Friday 27 March 2020

Ocelot Press series continues!

Hello everyone,

During this extremely harrowing time for many, and a surely sad and difficult time for pretty well everybody else, regarding the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID 19) situation, it's great when the internet can give us something different to focus on. 
I've, personally, been doing a lot of research reading about my favourite subject - Roman Britain - but that isn't exclusive because when another historical time period catches my eye, I'm spending time on that, too.
There's a super new post, continuing the Ocelot Press authors series, where you can catch up with important events in the Ricardian calendar. There are very many fans of Richard III, King of England,  who had a special celebration for the reburial of his remains which had been uncovered from a very unusual ( and not in any way appropriate) setting some years ago. 
Ocelot Press author Jennifer Wilson tells you all about it    HERE 

And I can definitely recommend reading The Last Plantagenet because it's a very entertaining 'What if this happened?' time slip novel. 


Friday 13 March 2020

The Ocelot Press Blog new series continues!

Hello everyone!

If you need something to take your mind off Coronavirus then read on...

The new series over on the Ocelot Press Blog continues with my fellow Ocelot, Sue Barnard,  adding today's post.

If - like Sue, and me, and probably millions of others - you studied Shakespeare at secondary school, for an exam like I did for my O Grade English, then this post will resonate. And if you've come to studying Shakespeare from another route, this post should also still interest you.

The play Sue focuses on is 'Julius Caesar' but as with all of Sue's novels, there's a very fresh take on her writing when she sets the scene behind the curtains of an amateur dramatics group.

I highly recommend reading both Sue's entertaining post today, and the novel - The Unkindest Cut.

Just click here to read on the Ocelot Press blog and to get buy details.
(p.s. The ebook is only £1.99 and a great bargain!)


Monday 9 March 2020

Off to pastures known!

Happy Monday to you! 

Turriff Library, Aberdeenshire
I’m off on a 50 mile round trip this afternoon, a visit that was postponed 2 weeks ago because of expected snowfall. My destination is the U3A Turriff History Group, which meets in Turriff Library, Aberdeenshire. I'm giving an author presentation and I can honestly say it's so lovely to go to a group like this, because history is also their passion!

I must have done something right in 2018, because the group have requested that I come back a second time. They want me to tell them more about Roman Scotland, and give them an update on my writing progress. I’m told they also have a lovely set of questions prepared to quiz me on, so I certainly hope I know the answers. My main problem is that recall under pressure isn’t always that good, but I’ll give it my very best shot.

The morning is beautiful, though it started a cold one.  I’m looking forward to a lovely country drive because that is what Turriff means to me. I have two possible routes to use to drive northwards and I’m choosing to use the different one from I used in 2018.

General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola- c. Nancy Jardine 
For the last visit, my presentation gave information on Ancient Roman Army movements in Aberdeenshire, North-East Scotland. Today, my focus is more on the Emperors who were in place during the early invasions of Caledonia, and on General Agricola (his career). I'm also mentioning the largest and most impressive of the Roman installations Agricola was likely to have been responsible for across Scotland. I've ferreted out some new (to me) images to use to keep the presentation fresh. One of the hazards/ excitements about giving PowerPoint Presentations is to keep them fresh, for the venues I attend... and also for me! 

Updates may follow later. 


Wednesday 4 March 2020

#Review of Books read in February #1

Did I read any fiction in February?

A lot of my reading time in February was spent on non-fiction aspects - lots of articles on Ancient Roman History, and I dipped back into texts I'd read before but needed to re-read to clarify things needed for my current writing.

So, did I read any fiction? Yes,  I did.  If I were better organised, I would not be jotting down comments all at the same time, but I'm now making time to write a little about a few of those novels.
The following is similar to what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads. 

The Last of the Romans by Derek Birks

This was an exciting, well-paced novel charting the exploits of Dux Ambrosius Aurelianus as he leads his crack troops back to Gaul, to the city of his estranged family.

That sounds like it should be a simple matter but not for Dux who is now deemed to be a traitor of the Empire, having been a well-respected and revered defender of the Empire. Hounded by his persistent enemy, Dux thwarts many attacks and loses a number of his band only to get back to his home town and that estranged family that nobody would ever want! 

The author allows the reader the opportunity to meet some distinct baddies to counteract the ‘goodness’ of sword-wielding Dux. Does Dux really have any empathy for anyone? You’ll have to read the book to find out…


#OcelotPress Blog New series begins!

Happy Wednesday!

The sun is shining (truly it is) and March has sprung. The day is dawning by 6 a.m and the dark mornings are over for me at latitude 57 Deg N. Does that mean I'll manage some more writing? I certainly hope so. I've been snatching moments here and there, and I intend to manage more of that. Researching, too, since what would life be like without research (insert smiley face!)?

Trimontium Roman Museum -
Nancy Jardine
I have also been writing a blog post for the Ocelot Press Blog, kicking off a new weekly series. You can find my first post for this  series HERE  

In the past, I've written on this blog about the fabulous little museum in Melrose, on the Scottish Borders, run by the Trimontium Trust. It's currently closed for extension and renovation but I've mentioned it in today's Ocelot Press Blog post to let more readers know about it.  

Updates will follow on its re-opening, when I find out about that. Till then, hop on over by clicking the above link and enjoy the photographs!