Saturday, 30 May 2015

My next book: The Bitch Queen

The Bitch Queen, Queen Gunnhild, Freya by Anders Zorn
"Freya" by Swedish painter Anders Zorn

The Bitch Queen was one of many names for Queen Gunnhild, Mother of Kings. Gunnhild was married to Eirik Bloodaxe, who was King of Norway and later King of York. The medieval Icelandic saga-writers agree that she was an evil and cunning woman, a practitioner of seid and black magic; she didn't mind using treacherous means to reach her ends. Gunnhild was said to be exceptionally beautiful, and, according to legend, after King Eirik's death she developed an insatiable appetite for young men of high rank.

Queen Gunnhild's many erotic excesses make her comparable with Freya, the goddess of love (see image above), but also with Hel, the erotically oriented goddess of death (see image below).

In the fourth instalment of The Viking Series, which I'm currently writing, the saga of Sigve the Awful continues. In the book, an old enemy of Sigve's family returns to Norway from his exile in Northumbria. Kalv arrives with his son Einar, who leads a fierce band of  warriors. When Sigve learns about their arrival, he decides to eradicate Kalv, his son Einar, and the rest of the family – wives, children, and all.

Einar Kalvson, however, is a good friend of Harald Greycloak, one of Queen Gunnhild's many sons. Harald is King of Norway, and he has promised Einar his support. For Sigve it is crucial to make the king change his mind and support him in stead of Einar. But, as everyone knows, the will of the king can only be moved through Gunnhild, his mother, who exerts great power over his son. Among people in the country there is a saying that “Norway is ruled by the queen's cunt”.

In order to achieve his goal, in this fourth book, Sigve sets out to meet Queen Gunnhild, the Bitch Queen. But the result of their meeting is uncertain, the Bitch Queen is hard to please.

Queen Gunnhild lets the Finns be killed.
"Gunnhild lets the Finns be killed."
Drawing by Norwegian artist Christian Krogh.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

John Snow and The Slayer Rune available on Google Play

I am glad to be able to announce that the three first books in The Viking Series are available on Google Play. Go to Google Play Books (on a smart-phone, tablet, lap-top or PC) and search for "The Slayer Rune", "The Lethal Oath", or "John Snow". Find the books, click TRY FREE, and have a look.

See also: John Snow on Google play

Or this link: Books on Google Play

John Snow on Google Play.
John Snow on Google Play.

John Snow, also known as Terje Hillesund, is now available
at all major e-book stores: Google Play, Amazon,
Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
John Snow, also known as Terje Hillesund, is now available
at all major e-book stores: Google Play, Amazon,
Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

With these new uploads, my e-books are now distributed to the entire world and available on Google Play, Amazon, Apple iBook, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. This means I can concentrate on writing the fourth book in the series. I have the book's story-line in my head, and I have written a few chapters, but I haven't decided on a title yet.

In the fourth book Kalv Kolson, the old enemy of Vik, returns to the country, and Sigve the Awful has to defend his people. He seeks support from Gunnhild ("The Mother of Kings"), who is Erik Bloodaxe's widow and mother of Harald Greycloak, the new King of Norway. I can promise my readers that the meeting with Gunnhild will be a very special one indeed. Queen Gunnhild, as many will know, was famous for her cruelty, magic skills, and lasciviousness.

About the availability of my books, see:
John Snow available on Barnes & Noble (NOOK) and on Apple iBooks (iPad, iPhone),
The Red Gold by John Snow is now available at Amazon.

Read also this article about my writing on ThorNews:
Norse Fantasy Author John Snow: Self-Published, Successful – and Norwegian!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

John Snow on Facebook

Friday, 20 February 2015

John Snow available on Barnes & Noble (NOOK) and on Apple iBooks (iPad, iPhone).

John Snow on Smashwords with his book The Slayer Rune
John Snow on
Until now John Snow has published his books solely at Amazon, but from now on he has also started to publish his books via Smaswords, a company that makes e-books available on a variety of platforms.

Like great characters? Like vivid imaging?  Like passion and adventure? You can now buy John Snow's books on Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and a lot of other e-book stores.

"The Slayer Rune" on Barnes & Noble: Click here!

If you want the book on your iPad and iPhone. Go to the store inside Apple's iBooks app and search for "The Slayer Rune".

And of course you can by the books on Smashword's own website!

John Snow on Smashwords with his book The Slayer Rune
John Snow on
Barnes & Noble

John Snow on Apple iBooks with his book The Slayer Rune
John Snow on
iPad and iPhone

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Vikings in Canada centuries before Columbus

The more I read and hear about the old Norsemen the more impressed I am. In the documentary THE NORSE: AN ARCTIC MYSTERY a film crew follows Pat Sutherland on her journey to prove that the early history between North America and Europe did not unfold the way the history books say it did. In fact the Norse were in Canada several centuries before Christopher Columbus.

“The Norse were here over a long period of time, and they had business to do,” says Sutherland. The dig at the Nanook site at Baffin Island in Canada has revealed stone walls marking out the shape of an trading post, possibly the first European building this side of the Atlantic.

Vikings in Canada centuries before Columbus
Vikings in Canada centuries before Columbus

Vikings in Canada centuries before Columbus

“It certainly substantiates that there were Europeans on the site,” says Sutherland, “no question about that.” The excavation team has also found lots of artefact pointing to the Norse, and according to Sutherland the Norse traded walrus tusk and furs with the Dorset people, the local natives of the time.

See animations from the documentary

Vikings in Canada centuries before Columbus

Unfortunately - and very controvercially - Pat Sutherland has lost her research funding and she has also been fired by the Canadian Museum of History. Hopefully this extremely interesting research will be taken up and continued so that everyone interested in the topic can get more knowledge.

See Pat Sutherland's research article: Evidence of Early Metalworking in Artic Canada.


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Red Gold by John Snow is now available at Amazon

"John's newest is out. Like Vikings? Like great characters? Like vivid imaging? Like adventure? Like drama? Like passion? Then get John Snow 's latest installment. In fact, get the whole series." 
(Steven Malone)

The Red Gold (The Viking Series Book 3) is now available in the Kindle format at Amazon shops around the world, and beneath I bring a list of links. I will also thank all of my readers who pre-ordered the book. I hope you'll all enjoy it and that some of you will review the book at Amazon or Goodreads.

John Snow. The Red Gold.
The Red Gold can be read on all kinds of devices: laptops, iPads, IPhones,
smartphones, tablets and on Kindle readers.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Wardruna, Jara, and the New Year

The old rune Jara (or Jera) symbolizes the year, and in their melody Jara the Norwegian band Wardruna celebrates the new year or more presicely: the coming of the sun. A recurring line in the song is "soli vendar" which literary means "the sun turns around". In the middle of the cold and dark winter, the sun returns with longer days and hopes of a warm summer and a rich harvest.

Jara is one of the melodies on the CD Runaljod - gap var Ginnunga, and typically the song comes just after the frightening and disturbing tunes in Heimta Thurs and Thurs, the songs about the rune of giants.  As Norse Mythology itself, Wardruna's music is full of contrasts; between light and darkness, growth and destruction, birth and death. Even the jotnir or the thurs, the giants, are ambiguous. First of all they represent the destructive forces of nature but at the same time they posses wisdom and sources of life. Also in the optimistic Jara melody, the Wardruna singer has to call upon the norns and pray for "ár og friðar" - growth and peace. The singer very well knows that in life nothing is certain.

Eg såg og eg tydde,
da soli snudde.
Jarteikn for fe og heim.
Svart natt.

Soli har venda,
i haustinga ligg håpet.
Solrik sumar
og allgroande åkre.

Til norne tri,
vi ber dei spinna liv
i åker og i eng,
i barm og i bringa.

Er ár og friðar,
når kornet stig or jordi.
Om vordane lokka sin lokkesong.

På tidleg sådd åker
kan ikkje nokon lite.
For mangt veit eg om vålyndt vêr.

Gro gro, lisle spire,
dager gryr og mørket svinner.
Sól har snudd
og hjulet det har venda.

Sola vendar hausten sendar
graset gulnar, blada fell
lyse dagar er på hell.

Til vordar og vettar,
vi takk gjev med vår song
for ár og friðar.

Ár og friðar.

Wardruna playing in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Pre-order THE RED GOLD now!

If you want to give yourself (or someone you love) a new Viking story for Yule, you can now pre-order The Red Gold and have it auto-delivered to your Kindle on December 24, 2014. You can also read the book on a Tablet PC or a Smart Phone.

Go to or or one of the other international Amazon stores!

The Red Gold by John Snow, third book in The Viking Series

Book description:

The Red Gold by John Snow is the third book in The Viking Series.

After a disastrous fire, Sigve the Awful decides to rebuild the old hall, but in one of the post holes, the thralls find a gold hoard hidden under the stone footing. It’s a huge treasure trove, but how big is it, and who buried the gold there?

Sigve’s guardsmen have spotted a large warship sailing towards Vik, and in order to defend the gold, the young chieftain may once again depend on Yljali, his thrall lover. Only she can unleash the hidden powers of his magic sword. Yljali, however, is in labour, giving birth to Sigve’s child.

In this third book Sigve is dragged further into the struggle between the powerful claimants to the Norwegian throne. The young and unexperienced leader must use all his wits and strength to defend his property and his people; he may even depend on the gods.

In Snow’s Viking stories, rune magic and shape shifting are no fantasies but facts of reality. The life of Sigve the Awful is weaved by the Norns, but Sigve's prosperity also depends on his own courage, on Odin’s cunning, and on Thor's strength. Luckily, Sigve can ask Grim for advice, but often the sage’s answers are difficult to understand.

In The Viking Series John Snow tells exciting stories, and based on thorough research, he gives a very realistic interpretation of life in the Viking Age.

Gold hoard found in The Red Gold by John Snow, third book in The Viking Series
A large gold hoard is found in The Red Gold.