Friday, May 6, 2011

Win a copy of Undercurrent by Michelle Griep !!!

Top 5 Reasons to Admire a Viking

Guest Blog by Michelle Griep

1. Sweet Texting Skills
The Viking alphabet, the Futhark, is a series of straight lines. Super easy to carve into a stick, a skull, what-have-you. Much of their communication has been unearthed by archeologists, down to shopping lists, threats, and love notes.

2. Viking Men Put Metrosexuals to Shame
Contrary to popular belief, Vikings were a meticulously clean and well-dressed people group. Unlike the English, they didn’t hold any ridiculous superstitions about bathing opening the door to demon possession. Once a week they soaked in their bubble bath and daily combed out their hair. Clothing was bright and fashionable, often incorporating imported silks and furs.

3. Debt Free Living
These people paid their debts and paid them fast—or were kicked out of the country. Everything had a monetary value, even a life. If you killed someone, you had to reimburse the deceased’s family (called wergild).

4. CEO Determination
They knew what they wanted and went after it. Gold and silver, mostly, though land was high on their list as well. And if a Viking showed up on your doorstep, you’d probably better cooperate. They employed ruthless practices such as the ‘blood eagle’ (I won’t go into detail to spare the squeamish at heart, but let’s just say this activity involved surgical skill, bone cracking, and organ removal).

5. Packers Suck
Enough said.

Now that your appetite is whetted for big, beefy Vikings, there’s a book you really shouldn’t pass up. Take a trip back in time and experience these wild and winsome people in UNDERCURRENT…

People go missing every day. Many meet with foul play, some leave the social grid by choice, but others are never accounted for. Such is the fate of successful linguistics professor Cassie Larson. She leads a life her undergrad students hope to attain, until she tumbles into the North Sea and is sucked into a swirling vortex…and a different century.

Alarik, son of a Viking chieftain, is blamed for a murder he didn’t commit—or did he? He can’t remember. On the run, saving a half-drowned foreign woman wasn’t in his plans.

Ragnar is a converted pagan shunned by many but determined to prove his Cousin Alarik’s innocence. He didn’t count on falling in love with Cassie or the deadly presence of evil that threatens his village in Alarik’s absence.

UNDERCURRENT…dare to be swept away. Available now at Amazon or Risen Books

Michelle's been writing since she first discovered Crayolas and blank wall space. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota with 5 other mammals (both human and canine). And don't forget to check out her debut novel, GALLIMORE...a Wizard of Oz tale with a Medieval Twist, available at Amazon or Black Lyon Publishing.
She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes…except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. Find out more at

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, except for a short season when I kicked around the idea of becoming an astronaut. Two problems with that, though. First off, I hate science and math, both of which you should at least have a mild interest in to be successful in a space career. Secondly, when I found out that astronauts don’t actually wear cool Lt. Uhura uniforms, it was a deal breaker.

In addition to writing, you also homeschool your children! How do you balance it all?
Apparently you didn’t notice the frayed hem on my superhero cape. Family and schooling takes up the lion’s share of my time but I do have one dedicated night per week when I run away from home to write. You can find me at Panera with a cup of java and chocolate chunk cookie every Thursday evening.

How did this story come to you?
There’s an old family story my mom told me about her mom, Clara Brekke. Sometime back in the early 1900’s, Clara’s father took her two-year-old sister and walked out the front door. Just like that. No bags packed. Not a word about where they were going or when they’d return. Nothing. No one ever heard from them again. As a result, I’ve always been curious about missing people. Assuming they’ve not met with foul play, where exactly do they go?

What interests you about the Viking age?
Besides the roots of Christianity in the Nordic culture, there’s a ton of other fascinating facts. Case in point…Bubba the Viking. Did you know there’s actual graffiti carved into wood and stones left behind by these fellas? And who would’ve known that one of these big beefy warrior’s names was Bubba? Not kidding. Feel free to use that tidbit as an icebreaker at the next party you attend.

Please share your favorite scene from Undercurrent.
The setting is a dark forest late into the small hours of the night. Hero Ragnar is leading Cassie, who freaks out about a wolf howling. Ragnar takes her hand, meets her gaze and says,
         “I am well armed, Cassie. Think you I would lead you into danger?
         Even so, I pledge my protection.”
Once those words left my pen, it was like Jesus whispered the same to me. What a picture of his strong guidance and assurance. On days when I’m walking through scary darkness, how comforting it is to remember that he’s the one holding my hand.

What other new projects do you have in the future?
I could easily be persuaded to write a Viking sequel if readers swamp my publisher with requests. I’ve also recently finished a historical fiction set in the Regency period (think Jane Austen) which involves an opium addict and a man who’s slowly going insane.

 MARYLU Here:   I've had the privilege of reading an advance copy of this book and I loved it so much, I endorsed it!  There's nothing like a cool Time Travel story! And Michelle is an expert.  SO, if you'd like to win a free copy, you must leave a comment and either ask Michelle a question or comment on something in her interview, or for you more creative types, add a 6th reason to admire a Viking!!!


  1. Friday, May 6th,
    "Morning, MaryLu, and, Michelle."
    Michelle -- This book sounds most intriguing ! What a story concept ! And, I don't believe I've ever read a novel about "Vikings" before ... just to add to the 'interesting factor'.
    I appreciated you sharing from 'your' favourite scene -- likening the way Ragnar holds on to Cassie's hand, protectively ... as Jesus holds and protects us.
    I would love to win a free copy of your book "Undercurrent". Please enter me into the draw. Thank-you.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Wow!
    It sure sounds interesting!!!
    I cant wait to read it!
    That's interesting about Bubba.
    The only Viking books I've read have been a series by Lois Walfrid Johnson
    (The Viking Quest.)I LOVED the series!! So It will be fun to read this book!
    Have a good day!

  3. Then I hope you win, Brenda, because Vikings are interesting indeed!

    MaryLu...EXCELLENT choice of photo to post. Love it! And thanks for hosting me today.

  4. Hey Leah ~ I've read Lois's books as well, so you've got a good background of Viking history. The fella's in my book are a little more, umm....unruly, but they will capture your heart!

  5. Michelle, you seem like a very talented author with a bit of a whimsical side to you. This book sounds very interesting. I've never read a book about Vikings, but this intrigues me. I would love to win a copy. Hmmmm. Number 6: They make very funny commercials. Capital One, what's in your wallet? LOL

  6. @Debbie - Those are my favorite commmercials, too! :-)

    I've never read a book about Vikings, either, but this certainly sounds like a fantastic place to start! :-)
    I'd say reason number 6: They're a close relative to pirates - they sail around, wield swords, steal your stuff, etc.
    And reason number 7: The Viking ride is one of the coolest rides at Epcot in Disney World. I mean, Mickey Mouse is sweet and all, but he can't hold a candle to Vikings!

    Thanks for this opportunity to enter. safe_1227(at)bresnan(dot)net

  7. There's a Viking ride at Disney World? Sweet! I just might have to sail over there and check it out some day. Thanks for the heads up, Sapphire!

  8. Wanna know what's currently in my wallet, Debbie? Nothing. I just went to the gas station and grocery store. Ahh, the life of an author, eh MaryLu?

  9. Undercurrent left me wanting more - would love to see a sequel - Can't wait to get my hands on your next book Michelle... Keep up the good work.

  10. Hey Ladies, Hey Michelle! I just knew you all would love Michelle. And her book is AWESOME! I'm loving your additions to her viking list. Keep em coming!
    Michelle was kind enough to put me up for a few days in her house in Minneapolis when I went on a book signing tour last year. I gained a pound from her good cooking! But she's right about the author's wallet. Always empty!

  11. RD-RC: just e-mail my publisher and let them know you're salivating for more Vikings.
    MaryLu: You only gained one pound? Sheesh, girl, you've got to come back. It's my evil diet plan to make those around me larger so that I look smaller!

  12. Hi, there to both Mary Lu and Michelle---This sounds great! I'd love to win a copy----and a 6th reason to admire a Viking is that I'm 100% Norwegian!!! The book sounds interesting and exciting!! Thanks for the chance to win a copy. God bless....
    DeVon S. from Minnesota

  13. You've got me beat, DeVon. I'm only 50% Norwegian. That means I don't have to eat lutefisk.

  14. Wow! Sounds like an interesting book to read. I have to be honest and say that I don't think I have ever read a novel about Vikings before. But, I do believe I will give this one a try.
    I loved the question & answer time with Michelle. Michelle, you sound like a really FUN person to be around!!
    We recently purchased 'How to Train a Dragon' (DVD) for our kids. It is now one of our family favorites - so that has me in the Viking spirit.
    Please enter me in the drawing too!
    Barb from Chicago

  15. Hi MaryLu and Michelle! This book sounds so interesting. I, too, have never read a book about a Viking. I'm already intrigued, though, and cannot wait to read it! I have a question for Michelle, though. What's your favorite Bible verse and why?

    Thanks to both of you for a chance to win a copy of the book!

    Nicole Scheuerman

  16. Yo Barb...I've not seen "How to Train Your Dragon" but on your recommendation, I'll move it to the top of my Netflix queue.

    Movie recommendation from me: Thor. Just went and saw it tonight in 3D. 5 stars and double thumbs up.

  17. Hey Nicole ~ Great question!

    My favorite Bible verse is actually an entire chapter...Psalm 121. It speaks of God as my defender, my helper, the One who's always watching out for me. On the dedication page for Undercurrent, my first entry is in Old Norse, and it says: to the mighty warrior of my soul, Jesus.

  18. Please don't enter me, as I have the awesome privilege of reviewing this book for "The Borrowed Book" blog soon, but I just had to stop by and leave a comment! :)

    Michelle, I was first introduced to your work on this blog when I won a copy of Gallimore! I loved it so much that when I found out about this book I had to have Lisa (Elizabeth Ludwig) ask you if I could review it. ;) I know I'll love it!

    Thanks, MaryLu, for the fun post/interview and for introducing me to this gifted author!


  19. Wowzer, Amber...that's some pretty sweet encouragement for me! Thanks a gazillion and a half--the other half goes to MaryLu, who is one huge blessing in my life!

    And Amber, whoa, the pressure is on. I sure hope you love Undercurrent as much as you loved Gallimore.

  20. Hi. Just this year I read my first viking book and enjoyed it. I also read my first time travel book this year as well. So your story sounds really interesting. I also homeschool my children and that takes up all of my time it seems. I think it is great that your were able to write your book in the midst of your busy season. Please enter me for a chance to win. Thanks.

  21. Blessings on your homeschool journey, Amy. It's a wild and wacky ride, I tell ya! But oh so worth it.

  22. Do not know much about Vikings so this will be a wonderful chance if chosen! Thanks to the both of you for the opportunity!

  23. Wow this looks really good! I have never read a book about Vikings! How did you get interested in writing about them?

  24. I've got a bit of the ol' Viking blood in my veins, Sarah. My mom's a full-blooded Norwegian.

  25. And if anyone's interested in reading the first chapter, it's up on Amazon...

  26. I would love to recieve a copy of this book. I would love to read it, just having MaryLu's support of the book is good enough for me. I trust her judgement.

    I love stories that take me back in time and this one sounds wonderful.

    I am off to learn more about this author. I have not yet been introduced to her books.

    I love the fact that the story is based on Vikings though. What is it with MaryLu's attraction with water books? LOL

  27. Connie, I'm so sorry, I've already announced the winner of this book. But I encourage you to check it out on your own. Yes, I highly recommend Michelle Griep's work.
    And your'e right, me and water.. just give me a book, any book, near the sea and I'm one happy clam. LOL