The Odin Blood Series Blog Tour - Interview, Excerpt & Kindle Touch Giveaway

Hey everyone! I am very excited to be a part of this tour for The Odin Blood Series by Ronnell D. Porter. I have info on the books, an excerpt, interview and a giveaway which includes a Kindle Touch to share with you all. 
Title: Dagger Heart (Book 1)
Author: Ronnell D. Porter
Published: January 26, 2012
Word Count: 70,000
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Content Warning: It does contain some graphic fantasy violence as there is a sequence wherein an army of undead invades the heroine's homeland, and a Tolkien-ish battle ensues. 16+ recommended
Note: Dagger Heart is currently FREE on Amazon!

Norway, 704 A.D.
The valiant King Ulfur defeated the evil that swept the seaside village of Nornör into despair; Morgan, the demon witch, has been dead for nearly twenty years. The truce between King Úlfur and the Queen of the Fae has remained intact since the day that Morgan’s dark curses vanished. It seemed that peace had finally come to the wounded souls of the village.

But this peace is shaken when three curses that Morgan promised with her dying breath are placed upon the Norwegian village: who among them has cast the spell?

Seventeen-year-old Erica finds herself trapped in the middle of a witch’s deadly revenge scheme with no way out but to fight for survival. On top of trying to end the curses devouring her village like a savage beast she finds herself at the center of attention when it comes to Viking King Úlfur’s three sons: Kriger, Paul, and Finn.
Three of them will fight alongside her.
Two of them want to marry her.
One of them could be the son of King Úlfur… and Morgan.

Title: Ebon Heart (Book 2)
Published: January 22, 2013
Word Count: 70, 000
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery

Sequel to 'Dagger Heart'.
"You know not of King Bersek, Lord of Berserkers... The Berserkers are men of darkness; heartless and unyielding. They know no fear, they know no pain – and the sound of them ripping and slashing and tearing people apart by their limbs: chaos incarnate."

One year after triumphing over the events surrounding the cursed Blackthorn Dagger, Queen 'Dagger Heart' Erica receives an ominous warning from a group of survivors that arrives in her village of Nornör: an army like no other, steeped in dark necromancy, heads for her Norwegian shores. With the winter solstice quickly approaching and no sign of the black wolf that used to roam the woods of her lands, she races against time to uncover the mystery of The Necromancer, as well as the absence of her dear friend and love, Finn.

The soft candlelight lit her room with hot yellow flickers of flame as she held a black iron jewelry box in her lap. It was so intricate, so lovely, and it allowed her to not only read Finn’s words of love, but to run her fingers across them so that she knew that he was real, that the feeling of his love wasn’t just the fading dream of a naïve girl. When she closed her eyes and held the jewelry box close to her, she could almost see his round face, his dark hair, brows, and lashes contrasted against the pallor of his skin, and those eyes that always seemed to catch whatever light was near to make them glow, even with the faintest of rays in the night. They were the eyes of the Fae blood within him, eyes that held an ancient magic and natural wisdom pooled in shades of forest green.
Finn rolled onto his side and took her hand into his. He left soft kisses along her hand, her wrist, and slid his body against hers.

"I want you to know that I'd decided never to leave your side again," he said. He looked suddenly uncomfortable, his brow strewn together and his jaw clenched tightly. Then he finally drew in a deep breath through his nose and nodded to himself.

"Before I returned here, I think I was starting to forget what it was like to be human... To be me. Emotions were starting we feel dulled, and something like a memory. Suddenly what was important in my like didn't seem to matter much; my old life, the death of my brothers, my mother, my father... Even you. I almost didn't return to Nornör at all, but something inside of me - maybe the last little piece of humanity inside of me - urged me back here. And suddenly, when I saw you again, all of the parts of me that got lost inside of that wolf's body began to come back together. Suddenly I felt fire again, and passion, and I felt that there was something that gave my life meaning again. When I held you for the first time, I felt whole again."

Finn grew bolder, and nodded to himself.

"I can't risk forgetting who I am again - but more importantly, I can't risk forgetting what you mean to me."

"I don't think you ever would have forgotten who you are," Erica said.

"I very nearly forgot you - that's bad enough. I wouldn't want to live with myself if I'd forgotten your name, your face, your voice, your scent..."

"You won't," Erica whispered. She cradled his head against her chest and let him rest there as she tangled her fingers into his thick black hair. "I promise that you'll never have to go another day of your life without me there to remind you of who you are. You are Finn Úlfurson, the man that I have loved since the first time we ran through the woods and howled together like maniacs."

Finn chuckled against her, and lifted his head.

"And you are Erica, great leader to the people of Nornör, and the woman I have loved since you struck me over the head with a rock."

When and why did you begin writing?
- Well I began writing when I was twelve or so, and that was due to the awe of vast, complex, and emotional storylines of popular video games, such as the Final Fantasy series. In fact when I began my first novel Final Fantasy X had just been released stateside and I had been left inspired by the ending. I didn't read as much as I should have at the time, and so I remember my very first novel being something of a depthless, aloof stumble over clichés until I began stringing together page after page. In the end I ended up accidentally stepping on the notebook that I had been writing on and breaking it beyond repair, and writing was abandoned for a few years. And then in my teens I took an interest in books again, and finally tried my hand at writing for a second tie at eighteen, this time actually finishing what I'd started.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
- There are some up-and-down moments with the self-publishing experience, most of them down. When I finished my first novel, I was absolutely convinced that I was a writer. I was also naive enough to believe that getting published would be as simple as sending my ingenious manuscript to an agent, getting it picked up, and waiting for my advance and publishing contract. How wonderful the world is when you're young and filled with dreams that offer fine promises. But it's a learning process, you learn how the game is played, use the hand you're dealt, and keep on trying to improve your voice. I now consider myself a writer, though I couldn't pinpoint when that statement rang affirmative inside of my head.

What inspired you to write your first book?
- To be (embarrassingly) honest, it was the final book in The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn. It had just come out in August, a few months before my 19th birthday. I read it, fell in love with it, and that was the final shove (after already being pushed to the edge of the cliff by so many terrific finales such as Deathly Hallows) to sit down and put words to paper.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
- I suppose it would be finding the voice of the character when I begin the first few chapters of a story. I used to write by the advice of the late Christopher Hitchens, who said that one should write precisely as they would speak. And so in my early works, that was the habit I fell into. But sometimes that didn't particularly represent the characters very well since I would be speaking for characters that I didn't agree with, and everyone eventually turned into a Mary Sue and Gary Stu. Now I focus to the point that I feel like I am the character, and I write in character to stay true to their very essence. I think Dagger Heart was the first book where that had truly shone, since Erica is such a unique young woman to me, and then that was quickly followed by a different novel published in the same year, The Untold Want. With Ebon Heart it almost felt like a family reunion, because these characters were so much more realistic in voice and personality than those I'd fleshed out before.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
- I think with Dagger Heart it was trying not to overdo the dialogue scenes. Here's a little piece of trivia about me: I love dialogue. It's probably why I was one of the few people who didn't absolutely hate Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. I could watch and listen to it all day every day - the whole film is dialogue! So it's not surprising that most of the words within my very first series, The Trinity Saga, is dialogue - I'm talking pages and pages of one conversation. At the time I hadn't quite learned just what showing instead of telling meant, and most of the information was passed to the reader through dialogue. With Dagger Heart I didn't want to repeat the same mistake, and in the end I believe that's why most of the feedback I received stated that the world and scenes were much more vibrant and detailed. So I guess the hardest part was learning how to write all over again, in a different way.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
- I did learn quite a few things during the writing process of Ebon Heart, and even now with Raven Heart, mostly because of the research I've had to conduct on the laws of the period. Erica's role among her people becomes much more important at the end of the first novel, and so an intimate knowledge of the way the people handled certain subjects was vital for her to learn and to understand, and therefore I also needed to know these things. So gaining a astute familiarity with their laws was somewhat surprising, especially with certain issues we still deal with today as part of the human experience, such as murder and the repercussions for that grave offense, homosexuality, as well as adultery, and the Scandinavian view on the duties of men in their society and how extramarital activities were viewed, and so forth. As far as the evidence is conscerned, the idea was that a woman took care of the household, and the husband provided for it, which isn't at all a alien concept. As long as he upheld his husbandly duties and provided for his family, trysts and other such activities were of no consequence. However, the rules were much more strict on the role of women, and the wife could face horrible, detestable consequences for infidelity, or even if she had not (or could not) bear children in a marriage. I think the most interesting discovery was that of the Weregild, which is part of the Salic Law. The Salic Law wasn't upheld by the Scandinavian cultures, rather some of their traditions found their way into the body of the Salic Law, and one of those contributions happened to be called a Weregild. It was a certain priced placed on every human being, every animal, and every piece of property, determined by each item and person's value to the community as a whole. In these times there was no distinction between murder and manslaughter, one simply paid the weight of the crime in gold or something of equal value. This was practiced for many centuries until around the 9th century, when the Holy Roman Empire began to replace these customs with Capital Punishment, until it had been totally diminished by the 12th century.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
- I would say keep writing. Keep trying, keep reading - ALWAYS keep reading, no matter how busy you think you are at writing - but most of all, keep writing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
- So far all of my readers are the most awesome individuals you could have a conversation with. I often assume they continue to follow me out of pity. But they are a foundation of support that is motivational in a way that they will never know. So thanks to everyone who's read one of my books. If that book reached out and touched you somehow, then I feel accomplished in my endeavors.

What are you working on now?
- I moved right into Raven Heart, book three of the Odin Blood series. I have a couple of smaller side projects that I'm working on at the moment, but my main focus right now is Raven Heart.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
- Being the reserved and quiet type of fellow who enjoys his silence, I'm not sure there are many questions I've ever wanted to be asked in an interview. But if I have to provide one, I suppose I've always wanted to be asked: "Where'd you get the coconuts?" To which I could simply reply "I found them!"

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
- Nudity: Confessions of a Secular Crocodile

What is the first book you remember reading?
- James and the Giant Peach!

About the Author:
Ronnell D. Porter was raised in Ogden, Utah, and now resides in Denver, Colorado. During his free time he plays the violin, dabbles in graphic design, and, of course, thoroughly enjoys writing stories. He believes that a novel written simply to entertain does its readers a disservice; instead, a book's narrative should always change the way we perceive the world around us, and grant us a little more wisdom than we had when starting the story.


Grand Prize: A Kindle Touch, pre-loaded with 5 books by Ronnell D. Porter 
10 eBook copies of Ebon Heart
The grand prize is available to the US only! The eBooks are worldwide.
Just enter the easy rafflecopter below!

I would like to thank Ronnell D. Porter for doing and interview with me and Juniper Grove Book Solutions for letting me part of this tour.

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