Comments and Reviews
In AnaRose and the Templar's Quest, Mary Ann Bernal presents an entertaining story featuring an impressive protagonist. AnaRose's personality, talents, and unique background as the child of renowned parents are skillfully revealed. The narrative is highly descriptive, filled with mystery and surprise, and moves at a good pace. The plot presents twists and turns that engage the reader as the clues are discovered. Eager and observant, Jo proves especially helpful in finding them. I especially liked AnaRose's personal courage and her desire for adventure even when encountering danger. The ending leaves room for a sequel, and I hope one is in the works.
AnaRose and the Templar's Quest: Thorough studies, validation of supposition, and a keen eye turn out to be critical for this highly adrenalizing mission. Readers are bound to quickly adopt an active participant status early in the read, processing mystery clues, solving puzzles, and anticipating outcomes. The author has beautifully incorporated the disguise and deception concepts to build her story, as well as to trick the reader into believing some happenings to be true. Readers will appreciate the thrill and mysteriousness of the storyline, where the depth and complexity of the characters are as compelling and important as the plot. AnaRose and the Templar's Quest has been structured as a rollercoaster ride that forces one to vicariously experience a series of emotions. The author skillfully and repeatedly gives her audience moments of respite and then throws them back into the action. Altogether, the read is very captivating, and the reader's whole concentration is drawn in with every new page!
Mary Ann Bernal's latest novel, AnaRose and the Templar's Quest, was totally unputdownable! I planned to savor it slowly, but that was not at all possible. The author knows how to pull her readers in and take us on a unique journey. What an adventure this was. I was completely immersed and captivated by the mystery that played out on the pages of this book. This is a smart story with plenty of intrigue and drama.
Brenda P. ~ Ladera Ranch, CA
Forgiving Nero - WOW! I was totally blown away by it, I thought it was fabulous. Well done!
Mary Anne Y. ~ Bath, England
Forgiving Nero: A Story of Ancient Rome by Mary Ann Bernal is an exquisite tale of tyranny, intrigue, obsession, and eternal love. The mysteries unfolded naturally and the characters lived out their fates. The author writes a gripping story that led me as the reader every which way. So unpredictable that I read with such curiosity and enthusiasm. I finished this book over the weekend, relieved to escape what is happening now, in our time period. Though darkness flows throughout, there is humanity and religious faith. And love that makes everything possible. Though times have changed, some things are sadly the same. The need for power still exists and so does ignorance. People follow leaders that are not always good and kind but corrupt and deceitful.
Brenda P. ~ Ladera Ranch, CA
Scribbler Tales Volume Five: I have long experience with the craft of writing and the assessment of short stories and can say that those in this collection are first-rate. With different settings and backgrounds, they are intelligent stories, well written. I will look for more from this author.
Bronwyn E. ~ Auckland, New Zealand
Crusader's Path - Wow, what a book. I knew about the Crusades, but none of the details you researched. I finished it in 2 days - could not put it down. Your details were fascinating and none of them came out in our history books. It was definitely a devastating time in history. Your book was fantastic.
Barbara W. ~ Stillwater, OK
Crusader's Path - Just finished this last night...GREAT read!!! It has great characters, love the historical setting, and it just flowed....Great job!
Michaela C. ~ Elkhorn, NE
Crusader's Path - Your book is amazing. I finished it pretty quickly; it was a real page-turner. I really felt that I was right there with Avielle and Etienne. The characters are very compelling, and I was able to picture everything. I learned so much about the Crusades. I never really knew how it all started. I think it would make an excellent movie.
Suzanne P. ~ New York City
Planetary Wars: Rise of An Empire: I just finished this book. Mary Ann Bernal is one of my favorite authors. Her books are exciting and the endings are surprising! Very well written. I loved it.
Margaret A. ~ Freemont, NE
Planetary Wars: Rise of an Empire: What a page-turner! What I like, that you don't see often in science fiction books, is that the author really fleshed out the characters and made them human-like. I love a small planet standing up to the empire and I'm intrigued by the side story of the internment of the people with the gene mutation. Nothing is all black and white.
Suzanne P. ~ New York City
Planetary Wars: Rise of an Empire: The title and the striking cover image caught my eye and intrigued I read the blurb. That did it for me, I was hooked, being a lover of sci-fi, it was a no-brainer I just had to have this book. And the story was everything I hoped it to be. I felt Anastasia's pain and confusion, innocently falling instantly in love with the man of her dreams. And who could blame her? Jayden, after all, is not only charismatic but handsome with it. But is he really who he says he is? Will Anastasia come to a rude awakening when it is too late? I can definitely recommend this book.
Elisabeth M. ~ U.K.
Planetary Wars Rise of an Empire by Mary Ann Bernal is a suspenseful ride into the unknown. A place none of us have ever been to or would be able to experience in our lifetime. That is what makes this fantasy so irresistible. The story reads true to life but is more exciting and powerfully exhilarating. It is a dark tale of lies and destruction. The drama continues throughout and I got caught up in a web of deceit. There is an old fashion quality to this tale. If you are a Star Trek fan you, I imagine, will appreciate the non-stop misadventures into unchartered territory. The author writes a compelling story that pulled me in right away and made me feel as if the characters were real, though of course, from another planet. Such a nice escape!? The whirlwind romance contributed to Anastasia's inner turmoil. She usually had a good grip on her emotions, but with Jayden, she was no longer disciplined. Every rational thought was discarded while her heart ruled. The romantic exchange makes this more than just a fantasy. So much more. The heart wants what the heart wants. And at all costs, so it seems.
R.B. ~ California
The Briton and the Dane by Mary Ann Bernal is a very well written and researched historical romance that is as educational as it is entertaining. The author portrays life in the 9th century with splendid detail and a sense of authenticity. I learned a lot about the times, the characters and the complexities of life in Britain at the time. The romance part is believable and flows smoothly, the characters are complex and keep your interest. There is fighting, action, drama and historical value. A well rounded beginning of a promising series.
Christoph F. ~ U.K.
The Briton and the Dane A very educating and entertaining read. I know little of the time and learned a lot about the complexities of life in Britain in the 9th century. The book is all the more enjoyable as it has very engaging characters and well written chemistry between Gwyneth and Eric. Far from being just a historical romance, there is action, suspense and plenty of well researched details. I'm glad to learn that this is part of a trilogy / series, I want more! Easily 5 stars
Scribbler Tales: A Collection of Short Stories by Mary Ann Bernal is a great bit of reading. Each story unfolded in a surprising manner and had me on the edge of my seat. Really enjoyed the escape the suspense that these stories provided. Very well written and thought provoking. Great book!
Scribbler Tales Reminds me of the Twilight Zone
Scribbler Tales Because these are original stories that are fascinating. Dark and alluring. Not your average mystery. Had me wanting more. Hope there will be a Volume Six? I have read all five and loved them all.
The Briton and the Dane: Timeline I have been a huge fan of the Briton and the Dane series for such a long time. I have loved each and every book in the series, and Timeline did not disappoint. Having loved these characters from the get-go, I was ecstatic to have a chance to read another story featuring one of my favorites: Gwyneth. I loved the time travel aspect the most, but I don't want to give away any spoilers. It was just awesome! I love that there is a love story, an adventure story, and a history story all mixed into one. It's like getting more than one book, and I never got bored, or felt that the story was going slow, or felt like I had to skip ahead to get to a more interesting part. (Guilty of doing that now and again.) Timeline really drew me in. I could empathize with the characters and I felt what they were feeling. At times, I couldn't read a page fast enough, I had to know how things were going to work out immediately. I didn't feel like I was just a reader, I felt like I was in this world, and I love when that happens. I cannot recommend The Briton and the Dane series enough. If you haven't read the series, I hope that you do, and if you're already a fan of the series, don't miss Timeline!
The Briton and the Dane: Timeline Ms. Bernal has written one of the most compelling and satisfying historical romance novels that I have read in a long time. Timeline has it all. History, mystery, intrigue, subterfuge, treachery and loyalty. All combined with romance and true love. If historical background is important to you, read her trilogy first, but it isn't necessary. Timeline stands alone on it's own merit. I emphatically recommend Timeline to all lovers of historical romance.
The Briton and the Dane: Concordia 5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing Historical Fiction into the 21st Century A cracking read from Mary Ann Bernal for the fourth book in her series. All her hallmarks are there - sumptuous description of the period, accurate, sharp dialogue and a central plot which shrewdly functions as allegory for modern relationship dilemmas. The strength of this book is in the characterisation: Concordia is feisty, vain, arrogant and subtly alluring. Brantson is noble and forthright, a Galahad by any other name. Chad and Thayer are mysterious and exotic, laced with a hint of danger. The interaction between all of the principals is well observed and at times, thrilling. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and heartily recommend it - and not just for fans of historical fiction.
Marky the Wizard (Amazon 5 Star Review - UK Reader)
The Briton and the Dane: Concordia If you enjoy historical novels than Author Mary Ann Bernal's latest literary offering The Briton and The Dane: Concordia is a book you will want to add to your library and one you will read again and again and not be disappointed. Ms. Bernal does an amazing job creating the characters and the scenes in the book are not only believable but these fictional people actually come alive on the page in such a way it's almost as if you are watching a movie. The Briton and The Dane: Concordia is chock full of everything; suspense, intrigue, treachery, deceit and romance fill the pages of this wonderful book and the main character Concordia, the beautiful cunning 19 year old child of privilege plays a large role in all of it. I enjoyed this book so much that I invited the author to appear on my syndicated radio program and you can listen to that interview http://archive.org/download/Pns1012013TheCivilianPoliceCorps/Pns1012013CivilianPoliceCorps.mp3 Ms. Bernal also joined me on The Writers Showcase Podcast with Phil Naessens and you are invited to listen to that program http://thewritersshow.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/the-writers-showcase-podcast-e02-mary-ann-bernal/ Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Briton and The Dane: Concordia from the author. In no way was I asked to offer a favorable review nor was this copy given to me as payment for an appearance on The Phil Naessens Show
Phil Naessens (The Phil Naessens Show)
The Briton and the Dane: Concordia Having read the three previous novels in The Briton and the Dane series, I was anxiously waiting for Concordia to be released. I am have been obsessed with this series; it's wonderful. I was impressed with how seamlessly Concordia fits with the rest of the series. I didn't reread the other novels in the series, but I did skim some passages I had noted earlier and didn't have to double back. Concordia was a hard novel to put down, but I loved that it drew me in immediately each time I picked it up again. To me, that is the mark of a great book. While I really liked Concordia the novel, Concordia the character was a different story. She was a very hard character to like because of her impulsive, manipulative nature. While I think part of that is the young age of her character, it was still hard to root for her. Yet at the same time, part of what kept me reading was I had to know if Concordia grew up a bit during all her ordeals. In Concordia there were so many complex and strained relationships. Chad and Thayer were my favorite characters to read scenes of. They were the most diabolical and trying to figure them out was so enjoyable. The ending was the most amazing part for me. I wasn't sure how everything was going to come together and the ending completely blew me away. It was unexpected and the more I thought about it, I don't see how things could have ended another way. I am unsure if this is the last novel in the Briton and the Dane series. If it is, it will be hard for me to say goodbye to these characters, but I will eagerly read anything that Mary Ann Bernal writes. She has a knack for writing characters that is so enjoyable. I cannot recommend this series enough.
Jenn Ladd - Jay Maine
The Briton and the Dane The Complete Trilogy Review A Must Read! Plan some quality time to read this book! You will find yourself devouring the delectable characters, exciting plot twists, and immersing yourself in the wondrous world created by author Mary Ann Bernal. With each page turn, you find yourself becoming lost in adventure, and it becomes impossible to set this book down! Articulate and masterful, the richness of the characters are relatable and admirable. The characters come to life in book one, the Briton and the Dane, where you find a kinship and emotion as your walk through their story hand-in-hand. This is where the trilogy differs from others, with others you are able to take a break and leisurely wait for book two to begin. Not so with this trilogy! No, instead you'll find yourself delving right into book two, The Briton and the Dane: Birthright, anxious to discover what awaits you - as you find yourself closer and closer to the edge with excitement and peril. You'll catch yourself wanting to read faster to find out what happens next! And the gem of the trilogy, book three, The Briton and the Dane: Legacy: where answers are discovered and new discoveries are made; where you realize you are fully immersed in this world and regret having it end; where you sit back content with closure yet you long for more...so beloved has the tale become! I haven't been this excited about a book trilogy in decades! This trilogy is a must read!
Jax Hix - Washington State
The Briton and the Dane The Complete Trilogy Review I've reviewed all the book individually on the blog before and you can find links to all three of them in yesterdays post, for more details (spoiler free), but I'm just going to go into a brief summation of the series here. In book one - The Briton and the Dane - you get a great start to the series and get a real sense of all the major players in the series on both sides. You will fall in love with the characters. There are kings and courts, just the way you would imagine them to be, political debates, and a very headstrong girl who has a knack for getting herself into trouble. While I would be hesitant to say that book one is all set-up, it is a great start to the trilogy, and it's hard to not wonder what happens to the characters as you turn the last page. In book two -The Briton and the Dane: Birthright - things begin to get really intense. There are alliances and betrayals, and so much action; a huge battle sets up a cliffhanger that leads you into the final book of the series. Reading the battle scenes is a nail-biting experience; will your favorite characters survive? In book three - The Briton and the Dane: Legacy - the trilogy is wrapped up, but that doesn't mean that it's smooth sailing for the entire book. (The last sentence may be a witting pun, if you've finished the series). I think that decision and actions are more complex in this novel. The characters have grown and evolved and their connections to each other are so interwoven that nothing is simple; an act done out of love could also count as a betrayal. All the tension of friend vs. foe comes to a head. Who can be trusted is the major point of this book and I loved every minute of it. I was sad to let these characters go.
Jenn Ladd ~ Jay, Maine
The Briton and the Dane: Legacy Review I really liked this book. I hadn't reread the previous books before diving into this one but that didn't pose any problems; most of it all came back to me immediately. Sometimes I did have a moment of who are they again, what side are they on? but the characters due tend to stick with you from book to book. One of the things that I loved about this book, and the series in general, is that no decision is black or white; no motive is simple. It's hard to say that someone on the bad side is wrong per say because they genuinely believe in their motives and at times you can empathize with them. This book will get under your skin. There is action until the final moments and I love that. It doesn't let up for a moment. There are so many characters and subplots and so many things to keep track of and root for. I was very satisfied with the ending. Had it ended another way, I think I would have been quite upset. Now that the series is at a close, it's a little sad to say goodbye to these characters. But I eagerly await more from this author.
Jenn Ladd ~ Jay, Maine
The Briton and the Dane: Birthright Review Where to start? I loved the first book Briton and the Dane but there was so much unresolved that I was eager to read the next book, yet having waited several weeks between finishing book one and starting book two I was a bit apprehensive that I would be lost. I dug out the notes that I took during the reading of book one, but I needn't have worried; it all came back to me. I was excited as soon as read the prologue. I can't really go into specifics because I feel that would be spoiling parts of both books if you hadn't read them, but I'll do my best. I think that Birthright is my favorite (so far) of the series. I liked book one a lot, but I loved this one. There are so many plot twists and so many things to figure out. I do have to mention though that I thought I had something figured out and admittedly it was kind of far-fetched and I almost caved and had the author tell me whether my theory was correct when she offered, I'm glad that I declined because the wait was worth it. (My theory was correct by the way). I also had a near break down during a heartbreaking moment for one of my favorite characters. I don't want to tell you which one, you'll just have to read it. I love the way that the story is told as well. There are so many characters doing so many separate things but you know they're all going to meet in the end. (Think of how the movie Love Actually is told). It's a lot to keep track of, but it's a wonderfully easy and fairly quick read. After a few chapters, you get a flow of the characters and which side they are connected to and as more characters are introduced, they fit in seamlessly. I love the mix of historical background, family/love bonds and adventure. It makes the book such a great read. I also love the format of the book. Don't be deceived, it looks daunting due to its length, but it's not. It's larger font than books usually have, with paragraphs with what looks like double spaced lines and the chapters are short. While that doesn't seem like a huge deal, but I love when books are formatted in such a way especially when they fall under the category of epic adventures. It makes me as a reader feel like I'm reading faster than I am without getting overwhelmed. There were a lot of cliffhangers in this book and I cannot wait for the next one! I've perhaps gotten a little too attached to these characters.
Jenn Ladd ~ Jay, Maine
The Briton and the Dane Review A MUST READ- BRILLIANT HISTORICAL DRAMA After the last of Rome's legions left Britannia to the mercy of the invading barbarian hordes and before the age of chivalry, when knighthood was in flower and troubadours sang of courtly love, there lived a King whose love for his people and the land left a legacy coveted by his descendants who sought to wear his crown. Mary Ann Bernal has proven herself to be at the very top of historical adventure writers. The Briton And The Dane is simply magnificent- transporting the reader back to the days of Alfred the Great- not to be missed!!!! A JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ RICK FRIEDMAN FOUNDER THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ
Rick Friedman ~ Lake Worth, Florida
The Briton and the Dane: Birthright Review This book (The Briton and the Dane: Birthright) was very interesting. It took historical events and people and made a fiction story about them. This was about King Alfred and King Guthrum in the Ninth Century. It tells of how Christianity was becoming popular in Great Britain and how the other gods who were in the country were losing their power over the people. King Guthrum has to fight his illegitimate child for his throne and the book is about the conspiracies that are going on in the illegitimate son's camp before the ballets begin. There is a lot of intrigue to the story. There are kidnappings, murders of whole villages, and more in the book. They use the monasteries that have been left by the Romans as places of refuge for the women and children who are losing their homes and lands or will be killed by the opposing army. Some women are taken there and help until the battles are over so that they will be protected and not do anything that could get their husbands and family killed. The way this book was written made me want to read more. Even though it was written with words that would have been period I could understand it and the few words I did not know were in the glossary. I really enjoyed this book and will read any more that are written.
Jacque, York NE
The Briton and the Dane When Mary Ann emailed me about this book I was interested obviously because it was historical fiction, but also because she made mention of her love for novels like Ivanhoe. I love sweeping epics with tons of characters and story arcs, and that is what Briton and the Dane offers. There are so many characters and story lines to draw readers in right from the beginning. I wish I could go into a lot of detail and gush about my favorite characters, but the list is lengthy and it would give away so many things. I can say that I loved the characters of David and Gwyn immediately. Their stories I loved; couldn't get enough scenes with them. While each character has their own unique story, they're interspersed and somehow connected with all the others, which I really liked. I don't want to say that the book overall seems condensed, but you do get a lot of information in what seems like a short amount of time. I wasn't left wanting, other than the obvious cliffhangers. The chapters are rather short, which I liked. The pacing is great. It's slow enough that none of the story seems rushed and fast enough that nothing seems drawn out or overdone. I think that this novel will have wide appeal, not just to those who like historical fiction. I didn't know much about Viking history when I started this novel, but it had definitely prompted me to get into it a bit more. I am looking forward to reading the next installment.
Jenn Ladd (completelybooksessed.blog) ~ Jay, Maine
I thoroughly enjoyed the Briton and the Dane. From beginning to end it is filled with romance, treachery, and suspense. I felt as though I could have been right there with Gwyneth and Erik. Mary Ann did a great job of taking the reader back in time to the days of King Alfred with great detail. I did not want to put the book down! She leaves you hanging with anticipation for the sequel.
Diane Spaulding, Omaha, NE
Mary Ann Bernal is an excellent author and the story pulls you in and keeps you engaged until the end
Lisa Mar, Omaha, NE
I had the great honor of reading the Briton and the Dane as a work in progress. Its author offers a glimpse into the days of Viking Warriors and British Kings where intrigue, passion and treachery exist. The Briton and the Dane, with its historical insight, intensely grabbed me in the first few pages. Its amazing characters and complex story kept me surprised and yearning for more. This was truly a page turner. I couldn't put it down
Kimberley S. Morrison, Omaha, NE
A marvelous mix of entertainment and intrigue grips the reader's attention immediately as you journey back to the 9th century. The author's dedication to detail brings the story to life. I became completely invested in the lives of the characters and found it difficult to put the book down. The book is a joy to read and full of surprises with each turn of the page.
Diane Boni, Omaha, NE
I found the debut novel of Mary Ann Bernal to be a profound, engaging, incredibly detailed piece of work. From the conclusion of the first sentence, the novel is impossible to put down. These are not cookie-cutter characters, and this is no paint by numbers story. Drenched in a rich, vibrant, and carefully researched pool of history, the characters manage to exist beyond their page - they have been given form - what they feel, you will feel. Whether you have an interest in this era of history or not makes little difference. The Briton and the Dane is likely to engage readers of all sorts. To say I'm anxious for the sequel would indeed be the understatement of the year.
Steven N., California
The Briton and the Dane was, for me, a delightful surprise on many fronts. Mary Ann Bernal displays a remarkable talent with this tale set in 9th century Britain. She has a formidable ability to constantly surprise the reader with a supply of plot twists and turns. The storyline quickly becomes addicting and hard to put down. The book is a solid package of history, romance, and political intrigue. It is obvious that Ms. Bernal has a great love for and knowledge of this world of the past. Her enthusiasm is contagious! The reader is quickly immersed in a world of events and emotions which seem at once foreign and familiar. And what an array of memorable characters we come to know! Part of Ms. Bernal's talent is to surprise us with revelations of her characters' loves, longings and unexpected relationships to one another. One need not be a history buff to appreciate The Briton and the Dane. By the book's conclusion, I felt a brand new connection with its world of so very long ago.
Paul Auerbach, Douglaston, NY (English Teacher, Writer)
First time novelist Mary Ann Bernal has deftly transported us back 1200 years to the early days of England. She used her knowledge of history to create a wonderful tale of love and intrigue. I was engrossed in the story from page 1 and my interest continued right to the bitter end. Her characters showed life, exhibiting a wide range of emotions. I can hardly wait for the sequel. Sign me up now.
Barbara Chen, Tappan, NY
The author jumped right into the time period and did not drag on and on. What is being written about is actually viewable. I can see it happening!
Stephanie M., Odenton, MD
WOW, I did not think this would be a book I would be interested in but I have read the first two chapters and find I can't wait to continue!! I really am enjoying it.
Carol P., Canton, GA
I am engrossed in the story and am finding it hard to put down the book.
Susan G., Palatine IL
I spent part of the day curled up on the sofa reading my new book. I have to say, I am really impressed. It is fantastic. Very easy reading and keeps you interested. The history lesson alone is worth reading the book and the story itself an added incentive. Kudos to you.
Stephanie P., Bath, PA
I am a fellow Angel from Colorado. I wanted to let you know of a funny story. My son, Tyler age 13, came home from school and said he was asked if he would be interested in reading a book that the librarian just found about. Ty couldn't remember the title of the book but it was about Vikings and knights. So when I opened up the Founder's Notes from Patti and saw your profile, I asked Tyler if The Briton and the Dane was the title of the book....I thought he was going to come out of the phone. I told him a fellow Soldiers' Angel wrote it and now I just bought a copy and Tyler will tell the librarian to get the book. Thought you would like Congrats again. Can't wait to read it now.
Jenn P., Colorado
I have read about one quarter of your book so far and it's really very good. It's well thought out and the roles of the warriors are compellingly accurate.
Harold H., US Army