Dangerous DecisionsI sometimes think that if I could choose to be born again, I would be tempted to be an English aristocrat during the golden Edwardian age – closing my mind at the future horror of WW1 and the widespread poverty – this is only a dream you understand. I am sure I am not alone in yearning for the elegant clothes of this era, the glamour, the glorious surroundings in which the wealthy spent their lives. And I used to love the enormously popular TV series Upstairs/Downstairs.

And so when I decided that enough was enough – 7 novels set in the same background and a similar era – I decided to write about the Edwardian age, perhaps spend my days drifting about a stately home (in my mind you understand), or among the servants downstairs, where more earthy characters could be described. And so I began Dangerous Decisions and loved the research. For instance, I discovered that at that time, it was considered by many men that ‘too much thinking caused a woman’s womb to wither’, giving them an excuse to deprive our sex of education, or am I being cynical in thinking that it was just to maintain their own sense of superiority!

And then when I was half-way through my novel, what should hit the TV screens, but the wonderful series Downton Abbey. And as any writer would, I am hoping that its fans will welcome another dramatic story. One of a sheltered debutante who, although haunted by the image of an attractive doctor, makes the decision to marry the wealthy yet flawed Oliver. Already readers are telling me that they are shouting aloud, “Don’t do it, Helena!” Which was exactly how I hoped they would react!

Dangerous Decisions – The Blurb:

Have you ever ignored a sense of unease?

Helena Standish knows that a good marriage would enhance her father’s social status but she’s wise enough not to accept any handsome fool. The wealthy and enigmatic Oliver Faraday is considered an ideal match, so why does Helena have faint misgivings?

Nicholas Carstairs has little patience with frivolous pleasure-seekers or an upper class that closes ranks against outsiders. Why then is he entranced by the lovely ‘girl in the window’ – a debutante who would appear to be both of those things?

A champagne celebration at Broadway Manor marks the start of a happy future for Helena, but no one can predict the perilous consequences of her decision or the appalling danger it will bring.

Margaret KaineMargaret Kaine’s short stories have been published widely in women’s magazines, in the UK, Australia, Norway, South Africa and Ireland. Ring of Clay, her debut novel, won both the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Award in 2002 and the Society of Authors’ Sagittarius Prize, sponsored by Terry Pratchett, in 2003. She has now mainstream published seven romantic novels about life in Staffordshire between the 50’s and 70’s; with Ribbon of Moonlight being set also in Paris. Translations include German and French.

To find out more about Margaret, visit her website, www.margaretkaine.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter (@margaretkaine) or Facebook.

Gemma

A self confessed geek who likes all things paranormal (except zombies as they scare her) Genre wise she likes horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and historical fiction. [Gemma no longer reviews for BCC]

30 Comments


Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

Thank you Gemma for inviting me on to your lovely blog site.

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Gemma December 12, 2013 at 8:52 am

Thanks for stopping by. I have Dangerous Decisions on my Kindle. All I can say is if there is a “Matthew” incident in this book, I may need to contact my therapist again!!

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Margaret Kaine December 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

That was rather a shock wasn’t it. I really miss him in this new series.
As for Dangerous Decisions, it may be set in the same era as Downton Abbey, and have a similar background, but I can promise you that the storyline is very different!

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Gemma December 12, 2013 at 10:12 am

*phew* I mean the writers of Downton really did stomp all over our emotions that series, what with Lady Sybil and then poor Matthew!!! Have to ask, have you seen season 4 yet???

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Lizzie Lamb December 11, 2013 at 11:07 am

Although I like writing about sparky, feisty heroines, if I had to come back in another era I think I’d most certainly choose to be a man. A man from the upper echelons of society. They had it easy by comparison, didn’t they? Didn’t have to go through childbirth without drugs other than chloroform, didn’t have the drudgery of housework or working long shifts in a factory and had the right to vote and keep their own money after marriage. Margaret has written about a fascinating time when things were slowly changing. It took a world war to really stir things up and give women a chance to show what they were made of. DANGEROUS DECISIONS is a great book and the heroine, Helena, certainly experiences how it feels to be a bird in a gilded cgae.

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 11:16 am

Yes, Lizzie you are quite right. It was certainly a man’s world then, women even lost control of their own money once they were married. And it seemed that men were treated with indulgence while much more was expected of us.
One can only imagine the frustration an intelligent woman must have felt when encouraged to hide that fact. The mantra was ‘no man likes a blue-stocking!’. And as marriage was the only career . . .

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Cathy Mansell December 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Since starting to read Dangerous Decisions, I’ve become quite interested in
the Edwardian age. Although I’m inclined to agree with the ladies that men had a
good innings throughout that period. It’s time now for Women to show what they can do. My own daughters are striding ahead in their careers, and I’m proud of them.
The best of luck with your latest novel Margaret. It’s proving to be a wonderful read.

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Anonymous December 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Thank you Cathy. Yes, I think we are all fortunate to have been born into this age of equal opportunities – well, almost equal, but we’re making great progress.

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

The above was actually not anonymous but from me! The cursor jumped straight to the reply, so I mistakenly thought it was a shortcut! x

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Kathryn Freeman December 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I’m really looking forward to reading Dangerous Decisions over the Christmas break – I love the title and the cover and after this I can’t wait to get into the content!

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Thank you Kathryn. The cover is the best one I’ve ever had and I absolutely love it. Have a great Christmas, and I hope you manage to get some reading time. x

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Margaret James December 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I’m so looking forward to reading this novel, which is jumping up and down on my Kindle shouting: Read Me! Read Me! I know I’m in for a treat.

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Anonymous December 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I know how you feel, Margaret. So many books to read, and there are never enough hours in the day, especially for a writer. I’m sure you find the same.
I hope you enjoy it, and have a lovely Christmas. x

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Margaret, how can I be anonymous when I filled in all of the requests.
Maybe there’s a gremlin around, or one of Santa’s elves! x

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Christina Courtenay December 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm

It sounds like a great read and it’s on my TBR pile! I absolutely love Edwardian clothes and in fact, my wedding dress had a ‘bustle’ and leg of mutton sleeves even though it wasn’t as sumptuous as the real ones. I can imagine you had a great time doing the research for this book!

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I can imagine how wonderful you must have looked, especially with that gorgeous hair. Yes, I did enjoy the research, so much so that I’m now writing another novel set in the same period. I’m just glad I was never an inmate in a workhouse! x

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Keith Morley December 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Its a fascinating period in history. I think this is an Edwardian Romance with a sharp edge Margaret. You draw the reader in and we really engage with the characters at both ends of the emotional spectrum. Its quite eerie when you take a step back and see how these people play out their lives with all the accoutrements that go with their rich or poor status. Inevitably the two sides do touch and through it all, everyone is oblivious to the real changes looming around the corner.

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Absolutely Keith. The Great War changed everything, ordinary men fought alongside those they considered their ‘betters’, with both gaining understanding and respect for each other – although sadly not always. The divisions between the classes did become less rigid, but they were – and in some ways still are – present, only more subtle.

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Angela Britnell December 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Loved your book Margaret. As someone else said you wanted to pull Helena away from the altar!

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I know Angela, the reader knows the truth about Oliver, but Helena doesn’t.
And she was very young, and as so often happens, mistook her longing for romance, for a physical relationship, for love.

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June Kearns December 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I so enjoyed this book, Margaret. I thought it summoned up the age beautifully. I especially liked how the lives of the upstairs/ downstairs characters were woven together throughout the story. That particularly gripping part towards the end had me feverishly flicking the pages. A great read.

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm

That’s so lovely to know June. I’m glad the tension towards the end gripped you – what every novelist longs to hear. Thank you so much for your comment. I’m reading your second novel at the moment, and am intrigued by the flamboyant aunt!

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Anonymous December 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

That sense of menace that pervades the book, as suggested by the blurb, really intrigues me. I’ve got to read it, Margaret!

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hello, whoever you are. I’m glad the blurb attracts you, and hope you are able to settle down and enjoy the journey! Thank you for your comment.

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Linda Mitchelmore December 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I’ve read Margaret Kaine’s previous novels and love her way of making her heroines come alive, make the reader want to be them. So I am really looking forward to reading this new one from Choc Lit. Congratulations, Margaret

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Margaret Kaine December 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Thank you Linda for your kind thoughts and congratulations. The Choc Lit team have been brilliant to work with and I’m delighted with the finished novel.

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Chris Stovell December 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Congratulations on the publications of Dangerous Decisions, Margaret – it’s on my Kindle ready for lovely catch-up over Christmas.

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Margaret Kaine December 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

That’s great news, Chris. Thank you for your comment, and I hope you enjoy reading it – if you find the time. Christmas passes in a flash, but there are always a few fallow days later – at least we can hope so.

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Sue Moorcroft December 12, 2013 at 7:23 am

You had me at ‘Upstairs Downstairs’. This book’s on my Kindle! x

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Margaret Kaine December 12, 2013 at 9:48 am

More good news, Sue. I absolutely adored Upstairs/Downstairs, was glued to every episode. But that was the original cast. Somehow the later one didn’t hold me in the same way. Thanks for the comment. x

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