A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, March 7, 2014




The Sigurdsson family legacy continues…

A woman who prayed for a hero…

Orphaned at a young age, Rachelle Fiennes prayed for a hero to rescue her from her tragic life in England. When her only kinsman goes missing after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Rachelle braves the aftermath of the battlefield to find him.

A man who lost everything…

Damned by the gods for surviving the bloodiest defeat in Norse history, Jarl Tyr Sigurdsson is still determined to get home. Hiding until nightfall so he can escape to his ship, his dangerous endeavor is disrupted when he’s accidently discovered by a beautiful Saxon.

Brought together by war, Rachelle and Tyr face many obstacles. Can sworn enemies find peace through love, or will fate be cruel?


Since the first day they’d met, Tyr had been embroiled in strife and violence. Standing in this holy place, he seemed vulnerable, almost normal. Only once before had she seen this level of tenderheartedness in him. The degree of compassion he showed his deceased brother when he prepared him for funeral rites still haunted her. Of course, what man wouldn’t be moved by such tragedy? This was decidedly different. Baffled by this transformation, she watched him closely.

"I thank you for this kindness."

He embraced her. The motivation behind his touch had changed, she felt it.

"I swear on this holy ground, I’ll never hurt you again," he said.

He’d pledged it before. Could she be foolish enough to believe again? Didn’t he understand she couldn’t get past the fact he was holding her for ransom? Could she ever really forgive him for deceiving and shaming her? Caution did little to help her cause. Jolts of lust shot through her. It felt wonderful to be touched by him; but as welcome as those feelings were, they must stay hidden forever.

"I want to believe you," she said.

He tipped her head upward. "I make no promises I can’t keep," he assured her. "If there’s anything I can do to ease your pain, ask me."

She remained silent. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, a place existed where happy thoughts thrived. She pictured how it would be if he dropped on his knees and declared his love. All of this was quickly swept aside.

"I’ll leave you now," he announced. "My men are aware of your situation and will not disturb your observances. When you are ready, they will escort you back to the house."


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.




Thanks Violetta for taking over today!  I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts!

My take on critique groups

Critique groups are both a gift from the writing gods and hindrance depending on size and commitment requirements. For me, everything always leads back to my writing time. Early on in my writing career, I was fortunate enough to meet two very talented authors through my publisher that wrote historicals and shared the same ambitions and dreams I have. Months later, a veteran author took me under her wing and shared her experiences and time. Without these three incredible people, I’d be lost. So I consider myself very fortunate. I have a small critique group and it works.

I believe there’s a tipping point though, when it gets too big and group dynamics change. I’ve heard horror stories about large critique groups. Clicks. Favoritism. But, I deeply admire anyone who can thrive in that environment.

I strongly believe any successful author in the business is obligated to foster/mentor new authors. Critique groups are a great way to accomplish this. I’ve learned so much from my partners—improved my craft—became a sharper editor—and made lifelong connections as a result of my critique group. One of the greatest benefits of working with the same partners is the level of attention and honest criticism you receive. You build trust quickly. Not to mention timelines.

My advice is to establish long term relationships with critique partners who have the same goals in mind. Not necessarily the same genre or writing style. Without my partners I’d be lost.


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  1. I enjoyed the post, thank you.


  2. Terrific post, Julia--as usual. I love books by adventurous writers--Violetta ticks all of my must haves in her books.

    1. Hello Jackie--thank you for the kind words. I hope you enjoy the books.

  3. I stumbled on a blog that reviews historical fiction last night that was hosting a discussion about which new author of the genre commenters most wanted to read. Right away I thought of you and this fantastic sounding series! Thanks for the daily posts and excerpts... this series is high on my TBR


  4. Good morning Elise. Thanks for thinking about me--what blog? I look forward to your thoughts after you read the Blind Series. :)

  5. Good luck with the release!


  6. sounds good.i enjoyed the excerpt.good luck.
    amazon gc would be great

  7. Playing a mad game of catch up here! I would like Amazon GC...my favorite place to shop.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com


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