The Father of the Leap Year: Guest Post by Sue Barnard

Vanessa Couchman

Today, I’m delighted to welcome my Ocelot Press fellow author and friend, Sue Barnard, to the blog. Sue’s novels often take inspiration from classic works of literature, including Shakespeare. Her The Unkindest Cut of All is set in the present day, but takes Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, as its starting point. It’s our Book of the Month on Ocelot Press this month (which just happens to include the Ides of March).

Sue has written a fascinating post about one legacy of many the Romans left us.

Sue also has a competition for you to win a paperback copy of The Unkindest Cut of All. And the book is on special offer in Kindle format for a short time. Read more about these offers at the end of the post.


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Find your 2021 reading in the Ocelot Press Winter Sale

Leave 2020 behind and start off 2021 by losing yourself in a book!

Did you get a new Kindle for Christmas? Or a gift voucher? Or both? Now’s the time to top up your Kindle with New Year reading from Ocelot Press – historical fiction, historical romance and mystery, dual timeline, fantasy: we’ve got something for most tastes.

And to help you do that, we’ve reduced the prices on selected titles to 99p/c. Some of them are even free for a short time!

To see what we’ve got on offer, search for Ocelot Press on Amazon. Or have a look at the Ocelot authors’ individual Amazon pages, where you’ll see a range of titles free or at 99p/c.

Sue Barnard

Vanessa Couchman

Cathie Dunn

Nancy Jardine

Jennifer C Wilson

Yvonne Marjot

Happy reading!

A Poignant Anniversary: the Armistice of World War I

Vanessa Couchman

Every village in France has its war memorial, the lists of names a sad litany of those “morts pour la France”. The longest rollcall by far is that of World War I. Few families were spared the tragedy of deaths, sometimes multiple, injuries and enduring mental scars. More than a century later, the memory still echoes down the years.

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Pasquale Paoli: forgotten Corsican revolutionary

Ocelot Press author Vanessa Couchman writes about the achievements of Pasquale Paoli, 18th-century statesman and revolutionary and a towering figure of his era. Today, he is little known outside Corsica and deserves wider recognition.

Vanessa Couchman

Corte - Pasquale Paoli
Statue of Paoli in Corte, his heartland

This post is taking part in the Historical Writers Forum autumn blog hop, in which we each choose a historical figure and explain why we are drawn to him or her. I’ve chosen Pasquale Paoli, who led the Corsican republic from 1755 to 1769.

Paoli probably never considered himself a revolutionary. To him, the struggle to liberate the island of Corsica from its Genoese masters was a nation state’s legitimate bid for independence, and he regarded himself on a par with other heads of state. Today, he is much less well known outside Corsica than his compatriot Napoleon Bonaparte, and yet he was a towering figure of his era.


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Ocelot authors write about their favourite historical figures

Who’s your favourite historical figure? There are plenty to choose from! Some are eternally famous, while others might have been prominent in their own time but have slid from recognition today.

Starting today, the Historical Writers Forum is organising a blog hop over a fortnight, in which seven historical fiction writers choose their favourite character from history and tell us why they find the person so fascinating.

Four Ocelot Press authors are involved:

Jennifer C. Wilson will write about Mary Queen of Scots, whom she has admitted to stalking before moving on to Richard III. Mary was imprisoned by Elizabeth I after she was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son James. Mary was held in captivity for more than 18 years and then executed, having been found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth.

Nancy Jardine shines the spotlight on General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola, a Roman general who was responsible for much of the conquest of Britain, but who seems to have fallen out of favour later in his career. Nancy’s atmospheric Celtic Fervour series focuses on the struggles between the Northern tribes and the Roman conquerors.

Sue Barnard’s choice is William Shakespeare – a name that people can’t fail to be familiar with! The Bard of Avon’s plays Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar are the inspiration behind two of Sue’s Ocelot Press novels: The Ghostly Father and The Unkindest Cut of All.

Vanessa Couchman is on a mission to rehabilitate Pasquale Paoli, an 18th-century Corsican leader, who attempted to rid the island of Genoese rule. He headed the short-lived Corsican republic from 1755-1769, and combined the roles of statesman, lawgiver and general. He has a cameo role in Vanessa’s novel The Corsican Widow in her Tales of Corsica series.

Don’t miss our authors’ insights into their favourite historical characters.

Here’s the full programme of articles.