Helloooo, big smile here, it’s Fiona McArthur waving to lovers of medical romance, from Australia. We’ve hit winter and the winds are blowing so hard all the gorgeous red and gold autumn leaves from the liquid amber have filled the gutters around the house. I might need to clean those out before we have the next rain for our water tanks. Still, there’s so much water still lying around from the floods that we don’t need water yet. This photo was taken this morning at sunrise.
We live on a farm most of the time and have been a part of the local community for nearly forty years where I loved my job as a rural midwife and my husband was a paramedic. Now we’re transitioning to an even smaller town at the beach, one with just over four thousand people. I love small towns and I love to write about them.
One of my favourite small towns to write about is Wirralong, a fictional, old-gold-mining town in Victoria. The series runs with multiple authors, and this is my fourth book for Wirralong. Mine’s a medical and all my midwives are friends, so there’s continuity there in the Outback Babies. This time we started with Barbara Hannay, then Trish Morey, myself and the fabulous Kelly Hunter to close up for this series.
My book, The Baby Whisperer, came out yesterday, on the 9th June and I think Eli is one of my favourite ever heroes. This book is about healing and learning to trust your heart. My leading lady is Stephanie, a midwife and a mothercraft nurse.
After losing her dad, her brother, and then her husband fighting fires over in Western Australia, Stevie makes a new life across the continent in Wirralong. The last thing she needs is another hero. Of course, then she meets Eli, grandson to a Polynesian pirate, risk-taker and her new, gorgeous builder. Seriously, the guy is hot, awesome with babies and makes her a moon gate just because he can. But she is not losing anyone else. No. But it’s such a struggle to stay focussed on not falling fall for Eli… If you like the sound of that, and it is fun, with cranky babies and house renovations, and of course – a new baby born …you can buy the book here
That’s it from me until next time, I’ve just handed in my ‘Twins in a Lift’ book, and wasn’t that fun, for Mills and Boon which will be out next year. It’s called A Father for the Midwife’s Twins. Stay safe, stay smiling and wishing you gorgeous books that make you sigh in pleasure. Lots of love xx Fi
Then: an almost happily-ever-after Now: a second chance? Surgeon Lia Costa has spent a lifetime trying to blend into the background. So when Dr. Micah Corday picks her out of a busy concert crowd on Valentine’s Day, she can’t believe it! Micah was her first love…and the man she thought she would never see again. Is Lia ready to remember the powerful love that she had tried so hard to forget?
Nashville ER duet Book 1 – New Year Kiss with His Cinderella by Annie O’Neil Book 2 – Their Reunion to Remember by Tina Beckett
Love was off-limits Then she met the best man! Former midwife Isabel is always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Yet she doesn’t count on best man Dr. Domenico bursting into her life! Years ago, Isabel firmly shut the door to love. Now Dom is starting to break down her barriers…one heart-stopping smile at a time. But it’s Dom’s ability to see the real Isabel that has her asking if she is ready to risk it all on their unexpected connection.
It started with one night… …and led to a nine-month secret! Dr. Emily Archer would rather be anywhere than Los Angeles! Arriving to offer her sports medicine expertise to an international dance team, she’s immediately confronted by the memories of her turbulent childhood in the spotlight. Fortunately, on her first night, she finds the perfect distraction—charismatic Dr. Daniel Labarr. Neither can resist when instant passion takes over… And neither realize that their passion has been life changing
From a midnight kiss… …to a reunion in the ER! When Dr. Carter shares a New Year’s kiss with a captivating stranger, he doesn’t expect a reunion. Then he walks into Saint Dolores’s ER the very next day…and discovers she’s his new colleague! Awkwardly, their smoking-hot attraction hasn’t gone away! But for Carter, life has meant staying mobile, and he can’t simply lay down roots. Yet there’s something about Nurse Avery and Nashville that’s starting to really feel like home…
Nashville ER duet Book 1 – New Year Kiss with His Cinderella by Annie O’Neil Book 2 – Their Reunion to Remember by Tina Beckett
Is this a marriage… …That’s meant to be? The last person Iris expected as the new temporary consultant in her Dublin ER was her ex-husband, Lachlan! It’s been eight years since their whirlwind marriage ended after the heartbreaking discovery they couldn’t have children. Iris knows they should focus on being colleagues, but Lachlan is impossible to resist! Older and wiser now, they’ve been given one last chance to find their way back to each other… Are they ready to take it?
Rule number one? Forget their fling If only it was that easy! Pioneering transplant surgeon Lily Evans is always cool under pressure. So why does the idea of working with ex-fling Max James have her so hot under the collar? Max is just passing through Florida, after all, and maintaining a professional relationship is top of their agenda. Yet Lily’s sensible head is being overruled by her unusually reckless heart as she begins to fall for more than just Max’s roguish charms…
As the world begins to reopen, many people are getting their first chance (at least here in the UK) to reunite with their loved ones, be it family or friends. For me, personally, my family are all based in Ireland and it has been most challenging being so close – geographically – but feeling so far away from them over the past few months. However, I am finally getting the chance to reunite with them this week after eight long months and I cannot wait.
As terrible as the pandemic has been, I feel as though it has taught us a very important lesson of not taking life or people for granted. It feels as though people have begun to appreciate the little things in life again, there is a spirit of togetherness in the air at the moment and I for one am here for it!
I have been counting down the days until I could reunite with my family, as I am sure many of you have with your loved ones too. In the meantime, I have been delving deep into some reunion romances to get that feeling of togetherness and unconditional love flowing. If you are looking for some reunion romances like me, or just some epic romances in general, then here are just some that I have read that pulled on my heart strings this summer…
First up is Second Chance in Barcelona by Fiona McArthur, where a midwife breaks all of her own rules when she is drawn into the world of a stranger, she once spent an impulsive night of passion with!
In Reunited with Her Secret Prince by Susanne Hampton, Dr Daniel returns but is keeping a secret…
Falling Again for the Animal Whisperer by Becky Wicks, because who doesn’t love a romance with a hot vet!
Reunited with the Heart Surgeon by Janice Lynn hits all the right notes if a fated love affair is what you’re looking for.
Last but certainly not least, Reunited with His Long-Lost Nurse by Charlotte Hawkes is coming very soon, and I promise it will be worth the wait!
Hello again dear readers, it’s Fiona McArthur here from Oz, I hope this finds you safe and well and smiling. I do believe that Love Is The Best Medicine, and books that celebrate love are a joy to read.
This month I visit with a story about two surgeon’s both passionately committed to improving quality of life for those with kidney disease. In fact, Dr Ailee Green is donating her own kidney to her brother, as a live donor. But she hasn’t told renal surgeon, and widower, Fergus McVicker, that tiny fact.
Starting in an aircraft from London to Sydney, with a heart-warming stop in Singapore, THE DOCTOR’S GIFT, is a story of two heroic people who put the needs of others first, and almost lose their chance of finding their own elixir of love.
Does this sound like something you’d like to read? If so, you can find the ebook here.
As a midwife, I used to work next door to a country renal ward, where dialysis went on seven days a week, helping to maintain health for people with kidney failure in the hope, if possible, that a transplant organ would be found and transplant would free that patient from a machine.
This difference between midwifery and renal medicine I found intriguing – as are the stories of the patients. There’s lots of cameo visits of patients in this book, fictious ones but still fascinating, and I found it such a fun aspect to share the different stories and questions we all have about this challenging medical reality.
Two strangers save a life on a plane and then share one tender Singapore night en route from London to Sydney. Dr Ailee Green knows a relationship is not an option before she gives the gift that will save her brother’s life.
But surgeon, Fergus McVicker has other plans, plans that don’t include Ailee walking out of his and his daughter’s world and he offers her something she’s always wanted. Can these two special surgeons find a life together?
Hello dear “Love Is The Best Medicine” Readers. Waving again from Australia. Wishing you light at the end of challenging times with hope for a new-normal returning to make us all smile. Very soon!
I’m Fi McArthur dropping in with the news of my last Lyrebird Lake series book – EMMA. So, if you’d like to join me for a medical romance set in a small, semi-outback town in Queensland, in Australia, then this is for you.
That’s four Lyrebird Lake books in four months so if you like series, too, they are all out about from today. More coming later in the year. What fun.
But first…a photo towards the mountains from my loungeroom window at the farm. The water from the recent flood rains is still in and it looks so golden in the afternoons. Thought I’d share.
I am here to talk about EMMA. It’s so lovely to revisit favourite characters again, expand their stories, and bring the technology and sensitivity up to date when you republish a book many years later. Emma and Gianni are two of my faves, first published in 2010. The background? Well, when I was still a practising midwife, I used to share antenatal classes with young mums. We had wonderful mornings together. One of the young mums went on to study her degree in welfare and psychology and later joined me as a presenter at the classes. Michelle’s mum had been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease and like Emma in my story she waited until she was thirty before she found out if she had the gene and since then, has lectured around the world on the impact of HD. So, this story resonated with my absolute admiration of families who deal with debilitating diseases and the heartbreak of HD. I do hope you enjoy Emma and Gianni’s story.
And again, a reminder my latest Medical Romance from Mills and Boon, is out and available, offering you a chance to travel to beautiful Barcelona with me. Or with Cleo and Felipe, really. I’d love a Second Chance In Barcelona. Have you been to Spain?
And that’s me for a while, my love and blessings to you and yours and huge thanks to all the fab authors on the LITBM blog xx Fi
…could be their greatest adventure! A humanitarian mission in stunning rural El Salvador will give obstetrician Cassie Andover the chance to focus on the medicine that she loves. But the one piece of her past she never expected to find there was the handsome Dr. Bryce Hamlin! And while this bold motorcycle-riding version of Bryce is nothing like Cassie remembers, he’s certainly one she’s compelled to know…
…leads to a chance at forever! After exchanging messages for months via a dating app, surgeon Ivy Ross is finally ready to meet up with “Mr. Right.” But when work calls her away the chance is lost…until fate intervenes and Ivy’s blind date—Travis King—arrives as her new senior medical officer…aka her boss! Travis and Ivy know mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea, but sometimes bad ideas feel so good…
…that just isn’t enough! A Mediterranean cruise is exactly what nurse Sophie Blythe needs. It’s the perfect opportunity to rediscover the free-spirited woman she once was, before she met her cheating ex. And ship doctor Luciano Montavano could be the perfect fling… Gorgeous yet guarded, the irresistible Italian isn’t interested in settling down any more than she is. Until one night of passionate abandon forces them to acknowledge that they both might want more…
…heal each other? Dr. Jess Young plans to use her time on the small Scottish island of Thorney to figure out how she can rebuild her shattered life after a recent blow that has stolen the future she dreamed of. Only Dr. Adam Campbell is a complication she didn’t expect! He’s handsome but hurting, too, and Jess sees a kindred spirit in Adam. Will he heal her already-fragile heart?
…she’s the midwife he still wants! Midwife Cleo Wren is horrified to discover the gorgeous Spaniard she spent an impulsive night of passion with is Dr. Felipe Gonzales, an eminent oncologist with VIP connections! She’s tempted to turn down the job of accompanying his young cousin back to his home in Barcelona. But she accepts…on the understanding that they never revisit what happened. Now Cleo just has to stick to her own rules!
…just a dream? Four years ago, GP Lily Scott walked away from Dr. Max Bryant and their sizzling fling. Why? Well, if the past had taught Lily anything, it was to be cautious with her heart. But Lily’s rule book is about to go out the window, because Max is her new colleague! She can’t ignore their powerful connection—or the family she pictures—every time she’s with him. Can that family become a reality?
Not sure if you know all of my big Penguin Random House books are on audiobook with the wonderful Caroline Lee (who narrates Liane Moriaty’s books here in Oz).
Well, big news, Montana, the first of my re-written LYREBIRD LAKE SERIES will be available in March with Caroline Lee narrating again. I’m so thrilled. So, if you love audio, like me, the Lake is coming for you to listen to. xx
And lastly, and most exciting, a brand-new Medical Romance from Mills and Boon, out today, offering you a chance to travel to beautiful Barcelona with me. Or with Cleo and Felipe, really.
Have you been to Spain?
Such a fun place when I was there two years ago, and in this book my Aussie midwife, Cleo, is a fish out of water. And like me, Cleo was fascinated with the amazing Sagrada Familia Church and all that Barcelona has to offer. Including, the dark and dangerous, Dr Felipe.
Enjoy a virtual visit to Oz. South West Rocks is a small seaside town on the north coast of New South Wales. There’s a wonderful white and blue-edged lighthouse where you can stay in the lighthouse keeper’s cottages. From there you can watch and savour the ocean up and down the coast. It’s great to climb the hill up to the beam of light at night, preferably with bubbles in a wine glass with one or two buddies – so everyone gets their own room to write. I’ve been there with authors Amy Andrews, Kelly Hunter, Bronwyn Jameson, Trish Morey, Jaye Ford and Elle Finlay, so you can see I’m a regular and not loath to enticing friends to share the fun. It gets windy up there sometimes as you can tell from the photos.
Below the lighthouse, a long beach allows four-wheel drive vehicles to navigate along the sand to Hat Head about fourteen kilometres away. Hat Head is another amazing beach haven that’s even smaller than the Rocks and I used to stay there just after Christmas in a tiny caravan with my youngest son for a week. My darling husband much prefers his own bed on the farm.
I’ve driven along the beach with my sons, quite a few times and with them we didn’t get bogged – when I drove, well… I still blush. The beach is incredible with white sand and aqua waves where you often see the fish swimming through the clear walls of water before the wave crashes. You can be on the beach with nobody in sight or there could be other vehicles every five hundred metres. Either way all you can hear is the ocean and the waves. There are rocky islets out to sea, one, Fish Rock, a famous Australian scuba diving point where Chris Hemsworth dropped out to recently. As I said, the view is amazing.
Anyway, back to books, and the beach below the lighthouse. This is where Misty saw the future and an unknown man drowning. Or he very soon would be…
Lyrebird Lake is not near South West Rocks, but my midwives originally came from Coffs Harbour and moved away to Queensland to Lyrebird Lake Maternity. Misty was down at the beach to say goodbye to one of her favourite places before she moved north when “it” happened.
I hope you enjoy the second book in the Lyrebird Lake Series, MISTY. She comes out 30th November and there’s still two more books to come in this session. More later in the year.
Happy November to you all and waving from a beautiful morning in Australia. I took this photo just a few minutes ago from the veranda at home and would love to share it with you. No colour added except by Mother nature. It’s going to be a beautiful day.
Today I’d like to talk about series books.
What do you love about series books? I’m a fan, and I think one of my favourite aspects, apart from the main romance, are the secondary characters we re-meet each time. Quirky fun people and places that we settle back into each new book in the series. Lyrebird Lake is like that. Perhaps you’ve read a Lyrebird Lake book many years ago. Well we are starting from there, rewritten, expanded, and updated to really allow you to jump into the town and immerse in the people right from the beginning.
Welcome to Lyrebird lake 2020 and onwards. It’s going to be a fun ride and I hope you can join the party. One book a month for the next four months and more to come after that. Montana, Misty, Mia and Emma begin.
So many scenes have given me smiles, tears and laugh out loud moments. I do hope you get the chance to cherish the amazing community of Lyrebird Lake like I do, as well as the journeys my caring midwives take to find the happiness they deserve.
The Midwives of LYREBIRD LAKE
Every day brings a miracle…
It’s time for these midwives to become mothers themselves!
In the first book we meet widowed mum Montana Browne… I’ve loved Montana’s story from the first moment I pictured the sunrise on the mountain
For midwife Montana, finding out she was pregnant was the best moment of her life. But days later she was widowed.
Nine months have passed, her daughter is born, and Montana knows she needs a fresh start.
Dr Andy Buchanan is building services at Lyrebird Lake Hospital and he wants Montana for the new maternity unit. He can’t get the beautiful new mum out of his mind.
Lyrebird Lake is the perfect place for Montana to build a new life – with Andy?
Aren’t the covers gorgeous? I love all the different Lyrebirds. And the river behind in that meme is our local Macleay River at sunrise. I was driving to mind the grandkids. Had to stop and take a photo. I hope your day is filled with beautiful snapshots and smiles, too. Thank for having me drop in. Xx Love Fi
Hello again and welcome to the Love Is The Best Medicine Blog. Fiona McArthur here.
Today, I’d like to chat about The Bush Telegraph, my latest Penguin contemporary romance fiction. I loved the setting and the people in this book so much it was hard to let them go. If you haven’t been to outback Australia, and I’m talking past Longreach, which is twelve hundred kilometres from Brisbane, across to Winton, and further to Boulia and down the back way to Windorah (a loooong way) then there’s some amazing Australia you still need to see. If you possibly can, then I sincerely hope you manage to do so. If you have or can’t, enjoy the visions though my eyes and meet some amazing people in the book and I wish you an experience you will never forget. I thought I’d share an excerpt from Chapter 2, because it talks about the distances from the point of view of eleven-year-old Bridget, and I loved being eleven again. Love Fi.
The Bush Telegraph
‘Welcome to Middleton. Population one?’ Bridget’s mother slowed the car as she read the sign out loud. ‘Gotta love outback Queens- land.’
Her mum smiled, but at eleven years old, Bridget felt more horrified than amused. As she stared at the poo-brown emptiness, she couldn’t believe she’d been born out here somewhere.
Soon they drove past the roadhouse/pub, the only remotely house-like building in the sad excuse for a town. The wide gravel drive held two dark cars out front like two black teeth in a yawn of boredom.
‘There’ll be more people at Spinifex, Bee. And it’s only for twelve months. Don’t worry.’
Bridget looked at the tin roof radiating heat and couldn’t help imagining an egg sizzling sunny-side up. It was so hot!
Her mother said, ‘A hundred and fifty years ago, this was a changing station for Cobb & Co horses between Winton and Boulia.’
Bridget sat straighter at the mention of horses. One of the possible upsides of her mother’s nursing contract in western Queensland was the chance that she could have a horse – her mum had said she’d think about it. She couldn’t have her best friend, Millie, or any of the friends she had on the island, but maybe a horse . . .
Bridget pressed her face to the window again and stared at the single-building village. ‘That has to be the smallest town ever.’
Her mum laughed again as she sped up out of the ‘built-up- area’ speed zone. It wasn’t funny, but at least one of them was in a good mood. Bridget couldn’t even begin to compare the last town they’d passed through after driving for hours, Winton, with Lord Howe Island.
She wanted her old world with people she knew. Not this empty world. She’d seen Darling Harbour, the zoo, lots of places really, when she’d spent holidays on the mainland while her mum had been nursing there. Bridget was still in shock that they’d left the island where she’d grown up.
She couldn’t believe she wouldn’t be going back to the Island Central School, where you didn’t have to wear shoes if you didn’t want to. Out here, she’d bet her feet would burn right off if she went barefoot. And they’d be here for twelve months! Year Six had been the year she’d been looking forward to. She puffed out a worried sigh. Finally, she’d be a senior girl, but now she’d be in a new school, with people she didn’t know. What if they’d all learned stuff she hadn’t?
This place out here in the centre of Queensland would be horrid. These huge distances you had to sit in the car for. Long, straight roads that went over the horizon and then over the next and the next. Her gaze tried to stop the shimmery mountains wiggling like mirages in front of her. This just felt all wrong.
‘Look at the baby emus!’
Her mum’s words shifted Bridget’s dark thoughts and her eyes widened. Wow. ‘The mother emu’s so tall.’ The flightless bird’s long neck turned to look at them with suspicion as the car slowed again and her spotty followers quickened their pace.
Bridget laughed out loud at the three speckled emu chicks as they trotted beside their mother parallel to the road.
‘The landscape’s changed a lot since yesterday, hasn’t it, Bee?’ Mum offered the obvious statement.
Bridget’s brief excitement died. Der.
They’d flown into Brisbane, a city like Sydney, where they picked up her mum’s almost-new car and their sent-ahead belongings. That had been exciting.
Last night they’d stayed in a long, skinny cabin at a place called Longreach. She knew why they called it that – it had taken ages to get there. But they’d had pizza delivered to their little house at the end of a row of tiny overnight houses, and that had been fun.
But that was last night. Now they were approaching their destination from an angle Mum said even she hadn’t seen. Bridget hoped they were on the right road. Granny usually gave the direc- tions if they drove anywhere.
A pang of too-recent loss tightened her throat. How odd it felt, to have just Mum and her on the road, and it would be even stranger to be in a house on their own.
Their home on the island with Granny had always been full of friends. Bee loved impromptu parties, and when Mum flew out to work for the week Bridget had always had Granny and company.
Bridget remembered the funeral, the day they’d poured Granny’s ashes and special tree oil into the hole under the fig. What had they called it? A Living Legacy Planting Day. Something about converting ashes into living molecules that would help the tree grow, like the circle of life. Weird. But it was what Granny wanted.
There was something comforting about how Granny could be a part of the magnificent tree she’d always loved outside her beach house on the island. Bridget could see in her mind the little plaque staked in next to it with Alma Toms written on it.
Granny was still on Lord Howe. Bridget wasn’t. Bridget sucked air through her teeth and turned to face her mother, trying to get the message across. ‘It’s different from the island.’
There’d be no dashing off to follow a lizard into the bush. No sitting on a high rock watching the waves. She spread her hands. ‘It’s so empty. So far between places. We can’t tramp around the place, like we’d normally do on the island.’ Tramp. She sighed – that was what Granny used to say.
The words made her remember everything she’d be missing all over again. There would be no Granny. No beach. No ocean. This was the never-never, like in the books she’d read at school. With the heat and dry, where Mum said people died in the desert.
‘There are other things to do.’ Her mum waved at the window. ‘Though exploring out here in the hot sun isn’t safe. Promise me you’ll remember that. And if you ever decide to take off without telling me’—she gave her a stern look—‘you have to also remember that without water or shade, your life will be in danger.’
‘I’ve got it, I promise, Mum.’ Like she hadn’t said that before. ‘Don’t go anywhere without telling you. Shade. Water. But what will we do when you’re not working?’ Bridget’s worry made her voice crack.
The silence stretched. Even her mum couldn’t think of anything at the moment. ‘We’ll have an adventure,’ she finally said.
‘Small towns and gossip go together like trees and birds.’
It’s been more than ten years since Maddy Locke left Spinifex, the small outback town where she gave birth to her daughter, Bridget. Now she’s back to prove she’s got what it takes to run the medical centre and face the memories of that challenging time in her life. But everything’s changed – the old pub is gone, her new colleagues aren’t pleased to see her, and it’s drier and hotter than ever.
Station owner, Connor Fairhall, thought he’d left the drama behind in Sydney, but moving back to Spinifex with his rebellious son, Jayden, hasn’t been the fresh start he’d envisioned. His brother, Kyle, is drinking too much and the only bright spot on the horizon is meeting Nurse Maddy, who’s breathing new life into the weary town up the road, little by little.
Can Maddy ignore the rumours about Connor and risk her heart again? Or will the bush telegraph spread along the wire fences and stand in the way of trust?
From Australia’s renowned midwife and bestselling author of The Desert Midwife, The Bush Telegraph is a romantic drama about love, friendship, community and the joys and challenges of life in the outback.