Sunday 24 February 2019

3rd week of #pressjournal feature!

The Weekend (for me) is almost gone!

I've had two days of heavy pruning in my garden, mainly Lilac trees and bushes but also apples and weigela. Pruning so heavily at this time of February during some years would be a recipe for disaster, but in my part of Scotland we haven't really had much of a winter. The forthcoming week is set to be mild for the time of year, even record breaking temperatures of above 15 Deg C. which is truly amazing. I'm hoping now to burn off my many piles of cuttings on the garden bonfire, tomorrow if there is no wind of note.

That doesn't, of course, mean we won't still have deep winter conditions, because that happened this time last year at the end of February into March when the 'Beast from the East' descended. The weather pattern of deep and prolonged snow and very cold temperatures was named thus since it came to Scotland from an easterly direction.

But... my weekend isn't over yet, not before I make mention of the 3rd week of my Press and Journal Weekend Magazine feature. Saturday 23rd's edition of the Press and Journal newspaper, the largest newspaper in NE Scotland, ran the second excerpt from Agricola's Bane. This time it is Agricola who is introduced the newspaper the readership.

I've been really honoured to have been given the opportunity to have my work read and noticed by more potential readers- even if the statistics don't show that I've sold all that many copies. New readers are always a great thing! 

It's not easy to read from a scan of the newspaper, as below, but the novel is readily available from Amazon HERE.


Friday 22 February 2019

#indieBrag Medallion NovelConversations

Friday Greetings to you! 

#What'shappeningFriday ?

If there is such a hashtag then my answer would be that for a change one of my characters from The Taexali Game is getting an outing. Aran Bruce, my 13 year old main character, has escaped from the pages and is being interviewed by the amazing Helen Hollick in her new blog series designed to feature books which have received indieBrag Medallion status.

You can choose which answer you think was Aran's favourite by popping in HERE

Saturday 16 February 2019

Week 2 #Press&Journal feature

Hello Saturday! 

It's the 16th Feb 2018 and it's also the second week of the feature of my writing, Agricola's Bane in particular,  in the Weekender Magazine of the Aberdeen Press and Journal newspaper, the main newspaper for NE Scotland.

Today, they have printed the first of two extracts from Agricola's Bane.

I hope the readers enjoy it!


Friday 15 February 2019

#FREEread #4AgricolasBane #CelticFervourSeries #The Press and Journal Weekend Magazine

Hello Friday!

The second part of my feature in the Press and Journal Newspaper Weekend Magazine (NE Scotland) will be printed tomorrow Sat 16th Feb 2019. Enjoy the first of two extracts from #Agricola's Bane! (the other extract will be published next Sat 23rd Feb)

You can buy the series from Amazon or read it #FREE with #KindleUnlimited


Wednesday 13 February 2019

#interviewed #Mearns Radio Wendy's Book Buzz

Wednesday Wonders,

Today wasn't a normal Wednesday - well, in truth for me there are probably no predictable Wednesdays. Instead of tapping away at my keyboard, or continuing with my Beta Reading tasks, I spent some time being interviewed on Mearns Radio, a local internet radio station that broadcasts to a huge chunk of southern Aberdeenshire.

Technical hitches apart -  when I lost telephone contact with the radio presenter, the Dundee Crime writer Wendy Jones - it was a fine experience. I've only done one other 'phone' radio interview in the past so I'm not exactly a seasoned warrior! dialling a number when under time pressure to re-establish contact is quite an art when the pointing finger is shaking!

The whole hour can hopefully be revisited HERE . Select Wendy's book Buzz 13th Feb 2019 and click the link! The technical glitches meant some music playing before the questions were asked and explanations or answers given but - no worries- just enjoy!


Monday 11 February 2019

#Ocelot Press #reblogged

Good Morning Monday! 

I've been asked a couple of times why I chose to self- publish with Ocelot Press - a co-operative of authors - rather than just branch out as a totally self-published author on my own, after I received all my publishing rights back from my previous publisher Crooked Cat Books in 2018. 

This blog post of today on the Ocelot Press Website is exactly why I'm delighted to be part of a group with such supportive and talented authors. When the opportunity arises, we Ocelots are all about sharing, which includes helping to spread the word of any successes of our author members. My heartfelt thanks go to Vanessa Couchman who has undertaken the additional role of maintaining our Ocelot Website, squeezing valuable minutes from her own time-pressed schedule to share our Ocelot news.

Her post begins like this....

Look at the History on Your Doorstep, Advocates Nancy Jardine

"Ocelot Press author Nancy Jardine is a mine of information about the Romans in the north of England and Scotland, knowledge that she’s put to good use in her Celtic Fervour series: four novels, soon to become five. The series concentrates on a particular clan and its struggles to oust the Romans. Each book focuses on a specific character. ..." 

You can find the rest of her super supportive post HERE about my recent feature in The Press and Journal Newspaper's Weekender Magazine, which I'm informed has the third largest Scottish national daily press uptake.

Now, I'm off to play my part as a  contributing Ocelot author because, as well as supporting each other with publicity, we are sharing our other skills. Today, I'm doing some Beta Reading for an Ocelot. For those unfamiliar with Beta Reading, it's support given pre-final professional editing and my job is to read the manuscript that's approaching final stages. I'll be looking for aspects like continuity issues, character development, believable storyline, punchy beginnings and super endings with all of the loose ends well-tied up and other structural issues that an author is sometimes too close to their work to  notice might need a bit more tweaking.  

It's not an editing job, though I have to say I find I can't not jot down things that I feel could be improved on like a misspelling or an awkward sentence.  Beta Reading is a skill that I'm just learning! And later today I'll be squeezing in time for more of my Book 5 new writing. 


Saturday 9 February 2019

3 part #Magazinefeature!

Saturday Smiles! 

It's a very good day for me today, 9th Feb 2019, since a NE Scotland newspaper- the Aberdeen Press and Journal - has begun a 3 part feature about my writing in it's Weekender Magazine. While I can't say what the reporter wrote is 100% entirely accurate, according to what was discussed in the telephone interview, I'm delighted with what Phillipa Gerrard has written since it's about 99%! 

The next 2 Saturday editions of the Newspaper Weekender Magazine will feature 2 different extracts from Agricola's Bane, Book 4 of my Celtic Fervour Series. 

All exposure in the media is very encouraging and may lead to more people reading my work. That makes the sometimes hard slog of research and writing all the more worthwhile! 


Wednesday 6 February 2019

Lack of writing time?

Wednesday Woes...or is it?

On checking my calendar, I see it's been days again since I posted here. Life is full of excuses for some and I'm no different. It only takes some tiny (and not so tiny) domestic routine change to throw me off schedule.

As well as writing novels, and reading novels, one of my favourite activities - and it's not actually leisure time - is house redecoration. I actually do enjoy wielding a paintbrush and applying the paint to  walls and doors etc. Since hubby and I had a new exterior door and a couple of new interior doors installed last week, I was straight into redecorating around them. 

Two coats of bright white emulsion on the walls; two coats of white silk gloss on some wood panelling and skirting;  and two coats of varnish on the new wood of the interior doors took some time away from my writing and reading! 

Yesterday's job was buying a new light fitting and a concrete repair kit to sort out the uneven floor where a recessed door mat used to be. This morning's job was applying that concrete (very inexpertently) before a laminate floor can be laid. That will probably need to wait till Friday since the concrete needs time to dry out properly.

Excuses? Yes. But since I'm the DIY person, it needed to be done. 

Now I'm back to some new writing. I just wish I could combine mindless painting with a better flow of ideas for my current manuscript. Some ideas came to me but shall I remember them? Let's see...

But first, I need to update my reviews done for books read by other authors. See another post (today) on 2 new reviews. 


Fiction and non-fiction paperbacks

It's review time again of books I've recently read!

I don't often read paperback novels these days since I prefer to use my tablet for reading novels in bed. However, I've just finished a paperback non-fiction book and a paperback novel. 

The non-fiction book was a very short read which I'll no doubt use again as a handy reference. It's called Domitian by Suetonius -a translation of Suetonius' work by Rise of Douai. I bought this one since I'm waiting for a copy of another non-fiction text about Domitian, which has the reputation of being a definitive work on Emperor Domitian. I'm presently interested in reading up on Domitian because he is critical regarding what happens to the characters in my historical Celtic Fervour Series, since he seems to have been instrumental in recalling General Agricola back from northern Britannia to Rome in c. early A.D. 85. 

The other paperback is a signed copy of The Warrior Princess by K.M. Ashman. I acquired the signed copy from Kevin Ashman at a session he undertook at the Historical Novel Society Conference 2018 in Cumbernauld, Scotland. It's taken a while for me to read it since my paperback pile is as high as my kindle pile.  

I've read other novels by Kevin Ashman before, thoroughly enjoyed them, and found this one a really interesting journey back in time. I know almost nothing about the history of Wales so could not comment on any accuracy, but I found it very credible.

When reading The Warrior Princess I kept recalling Kevin's lovely Welsh lilt saying that for him the story is the 'key'. For him historical accuracy is important, he said, but a believable story has to be the overriding factor in creating the novel. This novel, about the attempts of Gwenllian and Tarw to oust the English invaders who have settled in Wales A.D. 1135, reads very fluently. There are multiple well-portrayed characters in the novel and I would be hard put to say that Nesta, wife to Gerald of Windsor and sister of Tarw (Gruffydd ap Rhys), is the main one even though the back blurb seems to indicate it may be so. Nesta' s part in the failed rebellion which results in the death of The Warrior Princess Gwenllian, is a tragic one.

If you like reading historical novels with more than a touch of adventure in them, I'm sure you'll love reading The Warrior Princess. 

I now have a couple of novels to read as a beta reader next up in my schedule. I'm not experienced in this type of reading, but I'm looking forward to them. More about them at a suitable opportunity when they become published novels. 


Friday 1 February 2019

#Kindred Spirits: York by #Jennifer C. Wilson has launched!

Friday News! 

I'm absolutely delighted that my friend Jen Wilson has popped in today to share news of her latest addition to her Kindred Spirits Series. To date, I've enjoyed the previous books in the series which have a totally refreshing way to highlight historical figures. The entertaining novels come with a huge twist - in that we are introduced to them via the paranormal historical genre of writing. They are the ghosts the accompany you along the routes in the famous settings chosen by the author, whether you believe in ghosts or not! The next time I'm wandering around in York, I'm sure to be appreciating it from a different perspective. 

Welcome to the blog, Jen. Please tell us more about Kindred Spirits: York.

In the Kindred Spirits series, we meet the ghosts of historical characters, in a range of contemporary settings. Have you ever wondered what Richard III and Anne Boleyn might have in common, what Mary, Queen of Scots is getting up to now, or what happens when the visitors leave some of the most popular attractions in the country? Well, here’s your chance!

In the fourth of the series, we’re heading to York, and a whole new community of ghosts are ready to greet us, including some visiting favourites, taking advantage of a much speedier transport system than they were ever used to…

Kindred Spirits: York
Release date: 31st January 2019
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Paranormal historical fiction

In the ancient city of York, something sinister is stirring...

What do a highwayman, an infamous traitor, and two hardened soldiers have in common? Centuries of friendship, a duty to the town, and a sense of mischief – until they realise that someone is trying to bring chaos to their home.
Joining forces with local Vikings, the four friends keep an eye on the situation, but then, disaster strikes.
Can peace be restored both inside and out of the city walls?

Praise for the Kindred Spirits series
“A light hearted, humorous, and at times tender read which you'll enjoy whether you like history or not.”
“This light-hearted, imaginative read is a new take on historical fiction but make no mistake, this is not only a fun read but an educational tool.”
“A brilliantly unique idea from a distinctive new voice in fiction.”
“A darn good read.”

Praise for Kindred Spirits: York
Another joyous ghostly romp from the pen of Jennifer C. Wilson. The nightly ghost walks around the ancient city of York will never seem the same again after you read this – with its tales of kings and queens, saints and sinners (Dick Turpin and Guy Fawkes anyone?), spending their afterlives among the iconic streets and sites of the town they frequented in life. But this is no sleepy existence: unruly spirits are disrupting the lives of both the living and the dead. With Romans, Vikings, medieval warriors and traitors to the Crown never the most natural of companions, it takes little to stir them up to wreak some light-hearted ghostly havoc – until, that is, events take a shocking turn....
With early special guest appearances from some of my own favourite Yorkists (and a less-agreeable Tudor hanger-on) visiting a city they once loved, the book offers another sparkling cast of the dearly (not-quite) departed. What’s not to like? Except thinking once again ‘I wish I’d had that idea!’ – Alex Marchant, author of The Order of the White Boar.

I love this series and it’s going from strength to strength. This one was great, the author has created a little gem. From Richard III taking a day trip to Harry Hotspur, Dick Turpin and Guy Fawkes protecting their city, this is probably my favourite so far. Really looking forward to seeing where the author has us visiting next. – Amazon Reviewer.

About Jennifer
Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since.

In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her timeslip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press.

She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.

Congratulations on your launch, Jennifer. I've got my copy on my kindle and look forward to reading it. Thank you for coming today.