Author Gina Conkle

Happy Tuesday everyone. I'm excited to have author Gina Conkle here today to discuss her new book, Norse Jewel and to talk about Norsewomen. Check out what he has to say about these fierce and independent women from our past. As part of her Entangled Blog Tour, some great prizes are up for grabs, so check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below and the great excerpt from her new book.

Welcome, Gina!

What Do You Know About Norsewomen?

Or maybe you’re scratching your head, thinking, “Why does that matter now?”

Women, their struggles, matter then as they do now.  The difference? History let’s us look at their toils and triumphs from a safe distance.

And Norsewomen? A culture not to be trifled with as these three areas attest.

They were inheritors
Ever read historical fiction, be it romance or otherwise, and the heroine must marry because she cannot inherit?  It’s a common theme. 

Thanks to William the Conqueror, England embraced the law of primogeniture.

Not so the Norse.  One example’s found in Njal’s Saga with flighty, irresponsible Unn. Her father a wealthy, well-propertied man died and Unn, his unmarried daughter inherited all. 

And what she did with it?  That’s a whole other blog post. But the next one’s a shocker.

They were divorcers
Yes. You read that right. The pre-Christian (read that as before AD 1000) Norse allowed divorce.  Even after AD 1000, when the church began to exert influence on the northlands, they couldn’t totally ban divorce. 

That option was culturally ingrained.

Contrast that with the rest of the Europe. Sure divorce was possible…if you had a boatload of silver and gold to buy your divorce.

Not so the Norse.  A woman need only gather a certain number of witnesses and announce at the lintel (Norse for doorway) that she divorced her husband. She repeated the same pronouncement by the marriage bed, and presto, she was divorced.

Interesting note: Norsemen sometimes sought divorce, but Norsewomen sought the majority of recorded divorces.

But their influence and power within society also turned the tables on the old ways.

They were weavers
What?  How does working a loom change society? 

Hold on a second. I’ll explain.

But, first, you must look at the era known as the “Viking Age” a period that ran roughly from AD 750 – 1030.  The primary currency of that time was silver. 

You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out a major chunk of that wealth came from raiding and pillaging.  Sure, some from legitimate trade…the Vikings were merchants.

But, what was the primary currency after the Viking Age? 


The soft hand of women prevailed. Silver lost its position as primary means of barter to be 
replaced by ells of cloth.

The hearth ruled mightier than axe and shield.  In fact, laws abounded on warp and weft, length and width of homespun. 

You could safely say Norsewomen placed a strong hand on family finances.  The cloth standard held for a couple hundred years.

What replaced homespun?  That’s a topic for another blog post.

As I close, thanks to Georgie for opening up her blog to me and to you, readers, for spending a little of your day with me.

I’d love to connect with you:
On my website:
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This Rafflecopter is part of the Entangled Blog Tour Giveaways.  Some great prizes:

If you’re a fan of Vikings and want to test your knowledge, try this quiz on Goodreads:

Norse Jewel Buy Buttons:

Norse Jewel by Gina Conkle

“Why the tether? What harm can one woman do?”

His eyes widened at her show of courage, or so she guessed from the way he tipped his head in acknowledgment.

“Aye, one woman.” His mouth made a grim line and bitterness threaded his voice. “I have seen the destruction one woman can do.” He knotted the leather. “The bindings stay.”

Helena licked her lips, choosing silence. The chieftain’s nostrils flared like some predatory beast scenting prey. Was this anger barely restrained? Or something else?

He touched the wet rope of hair that hung over her shoulder, letting his fingers slip between tangled strands. His thumb and forefinger found a single lock and stroked the hair down to the curling tip. Goose bumps skittered across her flesh from the intimate touch.

“What is your name, thrall?” He asked in the gentlest voice.

“Helena,” she whispered.

“Helena.” He repeated her name softly. The corner of his mouth twitched. He seemed pleased to know her name, but the pleasure was fleeting, replaced by fierceness. “I care not about trust, but I require obedience.”

Helena swallowed the hard lump in her throat.

“Serve me, as well as Agnar—” His teeth gleamed wolf-like in the darkness. “—and you’ll be rewarded.” Rising, he towered over her. “Fail in your purpose, and you will suffer the consequences.”


Janet Tait said...

Fascinating post, Gina! I didn't know any of that about Norsewomen. Can't wait to read your book!

Gina Conkle said...

Hi Janet,
Glad you liked and thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy Norse Jewel.

Have a great day-

Rachael Davila said...

I don't know much about Norse history. Thank you Gina for condensing some into a great post. I'm not sure why I found the divorce info so fascinating. I think it's because so much of history condemns it and early non-church cultures don't seem to share the morality issues that plague us now. Plus I love stories of strong women. Looking forward to reading yours.

Gina Conkle said...

Hi Rachael,

Reading about women in Norse culture threw a lot of curves at me, too. The divorce was a shocker since I grew up reading in history about men who either put their wife aside or went to great lengths to divorce (or in some cases she "died"). I'm glad this caught your fascination and thank you!
Have a great day-

MaryG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MaryG said...

Interesting post, Gina. Can't wait to read your book.

Mary Galusha

Terry Irene Blain said...

The Norse people (can I say that?) had pretty much equal rights for men and women. The Norse divorce was just like the Iroquois Indians. Oh and by the way, I got a 6 on your Viking quiz (being a history teacher in a previous life

Gina Conkle said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy Norse Jewel.

Take care-

Gina Conkle said...

Hi Terry,

Your post made me smile. A 6 on the quiz is good. Now if you'd asked me to take an Iroquois Indian quiz...I'd get a 0. Interesting tidbit about the Iroquois having divorce!!
Have a great day-

Mary Hill said...

Great review. Enjoyed learning about Norsemen and Viking cultures.

Gina Conkle said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks for stopping by today. I'll have to check out your blog the creative title!
Take care,