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

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THE SCENT OF GARDENIAS: An Interview with Lorraine Haas

Gardenia
When a writer discovers her mother’s secret past, she is compelled to tell her story in The Scent of Gardenias. (Photo courtesy Canva)

The older we get, the easier it is to see our parents from the same vantage point as an outsider would. As such, we’ve often found that we gain better understanding of choices they have made over the years, some of them having been made even before we were born. As author Lorraine Haas wrote her latest book, The Scent of Gardenias, she delved deep into her mother’s past to fictionalize her life story and gained similar insights along the way. She shares some of what she learned in this enlightening interview. We hope you enjoy it! —J&H

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In A.M. Linden’s ‘The Oath,’ Readers Are Transported to Tumultuous Eighth Century Britain [EXCERPT]

Torch
Will Caelym survive the crowds who threaten to burn him alive? (Photo courtesy Canva)

We love reading novels that introduce us to lesser-known periods of history we are unfamiliar with. A.M. Linden’s brilliant novel, The Oath, is one such book. In it, she transports us to 8th-century medieval Britain, where a handsome Druid healer swears to save the life of a young damsel in distress even as blood-thirsty Christians nip at his heels. We hope you enjoy this captivating excerpt The Oath.J&H

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WE SHALL NOT SHATTER: An Interview with Elaine Stock

Elaine Stock (Photo courtesy Elaine Stock, Facebook)

World War II has been the inspiration for a great deal of historical fiction. With so many angles to approach the global conflict and how it impacted everyone’s life—whether directly or indirectly—there are just countless stories to be told. As Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See made us examine the war from the vantage point of a blind girl in France, Elaine Stock’s new novel, We Shall Not Shatter demonstrates how the deaf community in Poland fared during the same time. It’s a fascinating glimpse into this aspect of our history that we have not considered before, and we are excited to share this book with you. We hope you find our interview with Elaine as fascinating as we did. Enjoy! —J&H

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IRON & FIRE: An Interview with Kerrin Willis

Kerrin Willis
Kerrin Willis

Two of the things we adore are teachers and writers. Today’s guest checks both boxes. In her new novel, she explores a place that is near and dear to our hearts: New England. With Iron & Fire, Kerrin Willis deftly captures what it was like for a woman living in the Plymouth Colony in 1675. We hope you enjoy this exclusive interview! —J&H

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