Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Whispers of the Nordic Draugr by Caroline Helenasdotter πŸ’• New Release Tour, 99¢ Flash Sale, Guest Post and $10 Gift Card Giveaway πŸ’• (Steamy Mythological Romantasy)

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Whispers of the Nordic Draugr by Caroline Helenasdotter πŸ’• New Release Tour, 99¢ Flash Sale, Guest Post and $10 Gift Card Giveaway πŸ’• (Steamy Mythological Romantasy)

In 16th-century Scandinavia, Katarina's fate intertwines with Ulrik's dark demonic past. Love and darkness converge in a captivating tale of redemption amidst ancient legends. 

In the misty realms of 16th-century Scandinavia, where myths dance with reality, Katarina finds herself ensnared in a perilous dance between the mortal and the ethereal. Possessed by the elusive mare, her world fractures, and the shadows grow darker. But amidst the chaos, a reluctant guardian emerges - Ulrik, the enigmatic master of her estate, harboring demonic secrets darker than the midnight sea.

Haunted by a past veiled in blood and sorrow, Ulrik battles not only his own demons but the sinister machinations of Vasilij, his tyrannical draugr maker. Bound by an unholy pact, their fates entwine with Katarina's, as love and darkness collide in a deadly game of fate.

As Ulrik and Katarina traverse the treacherous landscapes of love and fear, they must confront not only the malevolent mare but the looming specter of Vasilij, whose hunger for power knows no bounds. In a tale woven with romance and terror, their journey unfolds, where every step taken could lead to salvation or damnation.

Enter a world where passion ignites amidst the howling winds, and where the line between hero and villain blurs in the flickering light of ancient legends. Prepare to be ensnared in the spellbinding tale of Katarina and Ulrik, where love defies even the darkest of shadows.

Experience a spellbinding blend of love, passion, folklore and mystique.

Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I have been writing stories ever since I learned how to read and write. When I was a child I loved fairy tales, that love never really subsided. The Moomins were some of my absolute favorites growing up. Today I love to read fairy tales with my children. Jan LΓΆΓΆf is one of our favorites. My daughter is particularly fond of Pippi Longstocking.

What is something unique/quirky about you?

In 2012, I had the unique experience of studying Russian in Russia, residing in St. Petersburg. I am also a taekwondo black belt and a capoeira graduada. Martial arts are a true passion of mine.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

The caracal definitely. It is my spirit animal. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

At the age of 12, I completed my first young adult book. For me, anyone who writes is a writer, regardless of whether they've been published. During my teenage years, my love for Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings fueled my passion for writing, particularly in the high fantasy genre. I was absolutely obsessed with Harry Potter and The Lord of the rings (I still am).

Who designed your book covers?

My mother, Anna Helena Annika Karlsson, is a brilliant artist. My surname, 'Helenasdotter,' actually means 'daughter of Helena' (since 'dotter' means 'daughter' in Swedish). In Sweden, surnames typically derive from the father's name, using 'son' for sons and 'dotter' for daughters, such as Andersson, Nilsson, or Karlsson. However, I chose to take a name that celebrates female energy and honors my mother instead.

In Swedish tradition, it's more common to create a surname from your father's name, even if you use a 'dotter' name instead of a 'son' name. My father is named Thomas, so conventionally, my surname would be 'Thomasdotter.' Yet, I wanted to pay homage to feminine energy and decided to take 'Helenasdotter' instead.

Which of your novels can you imagine being made into a movie?

So far, I have only published two books. My first one, 'Saga of the Swedish Water Spirit,' is much spicier than 'Whispers of the Nordic Draugr.' It would probably be difficult to adapt that one into a movie

Advice to writers?

I am going to quote Jack London on this one: 'You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.'

And believe in yourself. It can be really tough out there for authors. Do not let anyone make you feel that you are less than you are. Never give up, never give in; stay true to yourself and remember to be kind to yourself.

 What inspired you to write this book?

I have always been interested in Scandinavian mythology and folklore, and I love to incorporate fantasy with folklore/mythology into my writing. My main female characters are always women over the age of 30. I believe there is a lack of female characters in the romantasy genre who are middle-aged or approaching middle age. I would love to see more books with female romantasy leads in their 30s, 40s, or even older than that!

What did you enjoy most about writing this series?

I have a very vivid imagination, and I love to write about fantasy and love. The brain does not know the difference between writing/reading about something or experiencing it in real life. The same neural patterns get activated in the brain when you imagine something or when it is actually happening. Writing and reading about love gives you the chance to experience falling in love time after time.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes, several. I have about 10 unfinished books and even more ideas. When inspiration strikes, I just have to write it down and start crafting a story. Hopefully, I will have time to finish many of them. However, time with two small children is very limited; I only have time to write during the night. I also find that having limited time to write inspires me even more; it forces me to truly value the time I can devote to writing and make the most of it. Writing becomes my reward after a long day.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have another book coming up at the end of the year. It is something that I have been working on for a very long time. I will continue writing romantic fantasy and folklore/mythology with a lot of romance

What book do you think everyone should read?

"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle had a profound impact on my life. When you read this book, one of two outcomes is likely: either you'll stop after a few pages, feeling it's a waste of time and that you don't understand it at all, or it will deeply resonate with you.

As the night approached and darkness swallowed the surroundings, the room was illuminated by candlelight. October was on the horizon, with autumn's cold and merciless winds already making their presence known. Summer had been spent preparing for the inevitable arrival of autumn and winter. The harsh, unforgiving winters could mean the difference between survival and ruin for the household. The eerie howling winds outside served as a warning of the bitter night ahead, a harsh reminder that those who were ill-prepared would face grave consequences.

Katarina pondered how to initiate a conversation, she felt hesitant in the presence of Ulrik. With insecurity gnawing at her insides, Katarina grappled with the uncomfortable silence that pervaded the room. The weight of unspoken words flowed rhythmically in the air. Ulrik continued to stare into space, seemingly lost in his own world, his gaze fixed upon some unseen horizon. In the suffocating stillness of the night, the boundaries between reality and nightmare blurred, casting a curtain of uncertainty over the promised nightfall.

"I remember," she said, her gaze fixed on Ulrik, her words infused with gratitude.

"You remember what?" Ulrik inquired, his voice echoed with an unnerving calmness, devoid of any traceable emotion.

"Everything," Katarina replied, stumbling over her words like a startled deer. Ulrik remained motionless, his gaze fixed on the darkness beyond the candlelight. Suddenly, with a fluid grace that disguised his towering stature, he rose from his chair. Striding towards Katarina with purposeful steps, Ulrik came to a halt right in front of her. His presence seemed to command time itself, catching Katarina off guard. She knew he was a dangerous man, yet she couldn't bring herself to fear him anymore. Instead, a curious blend of apprehension and fascination coursed through her veins. After years of working for Ulrik, if he had intended harm, he could have inflicted it easily. An intense longing emanated from his eyes, his desire to protect her rooted in their childhood acquaintance. Over time, his feelings had evolved into something deeper, and Katarina could sense the passion coursing through his veins.

"Tell me, what do you mean by 'everything'?" Ulrik's voice was a low, rumbling growl, his scent and energy made her nervous.

"The mare is trying to claim my soul, and you are trying to protect me from its foul grip," Katarina almost whispered the words, her voice hoarse. She met Ulrik’s gaze, his eyes delving into the depths of her soul. Katarina could clearly see the reflection of a man willing to slay all demons and devils to rescue her from harm. He was a man haunted by the phantoms of his past yet fuelled by an unquenchable flame that burned within the hollows of his tormented soul. A man who would not bend or yield, invigorated by a fire that would consume all who dared to threaten those he held dear. 

"You should not be able to remember that." Ulrik said in a low voice, his words slithered through the air like a serpent's hiss. 

"I do remember," Katarina continued, her lips caressing the words. Each syllable was filled with an eerie certainty. He had given her hope within a dangerous situation. 

"Are you not afraid?" Ulrik asked, curiosity etched in the darkness dancing across his face.

"The mare is a very dangerous creature," Katarina began, her blond hair catching the light from the flickering candles. "I do fear for my life and the state of my soul."

"I mean, are you not afraid of me?" Ulrik asked, lingering on his words as he took a step closer, standing just centimetres from Katarina. She could feel his presence, every ounce of his character leaning in towards her. Everything that was dangerous about him, and everything that was good about him, echoed within her soul. There was something truly perilous about him, the abilities of a demon combined with the past of a vicious monster. But there was also something safe about him, the memory of an innocent boy with hopeful dreams and a kind heart, blended with the ideals and morals of a noble man. Cruel and gruesome experiences had extinguished the light in his once hopeful eyes. Was Ulrik capable of killing her and every villager with his powers? Without a doubt. Had he committed heinous crimes during the war? Undoubtedly. He wore the suffering of his victims like a mask of shame. Ulrik was no longer human, he was a draugr, a demonic creature swallowed by darkness. It would be foolish not to fear him. And yet, Katarina felt no fear when looking into his eyes. Not anymore. She was confident that he would not wield his abilities to cause her harm or injury. The fear she once felt had transformed into a calm assurance. Now it seemed like Ulrik held the key to her salvation. Despite the darkness that cloaked him, she sensed a kindred spirit, a beacon of light among the endless darkness.

"No," Katarina uttered, surprising Ulrik, who found contentment within her words.

"Why not? You know my true nature; you know that I am a draugr. What is a draugr?" Ulrik's inquiry lingered in the air. 

"A demon," Katarina replied in a low voice, each syllable heavy with the weight of forbidden knowledge. "A demon with powers capable of transforming into a vicious monster that devours humans. A monster with the strength, speed, and abilities of twenty men. A demon weakened by the sun, dwelling in the dark, often feeding on humans and capable of turning whomever it desires into one of its own. A creature of the night that prowls the shadows in search of prey " Katarina whispered, her response was scarcely more than a breath.

"And still, you do not fear me?" Ulrik paused, his question swayed in the air, a fragile thread poised on the precipice of oblivion. 

"You said that you wanted to protect me, you said that you would fight for me," Katarina said honestly. "I trust that you will not harm me, even though you easily could."

"No, I will not harm you," Ulrik affirmed, sitting down on a chair, running his hand through his dark hair.

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Caroline Helenasdotter is a Swedish author born in 1986, living in the south of Sweden with her partner and two small children aged 3 and 6. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science and language from the University of Lund. Helenasdotter has lived and worked in Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, and Russia, and she is fluent in Portuguese. When not writing or spending time with her family, she enjoys practicing yoga, martial arts, and running.


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