It’s done. After putting off what I hope will be the final revisions, I printed off the manuscript yesterday. I feel drained, emotionally and physically, so off to a QiGong class to reboot my energy levels. After too many celebratory posts on Social Media over the last year […]
The Secret Lives of The Doyenne of Didsbrook is a murder mystery spoof. The sleepy market town of Didsbrook is thrown into turmoil after the town’s most flamboyant resident, the much-loved actress turned best-selling novelist, Jocelyn Robertshaw, is found dead.
This is the bittersweet story of the first four decades of Lisa Grant’s life. Growing up with her narcissist mother, Elizabeth, has a knock-on effect in her adult life. When she finds out the truth about her mother’s early life, can she find it in her heart to forgive Elizabeth for her appalling behaviour over the last forty years?
Charred Remains is an excerpt from the novel Just Say It! by Tessa Barrie, bittersweet story of how growing up with a narcissist mother, affects journalist, Lisa Grant’s, life.
The first time they set foot on the parched earth of their new home and future source of income, it came as a shock. Dropped by taxi during the late afternoon, they stood like a pair of refugees, surrounded by their modest collection of baggage. They were both still under thirty, blond and, outrageously good looking. Two young men that you would expect to find on the front cover of Vogue magazine and not embarking on a seriously get-your-hands-dirty project.
When It’s time for a change, you instinctively know the time is right. Lockdown concentrated our minds, as dedicated health workers around the world became frontline soldiers in the war against COVID-19, while our lives ground to a halt. I’m not sure how we can ever repay them for their sacrifice.
HAPPY SATURDAY! I hope this finds you rude with health and feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, which is not like Lisa Grant is feeling in today’s snippet from Just Say It! She has recently moved to London and is sharing a flat in Notting Hill with two school friends. Waking up the morning after her twenty-first birthday, which turned out to be one hell of a party, suffering from the KATZENJAMMER to end all KATZENJAMMERS.
After seventeen years apart, Lisa realises she is still in love with Jack, but after he misinterprets a fond farewell between Lisa and Rory, he flounces off home to NYC. This extract leads up to the agonising moment Jack realises he has got things horribly wrong. FEBRUARY 2000 Jack was […]
They both laughed until they cried; as if cavorting naked was something they had been doing together for years.
I am glad to report that my murder mystery spoof-in-progress, The Doyenne of Didsbrook, is taking shape, and DCI Middleton’s investigations are bumbling along nicely. A 3 minute 50-second read.
We are like family now. Bound together by an invisible thread, our stories intricately woven together, ad infinitum. I know everything about each and every one of them. I uncovered secrets from their past that I know they would have wanted to let lie. It doesn’t make them bad people. The sins of their past only make them human, fragile, vulnerable. We all make mistakes and, I believe, the truth has set them free.
I was flirting with fiction earlier this week, only as it turned out it wasn’t fiction at all. It was an article written by a young man. He believes that people of a ‘certain age’ writing a novel for the first time and thinking they can get it published, […]
I am grateful for many things in my life, but if I have learned anything during the first four months of 2020, it is that the material things in my life matter less. Our own home and a car, are things that many of us take for granted, […]
During the week that President Trump advocated swallowing bleach to get shot of Coronavirus , I struggled with re-working the humour that stitches together one of my 92,000-word works-in-progress.
I was searching for a little light relief to come from somewhere, anywhere. Something, anything, to crack me up, and I eventually found it with Sindhu Vee, Live at the Apollo, on catch-up TV last night.
There was always a distinct chill inside the cottage, which was responsible for the black clusters of mould marching across its walls like aggressive armies of Unsullied. It was impossible to heat. She ran the tips of her fingers across the top of the old storage heater in the kitchen. It had only just come on so she would keep her coat on a little longer and there was no point in lighting the fire in the living room as she was going out later. No significant other, so no candlelight dinner, but a night out with the girls, which would inevitably end up being pretty wild.
Jack put Lisa down gently on the spare bed in his sister’s room that she had used since she was a child, before kneeling down to study her face. She looked so vulnerable. Hypnotised by the rise and fall of her chest, the beat of his heart accelerated, taking him by surprise. The urge to lie down next to her and hold her in his arms was overwhelming. Why hadn’t he realised before that she was so beautiful?
‘How would I know Mother? I haven’t seen him for eleven years. But you can’t be serious? Why on earth would you want to look good for anybody interested in me? Is it some sort of sexual fantasy you have? I don’t have to dress up like a bloody tart to attract a man. I want somebody to love me for who I am and not what you look like! I’ve read The Female Eunuch, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I also know what I want to do with my life, and I don’t have to dress up like a bloody Barbie doll to achieve it. For God’s sake, Mother, why do you always have to talk such bloody rubbish? I don’t have time to go clothes shopping and please, close the door on your way out.’
It’s just dawned on me that cows feature in both Just Say It and The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook. I grew up on a dairy farm, so maybe that’s the reason? My main character in Just Say It grows up on a farm with a herd […]
As 2019 draws to a close, is been a year rejections for Just Say It, my pantser-style first attempt at a novel. But I am, older, tougher and wiser now; I can take criticism on the chin (crying emoji!). So, I will say goodbye to 2019 feeding off the constructive criticism and positive feedback I’ve received during the year.
This Just Say It extract, New Life, celebrates the birth of my main character, Lisa Grant, and is the opening sequence of the book.