I’m really delighted to be joining the blog tour today for Only One Woman – co-written by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon, and published by Accent Press on 23rd November. I’m also really kicking myself that I didn’t keep a space in my reading schedule for this one – Jane has always been a wonderful supporter of Being Anne, and it’s far too long since we last saw a new book from Christina. And as a reader of a certain age, I rather think I’d have recognised (and rather enjoyed) a lot about the 60s setting too – and I absolutely love the music soundtracks you can listen to as you read.
Here’s a closer look:
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?
Let’s get a taste of the book – here’s an extract from Stella’s Diary for Saturday 7th December 1968…
In St B’s hall, the dusty green curtains were pulled closed across the stage in the gloomy, moody darkness. Tiny lights twinkled in the ceiling and from one of the deepest, darkest corners, the DJ was playing an early Monkees hit. St Barnabus always put on a good night, and certainly knew how to create an atmosphere.
The place was packed. Most people had nabbed one of the chairs that were lined up round the outside of the floor, claiming them with handbags and drinks. A few mini-skirted girls were dancing – always the same ones – in front of the stage. Vix and I grinned at each other. We called them the Dolly-Rockers and we knew they’d be the ones trying to get off with the group’s singer later – even if he looked like Quasimodo’s much uglier cousin.
Vix and I found a couple of vacant chairs right at the front to the left of the stage.
‘Fab. We’ve got ringside seats for when the group – what are they called – oh, yes, Narnia’s Children – comes on.’ Because she knew how ill I felt, Vix was fussing round me like a mother hen. ‘Now, you don’t need to move all night, unless you need the lav of course, if you feel awful. Do you? Feel awful, I mean?’
‘No,’ I shook my head. ‘The pethidine has kicked in nicely – and honestly if this is my last night out I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. It’ll be just my luck that the group is rubbish tonight.’
‘They won’t be,’ Vix grinned. ‘They always have good bands here – even the ones we’ve never heard of like – um – Narnia’s Children.’
The DJ – who was actually Mr Fisk, St Barnabus’ science teacher, who always played records between the live acts and acted as Master of Ceremonies at the Saturday dances – had replaced the Monkees with the Tremeloes. The Dolly-Rocker girls in front of the stage all posed and pouted and pushed each other and danced a bit more wildly.
Then the music stopped, and Mr Fisk left his record deck, and scampered up on the stage, beaming in the spotlight, clapping his hands for silence.
‘He really thinks he’s Bruce Forsyth,’ I giggled. ‘And this is Sunday Night at the London Palladium.’
The girls pressed closer to the foot of the stage.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!’ Mr Fisk yelled into his microphone. ‘Lovely to see a full house tonight! Now, let’s give a big, big St Barnabus welcome to your sensational band for this evening! All the way from Jersey in the Channel Islands! Let’s hear it for – Narnia’s Children!!!’
Everyone clapped and cheered and whistled and stamped their feet.
‘Blimey,’ Vix said. ‘No wonder we’d never heard of them. They’re foreign.’
The green curtains swished back and the footlights mingled in a smoky haze with the overhead criss-crossing spot-beams; the towers of speakers, slender spikes of microphones and snakes of cables transformed the stage from a school hall to a full-blown rock show; and Narnia’s Children roared into ‘I Get Around’ by the Beach Boys.
‘Wow…’ Vix mouthed, looking at me, wide-eyed. ‘Just wow…’
Just wow, indeed…
It was too loud to speak, to say anything, so we just stared at them – and each other.
The four boys – Narnia’s Children – on stage weren’t just brilliant musicians and sexy movers – they were definitely four of the most devastatingly gorgeous blokes we’d ever seen.
Tall, lean, long-haired and out-of-this-world-stunning, wearing skin-tight, brightly coloured flared trousers, and black skinny-rib sweaters that didn’t even attempt to hide their incredible tanned bodies, they rocked into another belting Beach Boys hit, followed by early foot-stomping Beatles, and then The Hollies – all very loud, fast-paced and brilliantly close-harmonied. They could play and they could sing… West-Coast rock-pop at its best.
The Dolly-Rockers were no longer dancing in front of the stage. Instead, they were pressed, three deep, against it. Just gazing up in total and complete adoration.
I laughed at Vix, leaning close, my mouth to her ear. ‘I think the Dolly-Rockers want to eat them.’
‘I don’t blame them,’ she yelled back. ‘They’re mega, mega cool, totally brilliant – oh, and not to mention the sexiest blokes Harbury Green has ever seen… I’m going to book a holiday in Jersey if that’s what the boys are like.’
Me too, I thought, if I wasn’t going to be annoyingly dead in 48 hours… because I’d just tumbled instantly and stupidly head-over-heels for the beautiful boy on the guitar; the boy with the long silky black hair falling into the amazingly turquoise eyes.
The most beautiful boy in the world…
Wishing you every success with this one ladies – I’m off to listen to Stella’s playlist too…
About the authors
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 an astonishing 21 romantic comedy novels and has also written and/or contributed to 11 e-book-only novellas/short stories/compilations. 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.
Jane Risdon has spent most of her life in the international music business. Married to a musician she has experienced the business first hand, not only as the girlfriend and wife of a musician, but later with her husband as a manager of recording artists, songwriters and record producers, as well as placing songs on TV/Movie soundtracks for some of the most popular series and movies shown around the world.
Writing is something she has always wanted to do but a hectic life on the road and recording with artists kept those ambitions at bay. Now she is writing mostly crime and thrillers, but recently she’s collaborated with award-winning author Christina Jones, on Only One Woman. A story they’ve wanted to write together, ever since they became friends when Christina became fan-club secretary for Jane’s husband’s band.