Jackson Marsh has a new gay historical mystery out, book one in the Clearwater Mysteries: Deviant Desire.
The Victorian East End lives in fear of the Ripper and his mission to kill rent boys. Silas Hawkins, nineteen and forging a life on the streets could well be the next victim, but when he meets Archer, his life changes forever. Young, attractive and rich, Archer is Viscount Clearwater, a philanthropist, adventurer and homosexual.
When Archer suspects the Ripper is killing to lure him to a confrontation, he risks his reputation and his life to stop the madman's murders. Every man must play his part, including Silas.
A mashup of mystery, romance and adventure, Deviant Desire is set in an imaginary London of 1888. The first in an on-going series, it takes the theme of loyalty and friendship in a world where homosexuality is a crime. Secrets must be kept, lovers must be protected, and for Archer and Silas, it marks the start of their biggest adventure - love.
Jackson is giving away a paperback copy (US/Canada) or eBook copy (everywhere else) of “The Stoker Connection” with this tour. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:
Silas and Fecker, two renters from the East End, have been brought to Clearwater House to discuss their plight with The Viscount Clearwater. Thomas, the handsome redheaded footman, prepares them for the meeting.
They were led into a short passage of closed doors, past a hatstand and into a cavern. At least, that's what it felt like. The ceiling was arched and high, and the walls tiled. The far wall was taken up by a recess that housed a fireplace and ovens, a row of barred windows lined the top of another and beneath these stood huge dressers displaying pans that glinted the colour of Thomas' hair. It was all set around a massive table with a central avenue of jars lined regimentally from one end to the other. It was hard not to swear in awe, and it suddenly occurred to Silas that he was warm. It was the first time in weeks.
He was made to wash his hands in a sink and do what he could to tidy his face and hair while Thomas stood over him and Fecks waited for his turn. It took Silas a full five minutes to scrape the crud from beneath his fingernails. Luckily for him, the kitchen smelt of pie and herbs, and it masked the smell of his clothes. He was grateful that he'd not been made to take his shoes off.
Thomas gave Fecks instructions to wash and wait at the table before he beckoned Silas to follow him through to another room.
'You pissed off with me, Tommy?' Silas asked, when they were alone in the servants' hall.
'Do not speak until you are...'
'Yeah, I heard you.'
Silas helped himself to a chair at another long, worn table, but Thomas told him to stay standing facing a passageway and a staircase.
'I thought we got along fine last night,' Silas said, doing as he was told, but choosing to stand directly beside Thomas and close.
'Be quiet.' Thomas took a step forward and away.
'Your dick was happy to say hello.'
'I said, be quiet.' It was more of a hiss than a sentence.
'Why you being mean to me, Tommy?' Silas inched closer.
'Please, shut up.' Thomas took another step.
Silas caught up. 'At this rate we'll be in the front garden by the time you tell me what's pissing you off. Is it 'cos you fancy me?'
'Or is it 'cos you find my kind... What was the word? Disgusting.'
'Stop it,' Thomas insisted. 'Now kindly...' He was interrupted by a sensation completely new to him and gasped. 'Get your hand off my backside.'
'Want it on your cock instead?'
Silas slid his hand towards the front of Thomas' trousers, but the footman turned on him, grabbed him by the throat and held him against the sideboard, rattling crockery.
'What are you playing at?' Thomas whispered through gritted teeth.
Unconcerned by the hold Thomas had, Silas grinned. A swift kneeing and the man would be in agony, but instead of raising his leg, he raised his hand and cupped Thomas' crotch.
The footman's green eyes bored into him, and their anger intensified.
'Why are you doing this?' Thomas pleaded. His cock was hardening, his cheeks flaming, and his grip tightened.
'What do you want?' Silas leered.
He searched Thomas' face, but found no answer. He didn't want to hurt the man, he just wanted to know where he stood, but there was only one way out. Silas pulled Thomas to him by his cock and pressed their mouths together with a clash of teeth.
'Oh.' Fecker appeared in the doorway. 'I hear noise, but it is only you fucking.'
Thomas immediately released Silas and pushed himself away. He straightened his hair and wrestled with the front of his trousers.
'You safe, Banyak?' the Ukrainian asked.
'Go on with you, I'm fine,' Silas said, gasping for air as he stared hard at Thomas.
'I wait in here.' Fecker returned to the kitchen and Thomas returned to being a footman.
'You are His Lordship's guest,' he said with great restraint. 'You will not behave like that again.'
'Thought you'd like it, Tommy.'
'And stop calling me that, you guttersnipe.'
Whatever Silas had been trying to achieve, he forgot about it when footsteps overhead suggested Fecks had intervened just in time. Sexually charged though he was, Silas stood behind Thomas and left him alone. It was only fair.
Whoever was coming was taking their time, and the footsteps stopped at the top of the stairs where a muffled discussion took place. It gave Silas time to clear his thoughts, but it was in vain. He couldn't move them on from Thomas, what had just happened and how it left him trembling. Where had the need to kiss him come from? He thought that he had picked up from Thomas a possibility of something new, perhaps something physical that was outside his normal boundary of sex for money. Thomas had potential for... for what?
Silas was confused. Maybe he wanted more than sex, but he had Fecks for companionship, he didn't need anything else. Thomas was someone new, an unknown quantity and gave an impression of being amenable to Silas' advances, but what did that all mean? What was this incomprehensible longing gnawing his insides? It wasn't just physical attraction to other men, it went deeper and was disturbing. The conundrum occupied him until the mumbling upstairs stopped, and Thomas stood to attention as the viscount entered.
The click of the footman's heels broke Silas' thoughts and he looked up into the eyes of the most striking man he had ever seen. At that moment, knew his life would never be the same.
Jackson Marsh, the Mentor
With the release of Jackson Marsh's latest novel, Deviant Desire, came the news that he was looking to mentor a young writer. Seeing as how Jackson has written four successful novels in his 'Mentor' series, I was interested to know if they had anything to do with this offer or indeed, his new title. This is his response.
I hadn't thought about a connection until you asked. Give me a moment. (He pauses to think, noticing as he does so that maybe there is a connection between the words Mentor and Deviant.) Oh, I see! You think I have a deviant desire behind mentoring a young writer! No, it's not like that. (Laughs.) Here's the thing:
I have written 24 novels, 11 of them under the name Jackson Marsh. They have improved over time in style, story, accuracy and appearance because I have learnt many things along the way. For example, how learnt and learned are both correct, but learnt is more British. I am British, and may I here on behalf of that country, apologise for its behaviour. It's nothing to do with me; I have lived in Greece for 15 + years, and they won't let me vote in the yUK anymore. But that's an aside, sorry. My point was that I am now what I'd call an experienced writer and self-publisher, and have experience that I would like to pass along. I'm not particularly educated in language beyond school, but I have won awards for my books, musicals and film scripts and I read a lot.
My series of Mentor books (The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge etc.,) take the theme of an older man mentoring a younger one. It's something I am passionate about, this sharing of experience and knowledge, and it works both ways, as you will see if you read Barrenmoor Ridge. However, Deviant Desire is not a mentor story, but it was while I was writing it that the idea struck me. I want to mentor a new writer - or two if I can. I looked around for the obvious in the search engines, 'Mentor a young, gay, male writer' and got all kinds of interesting links that were not what I was looking for. So, I put a post on my blog at www.jacksonmarsh.com and shared it to a couple of Facebook groups. Interestingly, there have not yet been any takers, and it's a free offer.
Why a young, gay, male writer? Is that where the deviant desire comes in?
No. I am a happily married man, and we've been together for 22 years, so I am not looking for a romantic interlude worthy of one of my own novels. Young, because that was when I needed help with my writing and didn't get it. Gay because I am, and if I am going to support any community it will be the gay one. Male because, again, I am. I write from an older man's point of view, and I have more in common with gay men than women; I find it easier.
Sorry, I interrupted. What is this mentoring scheme?
It's simple. I am offering to work with a new writer, one at a time, or maybe two. All I can offer is my experience, a decent grasp of my mother tongue, and a certain amount of intelligence and support. I am not talking about reading and editing someone's novel, or even proofing it (I use professionals for those things), and I am not talking about rewriting one. I am, though, talking about building a relationship and a friendship within which I can help a younger man discover the pleasure of writing and publishing novels. Anything from grammar to structure, from theme to cover design (again, done by a professional) and from having an idea to handling Amazon's publishing platform.
All the details are on my website.
Jackson was born in 2017 as the penname for me (James) so that I could publish my new gay fiction independently from my other writing work. I was born on the south coast of England during a blizzard, but now like to warm thing up with MM romance novels, gay mysteries and some occasional erotica. In 2007 I was awarded and EGPA award for my erotic short stories, and in 2018 I won a Best Screenplay award for one of my films. I am a diverse writer with thrillers, comedies and horror stories under my James belt, and now romance and mystery under my Jackson belt.
At the moment I am concentrating on two genres: older/younger MM romance, and youth mysteries with early 20s main characters and a love story included.
I live on a Greek island with my husband. My interests outside of writing and reading are outdoor pursuits, traveling, piano and genealogy. That's probably why my books tend to involve characters who are musicians, writers, mystery-solvers and rock climbers; there's a bit of me in every one.
Author Website: www.jacksonmarsh.com
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