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.

Comments

  1. Colleen C. says:

    Those turned out great Jianne! 😀

    • Thanks, Colleen. To my utter surprise, because I’m a total klutz, I loved doing these two projects. The Viking’s getting worried about what we’re gong to do with them :).

  2. Cindy Hazelwood says:

    Love the castles and the excerpt can’t wait to read the book.

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