Remembering Richard, and The Last Plantagenet?

Despite the current situation with coronavirus causing events to be cancelled this year, the end of March is an important one now, for Ricardians. As well as remembering birth, death, marriage, coronation, we can also mark reburial. Five years ago, all eyes were on Leicester, as one of England’s most famous kings was laid to rest for the second time.

And one of our authors was lucky enough to be there for part of it. So, for Jennifer’s first post in our regular series taking place on the Ocelot Press blog, do forgive a bit of indulgent personal nostalgia, and tell you a bit about the beginnings of The Last Plantagenet?

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When I put my name into the ballot for a place at one of the events that week in Leicester, I only did it to say I had, to be a part of things, but then, then arrived the envelope… I was going to Compline, the service during which the coffin of Richard III would be brought into the cathedral. And more than that – there was a full Saturday of lectures to attend, and the particularly moving service on Sunday morning at the University of Leicester itself, as they bid farewell to the remains they had studied so carefully, and preserved so well, since they found him in that carpark. Walking down the street behind the hearse for a few moments was a very strange sensation, then heading back to my hotel room and watching the rest of its journey on the BBC news channel.

JCW in Leicester Cathedral

It was a beautiful day all round, and being in Leicester Cathedral to watch the service of Compline is something I shall never forget. There was an odd sense to the day. Yes, it was a funeral, so of course everyone was suitably respectful and sombre in their attitude, but equally, although people had hoped to find King Richard III, it’s not as though anybody was expecting to find him alive, so there was also a sense of celebration to things.

They were even letting people take photos, once the service was over.

That night, after strolling back from the cathedral through the rose-strewn streets of Leicester, I sat in the hotel bar (the smartest-dressed Travelodge clientele I have ever seen!), and pulled out the notebook I’d had in my bag all weekend. I had been playing with an idea for a while, a timeslip novella featuring Richard III, but however hard I tried, couldn’t make it ‘work’. Sitting there, absorbing everything that had happened over the two days, the words flowed. I got my ending, and other than some minor tweaks, the plot was sorted!

The Last Plantagenet? was born… 

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It’s had an exciting journey, first being self-published in October 2017, then joining Ocelot Press in October 2018. And I was thrilled to bits when it was awarded not only a five-star review from the Coffee Pot Book Club Award, but also an Honourable Mention in the blog’s 2019 Book of the Year Awards.

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Special Offer!

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of this important event, and the night I can pin-point as the start of when everything starting happening for me, writing-wise (I got back and began editing my Kindred Spirits series too!), The Last Plantagenet? ebook is free to download for a limited time.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Meet the Ocelots: The Last Plantagenet?

Hi everyone, and happy Tuesday! I’m thrilled to be the first of the Ocelots taking over the blog today, ahead of our upcoming Blog Hop. Soon, you’ll be able to meet the lovely Tom, from The Last Plantagenet?, but I thought I should set the scene first, and tell you a little bit about the background to the book… 

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First, here’s the blurb, to whet your appetite:

The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.

All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.

Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

Find out in this ‘giddily romantic’ romp, set just prior to the Battle of Bosworth.

In TLP (let’s go with the shortened version for the rest of the post!), Kate is doing what Kate loves best, wandering around a castle, taking in the sights and sounds of a re-enactment, when everything goes black, and suddenly, she’s in 1485, and at the court of Richard III, who genuinely was in Nottingham in July of that year, as he was preparing himself for the expected arrival of Henry Tudor. We all know how that one ends, so let’s not dwell.

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Nottingham Castle Today

Finding herself in the kitchens of the castle, Kate is immediately yelled at to collect refreshments and bring them to the great hall. Who is doing the shouting? Tom, one of Richard’s trusted servants, who has been with the king for years. Although the story belongs to Kate and Richard, Tom is instrumental in helping Kate find her feet in her new, and frankly bewildering, surroundings.

I think the story needed Tom, in order to make sense of some things, as well as being a friend to Kate. Much as I’m sure most historical fiction readers and writers have fantasised about travelling back in time to their favourite era, and meeting the people they admire, the practicalities would certainly not always be easy. I know I ‘think’ I would love to live in a medieval castle, but really, have you tried hurrying down a spiral staircase in jeans and trainers, let alone in a flowing gown? And with no central heating? No thank you, I fear…

Kate does experience these things, and plenty more, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing about her adventures, just as much as I hope you enjoy reading about them! And I’m looking forward to you getting to meet Tom more too.

Meet the Ocelots this Week!

We can’t believe it’s already 18 months since Ocelot Press went live. Over the next few weeks we’ll be celebrating with a series of blog posts and character interviews and there’ll be a chance to buy some of our e-books for discounted prices. So definitely watch this space.

For starters, this coming week, each of us will take over the Ocelot blog for a day to bring you information on the background, setting and salient facts of one of our books. You’ll get an insider’s view of the story behind the book – and each of them makes fascinating reading.

Continue reading “Meet the Ocelots this Week!”

The Last Plantagenet? – Now available in paperback!

It’s always an exciting thing to announce a new release, and this week, Jennifer C. Wilson’s timeslip romance has made its debut in paperback! And as you can see, the proof copy was even approved by the book’s leading man, Richard III…

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The Last Plantagenet?, available on Amazon here, has already been classed as a ‘Discovered Diamond,’ by the Discovering Diamonds review blog, as well as having been awarded the Coffee Pot Book Club Award, by the Myths, Legends, Books and Coffee Pots blog.

Here’s the blurb, to whet your appetite:

The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.

All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.

Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

Find out in this ‘giddily romantic’ romp, set just prior to the Battle of Bosworth.

If that’s tempted you in, you can read a sample of the book here!

Two Ocelot Press Titles Shortlisted for Book of the Month

We’re delighted, and very excited, to announce that the Discovering Diamonds review site has shortlisted not one, but two, Ocelot Press titles for its October Book of the Month: The Last Plantagenet? by Jennifer C. Wilson and The Ghostly Father, by Sue Barnard.  Continue reading “Two Ocelot Press Titles Shortlisted for Book of the Month”