Saturday, 4 May 2013

Elsker by ST Bende Blog Tour - Interview + Excerpt

Elsker (The Elsker Saga #1)

Elsker (Elsker Saga #1) by ST Bende
NA Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 22nd April 2013 by Entranced Publishing

Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. He’s an honest-to-goodness Norse God — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia’s crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.
Her orderly life just got very messy.

Book Links

Interview with ST Bende

ST: Thanks so much for letting me visit today, Myra. As a debut author, it’s been such a treat to be embraced by such a lovely group of bloggers. Y’all have been so welcoming!

Me: Thank you for letting me interview you! I had great fun reading through all your answers and I'm sure everyone else will too!

What has been the biggest highlight, so far, in being a published author?
It’s all kind of surreal. To be honest, I never meant for anyone else to read ELSKER -- it started as a little story I wrote in my journal, and just kept growing. One day I realized my journal story had a kind of ridiculous page count. I ended up chopping it in half, and those stories became ELSKER and ENDRE (Book 2).

My favorite part of this journey has been tapping into an amazing community of writers. My critique partner, Jacqueline Gardner, is an awesome storyteller and an even better friend. My editor, Eden Plantz, has given me oodles of practical writing advice, for which I’m forever grateful. And the writers I’ve met on Twitter are a constant source of encouragement and laughter. (Hello, #DarksideResearch Team.) I’ve scored so many amazing new friends, all because I decided to let people read my journal. Oh dear, people are going to read my journal…

When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I didn’t. I still don’t think of myself as an author. I just fell in love with Ull and Kristia (the Norse God of Winter and the small-town girl who wins his heart) and I wanted to share them. They’re awesome.

Which of your characters is your favourite? And which character was the hardest to write?
It changes from week to week, though I’m partial to my Norse goddess Inga at the moment. She cooks, she bakes, she’s a fight choreographer for Odin’s army, and she’s a dynamo fencer. Oh, and her best friend is the ridiculously good-looking and totally unattainable God of Winter. Who wouldn’t want to have it all? Also, I may have the teeniest (hugest) crush on Ull. I mean, really. He’s a 6’5” blonde haired, blue eyed Asgardian Assassin. There’s a lot to like.
In terms of the hardest character to write, I struggled with Kristia at times. I tended to make her more woe-is-me than I intended. My editor pinpointed the spots where she was reacting too strongly, and helped me turn her into the strong woman I her to be. Thanks, Eden.

What books/authors have most influenced your writing?
I’m a huge fan of Shakespeare -- Much Ado is my favorite play, and Benedick knocks my socks off. And who among us is not an uber-fan of JK Rowling? Her world building is phenomenal.

What's your special talent (other than writing of course)?
I can play the William Tell Overture by tapping my cheeks. I’m really good at it. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, I can always audition for the circus.

If you could, what three book characters would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Ooh, that’s a fun question! Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado, of course. Their snarky banter would make for a super fun evening. And probably Ull from ELSKER, just so I could look at him. *Sigh*

What book(s) are you currently working on and do you have anything else planned for the future?
Eden and I are in content edits for ENDRE, the second book in THE ELSKER SAGA. I’m really excited to see where we take Kristia and Ull. And my amazing critique partner and I just finished co-writing a fun YA project. Working with Jacqueline Gardner was a blast!
What's one of your favourite quotes (it doesn't have to be from a book)?
The academic me would quote Tennyson’s Ulysses: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” It’s a beautiful expression of determination and hope.

But the fun me will always cite Shakespeare’s Benedick, who admits his love for Beatrice by declaring: “The world must be peopled.” Gotta love an honest man.

Give a brief summary of your book, Elsker, in 20 words or less.
You don’t win the heart of an immortal assassin without making a few enemies along the way.

If you had the chance to do it again, is there anything you'd change about your book?
No. I wrote ELSKER for me, and I was lucky enough to land an editor who didn’t want to change the message of the book. My characters came into their own in the editing process, and I fell more in love with them the more they developed. I hope they make you smile, too.

THE ELSKER SAGA is available from Entranced Publishing.
TUR, the prequel, can be downloaded for free HERE.

And be sure to stop by HERE between April 11th and May 20th to enter to win fabulous prizes in the ELSKER Release Month of Giveaways!


At eight o’clock, a firm knock interrupted my reading. I picked my way through the flower shop that our living room had become and opened the door.

“Oh good, you kept my peace offerings.” Ull treated me to a rakish grin.

“Just a few of them,” I muttered. “Come on in.”

“Oh, no. You must come with me.”

“Why?” I challenged. Ull sighed.

“Are you going to fight me at every turn?”


“Please come.” He looked so adorable standing on my stoop, his scarf casually thrown across the grey sweater under his coat. I gave in quicker than I meant to.

“Fine.” I grabbed my coat from the closet by the door and shoved my keys and wallet into the pocket. “Where are we off to?” I closed the door behind me and followed Ull into the brisk night, waiting for his promised explanation.

But he didn’t say anything. Instead, he put his hand on the small of my back and guided me away from campus. I shivered and noticed that Ull wore his jacket open, at ease in the chill. As we rounded the corner, Ull dropped his hand to clasp mine. It was so warm, so strong, and for a moment I forgot to be mad at him. We walked in silence as he led me down the main road. After two right turns, I found myself standing in a quiet garden.

Ull had brought me to a church.

Author Bio - ST Bende

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 the musical Cats. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the ELSKER series. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.

You can follow ST Bende on Twitter @stbende, or send an e-mail to

Author Links

Find the rest of the TOUR HERE + GIVEAWAYS!


  1. Thanks for hosting the Elsker crew Myra! Oh, and May the 4th Be With You. (Just outed myself as a huge Star Wars nerd, didn't I?)

    1. No problem! And May the 4th Be With You. (Only a little, but I won't tell anyone.) ;)

  2. ST, you ARE an author. Anyone who can create a man like Ull is at the top of my fave author lists!

    #darksideresearch ladies rock!

    1. *blushes* Thank you, Melinda. You're just fabulous! ;)