Hei hei. I’m ST Bende, and I enjoy baking, skiing, watching IndyCar races, and all things Scandinavian (but not fish). I love writing about Norse mythology, and my debut series, THE ELSKER SAGA, has just released from Entranced Publishing. It’s great to meet you!
Since ELSKER’s release coincides with Syttende Mai, Norway’s independence day, I thought I’d share one of my favorite Scandinavian celebrations. On May 17th, Norwegians get together to celebrate their country’s independence. Those lucky enough to have bunads -- traditional outfits distinguished by region, and passed down from generation to generation -- wear them proudly. My favorite is the bunad of Trondheim, with its pale blue and silver fabrics and red accents. *sigh*
If you happened to be in Norway in May, you’d find children’s parades, with cherubic celebrants proudly waving their flags. And in communities across the world, those of Nordic descent get together to honor their heritage. I’ve gone to several celebrations, some more structured than others, but my favorite is an informal event held on a field. Friends of Norway gather, some in their beautiful bunads and others in picnic-attire, all with flags in hand and Ja Vi Elsker (the Norwegian national anthem) on their lips. After a blessing, revelers queue up behind a local high school band and march around the field three times. The parade has no spectators since everyone’s marching together, waving flags, telling stories and laughing. Those with extra energy go for a fourth lap. Afterward, everyone enjoys hamburgers and Norwegian waffles (so, so good), handmade crafts and the three-legged race. It’s simple, joyful, and absolutely perfect.
I always mark Syttende Mai with a fresh batch of Norwegian waffles. They’re the perfect blend of sweet and savory, the ultimate comfort food. I’ve served them to everyone from toddlers to great-grandparents, and they’ve always been a hit. Waffles even play a bit role in ELSKER, so I included my favorite Norsk waffle recipe on the last page of the manuscript. I wasn’t sure if it would make the final cut -- who puts a recipe in their novel? -- but my editor kept it in. *Thank you, Eden Plantz!* Hopefully you’ll love it every bit as much as I do. Oh -- if you’re feeling rebellious, try using Nutella instead of a tart jam. It’s not traditional, but boy, howdy is it delicious.
TUR, the prequel, can be downloaded for free at http://www.entrancedpublishing.com/imprints-2/blush/elsker/
ELSKER, Book 1, is available from Entranced, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired The Elsker Saga. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.