As an author, TV Tropes is my absolute favorite toy and distraction. Countless hours spent on the site have vanished, whiled away as one link leads to another. Click. Click. Click. It’s the greatest menace known to productivity.
Last summer, I happened across The Periodic Table of Storytelling and started playing with the idea of constructing my own novels with the simple molecule model. Those musings led to my inspiration for the Elemental Storytelling event.
Many thanks to Vinny Green at the TV Tropes site for helping to promote the Elemental Storytelling event. My gratitude goes to Kayelle Allen for her hard work in creating the molecule graphics shown in each of the event posts. I’d also like to express my appreciation to Farah Evers Designs for creating the event banner.
I’d like to present my molecule for Valkyrie’s Vengeance, an urban fantasy novel and the first book in my Loki’s Wolves series. Readers interested in reading the story will find the links to download it for free at the end of this post.
Introducing the Tropes of Valkyrie’s Vengeance
Publisher: Nordic Lights Press
Date Published: Jan. 23, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Norse Folklore Fantasy
Word Count: 33,000 words
A thirty-year alliance that aligned wolves and hunters has shattered.
Victoria Storm leads a few surviving members of her pack in a desperate flight. As the only surviving child of their leaders, the she-wolf inherited the role of Alpha. The violent deaths of her parents and the man she loved left her devastated, and the lives of her followers depend on her decisions. Simple survival often conflicts with the demands of preserving her Norse heritage, so she must struggle to balance her duties as Freya’s priestess and Odin’s Valkyrie. When innocent children are abducted, she must set aside her differences and work with her worst enemy to rescue them.
Readers can receive a free ebook copy of Valkyrie’s Vengeance by subscribing to Melissa Snark’s newsleter at: http://goo.gl/I6J5NU
Action Girl — An Action Girl is a female Badass who is just as tough and kicks just as much butt as the guys do. Damsel in Distress? Not her.
Victoria Storm is a kick ass heroine with a take charge attitude. She is both a priestess of Freya and a Valkyrie to Odin. The tragic death of her lover resulted in a misunderstanding with horrific consequences. Now, her werewolf pack is at war with the same hunters who were their allies for over thirty years. She carries the burden of terrible guilt for all the deaths she caused, directly and inadvertently, which puts her on a Redemption Quest.
Redemption Quest — The character is in a bad place but wants to do better, and they are granted one final chance to do so, usually in the form of a grand, nearly impossible task.
For Victoria, Redemption takes on many forms. While her highest priority is protecting her pack mates, she also owes her goddess obedience. So when Freya sends her on a mission to save a stolen child, Victoria comes into direct conflict with Jake Barrett, her dead lover’s father. Jake blames her for Daniel’s death. As much as she fears and dislikes the man, she also wants him to know the truth. Balancing survival against an opportunity to achieve redemption forces Victoria to walk a tight line.
Badass — To put it simply, a Badass is Rule of Cool personified.In more detail, Badass is an adjective used to describe a character who gets away with outright insane stunts that would be very hard to pull off in Real Life, or would get the person trying it killed several times over.
Jake Barrett is the Hunter King. Master of the Hunt. He has many nicknames, not all of them polite. Rumors purport him to be invincible. He suffers fatal injuries but doesn’t die. Men pledge their undying loyalty to him. Monsters fear him. To underestimate him means certain death.
In his own right, Jake is something of a Big Bad Badass, especially if you get on his bad side. He believes that Victoria murdered his oldest son, Daniel, and he wants revenge.
Misplaced Retribution — Some retaliation exceeds what’s being retaliated to in its severity. But some retaliation isn’t even along the same line; it’s directed at those who can’t reasonably be blamed for what you’re retaliating for, except according to exceedingly shaky justifications, or even no real justification at all. Whether it is worse than what is retaliated to or milder, the point remains that it is still indefensibly directed at the wrong targets.
As Valkyrie’s Vengeance opens, Jake Barrett and his hunters are hunting Victoria and her werewolf pack. Torn between rage and reason, the Hunter King had to balance his bloodthirsty desire for vengeance against his need to know how his son dies. If he kills Victoria, then the truth dies with her.
A monster is stealing children, so Victoria Storm and Jake Barrett are forced to set aside their differences and work together to find the missing youngsters and defeat the villain.
Odd Couple — Mr Neat/Tidy/Law-Abiding/By-The-Book forced to work/live with Mr Messy/Slob/Zany/Risk-Taker/Plays-By-His-Own-Rules.
At a glance, Victoria Storm and Jake Barrett are not an obvious Odd Couple. She’s an Alpha werewolf, a priestess of Freya, and a Valkyrie. He’s a hunter and a renown monster slayer…
Oh wait, maybe they are an obvious Odd Couple.
Wunza Plot — Put in its simplest form, a Wunza Plot is “One’s a [X]; one’s a [Y]. Together they [Objective Z]”
One’s an Alpha Werewolf; one’s a hunter. They are obligated to work together to save some kidnapped children from a monster.
Bad — The cause of all bad happenings in a story. The Big Bad may either be personally responsible for the events, or are the biggest force in opposition of the hero’s goals.
The Big Bad in Valkyrie’s Vengeance steals naughty children and punishes them…by killing them. I can’t reveal much more without spoiling the plot, but you may be familiar with this Christmas villain if you’re into mythology.
Excerpt from Valkyrie’s Vengeance
Mouth twisted in a grimace, Victoria spun on her toes and almost walked through the restless spirit of a woman. An icy hand closed around her arm. Startled, she rocked on her heels and wind-milled her arms to avoid tipping over. The chill of the grave swept through her body. Gasping, she froze, staring at the distraught apparition. Without question, this was why Freya had commanded her to wait.
“The child thief has stolen my son! Help me. Please!” The woman had light brown hair and an olive-toned complexion. A white nightshirt, stained with dried blood, hung to mid-thigh above her bare legs and feet. Her appearance mirrored the condition of her body at the time of death. Dark bruises marred her face and throat, and she had defensive wounds on her hands and forearms. The side of her skull had been bashed in.
“Please, Michael is all alone. He’s so scared. I need you,” the spirit pleaded, taking advantage of Victoria’s silence.
Her gut clenched. As Valkyrie and priestess, Victoria had a duty to respond to a spirit’s call for help. As a nurse, a healer, she had a nurturing nature and rarely passed on an opportunity to render assistance to those in need. The circumstances left her questioning Freya’s wisdom, even though such thoughts were wrong. With resources so scarce and her pack’s straits so dire, she wasn’t sure she could take the risk. Living people were counting on her.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I don’t think I can help you.”
“You must help me,” the woman pleaded. “No one can see or hear me.”
“Do you understand why that is?”
Approaching at a jaunty trot, Jasper skidded to a halt. His bright eyes focused on the empty spot before her, and his eyebrows rose, disappearing beneath his lank brown bangs. His tongue flickered across his lips and moistened them against the aridness of the winter air.
“What’s up?” he asked, eyes bright with curiosity. “Is a ghost here?”
“Shhh.” Victoria waved a silencing hand at him. She cast an anxious glance about, concerned their odd behavior would attract the wrong sort of attention. Neither Jasper nor any of the other humans present could see the dead woman. They lacked Victoria’s gift of spirit sight.
Fortunately, no one spared them a second glance.
Ignoring her shushing, Jasper bounced on the balls of his feet. “What does it want? C’mon, tell me what’s going on!”
Victoria stepped closer to him and dropped her voice. “It’s a woman. She says her son was kidnapped, and she needs me to help him.”
Jasper grinned. “Cool!”
“Not so much for her.” Victoria glared at him, irritated with the teen’s insensitivity. Not that she really blamed the boy for craving excitement, but their lives were already dangerous enough. They didn’t need to add to it.
“Find out what we can do for her,” Jasper urged. He had a good nature and a kind heart, but he didn’t take the dangers the pack faced into account. He failed to consider how assisting the ghost would sap their resources and expose them to discovery.
Rolling her eyes, Victoria exhaled through her nostrils so her breath formed a cloud of vapor on the brisk air. Born and raised in Arizona, she found the extreme winter temperatures of the high desert familiar. The thin air left her lightheaded.
“Come over here so we can speak privately,” Victoria said, addressing both the spirit and the boy. She shook off the ghost’s hand.
Victoria grasped Jasper’s forearm and moved out of the path of pedestrians. The fifteen-year-old stood a full head taller than her and outweighed her by a whole lot, but she moved him with ease. He lacked the stature of an adult male and deferred to her because she outranked him within their pack’s hierarchy. They sought shelter in the natural alcove provided by the Western apparel storefront.
The dead woman followed.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know how I can help you,” Victoria said. “I have to protect my own people.”
The spirit moaned, low and anguished.
Jasper cut in, “Victoria, we have to help her! It’s the right thing to do.”
Victoria stifled a groan. Yep. Too much testosterone, no common sense.
The ghost mother clasped her hands together as if praying. “Please, he’s going to be eaten.”
Download your free copy of Valkyrie’s Vengeance at:
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/EQp6Wi
Google Play: http://goo.gl/6d292A
Author Melissa Snark lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children, and a glaring of litigious felines. She reads and writes fantasy and romance, and is published with The Wild Rose Press & Nordic Lights Press. She is a coffeeoholic, chocoholic, and a serious geek girl. Her Loki’s Wolves series stems from her fascination with wolves and mythology.
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0076EEQIU