Visit the official Medieval Maidens website!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gisela's Holiday Story now available as a free Kindle download

Download Gisela's Holiday Story to your Kindle for FREE from October 28th through November 1st.

Learn about All Saints Day and how many of our Halloween traditions today cam about. A perfect read for the upcoming holiday!

Gisela's Holiday Story is a beginning-chapter children's historical fiction book. The sequel to Gisela's Story, the book follows the adventures of Charlemagne's daughter Gisela.

This FREE download opportunity won't last long, so get your copy now. As of November 2nd, the price will go up to $0.99.

Tell all your friends and, please help us out by leaving a review for the book once you're finished.

Thank you and happy reading!

Take me to my FREE Kindle copy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Medieval Maidens will be participating as one of the many vendors at the 2012 Amazing Baby and Child Expo from 11am-4pm on Saturday August 18th in Sykesville, Maryland.

Admission is free, though all attendees are encouraged to bring a can of food for charity.

Our stand will be manned by author and Medieval Maidens creator, Lois Jarman. Stop by, say hi, and learn more about Medieval Maidens and our line of history books, dolls, and accessories.

 We hope to see you there!

*All information can be found in the flyer above. Click the thumbnail to enlarge the image.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Mary Series goes live on

The Mary series has just been made available on

Mary's Story and Mary's Holiday Story by Tiffany Jansen can now be purchased on for $5.11 each.

The Mary Series won the 2011 Creative Child Magazine "Book of the Year" award for history and education. They have also been reviewed by Alan Caruba of and Madeline McElroy at Reader Views Kids.

The Gisela's series is also available on Amazon. The other books in the Medieval Maidens series will be released at a rate of one series per year.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mary series reviewed by Alan Caruba

The Mary books, Mary's Story and Mary's Holiday Story, by Tiffany Jansen were reviewed by Alan Caruba on his book review blog. The review appears about halfway through the post under "Books for Younger Readers." Here's what he had to say about the Mary Series:

"Tiffany Jansen offers girls in the third and fourth grades, ages 9 and younger, worthy role models while introducing them to medieval times. Published by Medieval Maidens ($5.95, Knoxville, MD, Two of this series feature Mary Tudor, a girl in the court of Henry VII of England who prepares for her sister’s Scottish wedding and feast. A second book is about the celebration of Twelfth Night. This is a highly entertaining way to learn about a past era."

Read the rest of his June 2012 picks here:

The Mary books can be purchased at the Medieval Maidens online store ( and will be available soon on

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Help Medieval Maidens fight Cystic Fibrosis

For the month of June 2012, Medieval Maidens will donate 20% of all sales to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF).

Our Medieval Maidens online store carries books detailing the lives of Gisela, Adele, Isabelle, Gevrehan, and Mary, who all lived during the Middle Ages and, in Mary's case, the Renaissance. We also have the Gisela doll for sale as well as Medieval outfits for any 18-inch doll. Purchases can be made via PayPal or by filling out and emailing or snail-mailing our online order form. and carry Gisela's Story and Gisela's Holiday Story.

No matter what you purchase or from where, 20% of your money will be donated to CFF.

In July, Medieval Maidens will announce the total amount make the donation over to CFF.

Here's some information on Cistic Fibrosis from the CFF website

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:

  • very salty-tasting skin;
  • persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;
  • frequent lung infections;
  • wheezing or shortness of breath;
  • poor growth/weight gain in spite of a good appetite; and
  • frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.
About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.

More than 70% of patients are diagnosed by age two.

More than 45% of the CF patient population is age 18 or older.

The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the late 30s.

Since 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been the driving force behind the pursuit of a cure. Thanks to the dedication and financial backing of our supporters — patients, families and friends, clinicians, researchers, volunteers, individual donors, corporations and staff, we are making a difference.

For more information, visit:

Thank you for your support. Together, let's make a difference.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Happy May 1st!

Mayday was celebrated in the medieval times but began as a spring festival. The Romans began the celebration as a festival to honor Flora, the goddess of flowers.

In the Christian church, May was seen as the month of Mary, and flower bouquets were brought to churches to honor her.

Mayday is also known for Maypole dances. The Maypole dance is a type of folk dance where dancers circle around a pole. Sometimes long ribbons are attached to the pole and each dancer takes hold of a colorful ribbon.

Also during Mayday festivities, a Queen of May is usually crowned. May 1 originally marked the first day of summer. June 21st was known as midsummer.

In 16th century France, King Charles IX was given a lily of the valley as a good luck charm. He was so pleased with the idea that he began presenting lilies of the valley to all of the ladies of the court. The tradition of giving lilies of the valley on May 1 continues in France today.

May 1 is also the day celebrating workers in many European countries. It is similar to our Labor Day in the United States. In many of these countries today is a national holiday and people celebrate those in the work force.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Meet Gisela, Daughter of Charlemagne

Gisela was probably born sometime between 770 and 781. No birth date was ever recorded for her. She was the second or third daughter of King Charles of the Franks (Charlemagne) and his wife, Hildegard of Savoy. Gisela's mother was Charlemagne's first wife. Hildegard and Charlemagne had 6 children before Hildegard died.

Gisela was educated at Aachen, the site of Charles' castle. This town is located in Germany near the city of Bonn and close to the Rhine River. Her father was a very religious man and his chapel still stands today. Charlemagne believed in education and thought it important that his children be able to read and write.

Some girls were sent to monasteries to study, but Charlemagne had his daughters educated at home. Gisela would have more than likely been educated by Alcuin, an Anglo-Saxon scholar brought to the castle by her father. In her lessons, Gisela would have studied Latin. Most books were written in Latin. She would have written on wax tablets with a stylus.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gevrehan, Daughter of Sultan Mehmet II

Gevrehan was the only daughter of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. She was probably born sometime after 1450.

In 1453, her father conquered the city of Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul. In the newly named city, he started many colleges and universities. Education and justice were very important to the sultan.

Gevrehan had four older brothers. Her brother, Bayezid, became the sultan after their father. Gevrehan and her family probably lived in the Eski Saray Palace that once stood in Istanbul. Gevrehan would have lived with the other women in the Harem.

There was much trade and business in the city of Istanbul. The Ayasofya (or Hagia Sophia), formerly a Christian place of worship, was transformed into a mosque. Her father was very tolerant of other religious practices and allowed Christians to continue their worship. Great changes were occurring in Istanbul during the time that Gevrehan was growing up. It was a very exciting time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Creative Child Magazine Toy of the Year Awards

While attending Toy Fair 2009 in New York, I was introduced to the Creative Child Magazine Toy Awards Program. One of my “neighbors” at the fair had just received a Preferred Choice award from the magazine and her booth was vividly decorated with her award.

When I returned home, I began to investigate this awards program. Over the course of a few days in April, Creative Child Magazine hosts more than one hundred reviewers in Henderson, NV. The reviewers are parents, teachers, and education professionals who review the many toys and books that are submitted. The reviewers rate each product on criteria established for a variety of categories. At the conclusion of the two day event, the reviews are scored and tabulated.

There are three levels of award: Toy of the Year, Preferred Choice, and Seal of Excellence. The winners of the awards for each category are announced in June on the Creative Child Magazine website and are highlighted in the holiday edition of the magazine.

In 2009, I decided to enter the Gisela Doll and book set. I was hoping for some sort of recognition of the product. My hands were shaking when I opened the email from Melissa at the magazine. I was elated to learn that Medieval Maidens had received a Seal of Excellence award for the category of doll with storybook. I was even more thrilled to learn that American Girl’s Rebecca and storybook was also a winner in the category. My doll had been recognized in the same category as American Girl!

The following year, I decided to enter the Gisela book set, Gisela’s Story and Gisela’s Holiday Story in the historical and educational book category. This time, Medieval Maidens was honored with the 2010 Book of the Year award. An even greater joy was to have the Mary series named 2011 Book of the Year. Having Tiffany’s work recognized was an even greater occasion to be proud.

Creative Child Magazine goes to great lengths to provide parents with detailed information about products currently on the market for their children. It has been our honor to be part of their awards program.

Friday, March 30, 2012

In Her Own Words, with Medieval Maidens creator Lois Jarman

Our very own Lois Jarman (creator of Medieval Maidens and author of the Gisela, Gevrehan, Adele, and Isabelle series) was interviewed by Girl Scouts of Central Maryland for their "In Her Own Words" column.

Click the image below to read the interview.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mother and Daughter Team take Book of the Year 2010 and 2011

Jarman (left) and Jansen (right) are
recognized by Creative Child Magazine
 in 2010 and 2011, respectively 

Medieval Maidens, LLC is pleased to announce that Tiffany Jansen has been awarded the Creative Child Magazine 2011 Book of the Year award for children’s literature in the Historic and Educational books category for the Mary, Daughter of Henry VII book set.

In 2010, Tiffany’s mother, Lois Jarman, received the same award for the book set Gisela, Daughter of Charlemagne.

Entries in the Creative Child Magazine Toy Award program are evaluated by mothers and early education professionals during an annual two-day event in Nevada. The award winners are featured in the magazine’s annual Holiday issue which is released in November.
The mother-daughter team began the Medieval Maidens reading series in 2006. The young reader series has ten titles relating to five medieval princesses.

There is a Medieval Maidens badge series for Girl Scouts and the Jarman/Jansen team also created an after school reading curriculum for young girls that is used in Baltimore County.

For more information on the Medieval Maidens series visit the website

Friday, March 2, 2012

Meet Adele, Daughter of William the Conquerer

Adele was the daughter of William of Normandy (also known as William the Conquerer) and Matilda of Flanders. William eventually conquered England and became King there.

Adele was born around the year 1062 in Normandy, France. There are some sources that say William and Mathilda had 10 children, but others say nine. Because birthdates for girls were not always recorded, it is hard to be sure.

It is possible that her family spent some time in England after her father became king.

Adele was probably around four years old when her father left to invade England and conquer King Harold.

The invasion is depicted in a tapestry that was commissioned in 1077 by Adele's uncle, the Bishop Odo. It is known as the Bayeux Tapestry and is currently on display in a museum in Bayeux, France. It was more than likely made in a monastery in England. It was always a French traditional belief that the Queen was responsible for the production of the tapestry.

Adele was also able to read and was taught by various teachers. One of the first copies of the St. Alban Psalter was made especially for her. Many young girls and women read every day from their book of hours.

Adele lived to be 70-75 years-old, while one of her brothers lived to be 74. Very few people during Adele's time lived to be that old.

To find out more about Adele, visit

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reader Views Kids looks at Medieval Maidens titles

Reader Views was created in late 2005 as a book review company. The Austin, Texas based company later added a Reader Views Kids division where young readers are able to read and review books for their age category.

Medieval Maidens has had two of its titles go to Reader Views Kids for review: Gevrehan's Holiday Story by Lois Jarman in 2010 and Mary's Holiday Story by Tiffany Jansen in 2011. Both titles were reviewed by nine-year-old Madeline McElroy

Mary's Holiday Story is the second book in the Mary, daughter of Henry VII series and Gevrehan's Holiday Story is the second book in the Gevrehan, daughter of Sultan Mehmet II series.

Here's what Madeline had to say about Gevrehan's Holiday Story:
"I think “Gevrehan’s Holiday Story” can teach kids how other people lived in the Medieval Times."
Read the review.

Here's what Madeline had to stay about Mary's Holiday Story:
"I hope other kids will like “Mary's Holiday Story” just as much as I did."
Read the review.

Gevrehan's Holiday Story and Mary's Holiday Story can be purchased at the Medieval Maidens online store.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Learning Comes to Life Through Books

Tiffany and Felicity, learning together
When my daughter, Tiffany, was four years old, we moved into our first house. In our neighborhood were two girls who lived just two doors away. One was exactly Tiffany’s age and the other was two years older.

The three girls were inseparable, playing dress-up and Barbies. But there was one thing these girls played with that Tiffany knew nothing about: American Girl.

We thumbed through the catalog Tiffany brought home after a play date, looking at the dolls representing girls from various historic periods. Tiffany kept returning to the pages showing Kirsten and told me that if she could have one of the American Girls, Kirsten would be it.

A few weeks later, a box arrived for Tiffany containing the Kirsten doll and accompanying book. She excitedly grabbed the doll and the book from the box and was gone.

Within a matter of days, Tiffany had read through the book. We ordered the next and then the next, Tiffany devouring and re-reading each book in rapid succession. We ordered some of the doll accessories to build Kirsten’s world. And the girls played and played.

Later that year, we traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for an abbreviated vacation. At a museum near Stone Mountain, I noticed an object on display. To this day, I cannot remember what the item was. While my husband and I stood there wondering what it was and how it might have been used, Tiffany marched right up to the display case, took one look at the object, and launched into a very detailed explanation of what the piece was, what it did, and how it was used. When I asked her how she knew all of this, she said simply, “Oh, Kirsten has one.”

Not long after that, American Girl introduced Felicity. Tiffany put the doll, books, and some accessories on her Christmas list. After months of play with her second American Girl doll, Tiffany informed us that for vacation she really wanted to go to Williamsburg, Virginia. When we reminded her of our original plan to go to Disney, she replied, “No, I want to go to see where Felicity lived.”

The real magic of those dolls and books was the American history that my daughter learned. She relived history through the eyes of remarkable young girls who lived in those time periods.

Her learning inspired me, and the Medieval Maidens series is a result of that inspiration. It is my sincere hope that I can recreate that joy and enthusiasm for learning in the girls who pick up the Medieval Maidens books to discover Charlemagne’s Aachen through Gisela, France of the Middle ages through Adele and Isabelle, Medieval Istanbul through Gevrehan, and Renaissance England through Mary.

I am a firm believer that the best gift we can give our children is the gift of learning.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Story of Medieval Maidens

As I was placing a re-order for Gisela’s Story recently, it occurred to me that Gisela’s Story was first published in 2006. It’s been five years since I started Medieval Maidens and the time has flown by! To celebrate this milestone, I’d like to take you back in time with me to see how it all began…

Roughly a year before I tore open that first shipment of Gisela books hot off the presses, I took part in a Master’s in Humanities program at Hood Collage with a concentration in Medieval Studies. I found the history positively fascinating.

I found myself going on field trips to numerous museums and art galleries as part of my study and it was at the gift shop at one of these museums that the preverbial lightbulb went off over my head. In the children’s section of the shop I found an amazing book on medieval history.

There were pages and pages devoted to jousts and tournaments, weaponry and armor. This book was clearly targeting boys. I continued thumbing through the book and found absolutely nothing about what young girls did during the medieval period.

My attention turned to the rest of the sales items on the shelf devoted to the Middle Ages. Not a single item dedicated to teaching medieval history to girls.

I approached the sales clerk and asked where I might find medieval gifts and souvenirs with a focus on young girls. To my dismay, she directed me to a shelf brimming with tiaras, fairy wings, and Disney princesses.

That’s when I knew something had to be done. There needed to be books and toys dedicated to teaching young girls about the lives of their medieval counterparts. What if I were to create a product line that did for young girls and the Middle Ages what American Girl did for my daughter and American history?

I mentioned this hair-brained idea of medieval stories for young girls to my professor and she thought the idea was fabulous. One morning over coffee, we created a story line that would involve the daughters of real medieval kings. And, thus, Medieval Maidens was born.

The first princess would be Gisela, the third daughter of Charlemagne. His other daughters were Rotrude and Bertha, but I happened to like the name Gisela best.

The next king I selected was William I of England. I chose his daughter Adele because it was noted that when she was ten years old she received a copy of the St. Alban’s Psalter. I thought her gift of a book was significant, especially in the 11th century given that girls of that time period were often uneducated.

Louis IX’s daughter Isabelle was next in the series. Then a group of Brownie scouts convinced me that I should have a Sultan’s daughter in the series. My fourth princess then was Gevrehan, the daughter of Sultan Mehmed II.

At a school presentation, I was asked about the difference between the medieval period and the Renaissance. I pulled in the expertise of my daughter, Tiffany, who had been an actress at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and who was studying Renaissance history and art at Hood College. Together, we settled on Mary, Henry VIII’s little sister. Tiffany wrote the stories of our fifth princess.

Medieval Maidens has been discovered by Girl Scout councils on the east coast in Maryland, Virginia, West Virgina Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Educational programs have been presented in school districts in these states as well. In 2010, the Gisela series was named historical/educational Book of the Year, and in 2011, the Mary series earned the same distinction.