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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Look who's visiting me today!

I'm excited to today to have Nancy Jardine with me on my blog as my guest. I love all things Celtic, Scottish and Irish and getting to know Nancy is a real pleasure. Find out more about her today as she tells us some interesting facts about her and her recent releast, Topaz Eyes.

Hi Lisa, it’s grand of you to be inviting me to visit today. I’ve answered some lovely questions for you so that your readers can get to know me a bit better.

Where do you hail from?
I’m a Scot, originally born in Glasgow, but I now live in the gorgeous ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire. I only have to walk less than a mile to reach the ruined Hallforest Castle, built in the 1400s, but there are also many castles which are still lived in today that are also a short drive away. The visitor to Aberdeenshire has so many castles to choose from that it’s almost an impossible choice.

I've always wanted to go to Scotland and visit the historic ruins of the castles that would, no doubt fill me with more story ideas. What a great place to be!

Are there other exciting things to view in your vicinity? Absolutely – especially for the history buff. History abounds all around me. About 400 yards from my house there were Roman marching camps, and that means around 10000 soldiers might have been tramping over my garden! The camps were during the eras of Agricola A.D. 83 and the Roman Emperor Severus A.D. 210. Standing stones litter the nearby countryside, too. The Grampian Mountain Range isn’t too far away and tourists can do lots of exciting outdoor sporting activities there.

Tell me 6 things about yourself.

I’m an ex-primary school teacher who taught 11-12 year olds for decades. I finally gave up teaching in 2011, a few years before retirement, when my hearing became a problem. Since then I’ve focused on my writing and have now had 4 novels published. I live with my husband of 38 years, who is lovely man and a great cook. I have two daughters- both married and living around an hours’ drive away from me – but in opposite directions! I have one fantastic toddler granddaughter that I child mind two full days a week, to help my elder daughter who has gone back to work.

How would your spouse describe you? (Up to 10 adjectives)
Scatty for personal issues, forgetful regarding information from phone calls and emails, selectively deaf, hardworking, easy to please, loyal, dedicated, reliable for work issues.

You want to change your lifestyle. What would you change first?
I’d stop sleeping the 8, or so, hours I seem to need, and maybe drop back to 5. That would give me lots more time to write. I’d also make a huge effort to NOT waste valuable time doing cleaning and household and gardening chores…which are becoming more of a chore as I get older!

What leisure pursuits would you want to take up in 2013? I want to get back to regular swimming. I stopped because of ear problems, but want to return since it’s a great way to keep fit.

What’s your most favorite way to travel? I like any kind of traveling but love trains. I can settle down comfortably and read or laptop type; I can look out onto the view for an eye-break which I can’t do on a flight. I hardly ever take a train ride, though, as it’s more common for me to return to the area of my roots by car, or by coach.  

I've never been on a train, but can imagine the romance of riding through historic landscapes, sipping tea and imagining all the people and their stories that took place outside those windows.

What kinds of novels do you like to read?
For years I only seemed to read category romance, to get to know what it would take to get published in the genre, but now I’m reading lots of different fiction sub-genres. I’ve latterly read: YA (bullying and self-harm issues); fantasy/ paranormal; fantasy fairy tale style; psychological dramas; crime fiction and cosy crimes. I’m published by The Wild Rose Press who only publish sub-genres of romance. Though my other publisher-Crooked Cat Publishing – publishes in many different fiction genres.

What would be your ideal place to stay for a month? I spent a very short break at a fantastic hotel in Oman, in the Middle East, and would love to return there. A month might be just a little too long though. Most of my holidays now are short, 7- 10 days, as I get a bit antsy about being away from


What would you do there?
If I went back to Oman I’d do a lot of reading, a lot of writing, sunbathe (Not often done in Scotland!), and do more water sports. There would be superb eating in the hotel restaurants, and ‘tailor-made’ cocktail drinking by the Tikki bars on the private beach. I did a little sand dune driving (exhilarating stuff) in other Middle East places and would do that again, and I’d explore the oases by camel (though I hate it when they spit at you!) I didn’t see much of Muscat so I’d really explore there too and the surrounding areas.

I would never have imagined that the Middle East would hold much appeal, but I do remember old movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and some action adventure films made over there. I'm not a hot weather fan, so I doubt it would be for me, but very interesting to visit in short spurts. Wow!

Thank you, Lisa for hosting me today. It’s lovely to visit new places. 

You're very welcome and it's a pleasure having you here. Now tell us  more about your most recent release!

My most recent release is Topaz Eyes, a treasure hunt, ancestral mystery romance - published by Crooked Cat Publishing

Blurb for Topaz Eyes:

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.

Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.

Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?

As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.


“Would you ditch the mystery, Jensen, and just enlighten me as to what you think I have that interests you? And tell me why you couldn’t have asked for it in the letter you sent to me? I came here of my own free will – granted – but I’m not hanging around any longer if you’re going to drag this out, for I’m damned sure I’ve no idea what you’re referring to.”
            Jensen’s reply lacked emotion, his face a blank screen, his gaze focused on Teun as Keira regarded the by-play.
            “Teun. It may come as a surprise to you, but you actually know more about this invitation than Keira. At least you knew from my letter I had something of family interest you might be glad to take back to the USA with you. Keira had no such suggestion made to her.”
            Tension rose in the room, which didn’t only radiate from Teun.
            Keira sat uneasy, also unwilling to be in the dark any longer. “Would you please explain why you think I may have something you want, Herr Amsel?” She found herself reluctant to use his first name, considering the antagonism now mounting.
            “All in good time, Keira. And please call me Jensen. I don’t set out to be anyone’s enemy. I believe each of you can provide access to items belonging to the collection. All the pieces are likely to vary in monetary value but, viewed as a complete entity, it will make an impressive display. It’s a historic set… and unique.”

Author and buy details: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com   http://nancyjardineauthor.weebly.com    http://facebook.com/nancy.jardine.56    Twitter @nansjar   Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn  -as Nancy Jardine

Topaz Eyes is available from:
Waterstones e-books http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/search/crooked+cat+publishing/0/0/?pageNumber=0
Topaz Eyes

Book trailer YouTube video for Topaz Eyes can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgPf5kTAyi4&feature=channel&list=UL

Other books by Nancy Jardine can be seen at:
Amazon.com  http://amzn.to/wwaGCv  

The Wild Rose Press  http://bit.ly/WyaGGi



  1. Hi Lisa, I hope your day is a good one. The wind is gale force outside but I've managed to do a lot of WIP writing today - so, for me it's a good one!

  2. Hi Ladies! Nancy, you just reminded me of my drive from the Peak District up to Aberdeen and how amazed I was at seeing this beautiful city at the end of so much countryside. You're very lucky to be there. Good luck with the book too

  3. Hi Andrea. Thank you for stopping past an for your good wishes!

  4. Hi Nancy and Lisa. Topaz Eyes looks like an exciting read! Best of luck.

    1. Hello Kathryn. Topaz Eyes has lots of exciting moments, indeed!

  5. Hi Nancy,
    Great interview. I am an Aussie, but one of my favourite places is Scotland (Scottish ancestry I guess), and I have visited twice. I especially loved the Highlands, the heather was blooming the first time we visited, and it was beautiful.



  6. Hi Margaret, I've never made it yet to Oz but will someday! Thank your for your lovely comments and for stopping by.

  7. My daughter had always wanted to go to Scotland, maybe she'll make it Some day. You are such attn interesting person. I think your husband would describe you in some wonderful ways if he were asked personally. Cher'ley

  8. Aww! That's so nice of you, Cher'ley. I'd love to meet you, too. Thanks for stopping by.

    Thank you, Lisa for opening your blog to me today! It's been lovely visiting. :-)