Celtic Fervour Series Prequel
by Nancy Jardine
Publication Date: April 29th, 2022
Publisher: Ocelot Press
Genre: Historical Fiction / Ancient Historical Fiction
Two lives. Two stories. One future.
AD 71, Northern Britannia
At the Islet of the Priestesses, acolyte Nara greets each new day eager to heal the people at Tarras Hillfort. Weapon training is a guilty pleasure, but she is devastated when she is unexpectedly denied the final rites of an initiated priestess. A shocking new future beckons for Princess Nara of the Selgovae…
In the aftermath of civil war across Brigantia, Lorcan of Garrigill’s promotion of King Venutius is fraught with danger. Potential invasion by Roman legions from the south makes an unstable situation even worse. When Lorcan meets the Druid Maran, the future foretold for him is as enthralling as it is horrifying…
Beltane features in the titles of the first two books of my Celtic Fervour Series, though why?
Beltane, being one of the four main Ancient Celtic festivals, is celebrated on May 1st. Symbolically, Beltane heralds the summer season, a time of warmth, rebirth, and plentiful growth. Beltane, (probably) meaning the fires of the Celtic sun god Bel, was a festival of purification. A corridor was created between two rows of fires. Cattle were driven through it in order to purify the herd, banishing diseases and ensuring healthy stock. The Beltane festival night may also have been a time when a Celtic female was at liberty to choose someone to mate with her, future fertility very much an important part of the ritual.
Before Beltane is the prequel to the Celtic Fervour Series and was written to help clarify comments made by reviewers of Book 1, The Beltane Choice. Some readers wished for more historical background to the events in Brigantia, northern Britannia, prior to the opening of The Beltane Choice. Since the other books of the series do have more historical content in them, it was reasonable to address this. Others wanted more background characteristics of the main protagonists of The Beltane Choice before they have their tumultuous meeting at the outset of Book 1.
It was a lot of fun creating Before Beltane, giving insight into why Lorcan of Garrigill meeting Nara of Tarras is so stunning for them.
A recent Historical Novel Society review makes the writing of Before Beltane extremely worthwhile. Part of the review states:
"The book is packed with more character development and world building than I typically see from prequel novels. I am impressed and would definitely read more from this author and the Celtic Fervour series." ~ J. Lynne Else
Nancy writes historical and contemporary fiction, having dabbled in non-fiction history publications during her primary teaching career. 1st Century Roman Britain is the setting of her Celtic Fervour Series. A time travel historical adventure for teens is based in 3rd Century Scotland. Victorian and Edwardian history has sneaked into two of her ancestry-based contemporary mysteries, and current writing is set in Victorian Scotland.
Her novels have achieved FINALIST status in UK book competitions (People's Book Prize 2014; Scottish Association of Writers 2017) and have received prestigious ONLINE Book Awards. Published with Ocelot Press, writing memberships include – Historical Novel Society; Romantic Novelists Association; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; and Alliance of Independent Authors.