Vikings are more popular than ever and if you can’t get enough Norse drama, check out my Viking romance with Medallion Press. The Viking’s Witch is a historical with paranormal elements is set in Celtic Scotland.
The main character, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then – nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer.
Scotland is a beautiful place and I’ve always wanted to set a book there. (I still may write another historical set in the Highlands.) Having the story take place on the remote Orkney Islands added a sense of urgency and tension to the plot. In a sense, Rothgar and Odaria are “trapped” on the island and are forced to deal with angry villagers and the other Norsemen. The action is condensed into a few days on a very small island, so there’s really nowhere for the characters to go. They’re forced to work together in order to get off the island – and survive.
Before I started writing a word of the book I had to do a lot research on where to set the story. I knew the book would take place in Scotland, where the Vikings traveled in their early years of exploration, but I didn’t want it to be a populated location. Once I decided on the Orkneys, I had to pick which island to set the story (there are 70 different islands, but today, only 20 are inhabited).
I also had to research what life was like at that time period for Odaria and Rothgar. (What kind of clothes they would wear? What food did they eat? How did Norsemen travel so far? What were their ships like?) Odaria and Rothgar come from different backgrounds and technically would have been speaking different languages, so I had to blend their two cultures together in a way that flowed with the book.
After I got a feel for what everyday life was like for each of them, I weaved the details into the story. For example, Rothgar’s Norse culture intrigues Odaria and she is curious about their clothes, customs, their food, how they travel, etc. Having Rothgar show her how he lived was a good way to introduce readers into the culture.
And of course, if you were living back in 803 with bands of Norsemen and crazy villagers, you can expect there was some measure of violence. Readers might think that there’s no place for violence in a romance, but I think that type of realism enhances the story.
In 803, life was completely different from how we live now – especially on a remote island. People got hurt, sick, and died. The Viking’s Witch is about a violent man (Brennan) and a group of Norsemen with violent reputations, so the violence in the story is necessary to move the plot along while also helping the reader get deeper into the minds and lives of the characters.
I didn’t cringe when I wrote the “gritty” scenes; I was happy to include them. I like history and it drives me crazy when people in 1500 or 1870 are perfectly clean and neat and look like they stepped out of a beauty salon. In The Viking’s Witch I included enough details to bring the story alive, yet showed how some degree of violence was necessary for Rothgar’s and Odaria’s survival.
You can order a copy of the book here: http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/the-vikings-witch/
A book summary & excerpt are below. You can also read the first chapter for free on the book's page at Manic Readers (and it’s also on Shelfari & Goodreads). The Viking’s Witch was a lot of fun to write and has received several excellent 5-star reviews on Amazon and romance novel websites. (Excerpts from reviews are posted on my site: www.KelliWilkins.com.)
Scotland, 803 A.D.
About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.
But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?
After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?
Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other . . . before time is up.
An Excerpt From The Viking’s Witch
As Odaria rubbed her temples with her fingertips, the wool blanket slipped down, exposing her breasts. She tried to cover herself, but Rothgar held her wrists.
"Let me admire you." He pulled away from her and sat back on his heels.
Although she was a bit embarrassed, she felt no need to shield herself. She trusted Rothgar like no other. Before she knew what was happening, Rothgar’s warm mouth covered her left breast. A flash of desire coursed through her, and she groaned.
He suckled her gently, then twirled his tongue around her nipple. The sensation of his mouth working against her flesh sent her senses reeling, and she longed for more. A low moan escaped her throat as he increased the pressure on her breast.
She wrapped her arms around Rothgar’s head and held him to her, arching her back as he devoured her. Her lustful feelings from this morning resurfaced, and she willed him to ease her back onto the bed and make love to her.
After a few minutes, Rothgar moved away. "I thought that would make you feel better," he said with a wink.
She smiled. "Aye. I do. I’m tingling everywhere, but it isn’t enough."
Rothgar stroked her cheek with his forefinger. "Then lie back. I will make you feel things you’ve never dreamed of."
Odaria lay on the bed and closed her eyes. Her entire body felt prickly, and her heart thundered in her chest like a drum. What would Rothgar do next? Would they make love? He was the only man who had ever sparked these desires in her. It felt natural to give herself to him.
She felt a slight chill as Rothgar tugged the wool blanket away from her lower half, exposing her. A tremor of fear rippled through her. "What happens now? I dunno how to do this," she whispered.
"Fret not, my little witch. We will not make love now. I wish to save that pleasure for tonight." He chuckled. "But I know how to give you the same pleasures of lovemaking while leaving you intact."
She gasped as Rothgar leaned over her and suckled her breast again. Her skin quivered as Rothgar trailed kisses down her ribs and stomach, inching lower with each kiss. His strong hands massaged her calves, sliding upward until he rubbed her knees, then her thighs. His kisses went lower, tickling her until he reached her lower belly. She moaned and squirmed on the bed. This delightful teasing and touching was something she’d never expected. How did Rothgar know how to make her feel so weak and vulnerable?
Next week, we'll get ready for Wrestlemania with an inside look at my wrestling romance, A Perfect Match!