Category Archives: Jane Jackson

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 

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.”

Click here for more information

Thumbnail for Steam Fair Part 2

Steam Fair Part 2

IMG_0887 Wild West Dr RSOne display was that covered a large area of field were the tents of a society that re-live the old Wild West. There are Indian teepees, a ‘Boot Hill’ graveyard with wooden markets and a coffin complete with a  realistic body on a IMG_0882 Sheriff and ladyRSflatbed cart.

On the left is a tent belonging to the ‘doc’ who drew teeth and ‘busted boils.’   Another housed the gunsmith who had an astonishing array of old pistols and rifles.   (See below)

Three ladies wearing dresses and shawls faithfully reproduced from old pictures  sat on wooden chairs outside a tent alongside a covered wagon. One wore a beautiful and original white cotton cap with a pleated top, Van Dyke edging and long ties fastened in a bow under her chin.   The couple here on the right are the sheriff and his wife.

IMG_0888 Wild West guns RSThey are careful and thorough with their research and said they would not smile for the photograph because in Victorian times the exposure was between 7-9 seconds and no one could hold a smile that long.  Besides, having a photograph taken then was a serious business.

 

 

Thumbnail for West of England Steam & Country Fair

West of England Steam & Country Fair

IMG_0900 steam car RSI spent three hours there this morning and have just got home totally shattered after walking for three hours and still not seeing everything.  The weather was perfect – thick cloud (no squinting in bright sunshine) and a nice breeze.  As the fair is spread over several acres of fields, walking on the grass was comfortable and cool underfoot.  The displays were amazing:  hundreds of vintage cars, motor cycles, tractors and traction engines, each class had its own parade.  There was one motorbike and sidecar raced around the parade ground at 60 mph.  When it stopped the riders had to be lifted off. They were in their seventies.

Large marquees held displays of craftwork including basket weaving, knitting and crochet work, willow sculptures, spinning and weaving, and silver jewellery made while you watched.  There were demonstrations of thatching and blacksmithing.

The falconry display had a sticky moment when one of the falcons decided she was enjoying her freedom and decided to delay her return, flying in ever widening circles above the showground. The crowd followed her progress while her handler kept spinning the lure, his whistles growing slightly frantic.  She came back eventually and the show continued.

Two steam cars beautifully polished and almost silent made circuits of a display field.  One had just returned from a touring holiday of Jersey.  Because they need to replenish their water tanks quite often they all carry lengths of hose and refill from a stream. IMG_0902 Steam Car 2RS

Himself’s display of restored vintage rotavators is attracting a lot of interest.  In the past two days he has been given three with a promise of two more.  Added to the ones he already has at home waiting to be worked on he’s going to be busy right through the winter.  He’s also been invited to several of the ‘Working Days.’   While the tractor men are nearly all farmers and take their ploughing matches seriously, he and a couple of others who own agricultural machines have been promised a corner of one field to ‘make a mess in.’   Hot pasties and tea are provided.

Promo and pheasants

ThisIMG_0867RS is something all authors are expected to do now – promote our books.  We have websites and blogs. Facebook and Twitter have been joined by Pinterest and Goodreads and probably more.   Authors talk a lot about the problem of trying to maintain a regular presence on all of them and still find time to write the next book. Bearing in mind that our families deserve some of our time as well, it’s clear that it’s simply not possible to do it all.   I like my Facebook pages and this blog.   I’m not even attempting the rest because I’d rather be working on the next book.  Forgive me, I’m finding the heatwave hard to cope with.  I love the cool fresh days of spring and autumn. I even like winter because if it’s cold you can always add another layer or two.   But in Cornwall, because we’re surrounded on three sides by water, when it’s hot it is also humid and that leaves me feeling (and probably looking)  like wiltIMG_0862RSed lettuce.   It’s affecting our resident wildlife as well.  Two cock pheasants have moved into our back garden.   They pick up seeds from around the bird table, drink from the bird bath, then either make themselves comfortable in the strawberry bed and bask in the sun, or retreat under the shade of the trees along the hedge. When I went out to hang washing on the line this morning they grumbled a bit but remained where they were just a few feet away.   Despite my whinging this weather has compensations. Our hanging baskets are looking fantastic, and all the Vintage Shows and Rallies are attracting record numbers of visitors.  Himself is off to St Buryan Vintage Rally with two trailer-loads of his restored rotavators and his caravan on Friday.  The forecast is for wall-to-wall sunshine. He’ll have a ball.

 

Blog Tour

horn drinking cup plainTo celebrate the publication of  ‘Crosscurrents’ as both an ebook and paperback this month, I’m on  a blog tour talking about the background to the story which includes brewing.  In the late 1700s and early 1800s being able to brew beer was one of the duries of a farmer’s wife.  If the farm was part of a large country estate, and the butler did not have the necessary skill, she might also be called upon to brew for the ‘big house’. The harvest brew of small beer had to be sufficiently plentiful to provide each labourer with at least a gallon a day.  For that reason it was a weak, thirst-quenching drink of low alcohol content. Celebration ales were far stronger and might be kept for many years, being laid down like fine wine in advance of a wedding or the birth of an heir.images more late C18th ale glasses

If you’d like to know more about brewing, about ale glasses which came after horn cups and developed into beautifully etched stem glasses, please visit these blogs that were kind enough to host me. Each post also includes an excerpt from the book.

http://www.fenellajmiller.co.uk     http://www.laura-wilkinson.co.uk

images malting floorToday’s blog on the tour is about the maltsters.  To achieve a fine brew requires best quality malt.  In the early C19th two men stood head and shoulders above the rest.   Learn more about them, and read another excerpt,  please visit  http://celiajanderson.co.uk

A quiet afternoon

DSCF0153Cutting the grass on our allotment which is the size of a field requires using the ride-on tractor grass-cutter.  I’d never used it before yesterday, so after some basic instruction by Himself regarding the five levers that all do different things and lots of encouragement along the lines of ‘it’s simple’ (yeah, right)  I kangaroo-hopped for the first few yards. But after five minutes I was chugging happily around in huge circles (no way was I going to attempt reverse after being warned that if I didn’t remember to lift the blade it would rip the bottom off).  This allowed Himself to do other necessary jobs and we were finished by lunchtime.  In the afternoon we sat in the conservatory and watched a large, vividly coloured pheasant with an injured foot give himself a dustbath in the dry earth of the strawberry patch then settle down against the hedge for an afternoon nap.  The woodpecker was dashing to and fro grabbing huge chunks out of the fat square hanging under the bird table, and three baby rabbits emerged from the side hedge to eat the dandelions on the lawn.  Blackbirds, goldfinches, sparrows, and tits were trying to outsing each other as they chased, squabbled and displayed.     Then pigeons stationed every couple of trees along the side hedge cooed territorial warnings to each other while one on the roof actually growled.   A quiet life in the country? It’s bedlam.

A quiet afternoon

Cutting the grass on our allotment which is the size of a field requires using the ride-on tractor grass-cutter.  I’d never used it before yesterday, so after some basic instruction by Himself regarding the five levers that all do different things and lots of encouragement along the lines of ‘it’s simple’ (yeah, right)  I kangaroo-hopped for the first few yards. But after five minutes I was chugging happily around in huge circles (no way was I going to attempt reverse after being warned that if I didn’t remember to lift the blade it would rip the bottom off).  This allowed Himself to do other necessary jobs and we were finished by lunchtime.  In the afternoon we sat in the conservatory and watched a large, vividly coloured pheasant with an injured foot give himself a dustbath in the dry earth of the strawberry patch then settle down against the hedge for an afternoon nap.  The woodpecker was dashing to and fro grabbing huge chunks out of the fat square hanging under the bird table, and three baby rabbits emerged from the side hedge to eat the dandelions on the lawn.  Blackbirds, goldfinches, sparrows, and tits were trying to outsing each other as they chased, squabbled and displayed.     Then pigeons stationed every couple of trees along the side hedge cooed territorial warnings to each other while one on the roof actually growled.   A quiet life in the country? It’s bedlam.

Newspapers

Writing historical fiction means I do a lot of research.  I love discovering facts or glimpses of life that give colour and authenticity to the background and period in which the story is set.

This was a small piece I came across in a microfiche copy of the ‘Sherborne Mercury’ of October 1795.

‘WHEREAS my wife, ELIZABETH TAYLOR, has lately absconded from me without any provocation whatever, and has been desired, by a respectable person in the neighbourhood of Churston Ferrers, as well as by me, to return to live with me, which she did for a short time, but has since left me again: This is to inform her that I shall be very happy to live with her in case she will return, and will maintain her in a degree suitable to my situation. But in case she will not return to live with me, I do hereby give her, and the publick in general, notice that I will not pay any debts she may contract. As witness my hand, EDWARD TAYLOR.’

What drove her to leave?  Was he mean? Brutal?  A skinflint?  Was she young? Flighty?  A wealthy widow?  Who is the respectable person asking her to return, and what business is it of his/hers? Is her husband’s notice a genuine plea to her to come back, or simply a legal requirement to he can disclaim all financial responsibility? What is his situation?  Why, having risked public disgrace by leaving the first time did she return?  Did he promise things would be different?  Did she realise she had made a mistake by leaving, that the grass is not greener and a married woman without the protection of a husband is vulnerable?  But then she left again.   Had she come back to try and get more money from him?  Was she pregnant? Was he determined to punish her for making him a laughing stock among his friends and business acquaintance?  Where will she go now?  Is she alone, or is there a lover?

Questions prompted by snippets like this bring the past to vivid life, and suddenly I have more ideas for characters and plot threads than I can possibly use in one book.   That is the joy and frustration of research.

Newspapers

Writing historical fiction means I do a lot of research.  I love discovering facts or glimpses of life that give colour and authenticity to the background and period in which the story is set.

This was a small piece I came across in a microfiche copy of the ‘Sherborne Mercury’ of October 1795.

‘WHEREAS my wife, ELIZABETH TAYLOR, has lately absconded from me without any provocation whatever, and has been desired, by a respectable person in the neighbourhood of Churston Ferrers, as well as by me, to return to live with me, which she did for a short time, but has since left me again: This is to inform her that I shall be very happy to live with her in case she will return, and will maintain her in a degree suitable to my situation. But in case she will not return to live with me, I do hereby give her, and the publick in general, notice that I will not pay any debts she may contract. As witness my hand, EDWARD TAYLOR.’

What drove her to leave?  Was he mean? Brutal?  A skinflint?  Was she young? Flighty?  A wealthy widow?  Who is the respectable person asking her to return, and what business is it of his/hers? Is her husband’s notice a genuine plea to her to come back, or simply a legal requirement to he can disclaim all financial responsibility? What is his situation?  Why, having risked public disgrace by leaving the first time did she return?  Did he promise things would be different?  Did she realise she had made a mistake by leaving, that the grass is not greener and a married woman without the protection of a husband is vulnerable?  But then she left again.   Had she come back to try and get more money from him?  Was she pregnant? Was he determined to punish her for making him a laughing stock among his friends and business acquaintance?  Where will she go now?  Is she alone, or is there a lover?

Questions prompted by snippets like this bring the past to vivid life, and suddenly I have more ideas for characters and plot threads than I can possibly use in one book.   That is the joy and frustration of research.