My Blog

Research

Research

My collection of research books for the new series I am writing is expanding. The Clearwater Mysteries series is set in Victorian times (1888) and set in a city which is clearly London, but because I need to take liberties with history, I have made it an ‘imaginary London of 1888’. When I say liberties, I mean, for example, in book one of the series, the Ripper is killing men, not women, and so I am mixing fact with fiction.

In my stories (The Clearwater Mysteries), as in truth, the identity of the Ripper is never known, except in my series, we do know who he is, and we see what he went on to do after those crimes ended. We also find out why. In other places, I have stayed close to the facts but not quite, using some real locations, basing characters and their names on people of the time or near the time. Example, in book four, ‘Fallen Splendour’ (still in editing and not yet published), I have a barrister called Sir Easterby Creswell. I took his name from a real judge in the 19th century called Sir Creswell Creswell (whose family name was Easterby), and so on.

Over the weekend, I received two more books to add to the collection of things to be read when I take time off from writing. So far, I have collected several actual books, which I prefer, and a few Kindles. I find Kindle good for when I want some information now and don’t want to have to wait two weeks for an online order to arrive. If the book is something I will keep and use again, I’ll then order a paper or hardback copy.

Off the top of my head (I am in the study at 4.30 a.m., and the books are scattered around the house, and I don’t want to make noise by searching for them), I have gathered books about the stately homes of England, Victorian buildings, the Cleveland Street scandal of 1889, life in Victorian London, Jack the Ripper (I already have several), a collection of writings by ordinary people of the time, first-hand accounts of daily life etc., a book on the railways, the history of the Ukraine, ‘The Sins of Jack Saul’ and Saul’s allegedly penned, er, ‘novel’ about the life of a male street worker in those days, a dictionary of Victorian slang, a Bradshaw’s guide (1886, reprint), and several railways maps from the time. There are others, but I expect you’re getting bored by now. What I am looking for next is a good Atlas of the country from around that time, something as detailed as the large, green-cover Readers’ Digest atlas we used to have when younger.

[Here’s the link to the first three books of the series, The Clearwater Mysteries]

Unspeakable Acts published

Unspeakable Acts published

The good news of this week is that part three of The Clearwater Mysteries has now been published. Unspeakable Acts is available from Amazon Kindle, KU and in paperback. Here is the link to the .com listing, but the book is available through co.uk and other Amazon domains. Unspeakable Acts.

The Clearwater Mysteries runs in order, so if you haven’t read parts one and two, you are advised to do that first. Each book builds on the stories that have gone before as the world grows, the character count increases and the villains stack up to oppose Viscount Clearwater and his team of faithful friends/servants/lovers – there is some crossover between roles depending on who is with whom and at what time.

The next part of the series, ‘Fallen Splendour’ is currently in the typewriter, as it were. I am up to 50,000 words on that one, about halfway through, having spent a week on the Greek island of Tilos composing the story and clues, researching and writing. I was able to put down 35,000 words in five days there as I have no distractions. Well, none apart from the sea, but I am not a great swimmer, and the tavernas and village square. Now I am home, I am having to fit in daily life, distractions and paid work (only four hours a day, but still a nuisance) but the book is marching on. I’m aiming for an August/September release for part four, and there will be more about it soon.

Meanwhile, catch up with Archer, Silas, Thomas, James and Fecker by starting with ‘Deviant Desire’ and a hunt for the East End Ripper. Then move on to ‘Twisted Tracks’ for a “Catch me if you can” mystery thriller and a bumpy train ride, before heading to the opera house for ‘Unspeakable Acts.’ I won’t say too much about part four (no spoilers allowed), but so far, we have been to Bow Street police station, become lost in a blizzard and learnt a fair amount about the poetry of Tennyson, the Poet Laureate in 1888. More to come on this developing story before too long.

Jackson Marsh Author profile at Amazon for a list of all my titles

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.

This 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.

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.

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.

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.

Tilos
And home again

‘Twisted Tracks’ is ready for you!

‘Twisted Tracks’ is ready for you!

Twisted Tracks, The Clearwater Mysteries book two

Part two of The Clearwater Mysteries, this adventure sees the viscount and his band of faithful servants setting off to the Yorkshire Moors to hunt down a killer. A new footman (hunky), an old crush, devious enemies and some twisted clues lead the way to a thrilling climax.

The interesting development for me is the way the servants are fast becoming friends, not only of each other, but also of the viscount. He’s a man who wants to cross social boundaries, the trouble is, where will it all end?

There’s no end in sight as I now go back to part three ‘Unspeakable Acts’ while plotting out future developments in part four, as yet untitled, and beyond to more action/adventure, friendship and love, mashup thrillers and romance.

As with all my books, Twisted Tracks is available in Kindle and comes free with Kindle Unlimited. The print version will be available soon. Available in all Amazon stores.

Kindle: $2.99
Print $9.99

Deviant Desire – Mickie B. Ashling

Deviant Desire – Mickie B. Ashling

“I’ve been writing stories about men who love men since I discovered fan fiction in 2002. My first original novel, Horizons, was published by Dreamspinner Press in April 2009. Since then I’ve written over 35 novels in the m/m genre.”

This blog has been running for some time, so there are lots of posts to browse back through with links to hot MM Romance novels, reviews and information. The Mickie B Ashling blog is not listed as having an interview or review of Deviant Desire, but it will be interesting to see what is put there later today.

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

The book tour is going well. There was a lot of interest in Deviant Desire from the publication date and has already became one my personal best sellers. That’s not a term I give much notice to. Anyone can write ‘Number one best seller’ across their cover and blurb, and I could probably do the same for DD. It is one of my top sellers, but it’s not a worldwide best seller as we might understand the over-used term. It’s not a Steven King or John Grisham – not yet! Actually, it never will be, it’s not their kind of book. It’s mine and hopefully it will become yours too.

You should find the links and information on Mickie B Ashling today.

Deviant Desire- The Clearwater Mysteries book one
Amazon Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and print.
(Available in your local Amazon store)

Deviant Desire – MM Good Book Reviews

Deviant Desire – MM Good Book Reviews

May 2nd, and the book tour continues with an appearance on MM Good Gook Reviews.

MM Good Book Reviews lives up to its name; it offers good reviews of good books and the blog will be reviewing Deviant Desire.

Lets’ hope they ‘get’ the story more than one reviewer did. Receiving a one-star review is never fun for an author, and what’s worse is when someone gives away plot point and twists without warning while writing the review. I read a review of DD (nothing to do with MM Good Book reviews, I must highlight that), and it read like something written by a disgruntled author. I gained the impression that this reviewer was pissed off that he/she hadn’t come up with the story, or Jackson had written it better that they could have done. Sour grapes. Everyone is entitled to an option, and I respect that, but what I don’t respect is when a reviewer takes against a story or author so much they feel it necessary to give away twists, thereby ruining the fun for future readers.

But, that aside, and it has nothing to do with today’s book tour appearance, Deviant Desire is selling really well and gaining more (better written and less personal attacks) reviews, that are a lot more positive. I am looking forward to seeing what MM Good Book Reviews has to say, and their blog on May 3rd is due to carry an interview or unique article about Jackson Marsh and Deviant Desire.

Deviant Desire- The Clearwater Mysteries book one
Amazon Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and print.
(Available in your local Amazon store)

Deviant Desire – Valerie Ullmer

Deviant Desire – Valerie Ullmer, Drops of Ink

Welcome to May, and to two days of the Deviant Desire book tour. Today, May 1st, you can find the first of the Clearwater Mysteries (Deviant Desire) featured on Valerie Ullmer.

Valerie writes romances. Contemporary, Paranormal, Erotic, and Gay fiction. She also has some free books and a newsletter.

Tomorrow, May 2nd, the book will be featured on Drops Of Ink.
The about page reads: “The spiel on the Dreamspinner Press website sums it all up nicely so repeating it here. After all, why reinvent the wheel: Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.”

A quick look at the blog tells you Valerie is about more than cats. She has an eclectic collection of books to browse through, articles and links, a newsletter and book reviews. She’s not down to review Deviant Desire, but she has a page listing other novels she has reviewed.

Deviant Desire- The Clearwater Mysteries book one
Amazon Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and print.
(Available in your local Amazon store)

Deviant Desire – Love Bytes

Deviant Desire – Love Bytes

Today, April 30th, Deviant Desire’s book tour continues with an appearance at Love Bytes.

“Love Bytes struggles to give LGTBQ+ books and their works the much deserved recognition by posting reviews, running giveaway contests for the authors, featuring their newly published works for promotion, hosting blog tours, conducting author interviews and lots more!”

I’m not sure about the word ‘struggles’ in their About introduction, it looks to me like they have no trouble at all. I know what they mean though, getting one’s books to the attention of the a wider readership is always a struggle, and getting the message through to others that MM Romance and Gay Lit are more than viable genres of writing is even more difficult. Love Bytes seems to be doing a great job.

I see they publish book reviews too. I am not sure of they will be review Deviant Desire, but they will be publishing a unique piece of content, one of the interviews and articles written specially for this fortnight tour. You will find more information on their home page.

Deviant Desire- The Clearwater Mysteries book one
Amazon Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and print.
(Available in your local Amazon store)

Deviant Desire Book Tour

Deviant Desire Book Tour

Deviant Desire Jackson MarshHey! The great news is that for the next two weeks, ‘Deviant Desire’ is going to be touring around the world on various MM Romance and Gay Lit blogs. There will be a series of interviews and behind the scenes articles about the writing of this novel, the characters, the setting and background, as well as some interviews with me about writing and personal life.

The book tour runs from April 29th to May 12th, and has been arranged by Other Worlds Ink– click for their website.

The first day of the Deviant Desire book tour gets underway with four appearances on four different blogs.

Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

“Mission Statement For nearly three years, Book Review Virginia Lee has been a significant part of the book community. Our goal is to help in sharing the love for all Indie Authors and their books.”

I love Books and Stuff

“I’m a lover of anything paranormal and fantasy whether it be books, movies, pictures, etc… I love to read and wanted to share some good books and support amazing authors.”

Viscount Clearwater, previously the Honourable Archer Riddington

Those two blogs will also be of interest to anyone who wants to promote their own books, and to readers who want to widen their choice of reading.

MM Midnight Café

The title of this blog makes me think of late-night meetings with other avid MM Romance readers, gathering together in a dark café where everyone is safe and into the same reading. I notice they already have a book by Jay Northcote and other writers I have read or follow on Facebook. MM Midnight Café will be publishing a unique article from/about me and ‘Deviant Desire’, so if you want more background on the novel, there’s your starting place.

Matt Doyle Media

The Deviant Desire book tour also starts off at Matt Doyle Media. “The site is also home to a collection of various pop culture pieces. As it stands, you can find reviews, random thoughts on whatever takes my fancy, and a whole load more for you to explore.”

Silas Hawkins, street-rat and renter

The blog has a ‘newsy’ appearance and covers MM Romance, Paranormal, Mystery, Sc-If and many other genres, but all with a MM romance theme or feel.

I’m not sure which of my nine specially written articles and interviews will appear on each blog, but I’m looking forward to finding out. Some of the article titles and questions asked include:

Is Deviant Desire about Jack the Ripper?
How historically accurate is Deviant Desire?
Jackson marsh, what is your writing routine?
Jackson Marsh the mentor
This is the first in a series, what’s next?

Look out for further posts here as The Clearwater Mysteries – of which Deviant Desire is book one gets underway. I’ll post more information about other appearances over the coming days.

Deviant Desire- The Clearwater Mysteries book one
Amazon Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and print.
(Available in your local Amazon store)

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 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.