Meet the Ocelots: After Whorl: Bran Reborn

Who is Bran?

It’s my turn today to introduce you to some more Ocelot Press fiction! To answer the question I need to separate the Fiction…some Historical Facts of A.D. 71…and give you an Outline of the Events that come before Bran is reborn!AWBR 1600x2560

After Whorl: Bran Reborn is Book 2 of my Celtic Fervour Saga Series, tales of my Celtic warrior clan from the Hillfort of Garrigill. Its locations cover rugged Cumbrian hill country; flatter landscapes near Eboracum (York); coastal north-west England (Deva/ Chester); and Shropshire where the fourth largest Roman city in Britain was located (Viroconium Cornoviorum/ Wroxeter).

Fiction: My clan warriors are entirely fictional characters.

Fact: 1) Garrigill, a village in Cumbria, is an ideal location for a Late Iron Age (Celtic) hillfort. 2) An Ancient Roman temporary camp was sited at the nearby town of Alston. 3) Gnaeus Iulius Agricola, as Commander of the Legio XX (a genuine historical figure who plays a large role later in the series), campaigned in the area c. A.D. 71.

AWBR locations
copyright Nancy Jardine

Fiction: In Book 1, my Garrigill warriors fight against the legions of General Cerialis and Commander Agricola at a place called Whorl.

Fact: 1) The village of Whorlton is actually in County Durham and topographically is an ideal site for a Celtic/Roman battle.  2) General Q. Petillius Cerialis, the Governor of Britannia and commander of all of the Roman Legions stationed in Britain (also a genuine historical figure) engaged in battles against the Brigantes Federation in Brigantia in approximately A.D. 71.

Fiction: During the battle at Whorl (Book 1) Garrigill warriors are killed; some are injured and some never return from the battlefield. Brennus, younger brother of main character Lorcan of Garrigill, doesn’t come home and is presumed dead! However, since I really loved creating Brennus, and since he’s such a lovely man, I couldn’t possibly let him die. Brennus becomes the main male character in Books 2 and 3, though lives for some years under the alias of… Bran of Witton.

After Whorl: Bran Reborn (Book 2) begins with Meaghan, an elderly healer, ensuring that Brennus survives the battlegrounds of Whorl but it’s a hard-won task. When thrashing around a raging temperature, Brennus imagines himself being cooled down by the cascading waters of the waterfall near the hillfort of Garrigill.

Fact: This image is a waterfall named Ashgill Force near the village of Garrigill. Ashgill Force waterfall near Garrigill

Fiction: Visibly maimed, Brennus can’t resume duties as tribal champion and instructor of the younger warriors at Garrigill. How could he with part of one hand lopped off, a dragging leg, and having lost the sight of one eye? He lets Meaghan believe his name is Bran, and as Bran he forges out a new life for himself. Brennus’ original sunny personality becomes deeply buried. Bran is dour, bitter and hard to live with! In modern terminology, the man is suffering from something akin to PTSD.

Bran dons the mantle of a spy aided by Ineda, Meaghan’s granddaughter. Their spying careers develop with ease but their romantic entanglement is sluggish! And… in the nature of a family saga, there are many pitfalls and highly dangerous encounters with the Roman invaders before a happy ending is eventually reached for both of them…but that doesn’t happen till Book 3 After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed creating all of my Celtic Fervour Saga characters but I have a real soft spot for my lovely Brennus of Garrigill aka Bran of Witton. I’m hoping that you’ll also join the list of other readers who enjoy his transformations!

p.s. You’ll find more details of my location choices and the historical background of events leading to A.D. 71 Brigantia on my own blog HERE.

Nancy Jardine’s ‘The Taexali Game’ Joins Ocelot Press

We’re excited that another historical fiction title from Nancy Jardine has joined Ocelot Press this autumn. This one has a time travel twist. The story of ‘The Taexali Game’ centres on an interactive computer game that takes the players back to the time of the Romans in Britain and their attempts to subdue the North of the island.

Here’s the blurb:

When the Rubidium Time-Leap flips Aran, Brian and Fianna back to AD 210 the reality of the game is incredible. They have a task list to fulfil, which includes solving a local mystery, but it’s petrifying when Ancient Roman Legions heap death and destruction on the Taexali Celts of Caledonia.

Giving help to Taexali and Romans alike becomes a lethal assignment—some Celtic chiefs are as foul as the Ancient Roman Emperor Severus and his beastly son Caracalla. Dicing with death becomes the norm for the time travellers.

Will they complete the mission and return home unscathed?

The Taexali Game is available from all Amazon stories. The Kindle version is on pre-order until 30th September; buy now and pay nothing until the book downloads on publication day. The paperback is available now.

Nancy Jardine’s Roman General in the Spotlight

General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola had a thankless task trying to subdue the rebellious Caledonians and gain support from his indifferent Roman emperor. He tells us all about it today in the latest Historical Writers’ Forum “Interview my Character” blog hop.

Agricola is one of the main characters in Ocelot author Nancy Jardine’s Agricola’s Bane, the fourth in her exciting Celtic Fervour series.

Book giveaway

And there’s a giveaway to go with the interview. Nancy is offering one ebook copy to a lucky winner. So go and have a look at this fascinating interview and leave a comment and you might be that winner!

Other Ocelot Press characters taking part

Marie-Thérèse Vernhes, the main character in Vanessa Couchman’s Overture, has already been interviewed in this blog hop series. You can read that interview here.

And coming up on Wednesday 17 July is the interview of Cathie Dunn’s character from Dark Deceit, Geoffrey de Mortagne. He’s a a man torn between an oath and his duty. Watch this space for the link to the interview.

Copyright Ocelot Press 2019. All rights reserved.

Historical Fiction or Historical Saga?

Book 1“…combines a very human and personal story with a very believable vision of Late Iron Age society in Northern Britain.”

Ocelot Press author Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour Series, set in 1st-century Roman Britain, has also been called a historical saga by some reviewers. Across the 4-book series, you can read of the adventures of Brigante warriors from the Hillfort of Garrigill. The clan members sometimes take centre stage in one novel or become background characters in another and allow new clan members to shine. As the series progresses, Ancient Roman characters also take up prime slots.

Continue reading “Historical Fiction or Historical Saga?”

And then there were 10! A New Addition to Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour series

CFS4 Lrg AB

We’re thrilled to announce that the fourth title in Nancy Jardine’s exciting Celtic Fervour series will be published under the Ocelot Press imprint on 15th November and is currently on pre-order on Amazon. This brings the number of Ocelot Press published titles up to 10 in only a few months since we launched. Continue reading “And then there were 10! A New Addition to Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour series”