Countdown: Three Days to Norway House Party!

Three days from now I will be at Norway House in Milwaukee (details here) to celebrate the “Book BIrthday” of Odin’s Promise. It’s available for sale now, even though the official publication date is May 17. That’s when I’ll be in Stoughton, Wisconsin, to sign books and celebrate during their annual Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day, May 17) festival. I expect to meet lots of people with an interest in Norway there, but I know very few folks in that part of the state. This local “birthday party” is an opportunity to share the fun with long time friends, other writers, former students and their families, neighbors, and anyone who has an interest in Norwegian history, World War Two, books, door prizes, and Norwegian culture (including sampling delicious food!). The public is invited, so come see this beautiful venue- I’d love  to see you there.

Lobby of Norway House in Milwaukee.

Lobby of Norway House in Milwaukee.


This will take place at Norway House, the home of Sons of Norway Fosselyngen Lodge #82. Those tasty delicacies I mentioned will be Norwegian specialty cookies baked by a true master baker, and even better friend, Nancy. She is also a longtime member of Fosselyngen Lodge, along with her husband, Milt. Somehow, in the midst of all her baking, family responsibilities, and living a busy life, she managed to answer a few questions for me. During these “countdown days” I’ll share some of her answers here.


Sons of Norway is social/fraternal organization (Yes-there was a time when women were not allowed full membership), but it is NOT limited to those with Norwegian heritage. I discovered this while exploring their website and wondered about their mission statement:

“The mission of Sons of Norway is to promote, preserve, and cherish a lasting appreciation

of the heritage and culture of Norway and other Nordic countries

while growing soundly as a fraternal benefit society

and offering maximum benefits to its members.”

SB: Nancy, what are some specific ways this is accomplished? Which of these hold a special place in your heart?

Nancy: The Sons of Norway (SofN)was started as an insurance company to serve Norwegians who had come to this country in about 1903. Lodges began forming shortly after. It was for men only until some of the lodges formed women’s lodges and they eventually combined into one lodge such as our Fosselyngen. The lodges are social groups with an emphasis on our Norwegian culture and heritage. Sons of Norway is a very good insurance company and many of our members purchase insurance and investments from SofN.

As members of SofN, we are offered the opportunity to research our family tree; develop skills in Norwegian arts such as needlework and cooking; and learn the Norwegian language. Pins are awarded as participants achieve each level of competence. I have enjoyed most sharing my love for cooking and baking. Growing up in a Norwegian community provided a natural transition to sharing with many new-found friends in the Lodge.

Thanks, Nancy. I’ll share other Q/A responses in coming days, but for now I hope anyone who attends give some thought to the organization you described. My limited interactions with members at events makes it clear that Milwaukee’s Fosselyngen Lodge members are a welcoming and supportive group who remind me of the people I met in Norway, in that they make strangers feel right at home.

* * * *

Beginning today a bog tour of various reviewers will feature their thoughts about Odin’s Promise and some guest posts or interviews with me. I’ll provide links here as they become available along with Nancy’s notes. Many include giveaway raffles for a copy of the book. Two are live today:

April 21 –             Erik at THIS KID REVIEWS BOOKS  or copy and paste this link:

April 21-             Suzanne Warr’s TALES OF THE RAVEN blog, or copy and paste this link:  

Thank you to Erik and Suzanne for such glowing reviews to help welcome Mari and Odin to the world!

Also scheduled:

April 24-             Guest post/Rochelle Melander ‘s

April 28            Suzanne Warr interview at (follow up to April 21 review)

April 29            Alex Bough at

April 30            Margo Tanenbaum at (interview)

May 1-              Heidi Grange at  

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