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"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Jun 18, 2022

Summer Garden Party


Every year, in the third week of June, my rose and perennials gardens reach the peak bloom time, and we invite neighbours and friends to a Garden Party/Open Garden. The refreshments are lemony--a punchbowl filled with French 75 cocktail, lemonade, and lemon cookies. But my attire is as rosy as I can make it--and this year, I appeared in what seems to be the rosy-est dress in existence! Our guests also wear summery florals, and many come in summer hats.

My gardens contain 185 rose bushes of various types, many ancient and historic varieties as well as modern hybrids by David Austin's company and other breeders. Only a few haven't yet blossomed. 

On the day of the party, the weather was perfect and the flowers spectacular:

A refreshments table--with rosy cloth, of course!

I made an ice ring for the punchbowl with lemon slices and violas.

This is Tuscany, or the 'Old Velvet' rose, dating from about 1580.

And Rosa Mundi is also a 16th century variety.

A lovely 17th century centifolia rose

The peonies bloomed simultaneously with the roses this year.

A bright and festive afternoon was a very pleasant break from authorly and volunteer activities.

Jun 7, 2022

Celebrating Women's Fiction Day: Multi-item Giveaway


Congratulations, Tara B.!

The randomly selected contest winner will receive, in addition to an Autographed copy of The Limits of Limelight, the The Limits of Limelight pillow, a bottle of the iconic and historic Sortil├Ęge perfume (worn by real-life heroine  Phyllis Fraser in the novel), an elegant white silk scarf like the ones Fred Astaire wore in films with Phyllis's first cousin Ginger Rogers, a Limits of Limelight acrylic 16-oz sippy “go” cup with straw, a spiral Garden of Allah hotel notebook (Phyllis and Ginger and Ginger's mother lived there in the early 1930s), a Garden of Allah shot glass, and miscellaneous book swag.

Thanks to everyone who entered by

subscribing to my newsletter 


following Author Margaret Porter on Instagram


emailing an answer to this question: Have you ever watched a Ginger Rogers-Fred Astaire movie? (be sure to include your name and email address. You won't be added to the mailing list but will only be contacted if you're the giveaway winner.)


Doing all three to be be entered twice!

Deadline for entry was: 

Saturday, June 11

What should I know about The Limits of Limelight?

It's my 14th novel, available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

Finalist, 2021 Chanticleer International Book Awards
BookTrib Selection, Women's History Month
     Pretty Oklahoma teenager Helen Nichols accepts an invitation from her cousin, rising movie actress Ginger Rogers, and her Aunt Lela, to try her luck in motion pictures. Her relatives, convinced that her looks and personality will ensure success, provide her with a new name and help her land a contract with RKO. As Phyllis Fraser, she swiftly discovers that Depression-era Hollywood’s surface glamor and glitter obscure the ceaseless struggle of the hopeful starlet.
     Lela Rogers, intensely devoted to her daughter and her niece, outwardly accepting of her stage mother label, is nonetheless determined to establish her reputation as screenwriter, stage director, and studio talent scout. For Phyllis, she’s an inspiring model of grit and persistence in an industry run by men.
     While Ginger soars to the heights of stardom in musicals with Fred Astaire, Phyllis is tempted by a career more fulfilling than the one she was thrust into. Should she continue working in films, or devote herself to the profession she’s dreamed about since childhood? Which choice might lead her to the lasting love that seems so elusive?

     “Based on a true story....A witty and meticulously researched treat.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

     “An engrossing glimpse into a bygone era and the forces affecting a young woman's evolution into her own abilities...vigorous and involving to the end. ~ Midwest Book Review

      “A captivating novel about Hollywood...a more realistic and multifaceted view of the era.” Historical Novels Review (*Editors' Choice)

     “A lovely tribute to the larger-than-life celebrities of early Hollywood....a glitz and glamour novel that shines brighter the deeper you go.” ~ Independent Book Review

     “A time capsule of Hollywood's Golden Era...a captivating novel of Tinsel Town's perils and pitfalls, trade-offs and triumphs!” ~ Leslie Carroll, author of American Princess 

 What Is Women's Fiction Day?

 Women’s Fiction Day celebrates women’s fiction authors, novels, publishers, book sellers, and most importantly, readers who appreciate women’s fiction and the power of a great story. This year for Women’s Fiction Day, members across the country will hold book signings to engage and connect with readers. WFWA is working with its 1,800 members across the country and internationally to hold a day of book events both online and in person on June 8.

More info--and giveaways--available here: Women Fiction Writers Association

What Is Women's Fiction?

Women's fiction is a writing genre that includes layered stories in which the plot is driven by the main character’s emotional journey. The stories can be contemporary or historical, and may have magical, mystery, thriller, romance, or other elements.