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Friday 13 December 2013

After Whorl: Bran Reborn - a guest post by Nancy Jardine

Today I have another honoured guest on my blog: fellow-author Nancy Jardine.  Nancy is here to talk about her latest novel After Whorl: Bran Reborn.

A very warm welcome, Nancy.  Good to have you here!

Hello, Sue. I’m very pleased to be here with you, so close to the launch of After Whorl: Bran Reborn, the second book in my Celtic Fervour series of historical romantic adventures, which will be published on Monday 16th December by Crooked Cat Publishing. I’ve been trying to find something different to write about at all of the stops on my mini- launch tour. Therefore, today, I’m going to go right to the very top of the Roman ladder to talk about the ‘big boss’ who has affected what my characters do in After Whorl: Bran Reborn. I hope my topic isn’t too familiar and that your readers read something new.

It sounds fascinating!  So tell me - what have The Flavians to do with After Whorl: Bran Reborn? And who was this top ‘Roman’ dog in AD 71, the date at which After Whorl: Bran Reborn begins? 

When I wrote the novel, I had to research to be sure of my facts, my memory being a bit unreliable at times.

The Roman Emperor in AD 71 was Titus Flavius Vespasianus, a man who had risen from relatively humble origins of equestrian birth to eventually become emperor at the age of 60. It helped that his father had paid for his early career, gaining Vespasian entry to the army as a young man; his pater having accrued considerable wealth as a tax collector, elevating their family to patrician status along the way. Having entered the lower ranks, Vespasian was then able to progress through the general paths of becoming a military tribune during the reign of Tiberius, and then on to become a praetor during Caligulas reign.

Do the early parts of his career have any bearing on your characters?

Not quite, but the next stages Vespasian went through did to some extent. When Claudius set to conquer Britannia in AD 43, Vespasian joined the campaign with his Legio II Augusta. In what is now termed the south of England, Vespasian distinguished himself with his use of siege weapons against the heavily fortified settlements of the indigenous Celtic tribes, capturing and subduing a good number of these substantial hill forts. When sent to the south-west of England it’s thought that his objectives may have been to secure the south coast ports and harbours, and to gain control over the tin mines of Cornwall and the silver and lead mines of Somerset. This fact is important since, in a way, it has influenced some of the plot of After Whorl: Bran Reborn and even more so in the third book of my Celtic Fervour series –After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks - which is due sometime around March 2014. The importance being that Vespasian knew there were natural resources in Britannia which could swell the Roman coffers.

Having distinguished himself so well as Legate of the Legio II Augusta, in Britannia, Vespasian was well lauded on his return to Rome with triumphal regalia.

How did that early posting in Britannia affect the characters in AD 71 in After Whorl: Bran Reborn? 

It meant Vespasian had a good working knowledge of what the Celtic tribes of Britannia were like. He had experienced the climate and the customs of the indigenous people. Military manoeuvres and campaigns in Britannia would have been enhanced by his background knowledge. The fact that he set up legionary headquarters at Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter) prompted me to add building works of forts and fortresses into After Whorl: Bran Reborn. I have more on Vespasian, and the Flavians, on my blog if anyone is interested in learning a little extra about this particular Roman ‘top dog and his family’.

Thank you for inviting me here, today, Sue, It’s lovely to visit other Crooked Cat authors so close to the launch date of 16th Dec for After Whorl- Bran Reborn.

You’re most welcome, Nancy.  And thank you for coming!

After Whorl: Bran Reborn is available for pre-order in paperback from Amazon UK (

Facebook Launch Party **Giveaways**
For a chance to enter the draw for a ‘triquetra’ necklace and other prizes, join Nancy’s Facebook Launch party and look for details of how to win the prizes on offer.

Blog launch Tour **Special Prize**
A special Blog Tour ‘friend’ will WIN a mystery gift for the most commented visits to blogs during the launch tour for After Whorl: Bran Reborn. (i.e. most comments between 9th Dec and 18th Dec wins the prize)  To be sure you don’t miss any blog posts check Nancy’s Blog regularly between the 9th Dec and the 17th Dec.

Nancy Jardine lives in the fantastic ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband. She spends her week making creative excuses for her neglected large garden; doesn’t manage as much writing as she always plans to do since she’s on Facebook too often, but she does have a thoroughly great time playing with her toddler granddaughter when she’s just supposed to be ‘just’ childminding her twice a week.

A lover of all things historical it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non- fiction history-related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.
You’ll find Nancy at the following places: Amazon UK author page    Amazon US author page   Blog    Website   Facebook  Goodreads   About Me   LinkedIn   Twitter @nansjar  Google+ 

In addition, Nancy’s novel Topaz Eyes has been nominated for the People’s Book Prize 2014.  You can vote for it here.

After Whorl: Bran Reborn

Ravaged by war

…AD 71. After the battle at Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. 

Returning to Marske, Ineda finds her grandmother dead, though Brennus is not. Snared by a Roman patrol, they are marched to Witton where he is forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion. 
Embracing his new identity as Bran, Brennus vows to avert Roman occupation of northernmost Brigantia. Ineda becomes his doughty spying accomplice, though sometimes she’s too impetuous. Trading with the Romans lends excellent opportunities for information gathering. Over time, Bran’s feelings for Ineda mar with  his loyalty to Ineda’s father. 
When she disappears, and cannot be found, Bran enters direct service with Venutius, King of the Brigantes.