Choc Lit Mother’s Day Round Robin – Part One by Margaret James

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It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday and what better way to celebrate than a Round-Robin romance written by five talented Choc Lit authors? We’ll be sharing a part of the story every day until Mother’s Day and there’ll be a competition a day too! 

Margaret James is starting us off today. Read right until the end to take part in the competition! 

‘Mum, he isn’t right for you. He’s a jobbing builder on zero hours contracts and you’re a grammar school deputy headmistress. I can’t believe my mother’s sleeping with a bricklayer and everybody in the village knows about it. They’ll all be laughing at you behind your back. You really shouldn’t see him any more.’ Lucy dumped her Prada handbag on the kitchen counter and gave me that particular look, the one I guess I must have given her myself when she’d brought unsuitable boyfriends home in the past.

But I’m not a teenager. I’m nearly forty-five, for heaven’s sake, not seventeen. Jack and I split up three years ago. I know Lucy loves her father, idolises him in fact, even though he’s married to someone who is Lucy’s age and now she has a half-brother who’s almost two. So aren’t I entitled to have a life as well? Who kidnapped my rebellious, free-thinking daughter and replaced her with this strict, judgemental snob who tells me how to live my life?

‘I don’t know why you’re so upset,’ I said. ‘Mike’s a perfectly nice man. He’s thoughtful, generous and kind. We get on very well. We have lots of interesting chats about all kinds of things. We both like gardening and we’re both alone, so what’s your problem?’

‘The fact he made a brilliant job of mending your old garden wall didn’t mean you had to go to bed with him. Does he even wash his hands before he touches you?’

‘Lucy, that’s enough.’ Okay, I could accept that Lucy might not want her mother to be sleeping with somebody and that it must have been a shock when she called unexpectedly last Saturday and found Mike in his dressing gown making coffee in the kitchen while I was still in bed.

‘Granny’s coming round on Sunday,’ I reminded Lucy. ‘It’s Mother’s Day and I’ve invited her for lunch. You’re welcome too, of course.’

‘I’ll check my diary,’ she said, clearly having forgotten that I’m a mother too and I might like to see my daughter on my special day.

As Lucy’s Clubman drove away, my mobile rang. It was Mike ‘Hello, beautiful. How are you doing today?’

I’ve just got home from work,’ I told him. ‘Do you fancy coming round for dinner later – half past six to seven?’

‘Sounds great. I’ll bring a bottle, shall I?’

‘Lovely.’

‘But you mustn’t go to any trouble, love. I bet you’ve had a busy day so you’ll be tired. Maybe I could cook?’

‘I was thinking M&S,’ I said, ‘and letting someone else do all the work.’

When Mike arrived he smelled of something citrus-based and altogether gorgeous. He was carrying a bunch of freesias and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. He’s not very tall and he’s not movie-actor handsome. But he’s solid, strong and capable, good to snuggle up against. He makes me feel secure, something Lucy’s father never did.

‘What are you doing on Sunday?’ he enquired as we drank the last of the white wine, lolling comfortably on the sofa. ‘I was thinking we could drive into the countryside, have lunch at some old country pub and then go for a ramble in the woods.’

‘I can’t.’ I twisted round to look at him. ‘It’s Mother’s Day and I’ve invited Mum for lunch. My daughter will be coming too, that’s if she’s free.’

‘Maybe I’ll see you later, then? We could still go out somewhere, have dinner, maybe?’

‘After the kind of Sunday lunch my mother will expect, I’m going to be stuffed. But we could walk into the village, have a drink. Yes, let’s do that. Lucy can drive her granny home. Come and call for me about half seven. Or maybe – ’

‘What?’

‘You could come to lunch. Yes, come and meet three generations of my family. It’s time you got to know them.’

‘But Jenny, didn’t you tell me Lucy isn’t keen on you having relationships? Didn’t you say she’s still upset about you and her dad splitting up? She might not want to see me.’

‘Lucy is twenty-three. She’s not a child, even though she often acts like one. It’s time she started to grow up. My mother’s getting a bit forgetful nowadays, but she’s very sweet and I’m sure she will like you. Mike, will you come?’

Oh dear! Sounds like Jenny’s Mother’s Day Sunday lunch could end up being quite an explosive affair. Come back tomorrow for Part Two by Jane Lovering to see what happens. You don’t want to miss it!

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If you enjoyed Margaret’s writing, make sure you keep an eye out in the coming months for a new release ;) Until then, you can check out her existing novels HERE

COMPETITION TIME

To be in with a chance of winning one of Margaret’s novels and some chocolate simply answer this question:

What does Mike bring for Jenny when he comes round for dinner?

To enter, send your answer to info@choc-lit.co.uk with the subject heading ‘Round Robin Margaret James comp’ by Monday 27th March. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Tuesday 28th March.

Read Part Two by Jane Lovering HERE.

8 thoughts on “Choc Lit Mother’s Day Round Robin – Part One by Margaret James

  1. ooh Lucy is a bit of a cow isn’t she!!

    Mike brings Jenny a bottle for dinner! ;)

  2. Hallo, Hallo!

    Imagine my delight in returning online to see this popping up in my feeds – as I am quite addicted to Ms James’ #ChartonMinster series! I was delighted knowing there is a sixth novel in the works – per our convo last week and announced happily on this blog! I was hoping the series would be a two trilogy set, as I find those the most delish to find in Historical Fiction! As such, I had to pop over and read this short – as I’ve been so consumed these past few weeks inside ‘The Penny Bangle’ which is the third story in sequence but the end of the first trilogy before moving into the second trilogy, of which ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’ is the second after ‘The Wedding Diary’. Eek. Nearly ready to move into this new sequence of the saga!!

    TO answer the Q: Such a sweet bloke (Mike) to ‘a bunch of freesias and a bottle of Pinot Grigio’!

    What I loved about this opener of a tale is how perception is altered by generational insight and how a daughter grows weary of her Mum’s dating life but isn’t nearly as inclined it sounds like to have the critical eye turnt on her; of course, I’ve just binged (watched) ‘Grace and Frankie’ via Netflix; so I’m quite keen on mid-life to golden age dating situations! lol I grew up on ‘The Golden Girls’ and although that series remains timeless, this new one is poignant for today’s contemporary world. I saw a bit of Jacob in Mike; as Jacob on the series I refer is a man of the Earth, too; he’s a farmer and specialises in yams (he’s Frankie’s beau, btw).

    I like how the occupations of beaus can be out-of-the-box and not run-of-the-mill of what every bloke might be employed to be… you get so restless with the careers sometimes in fiction, I like it when writers jumble it up and give you a bloke whose confident in having a career that isn’t the top pick of the majority but the healthy option for them to find bliss in working themselves.

    Hmm… I wonder how Ms Lovering will treat the potboiler about to percolate into an explosion of passionate women arguing their points?

    *I wrote my tweet too quickly and forgot to say it’s by the writer of the Charton Minster series, not a sampler of the series; somehow my head and typing hands jumbled that message! OY. I get so excited sometimes I mistype what I intend to say! Sorry!

  3. What a fab start to the round robin. Mike sounds lovely and thoughtful. Looking forward to reading the next instalment.

  4. Wow what a brave Mum Lucy is – without discussing it with Lucy and also her own Mum – I wonder what the reaction will be….explosive?

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