Posted in Writing

Happy Publication Day to Bernie Stevens and One Magical Christmas…..


one magical christmas cover

Christmas magic doesn’t really exist – does it? 
When Annie Berry collides with Nik Knoll in a car park on the day of her sister’s wedding, it feels like all of Nik’s Christmases have come at once. Annie seems like just the sort of woman he’d like to get to know, and the chance nature of their encounter is almost like, well … Christmas magic.

But Nik has a secret, and he has to be sure that he can trust Annie before he tells her. The problem is that this secret has a Christmas deadline, and time is running out …


Amazon UK:

Amazon US:







Posted in Writing

Tuesday Talk welcomes author Julia Ibbotson, chatting about her writing, holiday destinations and celebrity dinner guest choices…

Hi Julia and welcome once again to Tuesday Talk. For those who may be reading my blog for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Jo, good to be with you today! Well, where do I start? I’m fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. I love books that evoke a time and place vividly so that I can feel I’m right there. And those are the sort of books I like to write as well. I 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 I have a PhD in socio-linguistics. I wrote my first novel at 10 years of age, but I became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher, finding myself unexpectedly a single mum and therefore the sole ‘breadwinner’ of the family. Finding Jess (2018) is my sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, I love travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where I and my second husband divide our time.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always written, but had no idea how to do it commercially. In those days there was little advice, no indie writing (other than what was called the ‘vanity press’), no Amazon, or social media. Publishers were difficult to access. I wrote the first ms of my children’s time-slip novel (S.C.A.R.S) and sent it on spec to about 5 or 6 publishers, got rejections (although now I see they were actually very positive!) and gave up. I was leading a very hectic life as a teacher/lecturer and single parent, which had to take priority. Much later, about 7 years ago, having published academic papers and texts as part of my job, I was persuaded to write and publish a more creative book and The Old Rectory: escape to a country kitchen was born, which combines memoir, food history, research and recipes. I found that I loved the publishing scene as it now was, much more supportive and helpful. So I rewrote S.C.A.R.S and began the Drumbeats trilogy. I joined the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme which was very encouraging and never looked back: within three months I had a publishing contract for the Drumbeats trilogy. I recently finished my job at the university and am now writing full time.

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You are a versatile author, having written not only the Drumbeats trilogy but a children’s book, an historical novel and a memoir. Which of these did you enjoy writing the most?

I can’t believe that Finding Jess (the last of the Drumbeats trilogy) is my 6th published book in 7 years! Initially, I had no idea which genre I wanted to write in, so tried several! I’ve loved them all in their different ways, as they’ve all been very meaningful to me at the time of writing, but I think now that I’ve found my niche, and that is historical (medieval) time slip/multi period romance which inevitably centres on a mystery, like A Shape on the Air, which was published last year. I loved writing that one, especially because it’s a time slip set partly in the early medieval period which is my research interest. I know that still crosses genres (or sub-genres of romance) but I don’t want to write category genre. My WIP follows this direction.

Have you a favourite holiday destination?

That’s easy – Madeira! We’ve had an apartment there for the last 20 years and spend much of the summer over there. We love its climate, ambiance, scenery and cultural history. We walk, swim and sail there. It’s so relaxing and easy-going. And my WIP is set there! But I love travelling worldwide and especially enjoy Italy and France.

When you began to write Drumbeats were you consciously looking at a three book story, or did the whole thing evolve as you wrote?

I wanted to tell Jess’s full story and I knew that it wouldn’t fit into just one book. Looking at the scope (30 years) and the plot arcs I realised quite soon that it needed to be a trilogy covering different stages of her life, with a plot arc over all three: a saga, really, I suppose. The details of the second and third books then evolved as I planned and wrote the narrative and realised that they had to deal with some serious issues of modern life. So Drumbeats starts in the mid 1960s in Ghana and is essentially a coming of age story as a naïve 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling family and finds her way through civil war, tragedy and a new romance. Walking in the Rain picks up her story in the 1970s and 1980s, as she realises that the man she married isn’t who she thought he was, and the book deals with some tough issues of living with someone with mental health issues. Then Finding Jess looks at love, betrayal and rising above adversity; it ends in 1990 back in Ghana.

What are you currently working on?

My WIP is a medieval multi period romance, set in Madeira in the present day and the 14th and 16th centuries and based on the island’s historic events. It begins (uniquely I think!) 5 million years ago with the volcanic eruption that formed the island. Something in that dramatic event survives through the ages via an unquiet spirit to the present day and it’s the protagonist’s job (a medievalist) to restore harmony.

And finally, you’re organising a dinner party. Which four celebrity guests would you choose and why?

I’d invite the actor James Norton (hopefully coming as Rev Sidney Chambers from Grantchester or Prince Andrei from War and Peace, because I think he’s gorgeous, and I’d like to talk to him about creating ‘historical’ characters for the screen. I’d have the late Stephen Hawking to discuss the concept of time which fascinates me. I’d invite Dan Snow, the history guy, because we saw him recently and he’s very interesting about the medieval world. And Lucy Worsley because she’s fun and witty, and could talk to me about romance traditions through history and literature. I think that would make for an interesting, lively and amusing evening.

Drumbeats trilogy image

The blurb for Drumbeats, the first of the trilogy:

It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. But it’s a time of political turbulence across the region. Fighting to keep her young love who waits back in England, she’s thrown into the physical dangers of civil war, tragedy, and the emotional conflict of a disturbing new relationship. And why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?

Drumbeats is a rite of passage story which takes the reader hand in hand with Jess on her journey towards growing into the adult world.

And for Finding Jess which is the last of the Drumbeats trilogy that was published by Endeavour this summer:
Single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and her best friend. When she is on the brink of losing everything, including her family, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is sent a mysterious newspaper clipping of a temporary post back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again? 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.

Author Bio

author photo image 3Award-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.

Drumbeats trilogy banner

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?
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, re-released 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, re-released 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?


Amazon Author page:

A Shape on the Air:


Walking in the Rain:

Finding Jess

The Old Rectory:

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


Posted in Writing


L (1) copy 2 (1)Hi Lynda and welcome back to Tuesday Talk. For those who may be reading my blog for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Jo, how lovely to be back. For those who don’t know me, I grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster. I left school the first moment I could and began work the very next day… and I think I’ve been working ever since.
My jobs have been varied and have included being a receptionist, a sales assistant, a nurse, a van driver, a model, a scuba diving instructor, an emergency first response instructor and the full time position I hold now as the Sales Director of a stationery and office furniture company.
Around 10 years ago I was in a bad car accident, I lost a lot of use in my arms, my shoulders were destroyed and a lot of my hobbies, including the scuba diving had to be given up. I really couldn’t do very much. I was in a lot of pain, but I quickly worked out that my fingers still wiggled, I could still type, and it was at this time that I began writing. I can honestly say that I not only fell in love with writing, with the characters and the stories, but also with the whole industry of publishing, of the circles I now mix in and with all the other authors who I now feel very privileged to call my friends.

How do you balance writing with your busy working life?

Lol… am I supposed to be balancing it?
Seriously, I just write when I can. I tend to write more in the winter than I do in the summer and I have to admit, the thought of sitting in the house with the lap top on my knee when the sun is shining isn’t on the top of my ‘to do list’. But, when the sun goes down, when the rain falls and when the log fire is lit, that’s when I tend to write. Hence why there is always a lot of winter scenes in my books.

Have you a favourite place to write?

I literally sit on the corner of the settee with the laptop on my knee. I probably should use the office that I had purposely built, it was an extension that I just had to have, but never use. Oops.

Are you someone who plans your writing, or do you have an idea and see where it takes you?

I always know who my heroine is and where she’s going. I always know how the story will end, but the bit in the middle, well, can we say that it even surprises me as it happens. My thoughts often go off on a tangent and the story can quite quickly take a diversion, which I hope is what keeps the twists and turns happening.

What prompted the move from romantic suspense to psychological thriller?

The Fake Date

I love suspense, but the psychological side really excites me and getting into the mind of the villain is great fun. I’ve just listened back to the audio of THE FAKE DATE and can honestly say that I seriously wondered about my own sanity when I began to hear the villains voice.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a book that’s very close to my heart. It’s set in my home town ofElephant and Mahout Doncaster where in the 1900’s we had a Victorian marvel called the Sand House. Not only was it a house of gigantic proportion that was carved out of sand stone, it was also the site of the famous catacombs. A series of tunnels that were also carved out of the sand stone. There were intricate carvings within the tunnels and the most famous was that of the Elephant and Mahout.
I’ve attached a picture for you to see it.
In reality, the tunnels can’t be excavated. However, in fiction, anything can happen, and it will…!

And finally, you’ve been invited onto I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here. Name four celebs you would like to join you and why.

I’d love to be surrounded by the type of people who would really take the challenge to heart.
My four celebrities would be two women and two men:
The ladies would be Michelle Keegan and Lacey Turner, both took female leads in Our Girl.
And the men who were both in Jamestown would be Matt Stokoe who played James Reed, and Stuart Martin who played Silas Sharrow.
If nothing else, the girls would be a laugh and the men… well, they’d be easy on the eye, so all would be good.

 Author Bio

me on the staircase at Wrea Head hallLynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for almost 30 years.



Link to Amazon:






Posted in Writing



A fabulous new Christmas story for 2018 from Kirsty Ferry. Highly recommended.

When midwinter magic brings you home for Christmas … 
When Emmy Berry arrives at Hartsford Hall to work at the Frost Fayre she immediately feels at home. Which is odd because she’s never set foot in the place in her life.
Then a freak blizzard leaves her stranded and things get even weirder when she bumps into Tom Howard. Tom and Emmy have never met before but neither can ignore the sense that they know each other.
With Christmas fast approaching and the weather showing no sign of improving it soon becomes apparent that Hartsford Hall has a little bit of midwinter magic in store for them both …

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:






Kirsty Ferry HRKirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale ‘Enchantment’.

Her timeslip novel, ‘Some Veil Did Fall’, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, ‘The Girl in the Painting’ in February 2016. ‘The Girl in the Photograph’, published in March 2017, completes the Rossetti Mysteries series. The experience of signing ‘Some Veil Did Fall’ in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!

Kirsty’s first timeslip novel ‘The Memory of Snow’, commended in the Northern Writers’ Awards, is set on Hadrian’s Wall, with the vampire tale ‘Refuge’ set on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. She has also put together a collection of short stories, a non-fiction collection of articles and writes Gothic Fiction under the pen name Cathryn Ramsay.

Kirsty has had articles and short stories published in Your Cat, Peoples Friend, Ghost Voices, The Weekly News and It’s Fate, and her short stories appear in several anthologies. She was a judge in the Paws ‘n’ Claws ‘Wild and Free’ Children’s Story competition in 2011, 2013 and 2014, and graduated from Northumbria University in December 2016, having achieved a Masters with Distinction in Creative Writing.

You can find out more about Kirsty and her work at, catch her on her Facebook AuthorPage, follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry or pop by her blog at

Posted in Writing


Hi Jane and welcome. Can I start, as always,by asking you a little about yourself?1-21731049_144686479471516_8105924548833294401_n

Hi Jo, thanks so much for having me back again. It is such fun to take part in Tuesday Talk Interviews with you.
My background, as many of your long-term readers will know – having read my previous interviews with you I am sure – is in the international music business where my husband and I (sounds like Her Majesty, oops) managed singers, songwriters, musicians of all genres, record producers and, at one time, an actor from the Aussie series Home and Away. We also placed music and songs in to movies and television series around the world.
After years of babysitting testosterone fuelled rock musicians and hormone crazed female singers we decided to call it a day and get a life of our own. My husband is a musician and wanted to do more song-writing and other related activities which – curiously – ended up with him appearing in movies and television series in India (he is not Indian) when Bollywood came calling and he couldn’t resist. The results are…interesting! He ended up working with super-star Indian actors and actresses and was often stopped in the street by fans wanting to ‘touch’ someone who knew Shahrukh Khan for example.

When did you decide to become a writer and how did you begin that journey?

I’ve always wanted to write crime/thrillers but working 24/7 promoting and guiding the careers of others was not conducive to writing and promoting oneself and so my ambitions have taken a backseat for most of my life, until 2011, when I found I had time to myself, a keyboard, and a good supply of tea and liquorice.
For two years I wrote and wrote and wrote. I have dozens of short stories and novels all waiting to see the light of day. At the time I had no idea what to do with them all. Publication was a vague thought in the depths of my brain, but all those years of pent up longing burst out and I wrote myself silly. Most of the stories were crime/thrillers and a few were what you might call humorous. One novel went on to become Only One Woman, published May 2018 with Accent Press.
When it comes to getting away are you a beach or city girl?
Cripes, beach or city? Can I say neither? I’m a country girl. Although we’ve always been near the sea in most cities where we have lived – Singapore, Los Angeles, Taiwan – but we both love the countryside. It would have to be country every time, although my husband might waiver.

How did the collaboration with Christina Jones to write Only One Woman come about?

My collaboration with Christina Jones on Only One Woman is a story in itself.
She was fan-club secretary for my husband’s band back in the late 1960s and I got to know her through her dealings with him – still my boyfriend then – and the band. She came on the scene a while after I’d been going out with him and as she was a rock/pop journalist and short story writer, the band’s manager thought she would be ideal for the role. She loved the band and agreed. We discovered we had a love of music, fashion, and most of all writing and we’ve always wanted to write together. She wrote romance and I wanted to be a crime writer so we thought it would never happen.
I mentioned 2011 and having time to write. One such novel was Only One Woman, named for the Bee Gees penned hit song for singer Graham Bonnet and his cousin, Trevor Gordon (The Marbles) in 1968. I’d written the complete novel by the summer of 2012 in diary format, from the point of view of 16 year old Renza, and sent it to Christina for her opinion. To my delight she loved it and wanted to co-author with me. So the book remained with her whilst she wrote her parts – Stella and her family etc., and fitted them in. Once she’d written her parts she sent it to our publisher Accent Press, in 2014, who we shared by then; some of my short stories having been published by them in 2014. We didn’t know that we shared the same publisher until then.
We were set for publication later in 2014 but due to numerous changes of editors at the publishers and the request for more chapters, we didn’t publish until November 2017. Initially the word count was 130,000 words and by the time we’d added in more diary entries it came out at about 160,000 words – almost 500 pages. A very quick read we are told. Don’t be put off! The paperback for bookstores (Waterstones) was published May 2018.

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By this time I’d managed to get Graham Bonnet to write our foreword and agree to be used for any publicity we thought would help us and of course, him. He has been a star and so has his bass-player and girlfriend, Beth-Ami Heavenstone. Graham is a superstar singer having performed not just Only One Woman with The Marbles, but he’s sung with iconic bands such as Rainbow, Alcatraz, Blackmore etc., and now his own band The Graham Bonnet Band.

What are you currently working on?

My crime/thriller Ms Birdsong Investigates series has been on the shelf waiting for the publication of Only One Woman and I have been working on updating it. It has been in with Accent for a long time and is in need of an overhaul. I have three books already written so I have a lot of work ahead of me.
Ms Birdsong is a 40 something former MI5 officer ‘voluntarily retired’ following a messed up operation with MI6 involving her lover and MI6 officer, Michael Dante. He kept his job and was shoved off to Moscow.
Lavinia Birdsong moves to rural Oxfordshire, The Vale of the White Horse, in the hope that she will somehow be reinstated eventually and when a young woman goes missing she sees her chance to get involved and perhaps regain her credibility with the Security Services. Soon she is up to her neck in Russian Mafia people trafficking, Ukrainian gun and drug smugglers and murder.
I have a short story ‘The Gift,’ in the Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018, Plaisted Publishing House – this is my 5th contribution to the series since 2016 – and writing ghost stories was a challenge for me, just as writing Women’s Fiction (Only One Woman) was. The Gift is a tale of spooky crime.
My collection of short crime stories, Undercover, published by Plaisted Publishing House, is due out in a few weeks’ time and is my first real publication in my own right. I am excited and terrified. It features new short stories and a couple which my readers tell me are their favourites. I have another compilation being collated and due for publication later this year or early 2019. Undercover will be in paperback and e-book.
Believe it or not I am also beginning a sequel to Only One Woman – untitled as yet – taking Renza, Stella, Scott and Narnia’s Children into the 1970s and beyond. Many readers have asked for a sequel so I thought the story should continue. The fate of those caught in the love triangle between Renza, Scott and Stella will be played out in the same musical way Only One Woman is, I am sure. It needs lots of research so I may be some time.

What would your advice be to new writers?

I am not good at giving advice. I guess I would tell anyone new to writing to just do it. Write what you know and if you don’t know it, research it. I’ve undertaken 7 Forensic Science and Criminal Justice Courses in order to increase my knowledge when writing crime/thrillers as I knew I could not rely on TV series such as CSI, or what I watched or read in other crime stories for accuracy.

And finally, you’re planning a year out, getting away from everyone on a desert island – what ‘must haves’ would you take with you and why? And if you could choose one person to spend the time there with you, who would it be?

A year on a desert island? Cripes, my idea of a nightmare. I would take my husband as we never run out of things to natter about and he’d love it there. He’d need his guitar and access to some sort of music player, his computer and mobile, and he’d have to have a mirror – he’s a musician after-all. I would need to be under some sort of covering – tent/hut – as I am very fair and cannot stay in the sun long. I would need my computer to write, my books to read – Kindle is all right – and he would need a supply of Earl Grey tea and I’d need my Yorkshire Gold tea and a supply of liquorice. I think we’d both need lots of wine and Scotch. I would have to have my mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and moisturiser, hair-drier, and sunglasses – I wear them all year long; the sun would give me migraine so I’ll need pain-killers too. But seriously, can’t I be sent somewhere in the countryside instead? He’d love it near the sea. I wouldn’t. It is great to visit and enjoy the scenery for a short time, but it really is not for me. Help!!

To learn more about Jane and her books with buy links drop over to her Amazon Author page:
Facebook Author Page:
Only One Woman Facebook Page:
Only One Woman amazon: UK
Paperback ISBN: 9781783757312
Simon & Schuster: ISBN: 9781682994252

1-woman-3513418_1280Undercover – Crime shorts by Jane Risdon
For the first time a collection of crime shorts from Jane Risdon featuring a couple of readers’ favourites – The Honey Trap and Murder by Christmas – alongside newer stories including The Watchers and Sweet Sable. These stories are female driven but men will love them too. Twists, turns, and unexpected endings will grab anyone loving a good edge of your seat yarn.
Our readers said:
Undercover – crime shorts; is a wonderfully satisfying anthology of six short stories which transcend above the crime fiction genre providing a ripping yarn irrespective of the reader’s crime fiction preference. Jane Risdon has cleverly stitched together a mix of tales to suit all fans of the genre. Roger A Price – Crime/Thriller Author
Plaisted Publishing House November 2018

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018.
The Gift by Jane Risdon
Where crime crosses the divide between the living and the dead
The room stank of bleach but that couldn’t be helped, he’d opened the windows and was43828883_865718387151958_6522759887473082368_n sure that the odour would soon evaporate. The air fresheners would help too. Nothing was left that he could see but he knew that modern forensics would be able to find blood splatter if they sprayed Luminol where they suspected the murder took place. He’d read some time ago that rubbing surfaces with Horseradish sauce would give a false reading – he carried it with him these days – and he’d done that for added insurance. The murderer didn’t plan on hanging around. If they found anything, which he thought highly unlikely, he’d be long gone. He’d planned on relocating overseas with a new identity and had ensured there wouldn’t be a trail to follow. He hadn’t been successful for as long as he had been withougood reason.

Plaisted Publishing House 31st October 2018



Only One Woman by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon
34063075_1767354966684843_163787001579962368_nOur readers said:
Jeff Lee
Wonderful characters. Wonderful story. Magical time.
Christina Jones and Jane Risdon are two of the best, most recognized writers emerging now from the UK. Individually, each is a gifted writer and storyteller with a real talent for creating fascinating storylines, compelling characters and damn good, REAL-sounding dialog. But, put Christina and Jane together working on the same title, and you uncork magic.

1968. The Fool was perched on the hill. Mick & the boys were trying to generate a little sympathy for old Nick. And the rest of the world was caught up in the explosion of music, fashions and leading-edge creativity bursting out of London and San Francisco.

In the midst of it all, Christina and Jane weave an irresistible tale of two English teenage girls – one living the dark side of the Cinderella story and the other, a girl facing life-altering medical choices, who decides to follow her dream of becoming a music industry journalist. Both characters meet and befriend the guys in a struggling rock group, on the cusp of jumping from playing pub dates to filling arenas. And, they both fall in love with the same band member, the lead guitarist.

The entire book is told through the girls’ diary entries, which I thought was genius. I love it when an author takes me right inside the head of their main character, to see what they’re thinking and why. And, in the case of Only One Woman, I got to see and enjoy it TWICE.

During the time period this book was taking place, I was around 19 and living about 10 miles South of San Francisco. I was pretty active in the city’s music and creative scene, so a lot of the local musicians were friends (a few still are, 50 years later). And, I knew a couple of musicians who lived through some of the events in Only One Woman.

Look, I’m not going to offer any spoilers here, but if you either remember the times or are a fan of them, Christina and Jane will take you on a completely enjoyable romp down the rabbit hole. Only One Woman will not disappoint.

Foreword from Graham Bonnet:
1-37120728_10214039137147267_3307257970496110592_nWhen Jane asked me if I’d like to write a foreword for Only One Woman I was thrilled and excited to be invited to share some of my memories of the 1960s and how the song, Only One Woman, came into being.
When I moved to London in 1968 with my cousin Trevor Gordon and our band, we never expected what was going to happen to us. We played a club in London called the Revolution Club and it just happened that the Bee Gees ex-manager was in the audience. He knew my cousin from when Trevor lived in Australia and actually played and recorded with the Bee Gees; this was back in the early 60s. He gave Trevor Barry Gibbs’ telephone number.

We eventually went over to Barry Gibbs’ house and sat around playing acoustic guitars and singing Stevie Wonder songs and Beatle songs. It just so happened that Robert Stigwood – the Bee Gees’ manager – was at Barry’s house at the same time and wanted Barry to take my cousin and me into the studio to record a song that he asked Barry to write for us.

Before we knew it we were in the studio that same week with Barry, Maurice and Robin, with only a vague idea of a tune that Barry had written for us to record.

So we sang and recorded a ‘la la la la’ melody to begin, with Barry playing acoustic guitar. Trevor changed the melody a little and took a straightforward kind of 3/4 country tune to an R&B soulful melody. Eventually Barry wrote the words and came up with the song “Only One Woman.”

When “Only One Woman” became a number three hit in 1968, in the UK, everything changed for Trevor and me. Suddenly we were recognised on the streets and it was strange.

I will be forever grateful to the Gibb Brothers for giving me and Trevor a career. Since those days my whole life has just been music thanks to my cousin and his encouragement, and also to the Gibb brothers for giving me such faith in my own talent. The rest is music history.

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

Posted in Writing

It’s Tuesday 16th October and publication day for A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman…



A wonderful new uplifting Christmas story from Kathryn Freeman to put you in the festive mood. Highly recommended.

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?




5707-2Kathryn started her working life as a retail pharmacist but soon realised trying to decipher doctors’ handwriting wasn’t for her. Next she joined the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications, doing a lot of writing – about medicines. What she really wanted to write about though, was romance.

In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

She lives with two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

She can be found at:

Posted in Writing



Today I’m pleased to be hosting Fenella for the launch of her new book The Spitfire Girl, published by Aria Fiction

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16th October 2018 • £2.99


The Blurb

‘The perfect ingredients for a cracking good read. Well recommended.’ Jean Fullerton

It’s 1939 and the threat of war hangs over the country…

Flying instructor Ellie Miller has grown up a tomboy. She’s never had interest in the latest clothes or lipstick colours – her only passion is flying her beloved Tiger Moth. But when war is declared, and she is no longer be able to do what she loves most – fly.

Unless she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force that is! Given the choice to keep the home fires burning – or join the fight on the home front Ellie doesn’t have to think twice.

Joining the WAAFs she meets friends that become her family in the skies – sharing both the small daily triumphs and grief as war slowly tears both the country she loves, and her heart, apart….

Heartwarming and emotional story of pluck and courage in WWII – perfect for fans of Nancy Revell’s The Shipyard Girls series and Daisy Styles’ The Bomb Girls series.




July 1939

‘Well, Miss Simpson, what do you think?’ Joseph Cross asked as he pointed to the de Havilland 60 Moth that stood proudly on the worn grass outside the barn that served as a hanger.

Ellen wanted to hug him but thought he might not appreciate the gesture. ‘I love it. Is it dual control?’

‘No, but it has the usual two seats so can take a passenger.’

‘Good – I’ve got more than enough pupils to teach. Since the government subsidy last year every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to learn to fly.’

‘I hope you don’t expect me to pay you any extra, young lady. I reckon you owe me far more than your wages would have been for all the lessons and hours you’ve spent flying my aircraft over the past five years.’

She put her hands on her hips. ‘Giving my brothers and me lessons at your Flying Club couldn’t have been as much as the rent you would have had to pay to use my father’s farms and fields.’ He was about to interrupt but she continued. ‘Not forgetting the fact that Dad bought the first aircraft and both Neil and George acted as instructors until they joined the RAF.’

He scowled but she wasn’t fooled for a minute. ‘The cost of one lesson is usually two pounds – the three of you never paid a penny…’

‘Joe, I don’t want to stand here arguing anymore. I want to take her up before it gets too hot. Are you coming with me or can I go solo?’

‘Circuits and bumps only, my girl, no flying off into the wild blue yonder. There are three new enquiries to be dealt with in the office – I want you to sort those out this morning.’

The other aircraft the flying club owned were a Swallow and a Gypsy Moth. Both were fitted with dual controls. Joe had several clients who liked to go up on their own and pootle about until the fuel ran out. This de Havilland had been bought to satisfy those clients.

Sidney, the ground engineer, and the only other full-time employee, wandered out from the hanger. ‘Nice little machine, Ellie, sweet as a nut. You going to take it up for a spin?’

‘If that’s all right with you, I’d love to. I’ll not be long – I just want to get the feel of it for myself.’

‘The bloke what brought it said it flies like the Gypsy only a bit faster. You’ll have no problem – you’re a natural. I remember your first solo flight when you were no more than a nipper…’

Joe poked his head out of the office. ‘No time for reminiscing, Sid, let her get on with it. Just had a bell and we’ve got a new pupil coming in an hour.’

‘Sorry, guv, I’ll not hold her up.’

She collected her helmet and goggles and scrambled into the cockpit. Even though the weather was warm she needed her flying jacket on over her dungarees. It got a bit nippy at a thousand feet above the land. After doing her pre-flight checks she taxied into position on the grass runway and took off.

An uneventful forty-five minutes later she landed smoothly and headed for the office to catch up with the paperwork. The new pupil, a middle-aged bank manager, decided after a couple of circuits of the field that he didn’t want to learn to fly after all. As they’d only been in the air for a quarter of an hour there was no charge.

By the time her last pupil left the airfield it was almost six o’clock. Often they had to work until it was too dark to fly, but tonight they’d finished early. Ellen left Sid to lock up and jumped onto her bicycle. At least in the summer Dad didn’t come in for his tea until late so she wouldn’t have missed her meal.

She pedalled furiously down the track, swerving instinctively around the dips and ruts, covering the mile in record time. She skidded into the yard, sending half a dozen chickens squawking into the air in protest, and tossed her bike against the wall.

With luck she’d have time to wash before her parents sat down to eat. It had taken Mum months to get used to seeing her only daughter dressed in slacks or dungarees. She might be a farmer’s wife now, but she’d come from a grand family and had very high standards.

The fact that Mum had been disowned when she’d married a farmer should have softened her but instead, according to Dad, it had made her even more determined to bring her children up as though they were landed gentry and not the children of a farmer.

After a quick sluice in the scullery Ellie headed to the kitchen – she was about to open the door when she realised the voices she’d heard were coming from the seldom used front parlour. Mum insisted on calling it the drawing room, but no one else did.

This must mean they had guests. She looked down at her scruffy oil-stained dungarees and wondered if she had time to nip upstairs and put on something more respectable. Unfortunately, her mother must have heard her come in.

‘Ellen, you are very late this evening. Had you forgotten Neil has a twenty-four hour pass?’

She was pretty sure this was the first she’d heard of it but having her oldest brother home was a wonderful surprise. She didn’t stop to think why this meant they were in the parlour, and burst in.

‘Hello, little sister, I’ve brought a chum along. Let me introduce you to Gregory Dunlop.’

Only then did she become aware of the second RAF uniformed young man staring at her with open admiration. He was a bit shorter than Neil, but broader in the shoulders, with corn coloured hair and startlingly blue eyes.

‘I’m pleased to meet you, Flying Officer Dunlop.’ She wasn’t sure if she should offer her hand as despite her best efforts it was far from clean.

He stepped closer and held out his and she had no option but to take it. ‘I’ve heard so much about you, Miss Simpson, and have been pestering your brother for an invitation in order to meet you for myself.’

His grip was firm, his hand smoother than hers – but what caught her attention was his upper crust accent. ‘I’m sorry to appear in my work clothes. If you don’t mind waiting a few more minutes I’ll pop upstairs and change into something more suitable for the occasion.’

‘Please, don’t worry on my account. I think you look perfectly splendid just as you are.’

He seemed reluctant to release her hand but she pulled it away firmly. He was a very attractive man and was obviously interested in her, but she wasn’t looking for a boyfriend.

‘Run along, Ellen, you’ve got plenty of time to put on a frock as your father has only just come in himself. We are having a cold collation so nothing will be spoiled by waiting for another quarter of an hour.’

She smiled at her brother in resignation and he winked. They both knew there was no point in arguing once their mother had made up her mind.

She met her father in the passageway. ‘Have you got to change as well, Ellie? She told me at lunchtime I’ve got to put on something smart.’

‘It must be because of Neil’s friend. He certainly sounds very posh.’ She pushed open her bedroom door and was about to go in when he replied.

‘Seems a lot of fuss for nothing but easier to give in than put up with a week of black looks and sour faces.’ He shook his head sadly and went into the room he no longer shared with her mother. Ellie wished her parents had a happier relationship.

If there was one thing she’d learned, by watching the disintegration of what must once have been a happy union, it was this: Don’t marry for love as it doesn’t last. If she ever took the plunge it would be with a man she respected, liked and who shared her outlook on life.

Her mother had told her to put on a frock but she rebelled. She didn’t wish to impress their visitor so would come down in what she usually wore – slacks and blouse. The only time she put on a frock was when she was forced to attend church. Most Sundays she had the excuse that she had to work at the airfield.

She checked her face was oil free and ran a brush through her hair. Satisfied she was presentable she hurried downstairs eager to catch up on Neil’s news. George, her other brother, hadn’t been home since January and she was desperate to hear how he was doing.

Her mother pursed her lips when Ellie came in. ‘Is your father coming, Ellen?’

‘I don’t know, Mum, but I don’t think he’ll be long.’ She joined her brother by the open window, leaving his friend to entertain her mother.

‘I wish you wouldn’t deliberately provoke her, Ellie. Why won’t you call her Mother? You know how much she dislikes being called Mum, especially in front of strangers.’

She shrugged. ‘Whatever she was in the past, now she’s just a farmer’s wife. Have you finished your training?’

He grinned and pointed to the wings on his uniform. ‘I have, didn’t you see these? George is still in Scotland – seems he pranged a Moth and needs longer up there.’

‘He obviously didn’t hurt himself or you wouldn’t be so jolly. Do you know where you’re going to be stationed?’

Their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of her father looking uncomfortable in a collar and tie. After he was introduced to the guest her mother clapped her hands as if wishing to attract the attention of a crowd of children.

‘We shall go in to dine now that we are all here.’

Ellie hid her smile at her mother’s pretentiousness behind her hand. Ham and salad hardly deserved such an introduction.

When her father mentioned the likelihood of there being a war her mother insisted that this was not a suitable topic of conversation at the dinner table. No one was particularly interested in discussing the weather and an uneasy silence fell.

‘We’ve got another aircraft, Dad. I took her up and…’

Her mother glared at her. ‘I’m sure that Flying Officer Dunlop doesn’t want to hear about your highly unsuitable employment. A young lady should be interested in more feminine things, don’t you agree, Mr Dunlop?’

The young man nodded solemnly. ‘I’m sure that most girls would prefer to talk about fashion or flowers but your daughter is different. I’ve never met a female pilot before and am most impressed. How many hours solo do you have now, Miss Simpson?’

‘Please call me Ellie, everyone else does.’

‘And you must call me Greg.’

‘Well, Greg, to answer your question, I’ve been flying since I was twelve – six years now – and got my A licence when I was fourteen and my instructor’s certificate when I was sixteen. I’ve logged more than twelve hundred hours now.’

‘Good God! That’s a damn sight more than I have.’ He couldn’t fail to hear her mother’s horrified gasp. Instead of being embarrassed he smiled at her. ‘I apologise for my appalling language, Mrs Simpson, I do hope you will forgive me.’

‘Apology accepted. I’ll say no more on the matter.’

He turned to Ellie. ‘I want to hear how you manage in poor weather conditions and hope you will talk to me before we leave tomorrow morning.’

Before she could answer she was instructed to clear the table and fetch the dessert. Obediently she pushed her chair back and began to collect the plates. When Greg made a move to stand up she shook her head.

Clearing the table was a woman’s job, as well all the other domestic duties that she did her best to avoid. Pudding was a sherry trifle accompanied by a jug of thick, fresh cream from their dairy herd. She placed the large glass bowl on the tray and put the cream beside it. The ham salad, again all home-grown, had been excellent but this would be even better.

The Author

Fenella Miller author photo 2

Fenella J Miller has over thirty eight Regency romantic adventures published plus four Jane Austen variations, three Victorian sagas and seven WW2 family sagas. She lives in a pretty, riverside village in Essex with her husband and British Shorthair cat. She has two adult children and three grandchildren.

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Facebook: @FenellaJMiller
Twitter: @fenellawriter

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