Thursday, 3 November 2011

Another great review for Language of Thieves

5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous, compelling read, November 3, 2011
This review is from: Language of Thieves. Elizabeth Jackson (Hardcover)

The author Elizabeth Jackson is a retired psychotherapist, and the knowledge of mental issues comes through in this book. Mrs Jackson is descended from gypsies, and her book is set in Westmoreland, and Appleby Fair, places which she was immersed in as a child. Elizabeth herself is feisty, intelligent, down to earth, and her voice comes through well in this book. I chuckled in many places. The woman tells it like it is, and that is a great trait to possess.

In this book we met Daisy Latimer, a beautiful, headstrong, feisty girl, proud of her roots and not afraid to get her hands dirty. She loves nothing more than riding her horse Chase and helping her father, Samboy with fair work and selling horses. She does all this good Yorkshire graft turning mens' heads along the way, and looking buxom and beautiful throughout. Two of the heads turned could not be any different, Tobias Flint is a wealthy, kind man with a manor and a crazy mother to boot, whilst Roulson Adams is a gypsy, and not a very nice one at that. The word blaggard springs to mind, and I am being nice! I love a good, complex baddie in a novel and this character delivers and then some.

While these men try to weave their way into Daisy's heart, Samboy is determined to watch out for his daughter and fend off their advances.

When Roulson sets a chain of events in action one night, none of their lives will ever be the same....

Lydia Flint, Tobias's mother, grew up dirt poor, scraping a living any way she could, till she landed a job at the manor and set her hat at Richard Flint.

Years on, with Richard dead, a son lost to the war and Tobias mixing with the gypsies she despises, her mind crumbles daily and she does everything in her twisted power to control the Manor and her one surviving son, once and for all....

This book is amazing. It is Wuthering Heights; think broody Heathcliff stalking the moors, looking muscular and moody, it is Austenesque, think Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, class divides, sexy men with floppy hair, outstanding morals and large......estates....and with Lydia Flint, we have met our very own new Yorkshire Mrs Rochester, Bronte's original crazy lady locked away, plotting and sneering....

I devoured this book in 5 hours and could have read more.

Elizabeth Jackson's use of the English language is spellbinding, she weaves a tale so well, you can almost smell the lavender and whisper into the horses' manes.......

As a Yorkshire lass, I could not be prouder of this book. Elizabeth lives in Thirsk, and has a FREE book signing event (with wine) in Thirsk on 25th November 2011. Here is the link to her blog and amazing life story..


Elizabeth is currently working on her second book.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Review for Language of Thieves. A RUSTIC ROLLERCOASTER says The Travellers' Times.

Language of Thieves
by Elizabeth Jackson

Published by Robert Hale, London.

'Language of Thieves' is a novel set largely in Cumbria at the end of the 1940s. It follows the story of young Daisy Latimer, a spirited Travelling girl. Her widower father Samboy does his best to protect Daisy from the two men who love her, local squire Tobias Flint, and bad boy Gypsy Roulson Adams. The main action takes place around Appleby, during and after the fair.

Elizabeth Jackson has a gift for conjuring up very English places, whether it's the country manors and villages we're used to hearing about, or the horse fairs that we're not. 'Language of Thieves' is a vivid, sweeping novel, a fine book for the fireside when the winter wind is up outside.

Jackson transports you from the politics of the present to a rural past that many of us can't help longing for, whether we're Travellers or not. You can really breathe in the atmosphere, from the straw Samboy sleeps on under his wagon to the hops and 'baccer of the old pubs when they still served proper beer.

The characters are largely wholesome and likable, but there are a few bad apples: especially the young, wild and dark-eyed Gypsy Roylson. When Daisy's heart is stolen by the dashing by the dashing landowner Tobias, Roulson goes off the rails in his quest for revenge against the rich Gorjia who stole the best looking girl at the fair.

Meanwhile, Samboy rediscovers his youth when he falls for the lovely Lavinia, a warm-hearted Gypsy lady who married Sam's best pal before he died in an accident, so love is definitely in the air.

The trouble is I ended up cheering for Roulson, in spite of his unhinged ways and love of the demon drink. The dear chavvy has to watch yet another wealthy, interfering rai-mush chore the kushty dikkin' rakli he loves. Of course, like everyone's all-time Romany villain, Heathcliff, he's not too happy about it, but you'll have to read the book to find out what happens.

'Language of Thieves' is a rustic roller-coaster tale with scary scenes and a few steamy ones as well so this one's for the grown-ups. It's definitely worth a read.

Damian Le Bas

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Another excerpt from Language of Thieves

The spell was broken when an unexpected thunderous clattering of hooves resounded on the bridge. Daisy whirled round to come face to face with Roulson Adam’s horse. The animal was biting the bit and frothing at the mouth whilst prancing about wildly. Alarmed looks on the faces of those standing close prompted the rider to rein his horse back a few paces allowing people to retreat to a safer distance.
     “Hello, Roulson,” Daisy said taking hold of the horse’s bridle. “I thought it was you in the water below. Cushty gelding you’ve got; are you thinking of selling him on at the fair?”
     He didn’t reply but jumped down from his horse and stood very close to her. She could feel his warm sweet breath on her face, and the familiar aroma of horses mingled with his body sweat excited her. His shirt was slung carelessly round his neck exposing his broad chest where droplets of water trickled a pathway through the dark hairs; spellbound, she followed their descent to where the dark hair tapered below his bellybutton.
      “I knew it was you up on the bridge. I’d spot you a mile off, Daisy.” He spoke softly and reached out gently tucking a wisp of hair that had escaped back behind her ear. “No mistaking that beautiful hair of yours,” he murmured, stroking it with the back of his hand.
     She flushed hotly and bowed her head. Her heart quickened when he placed a finger beneath her chin raising her face to look at him. She stared into the darkest eyes she’d ever seen. He was the handsomest man around.
     And Roulson Adams knew it.
     “I’d better be going,” Daisy said, stepping back a couple of paces to disengage from his magnetic charm. “Dad will be wondering where I’ve got to.” 
     “Are you walking back up the hill?”
     “Er, yes, yes I am.”
     “Well, come on then, I’ll give you a ride.”
     He took the parcel she clasped to her chest and climbed on to his horse. He held out his arm. “Come on, grab a hold,” he said, winking mischievously at her, “You’ll be safe enough, I promise,” he added, laughing.
     She looked about her where a crowd had gathered. Roulson, unable to resist an audience, burst into song.
   “Daisy….Daisy….give me your answer do…
   I’m half crazy…all for the love of you…I can’t afford…a”
     “Roulson! Stop it! Stop it now!” She pleaded.
     “Well, come with me or I promise you, it’ll get worse,” he laughed, taunting her.
     A moment later a figure stepped out from amongst the crowd and a silence ensued.
     “Is this man bothering you, madam?” A distinguished voice asked.
     They both turned to see a smartly dressed man standing before them. It was the same man she’d met down by the river. Daisy recognised him immediately.
     “And what the hell’s it to do with you?” Roulson blared, jumping down from his horse. Bugger off and mind your own bloody business, if yer know what’s good fer yer!”
     Daisy stepped between them with her back to Roulson. She looked at Tobias, perceiving his every detail in an instant while wondering what he was doing here. 
    “No, this man isn’t bothering me,” Daisy said coolly, dismissing him with a glance.
     She turned to Roulson who was glaring challengingly at Tobias Flint. “Come on Roulson, let’s go can we, please?”
     Roulson leapt on to his horse and held out a bronzed muscled arm for Daisy to grasp and climb up behind him. But first she turned to face the man who’d so readily insulted her people. “I hardly recognised you cleaned up. You’d better watch you don’t get yourself mistaken for one of us, specially dressed like that!” she added curtly.
    Tobias grinned and looked on with envy as she grasped the strong arm that hoisted her up in one easy movement. They rode off but Daisy couldn’t resist a furtive glance back over her shoulder. Tobias Flint stood in the centre of the bridge, watching them. He smiled at her and waved before giving an elaborate, exaggerated bow.
     She didn’t smile back.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Reviews for Language of Thieves.

Date: 14 / May / 2011
A compelling story
This book is a compelling read and once started we will all want to know what happens to the attractive gypsy heroine, Daisy. Elizabeth Jackson has given us an insight into the gypsy way of life which few of us really understand. Her descriptions of the Northern countryside and strong feelings of loyalty among the characters make this one of the most enjoyable stories which has recently come my way.

5.0 out of 5 stars Language of Thieves, 9 May 2011
This review is from: Language of Thieves
I found "Language of Thieves" by Elizabeth Jackson to be a compelling read and not easy to put down. It is a beautifully structured story that effortlessly holds the different strands of the plot together and the reader is carried through the text at a smooth and rhythmic pace that compliments its subject matter! Elizabeth has an uncanny ability to write dialect that reads both naturally and easily without becoming stereotypical and "Northern", her descriptions beautifully create a sense of place, but above all she portrays the Romany people, their culture and way of life, vividly, honestly, and with humanity and warmth. The story is as varied and colourful as the characters in it and neatly avoids being pigeonholed and labelled. This is as much a tale for men as it is women with a potent mix of action, romance, intrigue, class and racial tension that resolves in a nailbiting climax that will have you on the edge of your seat. Congratulations to the author of this excellent book which is both challenging and immensely entertaining. I thoroughly recommend it.

5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant story, 13 May 2011
This review is from: Language of Thieves
I loved this book. It’s got everything to hold your interest from start to finish. Very exciting, I couldn’t put it down. The characters held my interest all the way through. Wonderful descriptions of places I feel I want to visit. A fantastic read to take on holiday and thoroughly enjoy. I look forward to your next book Elizabeth.

5.0 out of 5 stars A great read can't wait for the next book, 11 July 2011
This review is from: Language of Thieves

I loved this book from the start. I could not hurry it as I didn’t want it to end.
I think it would make a brilliant travellers saga.
A TV Sunday winter’s saga, what more could we wish for. A glass of wine or beer, supper on our knees, chestnuts cooking on our fires watching the next episode enfold.

5.0 out of 5 stars Language of Thieves, 7 July 2011
This review is from: Language of Thieves
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of gypsies in Yorkshire. The descriptions of people and places are evocative and enchanting. The carefree mood the young gypsy girl, Daisy is captured with sinister overtones, as the plot draws the reader further on. The characters are brought to life with enigmatic and endearing qualities, easily planting pictures in the reader's mind.

The regions of Yorkshire were very well depicted, with accuracy and thoughtfulness. It was easy to imagine the setting and the atmosphere was tangible.

I would recommend this book and look forward to reading more by this author.

5.0 out of 5 stars "Language of Thieves" by Elizabeth Jackson, 24 May 2011
BY Bob Burns
This review is from: Language of Thieves
"Language of Thieves" by Elizabeth Jackson is the most enthralling novel I have read in years!
This unique insight into the gypsy way of life gives us beautifully sculptured characters set against equally stunning backdrops of the Northern landscape.
Jackson is a superb wordsmith who skillfully takes us on this journey of life in and around the Romany camp sites and annual horse fairs.
This intriguing story of love, hate, jelousy and revenge will keep you glued to each page. You will instantly fall for Daisy and her father whilst at the same time never quite sure what to make of gypsy heart-throb Roulson.

This is certainly one not to be missed!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

An excerpt from Language of Thieves.

   ‘Tell you yer fortune, sir?’
Tobias Flint turned to where a dark-haired, olive-skinned elderly gypsy woman was sitting outside an immaculate, colourful, bow-top wagon. She smiled at him, a clay pipe filling the gap where once there had been teeth. Her dark hands heavily laden with sovereign rings rested upon her apron. Enormous gold earrings the size of bracelets dangled to her shoulders, and around her neck hung strings of bright coral beads.
   ‘I don’t think so, but thank you,’ he said smiling at her.
   ‘My, but you’ve got a lucky face,’ she continued, ‘Come along in young sir, you’ll not regret it. Rose Marie’s me name – I’m known all over the country for me gift of fortune telling.’
   Tobias hesitated. Aw, why the hell not! He said to himself, it’s harmless enough. He then about turned and made his way toward the famous Rose Marie.
   ‘And what will the pleasure cost me?’ he asked, looking into the darkest eyes he’d ever seen. But they were kindly, knowing eyes that twinkled mischievously when she smiled back at him. He decided there and then he liked this woman. Whether she was a charlatan, he cared not. He wanted to spend some time in her company - and this was as good a way as any.
   ‘Five shillings,’ she said in a business-like tone.
   ‘Good Lord!’ He exclaimed, ‘That’s a lot of money, are you good?’
   ‘Oh, I’m better than good,’ she boasted, ‘I’m the best you’ll find for miles around.’
   Marie Rose stood up from where she perched on a stool. She placed the clay pipe on a small ashtray then indicated the wooden steps leading to the inner sanctum of the bow-top wagon.
   He had to duck his head and bend his knees to go through the door. On entering, he gasped with delight at the beauty of it. It was crammed with the finest china and cut glass he’d ever seen; even his mother would be hard pushed not to be impressed, he mused.
   The canvas roof of the wagon was lined in a quilted silk fabric, exquisitely embroidered in tiny flowers which must have taken months, or even years to do. Rich red velvet curtains hung at the tiny window. He was astounded at the delicate, intricate work visible in the construction and furnishing of the charming little house on wheels.
  He sat down slowly, carefully avoiding knocking over any precious pieces of glass or china. Rose Marie read concern in his face and advised him not to worry but to relax.
   She placed a flimsy bone china cup and saucer on the table between them. For the life of him he didn’t know how she’d managed to produce the hot cup of tea within seconds.
   ‘Go on, drink it. Don’t look so scared, I’m not going to poison you ‘cos you ‘aven’t paid me yet!’ They both laughed and he relaxed a little. ‘And I can’t get to them leaves if yer don’t get it down yer – an’ it’s your lips that must drain the cup.’
   ‘Right, right…’ he said apprehensively, and quickly gulped the hot tea. He swallowed a few tea leaves causing a bout of coughing and choking. ‘Sorry ... sorry about that. I’m ok now.’
   His index finger became stuck in the tiny handle. She leaned forward and gently released it.
   ‘There now,’ she whispered, and with a strange unnatural slow swirling motion of her hand – which appeared not to include any wrist action – she emptied the last drops of tea from the teacup into the saucer then held the cup in both hands as though ready for prayer.
   She stared into the cup for what seemed an eternity. Her eyes assumed a faraway look. There was a hushed stillness within the wagon even though, outside, the place thronged with people.
   A shiver ran down his spine when she placed the cup on the table and raised her head to look at him. The faraway look had vanished and was replaced with an intense gaze of concentration. This is serious stuff! He thought.
   Her eyes held his gaze and she sensed a disturbance in his heart. ‘Don’t be afraid of the danger in your midst, but it is there … not for too long. You must ride the storms in the near future. Your help will be much needed by someone….’ She took a deep intake of breath placing the cup back on the table.
   Tobias could feel his heart racing. He was unable to move a muscle or take his eyes from her. He made no resistance when she took his hand and turned it palm upwards in her own.
   ‘Ah, a gentleman’s hand,’ she said, stroking her fingers over his soft palm.
   Most of the hands she read were gnarled and callused from hard labour, the hands of men and women who were desperate for change in their lives. They wanted to hear about coming into lots of money, a way out of the poverty, hardship and misery that swallowed them up. Rose Marie could see that there was no way out for most of them.
   She continued stroking the hand that lay in hers for a while before she spoke. ‘You must guard against someone, someone close…’ She hesitated, unable to continue for a while and her lips moved as though in secret conversation with an unseen being. ‘There is somebody who would harm you and there is also someone waiting … waiting for you to help them …not a stranger. It’s not clear who… but will be made so…’ She then looked up into his eyes and smiled. ‘Ah, there is much love in your heart, and I see you are waiting for the fortunate young lass to come and claim it. She will, all in good time. There’s nothing any good gotten in a hurry, young man, so be patient, and your patience will be rewarded.
   The mystic spell dissipated as the Romany let go of his hand and stood up.
   ‘Come and see me next year.’ This was something she never asked any gorgio to do, probably because they always came back to her for another reading in any case. Yes, she had the gift of seeing into the future; sometimes it was a blessing, other times a curse, but for some reason she wanted to know how this man would fare through the difficult times ahead.
   ‘I’ll still be around next year then?’ Tobias jested.
   ‘You’ll be around, young man, that’s as sure as night follows day.’

Friday, 5 August 2011

About Me

I fell in love with writing many years ago; a secret pastime I elected not to share with anyone - until now.

After leaving school I completed a three year apprenticeship at a local hairdressing salon - a training that served me well financially for twenty years. Then, one winter, I attended an introductory course in psychotherapy; I loved it. I finished hairdressing and worked as a carpet salesperson whilst studying to be a psychotherapist. After qualifying I practised CBT, (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and Person Centred psychotherapy from home. When writing my first novel, Language of Thieves, my psychotherapy training was a great help to me.

My mother was a Gypsy. Sadly, it was only after her death that I pondered her history. She was a gentle woman with a rich, colourful past: a past steeped in tradition that was awaiting my exploration. Thanks to my mother, I possess the knowledge of a culture that both intrigues and exasperates the non-gypsy community.

My father was a non-gypsy. I was raised amid the two cultures. I hovered precariously - sandwiched between both; never quite certain where my loyalties lay. But today, I take immense pleasure in the knowledge that Gypsy blood courses through my veins. It's my ancestral inheritance that teaches me the usage of herbs; that sings while I work - and laughs while I play.  This dual culture spurred me to write Language of Thieves. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

It's not all about My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding!

Language of Thieves tells of a more traditional traveller's way of life in the 1950's. The story is set in the stunning backdrop of Appleby, Westmorland and the North Yorkshire Dales. A clash of cultures coinciding with racial hatred results in family division, murder and love.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Language of Thieves

My romantic gypsy novel will be released on 29th April 2011. Go to Robert Hale Publishers for advance purchase