Friday, September 16, 2016

Just how romantic were the Vikings?




Survival’s in his blood…
Rough-souled Brandr’s ready for a new life far from Uppsala, but the Viking has a final task —protect the slave, Sestra. Her life's full of hardship…until she learns the location of a treasure. With war coming, stealing the enemy's riches will save lives, but only one man can defend her —the fierce Viking scout, Brandr.
The two have always traded taunts, now they must share trust. Passions flare as secrets unfold, leading one to make a daring sacrifice on their quest To Find a Viking Treasure

Do you love Vikings? Maybe you’re iffy on those Dark Ages heroes because dirty, violent, and rude comes to mind. Qualities that we don’t associate with hot book boyfriends.

I’m here to change that. Take this multiple choice/True False quiz below and see if you learn something new about Vikings.


1) Viking men loved kissing their women. To make those smooches happen did they

A) Drag a woman by the hair and force kisses on her
B) Kiss only when it was time for procreation
C) Chew mint leaves to lure their women with fresh breath
D) Eat fish stew with onions and tell a woman to deal with it

2) Viking women wooed men as much as men wooed the women. One way Vikings got close was

A) A man snuggled by putting his head in his love’s lap
B) Women sewed shirts for their Viking love interest
C) Men and women exchanged jewelry (earrings and beard clips)
D) Answer A and C
E) Answer B and C
F) Answer A and B

3) Those Northmen and women worked hard at being Viking. Their primary trade was

A) Sailor
B) Raider
C) Farmer
D) Craftsman

4) Vikings liked their creature comforts (wouldn’t you if you lived in ice and snow?). Guess which one of these was a typical Viking settlement convenience

A) Soapstone sinks
B) Ear spoons (for cleaning ear wax)
C) Saunas
D) Washboards for laundry day
E) A and B
F) B and C
G) C and D

5) True or False. Vikings used nail clippers just like the Romans did.

6) True or False. Red hair was a prized feature in Viking culture.

7) True or False. Vikings had about 6 different designations for children born out of wedlock.

8) True or False. Vikings could freely divorce if they chose.

9) True or False. Women could inherit land and wealth just like a man.

10) True or False.  A sign at the end of the Viking Age was a change in primary currency, from foreign coins to homespun cloth.

Answers:

1) Viking men loved kissing their women. To make those smooches happen did they
C. Chew mint leaves to lure their women with fresh breath. Vikings had great hygiene habits.

2) Viking women wooed men as much as men wooed the women. One way Vikings got close was
F. The sagas abound with stories of men snuggling on benches at communal gatherings and in private. A common sign of tenderness was men putting their heads in their love interest’s lap (and she could groom his hair). A popular thing for women was to sew a shirt for the man she liked.


3) Those Northmen and women worked hard at being Viking. Their primary trade was
C. Farmer. Yes, they were for the most part farmers.

4) Vikings liked their creature comforts (wouldn’t you if you lived in ice and snow?). Guess which one of these was a typical Viking settlement convenience
F. They were all about hygiene! They gave us saunas (great for sweating out impurities and cleaning the skin) and among other hygiene practices, they liked to clean their ears.

5) Vikings used nail clippers just like the Romans did.  TRUE.
Checkout this Facebook post for a picture of a Viking hygiene “kit.”

6) Red hair was a prized feature in Viking culture. FALSE.
Fiery red hair was thought to be “uncanny” and was associated with tempers. Though there were many redheads, it wasn’t all bad. Blond was the desired hair color and some men “colored” their hair to achieve the preferred blond locks!

7) Vikings had about 6 different designations for children born out of wedlock. TRUE.

8) Vikings could freely divorce if they chose. TRUE. And two out of three times the woman initiated the divorce.

9) Women could inherit land and wealth just like a man. TRUE.

10) A sign at the end of the Viking Age was a change in primary currency, from foreign coins to homespun cloth. TRUE.

Did you learn something new about Vikings? If you’re curious for more, here’s an excerpt from To Find a Viking Treasure, Norse series book 2:

“Why are we moving this?” Her face contorted as she strove to match his strength.
The unwieldy hudfat hung off her frame, the bottom skimming the ground. Pale-faced, Sestra’s trembling stopped, but blue tinged her lips.
“We’re hiding it.” With a final heave, he heaved the vessel into the reeds.
“You’re afraid someone will steal our little fishing boat?”
He dusted off his hands, his ribs expanding from labored breaths. The fire steel he’d found when they arrived flashed across his mind. This morning he’d stuffed the piece away to shelter Sestra, but the brave woman he saw in the clearing deserved the truth.
“If someone passes by tonight, sees the damaged boat, they will come ashore.” He slung his leather bag over his shoulder. “You should rest.”
“I’m not a highborn woman to sit aside and do nothing,” she said, planting a hand on her hip. “I can help. You know I can.”
Sestra tried for her usual brazenness, but sleepy-eyed and draped in his bulky fur she was no more ferocious than a kitten. She stood her ground, red curls falling free around her mud-smeared face. He stood squarely before her, breathing scents of fresh water and clean earth from her skin, good smells to a man who preferred forests to longhouses and women doused with scented oils.
In a moment of weakness, he tucked the fur’s open ends over her breasts. “It pleases me to take care of you.”
Sestra’s lips parted and starlight showed an entrancing indent on her bottom lip. How easily his mouth had fit there. It could again. If he kissed her, he’d test the tiny dip with his thumb, gently stroking her lip and the tantalizing freckle at the corner of her mouth. He’d not rush; he’d savor every part.
“All this time I thought you couldn’t wait to be free of me,” she said, her honest brown eyes searching him.
His pulse quickened, spreading molten heat through his chest, landing hot and hard between his legs. Sestra embodied Odin’s test, the one woman he had no business touching, yet his hands rubbed the fur over her nipples as if he had every right to her. And by the cadence of her breath, a tender flame kindled Sestra’s flesh hidden under layers of fur and wool.
If he didn’t take control of his impulses, he’d steal more than a kiss.
With a slow growl, he let go and slid the bag off his shoulder. “If you want to help me, take this and wait by the pine tree.”
She took the humble leather pouch. “What is it?”
“All my worldly possessions.” His voice was raw and mocking in the dark.
Sestra tested the weight easily with one hand, her cinnamon brows furrowing. “How is it a warrior of your stature and experience has so little?” Her gaze touched Jormungand’s hilt over his shoulder. “Yet you possess the finest of swords.”
“Maybe I stole it?”
“Maybe you did,” she said softly. “By strength alone you can take what you want.”
Challenge lit her eyes. The flame-haired thrall dared him to spill another truth about himself. Why did she want to pry open his deepest places?



Hi, I’m Gina Conkle and I write Viking and Georgian romance, which makes for interesting characters in my head. I grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, I love books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now I live in Michigan with my favorite alpha male, Brian, and our two sons where I’m known to occasionally garden and cook. Living in snow gives me the perfect excuse to get lost in reading and writing.



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3 comments:

  1. Always glad to have you at GLAIS, Gina!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also, I like picturing Ragnar Lothbrok chewing mint leaves—sexy plus great hygiene! ;)

    ReplyDelete