In 1814, Denmark-Norway was defeated during the Napoleonic wars, and the king was forced to cede Norway to Sweden in the Treaty of Kiel. In an attempt to retain control, the Viceroy and hereditary prince of Denmark-Norway, Christian Frederik, encouraged the burgeoning independence movement ,and a constitutional convention and declaration of independence was made on May 17, 1814. This day is still celebrated in Norway as Syttende Mai (Seventeen May) or Constitution Day. From my primer on Norwegian history found at Reading the Past.
The celebration of Syttende Mai continued throughout the 19th century, and continues to be an important holiday today--both in Norway, and in Norwegian communities around the world. In fact, a Constitution Day party is an important part of Oleanna's story.
But wait, you might say. It's April 30. Why not post these fascinating tidbits on May 17?
Because in the spirit of celebration, I'm giving YOU the gifts, on Syttende Mai! I've put together a pretty sweet prize package, celebrating Norwegian culture:
Trio Mediaeval's Folk Songs, an absolutely gorgeous album of mediaeval Norwegian music (so evocative, and such an inspiration while writing Oleanna!)
Kitchen of Light: The New Scandinavian Cooking by Andreas Viestad (my own copy is getting heavy use at home)
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas (an absolute must-have, especially during the holidays!)
A bottle of Oleanna perfume by SaraWen Perfume Art
And finally, this adorable rosemaled box, decorated by gold medal artist Pat Virch. (6"w, 3"d, 1.25"h)
How do you win these amazing gifts? Glad you asked.
Simply read and review Oleanna (or, if you've already reviewed, Tweet a link to your existing review) between now and May 16. Then, email me a link to the review at oleannanovel at gmail.com by 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 16. The winner of the prize package will be drawn at random, using random.org.
Pretty easy, and a fun way to celebrate Syttende Mai!
Oleanna is available in paperback and ebook from a variety of fine retailers: