Before we get to my questions for Asa, don't forget to check the end of the blog for Asa's question. (Hint - there might be a giveaway!)
MEET ASA MARIA BRADLEY
Asa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired the immortal Vikings and Valkyries in her paranormal romances. She also writes romantic suspense and currently resides on a lake deep in the pine forests of the Pacific Northwest with a British husband and a rescue dog of indeterminate breed. Sourcebooks bought her 2014 Golden Heart nominated manuscript in a three-book deal. The first book in the series, VIKING WARRIOR RISING, is a November 2015 release.
See--she knows her Vikings!!
Let's talk about this fabulous debut--Viking Warrior Rising -- Book 1 in the Viking Warriors series.
The Story Blurb Immortal Vikings are among us
Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.
Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.
But Naya doesn’t want to be found…and he’ll do anything to track her down. Because they’re both running out of time.
READ A LITTLE, BUY THE BOOK
Naya scooted off Leif’s lap and braced her arms against the desk a safe distance away. When she’d caught her breath, she faced him. “We need to slow down.”
“Didn’t you like it?” His dimples deepened.
“That’s not the point.” She searched her overheated brain for why they needed to stop, but no good reason came forth.
“I’m attracted to you. You like me too. We’re both consenting adults.” He shrugged. “Why would we not indulge?” He stood and walked toward her.
She held up her hand.
“I don’t know if I like you. I don’t know you.” The truth was she liked him too much. She wasn’t equipped to deal with sex that also involved emotions.
“We are getting to know each other.” Leif took another step.
She frowned. “You didn’t answer any of my questions.”
He laughed. “Is that what this is about?”
“Yes. No.” Damn it. She couldn’t think when he was close.
The mirth left his face and he closed the gap between them. His fingers traced the outside of her ear. “What else do you want to know?”
“Tell me about the monsters in the alley. Are they enhanced?” And how did they know about me and my brother?
He frowned. “I don’t know.”
“But you know what they are.” She tried not to enjoy the closeness of him, the warmth of his body.
“I know who sent them.” His hand played with her hair.
“Who?” Every fiber of her body wanted to lean into his touch.
“Someone who wants to destroy the world.”
“I don’t understand.”
He traced her neck and shoulder with the tip of his finger. “If I tell you more, will you kiss me again?”
Electricity rushed downward, making her nipples pucker. “One kiss. No touching,” she said, secretly thrilled to have an excuse to feel his lips again.
Leif smiled. “If that’s all you offer, I’ll take it.” He leaned in.
Naya stepped back. “You have to tell me about the wolverines first.”
He flashed his dimples. “I think you want me to kiss you first.”
She shook her head, hoping they would both believe the lie. “Tell first,” she croaked out.
With a smug smirk, he nodded. “I don’t know how they are made, maybe through genetic enhancement. The one who sent them is an enemy of the ones who rule me.”
“You said you are the king.” What kind of weird power struggle had she walked into?
“That’s true, but I’m an appointed king. I have to answer to the g—management above me.”
“So, your job is to fight these creatures. Like some kind of military unit?”
“My warriors and I are a unit.” He leaned toward her.
Her hormones rejoiced as his body heat engulfed her. “But not a branch of the actual armed forces.” Naya made it into a statement.
His eyes were sky-blue again. “Not as you think of the military.”
“Do you work for the government?”
“I’ve answered enough questions to claim my kiss now.”
She swallowed loudly. A part of her couldn’t wait to taste his lips again. Another part, the part that handled self-preservation, told her to get out of the office. Now.
But she needed to know whose side Leif and his Nordic warriors were on. And she needed to taste those lips again.
She shook her head to clear her mind.
That self-satisfied smirk played on Leif’s lips again, as if he sensed her internal struggle.
She kept her promises. And she never backed down from a challenge. “Okay. One kiss, but your hands stay where I can see them.”
There are a few more excerpts available at different online romance hangouts. Here are two, in case you’d like to get to know Naya & Leif a little bit more:
Heroes & Heartbreakers: http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/stories/2015/10/viking-warrior-rising-exclusive-excerpt
Nan: Lief is so hot! And Naya is just the woman to take him on. She is kickass!
A LIGHTING ROUND OF Q&A WITH ASA MARIA BRADLEY
NAN: How often do you get lost in a story?
ASA: All the time! My parents used to force me to stop reading and make eye contact when they spoke to me. If they didn’t, I would answer their questions as if I was participating in the conversation and afterward not have any memory what so ever of anyone talking to me. I’m still like that, if you speak to me while I read or watch TV, chances are I won’t remember the conversation when I return to the real world.Nan: I called that focused!
NAN: What sound or noise do you love?
ASA: The sound of my dog’s nails clicking against the floor as he comes to greet me or is looking for me to play. Also, the squeaking and happy yelping that erupts when he entertains himself with his toys.
Nan: What a lovely sound!
NAN: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
ASA: I allow myself at least two days of binging on books and TV, and then I do laundry. It sounds crazy, but it’s a chore that doesn’t take too much brain power and yet I feel very productive when it’s done. Plus while I’m on deadline, the dirty clothes basket gets overfull and it really needs to be done. J
Nan: I know what you mean! But I put off laundry as long as possible.
NAN: What’s your favorite kid joke?
ASA: I came to the States as a high school exchange student and landed in Texas. My host family was amazing and we are still very close. My two American sisters were 5 and 7 when I arrived and one of their relatives taught them a joke that they would tell anyone who would listen--several times a day if they could. I still love this joke because it makes me think of those two cute little girls giggling their heads off. Here it is:
Question: If you’re American inside the bathroom, what are you on the inside?
Answer: European (Get it? You’re-a-peein’)
You may have to do it in a Texas accent to get it to work. ;-)
Nan: What a great memory--and what a terrible joke!
NAN: What is your hope for the future of romance publishing?
ASA: In our genre, readers and writers are so supportive of each other and share their love of romance so generously. I wish the “outside” world would give the books, authors, and readers the respect we deserve. As a physicist and romance author, I often get a condescending smirk and wink when I tell people what I write. People ask me why I don’t use my science background to write “important” or “intelligent” books. As if the authors who write romance aren’t smart. As if the readers aren’t the most savvy of all book lovers and worthy of respect. As if love stories aren’t universal and powerful.
The truth is that our genre outsells all other genres and has been the driving force behind innovations like ebooks and the rise of independent publishing. We are a tremendous force in the book industry. I hope that one day the rest of the world will see that.
Nan: Wonderfully said!
NAN's GOTTA ASK: Complete this sentence. When I want to relax, I. . .
ASA's GOTTA ANSWER: Go for a walk, and then I read! It always comes back to reading. J
Come to think of it, that’s probably also why I do laundry after finishing writing a book. While waiting for the washing machine and dryer, I can read and still pretend I’m being productive.
Book 2 of the Viking Warriors will be released in 2016. The date is yet to be determined, but here’s a little teaser from the tentatively titled VIKING WARRIOR REBEL.
Immortal Valkyrie Astrid Idrisdotter almost killed an innocent bystander during her last mission. The only way to redeem herself is to escort the Viking queen’s brother back home for the royal wedding. But when she arrives at the exclusive clinic where the brother has convalesced, she discovers that he’s been kidnapped by Loki’s genetically manipulated monsters. Finding their lair requires resources Astrid does not have. Desperate, she turns to an ex-lover for help. A man whose piercing eyes notices too much, including the secrets and insecurities she works so hard to hide. The one man immune to her looks and charm, her two greatest weapons.
Undercover FBI agent Luke Holden poses as a nightclub owner while investigating rogue government operations that genetically manipulate people in order to create super soldiers. Suspecting a connection between the Viking queen and these labs, he’s had his eye on the Norse warriors for a while. Especially on irresistible Astrid who he can’t stop thinking about even though her jade-green eyes takes the color of Nordic fjords when she sees him. Perhaps because he handled their one night of passion badly, but he can’t reveal that real reason he ran out on her the next morning was to pursue an informant’s tip.
These two combatants must find a way to work together in order to defeat their common enemy—hopefully without killing each other first. And when the war with Loki’s creatures escalate, they must sacrifice everything and make a hard choice between duty and love.
Nan: sounds wonderful! I can't wait. Asa, I'm so glad we get to celebrate your debut!
FIND ASA MARIA BRADLEY:
ASA BRADLEY WANTS TO KNOW: Who’s your favorite Viking and why? (Because he’s/she’s hot is a perfectly valid answer J)
Commenters -- ASA MARIA BRADLEY is giving away a Amazon or B&N $10 gift card, winner’s choice.