#ShareAReviewDay – The Prince’s Man by Deborah Jay

As no one else seems to have claimed today, I thought I would share a short review for the first in my Five Kingdoms series – short, but lovely.

 

What if the magic that can save your loved ones also condemns you to death_ (2)

This is the most recent review of 48 on Amazon UK, with an average star rating of 4.6*

5 stars

“I’m a great fan of a fantasy novel and this book is such a gripping read that I could hardly put it down. I thought the plot and unfolding of each character very imaginative and the authors writing style really allows you to visualise each character and draws you in to the story.

I bought the 2nd book immediately and hoping a 3rd book is on its way.”

Blurb

What if the magic that could save your loved ones condemns you to death?
Rakish royal spy, Rustam Chalice, loves his life the way it is, so when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. To his dismay the spymaster prince teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin. And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.
Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god—and each other. When Rustam discovers he has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity, and his loyalty to his prince. For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.
The Prince’s Man is the first book in The Five Kingdoms epic fantasy series. If you like action, intrigue, and magic, spiced with a touch of romance, then you’ll love Deborah Jay’s vividly realised characters.

Buy THE PRINCE’S MAN HERE

Deborah Jay

Deborah Jay writes fantasy and urban fantasy featuring complex, 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 has time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many horses, and her complete inability to cook.
She has a dream day job riding, training and judging competition dressage horses and riders, and also writes books and magazine features on the subject under her professional name of Debby Lush.
A lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, she started writing her first novel aged eight, and has never stopped. Her first published novel is epic fantasy, THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in the Five Kingdoms series, and winner of a UK Arts Board award. #2, THE PRINCE’S SON is also available with THE PRINCE’S PROTEGE due soon.
Her first urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, about a Scottish water sprite, is the opening novel of the CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES. The companion short story, SPRITE NIGHT is available FREE on most ebook retailers.

Sign up to Deborah’s newsletter HERE and receive a FREE short story in the Five Kingdoms series!

You can find Deborah on social media at:

Blog http://deborahjayauthor.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

Twitter https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/debbylush/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Amazon http://viewAuthor.at/DeborahJay

 

THE POWER OF WRITING – FREE TELESUMMIT – SIGN UP NOW! #writing

As we have writers at all stages of their journey here, I’d like to share details of this telesummit which may be of interest to some of you.

Starting April 30th, this FREE audio summit covers a huge range of types of writing – blogging, journaling, memoir, short stories, novels, non-fiction and more, and I (Deborah Jay) am thrilled to be one of 15 authors sharing my experience in an in-depth interview.

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There are so many types of writing out there, often the biggest challenge is, where to start.

As a lover of writing, I know what a powerful tool it can be to really changing your life; but I also know the challenges that writers face with things like creating the habits needed, being consistent, focused and inspired, getting over fears of writing and much more…
Let me introduce to my friend Dawn! Dawn has also dealt with these same challenges and has now made it her mission to help others do the same. She has brought 15 experts (including me!) together in the second Power of Writing series called: The Power of Writing: Discover and share your gifts through developing a powerful and purposeful writing practice.
The telesummit consists of audio interviews, so you can listen in wherever you are.
These interviews are REAL, short and to the point CONVERSATIONS with people for whom writing, and helping others write, really is at the core of their lives! The strategies and tips and insights that they’ll be sharing will be invaluable to helping you on the road to really creating a writing life.
Join me here: https://thepowerofwritingsummit.com/o/deborah/
Oh, and did I remember to mention? – IT’S FREE

Please share!

On sale… #0.99c THE PRINCE’S MAN

Hi folks,

A quick notification I’d be very grateful if you’d share around your contacts.

I am holding a one week sale of the first in my epic fantasy Five Kingdoms series, award winner, THE PRINCE’S MAN – $0.99/£0.99 or the equivalent across the globe until April 29th.

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Think James Bond meets Lord of the Rings…

Rakish royal spy, Rustam, loves his kingdom. When a threat believed long dead proves to be very much alive, he finds himself in the thick of things along with the one woman in the kingdom who despises him. She’s also the royal family’s assassin. Together, they must find a way to save their kingdom – if they can manage not to kill each other first.

AMAZON                 KOBO                     APPLE                   B&N

How I sold 1,000 books over the holidays #marketing #bestseller

For those of you interested in the facts and figures of paid promotions, I’m sharing details of my latest successful promo over on my blog.
Hop across, take a look and tell me what you think.

deborahjay

Here is my promised share of how I sold 1000 books and became a bestseller (in Canada and Australia, at any rate) over the 10 days of the Christmas/New Year holiday. Settle in, folks, this is going to be a long post.

First up, what I did was nothing ground breaking, just plain old advertising and spreading the word.

For a bit of background, the book I promoted was THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in my Epic Fantasy series (only 2 books out so far, 3rd one is underway).

I know it can sell in quantity – when it came out, it was an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release, selling 1500 copies in the first 6 weeks. That was back in 2013. I’ve written and released several other books since then, including its sequel, THE PRINCE’S SON.

I haven’t promoted TPM in over 12 months, and sales had…

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#$0.99 #SALE – THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in THE FIVE KINGDOMS #EpicFantasy series

Hi Marcia and all – waves from the UK.

I hope you all had a great Christmas? For me it’s all about joining up with the family and taking time off work without feeling guilty. The best thing is, after Church, my sister-in-law cooks the best ever goose with all the trimmings – a huge blessing as any of you that have read my bio will know that I can’t cook!!!

There was a tinge of sadness this year as this was our first Christmas without my father, who died in July at the grand age of 98, but my mother, at 97, is still with us 😀

I set up a WORLD WIDE SALE for the Christmas period, $0.99 (or the equivalent) for my award-winning first in my epic fantasy Five Kingdoms series, THE PRINCE’S MAN, and as it’s gathering pace, I’ve decided to let it run on into the new year. So until January 4th, if you haven’t already indulged, why not grab a copy at this tiny price?

New Year sale

Available at:      AMAZON       B&N        APPLE      KOBO

Please share!

 

Authors, do you use editors? Proofreaders? I have a guilty secret… #amwriting #amediting

I published this little confession on my own blog (https://deborahjayauthor.com/) last week, and it garnered so many interesting points of view, I thought I’d bring it over here too…

Since I joined the Indie publishing scene back in 2013, I have read SO many times the

advice, nay, instruction, ‘thou shalt not publish without having your work professionally edited/proof read/beta read’.

But I have a guilty secret…

I don’t use editors or proof readers.

Gasp! Isn’t my work trash?
Well, apparently not, if my reviews are to be believed. Here is a snippet from a recent review, from an Amazon Vine Reviewer, no less:

“This is a good, entertaining read with lots of originality. And THANK YOU to the author for the lack of errors and grammar that mar so many books these days!”

Okay, I admit to working with a writer’s group. They get to see my first draft and pick up on any obvious procedural errors (like the 36 hour day I once managed to write in), and suggest ways of strengthening the plot.
Then I finish the novel and have 2, or at most 3 beta readers. Only if they all say the same thing about any part of the book do I make any changes.


And after carrying this guilty secret with me for years now, I was hugely relieved to read this post from well known author Dean Wesley Smith:
https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-sacred-cows-of-publishing-beta-readers-help-you/

This makes me feel SO much better about my writing. It’s how I began, how I’ve continued, and how I intend to continue.
I DO think editors etc. are an excellent idea for writers at an early stage of their careers, when they still have much to learn, but I’ve been doing this job professionally (writing non-fiction for magazines and books) for decades, and while I’m always learning more, I have a fair bit of confidence in my own ability to tell a tale, and tell it in reasonable English. If I break a grammar rule, I (probably) meant to!

How about you writers? Is there anyone else out there who shares my guilty secret. I know a small handful of other. Are there any more?

Writers, have you discovered the Pomodoro technique? #amwriting #timemanagement

Are you a full time writer?

I’m not, so like a lot of others, I have to fit my writing time around my full time business. And my business is VERY full time – I train and judge competition dressage horses at National and International level. It’s a fabulous job, but very time consuming, not to mention sometimes exhausting.

This is me in my day job

When people glibly tell me that there is always time to be found in the work day, I know they have NO idea what my life is like. I can often be on the road by 7am, and not home until 10pm, having been either driving or working the entire time. Please tell me where I am supposed to find time to write in that schedule?

I’m not complaining, no sir, I’m just making a point. Not everybody’s life lends itself to a regular writing routine. Mine certainly doesn’t.

So what is my point?

Well, I recently followed a short writing course, largely because it had a great module on plotting (guess who is trying to learn more about plotting vs pantsing?). But what it also had, was a section on time management.

My first thought was, ‘here we go again, I’ve heard it all before’.

But I hadn’t! This course introduced me to the POMODORO TECHNIQUE.

If you haven’t come across it yet, it is a time management approach developed in the late 1980s, and named after the Pomodoro kitchen timer.

 The reason I found this so useful?

Because I have always felt that there was no point starting to write unless I had at least a clear hour available. Anything less than that seemed to me to be unproductive, and I hate to get started only to find I have to give up.

The nub of the Pomodoro technique, though, is that you work for exactly 25 minutes. Not more, and not less.

If you have that magic hour free, then you can fit two sessions in, with a small gap in the middle for coffee making or similar.

I guess, now I think about it, that this is at least partially based on the knowledge that we (humans) can only concentrate fully for 20 minutes at a time, so the 25 minutes stretches that just a touch, followed by the short break, and then back for another 20 (or 25) minutes work.

What it has meant for me, personally, is that my next book is coming along much quicker than previous ones, because I can often find 25 minutes spare, where I might have to wait days to find one of those precious hour gaps.

It has enabled me to give myself permission to write for just 25 minutes, and without guilt that I didn’t get that full hour of work in.

Crazy, huh? But it’s working for me.

I’ve finally realised that my one hour rule is yet another of those dreaded procrastinations we writers are often so prone to.

How about all of you, how do you manage your time?

Even if you are a full time writer, with all the guff that goes with it these days, how do you arrange your productive writing sessions?

Does anyone else have a favoured minimum writing time?

Deborah Jay

Mystery, magic and mayhem

Join me at:

http://deborahjayauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Amazon author page: http://viewAuthor.at/DeborahJay

 

 

 

 

Nottingham University #ShortStoryCompetition #winner – yours truly!

I want to share my exciting news with you lovely people – there’s a complete story to be read at the end of the post, so please, hop on over! BTW, I’m not telling what genre the story is, as that would give it away…

deborahjay

A couple of months ago, my University (Nottingham) newsletter announced a short story competition for alumni. How could I resist?

The story was to be set on one of the campuses, and had a limit of 2000 words. Quite a challenge for someone accustomed to writing fantasy novels of epic length, but I decided to have a go, and chose a setting I knew well – the Sutton Bonington campus library, where I studied for so many hours, writing assignments for my mammalian physiology degree.

Drawing on my experiences writing for various magazines, I found hitting the word count less difficult than expected, and in due course, submitted two stories (the other set in the student’s bar – perhaps one for another post…), and then forgot about it.

A week or so ago, I remembered it, checked the Uni boards but found no mention of the competition, and chalked it up to experience, then forgot about it again.

So imagine my surprise…

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#ExcerptWeek – The Spy and the Lady – a Five Kingdoms short story by @DeborahJay2 #EpicFantasy

THE FIVE KINGDOMS epic fantasy series (think James Bond meets Lord of the Rings) has a new entry!

To fill in some of the gap between books 1 and 2, THE PRINCE’S MAN and THE PRINCE’S SON, I have embarked on a series of short stories that I am giving away FREE to my mailing list subscribers.

THE SPY AND THE LADY is now available.

Ex-spy, Rustam Chalice, never could resist a lady in peril, and this one’s up to her pretty eyelashes.

Getting into the outlaws’ camp isn’t so tricky, but how come the rogues don’t seem that motivated by promise of a rich ransom? And why does the lady not appear enthusiastic about escaping?

Excerpt

“Unhand the lady, you ruffians!”

Was that pompous enough? Exiled spy, Rustam Chalice, slipped into the role of arrogant nobleman with the ease of donning a cloak. When he’d ridden into the forest clearing, he’d had nothing more on his mind than reaching a lower altitude before nightfall. Crossing paths with the motley group of armed men and their captive–a statuesque beauty—was sheer bad timing.

Or was it?

Perhaps the goddess hasn’t finished meddling with my life yet.

Rustam and the outlaws studied each other warily. On foot, the eight men presented a limited threat. Even so, Rustam’s pulse raced. The boredom of days of aimless wandering vanished in a heartbeat, and excitement zipped along his nerves for the first time since he’d been forced to abandon his old life.

A rescue attempt also promised a diversion to take his mind off a certain lady he would probably never see again.

Weapons drawn, several of the men edged toward Rustam. He flourished his sword randomly as discouragement. The magnificent black mare beneath him sidled away from the swishing weapon, and Rustam reassured her with a light touch of his hand. “Easy, Nightstalker,” he murmured. “I haven’t lost my mind, I promise.”

Two men slipped away between the straight pine trunks that rose to majestic heights above the mountainside. Another man grabbed the prisoner by one arm, as though he feared she might try to escape. Quite where he thought she would go, on foot, leagues from anywhere—not to mention the question of what she was doing here in the first place—puzzled Rustam.

One of the bandits, a particularly skinny specimen, stepped in front of the others. “And why should we do that?” he asked.

“I’ll run you through if you don’t, that’s why,” Rustam declared with another wild swing of his blade. “Your weapons are puny, and I am an expert swordsman.”

Rustam winced at his ridiculous claim, but he wanted a moment to think. He could ride away now, follow the group at a safe distance and take time to plan a rescue. Probably the sensible thing to do. But now the outlaws were aware of his presence, they would be on guard, making such an approach trickier.

Working from the inside—now that was more his style.

Nightstalker jigged nervously and bunched her hindquarters, readying a vicious kick intended to maim the two men creeping up behind her. Choice made, Rustam reined her to one side, breaking her concentration. The battle-trained mare’s hooves could be deadly from many directions, and Rustam didn’t want to anger the bandits by dispatching any of them. He wanted to get captured, not killed.

* * * * * *

If you want to read more, sign up to my (infrequent) newsletter HERE and download your FREE copy.

If you already subscribe, I will be delivering complementary copies soon.

About Deborah Jay

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she also shares 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.

Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, won a UK Arts Board award and was an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release.

You can also stalk her at:

http://deborahjayauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2

http://www.pinterest.com/debbylush/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Amazon author page: http://viewAuthor.at/DeborahJay

 

 

 

#Win this bundle of #FANTASY books


This is a quick hijack of The Write Stuff for the fantasy readers amongst us…

How would you like to win this fabulous bundle of fantasy books? Oh, and it includes one of mine (The Prince’s Man).

You can enter the competition HERE, and also find free stuff from the authors of these books and more.

Competition runs until April 14th, but why hang around, go, enter now!

Lovely people, please share this competition using the buttons below, or any other way you care to use – the more entries the better!