I’m rapidly becoming a confirmed Jackson Marsh fan, so I’m very pleased to welcome him to the blog today. I hugely enjoyed the Mentor series, and am now looking forward to tackling The Blake Inheritance, which has been described as a “compelling mystery and a wonderful love story.” Jackson Marsh is known to break the mould with his genres and, for this novel, he has found something different. I asked him a few questions about the book and below are his answers.
What kind of story is ‘The Blake Inheritance’?
I like to mix genres, and ‘Inheritance’ is a mix for sure. I would describe it as an ‘MM new adult mystery treasure-hunt romance adventure’ because it mixes an intriguing ‘lost heirloom’ mystery with a love story between two characters aged 22 and 25, Charlie Hatch and Ryan Blake. It’s set in modern-day Devon, UK, and concerns Ryan’s quest to discover why his great-great-grandfather left his fortune to a generation he would never meet.
Tell us about Charlie and Ryan.
My two principals first meet in a graveyard. Ryan Blake, 25, has just been left an inheritance from a very distant ancestor and has returned to his hometown to discover why. He is also escaping a dull, burnt-out relationship that has trapped him for a few years, and coming home gives him some breathing space. Ryan is dark and handsome, tall and somewhat ‘Goth’ in appearance, studious and serious. He was head boy at his school and has been to university.
No sooner has he arrived than he meets Charlie Hatch. Three years younger, Charlie is shorter, a cheeky redhead with a mass of local history knowledge. He remembers Ryan from school when he looked up to him, even though Ryan ignored him. Charlie had a crush back then and has been ‘in love’ with Ryan ever since. Charlie was fostered when his mum became ill, and has lived with the foster family but, when the story starts, is living in a fisherman’s hut on the beach with his local history research.
What’s the mystery?
I can’t give too much away, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it concerns a lost and very valuable amethyst and diamond ring, a war-time scandal, a body that is not buried in its grave, a church organ and a lighthouse keeper’s diaries from years ago. The mystery (but sadly not the inheritance) is based on a similar thing that happened in my family. My great-grandfather left his money to my generation and not to his own daughter or her children. I have found out why, and a similar story unwinds in ‘The Blake Inheritance’ This gave me the idea of writing something along the lines of ‘the sins of the fathers…’ and looking at how events from the past affect what we have now.
Can you outline the romance side of the story?
In this through-line, I wanted to look at what it was like to meet up with an old school crush. I am sure that we hold fond memories of certain classmates and friends from our school days and, when we leave school and go our separate ways, those feelings, if unrequited, stay with us and intensify as we get older. I know I feel that way about some of my old school crushes and friends. Charlie was in love with Ryan from the age of 15 when Ryan was 18, but it was more than a crush. When he sees him, six years later, he still has the same feelings. For Ryan, it’s a different story. He hardly remembers Charlie, but he can’t ignore the fact that he finds him attractive and good company. Ryan is the quiet, well-behaved almost introverted type whereas Charlie speaks his mind and doesn’t care how it comes out.
As the story progresses, Ryan realises he is falling in love with the younger guy. For Charlie, he has his wish come true, but he is so used to rejection that, at first, he can’t accept that Ryan could love him, even though it’s what he always wanted.
Is it steamy?
It’s not an erotic romance with the emphasis on the erotic, though there are some sex scenes. It’s a romance mystery/thriller, cross-genre story, but to keep it realistic, there is some sex in it.
What is the quote at the top of the blurb?
“Let us go then you and I, to the place where the wild thyme grows.” Charlie comes out with this, and it’s a mix of two poems/quotes. ‘Let us go then you and I…’ is TS Elliott and ‘where the wild thyme grows’ is Shakespeare. Charlie does this a lot (because he’s actually pretty intelligent and well-read) and I loved the idea of mixing famous quotes to make new and sometimes meaningless ones. ‘Curiouser and curiouser, said the spider to the fly,’ is another one Charlie uses, and my favourite, ‘Once upon a midnight dreary, the owl and pussycat went to sea.’
This is your first MM romance, treasure-hunt, mystery novel. Will there be others? What’s next?
Definitely. In fact, the next one is due out on June 25th. ‘The Stoker Connection’ is almost ready for publication as I write, and again, it’s a mystery, treasure-hunt romance, but this one has a few tricks up its sleeve. It is written in diary form to mirror the book that it is about, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, and its blurb starts with the intriguing idea that: “What if you could prove that the greatest Gothic horror novel of all time was a true story?”
The two main characters, Dexter Mitchell and Morgan Davis, meet on their 18th birthday, exactly 170 years after Bram Stoker was born. They’ve never met before, and yet they both have the same theory; that Stoker compiled ‘Dracula’ from existing diaries and journals, written by real people and victims in the late 19th century, and, if they can find these, they can prove that ‘Dracula’ is a true story.
The Blake Inheritance
Length: 219 pages
Genre: MM new adult mystery treasure-hunt romance adventure 🙂
Buy at: amazon
“Let us go then you and I, to the place where the wild thyme grows.”
An inheritance, a ring and a church organ; three clues to the Blake family mystery.
Twenty-five and fleeing a stale relationship, Ryan Blake returns home to find some answers. What he discovers is the impish twenty-two-year-old, Charlie Hatch, a homeless scamp who has a way with words, a love of mysteries, and a very cute arse.
As the two set about unlocking the Blake family secrets, Ryan finds himself falling for the younger guy. But is he ready to commit again? And can Charlie learn to accept that someone loves him?
Praise for Jackson Marsh
“This is an amazing piece of writing which has everything in it.”
“I just finished reading this book. I just wouldn’t put it down until I finished it.”
“The more I read, the more I was gripped.”
About Jackson Marsh
Jackson Marsh is a British born author of novels and screenplays. He has won awards for his gay erotic writing and currently writes for several adult websites. In 2007, Jackson won an EGPA for his writing and in 2017 won awards for his screenplay writing. He is married and lives in Greece.
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