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Wednesday 11 September 2019

ℚ♫ The Beltane Choice: Celtic Fervour [1] - Nancy Jardine

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Beltane Choice (, Ocelot Press, 259 pages), a Historical Fiction Saga, book one in the Celtic Fervour series.

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

“Impeccable prose, suitably matched to the times of turbulent Roman Britain, marches the story towards a fitting political and personal conclusion - but not without some satisfying twists.” 

“The Beltane Choice is one of the most convincing evocations of Celtic Britain that I have ever come across, and the central romance stands out against that background with great passion and immediacy.”

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Nancy Jardine; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Nancy Jardine has shared with us her music playlist for The Beltane Choice.  Nancy also specified that "actually anything by Enya" could be included, as well as the albums 'The Harper’s Land ' by Ann Heymann & Alison Kinnaird, and 'Celtic Sunrise' by Hilary Rushmer, which unfortunately cannot be found on youtube - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for The Beltane Choice?
"Northern Britannia, late 1st century A.D. is a historical period and location that few authors have tackled – so it was my obvious choice!

I was also desperate to include a pitched battle between the Ancient Romans and the local Celts, featuring both my male and female warriors.  (Though description of a full conflict in Caledonia doesn’t happen till Book 3 of the series)"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"To employ a cliché…  Once upon a time, I taught a Celt/Roman theme to my senior primary class of 11-12 year olds.  (A topic normally covered by much younger pupils)  We had such fun exploring the topic during the summer term that years later researching the era has morphed into a historical obsession for me, because I can’t learn enough of this time period of the Ancient Roman occupation of Britannia."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Beltane Choice - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"A local professional graphic artist named Karen Barrett was contracted to design the covers for Books 1 - 4 of my Celtic Fervour Series

I wanted a composite image on each that would portray both my uprooted Ancient Celts and the Ancient Roman Army invaders.  Continuity in the way the series name, book number and fonts were presented was also a focus.

Karen gave me a number of fabulous options to consider and we amalgamated the best of them."
Why should we read The Beltane Choice and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Romance…Warfare…History – all wrapped up in the extraordinary events of the extended Garrigill Brigante Clan!  The Celtic Fervour Series is a historical adventure saga that brings an immensely dangerous Romano/British historical period to life.  As the series progresses, the tale is told via different main characters – Celtic and Roman – with strong links between the books.

The older generation (if not killed in battle) play minor roles when the younger ones become main protagonists in the final two books, the series covering A.D. 71 - 93 Northern Britannia & Caledonia during the Ancient Roman Campaigns of General Agricola."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Beltane Choice, its story and characters?
"I love choosing names that reflect a character trait, or have some importance to the story.  The name Garrigill came from an Ordinance Survey map of the Cumbria/ Yorkshire area of England, because there are remains of a Celtic Hillfort there. 

At the end of The Beltane Choice a battle occurs at Whorl.  Whorlton (also Yorkshire) lies in a suitable location for battle between Romans and Celtic Britons.  The locals liked a flat stretch for mustering their mounted soldiers and for driving their chariots in front of their enemies, but also liked a slope behind where they ranged their infantry in tiers. 

The remains of huge hillfort not far way at Stanwick, may have been the home of King Venutius of the Brigantes who was involved in a number of pitched battles with the Roman Legions in the area."
Who would you recommend The Beltane Choice to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"If you adore reading historical fiction set in an Ancient World era, you’ll enjoy The Beltane Choice

It has stronger romance elements than the other books in the series, though it’s much more than a historical romance.  The credible settings; the historical accuracy; the developing relationships between people who would be natural enemies all appeal to both male and female readers. 

Readers should be aware that the books of the saga are highly interlinked across the series and are best read in sequence, rather than as stand-alone beyond Book 1."
If you could / wished to turn The Beltane Choice and the Celtic Fervour series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Aiden Turner would be fabulous to play Lorcan of the Brigantes. 

Locations in Scotland, Ireland and Cumbria (England) would be perfect. R.D. 

Moore and Sony pictures – who did Outlander – would be superb producers."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Since beginning my ‘writing career’ in 2011, I’ve written and had published 4 historical adventure novels in my Celtic Fervour Series; a time travel historical; a contemporary mystery thriller and two romantic comedy mysteries. 

These are the main genres I prefer to read, but I’ve been known to read virtually any genre if the book appeals to me."
What is your writing process?
"I’m a natural pantser writer but have learned that some general planning of the storyline and character development etc. from the outset is excellent preparation.  This is really important when historical timelines are critical, or aspects of a mystery need to mesh together. 

I confess that I’m easily distracted by the need to do even more intermittent research, to ensure I’m not inserting anachronisms or writing something that just isn’t plausible, and constantly aim for more self-discipline to just get on with the actual writing! (Says the ex-teacher with a grin) 

I love the self-editing phase and enjoy doing the edits sent on by my professional editor.  The formatting is a slow-process but I actually enjoy that challenge too, albeit very repetitive.  The bit I least enjoy is the marketing after the book is published."
That seems to be a common peeve :-)

What is in store next?

"Book 5 of my Celtic Fervour Series, working-titled Beathan the Brigante, is underway. (HINT: Beathan is the son born to Lorcan and Nara at the end of Book 1, The Beltane Choice

At the beginning of Book 5, Beathan is a captive of the Roman Army but matures to be a troublesome Brigante near Vindolanda Fort.  (Vindolanda Roman Fort is currently an extremely important archaeological centre near Hadrian’s Wall)"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"This fabulous letter opener was given to me by one of the pupils back in the early 2000s, as a ‘Thank you for being my teacher’ gift at the end of the session after we did the Celts/ Romans project.  It has remained, treasured, on my desk ever since."
That's lovely, what a great gift! (I also love the Roman ruler).

Nancy, thank you for sharing this with us. We hope you are having a great tour!

The Beltane Choice
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads

1 comment:

Nancy Jardine Author said...

Thank you for featuring The Beltane Choice on your blog! I hope your readers enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it!(p.s. I've not watched that Enya video for quite a while so that's a blast from the past! )