Historical fantasy is an abiding love of mine – to read and write – and I’m always delighted to welcome other authors to my blog who share that interest. Today, my guest is Jay Mountney, and the fantasy world in which she plays adds a little extra: dragons, and and elvish detective. Not a combination I’ve come across before, but I very much look forward to find out more.
First, though, here’s Jay Mountney telling us how The Skilled Investigators stories came about…
Taking a deep breath.
I’m really grateful to Jackie for hosting me here. I’m useless at marketing and I’d love to reach a wider audience. This isn’t so much about selling more books, though the money would obviously be nice. It’s more that I know some of my close friends enjoy what I’ve written and I want to share it with the world or at least that section of the world that shares my tastes.
I found myself loving fantasy, feisty heroines, detective stories and mm romance. The chances of finding all four in one work seemed to be nil so I decided to write my own. Instantly, or so it appeared, my heroine moved into my head, found a dragon, discovered her brother was gay, and wanted to train as a detective. I should also mention she’s an elf in a world where elves and humans sometimes (but not always) interact. And so my series was born. To tell all my characters’ stories was clearly going to take more than one volume so I decided to follow Genef’s training, which would mean six books, for the six cases needed before she’d be fully qualified. I’m on the home stretch in book four at the moment, whilst books five and six are still in note form but have some kind of shape to them already. I don’t know exactly what happens because I let my characters dictate a lot of the details as we go. I just make sure I’m allowed to control the investigation notes. One of the underlying themes of my books is culture clash, a subject that interests me greatly. My characters seem resigned to letting me include it wherever possible.
The first three volumes are published; self-published but I can assure you I am obsessive about spelling (British English) and grammar (I taught English) and whilst I’ve done my own formatting, Smashwords and Amazon seem happy with it and it looks fine to me in the previews. My main beta reader is an exacting editor and ensures I don’t have plot holes.
So if you like dragons, crime, a small helping of magic, a large helping of world building and a dose of mm romance, please consider buying my books!
These are not my only books to date, and you can find out more either on my Amazon page or on my WordPress blog.
I like talking to other writers about how they write, find their plots, interact with their characters, etc. and am always happy to chat on WordPress or Facebook though I rarely post, other than reviews.
The Skilled Investigators
Genef is an elf in a world of elves and humans. She is training as an investigator (detective) with the Guild. Her sidekicks are Scratch, a dragon who imprinted on her at hatching, her gay brother who has, so far, plenty of angst in his life, and her mentor, Rath.
Genef is determined to take up her chosen career and her first case, even before she has been accepted by the Guild, involves a murder at her own home. The novel follows her subsequent investigation and her journey to the capital, Lonis, where she hope to begin her training in earnest. We meet her dragon, Scratch, just hatched from his egg, her gay brother, Fel, who has problems with acceptance by the local community, and later, her mentor, Rath. Genef is gifted with Skills, Knowing Touch and Teaching Taste, which are part magic, part psychology and part enhanced physical skill. As she progresses through her training she hopes to be given more. The journey also introduces us to the country Genef lives in.
Genef is asked to go overseas to find royal jewels that were stolen and are presumed to be traded abroad. Her brother, recovering from a romance gone badly wrong, accompanies her and is kidnapped to be sold to slavers. With jewels to find, a brother to rescue, and a murder on board the ship she arrived on to deal with, Genef has a difficult but ultimately successful time. Scratch helps to rescue Fel, who was already at least partially freed by a young elf who adores him. However, the love is not reciprocated and Fel returns to Lonis unattached. Genef returns to a gift of Inner Hearing and a new commission.
One item of jewellery is still missing and is known to have been sold on to the distant Ice Country. Genef and Rath set off to find it and if possible return it to their king. Scratch accompanies them, hoping to find others of his kind in the far north. Once the Ice Country is reached, Genef and Rath become embroiled in a situation involving kidnapped slaves, murdered dragons and political conspiracy. They must travel further north and explore the strange frozen countryside to investigate. Scratch discovers first love but realises that not all dragons are honourable. Genef and Scratch learn that Rath would like to court Fel but is not sure of his reception. Genef returns to Lonis with the crown, to be given Protective Smell, and a promise that her next case, at least, will keep her on the soil of The Kingdom, her native land.
About Jay Mountney
Jay was for many years an English teacher, also deeply involved in multicultural and equal opportunities education. Most of her writing was confined to teaching materials, some of which were published. She is now retired and concentrating on fiction. Until last year she divided her time between two homes, one in UK and one in Portugal, but lost the Portuguese one in the 2017 October fires. This has led to a current lack of concentration as she and her husband try to get to grips with what happened and reinvent their lives. However, writing is progressing again and provides a much needed escape. Jay is married with one daughter and one grandson. She has a lot of interests: apart from the obvious reading and writing, she is fascinated by animals, art, architecture, interior design, languages and language learning, and cookery and will happily talk about any or all of these for hours.
You can find Jay on