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.
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: https://www.facebook.com/SharleyScott3/
Or follow Sharley on Twitter: @SharleyScott
Social Media Links –
A Little Birdie Told Me… is set in a care home during the 1980s. Belinda and her colleague, Joe, have invited two of the residents out for a picnic lunch – as the ladies don’t have families to take them on outings. Several thefts have taken place at the care home while the rooms are being cleaned, but something more worrying seems to have been swept under the carpet:
Our chatter strayed from talk about the war to politics. Freda and Alice had different opinions, but they put them across without raising their voices.
“Well, I admire Margaret Thatcher,” Alice declared. “She’s given people a chance to buy their council homes. That’s a good thing.”
“But what about the next generation?” Freda said. “Where will they live? It’s all about now. Like the utilities. They’re making a fortune selling them, but there’ll be nothing left in the future.”
“I don’t know why you’re worried. It’s not as if you or I have progeny to be concerned about. However, I’ll grant you those points, although she’s done many good things too.” Alice pushed away her plate and rested her elbows on the table. “What do you think of Tony Benn’s challenge for leadership of the Labour Party? Do you think it will fail like last time?”
The conversation sallied back and forth. Joe grinned at me. We weren’t needed, but we couldn’t leave them and go for a wander. Gloria would kill me.
An hour later, Joe pointed at his watch. “We’d better head back. I need to get to the betting shop before it closes.”
“For your Sir Bart,” Alice said. “What will he do without you to keep his fire escape shenanigans secret?”
Joe’s eyebrows shot up. “You know about that?”
She tapped her nose. “There isn’t much I don’t know.”
He glanced at me and cleared his throat. I guessed what he was about to ask.
“What about the patients in the other area? Do you know about them? The ones with dementia and suchlike.”
Alice scrutinised him. “Why do you ask?”
He kept his demeanour relaxed, but his eyes were watchful. She knew something, he was sure of it.
“How about we swap confidences?”
She gave him a slight nod.
“I once saw something that made me uncomfortable. I didn’t like the way a resident was being treated,” he said.
She didn’t answer but swept some crumbs onto the ground. Freda frowned. No doubt she was thinking the same as us. What did Alice know?
“I wasn’t meant to be there,” she said. “I don’t want to get into trouble.”
The usual Alice was back. Thin-lipped, her beady eyes assessing us.
“Tell him, duck,” Freda said. “They won’t say a word. Nor will I.”
Alice sighed. “I saw one of the staff slap Cyril Axe.” She turned to Freda. “Do you remember him?”
Freda frowned. “I don’t think so.”
Freda might not have known him, but Joe leaned forward, alert.
“He must have been moved before your time,” Alice told Freda. “He deteriorated quickly. One minute he was fine up here.” She tapped the side of her head. “And the next they carted him off to the dark side. I’m telling you now, I do not want to go there. It’s run like a separate business. Gloria might be in charge, but she’s kept at arm’s length from it.”
Joe’s face remained expressionless, but watchful. “The worker who slapped Cyril – is she still working at Rockbeare?”
“Yes!” Alice’s voice quivered. “But I’m not saying anything more. She’s a nasty piece of work.”
“Julia!” Joe hissed. “It must be her.”
Alice mimed zipping her mouth and folded her arms. “That’s all you’ll get out of me. I don’t want to spend my last years like so many others.”
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