The Queen and her Brook Horse, An Orc Saga Novella, Book 2.5, is Available Now!
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Friday, September 28, 2018

Further Reflections on the Hárbarðsljóð

TW: sexual assault/rape

Last night, the Hárbarðsljóð kept me up. I don't think about the poem all that often, other than as a reference to the fact that Thor has a hall for the peasants and thralls who die, as another marker of how he stands for the weak and the forgotten, for the every man rather than the kings and men of power.

But last night, after Dr. Ford's testimony and the Kavanaugh defense, a piece of the poem came vividly into focus--and suddenly it wasn't so funny anymore. It wasn't something I could dismiss or ignore or push aside any longer.

These particular lines:
Harbarth spake:
30. "Eastward I was, | and spake with a certain one,
I played with the linen-white maid, | and met her by stealth;
I gladdened the gold-decked one, | and she granted me joy."
Thor spake:
31. "Full fair was thy woman-finding."
Harbarth spake:
32. "Thy help did I need then, Thor, | to hold the white maid fast."
Thor spake:
33. "Gladly, had I been there, | my help to thee had been given."
These lines sound very much like two men boasting and congratulating one another on their conquests, and not only that--it sounds very much like Thor is talking about gladly helping Odin hold a woman down while he rapes her.

Suddenly, I wasn't sure if I could trust Thor.

Those of you who have been following the blog for forever know that Thor is pretty much my patron god. I'm Heathen and my faith in Thor has gotten me through a LOT over the years. Even before I recognized who he was, he was beside me, lending me strength to face my greatest struggles and my hardest moments. Thor is... one of the two most important things in my life. Half of a binary sun around which my life orbits. Questioning that faith, that trust, is not a small thing for me. Not at all.

I can take you through any number of mental gymnastics, a handful of theories that excuse Thor's general behavior in this poem on the whole--that the poem, a flytting poem, is basically meant to be a hit job on his character, to show him as useless and worthless, to undermine the faith of his followers in a time when Christianity was pushing hard against pagan faith traditions. Or point out the fact that the lore and the myths are not divinely inspired gospel, but written by men, copied and recopied imperfectly much later, and in this particular case, was probably preserved BECAUSE it takes shots at Thor.

I can tell myself, and you, that this does not in any way align with the Thor I have come to know--that it is at complete odds with the god who stands beside me, and I can remind myself that I have always believed that both the gods change with us, AND as we change, our understanding of the gods changes too. This poem might well just be a reflection of the culture of the time and nothing more, an attempt to see mankind in the divine, and as we have grown, we are more able to see PAST our own reflections to the deeper truth of their character and their presence.

But it doesn't take away these verses. Or the others, where Thor shows an overeager interest in Odin/Harbarth's sexual conquests. It doesn't make it hurt less to read these words as they spill from the lips of the god I love.

It doesn't make it any easier to realize that in a thousand years, nothing has changed. Because a thousand years ago, men were still boasting of their conquests, laughing together about the pleasure they took at the expense of some woman along the way.

I don't know what any of this means. How to reconcile it, really or fully, with my experience of Thor and my faith. I expect I'm going to be wrestling with that for some time. But I'm not going to pretend that the suggestion of sexual violence isn't there. Not in the past--not when it is something we are still fighting against so desperately in the present.


Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Summer Update! And Sales!

As usual, August is happening! Newsletter subscribers already know the deets but just in case you haven't opened up your issue of the Amaliad yet--

You've got about a day left to grab HONOR AMONG ORCS for just 99 cents!


and the rest of the month to get HELEN OF SPARTA for just 1.99!


(Yes! I broke down and made e-reader mock-ups for a few books and a new promo image for Helen! Huzzah!)

While you're in a bronze age place, did I mention I released Ariadne and the Beast? It's a short story set about 30 years or so before HELEN OF SPARTA, and as you might imagine, addresses that pesky Minotaur situation of Theseus's.

It's too short to do a print edition but I finally bit the bullet and made it some cover art and formatted it as cleanly as I could manage for easier reading than just the pdf edition that newsletter subscribers get for free. Even better, it's available in wide release, so--
iBooks, Nook, and Kobo readers: Rejoice!!

But of course you can also grab your copy from Amazon for Kindle, too! Just 1.99 across all platforms.

And now I need to go crawl back into the writing cave and catch myself back up--3.5K so far this month is not going to be getting any jobs done. But after last month's 37K blow-out, I think I deserved the short birthday break!!

If you want more regular updates than the occasional "whoops I haven't blogged in a while have I?" be sure you're subscribed to The Amaliad and you'll get the latest and greatest delivered directly to your inbox.


Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Imaginary Friends Release Day!

Kindle | Goodreads
HAPPY THOR'S DAY! Celebrate with a fun Thor-ish read from me!

Grab your much-easier-to-read copy of Imaginary Friends for kindle, and enjoy it as a perfect waiting-room-read the next time you're trying not to get coughed on at the doctor's office! Or, you know, wherever!

And don't forget to add it on Goodreads, too!

This month's Newsletter went out today, also, with a sneak peek behind the scenes of Orc 3 (yes! A full scene that I had to cut while drafting! Because sometimes it takes me a few chapters to figure out where I'm supposed to have started!), and a giveaway for an e-edition of Facets of Fate. Which might be another reason to get your subscribe on to The Amaliad, because those Newsletter giveaways have phenomenal odds for the people entering--so few of you do!

Also, while I've got you here, just another reminder that FORGED BY FATE is still FREE pretty much everywhere. So if you haven't dipped your toe in to my Fate of the Gods trilogy, now really is a great time to give it a go. And of course if you're already a fan, I'd super appreciate any honest reviews you want to throw Amazon's way! Particularly for Facets of Fate, Beyond Fate, and Fate Forgotten!

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Scribd | Playster
What else?

Oh, just noodling around with a variety of just-for-fun projects. Like a Paris of Troy epilogue to By Helen's Hand because watching Troy: Fall of a City frustrated me so much--you can find my spoileriffic live-tweeted feelings on that over yonder:


But the timing is actually pretty good because this month, HELEN OF SPARTA and BY HELEN'S HAND are both on sale for just $1.99 each (kindle only), so if like me, you found Paris to be suuuuper annoying in TROY: FALL OF A CITY, allow me to humbly suggest that you might find my interpretation a little more to your liking!

Buy Now!
That should catch you all up pretty well--but don't forget to subscribe to The Amaliad to stay even MORE up to date and get peeks at what I'm working on, here and there. Especially your favorite Orc Saga!

And if you've enjoyed THE QUEEN AND HER BROOK HORSE while you wait for Orc3--please do toss it a review, as well! Because ultimately: Reviews=More Sales=I get to keep writing more books for you, and I'm pretty sure that's an end result we all want to support!



Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Friday, March 23, 2018

Imaginary Friends Available for Pre-Order

Goodreads | Kindle Pre-order

Remember that short story I wrote and serialized for the blog? It's finally getting repackaged for kindle, and you can pre-order it for 99 cents! It'll still be available to read for free on the blog, (because it seems like a lot of bother to delete it from everywhere I put up links, mostly) so if you're happy to read it that way, you still can--but if you'd rather get it in a more easily digestible format, it releases on THOR'S DAY April 19th!

And credit again goes to Caitlin Greer for the fab cover art!

Quick reminder to newsletter subscribers--March's issue of The AMALIAD is in your inboxes, and you only have until April 15th to follow the link inside and download your FREE pdf edition of The Queen and her Brook Horse! Soooooo. Now or never!!!

If you're NOT a newsletter subscriber, The Queen and her Brook Horse is available as a kindle ebook for just 2.99, or in paperback for 9.95!

However you go about enjoying this Orc Saga novella, please do consider dropping a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads after you've finished reading!

As far as other updates go, I've been double-sick with a double-ear-infection so mostly I have just been binge-watching Gilmore Girls from the discomfort of my bed, volume turned up to a million because my ears have been plugged like whoa and I've only just recovered my hearing finally and at last in ONE ear. I feel like this pretty much sums up March for me right now, but I have a few Gilmore Girls thoughts:


  • LOL LOL LOL LOL Super quick and easy half hour commute from Hartford to New Haven.
  • LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL Super quick and easy 1 hour 20 minute commute from New Haven to NYC by CAR. I don't know if you've ever tried to get ANYWHERE in the NYC direction by car on a Sunday afternoon from the Connecticut direction but. It deffffffffinitely takes longer than an hour and a half. Especially if you're on the wrong side of the Q bridge. Which somehow no one ever gets stuck on or has to harriedly merge across in this show and that is flat out unrealistic in every respect.
  • Where is the Luke and Lorelei fanfic filled with all their small intimate romantic domestic moments because I need that in novel form like yesterday.

So that's me!

Wishing you all a lovely Passover/Easter/belated Equinox!


Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3) Facets of Fate Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) Blood of the Queen (Orc Saga, #2) Postcards from Asgard
Amazon | Barnes&Noble 

Helen of Sparta By Helen's Hand Tamer of Horses Daughter of a Thousand Years A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus
Amazon | Barnes&Noble