Friday, April 13, 2018

James M. Jackson is a Stiletto Gang Wannabe

Every now and then there is an author I enjoy reading who I want you to know about so much, I invite the person to write a guest blog. Today, I'm hoping James M. Jackson's piece will give you some insight into him and acquaint you with his excellent Seamus McCree series - the newest book in the series is Empty Promises. - dhg
What have I gotten myself into this time? The Stiletto Gang graciously offered to host a guest blog from me, and then I got to thinking about the group’s tag line: “Women writers on a mission to bring mystery, humor, romance, and high heels to the world.”

My first admission is that I am not a woman, although there was an occasion when I did pass for one and boldly brought my high heels to the world. It was Halloween, 1962, I think. Wednesday. My father must have been working late. My mother needed to stay home with my one-year-old sister. I drew the short straw—actually, the only straw—and had to take my other sister, Janice, out trick or treating. I had just turned twelve and was “too old for that stuff.” Janice would soon turn seven. My mother wasn’t buying my new-found maturity and called my bluff—I didn’t need to get the candy if I didn’t want, but I needed to go with Janice. My junior high brain reasoned that if I had to be out with my sister, being disguised was better than being mocked, but I had no costume planned.

You already know where this is headed: I’d go as a woman. I was a bit shorter than my mother 5’2”, although I was leggier than she. A hat would cover my short hair. A winter coat (this was Rochester, NY) meant I didn’t need to pad my flat chest. I pinned a skirt so it would stay on my kid-sized waist and put on lipstick (for sure) and blush (maybe). Definitely not mascara. It was still soccer season, and I was used to being outside in bare legs. I wasn’t doing pantyhose. (Assuming my mother even had any. Did you know they weren’t invented until 1959?) I certainly wasn’t doing a girdle and stockings!

The last thing to add to my costume was my mother’s high heels—I could lie and say they were four-inch stilettos, but I don’t remember ever seeing Mom in spiked heels, so they were probably short and stubby. Whatever height, they were plenty tall enough to cause my toes to be crushed, my arch to ache, and my ankles to buckle the same way they do when I try to ice skate.

A couple of houses down, a woman answered the door, recognized Janice because she had children roughly my sister’s age and said something nice about her costume. Then she asked Janice who I was. “My brother,” Janice said. The woman’s eyebrows raised. “Oh?” she said, her voicing starting low and ending high, as in “What perfidy is this?”

“It’s a costume,” I said in a voice that cracked between registers.

From then on, I stood on the sidewalk and watched my sister as she rang each doorbell and collected her loot. It was probably Janice’s shortest trick-or-treat session ever. But, I didn’t kill my
sister. I didn’t kill the neighbor. I didn’t kill my mother. And I never wore high heels again.

But I have been known to wear a flashy boa when the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime gathers for the Sisters in Crime breakfast at Malice.

I do write mysteries, and my most recent, Empty Promises, is the fifth in the Seamus McCree series. When it comes to romance, Seamus has been trying to improve his relationship with bodyguard Abigail Hancock and goes into the bodyguarding business with her. His first solo assignment goes from bad to worse. His client disappears. His granddog finds a buried human bone. Police find a fresh human body.

Seamus 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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree novels featuring the financial crimes consultant, his family, and friends. The series has been well received by crime fiction readers who like their books darker than cozies and lighter than noir. Jim splits his time between the deep woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the open spaces of Georgia’s Lowcountry. He is the past president of the 700+ member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in


  1. Thanks for allowing me to share your space today. I'll stop back throughout the day to respond to any comments or questions your readers have.

  2. Glad to have you visiting us. Absolutely loved your new book, Empty Promises!

    1. Thanks, Debra. Fingers crossed that others will enjoy the book as well as you did. :)

  3. Hilarious, Jim! Aren't you glad there was no Facebook then? I thank my lucky stars every day that I was born before social media.

    1. I'm going to have to check out ALL your Facebook posts. Surely, there is some blackmail there....

  4. Shari - I think everyone should have a reset button on social medial. Say at ages 16, 21, 30, 50, 65, 80. You don't have to eliminate all your posts, but you can - it would have helped me, had we had this stuff back in the day.

  5. Great post, Jim. I'm wondering if recalling this experience may lead to another short story or new adventure for Seamus?

  6. I certainly hope it does. I'm already looking forward to reading more Seamus adventures.