The Tales of Freya are complete: NOW out in paperback!
Today marks the release of THE paperback: all my sensual short stories finally in ONE lovely book, to actually hold and caress … and put under the Yule / Christmas trees … or to read to your spouse by candlelight … But beware: They may be sexy, but not (just) sweet.
They’re like the North: rough, authentic, immediate. Strong and beautiful. Moving.
My “Tales of Freya” are gritty romance outside the usual romance rules. If you try to be as authentic as me with the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years – it’s near impossible to write sweet stories. Early medieval times were incredibly hard and lives short. Death was always around the corner, especially for my warrior protagonists, and so my characters fight for love and passion in the time they’re given. But then: I also have to think like today’s reader, who is not as accustomed to the harshness of the era. So I try to give readers a wonderful journey with my Viking men and women, and a happy ending, but only after various internal and external battles.
So on the one hand I use the authentic circumstances of the time, but on the other hand contrast those with deep and tender stories of passion and love. Some stories turned out to have quite brutal parts (“Tower”, “Battles”), some are more tender and mystical (“Awakening”, “Healer”).
For every “Tale” in this collection I use the frame of longish short stories (each around the 50 pages) to get to the core of my characters and their desires fast. There’s fights, there’s pain, there’s longing, anticipation, and crackling tension, sometimes blood and the occasional casualty – until the climax always has to be this mind-soul-body lovemaking which changes people’s lives forever.
The “Tales of Freya” take readers on an early medieval rollercoaster ride of adventure, sensuality and emotions. My characters have it tough … to then each get their HEA.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a sweet girl myself. I’m fascinated by harsh circumstances and straightforward people as you find them in the North. And it is especially this contrast I love about writing in the Viking age: It’s all a bit rougher, grittier. I’m fascinated by the not-so-sweet weather, the not-so-sweet lines in faces, landscapes and mindsets. I don’t do the damsel in distress-thingie; the elements I use in my stories have more balanced dynamics. My women are tough, they sometimes overpower the men in unexpected ways. My favourite example is Nyssa, the fierce shield maiden, who first seduces, then in two subsequent stories comes to deeply love her warrior Aldaith. Suddenly the couple had three stories in this collection: “Current”, “Bonds”, and “Battles”. These two characters stand out; they deserved sequels (whereas the other four stories in the “Tales” are independent and with different couples). In each the stakes raise and what started out as a heated, sensual duel turns into a literal fight for survival and love.
Every one of the seven stories explores a theme, and I hint at those in the subtitles. They can be read out of sequence and according to which topic excites you first. Would you like to follow a not-so-innocent Christian monk into the chamber of his mistress? Or watch what happens when two warriors battle it out in sensual duels? Or would you like a piece of the spiritual, and see a healing unfold that takes an unexpected, yet wonderfully fulfilling turn?
The “Tales of Freya” show Viking characters from their strong and passionate, yet vulnerable sides. I hope in the end you’ll agree that their journeys were fascinating and satisfying to follow – and you learned a bit about what it meant to follow your dreams in tough times.
Happy reading & writing!