Today we’re chatting with Rothgar, the hero from The Viking’s Witch, a Gold IPPY award winning historical romance from Kelli A. Wilkins. Before Rothgar answers our questions, let’s learn a bit about the book.
The Viking’s Witch
About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.
But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?
After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?
Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other . . . before time is up.
Katherine: How would you describe yourself?
Rothgar: A strong warrior who does not tolerate disloyalty or fools. I’ll fight for a cause I believe in, but I cannot stomach excess violence or abuse toward women. I’m a disciplined man who stands by my word and I expect the same from others.
Katherine: What is your most important goal in life?
Rothgar: Now that Odaria and I have settled into a peaceful home life, my main goal is to provide for her and keep her safe. Odaria likes adventure, so I also strive to keep our lives interesting and make sure we never grow bored.
Katherine: Who is the one person you respect and trust?
Rothgar: A man must trust his wife! Odaria has proven that she’s unlike any other woman, and I trust her with my life. I have the utmost respect for her and know that she will fight with me, and for me, if necessary. I also have great respect for my berserkr friend, Nordskog. His great courage and loyalty saved Odaria and me from certain death.
Katherine: What is your greatest fear?
Rothgar: (Pauses and closes his eyes.) Losing Odaria. I lost my first wife and son in a tragic fire, and I would never be able to live through something like that again.
Katherine: What is your greatest hope?
Rothgar: (Grins.) That Odaria and I have several healthy, strong children who make us proud.
Katherine: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome?
Rothgar: I had to overcome many obstacles in my life – a major one was learning to carry on after my first wife died. For a few years after that terrible tragedy, I gave up raiding and traveling and was considered “soft” by many warriors. (Laughs). I’ve certainly overcome any reluctance to show them my stronger side – and many of them still have the bruises and scars to prove it! Sailing to Scotland and meeting Odaria renewed my strength and self-confidence and gave me a second chance at a happy life.
Katherine: Who is the love of your life?
Rothgar: Odaria, of course. I was fond of my first wife, but she didn’t sparkle like Odaria does. There’s a magic between us that most men can only dream of knowing.
Katherine: Do you remember when you first met Odaria?
Rothgar: Of course! I rescued the poor girl from a vile attack, and to repay my kindness, she hit me! I had never known a woman like her before—soft and tender one minute and feisty and fighting the next. I was impressed by her strength (she had just been tied to a stake and nearly burned to death), and her ability to cope with tragic situations. Later, when she wept like a frightened girl, I saw how vulnerable she was deep down, and my heart melted.
Katherine: What was the one thing you had to overcome to win her?
Rothgar: Winning Odaria’s heart wasn’t easy. When we first met, she didn’t trust me at all, and after the way she had been treated in the past, I could see why. But after a little while, we grew to trust (and love) each other, but she always worried that I would betray her. In a way, I did, but I did it for a good cause. Naturally, she didn’t see things my way and I had to earn her trust all over again.
Katherine: What was the sweetest romantic gesture you ever did for her?
Rothgar: When we were in Scotland, I gave her flowers and a gold brooch that made her happy. (I also did some rather naughty things with her in the bedchamber that I would not dare repeat here!) Now that we’re home, I’ll surprise her with flowers, jewelry, or a very romantic night spent under the stars.
Katherine: If Odaria could describe you in one word what would it be?
Rothgar: Sexy? Strong? Virile? Brave? Bold? (Laughs.) Although all of those are true, knowing Odaria the way I do, if you asked her the question, she’d tell you: “Mine.”
A first-meeting excerpt from The Viking’s Witch:
Odaria scanned the cookroom and spotted a large table piled high with food. Brennan must have been planning a feast to celebrate her death. There would be plenty of meat and beer in the underground storage area. Men liked to eat. The Norsemen must be hungry from their long journey. Mayhap she could offer Rothgar a meal and strike a bargain with him.
“Are you hungry?” she asked, cocking her head. “I know where to find food and drink, wood for the fire, clean water, and—”
“Hvat ist das plass?”
She scowled at him, trying to decipher his words. A few seconds later, she understood. “This is a cookroom. Women in the village prepare meals here. See?” She waved at the iron pots, wooden pitchers, and other cookery items stacked on the shelves around the room. “They make food.”
Rothgar rolled his eyes. “Ja. Vat ist dat?” He pointed to the door behind her.
“The gathering hall. The men conduct business here. There is a room upstairs for sleeping. The larder, the food and drink, is below,” she said slowly, hoping he’d understand.
He nodded and inched closer to her. She tried to move away, but she had nowhere to go. Her back was pressed against the door. Rothgar grinned and cupped her chin in his wide hand. Her heart fluttered. What was he doing? She stared into his eyes as he bowed his head. His rough beard grazed her cheek as his lips lightly brushed against hers.
Her body tingled, and a wave of dizziness washed over her. The room spun and seemed to grow dim. As everything faded, she had a clear vision of wrapping her arms around Rothgar’s neck and eagerly pulling him close for a kiss. Dizzy, she pitched forward. Rothgar caught her and clutched her to his chest.
“Shh,” he soothed, running his hand through her loose hair. “I will not harm you, Odaria.”
She relaxed against his broad chest, letting him support her weight. His touch was calming, and she felt safe here, leaning against Rothgar as she would rest against a thick tree. She inhaled deep. Rothgar didn’t stink of rancid sweat like the other men. He smelled clean and salty, like the sea. The scent comforted her. She could almost fall asleep where she stood.
Rothgar curled his arms around her ribs. She didn’t protest. In spite of everything, he hadn’t harmed her and he had saved her from that horrible Norseman in the red tunic.
After a few moments, her dizzy spell passed, and she gazed at him. “You are not like the others. You are different, Rothgar.”
He smiled. “Ja, in some ways. But fear not, Odaria. I will not share you with the others. I wish to have you all to myself.” Rothgar chuckled and winked at her. “Now, show me this food.”
“Aye.” She had no choice but to obey Rothgar’s wishes—for now.
Order The Viking’s Witch here:
Medallion Press: http://medallionmediagroup.com/books/the-vikings-witch/
About Author Kelli A. Wilkins
Kelli’s romances span multiple genres, including historical, fantasy, gay, contemporary, and paranormal. Her first Medallion Press romance, The Viking’s Witch won a Gold IPPY Award for best romance e-book in 2013. Look for her next Medallion Press release, Dangerous Indenture, in May 2014.
Readers can find Kelli on the web here:
Amber Quill Press Author page http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/bio_Wilkins.html
Medallion Press Author Page http://medallionmediagroup.com/author/kelli-wilkins/