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Free Excerpt of Jane Jackson’s The Master’s Wife!

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We bring you an exclusive lunchtime treat – a cheeky snippet of Jane Jackson’s The Master’s Wife, the second book in The Captain Honours Series! 

***

‘When you’ve finished writing, leave the pen and ink out, will you? I need to update the log.’

She glanced round and saw him strip off his shirt, revealing a broad back and muscular shoulders. Longing pierced and a flush burned her cheeks. He was her husband, the only man she had ever kissed, touched, held, loved.  He was her husband and he had lain naked with Louise Downing; made love with Louise Downing… She choked down a painful stiffness in her throat and carefully wiped the pen nib on a cotton square before laying it on the grooved wooden tray.

Water splashed, she smelled the fragrance of the soap she had used, heard the soft rasp of the towel as he rubbed himself dry, then the rustle of clothing as he dressed again.   He emptied and replaced the basin then carried the bucket and ewer to the door.

‘Goodnight.’ Caseley limped into the sleeping cabin, pulling off her shawl and dropping it over the foot of the berth. She reached for the curtain but didn’t touch it. With it drawn across, the small space that had once been a cosy private haven now felt lonely and claustrophobic. She lay down and pulled the blankets over her. Had she no pride? What kind of fool longed for a man who preferred someone else? A tear soaked into the pillow.

When Jago returned to the cabin he sat down and opened the log. Elbows propped on the table he raked both hands through his hair. Tension made his scalp ache.

He was ashamed of his pleasure at seeing Caseley out of the black that constantly reminded him of his failure. Recognizing her uncertainty about wearing a summery dress, he had hoped to reassure her. She was still hurting, her loss still a raw wound. She hadn’t uttered a word of complaint. That made it worse. He didn’t know what to do and hated his helplessness.

After meeting the reporter in the Custom House, he and Pawlyn had walked along the quay to Cygnet. Making conversation, Pawlyn had asked if he had family. He’d said no, and left it at that. Explanations would invite commiserations that were pointless and painful. They reminded him too vividly of Caseley’s drawn, grief-ravaged face when he arrived home too late.

How could he ever make it up to her? Did she even want him to? That her rage seemed to have dissolved only increased his guilt. Their conversations were pleasant and their unspoken understanding of each other’s thinking on all other matters was still intact. If only she would meet his gaze, she would surely see everything he could not find words for: how much he missed her, needed her.

Several times, about to blurt it out, he had bitten his tongue to stop himself. Such a confession would make it about him and that was self-indulgence while she was coming to terms with such devastating loss. He would live with the permanent ache at the base of his skull and a gut tied in knots. He would wait for as long as it took. He had adored his sons. But Caseley was the love of his life. So he would wait until she was ready, until she turned to him.

***

The Master’s Wife is available to purchase on amazon.

For news on Jane Jackson make sure you head on over to her Facebook page or follow Jane on Twitter 

Guest Blog Post by Cheryl Rees-Price: Creating the protagonist – How Winter Meadows gained the lead role

The inspiration for The Silent Quarry came from walking the dog up a footpath that runs alongside a disused quarry. It can be quiet, shadowy and eerie along this route and more often than not you don’t pass a living soul.  Like most writers I have a vivid imagination and as I walked I would start at every snap of a twig, glancing around to see if anyone was lurking behind a tree. I should have been comforted by the fact that Blue, an enormous Siberian husky was close at heel but he was as much use as a mouse and more likely to run away faster than me from any threat.  As I walked further along the path my mind turned to the murder that occurred in this spot in the 70’s and I wondered what would happen if the dog was to arrive home without me. Would my family know where I was? Would they send out a search party? From this spark of an idea I developed the plot to The Silent Quarry.

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Blue the husky who has his own role in the book.

Ideas for the book came faster than I could write but as I outlined the chapters and built my cast I struggled to find my protagonist.  I wanted a detective that the reader could connect with, full of personality and complete with fears and faults.

I set about naming and creating the main character and built in a background story adding a career history, family and birthday until the profile was complete. Slowly DI Lester came to life, I didn’t have an instant connection to him but thought I would give him a trail run, a bit like a probation period in a new job.  As the story grew I realised that no detective is complete without a side kick. The book was put on hold while I set about creating Lester’s partner.

I wanted a character to contrast with DI Lester and bring a different perspective to the story. To achieve this I started with the character’s background story. I chose an unconventional upbringing, home educated and raised in a commune with a hippy mother and absent father. Next I needed to find the perfect name to sum up the character. After many hours of pondering, Winter Meadows was born, mild mannered, fair and compassionate with a hint of intrigue he was the complete opposite to DI Lester and I felt an instant connection. But rather than complimenting Lester he posed a new problem. Winter Meadows fascinated me and was so much more interesting than DI Lester.

I instantly promoted Winter to lead character. Very quickly he took over the role and came to life, often dictating the direction of the story. It really is true when writers say that a character can take on a life of their own and they don’t always do what you want.

As for DI Lester he still makes an appearance in the book along with Blue the dog.

In 1987 a quiet Welsh village was devastated by a brutal attack on two schoolgirls, Bethan Hopkins and Gwen Collier. Only Gwen survived, with horrific injuries and no memory of the attack. The killer was never caught. Now, nearly thirty years later, Gwen has gone missing and DI Winter Meadows is assigned to the case. Charismatic and intuitive, he has an uncanny gift for finding the truth. But in this small and close-knit community, the past is never far away, and those who have secrets will go to any lengths to keep them. Tensions run high as old feelings and accusations are stirred. And DI Meadows has to battle his own demons as he uncovers a truth he wished had stayed in the past …

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Caroline Dunford: A Death for a Cause

 

A Death for a Causesuff

I always vote. Whether it’s a local, general or European election, I’ll be there making my X on the paper. When friends have commented on this commitment to voting – a surprising amount of people don’t bother  – I used to jokingly reply that if I didn’t vote I was sure the ghost of Emmeline Pankhurst would haunt me. However, it was only  when I was researching for the latest Euphemia mystery, A Death for a Cause, that I came to appreciate how very much suffragettes did to liberate British women.

“I used to jokingly reply that if I didn’t vote I was sure the ghost of Emmeline Pankhurst would haunt me.”

On the 6th February 1918 women over the age of 30 got the right to vote. Let’s think about that. It’s less than one hundred years since women have been able to exercise the democratic right to vote. Or put another way, my grandmother wasn’t allowed to vote. As a woman she was not deemed fit. One glance at the news will tell you that there are still plenty of places left the world over where women do not have equal rights to men. In Britain we’re lucky and it is down to the efforts of the bands of women from all classes, who spoke up, marched and protested, that we have the rights we do. They endured imprisonment, permanent health damage from force feeding and even attacks (from both men and women) who did not agree with their cause.

Euphemia is inspired by my Great Grandmother, who left a life of privilege and wealth, after arguing with her father, to go into service. She never returned to her home, but instead married a tobacconist and had thirteen children, all of whom survived infancy. Like her, Euphemia is a strong woman struggling to make a place for herself in a world where the only future for women of her class was either to marry or cast herself on the mercy of relatives.

But in A Death for a Cause, Euphemia, who considers herself liberally minded and an armchair suffragette, is brought up against the reality of the brutality inflicted upon women asking for no more than the some of the rights men automatically gain at birth. She is introduced to a world where women are prepared to smash windows, sabotage telephone exchanges and even set fire bombs in the name of female emancipation. To be fair although the suffragettes did adopt the motto of ‘deeds not words’ there was some division within the ranks of how far it was right to go for the cause.

But for a long time their efforts were in vain. Prime Minister Asquith appeared to simply not take them seriously no matter what they did. He was known as a lover of women (in the literal sense), but the thought they might have equal intelligence to men was preposterous to him.

Women were constantly under-rated. Even when women began to be admitted to the universities, obviously to all female colleges, there were violent reactions from male students. To begin with women might study the same subjects, sit and pass examinations, but they not awarded degrees. Just as women who studied medicine where not, at first, allowed to practise.

It’s difficult for British women today to imagine this, but it’s true. It took an army of strong women to make a difference. We need to take the time to remember them – and always vote!

A Death for a cause

 

 

 

If you’ve been excited about the film Suffragette then you’ll love this new release A Death for a Cause which shares similar themes! Pre-order today or buy tomorrow! Not long to wait! 

 

 

Missing Nancy – A novel about living, loving and family life – Five Star Amazon Review

Missing Nancy - a novel about living, loving and family life
A beautifully written book about a modern family, after divorce through the eyes of each generation. Mum bravely taking her family camping in France was portrayed so wonderfully. Can only strongly recommend this to others. Will definitely read more from this talented author.

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A Handful of Ash – a Cass Lynch Mystery by @MarsaliTaylor – Five Star Amazon Review

A Handful of Ash (The Shetland Sailing Mysteries)
”I’ve read all three of the books in this series now, and they really just go from strength to strength. Ms. Taylor is a remarkably good writer. The stories are compelling, and the characters are both interesting and believable. I really love Cass, and I think it’s a great portrayal of a independent young woman still working out her place in the world. Even some of the clichés of the crime genre that can get a bit old–like the love triangle–are believable and fresh here. I can’t wait for the next one!”

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Swordland by @ruadhbutler – Five Star Amazon Review

Swordland (The Invader Series)
”Superbly researched and thrillingly told, Swordland is a vivid portrait of the ferocious but godly Normans as they rampage through Wales and Ireland. Writing in a lucid, descriptive style that brings to life landscapes, characters and battles, Butler delights in a narrative that blazes with intrigue and spine-chilling bloody action, while still managing to weave themes of religious affiliation, kinship and questions over birthright like golden threads in a medieval tapestry.”

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Wicked Words – a @HoneyDriver Mystery – Five Star Amazon Review

Wicked Words - a Honey Driver Mystery #7 (A Honey Driver Murder Mystery)
“Amusing, confusing and enthralling. Well written tale. This series of books is totally addictive. Recommended read. Looking forward to the next story.”

“A good mystery with some great laughs this should be on your `not to be missed’ pile. Highly recommended.”

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An Unusual Midwife: An Accent Amour Medical Romance – Five Star Amazon Review

An Unusual Midwife: A Heartwarming Medical Romance (99p Medical Romance Specials Book 12)
“Enjoyable story about life as we would like it to be. Very escapist! I read a lot of hospital story’s. The sort of book you can pick up and put down for an od half hour when the opportunity arises without losing the thread.

I enjoy Gillian Sanderson’s writing, they certainly give you the ‘feel good’ factor. Have read many of her books.”

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The Chain Garden by @JJacksonAuthor – Five Star Amazon Review

The Chain Garden
“Set in Cornwall, this novel follows the dynamics of a family struggling to come to terms with their individual pasts. All the characters are well drawn and their problems completely believable, especially Grace, whose story this is. […]
Very well written and a fascinating picture of life in a Cornish village at the turn of the 20th century.”

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Kindred Hearts by @GraceLowrie1 – Five Star Amazon Review

Kindred Hearts: Not your average romance!
“Wow, wow, wow! This a beautifully written, evocative, love story that I simply couldn’t put down. From start to finish Grace had me enraptured with the characters and plot to the point where I did little else but read for three days until I had finished. The descriptions of the characters are so well developed that I could picture them perfectly in my mind, in fact, I almost feel as if I know them personally. Plot twists, romance, spice, and heart wrenching moments – this book had it all – definitely a highly recommended read!”

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