Sunday, February 28, 2010
Welcome, Margaret Tanner
Margaret Tanner’s historical romance novels have been inspired by the hardships and triumphs of her pioneering ancestors in frontier Australia.
Wild Oats was released by The Wild Rose Press on 26th February. It is the prequel to The Trouble With Playboys which came 3rd in the recent Preditors & Editors Poll.
Captain Phillip Ashfield toasted his elevation to fatherhood, as a barrage of artillery pounded the battle scarred fields around him.
English aristocrat, Phillip Ashfield, comes to Australia to sow some “Wild Oats”. After seducing Allison Waverley, he decides to marry an heiress to consolidate the family fortunes. Phillip has made a fatal choice, that will not only ruin his own life, but the repercussions will be felt by the next generation.
To save Allison from the disgrace of having Phillip’s baby out of wedlock, Tommy Calvert, who has always loved Allison, marries her. Mortally wounded on the French battlefields, Tommy is found by Phillip who learns that Allison has borne him a son. He vows to claim the boy when the war is over, because his wife cannot give him an heir.
MY LOVE SCENE: THE YEAR is 1914 just prior to Tommy’s embarkation for the war in Europe.
The lights dimmed when the Tango was introduced. Every man in the room held his partner close. This dance had made the Palais notorious. “Evil,” “depraved,” and “immoral” were just a few of the descriptive words printed by the newspapers, but Allison liked it. Neither she nor Tommy could dance, but they soon copied the antics of others, and laughed and clapped as much as anyone.
The tempo of the place quietened when the saxophones in the band started up to accompany the man who sang, “If you were the only girl in the world, and I was the only boy...” They stood close together, listening, until it finished.
“Let’s leave now,” Tommy said, and Allison waited near the door as he went to collect her coat. He helped her into it, took her hand and they left.
Instead of making for the train station, Tommy led her towards the beach. It was a cool night, with dark clouds scudding across the sky, but numerous stars twinkled. The breeze blowing straight in off the sea smelt moist and salty, and the sand felt soft beneath her feet.
They didn’t speak, just walked slowly away from the lighted Palais. Except for the muted sound of the waves, it was silent on the beach, and Allison felt as if they were the last two people left in the world.
Tommy stopped and drew her close. “I love you, Allison.” He started whistling the tune. “If you were the only girl in the world, and I was the only boy,” softly in her ear and she leaned her head against his chest.
A magic spell cast itself over them. She didn’t want to speak, lest the spell be broken. Some instinct from deep within warned her this moment, once it disappeared, would never come again. She closed her eyes to shut out everything except Tommy’s nearness.
Visit Margaret's website for more information on the 2008 Australian Writer of this Year award winner.