Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Druids, Gods, and Prophecies
Author Guest / October 16, 2019

For historical fiction this month, we travel back into the mystic past to explore the land of Druids, Danes, and followers of the Norse gods of Valhalla. What better way to honor Halloween than to delve into an era rich in mythic and supernatural traditions? We begin in the Nordic lands of the ninth century with Johanne Hildebrandt’s two-book series that chronicles the fascinating, violent period when the Scandinavian lands were fought over by adherents of the old gods and those converted to the new religion of Christianity. In THE UNBROKEN LINE OF THE MOON (VALHALLA BOOK 1,) as war rages between Vikings and Christians, rich and beautiful Sigrid holds to the old Norse gods, particularly the goddess Freya, who comes to her in dreams and reveals to her the future. Though her father wants her to marry Erik, a local king, to secure peace between Goths and Swedes, she finds herself drawn to Sweyn, a warrior seeking to overthrow Danish ruler Harald Bluetooth. Will she become Erik’s Queen, or risk all to follow her heart? In ESTRID (VALHALLA BOOK 2), Sigrid’s story merges with those of her twin offspring, Olaf, heir to the kingdom of Svealand, and his sister…

Regina Scott | Glamping? Not in 1871!
Author Guest / October 16, 2019

A friend introduced me to the concept of glamping—glamorous camping. Think muslin curtains and rustic beams separating you from the great outdoors, a queen-sized bed with fluffy pillows, a cooler stocked with champagne and aged cheddar. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? That’s not what my heroine Meg Pero faced on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers survey in 1871 Arizona, in A Distance Too Grand. I have camped a good portion of my life, even dabbled with backpacking in high wilderness at one point. But the life of a survey team was something beyond that. Each team had staff that could log topography, determine flora and fauna, check minerals and geology, photograph the area, and determines weather patterns. Larger teams boasted cooks, a surgeon and one or more hospital stewards, and even a chaplain . Lieutenant George Wheeler, who led an ambitious survey to map lands west of the one-hundredth meridian from 1869 to 1879, also took with him 30 guides plus men to help him manage the camp. A cavalry detachment escorted each survey. On smaller expeditions, like the one my Meg serves on, everyone might have more than one role. Equipment like theodolites, telescopes, and hand-walked odometers had to…