Saturday, February 8, 2014

God's Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert

Back Cover Blurb: 

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America.
In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America.
But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself--and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart.

Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God's Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir--daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.

Book Excerpt: 

Hellisvellir, Iceland

The gods only accept what is valuable.
Gudrid repeated this to herself as they hoisted her mother into the tree. Her beautiful mother with the long shining hair, like her own.
Her cousin, Yngvild, touched her hand. Not a word was spoken, from anyone. No one could believe a young mother would die for the required nine-year sacrifice, along with the expected slaves and animals. But the chieftain had ordered it. And the chieftain was her father.
Gudrid's aunt hunched over, sobbing into her sleeves. Uncle Thorgeir did not even look at the tree. He seemed happy to gain more control of her mother’s family farm.
Gudrid clenched her fists on her shift, bunching it so tightly she felt she could rip it apart. She longed to fight the men who would drop the ladder, breaking her mother’s neck. But interrupting a sacrifice to Thor was punishable by death—the immediate death of hanging.
The sprawling, twisted tree loomed like a giant against the gray Icelandic sky, its limbs clutching at the dangling dead animals and people. Gudrid imagined the tree held them back from dropping straight into Helheim. Truly, Mother should go straight to Valhalla for being a willing sacrifice. But only the men who died bravely in battle got to go there, to drink endless mead for eternity.
Her father blew the ram’s horn, and a slave kicked the ladder out. For one second, Father’s eyes glazed over, as if he was far away. Even though he was devoted to Mother, he believed the only way to restore the bounty of the farm, failing since he had charge of it, was to give up the one thing he really cared about.
Mother’s face went slack and lost color. Gudrid was strangely thankful that she did not turn blue, with her eyes bulging, as some of the slaves had. It meant she died quickly, as a perfect sacrifice should.
Gudrid looked around, aware she needed a protector. Even at eleven years old, she understood this. Father had never wanted a girl. Her aunt was too grief-stricken—she would barely be able to care for her own children now, after watching her sister die.
Orm’s sad gaze met her own. He was a neighbor from a nearby farm, on a cliff overlooking the shoreline. His wife, Halldis, was a volva, a seeress who knew magic. Gudrid refused to look at her. She did not want to see the eyes of the woman who had told Father he needed such a significant sacrifice this year.
The last body was hanged, and another volva led a chant with the drum. Since many slaves had been killed, their families began to sing quietly in their own languages. As the words clashed, each group sang louder and louder. It was the only time they sang publicly.
Gudrid felt her insides burning, down to the core, like the volcanoes on this island. Anger and loneliness forced her from her seat. She hated Thor and anything to do with him. She groped for her knife before raising it to her throat. Then she charged straight for her father.

--copyright 2013 Heather Day Gilbert

Author Bio:

Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing stories about authentic, believable marriages. Sixteen years of marriage to her sweet Yankee husband have given her some perspective, as well as ten years spent homeschooling her three children. Heather posts monthly on Novel Rocket about self-publishing.

Links to your website and where you blog, FB, Twitter, any others you'd like to include
You can find Heather at her website,

 Her Viking novel, God's Daughter, is an Amazon bestseller. You can purchase the book on AmazonBarnes and Nobleand Smashwords.

Heather Day Gilbert is giving away a copy of God's Daughter. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. 

(It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)


Sharon A Lavy said...

Thanks for visiting the Book Loft, Heather. I am in the process of reading GOD's Daughter on my kindle.

beckie said...

I would love to read this!

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Susan P said...

A Christian viking novel! I love the concept. :)
lattebooks at hotmail dot com

squiresj said...

I would love to win, read and review this. Then share it with someone.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Thank you all for stopping in! I just had my first book signing today, so I just checked in here and thanks for your interest in God's Daughter! Glad you're reading it now, Sharon!

Patricia Bradley said...

Great excerpt. Left me wanting more. Would love to win the book. pat at ptbradley dot com

nylnestill said...

I am an avid history reader,I would love to read God"s Daughter!

Jackie McNutt said...

Heather I am sure your books are unique in featuring Vikings. I am looking forward to reading this as I would love to see how this story unfolds.
Thank you

Linsey said...

This looks AMAZING! I want to read it!

linsadair at gmail dot com

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