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.

The Book of Lismore: the Past is a Lost Book

mybook.to/BookofLismore

Cas and Sam are back, having recovered from their adventures in The Calgary Chessman. Cas is settling into her home on the Isle of Mull. She’s starting to feel more comfortable as a lonely divorcee in the middle of nowhere, and she has friends now. Best friend Bernie is a comfort, even though the roof leaks and Cas can’t find a job. Her budding relationship with Ewan crashed before it had half begun, but she’s determined not to let their friendship suffer. And archaeologist Niall seems as married to his job as ever.

Sam, meanwhile, is preparing for his first year at university. He’s working as a intern at Niall’s dig on the beautiful island of Lismore (Gaelic Lios Mòr, the Great Garden) between Mull and the mainland. Sam’s grand sexuality reveal (in The Calgary Chessman) rocked the boat less than Cas might have expected, but don’t worry. There’s plenty more trouble where that came from.

https://www.lismoregaelicheritagecentre.org/the-cafe/

The Lismore dig is looking for evidence of monastic settlement. Unlike the Isle of Iona (settled by Columba, arguably the most famous of all the Celtic churches’ monks) Lismore was founded by the less well-known Moluag. But physical evidence for his monastery’s location is hard to find, and the team is working hard.

Niall brings Cas to visit, and takes her to a second location, down on the south coast of the island, where he is thinking of opening a new site. There they make a gruesome discovery which will change the story of the island forever.

In the meantime, Sam has finally plucked up the courage to tell his homophobic dad that he’s gay. That goes about as well as you might expect, and at one point Cas and Niall are fearful for Sam’s safety. It’s up to Sam to deal with his father, though – he’s an adult now, as he’s fond of pointing out. How he does so will set the tone for his parental relationships for years to come.

The acclaimed Calgary Chessman trilogy:

The Calgary Chessman mybook.to/TheCalgaryChessman

The Book of Lismore mybook.to/BookofLismore

The Ashentilly Letters (forthcoming in 2021)

Yvonne Marjot is a lost kiwi, now living on a Scottish island. She has been making up stories and poems for as long as she can remember, and once won a case of port in a poetry competition (NZ Listener 1996). Her first collection, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, won the Britwriters Prize for Poetry in 2012. She is fascinated by the interface between human mind and the physical world, and her poems often have a scientific or mythological theme.

Her paranormal romance, Walking on Wild Air mybook.to/WalkingonWildAir, and The Calgary Chessman trilogy of archaeological romances are published with Ocelot Press. Her short story collection, Treacle and Other Twisted Tales mybook.to/treacle , is available from Crooked Cat Publishing.

You can follow her in any of these places:

Goodreads where she welcomes questions.

Facebook and her friendly group

Twitter

Beathan The Brigante has officially launched!

Yesterday, 20th August 2020, was the official e-book launch of Beathan The Brigante – #5 of Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour Saga series. It’s now available from Amazon in e-book and paperback formats for readers to enjoy! Paperback versions are also available for ordering in bookstores.

The continuous saga is set in late 1st Century AD Roman Britain AD 71-89, and follows the adventures of warriors who originate in the Hillfort of Garrigill, Brigantia. (present day Cumbria/North Yorkshire/Northumberland) Across the five books of the series, the reader will find that each book features different warriors of the clan, and as the series progresses some Ancient Romans also become main characters.

The threat of Ancient Roman domination is a major feature of the stories and is highly instrumental in influencing what the Garrigill warriors do to thwart Roman invasion. When complete destruction of their Celtic lifestyle is inevitable, the Garrigill clan become refugees and flee northwards to Caledonia. They have not in any way given up, it’s more that they are finding other ways to defend themselves against the Roman invaders. As the books progress, so do the years of Roman occupation during what is historically termed the Flavian era. This equates roughly to AD 69 – 96.

The genuine historical figure – Gnaeus Iulius Agricola – held various important positions in Britannia. According to the historical record, Agricola was Legate (Commanding Officer) of the Legio XX (Twentieth Legion) c. 69-73. Then, from approximately AD 77-84, Agricola was Governor of the Province of Britannia and was Commander of the Britannic Legions. Some of the concepts of the novels are formed from a study of the writing of the Ancient Roman writer Cornelius Tacitus (the son-in-law of Agricola). Tacitus’ work on the ‘Life of Agricola’ is the main historical source for information on Roman Britain.

In Books 4 and 5, second generation Garrigill warriors are the main Celtic characters, though their parents still there in the background. Book 5 is mainly Beathan’s story, with the first half of the novel depicting the interlinking of the lives of Beathan and General Agricola.

All of the novels can be accessed using this LINK to Nancy Jardine’s Amazon Author Page. If you’d rather just read more of what Beathan The Brigante is about use this link HERE.

Antique road , Via Appia Antica in Rome, Italy on sunset

Enjoy your weekend reading!

Beathan the Brigante (Celtic Fervour 5)

Delighted to have Nancy Jardine with me today, introducing Book 5 in her Celtic Fervour series, Beathan the Brigante, published yesterday.

The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet

Thank you, Yvonne, for inviting me today to share a little about Beathan The Brigante, the 5th book in my highly acclaimed Celtic Fervour Saga Series. I’m thrilled to say it officially launched yesterday! It’s now available in e-book and paperback from Amazon, and in paperback format via Ingram Spark for bookstore and library ordering.

Beathan cover pic Aug 2020

Something your readers might be interested in is that the ebook versions of Books 1-4  in the Celtic Fervour Saga series are reduced to only 99p/99c/0.99euros each, for the days close to launch day in a Big Bonanza SALE! The link for my Amazon author page to get access to the ebooks is included below. They just might still be at 99p, depending on when you read this post!

And now about Book 5… it brings themes of the whole series to a full circle. In Book 1, The Beltane Choice, the Druid priestess…

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A launch day celebration!

There are now only five days till the launch of Beathan The Brigante, the fifth novel in Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour Saga Series – the official e-book launch day being on the 20th August 2020!

To celebrate the newest book in the series, Nancy has a super offer for new and existing readers. The first four e-books of the series are now on offer from Amazon at 99p/99c/ 0.99 euros for a few days prior to the launch day for Beathan The Brigante (#5).

(Note: All are full length historical novels of around 80+ thousand words.)

If you have read Books 1-4 already, then there is always the wonderful possibility of being able to gift the ebooks to someone else!

If you have read only part of the series, this would be an excellent time to stock up on those not yet read. You’ll then be able to follow all of the adventures of Nancy’s Roman Iron Age warriors from the Hillfort of Garrigill. And after reading the novels, Nancy will be delighted to learn your thoughts on the novels – in a review on Amazon, or by contacting her directly.

Also please note: Beathan The Brigante is currently on Pre-order at £1.99, but this price will rise again from launch day (Usual price for the Celtic Fervour Saga is £3.99)

The links below should make it easy for you to access the books on Amazon.

Happy reading!

Antique road , Via Appia Antica in Rome, Italy on sunset

Book 1: The Beltane Choice 

Book 2: After Whorl: Bran Reborn  

Book 3: After Whorl: donning Double Cloaks  

Book 4: Agricola’s Bane 

Book 5: Beathan The Brigante

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