It all started with her.
I hadn’t decided to write anything at all when my heroine moved into my thoughts. She appeared one night as I was drifting off to sleep. And there she sat, nameless, patient and persistent, for a decade. Until the time came for me to try my hand at writing a novel.
Then Nicolas Reidar Hansen walked in to meet her, and I was struck by his size: six-four and two-fifty of solid muscle. Then he looked at me and I saw his beauty. Classic Nordic features, long hair the color of sunlit straw, and intense navy blue eyes. When he spoke, it felt like thunder on a bright autumn day.
But something was missing. Life. I soon realized that the death of his wife six years earlier (in the Missouri Territory, 1813) had effectively killed him as well. He believed his one and only chance at true love died with her.
Her situation, as it turned out, was much worse than his. But she challenged him even so: did he have the courage to live his life?
The love of a strong woman makes a man. And it remakes a broken one. Nicolas grows over three volumes to be more than he ever would have been, more than he ever dreamt he could be.
And all because a strong woman loved him. Sydney.
Her story, and his, blossomed into a trilogy of choices, betrayals, decisions, mistakes, redemption, principles, and passionate core-shifting love. New beginnings triumphing over ruins. Finally becoming the people they were meant to be.
But they weren’t alone. It seems Nicolas is only one man in multiple generations of Hansens whose lives were changed at the point they least expected it by strong, smart women. Different generations, different centuries, different continents – but the same Viking blood. And all of these men are unique and fascinating. Strong. Stunning. Smart. Spectacular.
The next Hansen to appear was Rydar Martin Petter-Edvard Hansen (Don’t blame me – his father named him.) In 1334, Rydar’s father had a falling-out with his oldest brother. So he bundled up his family and left Arendal, Norway for the Norse settlement on Greenland.
The settlement, however, was dying. After twenty years of frigid misery, Rydar and his best friend cobbled together a boat and set out to sail the 1200 miles back to Norway – or die trying. They crashed in a storm on the northernmost coast of Scotland.
The friend did die but Rydar was rescued by Grier, a feisty red-headed healer – who buried three fiancés in the recently ended Black Death. At the advanced age of twenty-six, she had no prospects and no hopes. Though the two did not speak the same language, they connected through the understanding of loss. And Rydar went on to re-establish the Hansen family in Arendal, following the sweeping cataclysm of the European plague.
My next Hansen turned out to be a woman, the only one thus far. She is courted by a secondary character in Grier’s life. “Loving the Norseman” and “Loving the Knight” are slated for Fall 2011 releases.
Then there came Brander. He’s going to have to wait for 2012, I’m afraid, but this smart and beautiful man is well worth waiting for. All I can say is: his story is the most complicated of them all. A serial killer. Noblemen with bad debts. A wife about to be homeless. An estate to be claimed. A wrong to be righted. A point to be made. A purchased bride. And a deaf private investigator. All in 17th-century Norway.
Of course there are more: Nicolas’s father’s and grandfather’s stories… More investigations by “Lord Olsen”… Stefan & Leif tearing up the Wild West… unexpected marriages tying families even closer…
The Hansen men and their women span two continents and six centuries. Because Norway is the new Scotland!
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. Contest wraps up 2/24/11. 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/