Paperback for Mass Markets: Only One Woman is published 24th May 2018


mass market paperback

is Published

24th May 2018

and is available from

Waterstones’ and Amazon

order from Waterstones’ if it is not in stock yet.

ISBN: 9781783757312

It is available for Pre-order from Amazon now.

UK/USA/Australia etc.

This paperback differs from the E-pub and Kindle Paperbacks already available from Amazon

Here is how:

We have a fabulous new back cover

We have a fabulous foreword written by

Graham Bonnet

of The Marbles, Rainbow, Michael Schenker, Ritchie Blackmoor, Alcatraz and The Graham Bonnet Band to name a few.

Here is a snippet of what he said about reading Only One Woman:
‘For me Jane and Christina’s book – “Only One Woman” – reflects very honestly those times and the feel of those times. I can picture myself back in London when reading some of the pages. The 1960s, for me, was probably the most wonderful time in the music business with such bands as The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Who, and The Bee Gees and more: the list is endless’.

This book will take you back to that time; read on readers.

Graham Bonnet, Studio City, Los Angeles, California

Christina and I hope you will enjoy reading Only One Woman as much as our reviewers to date have – 37 5* reviews from guy and gals alike….

Please let us know: leave a review or a comment on amazon and our Facebook Page if you have, and here of course.


Celebrate the Paperback/Audio Publication of Only One Woman with us 30th May 2018

To celebrate the launch of the Paperback (for mass markets/stores) and Audio editions




30th May 2018

Please join us

from 6pm until 8pm


Octavo Book Cafe and Wine Bar, 

West Bute Street, Cardiff CF10 5LJ 

Send Message

Call 029 2049 1220

This event is going to be a lot of fun – bring your favourite 45 rpm records from the 1960s to play and enjoy as we sign books and generally get into the groove. 

We will be playing songs from our two YouTube Playlists for you to enjoy.

If you want to come in your 1960s gear, please feel free. It will make for some memorable photos.

Everyone is welcome, whatever your age, as long as you are young at heart…


For updates check our Facebook Page:

For fans of the 1968 hit single


sung by

The Marbles

there is a special treat.

We are so chuffed to be able to reveal that the foreword to


has been written by iconic rock singer and former Marbles/Rainbow/Michael Schenker/Ritchie Blackmore singer, 


Photo taken in Studio City on 12/15/15.

The title of our novel is taken from the song of the same name which was a massive hit in 1968. It was written by The Bee Gees especially for Graham Bonnet and his cousin, Trevor Gordon: The Marbles.

Last year iconic singer Graham agreed to write the foreword for our mass market Paperback edition (to be published 24th May).

To read the whole foreword, which tells of working with The Bee Gees, please buy the Paperback on or after 24th May from stores or come along to our book launch in Cardiff – West Bute Street, Cardiff CF10 5LJ – on 30th and we will sign your copies.
Here is a snippet of what he said about reading Only One Woman:
‘For me Jane and Christina’s book – “Only One Woman” – reflects very honestly those times and the feel of those times. I can picture myself back in London when reading some of the pages. The 1960s, for me, was probably the most wonderful time in the music business with such bands as The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Who, and The Bee Gees and more: the list is endless’.

This book will take you back to that time; read on readers.

Graham Bonnet, Studio City, Los Angeles, California

Graham is on tour in UK/Ireland in August with The Graham Bonnet Band and has a new album out.
Graham’s tour

Guys, gals love our book – so they tell us – and many of our readers and reviewers are men which is so cool.

We’d love to meet all our readers.

Pop along and say hello to Christina and Jane and their publishers

on 30th May 2018

We are excited to meet you.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore: Update on Only One Woman Feb 2nd 2018

The authors today are, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones who co-wrote Only One Woman released in November 2017. This is the debut novel for Jane Risdon.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

This story was right up my street. It had everything I love to read about. The sixties can do no wrong for me. The music, obviously, the clothes and the way they were described, the band, like so many young bands I grew up knowing, some that made it, some that didn’t. Even the food, AND a mention of The Alan Bown Set, all balanced out in a lovely romantic tale of a three way love, leaving me pulled first one way and then the other. I felt sorry for both Renza and Stella in equal parts as they fall in love with Scott.I’m still not too sure he made the right choice, maybe, maybe not. He was quite young to make big decisions. Hopefully there will be a sequel as I’m sure the story could be taken further and I’d love to know what the future holds for them all. Fingers crossed. Thanks for a lovely read.

 Read the reviews and buy the book

and Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog:

A  selection of books by Jane’s Risdon can be found on her Amazon Author Page

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.


Read the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon US:

Connect to Christina via her blog:

I hope that you will find some books to add to your reading list. Thanks for dropping in.. Sally

Jane is Guest Author on Esther Newton’s Blog 19th Jan 2018

 Jane was interviewed by Esther Newton for her blog – read it here.

Guest Writer Spot

It is with great pleasure that I welcome the wonderful Jane Risdon to my Guest Writer Spot, with this super article about her incredible writing journey.

Decades of Patience.

This past week has seen the culmination of more than 5 years working on a novel with my co-author Christina Jones. It seems such a long time to work on one book when I notice other authors publishing two and sometimes three a year. I don’t think we are slow writers. I can work to a deadline and submit well before the designated time when writing on my own and have done so throughout this time. She can as well, and does. I don’t think it is because we are two very different authors either. Christina is an award-winning, best-welling author of what she calls ‘Bucolic Frolics,’ whereas I write crime and thrillers mostly, but I don’t think this has – or would – hold us or anyone back from a joint venture, especially when there is such a fabulous tale to tell.  For us it was easy to write together, but it has taken so long for several reasons. In fact it has taken decades for us to write together and for our baby to see the light of day.

Let’s go back to the beginning of our story first; when I say story I mean when Christina and I first ‘met,’ although not in person, in the last years of the Swinging Sixties. My boyfriend was in a band and she was a young rock/pop journalist who wrote short stories. Christina went to one of his gigs and his manager thought she would make a great fan-club secretary. We didn’t actually meet in person until some years in the future, but we formed a relationship via the band and their newsletters which endures today.

Fast forward many years from the 1960s and she is established as a successful writer and my then boyfriend, now husband, has left his band and he and I are working in the international music business – constantly travelling, living overseas most of the time – managing recording artists, singers, songwriters, and record producers as well as working with TV and the Movies in Hollywood. Time is not our only issue –Christina and I were rarely in the same country or on the same continent, and so the idea of writing together – something we have always wanted to do, if only we could think of something we both knew well enough – was a distant dream. An ambition.

We’d discuss it and pledge to do it ‘one day’ but it never happened. That is, until I moved house in 2012 and, during unpacking, found old diaries from when my husband’s band were touring, recording and enjoying getting zillions of fan-letters, which I found and loved reading – could even be a whole new book project if I ever run out of crime stories to write. I found tour schedules, venue names, and various bands who were on ‘the circuit at the same time. Posters from the 1960s with their recognisable bright colours and quirky print. So much material we’d forgotten about. I began to make notes in diary form, and before long a germ of a story began to emerge – about two girls, Renza and Stella, and Scott, lead guitarist in Narnia’s Children.

Christina was busy with various deadlines for her publisher but I had new-found time on my hands having – with my husband – began to off-load our artists and music commitments, so that we could both ‘get a life of our own,’ before it was too late.  And so Only One Woman began to take shape and I sent it via email, text, and Facebook messages – all very 21st century – to Christina, and when she had time she wrote her parts too. Suddenly we had found what we both knew really well and could write about together: our shared music history and love for the 1960s.

Unknown to us both Christina and I shared the same publisher, and in 2014 when we felt we had completed the book she sent it off to our publisher, Accent Press. Great news, they wanted to publish it later in the year and so we waited to be asked to begin edits with our editor. But it never happened – our editor had left soon after getting our MS. So the publication date was moved to February 2015, then May 2015, and November. We waited and got on with other projects whilst reassured the book was coming out, in February 2016. We discussed edits with our editor, but she left too and so the book was moved back to May 2016, and then another editor left. We waited and got on with other projects – patience is something we writers have to possess in shed-loads. A bit like making a record in so many ways, and dealing with record companies – another long story one day perhaps.

Another date in February 2017 was set and we got down to some hard work on edits from our new editor and then the date was moved to May. That was all right because we had been asked to write another 30,000 words by our next editor – yes another one – who loved the book and wanted more. It was already 130,000 words when we first submitted way back in 2014. No worries, Christina and I began to write more diary entries for Stella and Renza. Only One Woman was rapidly becoming War and Peace.

But, you can guess what is coming – yes – that editor left as well and for a while nothing happened and then another editor stepped into the breach but by this time May 2017 was not possible and so we worked hard, got the book completed – all 772 pages, 160,000 words, before the book was printed – and we were given 23rd November 2017 as our publication date, which has just been and gone last week. And yes, reader, Only One Woman was published, and to really fab reviews so far.

So, for those who are working hard on a novel and thinking that once a publisher is on board it is all plain sailing – nope, not quite. I can honestly say the hardest work has been doing promotion. It is fun but there are only so many ways to tell your story, engage new readers, and take them on your journey with you. I love writing about our writing Only One Woman but it has to be the most challenging part of being a writer. That and delving deep inside oneself to find that evaporating well of patience. But it has been worth it.

Only One Woman has taken decades to come to fruition. We cannot believe we have made it happen at last, all 160,000 words and 486 pages now it is in print. And in case you are wondering about the title – it is named after The Marbles hit of 1968 – Only One Woman, sung by Graham Bonnet – later singer with Rainbow – and his cousin Trevor Gordon, and it was written by The Bee Gees.

Jane Risdon

Find out  more about Jane:


Only One Woman Accent Press

Only One Woman Facebook



Only One Woman video by Accent Press

Our Facebook Page where you can  read all about Renza, Stella, Scott and Narnia’s Children:

Our buy links:

Our Australia buy links:  

Our USA links:

Renza and Stella have their own YouTube Playlists to listen to as you read Only One Woman:

Scott returns from the cruises


Scott and Narnia’s Children arrived in the village late morning having driven from Southampton during the night following their disembarkation from the cruise ship they’d been resident on for the past two weeks.

They were tired and feeling the temperature change. The Mediterranean had been hot and sunny and although it was summer in England, the temperatures were nowhere near those they’d been enjoying on the cruise.

They’d be reluctant to admit it if asked, but they were happy to be going back to their flat above Shirley’s hairdressing salon – too much of a good thing can be tiresome after a while however much is on offer it eventually becomes the norm, and one thing the band hated was anything ‘normal.’

Eating regular meals with seven courses and as much alcohol as they could put away had been fun to begin but the constant hang-overs were not. They’d gone at the whole cruise like bulls in a china shop, over-indulging in everything on offer because it was free and because they’d been constantly hungry since arriving in England to record and tour.

Bessie Bedford coughed and spluttered her way into the car park behind the flats and jolted to a stop. They slowly unfolded their tired bodies from the van and shivered whilst Rich, their roadie, started to pull their duffel bags from the back, throwing them at their feet. He left the main bulk of their gear in the back of the van but passed guitars to their owners before locking up and leading the band up the side steps to their flat.

The flat has been rented for them by their manager, Stephan, who also paid all their bills and gave them a food allowance – when he remembered. Hence the constant hunger. Stephan collected in all their earnings and put them into an account for the band which was supposed to cover their expenses, but it didn’t always, and so he topped up any short-falls from his own funds usually.

Scott glanced across the gardens next to the flat to see if he could spot Renza. Washing was on the line so he hoped she was in and had been looking after her brothers and sisters whilst her mother was out. He would drop round later to see her. He’d missed her so much and couldn’t wait to see her again…


Stella’s Diary snippet – hardly Emergency Ward 10 either



As this is OOW publication week, this is probably Stella’s last diary snippet… And as medical dramas go, it’s hardly Casualty, Holby or even ER…or even Emergency Ward 10.

The Casualty Department was dimly lit and had that universal hospital smell: heat, fear, disinfectant and over-boiled cabbage. Scott and I sat on the grey metal chairs in the waiting area and I held his good hand. He smiled sleepily at me. We didn’t speak. We didn’t need to.
After about ten minutes a very pretty nurse, with huge green eyes and tendrils of auburn hair escaping from under her cap, called Scott’s name.
‘Lucky sod!’ Zak said. ‘She’s one cute chick.’
I glared at him.
Scott, looking petrified and very ill, staggered to his feet.
‘Good luck,’ I whispered as he followed the red-haired sex bomb out of sight.
Don’t let him die, I whispered inside my head, please, please don’t let him die.
‘We’ve done the right thing,’ Mo said comfortingly. ‘He needed to get that seen to. If it had got worse we’d have had to cancel our gigs.’
‘Yeah,’ Zak nodded. ‘Could have turned to gangrene and been amputated.’
‘And,’ Joss added, ‘a one-armed guitarist is pretty useless really. Mind you, one-armed drummers are ok – perhaps he could play drums… Mo could learn bass and I’d play guitar, and – ’
‘Shut up!’ I hissed. ‘Just shut up!’
The time dragged.
‘Here he is,’ Rich said suddenly, as Scott, accompanied by the auburn haired nurse and an equally young and weary-looking doctor, re-appeared, his arm in a sling.
‘I’ll leave you to sort out the paperwork,’ the doctor said. ‘We’ve done a basic clean-up,however, we need to do a minor operation. We have a day surgery slot tomorrow morning and we’ve booked him in at 8.30. So, take him home, nil by mouth from now on, and be back here by 8 sharp.’
An operation! I swallowed. Scott simply looked too ill to care.
‘Only one problem,’ the nurse said cheerfully. ‘As the patient is under age and the procedure will require a light general anaesthetic, we need next of kin to sign the surgical consent forms.’
‘Oh, no. Really?’ Mo sighed. ‘That’s impossible. His mother is in Jersey… and his dad’s somewhere on the south coast… and…’
‘But his wife’s here,’ Zak said quickly. ‘Isn’t she?’
I jolted in my seat. Was she? His wife? Renza? Was Scott secretly married? Had someone phoned her and got her to fly over from Germany?
‘Ah, yes,’ Joss nodded, nudging me. ‘You’re here, aren’t you, wifey?’
Zak nodded, beaming at the nurse. ‘He’s married to Stella, here. I think she’s a bit upset about all this, and didn’t quite understand. But she’s his next of kin, being his wife, isn’t she?’
The nurse and the doctor looked slightly askance at me – taking in the very short black dress, the fishnet tights, the fur coat, the long pink boots, the pantomime cow eyelashes and the sequins. And the absence of a wedding ring.
I glared at Zak. He glared back.
Rich nudged me. ‘He needs the operation. Just do it.’
‘Er – um – yes… of course…’ I muttered at the doctor. ‘I’m – um – married to Scott – er – where do I sign?’
I then looked quickly at Scott who was clinging on to the nearest table, clearly in pain, but trying valiantly not to laugh.
My hand shook as I signed the surgical consent forms, only just remembering at the last minute to put Scott’s surname after Stella instead of Deacon. I looked at it for a moment. It looked pretty good to me.
‘Right, we’ll see you in the morning,’ the doctor said as the nurse whisked the forms away. ‘Don’t be late.’
We all crowded out of Casualty then. I slid my arm round Scott’s skinny waist and he leaned heavily on me.
‘As every bit of that was illegal, you’d better hope,’ Rich chuckled at me as he unlocked the van, ‘that he doesn’t die on the operating table tomorrow. God knows what we’d tell Stephan.’
‘Sod Stephan,’ Mo frowned. ‘How the hell would we ever explain it to Renza?’

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Blog Tour with extracts from Only One Woman and more


Only One Woman has a blog tour beginning today with so many wonderful bloggers hosting us for the next couple of weeks. 

We will be sharing the opening chapter (from Renza’s diary) and also diary entries from Renza and Stella.

If you drop over do please leave a comment for them and us on their blogs as they’ve gone to a great deal of trouble to present us to you.

We are unsure when (time) each blogger will be posting so do pop back if nothing is showing immediately.

Thanks to all those hosting us on the blog tour and individually, we are really thrilled to share our book with them and with you all.

Also, please note: has been taken off the list for now. 

Looking forward to your comments on our book samplers. Don’t be shy.

Publication of Only One Woman is 23rd November 2017: E-book and Kindle Paperback

and in May 2018 we will be published in stores and for the trade in Paperback and Audio book too.

 These are the live links for Pre-order on Amazon.

There is a special UK pre-order in price £1.99

You can also pre-order in the USA $2.57


And pre-order in Australia $3.99:

Here is the list of our hosts.

No automatic alt text available.

Christina Jones talking to Marian Lanouette about Only One Woman

Christina Jones talking to Marian Lanouette about Only One Woman and her award-winning career

November 7, 2017

Today I welcome the other half of Only One Woman-Christina Jones

Hello Christina, and thank you for appearing here today. I’m excited about your book Only One Woman

Only ONe Woman cover Feb 27th 2017

Only ONe Woman cover Feb 27th 2017

1. What inspired your latest book?
ONLY ONE WOMAN is a collaboration with my friend and fellow-author, Jane Risdon. We have long wanted to co-write a book but as Jane writes gritty crime and I write froth and bubble rom-com, the subject matter was always a problem – until we realised that we shared a love – and experience – of all-things-60s… And from that light-bulb-moment Only One Woman was born. We’ve had so much fun with it. We wrote it as a two-hander, from the point of view of two girls – Renza and Stella – who are miles apart geographically, socially and emotionally, and who have both met and fallen in love with, Scott, the sex-on-legs guitarist with Narnia’s Children…
2. How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Oh, always – especially if they’ve annoyed me! But hopefully they’d never recognize themselves. I use snippets of character; of appearance; a way of walking or talking; add a large dash of make-believe – and roll it all into one – and then, if they’ve upset me in real life, make sure they get their fictional come-uppance. It’s very cathartic. Otherwise, everyone in my books is a complete figment of my imagination – honest.

3. Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?
There have been a few hiccups along the way, but mainly I think I’ve been very lucky. I started writing romantic short stories and doing pop band interviews for the teen magazines while I was still at school – then I moved on to writing humorous articles for newspapers, and fiction for the women’s magazines and managed to sell a lot of stories, and several serials, to them over the years – it was my pin-money hobby while I worked full-time at other proper jobs – I loved doing it and I never thought about it going any further. Then I won a couple of awards with some slightly longer stories – and at the awards ceremony I was approached by several agents – and well… one of them took me on, I wrote my first full length novel in 1997, my agent sold it to Orion – and I’ve written and had published 25 further books since then – as well as having another agent and several different publishers along the way– and I still write short stories for the women’s magazines too. So – yes, on the whole, compared to how it could have been, it’s been a walk in the park and I’ve been very, very lucky.

1-Listen as you read Stella

4. Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
Late 1960s: two girls, one boy, and a lifetime of rock’n’roll….

5. Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?
I write in the dining room now, on my laptop, with a view over our village green – so lots of trees and birds and squirrels and people meeting and talking and walking dogs and children playing – I love it. I used to have a study upstairs in the spare bedroom but when we had new neighbours who insisted on power-drilling the party wall day and night, I moved downstairs to the dining room to escape the noise and have never looked back.

1-Listen as you read Renza

6. What genres are you drawn to as a reader?
I read crime, police procedurals and thrillers. I love Agatha Christie and similar crime stories from a gentler age – I can’t cope with too much gore – I am however also addicted to Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks, Ann Cleeve’s Vera, and absolutely everything by Dick and/or Felix Francis. I would love to be able to write crime but I can’t – I’ve tried… I’m not clever enough to write convoluted plots – oh, and I’m such a Pollyanna that I’d never be able to kill anyone off.

7. Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Read, read and read….. Read anything and everything… then write what you want to write – write for you, not for the market or anyone else – tell the story that only you can tell.

Author PicAuthor Bio:
• Christina Jones, the only child of a schoolteacher and a circus clown, has been
writing all her life. As well as writing romantic comedy novels, she
also contributes short stories and articles to many national magazines and

She has won several awards for her writing: Going the Distance was a WH Smith Fresh Talent Winner; Nothing to Lose, was shortlisted and runner-up for the Thumping Good Read Award with film and television rights sold; Heaven Sent was shortlisted in The Melissa Nathan Comedy Romance Awards and won a Category Award; Love Potions won the Pure Passion Award; The Way to a Woman’s Heart was short-listed for the Rom-Com of the Year; and An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding won The Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Christina has written 21 romantic comedy novels:
Dancing in the Moonlight; Going the Distance; Running the Risk; Stealing
the Show; Jumping to Conclusions; Tickled Pink; Nothing to Lose;
Walking on Air; Lavender Lane; Honeysuckle House; Forever Autumn;
Summer of Love; Hubble Bubble; Seeing Stars; Love Potions; Happy
Birthday; Heaven Sent; Moonshine; The Way A Woman’s Heart; Never
Can Say Goodbye and An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding.

She has also written and/or contributed to 11 e-book-only novellas/short
stories/compilations: Those Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days; Mitzi’s Midwinter Wedding; Bucolic Frolics; Happy Ever After; Snippets; Shiver; Holiday Fling; Wishing on a Star; Chicklit Lovers Vol One; Chicklit Lovers Vol Three; and the Milton St John Box-Set.

Her latest novel – the love and peace and rock’n’roll 1960s story: Only One Woman – co-authored with Jane Risdon, will be published in November 2017 and is currently available to pre-order on Amazon.

Her next novel – Marigold’s Magical Mystery Tour – will be published in September 2018.

All Christina Jones’ novels are currently available, either in paperback or e-book format, and after years of travelling, she now lives in rural Oxfordshire with her husband and several rescued cats.


Also on FB: Christina Jones (author) page and Only One Woman page – both available from my main page.

Twitter: Christina Jones @bucolicfrolics

Website: Christina Jones, Chicklit Author


Barnes & Noble

Only One Woman: Opening Chapter – a taster from Renza’s diary May 24th 1968


Here is a preview of the opening chapter of


published by Accent Press

Only One Woman coming 23rd November 2017

Renza’s Diary

May 24th 1968 – late

What a flipping nightmare of an evening. I really thought I’d never get home in one piece. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Someone up there hates me I’m sure.

If only Selina hadn’t lost her handbag at the Top Rank, I’d have caught the last bus back from Reading and I would’ve been home on time. Instead I’d gone back with the others to look for it – thankfully it had been handed in at the cloakroom and nothing was missing. Luckily I had just enough money for the train, which I’d had to run for. Selina’s dad took the others home in his brand new car as arranged, and there wasn’t room for me as well. I reckon he could’ve taken me but Yvette refused to let me sit on her lap in the front, in case I ripped her Mary Quant stockings. Sometimes I really want to do her a mischief.

They’ve got to do something about our local station, it’s just too creepy for words. Steam from the train almost suffocated me as I crossed the bridge to the exit on the opposite platform; all very ‘Brief Encounter’ I remember thinking, in an effort to stop my mind wandering off into ‘Hitchcock-land.’ Talk about cough myself silly, and my eyes stung something rotten as I tried to find my way in the pitch black; the two over-head lamps didn’t help much, they should do something about those flipping lights, I could’ve broken my neck, or even worse, tripped over in my new pink kitten heels and broken one of them.

I slowly took the steps down to the lane beside the station, glancing around me all the while – I admit it, I was a little freaked out. It’s always deserted, and you can never be too careful. Not long ago a dangerous prisoner escaped from the nearby asylum and hid in the waiting room for days before being recaptured. Hardly anyone uses the station since the cut-backs by that old idiot, Beeching, and the trains are a bit hit and miss since they messed with the timetable, so the convict was able to wait for his twisted ankle to mend without much danger of discovery. For all I knew, another Jack the Ripper could’ve be lurking in there waiting for me to pass, that’d just be my flaming luck.

I was in so much trouble. Forty minutes later than agreed. She’d never believe me about the bag, but no other excuse came to mind as I walked down the lane. I was going to be so dead.

Oh God!

I had such a fright. Something or someone, made a noise behind me, so I stopped and listened, but I really felt like running. Some sort of night creature, silly girl, I decided as I walked on. But there it was again. Was someone behind me?

I turned and peered into the pitch dark – I’m still shaking as I write this. I told myself it sounded like a hedgehog – had to be. Don’t panic, no-one comes down here at night I reminded myself. Oh cripes, that lane, I hate it. Anyone could jump out to get you, seriously, I’ve often wondered, who’d hear you yell? No-one that’s who. There aren’t any lights or houses down there.

I must remember – next time the girls ask me to the Top Rank – to leave early and get the bus on time. Next time, who am I kidding?

I’m going nuts – I hope no-one ever reads this, I’d die, but I started singing quietly to myself – I do that sometimes when I’m feeling a bit nervous – well seriously spooked actually. I turned on to the main road relieved no-one had grabbed me, and headed for our house. That’s when I heard him…

‘What time do you think this is?’

Well, I nearly died of fright. I actually jumped. I couldn’t work out where the voice was coming from. It seemed to echo all around me in the dimly lit street. Someone had followed me, that’s what I kept thinking. I hurried past the bus stop when I heard him again. What to do? Should I run? If I screamed, bringing Mum and half the village outside, Mrs Digby would just love that and if I got murdered, well, it didn’t bear thinking about. All this went through my brain at a rate of knots as I tried to work out where the voice was coming from. Would I make it to the gate? Bloody Selina and her stupid bag. I was going to die all because of her stupid bag.

‘You’re out very late.’

I froze. I was partly relieved it wasn’t Mum or Mrs Digby’s voice. It was definitely a man’s. Who the hell was it? I was considering running but I didn’t want to break another heel, not after the last time. The Cobbler said he couldn’t repair it, if it snapped again. Besides, the bloke didn’t sound like a cold blooded murderer, well, not really. I mean, what sort of killer asks you what time do you call this, before bumping you off?


The voice sounded even nearer and something made me look up towards the row of shops not far from our house.

A window was open in the flat above the hairdresser’s, Shirley’s, and I could just make out a head and shoulders poking through. Someone with long dark hair; definitely a bloke.

Thank god, at least I hadn’t been followed by a crazed axe murderer after-all.

‘Mind your own business. What’s it got to do with you when I come home?’ I stopped walking and stood looking up at him. I couldn’t make out his features in the dark, and being short-sighted, even full daylight wouldn’t have made that much difference anyway.

‘You’re lucky you don’t have school tomorrow, coming back this late.’

Flaming nerve! He sounded like my Dad. Who the hell was he, I wondered. Too young to be one of Mum’s spies surely.

‘Drop dead!’ I turned and flounced off towards our gate, trying hard not to go over on my ankle on the uneven pavement. I had a bad case of the shakes thanks to him.

‘I’ll be watching you. Make sure you get your beauty sleep,’ he shouted just as I closed the gate, anxiously glancing at the house in case Mum or Mrs Digby next door had heard someone shouting at me in the street.

I’d never be allowed to forget it if Mum thought Mrs Digby had heard me making a spectacle of myself in public. Even getting murdered would’ve been my fault, causing her embarrassment in front of the whole village. Perish the thought – a public spectacle, no matter it wasn’t instigated by me. Fingers crossed most people were in bed by now anyway.

Just as I got to the front door it was yanked open by Mum and she stood aside in the hall to let me pass. Dread flooded over me. She’d heard me shouting. I was dead!

She was about to start on me when thankfully one of the kids woke up, having a nightmare or something, yelling and thrashing about in the room they all shared. With a withering look at me, she stomped upstairs to see whoever it was.

I heard something about ‘chocks away,’ followed by a huge thud. Then Mum yelling, ‘You can’t go to the loo in there! It’s the wardrobe! Get out of there!’ followed by a lot of shuffling about.

That would be my ten-year-old brother Simon doing a parachute jump from the top bunk and then mistaking the wardrobe for the loo – it often happened after he’d been messing about with his Air-fix.

Blessing him and his night-games – for once – I used the commotion to sneak into my room and get ready for bed. 

Hopefully Mum wouldn’t come into my room, and if she did I would pretend to be asleep. I’d get away with it – but she would certainly start on me in the morning.

I sighed heavily and prepared myself for not being allowed to go anywhere ever again in this lifetime…

We hope you enjoyed this first chapter and that it has whetted your appetite enough to buy our book. 

Published 23rd November 2017 on Amazon and in Paperback and Audio May 24th 2018

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