Sunday, August 2, 2015


I write historical romance, so this experience was very relevant for me.

My husband and I have just returned from a short stay at a place called Halls Gap in the Grampians, which is a climber’s paradise. Steep rocky cliffs overhanging thickly treed valleys. Mile upon mile of brooding bushland, silent except for the occasional bird call. One could easily get lost here, and perhaps, as happened in the pioneering days, you would never be seen again. It still looks like an untamed wilderness even now, except for a couple of small hamlets. I could almost visualise the pioneers hacking their way through the heavily treed countryside. The terrain was steep and unforgiving. In some places a fall meant death.

I have to confess, we stayed in a cabin, which you could barely discern from the road, it blended into the background so well. It had all the modern conveniences EXCEPT the heating was an enormous open fire. Hubby and I looked at each other, who was going to light the fire? Thank goodness there was a basket of kindling and a pile of neatly stacked logs. Wielding an axe was beyond us, our pioneering blood was just too diluted.

I am very proud of the fact that I lit the fire at my first attempt. I wondered if I might not have been a boy scout in a previous life, or perhaps my pioneering blood wasn’t quite as diluted as I had thought.

It was truly an amazing feeling toasting our toes in front of this roaring fire, watching the logs burn, and smelling the wood smoke. It brought back a lot of childhood memories of staying with my grandmother and various aunts in the country. They not only had open fires for warmth but they also had wood stoves for cooking. And boy, could these women ever cook.

I actually felt quite close to my heroines while I stared into the orange flames, most of them had to conquer the wilderness with the hero.

In my novel, Fiery Possession, published by Books We Love, my heroine, Josephine (Jo) Saunders was an American who braved the wilderness to help her brother, and immediately clashes with the hero. It is selling for 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in most places that sell e-books.

American Wild West versus Australian Frontier.
Hate, lust and murder. How can Jo and Luke overcome these obstacles and allow love to flourish?

Margaret Tanner writes action packed romances set in frontier Australia.