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What’s in a Name?

For an up-and-coming band working the circuit in the UK, Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean, life was hard. They often went without food for days, most of their income went on fuel for their van. They were lucky, in that they had a manager who paid their rent and expenses out of his own pocket in the beginning, otherwise, they'd have had to have given up or starved to death.

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There aren’t any Cosy Christmas Stories when I write…

I must have a criminal mind.
Writing about Christmas in a 'mince pie and Christmas pudding' way, isn't my style. My mind works strangely. I'd be tempted to poison the pies and pudding before feeding them to the victims in my stories. The only times Christmas appears in anything I write it has been to juxtapose the cosy atmosphere of the season of goodwill, with something horrible about to happen.

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International Bestselling Author and Award-Winning Inventor, Lizzie Chantree, Author of The Woman Who Felt Invisible, is my Guest Author

The Woman Who Felt Invisible by Lizzie Chantree.
A gorgeous romantic story of love and new beginnings. Learning to love herself and be content on her own is the first step. But will Olivia be able to leave her past behind, follow her heart and find lasting happiness? A read full of humour, romance, and tear-jerking reality, from international bestselling author, Lizzie Chantree.

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Autumn Walks in the Sunshine…

It has been wonderful getting out again and into the fresh air and countryside after being up inside for the last 20 months. Trees, flowers, hedges, gorgeous skies, and space - I couldn't live without them. I always take lots of photos and here are a few taken on various visits to places I love. Jane Risdon Photos

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Karen J. Mossman is my lovely Guest Author

A woman is dead, and another is missing. The only person who can save her is Cassie.
With no clues and time running out, her brother, Detective Newbold, desperately needs her help. He is counting on Cassie’s clairvoyant and empathic abilities to locate Chantelle.

When Chantelle’s brother, Pedro, seeks out a psychic for help, he meets and falls for Cassie. Though he wants answers, neither Cassie nor Detective Newbold can give any, which complicates their relationship. To make matters worse, his overbearing mother adds further damage with her meddling.

Meanwhile, the killer has been caught, but he refuses to talk. Now, it’s up to Cassie to read the signs and rescue her lover’s sister.

Will she find the answers in time?

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The Diplomat, The Honey Trap, when Government Business is an opportunity for…

He cleaned the bathroom quickly and expertly.
The plastic sheet and forensic suit returned to his bulging briefcase he changed back into his clothes, and with a last glance around the hotel room - checking he had left no trace of his presence - he silently let himself out of the room and made his way down the back stairs to the deserted alley where his driver waited for him...

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Be Warned: Reading may cause Earworms…

Only One Woman is all about music - the music of the late 1960s - and how it influenced the lives of two fashionable and exciting teens - Stella and Renza.
Follow their adventures in Only One Woman, read their most secret and innermost thoughts, live the 1960s though their eyes... and ears!
Only One Woman features the bands and singers followed by the girls and many others. This novel has authentic venues and locations, celebrities and up-and-coming new groups to discover.

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Phyllis Entis: My Guest Author on tour with The Silver Star Caper – a new Damien and Millie Dickens novel.

After a string of arson fires drives migrant farm workers from their homes and threatens Millie’s daughter-in-law, Damien agrees to go undercover to infiltrate the white-supremacist, neo-Nazi militia responsible for the fires and unmask the identity of their leader.
Millie covers his absence by spreading the news that they have separated, while he travels back to Atlantic City. When Damien reappears in California, it’s in the guise of a former cop with neo-Nazi sympathies.
Left alone to run their detective agency while maintaining a brave front, Millie dives into an investigation of a friend of the new mayor of Carmel-by-the Sea, a local resident she suspects of being a Nazi war criminal in hiding.
The action is non-stop as Damien and Millie risk their lives to eradicate the spectre of violence and racism from their community.

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Could she, should she, would he, will he? Dark secrets call for dark measures…

I am chatting to my host, the lovely Linda Thompson about writing short stories, my interest and subsequent study of Forensic Science and Criminal Justice - with various online universities in the UK catering for Crime Writers... And I read from Undercover: Crime Shorts which was great fun. We chat about my previous careers in the Civil Service and the International Music Business and so much more.

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The Ka of Gifford Hillary and Dennis Wheatley: Stella arrives in Leighton Buzzard to steak and kidney pie, mash, and baked beans.

I read The Ka of Gifford Hillary on the bus all the way to Leighton Buzzard. I'd spoken to Scott on the phone the night before and he was a chapter ahead of me, so I had some catching up to do. Just before I'd left the Leighton Buzzard house, a week ago, Scott and I had found two battered copies of the Dennis Wheatley book in one of the tall bookcases, and as neither of us had read it, we decided to make it a shared experience. Scott, apparently, was a massive Wheatley fan, and I'd never read any of his books before, so I was really looking forward to it.

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Donna Morfett interviewed me and we ended up having a great laugh…

The delightful Donna Morfett recently interviewed me via Zoom. We had quite a giggle together as we chatted about my writing, favourite and influential authors, as well as my early life working in the Ministry of Defence in Germany, transferring later to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London; oh! and how I married a musician.
We chatted about my life in the international music business, working and living in SE Asia and America, and how my experiences have influenced my crime/mystery writing, women's fiction writing, and so much more.

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St. Peter Port Guernsey, St. Helier, Jersey: The beginning of a Summer Adventure for Stella, or was it?

The Sania stayed docked in St. Peter Port in Guernsey for hours, well, maybe just over an hour - but it was driving me insane with impatience. I leaned over the side and watched people coming and going. Oh, hurry up! How long did it take to get on and off a boat for heavens sake?!
Later:
I stood up, leaning over the rails, no longer feeling sick, just starring as Scott's island took shape. I could see rocks and flower-sprigged cliffs and little white sandy bays...and then , as The Sarnia slowed towards St. Helier, the imposing sight of Fort Regent high on its granite hill, towering into the sky. I practically jumped up and down with excited anticipation. I'd made it! I was in Jersey! Almost...

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Spring and Summer photos with my phone camera.

I spent a lovely day at The Vyne, which is a 16th century Tudor mansion which has been added to over the years by members of the Chute family. It is now owned by the National Trust and is situated in Sherbourne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG24 9HL. It was built for Lord Sandys, Henry V111's Lord Chamberlain. Various owners of the house have been obliged to take the name Chute in order to benefit from various wills throughout the centuries. Photos on my blog. Jane Risdon

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‘We were just wondering,’ the blonde nurse said, ‘if you were in a rock group or something…’

There was a bit of a stir from the cubicles and two of the young nurses appeared and shimmied across.
'We reckon you were the group appearing with Doc Holliday and the Cards, in Dunstable,' the small nurse said, excitedly.
'Yeah, dead sexy you were and we tried to see you afterwards but the bouncers wouldn't let us near...' the darker haired one giggled.
'That was us,' Josh beamed. 'And I'm gutted that you couldn't meet us after the gig. We could have given you - um -our autographs.'
'We can still do autographs,' Zac grinned, 'in exchange for phone numbers.'

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Tim Walker: Author of Guardians at the Wall is my Guest Author

A group of archaeology students in northern England scrape at the soil near Hadrian’s Wall, once a barrier that divided Roman Britannia from wild Caledonian tribes. Twenty-year-old Noah makes an intriguing find, but hasn't anticipated becoming the object of desire in a developing love triangle in the isolated academic community at Vindolanda. He is living his best life, but must learn to prioritise in a race against time to solve an astounding ancient riddle, and an artefact theft, as he comes to realise his future career prospects depend on it.

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Shh…It’s Our Secret by Lizzie Chantree

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.
Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.
When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?

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The Dorchester Hotel, Carnaby Street, Lady Jane, Lord John, Pop, John Steven. The Who, The Mojos, Hair with Oliver Tobias…

Hello - we are Renza Rossi and Stella Deacon, and like most girls in the 1960s we kept diaries. Proper written diaries – with daily entries from 1968 through to the end of the decade, chronicling our life, the fashions, the music, the excitement – and our love affairs….Which, is just as well – because although we didn’t know it, and we certainly didn’t know each other, miles apart geographically and with totally different lifestyles, we were both in love with the same boy…How this came about, the ups and downs, the laughter, the tears, the heartbreak, and how it was resolved – all played out to a 1960s background of love and peace and rock’n’roll - is covered in the amalgamation of our diaries – which we’ve put together and called ONLY ONE WOMAN. We very much hope that they’ve whetted your appetite and you’re now longing to read the rest.

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Smorgasbord Book Review– #Short Stories–Undercover Crime Shorts by Jane Risdon

Originally posted on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine:
This week my review is for Jane Risdon for her collection Undercover: Crime Shorts. About the book Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel…

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CHAT AND SPIN Radio – I’m on the Morning Show with Lester Jones.

Only One Woman is more than a complicated and intense love story, it is a social comment on the late 1960s and features many references to the music, fashions, food and beverages, and the Cold War, the Moon landings of the era.
We nattered about Only One Woman, which is the fab novel I co-wrote with award-winning, best-selling author Christina Jones (writer of Bucolic Frolics), and which is set in the late 1960s UK music scene. A love triangle between two girls, Renza and Stella, and guitarist Scott, of Narnia's Children.

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Tom Williams: My Guest Author can Tango Something Wicked on his Book Tour

Tom Williams is my Guest Author: In an attempt to break away from the Napoleonic wars I have been experimenting with writing some stories set in the here and now. (Well, not quite now because I find covid restrictions a bit limiting for my characters, but near enough.) And because I wanted to escape the restrictions put on an author who writes a lot about real historical events I decided to move into the world of fantasy. Hence my Halloween 2019 novella, Dark Magic, a story of supernatural intervention in the world of stage conjuring. People seemed to like it, with its rather tongue-in-cheek take on the horror genre, so I’ve produced my first full-length contemporary novel, Something Wicked.

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We kept diaries with all our secrets…

Hello - we are Renza Rossi and Stella Deacon, and like most girls in the 1960s we kept diaries. Proper written diaries – with daily entries from 1968 through to the end of the decade, chronicling our life, the fashions, the music, the excitement – and our love affairs….
Which, is just as well – because although we didn’t know it, and we certainly didn’t know each other, miles apart geographically and with totally different lifestyles, we were both in love with the same boy…
How this came about, the ups and downs, the laughter, the tears, the heartbreak, and how it was resolved – all played out to a 1960s background of love and peace and rock’n’roll - is covered in the amalgamation of our diaries – which we’ve put together and called ONLY ONE WOMAN.
We very much hope that they’ve whetted your appetite and you’re now longing to read the rest…
Meantime take a look around.
We are in Paperback from Waterstones, and Amazon and available for Kindle and Kindle for PC.
With love,
Renza and Stella XXX

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Thrilled to bits to announce I now have an Agent…

In December 2019 I entered into discussions with an International Literary Agent interested in representing me internationally. I hadn't even considered getting an agent, but having been approached and after doing my homework, I was prepared to give the idea consideration. One year later, after lots of discussions, I am happy to announce that on December 10th, 2020 I signed an agreement with Langtons International Literary Agency based in New York, USA. I am now represented by their founder, Linda Langton.

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International Best-selling Maggie Tideswell, author of Finders Keepers: An Almost Gothic Love Affair, is my last Guest Author of 2020

A bride is sent off into the unknown to marry a stranger on All Hallows Eve, October 31, 1749. What she finds on her arrival is enough to make her skin crawl.
Limping footsteps, blood-curdling screams, smoking torches, and a house on a cliff... A man she only sees in the dark, his breathing labored behind a mask.
“A betrothal is as good as the wedding vows. You cannot leave.”
“Am I your prisoner?” "You shall stay here until you bear me a child. Then you can stay or go, the choice shall be mine!"

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1986 Part One – Dionne Warwick, Lionel Ritchie, Simply Red, Robert Palmer

Originally posted on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine:
Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2022.  Here is my first selection of top 1986 hits which I hope you will enjoy. Dionne Warwick and Friends – That’s what friends are for “That’s what friends are for” was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – December 26th – January 2nd 2022 – New Schedule, Starship, NY Party, Shortstories, Reviews, Bloggers and Funnies

Originally posted on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine:
Welcome to the round up of posts bridging the gap between 2021 and 2022… Happy New Year and wishing us all a healthy, wealthy and love filled year whatever life and opportunistic pathogens throw at us. We had a quiet Christmas and New Year with plenty of movies, good food and the occasional glass…

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Smorgasbord Christmas Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Music to get you into the festive spirit

Originally posted on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine:
Welcome to the Christmas Breakfast Show which we hope you will enjoy. William Price King has selected three of his favourite festive tracks, and I have chosen three of mine. Thank you for joining us today and I hope your preparations are going well for Christmas Day.. here are three festive songs I hope…

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