What is a Beltane?


I have, in the Round Pen, Nancy Jardine visiting all the way from Scotland! Man, how I’d love to visit that country someday. For now, let’s grab our coffee and Danish and kick back while Nancy tells us about her new release (TODAY! How cool am I? :lolJ), The Beltane Choice.

It’s all yours, Nancy! Grab a quirt or a whip and let’s get this show under way. 😀

Hi Calisa! This is such a fantastic day for me to be visiting you. Today marks the launch of my first historical novel, The Beltane Choice, so I’m very excited to come and visit you-since you were one of the first blogs that I visited on my debut launch in August 2011. My tentative foray onto the blogging scene this time last year was greatly helped along by you, my TWRP friend. You continue to be a fantastic support!

I thought about the contrasts between writing my contemporary novels for TWRP, and my historical, and decided to attempt to entertain you with a little comparative study.  The Beltane Choice is set in AD 71, in what was deemed northern Britannia by the invading Roman Armies. I’ve used what I’d call antiquated language to give a very ancient feel to it. For that, I had to be thinking about more than just the actual vocabulary used. I needed to be aware of the cadences in the speech to ensure they didn’t resemble current speech patterns, and getting into the ‘heads’ of my characters was a lovely challenge.

Today, I’ve taken a section where my gorgeous hero (a Viggo Mortensen, as Aragorn in The Lord of The Rings, look-alike) talks to his captive, my lovely Nara, a Selgovae princess. In normal circumstances the Selgovae were mortal enemies of the Brigantes, but the advance of the Roman Empire has altered the usual state of affairs. I’m giving you my historical ‘form’ followed by how that scene would unfold if I were writing a contemporary novel.

Original extract:

Lorcan had been thinking long and hard about what to do with her once they reached Garrigill. Since knowing her princess status he had planned a positive method of using her abduction, the recent conversation with Gyptus’s warriors making him decide to speed up the process. Now he needed Nara to believe in his plan.

“Nay, Brigante.” Slapping at his arms, Nara of Tarras’s manner was unyielding. “You are mistaken. Callan will not negotiate.”

“Why continue this pretence? You hold high status in your tribe.”

“Callan of Tarras will not bargain.”

Her jaw was so set, her voice almost to shouting level. The vehemence could not be faked, but Lorcan was not ready to take her at her word just yet. He maintained his level tone. “Then I will know the truth. There is much you have not told me.”

“In that you are correct.”

Nara jumped up and stomped off, gaining little ground before he snaked his arm around her shoulders. Pushing him away her chide was as brutal as the sharp blades flashing from her eyes, her mouth whipcord lean.

“You declared you would not touch me. You are just like your warriors.”

“Aye. I lust after you like every man of my band, but I am the one who prevents them from accosting you.”

Nara’s furious face held his attention for a moment before he continued. “Perhaps I am wrong? It may be you would not deem their advances unasked for?”

Lorcan loathed it that she misunderstood his motives. Restraining his anger he sought to explain his reasoning.

“You are beautiful, Nara. They must believe they cannot have you because I deem it so. That gives you a measure of safety.”

And now for something…contemporary:

Lorcan wondered what the hell he was going to do with her once they reached his house, at Garrigill. She was a bloody princess! He’d thought about how best to tackle the consequences of her abduction. He had a damned good plan…but he needed Nara on board.  

“No way, Brigante!” Nara, princess of Tarras, slapped at his arms. “You’re an idiot. Callan won’t negotiate.”


“What the friggin’ heck do you mean? You’re a prime hostage.”

 “Callan of Tarras won’t bargain a cent!”

Her jaw was so set, her voice shrill.  Lorcan could see she meant business, but he wouldn’t take her word for it, not yet. He kept his tone level.  “So, enlighten me. Spill those secrets you’ve not told me about.”

“My secrets are mine.”

Nara jumped up and stomped around, only pulled up by his arm hook around her shoulders.  Pushing him away her tongue lashing was as frank as her flashing eyes, her mouth thin and nasty.

“What happened to your ‘you wouldn’t lay a hand on me’ speech?  All hot air! You’re as bad as your hangers-on.”

“Yeah! Says you! Sure, I lust after you like the rest of my men, but I’m the one who is keeping them off your back.”

Nara’s furious expression stripped him before he continued. “Am I wrong? Maybe you fancy a quick tumble with all of them?”

Lorcan hated the thought that his motives might be misunderstood. Tamping down his anger, he struggled a patient tone.

“You’re beautiful, Nara. If they think you’re mine they’ll back off.”


I’d love to know what you think of my two versions, and perhaps what you would do differently in a contemporary version. Please leave me a comment! If you do, you’ll automatically be entered into the draw for a PDF copy of The Beltane Choice.

Thank you, Calisa, for allowing me to share The Beltane Choice, with you, and your readers today. It’s been great down on the ranch!


Can the Celtic Tribes repel the Roman army?

Banished from the nemeton, becoming a priestess is no longer the future for Nara, a princess of the Selgovae tribe. Now charged with choosing a suitable mate before Beltane, her plan is thwarted by Lorcan, an enemy Brigante prince, who captures her and takes her to his hill fort. Despite their tribes fighting each other, Nara feels drawn to her captor, but time runs out for her secret quest.

As armies of the Roman Empire march relentlessly northwards, Lorcan intends to use Nara as a marriage bargain, knowing all Celtic tribes must unite to be strong enough to repel imminent Roman attack. Nara’s father, Callan, agrees to a marriage alliance between Selgovae and Brigante, but has impossible stipulations. Lorcan is torn between loyalty to his tribe and growing love for Nara.  

When danger and death arrive in the form of the mighty Roman forces, will Nara be able to choose her Beltane lover?

Bio-Nancy Jardine

Nancy Jardine gave up teaching in the autumn of 2011 and now writes full time- give, or take, the couple of days she looks after her gorgeous granddaughter of 11months. By mid-Dec 2012 she’ll have had 4 novels published. Apart from blogging herself to death, current WIPs are: a sequel to her time-travel adventure for children aged 9-12years, a sequel to her historical novel, and a family saga.

Nancy lives in the stunning castle country of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband who feeds her well-or she’d starve! She’s no time for hobbies but reads when she can, does Ancestry research, and neglects the spectacular weeds in her garden- which she’s becoming very fond of! She still loves the family activity weekends she spends with extended family members, fun filled times that have led to plots for her novels!

Website: http://nancyjardineauthor.weebly.com

Blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com

FaceBook:  http://facebook.com/nancy.jardine.56

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nanjar/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com@nansjar

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6166205-nancy

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/nancy-jardine/3a/9b0/a91

Books by Nancy Jardine:

The Beltane Choice:  www.crookedcatbooks.com and amazon.com (ebook version published 31st Aug 20012, print to followmazon.com: http://amzn.to/LE 26th October 2012)

Book Trailer:

Take Me Now: The Wild Rose Press: in print and ebook formats http://bit.ly/MrlI8x  aUblg  B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/take-me-now-nancy-jardine/1112379887?ean=2940014937641

Take Me Now Book Trailer:  http://youtu.be/stDC4Yhm2r0

Monogamy Twist:  The Wild Rose Press, in print and ebook formats http://bit.ly/wOpGbT   Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/ynu0t0   Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/wwaGCv   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/monogamy-twist-nancy-jardine/1105052518?ean=2940013040922

Monogamy Twist book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJVzbrkJQzA

Topaz Eyes: a history/mystery due mid Dec 2012 from Crooked{Cat}Publishing

This is a great opportunity for one lucky person to try your book free! Thanks again for coming, Nancy. Good luck with The Beltane Choice.


About Calisa Rhose

I'm a mother of three daughters and wife to a wonderful man of 35+ years. I'm also an avid seamstress, polymer clay artisan and die-hard crafter, always coming up with things to make with, and for, my six granddaughters and two grandsons. Check out my craft site https://lisasfancifulallure.wordpress.com/ when you have a moment. I'm also a small online business owner of Okie fLips on Etsy and Poshmark (eBay/Merkari coming soon), https://www.etsy.com/people/cmselfridge and https://poshmark.com/closet/okieflips I'm a published author of sensual romance. I write about stubborn men and women who don't take no for an answer, and there's always that golden HEA. Cowboys and first responders are my favorite contemporary heroes to write about. My light paranormal heroes are strong men ready to protect their women--not that they need protecting, since they are capable of caring for themselves.

Posted on 08/31/2012, in Blog Tour, Contests, Pen of the Dreamer, Promotion, Welcome and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Thank you to all of the people who visited, you made the release day wonderful for me. A mega congratulations to Karen Michelle Nutt-your name has been picked as the winner of today’s ecopy of The Beltane Choice.

    A huge thanks again to you, Calisa, for hosting me. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


  2. I’m checking in again, Sat morning. Thank you Ally for stopping by and for your kind wishes. Nice to meet you. 🙂
    Once again, Calisa, you’ve been a star for having me on your blog on my ‘non-roses’ release day. You’re welcome to visit me anytime! Thank you.


  3. Loved the contrast between the two versions. Best of luck with this book!


  4. I’m calling it a night Calisa. It’s been wonderful to have the support of all the Roses who’ve popped in and the other non-roses. Thank you so much for inviting me today. I’ll check again tomorrow but for now it’s sweet dreams! *bye bye*


  5. I love how you “moderned up” the language, Nancy. I just used the Beltane festival in a historical romance I wrote set in England and Colonial America. It’s a fascinating ancient ceremony.


    • Thanks Janinne. It was fun to think of the changes from historical to contemporary. I love the idea of the Beltane fire cleansing, and the promise of renewed/ good health and fertility for cattle and people.


  6. Fascinating post and excerpt, Nancy. I love these old historical time periods, so totally different. And I am very interested in anything Celtic.


    • I know you are, Beth. My Celtic novel is more of the ‘real’ historical than the imagined historical, and I loved writing it. I, too, am fascinated with Celtic history. I hope you like it. 🙂


  7. Nice video trailer!


  8. I’m really looking forward to reading this – Celtic history and my favourite pagan festival .. BB


    • Yay! Glad to hear that Cameron. Celtic history is a constant fascination of mine. (please excuse the typos above. I’ve been Facebook Online Launch partying since dawn 🙂 excuses, I know, *aw shucks*)


  9. Oh, what fun! I love how you gave us the “old world” feel and the more modern version. Nicely done!!

    Sounds like you have another winner here!!


  10. Fab post, Nancy! I’m fascinated by Celtic festivals. Mind you, I’m even fascinated by tonight’s blue moon! 😉 Very interesting, though.

    Anyway, best of luck with The Beltane Choice! 🙂


  11. Thanks for being here today, Nancy! 🙂 Thanks for telling me what the Beltane is. lol


  12. I should have also explained that Beltane was the Celtic festival which marked the beginning of summer!


  13. Hi Calisa! Thanks for inviting me on this special day! I’m looking forward to talking to your visitors. 🙂


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