Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Welcome Gina Conkle and a Contest

Welcome to my Reading Nook, Gina Conkle. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?

Thanks for opening up your blog to me and to your readers for sharing part of their day.

My first book, Norse Jewel, released June 17th, a Viking romance set at the end of that era and based on historical events of the time. Imagine a Viking chieftain who wants to set aside his sword and live a peaceful farmer’s life. He crosses paths with a Frankish slave, a sort of damsel in distress.  The woman, Helena, is a stolen woman and wasn’t born a slave; thus, she wants her freedom.

Their story takes off from there.

If we asked your muse to describe you using five words, what do you think they would say?

Creative, deep thinking, volatile, nerdy, kind

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

I have a tattoo.  That’s not uncommon these days, but if you met me in person, I’m the last woman you’d expect to have a tattoo on her rear.  I hope that wasn’t TMI!!!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Rural France.  I visited Colmar once and loved it.  The history. The vineyards.  Problem is my husband’s more of a tropical island kind-of-guy.

If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?

Norse Jewel’s my first…first ever written and first published.  Everything else comes out next year. 

Where do you find the inspirations for your stories?

Mostly non-fiction history books.  For my Vikings books, I read the sagas and non-fiction history: Vikings: North Atlantic Saga; The Viking Art of War; Women in Old Norse Society; The Far Traveler, etc. 

For my upcoming Georgian series with Sourcebooks: The Age of Wonder; London, An Autobiography; A Short History of England, etc.

I was also inspired by the movie “Gladiator” in that Maximus (Russel Crowe) wanted to stop fighting and go home to Spain.  That intrigued me and I wondered, “What about a Viking chieftain who wanted that?”

Are your characters able to love or do they need to be taught?

Without giving too much away, Hakan had to relearn some things about women. For Helena, love came easily and she made sacrifices and “let go” which is essential, I think, to move onto bigger and better things in life and love.

Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?

So far, they’ve all flowed.  Any stalls happen because I don’t know the character or world well enough.  I dig a little deeper into those two areas and flow begins again.

 If you could collaborate with one author who would it be? 

Josie Litton.  That’s one pseudonym for prolific, award-winning author Maura Seger. 

Coffee, tea or other drink to get you moving in the morning? 

I guzzle water first.  Then coffee.

What is coming up from you in 2013? Anything you want to tease us with?

I plan to keep writing Vikings and am working on Norse Fire as a follow up to Norse Jewel.  But, to keep things interesting, a 3 book series sold to Sourcebooks.  That’s featuring Georgian era romance with a series title, “Meetings at Midnight” (tentative title I should say).

The first book, Meet the Earl at Midnight, comes out summer, 2014.  Think brilliant recluse meets a woman on the shelf with a mind of her own.  That story’s filled with lively banter and layers of conflict. As I wrote it, I joked with a friend that it’s “Beauty and the Beast Meets My Fair Lady.”

By the way, my blog post hosts “Teaser Tuesday” where I post approximately 6 lines of a work in progress.  The next 3 weeks I’m posting snippets of Norse Jewel, but after that other works will be posted.

Anything else you want to add? 

I’d love to connect with you and your readers, or if you’re curious about “Teaser Tuesdays” find me here:

On my website: http://ginaconkle.com/
On Pinterest: http://bit.ly/180l9gu

Norse Jewel, a Viking romance

How much would you pay for love and surrender?

A stolen woman of rare qualities…
AD 1022…
Helena wants her freedom. The Frankish maid wasn’t born a slave but marauding Danes have taken her. She’s desperate to escape their camp. Her savior comes as a fierce Norse chieftain, Hakan, who takes her to the far, icy north.

A powerful warrior who’s lived by the sword…

Hakan wants to lay down his sword and live a peaceful farmer’s life. Betrayal left him cold to other women, yet his heart thaws to clever
Helena. Her tender ways lure him, weaving kindness into his hard life. But, happiness is short lived. Deceit and old loyalties vex the warrior, calling on his sword.

A clash of cultures amidst a kingdom in transition…

War erupts…a kingdom’s in the balance. Can Hakan defend his homeland and keep the woman he loves?

Buy Links:

Norse Jewel excerpt:

His massive size closed in, blocking all light. Wedged between a barrel and the ship’s side, sturdy wood imprisoned her. His skin grazed hers as he wrapped the leather around her wrists. She glanced down at the detestable strap, and a burst of rebellion flowered.
“Why the tether? What harm can one woman do?”
His eyes widened at her show of courage, or so she guessed from the way he tipped his head in acknowledgment.
“Aye, one woman.” His mouth made a grim line and bitterness threaded his voice. “I have seen the destruction one woman can do.” He knotted the leather. “The bindings stay.”
Helena licked her lips, choosing silence. The chieftain’s nostrils flared like some predatory beast scenting prey. Was this anger barely restrained? Or something else?
He touched the wet rope of hair that hung over her shoulder, letting his fingers slip between tangled strands. His thumb and forefinger found a single lock and stroked the hair down to the curling tip. Goose bumps skittered across her flesh from the intimate touch.
“What is your name, thrall?” He asked in the gentlest voice.
Helena,” she whispered.
Helena.” He repeated her name softly. The corner of his mouth twitched. He seemed pleased to know her name, but the pleasure was fleeting, replaced by fierceness. “I care not about trust, but I require obedience.”
Helena swallowed the hard lump in her throat.
“Serve me, as well as Agnar—” His teeth gleamed wolf-like in the darkness. “—and you’ll be rewarded.” Rising, he towered over her. “Fail in your purpose, and you will suffer the consequences.”
The chieftain stalked away and, true to his word, he did not harm her. ‘Twas as if she did not exist for the way he ignored her. The Norseman kept his distance as one day slid into another, and the dragon ship carried her farther from home. Each day left her stewing over a baffling riddle:
If neither deception nor fleeing would get her home, what else could she do?

Prize Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a pdf copy of Norse Jewel. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post to be entered. Please make sure to leave an email address in case you win we have a way of contacting you.

Also Gina Conkle is giving away a huge tour prize as well.... One lucky winner will receive $100 Williams Sonoma gift card, a $25 Barnes and Noble or Amazon gift card, and three wooden spoons.

Fill out the raffelcopter below to be entered

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