Today we’re celebrating the release of ST Bende’s upper YA/NA fantasy novel ELSKER.
Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. He’s an honest-to-goodness Norse God — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia’s crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.
Her orderly life just got very messy.
ELSKER – Book 1, THE ELSKER SAGA
At eight o’clock, a firm knock interrupted my reading. I picked my way through the flower shop that our living room had become and opened the door.
“Oh good, you kept my peace offerings.” Ull treated me to a rakish grin.
“Just a few of them,” I muttered. “Come on in.”
“Oh, no. You must come with me.”
“Why?” I challenged. Ull sighed.
“Are you going to fight me at every turn?”
“Please come.” He looked so adorable standing on my stoop, his scarf casually thrown across the grey sweater under his coat. I gave in quicker than I meant to.
“Fine.” I grabbed my coat from the closet by the door and shoved my keys and wallet into the pocket. “Where are we off to?” I closed the door behind me and followed Ull into the brisk night, waiting for his promised explanation.
But he didn’t say anything. Instead, he put his hand on the small of my back and guided me away from campus. I shivered and noticed that Ull wore his jacket open, at ease in the chill. As we rounded the corner, Ull dropped his hand to clasp mine. It was so warm, so strong, and for a moment I forgot to be mad at him. We walked in silence as he led me down the main road. After two right turns, I found myself standing in a quiet garden.
Ull had brought me to a church.
And now ST Bende joins us for a Q&A…
- I am so glad you could join us here at RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Thanks so much for having me on to celebrate ELSKER’s release day! I’m spending most of my writing time in Asgard these days, working on The Elsker Saga. The books follow twenty-year-old Kristia Tostenson as she meets and falls in love with Ull Myhr, the Norse God of Winter.
TUR, the ELSKER prequel, introduces us to Ull, Inga and Gunnar, and explains why a trio of Norse Gods would decide to leave Asgard for Cardiff University, Wales. TUR is available to download for free from the Entranced Publishing website.
In ELSKER, Book 1, Ull meets Kristia Tostenson, and brings some chaos to her predictable existence. Kristia’s a twenty-year-old girl who prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University she falls for Ull. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. He’s an honest-to-goodness Norse God — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. And since Kristia’s crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms, her orderly life is about to get messy.
Right now, my fabulous editor Eden Plantz and I are working through content edits on ENDRE, Book 2. In ENDRE, Kristia deals with the realities of dating a Norse God. She explores the role she’s fated to play in the mythology, and it’s not necessarily pleasant. There’s plenty of romance between Kristia and Ull, but there’s also more action in this book. Kristia’s finding her place in Ull’s world, and learning a lot about herself in the process.
I’m slowly working on TRO, a third book in The Elsker Saga. And my awesome critique partner, Jacqueline Gardner, and I just finished writing a YA Norse Mythology Adventure together. Lots of Asgard, lots of fun!
- When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
ELSKER started as a story I wrote in my journal, just for fun. It was never meant to leave my computer, but I kept coming back to it until one day I realized it was book-length. I lucked into an amazing critique partner, who encouraged me to submit it. And now that I know how much fun it is to tell stories, it’s hard to stop!
- Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
I’m sure all writers do this with their heroes, but Ull from The Elsker Saga is sort of a “perfect” hero to me. He’s got those classic Nordic looks, and a sensitive soul buried deep, way deep, under layers of masculinity. He’d do anything to protect the people he loves, and he’s tasked with saving the entire universe. Plus he’s a great skier. There’s lots to like.
- What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
I’m a huge IndyCar fan, which I transferred onto my character, Inga. (I waver between Team Helio and Team Ryan Hunter-Reay, though I may be guilty of skewing my loyalties toward some of the newer drivers from time to time.) I’m a lifelong skier, and I love to bake. Norwegian waffles are my specialty, and I share my recipe at the end of ELSKER!
- If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
Ooh, that’s tough. My answer would probably change from day to day. I’d love to ski in Chile, or anywhere in the southern hemisphere in the middle of ‘summer’, really. I’d love to lay on pretty much any white (or pink!) sand beach in the Caribbean. I’d love to go to the Indianapolis 500. But I think if I had to choose a place today, I’d ask Fairy Godmother to take me to the Cotswolds. I’d sit in a field, sipping tea, staring at all the green and getting lots of writerly inspiration.
- When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
I am not a culinary adventurer. I pretty much eat like a toddler.
- What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
Great food, great conversation, a beautiful walk (I’m partial to forests at the moment), and a chocolaty dessert in front of a roaring fire.
- What is your favorite comfort food?
Norwegian waffles. Those things are amazing. They work as a dessert, as a breakfast food, they’re great at tea time. Mix them up by going non-traditional and using Nutella instead of a tart jam. They’re the perfect anytime snack.
- What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
One of my favorite times of the year is spotting the first daffodils in spring. I spent some time in London, and I loved seeing the parks absolutely covered in daffodils in the springtime. The bright yellow against the green grass was such a happy image; every time I see a daffodil I remember those parks and smile.
- What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
SpeedTV. How else is a girl supposed to follow IndyCar? Also, my laptop, on which I am entirely too dependent for too many things.
Thanks again for blogging with us!
Thank you so much for having me. Be sure to stop by my blog today – we’re having a release day party, with FOUR giveaways!