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A Song for Bill Robinson by C.E. Atkins - Book Blitz

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A Song For Bill Robinson

Tensions are building on the notorious Holds End estate.
The local community centre is fighting for survival and the murder of 15-year-old Lewis Matthews remains unsolved…
Wannabe teenage singer, Bill Robinson, just got out of hospital after surviving a vicious attack. He thinks he knows who attacked him…and why. When a violent feud escalates between him and local thug Charlie McDonnal, Bill vows to find the killer and help save the community centre by taking part in the local singing contest.
How can music bring a shattered community together? And can Bill keep his own demons at bay long enough to win the singing contest and find out who killed Lewis Matthews?   

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Intro; This is an extract from about half way through the book. In it, main character Bill Robinson is reeling from the humilation caused by his older brother telling his band members to stop letting Bill drink with them so much, as he is underage. As is his habit, he is sat up on the wall that separates his garden from the others, gazing out at his world, the notorious council estate Holds End and he is longing for a drink. At this point in the book, he thinks he knows who murdered local boy Lewis Matthews and a violent feud is escalating between Bill and the suspect, Charlie McDonnal. Bill has also kissed both of his best friends, Adam and Summer at a house party.

Back at home he climbed onto the wall that separated their garden from next door and rested against the house. He sat with his legs crossed, smoking a roll-up he had sneaked from his dad's tin while a gnawing kind of panic grew inside of him. It wasn't fear, just something too big to contain, something he had no words for.
He tried to breathe and focus and push the humiliation away. He crossed his legs and leaned over them. The tree at the end of the garden was silhouetted in the darkness, and his eyes moved past it, taking in the shapes of fences and walls and rooves. He looked up and saw the odd bird soaring over it all and he envied them. He looked at the garden, fenced in, just like Holds End, just like everything, and it didn't seem possible that anything bigger or brighter existed.
A large crow landed on a branch in the tree and seemed to be staring right at him. Bill stared back. It hopped from one branch to another, flapped its wings and make a squawking sound as another bird swooped down to join it. Staring dully, Bill watched the birds hopping and flapping their wings. Behind them, the estate was a shadow of shapes and lines, and as he slouched further against the wall, he narrowed his eyes until the birds and the trees appeared huge, like monstrous puppets against the dying light, and he realised that there was some kind of tragic, gasping beauty in everything.
Finally, he was too restless to bear it and jumped down from the wall. He walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge. His dad had a six pack of beer on the bottom shelf. He would notice if any of them went missing. Bill slammed the fridge and stalked into the lounge. He went to the drinks cabinet which served as a surface for his mother's record player. He crouched down to open it and then rummaged through the half empty bottles until he found vodka. His dad hardly ever touched the spirits these days. It would take him ages to notice.
Bill took the bottle into kitchen and poured some into a glass. He topped it up with orange juice and sat out on the back doorstep to drink it. He thought back to what Summer had said up at the lookout and realised she was right; he wasn't as scared of McDonnal as he should have been, which was why he was going to youth club tonight despite the dead meat warning. Despite everything. Despite dead boys in alleys and kissing his best friend and everything else. He knew it was suicide, but he also knew that you couldn't just stay home and keep your head down and hope for the best. You had to do the opposite. You had to get up and look them in the eye and hold your head up. He was scared, just not enough to give in or give up. Once you did that, you were dead. You were Lewis Matthews.
Bill finished his drink and made himself another one. It didn't do a lot to ease the frustrations of the day, but it was something. He felt like a little fire had been lit inside his belly and it would slowly and faithfully warm the rest of him up. It would be enough to send him back out there tomorrow night, and he would sing 'Glorious You' and sing it to Summer, because she was glorious, and the best thing was that she had no idea.

Social Media Links – Chantelle Atkins was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to reading, writing and music and writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling. Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love. Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life and has now been developed into a 6 book series. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere and award-winning dystopian, The Tree Of Rebels, plus a collection of short stories related to her novels called Bird People and Other Stories. The award-winning Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was released through Pict Publishing in October 2018. Her next YA novel A Song For Bill Robinson will be released in December 2019. Chantelle has had multiple articles about writing published by Author's Publish magazine.

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