A Clearwater update

A Clearwater update

A Clearwater updateMy wonderful designer, Andjela, has come up with some banners and images for me for use on my Facebook page and the blog. I thought I’d share a couple now just to let regular readers know that I am still here and haven’t forgotten about my website. I’ve just released Fallen Splendour, the 4th Clearwater Mystery and am at a bit of a crossroads. I need to get back to my other series, The Saddling, and finish the final part of that. You won’t find The Saddling Mysteries under Jackson Marsh though, they are released under my real name, James Collins.

A Clearwater updateIf you want to view them, head to my James Collins author page. They need to be read in order: The Saddling, The Witchling, The Eastling and… the one I’ve yet to write. They are not MM Romance as such, though the three main characters are men.

A Clearwater updateOne comes to terms with being gay through part one, finds love with the second character in part two and onwards, and the third main character is ambiguous – and may turn out to be gay in part four. But… The series is set in a village (in the 21st century) on the Romney Marshes – Kent, England, that still lives by its own ancient lore and teaching – a non-Christian, non-religious place where nature and the supernatural are the driving forces. I wrote these three before I wrote the Clearwater Mysteries and they are different, though similar (no sex), and to be honest, the Saddling started off as a one-off, but was so popular, people asked for a second and then a third, so the pressure is on to produce the fourth.

A Clearwater updateThey have themes – a lot of family and other history, but also, more subliminally, the number four is important: four seasons, four festivals (two solstice, two equinox), four points of the compass and, in part four, four men banding together to save the day…I think.

I’ll leave it there and go to the writing desk to dream up some ideas. Meanwhile, thanks for your support, please share this blog and whatever you can on Facebook, Insta-what’s-it and elsewhere. If you enjoy the novels, I need your support to help others enjoy them too.

Thank you all!

A Clearwater update

Unspeakable Acts is on its way

Unspeakable Acts is on its way

Hi

I thought it was high time I updated you with what I have been doing. Writing of course! Actually, I have been away for a week writing a block of part four of The Clearwater Mysteries (which I will tell you about in a moment). While I was doing that, my wonderful proofreader was working through Unspeakable Acts, book three in the series.

Unspeakable Acts is on its wayThis series launched in March with Deviant Desire, and that has already become my top-selling title, outselling even the Mentor series – more or less, in the last two months alone. It is followed by Twisted Tracks, another mashup romance, adventure, mystery, historical novel, and that will soon be followed by Unspeakable Acts.

 

I don’t want to give away any spoilers of course, and it’s hard to tell you what’s happening in parts two and three without spoiling the end of part one, Deviant Desire, so you will have to bear with me. Where Deviant Desire is about the Ripper killings of East London in 1888 – but not the real killings, they were just the inspiration as my story concerns rent boys as victims – Twister Tacks saw our band of four become a band of five. Archer (Lord Clearwater), his new, younger lover, Silas, his best mate the Ukrainian hulk, Andrej (Fecker) and the lithe and lush footman, Thomas (red hair, slim body, big dick, right up my street) are joined by the new love of Thomas’ life, James. Twisted Tracks takes them to the North York Moors and a chase involving a stream train; very exciting.

Unspeakable Acts is on its way
My writing desk at home

Part three takes place a few weeks later. Archer is launching his Foundation to assists street boys of the East End with a gala performance at the City opera house. There’s nasty work afoot though as a villain, or villains seeks to discredit Archer and his charity, expose his homosexuality and bring the house down on his success and fortune. His team, of course, have other ideas and in this story, it’s Silas and James who take the lead, bonding as new friends and perhaps finding themselves a little more attracted to each other than their boyfriends would like. I’ll say no more, except Unspeakable Acts will be out later in June.

Unspeakable Acts is on its way
My writing table while I was away

I was away on a Greek island called Tilos, where I sometimes go to write away from home distractions. I live on the next island across so it’s easy to get to. While there, over my six-day stay, I managed to write the first 35,000 words of the first draft of book four. I also had to invent clues for the mystery, research Victorian railways and times and do a lot of other research. When you have only the sea view and a few tavernas for company, it’s amazing how much you can get done. Book four, Fallen Splendour is still only a quarter first-drafted, but the story is plotted. I have my nephew staying with us at present, so writing is on hold for the rest of this week. After that, Unspeakable Acts will be formatted and released, and I will get back to Fallen Splendour, aiming to have it ready for you by August or September.

Unspeakable Acts is on its way
My morning view ( my home island is in the distance)

Thanks for reading the blog and the books and remember, if you like what you read, please post reviews and tell everyone in Social Media groups. Thank you.

Unspeakable Acts is on its way
Tilos
Unspeakable Acts is on its way
And home again

Deviant, Twisted and Unspeakable

Deviant, Twisted and Unspeakable

Deviant, Twisted and Unspeakable
Twisted Tracks, The Clearwater Mysteries book two – available in May

I have the proof of ‘Twisted Tracks’ back from my proof reader but I’ve not gone through it yet. I am up to about 55,000 words on ‘Unspeakable Acts’ (The Clearwater Mysteries book three) and want to get to the end of a first draft of that one before going back to ‘Twisted’, book two. Meanwhile, book one, ‘Deviant Desire‘, has a blog tour from 29th April until 12th May (articles and interviews appearing every day on different MM Romance blogs), and I want ‘Twisted’ out around the time that ends, so there’s no rush and I have plenty of time to have it laid out.

I was really blocked for about a week on ‘Unspeakable.’ I am kind of making it up as I go, but I knew the ending. The thing was, I got to about half way and had lft myself two days to fill before the climax – the characters were saying, ‘The gala is on such and such a day’ and I was sticking to that while wondering what they would be doing during those two days while they waited. Of course, I woke up one morning and said, ‘Why make them wait? Just move the gala forward.’ The gala at the City Opera House is the climax of the thing. Once I’d realised that, I was off again, and I reckon I’ve got around 30,000 words of what’s essentially an Act Three still to go.

Deviant, Twisted and Unspeakable
Deviant Desire, The Clearwater Mysteries book one – available now on Amazon, print, Kindle and KU

I expect I will go beyond that as there’s a lot of madness and mayhem to get through, and then I can go back and edit and get the job done properly. For now, I’m steaming ahead into the world of German opera (an invented composer, a contemporary of Wagner) and backstage at the Opera House, while someone of great importance has arrived unexpectedly to witness the performance, during which one of Archer’s best buddies will be killed, on stage, if he doesn’t make a speech ‘outing’ the viscount. Silas and the new footman, James, have to work out the clue as the show is running and then find a way to stop a demented boy-whore murdering Cadwell Roxton, famed countertenor, while preforming ‘Aeneas and Dido’ – a retelling of the classic take where Aeneas kills himself (rather than Dido). Anyway… All rather mad but now I am unblocked, I’m back on track. Rather ‘Twisted Tracks’, I suppose, but then, that is a good name for a story.

Deviant Desire (release)

Deviant Desire (release)

Deviant Desire is ready to go for publication, just about. I’m just waiting for a couple of minor changes to the book cover for the print version, and after that, it should be uploaded. As usual, it’s a nervous time. Have I done the layout properly? It looks fine on my Kindle and other devices, but how will it look on other people’s? That kind of thing, but I shall press the button soon.

There will be a book tour for this one, the first in a new series, ‘The Clearwater Mysteries’, but that’s not until April 26th, so you have plenty of time to be the first to read the start of this new and on-going adventure. Here’s the blurb, you’ll have the links soon.

Deviant Desire Jackson MarshThe Victorian East End lives in fear of the Ripper and his mission to kill rent boys. Silas Hawkins, nineteen and forging a life on the streets could well be the next victim, but when he meets Archer, his life changes forever. Young, attractive and rich, Archer is The Viscount Clearwater, a philanthropist, adventurer and homosexual.

When Archer suspects the Ripper is killing to lure him to a confrontation, he risks his reputation and his life to stop the madman’s murders. Every man must play his part, including Silas.

A mashup of mystery, romance and adventure, Deviant Desire is set in an imaginary London of 1888. The first in an on-going series, it takes the theme of loyalty and friendship in a world where homosexuality is a crime. Secrets must be kept, lovers must be protected, and for Archer and Silas, it marks the start of their biggest adventure – love.

Praise for Jackson Marsh

“No usual tried tropes here. Great story, natural dialogue, well-developed characters, and an unpredictable plot.”

“Amazing. Jackson Marsh has written a compelling mystery and a wonderful love story both at the same time.”

Deviant Desire (part 1)

Deviant Desire (part 1)
Viscount Clearwater, previously the Honourable Archer Riddington

It’s time I shared the blurb for the upcoming release, ‘Deviant Desire.’

The working title for this novel was ‘Deviant Lamplight’ which I liked, but it is a bit too close to ‘Curious Moonlight‘ which is already released and not related to this story at all. My cover designer is working on changing the title to read ‘Deviant Desire’ with the subtitle, ‘The Clearwater Mysteries part one’, and the MS is nearly ready to be proofed. Meanwhile, part two which follows on immediately from part one is in first draft stage and should be ready to release a few weeks after part one which itself should be ready by the end of March. So, not long now!

Here is the blurb for part one, ‘Deviant Desire’.

Deviant Desire (part 1)
Silas Hawkins, street-rat and renter

The Victorian East End lives in fear of the Ripper and his mission to kill rent boys. Silas Hawkins, nineteen and forging a life on the streets could well be the next victim, but when he meets Archer, his life changes forever. Young, attractive and rich, Archer is Viscount Clearwater, a philanthropist, adventurer and homosexual.

When Archer suspects the Ripper is killing to lure him to a confrontation, he risks his reputation and his life to stop the madman’s murders. Every man must play his part, including Silas.

A mashup of mystery, romance and adventure, Deviant Desire is set in an imaginary London of 1888. The first in an on-going series, it takes the theme of loyalty and friendship in a world where homosexuality is a crime. Secrets must be kept, lovers must be protected, and for Archer and Silas, it marks the start of their biggest adventure – love.

Praise for Jackson Marsh

“No usual tried tropes here. Great story, natural dialogue, well-developed characters, and an unpredictable plot.”

“Amazing. Jackson Marsh has written a compelling mystery and a wonderful love story both at the same time.”

 

Giveaways on Amazon

Does offering your book for free work?

You make your book free on Kindle so anyone who wants to can download a copy. Why? The idea is you give away loads of copies in the hope readers will then buy another of your titles. Simple advertising and everyone likes something for free, so you get lots of publicity in return and without paying anything.

The Mentor of Lonemarsh HouseI have always been dubious, but I tried it at the end of last month. ‘The Mentor of Lonemarsh House’, one of the more romantic of the ‘Mentor’ series, hadn’t sold any copies in December so over the New Year period I put it up for five days for free. The title had already covered its cover and editing costs and had, in 2018, broken even in that respect. The giveaway on Amazon resulted in 577 copies being taken for free. I don’t know how many copies were read, they may have been downloaded and saved for the future, but clearly, 577 readers at least saw the title and author name while grabbing their freebie.

I didn’t expect the promotion to lead to the sale of other titles straight away, but I have noticed a change already, for the better, and the leader on the sales board after only five days since the giveaway ended, is ‘The Mentor of Lonemarsh House.’ Okay, so only four copies sold and 1,181 page reads under Kindle Unlimited (roughly another six copies) but considering there were none of either in the previous month, a huge improvement.

Giveaways on AmazonIs this because of the free giveaway, or just coincidence? I can’t tell. Did readers click on the title thinking it was still free but actually paid for it? I hope not. Was it because the title was up at the top of Amazon lists for a while because it was free? Who knows? What I do know is that although the resulting income has not yet matched the amount I would have made if 577 readers paid for the book, the promotion appears to have had a positive effect on sales of this title and others.

It will be interesting to see, over the next few days, if this trend continues or if it was just a New Year thing – readers spending money again after the Christmas break. Whatever happens, it’s good to know that people are out there reading and, hopefully, enjoy the books. The reviewers think so. “Wow, Wow, Wow….. This story has that slow long burn feeling to it that gets into you and doesn’t let you go” is a sample from one of the Amazon.com reviews.

So far, the answer to my question, Does offering your book for free work? Appears to be, yes.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079QJP4KL

 

 

Review: Curious Moonlight

Review: Curious MoonlightCurious Moonlight has its first review already, and it’s a good one – better than good. I am thrilled, and this has inspired me to push on and start a second in what could become a series. ‘The Curious Moonlight Mysteries’ sounds like an excellent title for such a series. Our central boys, Luke and Peran (one sceptical, one a believer) set about solving unsolved hauntings but without using modern techniques. They rely on researching past stories and events, local history and records to piece together a) what happened to the presence haunting the properties, and b) why they should be hunting them. Then, they are able to figure out how to end the events.

That’s basically what happens in Curios Moonlight, but in the second part (plotted and 20,000 words written), they travel further afield to solve a mystery and, if successful, get paid. Could be fun and the start of something longer-term.

You can read the review here (Amazon.co.uk but it’s also on other Amazon sites).

The Stoker Connection – Paperback

The Stoker Connection – Paperback

The Stoker Connection full coverMy latest romance/mystery novel, The Stoker Connection, is now available in paperback from all Amazon outlets. Here’s the link to the Amazon.co.uk page.

Scroll down for more info about this release.

The Kindle and Kindle Unlimited versions will be online in a couple of days.

The Stoker Connection – Cover

The Stoker Connection – Cover

Only here folks! The first view of the cover of ‘The Stoker Connection.’ My next romance-mystery-thriller-young adult novel is due out in a couple of weeks. As of today, June 2nd, it’s with my wonderful proofreader, Ann, and the cover art has just come back from my equally wonderful designer, Andjela K.

What you see here on the front is:

The Stoker ConnectionDexter Mitchell, is top left, looking gorgeous and sporty. He’s into rock climbing and hiking, outdoor pursuits and cracking the hidden clues in Bram Stoker’s novel, ‘Dracula’ that he believes will prove the novel was a true story.

Morgan Davis is next to him, darker and more serious, exactly the same age and more of an academic than a sportsman. Morgan, like (and with) Dexter, is also about to make a breakthrough in his research to prove ‘Dracula’ was a true story.

Beneath them, outside Whitby Abbey in the fog, we have Simon on the left, and Tim on the right with his naff hair. Simon is Morgan’s best friend (and one-off lover), and Tim and Dexter have been mates since before they can remember. Tim is straight, but he and Dex do have something of a bromance going on.

The Stoker Connection full coverWhitby Abbey features on the cover (front and back) because part of the novel is set there, and the Abbey was used by Stoker in ‘Dracula’ as a location. The other locations I use in the novel are a mix of real places and imagined ones. I’ll let you into a few secrets:

Dex lives out on ‘Moremarsh’, an area in the south-east of England actually known as Romney Marsh (and here’s another secret: that’s where I am from). He volunteers at a theatre in Folkestone and although the theatre was real (I used to work there years ago) it’s no longer a theatre and last I heard was to be pulled down. Shame, it’s a beautiful old Edwardian building.

Morgan lives in Chippenham, and I chose that location because it’s roughly 170 miles (by car) from where Dex lives. You’ll see why that number is important when you read the book.

The Stoker Connection
This is the original photo of Tim and Simon. They are holding chainsaws which have nothing to do with ‘The Stoker Connection’ so we had to cover them in fog!

The boys travel to a house called Kyllion, and this is on top of Westerton Cliffs in Cornwall. Except it isn’t. It was invented by Stoker for ‘The Jewel of Seven Stars’, and I borrowed the house for a reason that will become obvious when you read the book.

They also visit Whitby Abbey (which I did once many years ago) and New Slains Castle in Scotland, again, you’ll see why when you read ‘The Stoker Connection.’

Those are the principal characters and locations. There are other characters of course, like Morgan’s mother, the forthright sex therapist who is based on a woman I knew a few years back; totally bonkers and very upfront.

The novel will be out soon, but in the meantime,  you can join my mailing list to be among the first to get the links to the published book on Amazon.