Friday, July 15, 2011

Guest blogging and reviews

You can find me today over on Vintage Vonnie. where I'm discussing family, research, and my newest historical release, which btw, just got a 5 star review on Amazon!

Meg in Frisco said:

Brilliant Healing Love Story, July 11, 2011

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

Last week I took a leap of faith on a story outside of my normal genre, and I could not have been happier I did! I just absolutely loved the story.

Nichole's character was truly enjoyable to watch her blossom while overcoming her life's situation. I cheered on Chad as he worked through his fears. I found myself rooting for Chad over and over, and never too angry with his choices. I so enjoyed the humor in Niki & Chad's mental musings. I laughed, cheered, and cried even. It was a wonderful well written heartfelt love story. I could not put it down until I was done that night, and I highly suggest taking a trip back in time to the Ton.

Thanks Lilly Gayle for the escape!

Meg an aggie in frisco

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Slightly Tarnished Reviews!

by Lilly Gayle
Genre: Historical Romance, E-book, England, Victorian Period
Sensuality: Hot
Setting: Victorian England
RT Rating
This tale starts slowly but once the story focuses on Nicole and Chad’s marriage and the barriers that stand between their love, it moves full speed ahead. Lilly Gayle spins a tale one part suspense and one part family dysfunction. Shocking revelations float throughout the novel, but it is Chad’s hesitation to completely open up to Nicole that keeps the reader turning pages. Slightly Tarnished is buoyed up by a winning heroine and diverse crew of supporting characters.

The thoroughly American Nicole Keller can hardly believe she has married a domineering and judgmental Englishman. But after losing her father and her home, Nicole has been trying to support herself and her mother. She has little choice but to accept Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest, as her husband. If nothing else, his name will keep Nicole and her mother safe from her malicious uncle. For his part, Chadwick has seen the damage Nicole’s uncle can do firsthand. Marrying Nicole will keep her from harm, plus it will satisfy his mother’s demands. But this marriage of convenience will never work if Nicole keeps bring up love. Besides, how could Chadwick ever love someone he cannot entrust with his long-buried secrets? (WILD ROSE PRESS, June, dl. $6.75)

Slightly Tarnished
Author: Lilly Gayle
Genre: Historical Romance
Link: Slightly Tarnished
Sighs: 3-1/2
Review of Slightly Tarnished
by Callie Hutton
After American Nikki Keller’s father is lost at sea, along with his ship and cargo that would have paid the mounting bills, she and her mother are left homeless. Mrs. Keller accepts an offer from her brother to make their home with him in England. Loath to leave America, Nikki accepts her mother’s decision. So the two head to England to the estate of Henry Tidwell, Earl of Wellesley.
The Countess of Gilchrest is anxious for her son, Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest to remarry and produce the needed heir. Although soured on marriage after his tumultuous relationship with his deceased wife, he understands his duty and fully intends to take a wife, just not the one his mother is so insistent upon.
Terrified at her uncle’s plans for her future, Nikki runs with her mother from Wellesley’s home into the dead of night. Gilchrest comes across them and after hearing their story, brings them to his estate. Although it starts out as a temporary arrangement, it soon becomes permanent, but Gilchrest is hiding a secret, and Nikki wants to know what it is.
Mystery, intrigue, love and romance all come together to form a satisfying story. Nikki, her mother, and Gilchrest fight to protect themselves and others they love from the machinations of those who would destroy their very world.
A good story with strong characters and a satisfying plot, you’ll enjoy this one.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Today, fellow Wild Rose Press author, Amber Leigh Williams is my guest and this is Amber's blog...


 When I decided to write a book based in ‘40’s-era Italy, I was shocked by how little information there was on the Verona region of Veneto. World War II was the first highly-photographed, -recorded, and -documented war in history. There was very little to work with in photos, reels, battle sequences, and cultural details from 1944-1945 Italy.

But that was ten years ago. Between then and the final draft of my historical romance Forever Amore, detailed books on the subject were published. I was delighted when I happened to peruse the WWII section of the Military aisle at my local bookstore. On my sixth and final revision of the novel, I used some of the information in these books to add scenes that involved Lucille, the heroine, trying to find Charles, the hero working as a spy, in Nazi-occupied Milan. The new elements not only adrenalized the formerly-lagging middle: it gave the story underlying layers of suspense and intrigue.

Fashion was an important issue to contend with, as it should be in any historical romance. Lucille comes from a wealthy, almost aristocratic, wine-making family and Italy is one of the most fashionable countries in the world so when it came time to dress her, her sisters, and the other members of her family, they had to have the finest, most luxurious wardrobes in period fashion. The problem, however, I discovered was that the story begins in March 1944…a time when rationing was in full effect. Lucky for me, conservative fashion came back with a vengeance after the promiscuous ’20′s and the slinky women’s wear of the ’30′s. This made it easy to add a collar or high neck to all of Lucille’s blouses and gowns in order to hide Charles’s dog-tags, which she wears underneath.

Another important research aspect of Forever Amore was the vineyard sequences. In the original draft, Lucille is giving Charles a tour of Villa Renaldi, her family’s expansive estate. I eventually cut the twenty-five pages spent detailing how grapes are grown and harvested and how winery machinery works (the technology used in the ’40′s-era Italy, that is). Though this information was not necessary for the overall story, it was good to fall back on for reference during seasonal transitions. When spring rolls into summer, the vines are growing taller, easily cloaking Lucille and Charles’s twilight rendezvous in the romantic vine labyrinth.

One of the final subjects I had to cover for this book was military. Like wine, before Forever Amore, I knew nothing about flying or fighter pilots. Movies came in handy here. I spent hours watching films that featured dogfighting just so I could learn fighter-pilot-speak. When I was happy with the terminology, I went looking for Charles’s plane. Thanks to the movie Pearl Harbor, I knew how a B-17 operated. The plane goes on to have significance in Forever Amore along with the WWII-era P-38, which I use in the opening sequence of the book to bring Charles and Lucille together. (Thanks to the Military Channel, I also learned that P-38s were some of the first planes to be steered by yokes, a term I never would’ve known or used otherwise.)

You can learn more about Forever Amore, a Best Book of 2009 nominee, at my website:


Over the crackle of flames, he heard an engine approaching. Looking up, he went alert and reached for the gun at his belt when he saw the green pickup. He took a deep breath before rallying enough energy to stagger to his feet.

Charles took a step forward and blinked to clear his vision as the truck skidded to a halt and the driver and passenger doors opened.

Two figures swam through the smoky haze and Charles had to squint to make them out. One long, rangy man with a mop of black hair growing into his fierce eyes and … an angel.

His heart thudded. I’m dead. He could find no other explanation for the vision that drifted hesitantly toward him in a long, cream-colored gown and hair the color of angel wings falling in gilded glory down her shoulders.

She made a move toward him, but the man barked at her to halt, catching her by the arm. Pointing at Charles, he gave a short, terse order he couldn’t make out.

Oh, hell. Italian. Charles had less than a rudimentary inkling of the language.

The man who looked no more than twenty barked again. Charles saw him point toward his gun. With a frown, he lifted a hand to it. 
The woman gasped and the man stepped in front of her as if to shield her.

Carefully, Charles unclipped the pistol and threw it at the man’s feet.

Movements slow, the local bent and picked it up, pointing the shaking barrel at Charles’s chest while scanning him closely. “Americano?” he asked.

Now that he could understand. “Si, si. Americano.” He thought he saw relief pass over their faces before his vision dimmed. He swayed on the spot.

As he went to his knees, the woman rushed forward, snatching out of her companion’s grasp to catch Charles before he could hit the dirt again.

She looked even better up close. A pixie’s face more than an angel’s, her big green eyes yawned in concern in front of his. “You are wounded?” she asked in English thick with regional inflection but not at all broken.
Huh. Angels speak English. Thank God.

Thanks so much for sharing and for the great excerpt. My daughter and her husband visited Italy last year and saw some of the vineyards. They didn't go to Milan, but they were in Pizza and Cinca Terra. Italy is a beautiful country and your book sounds like a fantastic read! It's been a pleasure having you on my blog today.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

From NC to all Americans, Happy Independence Day! Celebrate. Go wild. Have a blast. Fly your flag and grill out. Relax, enjoy, and...

Don't forget to thank our men and women serving in the armed forces--both past and present. America's freedom wasn't free. Soldiers, sailors, marines, and aviators sacrificed their comfort and often, their lives for this country. They're still sacrificing.

And remember not only those who died in combat, but those who served in past wars and are no longer with us. Honor their memeories as you celebrate our nation's birth.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Welcome Austrailian Historical Author, Margaret Tanner

Like the heroines in my novels, my forebears left their native shores in sailing ships to forge a new life in the untamed frontiers of colonial Australia. They battled bushfires, hardship and the tyranny of distance in an inhospitable and savage land, where only the tough and resilient would survive. They not only survived but prospered in ways that would not have been possible for them had they stayed in Europe.  

I would like to think I display the same tenacity. My goals are a little different from those of my forbears. I want to succeed in the publishing world.

I received my baptism of fire on the literary field of battle at an early age. I have known the highs (winning awards and having my books published), but also known the lows of the volatile publishing world. Publishing company closures, an opportunity for one of my novels to be turned into a film, only to be thwarted at the last minute by government funding cuts, and writing friends dropping off because they couldn’t get published and gave up the struggle.  

I am a fourth generation Australian. We are a tough, resilient people, and we have fought hard to find our place in the world.   We have beautiful scenery, unique wild life, and a bloodied convict history.

I am a medical audio-typist, specializing in the field of radiology.  I have a husband, three grown up sons and a cute little grand daughter.

I admire heroines who are resourceful, not afraid to fight for her family and the man she loves. I want my readers to be cheering for her, willing her to obtain her goals, to overcome the obstacles put in her way by rugged frontier men who think they only want a wife to beget sons.  A chance for revenge.  To consolidate their fortunes. That love is for fools.  Oh, the victory for the reader when these tough, ruthless men succumb to the heroine’s bravery and beauty, and are prepared to risk all, even their lives to claim her.

Then there are the brave young men who sailed thousands of miles across the sea in World War 1 to fight for mother England, the birth country of their parents and grandparents. I also wanted to write about the wives and sweethearts who often waited in vain for their loved ones to return. Who were there to nurture the returning heroes, heal their broken bodies and tormented souls.

This is why I write historical romance, even if it means trawling through dusty books in the library, haunting every historical site on the internet, badgering elderly relatives, and risking snake-bite by clambering around overgrown cemeteries.

Wild Oats from The Wild Rose Press is an EPICON 2010 Finalist.

 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.


France 1916.

Captain Phillip Ashfield toasted his elevation to fatherhood, as a barrage of artillery pounded the battle scarred fields around him. No more would he have to feel Isobel’s cold, unresponding body under his as he tried to beget an heir.

 Australia 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 Theatre 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. A moist, salty breeze blew straight in off the sea, and the sand felt soft beneath her feet.

They didn’t speak, just ambled away from the lighted Palais. Except for the muted sound of the waves silence reigned 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.


Margaret Tanner is an award winning multi-published Australian author. 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. She won the 2007 Author of the Year at She also won it for a 2nd time in 2010. Wild Oats was an EPICON 2010 Finalist

Margaret’s two publishers are - Whiskey Creek Press and The Wild Rose Press. 

Margaret’s Website:

Thanks for visiting with us today, Margaret. Our countries have much in common. As do we! We both work in radiology. I'm a radiologic technolgist  certified in mammography. But I still take diagnostic x-rays and you type the radiologist's reports. And, we both write historal romance. Slightly Tarnished released 6/3/11 so I know how excited you are about the release of Wild Oats. Congratulations!