Today is a very special day for my friend and fellow-author Nancy Jardine: it is publication day for Beathan the Brigante, Book 5 in her highly-acclaimed Celtic Fervour Saga series of novels set in Roman Britain.
Welcome, Nancy! Please tell us more about Beathan.
Hello Sue, and thank you for inviting me here today. It’s been a nail-biting and stimulating few weeks for me getting the book ready for publishing. And now, I really can’t believe how excited I am that Beathan the Brigante officially launches today with Ocelot Press! It’s available in e-book and paperback from Amazon, and in paperback format via Ingram Spark for bookstore and library ordering.
Something different for your early readers is that the e-book versions of Books 1-4 in the Celtic Fervour Saga series are reduced to only 99p/99c/0.99euros each, for the 5 days prior to launch day in a Big Bonanza SALE! That offer might still be available, if your readers are quick. The link for my Amazon author page (to get access to the ebooks) is included below.
I’ve been excited about all of my book launches, but Book 5 brings one of the main themes of the series to a full circle. The birth of a son to Nara of the Selgovae, a son destined to become a famous tribal leader, happens at the end of Book 1. He is named Beathan, which means ‘life’. As the series progresses, book by book, Beathan grows into a young lad who is very responsible for his age, that maturity sculpted by the events and dangers that he lives through.
Beathan cannot be found after the defeat of the Caledonian allies at Beinn na Ciche, a battle fought against the Ancient Roman legions of General Agricola, though his mother Nara knows in her heart he isn’t dead (end of Book 3). Choosing that event for Beathan was a pivotal point since I could ‘foresee’ making him into a famous rebel leader in a subsequent book of the series.
Though doing that in Book 4 was too soon, since a 13-year-old seemed unlikely to become a renowned ‘Celtic’ warrior. History, fortunately, has indications that it was not an impossible feat at a later teens stage. Another reason for Beathan’s tale not to be told in Book 4 was my desire to expand the Ancient Roman viewpoint. General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola needed some of the limelight in Book 4, since the genuine Ancient Roman Agricola was immensely important regarding the Roman expansion of Caledonia (present day Scotland).
The research for my whole Celtic Fervour Saga Series has been a compelling study. Every Ancient Roman fort that Beathan visits was thoroughly investigated for me to glean some tiny, unusual, detail I could add to the tale. That process, naturally, became unwieldy! At one point the manuscript was sitting at upwards of 140,000 words. It was full of what I regarded as necessary, descriptive prose with lots of dangerous incidents happening to both Beathan and Agricola. But… like the Ancient Roman war machine destroying the tribes of Britannia, I did a high degree of ‘slashing and burning’ during my self-edits and whittled the manuscript down to a size compatible with the other books in the series.
Other themes of the series are further explored in Beathan The Brigante – honesty; loyalty; justice; fair-mindedness – sometimes these coming to the reader in surprising ways. Family love, friendships and less than usual ‘relationships’ are important across the series and Book 5 also features these aspects. Reuniting with family not seen for 5 years is a burning a desire for Beathan, but it’s equally balanced with a yearning for revenge against his Roman tormentors.
Romance, too, plays a role to different degrees and in different ways across the books of the saga. After such a difficult time, Beathan deserves to have some passion in his life. However, enduring happiness rarely comes easily for my Garrigill warriors. Torrin is a feisty Brigante warrior-woman who has her own agendas. When creating her character, I found myself feeling a desperation to live life to the full seems realistic when young lives are likely to be cut short in what is essentially still a war-torn situation.
I do hope that readers of Bethan The Brigante enjoy reading about Beathan’s journey to ‘fame’ and about Agricola’s predicaments, since even a high-ranking Roman general can have enemies.
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 Beathan 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.
Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction, time travel historical adventure and contemporary mysteries. When not writing or researching (a compulsion she can’t give up), she’ll be with her grandchildren, gardening, or reading novels. She loves to interact with her readers when regularly signing/ selling paperback versions of her novels at local Craft Fairs, and at larger event venues. She enjoys presenting author talks and gives formal presentations on her novels, and on Ancient Roman Scotland, to groups large and small.
She’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Scottish Association of Writers, the Federation of Writers Scotland, the Romantic Novelists Association and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She’s self-published with Ocelot Press.
You can find her at these places:
Amazon Author page
Beathan The Brigante getbook.at/BeathanTBrigantehere