SEA CHANGE by guest author Fiona McArthur

Waving madly from Oz to old friends and new. It’s lovely to be invited back by Amy Andrews to visit with the medical romance readers and authors, and thanks so much to Annie Claydon for posting this blog. So many wonderful books have been published by the authors since I was here last and huge congratulations for awards won and nominated.

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I’ve been on a sea change, reading lots of fabulous books – more than I’ve read in years – and writing over at Penguin Australia. The writing themes are similar to my romance books, which means my next medical romance for Harlequin doesn’t come out until next year – but more on that later.

My big Penguin books have doctors and midwives and babies and men who discover just how amazing women can be, though in much longer format, with outback Australian settings. Sound familiar?

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RED SAND SUNRISE, has three sisters setting up a midwifery service in central Queensland, and in THE HOMESTEAD GIRLS we meet 5 women aged from 16 to 80 who formed their own family on a drought stricken sheep station in far western New South Wales. I’ve been thrilled with the sales and feedback because I’ve loved writing these books with their different criteria.

But the sea change doesn’t stop there. My latest writing adventure with Penguin, AUSSIE MIDWIVES, is a non-fiction anthology of TRUE stories collated from the midwives themselves. What fabulous fun that’s been. It was so exciting to be asked to make this book happen.

A lot of the real midwives who appear in the book are those I’ve met through weekends all over Australia where we all get down and practice to improve and make maternity a safer place for women and babies. After more than 25 of those weekends you get to admire people and boy do I admire these women. I loved helping them share their amazing lives.

Aussie MidwivesWhere I work as a midwife it’s rural, quiet, and deals mostly with low risk women and babies – with the occasional high drama. So it’s exciting that on the cover of AUSSIE MIDWIVES is Broni, one of our gorgeous graduate midwives and inside is Michael, the only male midwife in the book, from my hospital. Even the newborn baby whom Broni is holding on the cover, Theo, is the son of one of our theatre nurses, and the photographer who took the cover shot is from our small country town getting her work out there all over the world.

But to entice you to look inside the cover let me tell you a little of the content –I flew up to Thursday Island to interview one of the midwives who works on an island just 2km from Papua New Guinea right up on the tip of Queensland in Torres Strait. While the ladies from Annie’s island mostly make it to Thursday Island to have their babies, the village women from Papua don’t hesitate to jump in a dingy if they feel frightened and worry they will need Annie’s help when their time comes. She never knows who is going to arrive and does an incredible job. I think you’ll love her story.

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Then there’s Kate, who meets mums and babies who have to fight for their happy ending, and Glenda who travels more than a thousand kilometers a week to visit pregnant women in Aboriginal communities. And there are fifteen more. To combine my love of writing and being able to meet and share stories with 18 women and one man in AUSSIE MIDWIVES was an absolute privilege and I believe it gives the reader a fascinating window into a world you don’t normally see. So I do hope you’ll have a browse. Find all the books at FionaMcArthurAuthor.com, Amazon and Book Depository.

But… tada…right now I’m excitedly working on my next medical romance for London office set in a small town on the eastern coastline of Australia. My hot shot doc is not used to the quiet or being bowled over by the very independent midwife who runs the tiny hospital. This book keeps me smiling as I listen to them fight the attraction with the crash of the waves in the background. I’m cheering them on.

But I’m reading too and want to hear what others are enjoying. I’ve read dozens of medical romances, loved the Jojo Moyes books, wow, and the new Meg and Tom Keneally series – first book, The Soldiers Curse, and have finished the Kate Daniels series from Iona Andrews and desperately waiting for more. And the The Little Paris Bookshop. Loving them all. So now, until next time I drop in, can I ask what you’re reading this week because I have my finger poised over my kindle search page?

Warmest wishes for a great week

Xx Fi     (Fiona McArthur)

Be inspired…

To say that my life has taken a huge 180° turn from where I thought I’d be, is an understatement. The stress and the extra stress (because ordinary stress wasn’t enough for me) began when my marriage broke down. Then we sold our family home, a place we’d lived for over 20 years. Add to that, my father getting cancer for the 5th time and requiring extensive treatment… treatment that zapped all his strength. My daddy, the man who would carry me on his shoulders when I was little; who would take my small hand in both of his big ones and blow on my fingers to warm them up; who would hold me in his big, protective arms – passed away in July 2015.

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John Brady – awesome father

He was very sick while I was writing English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe and my editors were patient and sympathetic when I missed my deadlines again and again. My mum was trying to look after him and when she hurt her back… well isn’t that one of the reasons you have children in the first place?

However, through all the trials, tribulations and turmoils, I have settled in a new suburb, made new friends and found a new flavour, freshness and freedom that I have never known before. This also happened while I was writing English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe. My new neighbours have quickly become like a new extended family, sharing meals, regular coffee catch-ups and lots of laughter. One of these neighbours is a 4 year old little girl.

“I think you should write about a little girl who’s nearly 4, like me,” she told me one day as we were walking between my house and hers.

“Hmm. Good idea.”

“And she could be clever like me and ride a bike like me and have sparkly shoes like me and be as funny as me.” [cue fake childish laughter]

“These are all good ideas. Thank you… but what shall I call her?”

“Chloe Jane… like me!”20150618_135343(1)

How could I not be inspired?

 

And so… with new inspiration to help fuel the imagination fires, English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe came to pass. They are filled to the brim with a multitude of emotions… and I lived almost every single one of them.

I do hope you enjoy the Meeraji Lake duo of English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe.

Remember… inspiration may be just around the corner.

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Buy Now!!!

 

 

Changing Plans

I have to confess to being a planner.  I like to know exactly what’s happening and what I’m doing.  I put things in my diary and calendar because, on occasion, I can be a little forgetful.

Just like I was on Friday 26 March, Good Friday.

It was a school holiday here in Scotland so myself and my other half had taken our two boys to the pictures (that’s what we call the cinema in Scotland).  I had a date with London Has Fallen and Gerard Butler

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Half way through the film my mobile started buzzing.  Well, not ringing exactly. It was on silent. I didn’t recognise the number so didn’t move. Gerard Butler had my full attention.
Then it kept ringing. Persistence makes me nervous so I decided to go outside and answer – and I’m so glad that I did.
The lovely Julie Kenner who is a Board member of Romance Writers of America® introduced herself. I’d forgotten it was RITA® day – what was wrong with me???
She then proceeded to tell me I’d finaled not once but twice as a RITA® Finalist for the awards this year.
I didn’t believe her. I asked her to tell me again.
Then I asked her who she was again.
Then I asked her to tell what books had finaled again – because even though she’d told me seconds earlier, I couldn’t remember.
At this point she asked me where I was.
I told her I was on a date with Gerard Butler!

No, I told her I was at the pictures watching London Has Fallen with my kids.
She asked if I was going to San Diego, I said no, not this year.

I went to my first conference last year in New York. It was fabulous, I loved it but was absolutely exhausted when I came home. This year, I planned on heading to the RNA conference in Lancaster. And I still am………

But now I’m going to San Diego too! We’ll not talk about how I’ve had to move our family holiday, or the fact it is an 18hr journey, or on the return home how I have less than 24 hrs home before we leave for that family holiday. I know I’ll have 4 cases to pack when I arrive home!  I’m just too excited to think straight quite frankly.

I’m also delighted that I know some of the other finalists – my friend Heidi Rice (who I might have phoned while still kneeling on the ground outside the cinema!), Maisey Yates and Romy Sommer. It also means I get to see my two Australian partners in crime Rachael Johns and Emily Madden!

Beyond excited!

I also found out later that the Board member that phoned me was also a finalist. Congratulations to Julie Kenner too!

So, the rules I’ve learned this year is that plans can change!

My other really exciting news is that I’ve signed a two book deal writing Young Adult fiction for Usborne publishing in the UK.  Things are also looking good for selling in other countries too.  It’s not romance, it’s not medical.  It’s fantasy.  Think a young Indiana Jones, a young Lara Croft and dinosaurs!

In the meantime here’s my latest medical romance!

The Doctor's Baby Secret

Dr Corrine Carter’s job as medical adviser heats up when daredevil Austin Mitchell joins the astronaut training programme. And it’s soon clear their chemistry is hotter than a Texas summer!

For all his cheeky self-confidence, gorgeous Austin makes this relationship-shy doctor feel out of this world. So when their sizzling fling has an unexpected consequence, does Corrine dare to dream of a home and a future with her star-bound pilot…?

In My ‘Spare’ Time

IMG_0547I’m about to embark on writing my seventh title for Harlequin Medical and in and around writing, I have to lead this whole other life. Apart from being a wife and a mother to four (16yrs, twins of 15yrs and a 12yr old) I also run a dog walking business and find time to do some hobbies.

I love dogs. Plain and simple. From mongrels to pedigrees, Great Danes to Teacup Yorkies, I love our four-legged friends. I have two of my own, Daisy (a 9 yr old Golden Retriever) and Mango (a 4 yr old Yorkie Terrier). And as I live on an island, I get to walk on the beach every day, come rain (which we get more than our fair share of) or shine (which we don’t get nearly enough of!)

I love walking every day. It blows away the cobwebs and of course, its perfect thinking time for when I’m stuck on a plot point, or can’t quite work out what to do next. I can talk out loud, asking myself ‘what if?’ questions and no-one bats an eyelid! Mainly because I just pretend I’m talking to the dogs, and, to be fair, I think I get away with it! We all talk to our animals, don’t we? Ask them questions? In that little sing-song voice?

And when I’m not writing, or dog-walking, or being a mum, or running the house, then I like to quilt. I currently have a few projects on the go at the moment – a quilt for my daughter (in progress below) and a hand-sewing project, which I can sit and do in the evenings, usually listening to an audiobook, or a podcast.

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And when I’m not doing ANY of that? I’m Konmari-ing my house! Has anyone heard of Marie Kondo? The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Tidying Up? Finding objects that Spark Joy?

So….not much to be getting on with!

How about you? When you’re not writing, or reading books, what’s going on in your life? What do you like to do in your ‘spare’ time? I’d love to know!

Louisa Heaton’s last release was One Life-Changing Night, a story of second chances, set in a busy London A&E.

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Retirement Planning

WIN_20160421_10_55_50_ProTrust me, this is not as boring as it sounds:) I am on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, one of my favourite places, in fact, I love it so much I’m trying to convince my husband to retire here. We’re not at retirement age yet but it doesn’t hurt to start thinking, or in my case, dreaming about it and I need to have time to persuade said husband that Noosa is the perfect option. So while I’m persuading him I thought I’d show you around. Apart from the usually fabulous weather Noosa has great shopping, amazing restaurants and plenty of activities. Noosa has a gorgeous beach and a fabulous river and today we have hired a boat and we are cruising the river and canals and you’re coming too – I’ve added some photos.

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This is one of my favourite houses on the River

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Castaways!

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Breakfast on the beach

I’d love to hear if you have a favourite holiday spot or a perfect retirement destination. Please share your dreams and take us travelling,

Emily

Falling for the Single Dad, UK April 2016 OUT NOW!

Since returning from Afghanistan ex-army doc Abi Thompson has been striving to rebuild her life. Now, stepping through the doors of the glamorous Hollywood Hills Clinic, she feels more out of her comfort zone than ever! 

Then she meets her new boss—darkly handsome Damien Moore. Abi might not believe in happy-ever-afters, but as she spends time with Damien and his gorgeous daughter, Summer, she finds herself drawn into their loving family unit…and into Damien’s arms! Has Abi found happiness against all odds?

 

#ireadromance because….

So the big RT (Romantic Times) convention was on in Vegas last week. No….sadly I wasn’t there. But I was following the goings on on my twitter stream and found these cute tweets under the #ireadromance hashtag that Sourcebooks initiated and clearly had a lot of fun with!

 

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Here were some of the answers!

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Why do you read romance??

Things I Love

My blog post is going to be simple this month, because as I was going through some pictures, I found myself reminiscing about how much I love certain events and times in my life. So here are some things I love.

  1. Christmas: I love it when family comes together and decorates the tree.I love the mess of tinsel and tangled strings of light and how the chaos turns into something beautiful.Chriistmas
  2. Horses: I’m sure this is a shock to anyone who knows me. Those big creatures just make me happy in a way that defies explanation.Hustler and Tina
  3. Old photos: Looking through pictures of times past and remembering the love and happiness that went into many of them is enough to make me misty-eyed.tina and Katie
  4. Food: Yes, I said it. I love food. All kinds of food. Brazilian food. American food. Food that is good for me, and food that is not so good for me. Although these days, I’m trying to make better choices. What’s that behind my back, you say? Oh…erm…it’s just a pint of salted caramel ice cream.Brazilian food
  5. Writing: I love the process of coming up with an idea and seeing it through to the end. I get a kick out of finding out what the title will be and seeing that cover for the first time. I still treasure my very first published book!

Doctor's Guide to dating in the jungle

What about you? Care to share a few of the things that you love?