Monday 13 June 2016

Jane Jackson - The Master's Wife

Pre-order now.

 Today I am welcoming Jane Jackson to my blog. Over to you Jane - tell us about yourself and your book.
I was moved to Cornwall when I was two. We lived in the nursery wing of a large mansion near Tregony until we moved to the village near Falmouth that has been my home ever since. Our house, three floors high, made of bricks that had been used as ship’s ballast, and with iron bars on the top windows, was one of a terrace of three constructed by a Captain Garland who built them as a curse on those who had refused him permission to extend his own house.
As far as my mother was concerned, the only curse was the primitive facilities: no mains water (this was obtained from the pump in the middle of the street), no electricity upstairs, a tin bath on a nail outside the back door, a Cornish range for cooking, and an earth closet toilet fifty yards up the garden. When my father arranged to have mains water laid on in the village, the local people complained bitterly. They didn’t like the taste!
My mother was an avid reader, and when I was three, she taught me a long poem to recite to my father on Valentine’s Day. I can still recall it word for word. I could read by the time I was four, and so began my passion for stories. We had a dressing-up box, and when friends came to play, I would make up stories that we acted out. I adored acting, and because I had a good memory (for learning lines!) often took the lead in the school plays. English was my favourite subject at school, and I loved writing compositions. I also helped win the inter-house cup for poetry recitation and prose readings, though this did not make for an easy life.
But gradually writing took over from performing. I was – and still am – fascinated by the whole process of creating the world of the story and characters who come alive as they cope with the dramas I create for them.
I left school at sixteen, and after working as a sales assistant in Boots, an insurance clerk, a police cadet, and a library assistant, I married. Sadly, the marriage failed. And at twenty-five, a single parent with two young children and an ulcer that meant I couldn’t work, I started to think about writing again. After taking correspondence courses in writing for radio and TV, and journalism, I realized that what I really wanted to do was write novels.
I remarried and had a son. But though my career blossomed, the marriage didn’t, and my confidence in myself, and my writing, disintegrated. It took a couple of years to get myself together. And after several false starts that really tested my courage and self-belief, I returned to my passion, historical fiction. In 1992 I married again – a triumph of hope over experience, but definitely a case of third time lucky. My three children are happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults. Having a doting husband, six lovely grandchildren and the best job in the world, I consider myself truly blessed.

 Passionate about history and my home county of Cornwall, I combine the two in writing historical romantic fiction. Three titles have been short-listed for major Awards.  Originally published in hardcover, large print and audio, all have been reissued by Accent Press as ebooks and in paperback.

The Master’s Wife

Jane Jackson

Second in ‘The Captain’s Honour’ series.  
Set in 1882: This is a sequel to The Consul’s Daughter set 1874 but can be read as a stand-alone book.

When Caseley and Jago Barata’s two young sons die in an epidemic while he’s away at sea, her grief and his guilt create an unbridgeable chasm between them.
Believing he failed Caseley when she needed him most, Jago cannot turn to her for comfort. Seeking escape from his guilt he takes up with his former mistress, devastating Caseley when she finds out.
Aware of Jago’s undercover work in Spain, and deeply anxious that increasing unrest in Egypt could lead to war, the British Treasury asks him to carry £20,000 in gold to Egypt to bribe the largest Bedouin tribe to take Britain’s side. 
Ambitious to make Egypt more like Europe, Khedive Said and his nephew Ismail had raised money for their grandiose but poorly-planned schemes through crushing taxation.  When that wasn’t enough, they took out huge loans at high interest rates from British and European banks. 
By 1876 Egypt faced bankruptcy.  Anxious to protect its 44% share in the Suez Canal, Britain demanded – and was granted- joint financial management of Egypt with France. Ismail was deposed in favour of his son Prince Tewfiq, and left for exile in Naples on a train loaded with gold, objets d’art, jewels and furniture. 
The poorest Egyptians saw little improvement in their lot. They toiled for overseers employed by large landowners and too often had to choose between buying seed for their own small plots, or a length of cloth to replace the rags that were all they had to wear. 
Wilfully blind to their own part in fuelling the upsurge of anger, the ruling elite refused to believe that the fellahin would ever rebel. But the Egyptian poor, who did not want their country ruled by Turks or by Europeans, had found a charismatic leader in Egyptian-born Col. Ahmed Arabi. 
Jago’s mission to Egypt would take him away from home for at least three months. Desperate to escape a house filled with memories and the pity she faced every time she ventured into town, Caseley pleads to go with him.  When he refuses out of concern for her safety she points out that for her the worst has already happened so what has she to fear? She reminds him the official language in Alexandria is French. She speaks it. He doesn’t. if only for this he needs her. 
Their journey into the gathering storm echoes their struggle to find a way forward from the loss that shattered their lives.  

‘The Master’s Wife’  ebook pub Accent Press £2.99  27th June.
Available for pre-order at:

For more info about my books (with excerpts) please visit my website at:

Monday 6 June 2016

Ellie Holmes – taking the indie route with her debut novel – The Flower Seller

 Today I'm delighted to welcome Ellie Holmes to my blog. I read her book, The Flower Seller, ten years ago and thought it a wonderful read. However, like many new writers, Ellie was unable to find a traditional publisher for this book even though she had a top agent on her side. Therefore she has decided to go the indie way and I'm sure she'll be very successful.

Ten years ago I dreamed of being published the traditional way, vanity publishing aside, it was the only option available. With the ink still wet on my contract with a London literary agent, I was full of optimism.
The Flower Seller came close to securing a deal with a couple of publishers but ultimately I lost the slot to other more established authors with proven track records or the money men shook their heads.  Other near misses with future novels followed and then the world started to change.
I read “Self Printed The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing” by Catherine Ryan Howard and decided to leap into the unknown. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly.  Burning bridges is never pleasant. But in my heart of hearts I knew it was the right decision for me. How much longer did I wait for a trad deal? What if it never came? Better to regret the things that I have done than to regret the things I never had the courage to try. And so I began my journey through the dark forest of self-publishing.  It was an unfamiliar and scary place full of traps for the unwary. There were so many new terms to learn, so many new skills to acquire, so much knowledge to soak up and try to retain.
What have I discovered on the way? That the self-publishing community is a friendly and encouraging group of people.  I have found the Alliance of Independent Authors   phenomenally supportive and informative. The blogs and articles so generously written by Alli’s contributors have been invaluable to a newbie like me.
I wanted The Flower Seller to be the best quality book it could be so I took time to get the edits right and I hired a professional editor, proofreader and cover designer.  I particularly wanted an eye catching cover that would appeal to readers and stand out and Berni Stevens certainly delivered 
The Flower Seller finally went on sale on 2nd June. It’s been a long time coming but all the more sweet for that.
Many years ago I thought the road to publication ran in a straight line and for some it does.  My route was a little more circuitous - more country road than motorway.  You could say I took the scenic route! I am glad I did – I am a better writer as a result. 
And just to prove you never know what might happen next, as I was putting together The Flower Seller for publication, I sold my first piece of work to a trad publisher. I’m used to those kind of kinks in the road now.

 Ellie Holmes writes full length commercial women's fiction with a touch of romantic suspense and romantic mystery novellas - books that have heart and soul with a dash of danger. Ellie takes her inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. Romantic and engaging, Ellie's style of writing will draw you in and keep you turning the pages. Heart-warming stories and compelling characters will stay with you long after you close her books.  The Flower Seller is Ellie’s debut novel.

Twitter @EllieHWriter

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Conflicting opinions and statistics – who are we to believe?

Today there was another post from someone or other who thinks that all indie publishers should be herded into a corner and shot. (I'm deliberately not naming this particular person.)
No – that's obviously not true – but he does suggest all titles from indie publishers should be removed from the bookshelves of bookshops and libraries and put in a separate section. This, he states, will be of benefit to everyone as readers can then make an informed choice about their reading.
He goes on to state categorically that the majority of indie published titles have no editing, unprofessional covers, and more often than not, set out to deliberately deceive the reader. They do this by putting a link to the end matter in the book so Amazon will think the reader has finished the book.
Of course there are scammers, I talked about them in my last post, but I don't know of any writers who do this.
He states there are so many bad indie titles available they are swamping the market and this is why the sale of e-books is going down. He also says indie writers are unprofessional because they don't buy ISBNs for their books.
Readers are not stupid and don't buy books they don't like. They search for books in a category and then refine their search by the quality of the cover and the blurb. A lot of them will then use the "look inside" facility on Amazon and only then buy the book.
I don't know any indie writer who doesn't employ an editor, proofreader and professional cover designer. The majority of us buy in the services that would be supplied by a traditional publisher and quite often get a far better job done. The number of typos and formatting mistakes I find in traditionally published books now is horrific.
We price our books to sell – that's why we now have more than 50% of the market. I'm pleased that paperback sales from Amazon are growing again – that's good news for everyone.
The reason the statistics appear to show a decline in e-book sales is because very few indie publishers buy ISBNs. They are unnecessary, costly and not worth the effort. Only books with an ISBN are counted in the Nielsen statistics which is why they are erroneous.
Data Guy uses the correct information and his figures are much more reliable. He looks at the e-books in the 'bestsellers' lists of each category and then uses that information. Sensibly he doesn't care who they are published by when he's doing his overall results. However, he does analyse the publishers as well and puts this in a different group of graphs,
In conclusion I'd like to say to this blogger that, not only are his facts incorrect, but both the tone and the inference of his post are offensive.


This is our summer box set containing five books from best selling and award winning Regency writers. Two of the stories haven't been published before.