Cathie Dunn’s ‘Ascent’ Welcomes Readers to the House of Normandy [BOOK BLAST]

Medieval woman with sword
(Photo courtesy Canva)

We love well-written, thoroughly researched historical fiction when it pulls back the veil of time and introduces us to people, places, and events that we are otherwise unfamiliar with. But outside of shows like the History Channel’s Vikings and DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon, we haven’t really been exposed to vast quantities of Viking lore, except through historical romances by authors like Johanna Lindsey (Fires of Winter, Hearts Aflame, Surrender My Love) and Catherine Coulter (Season of the Sun, Lord of Hawkfell Island, Lord of Raven’s Peak, Lord of Falcon Ridge) back in the 1980s and 1990s. Still, we don’t recall any of those books digging as deep into the annals of history as Cathie Dunn is doing with her new series about the early women of the House of Normandy. If you love history and have a penchant for stories about strong women and Viking legends, you’re going to devour her first book, Ascent. Enjoy! —J&H

Synopsis banner
Cathie Dunn's ASCENT
Ocelot Press

A brutal Viking raid heralds the dawn of a new, powerful dynasty – the House of Normandy
Neustria, Kingdom of the West Franks
AD 890

Fourteen-year-old Poppa’s life changes when Northmen land near Bayeux. Count Bérengar, her father, submits to them, and she is handfasted to Hrólfr, the Northmen’s heathen leader, as part of their agreement.

To her relief, Hrólfr leaves immediately in search of further conquest, only returning to claim her years later. In the face of retaliating Franks, they flee to East Anglia, where she gives birth to their son and daughter.

When Hrólfr and Poppa return to reclaim Bayeux, his new campaign strikes at the heart of Frankish power, and King Charles of the West Franks offers him a pact he cannot refuse. In exchange for vast tracts of land in Neustria, Hrólfr must convert to Christianity and accept marriage to Gisela, the king’s illegitimate daughter.

Poppa’s world shatters. She remains in Bayeux, with her daughter, Adela. When Gisela arrives one day, demanding she hand over Adela, to be raised in Rouen, Poppa’s patience is at an end. But Gisela makes for a dangerous enemy, and only one woman will survive their confrontation high up on the cliffs.

Will Poppa live to witness the dawn of a new era?

ASCENT is the first in a new series about the early women of the House of Normandy – women whose stories have been forgotten through time.

Until now!

Readers of Viking and medieval fiction will enjoy ASCENT, a fictional account of the life of Poppa of Bayeux, handfasted wife of Rollo the Viking.

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About the author banner

Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction, mystery, and romance. The focus of her historical fiction novels is on strong women through time.

Cathie has been writing for over twenty years. She studied Creative Writing, with a focus on novel writing, which she teaches in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites.

At the moment, Cathie is working on two novels: Treachery, #2 in the House of Normandy series, about Sprota the Breton, handfasted wife of William Longsword, the son of Poppa and Rollo; and The Alchemist’s Daughter, #2 in the Affair of the Poisons series. She also continues to plot a medieval murder mystery series set in 13th century Languedoc at the height of the Cathar persecutions.

Cathie’s stories have garnered awards and praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.

Cathie is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors, and she organises historical fiction blog tours for The Coffee Pot Book Club.

After many years in Scotland, Cathie now lives in south of France with her husband, and rescued Charlie Cat and Ellie Dog.

To learn more, visit and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads.

By Cathie Dunn
292 pp. Ocelot Press. $11.99
ISBN 978-2-9575-7013-3

Purchase Ascent direct from Jathan & Heather Books or anywhere else fine books are sold.

Cathie Dunn
Cathie Dunn
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Ascent is brought to you in association with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

ASCENT Book Blast Banner

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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