Karen’s Killer Book Bench: LOKI ASCENDING, Viking Warriors Book 3, #Paranormal #Romantic #Suspense by Asa Maria Bradley

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Viking Warriors Book 3



Only they can stop him—but at what cost?

Although Scott Brisbane is human, he’s developed an inner warrior—a berserker that wants to claim Irja Vainio as his own.

Irja is an immortal Viking healer, but she hasn’t used her true powers for centuries. The last time she did, someone close to her ended up dead. So instead she relies on medicine and science to protect her tribe while denying her feelings for Scott.

But the Viking warriors are falling mysteriously ill, and without magic, Irja’s knowledge of healing isn’t enough. When the trickster god Loki offers her a cure, it comes with a steep price that could cost Irja everything. She needs Scott’s help, the man whose loyalty to the Vikings is unmatched, whose love for Irja cannot be broken—and whose inner fury has yet to be unleashed.

Viking Warriors Book 3


Irja took another breath. Beyond the Norse magic borders that protected the house, shades of red and orange twirled and swooped, undulating like a giant caterpillar across the landscape. This was the native magic of the Arizona desert. It lacked the ordered structure of the Norse spells, and its untamed nature made it powerful and unpredictable.

As if the energy noticed Irja tuning in to its presence, the twisting and twirling stopped. She held her breath. The red enveloped the orange and together they became a hot glowing ball. From this bright sphere, tendrils of red energy extended toward Irja, beckoning to her. In her sleep-deprived state, she almost lowered her shielding as if she were about to harness the energy and refill the wells inside her that had been empty for millennia. She’d given up practicing magic when she was a little girl. The power always demanded a sacrifice and usually the price was too steep to pay, as she had painfully learned.

Her berserker stirred and growled. The warning from her inner warrior spirit snapped Irja back into control, and she quickly reinforced her shields against the magic’s pull. The effort required more energy than it should and she grimaced.

The quiet swoosh of the door opening had her quickly schooling her features before turning to greet whomever had joined her. “King Erik,” she said and bowed her head.

“Please. No need for formality. There are important things we must discuss, and I’d rather you just spoke freely. If I have to follow court protocol, it will take forever.”

Irja raised her head to find his cornflower-blue eyes lit with humor, but the strain around the corners showed the king’s worry. He was taller than her six-foot frame by about two inches, and she had to tilt her head back a little to meet his gaze. “As you wish.” Suddenly, she swayed on her feet and gripped the railing. What had she been thinking, leaving herself so unguarded that the magic could seek her out?

The king reached out and gently grabbed her elbow, steadying her. “Are you okay, Ms. Vainio?”

Irja wiped her forehead and forced a smile. “Please call me Irja. I’m just tired.” Hopefully, the king would believe her lie. Sweet Freya, she couldn’t afford to be that careless. She needed to be extra vigilant here. Washington State’s volcanic rock’s magic was easy to shield herself against after living so many years within it. The ancient Sedona red desert’s magic was hundreds of millennia older and so very wild and free. It would tempt the most disciplined practitioner with its promise of raw power.

“Irja,” the king repeated. “Then you must call me Erik.” He released her elbow.

That would probably never happen, but Irja nodded. “I’m afraid I don’t have any good news. I still don’t know what’s wrong with your warrior. My main concern right now is to reduce her fever. I have given her modern drugs as well as herbal remedies, but so far, I haven’t seen results. She is still very agitated, so I gave her a mild sedative to make her rest.”

“It is a comfort to me and my tribe just to have you here to take care of Kari. Odin willing, she will recover and fight again.”

Irja forced a smile on her face, but the truth was that she had no idea how to wake Kari or lower her temperature. In her current state, the high fever might severely damage that Valkyrie’s cognitive abilities. The extreme temperature was literally cooking the warrior’s brain. It was tempting to open herself up to all the glorious red-hot magic just beyond the walls. To allow that energy to flood her body and channel it into a healing burst of power that could possibly cure the feverish Valkyrie. But the magic burst could just as easily kill Kari. Or someone else.

She had once been young and cocky when it came to her abilities. Now she lived with eternal guilt and the goddesses’ punishment of a painful void inside her because she could never again risk to fill it with the energy of magic.

The pause in conversation was dragging into awkward territory, and Irja searched her mind for something to say, but she was too tired to get her thoughts to cooperate. Luckily, something distracted the king from scrutinizing her face, and he turned away.

“The warriors I’d sent tracking the wolverines are back from the desert,” he said just as the gate in the concrete wall opened. The king lifted a hand to shield his eyes and peered into the courtyard.

Irja mimicked his gesture and discovered her twin brother, Pekka, striding through the opening, closely followed by Ulf and a red-haired Viking she hadn’t met before. But it was the man bringing up the rear of the group that drew her attention. Scott’s physique had filled out in the year and two months since she’d last seen him. His athletic build spoke more of endurance than brute strength, but his shirt stretched over broad, defined shoulders and a well-muscled torso. Her berserker stirred.

“Excuse me,” King Erik said. “I must go ask the warriors about their mission.”

“Of course,” Irja mumbled. Her gaze lingered on Scott. As was always the case when she was near him, she couldn’t look away. He was her queen’s brother and had been her patient at one point. Both were excellent reasons for ignoring the restless feelings he always stirred within her. So she did what she always did when strong emotions threatened to rise—she retreated behind the protective walls she’d long ago learned would shield her from heartache and painted a blank expression on her face. But she still couldn’t look away from the dark, curly-haired man walking across the courtyard.

About Author Asa Maria Bradley…

Asa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired her sexy modern-day Viking Warriors paranormal romance series. She also writes urban fantasy that features empowered heroines who kick ass while saving the world. Her work has received the honors of a double nomination for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest, a Reviewers’ Choice Award nomination, a Holt Medallion win, and a Booksellers’ Best Award win. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with a British husband and a rescue dog of indeterminate breed. Sadly, neither of them obeys any of her commands. Connect with her at www.AsaMariaBradley.com.


**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Asa will give away a signed copy of LOKI ASCENDING plus some cool swag to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Happy Reading!!

Thanks, Asa, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!



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18 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: LOKI ASCENDING, Viking Warriors Book 3, #Paranormal #Romantic #Suspense by Asa Maria Bradley

  1. Although paranormal isn’t my usual genre for reading, this book does sound intriguing!

  2. Sarah Wente says:

    Irma & Scott’s story is intriguing. I’m glad to know there are Viking stories out there.
    I’ve been interested in Vikings since both of my kids were Vikings back in the days when they were in the SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism).
    This sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for sharing.

  3. bn100 says:

    interesting excerpt

  4. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    What a great excerpt! This is getting better and better!
    Thanks, Karen and Asa Maria!

  5. Teresa Warner says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about this one, sounds good!

  6. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Asa, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Thanks for launching us into the new year with such a great premise! I love Viking stories but haven’t read many. I cannot wait to read this one. Thanks again for sharing it with us today and HAPPY RELEASE DAY…yeah, a day late but… 🙂

  7. Debbie Moncrief says:

    Hello, Asa! I am new to Viking stories. I have your book Viking Warrior Rising, which I will be reading soon. I am looking forward to Loki Ascending. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Minna says:

    I can’t wait to read this book!

  9. Erica Younger says:

    This sounds so good! I’m excited to read it!

  10. Zoraida Luciano says:

    I’ve read Asa’s Viking Warrior Rising and that was fabulous. I know this one will be amazing also. Thank you for the chance.

  11. Diane McMahon says:

    Not into magic as my normal reading, but this excerpt could cause me to investigate further

  12. Barbara Bates says:

    Anxious to read more.

  13. Elizabeth H. says:

    Yay!!! Can’t wait to read Irja and Scott’s book! Thanks for the chance to win! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  14. BookLady says:

    Congrats on the new release! It sounds fascinating. Great excerpt and cover. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Glenda M says:

    This sounds SO good! Thanks for the excerpt!

  16. Tamara Kasyan says:

    I loved this book so much! I can’t wait for more Viking books!

  17. SARAH J TAYLOR says:

    Sounds like a great book Thank you for the chance to win!

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