Genre: Upper YA Paranormal/Fantasy (Norse



Release Date: TODAY!! April 5,



perfekt balance


Back Cover Copy


Become what you believe.



Elsa Fredriksen knows

there’s a thin line between love and fear. As High Healer, she rights the wrongs committed by

those who choose the darkness. But even Asgard’s secret weapon can’t undo every

injury—especially when her fate is completely entwined with the god she’s trying to save.



Elsa’s in love with the Norse

God of Justice. But Forse’s heart is ruled by fear—fear that the past will repeat itself; fear that

opening his heart will compromise his ability to do his job; fear that he’ll hurt the one girl he

desperately wants to protect. Again.


When Elsa faces off against

the very monster she once swore to protect, her survival depends on a power she isn’t sure she

can control. And when Forse’s worst nightmare unfolds in front of him, Elsa has to decide

whether it’s more important to hold the realms in perfekt balance . . . or hold on to the guy she

can’t imagine existing without.


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Perfekt Balance






“Hold up.” Henrik held out

one hand. “Where are you going? And why is Forse about to kill someone?”


We all turned to look at

Forse. Sure enough, his eyes were slits, his breathing was sharp, and he had a pulsing

forehead vein that rivaled Tyr’s neck one. He positively seethed anger.


“We are going to

Svartalfheim,” Tyr answered coolly. The four gods in the room drew a collective



The mortal took in our

reactions with practiced calm. “Which one’s Svartalfheim again?” she asked



“The worst one after

Helheim,” Brynn muttered.


“It’s the realm of the dark

elves,” I explained. “When the cosmos was born, the blackest souls were sent to a

wasteland—a realm of isolation and soot. Svartalfheim.”


“And you’re all going there?”

Mia squeaked.


“Forse, Brynn, Elsa, and I

are going there.” Tyr spoke with his chin on Mia’s head. “You’re staying here with



“Elsa doesn’t need to go,”

Forse argued.


“You of all people know how

delicate this retrieval is. The perp has been a fugitive since…well, it’s been a long time. She’s

being harbored by dark elves who demanded Fenrir in her place, and I have no intention of

unleashing that beast again. The elves agreed to accept one of the Svartish treasures from the

vault instead of the wolf, but they could very well turn on us once we get there. We need a

Unifier to make sure this exchange goes peacefully. Right now, Elsa’s all we’ve got,” Tyr



“Um, thanks?” I



“You know what I mean.” Tyr

turned his gaze to me. “I don’t want to drag you into Svartalfheim any more than Forse does. I

know you’re not up to speed on the peacekeeping function, and I don’t like putting you in

danger. Not only are you my baby sister, but you’re a Key—you’re one of the gods we train to

protect. I hate everything about this. Unfortunately, I don’t have another option.”


“I could go,” Mia offered. Her

voice was shaky, but she held her head high.


“No.” Five voices sounded as

one. A combination of relief and disappointment flickered across Mia’s features.


“If I’m not ready, you’re

definitely not ready,” I reminded her. “I’ll get this one, and once I have a handle on this bizarre

skill set I’ll pass the torch to you. I promise.”


“I’ll hold down the fort from

here this time.” Mia stared me down. “But I don’t want to be on baking duty with Henrik



I swallowed. Figure this out, Elsa.


“Hey, there are worse things

than baking with me.” Henrik raised an eyebrow. “I never did teach you to make my mom’s

chocolate mousse cake, did I?”


Mia looked up with a small

smile. “Does she use Mexican vanilla?”


“Tahitian,” Henrik countered.

“And I’ve got a stash in my secret cabinet.”


“Now that that’s settled, does

anyone want to tell me the name of the perp we’re retrieving from that Odin-forsaken realm?”

Brynn chimed in.


I turned to my brother and

waited for his answer. When he spoke, his voice was clipped.




The name fell like a lead

balloon at a birthday party. Brynn’s mouth dropped open, and Henrik sucked in a breath. I

couldn’t see Forse’s face, but the sound of knuckles cracking behind me let me know he wasn’t

happy. I could relate.


Oh dear gods. We’re going after



The room swirled in a violent

vortex, and Forse gripped my arms to steady me. As he righted me in my chair, the world

slowed to a standstill. Runa was more than just Forse’s psychotic ex-girlfriend. She was the

monster who committed the

crime—the one that changed



When I finally found my

voice, it came out dry and scratchy. “We’re going after Runa.”


“Yes.” Forse watched me



“And you’re charging her with

high treason.”


“Yes,” Forse





Forse kept his hands on my

arms as I breathed through my rage. “Elsa, if you don’t want to go with us we



“We can what?” Tyr

interrupted. “We can’t let the dark elves keep her—her crime was against Asgard, and she

needs to answer to our

realm for what she’s done.

Not Svartalfheim. You of all gods know that.”


“I’m not letting her hurt Elsa!”

Forse exploded. The words echoed off the marble countertops, piercing the normally calm



“I’m not letting her hurt

anyone!” Tyr yelled back. “And the only way I can ensure that is if I bring her to



“Enough!” I interjected. With

my emotions under control, I re-opened my abilities and sent waves of calm at Forse and Tyr.

Their chests continued to rise and fall with angry breaths, but their auras reflected a slight

decrease in rage. It was the best I could do. “Forse, I understand where you’re coming from. But

Tyr’s right. Runa needs to be brought to justice. And since that’s you”—I tapped the justice god

with my pointer finger—“and since I’ve got your back whether you like it or not, I’m going with

you. Tyr’s spot on; we don’t want this exchange going bad. We can’t let her hurt anyone else. I

need you to have that faith in me you promised you would.”


“I believe in you, Elsa. I’ve

always known you have what it takes to master this job, even before you believed it yourself.

You’re incredibly powerful, and you can do anything you set your mind to. But there are so

many forces working against us these days. If anything happened to you, I’d never forgive

myself.” Forse pressed his forehead to mine. His concern was sweet, and normally I’d have

melted into a giggling mess at the contact, but right now I just couldn’t go there.


“Let’s make sure we’re all

safe then. We’ll bring Runa in so she

can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of Asgardian law.” I shot Forse a look brimming with

confidence I didn’t actually possess. Since the energetic fireballs shooting between him and Tyr

suggested they still operated at a six on the anger scale, it was clear I was a woefully ineffective



And I had the job of my life

ahead of me.






Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, S.T.

Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (where she became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and

Europe… where she became overly fond of McVities cookies. Her love of Scandinavian culture

and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the books of The Elsker Saga and The

Ære Saga. She hopes her characters make you smile,

and she dreams of skiing on Jotunheim and Hoth.


Find S.T. on Twitter @stbende, her website

(, or Facebook ( While you’re at it, introduce

yourself to @UllMyhr and @TyrFredriksen — when they’re not saving the cosmos from dark

elves, they love meeting new friends . . . especially the human kind.


Want to connect with fellow Norse god fans?

S.T.’s readers have created a Facebook group! Head over to the RagnaRockstars page to chat with other readers, talk with S.T., and get access to exclusive content…

including Ull POVs and sneak peeks at upcoming Ære Saga




Connect with ST Bende at:



TUR is currently available for FREE to




Skål, y’all!

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