Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Elsker by ST Bende (Guest Post)

Today I would like to welcome author, ST Bende, joining us with her new adult paranormal romance, Elsker!

Why You Should Always Follow Your Beverage Cravings

Thank you so much for letting me visit today.   As a debut author, it’s been amazing to be embraced by such a lovely group of bloggers.  You’ve all made me feel so welcome!

Since y’all can appreciate the importance of a good beverage, I wanted to share an important lesson: You never know what a good cup of coffee can lead to.

THE ELSKER SAGA began on a road trip along the Oregon coast.  Thanks to a caffeine craving, I found myself at one of those little drive through coffee huts, chatting with a friendly, college-aged barista.  Before I drove away, I stopped to look.  A sign proudly welcomed me to Nehalem, Oregon, Population 250.  A solitary red light flashed from a wire, directing traffic along the town’s main road (which doubled as US Highway 101).  The forest was to my left, the river straight ahead, and somewhere behind the residential neighborhood on my right was the Pacific Ocean.  I snapped a picture of the coffee shop, and I’m so glad that I did.  Because that was the moment ELSKER was born.

ELSKER tells the story of twenty-year-old Kristia Tostenson and her journey from itty-bitty Nehalem, Oregon, to Cardiff University in Wales.  In Cardiff, Kristia falls in love with Ull Myhr, who turns out to be an Asgardian Assassin and the Norse God of Winter.  Most of ELSKER takes place in the UK, but Kristia is so firmly shaped by her small town upbringing, by the time the book was written I felt like I’d grown up in Nehalem, too.  In reality, I’d spent a grand total of three minutes there, and every one of those minutes was spent parked in the car, waiting for a caffeine fix.

So when I had the chance to go back, I was beyond excited, and a little nervous too.  Could Nehalem live up to the fantasy town I’d spent all that time writing about?  Of course!  And it had a few surprises that made it even better than I’d imagined.

ELSKER opens in a coffee shop, where Kristia’s visiting with her best friend, Ardis.  So on my return trip to Nehalem, I stopped in at: Wanda’s. Nehalem’s solitary breakfast stop served the best omelet I have ever had in my entire life.  I could totally picture Kristia sitting in there with her best friend, talking about her dreams.  Of course, Ardis would have lived in…

The townhouses on the top of the hill.  There are only about eight of them, but they’re surrounded by gorgeous pink trees that overlook the forest, the river, and the schoolhouse.  Meanwhile, Kristia would have lived by…

The car the berries ate.  On the other side of town are more traditional houses with open fields.  Next to one such field, I found a car being overtaken by vines.  Kind of fabulous.

Now, I only got about two hours in Nehalem, most of which I spent savoring that omelet at Wanda’s.  But let me tell you, I was positively giddy for every single minute of those two hours.  That place was just so Kristia, and I couldn’t believe I was actually in her hometown.  Yes, I realize Kristia is an imaginary person, and it’s weird for a grownup to get excited about someone who doesn’t exist.  But Nehalem is real, and it’s absolutely fabulous.

Book Title: Elsker
Author Name: ST Bende
Series Title (if applicable): The Elsker Saga
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Length of Book in pages or word count: 61,000 words (I think, double check with Eden.  She’s the boss of me.)
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Blush
Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. He’s an honest-to-goodness Norse God — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia’s crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.Her orderly life just got very messy.
TUR, Get the prequel, TUR, for FREE!
ELSKER, Book 1, is available from EntrancedAmazon and Barnes & Noble.


At eight o’clock, a firm knock interrupted my reading.  I picked my way through the flower shop that our living room had become and opened the door.
“Oh good, you kept my peace offerings.”  Ull treated me to a rakish grin.
“Just a few of them,” I muttered.  “Come on in.”
“Oh, no.  You must come with me.”
“Why?”  I challenged.  Ull sighed.
“Are you going to fight me at every turn?”
“Please come.”  He looked so adorable standing on my stoop, his scarf casually thrown across the grey sweater under his coat.  I gave in quicker than I meant to. 
“Fine.”  I grabbed my coat from the closet by the door and shoved my keys and wallet into the pocket.  “Where are we off to?”  I closed the door behind me and followed Ull into the brisk night, waiting for his promised explanation. 
But he didn’t say anything.  Instead, he put his hand on the small of my back and guided me away from campus.  I shivered and noticed that Ull wore his jacket open, at ease in the chill.  As we rounded the corner, Ull dropped his hand to clasp mine.  It was so warm, so strong, and for a moment I forgot to be mad at him.  We walked in silence as he led me down the main road.  After two right turns, I found myself standing in a quiet garden.  
Ull had brought me to a church.

Author Bio:
Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats.  Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the ELSKER series.  She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.You can follow ST Bende on Twitter @stbende, or send an e-mail to  

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