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?