Vikingr Update

New cover

I decided to give you all an update on how Vikingr is doing in the Kindle store. Thanks to a couple of free giveaways via KDP Select and a kind reviewer, it is now rising to prominence in the niche of Russian historical fiction.

Before anyone gets excited, this applies to only the Kindle UK rankings. I have discovered that there are far fewer books self-published on Amazon UK, so it is easier to get a foot in the door. Vikingr is around #27 in Kindle US for Norse & Icelandic.

Either way, eat Erikr’s dust Dr Zhivago!

Dr Zhivago

Vikingr Prologue

Vikingr Prologue

Cover 2

-Vikingr now has a prologue, so here it is!-

Erikr felt his eyes dart to and fro in their desperation to avoid the ghastly sight. He heard the incessant throb of his heart pounding in his ears. He could not understand what he was seeing, unable to make sense of it.

Looking down at his arms, it seemed like they were wrapped in crimson gauntlets. Thick blood clung to his skin, crusting around his arm hair and running down between his fingers.

He tore his gaze away from the mangled thing on the ground and blinked at the sudden, harsh sunlight. Hot tears stung in his eyes, breaking the fierce glare into many blinding rays of light.

Looking away achieved nothing. The image of what lay at his feet remained like a horrific tapestry hanging at the front of his mind. It was a savaged pile of flesh, carved and disfigured. Blood was daubed across its pale skin like furious red brush strokes. Dark pools spread out across the wet earth around it.

He knew that it was nothing more than a limp sack of meat. But Erikr could not stop his thoughts from returning to the fact that it had been his friend. Beneath the torn skin, sightless eyes and still breast, there had once been a person like him. Now they would never again hope for the future or long for the past, experience the joy of love or the pain of loss.

Erikr lifted his arms, opening his bloody palms so that his companions could see them. He saw his own white-hot grief reflected in their contorted faces. In their eyes, he felt as if he could read something of their thoughts. They were accusing him, cursing him to die a thousand excruciating deaths.

He had killed their friend and they would never forgive him for it.

You can find Vikingr on Kindle by following this link!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0113AJ0RE

Vikingr Teaser

Vikingr Teaser

Cover 2

Stones crunched under Erikr’s feet. They had made it to the beach. Men lined the side of the longboat, hammering sword, spears and axes against their shields. Erlingr and the other karls raced ahead, their feet pounding on the wooden planks of the pier. Erikr tried to run faster but all of the muscles in his legs burned. Suddenly, he was dragging his burden alone. Turning back, he saw Alva sprawled on the beach with her hands clutched around her ankle. He dropped the deer’s heavy carcass and sprinted back to her.

“It twisted!” She cried.

Men and women poured out of the meadow, their faces contorted with rage as they saw their enemies climbing aboard the ship. Then they whooped in victory at the sight of Erikr and Alva crouching halfway between them and the pier. The enraged crowd surged down onto the beach. Erikr hauled Alva to her feet and dragged her down the stony slope. Their feet slipped and skidded on the wet rocks as they drew closer to the longboat. On board the ship, the karls shouted and gestured wildly behind them.

Alva’s ankle gave out at the pier. Feeling her weight pulling down on his shoulder, Erikr looped his arms under hers and hauled her down the walkway. Rough hands reached down and dragged them both up over the bulwark and onto the deck of the longboat. They lay panting where they were deposited as oars were brought over and braced against the pier. The longboat slowly drifted away from the shoreline while howls of impotent rage burst from the mouths of their frustrated pursuers.

You can find Vikingr by clicking this link!

New Covers!

Earlier this week I made a post asking for help designing a book cover. The feedback I received was so great that I thought I’d show you what I’ve come up with. Let me know if I’m on the right track or missing the point completely!

Cover 2

Vikingr is a historical novel about a medieval Norse explorer. I chose waves for the background because a lot of the narrative involves sailing around the land of the Rus’ and Khazar Khaganate.

True cover

The First Covenant is a fantasy novel about a woman who makes a great sacrifice in order to gain the power to have revenge on a cruel tyrant. I chose a grassland fire for the background because flames burn throughout the story and fire is the element on which the book is based.

A minor point about how the author name appears on the cover. Having my name recognised doesn’t really concern me too much, unless you think my name will draw the reader in somehow? And the subtitle is really just to fill space. My main concerns are how eye-catching the cover is and whether you can read the title.

But if everything I have just said shows how much of a self-publishing newbie I am, please don’t hesitate to tell me!

Vikingr Taster

Crow

Here’s an excerpt from my novel, Vikingr

Erikr looked down at his right arm, swinging limply by his side. He did not think that he would be able to use it properly again any time soon. Holmegeirr looked across at him and noticed his expression.

“Cheer up, lad.” He said. “That’s a wound you can talk about for years to come. Stories about injuries are very popular. Words bring men fame, and fame brings men immortality. Don’t you want to be immortal?”

Erikr thought about what the merchant had said. Something about immortality appealed to him. The thought of his current life going on forever depressed him, but having generations to come tell his story was very appealing.

“How do I do it?” Erikr asked. “How do I get fame?”

“Word-fame comes from what you do. Each of us has to try to do great deeds which people will be impressed by and talk about. Truly great deeds inspire great stories, which are told from person to person. Maybe one day, they’re even carved somewhere for everyone to see, with pictures and runes explaining your achievements.”

“Are there any stories about you?”

“There were once.” Holmgeirr said, looking up at a passing cloud. “I rowed for half a day without rest on an expedition one time. And there was one raid where I brought back this great candle-holder made out of silver. It was almost as tall as you are.”

“That’s not possible. There aren’t any places with so many candles that they’d need such a big thing to hold them.”

“You haven’t seen a monks’ fort, have you?”

“What’s a monk?”

“Monks are a strange people. They wear long dresses and live without any women.” Holmgeirr said, shaking his head. “Their forts have high stone walls, glass windows and more treasure inside than you can imagine. But not one of them can fight. Can you believe that? They sit on their wealth like fat hens, waiting to be robbed. We just walked into one of those places, took their treasures and left.”

“Don’t they have a jarl to protect them?”

“They have a king.” Holmgeirr replied. “His name is Christus and these monks would wail at us that he would protect them from us, that he was coming to avenge them. Well, I never saw him or one of his karls come after us. But he must be powerful to own so much gold and silver.”

“How many longboats does he have?”

“That’s enough about King Christus. We’re almost at the gate. Remember, you’re supposed to be a fearless vikingr. Try to look confident and don’t say anything. I drive a hard bargain and there’ll be some who will take offence, you’re here to make them think twice before doing anything about it.”

You can find the whole book on Amazon Kindle here.

Vikingr Update

Vikingr amazonHere is an update on how my historical novel, Vikingr, is doing. It has been out less than a week and already over 140 copies have sold on Amazon Kindle. If you’d like to download your own copy or check out the free sample (over 3 chapters), click the link below.

Find it here on Amazon Kindle.

Or click here for an introductory post telling you what it’s all about.

 

Ragnarok

Here is something which ties in with a novel I wrote, although I haven’t decided how they will be connected yet.

Ragnarok

Ragnarok, the End of Days. The vikingr stood on the front steps of Valhalla, Odin’s hall for the dead, and looked down on a blighted world. In one glance he saw high mountains, deep valleys, vast oceans, winding rivers and boundless plains. He blinked and looked closer, seeing armies of men in bright armour bearing flags of many colours as they advanced into battle against foes in rags and tattered leather.

Everything was coming to an end. King Christus as the Norsemen called him, the one they had all mocked, was triumphing over the old gods. His followers had come first in bare cloaks with worn books in their hands. Next they had grown in numbers, wearing woollen tunics and toiling behind their ploughs in His name. Now they came with iron and cloth, boot and hoof, sword and spear.

“What do you think?” The skald asked.

His body was marred with deep punctures and long gashes which bled into the snow at their feet. The skald had been fighting a battle which stretched over centuries and new scars prepared to form over old.

“Are you going to die?” The vikingr asked.

“Of course I’ll die. You could say I saw it coming.” The skald replied.

“Will that be the end of everything?”

“Everything will end and then everything will start again. Don’t you know this, vikingr?”

“Where will you go?”

“I’ll go back to where I was, young and impulsive like we all were.”

“And where will I go?”

“You will go down there, vikingr.”

“Will I remember?”

“Of course you will.”

“That is good, skald.”

“You’ll remember for a year and then forget once you learn to speak. You can’t have everything.”

“Bah!” The vikingr barked. “You’re a trickster.”

The skald face grew stern and a dark brow lowered over his one eye. His tattooed hand gripped the sleeve of the vikingr’s shirt.

“Beware of the trickster, vikingr.” He said. “Now go, before they leave you behind.”

Tall men and women with trailing, golden hair swarmed down the slopes below. They were armed for war and bellowing their readiness for battle. Hordes of Norse heroes gradually disappeared into the deep snowdrifts of Asgard’s foothills. The vikingr turned from the skald, lifted his foot from the wooden step and placed it on the hard, frozen earth of the mountaintop.

He began the long journey towards the fray as any march begins, whistling a tune. An army of Norse seafarers and shield warriors who had not known life in a thousand years was returning to Midgard.

 

To read more about my novel, Vikingr, click here.

Vikingr Introduction

VIKINGR COVER

The purpose of this post is to hopefully tell you everything you need to know about my new book, Vikingr.

Why Did I Write It?

I starting writing historical fiction while I was studying for a degree in Archaeology & Ancient History. Novels in the fiction and fantasy genres inspired by history always appealed to me, whether they were historical fiction by authors such as Bernard Cornwell and C J Sansom or fantasy novels with medieval elements such as George R R Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire.

I decided to write a novel set in the Viking Age so that I could show a different side of the early vikings. I’ve tried to present the Norse adventurers as poets and explorers of uncharted territories as well as raving pillagers and murderers, .

What Did I Have To Do To Publish My Novel?

A lot of research went into understanding viking society, culture and religion. Norse mythology plays a very big part in the novel. Erikr, the main character, is haunted by spirits from his past throughout the plot. The pagan Norse believed that wraiths of the dead would haunt the living until properly laid to rest, and this was a recurring theme in medieval Scandinavian sagas.

There was also a lot of planning, proofreading and editing. A further aspect which I put a lot of work into was designing the cover of the novel. It includes a vegvisir, a viking symbol or stave intended to help Norse travelers find their way through rough weather, something like a magic compass.

Where Is It Set?

The novel begins in a medieval drinking hall where there is a riot of noise and color, a feast in full swing. Then we travel with Erikr as he begins his voyage aboard a viking longboat which is seeking to establish trading ties with the Roman Empire in the east (a.k.a Byzantine Empire).

But not everything goes to plan and, after sailing along the coast of 10th Century Estonia and through the lands of the Rus’ or Gardariki (present-day Russia and Ukraine), Erikr finds himself in the strange and dangerous empire of the Khazar Khaganate.

Who Are The Main Characters?

Erikr, the protagonist, is a young Norseman taking part in his first Viking (a voyage overseas for trade or plunder). He dreams of becoming a vikingr, a Norse warrior and seafarer.

Alva is a girl slightly younger than Erikr with a fierce, proud personality which gets the pair into trouble. She is also a thrall (slave).

The sisters Ida and Saxa are also thralls. They are Saxon women captured in a viking raid on their Germanic homeland. Ida takes an almost mothering attitude towards Erikr, caring for him when he is injured. On the other hand, Saxa is bitter about their captivity and holds a burning hatred towards all Norsemen.

Holmgeirr and Ingridr are a pair of merchants. Holmgeirr used to be a vikingr but has now retired to a peaceful life, while Ingridr is the widow of another Norse adventurer. The pair do much to teach Erikr about what it means to be a warrior and a leader. They are his mentors and close friends on his voyage.

Want to find out more?

You can find the full novel on Amazon Kindle here.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0113AJ0RE?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Recently Published Historical Fiction / Fantasy Novel

VIKINGR COVERVIKINGR now available

My first novel, Vikingr, is now available on Amazon Kindle! It is a historical fiction / fantasy novel set in the medieval era at the dawn of the Viking Age around A.D. 900 in present-day Scandinavia, Estonia and Russia.

What is it about?

Vikingr follows the life of a boy named Erikr who takes part in his first Viking, an overseas expedition. The Norse explorers’ goal is to trade with the Roman Empire in the east, but failing that they will resort to pillage and plunder in order to turn a profit.

Their medieval voyage quickly goes awry as hostility builds among the crew. Erikr finds himself ostracized by the older viking warriors and makes friends in unlikely places, among the thralls (slaves) and merchants.

He is soon forced to take on the role of commander of this group and become a dreaded vikingr (Norse seafarer) in order to protect his new allies.

What to expect?

You can expect to be drawn into the violent, gritty world of a medieval viking explorer where you will meet diverse and interesting characters with a range of different personalities.

There are some elements of the thriller and Norse mythology is also present throughout the novel, bringing in tastes of fantasy.

Will Erikr grow into the vikingr he dreams of becoming? Will he be able to keep his crew safe from starvation, murder and hostile strangers?

 

Click this link to find out or copy and paste the URL below.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0113AJ0RE?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

You can also search for “Vikingr” on the Kindle store.