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1.What or who inspired you to start writing?
My mother encouraged and made us read as children. Early on I developed a love for writing. When I was very young, I’d copy passages from encyclopedias and present them as gifts to my mom. I think this strange behavior prepared me for a future writing career. J
2.How did you come up with ideas for your books?
I’ve always been fascinated with Vikings, how they successfully navigated the world and conquered foreign lands. As for the timeline, the 11th century is such a volatile time; religious conflict attracts me more than anything. Christianity had an astounding impact across Europe, literally transforming everything. Finally, the idea of a wicked mother as the antagonist is something I’ve always wanted to write. How does a loyal son resolve his relationship with the woman who gave birth to him if she’s continuously sabotaging his life?
3.What expertise did you bring to your writing?
I took lots of history classes in college and minored in religious studies. I’m also an avid fan of nonfiction—historical books are wonderful.
4.What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I’m rebellious. I love riding motorcycles and 4-wheelers and going really, really fast.
5.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
Blind Allegiance is the first installment for the Blind Series. Book 2, Blind Mercy, will be released later this year. I’m planning a sequel for Blind Allegiance where my main characters Randvior and Noelle relocate to Scotland. Should be exciting to write.
6.If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I’d love to be Noelle Sinclair (Blind Allegiance). Who doesn’t want to fall in love with a Viking? She’s stubborn and strong and has a real opportunity to help positively change the lives of the people she meets in Norway.
7.Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I don’t belong to a group. I have two critique partners. They are invaluable allies and I owe them so much for helping me through this process. I’m the type of writer who likes brutally honest critiques so I can improve my manuscript. It works.
8.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
My family faced hard times a couple of years ago and I needed an outlet. I returned to writing. After I completed Blind Allegiance I started submitting. I was determined to get published.
9.What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
The best advice, write.
The worst advice, don’t let editors/publishers change your story.
Flexibility is one of the most important attributes an author needs to be successful.
10. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Completely disorganized, I just write.
11. Do you have an all-time favorite book?
In romance, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
12. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
Editing for Blind Mercy is underway. Randvior and Noelle’s middle son, Tyr Sigurdsson, has taken over the family lands in the Trondelag, Norway. After returning from the tremendous defeat at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in England, my Viking hero must learn to adapt to the political turmoil plaguing his country.
Here’s a sneak peek when my hero and heroine first meet (Tyr and Rachelle)…
Without warning, a humongous hand shot up and flipped her onto her back. Rachelle shrieked and kicked wildly as he crawled on top of her. She screamed until her lungs ached. He shoved something into her mouth before she could make another sound. Eyes open wide, the face she had ashamedly admired, hovered threateningly above.
Sage-green eyes… At least one question had been answered. Before she completed another rational thought, he tore a strip of leather off the bottom of his shirt, tied her hands together, and rolled her over.
“Vær stille,” he growled.
Defiantly, she twisted onto her back and planted her foot in his shoulder. His feral smile and the menacing laughter left her breathless. He rose to his feet and stared down at her. Soulless creature… If she dared assault him again he’d probably kill her. A rational thought came—why didn’t he tie my hands behind my back? She spit the gag out and returned his stinging glare.
“How dare you manhandle me!”
The snarling sound that came out of that beatific mouth rivaled a wild beast’s. “Det er bedre ting å gjøre med de leppene… Kom her.”
He dropped to the ground and covered her mouth with his, inhaling her ensuing scream. Teeth raked angrily across her bottom lip and his tongue dipped inside her mouth without giving her time to draw a full breath. She considered biting down, but he’d kill her.
As his massive body shifted, Rachelle seized the opportunity to tug her hands free and clubbed him in the face. He roared and grabbed her by the wrists. Wrath boiled on his face, forcing her to look away before she lost her mind. Angry eyes swept across her as violently as a winter gale. His features tightened with his grip until she squealed in pain.
Shoving her aside, he stood. Rachelle leaned awkwardly up on her elbows as he stomped away. She watched silently as he scavenged for something on the ground. Obviously finding it, she wilted at the sound of his devastation. He scooped a body off the ground, cradled it in his arms. Opportunity had a cruel way of knocking at the most inopportune times, but if she could take advantage of this distraction and convince him to let her go, she’d swear to secrecy.
A fair trade—her freedom for his.
13. What is your favorite reality show?
I’m not a big reality show fan. I do enjoy The Voice. I like the blind trials where singers are chosen for the quality of their voices, not their looks.
14. Who is your favorite actor and actress?
Actor: Timothy Olyphant and Clint Eastwood
Actress: Keira Knightley
15. If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
Randvior Sigurdsson: Hugh Jackman
Noelle Sinclair: Lindsay Lohan
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?
Cringing from his brutal words, Noelle finally burst. Through the blur of tears, she saw a warrior of tremendous proportion storm across the hall. He seized Brian’s arm and pried his fingers loose from her hair. She heard a loud snap as he curled Brian’s arm behind his back. Her brother stumbled and hollered, then dropped to his knees.
“Say it,” the colossal warrior demanded, visibly applying more pressure to his hand.
Brain tried to wrestle him down, but the stranger was larger and stronger—controlled him with little effort.
Although she detested her brother, her first instinct was to protect her own flesh and blood. Yet, it seemed a fitting punishment. Let Brian suffer the same mortification she felt whenever he embarrassed her, which happened too often.
Brain quit struggling. “Mercy,” he begged.
The Viking released him, and Brian staggered to his feet as gracelessly as a drunk.
“Is this how you treat your own kinswoman?” her rescuer asked.
“She’s faithless—no blood of mine. We’ve made our bargain Norseman, take her.”
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.