Excerpt & Giveaway: First to Burn by Anna Richland


First to Burn
The Immortal Vikings #1
By: Anna Richland
Released Jan 27th, 2014
Carina Press

A Soldier with Secrets.

Immortal Viking Wulf Wardsen once battled alongside Beowulf, and now serves in Afghanistan. He's trusted the mortal men on his elite special operations team to protect his secret, until an explosion lands Wulf in a place more dangerous to him than a battlefield: a medevac helicopter.

A Doctor with Questions.

Army captain Theresa Chiesa follows the rules and expects the same from others, even special forces hotshots like Sergeant Wardsen. She's determined to discover the secret behind his supernaturally fast healing, and she won't allow his sexy smile to distract her.

An Enemy with Nothing to Lose.

Even as Theresa's investigation threatens to expose him, Wulf dreams of love and a normal life with her. But the lost Viking relic needed to reverse his immortality is being hunted by another—an ancient enemy who won't hesitate to hurt Theresa to strike back at Wulf.

Even if army rules didn’t prohibit touching to find out if those curls felt as soft as he suspected, he could never get close to a doctor. Faster than other women, she’d notice he was different.

“I’ll remember your assistance.” He withdrew two steps, a strategic retreat, but his stomach flipped as the distance between them stretched greater than his reach. “Thanks.”

“Don’t get shot for real.” Her wish sounded so damn sincere. Her smile seemed so damn wholesome. Her tilted head revealed the curve of her neck and a smooth expanse of skin so damn vulnerable that he couldn’t help sucking air between his teeth.

“If I do, I’ll make sure my paperwork’s complete.” He laid a hand over his heart.

Her eyes followed the gesture. When she looked up, her gaze didn’t rise past his lips.

He could almost feel her fingers brush across his mouth. A woman’s touch was a rare treasure in this hole.

No. He shook his head and broke whatever linked him to Captain Chiesa. He didn’t know her first name, but already he’d built a fantasy that risked the life he’d constructed.

She blinked twice and muttered something that sounded like, “My food’s getting cold,” before she walked away.

He nearly sagged against the counter as he filled two glasses with milk, but her reflection on the stainless-steel dispenser kept him standing tall. She crossed the room to her friend, probably another doctor. They stuck together as much as his A-team did. The army was a big gathering of small clans who spent their days working and eating and bunking together, which made it easy to hide in plain sight. Like the doctors, his team stayed apart from most others except the Night Stalker aviators. His men’s silence, their separateness, protected him.
Author Info:

Anna Richland lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of FIRST TO BURN, she joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to an adventurous career on four continents (if standing on the bridge in Panama that divides North and South America counts as two).

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

To find out about her October novella, HIS ROAD HOME, and the next Immortal Vikings romance, THE SECOND LIE, visit her website at annarichland.com and sign up for her newsletter.

Author Links:
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SAHM to four rowdy kids. Avid reader and blogger.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting FIRST TO BURN today and including the excerpt where Wulf and Theresa first talk in the Camp Cadwallader (Afghanistan) dining facility! Wulf's team is a big part of the story - by becoming involved with Theresa, he knows he's risking the friendships and substitute family he's built in the army - so he struggles with his attraction to her.
    When I was studying Wulf's character, the one thing that really stuck out to me is how lonely immortality would be. He's really caught between his need for connection and a relationship like most of his team has with their families, and his knowledge that pursuing Theresa might cost everything. It's a huge decision - I get frustrated by romances where characters make life-altering decisions without thinking them through, and so I tried super-hard to show Wulf's journey from this point to the place where he ends up with Theresa. It had to make sense.
    I hope readers want to follow!

  2. So glad to have you on here! The excerpt sounds fantastic and I LOVE the cover! Thanks so much for stopping by, your book sounds great :)

  3. I love my Shirtless Cover Dude - a standup version sits right next to our dinner table and Mr. Richland is cool with that! But have you seen the cover for HIS ROAD HOME, the October novella? I swoon over it. A little more subtle, but I think it's so gorgeous. Cruz, the hero, actually has a little dark stubble which I think is fantastic.

  4. Ooops! That's the wrong cover. The final didn't have the dog tags and had a bigger house...
    (Yes, I'm new at this).

  5. I do so love stubble on a man! The cover is lovely, I adore all of those fall colors :)

  6. The fall colors sold me! It's an October release, so they make sense. Although the book actually includes an ice-fishing scene - the heroine takes the hero ice-fishing b/c she's a biologist and he's spent most of his last decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, not locations of much ice-fishing sport. But as Mr. Richland said: "They drive across the country. Surely there were fall colors somewhere on the trip." I love the maples.

  7. I usually get the Frappaccino's at Starbucks, usually hazelnut flavored.


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