A Fall from Grace: This Week

The guys at Other World’s Ink have come up trumps again, and I now have all the files for ‘A Fall from Grace’ on my PC and ready to upload. I just need to do one final check. As long as I don’t notice anything that needs tweaking, I will upload the files later today, and you should be able to find the book within the next couple of days.

So, today, I can put up the front cover and the blurb, and perhaps entice you towards ‘A Fall from Grace’, which picks up a couple of weeks after ‘Finding a Way’ finished; or half-finished, because there was one particular matter unresolved.

As for the next instalment, I’ve changed my working title from ‘Silence & Limelight’ to ‘Follow the Van’, and I’ll update you on its progress soon. Meanwhile, here’s the blurb for The Delamere Files book two:

A Fall from Grace

Hired by the esteemed Clearwater Detective Agency, and determined to prove themselves worthy, Jack and Will Merrit face their first case: They have eight days to unravel past events at an English public school, find a missing man and prevent his suicide.

A new life brings intriguing potentials as Jack grapples with his attraction towards men. As the assistant to the manly and assured, Jimmy Wright, he must put aside his longing for Larkin Chase and the temptations of a new stable lad, and face the weight of his new responsibility. The Merrit brothers’ future depends on it.

But when circumstances pull Jimmy away, Jack and Will are left alone to navigate a map of deceit, solve the case, and save a man’s life, even if it means risking their own.

‘A Fall from Grace’ is the second book in the Delamere Files series of romantic, Victorian gay mysteries, and follows on from ‘Finding a Way.’ The books should be read in order.

A Fall from Grace: Cover Reveal


This weekend, I wanted to whet your appetite for the second book in the new ‘Delamere Files’ series, ‘A Fall from Grace.’

I am going to reveal the cover… but not quite yet. I have one more read of the MS to do before I send it off to be formatted, so it is snow only a couple of weeks away. Meanwhile, later this week, I will reveal the new and fantastic cover from Andjela V.

A Fall from Grace sees Jack Merrit’s first case with the Clearwater Detective Agency at Delamere House, and the first time he has lived anywhere but in Limehouse. There’s a lot for Jack to adjust to new surroundings, new luck, a new job, and men. First, there’s what to do about Larkin Chase, the man he met in book one, then, there’s the dashing detective, Jimmy Wright, and before long, along comes a stable hand, Ben Baxter… Temptation all around, but also, a case to work on, a mystery to unravel and a life to save.

The mystery began 12 years earlier in a British public school (a private, fee-paying school), where friendships endured into later life. In 1892, one of a small group of very close friends is now missing and in danger, and it’s up to Jack and Will to work out where and by when this man can be found.

That’s all I am going to say right now. You’ll have to wait a couple more weeks to get to the full story, and in the meantime, you’ll get to see the cover and blurb later this week.

As for me, I am working on book three, currently called ‘Silence and Limelight’, while I wait for the final ‘Grace’ MS to come in, so I can give it its last read-through.

Where ‘A Fall from Grace’ has a public school as its background, ‘Silence and Limelight’ has the Victorian Music Hall, and I’m happily beavering away on research and reading to better inform my writing. The characters of Jack and Will Merrit are evolving as the stories continue, I am still referring to my 1888 maps of London for accuracy, and I am putting together a mystery which will take Jack into the story of his family’s past. But all that is for later.

For now, here’s the image to tempt you – it gives little away – and if you haven’t yet started on the new series, book one, ‘Finding a Way’ is up there and waiting.

I am releasing book two quite soon after book one because book one leaves a major storyline unfinished (on purpose), but book two continues it.

Check my Wednesday blog for more information about ‘Silence and Limelight’, and news of the next new release, coming soon.

Available now. Click the cover.

A Fall from Grace: Update

Hello, and welcome to your update on ‘A Fall from Grace’, the Delamere Files book two.

The first draft is finished! I’ve been through the story and transferred it from my head to my typowriter, but I am still surrounded by notes stuck to my writing station, and my notebook overfloweth with more.

Now, I begin the task of editing the story before going back to edit the text. There are many fine details in this story which, although the reader doesn’t need to remember them, need to add up and tie in for the overall picture to accurately emerge. Not only am I developing three characters I only created in the last novel, and developing some of those we met in previous series, but I am also introducing a couple of new ones, for the purpose of this story alone. Each character must be themselves, and that’s easy to do with my quirky, eccentric folk, but not so easy with a protagonist and antagonist neither of whom are onstage for long.

As for those quirky characters who have a scene here and there (or in this case, only here as they only appear once), they are fun to write. You will meet mad Mrs Hogg and her famous hat, and the decrepit chairman of the Old Sinfordians who suffers from a, then, undiagnosed condition we, today, would call something else. A bit like Will who has OCD, but which, in 1892, wasn’t called that but probably considered some kind of mental deformity which it isn’t. In Will’s case, he calls it his ‘preciseness’, which is a far more appealing term than compulsive or obsessive and I don’t consider it a disorder either… But, let’s not get into all of that…

I found this chap online and wondered if it might be Will Merrit.

What you came here for is to learn that draft one is finished and topped off at 104,000 words, with about 95% of them correctly spelt. The first editing job will take me a week or so, and the second, a little longer. Meanwhile, I must turn my attention to blurbs and covers and saving to pay the proofreader and layout designers and all that jazz, while being aware that if I want any clues laid down in ‘A Fall from Grace’ that impact book three, I need to get them in there now.

So, back to work for me, and don’t forget to tune into Saturday’s blog when you can read more of the original, unpublished, opening of ‘Finding a Way.’

Also, don’t forget the Book Funnel promotion and the wealth of LGTBQ+ romantic mysteries on offers from a wide range of authors. Here’s the link to click:



Work in Progress: Reaching a Climax

Ooh er!

No not that. I’ve been here before, climaxing at around 90,000 words with the end of the first draft in sight, and, today, that’s exactly where I am with ‘A Fall from Grace’, the second book in the new Delamere Files series.

I’m pleased to say that ‘Finding a Way’ is doing well, and has already received one glowing review, which includes: I was hooked on this story from the very first sentence. As always, great characters are introduced to the reader and some cameo appearances of characters from previous series just tied everything so perfectly together.

Thank you for that Charles!

I am aiming to have A Fall from Grace first draft completed by this time next week at the latest.

Meanwhile, I am taking part in a book promotion or two during September, and there will be news about this in a newsletter in the next couple of days. If you’ve not subscribed to my (very) occasional newsletters, you can do so from the Newsletter Page. http://jacksonmarsh.com/newsletter/

The Delamere Files: Progress

Finding a Way

I released the first in the new series of The Delamere Files last week, and the story is up and running. Finding a Way introduces us to new characters in the Clearwater world of London in 1892, and sets the scene for things to come with a case involving a London cabbie, a criminal gang and a couple of characters from the previous two series. It is too early to say how the series will run in terms of popularity, but it’s off to a reasonable start after its release.

A Fall from Grace

The second book continues the main relationships between the principal characters with a change in circumstances and a new investigation. I am still working through the first draft, and my desk is still covered with notes and charts as I keep an eye on all the details developing through the story.

I am now at 77,000 words and approaching the crisis, climax, ‘smoking gun’ reveal, and the aftermath sections, which should take me nicely to the target 100,000 words, before I set about the rewrites and tidying up. Last night, I had something of a ‘that’s too obvious’ moment, which I have noted and will address as I progress to the crisis, which I aim to do later today.

As for a release date… I am aiming to have this book finished and ready to go by the end of September, so if you are reading book one, you won’t have to wait too long for book two.

The Clearwater Calendar

Also this week, I have been putting together a wall calendar for 2024. We have just released Neil’s Symi Dream calendar, a thing he has done every year since he had his photo business on the island. We use a company that produces good-quality products that showcase Neil’s photography, and the calendars have proved very popular. We were talking about it the other day when one of us suggested I make one based on the Clearwater front covers. Lo and behold, when I returned to the computer, I’d had exactly the same suggestion from one of my supporters (thanks, Loz, great minds and all that). I have spent the last few days putting something together and have ordered a trial one to see how it looks. All being well, you will be able to order a Clearwater calendar in plenty of time for the end of the year. More news to come in time. For now, it’s back to the keyboard, my new mystery, and my approaching crisis which will, after a twist, lead to a climax, and the Delamere Files will move forward.


Finding a Way: Release Week

Here’s the news:

Later this week, I will be releasing ‘Finding a Way’, the first in my new Victorian mystery series. I don’t have an actual date for this because I don’t do pre-orders. Instead, I upload the files to Amazon when they are ready, and Amazon then releases the book. Sometimes, this takes a couple of hours, and at other times, it can take a day or two. Recently, publication has been happening within a short time, and often, my loyal readers receive notifications from Amazon before I do. Also, I am in Europe and Amazon is based in the USA, and I never know which day is which.

I will, of course, announce the release on my Facebook pages when the book is published.

I have revamped the blurb for the book and the series, so here they are with the cover.

When he is robbed by a fare, London cabman, Jack Merrit, thinks his life is over, but then he meets the dashing writer of social observations, Larkin Chase, a man in search of love.

Larkin sees the chance for Jack to earn a twenty-pound reward. All Jack has to do is identify the pair of crooks that robbed him, but the crooks are part of a notorious East End gang who know no boundaries when silencing a witness. Despite the possibilities Larkin offers, Jack’s world begins to crumble. He must either deny or allow his unnatural desire, and decide if he is to see justice done and win his reward. But when an equally dashing young detective arrives on the scene, Jack’s life becomes even more complicated.

Finding a Way is the first of a new series of thrilling Victorian mysteries.

If you enjoyed the Clearwater Mysteries and Larkspur Mysteries, you’ll love this book. There is no need to read them before you buy now before the price changes!

The series blurb looks like this:

The Delamere Files

The secrets of London’s Victorian underworld are revealed in The Delamere Files, the latest instalment in the highly successful Clearwater Mysteries and Larkspur Mysteries series.

It is 1892, and the Clearwater Detective Agency is tasked with the difficult job of solving crimes involving men who love men while maintaining complete discretion in a society where homosexuality is punishable by up to two years in prison with hard labour.

Follow the lives of Jack Merrit, Jimmy Wright and their fellow private investigators as they uncover the mysteries of a world in which they themselves are considered criminals.

In true Jackson Marsh style, you can expect a mix of historical mystery, MM romance, bromance and adventure, and you’ll be kept on the edge of your seat throughout.

If you enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes series, you’ll love The Delamere Files. Buy now before the price changes!

Finding a Way has Almost Found its Way

‘Finding a Way’, the first in my new series of Victorian mysteries, has nearly found its way to your Kindle and bookshelf. Meanwhile, the sequel to it, ‘A Fall from Grace’ is also doing well. Here is the news on both:

Finding a Way

The first book in the series sets up the three main characters and the underlying villains who will continue through a series of investigations. The baddies won’t appear in every book, but they will make appearances as and when least expected.

I have the cover, another triumph for Andjela V, and it has received excellent feedback from members of my private Facebook group, Jackson’s Deviant Desires, which you are welcome to join. The blurb is ready, and here it is:

It began with a man sobbing in the night.

Twenty-five-year-old Jack Merrit struggles to make a living as a London cabbie, and when he is robbed by a fare, he can see no future for himself and his beloved younger brother, Will.

Enter Larkin Chase. A dashing writer of social observations and a man in search of love. After learning Jack’s story, Larkin sees the chance for him to earn a twenty-pound reward. All he has to do is identify the pair of crooks that robbed him.

The crooks, however, are part of a notorious East End gang who know no boundaries when silencing a witness. With Jack’s world crumbling around him, an unnatural desire draws him to Larkin which he must either fight or allow if he is to see justice done and win his reward. When an equally dashing young detective arrives on the scene, Jack’s life becomes even more complicated, and when the criminal gang exacts their revenge, they set him on a life-or-death quest that will forever change his life. Or end it.

Finding a Way is the first of a new series of Victorian mysteries. Following on from the highly successful Clearwater Mysteries and Larkspur Mysteries, the series starts in London in 1892, and involves some of the original Clearwater characters in supporting roles. There is no need to have read the preceding two series, though it would be a shame to miss them.

Still to do

I still have a few pieces of the process to complete before I can announce the book as released, but you can expect it in around 10 days (roughly). I have still to:

  • Finish checking the proofs now it’s back from the proofreader.
  • Receive the full cover from Andjela V.
  • Have the guys at Other World Ink see to the layout, which will include a drawing of one of the main characters, as that’s something I am keen to continue in this series. (I have the illustration already.)
  • Sort the Amazon stuff like ISBN, and upload the files.

A Fall From Grace

Meanwhile, ‘A Fall from Grace’, the second book in the series, is now at 65,000 words and is doing well. This story continues the one begun in book one, because ‘Finding a Way’ resolves only one of the two plots; the action plot, while the emotional, love interest story is ongoing. I envision the series will include a slow-burn romance which will develop over time, and yes, there will be some sexy parts in it, though they won’t be overly graphic in nature.

‘A Fall From Grace’ is a detective story, as the series is a detective series, with a new mystery each time, and one to be solved by my three main characters, a new band of investigators. However, they come to their new jobs thanks to existing characters from the Clearwater world, and, I hope, you will have some nice ‘Ah ah!’ moments as you read both books. I’ll say no more on that and will leave it for you to discover what lies ahead when you start on the series, hopefully in a couple of weeks.

And now, it’s back to the typowriter and my proofing of book one, while book two waits in the wings to be taken up again once I have ‘Finding a Way’ ready to go. Not long now.

Cover Reveal: Finding a Way

Finding a Way is the first book in the new Delamere Files series, and today, you can see the full cover for the first time.

This series begins in June 1892, six months after the Larkspur Mysteries ended. It is set in the Clearwater world of late Victorian England, and some characters from the Clearwater and Larkspur mysteries appear or are mentioned, but they are not the main cast.

If you have read the Clearwater collection, you will know that Delamere House is the property next door to Clearwater House in London. It is where Lady Marshall used to live, and the building is owned by Lord Clearwater. In the early 1890s, it became the headquarters for the Clearwater Detective Agency under James Wright and is also the house where Joe Tanner and Dalston Blaze live. The house appears later in ‘Finding a Way’, and will feature more as the series continues.

However, ‘Finding a Way’ is not about Delamere House, it is about Jack Merrit, a young London cabbie with a heap of challenges who finds himself unwittingly involved in the solving of a crime. Around this central story is a story of self-acceptance, coming out (as we’d call it these days), and a very slow-burn love story that will develop through several of the books to come.

‘Finding a Way’ will be available in August, and I will let you know when it is published. Meanwhile, here is the blurb as it stands now, and below that, the title. Click on the title to see the cover and meet two of the cast.

Finding a Way

The Delamere Files book one

It began with a man sobbing in the night.

Twenty-five-year-old Jack Merrit struggles to make a living as a London cabbie, and when he is robbed by a fare, he can see no future for himself and his beloved younger brother, Will.

Enter Larkin Chase. A dashing writer of social observations and a man in search of love. After learning Jack’s story, Larkin sees the chance for him to earn a twenty-pound reward. All he has to do is identify the pair of crooks that robbed him.

The crooks, however, are at the top of the heap of a notorious East End gang who know no boundaries when it comes to silencing a witness. With Jack’s world crumbling around him, he is drawn to Larkin by an unnatural desire which he must either fight or allow if he is to see justice done and win his reward. When an equally dashing young detective arrives on the scene, Jack’s life becomes even more complicated, and when the criminal gang exact their revenge, he is set on a life-or-death quest that will forever change his life. Or end it.

Cover Reveal

Click the image to open the full front cover.

Opening Lines: WIP 7.01

‘Finding a Way’ (The Delamere Files book one) is nearly there, so I have now switched to Work In Progress seven, although it is not my seventh book, but the seventh since I started the WIP blog.

‘A Fall from Grace’ (The Delamere Files book two) is currently at 51,000 words, around halfway through, and the pace is picking up. This is very much first-draft material, and I am still surrounded by pieces of paper stuck to my desk to remind me of vital clues to explain later and where the story is going.

I saw a post on Facebook the other day where writers were encouraged to put up the first lines of the first three chapters of their current work in progress, and I thought that would be a fun idea for today. I can’t remember what these lines are, so I have opened the chapters to take a look.

What I have for you now are the opening lines of chapters one to three of ‘A Fall from Grace’, and this will come as much as a surprise to me as to you.

Chapter One (Summer 1880)
Jacques Verdier hit the rockery at some time between two-thirty and four-thirty in the morning of the thirty-first of July, eighteen-eighty.

Chapter Two (London, Twelve Years Later, July 1892)
His life two weeks ago: Surrounded by boatyards and barge-builders, chandlers and wharfingers, sails, masts, ropes, cable chains, blocks, cranes, and makers of everything needed for the dockyards and river trades.

Chapter three (Sinford’s School for Boys, Kent. 1875 to 1880)
Sinford’s School no longer exists, but when I was sent there in 1875 at the age of thirteen, it was a rambling place full of terror, noise and prospects.

A few notes: I think there are too many hyphens in the opening of chapter one, so I may change the time to an hour, rather than a half. Chapter two needs to be two chapters because it does two things, and it does them too quickly. It tells us about the MC’s change in fortune, and it introduces the protagonist. That’s fine, but the protagonist needs more time to get to know and trust the detectives he has come to for help before he lets them read his memoirs, which start at chapter three. So, that’s a second draft issue to be sorted out.

‘Finding a Way’

Maybe I should whet your appetite for book one by posting the opening lines of the first three chapters. ‘Finding a Way’ should be out on Kindle, KU and paperback within the next couple of weeks, but meanwhile…

Chapter One June 1892
It began with a man sobbing in the night.

Chapter Two
After some investigation of the cabmen’s shelter, Jack returned to the hansom to announce that Speckle Sam was frying them each a grunting peck, and two mugs of prattle broth were waiting for them on the bench, because the night was so warm, and the hut was so ard, he could barely catch his breath.

Chapter Three
There was money to be made on the way home, but Jack ignored the potential fares as he passed through Borough, and turned down the drunks and those leaving the all-night coffee houses.

As for the rest, you will have to wait and see, but you will be able to see the cover here on the blog on Saturday when I do the full reveal. Join me then, and you will meet my two new main characters for the first time…

Nearly at the End of the Road: WIP 6:13

Jack Merrit – everyone’s heartthrob but his own.

I am nearly at the end of the editing process for ‘Finding a Way’, the Delamere Files, book one. A few more chapters to re-re-read and re-re-edit, and the whole MS can go off to Anne for proofing. The cover is done, the blurb is almost ready, and there will be a full cover reveal in the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been taking on some extra paid work, so haven’t had much time to continue with book two, ‘A Fall from Grace’, but I will be back to it today as soon as I have sent the first book to be proofed. Book two is at 48,000 words, about halfway through, and book one comes in at just over 100,000, so plenty of new reading will be coming your way soon. Neil is currently reading Finding a Way, and I’m looking forward to his feedback. I think.

Without giving away too much of the cover, here’s the face that inspired the face – a before and after if you like, as created by my wonderful cover designer, Andjela V.

Jack Merrit, a young cab driver. The original photo from pre-1900
Jack Merrit – everyone’s heartthrob but his own.