Happy Thursday boys and girls. I’m sharing a bit on Blind Mercy today, the second book in the Blind Series. I’m so excited, it releases on February 12, 2014. Read on for a taste of history on Vikings.
The Sigurdsson family legacy continues…
A woman who prayed for a hero…
Orphaned at a young age, Rachelle Fiennes prayed for a hero to rescue her from her tragic life in England. When her only kinsman goes missing after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Rachelle braves the aftermath of the battlefield to find him.
A man who lost everything…
Damned by the gods for surviving the bloodiest defeat in Norse history, Jarl Tyr Sigurdsson is still determined to get home. Hiding until nightfall so he can escape to his ship, his dangerous endeavor is disrupted when he’s accidently discovered by a beautiful Saxon.
Brought together by war, Rachelle and Tyr face many obstacles. Can sworn enemies find peace through love, or will fate tear them apart?
She shouldn’t be ashamed for choosing kindness over fealty. Although she’d never spent time alone with a man, she knew she had exceeded the limits of her world by helping Tyr. Their association ended here. At the edge of the sea that separated their lands and lives. Some things were better left unexplored. God must have further use of her in England. She’d immerse herself in more charitable work. Continue to study the healing arts or cooking. Join a convent if that’s what it took to forget Tyr Sigurdsson.
She mentally scrambled to come up with a convincing story. What would she tell the guards? Foolish, misguided thoughts always spurred Rachelle to do as she pleased without considering the consequences. She didn’t fear Tyr. Childhood prayers were as binding as a blood oath. Why shouldn’t she believe he was a blessing? In eight long years no one else showed up. English or otherwise. She’d survived any way she could; suppressed her sorrow, smiled when she wanted to frown, and laughed when she wanted to weep.
Everywhere she turned reminded her of her family.
Someone grabbed her from behind. Wheeling around, her breath caught in her throat when she met those wide green eyes.
“Did you really think I’d let you get away so easily?” Tyr asked.
Words disintegrated in her mouth. In a split second her future could be altered. Uncle Henry’s memory held fast inside her heart. Her allegiance to him could never be questioned.
“I have further need of your talents, will you come with me?”
He looked as mythical as one of Poseidon’s sons crawling from the depths of the ocean. Without giving her time to answer, he swept her off her feet, then carried her to the water. “Can you swim?”
She nodded mutely.
“Hang on,” he warned, bracing for the first wave. “We only need to go a short distance. There’s a fishing boat hidden further up the beach.”
A bit more about Vikings…
Blind Mercy opens up at the Battle of Stamford Bridge (September 1066), the moment some scholars consider the end of the Viking age. However, it’s widely accepted that this battle simply forced the Vikings to reinvent themselves. Two of my favorite historians (Somerville and McDonald) say it best, it might be more useful to think in terms of several Viking Ages rather than a single Viking Age. They base this observation on Scandinavian roots and history. Where the Vikings settled and how their culture took hold in different countries.
Here’s a quick overview of the battle (Britain Express)…
When Edward the Confessor died he left no direct heir, and the throne of England passed to Harold of Wessex. Harold’s brother Tostig influenced the legendary Viking warrior, King Harald Hardrada of Norway to invade England.
While a second claimant to the throne of England, William of Normandy, labored to launch his own invasion fleet, the Norwegians sailed by way of the Orkneys and landed at Riccall, near York with a force probably numbering 10,000 men.
Harold had been well aware of the dual threats to his new kingdom, and he called out his levies. These were free men from the shires who owed two months of military service each year. By September the two months were up and rations were low, so Harold reluctantly released these irregular troops. This left him with a trained force of about 3,000 mounted infantry known as house-carls. When the news came of the Norwegian landing, Harold quickly marched his men north by the old Roman road known as Watling Street.
The Earls of Northumbria and Mercia, Morcar, and Edwin, advanced their men from York and met Harald Hardrada at Fulford on September 20. The experienced Norwegian commander completely routed the earls, depriving King Harold of valuable allies for the fatal battle with the Normans which lay ahead.
The Norsemen appointed Stamford Bridge as a meeting place for an exchange of hostages with the city of York. The confident victors of Fulford were relaxing in the meadows surrounding this crossroads 12 miles from York when to their shock they saw a fresh Saxon army streaming up from the South.
Well, perhaps “fresh” is too strong a word, for Harold had just pushed his men an amazing 180 miles in 4 days, and they were doubtless exhausted. The Norsemen were caught completely off-guard; most had discarded their mail shirts and helmets in the hot sun. They were soon to pay for their carelessness.
Unfortunately, this war cost the Norwegians dearly. With their sovereign dead, command of Norway was split between his two sons, Magnus and Olaf. But we’ll save that for another tale!