Get the FREE Jayne Castel Starter Library

Sunday, 26 October 2014

KINDLE PROMOTION: THE DEEPENING NIGHT

Historical adventure romance - with a twist!

Get THE DEEPENING OF NIGHT for 99 cents for five days only on Amazon.

Offer runs from 27-31 October - so don't miss out!

Are you looking for a different kind of historical romance? 

I write well-researched historical romance adventures set in 7th century Anglo-Saxon England. They're realistic love stories about men and women we can all relate to. It's not just about a couple falling in love, it's about triumph against adversity, and a journey of self-awareness and self-discovery. 

So, here's what THE DEEPENING NIGHT is about...

A forced marriage.

A battle of wills.

A slow-burning passion that could change the course of history.

7th century Britannia was not for the faint-hearted. Men were warriors - they had to be - but just because women didn't have the freedom they have today, doesn't mean they were weak. My novels are about women who discover their strength, and the men who love them for it.

Sounds like the kind of historical romance you're looking for?

Get a copy of THE DEEPENING NIGHT for 99 cents from Amazon while this offer lasts.

_____________________________

Would you like to read a prequel novella to the KINGDOM OF THE EAST ANGLES series for free?


Sign up to Jayne's monthly newsletter and receive a FREE copy of NIGHT SHADOWS (PDF format). Newsletter subscribers will also get sneak previews of upcoming novels, behind the scenes 'extras', snippets about Anglo-Saxon England, and podcasts from Jayne!


Monday, 20 October 2014

Into Battle: a warrior's life in Anglo-Saxon England

Death wasn't just a part of life in Anglo-Saxon England - it was a way of life.

However, that doesn't mean that men ran headlong into battle without a thought about their own mortality. How we define courage is a fascinating theme for any author, and one that seems to be cropping up again and again in the latest novel I'm working on: THE BREAKING DAWN

To illustrate one man's view on battle, here's a conversation between the hero and heroine from THE BREAKING DAWN - Cynddylan ap Cyndrwyn (Prince of Powys), and Merwenna, the young Mercian woman who he is reluctantly escorting home.


“What’s it like?”
“What’s what like?”
“To fight in a great battle… were you scared?”
Dylan stifled a groan at that. This line of questioning was even worse than her previous one. He almost wished she would return to interrogating him about her dead lover.
“It’s difficult to describe,” he hedged.
Merwenna did not reply and after a few moments he realized she was still awaiting his response. Eventually, the silence became so ponderous that Dylan threw aside caution and answered her honestly.
“Battle is your whole life, from birth to death, squeezed into one drawn out moment. Everything is sharper, brighter. It assaults your senses, and there’s no escape, except through death. There’s no future, no past, just a nightmare you can’t escape. There’s no time for fear – if you’re afraid you’ll soon be dead. So you fight. You kill. And you keeping killing till it’s over.”
Dylan’s voice trailed off, and he heard Merwenna’s sharply indrawn breath. He felt a pang of regret at that, for he had not meant the words to come out so harshly. He would have usually honeyed them for female ears. Yet, something in Merwenna’s voice had demanded the truth – and so he had given it to her, or at least his version of it.
“It sounds ugly,” she said finally, her voice subdued.
“It is.”

Want more?

Sign up to Jayne's monthly newsletter and receive a FREE copy of NIGHT SHADOWS (PDF format). Newsletter subscribers will also get sneak previews of upcoming novels, behind the scenes 'extras', snippets about Anglo-Saxon England, and podcasts from Jayne!


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Fact and Fiction - using real history in historical romance

My historical romance isn't exactly main-stream... 

What do I mean by that? Yes, there's a couple that fall in love and triumph despite adversity - but my books have a strong focus on real historical figures and events, not just the central love story. The story is strongly rooted in the period, and couldn't exist outside it.

I didn't start off writing them that way - it's just that when I was researching the period - Anglo-Saxon England - I realized that fact is not only stranger than fiction. It's often stronger. As such, I base my stories around actual people and events, and I think my stories are stronger for it.

So, if you love early British history - mixed in with a bit of romance - my books might be what you're looking for!


Historical figures I used in the Kingdom of the East Angles series

  • Raedwald of the East Angles, the king thought to have been buried in the Sutton Hoo longship.
  • Eni of the East Angles - father of Annan, who later becomes King of the East Angles.
  • Eorpwald, Raedwald's son, who succeeded his father.
  • Ricberht, the usurper who kills Eorpwald and takes the throne.
  • Sigeberht, Raedwald's exiled stepson who returns to Britannia, overthrows Ricberht, and takes back the throne for the Wuffinga family
  • Botulf, the missionary who founds the monastery at Iken.
  • Ecgric, the man who co-rules with Sigeberht after the King of East Angles dedicates his life to Christianity.
  • Anna (who I call Annan), Raedwald's nephew, who takes the throne after Sigeberht's death
  • Penda - the warlord king of Mercia, and our villain. Penda is the last pagan ruler of Anglo-Saxon England.


Historical events I used in the Kingdom of the East Angles series

  • King Raedwald's burial in a longship at Sutton Hoo.
  • The death of Raedwald's son Raegenhere, slain in the Battle of the River Idle against Aethelfrith of Northumbria.
  • Sigeberht's return from exile in Gaul to take back the East Anglian throne for his family.
  • Sigeberht's abdication of the throne, in favor of a monastic life.
  • Sigeberht's refusal to bear arms in battle against the Mercians. He goes into battle with only a staff for protection and dies.
  • Annan's supervision of the building of Devil's Dyke the southern and western borders of the Kingdom of the East Angles


Work in progress...


I've now left the Kingdom of the East Angles behind, and traveled to Mercia. I'm currently hard at work on the first novel in this series, THE BREAKING DAWN.

Once again, I am using history to form the story's backbone. Our bad guy, King Penda of Mercia is back (and more ruthless than ever), while our novel's hero is Cynddylan ap Cyndrwyn, the Prince of Powys, who forms an alliance with the Mercians.

The story begins at the Battle of Maes Cogwy (Maserfield), where the Mercians (with the help of the Welsh) defeat the Northumbrian army.

King Oswald of Northumbria dies at this battle and is famously dismembered, his head and arms stuck on poles at the edge of the battlefield. Oswald (who was later sainted) became revered as a Christian martyr and his dismembered limbs ended up in various relic collections in monasteries around Britannia.

Want more?


Sign up to Jayne's monthly newsletter and receive a FREE copy of NIGHT SHADOWS (PDF format). Newsletter subscribers will also get sneak previews of upcoming novels, behind the scenes 'extras', snippets about Anglo-Saxon England, and podcasts from Jayne!