I called up Diane Stacy (VP of Direct Sales) at Dorchester yesterday because I was getting low on some of my titles. I always like to keep a stash for contest give-aways or if I give a talk somewhere. For example, at my RWA Nationals NEUROTICA Workshop, I gave away Vexing the Viscount or Pleasuring the Pirate to early birds who were willing to sit in the first couple rows! Anyway, I was completely out of MAIDENSONG, my debut title as Diana Groe.
Turns out Dorchester almost is too. Diane S. told me there are only 22 copies left in the warehouse.
This made me both happy and sad. Happy that so many of the books have wandered out into the world. And sad because once these 22 are gone, I don't know when or if more will ever be printed.
MAIDENSONG was a seminal moment for me. It represents so many firsts in my life--first agent, first sale, first cover art (I wept when I saw it because it was far more beautiful that I could've imagined), first review, first release day, first signing, first fan letter, first international sale, the list goes on. But what I'd really like to tell you about is the story itself.
MAIDENSONG is the word the Vikings used to describe a "lovestory." Turns out they thought it was such a dangerous thing, skalds (Norse bards) were forbidden to create one, under pain of death. So of couse, they told many of them! My heroine Rika is such a skald and when she spins a tale, even the toughest Northman lays down his supper knife to listen.
My hero Bjorn is the younger brother of a powerful and corrupt jarl (we get the English word "earl" from this Norse title). Bjorn is oathbound to deliver Rika to marry his brother's Arab trading partner in far off Miklagaard (Ancient Byzantium). As you probably guessed, this is not only the story of a journey down the wild rivers of Europe, but also a journey from one heart to another. How they live out their love without sacrificing honor is the theme of MAIDENSONG.
I love this story. The characters still live as vibrantly in my mind as when I first captured them on paper. As far as I know, they are still cruising the fjords in Bjorn's dragonship and making love on a bed of wolf pelts.
My Diana Groe tales are different fare from my Emily Bryan books, darker and rough-edged. They're not quite safe. I've been known to kill off even characters I loved in order to serve the story. But if you haven't read MAIDENSONG and would like to explore love in the Dark Ages, I suggest you hurry. When they're gone, they're gone.
Read an excerpt.
Claim a MAIDENSONG of your own: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Dorchester Publishing
From time to time, we hear laments about the fact that historical romance should more accurately be termed Georgian-Victorian English romance. What do you think? Do you ever look for books set in unusual eras and places?
I agree It is kind of bittersweet to be so lucky to sell out , but yet sad to not know if they will be published again.
Sometimes I want to read a story in a different era and look for something specific to that era. For the most part if the binder says historical on it, its in my hand. I still say not enough American set stories are out there unless they are westerns!
Ok, you will think I am a nut! But I found Maidensong at a flea market and I bought it, because I did'nt want it there! LOL!! MY husband was laughing sooo hard! But I gave it to a lady here at the campground who loves it!
I still have not put my copy of Maidensong away, because I need it for occasional petting and visits. Of course Bjorn and Rika are living their happily ever after. I saw them a couple of days ago, and they're doing great.
While I enjoy a wide range of historicals, the darker, grittier, more emotional tales are the love of my fictional life. As things do go in circles, there may come a time when these stories come back into vogue :pats ms: For me, the trials of climbing up the mountain make reaching the top all the more satisfying.
Jane L--Thanks for rescuing Maidensong from the flea market and seeing it safe to a good home! LOL! I love it when readers share my books with someone they think will enjoy it.
Anna--So glad you heard from Bjorn and Rika. You know how kids are these days. They don't call ... They don't write ...
It is true that the majority of romances take place in those time periods. I've read several that take place around 900 or so when the Irish, English, Norse, and European landscape was much different than the 1700's and 1800's. They have been very good. It is a nice change of pace from the drawing rooms of England. A much harder life for everyone - Hero, heroine and everyone else concerned. It is much harder to predict how the story will progress.
I'm always of the opinion that the where of the story isn't nearly as interesting as the why and how.
My friend Zoe Archer has a series coming out set in--I kid you not!--outer Mongolia. The characters are Victorian English, I believe. I'm anxious to see how it fares.
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