Jay Howard


Jay currently lives in Somerset, which she considers to be a gem among English counties. She has lived and worked in many places in England, Wales, Alberta and British Columbia. Holding dual citizenship through her father, who was born in Toronto, a visit to her ‘other country’ included a stay in her father’s city followed by the four day train journey to the West coast. She describes the trip as ‘the only way for an English visitor to start to comprehend the vastness and diversity of this land’.

While admitting that trying so many different areas of work may not be ideal for most people, Jay believes that her experiences have given her insights that enrich her writing. She describes writing as ‘enormously enjoyable and satisfying, but second only to golf in the level of frustration that must be endured to achieve the desired goal’.

Never Too Late (Changes #1)
New Beginnings (Changes #2)

Short story collections:
As The Sun Goes Down
Similar Differences

Editor and contributor to Of Words and Water 2013 and Of Words and Water 2014 (short story and poetry collections published in support of WaterAid)

Planned for publication in December 2014: A Strong Brew


Similar Differences
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,090. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2014. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Welcome to my second collection of short stories. Here you will meet children playing dressing up, a single mother meeting the father of her son, a Canadian who has unexpectedly inherited a large English house and farm, a concert pianist who must decide if it is time to stay home a little more, and others whose lives have come to decision points.
Of Words and Water - 2013 (4.92 from 13 reviews)
Published in support of WaterAid, this delightful selection of short stories and poems has a cohesive theme of water. Donated by an international group of top class authors, there are many styles of writing which will each, in its own way, entertain you. Song lyrics and a poem were donated by renowned folk singer, musician and activist Peggy Seeger,
As The Sun Goes Down
Price: Free! Words: 20,350. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
This book is set to FREE: if you enjoy the stories please make a donation to Saluki Welfare Fund. Every donation, large or small, helps the dedicated volunteers who rescue, care for and find new loving homes for Salukis who have fallen on hard times. Come take a peek into the lives of some of the characters who live in my imagination.
New Beginnings (Changes #2)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 59,090. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2012. Category: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
This book stands alone, but for those who know the people from Never Too Late, this is your chance to meet them again, and some new faces too. In the small village of Holmsford, residents old and new gear up for the Christmas celebrations, but not everything goes to plan. Secrets and sleigh rides, new love and heartache, all get mixed up in the festive pot.
Never Too Late (Changes #1)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 124,380. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2012. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
Book #1 in the Changes trilogy, a tale of family life in a small English village. Relationships can strain to breaking point when there are too many secrets, too many problems not faced. In the village of Holmsford, the McTavish family members find they need each other more than they thought, and the community rallies round to help.

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Smashwords book reviews by Jay Howard

  • Made Up on Aug. 05, 2012

    I found this an enjoyable light read, typical of the genre but atypical in being better written than many. The pacing and plot are good, with plenty happening to keep the reader interested in Katia’s life. There are a few edits required, scattered throughout the work, but they are only of the kind that annoy pedants like me eg ‘giving into’ instead of ‘giving in to’. As compensation there are flashes of poetic brilliance. Two images that will stay with me are: 'She felt like a bird that could have dipped down and brushed a wing against the snow.' and 'Her nerves sat around her like a worn out hem, all it needed was one catch before she started to fray.' (even though this should be two sentences, or separated with a colon rather than a comma. As I said, I’m finicky.) Katia’s character development was handled well, as was her relationship with her various family members. I would like to have got to know Owen a little more. Since he is the romantic connection I felt I should have known him rather better by the time he and Katia became partners. On the whole, very well done, Emma, and I’ll be happy to read more of your work.
  • A Strange Boy on March 24, 2013

    This story distils the essence of what it is to be different from our peers. I strongly suspect that more of us would have remained dysfunctional in the eyes of society if we had had a Unicorn and South Wind as best friends. Lucky Nicholas! Patrick de Moss’ powers of description, the evocation of character, scene and time, are unsurpassed in my opinion. His use of language is poetic, rich and original. For example: a first whisper of darkness against white or So cold you can see every granule of snow, can hear the brittle, spent branches scrabbling towards the midnight sky, black on black, as they rattle the bones of summer. Yes, I know that sentence is not strictly correct, but could you better describe that feeling of winter? To my mind, certainly in context, it would lose something if it started It is so cold. It is a feature of the author’s writing that the unusual formatting and the breaking of the rules of grammar are done deliberately to enhance the atmosphere in the limited space of a short story. Like poetry. Bravo! Encore!