My Blog

Hot and busy here in Greece

Hot and busy here in Greece

Hot and busy here in Greece
My husband took this the other day at sunrise

Yesterday was July 1st. The temperature in the courtyard, in the shade, was 28 degrees at 6.30 in the morning. The day before, it had reached 36 at four in the afternoon, in the shade in the courtyard. For those who don’t know, I live on a Greek island (hence the photos). It relies on tourism to survive, but so far this year, we’ve had no-one visit. That’s starting to change now, and hopefully, local businesses will be able to start picking up the pieces. Meanwhile…

Hot and busy here in GreeceMy latest story, ‘Artful Deception‘ was published last month (“I think this is one of the best in the series.” Amazon review), and the next one, ‘Home From Nowhere’ is about to go off to the proofreader, and should be out by the end of this month. Meanwhile, I have started tinkering with a new novel, another in the on-going Clearwater saga set in 1889.

To that end, I now have a shelf of books about the period including books about Jack the Ripper (1888), clothing and costume of the 19th century, real accounts from those living below and above stairs, Mr Beeton’s book of household management, a few more books about being in service, stately homes (including floor plans), and books about the railways with maps. I think I need a new bookshelf. I also have a couple more books on the way, one more about costume, a dictionary of Cockney rhyming slang with notes on whether the slang is new or old, 20th century or earlier. What I need to look at next is arsenic poisoning. Well, you have to, don’t you?

Hot and busy here in Greece
Draft cover

As for ‘Home From Nowhere’, this is a slightly different Clearwater novel. I thought it was about time we saw the characters from someone else’s point of view and found out what affect Archer’s generosity has on other people. There is a mystery. It comes in the shape of Jasper Blackwood, who you would have met briefly in ‘Artful Deception’ at Kingsclere House. Typical of me, the mystery revolves around music and messages from the past, and the ‘crew’ are the ones to solve it. This means we see Archer, Tom, James and Silas at work in their detecting venture while learning about what goes on below stairs with the other servants, mainly Jasper. Another new character is also introduced, Billy Barnett, and as you will see when the new book is out (hopefully later this month), Jasper and Billy will be an on-going feature for another book or so, at least.

Hot and busy here in Greece
Our home – on the right.

Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away, just to say, I am having so much fun writing these tales that I intend to carry on, even if the series runs to ten or more, I’ll keep going until the time feels right to stop. Although I won’t rule out pausing now and then to write something different, as I did earlier this year with ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’, which, I am pleased to say, continues to do well.

That’s it for now. Stay safe wherever you are, remember to like and follow on Facebook and leave reviews where you can, drop me a line if you’ve got anything you want to say or ask, and look after yourselves. Right! Now I am heading back to September 1889 because I have Clearwater book eight to think about, and it’s time we had a poisoning…

Home From Nowhere

Home From Nowhere

Hello everyone. I thought it was about time for another blog post, just to check in and let you know what I am up to.

As usual, I have been writing. In this case, I have been working on a new Clearwater mystery, ‘Home From Nowhere’ (book seven). I don’t know how long a series is meant to go on for, but I am enjoying writing this one, so I’m carrying on regardless. However, I felt the murder and mayhem, wild adventures and on-going battles of the Clearwater Crew needed a breather, so book number seven will be different.

Home From Nowhere
This chap reminded me of Thomas Payne, Archer’s best friend and butler.

I thought it was time we saw the crew from someone else’s point of view, and experienced life at Clearwater House from a new character’s perspective. So, ‘Home From Nowhere’ breaks from the two-word titles from the past and starts us on a different kind of mystery; no ‘meet a deadline or be dead’, no nasty villain, just a gentle mystery and the start of a love story that will continue in part eight. The sort of story you can put your feet up and relax with, and come away from with a sense of feel-good, like watching an episode of Downton Abbey.

This doesn’t mean there’s no mystery to solve, and Archer, James and Silas are the ones to take the mystery and work out the clues, but they are doing it on behalf of the new character who, if you have read ‘Artful Deception‘ you would have briefly met at Kingsclere House.

As usual, I have mixed real people, times, events and facts with some fictional ones, and there is a background theme, in this case, it’s music.

‘Home From Nowhere’ is currently in draft one stage, which means I’ve told myself the story on paper and now need to rest it for a few days before I return to it and a) check the mystery ties up, b) check consistency generally, c) see to as many of my typos as I can find, and d) improve, edit and cut.

Home From Nowhere
Clearwater House ground floor (click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, my cover designer is working on a cover image and, to give myself a break from typing, I set about drawing a floorplan of Clearwater House. As you will see, I am no technical drawer or architect, though I based some of the details on a book I have that gives floorplans and elevations of Victorian houses – none of which fitted Clearwater House exactly. I doubt that if a house was built to my plans, it would stay up for very long! Still, I thought I would share my amateur attempt to give you an idea of how I see the house laid out (sorry about it being a bit squiffy and blotted with smudged felt-tip pen). I’ve only done the ground and first floors so far, I still have the basement and top floor to go. The shaded areas are the servant’s department, the backstairs and servery etc.

Home From Nowhere
Clearwater House 1st floor plan (click to enlarge)

As for other news… Over here in Greece, the island on which I live is very quiet. We are starting to see a few tourists arrive, and we have had no cases of you-know-what, so people are worried about visitors coming from more infected countries. My husband, Neil, is working back at the bar he looks after seven afternoons per week until October, but so far, has had only local customers, while I am carrying on as usual, at home, writing. Which is what I will get back to now.

There’s no definite release date for ‘Home From Nowhere’ yet, I’ve only just let ‘Artful Deception’ out of its cage, but I am going to try and be more regular with my blog posting, so there will be updates as we head deeper into the year.

Stay safe, stay well and most of all, stay reading (and putting up helpful reviews on Amazon and social media if you possibly can).

Thank you for reading
Jackson

My Facebook page

Thank you, suzunh, for the 1st review of ‘Artful Deception’

I love this series
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2020
All of them are good. Sure, they’re a little wild sometimes but they are a heck of a lot of fun. I like that the same characters return for every book and I’m excited they are going into business together. Can’t wait to read the next one.

Clearwater’s London

Welcome to Clearwater’s London

It has been a while since I posted on my site. That’s because I was away for a while and spending much of my time working on the sixth instalment of The Clearwater Mysteries.

Book six is now going through its second draft, and it’s a bit of a belter. A twisting tale of deception as Archer battles to outwit his arch-enemy and stay one step ahead of the game. Titled, ‘Artful Deception’, this one brings back some of the more popular characters from previous books such as the barrister Creswell and young Jake, half-brother to Silas’ sisters. The action takes us from Kingsclere House in Berkshire to Clearwater House in London and on to the Netherlands where Archer has no option but to release his murderous brother and reinstate him to the title of Viscount Clearwater.

Or does he?

There will be more information about the book’s release in time.

Meanwhile, as I was passing through London earlier this year, I took some photos of locations used in the Clearwater Mysteries and thought I would share them with you. They’re not the best photos, sadly, but I thought it was a fun exercise to see places Archer and his comrades have trod. Things look very different now to 1888 and 1889 when ‘Artful Deception’ is set, but you can still feel the original Victorian grandeur of these places.

So, just for amusement, here are some of the locations I found when I was there.

Clearwater's London
The Royal Opera House where Silas nearly dies in Unspeakable Acts.
Clearwater's London
Bow Street police station opposite the Opera House. Fallen Splendour.
Clearwater's London
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square. This appears in Artful Deception.
Clearwater's London
The National Gallery
Clearwater's London
The Criterion. Now a theatre, Silas and Jake had lunch here (Piccadilly) in Bitter Bloodline.
Clearwater's London
The Ivy, Seven Dials, which in my books is called ‘The Grapevine’ at Five Dials. Archer and Quill lunched here in Deviant Desire.
Clearwater's London
The side of the Lyceum Theatre from Bitter Bloodline. Silas found Jake homeless on this street corner.
Clearwater's London
The side of the Lyceum Theatre from Bitter Bloodline. I imagined Stoker’s office was at the top/back (round window), but I have no idea where it really was in the building.
Clearwater's London
Charing Cross railway station will appear in Artful Deception
Clearwater's London
The Garrick Club, Archer’s club in Covent Garden. It is mentioned in several of the books.
Clearwater's London
This street doesn’t appear in the books, but it is called Archer Street. Perhaps it was named after the viscount? The Windmill revue theatre beside it is famous for its nude revues. Silas would have approved; Thomas would not have done!

Students Book & Blog Tour

Students Book & Blog Tour

Students Book & Blog TourAs part of the book tour of ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’ organised by Other Worlds Ink, there is a unique guest post over at Midnight Café today. Am I a Plotter or a Pantzer? To find out, hit this link:

https://mm.midnightcafe.uk/mm/the-students-of-barrenmoor-ridge-by-jackson-marsh/

Over the next two weeks, there will be more unique posts, reviews and interviews about me, and here’s the list should you want to find them.

Feb 19th: Joyfully Jay

Feb 20th: Love Bytes

Feb 21st: Valerie Ullmer

Feb 24th: Books, tattoos and Tea

Feb 27th: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Feb 28th: MM Good Book Reviews

Giveaway

Jackson is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47107/?

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge

The Students of Barrenmoor RidgeOver the New Year, I took a break from writing The Clearwater Mysteries and wrote ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge.’ I’m not sure why it decided to pop out just then, but it did. I wrote the novel, ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge’ a couple of years ago, and for a reason I’ve yet to fathom, it did better than any of my previous releases. It still does well, I am pleased to say, and maybe it was that which inspired me to write ‘The Students…’

This novel took me back in memory to the age of seventeen/eighteen, and to the issue of what we’d now call bromance. I wanted to explore the idea of when a bromance is something more, but neither party has the way with all to admit they want the friendship to develop further because they fear rejection. The strength of young, male friendships, the intensity of them, and how it is easy to confuse platonic love of a friend for something deeper, is a theme that runs through many of my novels. Or, if not ‘easy to confuse’ then difficult to separate the feelings of being mates from the feelings of being in love and what that can lead to; self-denial, lost love, missed opportunities…

In ‘The Students…’ Liam and Casper are the two main characters, and they are pictured on the front cover. Casper is the dark-haired, Greek/English man and Liam is the blond one, both musically brilliant, both suffering doubts in their own way. They take off on a camping trip which Liam has designed because he wants to have Casper on his own to make his ‘confession’, i.e., come out. He has chosen to visit Inglestone (or, Ingleton as it is in real life) and walk up Fellborough (Ingleborough) one of the three peaks. He is also there to see the famous Ribblehead Viaduct for reason of his own which don’t become apparent until the end. However, bad weather gets in the way and leads to a life or death emergency towards the top of the fell. That’s where the characters from ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge’ come in…

The Students of Barrenmoor RidgeJohn Hamilton and Gary Taylor from ‘The Mentor…’ appear in this story as the mentors of the two younger men, and as ‘The Students…’ is set two years after the first book, their lives have moved on a pace. So, if you enjoyed the first book, ‘The Mentor…’ you can continue John and Gary’s lives in this, the second in the series. You will find drama, action, adventure, mountain rescue, rock climbing, some laughs and plenty of sweet moments during the story, and who knows, there may even be a third instalment in the future.

For now, though, I am back to The Clearwater Mysteries, my most successful venture to date, and I am working on part six, with a working title of ‘Artful Deception.’ There will be more about that in due course. Meanwhile, look out for news of a blog tour for ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’, and check out my Facebook Page for more information. If you do go to the page, please give it a like, and if you do read any of the books, please give them a review.

I’ll leave you with the first review of ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’ which, when I read it, completely made my day.

What a beautiful novel… A perfect sequel to The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge.
This novel tells a story of 2 people discovering more about themselves and discovering more about each other. It’s touching, exciting, filled with adventure, and will take you on the most incredible journey. The characters are so well developed it’s like you’ve known them for a long time.
Re-introducing John and Gary from the first novel was such a nice treat.
This novel is highly recommended. Another beautiful novel by Mr. Jackson Marsh.

[The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge – Amazon.com (and other Amazon outlets) Kindle, print and KU.)

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

2019 was a busy year for me as I brought out the Clearwater Mysteries books one to five and started work on the sixth. I have put that on hold for the time being as I began work on a new Barrenmoor Ridge book in the Mentor series. I am now up to 60,000 words of that first draft, and it’s going well, I am pleased to say.

Happy New Year‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’ is more of a coming of age story than anything else, in a way that ‘The Mentor of…’ was, but there is still love, drama, mountain rescue, a little humour and a baddy who messes things up. The two main characters from Mentor (Gary and John) are back, but whereas John mentored Gary in part one, in ‘The Students of…’ they are both mentors to the new characters. The action takes place two years after book one, in the same location and, again, in winter – but not in snow this time.

Happy New YearI’m aiming to have the book ready for February, after which, I will decide what comes next. Another Clearwater mystery? Another Mentor/Student sequel – possibly for Lostwood Hall or Lonemarsh House. (Unlikely to be Wildhill Farm as that was more about sexual fantasy than the mentor/student roles… Or was it?) We will have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, here’s wishing you a great New Year from over here in Greece where it’s wet and cold, 3and thank you for following me, buying the books and leaving the reviews.

[The photos are the models for the cover which Andjela K is currently working on.]

Complete list of Jackson Marsh books

Bitter Bloodline

Bitter Bloodline

Bitter BloodlineBook five in The Clearwater Mysteries series is now available on Kindle, in KU and in paperback. (Links below.)

This is the first story set at Larkspur Hall, Archer’s rambling country house in Cornwall, but even down there, the ‘crew’ are not safe from the conspiracies against them and their friends, as you will see.

 

 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZXD5KXS

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1704638399

Remember, if you like one of my books, please do leave a review at Amazon, mention it on Facebook pages and share the news around your FB readers’ groups if you belong to any. Your support means so much! You can also follow my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/jacksonmarshauthor/

Welcome to Larkspur Hall

Welcome to Larkspur Hall.

Hi. Sorry I’ve not posted much of late, I have been working hard on part five of the Clearwater Mysteries, ‘Bitter Bloodline.’ It’s now done and going off to be proof read this week. meanwhile, my cover designer is working her magic on the cover, and I am writing the fourth book in my ‘Saddling Mysteries’ series, under my name, James Collins.

Larkspur Hall‘Bitter Bloodline’ should be available in November. Meanwhile, here is one of the images Andjela K is working on for the cover. It is the closest stock image I could find to show Larkspur Hall. I imagine it will look a lot different when she is done with it! Meanwhile, can I try out this draft blurb on you? This is what I have for the back of the book and the Amazon pages:

Following an accident, a schoolboy and a tattooed Romanian find themselves unexpected guests at Clearwater’s country house, Larkspur Hall.

But what if their presence is no accident? What if Mr Smith is Protectori, a member of an ancient order of assassins bent on destroying anyone who sullies the name of the Szekely people of Transylvania? And what do a runaway boy and an assassin have to do with Clearwater’s famed Easter dinner party and its guest of honour, the actor, Henry Irving?

Ancestral feuds, a pocket watch and a rare Romanian wine are seemingly random connections until Silas breaks into a London theatre, and James rescues a boy from drowning. Then, it’s a race against time to prevent a hideous murder and Archer’s ruin.

The Clearwater Mysteries are best read in order. Bitter Bloodline is a no-heat mystery that sees Archer’s loyal servants become their own band of Protectori.

Clearwater Mysteries

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

Fallen Splendour

Fallen Splendour

Part four of The Clearwater Mysteries, ‘Fallen Splendour’ has just been released on Kindle and KU. There will be a print version available in the next few days.

Fallen SplendourFor me, it feels like I’ve finished a sequence of four books, but there are more to come. The first four in this series take place in London 1888 and introduce us to the main five characters, Archer (Lord Clearwater), Silas (his lover), Thomas (his butler), Fecker (Silas’ bestie) and then, in part two, James (his footman).

Things laid down, mentioned or seen in one part lead to bigger things in the next, as the stories develop, usually taking two of the MCs as the main POV characters in each book. Book one, Archer and Silas, book two, James and Archer, Book three Silas and James, book four James and Archer (and Fecker), and so on.

Without giving too much away, here are the mysteries you can expect.

Deviant Desire: ‘The Ripper’ is killing rent boys as a way to lure Archer to a confrontation.
Twisted Tracks: The team of five must decipher a code to reach the endgame in time
Unspeakable Acts: A murder, on stage during an opera house gala, is threatened.
Fallen Splendour: The clue is in a verse by Alfred Lord Tennyson…

Actually, there are two stories running in Fallen Splendour, two connected theatres that must be dealt with and I’m rather thrilled with what I’ve done with the story. Some of it comes from a poem I fell in love with at school, and the clues in the story are wrapped up in one verse. Basically: Where is this location?

The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.
[Alfred Lord Tennyson]

You will have to read the book to find out and, as with most of my other novels, there’s adventure, tears, feel-good, a little sex and a lot of male bonding and strong friendships that are in danger of boiling over into romance. It’s all very romantic in the general sense of the word and my boys do love each other in one way or another.

Here’s the link to the .com and .co.uk pages. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please leave a helpful review!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V522JR3

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V522JR3

All the best
Jackson

The book blurb for Fallen Splendour:

“We have his sisters. Involve your catamite, and they will die before the shortest day.”

A kidnapping, a threat and a deadly showdown force Lord Clearwater and his coachman, Andrej, on a secret mission to save two innocent girls. But where are they? The clue to the location is wrapped up in a Tennyson poem, and time is fast running out.

Left at Clearwater House to crack the code, James finds himself with another ominous responsibility when Inspector Adelaide makes an arrest. With his master missing, it falls to the footman to crack the code, fight a court case, and save Archer’s reputation.

With only three days to find the answers, all evidence points to a location known only to Tennyson himself, and an enemy thought dead.

But what if James is wrong?

An interconnected double mystery, Fallen Splendour is the fourth in the Clearwater Mysteries series. The books are best read in order.