Welcome to the The Viking’s Chosen by Quinn Loftis book blitz! This book was published today!
His orders are clear: launch a raid against England and bring home the spoils of war. But the prophecy is also clear: General Torben will take a foreign bride—one who is a seer and healer just like his mother. The eldest princess of England is said to be just that…a beautiful, charming, and headstrong woman. But he’s a Viking army general and she’s an English princess—and one who is already promised to the king of Tara.
Two worlds collide in this epic historical fiction centered on an undeniable chemistry that smolders against the odds. Richly written and injected with moments of humor, this action-packed romantic tale will leave you breathless.
Quinn Loftis is the author of twenty novels, including the USA Today Bestseller Fate and Fury.
Smoke wafted from the rock chimney of the sturdy hut that stood alone, about a quarter mile away, from the rest of the village, resting on a small knoll overlooking the crags of the Skagerrak bay. The smell of stew and freshly baked bread reached my nostrils, making my stomach growl. Having no doubt that I would be offered a bowl, I resolved to eat as much as I could. I would need a full stomach to help keep me on my feet tonight. Brant wasn’t going to leave me alone until I’d drunk at least as much as he had, and his penchant for libations was legendary. He was probably already crooning the Lament of Ymir and the sun wasn’t even down.
I pushed open the oak door of the hut without knocking and found my mother standing with her back to me, humming to herself and slowly stirring the contents of a large iron pot that was hanging over a low burning fire. My mother was small for a Norsewoman, but she looked even smaller as she stood slightly hunched, a sign, not only of her advanced age, but also of the toll her visions had taken upon her. Her long silver hair was woven in a braid, which looked like a worn and frayed rope that trailed stiffly down her back.
“When do you leave?” she asked, breaking off her humming without turning around.
“I…we…how did you know?”
“You grew up in this house and you ask me that. A mother always knows. She doesn’t have to be a seer to know when her son is troubled.”
“Still, it’s…unsettling. I just wish you’d let me actually tell you some news once in awhile.”
“Ah, but you have already told me. It’s written all over you, boy.”
“You can’t even see me, Hilda” I growled, moving to the cupboard, removing two bowls and placing them roughly on the table. Years ago, my mother had insisted that I use her proper name rather than calling her mother, even when we were alone together. She said that it was important for the clans members to see her as the Oracle first and foremost, and that anything else she might be, including my other, were secondary. I knew, however, that she didn’t really feel that way in her heart. She also told me that she had foreseen that I would achieve great things in the clan and that I would have to grow up much faster than other children my age. She said that if others heard me calling her by her name, ‘Hilda,’ or by her title, ‘Oracle,’ then they would be much quicker to accept me as a man, a warrior, and a leader in the clan.
“I see you more clearly than anyone, even yourself. You can’t come stomping up my walkway without giving yourself away; you never could. It’s in the way that you move, the way that you carry yourself. The shuffle of your feet might as well be a war horn sounding your troubles. And I know what troubles you; you think our warriors aren’t ready.”
“I know they’re not,” I responded, pouring us each a cup of water from a pitcher on the table. “And I see two cups on this table. You were expecting me.”
“Of course I expected you. Shouldn’t an old woman expect her son for dinner? What’s wrong with that?” The corners of the old woman’s mouth quirked upward as she continued her stirring.
“Don’t give me that old woman crap, Hilda,” I barked. “I know you’ve had a vision. I know that’s how you knew we’re about to go on a raid.”
“You didn’t answer my question,” she pointed out, ignoring my sore attitude.
“We leave in a week,” I finally sighed as I pulled out the chair that seemed much too small to sustain my weight and sat ungracefully down. “Will you be going?” I asked as I leaned my forearm against the table and pressed my forehead to it. My mother was the only person who I would allow to see the toll that the jarl’s obsessions were having on me.
“Precisely,” she grinned at me. “And of course I will be going. When has he ever left me behind?”
“What are you so happy about?” I asked, staring at her with what must be a very puzzled look on my face.
“That is not enough time for your troops, perhaps,” she responded, ignoring my question. “I cannot say; I’m no battle priestess. But…it is the appointed time that I foresaw. And it is the time frame you must adhere to. You mustn’t be late! Or early for that matter. You must arrive precisely at the appointed time, or you will lose her. The arrow that does not fly true, the scorned seeking revenge, and the greedy who is never satisfied. You must not be late.”
It was clear that I was now speaking with Hilda, the Oracle rather than Hilda, my mother. Many of our conversations took place in such a manner. She would suddenly slip into seer mode and start spouting out prophecies, telling me that our clan must do this or that. Sometimes she made sense, most of the time, however, I had no idea what she was talking about.
“Meet who, Hilda?” I asked, not really sure if I wanted the answer to that question. I suddenly felt a heavy foreboding fall over me, like a tunic that was much too tight. Rather than cover me like a proper garment, it made me feel exposed and vulnerable.
To my surprise, she shuffled over to me and smacked the back of my head. I ducked and frowned. “What was that for?”
“Do you ever listen when I speak, boy?” she huffed. “I have already told you about the prophecy.”
About the Author
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
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This book blitz was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.