I'm fascinated by cryptozoology. The concept of trolls living out in the Norwegian mountains has always interested me, not that I actually believed in it. I have enough difficulty believing in the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. Still, I've read enough copies of the Fortean Times to know that wherever there is a legend, there will be somebody to believe in it. And why not?
I decided, in the end, to make up my own mythology. In my story, there are two main breeds of trolls, both of which live outside the Norwegian areas of population - a necessity, since by government edict their existence is hidden. Some live in forests and are therefore smaller, others live in the mountains and can grow to larger sizes. Some are rocklike, some are hairy. All are terrifying.
And that's where my team come in.
My heroine, Astri, is a member of a crack team of trollhunters, expert in weapons use and all forms of climbing. Having been hunting a mountain troll for months, she is relieved when researcher Kai joins their crew - maybe now they'll finally catch this thing. But her mutual attraction to Kai draws the attention of jealous and brutish teammate Micke, who will stop at nothing to get Kai out of the way, resulting in Astri finding herself alone in the mountains with minimal provisions and only an inexperienced researcher between her and the troll...
In the Halls of the Mountain Troll
Genre: Erotic romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Date of Publication: 29 May 2015
Number of pages: 62
Word Count: 15188
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Astri Ingebrigtsen has no time for romance. A member of an elite team of trollhunters, tasked with controlling and concealing the troll population, her days are too full to focus on anything else, so filled with nightmarish brutality that her nights have become dreamless. So when hot researcher Kai joins the crew to help them in their latest job, hunting a mountain troll, Astri ignores the chemistry between them—something her jealous teammate Micke fails to do.
Astri knew Micke was a jerk, but even she never expected him to send Kai up into the mountains alone to face the troll, unaware that she was asleep in the trailer. Now, trapped in the mountains with a destroyed car, she and Kai need to work together to confront the creature, and their bond grows—but even if they get out alive, can Astri trust Kai with her heart?
Rain spattered the windows of the café, mist making the sunlight bleak. At a table by the wall a man was sitting with a breakfast tray, a small stack of paper on the seat beside him, oblivious to the sideways glances given by the other customers. His messy beard, tousled brown hair and heavy duffel coat gave him the appearance of a slightly cleaned-up vagrant.
“This place is too expensive.” Astri Ingebrigtsen dropped her food on the table and sat down across from him, throwing her dark hair back out of her face. “At this price these eggs should be gold-plated.”
“Get Micke to pay.” Otto grunted, looking down as he dug through his paperwork. “He wanted to stop here.”
“I did. He moaned.”
Otto rolled his eyes just as Micke appeared beside him, breakfast in hand. Without a word Micke picked up the papers then dumped them unceremoniously on Otto’s tray before sitting down with his own.
“Paying for Lise’s too?” Astri asked casually.
“Get lost,” Micke snapped.
As Lise joined them with her own food, Astri turned her attention to her breakfast, smiling to herself. Micke was so easy to wind up.
But God, it had been a miserable week. She cast a rueful glance out of the window to where their trailers sat in the car park, each attached to a Jeep. They were a necessity when they were on a job that required travel, but try as they might, it was impossible to keep them properly warm inside, even with the help of space heaters and extra blankets.
And this had been a long job. Traveling every day, out hunting every damned night. She was beginning to think it would never be over.
Otto was spreading a map out on the windowsill, eating his svele one-handed as he ran a finger along the road markings. The shrill ring of a mobile phone cut through the air and he cursed, dropping his fork and burrowing his hand into his coat pocket.
“Otto here.” He paused. “Not yet. We left Trondheim this morning.”
Astri exchanged glances with Lise. This sounded important.
“We should get there around two. We’ve booked ahead. Tell him to wait in our cabin.” Otto hung up the phone and eyed Astri and Lise, who looked back at him innocently.
“That was Gunther. Our new addition will be meeting us in Orkanger.”
“What did you say his name was?” Lise asked through a mouthful of bread.
“Kai. Kai Amundsen.” Otto glared at Micke, who had let out a dismissive snort. “Enough, Micke.”
“We don’t need more people.” Micke twisted in his seat to face Otto, his mouth twisted in disgust. “Too many of us attracts attention. And we don’t need a greenhorn holding us back.”
“We’ve been over this. We need his research to capture it.” Otto held up a hand to forestall any further response. “This is not negotiable. Eat.”
“He’s right, Micke,” Lise cut in. “We’ve been chasing it for weeks. This could mean we finally catch it.”
Micke slammed his fist on the table, making the cutlery jump. “I do not need some college student to tell me how to do my job. When he’s never in his life caught a tr—”
About to snap back at Astri, Micke caught her eye and shut his mouth. Astri hastily scanned the room to see if anyone had overheard.
It didn’t seem like it. A few heads had turned at his outburst, but apparently nobody had picked up on that last dangerous word.
About the Author:
Tanith Davenport began writing erotica at the age of 27 by way of the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme. Her debut novel "The Hand He Dealt" was released by Total-e-Bound in June 2011 and was shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award for 2012.
Tanith has had short stories published by Naughty Nights Press and House of Erotica. She loves to travel and dreams of one day taking a driving tour of the United States, preferably in a classic 1950s pink Cadillac Eldorado.
Tanith's idea of heaven is an Indian head massage with a Mojito at her side.