Dramatic Viking Adventure in Uncharted Waters by Katie Aiken Ritter

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Featured Book | 0 comments

“One waits a full year for those who do not return from the sea. Then, the rituals are held, and the funeral ale drunk, and the inheritance, if any, divided, and debts are forgiven. But because of the outlaw sentence, the ones at home would have waited for three years, with a last hopeful burst at the end that a sail would suddenly appear in the harbor, the ship home and the men free.

Three years.

One unnoticed day after that, they would start letting go of the tattered rags of hope. Some whose life had been made hard by a man’s offenses might have breathed a sigh of relief, but mothers who loved no matter what would finally weep with grief. Sorrowing fathers would ease their loss in work, burying pain in the set of their jaw. Some would have held onto a thin thread of hope for the rest of their lives.

Thio screamed and screamed, and Tiller wrenched the rudder hard, too hard, an inner voice asking will this take us over or pull us out, knowing that it was too little, too late. The ship keeled over and shuddered, and headed straight up the cliff of water. Thio clawed at the crates, desperate to hold on as they climbed the terrifying height until it seemed the very tip of the mast must be upside down.” — Viking: The Green Land

What happens next? And more importantly, how would you react in such a situation? While much of historical fiction engages with royal figures, the vast majority of human beings in history were just ordinary people like you and me – and we exist because, somehow, they survived.

That’s stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances fascinate us: we wonder what we ourselves would do! Without a royal retinue, without advantages of wealth or power, would we escape? Would we survive? Would we thrive? Would we find happiness?

While every American schoolchild memorizes the ditty “in fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” fully five hundred years before that date, Erik the Red discovered Greenland in 982 A.D. Not long afterwards, his son Leif Erikson journeyed to the North American continent and actively traded with native tribes there. Ivory walrus tusks and rich furs flowed from these settlements to all of medieval Europe.

VIKING: The Green Land takes on the first part of that story of discovery. What was it like to go on a dangerous voyage in search of land no one knew for certain even existed? How did the crew of that ship feel, heading off into the western seas with no map to follow, and no prior experience to guide them?

Even more, at the time of the trip Erik was not the iconic figure known to history, but a convicted outlaw: shamed, cast out from society, and with absolutely nothing to lose – but in a few short years, Erik and his wife, the strong-willed Norse woman Thio Jorundsdottir, became the leaders of a successful colony and raised a son who lived for a time with the king of Norway. One wonders: can such remarkable transformation really happen to people? How might that have happened?

VIKING: The Green Land draws upon nine years of intensive research to take you on an enthralling discovery of never-before-explored moments of real history, and invites you — amid murder, deception, and betrayal — to consider how might I have reacted? Would you have stood taller, faced impossible odds, and found the strength to move forward? What might that courage have cost…and how might it inspire you?

Don’t miss this sweeping novel about a real man and woman who made the best of a terrible situation to become legendary figures in history. We all wonder if we have the stuff of heroes within. In truth, we do. Test your valor against the daunting, unexpected challenges in VIKING: The Green Landwhich will be discounted to $2.99 on Kindle until June 24, 2017.

BONUS: My newest novella, VIKING: A Man Called Mountain, introduces us to a massive African slave named Tor – Gaelic for ‘mountain’ – who has traveled Viking trading routes north along Saxon lands to remote Iceland. Fiercely determined to protect the two children who travel with him, Tor longs desperately to keep them safe with him. But a deceptive merchant, a lonely young widow with a terrible secret, and a mysterious Druid truth-seer draw Tor farther and farther towards an unbearable reality: that keeping his children safe might mean never seeing them again. In the deepest heart of ordinary people, true fortitude struggles with impossible realities. Will Tor find his way as a reluctant hero…and where will his choices lead others?

VIKING: A Man Called Mountain is 99 cents on Kindle until June 24, 2017

Katie Aiken Ritter, June 19, 2017

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