Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Country Towns

Before I start… Just making sure EVERYONE knows FIONA LOWE was nominated for a RITA with her Single title for BOOMERANG BRIDE! That is soooo cool. Awesome news for a great medical romance author. Congratulations Fiona!!!




Well I’m the other Fiona. Fiona McArthur …And hello to all as I find my way into my first blog on our new site.

Small towns- you all know I love to travel and I just got home after a week away on the Gold Coast – so I do love coming home to my small town.

Things like when I went to the cake shop yesterday to pick up a cake for a midwife who was retiring.

You know, Happy Retirement, Annette, in purple (midwives colour – or color if you’re in the US) and a little pink plastic baby on the corner of the cake, pink diapered bottom up in the air, so cute. I digress.

Anyway, the lady behind the counter says, ‘Hello, Fiona. I haven’t seen you for a long time.  My daughter’s due in a few weeks. Hope you’re on when she comes in to maternity ward.’

Darn I wish I could remember that lady’s name (I really DO know her – just not her name) but will ask my friend, who grew up in this small town and is actually related either through her family or her husband’s to 90% of the people here.

Anyway, I was pretty chuffed. It’s very special that she feels she can trust her daughter to my care. (And they gave us the big size cake for the price of the small one we had ordered and it was truly scrumptious by the way) In return I will drop in one of my ‘Don’t Panic Guide To Birth,’ books because those last few weeks is when the nerves will kick in for any first time mum.

Anyway, point of story, it seems I was the midwife for her daughter’s birth “mumble, mumble”  years ago. I find that really, really cool. And I will let you know if I do actually work on her special day.

I’m sure it happens in the city too, especially birth centres, the midwives get to know a family when people come back for their second and third babies but here we know people, their histories, their tragedies and triumphs. The daughter’s of the teachers who taught your kids, (even the ones who hated your kids) the newspaper editors wife,  and the hairdressers. There’s always someone you know. No pressure of course.  So don’t stuff up, either.

My husband, retired this year after thirty years as a paramedic and he knows everyone, has either picked them up in his ambulance or been at a house when someone else was picked up, and it’s a long day in town if he goes to shop because people want to stop and chat.

But both of us wouldn’t change for the impersonal. I guess that’s why I so enjoy writing rural based midwifery stories and love to share those heart warming moments that seem to crop up so often in small country towns.

Big day at work today with lots of emotion and very familiar faces waiting for their baby to arrive. Guess that’s where this blog came from if you think it’s a strange topic for a blog when my new book out now, “Falling For The Sheikh She Shouldn’t” is such an exception to my usual romance environment.

It’s definitely not a country town setting. More international and great fun. My first Sheikh. Woohoo. Do let me know what you think. Have a great week.

Xx Fi


29 thoughts on “Country Towns”

  1. Hi Fiona, I tried to send you a mail through your website earlier this week, but I’m not sure it went through. Just wanted to let you know how much I loved Survival Guide to Dating your Boss. Great characters and wonderful chemistry between them. I loved how skillfully you wove midwifery issues into the story, and how home/waterbirth fear is personal for Marcus. It really was a fantastic read with enough deeply emotional conflict going on to keep me riveted to the page. I’ve read 3 of the Single, Free and Fabolous books (there’s a problem on Amazon Kindle with Breaking her No-Dating Rule) and it’s my all-time-favourite of the Medical miniseries’. Love the fun and flirty tone and the steaming sexual tension. Thanks for giving me hours of pleasure!

    1. Wow Amelia, thank you.
      I can tell you that if I’d had a baby girl I would have called her Amelia – so my all time favourite name. (Haven’t figured out emoticons here, yet, but have a big smile on my face.)
      I loved that series, too, the girls were all real to us, and Marcus is a sweetie. Tilly and Marcus get to say Hi in my Sheikh book. (Smiling again)
      Will get onto the website problem and change my fiona@fionamcarthur.com to my google account and see if that helps. Thanks so much for alerting me.
      Have a fab day. xx Fi

      1. Thanks, Fiona. Amelia isn’t my real name, just my pseudonym (I write Afrikaans romances). I chose it because it was the name of the second baby I got to catch. I’m a doula and not a midwife, so it doesn’t happen that often and when it does, it’s an oopsie. This was a wonderful oopsie, though, especially as the mum desperately wanted to breastfeed with her first 3 kids and didn’t manage. With little Amelia, things clicked for the first time. Last year, on the little one’s first birthday I got a lovely cupcake and the confession that they were still happily breastfeeding. How special is this job we have? Have a super day xx

        1. Ohhh. I have a book translated in Afrikaans. How cool. Good job on the breastfeeding. I think skin to skin straight after birth for that hour is helping that so much. Doulas are awesome.
          We’re positioning more dads to catch babies now. Both parents love it. Saw a gorgeous birth this week with mum standing, dad catching and midwife on stool at side whispering instructions. Was so amazing, and the room so dim and quiet, dad passing baby through to mum between her legs and she lifted baby upon onto her chest (long cord luckily – chuckle) so not touched by anyone except parents, I was second midwife so just dropped the warm blanket silently around her shoulders and she lay back with baby still connected.
          sigh. Will go in a book.
          xx Fi

          1. That’s lovely. I mostly work at an ABU, and have seen quite a few dads catch. It’s awesome. I have the most stunning photo of a dads big hands on the baby’s emerging head (well, I think it’s stunning, it’s probably one of those photos that my teenage son will make me swear never to show to anyone!). I had the most wonderful midwife for my last 4 children. Had waterbirths at home and she was totally hands-off, reminding me to take them. I loved the idea that my hands were the first to touch them. Have a wonderful day, you amazing midwife! Hope you are going to write a memoir some day soon, I’ll be the first to buy it.

          2. Your midwife does sound fabulous but I’ll bet you stand out in her memory too. Funny you should say memoirs, I’ve just ordered two books. CALL THE MIDWIFE, a memoir of a midwife 1950’s England, and the other a fiction I think called MIDWIFE IN VENICE. I do want to write my own some day, what about you? Doula in the Velds? I’d want to read it. xx Fi

          3. Ooh, I’d definitely read yours!! I’ve been playing with the idea of writing mine for a while. Thought I’d call it ‘The Doula Wears Crocs’. I haven’t gotten around to Call the Midwife, but I absolutely love midwife memoirs. You can pop in at my blog, birthandbreastfeeding.wordpress.com for a list of books about midwives that I love. Do add any titles you know about, please. My favourite memoir is still Baby Catcher and favourite work of fiction Midwives by Chris Bohjalian (one of those books I still can’t believe was written by a man!). Last winter I read Twelve Babies on a Bike. It was amazing for attitude adjustment – you cannot possibly grouch about getting up at night if you live in SA where winters are moderate and not snowy and when you have a lovely warm car as transport instead of a bike!

  2. Hi Fiona, Top name BTW. It’s funny you should bring up the topic of small towns because I live in one and happened to run into the Nursing Superintendant (or whatever they are called these days as it was still Matron in my day). She was telling me she remembered my father passing away and I was there with two small children and another on the way. I was fairly flabbergasted because that was May 1986 so I’m sure many many more patients have died since.

    1. Hi Fiona, there were a lot of mother’s out there with good taste choosing names when we were born. (pretend this is the illusive smile -econ)
      I know – with Matron remembering. Did you ask if she remembered when you were born? She probably does. When tragedy strikes that’s when the strength of small towns really comes out. When my dad rolled his tractor and we found him too late, I could not believe the food that arrived, the people who kept coming, the hundreds of cards, and at the funeral the local flying club even did a fly past the church with their antique aeroplanes as dad used to have an old rag aeroplane.
      It was an enormous comfort to my mother and our family and really made me understand that sympathy cards and personal condolances are really a hug when you need one. Have sent hundreds since then with a big hug in each.
      Thanks so much for your comment.
      xx Fi

    1. Hello there FF.
      Ahhhhhaaaaaaa. Fake Frenchie. Boy am I slow. One day, if I get to do an extended travel around France we might have to meet in a coffee shop. Alison Roberts talks of settling in a little house in a French village, and that was before Christchurch put on earthquakes and aftershocks. I would love to hear about a day in the life of a French village. Maybe we could have a reader blog week, that would be so cool. Lovely to hear from you. Thank you.
      xx Fi

  3. Greetings Fi, from our city to your small town! I’ve always lived in the city and I love it, but your description of your small town has me hankering for a place where everyone knows your name. I do so love reading romances set in small towns, and thank you for sharing yours.

  4. Hi Annie, lovely to see you here. Thank you for coming. I think purple originated with the witches who often wore deep purple instead of black. Of course they were often not witches but midwives and healers cast as witches. Some were probably both. (smile)
    Medicine is apprently associated with blue, and midwives with purple. It’s also a colour women and adolescents love, apparently, after my own little google search, and I know I adore it. On midwives day all the balloons and streamers are purple and at work we midwives are the only ones who wear purple.
    Thanks for that, cause I found this really cool sight that is perfect for my new YA book.
    xx Fi

    1. Ah, thank you Fi. (My question about why purple is associated with midwifery seems to have disappeared! Maybe a little spooky, but probably just the result of my fiddling around 🙂 ) Interestingly, purple and green are the colours of the Townswomen’s Guild in the UK – when I asked a friend, she told me that the Guild had taken their colours from the Suffragettes (whose colours were also purple and green) as in the days after women were given the vote, the Guild sought to educate women about how to use their new rights.

      I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but purple certainly seems to be a colour which is very special – along with all the women who wear it!

      1. Hi Annie. Oooooohhh. Yes, your post with purple question marks was there yesterday. It may come back tomorrow. Fiona and Amy have got smiley faces why can’t I? Probably good for my soul.
        xx Fi

  5. Thanks, Fi for mentioning Boomerang Bride 🙂 As you know, I love me a small town and almost every book I write is set in one for all the reasons you spoke about.

  6. Ha. You’re very welcome, Fiona. It is really cool. And great for Carina too. I was running too late to send congrats to facebook, so thought I’d add my congrats here cause I think everyone should know.
    Have a great day and best of luck on the big night xx Fi

  7. Firstly yes, a big woohoo to Fiona Lowe for her fabulous RITA nom – another smal town book!!

    Secondly to the other Fi – you really need to stop making me cry!! I love the sense of nostaligia in this blog. I grew up in small towns and though I wouldn’t trade my city, its nice to go back to a place where everybody knows your name.

    And big waves to Amelia for liking our Single free and Fabulous so much!! 🙂

  8. Thanks, Amy. And I love your new web page. Tres cool.
    Have been on edge all day with one of the midwives at work in labour. Wishing I could be there but I know shes in good hands. Small country town again. Her hubby is the local church minister. So there will be lots of good vibes winging her way. Hang on a minute, have another plot. Torn between two worlds . Xx Fi

  9. Adding my congratulations to our fantastic Fiona Lowe for her RITA nomination! Go, Fiona!

    Fiona Mc! What a wonderful pat on the back to you and the work you do to have that mum hoping you’d be on the ward when her daughter gives birth! You must be an oasis of calm in a tense situation – and I can believe it because I’ve got your Don’t Panic Guide to Birth and I think it’s amazing!

    1. Thanks Sharon. I’ve just ordered myself another thirty copies because I keep seeing women I’d love to give it to, so I slip them one, and say if I give this to you, just get your husband to read the first two pages. If I havent got him by then he wont read it. Usually they do. My husband says ‘Where did the last lot go?’
      But if I hadn’t sold it I would have just printed it out on the computer and given it to them any way.
      Look after you, Sharon, and your gorgeous man
      xx Fi

  10. LOL, Fi, on small towns. I don’t just live near a small town, but I live in a small – population-wise – county as well. Tremendous sense of community, tremendous pulling together when things go badly wrong, but don’t ever do – or say – anything you shouldn’t because within 24 hours everyone will know it!

  11. Cough and LOL to you too, Maggie. Don’t I know that with five sons! (perfect place for one of those smiley faces I can’t do) But as you say, also means if something happens there was always someone’s house you can send them to, or ask for help, because they know we’d do the same for them. I love it.
    As for saying the wrong things, my favourite when someone complains about someone else, I try, ‘It’s so hard to know what sort of day that person has had before they came here?’ And try to remember that myself. Most of the time I do.
    Thanks for your comment. Lovely to hear from you
    xx Fi

  12. For anyone wondering about my little Birth Book, I’ve just found it on Amazon.com for the first time. It was driving me mad that it was only available in Australia.

    I was looking up a book I fancied and ended up checking to see which of my romances were available on kindle.

    At the bottom was the “Don’t Panic Guide To Birth”, available on Kindle. http://tinyurl.com/7t72cc5
    I’m so excited. Who can I tell? You. (smiling)
    Im off to walk on my new, second-hand, walking machine with all this energy I’ve suddenly got. xx Fi

    1. Definitely a need for a smiley there, Fi. If you type : and then ) it turns into 🙂 when you post your comment! There are others, but I don’t know how to do them 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s