Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
The Extremely Epic Viking Tale of Yondersaay by Aoife Lennon-Ritche
presented by Tantrum Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Happy Book Birthday, Aoife!
This winter, siblings Ruairi and Dani Miller visit their ancestral homeland: the legendary Viking island of Yondersaay. Even with Granny Miller's storytelling to pass the time, the pair manage to find trouble. In less than twenty-four hours of their arrival, Ruairi is mistaken for the lost Boy King of Denmark, kidnapped by Vikings, and scheduled to be sacrificed at sundown. Granny isn’t very pleased.But when everyone except them goes Viking, the three turn to Granny’s epic tales of the legends of Yondersaay, The Gifts of Odin, and King Dudo the Mightily Impressive for clues. But not all stories end happily, and Ruari, Dani, and Granny will have to write their own happy ending.The Princess Bride meets Vikings in this enchanted tale of high adventure, buried treasure, villainous treachery, violent ends, and – of course – true love. Aoife Lennon-Ritchie's debut middle grade novel, THE EXTREMELY EPIC VIKING TALE OF YONDERSAAY, is a humorous and heartwarming story for readers ages 9+.
The Extremely Epic Viking Tale of Yondersaay by Aoife Lennon-Ritchie Publication Date: October 11, 2016 Publisher: Tantrum Books
Irish actor and writer Aoife Lennon-Ritchie studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, the Universita di Catania in Italy, University College Dublin in Ireland, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Aoife holds diplomas, degrees and a Masters in the multiple fields of business and information technology, English and classic literature, theatre and creative writing; she looks forward to doing her PhD in Film and Media. Always searching for new adventures, Aoife has lived in the UK, France, Greece, Italy, and several US cities, including Chicago, New York and Pittsburgh. She speaks three (and a half) languages. Although she was once an investment banker, she much prefers acting, fencing, writing, and being a mum. She currently lives in Cape Town with her handsome husband and two small children.
My question was about- Top Ten Playlist or the Dream Cast :)
Oooh, a playlist! I love putting those together. My family doesn’t love it so much. Especially when we get into the car, all set for a long journey across South Africa, or up and down the US east coast visiting friends, and they have to put up with me singing. The whole way.
So, my top list of songs that torment my family are:
Hey Ya by Outkast. They all love this song, the first time I play it.
Happy by Pharrell Williams, is another one they love. I don’t tell them that the version on my mp3 player is the 24 hour version.
After several hours of Happy and Hey Ya, I’ll throw in Somewhere over the Rainbow. Now, you might think ‘what’s wrong with that? That’s a lovely song.’ It is, but my husband, who LOVES playing the toy ukulele that might daughter got for Christmas, can play precisely two songs on it. Yes. Two songs. Somewhere over the rainbow is song number one.
Song number two is the music that goes over that heart-breaking montage at the beginning of the movie UP. He only sort of knows that, so has to keep restarting. That’s the next song on my list.
I am a cruel, cruel mother.
Then my children remind me that we’re ON HOLIDAY and supposed to be HAVING A NICE TIME. So I switch to a nicer list, full of songs I know they’ll love. Here are a few we all love to rock out to in our car:
Tell me why I don’t like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats. Sad but fun.
I would walk five hundred miles by The Proclaimers. My husband is Scottish and it’s a law that this song must be played at least once a year in every Scottish household.
My five year old son loves Ghost Town by Adam Lambert. We have great conversations about what the writer of the song means when he says his ‘heart is a ghost town’.
I’m a big The Cure fan, so I’ll put Caterpillar Girl and Love Cats on the list. I also love Adele, so let’s put Send My Love on there. Both my children love Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper, and Sia’s Chandelier. Later on in the journey, when’s everyone’s feeling a little sleepy, I’ll switch over to Schubert and Elgar. Or N.E.R.D. down low.
Going to Yondersaay
“Ready to go, Mum and Dad?” Granny bellowed down the Millers’ front hallway. Ruairi and Dani struggled in after her, laden down with her piles and piles of trunks and hatboxes and suitcases.
“Not quite yet,” Mum said, and the three heard a door slam at the back of the house.
“Well, get a move on!” Granny shouted. “The taxi is picking us up in an hour to take us to the airport. We can’t miss that flight as there’s only a thirty-minute layover in Dubai, and there’s only one flight this week that will take us from there to Copenhagen and on to Berlin, and from there, it’s a wee hop to Dublin airport, a wee-er one to Inverness, and in the middle of all that, there’s the ferry, the catamaran, and the helicopter until finally we catch the Yonder Air flight to Yondersaay.”
Mum emerged from the living room looking less than delighted with the sudden change in Christmas plans. “We’re nearly ready, Granny.” She turned to her children. “Has Granny told you? She’s feeling a little bit homesick, so Dad and I have agreed that we’ll all go up to Yondersaay for Christmas this year. On three conditions—” Dani and Ruairi started whooping and cheering immediately and took no notice of Mum’s three conditions, which were all about safety and good manners and the usual nonsense.
They hugged their mum and shouted, “Yaaaaaay, we’re going to Yondersaay!”
The King of the Danes
“It wasn’t today or yesterday,” Granny began again. “It was a long, long time ago when the world was warmer, and some believed the sun moved around the earth. There was a Viking of old called King Dudo the Mightily Impressive, lord over all Denmark. King Dudo was a big man, broad and tall, with tanned skin tight across bulging muscles and long reddish-blond hair that fell in thick waves to his elbows—a mighty warrior. All who fought with him worshipped him, and those who fought against him trembled in fear at the very sight of him. An adventurer, he pillaged and plundered as far north as the turn in the world and as far south as the oceans of sand.
“One bright autumn, King Dudo and his warriors set sail from their homeland to the northern-most seas of the world. They wore thick layers of skins and furs against the cold of the northern air.
“Among their number on this westward voyage was a famous monk from the lower lands called Brother Brian the Devout and Handy with Numbers. Brother Brian had the gift of navigation and was an expert star-reader. His job was to guide King Dudo and his Viking warriors to the northern lands.
“After roiling upon the waves for many weeks, their supplies diminishing, and cramp and fatigue setting in, the Vikings were anxious for the sight of land. Surprised they had not found land yet, some began to doubt Brother Brian’s ability. A whispering campaign started at the backs of the longships: “Brother Brian has gotten us lost!”
“Now, while it is true that Brother Brian was tasked with getting the Vikings safely to and from the lands of the north, only King Dudo knew that Brian had another task—another secret task.
“It had long been suspected that in the middle of the northern-most seas, between the homelands of the Danes and the far-off lands, below the turn in the world but beyond the craggy cliffs of Land of the Scots, lay an island. This island was often the subject of the songs and tales of the kingdom’s official storytellers, the court skalders. The stories described it as an enchanted island, cloaked in secrecy. The island was called Yondersaay.
“Viking legend tells that after death, the most worthy Viking warriors would meet in Valhalla, the Hall of the Dead, for a final battle. Anything a Viking had buried in his earthly life would be his once more. His true armor, weaponry, or wealth stayed buried in the earth while its ghostly copy awaited him in the afterlife. So it was, every Viking, before he died, buried his prized weapons and his most coveted jewels in preparation for this final battle.
The Little Secret
Granny had to shout now because of the noise of the wind on the gangplank of the ferry she, Dani, Ruairi, and Mum were boarding. Granny was eating the steaming hot pie Mum had gotten for her in a sailor bar in the port. They huddled close together and shuffled up the gangplank in their winter clothes.
“About three weeks into the voyage,” Granny bellowed, “a few days after the warriors started wondering why they hadn’t found land yet, dusk fell on a clear, calm ocean. The night was full of light from the crystalline moon, and Brother Brian turned a little in his position in the prow of the lead longship and made a long slow nod of the head toward King Dudo, closing his eyes as his head reached its lowest position. It was a very cool move. Brother Brian had been practicing it in his head for weeks. He waited for King Dudo to take his seat beside him.
“‘We are close,” Brian said to Dudo and looked to the stars, then back down at the books and scrolls and charts laid all about him and back up to the stars again. “‘All my information, all my years of training, and all my expertise tell me we are very close.’
“The boat glided quietly through the water. Most of the Vikings were sleeping. Not so much as a seabird disturbed the stillness of the night. The monk and the king looked hopefully all around; it felt to them that they could see for miles. If the island was there, they would see it.
“They looked and looked. An hour passed, two hours passed, then three. But no land came into view. All of a sudden, King Dudo swung his head around to the left. ‘Shh!’ he hissed. Brother Brian swivelled his gaze around and looked hard, but he couldn’t see anything. ‘It sounded like—’ King Dudo said, stopping short.
“‘Like what, my lord?’ Brian asked.
“‘Oh, nothing, it’s ridiculous … but for a minute there, I thought I heard children laughing.’
Brother Brian gasped, clutched his chest, and went pale.
“‘It’s nothing,’ King Dudo continued. ‘The ocean is playing tricks on my mind.’ Dudo’s shoulders sagged, and he let out a big sigh. ‘This is ridiculous! What am I thinking? A magical island in the middle of the ocean … Enough. Time to let it go. Let’s get back on track and deliver my men to land.’
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