Wùlfe, Book #1 of Viking Invaders.

The Viking and I have recently discovered Netflix and binge-watching. Life may never be the same again. I even got my mother hooked on binge-watching. When she was here the last time, we watched Vikings, Season 1 and 2 in one day. We were bleary-eyed and totally mesmerized. She’s coming to visit in a couple of weeks and has already emailed me to mention that we need to watch all of Season 3 while’s she’s here.

After that, I decided to build models of castles. Go figure, senility has really settled in. These are the two castles I’ve built so far. What do you think? The bigger one is the model for Castle Wick, which is the site where my new series, Viking Invades begins.

Castle Wick front       Castle Wick overview      Castle Wick side

This smaller keep is Thurso Castle.

Castle Thurso front       Castle Thurso overview       Castle Thurso side

Three more to go.

So, here’s a little teaser from my Norse work-in-progress, Wùlfe, Book #1 of Viking Invaders:

***

In less than three weeks Lady Kelsi’s life had been turned upside down and inside out. All she had been taught meant naught. The rules and traditions of Fortune Priory held no sway at Castle Wick. And now she feared her life and those of her people would be lost.

Castle Wick’s defenses had been sorely neglected. If, as her uncle Bertram suspected, the Vikings who had killed her father and his warriors were bent on invasion, the siege would not last long.

Donnan, Castle Wick’s steward, charged into her father’s chamber.

He had a gash on his temple and blood streamed a scarlet river down his cheek. “It is the Norsemen milady. We are overrun. You must hide at once. You needs go post haste to the secret passages.”

“Where is my uncle?” Kelsi’s heart drummed against her ribs. Her palms were damp. Never had she felt such a strange combination of terror and, yet at the same time, a peculiar calm.

Donnan shook his head. “Dead. As are his men. We must throw ourselves on the Norsemen’s mercy.”

“Mercy. From Vikings? Nay. I will prepare for the worst.” Kelsi searched in her herb basket, selected several dried foxglove flowers and stems, and put the poisonous plants into the side pocket of her overtunic.

Did she have the courage to end her own life? Could she go against the teachings of the church?

The door banged against the wall.

Three gigantic men armed with shields and axes, their faces smeared with blue war paint, advanced into the room. Their height and size, their blood-stained flesh, their half-naked state, proved so menacing Kelsi feared she would swoon.

The man in the middle towered above the other two and she could not drag her glance from him. His gaze pierced her.

She prayed for a quick death.

He carried a massive sword in one hand and a terrifying gleaming axe in the other. Blood and mud marred the gleaming surface of both weapons.

“Who are you?” he growled and stalked to stand not a foot in front of her.

She smelled sweat and male musk. Her stomach cramped. Though she willed her mouth to open and utter words, sheer terror strangled her voice.

“I will not ask again. Who are you?” he snarled and raised his axe.

“Lady Kelsi of Wick.” She clasped her hands together at her waist hoping the action would still a sudden violent shudder that wracked through her.

He assessed her with a quick raking from head to toe. Then he turned his attention to her father’s body lying on the bedcovers. “The Duke is dead?”

Kelsi swallowed. She nodded. How did he know? Had he been the one who killed her father?

“Woman, you will answer when I speak to you.” He shook his axe. “Or you will pay the penalty.”

“Aye. My father, the Duke of Wick, is dead.”

What should she do? Wait for him to throw her down and take her by force? Run? She could not escape. Not three of these enormous marauding Norsemen.

“I give you two choices, Lady Kelsi. Wed me or die. I will have your answer now.” He fingered the tip of the axe’s blade and a drop of blood stained the tip of his thumb.

Bitterness soured the saliva in Kelsi’s mouth. She had expected no choice at all and in truth, she had none. “When are we to marry, my Lord?”

“Before the sun sets.”

Her her knees wobbled when she stared into eyes the color of a summer’s sky, blue, bold, and blazing. The temper that went with her red hair and freckles combusted. She snapped, “And, who sir are you?”

“I am Earl Wùlfe of Lyngen, now Duke Wùlfe of Castle Wick.” A grin crept across his mouth. For some peculiar reason she noticed that he had fine even teeth, white as new fallen snow. Most of her father’s warriors had yellowed and rotting teeth.

Hot for The Holidays Winners!

holiday-blog-hop-buttonI totally love announcing contests wins!!! Why? Because I never win any fricking thing and I can only imagine how great it must feel to hear that you’ve won a prize.
That said, here are the winners for the Love, Lust, and Laptop Hot for the Holidays Blog Hop:

 

That Pearly Drop – Christine Maria Rose
Alpha Me Not – Robin Mlckovsky
The Dragon Slayer – Tracey Gee

And since it’s Christmas time and I’m a total suck, I’m giving consolation prizes to everyone who commented as follows:

Prymal Obsession – Shadow, Donna, & Krystle
The Bear and The Bride – Angie, Savannah, & bn100

Winners—please contact me at jianne@old.jiannecarlo.com with your choice of eBook format.

Happy Holidays To All!!!

Cheers,

 Jianne

Winners of Prymal Lust Book Tour & In The Pages of a Good Book Jianne Carlo Facebook Takeover!

There’s no better way to start a work week than by announcing the winners of a contest. Today I have the distinct pleasure of revealing the four names who won the Prymal Lust Book Tour Contest & the In The Pages of a Good Book Facebook takeover contests:

DeathBlow_ByJianneCarlo-453x680Prymal_Lust-Jianne_Carlo-200x320

Prymal Lust Book Tour

Amazon $10.00 GC: Desire Slover

Prymal Lust eBook: bn100

In The Pages of a Good Book FB Takeover:

Tina Myers – eBook copy of Prymal Lust

Demetra Toula Iliopoulos – choice of eBook copy of Death Blow  or eBook copy of Prymal Lust

 

 

 

It’s September 1st. You know what that means—don’t you? I’ll blink and then it will be Thanksgiving. Another blink means Christmas. And then all of a sudden, it’ll be 2015.

Aaaargh—I’m not ready. Shoot me now.

Cheers,

Jianne

 

TBR Pile Thursday Teaser!

TBR - teaserCheck out the TBR Pile’s Teaser Thursday and win a $5.00 gift card and a free copy of the Viking paranormal, Branded by Étaín, and two other eBooks!

Link is here:

http://thetbrpile.weebly.com/1/post/2014/04/teaser-thursday-5-gift-card-and-3-ebook-giveaway.html

Have a Terrific Thursday!

Cheers,

Jianne

Squee! Branded by Étaín hits the Kindle & ARe Best Seller Lists!

Branded_by_Etain-Jianne_Carlo-banner468x60Well, it didn’t last long, but Branded by Étaín made it onto the Kindle Top 100 list!

That_Pearly_Drop-Jianne_Carlo-banner-468x60

And That Pearly Drop is #40 on the ARe Best Seller list (and it released in October – yay!).

I’ve never paid attention to these lists – too depressing if you never make them and too addictive to chart a new release’s dramatic climb and drop. For Branded though a fan emailed me the book’s rise and fall every couple of hours or so. Yuck. I hope never to know again. Honestly, I’d prefer to be blissfully unaware – it’s too easy to stumble into that I’ve-no-talent-and-should-quit crevasse.

So, today I’m grateful for the news, but plan to stop this maddening, obsessive, endless loop of checking book and author stats constantly.

Branded_by_Etain-Jianne_Carlo-200x320I leave you with another titillating preview of Branded by Étaín:

“When begins The Choosing?”

“I know not if I will wait for it. I am loath to gamble on her choosing me.” Brand fingered the stubble on his chin.

Once every five summers on the last night of the festival of Lúnasa, the women of Caul Cairlinne could choose their mate. The church blessed the unions, which lasted a year and a day. After that time, the couples could decide to remain married or separate.

“’Twould be better if she picked you.”

“Aye, but what if she does not?” Brand’s gaze never wavered from the line of marriageable women weaving their way through the hall.

He held his breath when Étaín came into view. Her glorious golden curls hung in glistening tendrils clear to her knees. She had a habit of flaring her nostrils and firming her chin when all eyes were upon her. He knew in his gut she hated being the center of attention.

’Twas her obvious vulnerability that stirred him.

’Twas her startling beauty that had him hard and aching in a heartbeat.

He had studied her these past months searching for flaws, for the arrogance and conceit that always accompanied females of royal birth, and found naught. She spoke to beggar and princes alike with the same gentle inquiry, gifted all with a sparkling smile that twisted his belly into coils, and appeared unaware of the rough sailors and traders who stared at her with blatant, greedy lust.

A slight draft molded the fine linen of the leine she wore around her firm breasts. She blinked and unerringly swung her head and met his stare. A smile fluttered around her rosy lips.

Those haunting eyes the color of rich molasses spoke to him.

He fisted his hands, the urge to reach for her nigh overwhelming.

Mine.

She halted for a moment as if hearing his silent declaration, and the sheer joy lighting her features dazzled him. All the blood in his body pooled in his groin. Desire speared him.

Taking a deep breath, Brand inclined his head and smiled.

Her teeth gleamed snowy white under the flickering candles when she beamed at him. Giving a little shake of her head, she dipped into her basket and threw petals and green-needled twigs high into the air. A couple of skips and a hop later, she arrived at the dais, the last female to line up below the table, and made a graceful curtsey.

King Mac Eiccnigh mac Dalagh had taken his place on the dais and stood smiling benignly at the women standing before him, his gaze lingering on Étaín. The pride on his face could not be denied, nor the love.

Brand inspected the others present at the high table. He had made it his business to know who was who in Caul Cairlinne.

Étaín’s two younger sisters stood on either side of the king. Irvin, a distant relative, stood at the left end of table speaking with a couple of his warriors. To the right of King Mac Eiccnigh mac Dalagh, three of the men who stood as Caul Cairlinne’s elderly council watched the assembly while sipping from brass goblets. Five women who had seen at least two score summers stood whispering and grinning at the line of young women before the high table.

Two men on either side of the dais put long curved trumpets to their lips and blew. A series of triumphant, melodic blasts echoed around the great hall.

“Hear ye, hear ye,” one of the elders on the dais yelled.

“The ear of corn has been planted, the bull slaughtered,” another declared.

“’Tis time for The Choosing,” the last shouted.

“Princess Étaín, do you choose or not?” King Mac Eiccnigh mac Dalagh asked, his sole focus on his daughter.

The hall fell silent. Every pair of eyes in the packed chamber trained on the petite Princess.

Hope you enjoyed!

Cheers,

Jianne