Finding Jess by guest author Julia Ibbotson
I am so pleased that Julia Ibbotson and her publishers, Endeavour Media, have agreed to share news about her new novel, Finding Jess. It is the third book in her Drumbeats Trilogy following the story of her intruiging character, Jess and her busy life full of love and betrayal. This is a story you do not want to miss.
Now a single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and of her best friend. On the brink of losing everything, including her family, and still haunted by her past and the Ghanaian drumbeats that pervade her life, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is mysteriously sent a newspaper clipping of a temporary job back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again before it’s too late? And what, exactly, will she find?
Finding Jess is a passionate study of love and betrayal – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust after suffering great misfortune. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.
This is the finale of Jess’s story, the third novel of the acclaimed Drumbeats trilogy:
Walking in the Rain
A few of the brilliant reviews for the Drumbeats trilogy:
“Wonderful quality of writing … a brilliantly crafted book … sights, sounds and even smells of the Ghanaian way of life are conjured up vividly … a brilliant read”
“A truly heart-warming story and one that will stay in my mind”
“A thought-provoking story”
“I just love Julia’s writing”
Single mum Jess has had her world turned upside down. Now it’s about to be turned inside out.
Jess has got a tough life back on track after love-of-her-life husband Simon walked out on her and their beautiful young daughters Katy and Abi. But she has long-time friend and confidante Polly to turn to…until Polly and Simon start having an affair together.
When Polly decides to apply for a job at Jess’s school, in the English department, Jess feels threatened. So why has Polly set her sights on the department head’s role? And why is the school now offering Jess a sideways ‘promotion’?
Jess can no longer trust anyone – including herself. Then out of the blue she is mysteriously sent a clipping for a temporary post in the Ministry of Education in Ghana, where she did a gap year as a teenager, and where she was happy. She is on the brink of losing everything at home but could this be a lifeline?
Julia Ibbotson’s Finding Jess is a passionate study of love and betrayal – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust after suffering great misfortune. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.
Chapter Twenty Three: the streets of Accra
There was an hour before she needed to be at the Ministry, so Jess grabbed her shoulder bag, locked the apartment, and ran down the stairs and out into the gardens. She breathed in the perfume of the tropical blossoms and the rain-washed soil, the tarmac steaming in the hot sun. Out on the street, the morning was already bustling with activity and noise: cars screeching and blaring their horns, women carrying shallow baskets on their heads laden with oranges and bananas, tomatoes and mangoes, moving gracefully and smoothly through the crowds of smart dark-suit-clad office workers scurrying towards their offices in centre of Accra.
Even in her pale pink shift dress, Jess felt dull amongst the bright jewel colours of the women’s Ghanaian cloth and turbans glowed in the sunshine. Plump and proud, market mammies swung through the noisy streets to set up their stalls, or to accost passing drivers with their wares, hoping to sell a few before the competition of the central market. Jess smiled at the babies swaddled on their mothers’ backs but they only blinked passively at her, their big glassy eyes fringed by long thick black eyelashes.
The open drains alongside the pavements were already stinking with rotten vegetables, the air thick with spices, putrefaction and melting tarmac. Jess felt nauseous. Even here in the city of Accra, children with the distended bellies of kwashiorkor, were washing in the drains and under the water spouts at the shop fronts. Little children with tattered tops and shorts, thin young men with crates of beer aloft, and scrawny chickens and goats mingled with the crowds on their way to work.
She could hear the strong beat of the high–life music issuing tinnily from the buildings as she passed, and, the backbeat of the drums. Was that the pulse of the kpanlogo djembe throbbing through her head or the words of the donde rising and falling, surging to a crescendo and softly falling away, like a migraine, surging and dying.
As she walked, Jess felt as though the crowds and the noise of the streets softened to an echo in the distance and she could only hear the voices of her daughters calling to her. She saw their loved faces, there across the busy street, and she stepped over the open drain and into the road to embrace them …
But she didn’t see the car, swerving towards her …
Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She studied English at Keele University, specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10, but became a school teacher, then university lecturer and researcher. Julia spent a turbulent but exciting time in Ghana, West Africa, teaching and nursing. She has published both academic works and fiction, including a medieval time-slip, a children’s novel , a memoir, and the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana in the 1960s). Apart from insatiable reading, Julia loves world travel, choral singing, swimming, yoga, and walking in the UK and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time. She runs an editing/critiquing service for authors: details on her website. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Society of Authors and the Historical Novel Society.
You can find her at
Facebook Author page:
Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book
Goodreads author page:
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- Tagged: Drumbeats Trilogy, Endeavour Media, Finding Jess, Julia Ibbotson, Love Books Group Tour