My ancestors hail from Scotland, and I love romance books with a kilt wearing Highland warrior. So, when I first saw Kris Tualla's tagline about Norway being the new Scotland, I was intrigued. Really, I thought? Convince me.
Please welcome the talented and original Kris Tualla as my guest today. Let's see if she can convince you as she has convinced me. Leave a comment with your email addy for a chance to win an e-copy of the book A Woman of Choice.
When I first decided to write an historical romance novel, I didn't know anything about the romance market. But I did know there are a mega-zillion "kilted warrior" stories already published. That sub-genre has been going strong for decades. When I went to Amazon and searched book titles for "highlander" there were 2,976 results…
I didn't want to write more of those.
So, what DID I want to write? Well, they say write what you know. I was already going to need to research my time period… (I may be old, but "Historical" still precedes my lifetime… barely.) I chose the Missouri Territory because I spent my childhood in Kansas City. The terrain and the weather are familiar to me.
One thing I knew - the hero would not be Scots. What else is sexy? Vikings! So my hero became Norwegian: big, blond, buff, blue-eyed and beautiful. Strong. Stoic. Spectacular.
I was driving past IKEA when I heard a hyped-up commercial on the radio: H&M was coming soon! "Hmm," I thought. "These are both Scandinavian stores… I guess that's the next big thing."
And then it hit me. My hook. My brand. My big, blond, buff, beautiful heroes with oceanic eyes! Norwegian men are the next big thing.
And I'll tell everyone that Norway is the NEW Scotland! I even made a video about it: http://www.youtube.com/user/ktualla#p/u/3/uN64hFA0lPQ
Ta-daaaaaaa! Now I needed some history:
After Napoleon's defeat in 1814, the Danish Prince, Christian Frederick, convened the National Assembly in Norway, where he was elected as King. But the triumphant nations refused to accept this attempt by Norway to become independent, with the Danish prince as their new king.
Following a brief show of strength by Sweden, King Christian Frederick caved, renounced all claims to Norway's throne, and fled the country.
When I created the setting for "A Prince of Norway" I backed up a couple of generations to King Christian VI. His son, Frederick V had seventeen children by 2 wives and a mistress - and one short-lived sister. So I gave Frederick a stronger, fictional sister.
My Marit Christiansen married and escaped her brother's lifestyle by emigrating to the New World. Settled in Philadelphia, she birthed a daughter, the princess Kirsten Sven. Kirsten's life was saved during the Revolutionary War by a handsome American soldier of Norse heritage - Reidar Magnus Hansen.
These are Nicolas Hansen's parents.
Before I could see which of the seventeen descendents of King Frederick might be involved in the 1814 switch of regents, they needed to be charted, tracked, and fictionalized if they fell off the radar, which almost all of then did. That was fun. (And the family tree is posted on my website: http://www.kristualla.com/)
So in 1818, the oldest and most powerful of these fictionalized descendents sent Nicolas a letter, strongly requesting that he return to Norway (he went there in 1806 at age 19) to candidate for a reclaimed throne. The times being what they were, the letter didn't reach him until 1820, at which point he had remarried and had a second child.
This is the set-up for A Prince of Norway.
Intrigued? Is it time you found a new brand of hero? Please allow me to help.
For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:
1. Go to http://www.kristualla.com/ and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.
2. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at http://kristualla.wordpress.com/blog-tour-dates-locations/
A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at http://www.goodnightpublishing.com/
A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.
A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?
A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821
Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.
Thank you Kris for joining us today!