Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

Novel Magic: Empty Promises–a Mystery/Thriller Novel by James Jackson

Got room for a little mystery in your life? Read on to meet Seamus McCree, the main character in Empty Promises, a Mystery/Thriller. Author, James Jackson, answers questions in a short interview, and scroll all the way down for a contest with a unique prize! Be sure to follow the tour and comment at each stop to increase your odds of winning. Go HERE for a list of posts in this tour.

Spoiler Alert: Look for more Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense novels like the one presented by my guest today to show up in Sorchia’s Universe. Why, you ask? Well, that mystery will have to wait for another day.

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Empty Promises by James Jackson: the Blurb

If you love the suspense and plot twists of domestic thrillers, this Empty Promises Book Coverpage-turner will be for you. Seamus McCree’s 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.

His client is to testify in a Chicago money laundering trial. He’s paranoid that with a price on his head, if the police know where he’s staying, the information will leak. Seamus promised his business partner and lover, Abigail Hancock, that he’d keep the witness safe at the McCree family camp located deep in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s woods.

Abigail is furious at his incompetence and their relationship flounders. Even his often-helpful son, Paddy, must put family safety ahead of helping his father. 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 Abigail. Wit and grit are on his side, but the clock is ticking . . . and the hit man is on his way.

Want More Mystery? Here’s an excerpt!

Had Owen returned my call? Had 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.

You have no messages at this time.

Back inside, I booted up the computer and checked email. Nothing relevant and no help for my situation.

I had a long, positive history with 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.

I put Atty on a lead to do her 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.”

She 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.”


James Jackson sat down with Sorchia over a drink of single-malt (well, it was Sorchia’s drink and you know how stingy she is with the good stuff) to answer a few questions about  his Mystery/thriller Empty Promises.

  1. Here at Sorchia’s Universe, we love ghost stories. Have you ever had an encounter with something spooky, other-wordly, unexplainable? Do Tell!

In high school I experimented attending a Spiritualist church. Their Sunday services were like a traditional Protestant service except that the sermon was replaced by a medium who brought messages to the congregants from beyond. About the third or fourth time I went, she said from the pulpit that she had a message for me. Someone wanted me to know they were interested in me. She described the man, but it didn’t sound like anyone I recognized.

I related the incident to my parents later in the day and my mother said the medium had perfectly described her father, who I had never met. I bear his surname as my middle name (Montgomery), and I was surprised to later learn the clan motto is Garde bien—watch well! Apparently, he was. I was so spooked by the experience, I never returned to the church.

  1. Do you listen to music as you write? Share some of your favorite writing music with us and tell us how it influences your writing.

I write in silence—it makes it easier to hear the voices in my head. My characters, however, listen, sing, and hum all the time. Here are most of the tunes referenced in Empty Promises, several of which are sung by three-and-a-half-year-old Megan McCree, Seamus’s granddaughter:

“ABCs song”

“Fog” (Radiohead)

“Follow the Yellow Brick Road” (Wizard of Oz)

“Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” (Bob Dylan)

“Hey Jude” (Beatles)

“Hunting Song” (Korpiklaani)

”Me and Bobby McGee” (Janis Joplin)

“Mission Impossible Theme” (TV)

“Star Light, Star Bright” (Traditional)

“Whistle While You Work” (Snow White)

“White Rabbit” (Jefferson Airplane)

  1. We love the kilts here in S’s U. and we do a fan-girl dance over anything Scottish. Do you have an unnatural affection for a particular country or region or time period? Tell us what tickles your fancy about that place or time. Does this translate to your writing?

I don’t consider it unnatural (others probably do), but I have a strong attraction and affection for uncrowded inland lakes surrounded by mixed forest. While I’ve only visited Scotland once (when I picked up bolts of the old and new Montgomery tartans), perhaps those ancient roots are the reason I prefer living in the northern quarter of the planet, above the 45th parallel.

We were lucky to find just such a property in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, fifteen miles of gravel and dirt roads away from where you can buy anything. It sits on the eastern shore of a small lake, so we experience terrific sunsets. It’s also the locale I chose to set Empty Promises (and previously Cabin Fever [#3]).

But even though I live in my version of paradise, Scotland must be calling to me. Readers of Empty Promises encounter the Happy Reaper (a professional hitman) as he is enjoying a Scottish vacation out on the moors before he returns to battle wits with Seamus McCree.

  1. We’ve read the blurb and the excerpt. What else do we need to know about your book? Is it part of a series? What can we expect in the way of romance—sweet, steamy, hot? How about language? We don’t discriminate against any word here, but what can readers expect in your book?

I love this question because readers have preferences. If my series isn’t their cuppa, they should skip my books and read something else. The current five books in the series are a combination of mystery, suspense, and domestic thriller. Mostly I employ multiple points of view. You’ll find romance off the page and details left to your imagination. The language is a bit salty, and while there is some violence, it is never gratuitous.

  1. Do you have a new project in the works? Can you give us a sneak peek?

I’m working on the sixth Seamus McCree novel, titled False Bottom. It takes place shortly after 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 at risk.

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Meet James Jackson and catch up with him Online

James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree series consisting Author James Jackson photoof 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. You can find information about Jim and his books at You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and/or Amazon.


And Don’t forget the giveaway.

Mr. Jackson is raffling off the chance to name a character in the next Seamus McCree book–False Bottom.
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