award-winning books, bestselling author, Judith Sterling, Magnar, Mary Morgan, medieval romance, new release, new series, paranormal fantasy, Scotland, The Vikings, The Wild Rose Press, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland
Today, we’re celebrating the new release of my dear friend and sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press), Mary Morgan. Magnar is the first book in her highly anticipated new series, The Wolves of Clan Sutherland, and she’s here to tell us all about it. The floor is yours, Mary!
Hello Judith! I’m thrilled to be here on your lovely blog today!
One of the fascinating parts about writing a historical (and paranormal) story is the wonderful world of research. I spent hours devouring books and talking to experts on Norse mythology. The ancient Vikings had a complex and layered belief system, and I found it mesmerizing to study.
The Vikings followed a set of guidelines known as the Nine Noble Virtues. These were a set of moral codes and edicts taken from several sources, mainly the Hávamál (ancient Norse poems that are ascribed to the God Odin), and other Icelandic sagas. These virtues contained insight into the wisdom and values of the Vikings. Here they are:
Courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, industriousness, self-reliance, and perseverance.
Therefore, when writing Magnar’s story, I thought to give the Wolves of Clan Sutherland their own set of virtues and expanded on them. This elite guard for King William of Scotland also happens to be men who are part wolf. Here they are:
The Nine Noble Virtues of Sutherland Wolf Lore
~ Learn to control the beast within. If not, the man will cease to exist.
~ First lesson for the wolf—the man is always Alpha.
~ Scotland is our home. Orkneyjar calls to our soul.
~ When conflicted, follow the path of the stars. Odin will shine his light upon you.
~ Keep your weapon as strong as Thor’s hammer.
~ Discipline your beast to honor the code of the Brotherhood.
~ Honor the Gods. Do not beg at their feet for mercy.
~ When All Father calls you to His table, storm proudly across the void.
~ Remember your ancestors and honor their wisdom.
Sounds like a wonderfully magical story and series, Mary! I can’t wait to read it and wish you all the best!
A little more about Magnar:
Known as the Barbarian, Magnar MacAlpin is a fierce ruler for those under his command. As leader of the Wolves of Clan Sutherland, his loyalty and obedience lies with Scotland. However, the king’s last demand is not something Magnar will tolerate.
After Elspeth Gunn’s brother the Chieftain of Castle Steinn is murdered, she flees with her nephew, and finds a safety amongst a band of men who are rumored to be part wolf. When the king forces her to wed a heathen Northman, she fears losing her heart and soul not only to the man, but the beast as well.
In order to restore peace to a shattered clan, Magnar and Elspeth travel a treacherous path that challenges their beliefs. When evil seeks to destroy ancient traditions, will Magnar be compelled to restrain his wolf or allow him free to protect those he loves?
A peek between the pages:
She stomped the ground with her foot. “I will not be forced to marry a…a heathen!”
He gritted his teeth—her words sparked outrage from his inner beast. Glancing over his shoulder, he offered, “Then which would you prefer? Halvard or me? Make your choice, Elspeth. Did you not consider I do not favor this union either?”
Confusion marred her features. She fisted her hands on her hips and glanced upward. “Did you argue against this marriage with King William?”
“Yet he convinced you?”
When she returned her gaze to him again, resolve and a bit of stubbornness filled them. “Why, Magnar?”
“The king will permit me to continue with my duties with the elite guard, including an important task which requires my attention after our marriage.”
Chewing on her bottom lip, she nodded slowly. “Then you will be absent most months from Steinn?”
“Most assuredly, and when I am there, Erik will be my focus.”
Her face softened as she moved slowly toward Magnar. “Therefore this marriage is in name only for Erik’s protection, aye?”
Annoyed with the direction of his thoughts, he looked away. How Magnar longed to tell the lie on the tip of his tongue. The word ached to be released. He turned and stared into her jeweled eyes in an attempt to offer her any hope of what she wanted to hear.
When she placed a hand on his arm, she whispered, “Tell me honestly, Magnar.”
He swallowed and removed her hand from his arm. Placing it securely over his heart, he stated, “Our marriage will be binding in all ways, Elspeth—in name and body. You may worship your God and I shall do so with mine, but ken this, you will be mine completely.”
The battle of emotions splayed across her face. She stepped closer and pulled her hand free from his. “Then you understand this, Magnar MacAlpin, you can have my body on my terms. The time of my choosing. I am tired of having men telling me what to do. Will you accept my terms?”
By the hounds! Her words sparked his lust further. Magnar concluded he did not want a simpering wife by his side. For the first time, he yearned to have one challenging him—in mind and body.
Grasping her around the waist, he ignored her gasp and cupped her chin. Her eyes widened as he slowly lowered his head. “Agreed.” He breathed the word against her cheek.
Buy the book:
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More about Mary:
Award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling by writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.
If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.
Connect with her:
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/
FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/
AUDIBLE AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.audible.com/author/Mary-Morgan/B00KPE3NWI