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Friday, 30 September 2016

The Kindle Scout Journey - Part #2

I thought it was time for another Kindle Scout update. My novel, DAWN OF WOLVES, was selected for publication by Kindle Press back in June, and then released on August 23, 2016.

In my first post about my Kindle Scout experience, I outlined how my campaign went and the editing and pre-publication process. It's now been just over a month since publication—so how have things been going.

During the first days of publication—during which Amazon places the book on the 'new release' lists—I sold 36 books (23-31 August). Most of these were in the US, with a handful in the UK and Australia. I just got my royalty statement for August (which is why I have the exact numbers) so don't know how many books I've sold in September yet.

Most days, the book sits at around 50,000 on the Amazon rankings—which is okay, not stratospheric but it's ticking along at a couple of copies a day. I've heard the real promotion starts 90 days after publication, so watch this space!

The power of the back-list

The biggest advantage of having DAWN OF OF WOLVES published by Kindle Press, is the effect it's had on my back-list. The book is #3 in The Kingdom of Mercia series. Although the novels follow on historically, each one can be read as a stand alone story. Winning Kindle Scout has given the whole series a boost. Readers are discovering THE BREAKING DAWN and DARKEST BEFORE DAWN, which I'm delighted about.

Reaching my audience

So far, I've found the whole Kindle Press experience a positive one. It's been given me a confidence boost and helped my historical romances find their audience—not easy in a crowded market-place.

As my novels are set in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England, I write in quite a niche—few writers set romances in this era. As such, my books can be too gritty to appeal to some mainstream romance readers and too 'love-story' focused for those who like 'straight' historicals. That said, I've discovered there are many readers out there who are looking for historical adventure stories, set in the Dark Ages, with a strong romance element.

I'm grateful that Kindle Scout is allowing me to reach them!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Goodreads giveaway for DAWN OF WOLVES

Enter for a chance to win one of two paperback copies of DAWN OF WOLVES (Book #3: The Kingdom of Mercia).

Set in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England, DAWN OF WOLVES is about a forced marriage and its devastating consequences. The novel was a Kindle Scout winner back in June and has now been published by Kindle Press. The contest is running from 1-9 September 2016 - click on the widget below to enter!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dawn of Wolves by Jayne Castel

Dawn of Wolves

by Jayne Castel

Giveaway ends September 09, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Here's an excerpt from the book - one of my favorite scenes - for you to enjoy!


Ermenilda squared her shoulders and marched through the crowd of milling men and horses. She strode purposefully toward the front of the column. Aware of the men's stares as she walked among them, Ermenilda kept her gaze fixed upon her destination: the King of Mercia.

Wulfhere had just dismounted from his stallion and was saying something to Werbode. The dark-haired warrior spied Ermenilda first. He watched her for a moment, his gaze traveling the length of her in a way that made her boiling temper rise even further. Then, he lazily turned to Wulfhere.

"Milord, it appears your betrothed wants a word."

Wulfhere turned, his limpid gaze settling upon Ermenilda. The impact of their gazes meeting nearly caused her step to falter. Resisting the sudden impulse to turn and flee, she pressed on.

"Lady Ermenilda," he greeted her. "How can I be of service?"

"I would speak to you for a moment," she replied, stopping a few feet away from him. "Alone."

Wulfhere raised an eyebrow, while around them a few men sniggered.

Werbode gave a low whistle."She's forward, this Kentish princess . . ."

Ermenilda threw him the coldest, most imperious look she could muster, but Werbode merely returned her gaze with a boldness that made her skin crawl. Suddenly, she felt like a lamb in a den of wolves. The anger that had propelled her off her palfrey and up to the head of the column was beginning to subside. She was starting to feel vulnerable.

"Come, milady." Wulfhere cast Werbode a censorious look before he gently took hold of Ermenilda's arm and steered her away from his men. They reached the crest of the hill, a few yards away from the others, and halted. Behind them, to the north, Ermenilda could see the gentle folds of grassy downs stretching away to a cloudy horizon like a rumpled blanket.

Wulfhere turned and faced her. The look of thinly veiled amusement on his face made Ermenilda's ire rise once more.

"What is it?" he asked.

"I demand an apology," she replied, folding her arms across her chest as she faced him.

His amusement faded. "An apology . . . for what?"

"For your behavior."

Wulfhere stared at her, stunned. When he replied, his voice held a warning. "I had every right to be angry, Ermenilda. I had just learned of your mother's treachery, and I believed you to be part of it. I am still yet to be convinced that you are entirely innocent."

"My word should be enough," she countered angrily. "Yet, that is not what I seek an apology for. You took advantage of a moment alone with me. You humiliated me."

His eyes widened. "A kiss is not humiliation. You are my betrothed--I have a right to kiss you. Even if I had taken you last night in your tent, it would have been my right."

Anger exploded within Ermenilda. She unfolded her arms and balled her fists at her sides.
Wulfhere observed her temper and raised an eyebrow.

"Definitely not the ice maiden I took you for. Do you wish to strike me?"


Enter the Goodreads Giveway contest.

Buy a Kindle copy of DAWN OF WOLVES from Amazon.