01 April 2012

Guest Blog: Mia Marlowe

This week, we're welcoming historical romance author Mia Marlowe. Her novel MAIDENSONG  has been re-issued in ebook format. The novel is the first in the Songs of the North series, taking readers on a vivid journey in the Viking age to the fabled grandeur of Miklagard (Constantinople). Mia is here to talk about the novel and give away a copy. Here's the blurb: 

When Rika sings the Norse legends, every other voice falls silent. She lives for the joy of her art, until the terrible day when she’s taken captive and made a slave to Bjorn the Black. She vows to hate him forever, but love doesn’t always recognize the enemy.

No one is more surprised than Bjorn when his slave takes his heart captive. But now that he’s oath-bound to deliver her to another man’s arms, is it a love too late? Sailing down wild rivers to a perilous foreign land, they discover the most dangerous journey is the distance from one heart to another.

**Q&A with Mia Marlowe**

Most of the historical romance world is fixated on Regency England. Why did you decide to write about Vikings?
I have nothing against the Regency. In fact, right now I’m collaborating with New York bestseller Connie Mason for a trio of Regency stories due out in 2013. (Check out my Coming Next page http://miamarlowe.com/next.php  for more about the Royal Rakes!) But I’ve always been fascinated by Norse culture.  Could be because I’m married to a guy of Norwegian descent. Like my hero, Bjorn, my DH is a “black viking,” which means he has dark hair and eyes instead of the usual fair Scandinavian coloring. My DH says it’s because the vikings used to capture the dark-haired women on their raids of the coastal European towns.  He assures me the women were all happy to go.

What makes MAIDENSONG unique?
I think the fact that it’s a “traveling story” marks it as different from many romances. My hero is oath-bound to deliver the heroine to become the 4th wife of his brother’s trading partner in faraway Miklagard (9th century Constantinople). They fight the dangers of the journey, the intrigues of that Byzantine city, and their own hopeless love for each other.

How did you come up with the title MAIDENSONG?
It comes from Norse skalds (their word for bards or storytellers).  The Norse system of runic writing was pretty complicated so most of the vikings were illiterate, but there was a lively tradition of oral history and storytelling. But there was one type of story that was forbidden in some realms. They were called “maidensongs”—love stories. Skalds brave enough to compose one risked death because love is the most powerful, most risky thing in the world.

What’s next?
I’m delighted to share that the second Song of the North story was just released. ERINSONG is set in Viking Ireland.  The hero and heroine from MAIDENSONG, Rika and Bjorn, reappear to help Bjorn's friend, Jorand in ERINSONG.

A few years ago, my DH and I visited Ireland. When I saw the fabulous artistry in the Book of Kells at Trinity University, I decided I wanted to write about an Irish heroine who’d mastered the art of illuminating manuscripts. Once I learned that Dublin started as a Viking over-winter settlement, I knew where Jorand ended up after his adventures with Bjorn and Rika in the first book.

Thank you, Mia and best of luck with sales of MAIDENSONG & ERINSONG.

Get your copy of MAIDENSONG at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Also, ERINSONG, the sequel available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Mia would like to offer an ebook of MAIDENSONG OR ERINSONG to a lucky commenter. Leave your comment or question in order to be entered in her drawing. Be sure to pop over to http://www.miamarlowe.com to enter her contest where the Grand Prize is the entire set of her print backlist! 

Mia want to know: Do you have a favorite unusual setting or time period for historical romance?

You can also find Mia on Facebook http://facebook.com/MiaMarloweFanPage and Twitter http://twitter.com/Mia_Marlowe !