Blog Tour for “A Little Bird Told Me” by Marianne Holmes ~with Guest Post and Excerpt #LittleBird @AgoraBooksLDN

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Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half?

In the scorching summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming at the Lido and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect holiday – except for the crying women her mum keeps bringing home.

As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets…

Twelve years later Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer.

And atone for the part she played in it.

Publication Date: September 13, 2018

Available on Amazon

 

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Excerpt

They say I’ll never find her.

Kit says it doesn’t matter because we still have each other but not a day goes by when I don’t long for the truth.

I feel her absence aching and flowing through the gaps in our story where the pieces don’t mesh. I see her presence in the spatter of freckles on Kit’s nose and the straight curtain of hair I can’t keep out of my eyes.

They say no one knows where she is.

What they really mean is, they couldn’t find her. I know that’s true because I’ve read the news reports. But there is one person who knows where she is.

 ‘Family is blood and pain,’ he said, ‘and, one day, I will hunt you down and teach you the meaning of that.’

His breath was bitter with the smell of cigarettes, his eyes spilling sparks of fury and the scar on his cheek stretched and twisted as he spoke. Or it might have. I read about that too, long after Matthew took us far away from here.

‘I will hunt you down,’ he said, and I know he will.

If I’m ever going to find her, this is my last chance. But if I start looking, he’ll come looking for us. I can’t help that – there’s something I need to put right.

Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half?

 

Guest Post
Marianne Holmes

 

The Journey to my Debut Novel

As a child, I did dream of being an author one day, in the same sort of way I dreamt of singing on Top of the Pops in sparkly platform shoes or winning the Pools. I didn’t think I could actually do it, so after a lovely rejection for some of my angst-ridden teenage poetry, I set about passing exams, getting a job and paying the mortgage.

Secretly, I scribbled away, scraps of stuff on the commute or in quiet moments. I waited for something magical to happen that would turn those scraps into a real poem, short story, or, whisper it, a novel. I even announced on a couple of occasions that I was definitely about to ‘write a book’. In fact, I started several – there’s a character I’ve had tucked away for so long he feels like family – but then I would stall when it came to the big plot. Would it be a sweeping love story, a tight little thriller or a wistful exploration of the human condition? Too many choices.

Then I met my friend, Kate, at Rock Choir (I had to stop that – the less said about me and trying to sing and dance at the same time the better, see unfulfilled popstar ambition above) who was writing a novel, just getting on with it, and she suggested I try out her writing group.

That was a revelation. We were encouraged to read and critique our work, so I had to write regularly and I had to learn to give feedback. More importantly, I had to learn to hear critical feedback and when I found that, instead of feeling disheartened or defensive, I genuinely loved it because it helped me improve, I knew this was the thing I most wanted to do.

A Little Bird Told Me began as a piece that I read to that group. The group asked questions which led to a second tale and another and I wrote for the sheer joy of it, leaping about in time and playing with different ideas. With their encouragement, I decided to put it all together as a book.

When my youngest began school full-time, I restructured and wrote like mad. I entered a Twitter pitch competition for fun and when my idea was ‘liked’, I rushed off a submission. I also entered a couple of competitions and was thrilled to be longlisted for the Bath Novel Award and shortlisted for the Creativate National Writing Competition at about the same time. That was such an enormous vote of confidence that I sent if off to agents. And edited. With every slither of feedback I received, I edited and edited again.

Finally, I reached a point where I didn’t know how to take it further and I prepared to put it in the bottom drawer and start again. That’s when Agora Books got in touch, completely out of the blue. Curiously, there’s a little mystery around how Agora Books came to know about Robyn and Kit – it seems it literally was a case of a little bird told me

About the Author

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www.marianneholmes.com

 

Follow the Blog Tour for A Little Bird Told Me.

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