special guest today is author James M.
Jackson. He’s here to share a bit about his new suspense, Empty Promises.
his virtual book tour, James will be awarding a chance to name a character who
will appear in False Bottom (Seamus
McCree #6) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win,
use the form below. To increase your
chances of winning, feel free to visit
his other tour stops and enter there, too!
McCree series consisting of five novels and one novella. Jim splits his time
between the deep woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Georgia’s Lowcountry.
He claims the moves between locations are weather-related, but others suggest
they may have more to do with not overstaying his welcome. He is the past
president of the 700+ member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime.
share a little bit about your current release.
Empty Promises is the fifth Seamus
McCree novel. Set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, his first solo bodyguard assignment
goes from bad to worse. His client disappears. His granddog finds a buried
human bone. Police find a fresh human body.
risks his own safety and freedom to turn amateur sleuth in hopes he can solve
the crimes, fulfill his promise of protection, and win back the love of his
life. Wit and grit are on his side, but the clock is ticking . . . and the hit
man is on his way.
inspired you to write this book?
a pantser and with my novels, I usually find out what issue I’m writing about
only after I complete the first draft. Seamus McCree has lived by the belief
that his word is his bond. In Empty
Promises I discovered I was exploring how he reacts after he takes a series
of actions that increasingly conflict with his core values. Like most of us, he
self-justifies his decisions, but as they accumulate, they begin to wear him
down. His personal consequences are wrapped inside a page-turner of a story
with all the twists and turns of a suspenseful thriller.
from Empty Promises:
Abigail found anything? Any word from Bartelle after Owen ratted me out? My
phone claimed it had no voice or text messages. Sometimes the signal is so weak
the phone doesn’t receive messages, so I brought the remainder of my drink to
the deck, where the signal was strongest, and dialed voicemail. The sun-heated
decking was uncomfortable on my bare feet. I shifted weight from foot to foot
to minimize the discomfort and keyed in my password.
computer and checked email. Nothing relevant and no help for my situation.
Sheriff Lon Bartelle. Was it strong enough for him to cut me some slack over my
initially lying to him? Surely, the best way to tell him of my malfeasance was
face-to-face. Like a man mounting the scaffold for his hanging, I forced leaden
legs to return me to the deck. My call to Bartelle brought the information that
he was in the office but not available to come to the phone.
business and then shut her in the house. “Sorry girl, I need to leave you home
for this one. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
trotted to the living room and, without a glance back, crawled onto the couch,
where she didn’t belong. She pawed the throw pillow resting against one arm,
knocking it flat, and stretched out, snuggling into the back of the couch and
resting her head on the flattened pillow. Her eyes met mine and she grinned, as
if to say, “What? I’m just following orders.”
exciting story are you working on next?
McCree novel takes place shortly after the completion of Empty Promises. Uncle Mike (O’Malley), Seamus’s surrogate father,
is gunned down. Seamus returns to his Boston roots to handle the retired Boston
police captain’s estate. He discovers Uncle Mike left him more than just stocks
and bonds to worry about. The secrets and intrigue put the entire McCree clan
When did you first consider
yourself a writer?
always written things, but I don’t think I considered myself a writer until I
had the validation of a printed book in hand. It turned out that first book was
nonfiction One Trick at a Time: How to
start winning at bridge, which was published in 2012. My fiction success
started the following year.
If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
spend about 1,000 hours a year in the writing business and consider myself a
half-time author. I am a morning person and like to write when the house is
quiet. I don’t write every day, giving myself permission to enjoy traveling and
having family and company stay with us without trying to cram writing into
those days. On days when I concentrate on writing, I’ll often work five or six
hours before lunch and then another hour or two after dinner.
your interesting writing quirk?
prefer to write in silence. I marvel that Stephen King can blast rock while he
writes, and that many authors prefer to write in noisy coffee shops and public
venues. When I write a scene, I often close my eyes and watch the characters
act it out. Then I transcribe their actions and their dialogue. I’m not sure if
that’s a quirk or whether listening to characters I made up is evidence of
child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
don’t recall having any particular passion as a kid. I have always enjoyed helping
people learn. These days I find an outlet for that passion by teaching bridge
at the local club.
want to share with the readers?
always a risk picking up a book from a new-to-you author, isn’t it? Of course,
I’d love you to buy Empty Promises,
but for those not sure if it’s their cuppa, I have a free download of
the first four chapters you can read. If your prefer to start a series with
the first novel, here’s the link to Ant Farm’s first four chapters.
for being a guest on my blog!
thank you very much for having me, Lisa.