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Snippet Saturday: Unusual Setting
Saturday, July 9th, 2011

The Book Dragon Contest continues!
Be sure to check out my Contest page for details! ~DD

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In Ravished by a Viking, most of the story takes place either on the ice-bound planet of New Iceland or aboard the starship Proteus. Unusal enough, right? Wait until the sequel when Dagr’s brother Eirik fights his way off the planet Helios. I’ll share snippets from Enslaved by a Viking soon!

“A steamy and fascinating adventure…” Romance Reviews Today

“Clash of cultures, clash of myths, clash of powerful personalities…how many authors can bring out on paper the excitement and more-than-willing suspension of disbelief that old fashioned adventure stories once brought us?…a wonderful, action-packed, emotional roller-coaster of a read.” Alien Places

“With the intriguing meshing of the past with the future this was an engrossing read…”
Top Pick!, Night Owl Reviews

What a Viking wants, a Viking takes.

When his younger brother goes missing, Dagr, Viking warrior and Lord of the Wolfskin Clan, will do whatever it takes to get him back. But nothing could have prepared him for Honora—a feisty, intelligent woman who is nothing like the women of his world—women who are content to serve their men in all things. Drawn to her despite her recalcitrant nature, Dagr is determined to show her who’s boss both in bed and out.

When the two enemies-turned-lovers join forces to find Dagr’s brother they are thrown into a rousing adventure full of danger, intrigue and erotic abandon. Can their passion truly unite them or will their different worlds lead to destruction for them both

The journey to Skuldelev passed in silence. Strapped into the back seat of a small, two-man snow-eater, she watched the endless drifts of white, stirred only by the shifting winds and blowing toward the frozen sea that bordered the lowlands they crossed. In the distance, the jagged peaks of the Keel Mountains sawed into the face of Sunni, the sun goddess, stretching the shadows of night to cloak the mountains and the city fortress of Skuldelev at its base.

Birget straightened to peer over Dagr’s shoulder at the city few Bearshirts had ever willingly entered. Where her own fortress stood as evidence of strength and precision, the keep rising several stories high, Skuldelev stretched like a lazy dragon resting across the top of the foothills. The fortress wall hugged the contours, turrets spiking like ridges on the beast’s back. Even the great, gated entrance gave the appearance of a dragon’s large, crenellated head with its mouth gaping.

A shiver rippled down her spine. The day’s happenings had passed in a whirlwind, and only now did it strike her that this might be her home for the rest of her life—this foreign, craggy, monstrous castle where men as rugged and unforgiving of weakness as their clan-lord lived.

Birget had no fear of death. She did, however, fear showing weakness. Not once in her life had she quivered at the sight of a man, but Dagr made her knees weak. The cause wasn’t one she wished to explore. From his reputation, she knew him to be cruel, relentless, and merciless—qualities she normally admired. But she also knew he loved his brother, honored his promises, and cared for the welfare of his people. That she was the enemy’s daughter meant little to him other than the fact that she served as a valuable pawn.

No, she didn’t really fear for her life, but she felt as though the ground beneath her feet had somehow shifted. She no longer knew her place in the harsh world he delivered her to.

Dagr turned the wheel of the vehicle and it cut through gravel and ice, coming to a halt in a wide wide-open lot where more of the tracked vehicles were parked. “This will be your new home, princessPrincess,” he said, not bothering to look over his shoulder to see if she followed him out of the vehicle’s door.

They climbed the snow-packed trail to the iron gate, which creaked slowly upward. More Ulfhednar warriors rushed forward, forming a phalanx around their leader as he traipsed through the compound toward the keep.

Ignored, Birget trudged behind them, her misgivings turning into irritation. Were they all this rude? She was a princess, which held certain rights. Never had she been so demeaned.

The keep’s great metal doors slowly opened, and they stepped inside. Birget stared at the rough-hewn stone that served as the flooring, at the equally unpolished rock walls. No carpets warmed the floor, but rich tapestries hung on the walls to tell the glorious, bloody past of the clan.

At the far side of the hall, the largest of the tapestries told the ancient tale of the ancestors’ journey to this cold world. The Bifrost, which she’d only just discovered was real, was featured at the center, a blinding rainbow leading from the grass- and lichen-covered fjords of Midgard to the perpetually snow-covered plains of New Iceland. The small figures of the original settlers were shown as they stepped off the bridge, and the many animals they’d brought along to populate their new world spilled from their wooden cages.

Those first settlers had believed they’d been dropped into Niflheim, the cold realm of Hel, goddess of the Underworld. But it hadn’t taken long for them to realize they’d been tricked into serving as slaves to an alien culture in an inhospitable world they were uniquely suited to survive.

“Are you coming?” Dagr asked, his voice tinged with impatience.

Birget shook back her hair and lifted her chin, aiming her glance upward to meet his cold gaze. “Are you talking to me? Because I thought you’d forgotten my existence.”

His lips twitched, but he extended his arm, urging her to precede him into the great hall to the right of the entryway.

She blinked as she entered. In the foyer, all comfort had been scrubbed clean, but here warmth and pale, sunny colors filled the room, and she instantly understood the reason. This was the women’s realm.

Female servants bustled, rubbing beeswax into oak tables, and scouring the smooth stone floor with woolen mops while children played with wool-hair dolls in a far corner. Food was carried in on large platters, and bread trenchers set on long planked tables. The smell of roasted meat and onions permeated the air and her stomach growled. Heat spilled from grates set in the floor, chasing away the chill and allowing the women to wear single-layer, long-sleeved gowns cut from thin twill, much as the servant women in her own home wore.

Dagr led her to a dais at the end of the hall where the lord’s table rested. Two women waited at the top of the stairs with their hands folded in front of them, smiles wreathing their faces at his approach.

When he leapt up the steps, Dagr held out his arms and they rushed forward, pausing to curtsy, before lifting their faces to receive a kiss on their smiling mouths.

“We feared you’d be delayed,” the taller one said. A long golden braid was wound into a coronet atop her head. Her sleeveless overgown was made of fine red wool; the pale, long-sleeved shift underneath was thin enough to show all her feminine parts, had it not been for the gold belt that kept the overgown in place. A thick gold band, almost like a thrall’s cuff, encircled one wrist and was engraved with the shape of a running wolf.

Birget stiffened. So she was one of Dagr’s concubines. Birget gave the woman’s features a more thorough inspection but was unimpressed by her round cheeks and bright blue eyes. She wasn’t a beauty, only a healthy, sturdy woman like so many of their breed.

The other woman was shorter, her figure more rounded. Her hair was a non-descript brown, which she wore down with a gold circlet to keep it off her face. Her clothing was brown and gold, the undergown made of a more conservative fabric than the first concubine’s. This one was older than Dagr, and Birget wondered what he saw in her. She was past childbearing age, or should have been. But her soft smile as she greeted Dagr held a hint of what must attract him. Happiness glowed in her pink cheeks.

Uncomfortable, and again ignored, Birget shifted restlessly beside him.

His gaze dropped to his side. “These are Astrid and Tora. You will reside with them in my quarters until I return.”
The blonde’s eyes widened. “But she’s Valkyrja, Dagr. Are you certain she shouldn’t be housed in the barracks?”
Birget snorted. At least the woman realized the threat she posed.

Dagr rested a hand on the fair-haired woman’s shoulder. “Astrid, she’s my brother’s betrothed. She belongs in my care.”

Astrid lifted a brow and gave Birget another sweeping glance. “I’ll find clothing more suitable for a woman in our king’s household.”

Birget bristled, recognizing the subtle challenge the other woman had thrown down. “I prefer what I’m wearing.”

One fine blonde brow arched. “But it will soon reek if you don’t change.”

Dagr’s snort drew both their glances, and the corners of his lips curved. The smile did not reach his eyes. “You will give these ladies no trouble while I’m gone, Pprincess.”

“And who will be here to ensure my cooperation?”

Dagr lifted a hand, waving a tall, older warrior closer. “This is Odvarr, a member of my personal guard. I am not a soft old man who humors his womenfolk. Should you prove difficult, Odvarr has my permission to administer a woman’s proper punishment.”

Both Astrid and Tora pressed their lips together to hold back their smiles.

Birget gave Dagr a fierce scowl, knowing full well what a Viking considered “proper.” However, her bottom hadn’t been spanked since she was a child. She turned to aim a dagger-like glare at the guardsman.

Odvarr’s dark, shaggy brows rose. His beefy hands rested on his well-muscled hips.

“He’s not a lazy bear,” Dagr whispered, bending toward her ear. “He won’t let you win.”

“Do you really think I cannot take him?” she replied angrily. To ignore her was one thing;, to impugn her fighting skills was quite another.

Dagr grunted and straightened. “It would almost be worthwhile to watch a contest between you two. Sadly, my ears wouldn’t take the shrieking when you lose.”

Her mouth fell open. He had no respect for her skills or her heritage. If she allowed him to leave her among these people, she’d never prove her worth.

Birget stiffened her back and wiped all emotion from her face. Let him think she’d resigned herself to her fate. The bastard would learn soon enough she wasn’t to be dismissed.

Aye, she’d show him the deadly sharpness of a bear’s claws.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Be sure to check out the snippets on these other authors’ blogs:

Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Lacey Savage
Sasha White
Shelli Stevens

12 comments to “Snippet Saturday: Unusual Setting”

  1. Kim
    Comment
    1
      · July 9th, 2011 at 6:48 am · Link

    I am completely enticed! Happy Saturday!



  2. tammy ramey
    Comment
    2
      · July 9th, 2011 at 8:55 am · Link

    okay, i have to get this book.



  3. Diane Sadler
    Comment
    3
      · July 9th, 2011 at 10:46 am · Link

    Good book, I know!



  4. Eden Bradley-Eve Berlin
    Comment
    4
      · July 9th, 2011 at 12:38 pm · Link

    Great snippet! I love a good Viking story. Ive been writing Vikings recently, so this one really resonates with me. Thanks, Delilah!



  5. Diane Sallans
    Comment
    5
      · July 9th, 2011 at 3:47 pm · Link

    That was actually a very good excerpt to read on this hot summer day – 88 degrees (TG only 33% humidity). Visualizing the snow may have made me feel cooler. ps Love that cute dragon!



  6. Jen B.
    Comment
    6
      · July 9th, 2011 at 8:45 pm · Link

    That’s a great excerpt from the story. I am looking forward to Erick’s story.



  7. Becky W
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    7
      · July 9th, 2011 at 9:21 pm · Link

    Great excerpt! I’m looking forward to reading Eirik’s story.



  8. Robin D
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    8
      · July 9th, 2011 at 10:52 pm · Link

    This book looks great!



  9. Taryn Blackthorne
    Comment
    9
      · July 10th, 2011 at 10:18 pm · Link

    beendoing some norse research for my current wip. cool how you used it in futuristic. mine’s a uf



  10. Shadow
    Comment
    10
      · July 11th, 2011 at 12:38 am · Link

    what a great sounding book! i cant wait to read this!!! :)



  11. Nicole Passante
    Comment
    11
      · July 11th, 2011 at 11:39 am · Link

    I’m in on this one too, it looks great! I’ll add this one to my to read list as soon as I finish Hunt the moon (Cassandra Palmer series). I just finished Wold tales 12 too, was that one was amazing!



  12. Nicole Passante
    Comment
    12
      · July 11th, 2011 at 11:40 am · Link

    Oh and you know I write a review too!!! LOL