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


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Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat.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 (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

My review for the collection 26th March 2021

This is an interesting mix of short stories all with a criminal theme…We open with a story of intrique and double dealing that follows a charasmatic redhead with her sights on the big prize and willing to use anyone she can to achieve it. The other stories reveal the darker side of people’s nature, including a writer caught up in her neighbour’s terrifying drama, a woman who leaves a will to heirs who have to complete certain tasks to inherit her money, a stalker who gets more than he bargained for and a woman with justice on her mind.

The author has created some complex characters and a number of inventive schemes and deadly plots to keep you entertained and wondering just who will get away with murder. A short read packed with intrigue and surprises.

. Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK  – And: Amazon US

Also by Jane Risdon

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – AndAmazon US–   Blog:Jane Risdon WordPressGoodreads:Jane Risdon Goodread –  Twitter: @Jane_Risdon 

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing following her successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working, including North America, Europe, Singapore, and Taiwan. She and her musician husband have worked with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera.
She’s been involved in Artiste Management, Music Production, Music Publishing, and the facilitation of music for TV and Movie Soundtracks.

In December 2020 Jane signed with Linda Langton of Langtons International Literary Agency, based in New York, NY.

In 2014 Jane signed a publishing contract with Headline Accent part of the Hachette group. Her co-written novel with best-selling, award-winning author Christina Jones is entitled ‘Only One Woman,’ and is published by Headline Accent.and huge world events.

Jane has also published a collection of her short crime stories: Undercover: Crime Shorts available on Amazon and most digital platforms and from Waterstones and Blackwell’s stores in paperback.

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will head over to discover more about Jane and her books.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Reblog – Q and A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Jane Risdon – Undercover: Crime Shorts


In another of her fantastic interview posts Q and A with D.G. Kaye. Debby features Jane Risdon and her latest book Undercover: Crime Shorts

D.G, Kaye Book PromotionsSo happy to be featuring author Jane Risdon here today for a little Q and A. Jane is a wonderful author, formerly in the music biz, but always writing it seems. Jane has newly released her book Undercover: Crime Shorts. Have a read below as we get to know more about her and her fascinating life.

Author Jane Risdon

About Jane:

Jane Risdon has spent most of her life working in the International Music Business rubbing shoulders with the powerful and famous, especially in Hollywood.

Married to a musician and later working alongside him managing singers, musicians, songwriters, and record producers, she’s also facilitated the placement of music on successful television series and movie soundtracks.

Her experiences have provided her with a unique insight into the business and her writing often hasa music related theme. She is published by Headline Accent.
With long-term friend, award-winning, best-selling author, Christina Jones – one time fan-club secretary for Jane’s husband’s band – Jane has co-authored Only One Woman (Headline Accent) which is set in the UK music scene of 1968/69 and is published in paperback and eBook.

Recently Jane completed a collection of her first short crime stories – Undercover: Crime Shorts -published in both eBook and Paperback (Plaisted Publishing House Ltd).

Jane is working on the sequel to Only One Woman as well as a series of crime novels – Ms Birdsong Investigates – featuring former MI5 Officer Lavinia Birdsong – which she plans to complete in 2020. Her experience of working at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in her pre-music days has given her plenty of material for her crime/thrillers.

Jane writes for online and print magazines and has contributed to 16 anthologies. She also writes a blog and often hosts guest authors. She is also a regular guest on blogs and on internet radio shows broadcasting with a global reach, including UK, USA and Australia.Her books are available in Waterstones and all good book stores as well as via various digital platforms.

Head over to enjoy the rest of Jane’s interview and read an excerpt from Undercover: Crime Shorts: Q & A with D.G. Kaye featuring Jane Risdon

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writes Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s Travel Column here every month: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

Jane Risdon, Buy: Amazon UK – Blog:https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Thanks for dropping and please head over and discover more about Jane’s globetrotting childhood and the inspirations for stories Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – The Sunday Interview with Jane Risdon with an excerpt from Undercover: Crime Shorts


A warm welcome to my guest today Jane Risdon who will be sharing the inspiration behind her writing and the fascinating characters that she has met during her time with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and life in Hollywood. She also treats us to an excerpt from her latest book Undercover: Crime Shorts.

Before we find out which questions that Jane has selected to respond to, here is a little more about her background.

Jane Risdon has spent most of her life working in the International Music Business rubbing shoulders with the powerful and famous, especially in Hollywood.

Married to a musician and later working alongside him managing singers, musicians, songwriters, and record producers, she’s also facilitated the placement of music on successful television series and movie soundtracks.

With long-term friend, award-winning, best-selling author, Christina Jones – one-time fan-club secretary for Jane’s husband’s band – Jane has co-authored Only One Woman (Headline Accent) which is set in the UK music scene of 1968/69.
Recently Jane completed her first collection of short crime stories for publication – Undercover: Crime Shorts – published in both eBook and Paperback 2019 (Plaisted Publishing House Ltd).

Jane writes for online and print magazines and has contributed to 16 anthologies. She also has a blog and often hosts guest authors.

She is working on the sequel to Only One Woman as yet untitled, as well as a series of crime novels – Ms Birdsong Investigates – featuring former MI5 Intelligence Officer Lavinia Birdsong which she plans to complete in 2020. Her experience of working at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in her pre-music days has given her plenty of material for her crime/thrillers.

Her books are available in Waterstones and all good book stores as well as via various digital platforms.

Welcome Jane and perhaps we could start with a look back at your life and what key elements such as childhood, education, inspiration, experience, motivated you to write?

I’ve existed on this mortal coil for a reasonably long span – so far – surviving many social changes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and a shoot-out during a bank robbery in Los Angeles – all great fodder for a budding writer.

From a very young age I’ve lived overseas for lengthy periods of time in a variety of countries including Singapore, Germany, Taiwan, and America, to name just a few, and my inspiration comes from the places, people, and experiences I’ve encountered throughout my life as well as a healthy imagination which used to keep me sane and occupied whilst growing up.

Where do you draw the inspiration for your central characters from, and in particular the book you are featuring today?

When quite young I began to create stories around these people and places and at first I didn’t write them down for fear that they would be found. As I got older I wrote stories in little red notebooks hiding the stories under the floorboards in my bedroom.

In my youth I was mostly in the company of adults and they used to fascinate me. The way they talked, moved, what they wore, and how they behaved in general. Living in a village one knew most people even if not personally, then by sight and reputation.

Adults often carried on conversations which I easily overheard because I was there at a time when children/teenagers were seen and not heard. They forgot I was there. I was the eldest of six children, all much younger than I, and therefore adult company was the only company I had, given my sibling’s age differences, and as I said, the grown-ups forgot I was there. A great source of material which I filed away for the future.

Villagers fell mostly into the age group of War Veterans – first and second – and their families, which had lived locally for generations and some Romany Gypsies who lived in their caravans and who had, for generations, also called the village home. Many unmarried ladies – spinsters – who cared for elderly parents lived there and often they were linked to the nearby Military Academy, their parents having been at the Academy as Officers and Instructors – many were titled and landed gentry. All were a huge source of interest, not only to me I’m sure.

There was, for instance, the ‘Galloping Major,’ who lived opposite my family home and set off at 5am daily for his morning trot on his white charger, white haired and moustached, and with a ram-rod straight back. He possessed a ‘good seat’ apparently. I babysat for his daughter and family many times and I swear their huge house was haunted. A writer’s imagination ran riot when I was there alone with the wind, the creaking rafters and the sound of their dog howling at a closed door for hours whilst I tried to pluck up the courage to check on the sleeping children up several flights of stairs on the third floor.

The Gypsies were entertaining; the older ladies especially were strange, dressed as if from another era and mysterious in their mannerisms. They found their way into the novel I co-wrote with Christina Jones, ‘Only One Woman,’ published by Accent Press Ltd.
They’ve also found their way into a series of short stories I have written – as yet unpublished: ‘God’s Waiting Room,’ ‘Granny takes a Trip,’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ They are what I call ‘Observational Humour.’

A few families like my own, who were born and grew up locally and had also managed to travel and live abroad were rare, and when we visited my Grandmother in-between overseas stints, would be viewed as objects of curiosity and fascination like us. There is still a similar mix of people, even though many ‘strangers’ have moved to nearby newly built housing estates.

Living overseas amongst ‘foreigners’ from a very early age was (and still is) a never-ending source of interest and amazement and I’ve included some of the characters, locations, and experiences in many a story I’ve written, not only ‘Only One Woman,’ but also in my crime stories.

For some reason certain characters stand out in my memories of those earlier times. The Amah who looked after me as a child in Singapore, the families I encountered travelling around as an Army child moving often, encountering new schools, teachers, and making friends with non-English speakers, thus trying to communicate as best we could with gestures and pulling faces. Later when I returned to these countries, that much older, I learned their languages and worked in their offices desperately trying to understand technical terms in both English and their language. Many situations I found myself experiencing have found their way into my writing.

At the height of the Cold War I found myself living in the coolest city on the planet, London, working at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office just when the IRA were also at their deadliest and the Russians were taking great delight in spying on us – often quite openly – and didn’t take too lightly the fact that we caught them out and expelled 50 plus of their ‘diplomats,’ from London, and of course they chucked out our Embassy staff from Moscow.

The Ambassador to Montevideo was kidnapped and that was an exciting time for us working all day and night trying to handle the situation, but hardly fun for him or his family I am sure. This all at a time when I was reading Spy novels voraciously, finding myself in the midst of intrigue and the machinations of Government and diplomacy in reality.

I recall taking a phone call in the summer of 1970 when a voice asked me, ‘what time of year does the cherry blossom bloom in Israel?’ Before I could answer a voice came on-line and told me to hang up – the call was being scrambled. Well, the event and the man on the other line (phone box by the way) was filed away for use in a story another time. That same morning we’d all been dragged outside on to the pavement following an IRA bomb-threat – an almost daily occurrence.

Once, soon after I started work at the FCO, when my Positive Vetting was completed, I was asked to a meeting with a ‘Commander,’ at one of the FCO buildings in Whitehall and asked about East German friends I had – the Berlin Wall was still in existence of course. After a long conversation – well, interrogation actually – I discovered that the Commander who interviewed me was from Special Branch and had been instrumental in arresting the Spies, Peter and Helen Kroger, in the early 1960s. How could I not use him in a future story!

Around the same time I married a musician and my life became very unusual by most standards and boy-oh-boy that has provided so much material for my characters and story-lines, and again, ‘Only One Woman,’ and several short stories reflect this. We travelled the world, met some fabulously eccentric and infamous characters, found ourselves in the weirdest and the most ‘far-out’ situations in many countries, which left us pinching ourselves in disbelief. So, yes, this all found its way into my writing.

Imagine working and living in Hollywood and meeting household names and the movers and shakers in the music and movie business whose lives have been written about and read like a Mafia tome; I couldn’t ignore them – they have been the inspiration for many of my characters. In fact, books have been written about some of these characters and I have used their ‘unusual and distinctive’ personalities in many stories I’ve written.

Where did the inspiration for Undercover: Crime Shorts come from?

As I write my crime stories, often with musical as well as espionage as their basis, some of these experiences creep in. My as yet unpublished series of novels, ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates,’ are based on a former MI5 Intelligence Officer who finds herself ‘retired’ suddenly and all at sea about her future, as the saying goes. The commander from my FCO days has crept into the novel.

I have a host of short crime stories included in anthologies and often they are inspired by my music business career and experiences, and also when working at the FCO and in other Government departments. Seek out Shiver, Wishing on a Star, In A Word: Murder and others for examples.

Undercover: Crime Shorts – my most recent publication via Plaisted Publishing – is a prime example of stories being inspired by characters and events I’ve experienced or have heard about. It is a collection of 7 short stories, one of which is an extract from one of my next novels, Ms Birdsong Investigates and is called Undercover.

‘Sweet Sable’ is inspired by my husband’s great aunt, Elizabeth Risdon, who was a famous silent movie, Broadway stage actress, and later a movie star in Hollywood who had over 100 movies to her credit, most made with huge stars such as Cary Grant and John Wayne. She is in the famous ‘Huckleberry Finn.’

She also appeared in many movies with The Mexican Spitfire, Lupe Velez, and when researching her for my family history project I came across Lupe. She was a famous beauty and staged her own death to look like murder – that got my little grey cells in a tizzy, and I wrote a short story, ‘Cue Murder,’ for an anthology called ‘Cons, Dames and G-Men,’ set in 1939 during The Golden Age of Hollywood. This same research proved invaluable when writing ‘Sweet Sable.’

Other stories in Undercover: Crime Shorts have been inspired by other incidents either in Hollywood or in my life or the lives of others. I take inspiration from News headlines, a name I hear, an event I learn about and so much more. They are on the pages of every story I write – unsung heroes – unknown to them. Inspiration really does come from life, the universe, and everything. I meld several characters into one character usually, so as to keep the innocent anonymous.

Another story from Undercover: Crime Shorts inspired by a real-life situation is, ‘Murder by Christmas.’ I read a newspaper article some years back about a family contesting a Will and how those who’d been beneficiaries could not get their inheritance unless they undertook certain deeds dictated by the deceased. It got me thinking about Wills and what people might do to inherit. Would they murder if asked?

The characters and events in the story are purely from my imagination but I have met several cross-dressers – the Postman in the story, Peter Archer – and ladies who work at Charity shops and who, on the surface, appear to be of the highest character and yet often they hide secrets which would destroy that persona had these become common knowledge – to what lengths would someone go to protect their reputation – that is something which inspired another character, Agatha Marshall.

How did you conduct your research for Undercover:Crime Shorts?

Some years ago I undertook several on-line university courses to increase and update my knowledge of Forensic Science in relation to the detection of crime, identification of skeletal remains, and much more. I also studied Criminal Justice and the basics of Archaeology so that my crime writing would be more accurate and realistic.

I used this knowledge in Undercover: Crime Shorts especially when trying to decide upon methods of murder and how detectable certain substances were and how long a poison, for example, might take to work. It came in handy when deciding how a murderer would endeavour to cover their tracks having committed their crime. This was especially helpful to me when writing ‘Murder by Christmas,’ in which several methods of murder were used.
It is my knowledge of crime scene forensics which guided me when writing ‘The Honey Trap,’ in which a diplomat is a serial killer and has to cover his tracks having murdered a Russian girl sent to compromise him in a hotel room.

Please tell us about your next project and when we can expect to see the book?

I have several novels awaiting publication as I write and over 100 short stories itching to see the light of day.

One novel is a sequel to ‘Only One Woman,’ and I have not approached my publisher with it yet. It takes the story beyond 1968/69 into the 1970s.

Another is the series of novels I’ve written about a former MI5 Intelligence Officer, Lavinia Birdsong, who has a sudden fall from grace and is booted out of MI5 whilst her now former lover and MI6 partner, gets to carry on working their case. The first novel is, ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka.’ I hope to see her published early next year.

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 (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Aug 26, 2019 Ken Wigal rated it Five Stars

I love the stories in this book. Each one is a maze-like roadmap of intrigues, laden with twists, turns, and a surprise or two, that grabbed my attention right off the bat and didn’t let go. More than one had me glued to my seat in suspense. I could not divert my focus from the book until I finished reading it. The last piece, “Undercover,” is an extract from the author’s next novel which I cannot wait to read. As an author, Jane Risdon is a natural. She pens her stories in such a manner that you can see her characters up close in their surroundings, and you can follow the action as it takes place. Her writing style is most unusual in that she can write from the standpoint of an American, from that of one who is British, or from that of anyone of any nationality she chooses. I strongly recommend the book, “Undercover: Crime Shorts,” and I have the highest praise for its author, Jane Risdon.

Now time to enjoy an excerpt from the book.

MURDER BY CHRISTMAS  – Chapter One

The reading of Tiffany Blunt’s Will was a subdued affair. Those who’d hoped to inherit didn’t, and those who had been invited to attend without knowing why were suddenly beneficiaries. It was all a bit odd really.

‘I know it’s usual to invite only those named in the Will,’ said Mr Lewis, Tiffany’s solicitor, ‘but this is an unusual situation. Ms Blunt’s Will hasn’t been what you’d call standard. I alone know what bequests she has made to charities and other organisations. As for other beneficiaries, I have been instructed to hand each of you a letter which contains her wishes. She asks that the contents of each of your letters is never revealed to each other or anyone else.’

Mr Lewis handed out three letters only. ‘Even I don’t know what is in them.’

The three not in receipt of a letter looked confused.

‘Ah, Ms Blunt wanted you to be aware that she has excluded you from benefitting from her death because she felt that you had obtained enough from her during her lifetime.’ His tone was stern as he looked at the two women and one man, over the top of his spectacles.

‘She wanted you to be in no doubt that should you attempt to take steps to contest her wishes, any gifts she gave you in the past will be forfeit and passed to various charities as per her instructions to me.’

He polished his glasses and added, ‘Ms Blunt died without having ever married and her estate is quite considerable. Her late fiancé, Malcolm Grant, died in a car accident on his stag night, just after his thirtieth birthday, having recently come into his late father’s fortune.’

He looked around the room. ‘The young man had only just made his Will it seems, naming Ms Blunt as sole beneficiary and this not six months after her uncle had died leaving her all his fortune too.’ Those present exchanged looks wondering just how much she’d left.

The solicitor continued, ‘I’m sure you know Ms Blunt was a frugal woman in many ways, not one to party or spend extravagantly.’ He enjoyed seeing the look of greed on their faces.

‘Therefore there is considerable wealth at stake.’

Actually, Tiffany Blunt outlived her fiancé by some twenty years, thus her bank account and shares in various successful corporations, both home and overseas, was more than considerable; Tiffany had been worth millions.

‘I haven’t had anything from her I didn’t earn,’ Tiffany’s former housekeeper, Betty Green, muttered, ‘but after almost twenty years faithful service, you’d think she’d have left me something; are you sure there’s nothing?’ she asked, staring at the letters the beneficiaries held excitedly. ‘She used to say I would be able to have what I deserved in retirement, so I’m sure she’d have left me something.’

‘She was explicit, Mrs Green. I cannot help you any further, good-day.’

Mr Lewis opened his office door for her and she reluctantly left, her face full of fury. She was glad she’d managed to take so many valuable things from her employer during her employment, not that they compensated for what she’d been led to expect. Well, Betty knew things about her former employer which she’d hinted she’d reveal if she was ever sacked, perhaps someone else would pay to keep them secret, she thought.

‘I never asked for a penny and she was always generous to me, but she’d hinted more than once that I could expect….’ David Sherman, her gardener of five years trailed off when the solicitor shook his head.

‘Like I told Mrs Green, Ms Blunt’s instructions are clear and non-negotiable. Sorry,’ and he pointed to the door.

David Sherman’s face was a picture of curiosity as he stared at the remaining people. He shrugged and left the room wondering what they would think if they knew about Tiffany and him.

‘I know, I’m not entitled,’ sighed Maddie Jones, Tiffany’s secretary for ten years. ‘But she promised me every time I asked for a raise. She said I’d get my reward when she died. Are you really sure she hasn’t left me anything?’

Mr Lewis sighed loudly and opened the door for her. Maddie’s expression was pinched as she swept past the other three. ‘I could tell some tales,’ she said angrily, ‘and still might.’

Mr Lewis listened to her six-inch heels tapping along the parquet-floored corridor outside his offices, thinking she was a bad sort if ever there was one. He turned to the beneficiaries.

The three were wondering if there was anything else, anxious to get somewhere private to open their letters. The older man spoke first. ‘I didn’t really know Ms Blunt that well Mr Lewis. I’m surprised she’d leave me anything, after all, I was just her postman.’

‘I’m sure she thought highly of you Mr Archer. I do hope you enjoy your bequest.’ Mr Lewis showed the bewildered postman to the door. ‘Remember, you must keep your bequest to yourself and never reveal it.’

Percy Archer nodded enthusiastically wondering how much she’d left him. He was a bachelor without any living relations and to those who were acquainted with him, via his rounds, he appeared to live a lonely life. Apart from a pint at the local pub on Saturday nights which he drank alone and in silence, he never mixed or appeared to have any friends. That might be changing now he’d come into a small fortune. Percy always dreamed of owning a car and going on holidays but he’d never been able to afford it. He whistled as he left the building, his step lighter.

Agatha Marshal fiddled with her envelope nervously. ‘I’m so grateful to her Mr Lewis. I’ve never had much money but now I hope I’ll be able to visit my sister in Canada.’

Tiffany often gave to the local Old Age Charity on whose behalf Ms Marshal collected money and other donated items; the only times they’d ever met. ‘Oh, and of course I shall donate some to the charity I work for,’ she added hastily.

‘Ms Marshal, I am sure Ms Blunt was well aware just what her bequest will mean to you, indeed, to all of you.’ He smiled thinly and pointed to the door. ‘Goodbye Ms Marshal.’

The solicitor turned to the last person holding an envelope. ‘Any questions Mr Seymour?’

Tim Seymour hesitated as if about to say something, but then changed his mind. ‘No, I’m fine, thanks.’ And the man who’d ‘done something’ for Tiffany twenty years ago left, wondering what had caused her to include him in her Will; they hadn’t been in touch since the last time they’d met all those years ago, as agreed.

Mr Lewis read his own letter again. Tiffany had already made sure he was paid well for his services to her, which he’d carried out to the letter. However, he had one more service to discharge upon his deceased client’s behalf. On Christmas Eve one of the beneficiaries – he had no idea who – would contact him, and he was to hand over a letter to them. His last act upon his client’s behalf.

A few weeks more and Ms Blunt and her bequests would be his responsibility no longer. He could retire at last. He’d buy a yacht and sail away into retirement with his windfall.

Intriguing.. and an excellent reason to head over and buy the book to find out more: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

Also by Jane Risdon
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B00I3GJ2Y8

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane 

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Website: https://janerisdon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2/
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janerisdonwriter/

My thanks to Jane for taking time out of her busy schedule to entertain us with her adventures and I know that she would love to answer any questions you might have.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#PotLuck -The Auditions: Part Three – Blow Into The Paper Bag by Jane Risdon


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third post from author Jane Risdon and since you enjoyed the audition posts over the last two weeks here is part three and you can find the link to part four and five on Jane’s blog at the end of the post….

The Auditions: Part Three – Blow Into The Paper Bag by Jane Risdon

The guys didn’t get the chop, though judging from the expression on the super-star singer’s face, it was a close shave in more ways than one; the guillotine loomed over their heads, but she didn’t get to taste blood – yet!

After a lot of not so gentle persuasion the bass player, under threat of a good thumping from the drummer, and their management, managed to get through Rock n’ Roll with plenty of attitude.

The super-star beamed with delight. They all breathed a sigh of relief.

Next, he wanted a medley of his greatest hits and so everyone tuned-up ready.

His biggest hit was about half way through when suddenly the drums came to a deafening halt.

Everyone stared at the drum kit. Where was the drummer?

They soon found out; he was lying beside the kick drum, puffing and panting, puce in the face.

Looks were exchanged, they all ran towards him. Had he had a heart attack?

Management knew he wasn’t drunk or drugged, so what else could it be? They wondered if someone need call 911 and the Paramedics.

He sat up, grasping his manager by the shirt, pulling him close.

Everyone leaned forward, straining. Wondering.

‘A what?’ His manager shouted.

Then he turned round.

‘Anyone got a brown paper bag?’

Everyone stared, wondering what the hell he was on about. ‘He needs a brown paper bag, fast.’

Luckily a runner had been out to get Mexican food earlier and soon the drummer had a greasy, smelly, brown paper bag covering his face as he blew frantically into it.

Everyone watched, fascinated.

Soon his management realised what had happened

‘He’s hyperventilating.’

The super-star singer looked at him as if I were losing the plot.

‘They recommend blowing into a paper bag if you hyperventilate.’

‘Oh, right.’

The band crowded round and watched as gradually the drummer recovered.

The super star’s manager chewed frantically on his gum.

‘Happens when I get over-excited, I can’t breathe, so I’ve got to blow into a bag.’

The drummer beamed.

Oh God. Why us? Why us? Management stressed.

The ground remained solid despite them both wanting it to open up ad swallow them.

‘It’s so cool playing with you guys, just thinking about it, playing your stuff. I can’t help it.’

The drummer gushed.

The other musicians tried not to giggle, unsure what sort of illness this English guy had.

Violent thoughts filled his manager’s mind. His business partner was having similar ones.

‘Jeez, can’t imagine what you’re like getting over-excited with a chick.’

The iconic guitarist commented, sending everyone into fits, except the bass player.

He glared at the drummer.

‘Make sure you blow Poison, so you’ll remember it in a minute.’ Management fell about; the others looked puzzled.

The super-star regarded the drummer for a while and then asked him if he’d be all right to carry on.

‘Yeah I’m good to go now.’ Getting behind the kit again, he gave the thumbs up.

‘Why a brown paper bag?’

The super star didn’t get it.

‘Do you need any more?’

The drummer thought for a moment and then said, ‘No I think I’m OK now.’

He smiled at everyone in the studio, and flicked his hair, obviously feeling so much better.

‘It doesn’t work with any other colour; brown is sort of cool, sort of beautiful.’

Dear God.

After they’d run through all the songs the super-star singer wanted them to play, it was time to leave and let the next hopefuls take their turn.

The super-star and his management called both managers, and they chatted for a while.

They loved the guys, thought they looked cool, and were fun.

The managers felt their hearts sink…but…

The super star’s manager nodded enthusiastically, the musicians’ managers groaned.

They’d been around the block a few times don’t forget.

The super star stood next to them and smiled.

He agreed.

They could certainly play to the standard required, they were sort of really cool.

They’d audition the other hopefuls and they’d get back to the guys (management) by the end of the week.

Everyone shook hands, got their gear sorted and waved goodbye.

‘Don’t forget to take your brown paper bag with you,’ someone yelled.

The drummer called back, ‘Thanks, it’s OK, keep it. I’ve got loads back in the car.’

©Jane Risdon 2015

I know that you are dying to know what happened next…. well the next two parts can be found  in this folder on Jane’s website….

Books by Jane Risdon.

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 (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the early reviews for Undercover Crime Shorts

Fast-paced, well written, page turner that had me so engrossed my train journey flew by. The author clearly has done a lot of research, these short stories all felt very authentic and each had me gripped and on the edge of my seat wondering how they would play out. It’s been a long time since I read anything quite so intriguing and twisty. It certainly got my heart beating faster and I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great murder, mystery.

Also by Jane Risdon

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

Thank you for dropping in today and I know that Jane would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – The Auditions Part Two: Let’s Play Rock ‘n’ Roll by Zeppelin by Jane Risdon


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third post from author Jane Risdon and since you enjoyed the audition posts last week.. here is part two…

The Auditions Part Two: Let’s Play Rock ‘n’ Roll by Zeppelin by Jane Risdon

Red Corvette rear end

The red corvette revved up and down the parking lot outside the warehouse in LA where the auditions were taking place.

Everyone watched in fascination as the driver sped up and down for a good fifteen minutes before parking close by and getting out to greet them.

It was the superstar singer himself.

‘Like my new auto?’

They liked. Very much.

‘Just picked it up from the showroom this morning.’

Everyone sat outside the rehearsal area feeding the bass player pain killers for his broken nose and black eyes.

He’d refused medical assistance…’I’m Irish, I can take it.’ He told his management for the umpteenth time,

Everyone thought he looked like a cool British dude with his shades, ripped jeans, and tee shirt with the arm-holes cut to his waist. Popping pills just enhanced his image so he told them. Right.

The drummer sat tapping his sticks, looking every inch the rock star in his long leather coat, cowboy boots and big shades.

Everyone hoped the superstar wouldn’t want to see the bass player without his shades until after he’d auditioned.

He looked as if he’d gone several rounds with Mohamed Ali.

He had removed the wadding up his nose and put tons of Max Factor foundation over the bruised area. The swelling had subsided a little thanks to a constant supply of ice-cubes applied to his mis-shapen conk.

Fingers crossed he wouldn’t need to sing backing vocals.

The star’s manager called the guys into the audition.

The drummer tripped over his new Spanish leather Cowboy boots and almost fell face down at the feet of the famous lead guitarist he was hoping to join on tour. He sat at the drum kit and waited whilst everyone got organised, flicking his newly styled hair and checking his image in the full length mirrors lining the walls.

The bass player picked up his instrument and lit a cigarette – he wasn’t nervous at all; the super-star would be lucky to have him join the band.

The super-star took up position in front of the microphone.

‘Let’s run through some of my biggest hits.’

The lead guitarist began with an instantly recognisable riff. The drummer joined in and the singer waited for his cue….and they all waited for the bass to start.

He didn’t join in.

The super star shrugged and sucked his perfectly even and expensive white teeth.

‘OK let’s try Rock and Roll by Zeppelin just to warm you guys up.’

The super star suggested, thinking the guy was nervous.

‘I don’t do anyone else’s stuff.’ The bass player muttered, blowing smoke into the air nonchalantly.

‘Yeah, but everyone knows Zeppelin.’ The superstar singer looked taken back.

‘Well, I don’t.’

The bass player’s management shut their eyes. What the hell? He knew Zeppelin, of course he did.

‘I’ve got a fab song we can play, I’ll get it.’

The super star’s mouth dropped open, not a filling in sight. His eyes popped.

The bass player searched his pockets. His management gaped in horror.

Had the idiot any idea how much trouble they’d gone through to set up this gig? First the guitarist turned the opportunity down, now this egotist was pushing his luck.

Hundreds globally had applied for the gig and only this management’s three musicians had been chosen along with about six other seriously talented musicians.

The studio fell silent and the lead guitarist took his shades off to stare at this Irish guy who had the nerve to suggest the super group played one of his songs.

The super-star glanced over at the stage set featuring a guillotine and grinned an evil grin.

©Jane Risdon 2015

I will share part three of the auditions next week in the Jane’s final post and then give you the link to part four on her blog.. Thanks to Jane for allowing us along with her on this particular trip..

Books by Jane Risdon.

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 (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the early reviews for the book

Fast-paced, well written, page turner that had me so engrossed my train journey flew by. The author clearly has done a lot of research, these short stories all felt very authentic and each had me gripped and on the edge of my seat wondering how they would play out. It’s been a long time since I read anything quite so intriguing and twisty. It certainly got my heart beating faster and I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great murder, mystery.

Also by Jane Risdon

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

Thank you for dropping in today and I know that Jane would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Undercover: Crime Shorts by Jane Risdon.


Delighted to share the short story collection from Jane Risdon.. Undercover: Crime Shorts that hit the Amazon shelves on May 6th.

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 (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

Author and former detective Roger A Price says: Undercover: Crime Shorts is the ideal companion for the crime fiction fan’s daily commute. You’ll run out of journey before you run out of book with this cleverly crafted mix of crime fiction short stories. Beware as you might miss your stop!

Reader Gloria Clulow says: As with all your stories I find them intriguing and unpredictable, leaving me wanting more; I don’t want them to end.

Margot Kinberg, Associate Professor and author says of Undercover: What a gripping story, so well written. You’ve packed so much ‘punch’ into it, loved it. I really felt the rising tension and suspicion! You’ve captured the suspense of it beautifully and it is such a great set-up with good characters.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

Also by Jane Risdon
One of the recent reviews for the book

Colm Herron 5.0 out of 5 stars Two stunning authors 5 February 2019

The Sixties are still a bit of a blur for me. That means I was there. And I have a lot of broken hearts to prove it – all mine. I was shot down so many times in those ten or so years that it’s a wonder I’m still here. All of which means I know something of the problems and the heartache that Only One Woman’s main protagonists Renza and Stella went through. But it wasn’t Scott I was after. Definitely not, believe me. It was Patricia and Hazel and Marie and Ann and Sybil and Melanie and …. I can’t go on.

The two girls in Only One Woman tell of their crush on Scott in a way that can only mean that the authors of this wonderfully nostalgic and loving look at the Sixties were rapt witnesses to those amazing years. The people, the songs, the music, the styles – and most of all the attitudes. In one sense it didn’t matter too much to me which of these two girls ended up with Scott because far more important than that was the way that these two authors got right into the hearts of the lovestruck Renza and Stella.

Ah, the authors. First, Christina Jones. Apart from a scintillating career in writing which began when she was a mere child, she has done so many odd-jobs – as well as odd jobs – that her life experience cannot be doubted. (Possibly the only work she didn’t do was captaining a North Sea oil rig, although I’m open to correction on that). And her co-author in this labour of love they have written is the incomparable Jane Risdon. Jane has been closely involved in so many fascinating experiences that she needs a separate wardrobe for all the T-shirts she has to vouch for it. Rock, Thrash Metal, Pop, R&B, Chinese Opera as well as movies, television and radio worldwide. And now writing, which amazingly she only got into five years ago. Stunning. Both stunning people.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

It would be great if you could share the news of Jane’s new release.. thanks Sally.