Saturday, 7 December 2019

A Song For Bill Robinson by C.E Atkins + Excerpt


A Song For Bill Robinson by C.E Atkins
Published in the UK by Pict Publishing on the 6th December 2019.



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?


Excerpt

(An extract from Chapter 29. At a previous party, during a game of spin the bottle, Bill kissed his two best friends, Adam and Summer. Summer has secretly been in love with Bill for years. Adam is gay and has only recently started to feel attracted to his best friend. This conversation takes place between the two boys when Adam wants to confront Bill about what happened.)

Bill shifted to face him, grinning daringly. 'So, she's okay with her getting dared to kiss me, but she's not cool with me getting dared to kiss you. I thought better of her, I really did.'
'Don't be such a dick, Bill.'
'I'm not being a dick. I genuinely don't see the big deal. I don't give a shit who I kiss.'
Adam was stunned into silence. He knew they were words he would be replaying in his mind for many nights to come. I don’t give a shit who I kiss.
And why did he have to stare at him like that? It was the same look he had given him last night, while moving towards him and sticking his hand out and demanding a refill for dutch courage, or whatever. It was the same look he'd had on his face that night in the bathroom, when Adam had seen his bruises. It wasn’t just a look, something ordinary or fleeting, it was a stare, like he was staring right into him and asking a question Adam did not dare to answer.
'You didn't feel like those friends of Logan's were setting us up? Taking the piss?'
Bill shook his head. 'So what if they were? Who cares? It was spin the fucking bottle. I'll kiss anyone.'
Adam snorted laughter through his nose and looked away. 'Oh really? You reckon? You were hammered mate! You didn't know what you were doing! You're hammered now, too.'
Bill pushed his shoulder, that grin getting wider. 'I'm fucking not.'
'You've had nothing?'
'No! Like, a few cans at Jimmy's hours ago. I wouldn't get on stage pissed, would I?'
Adam couldn't look back at him. He needed this to stop, this going back and forth, this…what was this? Flirting? No, it wasn't that. It couldn't be. This was his best friend. His best friend for years. Who was an annoying self-obsessed monosyllabic arsehole most of the time, but who was most definitely not gay, or anything like it. But yet, he had that same look on his face, refusing to look away, staring right at him, like he was throwing down a challenge. Like he was saying, come on then. Dare you. Do something. Break up the monotony. Push the boundaries. Smash the rules.
He'd been like that since they were kids. Was it also the reason he had leaped off stage to attack McDonnal?
He felt Bill's leg fall against his, and rolled his eyes at the movement, because he wanted to nudge him away and tell him that Summer was right to be annoyed, because you couldn't muck about with people's feelings like that.
'How'd you do that with your voice?' he asked the floor, while anger climbed closer to the surface.
'What?'
Adam shrugged, falling into a trance. 'Make it sound like...grit and velvet at the same time. I just can't figure it out that's all.'
He looked up at him then, and for fucks sake, Bill was still staring, still giving him that same intense look, eyes wide and bright, refusing to blink or gaze away, and that small smile, turned up at one corner more than the other, and Adam breathed genuine anger down through his nostrils with his lips clamped shut before he decided to show him, to shut him the hell up, to make him go away and stop it.
He grabbed Bill’s face with both hands, tilted his head and kissed him full on the lips.


Meet the author   

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.

Author links: 
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