Friday, June 23, 2023

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club in conversation with author Griffin Brady #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour @griffbrady1588 @cathiedunn

The Hussar’s Duty

The Winged Warrior Series

by Griffin Brady

Publication Date: May 18th, 2023
Series: The Winged Warrior Series
Publisher: Trefoil Publishing
Pages: 538
Genre: Historical Fiction

Poland’s most valiant winged hussar is called to fight in a campaign ripe for disaster. But he must also protect those he loves from jackals waiting to pounce. How does he choose between duty and devotion when death is on the line?

When Sultan Osman II sends Poland's envoy packing, the Commonwealth must prepare for war against one of the largest armies the Ottomans have ever assembled. Tasked with repelling the invasion is Grand Hetman of the Crown Stanisław Żółkiewski, and he knows who to turn to: Jacek Dąbrowski, the Commonwealth's most valiant Polish winged hussar.

Jacek has been idle far too long, and the call to arms is a siren's song he can’t resist. But he has built a life far from the battlefield with his wife, Oliwia, and their children. If he pursues his quest for glory, who will safeguard them?

Oliwia knows her husband is restless. In fact, she’s been sending Jacek on cross-country errands for years in the hopes of quelling his lust for battle. When she realizes her efforts are futile, she resolves herself to letting him go—after hatching a scheme to accompany him.

Honor. Obligation. Devotion. These forces push and pull Jacek in different directions. His country needs him, but so does his family. Where does his duty lie? His choice will cause catastrophic ripples no matter which path he follows … and could very well bring the loss of his loved ones or his life.

Will the cost of defending king and country prove too steep for this warrior?

This is a standalone continuation in The Winged Warrior Series.

Welcome to The Coffee Pot Book Club. Make yourself comfortable.

It’s lovely to be here. 

Before we begin, please introduce yourself!

Hello! My name is Griffin Brady. I was born and raised in Southeast Asia (my dad worked for Pan Am) and have lived in Colorado with my husband for over thirty years. We raised our three sons here, and two of the three are close by (we’re working on the third). I began seriously writing in 2017 and published my first historical fiction in 2020.

Could you tell us a little about your series, and what inspired you to set your story during this period in time? 

My series is called “The Winged Warrior Series,” and it currently consists of three books. The first two are really a duology that are best read in order. The third one takes place five years after the end of Book 2, and while it harkens back to the first two novels, it can be read as a standalone.

Each book is set in early 17th century Poland, while the country was still a military powerhouse as well as a cultural leader. The main character is an officer among Polish winged hussars, an elite cavalry that dominated the battlefield for over a century. 

When researching this era, did you come upon any unexpected surprises?

So many! I had no idea that Poland, which at the time was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was such a mighty country. It occupied the Kremlin for two years, from 1610 to 1612, and at one point, the Russian boyars elected the Polish king’s son, Władysław IV Vasa, as their tsar. The king went back on his agreement, however, and his son never took the throne, though Władysław continued to claim the title for many years.

Although women and non-nobles had no vote, the country’s system of government was of a parliamentary nature, with the monarch being elected by the nobles that populated the houses of government. Being crowned king was not a birthright, and one did not need to be Polish to reign. Among their laws was one of religious freedom, though most of the country practiced Catholicism. 

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing Historical Fiction during this era?

The lack of records is a blessing and a curse. The void gives a writer leeway but presents a challenge if one is seeking historical accuracy. The fact that I neither read nor write Polish is an added challenge, as much of the country’s history of that time has not been translated into English. In addition, we love strong women in our stories, but most women held little power in that era. The challenge is to present an interesting, multi-layered woman who straddles a fine line between the truth in history and what audiences want in their twenty-first century heroines.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

I have several favorites, though I believe the main male lead, Jacek, nudges the others. He is a highly skilled, fearsome warrior but holds to a strong code of ethics. A reluctant hero, he is often called upon owing to these very characteristics. While he is capable of brutality, he has a human side we get to witness, especially when he is with Oliwia, the female lead. That soft side emerges with his children and other members of his family, who are not all blood relatives—many are the men he leads. 

How did you come up with your characters?

Honestly, I still haven’t decided if I came up with them, or if they simply appeared and took over! I tend toward the latter. I knew I wanted a hero I could admire and a companion for him who could hold her own in these turbulent times. And, of course, no story is complete without a villain or two. The characters sprang to life and fleshed out as I wrote them. 

What is your next writing project about?

The next project is Book 4, a continuation that picks up at the end of Book 3, though it too will be a standalone. It will feature the Battle of Chocim in 1621, which in effect concluded the Battle of Cecora in 1620, the event that figures prominently in Book 3. The main characters will be back. They have much work to do!

I’m looking forward to reading it. Thank you for your time.

Thank you for having me!

Griffin Brady

Griffin Brady is an award-winning historical fiction author with a keen interest in the Polish Winged Hussars of the 16th and 17th centuries.

She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her debut novel, The Heart of a Hussar, was a finalist for the 2021 Chaucer Early Historical Fiction Award and a 2021 Discovered Diamond. 

The proud mother three grown sons, she lives in Colorado with her husband. She is also an award-winning bestselling romance author who writes under the pen name G.K. Brady.

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