Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: SPRING OF A NEW AGE
Author Guest / April 21, 2021

Coming out of a long winter after an even longer lonely miserable year, we look forward to a spring of hope and new beginnings.  In keeping with that, this month we’ll examine stories that reveal the backdrop to a moment of history that signaled a radical new beginning for England, when the ruling mastery of the island shifted forever from Saxon and Viking kings to the Normans.  But in a departure from the tomes of most historians, these novels look at these well-known events through the eyes of the lesser-known queens of the conquest era. We begin with SHADOW ON THE CROWN (THE EMMA OF NORMANDY TRILOGY #1) by Patricia Bracewell.  In 1002, young Emma of Normandy is sent across the Narrow Sea to marry much-older King Eathelred of England in a bargain to guarantee peace between the two kingdoms.  Told from the point of view of four protagonists—Emma, King Aethelred, his son Aethelstan and ealdorman’s daughter Aelfgifa of Northhampton, the story tracks Emma’s progress at the court.  Mistrusted by her husband, resented by her stepsons and harassed by a beautiful rival who would take her place, Emma must quickly learn to maneuver her way through the treacherous alliances of…

Fresh Pick | THE FOREVER QUEEN by Helen Hollick
Fresh Pick / December 10, 2010

November 2010 On Sale: November 1, 2010 Featuring: Emma 656 pages ISBN: 1402240686 EAN: 9781402240683 Paperback $16.99 Add to Wish List Romance Historical Buy at The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick Sometimes, a desperate kingdom is in need of one great woman. Married to a king incompetent both on the throne and in bed, Emma does not love her husband. But she does love England. Even as her husband fails, Emma vows to protect her people-no matter what. For five decades, through love and loss, prosperity and exile, Emma fights for England, becoming the only woman to have been anointed, crowned, and reigning queen to two different kings, the mother of two more, and the great aunt of William the Conqueror. Excerpt November 1035> The Queen, Emma, knew from the grey pallor on Earl Godwine’s face, and by the way he stood, one step within the threshold, that something was wrong. Horribly wrong. “My Lord, you are wet through?” she said, a question in her voice, although the statement was obvious. A second question, of why he had come to Winchester, so unexpected in such torrential rain, hovered unspoken. Rising from her chair, set for comfort beside the hearth…

Helen Hollick | Why Queen Emma? I’ve never heard of her!
Author Guest / November 11, 2010

Before I started writing the novel that comes after The Forever Queen, I Am The Chosen King (Harold the King in the UK), I had not heard of Emma either. You see, I wrote the Harold novel first, the story of 1066, the Battle of Hastings from the English point of view. Queen Emma was one of the more dominant characters, but in this book, she was introduced almost at the end of her life. I still had to research her though – and what a fascinating, intriguing woman she turned out to be! The only woman to be Queen of England twice, married to two different kings and the mother of two more kings, with different fathers. The next claimant to this sort of accolade is the more famous Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was Queen of France and then Queen of England. She also saw two of her sons crowned as King, Richard I and John – but they shared the same father, Henry II. Emma was a Norman, from Normandy – North Man’s Land – in other words, of Viking stock. She was married to King Æthelred II of England her marriage occurring probably between the age of…

Fresh Pick | SHADOW OF THE KING by Helen Hollick
Fresh Pick / October 1, 2010

Pendragon’s Banner #3 March 2010 On Sale: March 1, 2010 Featuring: Arthur Pendragon 672 pages ISBN: 1402218907 EAN: 9781402218903 Trade Size $16.99 Add to Wish List Historical Buy at Shadow Of The King by Helen Hollick They knew what was coming. Man and beast knew what lay ahead. After the war cry. Bitter the grave. The final book in the most historically accurate Arthurian legend trilogy, The Shadow of the King is not just a wrap-up novel, but an engrossing story of its own. Although Britain lies in an uneasy peace, Arthur Pendragon, King of Britain, sets sail for Gaul to defend territories there—leaving his country vulnerable and leaderless. When word comes that the Pendragon has fallen in battle, the powerful Council, headed by Arthur’s power-hungry uncle, threatens to overthrow Gwenhwyfar and her young daughter. Gwenhwyfar is also opposed by Arthur’s ambitious ex-wife Winifred, keen to advance her own son as rightful heir. But, unknown to Gwenhywfar, events abroad mean a far mightier battle for the Pendragon throne—and for the very future of Britain itself. Previous Picks Comments