#FREE gift – SPRITE NIGHT – a Caledonian Sprite short story #UrbanFantasy #ScottishHighlands

As a late Christmas (or early New Year) present, please help yourself to a FREE copy of my Caledonian Sprite short story, SPRITE NIGHT.

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If you have yet to meet sassy Cassie, the Scottish water sprite with a passion for the environment (not to mention the odd hunky Highlander), now is your chance.

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This 8000 word story is a stand alone read, though it follows on from events in the full length novel DESPRITE MEASURES, described by one reviewer as ‘a unique eco-urban fantasy’.

So if you love the Scottish Highlands (yes, Marcia, men in kilts!), the environment, strong characters and a bit of magic, then bag a copy while it’s FREE this week.

Here’s a little taster…

The inn was typical of its type; old, creaky and in need of renovation, but warm with hospitality and a reputation for excellent food and choice of single malts. One of the more frustrating aspects of my human body is that consuming food or alcohol is a futile exercise; I can eat, but solid food needs disposing of—let’s not go there—and alcohol, whilst I can take pleasure in the taste, has no effect on my metabolism.

Companionship though—that I can, and do, enjoy.

I pushed open the swing doors to the lounge and glanced around. Most of the crowd were locals I’d come to know over the past few weeks, but a rather delectable-looking stranger sat in the snug beside the chimney. My body perked up with interest.

Right now, my DNA stores were high, and gathering more would be an indulgence, but this guy had the makings of a pleasing dalliance, with or without extra benefits. His shaggy brown hair melded into a luxuriant beard, above which shone a pair of the brightest blue eyes I’d seen in a long while. He was dressed in a heavy woollen sweater with a thick, quilted jacket and thermal beanie discarded beside him on the bench.

Never one to stand on ceremony, I sauntered across the room and put a hand on the chair facing him. A pleasant waft of pine aftershave tickled my nose, evoking images of wide open spaces and forest, meeting my approval. He nodded in response to my raised eyebrow, and I pulled the chair out, dragging it across the bare wooden floorboards with a squeal.

He winced. “Dear God, lass, d’ye like to torture your men even before ye’ve been introduced?”

Blurb

When Scottish water sprite, Cassie, joins an anti-fracking protest, she doesn’t expect to find herself at odds with a druid. But with time running out for the local environment she can’t afford to be distracted by the handsome hunk of a Highlander.

Intent on sabotage, Cassie is unprepared to be caught in the cross-fire of a magical battle. Can she avert catastrophe? Or will she become the very agency of an ecological disaster?

Download from Amazon,  or leave me a message below if you’d like a different format and I’ll send it to you directly.

#ExcerptWeek & #giveaway – DESPRITE MEASURES, #UrbanFantasy by Deborah Jay

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DESPRITE MEASURES – a Caledonian Sprite Novel

Genre: Urban Fantasy

DESPRITE MEASURES (yes, you read that right) is the tale of a Scottish water sprite who’s quiet life is jeopardised by a magician intent on using her natural powers to fuel his dangerous experiments in energy production.

A reviewer recently described it as ‘an eco-urban fantasy’ which sums it up pretty well.

Excerpt

The drive into town seemed to take forever.

In truth, it took no longer than any other time, but I was impatient. I’d chosen the Audi Quattro this time—no point making things easy for Liam—and I was frustrated that I could not use all the power the sleek little beauty offered me. Every driver who delayed me by even a fraction of a second had me fuming at the wheel. By the time I turned into the club’s paved driveway, I was as near boiling point as it is prudent for a sprite to reach. A discreet parking attendant, whom I suspected doubled as a bouncer, pointed me to an empty bay, and then directed me to the head of the stairs leading down to the basement club. Not wanting to arrive looking flustered, I paused to gather myself.

Hair still caught in pony tail band. Check. Dress neckline showing equal expanse of skin either side of cleavage. Check. Hem straight and not quite riding high enough to show that I hadn’t wasted mass on fashioning underwear. Check.

Ready to go, I stepped one well-shod foot onto the first step down. And froze. Involuntarily, my body ceased to function. My mind blanked and a chill of fear iced my veins. I gazed numbly at the slender, dark figure lurking at the base of the stairs until he glanced away, freeing me, permitting life to return to the lifeless.

My paralysed brain shot back to working order. Recognition of the figure chilled me all over. Vampire.

Not something you see every day in downtown Inverness, but I’d encountered enough of them in the distant past to know one when I saw one. And to know the horror of being trapped by their gaze, unable to move or even to think.

This one, darkly handsome and with more than a passing resemblance to a youthful Bryan Ferry with his ever-present hint of a sneer, glanced at me again but without interest. Vampires prefer their blood more full bodied than the pseudo-stuff that runs through my counterfeit veins.

Somewhat troubled at finding his sort here, I was, however, still determined to continue with my evening’s plans. I descended, brushing past the cold figure in his immaculate Armani suit. A body-wracking shiver ran down my spine, even though I knew I was in no danger from him.

I wondered what he was doing here. Perhaps it was simply a good place for him to get a carry-out meal.

Find it on Amazon

FREE to Amazon Prime members and on Kindle Unlimited

hobbit hole Author Deborah Jay, seen here posing with her own hobbit hole, can be found at:

http://deborahjayauthor.com/

https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2

https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

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

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

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

For your chance to WIN an ebook copy of DESPRITE MEASURES, or one of 5 ecopies of the short story SPRITE NIGHT you can enter the contest today or tomorrow:

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#FREE short story – SPRITE NIGHT – #UrbanFantasy by Deborah Jay

FREE

Hey folks, my short story SPRITE NIGHT is free from today until the 25th, so please go ahead and grab yourself a copy from Amazon. It’s a companion story to my Caledonian Sprite novel, DESPRITE MEASURES, but is also a complete stand alone story.

Discover a unique eco-urban fantasy with a touch of romance.

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When Scottish water sprite, Cassie, volunteers for an anti-fracking protest, the last thing she expects is to find herself at odds with a druid. But with time running out for the local environment, she can’t afford to be distracted by the handsome hunk of a Highlander.

Intent on a minor act of sabotage, Cassie is totally unprepared to be caught in the cross-fire of a magical battle. Can she avert catastrophe? Or will she become the very agency of an ecological disaster?

What people are saying about SPRITE NIGHT

***4.8 stars***

“This story flowed smoothly and gave the reader an enjoyable glimpse into the world of Cassie Lake. The author intertwined real life elements into her magical world of druids, magicians and sprites. It was a clever twist to include internet links to various real life sites to bring a touch of realism to this fantasy. I would recommend this story to anyone looking for an easy, quick story that will make you smile.”

“There was a lot to love crammed into this short story. First, there’s the interesting world-building, centered around a water sprite who can dematerialize into her individual molecules at will. Next, the Scottish setting and culture was very vivid and intriguing, like an armchair vacation. Add in the hydrofracking issue that is currently so important on a world-wide level and you have an intellectually intriguing and enjoyable read.”

“Another wonderful Deborah Jay story, proving that she writes short fiction as fabulously as she writes novels! I love her dialogue best – believable, funny, and her heroine Cassie is always sassy. The balance between plot, action and information (who knew all that about water sprites?) is perfect – the writing is truly fast-paced at time, yet still includes such strong imagery to make you wince, or laugh, or both simultaneously.
Perfect follow-up to Ms Jay’s Sprite novel, but works as a strong stand-alone, too.”

” This story gives you an excellent chance to dip your toe into the Cassie waters. Sorry, couldn’t resist that.”

Download your copy from Amazon HERE

#Excerpt week – DESPRITE MEASURES (a Caledonian Sprite novel) by Deborah Jay #UrbanFantasy

Caledonian sprite, Cassie, attends a coven meeting with her friend and aspirant witch, Alison. The guest speaker for the evening is a water diviner – a human talent Cassie has spent millennia avoiding…

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The coven, fifteen in number tonight including the two of us, was gathered in a semi-circle on the lawn around Brian Chivers, who was brandishing a split hazel rod rather in the vein of a blind man’s cane. We arrived in time to hear the end of his explanation, and positioned ourselves behind the others. It was as far from Brian as we could arrange without looking suspicious.

“… you can dowse with almost anything, the most popular these days being plastic rods because they’re light and long-lasting, but I prefer to use a natural material, and hazel has a particular affinity for water.”

Staying behind Alison, I peeked over her shoulder as the diviner raised his rod to show it off better.

“I cut this one a couple of days ago. See,” he ran his finger down one side, “how I’ve split it. A very delicate procedure on a branch as fine as this. And then,” he pointed towards the end, which was bound with white tape, “I’ve taped the end to keep the split from extending. It won’t last forever, but this will prolong it until the wood dries out completely, at which point it will need replacing.”

Continue reading

Excerpt from Urban Fantasy short story, SPRITE NIGHT, by Deborah Jay

To set the scene: the DNA that water sprite Cassie uses to create her body has been damaged, so she can only partially materialise…

Sprite Night CompleteDuncan frowned. “But lass, you’re a wee bit lacking in substance just now; how do you normally harvest your DNA?”

My gaze dropped involuntarily to his crotch. Mortified, I jerked my head back up to see red blossoming in Duncan’s cheeks.

“Ah. So that’s what you were after last night.”

“No! Yes. Well, not really. Before all this blew up I had plenty; it wasn’t that I needed any more.”

He chuckled. “No worries, I fancied you too, but that’s not going to happen now, so we’d better find another solution.”

He was so right; dawn was shedding ever more light on the scene, and sooner or later an early riser was going to make a horrific discovery. Finding a druid talking to a floating head wasn’t going to help.

“Saliva would do the job,” I suggested, an odd attack of bashfulness overcoming me as I waited for his reaction. Continue reading

#Excerpt week finale – SPRITE NIGHT by Deborah Jay #UrbanFantasy #ecology #fracking

Sprite Night Complete

Here is my last contribution to excerpt week – and a fun and informative week it has been 😀

This little offering is from a short story that has not yet been released – maybe next month if I can find the time, once I have the anthology (excerpt here) all sorted.

Back to Urban Fantasy today, and a bit more of Cassie, the Caledonian Sprite, who has a tendency to get tangled up in ecological issues, seeing as they have potentially devastating implications for her element.

This story takes place just after DESPRITE MEASURES, (excerpts here and here), and finds our sassy sprite involved in a fracking protest near Stirling, Scotland.

NOTE: there are live links scattered throughout the Caledonian Sprite stories, taking readers who choose to follow them to informative pages and photographs of all things quintessentially Scottish. My stab at a (slightly) interactive experience.

Excerpt from SPRITE NIGHT

The inn was typical of its type; old, creaky and in need of renovation, but warm with hospitality and a reputation for excellent food and choice of single malts. It’s one of the more frustrating aspects of my human body that consuming food or alcohol is a futile exercise; I can eat, but solid food needs disposing of—let’s not go there—and alcohol, whilst I can take pleasure in the taste, has no affect on me.

Companionship though—that I can, and do, enjoy.

I pushed open the swing doors to the lounge and glanced around. Most of the crowd were locals I’d come to know over the past few weeks, but a rather delectable-looking stranger sat in the snug beside the chimney. My body perked up with interest.

Right now, my DNA stores were high, and harvesting more would be an indulgence, but this guy had the makings of a pleasing dalliance, with or without extra benefits. His shaggy brown hair melded into a luxuriant beard, above which shone a pair of the brightest blue eyes I’d seen in a long while. He was dressed in a heavy woollen sweater, with a thick, quilted jacket and thermal beanie discarded beside him on the bench. Continue reading

#Excerpt 2 from DESPRITE MEASURES, a Caledonian Sprite novel #UrbanFantasy #ecology #LGBT

Anyone up for a little more elemental mischief?

Yesterday I shared the opening page from DESPRITE MEASURES – a Caledonian Sprite novel. If you missed it, you can find it here.

Today I thought I’d give you a bit from the thick of the action, towards the end of the book, so without further ado

Excerpt 2

“Come on, Wynter, get a grip and get me in there!”

The witch fell to her knees, and for a horrible moment I thought she was going to blubber, but then I noticed the implements on the ground: a small cauldron, some pouches of who-knew-what. The remains of a fire.

Wynter’s hands shook as she tried to re-kindle the fire. For one ironic moment, I wished for Gloria. She’d have lit the charred sticks in an instant.

A tiny puff of smoke wisped upward and Wynter sprinkled dried grass around it, blowing delicately as she coaxed the infant flame. I stopped breathing.

“Find something to burn!” she ordered, and I scanned the hillside, grateful my vision was not as poor as human eyesight in the gloom. I located a cluster of twigs beneath a sheltering gorse bush and scooped them up.

“This do?”

“It’ll have to,” Wynter said, and now I heard steel in her voice. She sounded well pissed off. Finding out that your lover is using you can have that effect.

She poured a portion of oil into the cauldron and set it on a tripod above the little fire. Then she emptied out the contents of her pouches, muttering as she did so. I didn’t listen; I wanted nothing to do with human magic. I stared with laser beam eyes at the invisible spell shield, trying to burn a hole through it. The twined aromas of thyme and lavender swirled around me.

“Cassie, I need your help. Please?”

“What? You know I can’t do magic.” Continue reading

#Excerpt from #UrbanFantasy DESPRITE MEASURES (The Caledonian Sprite) by Deborah Jay

And now for something completely different…

I have so far shared excerpts from my Epic Fantasy, THE PRINCE’S MAN, here and here.

Today it’s the turn of my Urban Fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES. And no, that’s not a typo.

Here’s  short blurb, so you know what you’re letting yourself in for:

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Scottish water sprite, Cassie, lives a quiet life in human guise, along with her selkie boyfriend, until a magician tries to force her to power his crazy experiment.

Escape is only Cassie’s first challenge; she falls for her dangerous fellow captive, fire elemental Gloria, and somehow becomes the prize in a contest between rival covens.

Struggling to stay one step ahead of it all, her life and loves spiral dangerously out of control.

A unique eco-urban fantasy

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Excerpt from Desprite Measures

It’s just as well I’m not claustrophobic.

Even so, being held captive in a bottle was not how I’d planned to spend my weekend.

It was also one of the most undignified positions I’ve ever been in; a water sprite can be squished down pretty small, but it doesn’t mean we enjoy the process.

Rainbows played across the clear glass walls of my prison, refracting through the swirling liquid of my elemental form. Taking a deep breath, metaphorically speaking, I tried to slow my agitated motion, in danger of over-heating. If someone would uncap my bottle, I’d be able to let off steam.

I prowled the confined space. It stood around ten inches tall, or should that be twenty-five centimetres? I can’t keep up with the speed humans alter things. My existence had flowed serenely through the millennia without need for change until the human race invented plumbing.

I’d known there might be drawbacks to living in human form but, after one too many close encounters with the local sewage farm, I’d taken the risk. It had its upsides. Elementals are solitary by nature, but I’d found that I liked having friends—not to mention the thrill of experiencing human emotions.

I don’t understand them all yet, but I’m learning.

Perhaps I should also have considered potential pit-falls, but I was still quite new to all this, and when Alison had come to me for support I’d wanted to help. Replaying the fateful conversation in my mind, I realised I should’ve smelled something fishy from the outset.

“I know it’s not your kind of thing, but will you come with me, Cassie? Please say you will,” Alison pleaded.

I considered my flame haired friend for a millisecond before committing. “Aye, of course I will, as long as you’re certain it’s what you want.”

She frowned. “What, to become a witch or go to this meeting?”

“The meeting, dear heart. I have no problem with you trying out witchcraft; all that communing with nature is so you. I’m just none too sure about this group.”

We both studied the website on Alison’s laptop.

“Look at this list of events.” I pointed to one corner of the screen. “Like this one: ‘Self-development through equine partnership’. What’s that all about?”

“But that’s only one thing,” Alison protested. “Look at the rest. Crystal dowsing, aura reading, herbalism, etcetera, etcetera.”

“Okay, okay! Of course I’ll come with you. It can’t hurt to go to one meeting, can it?”

How wrong could I have been? I know that at the first whiff of strong magic I should have run in the opposite direction. But no, that whiff had been so enticing: aromas of strawberries and cream and chocolate all rolled into one. Someone had studied the Facebook group I’d set up for my gym clients, and discovered exactly what would make me hesitate just that fraction of a second too long.

 * * * * * * *