She closed her eyes.
‘Forty-years-old and no husband. It’s unthinkable. How could it possibly happen to a daughter of mine?’
Having a forty-year-old daughter did not sit comfortably with Cynthia, especially a forty-year-old unmarried one. She squirmed inwardly, turning up her stinky fish nose and pursing her lips as the phrase spinster of the parish flashed into her mind.
She wasn’t really surprised. She always felt Katie’s choice of men over the years had been questionable. Probably satisfying in the bedroom department perhaps, but none of them ever had any money.
In Cynthia’s mind, money, lots of it, and preferably a title were the essential ingredients to sustain a successful marriage.
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.
It should have been my first summer of love with that ridiculous Atticus Ridley. Why his parents chose to call him after an ancient Greek philosopher is a mystery. Looking back, I think his Christian name affected him psychologically, especially at school, when his classmates nicknamed him Abacus. Mind you, he was brilliant with figures even as a child, which I suppose is why he became an accountant. Then, of course, there was his OCD problem – a constant obsession with cleaning. The upside of that was I never had to lift a finger in the housework department.
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.
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.
In November 2019, I had the pleasure of interviewing children’s author Becci Murray, who had recently published her book, Billy’s Brain Booster Juice. Earlier this month she released a children’s poetry book – subtly entitled, ‘Don’t Wear Your Knickers on Your Head (and other very serious poems about really important […]
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.
I’ve never trusted anybody who comes over as having had a sense of humour bypass. When chatting to someone new at a party or, these days, at a virtual social soiree, you unleash your best one-liner. As your voice trails away into cyberspace, together with the sound of a damp squib, it’s time to mute yourself, and go and chat to someone else.
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.
This morning, I woke up feeling like a bit of limp lettuce. The last time I felt like a Butterhead, was after I had run 5 kilometres.
I was having such an incredible dream. It was the start of a long haul flight, I’ve no idea where I was going, but my excitement was as effervescent as the fizz I was sipping. I tipped my head back, savouring the moment. Waiting for someone to whisper sweet nothings in my ear, when the deep-throated moan of a hungry Burmese cat, demanding to be fed, blasted my eardrum.
‘Just let me sleep!’ Not quite all the words I used, but this is a family show.
I started 2020 with newfound confidence and a steely determination to succeed in my writing goals. I’m over halfway through my second novel, a murder-mystery spoof, and was skipping and dancing my way down a road fuelled by purple patches with a finishing date of the end of April. Then, somewhere around the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Italy, my bubble burst, and I lost my mojo. Since then, I’ve been struggling to find my funny.
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 […]
I am just about to come to the end of what will be the final edit of… Draft number 12 of my first novel… I think it’s number 12, but I’ve lost count. So I’m a long way off seeing my book in print, let alone watching Renée Zellweger win another gong for playing the part of my MC and thanking me in her acceptance speech.
This Just Say It extract, New Life, celebrates the birth of my main character, Lisa Grant, and is the opening sequence of the book.
The reading of Arthur’s Will was expected to be straightforward and that he would dutifully leave his fortune to his grieving widow. A few minutes before her outburst, Lisa had been fighting to control her anger and Elizabeth, as usual, was the focus of her irritation. She’d arrived late, dressed like the Queen about to meet a head of state but, thankfully, not wearing a hat. She waited for the solicitor to pull up a chair for her and sat in wide-eyed anticipation waiting for the reading to start, whilst stifling the odd theatrical tear.
It is the 8th of October 1980, and it’s Lisa Grant’s twenty-first birthday. She has recently been reunited with her father, Will, who lays on a party for her at her favourite restaurant in Soho, Fanny’s Bistro. The tables are hastily rearranged to accommodate two uninvited guests, […]