Author Guest Post | “The Valley” (The Druid Chronicles, Book Two, a Prequel) by A.M. Linden

Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts and fellow book bloggers from the #TheDruidChronicles tour!

You might have been curious where I’ve been this Summer, as I haven’t been actively posting on my blog nor on my feeds via Twitter. The truth is after Wyrd And Wonder ended in May, my life turnt a bit upside down with car issues and climatic health issues; as Summers are the worst seasons for me next to Spring; as one brings my chronic allergies back into my life and the other brings back the murderously hot humidity and heat. It was my intention to bring four posts to Jorie Loves A Story this week – as I was planning to start re-populating my blog with posts this past Sunday, however, as time reflects otherwise, those posts are still in queue to be written and edited.

Part of what I’m enjoying right now is finishing my readings and review of Walks with Spirits by Edale Lane (my final selection from Wyrd And Wonder) as well as diving into The Unveilling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte Whitney which was held over from late Spring. I am also currently reading The Valley which is the focus of today’s guest feature by A.M. Linden as it is such an interestingly told story! This book actually features a bit of a purview and prequel to the series – as I was meant to receive The Oath as well (which thankfully our tour hostess is checking on right now as my copy went amiss) which interconnects into The Valley; despite the fact the events of The Valley occur prior to The Oath.

As it is explained by the author in a note within The Valley – the whole series is hinged to what happens inside this particular novel and I found that a wicked place to begin my readings rather than to read The Oath first as I felt The Valley was a better starting place and foundation to better understand the fuller vision of the author’s goals for The Druid Chronicles. This isn’t the first foray I’ve had in undertaking hidden niches of History or in reading about the Saxons or other murkier and unknown parts in History, too. Sometimes I find myself enchanted by the unknowns and harder to understand annals of History to where you have to take a lot of creative fortitude to both understand and seek out in fiction as you want to find authors who are striving to give us a story that is both imagined and nearly as accurate as it can become as those days were once lived, too.

Your given a lot of information before you begin reading The Valley – as Linden outlines the continuous threads of her series: the Druid Chronicles in the opening pages of this sequel which is really a prequel within the series itself. This novel follows The Oath within the publication of the series but in truth, pulls back time within the framework of the series itself to better align us with the events within the series before moving into book three to five. This is why I felt it was a good stepping stone to enter The Druid Chronicles whilst Linden also talked about a recapture of interest for what her characters were going through during The Oath.

It was a hard-hitting story from that angle as one woman simply wanted to have her freedom whilst two other characters were striving to find where they belong when their community was no longer secure and stable due to a betrayal. As this all takes place at a point in History where there is a lot of empathsis on religion and religious backgrounds, it was interesting to see the cross-overlays between what the Druids believed and what was being presented through early eras of Christianity. This was also a period of time fraught with violence and instability in regards to politics and/or the aligning of power within the context of the timeline of the series as well.

For now, let’s enjoy this teaser of insight into both the series and the writing styling of the author whose charming us with her spin on Druid History and historic timelines. Similar to how Walks with Spirits is an entreaty of vision and presence within the Native cultures and spirituality of First Nations, The Valley seeks to explore the beliefs, cultures and traditions of the Druids – of whom are still very unknown and understood in today’s contemporary world. I love whenever writers such as Lane and Linden seek to highlight and entreat inside communities we could not otherwise meet and better understand without their thoughtfulness of vision and exploration into those cultural heritages and thereby, give us something unique to read.

And, without further adieu – enjoy the response Ms Linden shared with us!

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The Druid Chronicles:

The Oath by A.M. LindenThe Valley by A.M. Linden

The Oath (book one)

In the wake of a betrayal that threatens an end to their way of life, the last members of a secluded pagan cult send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess’s sister, who was abducted by a Saxon war band fifteen years ago. With only a rudimentary grasp of English and the ambiguous guidance of an oracle’s prophecy, Caelym manages to find Annwr living in a hut on the grounds of a Christian convent.

Annwr has spent her years of captivity caring for the timid Aleswina, an orphaned Saxon princess who was consigned to the cloistered convent by her cousin, King Gilberth, after he assumed her father’s throne. Just as Caelym and Annwr are about leave together, Aleswina learns that Gilberth, a tyrant known for his cruelty and vicious temper, means to take her out of the convent and marry her. Terrified, she flees with the two Druids–beginning a heart-pounding adventure that unfolds in ways none of them could have anticipated.

The Valley (book two) : A Prequel

Llwddawanden is a hidden sanctuary where remnants of a once-powerful pagan cult carry on their ancient ritual practices, supported by a small but faithful following of servants, craftsmen, and laborers.

Cut off from the outside world by both geography and conviction, the Druids of Llwddawanden continue to venerate the Great Mother Goddess and to view themselves as the first-born and favorite of Her mortal children. While the belief that the most important of all divine beings gave birth to their ancestors and that Her spirit inhabits the body of their highest priestess is a tenuous conclusion in view of their reduced lot in life, the Druids of Llwddawanden believe it and are, for the most part, committed to carrying on the traditions handed down to them by their forbears.

Herrwn, the shrine’s chief priest and master bard, has the responsibility of overseeing the education of Caelym, the orphaned son of the cult’s previous chief priestess, as well as keeping the peace within the upper ranks of their order—two tasks that grow more difficult as the rivalry over which of the three highest priests will claim Caelym as his disciple grows, and as mounting conflicts between the current chief priestess and her only living daughter threaten to rend the fabric of a society that has endured for more than a millennium.

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #Druids and #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheDruidChronicles as well as #HFVBT

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About A.M. Linden

Ann Margaret Linden was born in Seattle, Washington, but grew up on the East Coast before returning to the Pacific Northwest as a young adult. She has undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and in Nursing and a Master’s degree as a Nurse Practitioner.

After working in a variety of acute care and community health settings, she took a position in a program for children with special health care needs where her responsibilities included writing clinical reports, parent educational materials, provider newsletters, grant submissions and other program related materials.

The Oath is the first installment of The Druid Chronicles, a five-volume series that began as a somewhat whimsical decision to write something for fun and ended up becoming a lengthy journey that involved Linden taking adult education creative writing courses, researching early British history, and traveling to England, Scotland, and Wales. Retired from nursing, she lives with her husband, dogs, and cat in Bellingham, WA.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via| Topic of Discussion: How did you tuck into this hidden part of History and develop such a wholly visual world for it through your series? What points of reference did you use to use as navigational points to direct your characters and what was your best part of researching a seemingly lost era most of us haven’t heard of previously? What was your favourite scene or sequence which illustrates how you felt this place might have been like for those who lived through that generation? |

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First, I want to thank you, Jorie,

for the opportunity to add a post to your rich and engaging site.

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To answer your thoughtful questions about the research behind The Valley’s visual world: once I had the general setting of my story clearly in mind, I began to build my picture of my fictional cult’s hidden valley by studying relief maps and reading Scotland After the Ice Age, Environment, Archaeology and History, 8000 BC—AD 1000*, a book that became my bible for understanding the ecology of their time and place. At about the same time, I had the opportunity to travel to Scotland and hike in the Caledonian Forest, imagining what this part of the world might have been like twelve hundred years ago, which was without question the best part of this investigation.

While I’m not sure that it exactly counts as research, I also spent many hours thinking about how a skilled movie maker would film a scene in which the landscape mattered as much to the story as the script. Somehow, it was in this process that the physical features of the book’s setting, as well as the seasonal changes and the shifting weather, became an integral part of the story. Seeing my story as fiction rather than fantasy, I did not invest trees with consciousness or storms with malicious intent, but did use natural features or events to reinforce the direction a scene was taking or the emotion it was meant to convey. Examples of this include choosing to have Herrwn, the elderly bard who is The Valley’s view-point character, begin his reminiscences at the edge of a windswept cliff, and opening a chapter in a section of the book that was about Herrwn’s hopes for his newest initiate with the depiction of a particularly spectacular sunrise.

The scene that comes to mind when I think about how Herrwn and his generation would have experienced the world I’d set them in begins with a description of caves where the cult’s dead are interred and then follows a funeral procession through a labyrinth of tunnels to reach “a vast, domed cavern where the rustle of drafts overhead and the murmuring of unseen streams joined in a whispered conversation carried on in the ancient language of the earth itself.” What that scene and those lines capture for me is the profound spiritual connection they feel for this space and the absoluteness of their conviction that they are leaving their loved ones in a place where they will be safe.

*Kevin J Edwards and Ian B.M. Ralston, Editors, Edinburgh University Press, 1997, 2003

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Follow the Virtual Road Map

especially as there is a beautiful giveaway attached

whilst you visit others participating: along the route:

The Oath and The Valley blog tour banner provided by HFVBTs and is used with permission.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome! Likewise, if you’re a reader of Druid Fiction – I’d love to hear what some of your favourite stories are within this branch of interest? Which authors are writing the stories you feel bring the era of the Druids to life best? And, what are your thoughts about the premise of this series?

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Book covers for The Oath” and “The Valley”, book synopsises, author biography, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Writerly Topics (Guest Posts) banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2022 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

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