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Patricia Bracewell Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Emma of Normandy Trilogy Books

Shadow on the Crown (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Price of Blood (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Steel Beneath the Silk (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Patricia Bracewell is a historical fiction author who was born and bred in Los Angeles. She spent much of her childhood on her parents’ sofa reading novels set in historical England.
This was so weird given that she was brought up in the sunshine and dry hills of Southern California but was so interested in the green and wet dales of England. As such, it was not a surprise that when she went to college she studied English literature.
She also got herself involved in campus theater productions, sang in a small band that would perform at local bars, worked in a bookstore and had quite the varied college career.
Bracewell spent her final semester in college in Switzerland and then went on a travel marathon ending up in Great Britain. It was here that she visited many of the places she had travelled to in books such as Joyce’s Dublin, Dickens’ London, Wordsworth’s Lake District and Austen’s Bath.

Bracewell was soon back in California to attend graduate school where she got her teacher’s credential and a Masters degree. She would then go on to teach English in high school and introduced her students to aspects of creative writing such as tone, irony and theme, which she believes are a critical component for anyone interested in creative fiction.
She would leave Los Angeles and head to San Francisco where she would meet and marry her husband with whom she had two sons. In the middle of struggling with family life, she was studying creative writing which she did not believe her college study had addressed fully.
Patricia Bracewell realized that creating and studying literature were two very different disciplines. She found that she got a lot of value from workshops and classes, where she would interact with tutors and other students who were actually writing.
She got into the writing of short stories but lost interest since it seemed writing them demanded a more morose perspective on life which is not something she was interested in. Patricia also dabbled in article and essay writing but ultimately was drawn towards fiction writing.

It was while Patricia Bracewell was engaged in traveling, gardening, playing tennis and music that she read about an English queen she had never read about before. She was intrigued and began researching as she travelled to France and England.
She soon started writing the manuscript for her debut novel that she would eventually publish as Shadow on the Crown in 2013.
For Patricia, it is not all about writing novels but also studying the craft of writing. In 2014, she was Gladstone Library’s Writer in Residence and was part of the Hearth Literary Festival in Gladstone.
She has also been a member of several panels at writing conferences in the UK and the United States. Bracewell has also been a speaker at school groups and book groups where she has discussed her novels and the research she conducts when writing them.

Patricia Bracwell’s “Shadow on the Crown” is a tale of forbidden love and power that follows the life and times of Emma of Normandy. She is a fifteen year old medieval queen that at the opening of the novel has crossed the Narrow Sea to get married to the English king Athelred who is much older.
The first time the two meet is when she arrives at the door of the church where the wedding is being held. She soon finds herself in a treacherous and unfamiliar court with a mistrustful husband, a bewitching rival that wants to take her place and resentful stepsons.
Emma needs to bear a son to secure her status as queen and defend herself against the many enemies who want to take her down. She is determined to come out on top and she proceeds to form alliances with some powerful courtiers and finally manages to win over the English people.
But she has recently been developing feelings for a courtier and the imminent invasion of England from the Vikings only makes things more complicated.

“The Price of Blood” by Patricia Bracewell is set in 1006 where King Athelred, the husband to Emma, is growing increasingly suspicious of everyone. He is also being haunted by an apparition he believes is his deceased brother.
His strategy is to keep his strongest courtiers fighting each other and by divide and rule prevent rebellion. He only takes advice from his most loyal courtier who he knows would kill for him.
But rather than foster stability, the king’s plan results in a country in desperate straits. When the Viking raids finally start hitting the country, England is unable to defend its own people.
Meanwhile, the king’s eldest son has been showing that he has some strong leadership abilities recently and this is just what England needs. But Ethelred is increasingly fearful of the influence his son may have and this prevents him from taking advantage of his many abilities.
It is against this backdrop that Bracewell constructs a plot full of court politics, intrigues and battlefield jaunts among the early English royal family and the Vikings.

Patricia Bracewell’s The Steel Beneath the Silk starts where the second novel of the series left off. It still follows the Queen of England, the formidable Emma of Normandy, who has now been married to Ethelred the king of England for several years.
The king’s reason is fading as he is coming to the end of his reign and this has made him paranoid as he sees enemies everywhere he looks. He sees people coming from him in everyone from Athelstan his son with his first wife that has become fast friends with Emma and his most trusted courtiers.
Outside the kingdom, he is afraid of the Ealdorman of Mercia, Eadric who is his closest advisor and the Viking king King Swein of Denmark. It is an astonishing tale that comes with some interesting romantic touches, treachery in war and at court, that make for some great reading.

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