Saturday, March 29, 2014

Guest Author Nancy Jardine: Women’s Work is Never Done! @nansjar @KMNbooks #books #historical

KAREN: Welcome multi-published Nancy Jardine for her launch party fun! After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks was released on March 25, 2014! Do you have your copy yet? If not, please feel free to use the direct links below to grab a copy of this fantastic book, and while you're here, please enjoy a behind the scenes post from the author. Take it away, Nancy...

NANCY: Hi Karen, it’s lovely to be here during my launch tour for After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks (published 25th March 2014), Book 3 of my Celtic Fervour Series of Historical Romantic Adventures set in Celtic /Roman Britain AD 71-84.

Finding a brand new topic about Celtic/Roman Britain, for each of my tour stops, is quite challenging this time around, since it’s the third book of the series and I feel like I’ve talked about almost everything! However, I wanted to write somewhere about the different kinds of work done by my young Celtic female character, Ineda, who appears in Books 2 and 3. In 2014, many would feel her life choices were very restricted compared to what a woman can do now but in her time Ineda is actually at the forefront of innovative thinking, as you’ll find out…

In Book 2- After Whorl: Bran Reborn- Ineda is very frustrated. She can’t spend her days as a healer tending to the sick at Witton, the large Celtic settlement of roundhouses which the Roman Army has herded her people into, since the resident old crone won’t allow her position in the tribe to be threatened. Instead, Ineda needs to find a new task to keep her occupied. Most young women would be content to do the usual women’s work of tending to the hearthside, keeping the fire constantly lit in the roundhouse, which isn’t as simple as that sounds. Generally speaking, women would also be seeing to the preparation and cooking of food; weaving cloth on the upright loom; cleaning clothes and children- the Celts thought to have been quite particular about their hygiene. Some of the women may also have been formerly warrior trained, but the Roman Army encamped outside the settlement walls have forbidden the Celts to take up arms. She can’t properly train in weaponry, or keep practising even if she wanted to.

She detests the Romans, wants them gone from her land and vows to do anything she can to thwart their dominance. One way to make that happen is to help Venutius, King of the Brigante Celts, get enough knowledge of Roman infiltration to enable him to organise successful uprisings. Spying
means needing to be able to move around easily and that’s a dangerous undertaking when every step is monitored by a Roman patrol.

She persuades Bran, formerly known as Brennus of Garrigill, to help her trade leather, furs and specially produced cloth from goat wool (like cashmere) with the Roman scum since they will not exchange money with a woman. The organisation of their goods supply chain was quite innovative 2000 years ago, though, and Ineda finds she has a fine head for business. Unfortunately, their trading excuse is curtailed when they are set upon and Ineda disappears.

Book 3 finds Ineda learning new skills. Taken prisoner, and forced to become the personal slave of tribune Gaius Livanus Valerius of the Legio XX, Ineda learns how to exist in a Roman garrison fortress of some 5000 men with almost no women. She is quick to learn the Latin tongue that is the universal language of the fort and uses it to haggle for supplies at the small market stalls inside the fort. She listens and learns a lot about the Romans surrounding her and she finds a way to still…spy! 

Thank you for letting me share a little of Ineda with your readers today, Karen. Your readers can learn a lot more about my spirited Ineda in After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks which is available from Amazon.

Nancy Jardine’s novels can be found in paperback and ebook formats from:
Amazon UK author page    Amazon US author page  Crooked Cat Bookstore; Waterstones; Barnes and Noble; Smashwords; W. H. Smith; and other book retailers.

Nancy can be found at the following places:   Blog    Website   Facebook  Goodreads   About Me   LinkedIn   Twitter @nansjar  Google+ 

Nancy’s writing time is shared with regular grandchild minding duties, tending her large garden, ancestry research and leisure reading. She’s currently writing a family saga based mainly in Scotland, and Book 4 of her Celtic Fervour series. She’s delighted to be able to share that Topaz Eyes (Crooked Cat Publishing) an ancestral-based mystery, is a finalist for THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE Fiction 2014. After Whorl: Bran Reborn - Book 2 of her Celtic Fervour Series (Crooked Cat Publishing) has been accepted for THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2014- the most prestigious prize for historical fiction in the UK.


After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks 

by Nancy Jardine

Pursued by Rome.
AD73 Northern Britannia

After King Venutius’ defeat, Brennus of Garrigill – known as Bran – maintains a spy network monitoring Roman activity in Brigantia. Relative peace reigns till AD 78 when Roman Governor Agricola marches his legions to the far north. Brennus is always one step ahead of the Roman Army as he seeks the Caledon Celt who will lead all tribes in battle against Rome.

Ineda of Marske treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius, who is responsible for supplying Agricola’s northern campaigns. At Inchtuthil Roman Fort Ineda flees seeking fellow Brigantes congregating on the foothills of Beinn na Ciche.

Will the battle against the Romans bring Ineda and Brennus together again?


…She cursed her way over to another stall. Her idle life was so stifling. She needed some better occupation or she feared her head would burst open with frustration.
            Some days she could walk around the fortress and barely see anyone she recognised. This, however, was not one of those occasions. The centurion was not a man she could gain information from, but she knew others who were almost reliable in their consistency. Burying another groan, she prepared a smile for the man who acknowledged the departing centurion with a nod, the seniority a marginal, yet volatile thing.
            She had learned something of the levels of power in the legion. The centurion officially outranked the man who walked towards her, but the one who wore minimal armour did not think so. Tribune Valerius was rarely inclined to share any useful information with her but his secutore, Pomponius, was a blabbermouth when in a bad mood. She had learned how to extract useful information from the man, even though no one outside the garrison could transport messages for her, yet. She merely bided her time till she could do something about her lack of resources. Living in a fortress inhabited by more than five thousand soldiers did not make her task easy but she had not given up.
            Greeting Pomponius, she prepared to quiz the man, the expression on his face indicating great displeasure. That was good in that he was more inclined to divulge useful information when he was disgruntled. It was also bad because she always bore the brunt of his temper.
            Pomponius constantly bemoaned the fact that any triumph of Tribune Valerius reflected on the rate of his own progress and the lack of triumph on the part of his superior did the opposite. The secutore was ambitious and the tribune’s recent lack of advancement was a bone of contention.
            “Good day, Ineda. You are here to purchase something for Tribune Valerius?”
            There was no point in dissembling with Pomponius. He dealt with all the traders on the tribune’s behalf and regularly paid the accounts Tribune Valerius agreed to.
            “Yes. I need to acquire cloth for his bathing.”
            The short nod from Pomponius put a stamp of agreement on the purchase, though she would have argued otherwise if necessary.
            “Tribune Valerius is fair in his dealings to all, Ineda. I do hope you appreciate that?”
            She ignored the veiled threat and accepted the cut cloth from the trader.
            Pomponius bristled further. “I very much enjoy my task working for Gaius Livanus Valerius, I will have you know that, but there are times when he can be exasperating.”
            Ineda suppressed a smirk. Pomponius was indeed annoyed by some recent decision by Gaius. It was the perfect time to probe. “I am not certain of your meaning, Pomponius.”
            The huff of displeasure went along with serious squeezing of his eyebrows. “Tribune Valerius could be back in Rome by now, in a lucrative senior post. He has earned the transfer, yet chooses to remain in Britannia.”
            Tribune Valerius never shared such details with her. She knew full well that Pomponius was disgruntled because a relocation for the tribune might mean his own transfer to Rome.
            “Tell me again about these terms that tribunes serve?”
Link for YouTube Book trailer video:

Karen- thank you!

You're very welcome, Nancy. I wish you the very best success!!


Nancy Jardine said... Best Blogger Tips

It's fabulous to come with Ineda, today, Karen. We love travelling and like meeting folks along the way. Catch you later when your part of the world is up and running. :-)

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks so much for being here today! How's the weather in your neck of the woods. Mild weather here in California, but we did a experience a nice jolt last night with a 5.1 earthquake.

Nancy Jardine said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG. That's quite a good shake. I hope all is okay with you? Our weather is mild for this time of the year- today was still cool at 7 deg C (45 F?), cloudy but no rain. Take care.