Tag Archive for: Empty Promises

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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