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Storytellers by Bjorn Larssen - Book Tour + Giveaway

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In March 1920 Icelandic days are short and cold, but the nights are long. For most, on those nights, funny, sad, and dramatic stories are told around the fire. But there is nothing dramatic about Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith who barely manages to make ends meet. He knows nobody will remember him – they already don’t. All he wants is peace, the company of his animals, and a steady supply of his medication. Sometimes he wonders what it would feel like to have a story of his own. He’s about to find out.

Sigurd – a man with a plan, a broken ankle, and shocking amounts of money – won’t talk about himself, but is happy to tell a story that just might get Gunnar killed. The blacksmith's other “friends” are just as eager to write him into stories of their own – from Brynhildur who wants to fix Gunnar, then marry him, his doctor who is on the precipice of calling for an intervention, The Conservative Women of Iceland who want to rehabilitate Gunnar’s “heathen ways” – even the wretched elf has plans for the blacksmith.

As his defenses begin to crumble, Gunnar decides that perhaps his life is due for a change – on his own terms. But can he avoid the endings others have in mind for him, and forge his own?

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Jealousy is rarely useful and often ugly...
 Sigurveigs brother, Ásgeir, moved in with her and her husband, Valdimar. Ásgeir’s intention was to become a fisherman, but he found himself joining the construction team instead. He didnt complain too much even when he was told that hed be paid in food and beer for the coming few weeks. It wasnt like he had much choice either. In the race between the builders and time, time was winning, but nobody was willing to concede that or give up.
Ásgeir was a man of few words. Hed spend evenings in the inn slowly draining his ale, listening to others and only rarely adding a word or two. He gave equal inattention to conversations, jokes, verbal fights, and women gawking at him. His indifference seemed to attract them all even more. As far as Arnar was concerned, Ásgeir looked like a hungry weasel, yet his rodent-like features somehow also made him irresistible to women. Even Guðrún found herself losing track of conversations, entranced by the sight of her favourite patron. Katrín unexpectedly visited the building site just in case there was something Ásgeir, and of course any of the others, might have needed. But when Magnus found out that his wife suggested the workers needed to take a lunch break so that she could visit and bring them some tasty treats”, Ásgeir nearly made his first enemy. Fríða was subsequently forbidden from visiting either the building site or the inn. Attempting to prove that all was good in his household and marriage, Magnus became ostentatiously friendly towards Ásgeir, fooling no one but himself. Magnus had a short temper and a strong punch, so the anecdote was declared a secret. This meant that it took a while before each dweller of the village had a chance to hear it – right after promising that it would never be shared with anybody else.
Guðrún personally delivered the news to Juana. Tas-aty treats,giggled Juana, and it was the first time since the miscarriage that she emerged from her sad grey cloud. Guðrún smiled too, relieved and pleased, then corrected her pronunciation.
Is he that… tas-ty?asked Juana with a little wicked glimmer in her eye. Brag-ð-góður, she repeated under her breath.
Well,said Guðrún, actually blushing a little, let me just say that Fríða now drinks her morning coffee with brandy to get over her dismay…
Juana laughed. How do you even know that? Is nothing a secret?
Oh,said the innkeeper, a bit of harmless gossip never hurt anyone!
When Arnar arrived home he was very pleased to find his wife out of bed, colour on her face, and a hot meal waiting for him. He was just tipsy enough to laugh with her, at the same time watching his words carefully. He didnt want to risk sending her back into the gloomy silence, and so listened to her instead, as Juana related Guðrún’s visit.
G-ð-g,” she said all of a sudden, confusing Arnar.
G… what?
Is the new tasty guy really so tasty?” asked Juana. She loved the new word and elongated it with gusto.
What tasty guy are you talking about?
“Guðrún says that this brag-ð-góður Ásgeir got Fríða in trouble. Or maybe the other way round. Anyway,she continued, oblivious to the sudden change of expression on Arnars face, I just thought this was funny. But youre very tasty, too.
Arnar didnt find any of this funny, especially not the word too. Juana continued to chatter, throwing the word “tasty” into every other sentence, but he wasnt listening anymore, his eyes darkened, forehead wrinkled in thought. Perhaps a little chat with the weasel-man was in order.
The next evening Ásgeir arrived at the inn with a black eye, Arnar with a split lip, and they sat at opposite ends of the short bench, refusing to acknowledge each others existence. After a few minutes Arnar pushed away his pitcher, spat on the floor, stood up and left before Guðrún had the time to tell him off. Ásgeir stared into space for a minute, then got up, threw a coin on the table, and walked out as well. Guðrún looked at Bjarni questioningly.
They had accidents,he said. Both of them at the same time, apparently. Nobody saw anything.
Accidents,said the innkeeper. How very interesting. I hope you dont mind me asking, but is the church going to be ready on time? With all the accidents?

Read Storytellers to find out the answer to this question – and many others...

Author Bio
Bjørn Larssen was made in Poland. He is mostly located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one. Since then his short stories and essays were published in Rita Baum Art Magazine, Writer Unboxed, Inaczej Magazine),,, and Holandia Expat Magazine. He is a member of Alliance of Independent Authors and Writer Unboxed.
Bjørn has a Master of Science degree in mathematics, worked as a graphic designer, a model, and a blacksmith. He used to speak eight languages (currently down to two and a half). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland, even though he hates being cold. He has only met an elf once. So far.

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