~ Trekking through Time ~

Joyce Holt

author of historical fantasy

~ Available on Amazon, in trade paperback and Kindle ebook formats! ~

cover for Hero's Shield     cover for Brigand's Blade     cover for Vagabond's Dagger     cover for Smith's Hammer     cover for Minstrel's Staff     cover for Troll and Trylleri    

cover for Hero's Shield

Hero's Shield

Otherworldly creatures prowl the wildwoods that cloak the Isle of the Mighty. Rome once claimed this land, calling it Britannia, but they fled decades ago.

Native Bryts rose again to power. Across the mountains and moors now rule thirteen kings.

No longer thirteen. Twelve. Eleven.

Unknown to those in the west, two kingdoms in the east have fallen to Angul hordes -- invaders who hunger for even more land.

Blocking their path into the mountainous west stands one headstrong young woman -- Gwen ferch Draig, daughter of heroes, nimble of foot and tongue, confident of her prowess with the sword, revelling in her parents' legacy of courage.

But among the first invaders comes a ruthless sorceror wielding magic stolen from the Fair Folk. How can Gwen defend her folk when stripped of every strength and skill?

Publisher's Weekly* calls HERO'S SHIELD:
"A tale of fantasy in which magic, folklore, and history are seamlessly interwoven."

* Publishers Weekly is a major international news organization
specializing in the field of book publishing and bookselling.

(Quote from a 2013 review of the book in manuscript form)

HERO'S SHIELD, the first book in the TAPESTRY OF CUMBRIA, was a finalist in the fantasy/science-fiction category of the literary contest at PNWA writers conference 2012.

cover for Brigand's Blade

Brigand's Blade

One trek to Caer Luel, three tasks to tackle, two lives and the fate of the whole kingdom at stake -- Gwen of Raven's Crag aims to make quick work of the quest.

Gwen doesn't count on crotchety wisewoman Teg attaching herself to the journey as guide, nor on the shape-shifting riverhorse trailing her into the lowlands, nor on the snobbery of townsfolk still proud of their Roman heritage -- and scornful of rustic Brigands down from the mountains.

BRIGAND'S BLADE, a time-slip novel, weaves in a tale from three centuries earlier. Of mixed parentage, Aria is too Roman for the Bryts and too Brytish for the Romans. Her mother's kin, freedom-loving mountain Brigands, gird themselves to rise in revolt against the noble civilization of her father. A clash of cultures, a battle of virtues. Aria must choose one side or the other, but the choice tears her heart.

"This is a treasure house of Welsh research. The supernatural creatures we've all heard of are so well presented, as well. Lovely story!"

"Adults and YA readers will love this book!"

                    ~ PNWA literary contest judges

BRIGAND'S BLADE, the second book in the TAPESTRY OF CUMBRIA, was a finalist in the fantasy/science-fiction category of the literary contest at PNWA writers conference 2014.

cover for Vagabond's Dagger

Vagabond's Dagger

Desperate to solve a nightmare riddle, Gwen and her companions skulk through lands recently stolen from the Brytish clans.

They must evade ruthless Anguls slavers, a monstrous serpent from the realm of the Wild Ones ~ and now a goorach. The reeking ogress keeps appearing on their trail, and each time gleefully wials the name of one soon to die.


cover for Smith's Hammer

Smith's Hammer:
coming September 1, 2018!

If you're so foolish as to stray into the Otherworld, take great care to eat nothing, to drink not a drop -- or when you return to your own realm, you'll find yourself whisked far from your own time.

Wandering adrift in the ninth century, Gwen and Trystan find no trace of their kin. Norse refugees have taken over the mountains of Cumbria.

SMITH'S HAMMER, the fourth book in the TAPESTRY OF CUMBRIA

COMING  SOON! The final book in the Tapestry of Cumbria...

cover for Minstrel's Staff

Minstrel's Staff

(Watch for more information!)

MINSTREL'S STAFF, the fifth and final book in the TAPESTRY OF CUMBRIA

panorama illustration of books in the series Tapestry of Cumbria

proposed cover for Troll and Trylleri

Troll and Trylleri

In the troll-haunted mountains of ninth century Norway, three young women guard their secrets.

~ The lovely one, a king's daughter, plots treason. ~ Her maid, unwilling pawn of the Norns, lays plans to flee her headstrong, sharp-tongued mistress. ~ The third, an ugly goat-herder, masquerades among the human folk of this high mountain dale, hiding from her own monstrous kin.

In TROLL AND TRYLLERI, the low-born maid drops her plans for escape when an ogre seizes the king's daughter. She plunges into the Otherworld after her mistress, armed with nothing but her own wits, the goat-herder's advice, and a magic key.

"An exciting, interesting story with a great heroine and a compelling quest. It also evokes the world of Norse mythology vividly. I believe fantasy readers want very much to be transported to another world, and this author has done that...

"I like the richly detailed world, and the writing is beautiful. This could potentially be a book I'd read multiple times."

~ critique by a judge in the literary contest of PNWA Writers Conference, 2015

TROLL AND TRYLLERI was a finalist in the fantasy/science-fiction category of the literary contest at PNWA writers conference 2015.