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Best Book I've Read in SO LONGFebruary 7, 2014

I've been dying to share this one with you, friends. It's a Viking time-travel love story, and it's AMAZING. Larrissa Brown is a knitter and a designer (especiall of lace) and she knows Iceland. This gorgeous, gorgeous book is what made me really want to go there (we will, next year!) It's stunningly well written, the plot is perfect, and the heat level--let's just say this, I haven't been dying for a first kiss like that since I was the one getting kissed. 

More than that, it's an amazing and impeccably researched look at a  community of women, and about a woman coming into herself while inside it. This was my quote for the book (I was lucky enough to read it early): “With a plot as exciting as it is bold, and with characters as real and important as family, Larissa Brown’s BEAUTIFUL WRECK weaves an intensely gripping tale about the strength of women and the love they carry. This is the story we’ve been waiting for.”

I mean it. You want to read this. 

Today (Friday) you can grab the Kindle copy for $2.99 AND get free knitting patterns with it! See THIS post for details. Tomorrow the e-book will go back to $7.99, and it's worth every damn penny. Big and long and sprawling, you'll be irritated every time you have to put it down to go back to real life. 


I got to interview Larissa so I could share her answers with you. And hey, I get to give a copy to someone lucky in the comments below! Keep reading! 

1. Why Iceland? 

For those who are not time travel romance readers, most of them are set in Scotland and involve men in kilts. I have to be different. So I set out to find a place and time where a Viking man might settle down and fall in love. What I learned was that settlement-era Iceland had a lot going for it romance-wise. Iceland has always been a place of rugged beauty, and – in its early years – of a kind of natural abundance that does not exist today. It was culturally isolated, with lots of room for creativity about day to day life and the developing Icelandic language. It was a time when the Christian values that drive most historical romances did not hold sway. And Iceland has some key romantic elements like lots of natural hot baths and angelica flowers to make mouthwash. I’ve always had a little trouble believing in the Medieval England time travel romances, y’know?

2. I know you traveled to Iceland for research for your book - what was the most startling thing you learned that you didn't know before you went?

I was stunned by how romantic the real Viking farm felt. When I began writing this book, I knew nothing about a Viking house except that it was covered in grass. So to imagine Ginn’s place, I loosely based it on a real Viking farm that was discovered in Iceland called Stöng. Much like my character, I studied that farm on a screen, wishing I could climb inside and see the real thing. I imagined it would be a stark place, where it would take the sheer force of a thousand years of love to make anyone want to stay.

I was so wrong. When I finally did arrive there, my small group of traveling companions and I walked around and simply came upon the most romantic spot in the world – a clear pool fed by two tiny waterfalls that turned into a stream and then joined a river that extended across the farm. I thought, no matter how hard life was here, someone cared about loveliness. Placing the house right there – that was poetry.

3. You're an accomplished knitter and knitwear designer, and I love your Viking collection, My Viking Love Song, six shawls and wraps. I've found in my own novels (which include patterns) that knitting a project while writing the connected piece makes each stronger. Were you working on the patterns while also writing the book? 

Thank you for your compliments on my knitting work! Yes, I did create the book and the shawl collection at the same time. The shawls are inspired by my fictional farm, and not at all what a real person – or even one of my characters – would have worn. The designs are a second, different way of expressing some of my story’s themes. I designed and published the shawl collection as a series over about a year, and when I started, I had only a vague plan of what the six designs would be. They changed as I continued developing who Ginn is and what her farm is like.

NOW. Rush. Go buy this book. Tell me you love it, because I KNOW you will. Leave a comment below if you'd like to be entered to win a copy, too. I'll draw a winner next week! 


I read this as an ARC and raved about it, too - it's an amazing book in so many ways, blending time-travel, romance, hard-won skills, the lives of women, and a setting so real that I felt lonely when I had to leave it.

I went ahead and purchased this book at Amazon for my kindle. I can't wait to read it! (I'll be finishing Pack Up the Moon first, though!) Btw, I thought the interview was well done!

Oooh, lovely! I'd love to win a copy. I have a Nook, which seems to be $7.99 still. If I don't win, I may have to buy it on the Nook anyway after your glowing review!

If you liked that, you'll probably like Her Viking Wolf by Theadora Taylor. Vvikings, time travel and werewolves

Just went and got the Kindle edition--thanks for the heads up! Also have to say that I've so enjoyed your books recently. Things have been a little hard and I've been listening to the Audible versions in the evenings while knitting myself down off the ledge. They are so charming; they've made me laugh and remember happier times. Thank you.

Sounds like a very good read---I'd love to win a copy!

Is anyone having trouble forwarding their receipt to the email address? I keep getting invalid address errors. And I've keyed it every way I can think of.

It sounds so intriguing!

Thanks for the fitbit cheer! My first one! I've been off Twitter for ages now, and blogs, but I wanted to come around and see how life has been treating you. :)

Thanks for the book recommendation I ordered it on my Kindle app. I will read it on my treadmill. Have a great day!

I've been looking for a really good book for a while, but haven't found anything that's a real page-turner. I would live to win a copy - thanks so much for the opportunity! Beautiful Wreck sounds like a great read!

Just bought it on your recommendation. It was still 2.99 today.

Sounds like a fantastic book, Rachael! I will hope that maybe I will win it and if not, I will get it either in print or as an e-book. Hope you are having a good weekend.

Paula - if you are still having problems forwarding the invoice, please try contacting us at support@cooperativepress.zendesk.com, or directly to me at mk@cooperativepress.com (Cooperative Press Trade is the publisher, and I'm one of the Assistant Editors).

The promo sale has been extended through this weekend due to popularity - Beautiful Wreck got to #1 in Viking History and #2 in Time Travel on Amazon!

I loved Larissa's Knitalong book, so a new book from a favorite knitter and writer makes me say yay!

This really sounds interesting! Wish I'd seen it in time to get the Kindle version on sale. Maybe I'll win a copy instead.

Oh this was such an amazing book! Just delicious! Thank you for the recommendation, I could not have enjoyed it more. I actually cried twice while reading it.

Haven't read a love story in ages. This sounds like a great way to start

Thank you, all for your kind words and excitement! I really appreciate all the reading and reviewing, and the love. It means so much to me that people are enjoying the book. I can't wait for Pack Up the Moon. (Actually, I have read it already, and it is awesome. I just can't wait to have my own print copy.)

I bought it on Friday the 7th and was done at about 4:30 am on Saturday the 8th. COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. Also, I've been looking at nalbinding sites, and my drop spindle has been calling me. :)

Oooh, thanks for the review, this looks great! Just discovered your blog, and now I think I'm going to be reading a few of your books as well!

Sounds great, I will read it!

I would love a copy! Time travel makes everything better.

Sounds interesting! I would love to read it.

bought it , read it loved it, had to stay up late to finish it!

I happened to pop onto Amazon just now to see what was new with your books and saw the sidebar note about Larrissa's book and shawl offer. Her Lichen pattern is gorgeous so I'm sorry I missed the combined offer of the pattern and book. Maybe I'll get lucky and at least win the book because it sounds very intriguing.

In the meantime I was glad to see there was a Rachel Herron book I'd not yet read!

Oh, I missed it. I was visiting my parents and never got online except for work. I am going to buy the book, though, because it sounds great. And I am going to queue the pattern, cause it looks great.

Bought it, read it, loved it. Thanks for the tip. And for the interview. Great interview, now I want to book a trip to Iceland.

Thanks for the recommendation--this was such a beautiful book, I've read it twice already!

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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