Guest Author: Margo Maguire

Today’s guest, Margo Maguire, and her new book were spotlighted at RT last week where her book earned a 4 1/2 star Top Pick review for March!  Go Margo!  Check out an excerpt and the review at Romantic Times.

A Little Insider Info

I wrote my first book in the wee hours of the night after coming home from my late shifts working as a critical care nurse. I always found it difficult to fall asleep after a long, typically tense stint in the unit, so I started writing to relax.

I’d tried writing several years before – it was a “hospital horror” novel, but I didn’t get too far with it. I scared myself too much! I love scary movies and books, but when you’re writing a book, you have to sort of live with the characters and scenario. This story was too much – I think it hit too close to home (me, working in a hospital and all). I found myself jumping at shadows. It was a very scary book! (Stephen King, move over. J)

I almost gave up on writing, but then I read a historical romance novel that someone gave me, and decided to try my hand at one. It was far more pleasant to keep a hunky hero and spunky heroine in my head, so I picked up a few more romances and really studied their structure and conventions. After a few, I figured I’d give it a try.

That first book became The Bride of Windermere, which came out in March, 1999, and was a medieval tale set in the time of Henry V. The hero is a knight who does a huge service for King Henry – he finds and protects Henry’s bastard half-sister (a totally fictional character, of course) and Henry makes him Duke of Windermere, with property in England’s gorgeous Lake District.

Fast forward 12 years. I’ve written and published seventeen more novels, the most recent being Seducing the Governess. In it, the heroine is a young woman (Mercy Franklin) who was orphaned at a very young age, and sent away to be raised by a harsh vicar and his wife. Turns out that her mother married a man her father did not approve of, and so her father disowned her. Now the father – Mercy’s grandfather – is old and dying, and he wants to find his two granddaughters. The old grandfather? He’s the current Duke of Windermere. I never thought that my original hero in my first-ever book would have such a mean old descendent, but hey – you never know, right? You can read a portion of this book if you visit the “books” page of my website

Mercy’s sister is the heroine in my next book, Brazen (December 2011) but her story is completely different from her sister’s. This one was raised by an earl and his wife, and she … Well, I’ll leave that for another blog. What I want to know is – what insider info have you caught onto in books you’ve read? Sometimes authors plant little tidbits that you might or might not pick up.

I’m going to choose one responder to receive a copy of a book from my backlist. And I might even throw in a copy of The Bride of Windermere (if I can find any copies).


About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at
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43 Responses to Guest Author: Margo Maguire

  1. cindy gerard says:

    Hi Margo and welcome to the convertible!
    It’s so nice that you could join us today. And wow. Great cover! Congratulations on your new release!
    So many of us, it seems, started writing while working the day job :o). It’s so nice to hear you cracked that barrier and have made such a successful career for yourself!

    Write on, girl!

    • Thanks, Cindy! it’s a treat to be here. I’m probably one of the few who really misses the old day job. That’s not to say i don’t love to write, but I think nursing is in my blood…

  2. Keri Ford says:

    That cover is beautiful Margo!

    Love finding little tidbits in authors books! admit though–I usually only see them in friend’s books because I know more about their lives and where things are planted from.

  3. This was a great read Margo, Nash was a great hero. I gave it 3.5 stars out of 4 at my blog, all the best for your release~

  4. lois greiman says:

    Thanks for joining us Margo, and congrats on the gorgeous new book. It sounds wonderful.

  5. leannebanks says:

    Margo, welcome to the Riders!:) Congrats on your most recent book! I love the storyline. Sounds fraught with emotional and drama, my favorite kind of read!:)

  6. kylie brant says:

    Welcome, Margo and welcome to the convertible. Congrats on the top pick! That’s awesome. Your cover is gorgeous. I am sooo in envy at all the rich historical colors on the shelves!

  7. Helen Brenna says:

    Hi Margo and thanks for coming today!

    A hospital terror novel – lol – no kidding you were probably scaring yourself!

    I can’t for the life of me think of any insider info. More than likely, if it was subtle enough, my brain skittered right over it. I usually have to get hit over the head with things to pick them up!

  8. Welcome, Margo!

    Hmm. Great question. I’m finishing up the 6th book in a series that didn’t start out to be a series, and I find myself going back to look for things that could or should be picked up later but weren’t consciously planted. It’s an interesting process. By the second contract I knew I had something going that I wanted to continue, and I was working things in to be picked up later, but as the books evolve, those bits don’t always turn out the way I envisioned.

    So how does that work for you? Do you ever plant marigold seeds that come up as daisies?

    • Kathleen, I think it’s an unconscious process for me. Only when I’m sure I’m writing a series (like this one) do I plant the seeds. (Or drop bread crumbs, as my editor would say). I knew I was going to write the sister’s story, so I had to be sure I set it up right.

      Sometimes it’s a treat to discover something I’ve written that I’ll have a chance to follow up on. I put a character in WILD (my “Tarzan” book) who was a brooding widower. He had a very small part in WILD, but got his own book in TAKEN BY THE LAIRD. I found out what made him brood then! 🙂

  9. catslady says:

    Oh, I’ve enjoyed many of your books and this one looks like another winner and what a gorgeous cover. I’m curious if you remember what was that first romance book that got you interested?

    • I think it was a Kathleen Woodiwiss novel – A Rose in Winter, that got me thinking I should try to write a romance. But the very first one I ever read was Mary Stewart’s The Moonspinners. I was probably about 14 or 15 when I read it and realized there was a whole lot of fun stuff out there to read. Good question, catslady!

  10. Minna says:

    Great post!

  11. Hi, Margo! ::wave:: This book sounds delish! (Love the title, too!) I put in insider stuff in my books on occasion. For example, I had a character in a book reference an artist that I totally made up but was integral to a separate book that came out years earlier. But then another time, a reader asked me if characters from two different books were related…and I realized I had unwittingly used the same last name for characters that appeared in books years apart and in different subgenres. Duh me.

  12. Oh, meant to also say that I just finished writing a short story for The Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance. Scared myself! I had to take off the headphones I usually write with so that I could hear anybody trying to sneak up on me (my dog or cat).

  13. JackieW says:

    I’m glad you changed o Historical romance novels…I do read those over any medical stories. Interesting blog today.

    • Right. I think there’s a pretty limited audience for medical suspense. A few authors do it really well. Not even Harlequin sells its medical romance line here in the US.

  14. JOYE says:

    Hello Margo..nice to read your info today. I love your Historical Romances.

  15. Quilt Lady says:

    Great post Margo, I am so glad you didn’t give up on your writing. Your books are awesome. Historical romance are the best so just stick with what you do best. Love them.

  16. infinitieh says:

    Great post! I don’t know about tidbits but there have been occasions during which I wish the author would write another book about this or that character or situation.

    The reverse, I suppose, is the story of Ruth’s hatching of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern. Ruth and Jaxom’s first meeting is told in various books from various points of view (that of the hero/heroine of the particular book).

  17. Mariee says:

    Great post! I love reading historical romances and Seducing the Governess looks great.

  18. chey says:

    Hi Margo,
    Congrats on the new release. It sounds fantastic!
    Either the books I’ve been reading haven’t had any insider info, or I just didn’t get it.

  19. Jacinta says:

    I lvoe to hear about where people started out. A hospital horror sounds like a great read! You should put a few chapters up on your website, just for your readers to read and enjoy. Beautiful cover too on your new book 🙂

  20. Stephenia says:

    I like books with bread crumbs or teasers as I usually think of them. Those that give me a few secondary characters that are going to appear in their own book. When I read the second book I almost feel like I know the character, then it is fun to see how the author actually develops them – then the third book builds on the next guy. Books in 3 or 5 seem to be my favorite.

  21. Barbara Elness says:

    I enjoyed the post, and I’m looking forward to reading Seducing the Governess. I loved Eloisa James’ The Desperate Duchesses series because she had lots of little clues in each book about characters in future books in the series. It was fun reading and going, oh yeah, I remember this was mentioned in a previous book and I wondered about its significance.

    • Yes – love those tidbits! it’s almost like watching a TV series, isn’t it? Where you meet certain characters and then don’t see them for awhile. It’s a treat to meet them again.

  22. Thanks to everyone for stopping by today, and thanks to my lovely hostesses for having me! Good luck to everyone in the drawing. 🙂

  23. CrystalGB says:

    Hi Margo. Your book sounds good. I love the cover. I like it when authors put tidbits in their books.

  24. Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release and rave review, Margo. I’m pretty sure authors do put little tidbits in their books, but I can’t come up with any right now.

  25. Kirsten says:

    I’m a huge fan of Historical romances and I love yours. Don’t remember getting any inside info… I’m probably too focused on the lovestory 😀

  26. Pingback: Author of the Week, Margo Maguire. Q&A and Giveaway!!! « Fullmoonbites

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