Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Blind Allegiance" by Violetta Rand: A Viking Interview and Giveaway




Blind Allegiance
It’s a risk of a lifetime loving a man you’re supposed to hate…

Betrayed by a brother she hardly trusted before the bloodthirsty Viking, Jarl Randvior Sigurdsson, attacks her home, Noelle Sinclair is conveniently bartered as a means to save her cowardly sibling’s skin. Forced to leave her homeland and accompany the petulant Viking to the untamed wilderness of central Norway, Noelle is ever-aware of the burgeoning dangers around her—including her weakening resolve to resist Randvior.

Should Noelle surrender to his resplendent charms and seduction, or fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home?

Available at Amazon.


An Interview with Violetta Rand

What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been infatuated with Vikings. As a huge historical literature fan, nothing seemed more natural to write about. I also researched the romance market which is currently saturated with Highlanders, Regency, and vampires. My publishing contract was signed long before the new History Channel Vikings series started, so I felt extremely fortunate for timing.

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
I live in Alaska, so the wilderness is my playground. I enjoy four wheeling and fishing. Once September rolls around, its football season and I celebrate my team (Philadelphia Eagles).

When did you decide to take that step that made you a published author?
About a year ago after I decided to write my first romance novel, Blind Allegiance, I queried and queried until I found the perfect publisher.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
Accepting I’m creative enough to entertain readers has really been a personal challenge. Writers are self-depreciating. I learned to manage it better once I signed my publishing contract.  

What message do you hope readers take away from the book?
I hope my main characters demonstrate how people from different cultural and religious backgrounds can overcome prejudices and truly fall in love.

What three words would best describe Randvior Sigurdsson?
Eminent, faithful, and intelligent.

What is your favorite scene in Blind Allegiance?
Noelle Sinclair and Randvior Sigurdsson are vigorously discussing their opposing faiths (paganism and Christianity)…

“Decades of derision lay between our countries. The first Norse ships landed in Lindisfarne over two hundred years ago. My ancestors swept the region; pillaging and enslaving with such unprecedented success that no one seemed capable of stopping them. Their bloodthirstiness struck fear in the hearts of men. Norsemen have been demonized ever since.”
The only thing Noelle surmised his people feared was the expansion of what they considered an illegitimate faith which had already cost thousands of people their lives across the continent.
“Last year,” Randvior continued, “a Christian convert named Olaf Haraldsson, returned to my country to claim the crown. He publicly professed his new faith and proclaimed the indisputable right to unite the country under the pope’s banner. Most jarls rejected his idea.”
“Why?”
“My kinsmen are fiercely devoted to Odin. We would never abandon centuries of tradition because belief in a new god was carried across the sea by a zealot long absent from his homeland,” he said. “There is always increased risk when a man’s ambition is driven by religious fervor.”
Noelle didn’t know what to say. People should freely choose what god they wanted to worship, and if Christ’s blood united nations, well, she would secretly celebrate it.
“Your religion will sweep the world and your god’s holy soldiers will kill anyone who gets in the way. Tension is building across Western Europe as I speak, and I believe your pope will eventually set his eyes on the Holy Land.”
“Do you forbid me to practice my faith?”
“No,” he answered curtly. “But any open display of your vulgar traditions might draw unwanted attention, and may even prevent you from being accepted by the women. Women you will need on your side one day.”
“What traditions do you speak of?”
“Cannibalism,” he said plainly. “Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of your White Christ.”
Noelle looked at him incredulously. Had she heard him correctly? “You are greatly mistaken. We do not actually eat his flesh or drink his blood. Holy Communion is a sacrament, a symbolic gesture mandated by our Lord. Surely you don’t believe otherwise?”
Randvior smiled ruefully. “What I believe doesn’t matter. I’ve traveled the world and seen many things. My faith is unshakable. My tenants and thralls may not be so open-minded—their worlds are much smaller than mine.” 

Do you share any personality traits with Noelle Sinclair?
Absolutely! I’m stubborn and fiercely protective of the people I love. These qualities are definitely reflected in Noelle.

What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book?
Sitting down and writing it. What a precious 6 months—all those thoughts converge—the passionate feelings between my characters developing.  When Randvior and Noelle finally reach resolution, it felt wonderful.

Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book part of a series?
Blind Allegiance is Book 1 of the Blind Series. Book 2, Blind Mercy, is already finished and will be available by the end of the year. The third installment, Blind Vengeance is nearly done, too.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’m working on a 1980s contemporary romance with strong environmental connections.

What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?  
Fulfilling my dream to be a writer; from the age of 5 I promised my mother I’d do it someday.

What type of hero do you like best?
Fierce historical warriors (Vikings, Highlanders, Romans, and Samurais) with unwavering allegiance to their gods and families.

What type of heroine do you like best?
Feisty, strong-willed women who defy tradition and fight to find their place in patriarchal societies. 

Is there any place and time in the world and in history that you would like to visit?
Ancient Israel, during the reign of King Solomon and Jesus of Nazareth’s ministry.

How do you unwind after a long writing session?
I read some scenes out loud to my husband, then play with my dogs.

Is there a genre you wish you could write, but haven’t made the plunge? Which one and what appeals to you about it?
Literary fiction—I love epic—I love universal moral dilemmas.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?
Deep emotional conflicts and happy endings.

What is one trait you despise in people that you tend to give your villains/protagonists?
Selfish ambition

If you had the authority to do so, what five books would you remove from the banned/challenged lists?
The Grapes of Wrath
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A Clockwork Orange
The Outsiders
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

How do you feel about book trailers and do you have any?
I like the idea; it’s innovative and gives writers a chance to feel like rock stars. My video should be done soon.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Write.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
All of my stories include religious conflict.

Laptop, desktop or notebook and pen/pencil for writing?
Laptop. Sometimes I’ll give the eyes a break and write a few pages on paper.

Do you believe in writer’s block? Has it ever happened to you?
I don’t believe in writer’s block, for me it’s called exhaustion.

You’re spending one year living on a desert island – which three authors do you want with you?
Salman Rushdie, Diana Gabaldon, and Shakespeare

If you could get anyone to read your book, who would you choose and why?
Karen Marie Moning. It just feels right.

Favorite place?
Norway and Israel

Favorite author?
Ken Follett

Favorite smell?
Vanilla

Favorite series?
Outlander Series

Favorite movie?
Braveheart
Favorite dish?
Manicotti

Favorite color?
Blue

Favorite quote?
… Love is not love
Which alters when alteration finds.
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken…

Sonnet 116
William Shakespeare

Your best trait?
Loyalty

Your worst trait?
Stubborn

Tour Giveaway
Violetta will be giving away a $25 Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour! Don't forget to follow the tour and comment!



Meet the Author
Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.


20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Welcome to the blog Violetta! It's been a while since I've come across an interesting Viking story--thank you for sharing with everyone.

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    2. Glad to be here MK. I hope Blind Allegiance keeps you engaged.

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  2. Such a great interview thank you. Vikings are in my blood.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    Replies
    1. Mary-have you visited Scandinavia? Thanks so much.

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  3. What a wonderful interview. Thank you for sharing.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Appreciate you following my tour Ingeborg. :)

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  4. Enjoyed the interview and love the sound of the book. How did you come up with the names of your characters?

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    1. Happy Thursday Karen. I always loved the name Noelle. Randvior just has that masculine ring and it felt right when I researched Norse names. Sigurdsson is a very well known Norse surname.

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  5. I havn't read about a Viking for a long time, may need to check this one out.

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    1. Greetings Renald. Are you a fan of Vikings? Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the story.

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  6. Thanks for the interview and excerpt.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

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  7. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THE TOUR! THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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  8. That was a great interview. I will need to go check out this book. I think the last historical books I have read were in the Harlequin historicals and I don't remember if there were Vikings or not, this does sound interesting though. Thanks for the giveaway. lacombejc@suddenlink.net

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  9. Now this book sounds very interesting!! Thank you for bringing my attention to this book & author!!
    ag_girl76 at yahoo dot com

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  10. Is violetta your real name or a pen name?

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOt com

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  11. Thanks for the post and the giveaway!
    hense1kk (at) cmich (dot) edu

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  12. Enjoyed reading about you. I am always looking for new authors to read and your book sounds really good.
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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