In honour of her new release remaining at a special low price until Thursday, Allison is back with us for a guest post. Buy her book ‘Her Heart’s Surrender’, or connect with Allison using the links below, but first let her tell you what she learned about vikings while she did her research.
I had to do a lot of research when I started Her Heart’s Surrender. As much as reading about medieval times and watching Game of Thrones inspired me to write Viking romance, I needed a touch more fact. Here are some cool facts.
1) Vikings did not call themselves Vikings. Throughout the book, Ealasaid and her brothers refer to the people who invaded their homeland vikingrs. Norseman or “northman” makes quite a bit of sense when you consider that they journey south to conquer. Viking refers to Scandinavians who explored, raided and traded by sea. It’s also a verb. To go viking means go exploring.
2) During Her Heart’s Surrender, the hero Hella receives news that displeases him so much he starts throwing things. Ealasaid asks if he’s suffering from a berserker rage. Berserker rages are described as someone losing his mind so far that he don’t know what he’s doing, but his actions of usually violent. He may appear to have super strength. The first book I ever read about this condition in was Garth Nix’s Sabriel. The origins of the condition are Norse and stem from men who wore animals skins (largely bear or wolf), howled as they went into battle and may have consumed hallucinogens.
3) Runestones were carved the alphabet called runor. Hardly any paper records exist, but there are runestones scattered across Scandinavia. In the book. Hella’s father’s last wishes are carved into a small runestone.
4) Horns on Viking helmets are a myth. You can thank the really dramatic romantics of the 19th century for adding those in. You can’t go to a Halloween store without finding a Viking helmet with horns. I can’t help rolling my eyes when I see them.
5) William the Conquerer was descended from Norsemen. Normandy, of course, is from the word Norse. I found this interesting because we’ve traced my dad’s roots back to the conquest of 1066 when our ancestors followed William across the English Channel. Maybe I have some Viking blood. As with some Norsemen, my blond hair isn’t exactly a gift from the heavens. Thank goodness the dying process
About the author:
A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.
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