Spend Easter With Queer Romance

Here’s a special promotion that’s going to run long enough to cover Western and Orthodox Easter. Over here in Greece, East Sunday is not until May 5th while in the UK and elsewhere it’s on March 31st. This means you’ve got six weeks of promo to look forward to with 80 titles being promoted during this time.

I, of course, have my three series starters in the list and am up there with other top writers of gay and lesbian romance and fiction. I was just browsing the list and noted a few interesting facts:

There are 80 titles.

All but three feature at least one model (boy or girl) on the cover.

The word ‘Desire’ appears in two titles: ‘Corrupted Desire’ by Ryder O’Malley, and Deviant Desire by Jackson Marsh. Oh, that’s me!

Some of the authors have appeared on my blog, i.e. KC Carmine.

There is a wide range of niches, themes, tropes, but with queer romance as the overarching common theme, and here are some I have gleaned from the covers:

Mystery books, lesbian literature, age gap and daddies, fantasy, history, medical, the priesthood, rakes, tough boys, fit boys, sword and sorcery, YA… A browse of the covers will give you a better idea, but plenty to choose from.

I hope you will pop over to the promo during the sates March 29th to May 6th and click on some of the covers to discover more about the books that lie behind them. Also, if you will, feel free to share the link around, on your Facebook pages and groups, and give us indie queer authors some extra publicity.

My first series starter is Deviant Desire – and that’s in the promo, of course. This is the novel that started the entire Clearwater world, and the 21 books within that world are now becoming a trilogy of three complete series.

Deviant Desire, like most of my novels, is a love story within a mystery, and in this case, the mystery is based on the story of Jack the Ripper. (Though I have changed it to the East End Ripper who is targeting rent boys.) It’s all about love across the great Victorian class divide and begins a love story that continues through 10 books and a prequel, and endures through the next series and beyond.

More about the other books in this great Easter promo as the days go by. Meanwhile:

Thank you, and happy reading!


News and Updates

Usually on a Wednesday, I give you an update about my current work in progress, and I will, but today, there is a little more news than that…

Follow the Van has just been released and the paperback version should be available in a few days. This is book three of the Delamere Files series which follows on from the Larkspur Academy Mysteries, though takes us away from Larkspur while keeping us in the Clearwater world. The first three books focus on Jack Merrit, his first love and his new job as an investigator. With him is his younger brother, Will, and book four takes Will’s point of view of the world. So…

Where There’s a Will has begun, and I am already on chapter three. I must admit, I’m not sure where the story is going, as I only have a rough idea, but I know it’s going to be fun and intriguing, though like the others in this series, not particularly steamy. Meanwhile…

The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge is in a special promo that is celebrating the best friends to lovers trope. In my contribution, two 18-year-old besties go camping, one is determined to come out to his best mate, but then, they are attacked, and in trouble, and the two characters from The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge have to come to their rescue, both physical and emotional. Yorkshire Dales, mountain rescue, nerdy teens, crush, best mates, and ‘fade to black’ sex, so suitable for anyone who’s around 16 and upwards.

Click to see all the books in the Best Friends to Lovers Promo.


The special Historical Fiction available in the Kindle Unlimited promo is still running, and you can find the books listed here until the end of the month.

And soon…
Another promo will hit the screens and you’ll get another newsletter reminding you (if you are signed up for my newsletter). This one is called ‘Spend Easter with Queer Romance,’ and there are plenty of new titles available. Or, there will be soon as the promo doesn’t officially start until March 29th. However, Click Here and you will be able to see the covers, and after the 29th, you’ll be able to click them and find out more info. I have all three series starters in this promo.

That’s the news for now, and as you can see, there’s a lot going on!

Follow the Van Cover Reveal

Hello everyone,

In case you’ve not read the newsletter…

Best Friends to Lovers Promo with Book Funnel

I have a novel in a promo that’s running from 20th March to 24th April, so there’s plenty of time for you to browse the books on offer. As this promo is very clearly Best Friends to Lovers, I’ve put in my ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge.’ This is a YA tale, mainly, about two BFs going hiking together, getting into trouble and needing the help of characters you may have met in ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge.’ (It doesn’t matter if you haven’t, you can still enjoy The Students of…) The promo is for all levels of ‘heat,’ so you never know what you might find.

To explore more, simply click the link and take a look at the many books on offer. Click a cover to find more info (and get me brownie points for sharing), and enjoy discovering new authors and titles.

Promo Link Click Here or click the images

Follow the Van

While you are merrily clicking things, click on my Jackson March Amazon page and in the next few days you will see you can download or order the next Delamere Files novel, ‘Follow the Van.’ As I write this, I am just waiting for the last of the files to come through from my design team, and then I can upload everything and publish the book. I’m hoping to do this on my birthday next Tuesday.

Here’s the blurb to keep you going, and if you want to see the full cover before the book is published, click the link at the end of this page.

Follow the Van
The Delamere Files book three

Success in this business isn’t about what you know, it’s about what you don’t know.

When the eligible Eddy Hawkstone enlists Jack Merrit’s services to recover a stolen book, it seems like a straightforward task. However, the clues lead Jack into the turbulent world of the music hall, where he uncovers the unnerving tale of his father’s death at the feet of Marie Lloyd.

Desperate to prove himself to his mentor, Jimmy Wright, Jack finds himself entangled in a web of sexual temptation, loyalty, and fraternal bonds, all while grappling with his emotions for Larkin Chase.

To triumph, Jack must confront the shadows of his past and embrace the realities of the present. The path is fraught with danger and self-discovery and leads him to a twisting theatrical climax worthy of a melodrama.

Follow the Van is the third book in the Delamere Files series. The books should be read in order.

And now the cover…
Another triumph from Andjela, click the Merrit brothers to see the full cover of Follow the Van which you can start reading in the next couple of days.

Best Friend to Lovers

There’s a new promotion running on Book Funnel and this one celebrates the trope of Best Friends to Lovers. There are 49 books in this promo, and the page is a lovely long list of hunky-guy covers, topless men, and two boys outside a tent. Oh, that’s because my ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’ is included in this promo. This is a YA, coming out, coming of age, best friends to lovers novel set in the Yorkshire Dales, and can be treated as a sequel to ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge,’ though it can also be read as a standalone.

I’ll be sharing more info about the Students on my Saturday blog, and there will be a newsletter soon. As per usual, if you have time to click through to the promo page and check out a couple of the titles, plus, if you can click the link in the email when it arrives, you’ll be doing me and the other authors a great service.

I’ll now go over and share this post on Facebook. Please feel free to do the same and get these 49 books some positive attention. Thank you.

More Books Being Promoted

As you might know, I have my three series starters in a month-long promotion. These are all historical mystery and adventure novels, and they are all available on Kindle Unlimited. If you’re not sure what that is, ‘KU’ as it’s often called, is a bit like a paid-for library. You subscribe each month and in return you can choose from over 4 million books, audiobooks, comics and magazines, ‘borrowing’ up to a certain amount each month. Perfect for avid readers. I expect there are some other benefits, and you can find out more about it from a Google search.


So, the books in this promotion are all available ‘for free’ if you have signed up to KU. I believe they are also available on Kindle generally and in paperback. I know mine are.

I try and promote the series starts as much as I can, in the hope that new readers will enjoy the first book, and go on to read the second, and so on. It sometimes happens that was and it’s great when it does. A couple of times in my writing career I’ve woken up to find someone has bought every book in all three series all in one shot. That’s 11 Clearwater Mysteries, seven Larkspur Mysteries, and so far, two Delamere Files (with a third one out any day now). Total coast of Kindles for that lot? Roughly $79.00. If a couple of people a day would buy the whole series… Pipe dream, perhaps, but it happens, just not to me.

So, this week’s highlighted novel is in the promotion. Finding a Way is the story that starts the Delamere Files. The ‘file’ in this case is the main man himself, Jack Merrit and the crime he suffered, and how he deals with it. In book two, Jack’s gone from being a cabman to being a detective, and his second file takes hm into the world of the Victorian public schools and old school ties. A Fall From Grace. The third book, Follow the Van, takes him and his very precise brother, Will, into the world of the music hall which was their late father’s domain as he was a top music hall entertainer.

Jack and Will Merrit in ‘Follow the Van.’

The next one in the series is to be Where There’s a Will. I am starting on that this week. I want to do something I’ve always wanted to do and have a classic (you could say clichéd) “reading of the will at a creepy old property during a storm”, kind of story. A Cat and Canary for the Merrit brothers to take part in. However, that’s as far as I am with it, and I am trying to think of ways to make it non-cliché before I dive in.

So, the point of this weekend’s ramble is to remind you that the promo is still on, and if you’re looking for more historical action and mystery, you can check out the books via this link.

Coming up on the 20th for a few weeks is a ‘Best Friends to Lovers’ promo with over 40 books on that theme taking part. The link is live but the book links are not: Click here to check it out.

Coming up on 29th March and running until the end of May is a ‘Spend Easter with Queer Romance in KU’ promo, with another set of books, including my three series starters and work from other top authors. Click here to check it out.

The Time Between

That sounds like the title of a novel soon to be a major motion picture, but it’s not. At least, if it is, it’s not one I’ve heard of. What it is though, is right now. The time between the books. One is currently being proofread, the other has yet to be started, and it’s the period when I never know quite what to do.

You’ve just finished another novel (almost), and you’re keen to leap onto the next, because there are still many stories to tell, but what’s this story to be? I have a title I want to use, and as I put the title of the next one at the end of the one before, I need to be sure that’s where I am going before I publish the one before. In this case, we’re talking the Delamere Files, where each story is a new investigation for our new detectives Jack and Will Merrit. So far we have had:

Finding a Way where Jack and Will receive the offer of a better life.

A Fall From Grace is their first real case with Jimmy Wright.

Follow the Van, which is Jack’s first case off his own back.

Where There’s a Will, which I want to be more about Will Merrit.

Also, during the first three, Jack and Will’s life changes dramatically. Jack finds the possibility of MM love with Larkin Chase but has trouble accepting it and his feelings towards men generally. In Follow the Van, Jack is tempted by someone, confused about love and Larkin, and finally decides to… Well, you’ll have to wait to read it, and that should be in only a couple of weeks’ time.

Meanwhile, I am pottering around with some ideas and found one that I’ve always wanted to do, no matter how clichéd it is. The creepy country house reading of the will story. A story like The Cat and the Canary which I loved when I was little (the Bob Hope version). Any stage plays or films along those lines were definitely my ‘thing’ years ago and they still are. The classic ‘cabin in the woods’ as we call them now, but with suspense, not horror.

Except, in my story, it won’t be a country house on the moors or a cabin in the forest, I am thinking of an island like Lundy with a lighthouse and a few buildings, and that’s it. Why our two heroes should go there and what mystery will need to be solved, let alone how/if there will be any MM romance going on, all remain to be seen. But, I will continue to think as I wallow in my Time Between projects, all the while knowing that new releases boost sales, and sales mean bread and butter. On which note, I will get on with some more pottering.


The Hackney Workhouse (Notes)

Three of my books are in a Kindle Unlimited promotion throughout March. One of the books is ‘Guardians of the Poor’, the first Larkspur Academy Mystery. Here’s the image of the promo page and the link straight to the exclusive list of titles from me and other authors of historical fiction. I’m particularly interested in the ‘Murder on the…’ series, because of the steam trains.


If you’ve read ‘Guardians of the Poor’ you will know that much of the story concerns the Hackney Workhouse. In fact, the story is about more than that. Yes, I researched what I could about the actual workhouse, as I do, and I realised I’d actually been into parts of it when it was being used as a hospital. The story, though, is also about the Academy and its setting up, and the MC of the book, Dalston Blaze. Through his eyes, we experience not only workhouse life but also we get our first view of the academy, and we meet the Clearwater series characters from the point of view of someone outside of the organisation, someone who’s not yet on Archer’s ‘crew.’ The story, though, is also very much about Joe Tanner, who is deaf, and I put a lot of work into researching what his life would have been like too.

Anyway, the point of today’s post rises from that book, because it’s one in the promo, and because I was sifting through some notes for it, and I found the following. I’m leaving it here as a point of general interest for anyone who is interested in the Hackney Workhouse, Homerton, London, in the late nineteenth century.

My notes, as usual, are taken from a variety of sources including newspapers and journals of the time (quoted), and are in no particular order, and have not been altered since I made them.

Workhouse Details

Plan of the Hackney Workhouse

Hackney: Lower Homerton (N div.)

By 1870s the main block was an inverted U shaped fronting onto the high street.
North side, offices and stores.
West: females.
East: Males.
South, a long block with chapel, children’s school, dining rooms, day rooms.
Either side of southern block were workshops; stone breaking shed on men’s side.
Admin block centre east of the site, casual wards and stone shed fronting Sidney Road.

Roughly 600 inmates (1866)
400 + in 1881 census

Rooms mainly low and narrow but with windows so good light, ditto stairs. ‘A confined air to the whole building.’ Male/female wards on ground floor are dark and cheerless.

I wish that the same could be said of other places where “the Poor Law” is wrested to a harsher punishment than that of the criminal code, and where the grim rule and oppressive dead level of the workhouse ward is but a preparation of the youthful pauper for the no more repulsive discipline of the gaol.

The librarian and superintendent of the Ragged School held in the house that was once the Thieves’ Kitchen, but now filled up-stairs and down with children perspiring in their nightly work of dividing a hundred scholars into classes amongst half a dozen teachers, and distributing the books which they are allowed to take home with them to read.

A blank wooden gate squeezed into a small space in the midst of the neighbouring shops, and indicated by a hoard, on which are painted the regulations for granting medical assistance, and the times at which the applicants for parochial relief will be received by the “Master,” is, as I am informed, the entrance to one of the most constantly occupied, although by no means the largest of the London workhouses, where a large proportion of the inmates come and go so frequently that they might, in some other districts, be almost regarded as “casuals,” and receive no definite settlement in the regular wards.

Christmas at the Hackney Workhouse

Dalston’s Childhood

(Based on a real case)

5 years old. Board of Guardians became his legal guardian when his mother died when he was five. (She died in a fire in Homerton, and was brought in with child, but no-one knew her name and so he was known as ‘The child from the Dalston Blaze’, because that’s where the fire was. The title stuck and became Dalston Blaze.)

The Matron, childless, saw the opportunity to keep him as her own so he was then brought up in the workhouse under the care of the staff.

6 to 13 years old. Sleeping in one room with 23 other children ‘the infant nursery’

Three hours a day instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, Christian religion at the workhouse school.

Corporal punishment on boys only and only by the master.

Boys under 14 could be flogged, but not over 14!

14 able to work, but Matron didn’t want him going to the ships/army, or to local work so kept him in work on site.

Sleep and beds

Seen in the bare wards, where the long rows of low bedsteads, each covered with the same pattern of counterpane, make even the dull walls more monotonous; in the cleanly scrubbed floors; the absence of any furniture save that which is required for the absolute necessities of the place; the walls against which the long rows of bedsteads stand have been coloured a pale blue, as an improvement on the sickly yellowish tint which is peculiar to such apartments.

  • Flock placed on iron bedsteads, with iron laths or sacking.
  • Red, wool rugs (blankets), decent bed covers.
  • Chamber pots under beds.
  • Thin sheets.
  • Very little furniture, no lockers or tables only a few chairs, no mirrors (men’s ward) and no prints/decoration.
  • Chests for foot warmers.
  • A metal sink per ward with soap and two combs (shared, I guess), no hair brush.
  • Towels supplied twice per week.

Dining and food

  • Allowance per adult person:
  • 7 ounces of meat without bones
  • 2 ounces of butter
  • 4 ounces of cheese
  • 1 pound of bread
  • 3 pints of beer
  • Children’s allowance at Mistresses discretion

Listen to the murmured talk, which resolves itself into remarks about food; and then remember that here, as in a prison, extra rations, and an increase in meat and the privilege of beer, are the great topics of conversation. Well they may be, for that dietary scale hanging on the strict enough in its provisions, even if they were administered according to the intentions of the Poor-law Board – is at the mercy of guardians and master and matron, and may be reduced so much below prison fare, that life in a workhouse comes to be but a continuance of that struggle against hunger which preceded it in the world outside those grim brick walls.

Some three hundred paupers, old men, women, and children are at dinner.

at a cross-table under a high desk like a pulpit, the master himself without a coat, and with his throat released from both collar and neckerchief- is carving the meat, and weighing out the allowance for each person according to the dietary scale, which differs but slightly from that of the union where I lately made the acquaintance of the pauper of the north-eastern suburb.

Tin plate and cup, wooden spoon

The ordinary workhouse gruel, known to the paupers as “skillet,”

Hygiene, Health, the sick

For every morning (I am informed) the wards of this great straggling building are scrubbed and purified. The thin withered anxious faces which peer upwards from the white pillows, or rest in a slumber so like death.

Men with VD are placed in the ‘itch ward.’ (Small in capacity.)

Lying-in ward (a small room for birthing).

Imbeciles have their own rooms and day rooms.

A kitchen in the sick ward, but food comes 150 yards from main kitchens.

One fixed bath and one portable bath.

Badly ventilated generally, though some has been put in.

Too many men in each ward.

Only two paid nurses.

A pauper nurse and a helper to each ward men paid 1/6d each week.

Medical officer comes two/three times per week, daily if there’s an epidemic.

Rules (read aloud each week)

[These rules from the Hackney Workhouse 1750s, but (in my story) still in use.]

Morning prayers or lose a meal.

Not leave house without permission.

No liquor, quarrelling or fighting or lose a day’s meals.

Work or be kept on bread and water.

Wake bell at five every morning between Michaelmas and Lady Day.

Bed at nine in summer, eight in winter.

Bells for mealtimes.

No smoking in bed or bedrooms.

Roll call at six, one (lunch) and by eight (winter) if not there, punished.

General good behaviour, no telling lies or else sat on a stool in the dining room with a note pinned reading Infamous Lyar and no meal.

No defacing or graffiti.

You must not… Hang washing outside, go through the velvet lined door (staff).

‘When will somebody come and take me away?’


‘Fisherman short coat’ (see pinterest)


The effect of this is less observable in the boys, who are now coming out in single file, and dressed (sensibly enough this warm weather) in holland-pinafores over their corduroy trousers. Some of them are still masticating the last of the most tasty mouthful reserved as the finish of their mid-day meal; and, as they pass, hear a general resemblance to the other inmates, inasmuch as they stare at me, while they ruminate like so many young cows.

There are amongst both boys and girls many sickly, deformed, and stunted children who will, perhaps, carry with them to the grave these heritages of the gutter and the foul lodging-house where they struggled, like unhealthy plants, into such life as they possess; but in almost all of them I am rejoiced to see something of that elastic spirit which shows that here, too, the old suppression of every hope and promise of youth has been superseded by a gentler and more beneficent appreciation of the difference between poverty and crime.

Again, in the workhouses the church bells may be heard within the whitewashed walls, especially in the stillness of the night, and, when they have the long account of twelve to proclaim, how many are lying awake, staring at the dark and listening! In the old folks’ dormitory, for instance, a woeful watch-night is it for scores of those whose shrunken cheek presses the hard pillow, and the more so, perhaps, after the mild excitement that Christmas brings into even a workhouse ward. It brings couples together that at ordinary times the Poor-law sets asunder; and there is the banquet of roast beef and pudding, and the half-pint of beer, and maybe the unwonted luxury of a quarter- ounce of snuff or a half-ounce of tobacco. All very proper and enjoyable to such an extent that for the time being it makes the grey- haired paupers forget everything but the treat in progress. But the worst of it is, after such stirring times, there comes reaction.

The Master

The master is in a great heat from the exertion of [- 71-] carving and weighing, although he is a tall muscular gentleman, with somewhat of a military bearing, and (notwithstanding his open collar) a way of holding his head, as though he had at one time looked at the world over a stiff leather stock.

daily visit to the different wards after resuming his neckerchief, and a particularly fresh-looking linen coat.


The Pauper, The Thief and the Convict, by Thomas Archer, 1865 – Chapter 4 – A London Workhouse

Mysteries of Modern London, by One of the Crowd [James Greenwood], [1883]


1881 census


Follow the Van Update

I’m not here today, at least, I shouldn’t be. I have an appointment on another island, so I am writing this yesterday. Right now, it’s windy out there and if the wind gets too strong, the boat won’t reach us in time to whisk me away in the morning when the weather is set to be better. Just thought you’d like to know. More importantly, though…

At the weekend, I will be sending Follow the Van off to be proofread, all 100,000 words of it. I am currently carrying out a last read-through, and, at the same time, am in discussions with Andjela about the cover. It’s a tricky one because there’s nothing dramatic taking place (I don’t want to give away the ending). It might have to be a static image that shows atmosphere more than mystery, but we’re working on it. Jack and Will Merrit should be on the cover, so we’ll see Will for the first time, but I noticed in the cover mock-ups, Andjela has given Jack a moustache. I rather like that, but if we’re to keep it, I’ll have to mention it in the story.

That’s this week’s update. I shall be here again on Saturday with my usual, longer blog.

The Clearwater Mysteries: Opening Lines

Today, I thought I’d put up the first paragraph(s) of each of the Clearwater Mysteries, plus a link to the book’s Amazon page. If the series is new to you, you can find out some more info about each book from The Clearwater Mysteries page, and the link is in the menu.

First, here’s a reminder of a promo that’s running via Book Funnel. Historical mystery, action, adventure, and a few select titles and authors you may not have tried before. Click the pic to see the full list.

And now, the opening chapters of each of the 11 Clearwater books starting with the prequel (which isn’t really a mystery).


Late summer, 1881
Serbka, Ukraine

Andrej waited until the darkest hour before he untied his wrists with his teeth, and freed his feet from the knots. Leaving the children to their troubled dreams, he slipped silently from beneath the cart, and crawled towards the older men and widows sleeping beneath the trees. Alert, he fixed his eyes on Blumkin. The man had taken his knife, and Andrej was not leaving without it.

Silas Hawkins was searching for coins in an East End gutter when a man four miles distant and ten years older sealed his fate. Silas had no idea that the discussion taking place concerned him, or that it was even happening. He wouldn’t know the details for some time, but even if he had heard the conversation, he wouldn’t have believed it. It wouldn’t have concerned him if he had, because Silas wasn’t the kind of youth to shy from a challenge, not even one that might threaten his life.

James Joseph Wright was born on January 10th, 1863 at the precise moment the world’s first underground train delivered its passengers to Farringdon station. As the locomotive puffed and fumed from the tunnel, James’s mother, some four miles distant, puffed and fumed through her own first delivery.

The Times, Thursday, December 1st, 1888
Opera House Gala

Famed countertenor, Mr Cadwell Roxton is to make his debut appearance at the Opera House in “Aeneas and Dido”, an acclaimed if unusual work by Austro-German composer, Johann Bruch.
Mr Roxton was the sensation of the 1887 Paris season, following that triumph with another in Leipzig the subsequent spring. His debut at our opera house this month will herald the beginning of what this publication hopes will be an illustrious career on the opera stage for a countryman returning home from his studies after training in the conservatoires of Europe.

On the night of December 17th, 1888, a stinging north wind buffeted the city forcing all but the bravest to stay in their homes. Whether that home was a dosshouse in the East End or a villa abutting Saint Matthew’s Park, whatever protection could be found from shutters and curtains was employed to keep back the icy blasts. The day dawned with a silvery sky, but the weak winter sun stood no chance against the mass of heavy cloud that rolled in from the north to swamp the entire country before delivering, in parts, blankets of snow and ice. By the evening, livestock had frozen in their stables, the mainline railways became impassable, and in the darker, unwanted parts of the city, thirty-two deaths occurred before nightfall “From ill weather”.

Folkestone Harbour, April 1889

As he waited for his visitor to arrive, Benjamin Quill squinted at the society pages of the national newspaper with his one good eye. It was an edition from the previous week, but he didn’t require the news to be up to date, knowing that once such an announcement was made, it would remain unchanged, barring serious accident or death. Last year, he had suffered the former, and that had led him to plan the latter. Not his own death, of course, and not that of Clearwater, that delight would come in time.

London, July 1889

Henry Beddington had served as the concierge at the National Gallery since 1865 and took great pride in the fact that, despite the large number of visitors passing through its doors each day, there had never been any trouble in his foyer. Keeping watch over the entrance from his counter on a sunny morning in July, he had no reason to suspect that today would be any different.

27th July 1889. Kingsclere House, Hampshire

Jasper Blackwood’s life changed beyond recognition on the morning of 27th July 1889. The previous night, he had gone to bed unaware of correspondence exchanged between a viscount and a footman, a butler and a housekeeper. As he fell exhausted onto his straw mattress in his basement anteroom, he fully expected to wake at six, and set about the next day’s duties exactly as he had performed every day for the last seven years.
It was not to be.

Clearwater House, London
September 1889

Jasper’s eyes were on the clock while his hands frantically polished Lord Clearwater’s riding boots, but his mind was on Billy and an organ recital. Beyond the boot room, the clattering in the kitchen told him Mrs Roberts was rushing to stock the pantry and fill the cold shelves, the persistent clip of Harvey’s shoes passing back and forth told him the cases were coming down to the coach, and a proclamation from Mr Payne left no doubt there were only fifteen minutes left before the viscount was due to leave.
Throwing down the buffing cloth, he carried the now gleaming boots into the servants’ passage in time to meet Harvey returning from the yard.

The Pall Mall Gazette, Fourth Edition
December 4th, 1889

Two London Cases.

Thousands of sufferers in Berlin.

Something very like the influenza epidemic which is raging in St. Petersburg has now spread to Berlin, and thousands are down with it.
The epidemic is (a Helsingfors telegram says) still spreading. Everybody one meets has either had or is expecting to succumb to the malady. Editors apologise for the delay in issuing their newspapers, and the scanty news in them. Letters remain undelivered, the postmen being sick. Offices are closed for want of clerks. The illness is preceded by two or three days of lassitude. Then fever breaks out at half an hour’s notice, and increases rapidly for six or eight hours, and is accompanied by delirium, headache, a swelling sensation in the joints, irritation of the throat, pain in the limbs, and a teasing cough.

Rasnov Castle, Transylvania

January 1890

Snow whipped the ancient fortification, caught in the vicious gusts of an unforgiving north wind. Stolen from the pine forests and thrown across the plain, it swirled against the castle walls where it collected in fissures and made its home, there to wait for spring before releasing its glacial grip. Some gathered in the arrow slits and window recesses, clinging to the bars and caking the shutters. Flurries torn from the masonry were buffeted to the roof, coating the tiles in peaks as jagged as the surrounding Carpathians, and some found their way through the rotting wood and mortar cracks to dust the sills and embrasures.

You can find all the books from the Clearwater Series page on Amazon.

March KU Book Promo

Hi folks,

There’s a promo running all through March, and I have my three series starters appearing in it.

The promo’s been organised by Kevin Savilis who, under his name K. C. Sivilis, writes historical mystery and action books. In fact, the promo is specifically for historical action, adventure, and mystery novels. It’s an exclusive, choice selection as you will see, with all titles available on Kindle Unlimited.

Please share this message around and include the link to the promo which is right here.


Clicking to the promo page and investigating the titles doesn’t cost you anything, but each click brings the authors another step closer to new readers, so it’s a worthwhile thing to do, and sharing the promo page always helps us. Thank you and here’s wishing you a happy March.