Monday, September 16, 2013

A Musical Journey with ST Bende

Today I'd like to welcome NA romance author ST Bende to YAtopia, talking about her brand new book ENDRE, book II in The Elsker Saga.

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.

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Take it away ST...

Hei hei, y’all. I’m ST Bende and I write about gorgeous gods and cute co-eds. I’m a baking aficionado, a True Blood Trubie, and I may or may not cheer for certain IndyCar drivers just because I think they’re cute. And I’m the author of the New Adult Norse mythologies of The Elsker Saga. ENDRE, Book 2 in the series, released this month, and I want to tell y’all about the music that inspired the Saga!

The Elsker Saga follows twenty-year-old co-ed Kristia Tostenson as she meets and falls in love with Ull Myhr, the Norse God of Winter. Their relationship develops in the lead-up to the impending Norse apocalypse (Ragnarok), and Kristia comes to love Ull’s best friends Inga and Gunnar every bit as much as she loves her Nordic Adonis. While ELSKER is very much a love story, ENDRE explores the reality Kristia must face in choosing to love a god. And in my world, nobody evokes the themes of love, sacrifice, agony and hope quite like Imagine Dragons. (I’m a teensy bit obsessed with them. They’re awesome. AWESOME.) Here’s a peek at each of my main characters, through the eyes of The Dragons.

Ull -- Demons: Ull is an Asgardian Assassin who knows he’s fated to die alone at Ragnarok. He never let himself even consider falling in love, because he knows the agony of losing someone he cares about. He’s absolutely terrified when he meets Kristia -- he knows how his story is going to end, and he can’t bear the thought of putting her through what’s coming. Demons could be Ull’s inner monologue -- I wanna hide the truth, I wanna shelter you, but with the beast inside there’s nowhere we can hide…. When you feel my heat, look into my eyes. It’s where my demons hide. He knows he’s a monster for dragging Kristia through Ragnarok . . . but he’s not sure if he’s strong enough to push her away again.

Gunnar -- It’s Time: Gunnar’s an Asgardian Assassin too, but he’s the eternal optimist. He’s married to his best friend, Inga, who happens to be the Fight Choreographer for Odin’s army. They’ve literally been to Helheim and back together, and Gunnar will do anything to protect his girl. He knows exactly who he is, and we love him for it. He’s fierce with a crossbow, fiercer with his humor, and he’s been the surprising fan favorite of The Elsker Saga. It’s Time always makes me think of Gunnar-- The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell right to the top, don’t look back; Turning the rags and giving the commodities a rain check… I’m never changing who I am. It’s honest, and dark, and heavy -- there’s that definite feeling of being at the mercy of The Fates. But at the same time it’s upbeat and hopeful and I just can’t help but smile every time I hear it. That’s my Gunnar.

Inga -- On Top Of The World: Inga’s seen a lot in her capacity as Fight Choreographer. And being Gunnar’s wife and Ull’s bestie has put her front and center in more battles than she can remember. But she loves it. Like the other gods, she knows she’s fated to die at Ragnarok; but Inga doesn’t let that stop her from living. On Top Of The World captures Inga’s pragmatism and perpetually positive outlook -- I’ve had the highest mountains, I’ve had the deepest rivers; You can have it all but life keeps moving. I take it in but don’t look down. She’s realistic and sensible and just so fabulous.

Kristia --Every Night: Kristia’s my everygirl. She’s well mannered, and sweet, and organized, and just the teensiest bit OCD about everylittlething. I absolutely adore her. She meets her match in the uber-protective, equally controlled God of Winter, Ull. And although she was prepared to walk away from him at multiple points in ELSKER, she’s all in by ENDRE. Every Night hits on Kristia’s commitment to the god she loves -- I’m coming home to you every night… my mind is made up; nothing could change that… no matter what we’re facing, it don’t matter, don’t matter. ‘Cause the reason that I’m here is the same through all these years; not changing, not changing anything at all.

That’s the Elsker crew through the eyes of Imagine Dragons. I love them (the Dragons and my gang) so very much, and I hope y’all get a kick out of them too! Now tell me in the comments -- what’s your favorite music to read or write by?    

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 (TUR, ELSKER and ENDRE). She is an audio co-host of #NALitChat, and helps compile indie new releases for the USA Today HEA blog. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day, pastries will be considered a health food.

Find ST on Twitter, her blog, or send her an e-mail. 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.

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  1. Love this! I especially love Gunnar's song - I imagnie him running with his bow killing the enemies. :)

  2. Thanks for letting me and the Elsker crew love on Imagine Dragons! Y'all rock!

  3. I love these characters. I can't wait to read Endre to see what happens to Ull and Kristia.