Jessamine was released by Crooked Cat Publishing on the 9th December 2014 – but what’s it all about? The blog title sums it up pretty well. It’s about love, loss and location, but it’s also about being haunted by the ghosts of the past. Yep, Jessamine is supernatural but subtly so.
First up, the location – it’s set in the misty, mysterious highlands of Scotland, in a fictional village called Glenelk, on the west coast of Scotland, overlooking the Isle of Skye. A bleak but beautiful place, it suits the story’s mood perfectly.
Next is love – the most powerful force in the universe and something that drives our lives. But we’re not just talking romantic love, we’re talking about the love that exists between friends and family, that spawns loyalty and the need to protect, about ties that bind through generations, that shape us, helps us to evolve. But what happens when that which we love the most is lost? How do we cope with the grief that ensues?
The tagline for Jessamine is:
One village, four people and the ghosts of generations.
And yes, all four characters – Jessamin, Fionnlagh Maccaillin, Maggie and Stan – are haunted in one way or another. Having come together from opposite ends of the country, what is the mystery that unites them? Can they help each to move on and, if not let the past go, find some way of living with it?
An emotional rollercoaster, I’m very proud of Jessamine. Yes, it’s dark and ghostly, but it’s very human too. As for tissues? Get yourself a box on stand-by! My editor described it as ‘a ‘Wuthering Heights’ for the 21st Century.’ Heathcliff and Cathy, move on over, the new kids are in town!
To whet your appetite, here’s a short excerpt:
His anguish concerned her. “Stan…”
“Och, don’t mind me. I’m getting maudlin is all.”
“Stan, how could you think I’d mind? Of course I don’t.”
Furtively, she studied his face. He seemed so tired of late. The cough he’d developed was wearing him down. Into the lines of his face, his entire life seemed etched – a good life at times she knew but also painful, like any long life. No one sailed through the years unscathed. She felt bad she’d mentioned Flo’s death, Mally’s leaving again; there was no need to wallow in sadness and she said as much.
“You’re right, dear. Concentrate on happy times. Why not? We can’t go back. We can’t change things.”
If only we could.
“And when the sun is shining, it’s an easy thing to do. But, and I expect you know this as well as I do, it’s the dead of night you have to watch out for, when the wind is howling, when the rain pelts relentlessly against your bedroom window, when sleep refuses to indulge you. That’s when the bad memories rear up, when they demand their fair share of attention too.” He shuddered. “The dead of night, it’s an accurate description.”
Jessamin turned to face the old man fully. “Stan, you’re worrying me.”
“No, dear, there’s no need to worry.”
“Despite what I said about concentrating on the good stuff, you can tell me anything, you know that don’t you? Whatever it is… I’m here for you. I’m on your side.”
There were tears in his eyes. Quickly, Jessamin reached out a hand to comfort him. He took it, his grip surprisingly firm – desperation lending him strength perhaps. Her breath caught in her throat. What was he going to say? What had upset him so much?
When at last he spoke, his words chilled her.
Jessamine is currently on sale for 99p from Amazon – now’s a great time to download it, saving it perhaps for those winter nights by the fire, a wee nip of something by your side. Here’s the links: