Saturday, January 11, 2014

Coming Soon The Briton and the Dane: Timeline by Mary Ann Bernal

Today Mary Ann Bernal joins us in the ludis to talk about her upcoming release The Briton and The Dane: Timeline. So pour a cuppa and get comfortable as we explore the latest addition to this fantastic novel series.

GP: What Inspired You to write this novel in The Briton and the Dane franchise?
Mary Ann: When I first set pen to paper when writing The Briton and the Dane, the storyline was about Gwyneth and Erik’s relationship, and the problems they faced in a land ravaged by war and conquest. Gwyneth was a Christian Saxon and Erik was a pagan Danish Viking. Would their love survive the obstacles they had to face?

However, as the story evolved, the ancillary characters started demanding more representation, wishing to have to have additional “screen time.” Suddenly, there wasn’t enough room to satisfy everyone in one novel, which gave birth to the trilogy.

To me, Gwyneth and Erik shared the stage with too many players, and I do believe they felt cheated. I was toying with the idea of a standalone novel dedicated to Gwyneth and Erik, but what if fate had kept them apart, centuries apart? How would a 21st century Gwyneth fare in 11th century England?

Science Fiction and Anglo-Saxon England, two of my favorite topics in one novel. It cannot get any better than this.

Dr. Gwyneth Franger is a renowned expert in early medieval England who is set upon learning the truth about the death of Lord Erik, the last descendant of the powerful House of Wareham. Her quest becomes
an obsession, a condition that began with the discovery of a portrait of the tall and valiant warrior with which she forms an extraordinary and inexplicable bond.

Digesting troves of mildewed scrolls and source documentation only enhances her belief that Lord Erik was brutally assassinated by a cabal of traitors in the pay of William the Bastard, shortly before the onslaught of the Norman Invasion.

On an archeological dig in Southern England, her team unearths an Anglo-Saxon fortress, a vast citadel built during the reign of Alfred the Great, which she believes was Lord Erik’s stronghold. In the midst of her excitement, she is awakened one night from her slumbers by a disconcerting anomaly emerging from the site.

Dr. Franger finds herself transported back to the Dark Ages and at the side of the noble Lord Erik who
commands an army of elite Saxon warriors, a swift and mobile force able to deploy quickly throughout the kingdom to ward off invaders.

Witnessing the unrest firsthand, Gwyneth senses that her instincts had been right all along, and she is determined to learn the identities of the treacherous blackguards hiding in the shadows, villains who may well be posing as Lord Erik’s friends and counselors.

Will Gwyneth stop the assassins? Is she strong enough to walk away and watch her beloved Erik die? Or will she intervene, change the course of history and wipe out an entire timeline to save the man she loves with all her heart?

Once the passengers had disembarked, and the ship was moored, the Captain went home. The dwelling was small, with two rooms, which was ample for a man living alone. He opened the chest that had been delivered earlier, retrieving the ledger and tossed it on the table. He filled a cup with his favorite wine and sat before the fire. For some reason, his curiosity had been aroused, and he wanted to know more of Hugh and of the privileged people he was following. He had not expected his passengers to list their true names and had been quite surprised when he read the entry. Bryson, Erik and Gwyneth of Wareham. He would make discreet inquiries once he returned to Britannia, hoping to find answers to his questions. Information about Hugh, on the other hand, would not be easily obtained. The man had a malevolent demeanor, which he had found unsettling. He would have to tread carefully, lest he put his life at risk.

The Captain finished a flask of wine, drinking the intoxicating brew over the course of the evening. He was falling asleep before the fire as he did most nights, preferring the solitude. He did not hear the door open in his inebriated state, nor did his drooping eyes notice the wind-whipped flames dancing in the hearth. His assailant crept towards him, dagger in hand, and swiftly slit the Captain’s throat. The dead man slumped over, his bloodied body falling upon the floor. Hugh sheathed his wet blade as he glanced about the room searching for the ledger, which was still upon the table. He looked at the open page, which is where he had signed his name. He tossed the damning evidence into the fire and waited until the book was devoured by the raging inferno before disappearing into the night.

1 comment:

Mary Ann Bernal said...

Thanks for having me, Elise. It's been fun.