Welcome to the blog tour for A Cut Twice As Deep by Wendy L. Anderson! Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book! A Cut Twice as Deep
Publication Date: October 7th, 2020
Genre: Viking Adventure/ Sisterhood/ Romance
The bond between sisters is one forged in blood and fire. Twin sisters, Liana and Deirdre were inseparable like the two halves of a double-bladed axe, making the pain of having to leave each other a cut twice as deep.
Their father, Gorsedd Gunnarson, King of the great country of Svartur Rokk, did not care about twin bonds or his daughter’s preferences and severed the pair with a single blow. Both Liana and Deirdre have been sold to the highest bidders for ships, weapons, and alliances. For Gorsedd Gunnarson these are very profitable and advantageous marriage arrangements, but the twin sisters would be torn from each other lives and sent to lands far apart forever!
Liana is forced to leave her childhood sweetheart and marry a stranger. Sweet, timid Deirdre would be wed to a Viking warlord. One would leave her home on a ship and the other on a horse. Both would travel great distances to new lands. Given no choice but to embrace the lives planned for them, they find that the future holds more than they could ever have suspected. In a land where blood and ice reign, danger and betrayal war with love and hope, as they fight to find happiness in a ruthless world ruled by the sword and axe.
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Liana recalled with great detail, the smoky room, and the flickering torches in iron sconces on the walls. Remembered the smell of sweaty men, oiled leather, damp fur, wood smoke, and roasting meat. Heard the rattle of sword and thump of drinking horns and the pounding of eating knives on the worn, beaten tables. Shadows crouched in the dark corners of the hall. She could see clearly in her mind’s recollection, how her father had suddenly stood after eating and drinking for hours and raised his large drinking horn on high. He smoothed his hand over his long greying blonde beard, straightened the black bear fur cloak on his broad shoulders, and roared for silence. As all eyes trained on King Gorsedd, the conversation and laughter quieted.
“This night!” Gorsedd Gunnarson’s deep voice boomed out and the men stilled to listen. “We celebrate!” The men roared in response and then quieted.
“Raise your mead horns and drink to my daughters!” The men raised their horns and cheered loudly sloshing mead on the tables and over their hands.
This was strange behavior coming from their father and Liana and Deirdre exchanged surprised glances as they moved slowly toward the front of the room. Pulled forward by this uncustomary sentiment, their father had their full attention.
“Tonight!” Gorsedd boomed again, waiting for the men to quiet down and regain everyone’s attention. “We celebrate the betrothal of both my daughters! Drink to our good fortune! SKOL!”
All eyes turned to stare, and the men drank to Liana and Deirdre.
“Skol!” they all shouted then quieted as Gorsedd began to speak again.
“For my eldest Liana, I have arranged a marriage contract with Tiernan Lachlan of Lochlannach and Kearn Mac An-Bharain of Noreg for Deirdre.”
He gestured toward strangers in the hall and bellowed.
“Welcome men from Lochlannach to Svartur Rokk my great mead hall where the warriors are more skilled at sword and drinking! These men will be taking Liana across Loch Indaal to marry Tiernan Lachlan!”
Loud cheers rang out and the men raised their drinking horns in salute, sloshed mead into their mouths, and banged their daggers on the tables.
Both Liana and Deirdre stared in wide-eyed shock at their father with their mouths falling open. This was the first time they had heard this news, and both girls stood stunned, disbelieving their ears. They turned and looked at each other, terror written on their identical faces. The men at the tables murmured and some continued to cheer, a few fell to grumbling.
Deirdre staggered in disbelief and her frightened gaze stayed fixed on Liana while she slammed down the pitcher of mead she had been holding onto the nearest table. Her furious gaze flew back and forth between their father and Deirdre.
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About the Author Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. A devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction, she has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.
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The announcement of their weddings came as quite a shock to twins Liana and Dierdre, who had at least hoped their father would consult them first. A greater shock came on hearing they were to be separated from each other. Liana had expected to marry her childhood sweetheart, while Dierdre had never considered being apart from her sister.
Their father refused to hear them, his only concern the ships, weapons and alliances he would be making. And so it was that the two young women took on the new challenges facing them, albeit with heavy hearts. The scene of their separation, of them waving an emotional goodbye, throws the reader straight into their torment. What lay ahead for them? Would they be happy? Would they see each other again?
The story alternates between the two as they meet their future husbands. Their anxieties and fears for the future fly off the page, and not without reason as settling into their new lives is fraught with tension and angst. Balanced with glimpses of hope and, later, joy, the twins’ lives must go on, and it is in their hands to build relationships with their husbands.
Of course, just when they seem to have settled in, trouble comes in the form of Liana’s former sweetheart, Thorsten, and the young women are ripped from their new lives as bargaining tools once more. The drama intensifies and the women are in real danger once they learn who is responsible. Beware to be gripped until the end.
A Cut Twice As Deep is a wonderful story of two strong women who survive the challenges thrown at them, determined to make good of their new lives. Betrayal, kidnapping and battle all balance out with hope, love and a sense of commitment.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such an emotional tale, but found myself totally caught up in the twins’ world. Great imagery, strong characters and heaps of drama and tension! Readers of Viking romances will also love it.
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