Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Who do I love?



You may have seen this yesterday but if not, have a gander. THAT my friends is the cover of Dianne K. Salerni's new book, The Eighth Day, coming from Harper/Collins next year. I have had the pleasure of reading this book in a few of its incarnations and boy, do I love this book. I love Jax who discovers Grunsday - an extra day between Wednesday and Thursday - and Evangeline, the secret girl who lives next door. I love Riley, Jax's reluctant guardian who happens to possess the voice of command (and yeah, that's every bit as awesome as you think it is), and Tegan, who I would've LOVED to have had as my bff. So keep this title on your radar because it just might be the next big thing.

But wait there's more...Today is the The Norse Gods Blogfest, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh to celebrate Siv Maria Ottem's birthday AND the release of her new book, Secrets of the Ash Tree. Siv will be giving away a signed copy of her book to one lucky person. Special points if you visit her NEW WEB PAGE and like her Facebook Author page.

And now, without further ado, my favorite Norse God...

Yeah, sorry, I couldn't decide who was my most favorite Norse God...so I cheated a little and chose Yggdrasil, the famous tree, which is almost like a god.

To see what I mean you must first imagine the world as the Norse did, like levels stacked one atop the other. At the very top was Asgard, the realm of the Aesir or warrior gods and where Valhalla - the hall of the dead - was situated. Vanaheim, the home of the Vanir or fertility gods, was here, as well as Alfheim, the home of the light elves.

Midgard was the second level and the realm of men, surrounded by an ocean, and encircled by the terrible world serpent, Jormungand. Here also was Nidavellir, where the dwarves lived, and Svartalfheim, Land of the Dark Elves.

The third level is Niflheim, the world of the dead, where it was always winter and ever night. Hel guards the gates and the dragon Nidhogg lives here along with 'other unnamed serpents."

The axis for these three worlds is Yggdrasil, a timeless ash tree which will even survive the end of the world, and whose roots are connected to everything. Also known as a "Guardian Tree, Yggdrasil nourishes, and suffers from, the animals that inhabit it, feed it, and attack it." The Norns in turn care for it by drawing water from the spring of Urd, "and they besprinkle the ash so that its branches shall not wither or decay."
Beneath one of its roots is the Spring of Mimir whose "waters were a source of wisdom. Odin sacrificed one eye to drink from it." Seeking greater wisdom, he then hung from this tree for nine nights, his side pierced with a spear, so that he could learn the wisdom of the dead. Finally, Yggdrasil is so great that when Ragnarok (the end of the world) comes, "the ash tree will tremble and a man and a woman who hide within it, Lif and Lifthrasir, will survive the ensuing holocaust...and stand alone at the end of one cycle and the beginning of another in the world of time and men."*

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading to the end of this extra long post!



* from The Norse Myths - Introduced and retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland

26 comments:

  1. You chose the ash tree itself - Siv will really appreciate that!

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  2. So excited for Dianne. I love her cover. And I can't wait to read her book.

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  3. Thanks for the shout out, Marcy!

    And you would have loved TEGAN as a bff? Boy, you must have been a naughty one growing up! I know you've hinted that you were ... :D

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  4. Alex is right, I do love that you posted about Yggdrasil, the world tree or tree of life. My book is full of symbolism regarding the Ash Tree including the main characters name which is Liv Ash-----Liv meaning Life :) Thanks for participating in this blogfest!

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  5. that is such an original book cover... we don't see much of the good ones around the blogosphere!

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  6. Hi, Marcy,

    I had no idea Dianne's cover debuted yesterday! I wish I would've known, I would've created something special for her... Stunning cover. CONGRATS DIANNE!!!!!

    As for your choice for the blog hop.... Kudos.... I love your choice. It symbolizes life at its purest form...

    And it was a very powerful element to the Norse gods..

    CONGRATS to Siv and her debut novel!

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  7. I don't know nearly enough as I should about Norse mythology. Very cool about the ash tree.

    And congrats to both Siv and Diane on their upcoming releases. :))

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  8. That was a great pick. It's such a fascinating tree. Happy Norse God blogging!

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  9. I love mythology. Honestly, I do. Thank you for the primer on Norse mythology! It's amazing to me how many cultures share the same images: the Tree is one that appears all over the place, and it's one of my personal favorites.

    The cover, btw, is GREAT, as was your summary. I'm hooked - I want to read it!

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  10. This is my second stop that is participating in the bloghop. I am learning all sorts of interesting Norse mythology.

    And I will keep an eye peeled for that books. Grunsday. Appropriately named if it is extending an already long week. The Eighth Day. Something tells me that really good or really bad things happen on Grunsday...

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  11. Good Luck to Siv and Secrets of the Ash Tree. I didn't know much about the Yggdrasil. Now I do. Interesting perspective the Norse peoples had.

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  12. Great choice!! Yggdrasil really is worthy of "favorite god" in this context -- the worlds wouldn't survive without it, after all!

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  13. Congrats to Siv. Love all the symbolism and the allegorical slant. Great job!

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  14. I think you picked a perfect "object" for the Norse blogfest. Freya would approve :)

    ......dhole

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  15. Dianne's book sounds amaaaaazing. (Not that I'm surprised.) Great looking cover, too.

    Good choice in that Norse tree. It sounds like the Arnold Schwartzeneggar of the leafy set. (Remember that movie where he stepped behind a little ol' tree to survive an atomic blast?)

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  16. Interesting and excellent choice! Sorry I'm late making rounds on the hop.

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  17. I love Dianne's cover! Also, great choice for your favorite Norse (almost) god. That is one tough tree!

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  18. Hooray for Diane. I know nothing about Norse Gods. But the tree is sure lovely.

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  19. Huge congrats to Dianne! I love, love, love her cover!! Congrats to Siv, too. I remember learning about Norse gods when I played D&D! (Yes, I'm that much of a nerd.) :-)

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  20. I know very little about Norse mythology, so I've really enjoyed learning more during this blogfest.

    Congrats to Diane on her new book! Looking forward to reading it.

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  21. Congrats to Diane, her book sounds amazing. At least at the end of the world a man and woman to survive to carry on....

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  22. I hadn't heard this blogfest was happening, but what a great theme. :)

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  23. I honestly don't think I could be more thrilled for Dianne if I tried! I LUV that cover, and her premise is to die for. Woot!

    (Psst...my MG novel that I'm finishing up right now is all about Norse mythology. Love that stuff!)

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