Saturday, 14 September 2019

The Beltane Choice by Nancy Jardine + #Giveaway

The Beltane Choice (Celtic Fervour series #1) by Nancy Jardine
Published by Crooked Cat Publishing in August 2012.

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AD 71 Northern Roman Britain

Lorcan of the Brigantes knows that unity of the northern tribes is essential when the Ancient Roman legions advance northwards to Brigantia. Yet, everything comes at a price. Using his captive, Nara, as a political bargain with the Selgovae comes with impossible stipulations. Battle at Whorl – Iron Age tribes against the Romans – is inevitable.

Will Nara have her Beltane choice?
The adventures of the Garrigill Clan begin…

I was intrigued by Nancy Jardine's Celtic Fervour series being set towards the beginning of the Roman occupation of Britannia. I haven't read any novels set in this period since Skin by Ilka Tampke, set three decades earlier, and it is a time of great social change across what would become Britain so ripe, I think, for a stirring historical fiction series. Jardine has researched and envisaged various tribal communities across the country. They have been intermittently at war with each other for generations, but now the Roman threat from the south can only successfully be countered if all these enemies can work together. With a lot of testosterone pride at stake, it seems unlikely that any proposal along these lines will be accepted by enough tribes. Added to be mix is a Romeo and Juliet-style narrative of potential lovers, Lorcan and Nara, being thwarted by their families each being the leaders of different tribes.

I enjoyed Jardine's portrayal of late Iron Age life and the landscapes through which our travelling - and sparring - protagonists pass. As she says in an epilogue essay, archaeology is constantly changing our understanding of how these people lived, but I felt I got authentic and honest descriptions from The Beltane Choice. I admit I am not particularly a romance reader so the breathy bickering between our potential partners did start to grate on me after a while. I always believed in the progression of their relationship though and the political manoeuvres were certainly convincing. If anything, I felt that The Beltane Choice could have done with being a longer novel! At times I wanted to know more of the background and minutiae. I already have the next book in the series awaiting reading though so I may discover more there and I look forward to returning to Iron Age Britain soon.

Meet the author
Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course)

A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.

Author links: 
Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

Win x1 signed paperback of The Beltane Choice to one UK winner and x1 kindle copy worldwide
Open internationally until the 19th September 2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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  1. Thank you so much Stephanie Jane for your super review of The Beltane Choice. I'm delighted you found the era interesting since it's a particular passion of mine, and as you point out not a period that's written about very often! The northern Roman Britain - Roman Scotland in later books of the series - locations are not written about often either.

    1. I was fascinated to learn more about both the era and the locations through this series :-)

  2. I love this timeframe- the Celtic and Roman worlds colliding- and this sounds great! I'll have to take a look. :)

    1. It was a time of intense culture clashes and I think that comes across well in the novel

  3. Sometimes it is a secret wish to get more details of the author's research when its a period we haven't read about. However hopefully its woven into the story. I'm glad this was such a winner for you Stephanie!!

    1. I'd be interested to read nonfiction about this time period too. Archaeologists keep making fascinating discoveries that improve our understanding

  4. Anything about the Romans is so fascinating! So political and intriguing! "testosterone pride" love that term. So much to blame to that in humankind's history!

    1. Absolutely! And there's lots of it in this story!