Happy Beltane!

Nancy Jardine here and I’m writing this post on the 1st of May which is the Beltane Festival in the Celtic calendar. I’m also really excited to share that The Beltane Choice is the Ocelot Press Book of the Month for May!

To celebrate this event, during the whole of May 2021, the eBook of The Beltane Choice will be available across the Amazon network at 99p/99c (equivalents) You can get a copy HERE.

You’ll also find that the eBooks of the other four books in the Celtic Fervour Series will be at the fabulous reduced price of only £1.99 (equiv) across Amazon for the whole month of May! Copies available from HERE

Antique road , Via Appia Antica in Rome- Wikimedia Commons

On Nancy Jardine’s personal blog, you’ll find lots of posts this May which are related to festivals in May (Ancient Celtic and Roman); extracts from her novels and maybe even some other special offers. Keep popping in to stay updated.

The Ocelot Press Readers group on Facebook is another fabulous place to get up-to-date information on Ocelot Press activities. Join us there if you’re not already a member.

Once again- Happy Beltane and Ocelot Press wish you a fantastic reading time in May!

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.


View original post 1,034 more words

Beathan The Brigante is *FREE* 15th Oct.!

Ocelot Press is delighted to announce that the eBook of Beathan The Brigante, the latest addition to Nancy Jardine’s highly-interlinked Celtic Fervour Series, is *FREE* on the 15th October 2020 across the Amazon network!

(Psst! And if you’re quick, you should find that some of the other books in the series have a reduced price during this special promotion.)

Book 5, Beathan The Brigante, features young Beathan of Garrigill, but it also depicts the interlinking of his life and that of the Ancient Roman General –  Gnaeus Iulius Agricola who is a main character in Books 4 & 5.

Having been captured by the Ancient Roman legions, after the battle at Beinn na Ciche in north-east Caledonia, we pick up Beathan’s story in AD 85 at Trimontium Roman Fort where he is used as a menial fort slave. General Agricola, having been summoned back to Rome by Emperor Domitian, collects Beathan and some other high-ranking hostages at Trimontium Fort and drags them all off in chains.

During the long trek to Rome, Beathan learns surprising things about General Agricola. In turn, Agricola finds aspects to grudgingly admire in young warrior Beathan. Escape from, and revenge against, his captors doesn’t come quickly for Beathan. However, by AD 89 he is back in Brigantia – the land of his birth – where revenge blazes for him at Vindolanda Roman Fort. It’s gratifying that by then he is closer to a reunion with his much-missed Garrigill kin ,and it’s even better that romance with a young Brigante warrior-woman named Torrin has lightened his eventful life, even though he is still only seventeen.

Moving from place to place is a regular feature for the Garrigill Brigantes in the Celtic Fervour Series novels, especially as they become refugees fleeing from Brigantia to Caledonia, but young warrior Beathan can truly say that he is the most widely-travelled across the Roman Empire!

It’s a reasonable assumption that youths matured into men much faster in 1st Century AD, especially if they were subjected to the treatment that’s meted out to Beathan of Garrigill!

Link for Beathan The Brigante

Amazon UK HERE

Amazon Universal HERE

You can find out more about the Celtic Fervour Series HERE

Wishing you a happy time reading this week!

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.

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!