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Sunday, 5 March 2017

New projects on the go!

2016 was a very busy year writing-wise - and it looks as if 2017 is shaping up much the same. Not that I'm complaining. I'm at my happiest when immersed in my stories. 😊

I've currently got three writing projects on the go - two Historical Romances and an Epic Fantasy Romance. I've just begun a new series set in Dark Ages Scotland, and embarked on Book #2 of the Kingdom of Northumbria. My fantasy novel is now being line edited so I'm working on the maps for it. Read on to find out more about each project - and get a sneak peak at the covers - below.

Historical Romance

BLOOD FEUD

THE WARRIOR BROTHERS OF SKYE — BOOK #1
A DARK AGES SCOTTISH ROMANCE

CAN THEIR LOVE OVERCOME GENERATIONS OF HATE?

Autumn, 366 AD—The Isle of Skye

Far north of Hadrian’s Wall—beyond the shadow of the Roman Empire—the daughter of a Pictish chieftain prepares to wed her enemy.

To forge peace, Tea must marry the leader of a neighboring tribe that killed her father.

Dark, brooding and sexy—Galan isn’t what Tea expects. But, unlike her, he’s determined to end decades of bloodshed between two warring tribes—even if it means sacrificing his own happiness.

Tea isn’t what Galan expects either. A statuesque, embittered beauty, she hates him and his people.

Yet, together, Galan and Tea have the chance to forge a new future—one that will ensure lasting peace—if only they can only let go of the past.


Historical Romance

WIND SONG

THE KINGDOM OF NORTHUMBRIA—BOOK #2

HE RULES THE NORTH
BUT SHE RULES HIS HEART

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 tending the sick and selling 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, once fostered at Bebbanburg—but now he’s demanding freedom from his Saxon overlord.

Hea and Bridei have history.

They grew up together and he once saved her from being raped. 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 a Saxon. Bridei will do anything to win back his people’s land from Northumbria, and Hea has sworn her loyalty to a king who treats her more like a daughter than a servant. As the shadow of war looms, it seems any chance they have at love is lost … or is it?


Epic Fantasy Romance 

RULED BY SHADOWS

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

Lilia is afraid of the shadows, so when her own one starts behaving strangely, she can barely cope—especially when it starts threatening her.

It all starts the day she meets Saul of Anthor. Handsome and darkly mysterious, he 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 a thousand years searching for.

Perrin is Lilia’s best friend. He has spent his life avoiding responsibility and hard work—but now he becomes her unlikely ally. When Saul of Anthor reappears, Perrin suspects his motives. Robana, a healer with a mysterious past, also believes Lilia is in danger—although from those far more dangerous than Saul.

The shadows are deepening and an ancient evil risks being unleashed upon the world. Lilia embarks on a journey into danger, discovery and ... love.  But she must face the darkness, and her own fears—or there will be no going home.




Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Get a chance to win a Kindle Fire and +45 Historical Fiction novels

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you. 

I’ve teamed up with +45 fantastic Historical Fiction authors to give away a huge collection of novels, plus a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!  You can win my novel NIGHTFALL TILL DAYBREAK plus books from authors who write similar novels to mine.

Enter the giveaway here.























Good luck, and enjoy!


Sunday, 5 February 2017

THE BREAKING DAWN is a semi-finalist!


Exciting news - I've just learned that THE BREAKING DAWN (Book #1: The Kingdom of Mercia) has reached the semi-finals of The 2016 Chatelaine Book Award.

The CHATELAINE Writing Competition Book Awards recognize emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genres of  Romantic Fiction and Women’s Fiction. The Chatelaine Awards is a division of Chanticleer International Novel Writing Competitions.

Check out the shortlist - congratulations to all the other finalists too!

What's THE BREAKING DAWN about?

Set in 7th Century England and Wales, THE BREAKING DAWN is the story of Merwenna and Cynddylan: a Mercian Village girl and a Welsh prince. Set against a backdrop of war, treachery and ambition, this epic romance is about two people from different worlds, and the power of destiny.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Book Review: Fair, Bright, and Terrible (Welsh Blades Book 2) by Elizabeth Kingston

A realistic, emotionally powerful historical romance set in a turbulent past. 

This novel was a surprise for me. It's nothing like the first book in this series, THE KING'S MAN (which I also really enjoyed). This story is one of 'second chance romance'. A man and woman, both around forty years of age, who rekindle their relationship 18 years after it ended. It's certainly not a tale for those who prefer lighthearted romance, but if you're ready to tackle a few heavy topics, and deal with a embittered heroine bent on revenge, it's a really rewarding story.

Elizabeth Kingston writes beautifully. She captures the regret, bitterness and hope of Eluned and Robert. One of my favorite quotes in the book was this one - it sums up the conflict between the hero and heroine perfectly:

“To love you was the making of me. But now it is only my undoing.”

I love bittersweet moments.

Eluned isn't an easy woman to like. She's proud, manipulative and scheming. She had an affair with Robert many years earlier when her husband was away but is forced to give up her lover when the realities of life intrude on their private world. The author does a really good job is showing the moment Eluned turns bitter. The heroine can't accept the fact that life isn't hers for the taking, that she cannot have everything she wants - and as a result shuts down her feelings and focuses on political ambition, in schooling her daughter to fight for the Welsh cause.

In contrast, Robert is a truly good man. However, he doesn't let Eluned boss him around or manipulate him. I enjoyed the scenes when he stood up to her. After their marriage - organised by Eluned's son - he is shocked to discover that the carefree, fiesty young woman he remembers is gone. He has spent years loving a woman who only existed in his memory.

The novel is well researched, and gives you a real sense of the political turmoil of the Welsh Marches, and how the Welsh would have felt after years of persecution and bloodshed. It's an intense read, and I believe many women of Eluned's age (which I am!) can relate to some of what she struggles with. Many women (and men!) never get over the disappointment that life hasn't worked out as they had hoped - and Elizabeth Kingston portrays this theme bravely and realistically.

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Buy a copy of FAIR, BRIGHT, AND TERRIBLE on Amazon.com.


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Get a chance to win a paperback copy of THE WHISPERING WIND

Enter to win one of three first edition paperback copies of THE WHISPERING WIND on Goodreads.

Contest closes on February 5 2017 — so make sure you enter soon! Just click on the banner below. 

Good luck! 😊


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Whispering Wind by Jayne Castel

The Whispering Wind

by Jayne Castel

Giveaway ends February 05, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Five stars for THE WHISPERING WIND

I don't often post reviews about my novels on this blog—however, this one for THE WHISPERING WIND was so good that I couldn't resist.

It's always a delight when readers 'get' what I was trying to achieve with a novel, when my characters, setting and story resonate.

I'm pleased, and humbled, when a reader takes the time not only to review one of my books, but to put the time into a thoughtful review like this one from a reader on Amazon.

Enjoy!

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5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Dark Ages manhunt with emotional impact

This is an official request for historical romance readers to move out of their Regency-era and Scottish Highlander comfort zones. Author Jayne Castel had me completely immersed in her Dark Ages world of Northumbria. I could feel the rough clothes abrading my skin, see the poverty of the monks, thrill to a knife battle deep in the woods, and wonder at the power and depravity of an immoral king. This book also packs an emotional punch, since I actually teared up as I read about the desperation of Leofric and Aelfwyn. If you enjoy an emotional, eventful story framed around authentic history (the foreword, afterword and maps are fascinating), then I suggest you pick up books by Jayne Castel.

In the blurb for The Whispering Wind, the reader is informed that Leofric, a monk, finds a woman, Aelfwyn, washed ashore near the impoverished monastery where he is living. The hows and whys of Leofric's exile to the monastery play a key importance to both his personality and the plot. Castel has crafted a character in Leofric that has shades. He is impulsive and vain, kind and thoughtless, cheery and impassioned, proud and stupid. I didn't know what to think of him, and that is what made his character, and his character's journey, so engaging. However, once Aelfwyn enters his life he starts to become a worthy man. I love that he doesn't get it right all of the time, either.

Aelfwyn is a sweet girl marred by tragedy and personal abuse. Her emotional fragility is overwhelming in the beginning, but as the story develops she becomes stronger and more resilient. In the end, she is brave to the point of selflessness, with deep emotional impact on the narrative.

"Her ordeal at Bebbanburg had stripped away her illusions about life, but in doing so it had forged her anew. He [Leofric] noted the iron resolve in her and decided he liked it."

For most of the novel, Leofric and Aelfwyn are being hunted. It adds a desperation, and then a weariness, that even as a reader sitting on a couch I began to feel in my muscles and bones. Although much of the book is devoted to this aspect, it never feels repetitive. The interaction between Leofric and Aelfwyn was appropriate to how strangers in a strange circumstance would act. Adding to the stress is the fact that neither lead character is from the ruling class. That means food, money and loyalties are difficult to come by, and the absence of all three impacts choices. I learned a lot about Northumbria and the vagaries of a Dark Ages class system while Leofric and Aelfwyn were fleeing. Optimism, followed by crushing hopelessness, plagues them. I was enthralled to the thrilling end.

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Intrigued?

Get your copy of THE WHISPERING WIND on Amazon!

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk



Monday, 23 January 2017

Get THE WHISPERING WIND for just 99 cents!

Great news! THE WHISPERING WIND (Book #1: The Kingdom of Northumbria) has been released on Amazon.

As a special Early Bird offer, the Kindle edition of THE WHISPERING WIND is available for the next 48 hours for only 99 cents (or 99p if you're in the UK),

After 48 hours, it's going up to its regular retail price of USD3.49, so make sure you don't miss out!

Get your copy (Kindle and paperback editions available)

Here are the Kindle edition links to the Amazon stores:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

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Getting a novel ready for publication is EXHAUSTING!

Every book is a labor of love—also since I'm an indie writer, the work doesn't end once the editing and proofs are done. I organize cover design, e-book and paperback formatting, uploading, marketing, and then manage the entire launch myself. By the time it's all over, I feel in need of a week lazing on the beach!

I'm really pleased with the final version of THE WHISPERING WIND. This novel is not just a romance, but also an exciting adventure story. Leofric and Aelfwyn are easily my favorite hero and heroine so far. He's a likeable rogue and she's kind and big-hearted. It was sad to say good-bye to them at the end. I'm really proud of this story and hope you all enjoy it.
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Please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads

As many of you will know, I'm an indie author. This means word about my novels spreads one reader at a time! If you'd like to help other readers find my work, please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads. I would really appreciate it.

When you've finished the book, just click on one of the links below to leave a review:


Leave a review on Amazon.com
Leave a review on Amazon.co.uk
Leave a review on Goodreads

 

Thanks for all your support. :-)