Monday, May 26, 2014

Guest Author Inez Kelley Talks Vikings and THE BASTARD

VS sez: Today it's my pleasure to introduce our Guest, Author Inez Kelley, and her latest novel, THE BASTARD. Take it away Inez!

Big. Blond. Dirty. Horned hats. Brutal. Rape. Pillage. Repeat.
That is pretty much everything the common person knows. Well, that and the series on The History Channel is as enthralling as it is incorrect historically. But it has lovely eye-candy. But fiction isn’t real by definition and in some cases, it is really, really WRONG.
It’s not that true Vikings (from Old Norse vĂ­kingr meaning seafarer) didn’t leave us archeological clues. They did. Many of the scientific discoveries completely dispel what we thought we knew about the daring seafarers. Let’s take each of those words and look at them again.
BIG- This one is true. Viking men, Norwegians in particular, grew far taller than those around them. Reliable historical data commonly records Vikings towering over their English counterpoints. Recently a mass grave was discovered full of very tall, robust men. The burial site held between 34 and 38 remains of Viking males between 16-30 years, in prime physical condition, who had a diet largely of fish and shellfish. However, only a few Viking graves have yielded skeletons of six-feet or more. Were they tall? Yes, but then, in general all humankind was shorter.
BLOND – Not all. Many are described, in fact ‘named’, for their black hair or dark skin(Eric the Red, Bjorn the Black, etc. They stereotypical golden blond hair wasn’t rare but it was just as common to find a Viking with brown, black, red or gray hair.
DIRTY – Not at all. In fact, one of the reasons Vikings were called pagans was their propensity for bathing despite the cold weather. They bathed often, far more than their British contemporaries and used the sauna, a place deemed sinful to the Christian mindset. Archeological evidence of many Norse grooming kits have been discovered which include combs, brushes, tweezers, razors, a tiny ‘spoon’ designed to clean out the ears, and nail cleaning tools.  
HORNED HATS – This is pure opera-invention. Logically, going into battle with a hat sporting massive animal horns is rather stupid. One blow to the head would spin the hat, blocking one’s vision. Plus it would have been top heavy and not conducive to the athletic skill needed for battle. Viking helmets were made of leather or fleece-lined metal and were almost conical shaped. They fitted closely to the head. No horns. Period.
BRUTAL. RAPE. PILLAGE - While there is no denying or sugarcoating Vikings did invade and conquer, they didn’t make off like thieves in the night afterwards. The truest Viking trait is adaptability. They absorbed much of the culture they invade and flavored what was there with their own. The familiar Celtic Knot that is so fashionable today in tattoo designs and in Celtic Art is historically Norse. The right side of a boat, the starboard side? Comes from the Norse terms steor meaning rudder or steering paddle and bord meaning a ship's side. 
The figure now known as the swastika originally was a Norse twirl. Some scholars theorize that the Christian idea of Christ’s crucifixion stemmed from the Norse God Odin being speared and hung on a tree.
Look at some of the most fearsome names in history: Thorfinn Skull-splitter, Sweyn Forkbeard, Eric Bloodaxe. These were not choirboys. But at that time, neither was anyone else. Most nations were run like organized crime families, using muscle, extortion, and threats of violence to gather riches. The Vikings were just far better at the game than anyone else. That expertise has cemented them in history as the original bad boys.
Is it any wonder why I chose one of the biggest, baddest Vikings in History for the first book in my new series?

The story:

In the battle between good and evil, humans have never been more than collateral damage. Now they are prey. Mankind doesn’t need a hero. It needs a sinner. 
Corrupt. Wicked. Nefarious. Contemptible.... 

The Baddest Boys in History are back! 

You read about them in school. Now learn the truth. Real men. No vampires, no werewolves, no magic. Just down and dirty raw power —sin to sin, evil to evil, bad to bad. They fight for humanity. It was that or eternal damnation. 
They agreed to risk their souls. No one told them they would lose their hearts. 

Vike died in blood, in battle, in betrayal. His ruthlessness was second only to his brutality. Now one woman makes his blood sing and he’ll stop at nothing to save her. He only has to face half of Hell to do it. 
Lacy is unknowingly descended from an ancient Holy line. Someone is slowly destroying her life and wants her dead. A fierce Viking comes to her rescue, and in his arms, she finds more than safety. 
If Vike can’t protect Lacy, he’ll have to kill her. And for a bastard, what’s one woman worth when the entire world is in jeopardy? 

INEZ KELLEY was born and bred in the mountains of West Virginia. She currently resides there with her lumberjack husband, their teenage drama queen, Spawnetta, and the Demolition Duo – Damien and his twin, the Omen.

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