Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Welcome ST Bende!

I am so happy to have ST Bende, the author of Elsker, here today. ST and I met on social media through blog hops, and I instantly loved her warmth, kindness and humor. Elsker, a New Adult paranormal romance, has been getting fabulous reviews, and I'm excited to read such an epic story. Welcome, ST!

Thank you so much for letting me visit your blog, Samantha.  I loved Finding Lucas so much.  I’m looking forward to reading Everything But.  And I’m excited to introduce you to my own imaginary friends -- the crew from Elsker!

ELSKER, Book One in THE ELSKER SAGA, follows twenty-year-old Kristia Tostenson as she leaves her small town to find adventure at Cardiff University in Wales.  Kristia gets a lot more than she bargained for when she falls in love with Ull Myhr.  He’s not just a graduate student -- he’s an Asgardian Assassin, and the Norse God of Winter.  Kristia’s orderly life is about to get seriously complicated.

But before Kristia came along, Ull had to deal with Skadi.  In Norse mythology, Skadi was a jotun (a frost giant) who had a bone to pick with Asgard (the realm of the gods).  When the enraged giantess showed up to rip Asgard to pieces, the gods scrambled to pacify her.  Skadi agreed to put down her weapons if someone would just marry her already.  Apparently the pickin’s were slim in Jotunheim, and Skadi wasn’t getting any younger.

Since the jotun bride wasn’t exactly a looker, none of the gods jumped at her offer.  But the girl was about to wreak havoc, and clearly someone had to marry her.  The gods lined up behind a curtain -- with only their feet showing -- and told Skadi to choose a husband.  Skadi had a crush on the God of Peace, Balder.  She scoured the feet until she found the best-looking pair, and announced, “I choose that one; there can be little that is ugly about Balder.”  Apparently there wasn’t much ugly about the Sea God, Njord, either.  He was the owner of the lucky tootsies, and won the questionable honor of marrying the giantess.

Theirs was a short marriage.  Apparently Njord’s house was too close the sea, and Skadi took off for the mountains, where she could ski and hunt to her heart’s content.  Njord went on to have two children -- one of whom was the ultimate cat lady*, the Warrior Goddess of Love, Freya. 

*Freya rode into battles on a chariot pulled by cats.  Kind of awesome, right?

In ELSKER, Ull would never choose location over love.  But as an Asgardian Assassin, he’s not exactly in a position to have a family.  He’s spent an eternity avoiding any real emotion, and despite his tough exterior, he’s unbearably lonely.  But Ull’s carefully constructed walls come crashing down when he meets Kristia.  Can the small-town-girl warm the heart of the God of Winter?  And if she can, will she be able to handle the heat?  After all, you don’t win the heart of an immortal assassin without making a few enemies along the way.

ST Bende has also provided an enticing excerpt!

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.  

 THE ELSKER SAGA is available from Entranced Publishing. 

TUR, the prequel, can be downloaded for free HERE.

More about ST Bende:

Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats.  Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired The Elsker Saga.  She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.

Connect with ST Bende!

Twitter (@stbende) 

And be sure to stop by between April 11th and May 20th to enter to win fabulous prizes in Waffle Fest -- the ELSKER Release Month of Giveaways! 

To buy Elsker, visit the ELSKER page on the Entranced Publishing website, Amazon or Barnes and Noble!


  1. Thanks so much for letting me visit Samantha. The Elsker crew had a blast visiting your site!

    Now get back in your writing cave so I can have the next Samantha Stroh Bailey read!

  2. I love how I always learn more about Norse mythology every time I read one of your (fabulous) posts! So fascinating. Love the excerpt! :)

  3. Choosing your future mate by his feet - I love it! :) I am learning so much about Norse mythology through you, ST. It's a fascinating subject and such a unique theme for a novel. Wishing you continued you success with ELSKER!

  4. What a fantastic post! Might sound strange, but reading this post totally reminded me of snuggling up next to my mom when she read to me as a kid. Think it probably had to do with the fairy tale aspect of the Norse mythology. So, so excited to read Elsker!

  5. Squee! Thanks so much ladies! I think researching the myths was even more fun than writing the story. There are just so many good ones! A retelling of Skadi could make a hysterical chick lit story... Just saying'.

  6. The Elsker Saga sounds wonderful! I love the premise and the connection to Norse mythology.

    "...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."

    Oh, my!