Guest Post with author Andrea R. Cooper

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Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

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guest post
Viking Women were lucky

As I write this, Thor 2 The Dark World is the 2nd top grossing movie. Is there an appeal of Vikings besides their swords, shields, and muscles?

Yes.

Even during the Dark Ages, several factors set Vikings above their counterparts.

1. Hygiene – Viking men were known for their regular bathing and grooming. They bathed at least once a week – compared to the near monthly baths of others. “English cleric John of Wallingford complained bitterly of the Viking men who combed their hair, took a bath on Saturday, and changed their woolen garments frequently, and they performed these un-Christian and heathen acts in an attempt to seduce high-born English women.”1

2. Viking women had rights – They could inherit property, request a divorce, and reclaim their dowries if their marriage ended.2 Widows were free to select their own mates. If a woman’s brothers sought maliciously to keep her from marrying, the woman could marry the third suitor whom her brothers refused.3 All this might not seem like much, but at this time period, women were thought of as property had didn’t have these rights elsewhere.

3. Shieldmaidens – Many sagas and other histories describe women warriors. History of the Dane by Saxo Grammticus in the 12th century references a number of women fighting: Sela – women warrior and pirate; Lathgertha – Ragnar Lothborg’s wife (her and her husband are represented in the History Channel’s Vikings), Hetha, Vebiorg, and Visna who fought the battle of Bravellir, and the Irish mentions of the Red Haired Maiden. Johannes Skylitzes, Byzantine historian, chronicles women fighting alongside men in 971 Bulgaria when Sviatoslav I of Kiev confronted the Byzantines. Afterwards, the victors were stunned at finding armed women among the fallen Varangian warriors. [4]

So Viking women not only enjoyed privileges that their counterparts did not, like inheriting property. They possibly could become warriors. Their men not only had muscles, but also were the best groomed (and no doubt smelled better) than European men at the time. I say that made Viking women lucky.

Bibliography
1 Gwyn Jones. A History of the Vikings. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1968. p. 177.
2 http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-vikings
3 (Ibid., pp. 38-39; Jacobsen, Position of Women, p. 38)
http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/hairstyl.shtml
[4] Harrison, D. & Svensson, K. (2007). Vikingaliv. Fälth & Hässler, Värnamo. ISBN 978-91-27-35725-9. p. 71

 

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Viking Fire
By: Andrea R. Cooper
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Published: July 29, 2013
Genre: Historical Romance

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856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

33 Thoughts on “Guest Post with author Andrea R. Cooper

  1. Thank you for having me today.

  2. Ella Quinn on 10 December, 2013 at 9:10 am said:

    I agree. Great post!! I tweeted.

  3. Good research. I would have chosen the Vikings over the stinky other men! 🙂

  4. I also agree. They treated their women like another human, not chattel. I think that was because life was harder for Vikings and thus they needed a partner who could think and help. Thus, they saw their women as a real people and gave them rights accordingly. I won’t say equal treatment, but far better treatment than barbaric England which treated women as property.

    I must go tweet now.

    • Liza,

      I agree. Though I wonder if they feared the Valkyrie taking them if they died at battle and had not treated their women as well as they did? 😉

      Thank you for stopping by and tweeting.

  5. Karen Lopp on 10 December, 2013 at 4:25 pm said:

    Great post, Andrea, I shared.

  6. Awesome post! I didn’t know any of this, and it’s great!

  7. How dare those Vikings be clean and smell nice! How vile, lol.
    Thanks for the great history and your story sounds great :c)

  8. Cool info, Andrea. Love Vikings and Irish, so this one sounds right up my alley!

  9. They certainly do sound lucky. Very interesting post, Andrea!

  10. I know next to nothing about Viking culture, so this was a very fun post for me! Tweeted!

  11. Thoroughly enjoyed your article, Andrea. Viking law sounds similar to Brehon law in what is now Ireland way back when. Women had it much better than in other places. Perhaps thanks to a belief in goddesses as well as gods.

  12. What a fascinating post, Andrea. I had no idea about this aspect of Viking history. I enjoyed learning more. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Great post! I love Viking lore.

  14. Uh yeah. I’d consider them quite lucky too. Had no idea of those facts, so thanks for sharing. Was pretty cool to read that.

    🙂
    Bobbi

  15. Andrea,

    Historically speaking, I’ve always appreciated that the Viking culture as a whole had a progressive attitude toward women compared to many other European cultures at the time. From a romance-writing perspective, the Viking era lends itself to great story crafting, such as your story. 😉

  16. Great post, Andrea. I love all things Vikings, and I have to agree on woman being lucky .

  17. Wow, interesting post! I had no idea Viking women had rights like that. That’s super progressive 🙂 Love it! And the new Thir movie was badass 😉

    I love Viking books too! I’ll definitely check this out

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