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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

WIND SONG is available!

Launch day is here!

WIND SONG (Book #2: The Kingdom of Northumbria) is now available for purchase on all the Amazon stores.

Friends to lovers, unrequited love, a romance between two people from warring kingdoms and different worlds—this novel has it all!

Meet Hea and Bridei. She's a low-born flower seller and herbalist, the daughter of a seer who has inherited her mother's gift. He's a cocky Pictish prince, sent to foster at the Northumbrian stronghold of Bebbanburg. What begins as a childhood crush for Hea, develops into something much more serious when she and Bridei meet again after eight and a half years apart.

Here's what two of my Advance Reviewers thought of the novel (the full reviews are on Goodreads):

"The details of Jayne Castel's historic Iron Ages novels flow by like a river. Before you know it, you are immersed in another world ..."

"The plot was exciting, intriguing, and very well written. I enjoyed the romance of the story ... I very highly recommend this book and thoroughly enjoyed it."

Buy your copy of WIND SONG here:


Get a copy of THE WHISPERING WIND for just 99 cents

To celebrate the launch of WIND SONG, I'm doing a special offer on Book #1 of the Kingdom of Northumbria series. Usually priced at US$3.99, THE WHISPERING WIND (Kindle edition) is available at 99 cents for a limited time only— don't miss out! 

She depends on him for survival ... while he is her reluctant protector. But neither of them expected to find love.

Get your 99 cent copy of THE WHISPERING WIND here:

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Read a free sample of WIND SONG!

Book #2 of The Kingdom of Northumbria is available on preorder, and due for release n 15 November 2017. However, as it's on preorder, Amazon doesn't let you read a sample of the book.

To remedy that, I've put the first three chapters up on Instafreebie!

It's really easy to claim your copy. Just put in your name and email address (no sign up required) and they'll send you a sample to read on your Kindle, e-reader, tablet or computer.

Claim your copy on Instafreebie.

WIND SONG (Book #2: The Kingdom of Northumbria)

He rules the north, but she rules his heart. Two kingdoms collide in this epic tale of destiny, longing and love set in Dark Ages Britain.

Northumbria, Britain--684 AD. Hea isn't like other women. The feisty daughter of a seer, she lives alone in the fort of Bebbanburg and survives by selling flowers, herbs and potions. However, she has also inherited her mother's gift--and when King Ecgfrith requests her skills she can't refuse him.

Ecgfrith, the ruler of Northumbria, is having trouble with the Picts, the warlike people to the north. He needs a seer's guidance in dealing with them. The Pictish king, Bridei mac Beli is demanding freedom from his Angle overlord.

Hea and Bridei know each other. Bridei fostered at Bebbanburg, and Hea has longed for him ever since. Eight years later they meet again, and sparks fly. Arrogant and ambitious, Bridei is used to getting what he wants--and Hea discovers he's the only man she can't refuse.

Yet he's a Pict and she's an Angle. Bridei will do anything to win back his people's land from Northumbria, and Hea has sworn her loyalty to her king. As the shadow of war looms, it seems any chance they have at love is lost ... or is it?


Claim your copy on Instafreebie now.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Author interview: eight questions for Jayne Castel

1. Tell us what you write and why?

I write romance: predominantly Historicals set in Dark Ages Britain (7th Century Anglo-Saxon England and 4th Century Scotland). I have also recently started writing Epic Fantasy Romances, and have published a few contemporary romances set in Italy. 

My fascination with early British history and my love of Epic Fantasy have dictated my choice of setting. I wrote the contempories set in Italy as an experiment, but in doing so realized that I prefer writing stories in forgotten or new worlds! These days I am trying to find a balance between pleasing my own interests and filling the needs of a hungry romance readership!

2. Why romance?

Why not!

Seriously though ... the search for love is a central part of what it means to be human. Romance is one of the most popular genres (if not the most popular) for a reason. I write romance because although I've never been a reader of the more traditional 'frilly' romance, I adore stories with an emotion-filled, angsty love story in them! A bit of romance makes any story better.

3. Which book inspired you to begin writing?

Two Epic Fantasy books: The Lord of the Rings, and The Sword of Shannara inspired me to try and write my own stories as a teenager. I've always enjoyed reading adventure stories where the characters undergo a huge personal transformation along the way. For romance, my major influencers have been the Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon), A Knight in Shining Armor (Jude Deveraux), and The Circle of Ceridwen series (Octavia Randolph).

4. Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?

Yes, I do have a day job - I'm a freelance copywriter! I divide my time between writing fiction and writing marketing and web content. The day job has actually been invaluable for my fiction, as being a self-published author I have to do all my own marketing. I do enjoy my copy writing work, although writing stories is my first love!

5. Can you tell us about your current projects?

Happy to! :-) I have two novels on the go and the moment, and one about to be released. My Historical Romance set in Dark Ages Britain, WIND SONG (Book #2 in the Kingdom of Northumbria series) is available on pre-order and will be released on November, 15 2017. This is the second-last novel I'll be writing in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England. When I finish the next (and final) book in the series, there will be 9 books set in this world .... split into three 3-book series!

I've also 20% into Book #2 of my Epic Fantasy Romance series: Light and Darkness. I'm still deciding on the name for this book, but the working title is THE LOST SWALLOW.

My second work in progress is a Scottish Dark Ages Romance: BARBARIAN SLAVE, Book #2 of my Warrior Brothers of Skye series. It's set in 4th Century Isle of Skye - the world of the Picts.

6. What about future writing projects?

I have a thousand ideas in my head, all fighting to be written about! My short-term plans are to finish the three series I'm working on at the moment. I'd love to write more set in Scotland ... maybe Medieval Isle of Skye ... and more Fantasy Romance ... but I will see where the muse leads me!

7. How productive are you? Do you think it's possible to write fast, and well?

At the moment I aim to publish around 4 novels a year. This can be quite a stretch, and I do have to work hard to achieve it. I don't think an author should ever 'rush' a book, but I do believe that you can write quickly without affecting the quality of the novel. Actually, I find that when I'm really into a story, and lost in that world, I write both faster and better. I get carried away by the tale, especially once I reach the last third of the first draft.

I think that if you write in other genres, such as Historical fiction of Epic Fantasy, readers don't expect more than one book a year from you. However, Historical Romance readers are voracious - some of them read 3-4 books a week! If an author doesn't produce novels steadily, they get frustrated!

8. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a writer?

Be clear on what you want to get out of writing from the very beginning. Is it a hobby and nothing more? Is it a hobby with a bit of pocket money? Is it a part-time job? Would you like it to be your main source of income? Do you want to win awards and recognition? 

The reason for establishing your goals early on is that it frees you from the expectations of others ... and from your own insecurities. There's nothing wrong with writing for pleasure only, and not caring if no one besides your family and friends read it, but there's nothing wrong either with aiming high! If you do aim to make this your career though, you will need to treat it like a job from the very beginning ... and that means improving your craft, learning everything you can about all the aspects of the writing, editing and publishing process (especially important if you're self-publishing), and sorting out a writing schedule. 

Sorry ... none of this advice is particularly sexy. I used to have quite a romantic idea about what being a writer entailed, but now that I am one I realize that even if you are in it for love it's really hard work!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

What inspired my Kingdom of the East Angles series?

Sutton Hoo ... a window into Dark Ages Britain.

Check out this replica of the Sutton Hoo helmet. The real one is at the British Museum, London.

The Anglo-Saxons buried their once rich and powerful dead, with treasures for the after-life. Sometimes the burial included a warrior’s horse, or even a ship. A wonderful example of this is at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk. There are 18 burial mounds, with barrows for Anglo-Saxon East Anglian royalty. The most famous of all, is the barrow for King Raedwald of East Anglia, who was buried in 625 with a huge hoard of riches, including his ship and this magnificent helmet.

After visiting Sutton Hoo (which is located near Woodbridge, Suffolk, where my mother's family still live), I decided to write a novel set in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England.

My Dark Ages Historical Romance, Dark Under the Cover of Night (currently free on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Barnes and Noble) is set around the last year of the life of King Raedwald. It's a love story, but I did a lot of research to make sure the story's historical background 'feels' authentic.

East Anglia was extremely powerful during early 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England. Recently archaeologists discovered the remains of an Anglo-Saxon settlement in Suffolk during the development of a wind-farm.

Watch a BCC video about the find.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Goodreads Giveaway for RULED BY SHADOWS

Great news for bibliophiles ... Goodreads are running a paperback giveway for RULED BY SHADOWS!
Enter to get the chance to win one of three paperback copies of my new Epic Fantasy Romance, RULED BY SHADOWS. Giveaway ends on October 2, 2017 so don't miss out!

What's RULED BY SHADOWS about?

In a land ruled by shadows, the fate of all lies in the hands of a girl who is afraid of the dark.

Meet Lilia, a young woman who is afraid of ... everything.

Lilia's life changes the day a stranger walks into the tavern where she works as a cook. Handsome and darkly mysterious, Saul leaves a charm-stone in her safekeeping. Only, what appears to be a humble Hag Stone--used by folk to ward off evil spirits--is in reality a powerful talisman. One that a secret brotherhood has spent five-hundred years searching for.

Life will never be the same for Lilia again.

Her shadow begins behaving strangely--and when The Shade Brotherhood come after her, Lilia must leave her sleepy isle to embark on an epic journey into danger, discovery ... and love.

The shadows are deepening and an ancient evil risks being unleashed upon the world. Lilia must face the darkness, and her own fears--or there will be no going home.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ruled by Shadows by Jayne Castel

Ruled by Shadows

by Jayne Castel

Giveaway ends October 02, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Sunday, 17 September 2017

RULED BY SHADOWS is LIVE on Amazon & free on KU

Exciting news—after nearly two years in the making, RULED BY SHADOWS is now available for purchase on Amazon! 

RULED BY SHADOWS is a detour from my usual Historical Romances set in Dark Ages Britain and Scotland (although I've got two more of those in the pipeline!). It's an Epic Fantasy Romance about a fearful young woman named Lilia who is catapaulted into an epic adventure. Romance, action, adventure and High Fantasy—this novel has it all!

Here are the links to the book on Amazon (if you buy a copy, please consider leaving an honest review—I'd appreciate it hugely):

Click on one of the links below to purchase from Amazon (it's free in KU):

Try RULED BY SHADOWS before you buy
Claim your free sample from Instafreebie and read the Prologue and the first three chapters of RULED BY SHADOWS on your Kindle or e-reader!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

RULED BY SHADOWS is available for preorder!

For those of you eagerly awaiting RULED BY SHADOWS—the wait is almost over!

I LOVED writing this book.

You can read RULED BY SHADOWS as a stand-alone, although there will be a three-book arc which explores a larger Epic Fantasy storyline (involving three different love stories).

This Epic Fantasy Romance—Book #1 in the Light and Darkness series—is the story of Lilia, a frightened young woman who is propelled into a life-changing adventure. It’s Epic Fantasy, but not as you know it! Sure, there will be adventure, magic, a quest, and the threat of darkness that risks destroying the world. But our heroine, Lilia, isn’t a warrior princess, an assassin or a sorceress—she’s the kind of girl most of us have met. Just an ordinary young woman thrown into an extraordinary situation.

RULED BY SHADOWS will be released on 18 September 2017!

Click on one of the links below to preorder: