The Drumbeats Trilogy is a passionate saga of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. A feel-good ‘up-lit’ story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.
Reviews include: “A powerful story” (Hannah Symonds), “beautifully written … an emotional roller-coaster” (Jo Lambert), “scenes full of raw emotion” (Joy Corkery), “a heart-warming read … wonderfully written … compelling, warm and uplifting” (Amazon review).
The first novel in the Drumbeats Trilogy saw 18 year old Jess escaping her stifling parents’ home in England for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. This extract is from the second novel in the trilogy, Walking in the Rain, and it begins in 1986 with a shocked Jess now in her late 30s having clearly suffered a traumatic emotional event. She stands in the kitchen of her marital home, trying to make sense of what has happened to her and how the events of twenty years before have led to this current situation …
Chapter 1: Silence is Golden.
July 20th 1986
That was the date Jess would remember for ever more. It would be embedded in her brain and her soul.
She stood in the newly refurbished kitchen of their large house, leaning on the counter and staring blindly out of the window. Her knuckles white as she gripped the edges of the stylish circular twin stainless steel sinks she had chosen so happily just a few months before, not knowing what was to come.
How odd it was that dates had such resonances across the years: she had told her students that Shakespeare had entered the world and left it on 23rd April, St George’s Day, only 52 years apart. That George Orwell had mulled over what to call his futuristic novel and ended up reversing the last two digits of the year he wrote it: 1948 became the famous novel title 1984.
And now, with Jess, 20th July was the date she re-found the love of her life, 20th July 1968 was the day she married him, 20th July 1986 the day she lost him. Reflections and reversals.
The gentle resonances of 10cc’s ‘The Things we do for Love’ echoed in her ears and she recalled the way the builders had played it over and over as they refitted the kitchen, such a short time ago, and how she had sung along with them as she brought in countless mugs of tea. By the time she heard the refrain about walking in the rain, she knew that her tears were coursing silently down her cheeks and soaking her hands like raindrops in a storm.
Her mind travelled back to twenty years before …
The Drumbeats Trilogy
The love of a woman and the story of a country.
It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. Over the next three evocative novels, follow her journey as she encounters new cultures and loves in this stirring series.
The Drumbeats Trilogy is a passionate saga of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. A feel-good up-lit story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.
It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. But it’s a time of political turbulence across the region. Fighting to keep her young love who she believes is waiting back in England, she’s thrown into the physical dangers of civil war, tragedy, and the emotional conflict of a disturbing new relationship. So why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?
This is a rite of passage story which takes the reader hand in hand with Jess on her journey towards growing into the adult world.
Walking in the Rain
Jess happily marries the love of her life She wants to feel safe, secure and loved. But gradually it becomes clear that her beloved husband is not the man she thought him to be. She survived civil war and injury in Africa, but can she now survive the biggest challenge of her life?
Single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and her best friend. When she is on the brink of losing everything, including her family and her job, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is sent a mysterious newspaper clipping of a temporary post back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again? And what, exactly, will she find?
Finding Jess is a passionate story of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.
Author Bio –
Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.
Acclaimed author of:
Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.
Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.
Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?
Also by Julia Ibbotson:
A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) time-slip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …
The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.
S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?
Social Media Links –
Facebook Author page:
Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book
Goodreads author page:
RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) website author page
Giveaway – Win a PB copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK Only)
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