Author: tbelshaw (Page 1 of 7)

Tracy’s Lockdown Hot Mail. A warm up episode.

Breaking! Tracy will be back very soon. Tracy’s Lockdown Hotmail will hopefully be written and released by the Autumn so you can look forward to seeing how Tracy and her dysfunctional family, managed to live together through the lockdown periods.

To whet your appetites, here’s a Christmas special that was written after the two original books were released. If you’ve never met Tracy before, you’re in for a treat, if you have… well, you’re in for a treat too, see how generous I am?

Tracy’s Christmas.

Hi Emma

How was your Christmas? I bet it was a bit weird spending it in Cornwall. Their accent is hard enough to understand when they’re sober so it must be just about impossible when they’re pissed. I met a bloke from Penzance at a party once, he spent all night betting me that I couldn’t handle his scrumpy. He was only about five-foot two and his trousers were so tight they hid nothing, so I’m pretty sure I could have. I wasn’t really interested anyway; he was drinking homemade cider, it looked like baby shit in a glass.  It was full of lumpy bits; I think he must have dropped his Cornish pasty in it.

My Christmas was okay, Mum got a bit drunk and Dad and Gran had their usual three rounds of all-in verbal wrestling. It was better entertainment than those crappy 1970’s reruns of Morecombe and Wise though.

Neil was playing the hero at the police station on Christmas Eve, saving us all from gangsters, drug dealers and other, scummy, low life, so he couldn’t come out with me. I was going to go to Tossers with Pauline Potts and her sister, Tia, but Pauline had a dodgy curry on Tuesday night and spent all day Wednesday on the lavvy. She was gutted because she had to miss her office party at work and Tia pulled the bloke that Pauline’s been lusting after for the last three months. Tia texted me to say she was going out on the piss with him on Christmas Eve, so it meant I had to make alternative arrangements. I rang around a few people but most of them were going to Spanners, that garage music night spot in the precinct. It was all ticket and no one had a spare.

I was saved from the ignominy of spending the night at the Dog and Duck with Dad, by that tart Olivia of all people. I was just standing behind her in the queue for the tills at Primark, listening to her highly confidential gossip, when she let it slip that she had a blind date lined up with some poor sod and they were going to meet up at the Spread Eagle pub at the top end of the council estate. Two things struck me about this. One, the aforementioned poor sod would really have to be blind if he was going to go through with the date after he’d met old yo-yo knickers, and two, the meeting place was aptly named because it was odds on that Olivia would be spread eagled by the end of the night, probably over the pool table. Anyway, the interesting bit was that the pub was having a fancy dress night and it was pay on the door.

I thought I’d have to spend the rest of the day looking for a costume, but then I remembered I still had that Xena, Warrior Princess outfit that I bought in the summer. The one I wore when they chucked me out of the St Moribund’s church roof, fundraiser dance because my tits kept falling out. (The bishop didn’t moan about it though and he had at least five dances with me that night.) I didn’t bother hanging around to see what Olivia was going to be dressed as; she always looks like a hooker whatever she wears.

Dad insisted on dropping me off at the pub in his little vegetable delivery truck because he reckons that estate is like the Gaza Strip during an Israeli invasion. Two doorman pilots, built like a row of brick shithouses wearing flying helmets and goggles, checked my undercarriage as I got out of the car.

‘If you can’t pull in there, don’t go home lonely, I’ll give your bomb doors a good greasing,’ said the one with the false moustache hanging precariously on his top lip.

‘If she can’t pull in there she must’ve smashed an entire hall of mirrors,’ said the one with the Tom Cruise sunglasses. ‘Most of ‘em are so desperate they’d queue for an hour for a turn with Ann Widdecombe.’

I managed to squeeze past them with nothing worse than a cursory grope, and walked over to a kiosk occupied by a forty-something woman dressed like Helen Mirren when she played the Queen in that film. She looked at me like I’d just crawled out from the u-bend.

‘Are you the stripper?’ she asked.

I shoved a tenner onto the counter. ‘Do I look like the stripper?’  I asked contemptuously.

‘Well, yes, you do, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked.’ She nodded towards my chest.

I tucked my boobs back into my dress, snatched up my ticket and headed towards the function room.

‘I’d keep those puppies in their kennel if I were you,’ she shouted after me. ‘There are a lot of animal lovers in there tonight.’ Continue reading

The Reckoning. Unspoken book 3 Latest News

I am delighted to announce that The Reckoning is now complete and will be published in eBook format during the week beginning the 18-7-21. The paperback version requires more time to proof for printing so will be a couple of weeks later.

The Reckoning is the third and final book in the Unspoken series and follows on from, Unspoken and The Legacy. It will also be the final time you see this set of characters together in a book.

The back of the book blurb.

Unspoken. Part Three

After a fractious few months trying to appease her dysfunctional family, Jessica Griffiths realises that her great grandmother Alice’s legacy has become a millstone around her neck.

With her feisty elderly relatives cruising around the South China Sea she is hoping for a less stressful time, but when Leonora, the meddling ex-wife of her lawyer boyfriend begins to plot and with her own ex, Calvin unable to accept that their relationship is over, she begins to feel the pressure mounting again.

Into the mix walks Josh, the handsome young café owner. Jess is drawn to him immediately. Will he be the one to finally break the Mollison man curse?

Jessica discovers new family secrets as she continues to read through Alice’s wartime diaries but more shocks await as Martha hands over her own disturbing memoirs.

With the cruise ship in trouble and problems nearer to home, Jess finds herself at the centre of another family maelstrom.

Feeling desperately alone and with the weight of the world on her shoulders, can she weather the storm with her family and sanity intact?

A Short excerpt from The Reckoning. Unspoken, book 3

Alice. September 1940.

‘Don’t forget we’re all going to Old Jack Tanner’s funeral tomorrow. They’re having a special evening service to allow as many people as possible to pay their respects.’

‘I haven’t forgotten, Barney. It’s not often we get to say goodbye to a local hero.’

‘The funeral is taking place at six-thirty. It’s family only in the church but we’re all allowed to line the path from the lychgate to the front porch. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get half the town turning out.’

I walked slowly back to the farmhouse, deep in thought. Old Jack had been almost eighty. He had part-owned a small fishing boat that was kept at Margate. During June, Jack and his younger brother, Cecil, answered the government call and had met up with the rest of Operation Dynamo’s little ships at Ramsgate where they sailed across the channel to Dunkirk to rescue our army that was  besieged there. Not satisfied with rescuing a dozen men, as soon as they had disembarked, he set off again to bring back another dozen, but on that trip, he caught a bullet in his back, a wound from which he never fully recovered.

On Wednesday evening, we arrived at the church to find hundreds of people lining the pavements waiting for the horse-drawn carriage carrying Old Jack’s coffin to arrive. Barney, Miriam, Stephen, Harriet and all of our remaining farm workers, found a place on the paved avenue that led from the lychgate to the church. By the time the hearse arrived, the crowd was three deep on either side of the path. We broke into spontaneous applause as Jack’s younger brother, Cecil, led Old Jack and his family down the hill towards the church. At the entrance, on either side, a dozen soldiers stood to attention and saluted as the coffin was carried in.

Forty minutes later, the soldiers saluted again as Jack was carried out. By now, as Barney had predicted, it seemed that half of the residents of the town were lining the pathway, or standing among the gravestones to see our own hero off.

No doubt, over the next few years, many a local hero will pass through the lychgate, or will be remembered in our prayers at the cenotaph on Armistice Day, but today was special, we buried our first.

I had managed to hold it together until, as the coffin passed us by, Stephen, our child evacuee, stood rigid and saluted as though the king himself was standing in front of him. I placed my hand on his back and wept as I thought about the fathers, husbands and sons that Old Jack had rescued and how grateful they and their families must be feeling to an old man who had done his bit. Then I thought about our farm’s own heroes, the lads who had signed up on the first day of war and had been sent off to fight and maybe die in some foreign land. We had heard nothing from any of them since July, when Benny’s pregnant wife received a heavily redacted letter, saying he was alive and well and looking forward to seeing us all again.

I’m not a particularly religious person, but as Old Jack’s coffin was lowered into his newly dug grave, I sent up a prayer to God, asking him to receive our hero into his care, then I begged him to ask his angels to keep an eye on our farm boys, wherever they were in the world.

Unspoken Book 3 The Reckoning Cover Image Revealed

I am delighted to announce that the cover for my work in progress. The Reckoning has been revealed today.

I would like to thank my fab cover artist, Jane Dixon-Smith http://www.jdsmith-design.com/ once again for the wonderful artwork.

The book, which is the final part of the Unspoken Family Saga trilogy, will be released on the Authors Reach label, in the summer.

I always like to get the cover out early, not just to generate interest in the book but to help inspire me when writing it.

 

The Legacy Publication Day

The Saga Continues

It’s here at last. The Legacy has been released on Amazon UK. Amazon.com are a few hours behind and the book will be released shortly.

The Legacy

In Unspoken, Alice is the feisty, almost 100-year-old who shares a dark secret with Jessica, her great granddaughter. She is also the naïve 18-year-old who, following the death of her father in 1938 is forced to take over the running of the family farm, whilst single and pregnant. In The Legacy, her voice crosses the decades again as she gives her take on the events leading to the start of WW2.

Jessica

Jessica is a journalist researching a novel based on Alice’s memoirs. She is in a relationship with the narcissist, Calvin. In The Legacy, we find out how that relationship has evolved and whether either of them can move on.

Martha. The Matriarch

In Unspoken we learned about Martha’s strained relationship with her mother, Alice. In The Legacy we find out much more about Martha and her motives.

Marjorie The Mouse

Marjorie is Alice’s youngest daughter. A spinster who hides behind her older sister’s skirts.

 

Nicola and Owen. Addicted to drink, gambling, and each other.

In Unspoken, Jessica’s parents have their own issues, both with Alice and Jessica. In The Legacy, their problems burst like an untreated abscess.

Bradley

The handsome lawyer with a link to Alice’s past.

Ewan

The charity worker who has been in love with Jessica since their schooldays.

Wade.

A much needed, I.T expert, but is he trustworthy?

Amazon Link

The Legacy. Who’s Who

 

The Legacy. Who’s who.

Alice… Alice? Who the f… is Alice?

In Unspoken, Alice is the feisty, almost 100-year-old who shares a dark secret with her great granddaughter. She is also the naïve young girl who, following the death of her father in 1938 is forced to take over the running of the family farm, whilst single and pregnant. In The Legacy, her voice crosses the decades again as she relates the events that lead up to the start of WW2.

Jessica

Jessica is a journalist researching a novel based on Alice’s memoirs. She is in a relationship with the narcissist, Calvin. In The Legacy, we find out how that relationship has evolved and whether either of them can move on.

Martha. The Matriarch

In Unspoken we learned about Martha’s strained relationship with her mother, Alice. In The Legacy we find out much more about Martha and her motives.

Marjorie The Mouse

Marjorie is Alice’s youngest daughter. A spinster who hides behind her older sister’s skirts.

 

Nicola and Owen. Addicted to drink, gambling, and each other.

In Unspoken, Jessica’s parents have their own issues, both with Alice and Jessica. In The Legacy, their problems burst like an untreated abscess.

Bradley

The handsome lawyer with a link to Alice’s past.

Ewan

The charity worker who has been in love with Jessica since their schooldays.

Wade.

A much needed, I.T expert, but is he trustworthy?

The Official Blurb for The Legacy, Released.

Unspoken Book Two. The Legacy.

Where there’s a will there’s a rift.

The Legacy continues the story of Jessica Griffiths and her fractious relationship with her grandmother, Martha, her gambling addicted father and her narcissistic ex, Calvin who refuses to accept that their relationship is over.

Jessica an aspiring novelist, is writing a book based on her great grandmother’s hand written memoirs. Still grieving for Alice, she receives a telephone call that will change her life, and her relationship with her family, forever.

During the process she meets Bradley, a handsome young lawyer. Calvin, meanwhile, believes he can work his way back into Jess’s life by fair means or foul.

When Martha, the matriarch, complains that she hasn’t been treated fairly, she puts pressure on her granddaughter to ‘do the right thing.’ Meanwhile, Jessica’s father returns with the loan sharks on his tail.

As Jessica prays that the ‘man curse’ which has plagued the women in her family for generations, has finally been vanquished, she meets the beautiful, calculating, Leonora, a woman with a secret and a fondness for mischief.

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