Cover Reveal | NEW #ChocLit #HistFic the SIXTH #ChartonMinster novel: “Girl in Red Velvet” by Margaret James

Posted Wednesday, 12 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you know I’ve been smitten with the novelists who publish their relationship-based Romances with ChocLitUK for a good two years now! I love being on the cusp of learning about a ‘new release’ whilst I remain patient to see if the Digital First new ChocLit novel will make it to a print release further down the road of it’s lifetime. I don’t mind the gaps between the ebooks and the print editions – as it’s always given me the pleasure of balancing my ‘next ChocLit reads’ to include both Front List and Back List offerings. Thus, I am enjoying being a member of the Reveal Team at ChocLit whilst it gives me a chance to introduce my readers to a variety of sub-genres within Romance I appreciate picking up to read!

Charton Minster : a series, a towne and a house

I love finding an author like Ms James who can curate such an authentic and historic setting which speaks to you in each of the volumes of it’s continuous story-line. #ChartonMinster for me is a threading of time set first during a backdrop of war-time strife and adverse circumstances befalling the Denham family whilst curating this incredible arc of characters and journeys of self-discovery per each character the lens of each novel is turnt to highlight to draw you further into what makes #ChartonMinster such a compelling series to be a part of through the two trilogies!

Rose Courtenay is being tested about her loyalty to her heart and the duties endowed her by being her parent’s daughter – a child raised at a certain level of station where the divides between classes is dearly outlined for her each time she tries to assert her voice. Never more true than a proposal that is not on the merits of love or romance, but because it ‘sounds good on paper’ to unite two people whose finances and families can unite together as one. The contriteness of this choice is not lost on Rose, but how she wars with her mind over her choices is what champions James as a writer of a war drama bent on highlighting a strong female lead who has her own story to share.

Denham went off to war and Rose found herself conscripted by her choice into a hospital ward as a volunteer nurse – a place where she fully came into her own and matured. She made a bit of a muck of things at first, stumbling her way through her rounds and not nearly as apt at doing routine requests as other young nurses, but somehow through perseverance she managed. In the midst of the hospital wards, Rose was given the rare opportunity to try her hand at living and serving others with a freedom she never had in her own life to give.

-quoted from my review of The Silver Locket

One common thread of the saga is the pursuit of independence, freedom of choice and the pursuit to fully embrace who you are whilst your growing into your own skin. Each of the women (and men!) of the series is struggling through growing pains and life situations which try their faith, patience and personal belief in alighting on a better path in their futures. They each have to embrace risk, chance and the hope of tomorrow – sometimes without even realising how things will turn round but to gather strength out of the Hope of what tomorrow might bring. This is something I love about the series – each of the characters being focused on in turn have something to prove and something to accomplish. They are finding themselves – whilst the world isn’t quite on solid ground but they have the gumption to endeavour a better future than the one they can see in the present.

Charton Minster : an estate, a towne and a legacy:

What truly is fascinating behind the curtain of events, is how Ms James roots us to the spot surrounding the emotional legacy behind Charton Minster; which is both an estate, a towne and a legacy of souls. There is a lot of deeply felt emotional baggage pertaining to the residents (both past and present) but it’s more than mere lineage and ancestral heirs that bespeak of the anguish that is a bit of a shroud around the estate itself, as the whispered rumours etch well into the towne as well. It’s an intriguing look at how society can chose to judge and take sides against issues they may or may not even truly understand; but they do so because they feel they have the right to judge people who live in their towne. In this one regard, Ms James paints the grim picture well for how small towne gossip and misunderstandings can abound as swiftly as one can add scuttlebutt to the gossip-mills!

It almost felt like the towne had trouble moving forward because the family whose ancestral heritage was once respected in residence at Charton Minster, had long since vacated it’s grounds. The new owner was not worthy of it’s holding, as his entire life was practically a sham but it’s also how he lived his life that truly was distasteful. Further interesting was watching how choices, judgments and the fine line of tolerance all started to intermix affecting the lives of those who would come up next in the generations after all the heartache first materalised.

-quoted from my review of The Golden Chain

There is more to this series than the characters – there is the history of the town inasmuch as the history of the house – #ChartonMinster is self-evolving as it moves forward through time. Sometimes things stay the same and yet, nothing is truly ever the same – the setting and the evocative way in which the series becomes transformative through time proves how temporal time truly is for all of us. We have to rise through our challenges, accept our tribulations and greet life with a cheery hope of joy for what it could bring to us in unexpected moments which grant us the best happiness of our lives.

This is a reader’s delight in finding a series you can allow your heart to move from one set of shoes to another, as you live the varied lives of the series’ characters who will deepen your appreciation for reading Historicals but also allow you the pleasure of alighting through a well-conceived portal of time.

Ms James brings back the issue of Charton Minster (the house) itself too, whilst giving us a good nod towards knowing what’s become of the other characters we’ve cared for throughout the series (thus far along). Daisy makes an appearance and in so doing, gives us a happy moment of reprieve knowing her life has turnt out quite well. She’s not just happy (in career and marriage) but she’s resolved her past and her origins; she even has a healthy outlook on the circle of her life. One of the things you love appreciating about how the series unfolds is how each character is still keenly important even if the core of the current story has shifted forward and away from them. Their still viable and their able to give insight into where they currently are now on their own life’s path.

The tug on your heart is waiting to find out what becomes of the young adventure seekers: Cassie and Frances whilst finding the twins (Robert and Stephen) keep you on your toes as to how their lives will become altered through service and war. Robert might not be the easiest bloke to warm too, but there is something about him that pulls at your heart as you watch him make the choices he needs too and the sacrifices which come from duty. Stephen is a bit head-strong even though you don’t think it at first; he’s the twin who feels he has the most to prove and yet never quite sees himself in a positive light.

What truly hits you throughout this third story is  how difficult it is to accept the circumstances as they evolve; to embrace the future of tomorrow without understanding how the present will heal and feel less adverse. Each of the characters you’ve come to know how learning curves and situations to overcome, but at the heart of the series is always finding one’s path when the uncertainties are stacked against you. When being brave and finding courage are not easy attributes to always embrace but a strong will to survive can carry you through. What I loved most is how in each turning of the series, the women and men featured in Charton Minster have the capacity to endeavour to beat the odds and find true love in unexpected hours of grace.

-quoted from my review of The Penny Bangle

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Cover Reveal | NEW #ChocLit #HistFic the SIXTH #ChartonMinster novel: “Girl in Red Velvet” by Margaret JamesCover Reveal w/ Notes (Girl in Red Velvet)
by Margaret James

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...

Places to find the book:

Book Page on ChocLitUK

Also by this author: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary, Magic Sometimes Happens

Also in this series: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary, Magic Sometimes Happens


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

RELEASE DATE: 25th April, 2017 – ebook version

Formats Available: this is a Digital First release! print and audio should follow next!

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Multi-generational Saga | started as a War Drama trilogy

The Charton Minster series in sequence:

  • The Silver Locket (Review)
  • The Golden Chain (Review)
  • The Penny Bangle (Review)
  • The Wedding Diary (Synopsis)
  • Magic Sometimes Happens (Synopsis)
  • Girl in Red Velvet (NEW!)

Converse via: #ChocLit & #ChartonMinster

About Margaret James

Margaret James

Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.

Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011. The Wedding Diary was shortlisted for the 2014 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Novels: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens which are part of the Charton Minster series.

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Initial reaction to Cover Art:

In regards to the series and knowing how much I love how the covers reflect a visual clue to either character or story, I was thrilled to see you went back to having the title character featured on the last cover of the series! :) In that vein of light, I knew the red velvet dress was keenly important, as I just read about how pieces of jewelry were dearly important to each of the last three stories I’ve read! :)

I personally love the Cover feat. the girl in the dress, holding the suitcase.

The girl reflects how you would presume Lily would look if you have been following the series and know the style of Ms James writing(s).

—-

So happy for this one! :) I feel almost heart-broken to read the final three in this saga! :( I am definitely going to have to have tissues on hand!! :) :) It’s been absolute brilliant to experience!!

This particular Cover Art selection came along right on the foot-heels of my finding out there was a *sixth!* novel of the #ChartonMinster series! In effect, as quickly as I had concluded the third novel: The Penny Bangle, I was overjoyed knowing the second half of the saga was going to be a full trilogy, too! I personally have a penchant for multi-generational sagas – especially when they are spilt into trilogies as I first fell in love with this style of crafting generational series by the pen of Ms Lessman who charmed me into rallying behind her O’ Connor clan from Boston! Her series, like Ms James starts during times of war before shifting forward in time, too! Imagine!?

As soon as I saw this cover, dear hearts – I *knew!* it embodied the spirit of the series – mind you, I am moving into the second half of the series soon, but even without reading the ‘next chapter’ of their lives, I knew this ‘girl’ in the red velvet dress was the ‘right’ embodiment of Lily. She simply evoked the essence of a Denham girl to me, so much so, because I have felt so hugged close inside #ChartonMinster it’s hard to contemplate ‘letting go’ of the series once this one goes into print! Blessedly I have a ways off yet to worry about such a thing, but hankies will be at the ready! And a lovely cuppa tea, too!

I was also wicked happy seeing the return of one of the ‘girls’ of the series being featured on the sixth novel, as although I do find the covers for novels 4 and 5 quite wicked in their own rights – they broke the tradition of how the covers would focus in on the character of the hour. This one just felt fittingly brilliant to be the sixth novel’s cover and I was jumping over the moon excited about finding out it won out! So much so, I wasn’t even sure when I would be able to ‘shout’ my glee over it until yesterday – as I knew the book was going to drop digitally first at the end of April but ooh! When was the artwork going to be seen for the first time!? Wells, I luckily didn’t have to wait long, eh? Laughs with mirth!

This is one of those series I don’t speculate too far in advance of reading – I like to dig in one installment at a time, soak up everything left behind for my heart to find and then, move into the next one! Like I said, parting will be sweet sorrow for me but I have the wicked joy of a (future) blizzard and blazing hearth fire to re-curl up inside this saga down the road; such wicked blissitude that shall be!

I shall say this in closing: I personally love the vibe and energy of the Sixties – so much can be pulled inside a novel set during that decade! I look forward to seeing what Ms James included and most important of all, finding out what Lily chose to do! She has a weighty choice on her hands,.. don’t you think? That in of itself is a Denham tradition of sorts – throughout the series, there have been incredible life moments and choices; where there are different paths which could be walked but which in the end is the right one for the person in the story? How to listen to one’s heart and choose the path your meant to follow at the same time? I :love: that kind of tension and drama. It percolates so much to the surface of a novel whilst reverting introspective about the choices everyone can relate too facing themselves.

What inspires you most about multi-generational sagas where you get to entreat into the lives of one family and stay with them through the decades of their lives!?

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If I had to say why I love #ChartonMinster as much as I do, I’d say this:

Ms James knows how to write multi-layered generational saga with such a flair for heart, spirit and continuity – you simply feel as if you’ve been transported through time as she pulls you through the journey of this one family – first during times of war & strife and then, as peacetime returns, through the continuations of the family in the descendants who carry the name forward in time. Having read the first trilogy (the war dramas) I can attest she has a singular talent for evoking so much heart and propensity of realism for her timescape, she simply draws you into her fold. Her world is as vivid as if we lived it ourselves and the best after effect is simply longing to return and resume where we’ve left off with the family. The last author who wrote a multi-generational saga who inspired me to dig so deeply into the heart of her continuous trilogies was Julie Lessman with the O’ Connor family.

It’s such a rare treat to follow in the footsteps of one family who shifts through time and the generational legacy of everyone who comes next in line. Psst. Both of these sagas by both of these women really ought to become mini-series and explored through motion pictures. They’d be brilliant if they were adapted properly for screen!

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This Cover Reveal is courtesy of: ChocLitUK

Choc Lit Star Badge provided by ChocLitUK.

My current ChocLit readings this Spring:

To Turn Full Circle | No. 1 of the Emma series | by Linda Mitchelmore (see Review)

 The Girl in the Painting | No. 2 of the Rossetti Mysteries | by Kirsty Ferry (see Review)

The Penny Bangle | No. 3 of the Charton Minster series | by Margaret James (see Review)

UPCOMING next:

The Gilded Fan | No. 2 of the Kumashiro series | by Christina Courtenay

The Jade Lioness | No. 3 of the Kumashiro series | by Christina Courtenay

*Part of my focus on serial ChocLit Fiction!*

& The Lost Girl | by Liz Harris

And, visit my ChocLit Next Reads List on Riffle

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PS: Remember to set your calendar: #ChocLitSaturday (@ChocLitSaturday)
is meeting up on 18th April @ 11a NYC / 4p UK to discuss Historical Roms!
Everyone is welcome: writer & reader’s alike!

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Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

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Reader Interactive Question:

Have you previously had the pleasure of reading a ChocLitUK Romance novel!? Did you now they regularly release novels with strong female leads and male characters who are a delight to find on the pages? ChocLit truly has found a niche for giving romance readers something hearty to chew on whilst seeking out uplifting relationship-based Rom with just a dash and a hint of intrigue, drama, and suspense! What do you seek out from a romance novel?

The relationship-based drama, comedy, historical, or suspense? OR the strength of the setting, timescape, and dimensional eclipse of the characters therein!?

When it comes to reading Romances, what are your personal favourites!?

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Girl in Red Velvet”, author photograph of Margaret James, book synopsis and Choc Lit Star badge were provided by ChocLitUK and used with permission. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.  Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories Sailing into View banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all. "I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story) more >> | Hire me as a betareader | Policies & Review Requests
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Posted Wednesday, 12 April, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, ChocLitUK, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Multi-Generational Saga, The Sixties

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