Tag: am reading

Past Storm and Fire

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 Watch me read the first scenes on my YouTube channel!

Escape can embolden your soul – or destroy it. 

Val Masterson created Vigdis in order to escape the drudgery of her life. Instead, Vigdis starts living it.

Val and Karl’s house is destroyed by a hurricane and her husband reveals he can’t have children. These catalysts inspire her to write a historical romance novel set in Iceland, rife with sorcery, sexy Vikings, a big family, and a volcano. Val’s dreams reveal historical details she can’t possibly know, details which prove to be factual, which both frightens and intrigues her.

Her obsession with writing puts a strain on her already troubled marriage, but she’s terrified of being on her own. In her novel, Val becomes Vigdis. She evades two amorous brothers and their sorcerous, drunken father. The brothers fight a duel, forcing her to make a very public choice between them. Their father refuses to bide by her choice and tries to use black magic to enchant her. A volcanic eruption throws their entire world into ash and fire.

The line between past and present grow blurred as Vigdis lives everything Val dreams of – true love, children, and family. An attractive Icelandic professor of history helps Val investigate the history behind her visions, but her husband draws the line – give up her writing or he’ll leave. Val must decide whether to resurrect the shambles of her marriage or take her chance in Iceland to discover if her dreams truly do come from the past.

Can she find vicarious solace and satisfaction in her fictional creation? Or will the escape take over and subsume her?

 

Review from the Judge, 8th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards:

This book hooks the reader from the beginning, opening with the characters sheltering from a hurricane, dealing with the aftermath of the storm and then their quickly unraveling relationship.

 
The descriptions throughout are vivid and evocative, easily transporting the reader into the story and creating atmosphere and setting the scene with lines like, “The silence of the night grew eerie. The normal soundtrack of city life, such as cars passing by or the hum of the refrigerator …disappeared.” The birthing scene in Iceland is intense and exceptionally well written.
 
What’s remarkable about this book is the skillful world-building and how the author switches from Val’s perspective into a whole new story through the novel she’s writing as an escape from her rapidly disintegrating reality and problem-filled, mundane life. This is a love story within a love story, and quite ingenious as one smoothly transitions into the next. The result is a marvelous and multi-layered historically and culturally rich romance, set in two countries, in two radically different time periods. The sense of mystery and wonder and hints of paranormal add to the intrigue, as we learn towards the end that what Val imagined as she wrote is actually true. We’re led to believe it’s a past lifetime. And of course the character Vigdis is in fact a time-traveler.
 
There’s a wealth of historical detail and interesting facts in this book – from the SCA group and events to 12th century Iceland.
 
The characters are rich and well-developed, Jorge the trusted and loyal friend and colleague, the vapid husband, Karl, the mean boss, and towards the end the new love interest. Not to mention the Icelandic characters of course, whom we also grow to care for...”