Thursday, July 17, 2014

Endre is Here (with a Giveaway!)

We're celebrating the release of Endre (Elsker Saga #2)
by S.T. Bende!
Kindle | Paperback | Nook | Kobo
Endre (Elsker Saga #2) by S.T. Bende
Upper YA/NA Paranormal Romance


Sometimes, finding your destiny means doing the exact opposite of what The Fates have planned.

Winning the heart of an immortal assassin was a dream come true for Kristia Tostenson. Now she’s knee deep in wedding plans, goddess lessons, and stolen kisses. But her decision to become immortal could end in heartbreak -- not only for Kristia, but for the god who loves her. Because while Ull would do anything to protect his bride, even the God of Winter is powerless against the Norse apocalypse. Ragnarok is coming.

And the gods aren’t even close to ready.


When I came to, my chest heaved with sobs. Cold sweat cloaked my body from my forehead to the backs of my knees. My hair was damp, my pulse was racing, and my fingers gripped the sheets so tightly my knuckles ached. I was in my room at Ýdalir, the one place I had always felt safe. Only now I was absolutely terrified.

I ripped the covers off and wrapped my arms around my legs. My nose twitched at an unfamiliar smell. I pulled the cord on the bedside lamp, and looked around to see what might be burning. There was no smoke in the room; all of the furniture seemed to be intact. But when I glanced down, I saw the hems of my pajamas. They were black, singed from the fire I’d desperately hoped had been part of a dream.

This time things had gone too far. If my smoldering pant legs were any indication, being injured in a vision could have far-reaching worldly consequences. And if Elfie had come that close to killing me . . .

Ull had his rules, but I no longer cared. I jumped out of bed and raced down the hallway. When I reached his door I pounded on the distressed wood. Tears streamed down my face but I didn’t bother to wipe them away. The downpour was too intense; it wouldn’t have done any good anyway.

The door flew open and Ull stood on the other side. He wore a loose pair of grey sweatpants and nothing else. Oh hot bejeebus. There was no way this guy was for real. It just wasn’t humanly possible to look that good.

Oh, right. Ull wasn’t human.

Despite the agony coursing through my awakening consciousness, this was a moment of glory I’d remember forever—the first time I saw Ull’s naked torso. His sweats hung low on his hips, affording me a view of the cut just above the bone.

Holy Lord.

“Kristia?” Ull rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He took in my matted hair, tear-streaked face, and shaking hands. “Great Odin. What happened?”

He pulled me to him, crushing my face against the muscles of his chest. The knot in my stomach loosened infinitesimally. Just being near Ull gave me peace, but being this near Ull was like taking a sedative. Breathing in his woodsy smell made my panic subside. And when he pressed his hands against me—one to my hair, the other against the small of my back—my gut knew I was safe. Nothing bad could happen to me so long as I was in Ull’s arms. I inhaled again, letting his familiar scent fill me from the inside until my shaking stilled. Then I pressed my lips against his skin. Hard.

“Sweetheart?” he asked again.

“I had another vision and it freaked me out. Can I stay with you?” I didn’t take my lips off his chest as I spoke. I couldn’t. He tasted divine—like spruce and soap and home. There was a very real possibility my mouth might be permanently adhered to his flesh, like a kid who’d tried to lick a frozen railing.

Only this was far less unpleasant.


The Amazon bestselling Upper YA Paranormal Romance series inspired by Norse mythology and featured in USA Today.

What reviewers are saying about The Elsker Saga:

"The characters will leave an imprint on your heart and mind for a long time to come." -Lisa (Bound by Books) 
"Bende takes classic bits of Norse mythology and throws in original elements to create her own tasty Nordic blend... I'll definitely be checking out the sequel!" -Bookalicious Reviews 
"One of my favorite books of the year." -White Zin Bookends 
"Action packed with a heart pounding romance!" -Curse of the Bibliophile 
"This book was nearly impossible to put down and I'm dying for the sequel!" -Brittany and Bianca Blab Books (now BiblioBelles)

Tur: An Elsker Saga Novella (Prequel)

Inga Andersson is the envy of every girl in Asgard. On the surface she has it all -- great friends, a job as Odin’s personal fight choreographer, and a happy ever after with her realm’s hottest assassin. But when evil invades Asgard, her perfect world comes crashing down. Someone is planning to kill off the gods, and Inga’s best friend Ull is first on their list. With the Norse apocalypse a nanosecond away, Inga has to decide how she’ll spend her final moments of freedom. Because from the moment this battle begins, Inga’s happily ever after will be nothing more than a memory.

Some things are worth fighting for.

Elsker: The Elsker Saga Book One

You don't win the heart of an immortal assassin without making a few enemies along the way. Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn't exactly what she was expecting. He's an honest to goodness Norse God - an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia's crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.

Her orderly life just got very messy.

About ST Bende:
Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of McVities cookies. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the books of The Elsker Saga. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day, pastries will be considered a health food.

Find ST on Twitter @stbende or her blog ( While you’re at it, introduce yourself to @UllMyhr -- when he’s not saving the cosmos from dark elves, he loves meeting new friends. Especially the human kind.

(Yes, I'm still on Hiatus, I swear! But you can't expect me not to support my fellow Norse Myth Author and #ThorLove friend! Elsker is a lot of fun if you haven't read it -- start with the (Free!) prequel, Tur, and go from there--if you like sweet romance with supernatural heroes, it's definitely worth checking out The Elsker Saga!)

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)
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Hiatus and the Editing Cave

All right friends and followers, I'm neck deep in editing this week, and then summer hits hard with Family Invasion (followed by and then following my birthday)! So I'm going to be away from the blog for the next few weeks, and I hope you'll hang in there with me because BEYOND FATE is coming in September and I can't wait for you to experience the magic (and the #ThorLove, of course!), but I've got a lot to do before it gets here.

Hopefully I'll have some other most excellently awesome news to share with you soon, too -- I may or may not have a paranormal romance novella up my sleeve, and there might be goats involved, but that's all I won't confirm for the moment!

In the meantime, we're halfway through July, and there's never been a better time to start reading Fate of the Gods, if you haven't already given it a shot!

I'll see you on the flip!

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)
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Publishing is Hard (I)

One thing I've noticed since I started this journey of writing with the intent to publish is that the whole entire experience is kind of designed to drive authors and writers crazy. The journey to publication is like a crucible, burning out the impurities -- those authors who shouldn't be making the trip, and ANY idea or sense of entitlement in an author. There is truth in the expression "If you can quit writing, you should." Save yourself the heartache. Seriously.

For myself, something I've noticed, is that before something good can come of it, I must be beaten and broken into the dirt. I must be seriously reassessing my life choices to seek publication at all. I must be giving up on writing entirely in a serious, bone-weary way. I must be wallowing in my despair of ever finding any (further, more,) success. And not only because I've been on submission for an eon, or because I was in the query trenches for an even longer age, but because everything in my life around me is blowing up, too. Financial woes. Personal woes. Business woes. Family woes.

But ultimately, it is always darkest before the dawn. Because once I reach the bottom of that pit of despair where I am verging on surety that I have made a terrible decision and it is time to just give up on chasing this dream, because it is just never going to happen, and it is not fair to the people around me that I keep investing so much into it at their expense, that is when I get an email or a phone call that changes everything.

The first time this happened, it was after my Grandfather had suffered his first stroke, and things were looking pretty grim. The house was a revolving door for guests -- family members coming and going to help my grandfather with his recovery -- and it was very likely, as unsuited as I was to the whole of it, that I, too, would be burdened with some portion of his care. My life was rapidly spiraling out of my control, and I felt very much as if I was being crushed under the weight of family obligation and expectation, with a heaping side of crippling guilt.

I remember one night, I had sunk to the cool, blue linoleum of the kitchen floor in front of the refrigerator, and I looked up at my cousin standing by the door and said: "I can't do this. I think I'm going to quit writing. I have to." Without hesitation or consideration, she said immediately: "No, you're not."

Within days, World Weaver Press contacted me about my Fate of the Gods books. And I flew through the house, sprinting to the guest room/living room/office where my aunt from California was staying, and that same cousin was ensconced, ready and waiting for me to "just check my email quick" before we started watching the summer Olympics, and the news burst out of me in a rush. I had an offer of publication. Someone wanted my books. Someone believed in my books. Someone believed in me. It was a lifeline. A sign, so close on the heels of my late night confession of doubt and despair.

I wasn't quitting writing after all.

At least not yet.

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)
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Taming Fate Blog Tour Round-Up

In case you missed it, here's the guest post round-up! Filled with fascinating topics related to TAMING FATE and writer-me, generally.


If you've already finished reading TAMING FATE (or any of the other books in the Fate of the Gods series), please head on over to Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and leave a review -- they really do a book and an author-body good!

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)
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble