Saturday, 30 August 2014

Author interview with MaryAnn Bernal

 The Briton and the Dane


King Alfred the Great has thwarted the Viking threat against his kingdom of Wessex. Signing a treaty with the formidable Danish King Guthrum, he succeeds in pushing the heathen army back to the rolling fens of East Anglia.

An uneasy peace holds sway: The King establishes a standing army under Lord Richard, who takes command of the citadel at Wareham.

Richard and his army are accompanied by his daughter, Gwyneth, an impetuous and reckless young woman – at once striking, intellectually gifted, but dangerously vain and imprudent.

While Richard broods on the Viking threat, Gwyneth falls in love with an enemy prince - only to discover that she has been betrothed to a Saxon warrior twice her age.  

Refusing to countenance her grim fate, she flees the fortress, but is soon kidnapped by a Viking warrior and taken to the camp of King Guthrum while Saxon search parties scour the land.  

In captivity, a hostage to fortune, and the focus of political intrigue, Gwyneth is submerged in a world of expediency, betrayal and black treachery. Slowly, she realizes the truth is suspect, nothing is what it appears and her reality cannot be trusted. 

And all the time, against this background, she desires nothing more than to be reunited with her dashing Danish prince.

Tell us a little about your book

The story begins when Gwyneth hides a wounded Danish Viking, Erik, from her father, Lord Richard, who commands the Burh of Wareham where men wishing to serve in King Alfred’s standing army are trained. King Alfred and the Danish Viking King Guthrum have already signed a peace treaty and King Guthrum will be returning to his lands in East Anglia. Gwyneth falls in love with Erik, but he is rescued before she speaks with her father who has already arranged her marriage without her knowledge. Meanwhile, the southern coast is being fortified to withstand another Viking assault from the Danish homeland. Gwyneth is kidnapped by one of King Guthrum’s favored warriors who brings her to the Danish encampment. There are many characters whose lives intertwine with Gwyneth’s plight, and each of them have their own story. Illegitimate offspring covet a crown and warring Norsemen covert the fertile land. Treachery, deception and betrayal determine the outcome of the battle for sovereignty (Birthright) and the battle at sea (Legacy).

Read excerpts from the franchise while listening to music

The Briton and the Dane Birthright

The Briton and the Dane Legacy

The Briton and the Dane Concordia

The Briton and the Dane Timeline

Buy Links:
Book launch for Audio Book:
The Briton and the Dane: Second Edition



Print and electronic editions available

For more information about Mary Ann Bernal, kindly visit:

Book Trailers:

The Briton and the Dane: The Complete Trilogy

The Briton and the Dane: Timeline

The Briton and the Dane: Concordia

I am a big fan of Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series. I also love James Herbert, Barbara Erskine, Anne Rice and Victoria Holt and these authors have helped to inspire me. Who are your idols and who inspires you?

Sir Walter Scott is number one on my list. My love of history and inspiration for my stories began after reading Ivanhoe.

Erik was “born” when I was still an impressionable teenager after having seen the period Hollywood blockbusters of the time. A few examples are: The Vikings, Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, and The Black Shield of Falworth, to name but a few
My female characters are strong women, following the example of Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th c) - a woman before her time. When she was Queen of France, she participated in the Second Crusade, was a powerful Queen of England, and as Queen Dowager, was regent when Richard participated in the Third Crusade.

Frans G. Bengtsson (The Long Ships) and Steven Saylor (Roma, A Novel of Ancient Rome) also deserve mention.

Your books are historical – if you had the chance to go back in time, is there anyone in particular that you would want to see again or meet for the first time and would you try and change history?
I’d love to meet Ramses II, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Jesus of Nazareth, Spartacus, Ragnar, Alfred the Great, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Cesare Borgia, Richard III, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I - will stop here because the list is quite large. Would I attempt to change history - I would have to resist temptation, lest I’m never born (Star Trek paradox).

If you could have any super or magical powers in the world – what would you choose?

Time manipulation

Bucket List Stuff

1. Spending a week walking the ruins of Pompeii
2. Visiting Stonehenge during the summer solstice
3. Exploring Cornwall, starting at Tintagel
4. Volcano hopping in Hawaii
5. Visit the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark

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