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Thalidomide Kid by Kate Rigby - Book Blitz + Giveaway

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Thalidomide Kid

Daryl Wainwright is the quirky youngest child of a large family of petty thieves and criminals who calls himself ‘Thalidomide Kid’.
Celia Burkett is the new girl at the local primary school, and the daughter of the deputy head at the local comprehensive where she is bound the following September. With few friends, Celia soon becomes fascinated by ‘the boy with no arms’.
The story of a blossoming romance and sexual awakening between a lonely girl and a disabled boy, and their struggle against adversity and prejudice as they pass from primary to secondary school in 1970s Cirencester. The story deals with themes and issues that are timeless.

Purchase Links (paperback)

Excerpt (1) From the beginning of Thalidomide Kid

“Under the bram bush,” the two girls sang in the playground. They faced each other, clapping their hands in unison, Celia Burkett mirroring her new friend. “Under the bram bush, under the sea boom boom boom, true love for you, my darling, true love for me, when we get married, we’ll raise a family, so under the bram bush, under the sea, sexy.” When they said the word ‘sexy’, as well as lifting their eyebrows, they raised their skirts high up with exaggerated gestures, flashing their navy knickers.
Celia’s pleated skirt was in a popular sort of green tartan, setting off the lime green of her headband which did its best to restrain the flyaway bob. Her friend’s was a pleated grey school skirt, though uniform was optional at Lewis Lane primary school.  The playground was full of girls’ games until the doors to the dinner hall flew open and the first of the boys swooped out of Second Sitting, stuffed with spotted dick.
They blasted out in formation like the Red Arrows from the nearby RAF base at Kemble, which always caused the children to stop their play and gaze upwards. They knew all the planes; sometimes a VC10, or the king of them all, Concorde (or Concorrrrde as was said in these parts), breaking the sound barrier as it left RAF Fairford. But, today, eyes were cast about the playground, sensing a different sort of shattering. 
It was the two Janes. Celia thought the Janes would nudge up like cows behind her, as was their habit, but today it was the turn of another child, a boy with a blazer round his shoulders. They trailed him, giggling and chanting in broad Gloucestershire:

Ole Farmer Buck he brought him a duck,
 An’ he cut off her feet coz her walked in the muck. 
An’ when her wouldn’t go for to roost like a crow,
He cut off her head for to make her do so. 
Why did he go and act thicky way?
Coz he were a fool an’ a gurt big fool.
Coz he were a fool us all do say.

The boy ignored them and the two Janes recited it again, only instead of ‘cut off her feet’ they substituted it with ‘cut off his arms’. Celia hadn’t noticed the boy before, he was not in her class.  When he turned round she saw he had a crew cut, sort of gold, the colour of dolls’ hair. One of the Janes snapped her bubblegum –the stout Jane with the wavy hair and insolent stare. “Hey, your mamma took something that shrivelled up your arms,” she said to the boy, strands of pink splattered about her mouth. Celia looked the boy over, she hadn’t noticed. She’d thought his arm was broken or in a sling, but there were little hands like paddles up at shoulder level, peeping out from the black depths of his blazer.  “She took something when you were a baby in her tummy,” continued the stout Jane, “and that’s why you can’t swing from them monkey bars.”
Celia saw the boy’s ears go pink as the blotting paper on the desks in the classroom, the rest of his face following suit. His face was shaking, like when you hold your breath too long or before you have a fit. Like that girl in her sister’s geography class who had suddenly fallen off her chair and started wriggling around all over the floor and all the furniture had to be moved out of the way until the wriggling subsided, so Abby had said. It was frightening, Abby said; and now fit prevention was uppermost in Celia’s mind.  That and the knowledge of how it felt to be on the receiving end of the two Janes’ antics. Like the way they imitated her short Lancashire ‘A’s when she said ‘bath’ and ‘past’, and so she stomped over to the other Jane, Jane Gillespie, with the strawberry blonde plait. “Leave him! Leave him alone!”
It was probably the bravest thing she’d ever done in the playground, but instead of thanking her, the boy screwed up his nose and blew her a big raspberry, louder than a fart. The two Janes laughed. The boy laughed. The dinner lady wandered by, too late as always, holding the hand of one of the first years. 
Celia felt a little tricked, her eyes smarting with humiliation as she retreated to her new friend, Vicky Hawthorne. She smelt faintly of her father’s dental clinic, the whiff of pink mouthwash lingering in her topknot. “Take no notice,” said Vicky, against the giggles and whispers.
As they passed from the main playground into the privacy of the girls’ playground, where boys weren’t allowed, Celia said: “But why, Vicky?”
“Because you’re the new girl.”
“No, not me. That boy.”
“Because he’s a Thalidomide, Celia. You’ve heard of that, haven’t you? It’s that drug expecting mothers took that did things to their babies.”
“But why didn’t he say anything to them?”
“Flipping heck, Celia. He couldn’t duff them up, could he? If they were boys he might have kicked them like a donkey or got one of his big brothers to do them in.”
Vicky looked down into the sparkle of her black patent-leather shoes with the bars across. “They’re always teasing, the Janes.  They tease you, Celia, because you’re the new girl, but wait till next year when they’ll be new girls too. We’ll all be new girls when we go to secondary school.”

Author Bio
Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years. She has been traditionally published, small press published and indie published.
She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has since been updated.
However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s magazines.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
Her novel Savage To Savvy was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist in 2012.
She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories, in an erotic anthology published by Pfoxmoor Publishing and more recently in an anthology of Awkward Sexcapades by Beating Windward Press.
She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
She has re-Kindled her backlist and is gradually getting her titles (back) into paperback
More information can be found at her website:
Social Media Links
Giveaway – Win 1 x signed copy of Thalidomide Kid
*Terms and Conditions –Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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