Latest Posts

The Drumbeats Trilogy by Julia Ibbotson - Book Tour + Giveaway

By 5:00 AM , , , , ,

The Drumbeats Trilogy
The love of a woman and the story of a country.

It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. Over the next three evocative novels, follow her journey as she encounters new cultures and loves in this stirring series.

The Drumbeats Trilogy is a passionate saga of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. A feel-good up-lit story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity. 

Omnibus Purchase Link -

Extracts from each book in the Drumbeats Trilogy – for Jazzy Book Reviews
The Drumbeats Trilogy is a passionate saga of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. A feel-good ‘up-lit’ story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity. 
Reviews include: “A powerful story” (Hannah Symonds), “beautifully written … an emotional roller-coaster” (Jo Lambert), “scenes full of raw emotion” (Joy Corkery), “a heart-warming read … wonderfully written … compelling, warm and uplifting” (Amazon review). 

From #1 Drumbeats
This extract is taken from the first chapter of Drumbeats. It’s 1965 and naive 18 year old Jess has just arrived in Ghana, West Africa, for her gap year.  She’s eager to escape her life with her rather stifling parents but she is leaving behind  her newly found love, Simon, and wonders whether this year away was a good idea after all. She’s climbed down the steps of the aircraft with her fellow volunteers and onto Ghanaian soil …
They walked across the tarmac in a too-tired-to-speak silence. Even in the darkness of the early evening, the smells of the hot tarmac and engine fumes were overlaid with an unfamiliar aroma of sweetness, frying, fruit, and tree sap. Even through her exhaustion, Jess was so excited, she could hardly think straight. Africa; she was actually in Africa! It was like the scent of freedom, of adventure, of mystery. But she had no idea of what she had taken on: what if it didn’t work out, what if she messed up? What if the sadness of leaving Simon behind was all for nothing?
            She recalled her eighteenth birthday party in March, just five months ago; the rush of excitement as Simon had finally asked her out. Tall, slim-hipped, attractive, confident Simon. Was he really hers? Smiling blue eyes that crinkled at the corners, thick fair hair that curled just a little into his temples and the nape of his neck.
Her heart stirred as she thought of how wonderful that spring and summer had been, although both of them knew that she was about to leave for Africa, that a year of her life was already mapped out for her, contract signed months before, university chosen and already deferred for a year. Yet neither of them was able to resist those new breathless feelings. She said goodbye to him but assured him that she would be back in his arms again. It was only a year … But what if he forgot her and moved on without her?

From #2 Walking in the Rain
“You did what?” Polly’s eyes were wide and she had to clutch her coffee mug with both hands to avoid dropping it on Jess’s mother’s rug. She turned fully towards Jess and her gaze swept her friend’s prone body. Jess could feel the probing gaze that quested her figure as she slumped on the sofa, leg and shattered foot supported on cushions and an upholstered stool. The journey home from Accra two days before had exhausted her more than she had anticipated, and she struggled to sit more comfortably. She winced.
“Your parents are out!”
“I know but I don’t want anyone coming in and overhearing.”
“They don’t know?”
“Of course not. They’d go mental.”
Polly frowned and shook her head.
“Listen, they didn’t want me to go in the first place, did they? So if they knew what it was really like, they’d never let me out of the house again.”
“Well, you’re nineteen now and about to go to uni, so they couldn’t keep you under house arrest.”
“No … but I just don’t want to worry them, even in retrospect.”
“Jess, there you go again. You’re too kind for your own good. Always thinking about how other people feel.” She leaned over to Jess, her blonde hair swinging forwards. “You could actually manage to be a bit selfish sometimes. I won’t say “live a little” because, my god, you sound as though you’ve already lived a few more lifetimes than the rest of us!”
“I feel that too, I have to confess.”
“By the way, your hair looks fabulous, swept up like that.” Polly nodded at Jess’s chignon.
“Oh, it was the only way I could keep it looking half way decent in temperatures over 90 degrees. Ugh!”
“Maybe I’ll grow mine.” Polly smoothed her blonde Mary Quant full fringe and straight bob and Jess looked enviously at the way her friend, as always, seemed so casually elegant. So sophisticated. So cool. “But, listen … tell me more about Ghana! You got shot?”

From #3 Finding Jess
The third book in the Drumbeats Trilogy, Finding Jess, sees Jess  in 1990 opening the door to her best friend from university. The second book followed Jess through marriage and motherhood, betrayal and hurt. So what has happened between Jess and Polly? And how will Jess deal with her demons and find a resolution?
Chapter One: January 1990 - Before
“Please forgive me! I don’t know why I did it, I must have been mad. Oh god, Jess, can you ever forgive me?”
Jess looked at the tense huddled figure on the doorstep. She watched the tears coursing down the pale face before her, fair fringe plastered to her brow, eyes red and bulging, hands threaded through the straps of the hobo bag and clasped together at her chest. A study in tension and grief. What could she say? Could she ever forgive? All that had happened flooded back into her mind, events and emotions she had fought off for years and thought that they were past and that she was over it all. She touched the door lintel to try to steady herself.
Where was the attractive stylish blonde, the confident self-assured woman she had known as her best friend, before … before …?
Yet Jess noted the expensive designer jeans she wore and the draped silky top.
“You’d better come in,” she said with a grimace and led her visitor through the tiny narrow hall to the bijou living room. She liked the word ‘bijou’; it sounded better in her mind than small and cramped.
She moved her daughter’s school bag off the battered armchair, gestured to Polly to sit and perched herself on the sofa, back stiff and upright as if she was ready for flight at the first sign of anything untoward. Yet this was someone with whom she had shared so much, university, work, marriage, having children.
And a husband. Simon, who had been her soul mate ...

Author Bio –
Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.
Acclaimed author of:
Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.
Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.
Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?
Also by Julia Ibbotson:
A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) time-slip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …
The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.
S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?

Social Media Links –
Facebook Author page:
 Author website:
Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book
Goodreads author page:
RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) website author page
Giveaway – Win a PB copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

You Might Also Like


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.