Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Author Anna Markland, Guest

I’m happy to introduce you to Anna Markland to my blog today.

She’s a Canadian author and is a multi-published author of medieval romance. It’s all about family honor, ancestry and roots. Her novels are intimate love stories with passion and adventure.

After a career in teaching, Anna published family histories, then became a fiction writer, enjoying the research required for writing her authentic medieval story. If you like stories with medieval breeds of dogs, she written one for you, If Love Dares EnoughCarried Away, and Wild Viking Princess, but if you’re a cat person, read Passion in the Blood and Haunted Knights.

Anna, we’re so happy you’re here today to tell us more about you and your books. I have a few questions. 

Are you traditionally published or/and self-published? 
I am self-published.
Are you a full time writer? 
Yes. I write full time, but it’s not a 9-5 thing. One of the advantages of self-publishing is being able to pick the hours you work, and the deadlines are ones you set yourself.
Do you have a writing routine? 
If I’m well into a book, I can write all day from morning till night. Other days I write in the morning. Depends. I’m not a person who functions well with routine!
What’s your opinion on authors giving away free books?
I've done it in the past, but I've decided against doing that now. I know for a fact it garnered me a number of avid readers, but I believe in the long run we authors will cheapen our efforts if we keep giving away stuff for free. I tend more to the 99 cent sale now.
Do you have hobbies or other talents that you’d like to share? I am an amateur genealogist. My interest in ancestry and roots led me to write the type of stories I publish.

We’d love to hear about your latest book and the main character:
 Bryk Kriger is a Viking, one of thousands who left Norway in the 10th century in search of a better life in Francia. Those Norsemen founded Normandy, and Bryk is an ancestor of my Montbryces, the central family in my sagas. His story is entitled THE ROVER BOLD.
He is driven to find the perfect piece of land where he can establish himself. To that end he has to fight against the Franks who don’t want to cede land to the Vikings.
A widower when he arrives in Francia, he captures a young Frankish woman who steals his heart. But Cathryn is a foundling, named for the convent where she was left on the doorstep, destined for the religious life. They don’t speak each other’s language, their only go-between an ancient nun. Vikings are forbidden to marry captives. They enslave them. This can’t be a romance, can it?
THE ROVER BOLD is Book I of the Viking Roots Medieval Romance Saga. Book 2, THE ROVER DEFIANT will be available in November.

Here’s my favourite scene from THE ROVER BOLD.
Terror rendered Cathryn incapable of movement. She swayed, certain her heart had stopped beating. It surely would when the massive barbarian plunged his knife into her breast. One glimpse of long hair, silvery blonde in the moonlight, a full beard and animal skin clothing had been enough to tell her this was no wandering peasant intent on mischief.
She had never been touched by a man. His hand was warm on her face, and it seemed he was being careful not to hurt her. At least he hadn’t broken her neck. His hands were big enough to snap her like a twig. She decided in an instant biting him wasn’t a good idea.
The dizzying smell of male sweat filled her nostrils, but it wasn’t the acrid stink that clung to Sprig. The heat from the arm gripping her body penetrated the thick wool of her habit.
His voice was deep, but gentle. He was rocking her, which was good because her knees had buckled. Fear must have stolen her wits. How else to explain that she felt strangely safe, held firm against a male body as unyielding as a wall?
He eased her away and looked into her eyes. “No harm,” he rasped.
She had lost her wits. Something in the depths of his brown eyes held her. She quickly nodded her understanding, trusting him.
He removed his hand from her mouth and they stared at each other for what seemed like long minutes.
His frown betrayed his uncertainty as to what to do with her. An urge to beg him to take her away bubbled up in her throat. She never wanted to be parted from the security of his strong arms.
But this man was a Viking—the hair, the clothing, the foreign tongue, the sheer size of him confirmed it. Women taken by Vikings became slaves.
Better a slave to this man than to Mother Bruna.
She shivered when he let go, swaying on unsteady legs until he put his hands on her waist and touched his lips to hers. The softness of his beard surprised her.
She should have been outraged, should have protested, pushed him away, called on her patron saint. But along with the alarmingly wonderful sensations coursing through her body, and a desire to have him breathe his salty breath into her, Kaia’s words beat a tattoo in her thoughts.
Love at first sight, love at first sight.
He broke them apart, a strange look on his face, as if he too struggled to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves. He tapped his chest. “Bryk,” he rasped.
Her breath caught in her dry throat but she managed to squeeze out, “Cathryn.”
He smiled, sending tiny winged creatures fluttering in her lower belly.
“Cath-ryn,” he repeated hoarsely.
On his lips her name was a song.
But then he put a hand on her back and pushed her gently in the direction of the abbey.
He’s letting me go. I can warn the others.
She gripped his arm, unable to speak.
Don’t let me go.
But he pushed her again, gesturing towards the wall. “Go,” he urged, untying his horse.
She staggered away from him, crying for no good reason. Nearing the wall, she turned for one last glimpse, but he’d already disappeared, swallowed up by the night.

 What are you working on now?
Torstein is a former thrall, freed after his bravery in THE ROVER BOLD, but the Viking nobility will never forgive or forget his past. And marriage to Sonja Karlsdatter, the woman he loves, is out of the question.

A couple of quick questions:
What do you do to relax? Walk along the seashore.
Favorite spot: Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC
Cat or dog: I’m a cat lover, but after unexpectedly losing Topaz last year, I cannot bring myself to get another one.
Favorite drink: Red wine
Favorite season: summer
Hobbies/past time: Genealogy
Favorite movie: Mrs. Doubtfire
Favorite color: Red
Favorite smell: Lavender

Any words for your fans: I love to hear from readers. It’s very gratifying to know people enjoy my stories and love my characters as much as I do. When I published my first book, I told myself I’d be ecstatic if I could sell 100 in a year. Readers have taken my books to their hearts to a degree that has exceeded my wildest dreams, and I thank them.

Where can my reader find you?
My website  
Twitter @annamarkland
Pinterest (I’m a novice)

Thank you Anna for spending time with us. We enjoyed getting to you know you better. Out of all the answers, I must say your favorite movie took me by surprise – Mrs. Doubtfire!

Please leave Anna a comment and check out her website for all her books.


  1. Good morning, Anna. Your covers are very nice. And I'm in agreement about giving away free books. Rarely do I do that. I'm more fond of Starbucks! Good luck with your writing.

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I'm very happy with my cover designer, Steven Novak.

  2. I agree Vicki, thank you for stopping by and commenting on my guest blog today. Judy

  3. Great post, Anna. Love learning more about you! :) Really looking forward to reading your latest!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lana. Appreciate your comments.

  4. Wonderful excerpt, Anna. Do you use your family names in your stories?

    1. Yes. My granddaughter is named Katherine, hence my choice for The Rover bold which proved to be fortuitous given the connection between Rouen and the saint. I've used the names of my children and grandchildren in many of my books.

  5. Hi Anna, great interview, I loved Mrs Doubtfire also :) I agree about giving our books away for free. I think the only time that works is like in your case with having what, fourteen or fifteen books? Then it might be good for garnering new to you readers, but for new authors I don't see a benefit.

    1. Hi Jacquie,
      And I don't think FREE is as effective as it used to be.

  6. Anna'a covers are amazing. It's always fun to learn more about an author I know and am friends with!

  7. Thanks everyone for stopping by and getting to know More about Anna. Thank you Anna for being such a great guest on my blog.

  8. Hi Anna

    You do have some amazing covers. I admit I was surprised to hear your favorite movie was Mrs. Doubtfire although I also enjoyed the movie. Somehow I would have envisioned something more historic for you...Show you what I know!

    1. I guess the bottom line is I like to laugh when I watch a movie and I certainly did that with Mrs. Doubtfire. I suppose as far as historicals go, I enjoyed Master and Commander.

  9. Hi Judy and Anna,
    Great interview! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Anna, I wish you best in your writings and want thank you for being such a great guest. I'm sure we'll be hearing from you and your next exciting book release.


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