Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight with Margaret Tanner

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! My special guest today is friend and fellow Wild Rose author Margaret Tanner. Margaret is here today to chat with us about Holly and the Millionaire. And here is a blurb and excerpt:

Fleeing from her ruthless English in-laws who are intent on stealing her child, Holly Kirwan boards a flight home to Australia and meets Justin Devereux. They are instantly attracted to each other.
Justin doesn’t want a permanent woman in his life, particularly one with a baby in tow. Holly, still grieving for her soldier husband who was killed in Iraq, doesn’t want to be disloyal to his memory.
Can the young widow and the commitment shy tycoon ever find happiness together?


Justin Devereux fumed as he strode on board the aircraft. Heads would roll over this debacle. If he hadn’t needed to get out of England so urgently, he would have waited for another flight. To hell with the risk of being grounded by a blizzard.
He showed his ticket to the flight attendant. He hadn’t flown in economy class for years, wouldn’t be doing it today if he had any say in the matter, either.
“I’m so sorry about this mix-up, Mr. Devereux. The airline did everything it could to get you a last minute business-class seat, but like first class it was completely booked out.”
Well, you didn’t try hard enough, he nearly said, but bit back the angry words. It wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault that his booking still floated around in cyber space.
“We were able to get you an aisle seat near the front.”
“Thank goodness for that at least.”
On being shown to his seat, he took off his cashmere coat, folded it neatly and stowed it in the overhead locker. If he had even an ounce of luck, the seat beside him would remain empty, but he wouldn’t take bets on it. Setting his briefcase on the floor, he rested his laptop on the vacant seat. What a shocking few hours it had been.
At least it was a little more spacious here. He couldn’t understand why there was extra leg space and only one other seat, when there would be normally at least three, sometimes four jammed together.
Closing his eyes he thought back on the last twenty- four hours. Deanna and Simon had betrayed him. He didn’t care so much about Deanna dumping him for Simon as their relationship had just about run its course.
Running off with millions of dollars of his employees’ pension funds. Now that was something else. Despicable and criminal, and they did it in such a way that the blame fell on him. He was ruthless. He had to be to claw his way to the top of the business world, but he had always acted with integrity. There were only two choices in the short term. Risk tarnishing his good business reputation or discretely pay the money back. He chose the latter.
I’ll hound them to the ends of the earth; I don’t care how long it takes. No one cheats Justin Devereux and gets away with it.
“Hell,” he yelped, as something hard and sharp rammed into his groin. His eyes flew open. God, someone was trying to castrate him.
“S… sorry,” the wavering female voice said.
Justin looked up into a pair of blue eyes that were swimming in tears.
“Here, let me help,” he growled, pushing the weapon away from his crotch and handing it back to her. It’s a wonder they let her bring the thing on board. She took the folded-up baby’s stroller, but dropped a large pink bag onto his foot. Where were the attendants when you needed them? This was definitely going to be the flight from hell.
He watched the girl struggling with the stroller, her handbag and a baby all at the one time. His first thought was she didn’t look old enough to have a baby, his second was how tiny and frail she appeared, with the fine, ice-blonde hair tumbling out of its restraining clip.
“It’s all right, don’t get flustered.” He felt strangely moved by her pale, heart shaped face and trembling lips.
As she reached across his briefcase to sit the baby on the floor a swathe of hair brushed his face, and he smelt a faint elusive perfume. Flowers perhaps? Like enticing fingers, it captured his senses.
Before he could offer to help, she lifted up the pink bag, trying to put it in the overhead locker, but she wasn’t tall enough to reach. As he got up to assist her the bag tilted and a jar of baby food hit him on the head.
This girl was a walking disaster area.
“I…I’m sorry.”
“It’s all right. Accidents happen.” Grimacing, he rubbed his head. “Let me put the bag up for you.” And that lethal pram too, he thought, not wanting to risk being run through again. He valued his manhood too much.
As he stowed everything in the locker, he noticed that the white-haired and blue-eyed baby was playing with his briefcase – its plump little fingers trying to pick the lock.
The girl darted under his arm and scooped up the baby, and sat down as quick as a flash. Thank goodness, he’d be safe for a little while at least.

Margaret Tanner is an award winning multi-published Australian author. She loves delving into the pages of history as she carries out research for her historical romance novels, and prides herself on being historically correct. Many of her novels have been inspired by true events, with one being written around the hardships and triumphs of her pioneering ancestors in frontier Australia.

Her favorite historical period is the 1st World War, and she has visited the battlefields of Gallipoli, France and Belgium, a truly poignant experience.

Margaret is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Melbourne Romance Writers Group (MRWG) and EPIC. In 2008 she won Author of the Year at

Margaret is married and has three grown up sons, and a gorgeous little granddaughter.
Outside of her family and friends, writing is her passion.

Sharon: Let’s have a warm welcome for Margaret Tanner. Welcome Margaret!

Thunderous applause explodes as Margaret bounds across stage on her pet kangaroo. She reaches into the pouch and removes a hot off the press copy of Holly and the Millionaire. Margaret blows kisses to her fans and gives her hostess a warm embrace before sitting on the Victorian sofa of mint green silk on claw foot legs.

Sharon: Make yourself comfortable, Margaret and let me call my butler to serve us tea and Potato crisps while we chat. Oliver, we’re ready for refreshments.

Oliver wheels out the sterling silver caddy with a porcelain tea set and delicate floral tea cups. He pours and uncovers the potato crisps, freshly fried and steaming with mouth-watering appeal. Ah, thank you, Oliver. That will be all until I order the dessert. So isn’t this grand, Margaret? We get to visit on cyber stage across the world.

Margaret: Thank you for inviting me to not only visit you blog but to partake of tea. “Earl Grey I hope, Oliver?”

Oliver blushes and nods as he expertly pours, sneaking quick peeks at Margaret.

Sharon: Ah, that will be all, Oliver. So, Margaret, do tell us about living in Australia. I know you and I have talked a bit about the kangaroo. And you’ve told me there are two different types. Can you tell readers about them?

Margaret: Well there are actually several varieties. A wallaby is a small kangaroo, probably a cousin to the larger ones. We have red and gray kangaroos. The babies who live in their mothers’ pouch are called Joeys. Some male kangaroos can grow over 6 feet in height. The males can be very aggressive, they have been known to kill a man. Sometimes kangaroos are called ‘boomers’ because as they hop along they hit the ground so hard they make a booming noise.

Margaret’s pet “Boomer” demonstrates by hopping on command.

Sharon: Hastily assures her gasping audience that Boomer is not the vicious male type of kangaroo who is on the attack. And for you animal lovers, another unique to Australia is the Koala bear. They are so cute and adorable. Can you tell us a bit about them? Are they shy? Have you ever had the opportunity to get close to one?

Margaret: Ooh Sharon, you aren’t supposed to call them koala bears, just koalas. I don’t know that much about them, although I have seen them up close. They give the impression that they are half asleep all the time. They eat only a certain type of eucalyptus (gum) leaf, and this makes them drowsy. They carry their young on their back.

Sharon: You have so many books published by The Wild Rose Press and Whiskey Creek and your reviews are always outstanding. And like me, you are also a medical transcriptionist. Where do you find the time to get your writing in? The chatting on all the Yahoo loops? And all the promoting?

Margaret: I really don’t know where I get the time, but somehow I do, but really, there are never enough hours in the day for me.

Sharon: Well, my hat is certainly off to you. Can you tell us about a typical day in the life of Margaret Tanner? What inspires you to keep going at this pace?

Margaret: Get up out of bed, shower, have breakfast, check my e-mails, trot off to work, type out radiology reports. I am an expert on boobs, as I type up heaps of mammography and breast ultrasound reports. What inspires me, the love of writing. Come home, hubby, bless his little heart, has dinner ready for me, we eat, I do dishes (well you can’t have everything), then I’m up on the computer for a couple of hours, then if I am real lucky I can go to bed. I feel like I’m on a round about going nowhere fast, sometimes, but it is exhilarating.

Sharon: LOL Margaret. We are very honored to have a boob expert with us today! But all kidding aside, I’ve also typed my share of mammography reports and mammograms are something all women need to do. Now let’s talk about Holly and the Millionaire. It takes place in Iraq. Tell us about the research, the setting and about the heroine and hero of this book.

Margaret: I didn’t need to do much research. My youngest son has been in the army, so I got some information from him, and the newspapers are full of the war in Iraq. I actually got the idea for the story when I was flying back to Australia from London, after visiting my oldest son who lives over there. A good deal of the story is set in Melbourne where I live, so I tried to imagine how Holly would feel, all alone in the world, with just her baby, and running from her husband’s ruthless parents who want the baby but not her, and who will stoop to anything to get the child. How devastating and frightening that would be for Holly, especially as her husband was barely cold in his grave. I wanted to make Justin the opposite. Wealthy, confident, ruthless to a point, but underneath that hard exterior, a man with a heart, who falls in love with Holly and her baby but doesn’t realize how much he cares until he almost loses them.

Sharon: Well God bless your son. You write the most interesting and heart-felt stories and this is no exception. You must be so proud to have won so many awards and such prestige in the writing world. What kind of emotions do such honors evoke in you?

Margaret: You are too kind Sharon. I don’t know about prestige in writing. I feel pleased of course, but humble also. It is gratifying to know that people enjoy your stories. Makes all the years of hard slog worth it.

Sharon: It certainly does, doesn’t it? Now do new storylines just pop into your head—or do you have to be inspired by something in particular as a trip or flashing headlines on the media?

Margaret: I don’t need to be inspired by anything, the ideas just pop into my head, sometime at really weird times.

Sharon: Well I do believe it’s time for dessert. Oh Oliver, do bring that scrumptious plum pudding out, the Christmas variety I ordered.

Oliver comes out with the dessert in two Waterford cut glass dessert plates. He winks wildly at Margaret and refills her tea.

Sharon: Holds out her empty teacup as Oliver stands over Margaret, poised at the ready to be at her beck and call. Sharon clears her throat. Ah, Oliver, did you forget about your boss?

Oliver takes a sweeping bow and snaps a crisp linen napkin, grinning broadly and blushing wildly while presenting it to Margaret. Then he stutters. May I have your autograph, Ms. Tanner? He blushes a deep crimson red.

Margaret: “Certainly Oliver, my pleasure.” Margaret signs the linen napkin with a flourish, presses it to her crimson painted lips and leaves an imprint of her mouth on the white linen, then hands it back to Oliver, whose eyes glaze over, then he touches it to his lips.

Sharon: Ah…any time you’re through flirting with my guest, Oliver, I wouldn’t mind a refill of tea and why is it you never asked me for an autograph in all the time you’ve been my butler?

Oliver holds the autograph of Margaret Tanner to his heart and stumbles away, mumbling to himself.

Sharon: Good help is so hard to find. But if you’re in the market for a butler, you can take Oliver. He obviously has quite a crush on you.

Margaret: No thanks. I couldn’t afford him. I am, after all, only a poor writer.

Sharon: LOL! Now back to our interview. Where were we. Ah, yes. What is the message you want readers to walk away with after reading Holly and the Millionaire? Or for that matter, what is the message you hope to leave on this earth? What footprint do you want to leave as your own imprint?

Margaret: I want them to be inspired. To never give up on their dream and know that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, and that we are all deserving of a second chance.

Thunderous applause explodes through cyber space.

Sharon: Well said, Margaret!So now let’s dish, girlfriend. Who is Margaret Tanner? Who are you and tell us something we might never guess about you?

Margaret: I am a proud 5th generation Aussie. My forebears were pioneers. They came to Australia from England and Scotland, and suffered great hardship as they fought to tame what was once a savage, inhospitable land. They survived the tyranny of distance, floods, fires and their sons fought wars in foreign lands and some paid for it with their lives. It made them strong and resilient and I hope that I have inherited some of these traits.

Audience stands up and cheers wildly!!!

Only to you, Sharon, my friend, would I confess to this. I dye my hair. There you have it, my deep dark secret, that would normally not be wrenched out of me even under torture.

Sharon: I feel so honored you shared that with me, Margaret! And just between us girls, I’ve been known to dabble a wee bit with the hair paint my own self, but don’t tell anyone! And being Irish, I’m very superstitious. I love legends and lore and keep a collection of traditions from different countries, especially holiday traditions or silly superstitions. Can you share a few superstitions with us? Or a favorite Australian tradition near and dear to your heart?

Margaret: Now superstitions – my mother was a great one for them. Did you know, that it is extremely bad luck to bring wattle (that is our national flower), into your home, some older people call it the flower of death. And it is reasonable when you think about it. The little golden balls of fluff that constitute the flower of the wattle, has a high pollen count, it would be deadly I should imagine if you were an asthmatic, especially in the old days when there was no Ventolin pumps or inhalers.

Sharon: I’ve never heard that one. Thanks, Margaret. I’ll add it to my list. And finally, my three questions. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? If you could star in any literary fiction, which would it be and why? And who would you want playing your romantic hero?

Margaret: Australia because I love it. Gone with the wind. And Rhett Butler please.

Sharon: Excellent answers. And I’m a gonner for Gone with the Wind, a true classic as far as I’m concerned. Margaret, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for being my special guest today on Wednesday Spotlight. I do hope you’ll come back. Can you tell readers where they can buy Holly and the Millionaire and the rest of your delightful books?


Thank you for having me here Sharon, I enjoyed my visit, and would love to call in and see you again.


Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Margaret! I am honored to have you today as my special guest. Have a seat and a nice cup of tea. We'll just chat a bit while we wait for the guests to arrive. So how are you today?

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sharon,
I am fine thanks, hope you are the same. I am delighted to be visiting you here today.

Sharon Donovan said...

And here comes Oliver! And he has a fresh pot of Earl Gray tea. Would you like a cup, Margaret? And some scones and chocolate pastries and fresh fruit. He's at the ready, winking up a blue streak! Once more, Oliver is madly in love!

wendy said...

Margaret, I chuckled all the way through the story excerpt. It was truly excellent. I haven't enjoyed reading the POV a male protagonist so much in ages.

Cate Masters said...

Great interview, ladies! I'm jealous you have a pet kangaroo, Margaret! I'd love a wallabee myself.
Great excerpt! Raising my cup of tea in cheers to you. May you sell millions of Holly and the Millionaire!

Miss Mae said...

Loved the fact about Margaret riding in on a kangaroo, however...*Miss Mae taps her foot while glaring at Oliver...* I'm quite upset that Oliver is behaving like a school boy! Quite disturbing, actually, to find he has such a fickle heart!

Margaret, congrats on your awards, and I hope you might get millions off your millionaire story! :)

lastnerve said...

Oh Margaret, that book is going to be a winner. From the cover to the blurb to the excerpt, I WANT MORE!



Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Miss Mae, Cate and Wendy,
Thank you for dropping by and sharing scones and Earl Grey tea with Sharon and I. The chocolate pastries will have to wait until tomorrow,though, as it is 10.45 in the evening here and I am almost ready for bed.

P.L. Parker said...

Good Morning Ladies:

Dye your hair??? Don't we all? Hee hee. Good post, enjoyed it.


Judi Romaine said...

Nice blog, excellent excerpt - makes me want to run and get your book - thanks for sharing it - lynn romaine - Long Run Home due 09/18/09 TWRP

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Margatet, Sharon, Lula, Cate,Wendy - and er Oliver - Oliver you you can take your eyes of Margaret for a moment, I'd love a cup or Earl Grey. (Whispers to Miss Mae, er, Lula, did you bring any of your special recipe?)

Margaret, I do so admire your productivity and your awards - oh and do you think I could have a quick 'hop' on your kangaroo?

Ok, just a quick run around the estate, I'll be back in a bit. Have fun everyone, lovely to see you here Margaret.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you ladies for popping in with Margaret and I today. But due to the time change with Margaret living in Australia, she's off to bed. But feel free to leave your comments and Margaret will get to them. In the meantime, Oliver my cyber butler will be happy to offer refreshments to one and all. Oliver? Oliver? Where are you? Good help is hard to find! You are so fickle as Miss Mae says. Miss Mae, perhaps he's looking for the recipe? Wink!


Cheryl Wright said...

Great interview Margaret! As you know, I loooove the cover of Holly and the Millionaire!


Kathy Otten said...

Hi Sharon and Margaret,

Very cute interview. I would love to meet your kangaroo. I've always loved them since my mother read me the Winnie-the-Pooh books when I was a kid.
I just had my yearly mammogram yesterday. Now I'm just waiting for someone to type up my report and send it to my doctor.
Good luck with all your sales.

Sharon Donovan said...

Okay, Lyn. But I get a romp on Margaret's pet kangaroo after you! Isn't he cute? Oh Oliver, Lyn could use a cup of tea? Oliver? Val and Miss Mae...could use your help rounding him up! Ladies, you might be on your own. There is a buffet full of tea and coffee and desserts. And for those who dare, MM will be back with her family recipe. LOL


Miss Mae said...

Guess what I have, dearies? *From a secret pocket of her skirts, Miss Mae withdraws a...beaded flask!*

Is anyone thirsty for some...ah...lemonade???

Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver struts out minus his butler jacket, pumping his biceps while winking madly. Ladies, ladies, I'm here to please. Now what can I bring y'all? Ms. Margaret gets first choice since she's the guest. Oliver's midnight blue eyes gleam when he spies MM's flask. He chases her around the clawfoot sofa until he catches her and pours it all into the lemonade. he grabs Margaret and hops the atop the kangaroo. The party is out of hand. Sharon appears with a whistel. Oliver come back here right now with my guest! Didn't we just have a chat about your...duties as my butler? Oliverrrrrrr!

Kathye Quick said...

Visiting Australia is on my Bucket List. Now I have to add riding a kangaroo!

Thunderous applause exploding for Margaret and her book!

Miss Mae said...

Dear me, someone call Margaret! That kangaroo has his whole head ducked in the bucket of lemonade!

Mary Ricksen said...

I love those heartwarming stories and this one sounds right up my alley!
I prefer PGTips myself rather then Earl Gray. I never met a boob specialist before, interesting.
My dog would like to meet your kangaroo, he's strange that way.

Great interview ladies. I love when they are different/

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Great interview. :) I'm constantly astonished how Margaret can swap genres from historical to contemporary so easily, and still remain so 'true!' Thanks so much for the insights, ladies - a pet kangaroo??!! Now, that's fun!
(PS, my dh has worked in Australia a couple of times, as you know, Margaret - he says koalas smell like cough sweets!)
Thanks again for another great interview. :)

Jane x

Sharon Donovan said...

The kangaroo hops and staggers...hops and staggers. Sharon rushes out to the backyard of her umbrella lined terrace just as the kangaroo splashes into the pool. Oh dear! Oliver, go get Margaret! Wake her up and tell her she must get her drunken kangaroo out of my pool!

Skhye said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing. I always leave Sharon's blog with a smile. Skhye

lastnerve said...

Never fear, Val is here .... jumping in to save a drowning kangaroo.

Marking THAT one off MY bucket list!\\

Miss Mae said...

*Miss Mae slaps forehead*...What are you blithering about, Oliver? You say you're scared of water? Oh, bother and fiddlesticks!

*Miss Mae ties up petticoats at waist*...Well, get out of the way, Oliver, and allow me to come to the rescue of that big-footed Australian rat. Hello, I do believe he's doing the roo-paddle! And...oh, gracious me, who's that with him? Why, it's Crocodile Dundee!

Miss Mae said...

Val, stay away from Dundee! I saw him first!

*Miss Mae plunges in feet first*...blubber, blubber

Hywela Lyn said...

I dunno, there's Val and Lula squabbling over Dundee, and this poor roo's drowning.

Holds nose and plunges in. *Glug-glug* yikes it's deeper than I thought - oh - Dundee and Kanga are scrambling out the other side!

Maregaret - are you awake yet!

Debra St. John said...

Hi Sharon and Margaret! FABULOUS interview. Margaret, I'm totally with you on the Rhett Butler thing. *sigh*

Miss Mae said...

Well, somebody please save Miss Mae...I'd much prefer it to be Dundee, but when a southern belle is on the verge of losing her petticoats in a pool--which is extremely cold, and WET, I might add--well, where was I?


Sharon Donovan said...

Did someone say Crocodile Dundee! Splash!

Miss Mae said...

Oh, Dundee, you've come to save me! You're so big, and strong, and warm...and smelly!

Yikes! It's the roo!

Margaret Tanner said...

Good morning Miss Mae (hope you didn't catch a chill) and the lemonade sounds good.
Val, Patsy, Judi, Hywela Lyn, Cheryl,Kathy, Kathye, Mary, Jane, Debra and Skhye.

Thank you ladies for dropping by and for sharing our conversation and tea. Isn't that Oliver something?

Ebony McKenna. said...

I'm partial to a bit of Earl Grey myself.

What a lovely tea party. Congratulations Margaret and thanks for such an entertaining interview Sharon.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ebony,
Thanks for dropping by,being an Aussie like me, can you understand these ladies risking life and limb to rescue a drowning kangaroo? Now Dundee, I would jump in, even though I can't swim, to save him, and if he needed the kiss of life to revive him, I am just the woman for the job.

Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver flies out pitching life jackets. "Yo mates! All aboard! Scratches his head and ponders what to do about the drunken drowning roo. But the roo is doing the back float and is he chuckling? Reaches into pouch, pulls out shades and what's this? His own flask. Brings it to his lips and guzzles while everyone flounders about. Then the music starts and the beach party begins! Be happy!

Sharon Donovan said...

Oh Margaret, thank goodness you're back! I'm afraid things got a wee bit out of hand, as usual. Miss Mae brought her recipe and your pet kangaroo got a bit tipsy and hopped into the pool! Oliver grabs Margaret and swirls her around, singing in her ear. "Be happy!" Miss Mae and Dundee are dancing on the table and the ladies all hoot it up and the party turns wilder by the minute! The caterer arrives that Oliver ordered as he took the night off. Chilled shrimp cocktail, stuffed mushrooms, barbecued ribs and grilled chicken. Chocolate cake and chocolate chips, fresh fruit salad and is that the strawberry pretzel jello? Music gets louder, more guest leap into pool!

Serena said...

Hi Margaret,
Nice to see you out and about :) Can I have a coffee instead (I'll blame my Italian heritage for that, OK. And I'll supply chocolate swirl cheesecake!)

Great interview (thanks Sharon!) And I ADORE that cover. Hope you sell a squillion!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Serena,
Thanks for dropping by. I am sure we could supply coffee as well as tea. How about a cappucino?


Gail Symmonds said...

Lovely interview ladies. Holly and the Millionaire is a great read.

Can I borrow Oliver???

Gail :)

Sharon Donovan said...

Well ladies, that brings us to the end of another Wednesday Spotlight. As usual, you've all made it a fun party. I'd like to thank my guest Margaret Tanner for being my featured guest today. Thank you Margaret! We all want to run out and buy Holly and the Millionaire. I wish you mega success with this book and all future endeavors. All the best.


Erin said...

Oh wow Margaret Tanner! What a pleasant surprise. I’ve read ‘Holly and the Millionaire’ and found it a delight experience to read. In fact after a chance encounter with ‘Devils Ridge’, some time ago, I make a point of searching for and seeking out your novels. You always seem to be able to weave more then I expect into your story. They twist and turn their way through my mind and leave wonderful thoughts behind; quite delightful. ---- It’s lovely to stumble upon a chance to read about the person behind the vivid imagination. Thank you. --- (Thank you Sharon; you’re a great host) ---- Erin

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Erin,
Thank you so much for dropping by Sharon and I both appreciate it.
How lovely of you to say nice things about my writing, I am glad you enjoyed reading my stories.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Gail,
Thank you for dropping by, I appreciate it.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sharon,
Thank you so much for inviting me to join your party. Many thanks to Oliver too. I had a wonderful time.