Thank you for stopping by to learn more about Violetta Rand and her book 'Blind Allegiance'! Please feel free to leave her further questions and comments below!
What was the inspiration behind 'Blind Allegiance'?
Blind Allegiance is a culmination of many things. Years of putting off my writing career, an outlet while my family faced cancer, and a love for historical fiction—especially the Viking Age.
Which character was the most fun to write?
I always find myself entertained the most by my hero, Randvior Sigurdsson. He’s got that alpha-male ego thing going on and he’s supposed to pillage and kill right? Until he meets Noelle Sinclair. His life plan changes after that. Noelle even questions his odd behavior. What kind of barbarian invades a castle and offers terms of surrender to its inhabitants? Well, my Viking does.
Which scene is your favorite?
Here’s one of my favorites…
He rewarded her with another deep-throated chuckle, which seemed to irritate her even more. Her flailing feet made contact with his chest. Like a fish on a hook, she flopped around until he stopped abruptly.“I’ll give you one chance,” he said, and she went stiff. “Your sister or yourself—fate rests in your hands.”“Violence and trickery,” she said. “Not as stupid as you look.”“Bite your tongue, woman,” he warned, thrashing her backside, reminding her of her rightful place. He did have limits. If he were any other man, she would have been spread across a bed hours ago, feeling his manhood deeply rooted inside her, no regard for her feelings at all.He tossed her into a snowdrift. “Perception is everything.” He grinned.When he saw the rage in her eyes, he regretted not doing it sooner.She stood and dusted snow off her front and backside. “Yes,” she agreed. “And shall I tell you my first impression?”“I think you made that clear—never call me that again.”She pointed angrily at him. “Never put your oversized paws on me again!”Randvior wished he had a muzzle—she had a wicked tongue as fiery hot as a branding iron.Blood stirring, he stepped closer. “Make your choice, now.”“Did you ever really give me one? Are you teasing or simply testing my allegiance? I’m not the kind of woman to push my misery onto someone else, especially my sister. Don’t underestimate me, Norseman. I may be younger and weaker, but I’ll fight you every chance I get. This is my home. No matter how flawed it seems to you, it’s all I have.”She held her ground as he came even closer. Nearly on top of her, he pressed his forehead to hers. “We’ve reached an understanding. If I must tie you up and carry you away for all of England to see, so be it.”She opened and closed her mouth, wet her lips, and stared hard and long before she spoke again. “Try me ...”
What kind of research did you need to do for this book?
I’m a history lover, so I already knew quite a bit about the setting. I needed to deepen my understanding and relied on history books and websites dedicated to Vikings. As far as the environment, I live in Alaska which is very similar to Norway.
This is the first book in The Blind Series. How many more installments do you anticipate, and when can we expect the next one?
Randvior and Noelle Sigurdsson have five children. I anticipate their kids will be featured in several installments. I signed a contract for the second book, Blind Mercy, a few weeks ago and it features their middle son Tyr Sigurdsson. It should be out later this year (fall).
I plan on writing a sequel for Blind Allegiance, continuing Randvior and Noelle’s story when they relocate to Scotland.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
Yes. I’m working on my first contemporary romance set in the 1980s. It features an awkward biologist from California who receives a federal grant to study the migration of Monarch butterflies to Mexico. It relates to my career as an environmental scientist.
You work as an environmental scientist. What does that entail?
Fifty percent of my job is writing technical reports and editing. The rest of the time I visit remote sites throughout Alaska where I conduct the following type of investigations/assessments;
- Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments
- Title II Oversight of Delineation Field Activities
- Underground storage tank removal and closure
- Contaminated soil investigations and confirmation sampling
- Groundwater monitoring
- National Environmental Policy Act investigations and associated research/reporting
- Oil and gas industry projects
How does your work impact your writing?
I’ll answer that question on two levels. My career as a scientist gives me an eye for detail. It also allows me to experience different cultures.
As for the time crunch, in the summer, my writing time is cut in half. I take my writing projects with me in the field. I complete my work day, eat, take a walk, and write until it’s time to go to bed. It can be grueling sometimes, but rewarding.
You live in Alaska, which is on many people's bucket lists as a romantic place to visit. Where do you recommend people go when they come and what other advice do you have for a visit?
Over the years, I’ve visited 49 of our 50 states (Hawaii is my last stop). The loveliest spot I’ve ever seen is our capital, Juneau, Alaska. It’s breathtaking, surrounded by mountains and lush forest. While I was visiting, I toured a Catholic retreat just outside the city that’s home to a historical church built only yards from the water. While I was admiring the scenery, two Humpback whales cruised into the shallows. I walked along the beachfront, only feet away from these incredible animals. Wow.
My other recommendation is visiting remote Alaska. Experience the culture and people. Walk where few people have gone. There’s something spiritual about standing on top of the world and looking out over the Arctic Ocean. Barrow is a great place to experience this.
The best advice, learn safety protocol for the different environments you’ll visit. Every year people die from exposure and other mistakes that can be avoided.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a champion air hockey player.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for hosting, you provided very thoughtful questions.
Thank you so much for your time!
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.
It’s a risk of a lifetime loving a man you’re supposed to hate…
Betrayed by a brother she hardly trusted before the bloodthirsty Viking, Jarl Randvior Sigurdsson, attacks her home, Noelle Sinclair is conveniently bartered as a means to save her cowardly sibling’s skin. Forced to leave her homeland and accompany the petulant Viking to the untamed wilderness of central Norway, Noelle is ever-aware of the burgeoning dangers around her—including her weakening resolve to resist Randvior.
Should Noelle surrender to his resplendent charms and seduction, or fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home?
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