Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, puts out an amazing, award-winning alumni magazine entitled Notre Dame Magazine. And appearing in the current Spring 2011 issue is a nice story about our RuneWarriors trilogy of books and how they got to be published. We'd like to give a tip o' the Irish tam-o-shanter to Carol Schaal of N. D. Magazine for the nice piece she wrote and encourage you to check it out. She did a great job of helping us to share out thoughts on our roller-coaster ride as screenwriters in the movie business and the creative satisfactions of writing fiction!

In fact, bookmark the online edition of the magazine and check it out regularly. There are some really thought-provoking pieces of cutting edge journalism there -- on everything from politics to ethics to art and culture -- and interesting pieces on things that are happening on campus that will keep you current with all things Irish. A big hello to all our friends in the Notre Dame community and we hope things in South Bend are warming up for you at last this April spring day.


Thursday, March 17, 2011


A fascinating piece in reveals that ten centuries later there is much evidence to prove that the Viking invaders that conquered and settled various parts of Northern Scotland, especially the Orkney Islands and other Western Isles, still live on in the DNA of modern day Scotsmen. And, interestingly, the Scottish clan -- or family -- names of today are visible relics reminding us of the Viking men and women of yore who once populated the Scottish lands, bringing their language, culture and customs to that foreign shore. For instance, the popular clan name of MacIvor originally meant "the sons of Ivor," the name MacSween "the sons of Swein," the name Macaulay "the sons of Olaf," and MacAskill "the sons of Asgeir" and so on.  In any reading of Old Norse texts, be it the Eddas or the Viking Sagas written in the Twelfth Century, the names Ivor, Swein, Asgeir and especially Olaf are found to be extremely common.

Just another small example of how pieces of the past still cling to us today in ways both trivial and profound.

To read the whole article, CLICK HERE:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


International Women's Day marks the publication of Warrior Women: 3,000 Years of Courage and Heroism, a guide to history's heroines, from Joan of Arc to Lieutenant Colonel Martha McSally. 

Take a look at some of the brightest, bloodiest and best women the world has ever known (and, no, we're not talking Mother Teresa).....


Friday, February 25, 2011


The U.K.-based newspaper, The Guardian, just published a great piece on authors writing historical ficton for young readers. In addition to books on Bronze Age and 15th Century Britain, there is this stellar comment on another classic Viking saga.....

"Another perennial childhood favourite is Henry Treece, whose Viking Saga trilogy, grim, sanguinary and poignant, follows Harald Sigurdson from his first voyage as a boy in a longship under the command of the magnificent Thorkell Fairhair to his last as a seasoned warrior, this time himself the master of the ship. From the sun-fevered romance of The Road to Miklagard – the Norse word for present-day Istanbul – to the freezing blades of Viking's Dawn and an early transatlantic voyage in Viking's Sunset, the books are characterised by violence, easy death and the close bonds forged between warriors who brave the whim of the wild sea and the hostility of the peoples they meet only to despoil. The terror and glamour of the Berserker fighters who tear off their clothing and run naked and blood-streaming into battle unites the books, which still boast a mythic grandeur in keeping with their subject matter."

To read the entire Guardian article, CLIKC HERE:

Kevin Crossley-Holland
Kevin Crossley-Holland 'rewrites Arthurian legend commandingly' in his historical fiction for children. Photograph: Eamonn Mccabe/Guardia

Special tip o' the war helmet to the blog author Imogen Russell Williams and to The Guardian for permission to reprint this piece.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vikings Revered Stone Age Objects. . . . .

From the "Viking Archaeology Blog:"

     New archaeological findings suggest that the Vikings considered Stone Age objects to have magical qualities, and that such “antiques” were more important in Viking culture than previously understood.
      The Vikings buried this ship, the "Oseberg," in a grave south of Oslo. New discoveries indicate they also buried other items, with a purpose. 
     Examinations of around 10 Viking graves found in Rogaland, southwest Norway, revealed Stone Age items, such as weapons, amulets and tools. Olle Hemdorff of the Archaelogical Museum in Stavanger told newspaper Aftenposten that he believes the items were buried so that “they would protect and bring luck to the dead in the after-life.”


Thanks to the Viking Archaeology Blog for permission to reprint this article.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


University of Leicester geneticists are involved in a truly epic research project
A new Norse saga! DNA detectives in the Viking North West
‘Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project’, published by Nottingham University Press.
Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 24 January 2011
The Vikings are alive and well and living in the North West of England!  That’s the revelation in a new book on an epic research project into the genetic footprint of the Scandinavian invaders.
‘Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project’ is the culmination of several years of research by biochemists and geneticists, by Wirral-raised Professor Steve Harding from The University of Nottingham and Professor Mark Jobling and Dr Turi King from the University of Leicester. It shows the power of modern DNA methods to probe ancestry using the North West of England as an example.

To read the entire article from the University of Leicester website, click on:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Did the Vikings navigate with sunstone?

According to The Cosmic Log on, a new study suggests that the Vikings could have navigated the oceans in inclement weather with the aid of a crystal that pinpointed the sun's location behind banks of clouds and fog.
Such a tool, known as a sunstone, is known from legend, but until now experimental evidence that it could actually work as hypothesized was lacking.
     The Vikings were Scandinavian seafarers who traveled widely in the North Atlantic, roughly between the year 900 and 1200. Under clear and partly cloudy skies, archaeological evidence indicates that they used sundials to find their way around. But a sundial is only useful when the sun is shining, raising the question of how the Vikings navigated in cloudy and foggy conditions, which can last for days along their known sailing routes.
     In the 1960s, Danish archaeologist Thorkild Ramskou suggested that the Vikings used a sunstone to filter the sunlight so that it all had the same polarization, or direction. By rotating the crystal to and fro, the light would appear brighter or darker, depending on how the crystal was oriented. The brightest point would be toward the direction of the sun.

Visit the RuneWarriors Blog again for all things Viking!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quite The Model Was Aristotle. . .

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who lived from 384 to 322 BCE, was a pretty smart dude. His books are available at your local library, and it's amazing how many of his observations on life and the human experience are just as applicable to us today. For instance, one of my favorite quotes of his is this: 

             "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly 
              because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we 
              have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an 
              act but a habit." 

Like I said. Smart guy. And check out his abs in this life-size sculpture of him. His pecs aren't too bad, either. With all the reading and writing he did, how did he ever have time to exercise? Today, people worship guys like Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper, but those guys got nothing on Ari.

Other quotes of Aristotle: "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime." "To perceive is to suffer.And he also said, "It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims." 'Nuff said.

Here is a picture of a courtly Dutch dude rubbing a bust of Aristotle's head for good luck. Hoping for some of Aristotle's mojo to rub off, perhaps? 

And let's not forget the other Ari -- Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping magnate and playboy. Not a bad job if you can get it. And he got plenty.

More Aristotle quotes:

"All men by nature desire knowledge."

"Dignity does not consist of possessing honors, but in deserving them."

"Good habits formed at youth make all the difference."

"He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled."

"Hope is the dream of a waking man."

And perhaps my favorite.....

"All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

RuneWarriors Is On Book Wenches ! ! !

Thanks to Bobby D Whitney and all the other fearsome Warriorettes of the Word, we have made a guest appearance on the Book Wenches Blog! To help promote the recent release of book three, RuneWarriors: Ship of the Dead, we have posted a couple of entertaining -- and we hope enlightening! -- quizzes about Norse mythology and ancient Viking culture there.

To test your Norse knowledge -- and check out all the other fun stuff on the Book Wenches book blog -- click here:

A tip o' the Viking war helmet to all the kind ladies (and guys, of course) at Book Wenches.

And as the Vikings used to say, "Reading can help you conquer the world!"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

View This Video And Good Things Will Happen....

. . . . . Smiles......