Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Post (& Give-away) from the Divine Shirley Marr

This is an encore guest post from the lovely Shirley Marr, author of Fury, celebrating her sophomore YA release, Preloved :) Take it away, Shirley x

Thanks for having me on your drool-worthy blog today Nomes as part of my tour! (absolutely any time, Shirley :))

Today I thought I'd let you read one of the companion stories that go with Preloved. In the novel Amy refers to all these spooky stories that her mum tells her. Here is one of them in full. Enjoy!

Untitled Companion Story (Preloved)
by Shirley Marr

Amy? Are you listening to your mother? Don't try and edge towards the door. What friends? I told you already, you're not allowed to have any friends until you finish high school.

Anyway, you can't go outside. It's a full moon tonight. Do you need reminding not to point at the moon? There's a woodcutter who lives there with an axe who looks out for naughty children just like you. Your cousin Adam pointed at the moon when he was five and he woke up with cuts behind the ears.

Anyway, if you remember what I've always told you, the moon should be the least of your worries out there in the dark.

Do you believe in ghosts? I never used to either until what happened to your Uncle Alan.

Did I ever tell you that story?

He always complained he had a strict mother too. That's why he decided to get a motorbike. But not a helmet. And not turn on his headlights at night. Even though they worked just fine.

This is precisely how he got lost. It was just beginning to get dark and he had decided he knew the way instead of reading any of the signs. 

That was how your Uncle ended up in the middle of nowhere at a graveyard.

The first thought that came to his mind was his mother’s voice saying “you should never go into a graveyard. You might come across something you’d rather not and the dead don’t want you there anyway, disturbing their peace.”

Your uncle had been riding for a long time, he was tired and the grass inside looked tempting. He would only be there a little while. He wasn’t going to disturb anyone.

“I’m warning you!” His mother’s voice screamed at him. “If any of those gravestones have pictures of them, turn your face away! You don’t look at the dead and the dead won’t look at you!”

Alan laughed and he walked into that graveyard. He purposely stared at each and every headstone he came across. Read the names and the inscriptions. Not many of the stones had photos anyway; the few that did were black and white and very grainy.

Coming across a patch of grass that seemed to call invitingly in the evening wind, Alan plonked himself down. He intended to have a nap for a few minutes and then be on his way.

That was until the gravestone directly opposite him caught his eye. He could almost hear the alarm bells going off, but he pushed down on that mute button inside his head.

It must have been a new grave as the soil still looked fresh and so did the flowers, so many of them. 
This gravestone had a photo.

Unlike the others, it wasn't a black and white photo of granny and pop. It was in colour and it showed clearly, the face of a young woman.

She was so pretty. She had glossy black hair and beautiful almond eyes.

Thank you the wind seemed to whisper in a woman’s voice. Haven’t heard anyone tell me that for a while.
Alan looked around, but there was no one there.

That’s right. We’re all alone. I’m alone all the time now. So alone.

Alan got up immediately. He wasn’t feeling tired anymore. He quickly grabbed the keys out of his pocket and headed back to his bike.

Leaving so soon? You’ve looked at me and I've looked at you. You can't leave me now. You've disturbed my slumber. I will disturb yours.

Around him the grass and the trees rustled.

Alan ran all the way back to his bike, almost dropped the keys, managed to start the ignition and off he roared, fast as he could.

What happened at the graveyard spooked him. He kept turning back, expecting to see someone following him, but of course there was no one. He probably did fall asleep back there and had a nightmare. Even though he swore he had been wide awake.

"Phew," said Alan. "No kung-phew, Alan. You should go and make an offering at the temple and wash yourself in flowers," I said to him, as he stood shivering in my parent's living room. I made him a hot Milo, but he was too jittery to drink.

"Or else she will make herself your bride, I swear, Alan. She will disturb your peace as you have disturbed hers."

We used to be close, your Uncle and me. We used to talk about everything.

"I will," said Alan, but he meant he won't, as he drove off into the night, leaving me all empty on my parent's driveway.

Up ahead, a big freight truck was travelling slow. Too slow for Alan. He cut in front of the it and raced on ahead, he wanted to be as far away from the memory of that graveyard as possible.

Alan slowed down to check how far ahead he was. He wasn't. The last thing Alan felt was the crunching of his body as his bike got dragged under. The last thing he heard was his mother’s voice screaming “I told you!” and a woman’s voice saying “mum’s right.”

Until the rain washed it way, you could see the streak half a kilometre long, half red and half white like a ribbon. The white was bone, by the way.

That is how I got to believing in ghosts.

What's that? Because your Uncle told me he met one at the graveyard? Oh, no no.

It's because your Uncle is now one too. 

Because he told me himself.



Amy, are you even listening to me? How many times have I told you to respect your elders?

How many times do you need to be spoken to?

Now, turn around and answer your Uncle.

He wants to know when you'll be free to attend his wedding.

SHIRLEY! Haha, that was awesome. Kind of eerie but somehow it completely made me grin. I LOVE Amy's mum :)

I am thinking you could do a ghost story anthology... Hmm?

Thanks again for having me Nomes!

Shirley, it was absolutely my pleasure.

Shirley has been blessed by the cover gods :)

I would love for you guys to enter to win Preloved. Just need a name and email address. Bloomsbury has generously provided the copy and I will mail it out anywhere in the world

x Nomes

Preloved in the wild @ my local book shop
Snuggled up against the Tomorrow When the War Began series


  1. Oh wow, that was spooky! Thanks for the story though, Shirley. :) And thanks to Nomes for having an international giveaway of Preloved.

  2. Thanks for the giveaway and introducing me to yet another author whose books I now want to read!

  3. Eeeek! What a cool, creepy story. And Nomes, this blog is drool-worthy. :)


  4. Firstly: oh my goodness, is Shirley the coolest girl EVER, or what? And secondly: OH MY GOODNESS THE STORY! It's amazing and I love love love it! Spooky and brilliant and clever and eeeee!

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. This was creepy but oh-so-delightful at the same time!
    And I can't wait for PRELOVED.
    Shirley Marr for the win.

  6. Great post. And I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE her pictures. Brilliant!

  7. Oh, that was a great post! :D

  8. Thanks for the giveaway, Nomes! I haven't read Fury yet, but I've heard good things about both that one and Preloved :)

  9. If there is such a thing as cover gods, Shirley is defintiely their favorite. I still didn't manage to get a copy of Preloved, but I need to, and soon. All the reviews have been pretty great. :)

  10. Geez, how creepy is this story. Shirley! You should write a horror book. Like a proper scary novel. This short was totally like something someone would say around a campfire to creepy everyone out. Loved it.

  11. The covers are so beautiful! Thank you for the giveaway.

  12. Creepy cool! I wish I could get SM's stuff in the US. Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Thanks for the amazing giveaway! Preloved sounds amazing! And Shirley has indeed been blessed by the cover gods :D love the covers of both Fury and Preloved!

  14. Hooray for this guest post, I really loved the stories that Amy's mum told her :)

  15. Another winner from Shirley! She writes the best posts and this was haunting and fun! Thanks for sharing ladies! Fingers crossed for the giveaway :)

  16. Ooh, that was creepy yet completely charming at the same time. :D Thanks to the both of you for sharing that cool post!

  17. Loved Fury - thanks for the great giveaway, Nomes!


Thanks for the commenty love :)