Dipping in to Viking era Scotland

Today I’m welcoming a fellow historical author, Jen Black onto the site to highlight her new book set in the 11th century. A wee bit before my period of expertise – so I’m looking forward to extending my knowledge as I read – I hope other folk will too. Those of you who know me know that I have scarcely a romantic bone in my body, so it’s good that there are other authors around to cover my deficiencies! I asked Jen why she chose to set her latest book on a Hebridean island in Scotland?


Over to you, Jen.

Hullo – I’m Jen Black and I’m stealing space on Margaret’s blog today to announce my latest publication ~ VIKING BRIDE. Briefly, it is a historical romance, but there is action and excitement as well for those who like a little more adventure.

It is set on the Isle of Lewis around AD1040 when MacBeth was High King of Alba and the Vikings were settling down in various parts of Scotland as neighbours and farmers. More facts are emerging about the Vikings in the last few years and though they are no longer seen only as rampaging warriors anxious to lop off heads, they were still a dominant force in any area they chose to settle and very dangerous to those who dared to argue with them. Among themselves, I am sure they were as happy, miserable, compassionate, cruel, cynical, greedy, envious and bloody-minded as people everywhere can be today. All in all, a fascinating people.

Here’s the book’s blurb:

It was a marriage no one wanted.

Least of all the Borgunna and Asgeir.

When chieftain Ragnar and his friend Grettir force the marriage on their offspring they had no idea of the powerful feelings they would unleash, nor the dreadful consequences that would follow. Set in the Hebrides in the eleventh century, when Christianity was taking hold in Viking communities as they settled down as farmers and neighbours, the old familiar gods had not quite been forgotten.

If any of you read Far After Gold then you will recognise Flane ~ he re-appears in this story as wedding guest and distant cousin of chieftain Ragnar.

Find it here: https://tinyurl.com/wras6vg

I live in Northumberland, which nudges the border with Scotland and shares a good deal of its history. Ullapool is almost as close as London, and most of my holidays have been spent north of the border, including several in the Hebrides. I bicycled through the Uists one year, stayed in an old farmhouse in Arnol in another year and various B&Bs throughout the island later still. Got caught in a rainstorm on a gorgeous beach opposite Scarp and I can tell you it was a long, wet walk back to Hushinish!

I can’t say why I’ve always been interested in Scottish history, except that it began when I was about twelve with a book about ~ as you might guess ~ Mary Stewart. There is something in the air and the landscape of the west coast and the islands that resonates with me. A lady from Scotland turned up in my mother’s family tree about four generations back, but I really cannot blame it all on her! The land and the history simply proved more attractive to me than England and all those kings named Henry.

I have a degree in English and worked in academic libraries in the north east of England until retirement a few years ago. That’s when I began writing seriously and there are now twelve novels with my name on them – all historicals bar one.

I have a Facebook Author page: @JenBlackauthor should find me.

and my books are listed on Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jen-Black/e/B003BZ8JNQ

My blog is https://jenblackathor.blogspot.com. I would be delighted to see you at any or all of them!

Thanks, Jen, lovely to have you here and to hear about you new book – Twelve novels – wow! Puts me to shame…

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