#ExcerptWeek – THE PRINCE’S SON by Deborah Jay

Marcia, your wish is my command…..

Here is another excerpt from the book I am currently editing – THE PRINCE’S SON, sequel to THE PRINCE’S MAN.

* * * * * *

Bay Iberian

When Rustam gave a small whistle, the bay stallion ghosted out of the early morning shadows.

Rustam ran a hand along the stallion’s muscular crest, his fingers sliding through the cascade of black mane to the warm sleekness of the silky hair beneath. “I really hate to do this, boy, but you’ll have to stay behind this time.”

A pair of huge, dark eyes regarded Rustam with reproach before Fleetfoot shook his head vigorously, long strands of mane whipping from side to side to slap Rustam sharply across the face. “Ouch! I’m sorry, really I am, but even you can’t climb a goat trail; I need you here, to keep the others safe. They can’t look after themselves the way you can.”

Fleetfoot heaved a large sigh and rubbed his forehead against Rustam’s shoulder. Leaning into the equine embrace, Rustam caught sight of one of the grooms rolling his eyes to the sky. Crazy, that’s what they thought he was. He smiled privately and kept his silence. It wasn’t their fault they couldn’t see the tiny bit of magic flowing between him and the magnificent animal. When the lads talked to their charges they communicated with tone of voice and a few easy words, achieving a level of trust and affection any human might gain with a horse. But for Rustam’s entire life it had been so much more than that. The ease with which, even as a child, he’d been able to catch the naughtiest ponies; the calmness he’d instilled in the wild black mare no one else could handle, and the way that over the years of their service together Nightstalker had always sensed where he was, and when she was needed.

It wasn’t until they journeyed into Shiva that Rustam understood it to be an attribute of his elven blood; he was a Horsemaster in more than mere words. Now, with a Shivan bred steed, that link was even closer.

“You know they think I’m soft in the head for talking to you, don’t you?” Fleetfoot snorted; horsey laughter if ever Rustam had heard it. He slapped the hard-muscled red shoulder. “It’s not funny!” He shook his head, drawing the dark thread of his thoughts back together. “No, nothing about this is funny.”

He stared into the liquid depths of eyes turned wary. “I need you to keep this lot safe, hear me? I don’t know how long we’ll be gone, or if you’ll be secure here. Watch over them, for me, yes?”

Fleetfoot snorted again, head nodding up and down. Rustam draped an arm over the stallion’s withers and bent forward to bury his face in the abundant mane. With his eyes shut, he inhaled the glorious scent of horse, and felt his muscles relax. He was leaving the caravan with the best possible guard he could arrange, in the absence of a small army.

* * * * * *

For those of you who have read THE PRINCE’S MANrsz_pm-ebook_flat_2 never fear, Nightstalker is only absent on maternity leave 😉

CIMG2427And here I am with another hobbit hole 😉

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

Jay’s debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, won a UK Arts Board award, and was an Amazon Hot 100 New Release. Second in the series, THE PRINCE’S SON is due out this summer.

Her Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the opening novel of the projected five book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES, and the stand alone short story SPRITE NIGHT is also now available.

In 2014 she published the multi-author SFF anthology, THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which features her SF short story PERFECT FIT.

She is also the author of several non-fiction equestrian titles published in her professional name of Debby Lush.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahjayauthor.com/ or follow Deborah on twitter, facebook, Pinterest  and Goodreads.

20 thoughts on “#ExcerptWeek – THE PRINCE’S SON by Deborah Jay

  1. Oooh, I love this bit, Debby! Rustam grew so much during The Prince’s Man, and I’m happy to see him getting comfortable with his elven blood, and his special magic. I can’t wait to read this adventure. You must start editing like a FASTER wind!! 😀 ❤

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      • We are very much in agreement with that, Debby. Giving a giant Viking of a man (like Gunnar Wolfe in Swamp Ghosts) a fluffy cat for a pet says to me he’s not at all afraid of what anyone thinks of him. Giving a damaged man (like MacKenzie Cole in Wake-Robin Ridge) a giant Irish wolfhound, says even though she’s a wonderful dog he’d love anyway, his own insecurities mean he might need a bit of a bolster, even if he isn’t aware of it in his conscious mind. I often wonder how many readers pick up on things like that, don’t you?

        And giving a man like Rustam an affinity for horses that goes beyond the normal human affection for a beautiful animal gives him an edge all his own, and adds a wonderful type of magic to his personality. I’m heartily in favor!! 😀 ❤

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        • I rather like to think most readers don’t notice our sneaky authorial ways on an intellectual level. Provided they respond on an emotional level, I think we’ve done our job well.
          If at all possible, I think most characters should have animals in their life somewhere – makes them more rounded people, doesn’t it? And also gives us an opportunity to show more about them, even if they don’t talk to them like Rusty does!

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          • Oh, I definitely meant on a subconscious level, Debby. A reader should just FEEL what we want them to via our various devices. 🙂 Another writer, now . . . they might look at it differently.

            Yes, it makes them more well-rounded, AND it sometimes gives them a sounding board when they need one. Another nice device that can be used to do many things, I think. 😀 Plus, readers who also love animals enjoy them being part of the story. One of my betas was very upset with me because she thought I had left Rosheen out of book 3, and I realized that I actually HAD, though not intentionally. I had to go back and be sure to make her presence known. 🙂 It was nice to know she’d been missed.

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            • I just had a bit of that problem with feedback from my writer’s group, who are very aware of author devices, where I don’t think a pure reader would notice. It will be interesting to hear what my beta readers (who aren’t authors) think.
              And I did a similar thing – gave Rusty this gorgeous new horse and then didn’t flesh out the relationship. What you see above is me putting that right, and, oh yes, using Fleetfoot as a sounding board when I don’t want to internalise all of Rusty’s thoughts – so useful!

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