Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Life in the time of King Alfred By Tracy Ann Miller #AngloSaxon #history @tracyamiller1

Life in the time of King Alfred
By Tracy Ann Miller

In the time of King Alfred, in Anglo-Saxon England, there existed a world I knew would make a rich, exciting backdrop for a romance novel. Vikings and Saxons still battled for control, but peace was in sight. This Saxon/Viking aspect, then, was both a built-in conflict between my hero and heroine, and a plausible possibility.

Women were independent. Sort of.

I discovered in my research of the year 877, that married women and widows achieved a higher status, could own and inherit property, engage in legal transactions, and had offences against them penalized heavily. Girls and boys were close to equal in terms of status when it came to inheritances. Though most women were relegated to domestic life, many women came to power as abbesses and leaders of government.

This information gave me enough license to create Amber, my heroine in The Maiden Seer, as a woman who was not beholden to a man for her future prospects. She chose her own path. The same is said of my heroine, Llyrica in Loveweaver.

Learning about Alfred, King of Wessex, also shaped The Maiden Seer.

The events of 877-878 have been told so often that it’s a history lesson simple enough for even me to understand! It tells of how King Alfred escaped the Vikings when they attacked his royal stronghold of Chippenham. With his family and small band he fled to the marshes of Somerset, and from this hidden fort, surreptitiously continued to fight against the Vikings.

I decided I could let Amber be Alfred’s niece, have her timeline parallel his, and have her influence the outcome of her uncle’s struggles.

Of course, I brought in a Viking. But Konnar is not a Viking who fights against her, but one who becomes an ally. And so much more!

As some Vikings began to settle peacefully, marriages between Vikings and Saxons were becoming common. It would not have been out of the question that Amber and Konnar could end up together and become a part of the local community.

It was the details in the time Anglo-Saxon England, though, that most caught my attention. Or rather *lack* of details.

We have rudimentary drawings from the time, wonderful artifacts, and scant descriptions of where and how people lived, what they wore, and what they ate and drank.

With the known facts as my foundation, I exercised freedom embellishing how things *might* have been, from earthworks and forts, towns and harbours, homes and their interiors, mode of dress and accessories, hair styles, and meals.

When I learned about the Elder Futhark and runes, I knew the story Amber would tell.

The Elder Futhark originated as an alphabet, a writing system, dating back to perhaps the 1st century. When it took on mystical attributes as runes is debated, but it was this divinatory use that sparked my interest. Amber would know how to “read” runes, and would be her power and defense in the dangerous time of King Alfred.

Tracy Ann Miller

Although Tracy Ann Miller is primarily a graphic designer, (see her work at tracymillerdesigns.com) she has been writing novels for over 20 years.

She was an active member of the National Romance Writers of America with her local chapter, The Virginia Romance Writers. It was there she honed her craft by attending workshops, conferences, and by coordinating The VRW's Fool for Love Contest.

Before being published, she entered and won numerous writing contests, including The Fool for Love Contest for Loveweaver, and the Between the Sheets best love scene contest for The Maiden Seer.

She writes to keep the hero and heroine interacting in story as much as possible (no long separations) and of course they get a spectacular happily ever after.

Tracy invites you to read The Maiden Seer, and her other book, Loveweaver.

The Maiden Seer

Konnar doesn't believe in the power to tell the future or to see into the unknown. But that changes when Amber comes into his life.

Amber, known in her homeland of Wessex, as the Maiden Seer, seeks refuge from her dark foretelling dreams of war. The rune readings she gives to her followers have also become too much to bear. But this can only happen after she fulfills her blackest dream ... one in which she foresees herself killing a man.

Konnar hopes the violent memories of his life as a Viking raider and tragic losses will be quieted when he leaves England forever. This upcoming task will pay for his future and provide for the village that depends on him. But, abducting the Maiden Seer and delivering her to the wealthy client goes wildly awry.

Amber seems to know Konnar's painful secret and claims to foresee a solution. While it enrages him that she negotiates her freedom with this knowledge, should Konnar dare believe the prophetess can help him?

He is her captor, but hiding behind his might and violent history, is a man in need of forgiveness. It is that vulnerable side of him that she learns to love, as she enlists him on her dangerous mission to help the king of England.

The Viking and the Maiden Seer journey throughout England to carry out her prophetic vision. Yet, they struggle with their mutual passion for each other, each unsure of the others true intentions.

But what could it mean, Amber's dark dream that began it all? 


1 comment:

See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx