Friday, January 11, 2013

Eire's Captive Moon Blog Tour - Guest Post

Hey y'all. I am thrilled to be today's stop on the blog tour for  Éire’s Captive Moon by Sandi Layne. You can read my review of this outstanding novel here. Sandi graciously agreed to do a guest post for me...about Vikings! Read on and enjoy! :)

eires captive moon blog tour button


Research and the Coolest Things

by Sandi Layne

I approached my research with the understanding that pop culture has done the Ostman a

disservice. Often, the initial image that springs to mind when one hears the word, “Viking” is

either a Minnesota professional football player or a guy with a horned helmed guzzling some

frothy alcoholic beverage or beating on a round shield. The early raiders that I got to know (in

my own, long-distance way) from the late eighth and early ninth centuries were not, by and

large, the stereotypical viking.

One thing that I learned was that the men from Scandinavia were men of faith. Not Christian,

not at the juncture in which I am writing, but they did have faith in powers beyond themselves.

To learn about the practices and misconceptions, I went to a community called Northvegr,

online, about ten years ago or so. This was a group of men and women who still hold to the

Northern Way - the belief in the Norse gods and goddesses, as they wait for Ragnarok—the

chaotic final battle signifying the end of the world as we know it. The people of Northvegr

were more than willing to answer my questions and clear up some ideas I had garnered from


Other things I learned that fascinated me about the Norse that I studied involved their

laws and social customs before the Althing came into play. How revenge was considered

honorable—but only if carried out in the right way and after a proper amount of time. How the

local laws were read by the Law Reader (lovsigeman) and interpreted on a smaller scale. How

courtships were conducted and the notion of paying a virgin bride the morning after the wedding

as a gift/compensation for her virginity, almost, as well as a token of gratitude for having taken

the groom to her bed. All of it was, to me, a vivid portrayal of people who lived in a time with

impenetrable winters and brief, vibrant summers.

Another area I particularly enjoyed was reading about the weaponry and the attitudes a

warrior held in battle. A Norseman fought with the idea that if he fought well, death would see

him in Valhalla—the golden hall of heaven, where feasting and battles renewed themselves daily

among others just like them. It was glorious for them to contemplate. They fought these battles

largely with axes and spears, as swords were extremely expensive and cherished. I, too, learned

how to fight with a battle axe and with a sword and shield. I blocked out fights (blocking out in

the theatre term meaning giving a rough design for) with my husband and asked my brother, a

medieval weapons fan, for help, too. The strength of a Norse warrior came from a fearlessness

not often found, and it was their faith in their afterlife that helped them fight with such will.

I started doing purposeful research for what became Éire’s Captive Moon in 2002. I began

writing the book in 2003 and continued (as I still do) to research the time and people and learn

more words in Old Norse. For me, this will be a long-term project and I am enjoying every


Éire's Captive Moon is NOW available  in paperback and ebook on Amazon, iTunes, B& and TWCS.

Author Webpage:

slayne.jpgAuthor Bio:
Having been a voracious reader all her life, Sandi never expected to want to write until the idea was presented in a backhanded manner. Once the notion occurred to her, though, she had to dive in the deep end (as is her wont) and began by writing historical fiction. She has since written more than twenty novels—most of which will never see the light of day.

Sandi has degrees in English and Ministry, has studied theology, spent years as an educator, has worked in escrow and sundry other careers, but research is her passion. She won an award for Celtic Fiction in 2003, but as well as history, she is also fascinated with contemporary research and has self-published several novels in the Inspirational Romance genre.

She has been married for twenty years to a man tolerant enough to let her go giddy when she discovers new words in Old Norse. Her two sons find her amusing and have enjoyed listening to her read aloud—especially when she uses funny voices. A woman of deep faith, she still finds a great deal to laugh at in the small moments of the everyday and hopes that she can help others find these moments, too.


  1. The work Sandi has put into this book absolutely shows, and she has a talent for dialogue that makes the reader not notice that there's a lot of historical info to absorb. Highly enjoyable story.

    1. Hello, J Molly!

      Why, thank you. :) Very kind of you. So glad you enjoy the dialogue. :)

    2. I loved all the historical detail too, though. I really felt a part of the action. And I love that you (Sandi) blocked out the fight scenes. Those were some of the most visceral of scenes for me. I could gush and gush and gush! *sigh*

  2. Great guest post!!
    New twitter and GFC follower:)
    Check my blog out at:

    1. Hi Andrea! Thanks for stopping by. I did check out your blog - it's really cool! :) And I'm following you via email and twitter. :) Have a great week!

  3. Hey, Andrea!
    Thank you! Glad you liked the post. :) Am totally checking out your blog!

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Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??