I shouldn’t need to say this, but be kind to those who Grieve during the holidays.
A year ago, my husband was in the hospital after being diagnosed with late stage, metastatic bladder cancer. I’m not kidding when I say I had no holiday spirit at all. It drove me crazy that all the employees at the cancer hospital kept saying, “Have a nice day.”
I wanted to scream at them, “This is a freaking cancer hospital! How many people do you think are having a nice day?” The best alternative I could come up with was, “I hope your day doesn’t suck too badly.” But I politely kept my thoughts to myself. Stiff upper lip and all.
It’s always tough to lose someone you care about, but it seems especially difficult at the holidays when we’re surrounded by happy people looking forward to their gifts and parties, and with Christmas music playing nonstop in every store. The whole world seems happy except for those who are going through one of the toughest times in their lives. By New Year’s, I could have cheerfully strangled the people who were tone deaf enough to wish me a Happy New Year. There was nothing happy about it.
This first year of widowhood has been challenging and sad, though not without moments of joy, like my cruise. I’ve grown a lot in the process of being on my own for the first time in many years. Would I say it has been a good year? No, I wouldn’t go that far, though I wouldn’t call it a bad year. Last year was the bad one. I’d call 2015 a transitional year.
If you know someone who has lost a loved one or is going through a tough time due to some other kind of circumstance, please choose your holiday wishes carefully, lest someone wish to strangle you. And do keep in mind that not everyone is having a happy holiday season.
Wishing everyone the best holiday possible, whatever that may mean to you.
Today is the final Paranormal Thursday post, so please welcome Kimbra Kasch, author of The Viking Princess. This truly sounds like a unique and fascinating paranormal romance.
I’m a romance writer who grew up in a family with 9 kids and only 1 t.v. so I spent my days reading and, later, writing. I love books. . .maybe because I never got to pick t.v. shows we watched. But I’d run home after school to catch the last fifteen minutes of Dark Shadows…
I’ve just had my first novel published and am looking to share it with the world. It’s a story I was inspired to write after visiting Hamlet’s Castle and seeing an enormous Viking statue down in the tunnels next to the dungeons.
During the dark ages, the Vikings were more than merely heathen marauders. In truth, they were brave explorers. Men and women who took the original Captain’s Oath, vowing to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man (or woman) had gone before.
They were not the pillagers that the British portrayed them to be but people searching for new lands and new civilizations and along the way, they faced gripping family sagas that questioned more than their strength, agility and patience. These journeys brought into question alliances and loyal friendships, while testing their faith. And, there was nothing more important than family relationships. If a Viking couldn’t count on his family to help him survive, he perished.
But it wasn’t only the men, these warriors were women as well as men, who stood side by side on the battlefield. Perhaps that is the reason and the truth behind the tales of the Valkyrie and Valhalla, which still haunt the stories of the Vikings.
The VIKING PRINCESS is one such tale of the extraordinary lives and epic adventures of two people: Holger Danske and Morgaine LeFey.
And Holger Danske was not the first Danish Prince to appear on the printed page or to share a well-known castle as his home. Hamlet’s story is set in the same structure that stands on the sound between Denmark and Sweden. Holger’s home is in Kronborg Castle, known to most English speaking people as Hamlet’s Castle.
It was there, inside this Castle that I first was introduced to Holger Danske and the legends surrounding his iconic life. He was a warrior, a Prince destined to become King of all the Norse lands during the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table.
I found it odd that everyone had heard of King Arthur and his magical sword, Excalibur, which he received from the Lade of the Lake (a Norse Goddess) who had also given such a sword to Holger Danske. Holger’s sword was named “Cortana”, and was made from the same metal and magic as Excalibur. Yet no one I talked to outside of Denmark had ever heard of Holger or his sword.
And, even more interesting was the fact that Holger and the Vikings invaded England, yet somehow, even as enemies, Holger and King Arthur’s half-sister, Morgaine LeFey, were able to share a forbidden love.
Theirs was a romance that threatened two kingdoms.
THE VIKING PRINCESS has never been told outside of Denmark…until now. Morgaine and Holger faced an attraction more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than all the powers of Merlin.
He laughed at her, making her senses bristle.
She was not amused. “Am I humorous?”
“I have heard you are many things,” he replied, “but humor has never been cited as one of your virtues.”
“First you laugh at me, and then you belittle me. Is this the way you treat all women?”
He pulled back on the reins. His horse slid to an immediate standstill. Then, burying his face into her hair, he whispered in her ear, “I have shown enormous restraint. Would you like me to show you how I treat all women?”
The burning ember inside her flared to a flame. The muscles low in her belly tightened, as she clenched her legs tighter, wrapping them around his steed. Sucking air into her lungs, she felt the immediate pulse of desire race through the core of her body. She wanted to reach back over her head and wrap her arms around his neck, to pull him even closer.
It was all she could do to hold her tongue and keep from begging him, when all she wanted to say was, “Yes, yes, please show me.”
Her body motionless, she could feel the warmth of him as his hands grew bold, slipping beneath the soft linens covering her, his fingers gently gliding up over her stomach, traveling beneath her breasts and edging up…
A voice whispered inside her head. What are you doing? This man is your enemy. He intends to kill you, your brother, everyone you love…
She grabbed his wrists, holding him still and steady. “You have caught me, kidnapped me, and dragged me here. I may be your prisoner, but do not think that I am interested in your advances.”
His body tensed and he pulled back his hands, gripping her firmly about the waist. “I, Holger, the prince over all the Norse lands, have never had a woman decline the privilege of being my lover.”
“Prince or pauper, it matters not to me what rank you hold, for I, too, am highborn and accustomed to many privileges,” she snapped back, unwilling to let him bask in his own conceit. “And being your lover is not a privilege I would prize.”