Saturday 29 July 2017

BLOG TOUR ~ It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan where I welcome Kate to my blog where she's kindly provided an extract from her latest novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Clare Gordon from Head of Zeus Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the extract so without further ado, here it is:

Sheila had bought a record the year before called ‘Crazy Man Crazy’ by a white kid called Bill Haley. The record had a wild beat, and she liked it. So when she heard that this kid from Michigan had just got a regular gig in New Jersey in a dance bar, she decided to go and check him out.
  As soon as Sheila walked in the door she could tell this was a country bar. Not her scene at all. Nice girls in pretty dresses with full skirts – boys in Sunday-best shirts and slacks. Not as formal as the ballrooms – but all white. She got a drink and stood at the small bar and watched the crowd. As they waited, Sheila could feel their excitement in the air. But then, she thought, country people always got a bit excited when they were out. Eventually, a bunch of white boys came on stage. The chubby front man had a big smile and a cowlick in his hair. They all wore long, tartan jackets and dicky bows. Pure hick. The singer was carrying a guitar and as he closed his eyes and reached his head back to release the first note, Sheila braced herself for the cowboy yodel. What came out surprised her more than anything else she had ever heard. As the band broke into ‘Rock Around the Clock’, her hips started to swing.

Sheila was a cautious dancer. In the jazz clubs, she never felt she belonged on the dance floor. She sat, clicking her fingers, tapping her feet, smoking laconically, enjoying the music that way. But with this new, strange rockabilly sound she found her hips were swaying from side to side at a speed that felt fast – too fast – and yet she was compelled to move in a way that felt utterly natural. It was as if the beat had injected her, and everyone else there, with a kind of electricity. Her body seemed to understand what to do in a way it had never done before now. By the time the lead singer roared out ‘put your glad rags on’, Sheila had grabbed the hand of the nearest stranger, not noticing or caring who he was, and was allowing herself to be swung and twirled around the floor in his expert grip, her feet stamping out the one-two beat as if she were born with it inside her.

  Then, as Sheila moved around the floor like a wildcat she realized she had heard this very song being played before. It was a proto-rock song called ‘Rock the Joint’ that she had as a Jimmy Preston recording. She had always enjoyed the beat of it and yet she had never actually danced to it before. However, the way these hillbilly boys were playing the tune she simply had no choice but to dance. It was like a tribal drum, as if something old and terribly familiar was instructing her to get ‘with it’. When the song ended her body was hungry for more and she joined the crowd in baying for Bill and his Comets to play it again, and again. Three times the crowd danced to that tune as if they had never heard it before. While the band took a break, Sheila leaned against the wall, and it hit her like a thunderbolt. This was black music for white kids. These hillbilly kids and their crazy white R&B could change the world.

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