Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blog Tour: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson - Review, Extra Scene, and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson and published by Harper Teen.  The Tour is hosted by Shane at Itching for Books.  You can visit the rest of the stops on the tour here.  The author is also giving away a signed copy of Valkyrie Rising, and you can enter to win that below.  She has also written an extra scene between Ellie and Tuck, so check that out below. Thank you for stopping by!

Valkyrie Rising
by Ingrid Paulson
Publication Date:  October 9, 2012
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Source:  ARC 

Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there. 

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

My Thoughts:  This is the first book I have read about Valkyries and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.  I have become a mythology fan over the last couple of years, so I was looking forward to seeing what this book held in store.  Ellie Overholt is 16 years old and has been living in the shadow of her brother Graham, who is 18, all her life.  Graham is perfect.  He is popular, the star athlete, smart, center of attention, you name it.  Ellie loves him dearly, but she has become a pro at not being noticed and becoming invisible, and is a little resentful about it.  Graham is also very protective of Ellie, especially since her father is no longer living.  Ellie and Graham are planning a trip to Norway to the small village of Skaveopoll, to visit Ellie's grandmother for the summer.  She is really looking forward to this trip until she finds out Tuck is going, or so she says.  Tuck is Graham's 17-year-old best friend who lives two doors down from Ellie.  He is an athlete, totally hot, and he and Ellie have been at each others throats since they were kids.  

Ellie arrives in Norway 2 weeks before Graham does and is really looking forward to some alone time.  When she visits the village, however, she finds people are treating her oddly, even hostile, and she doesn't know why.  She meets a hot Norwegian, goes on a date, and things really get weird when two beautiful women enter the pub with a commanding and dangerous presence.  She also finds out that young guys have been disappearing, and that the townspeople think her grandmother has something to do with it, believing she is a witch.  Graham and Tuck arrive, and Tuck is acting differently towards Ellie, which is confusing and thrilling at the same time.  Then, Ellie comes face-to-face with the reason these boys are disappearing.  She has to come to terms with the fact that Valkyries are real, that her grandmother knows more than she is letting on, and things are happening to her and around her that she doesn't understand.  Determined to keep her family safe and find out what part she plays in all of this, she and Tuck, who has plenty of his own secrets, set out on a mission to get to the bottom of things and save the missing boys.  What she learns not only will surprise you, it surprises Ellie even more.  

I liked this book.  I found the whole Valkyrie concept entertaining.  Ellie's character was kind of passive in the beginning, but she developed into a pretty tough chick as the book goes along, and I grew to like her.  Tuck was hot, and I liked him also, and I liked how he was committed to helping Ellie in her quest.  Astrid, well, I hated her, then ended up liking her.  The setting of the book was beautiful.  I really liked how the Valkyrie Norse mythology was set in modern day time.  As far as romance,  I enjoyed seeing Ellie and Tuck become closer, and would have liked to have seen more of that.  Overall, I found this book both entertaining and enjoyable.  It ended well, but has the potential for a sequel, but I don't know if there are plans for that or not.  I would love to see more Tuck and Ellie.  If you enjoy mythology, especially Valkyries, contemporary romance, combined with some mystery and action, then Valkyries is one book you will want to check out.  

Guest Post:  Scene between Ellie and Tuck

“Are you planning to do something with that baseball--or keep it as a souvenir?”

I knew that voice.  Tucker.  Didn’t he ever have class?  Suddenly, I was nervous instead of just dragging my feet and only half paying attention.   

“Yes,” I said.  “Gym class is a memory I’ll always treasure.”  I clutched the ball, preparing to throw it back.

If there was ever a time for any genes I shared with Graham to kick in, that was it.  But it’s not like you could grow up with Graham and Tuck without knowing how to pitch a fastball.  

I was batting practice.  

“Unfortunately, I see the same is true of those goofy running shorts,” he said. 

I hurled the ball at Tucker’s head.  He caught it—I knew he would--but then rubbed his hand like it hurt.  Good.

“That was awesome.”  Some guy called out.  That was all I needed.   They’d expect a repeat performance.  When all I’d wanted was to commune with the outfield and read a book on my phone.

“What was that about?”  Tuck asked, walking over.  I glanced over at the gym teacher but he was reading something on his phone.  I didn’t blame him.  

“That was for aiding and abetting,” I replied.  “I try to draw as little attention to myself during this class as possible.” 

“Really?”  He arched one eyebrow.  “Then you should have thrown it the correct direction.”  Tuck pointed at the pitcher, who looked annoyed.  “Not sure you could have collected more attention with a flare gun.”

He flipped the ball up so it rolled over his knuckles before he caught it again.  And he handed it to me.  

I threw the ball back to the pitcher as hard as I could.  A couple of the bored-looking guys on the bench glanced over, suddenly interested.  And as much as I hated to admit it, I was a little bit proud of myself.

“You’re welcome,” Tuck said.  “Most people don’t need to be provoked into actually trying.  I know you hate attention, but there’s a difference between positive versus negative, no?”  

I wasn’t sure what annoys me more—that he’s right or that he just winked at me.  So smug.  Like the whole world should center on his smile.

But he was right and I knew it.  And I couldn’t stay mad for long since once again, Tuck knew exactly how to make me smile.

About the Author:  Ingrid Paulson lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter and enjoys long-distance running, eavesdropping, and watching science documentaries. She has always loved books and writing short stories, but was surprised one day to discover the story she was working on wasn't so short any more. VALKYRIE RISING is Ingrid's first novel.

Ingrid's grandmother might actually be a Valkyrie; she's still waiting for her to come clean.

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  1. I only heard of this one recently but it sounds good! I haven't read anything with valkyries either. I like hearing that it ends well to be a standalone but would work for a sequel.

    I would love to see London and Paris and all of Italy someday. I'm too nervous to fly over the ocean though. :(

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop by :)

  2. I would go to England XD
    I have a minor obsession with it...
    (But, of course, I have to bring my brother along. He would NEVER forgive me if I went without him.)

    P.S. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it:) awesome review & guest post.

    1. I did enjoy it and enjoyed participating in the Tour Shane.


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