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Madalyn Morgan I have been an actress for more than thirty years working in Repertory theatre, the
West End, film and
television. I am also a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles
for newspapers and magazines.
I was brought up in a busy working class pub in the market town of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live. There were so many wonderful characters to study and accents to learn. My parents wanted me to get a ‘proper job,’ which I did. I became a hairdresser, but at twenty-four I gave up my successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.
In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, I taught myself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and started writing. I loved it. So, after living in
thirty-six years, I came back to Lutterworth, swapping window boxes and a
mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. London
I am currently writing my second novel, Applause, which is set in the theatre world of
London’s West End during the Blitz, and is the second of four
books about the lives of four very different sisters during The Second World
War. My first novel, Foxden Acres, is available on Amazon in paperback
Blurb for Foxden Acres
On the eve of 1939 twenty-year-old Bess Dudley, the daughter of a Foxden groom, bumps into James Foxden the heir to Foxden Estate. Bess, a scholarship girl, lodges at Mrs McAllister’s boarding house in
while studying to
be a teacher. London
With offers of a teaching job in
and Foxden, Bess
opts for Foxden, to be near James.
However, when she is told that James is betrothed to the socially
acceptable Annabel Hadleigh, Bess accepts the teaching post in London . London
When war breaks out, and
are evacuated, Bess returns to Foxden to organise a team of Land Girls, and
turn the Foxden Estate into arable land.
James, having joined the RAF, is training to be a bomber pilot at nearby
Bitteswell Aerodrome. London
German bombs fall on
McAllister’s house is blitzed to rubble.
London South Leicestershire is scarred too,
when an RAF plane carrying Polish airmen crash lands in a Foxden field. And traditional social barriers come crashing
down when Flying Officer James Foxden, falls in love with Bess. But is it too late?
During the time Bess has been back at Foxden she has got to know Annabel Hadleigh. She has grown to like and respect her. How can Bess be with James knowing it would break her friend’s heart? Besides, Bess has a shameful secret that she has vowed to keep from James at any cost.
Available for Kindle and in Paperback
Excerpt - Foxden Acres
In the worst case, Bess wouldn’t find the missing book and would have to take a later train. In the best case, she’d find it and see James Foxden. Then to hell with the train, she laughed. As she neared the Hall, her heart began to beat faster.
To her relief she found the book immediately. It had slipped between the seat-cushion and the backrest of the window-seat on New Year’s Eve. She had finished reading it and put it down to look out of the window, as she was doing now, and – her stomach turned a somersault – James was in the courtyard standing by his car.
She scrambled onto the seat and watched him walk from the car to the house. Within seconds, he was back carrying an assortment of cases, which he strapped on the back of his car. He returned to the house as a young maid came out carrying a tartan blanket. The maid went to the passenger door of the car, opened it and, leaning in, wrapped the blanket around someone’s legs. Bess leaned closer to the window. It was James’ beautiful dance partner, from the New Year party.
‘Caught you,’ James said, looking over her shoulder to see what it was that had captured her attention so fully.
‘Sorry if I made you jump but I wanted to catch you before I left. I’m driving Annabel home to
but I’ll be in
tomorrow and I was thinking that, since we're both down there, perhaps we could
meet up… I could telephone you and…?’ London
Bess opened her mouth, but couldn’t speak. There was no public telephone at her lodgings and Mrs McAllister, her landlady, didn’t allow her tenants to make or accept calls on her private telephone unless it was an emergency. Nor did she approve of them having gentlemen friends.
‘But if you would rather I didn’t call,’ James said.
‘No, it isn’t that-- It’s my landlady,’ she said feeling an utter innocent and a fool.
‘Then I’ll give you my card and if you have a free evening you can call me. We could meet in town, see a show and have a bite of supper. Go to a dance at the Lyceum or the Trocadero.’
Bess accepted the small card. ‘I’d like that.’
‘See you in
, then!’ Smiling, James offered Bess his hand. London
she said, taking his hand. London
By the time she’d formulated the word ‘goodbye’, James had left. She heard his car start up. She ran to the window overlooking the drive as the small green sports car, enveloped in a cloud of exhaust smoke, disappeared down the drive.
Bess stood in the empty library for some minutes. Did James Foxden invite her, Bess Dudley, to supper in
Did he, or did she imagine that he held her hand for a little longer
than was necessary when he said goodbye?
Well, maybe she did imagine that, but one thing she did not imagine was
the small white business card with James’s name and telephone number, which she
was holding in her hand. London
Before she burst with excitement, Bess put the card between the pages of her book and ran home.
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