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Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of fifteen published novels. This is Margaret’s third Choc Lit novel. Her first The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010.
It was also selected as a Valentine pick at Lovereading in February 2011 and a Reviewers’ Choice Award for 2010 at Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011.
Margaret is a long standing contributor to Writing Magazine for which she writes the Fiction Focus column and an author interview for each issue. She's also a creative writing tutor for the London School of Journalism.
An active member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, she contributed to the 50th anniversary anthology Loves Me, Loves Me Not. Margaret's short story is The Service of My Lady.
Below is a Q&A with this author.
Who’s your favourite author?
Jane Austen – nobody does it like Jane.
Who is your favourite literary character?
Catherine Morland, the heroine of Northanger Abbey. She’s intensely romantic and imaginative. She’s just as naïve as I was at her age, but she’s also funny, brave and charming. The hero Henry Tilney is a very lucky man.
What’s the first book you remember reading?
Winnie the Pooh.
How would you describe your novel?
It’s a contemporary romantic comedy starring a feisty Cinderella, a gorgeous Prince Charming and a terrifying Fairy Godmother who seriously frightened me.
What gave you the inspiration for the story?
I saw a competition to win a fabulous dream wedding and thought - what would you do if you won the competition, but you didn’t have anyone to marry?
Where and how do you write?
At home straight on to screen, but also on public transport. I did a lot of travelling while I was writing The Wedding Diary. I wrote most of the first draft in notebooks and on my laptop while I was on trains.
Who do you base your characters on?
They’re all inventions. They walk into my head and say write about me. I don’t know where they come from and I find this quite spooky.
What would you rescue from your house if it was on fire?
I’m not very attached to material things, and I hate clutter, so I don’t think I would be worried about losing any objects. As long as the living, breathing inhabitants got out, I’d be happy.
What three things would you take if you were to be stranded on a desert island?
Frying pan, box of matches, hammock!
Did you always want to be an author- if not, what did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be an archaeologist and I studied Anglo-Saxon Archaeology at university, but I’ve always enjoyed telling stories. As an only child for some years (my sister didn’t come along until I was seven) I had many imaginary friends. As a novelist, I guess I still do!
Passport to love London-based PR and promotions consultant Rosie Denham has just spent a year in Paris where she's tried but failed to fall in love. She's also made a big mistake and can't forgive herself. American IT professor Patrick Riley 's wife has left him for a Mr. Wonderful with a cute British accent and a house with a real yard. So Patrick's not exactly thrilled to meet another Brit who's visiting Minnesota, even if she's hot. Pat and Rosie couldn't be more different. She's had a privileged English upbringing. He was raised in poverty in Missouri. Pat has two kids, a job that means the world to him and a wife who might decide she wants her husband back. So when Pat and Rosie fall in love, the prospects don't seem bright for them. But magic sometimes happens - right? INCLUDES A FREE EBOOK ON PURCHASE OF THE PAPERBACK!
From the author of a successful historical romance trilogy, this is a charming, funny and delightful read about silver linings and second chances. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'The Wedding Diary is a departure from Margaret James’ gritty trilogy about a family living and fighting through two world wars. Margaret makes the transition to a contemporary novel flawlessly. Her heroine Cat works for an architectural salvage firm in Walthamstow. Her friends seem shallow and unsupportive and she's fallen for a rather manipulative man. The book is funny in parts and never shies away from how delicate love and relationships can be. The characters are recognisable as people you know or conversations you overhear on the tube and Cat's nemesis, the formidable public relations powerhouse Fanny Gregory (the fairy godmother), is absolutely hilarious. When Cat finds someone with whom the love and lust is reciprocal, it's hardly plain sailing and their happiness must be hard won against tough old enemies like fear, doubt, suspicion and Fanny Gregory.'Luke Roberts, Publicity, Choc Lit Choc Lit, the publisher of this novel, was the 2012 Publisher of the Year as voted for by the Festival of Romance.
The final novel in the historical romance series where, like The Sliver Locket and The Golden Chain, our heroine faces a romantic dilemma, this time in the shape of twins, Stephen and Robert. These are compelling reads packed with historical detail and Cassie our central leading lady is a bit like a Jane Eyre of the 1940’s. They are perfect for anyone looking for a little escape from their daily grind.
Within the first two pages the author gives us a clue that there is a mystery behind the child Daisy which lures us to read on with the story beginning in India and then shifting to England. Daisy shows early signs of acting talent, encouraged by her mother. Margaret James has an ability to transport us back into an age where life moved more slowly and moments were more savoured. Then morality was tighter and women were definitely at a disadvantage in the big wide world. The heroine grows up to become a touring actress and falls in love with two very different men, having turned away from her parents. The title takes its name from the gift of a gold chain by one of the men she falls in love with. The theme is all about choices - the different life directions that she takes as a result and the differing conclusions that follow at each cross roads of decision making. I found myself so immersed in Daisy’s dilemmas that I didn’t notice how long I had been reading; well written too and thought provoking and I would certainly recommend it for lovers of a really good tale set against a broad historical landscape.
A wonderful love story set against the backdrop of the First World War. Rose finds herself rebelling against her upper class family's wishes to marry someone approved by them who she doesn't love and instead goes off to the Front as a nurse. While there she falls for a soldier with a past, a man that her family would disapprove of completely. Worst of all he is married. The grim reality of war is brilliantly intertwined and vividly portrayed within the story of these two main protagonists which in turn gives a sense of realism and indeed closeness for the reader to the characters and to both time and the place. Read it to find out if love conquers all for Rose. It's well worth it.
Will loving two men tear your heart apart? It's the 1960s and Lily Denham is about to begin her studies at Oxford University. On her first day she meets Harry Gale and Max Farley, two fellow undergraduates who are both full of mischievous charm. The three of them become firm great friends and enjoy exploring everything Oxford has to offer, from riotous parties to punting up the river on sunny afternoons. However, something threatens to disrupt the fun, because Lily soon realises she's falling for both of her new-found friends, men who might offer her two very different futures - but who will she pick? Harry is generous and kind, reliable and trustworthy. Max embodies the spirit of the sixties; adventurous and rebellious, but possibly a little bit dangerous as well. As university ends and Lily struggles to make her mark on the vibrant fashion scene, she must make a decision. But she soon becomes aware that the wrong decision could have devastating consequences for her own future and for Max's and Harry's futures, too ...
This book contains a vintage guide to designing and constructing wooden pipe instruments. Profusely illustrated and written in simple, plain language, this guide is perfect for those with little previous experience and is highly recommended for modern readers with an interest in hand making instruments. Contents include: "e;The Story of Pipe-making"e;, "e;How to Make a Treble Pipe"e;, "e;Materials and Tools"e;, "e;Tools"e;, "e;Corks"e;, "e;The Window and the Window-sill"e;, "e;The Passage Roof"e;, "e;The Cork"e;, "e;Making the Holes"e;, "e;The Treble Pipe"e;, "e;A Pipe when it is Made"e;, "e;Difficulties in Obtaining a Good Note"e;, et cetera. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with its original artwork and text.
When should you trust your heart?It's 1942 when Cassie Taylor reluctantly leaves Birmingham to become a land girl on a farm in Dorset.There she meets Robert and Stephen Denham, twins recovering from injuries sustained at Dunkirk. Cassie is instantly drawn to Stephen, but is wary of the more complex Robert - who doesn't seem to like Cassie one little bit.At first, Robert wants to sack the inexperienced city girl. But Cassie soon learns, and Robert comes to admire her courage, finding himself deeply attracted to Cassie. Just as their romance blossoms, he's called back into active service.Anxious to have adventures herself, Cassie joins the ATS. In Egypt, she meets up with Robert, and they become engaged. However, war separates them again as Robert is sent to Italy and Cassie back to the UK. Robert is reported missing, presumed dead. Stephen wants to take Robert's place in Cassie's heart. But will Cassie stay true to the memory of her first love, and will Robert come home again? Final novel in the trilogy follows The Silver Locket & The Golden Chain.