be the best partner to a man, a woman needs to be strong in who she is. One interesting facet of Viking culture was the strong female. The Sagas tell tales of shield maidens who battled alongside the men. Viking women also had the freedom to divorce. You read about that from time to time in Viking history. One thing you won’t read about in the Sagas is the coy damsel in distress.
Nordic women didn’t have time for playing the helpless victim. Perhaps that’s the best guide? Be the best woman you can be.
A stolen woman of rare qualities…
Seized by marauders and taken to the icy northlands by the wolf-eyed Viking warrior, Helena will do whatever it takes to earn her freedom and return to France.
A mighty Viking Chieftain…
Betrayal has turned Hakan’s heart to ice, but the spirited Frankish maid warms him in a way he’s never known. The spell she weaves leaves them both breathless, but can he keep his promise to return her home even if it means he’ll lose his precious jewel forever?
Read the review.