Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Little Birdie Told Me by Sharley Scott - Book Blitz

A Little Birdie Told Me…

It’s 1988. The era of young love, with Scott and Charlene melting hearts in Neighbours, and a new princess for the Royal Family. With Bros, Madonna and Wet Wet Wet in the charts, and children hoping for Ghostbusters’ toys in their stockings.

But it’s not all fun for Belinda. If her life was a board game, she’s losing at snakes and ladders. Once she’d been working her way up one of those ladders but, thanks to her snake-like polytechnic lecturer, she’s toppled from the rungs. Now she works in an old people’s home, where her chief duties involve cleaning toilets and emptying commodes.

At least her lovely colleague, Joe, offers excitement in her otherwise dreary life. But Belinda can’t believe he'd be interested in someone like her. Not when her pretty friend, Tracey, only has to glance at a man to have him fall for her.

But just when it seems things are looking up for Belinda, the residents’ precious possessions start to go missing. Then she witnesses a disturbing incident and doesn’t know what to do. Luckily, Belinda has Joe to guide her – until she discovers that he’s hiding a secret, one that forces her to make an agonising decision.

Will she continue to hide in the shadows, never speaking out – or will she put her future on the line to stand up for what is right? After all, she’s caring for a generation that's lived through two wars. Now it’s time to fight for them.

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A Little Birdie Told Me… is set in the 1980s. Belinda, a residential worker in a care home, is beginning to realise that, for the residents, the bountiful food and sparkling surfaces proves the adage that all that glitters is not gold. Especially when the care home seems unduly concerned about keeping its reputation untarnished:
 I found Joe in the kitchen. After stacking the trolley and filling the urns, I followed him to the lift, where we started on the first floor of the east wing. Giving out the morning tea wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped. We knocked on each door, greeted each resident with a tea or a coffee, and trundled on to the next. Instead of happiness, we were met with grumbles. No, they hadn’t slept well. We should knock louder. Why was the heating off? When we reached room eight, Joe moved to the other side of the corridor. Curious, I pointed to a door that was usually closed, but which stood open today. I’d thought the corridor ended at this point, but I was surprised to see that another three rooms lay on either side, before the corridor finally terminated at a white door with a huge fire escape sign.

“What about those rooms?”

“We don’t do those.”

“Why not?”

“They’re for residents with dementia or those who can’t manage without help. They get looked after in their rooms.”

I’d seen uniformed staff members heading off with trays, but I’d assumed they were for people in the ground-floor flats, where the more able residents and couples lived. I hadn’t realised there were other residents secreted away.

“Don’t they get out at all?”

He chuckled. “They’re not chained up.” Then his expression grew serious. “But I don’t think it’s great. They’re looked after by dedicated nurses who spend time with them and take them to the garden or whatever, but they’re kept away from the others. It’s not one-to-one care either, so they’re on their own a lot.”


A reedy cry echoed through one of the doors which stood ajar, but I couldn’t see more than the corner of a bed. “No! No! Where’s Harold?”

Instinct made me head towards the noise. I found a spacious room, larger than the others, with a sink in the corner, an armchair opposite the bed and the usual commode chair, which smelled as if it was full. But I’d never been asked to empty it. A uniformed nurse knelt beside a woman who sat on the bed in a floral dressing gown, her bare feet dangling over the edge. The overhead light was off, but sunlight streamed in through the net curtains, revealing her glistening tear-streaked face.

“Mrs Calam! Will you please behave? I’ve told you countless times. Harold is dead.”

The staff member turned, looking surprised to find me there. Unlike the grey pinnies we wore, she was dressed in a sky-blue uniform, like a nurse. “Do you mind? I’m trying to get her dressed.”

She picked up a slipper but the elderly woman kicked out, knocking it from her hand.

“No! I want my Harold!” The woman attempted to shuffle off the bed, but the nurse clamped her thighs, pinning her in place.

“She doesn’t like you being here. You’re upsetting her,” she said.

“I’m sorry.” I stepped back into Joe, not realising he hovered behind me.

“Maybe she needs a bit of time to calm down before getting dressed,” he said.

She glared at us. “Maybe you need to mind your own business. Haven’t you got work to do? I’ll be having a word with Gloria about this.”

 Author Bio –
Sharley Scott is the author of the Devon Seaside Guesthouse novels – Bedlam & Breakfast and B&Bers Behaving Madly – and the Maddie Meadows series.

Sharley is a guesthouse owner in South Devon. She is thankful to have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the fictional characters featured in the Devon Seaside Guesthouse series.

The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows – and its sequel The Gift of a Rose – portray the life of a working single mum. Some of the mischief Maddie's little one, Josh, gets up to will be familiar to all parents. In real life, Sharley has carried out the threats she made to her son decades ago and now gets her own back him by telling tales to his girlfriend (some of the incidents in the books are inspired by him), although he returns the favour by recounting utterly embarrassing stories about his mum.

Sharley's latest novel ‘A Little Birdie Told Me…’ is being published in February 2021. This book goes back in time to the late eighties: a time of fun music, interesting fashion, strange hairstyles and no internet or mobile phones. Fancy having to talk to each other! (Says the author who frequents Facebook too often).
W ith that in mind, Sharley can be found on Facebook at:
Or follow Sharley on Twitter: @SharleyScott

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