Ocelot Press has a new addition to its list of titles. Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour Series, set in Late 1st Century Roman Britain/ Roman Empire, now has a Prequel to the series named Before Beltane.
Before Beltane was written to provide a deeper historical backdrop to the beginning of the series, to describe in more detail what was happening in Brigantia, northern Roman Britain, in AD 71. It also gives a glimpse into the lives of Lorcan of Garrigill and Nara of Tarras – the two main characters of Book 1 The Beltane Choice – prior to them meeting each other in Book 1. Civil War between Queen Cartimandua and her ex-husband King Venutius caused strife amongst the Brigantes for some years, though by AD 71 it was time for all of the Brigantes to be at peace and to live together in harmony. Unfortunately, the downfall of Queen Cartimandua (a Client Ruler of Rome) caused an escalation of the threat of Roman legionary invasion. The armies of General Cerialis, the Roman Governor of Britannia, not only invaded Brigantia, but by AD 71 they settled down and built wooden forts. Before Beltane is a book of two intermingling halves. It presents an incident in Lorcan of Garrigill’s daily life, followed by an incident in Nara of Tarras’ daily life, a process that’s repeated throughout the book.
Two lives. Two stories. One future.
AD 71 Northern Britannia
At the Islet of the Priestesses, acolyte Nara greets each new day eager to heal the people at Tarras Hillfort. Weapon training is a guilty pleasure, but she is devastated when she is unexpectedly denied the final rites of an initiated priestess. A shocking new future beckons for Princess Nara of the Selgovae…
In the aftermath of civil war across Brigantia, Lorcan of Garrigill’s promotion of King Venutius is fraught with danger. Potential invasion by Roman legions from the south makes an unstable situation even worse. When Lorcan meets the Druid Maran, the future foretold for him is as enthralling as it is horrifying…
Before Beltane is now available in paperback format from AMAZON and can be ordered in bookstores. The AMAZON eBook launch is April 29th 2022 and the eBook is on Pre-Order till then.
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 ofonly £1.99 (equiv) across Amazon for the whole month of May! Copies available from HERE
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!
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!
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.
Tidy Up Time! Some people are compulsively tidy, though others are of the ‘It’ll get done soon’ category. I confess to falling into the latter. When I’m at the work-in-progress writing process, my hand written references and notes tend to be a bit of a muddle. I’ve a habit of scribbling on the nearest bit of paper to hand, if something needs to be noted elsewhere later on, in better detail. That means that a home-made map or diagram might have random bits and pieces added which probably only mean something to me.
I’m presently doing my ‘tidy ups’. My contribution for the Ocelot Blog Anthology – Doorways To The Past – is done and dusted, and I’m eagerly awaiting the publishing date of 30th July for that one. I’ve been learning some new book trailer video skills and have created a little promotional video to share with you and the world. You can view the video on the Ocelot Facebook PageHERE.
I’m also at the final stages of completing the e-book and paperback versions of Beathan The Brigante, Book 5 of my Celtic Fervour Saga series (publishing date 20th August 2020). Having finished the manuscript, and having gone through beta reader advice and changes, I really don’t want to find something in my mess of notes that I feel compelled to add to my story, but I always feel duty-bound to re-read the scribbles – just in case.
Very exciting news is that Beathan The Brigante is now available for Kindle Pre- Order from Amazon HERE
I love this stage of the process of getting a story ready for publication. I really enjoy putting together the Historical Context for the book, since not all of my readers are familiar with the complexities of Roman Britain history. I like organising my Glossary sections, adding brief information on things like the gods or goddesses mentioned by my characters – Roman and Celtic. This time around for Book 5, I’ve included a longer section on Roman Army terms that appear in the story, and I’ve added an explanation of the interior of an Ancient Roman fort. Readers who already have some knowledge of Roman Army history will gloss over the sections, but I’ve learned during the process of producing the first four books of the series that some of my readers really appreciate the extra information that helps them understand how my characters operate in their environment.
I particularly like creating the map pages for adding to my historical series. After the first book was published, it was a revelation to find a Canadian reviewer had mistakenly thought that the story had mainly taken place in the Caithness area of Scotland. I had written that Brigantia was the northernmost area of Britannia to be invaded by the Ancient Roman legions in AD 71. The reader had envisaged a current map of Great Britain, and had decided that the northernmost part was Caithness, and thus that was where Brigantia had been. It was then I decided that adding maps to all of my Celtic Fervour novels, even ones created by me, were a necessity rather than an indulgence. I heartily thank that reviewer for pointing out the problem, even if it was done in an inadvertent fashion.
Making final versions of my maps has become a part of my ‘tidy-up’ routine, and any hand drawn maps and plans, like those shown, are scanned before being added to my stored files. Here’s a sneak preview of what is likely to be one of my final maps for Beathan The Brigante!
What aboutyou? Are you a messy worker who eventually does ‘tidy ups’, in your writing…or in daily life?
And, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the blurb for Beathan The Brigante.
AD 85 Roman Empire
How can young Beathan of Garrigill – held hostage by General Agricola and dragged in chains to Rome – escape and wreak vengeance on his enemies?
Torrin is a strong-minded Brigante warrior-woman who forges her own future. She willingly takes care of him in a time of need, but her own plans are paramount.
Agricola’s career is in tatters. Attempts on his life are plentiful, having lost favour with Emperor Domitian. His gods have abandoned him, though assistance comes from a surprising source.
Will Beathan gain his freedom to return to his kin in Caledonia? Will Torrin be by his side? And how will Agricola survive without the emperor’s benevolence?
Beathan the Brigante is the fifth in the bestselling Celtic Fervour series.