QSFer Edale Lane has a new FF historical viking romance out, Tales from Norvegr book 3: War and Solace.
A battle-hardened shieldmaiden. A pacifist healer. Can the two find love amid the chaos of war? From Edale Lane, the award-winning, best-selling author of Sigrid & Elyn, comes a new Tale from Norgevr!
Tyrdis is a stalwart warrior raised to value honor, courage, and military prowess. When a traumatic injury renders the powerful protector helpless, she depends on the lovely, tender-hearted Adelle to restore her from the brink of death. Is it merely gratitude or true love that draws Tyrdis to the healer?
Defying cultural norms, Adelle despises violence and those who propagate it, but when her shieldmaiden patient saves the life of her beloved little girl, she must reexamine her values. Could Tyrdis be more than a stiff, efficient killer with an amazing body?
In a kingdom steeped in conflict with their neighbors and internal strife, shocking secrets are revealed, and both women strive to ensure justice prevails. Can they overcome their differences to safeguard their friends, end the war, and fall in love, or will fate prove to be a cruel sovereign?
This Sapphic Viking Historical nursed-back-to-health, opposites-attract Romance is packed with action, intrigue, and mythical references. If you enjoy rich storytelling that brings the past to life, vivid characters you won’t forget, and a surprise twist on the way to a HEA ending, then you’ll love War and Solace.
Warnings: Battle violence (non-graphic), Viking curse words
Adelle focused her attention on the shieldmaiden bleeding out before her. First, she unfastened her belt and dropped it to the floor. Then she cut away the flimsy, gray wool gambeson which had failed to protect the combatant, baring the crimson-soaked skin beneath it. She had never seen a woman with such well-defined abdominal muscles, which surely had helped keep her alive. As she wiped a damp cloth around her torn flesh, the woman moaned and tried to push herself up.
“Lie still,” Adelle ordered. She shifted her gaze to the warrior woman’s face, which was twisted in pain. Sweat beaded across a forehead framed with blonde braids. When she blinked open her blue-green eyes, Adelle sucked in a breath at how singularly stunning they were to behold, even in their dazed state.
“Erik.” The woman spoke the name and glanced around toward the other wounded. A veil of uncertainty clouded her expression as her breathing came more rapidly. “Where’s my brother?”
“I don’t know,” Adelle answered, placing a firm hand on the woman’s shoulder to return her to a reclining position. “We’ll find him later. Right now, I must treat you or you’ll die. Then you won’t find him until he joins you in Valhalla.”
Her words seemed to comfort her patient, and she relaxed, her lids falling shut.
“My daughter has gone for more alcohol, but, for now, I’ll need you to bite on this leather strap,” she said. “You’ve been run through with a spear.”
“Indeed,” the woman concurred impatiently.
Adelle pressed the folded cloth over the anterior end of the chasm in her side. “Hold this as firmly as you can.”
The shieldmaiden’s hands clamped over hers with more strength than Adelle had expected, and she wiggled hers free. She nudged through a barrel of collected dowels, rods, and metal bars until she found a thick, iron blank and thrust it into the fire. When she returned to her patient, she found her with the bloody cloth still tight to her side.
“I must cauterize your wound to stop the bleeding,” she explained, “and not on the surface alone. My inspection concludes no major organs were pierced and your muscles have held their shape quite well, but the internal vessels must be cut off also, or you will continue to bleed on the inside and die anyway. I’ll be thrusting the hot iron through the channel dug by the spear, and it will be extremely painful.”
The woman raised her lids and caught her in an unyielding gaze. Through gritted teeth, she declared, “Pain is irrelevant.”
The statement threw Adelle off guard. “Pain is very relevant,” she corrected. “It is an important indicator to tell us something is wrong with our bodies, and we must give it our attention. To ignore it would be detrimental to our wellbeing.”
“Giving in to pain is a sign of weakness and can get one killed in combat. Do what you must and do not be concerned with my discomfort.”
Adelle wasn’t certain whether this woman was to be admired for her courage or dismissed as having lost her sanity. With a confused shake of her head, she went to retrieve the hot iron from the firepit. She returned, holding it with two padded mitts sewn from a dead warrior’s gambeson.
“My name is Adelle,” she said, drawing her patient’s attention. “And you are?”
“Tyrdis Vignirdottir, from Heilagrfjord.”
Adelle touched Tyrdis’s hands, wet with warm blood, and eased them aside, tossing the saturated rag into a bucket. “Bite on the leather strip now.”
Without moving her gaze, Tyrdis clamped her teeth over the strap and Adelle plunged the rod through her wound. The smell of burning flesh singed her nostrils. Tyrdis strained against the pain, her fists tugging on the poles of her litter. Then her body went limp as she passed out again.
Adelle had treated countless agonizing injuries caused by carelessness, ill-fate, or the darker nature of man in her years as a healer. Few men, much less a woman, had ever displayed such stoic behavior when being inflicted with tremendous torture. Yet Adelle understood a great truth long scoffed at by the menfolk: women’s bodies were designed to endure more pain and still keep going.
She pulled the rod out and retrieved a second iron from the fire, this one with a flat, square end. Adelle used it to burn the top entrance of the wound. She carefully rolled Tyrdis on her side and branded the back of the hole, sealing it from further bleeding. If fate was kind, the warrior would be left with a horrendous scar and tale of valor to go with it. If not, and Tyrdis had already lost too much blood, she had little time left for this world.
Adelle applied a healing balm to both sides of the trauma and then wrapped a bandage around Tyrdis’s abdomen. She would have to wake her soon to ensure she received as many liquids as possible to aid her body in producing more blood. Her patient would be weak for a long time, but preventing infection was her acute concern. Many an injured person seemed to be improving, only to succumb to raging fever days or weeks later.
Called to medicine from a deep-set desire to heal and provide solace to the afflicted, Adelle always prayed to Eir for those under her care to live. She understood the gift of healing came from the gods, but sometimes a person was fated to die, and no amount of expertise on her part could save them. Something about Tyrdis felt different. She represented everything Adelle opposed, yet there was something extraordinary in the perfection of her physical form, her defiant attitude, and her exceptional eyes.
Eir, healer to the gods, hear my prayer. Send your restorative energy to our realm. Touch Tyrdis with your seidr. Please, let her live.
Edale Lane is an Amazon Best-selling author and winner of Rainbow, Lesfic Bard, and Imaginarium Awards. Her sapphic historical fiction and mystery stories feature women leading the action and entice readers with likable characters, engaging storytelling, and vivid world-creation.
Lane (whose legal name is Melodie Romeo) holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, a master’s in history, and taught school for 24 years before embarking on an adventure driving an 18-wheeler over-the-road. She is a mother of two, Grammy of three, and a doggy mom. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Lane now lives her dream of being a full-time author in beautiful Chilliwack, BC with her long-time life partner.
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