30 Mar
30Mar

Warmest greetings from Jersey, Channel Islands, UK!

Many of you have asked for a complimentary .eBook copy of my debut novel, Just Say It, and I am indebted to those who took the time and trouble to read and review it. It means a great deal. Please let me know if anyone would still like a copy of the eBook for Just Say It, I would be happy to email it to you.

I am in the final throes of completing my follow up novel, The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook. I have loosely described 'The Doyenne' as 'a murder-mystery spoof,' but I would like to think it is a bit more than that.

Bringing humour and drama together is very important to me. Humour doesn't take away the pain, but it makes it more bearable, and the world would be a very dull place without it. I love all the characters in 'The Doyenne', and I hope you will too. Tragic but emotionally strong women, especially 'The Doyenne.'

Once 'my' long-suffering editor, Deb, has worked her magic, please let me know if you would be interested in being an ARC reader for 'The Doyenne,' and I will let you have details of the launch date and general timings in due course.

Below you will find a short introduction to the fictional town of Didsbrook - not to be confused with Didbrook, without an s; in the UK. It does not give away the plot, but that will be revealed very soon!

Finally, this link will take you to my recent interview with the lovely Lily Lawson, on her excellent blog, Lily's Writing Life.

Thanks for your support and I wish you health and happiness during 2022.

Tessa

EXTRACT FROM THE SECRET LIVES OF THE DOYENNE OF DIDSBROOK

A POCKET GUIDE TO TOWNS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM - 2022 edition

WELCOME TO DIDSBROOK

The sleepy market town of Didsbrook in the heart of the West Downs National Park, grew out of a settlement in an elevated area from where ancient Britons could prepare themselves against unprovoked attacks by marauding tribes who could be spotted approaching from miles around. 

Today, the town is still surrounded by undulating countryside inhabited only by indigenous wildlife and hundreds of Friesian cows. 

Didsbrook's historical past is evident everywhere, including its famous Neolithic sites, such as the Fallen Megalith in Wayland Woods and the Ring of Raga in Nob Lane.In 43AD, rampaging Roman armies claimed the land here, named it Didsbrookium and developed it into a market town. 

Then, in the early 5th Century, the Romans decided to leave because of sustained attacks from disgruntled Ancient Britons and grumpy Germanic tribes, which proved too much, even for the mighty Romans, but they left their stamp. The Didsbrook Preservation Trust fully explores its Roman history so visitors to the town can see exhibitions depicting everyday life in and around Roman Didsbrook.

Didsbrook's Tudor heritage is the most prevalent, and visitors are guaranteed an uplifting experience browsing the cobbled streets lined with its abundance of antiquity. The black and white timber-framed Tudor houses, the original pillory in the marketplace and the town's piece de resistance, the magnificent Didsbrook Manor, which is one of the oldest lived-in properties in the United Kingdom.

Didsbrook's church, dedicated to St. Peter, was built in the 14th Century and is also well worth a visit. What is known as medieval graffiti is etched on many of the pillars in the nave, including the words, ebrietas frangit quicquid sapienta tangit. Which means, ‘drunkenness breaks whatever wisdom touches’.

A visit to the Grade II Listed Strand Theatre in Gossamer Street is a must. Built in 18th Century as a Methodist church, the building was renovated in 1985 by the philanthropist and founder of the internationally acclaimed Didsbrook Amateur Dramatic Society, the late Dame Jocelyn Robertshaw, C.B.E. The former Shakespearean actress who became the darling of London's West End -Didsbrook's most famous resident. Jocelyn was the only daughter of Albert Strand, of Strand Banking fame. The Strand family lived in Didsbrook for over five hundred years until Jocelyn's death in 2018. 

Didsbrook is well off the beaten track but can be accessed either by train or by car, but those arriving by car are requested to leave their vehicles at the Wayland Woods Dairy car park as the town is essentially pedestrian-only. Didsbrook is one of the shiniest jewels in the British heritage crown, and we guarantee you will enjoy your visit there.

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