Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoHello lovely readers, and welcome to another scintillating edition of Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally invite writing buddies to join in the fun.

Today I’m delighted to welcome Fiona McArthur to the blog. Fiona was a regular on tasty series Friday Feast (check out her outback cheese scone recipe here) but this is her first visit to Teaser Tuesday, and she’s debuting in style!

For those who don’t know Fiona, she’s the author of 34 Harlequin Mills and Boon medical romances, and has sold over 2 million copies in 12 languages. These days she’s a much-loved contemporary women’s author, with hit releases like The Homestead Girls and Red Sand Sunrise.

Now she has another hit on her hands with her latest book Heart of the Sky.

Here’s Fiona to tell you about it and share juicy snippet. Make sure you read to the bottom of the page because there could be an international giveaway, and we wouldn’t want you to miss that now, would we?


Fiona McArthur AuthorThanks for having me, Cathryn, and wishing everyone a fabulous 2017. It seems so long since THE HOMESTEAD GIRLS spotlighted here and I’ll say, those women all noisily jostled for a voice in this new book. I had to be firm, ‘No! Just one of you, maybe two’, and of course Soretta won on determination – but HEART OF THE SKY is Tess’s book. It’s Tess’s journey from being a young city widow to finding a new life – and being inspired by those amazing women of the outback.

Breast Cancer has always been on my radar, especially after my mum’s many triumphs over it, and Tess, as the new fish-out-of-water Breast Care Nurse in Mica Ridge, has a story to tell. I hope you find as much inspiration and optimism reading her story as I had writing it. There’s a copy to give away as well. But Cathryn will sort that.

Warmest wishes  xxFi


The red and white Mica Ridge Flying Doctor Service aircraft taxied past the window of her new office and Tess Daley recognised with gratitude the tiny wobble of excitement in her chest.

Ushered further into the room by the brisk young office clerk, Tess could see past the aircraft, over the shimmering tarmac to rugged red hills that rose craggily in the distance.

Across the road, the morning sun burnished the saltbush and rocky ground the colour of copper behind the nodding galahs on the wire fence. So different to the lushness of home.

The colour of the sky in far western NSW – goodness! She couldn’t believe the primary blue, like a child’s painting dabbed with undiluted colour. She could lose herself in it. That was the plan. She’d driven most of the daylight hours on the actual anniversary of Vic’s death, and now that she’d arrived, the twelve months worth of tension that sat in her shoulders didn’t miraculously leave, but it lightened. Even her heart lifted the way the pink galahs suddenly did as she watched through the window, because another red and white aircraft had taxied in.

Heart of the Sky by Fiona McArthurMaybe everything could begin anew. After all, she’d driven the long way from Sydney via Adelaide to Mica Ridge, all on her own. Vic had always driven in the past while she’d usually slept. She pushed that thought away.

It had been worth the effort to touch base at the hospitals her patients would rely on for treatment. Any crannies left in her packed-to-the-roof-with-belongings car had been filled with the country music she’d decided to immerse herself in – skipping the sad songs. One needed to prepare when you moved to the outback.

She spared a thought for the new owners in their beautiful beach-suburb home. Wished them well as they soaked in the waves but she’d been glad to leave for the next twelve months.

She would be here in far western NSW and slowly build a new life like a broody chook. But with less brooding, hopefully. Work helped. Work and other people she could lose herself in. She glanced again at the sparse landscape. Not a tree change – more like an ochre sunrise on twelve months of adjustment.

Bringing herself back to the present her eyes skipped with interest she hadn’t felt for too long over the new desk, lilac chairs and empty bookshelves.

She caught the receptionist’s shrug. ‘Hope you don’t mind that I left the boxes unpacked. I thought you might want to arrange the shelves yourself.’

‘No. That’s great. Thanks. Perfect.’ She shut her mouth. Told herself, your gabbling, Tess.

Industry. Purpose. Vocation. She couldn’t wait. Pale cardboard boxes with pamphlets, office supplies, and reference material for women and the occasional man, were stacked neatly beside the window. On the other side of the room another window looked internally into the hanger, where industrious engineers maintained the FDS aircraft.

The young woman, Tess searched her memory and came up with Soretta – said, ‘The window pane is one way so while you can watch the activity in the maintenance workshop on your down time, your patients will still have privacy from the engineers.’ Soretta raised her thick brows. ‘There’s a couple of good-looking ones but I’ve only just started work here two days a week so I’m not sure who’s who.’

This girl obviously didn’t realise that Tess was a widow. Or that Tess’s interest lay more in the planes than the men who serviced them. She’d be flying over isolated homesteads and red creek beds in aircraft like that. Scenery that had tempted her by being the polar opposite to where she’d come from.

‘I won’t have time for men.’ Not for a long while anyway. The idea seemed inconceivable that she would replace Vic – ever.

Soretta didn’t seem to think that unusual. Which was good in itself. Tess had reached saturation point from being pitied and nudged and skirted around as if grief and loss were contagious.

‘I keep meaning to make time for a boyfriend but never seem to get around to it.’ Soretta pointed to the jug. ‘There’s a new electric kettle and some plain white mugs. Daphne said you’d need those for the hundreds of cups of calming tea you’d be making in the coming months.’

Tess thought of the obviously pregnant flight nurse upstairs in the control room. ‘I’ll be doing it all year.’ Tess said, looking around. Yes, a year away from all that reminded her of him. Then she would go home and try to start again.

This room could be made more welcoming. Her fingers itched to rearrange chairs and give homely touches – to ramp up the nurture factor. Dormant memories from those house and garden magazines she used to adore and hadn’t touched since…

Tess decided a pretty tea set and tablecloth were in order to celebrate. It had been a mammoth effort to leave the past and take on this contract. The fact that this was a one-year trial for the area hung over her, there was more at stake than Tess herself. Service for isolated families was being fought for and she vowed she’d give her best to see outreach breast care established permanently. Of course a successor would have to carry it on.

Up in the control room above her head, Daphne, the nurse, had raved about the farm stay homestead she’d been boarding in before her marriage.

‘Do you know the place Daphne was living in before her marriage?’

Soretta’s eyes sparkled and Tess decided the men around here must be a bit slow on the uptake if they weren’t chasing this young lady.

‘Know it very well.’ Her voice resonated with dry amusement. ‘It’s my grandfather’s station. Why? Thinking of living out of town.’



Told you Fiona was debuting in style. How about that for a delicious sneak peek at Heart of the Sky? I bet you’re itching to snap up a copy right now. Well, you can with just a clickety-click! Try Booktopia, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Fishpond.com.au, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or skip on down to your local bookstore or favourite chain and raid the shelves.

And now for more excitement. Yes, my lovelies, we have a…


Fiona has generously offered a paperback copy of Heart of the Sky as a giveaway. But you’ll have to earn it!

As Fiona mentioned in her introduction, Tess is inspired by the amazing outback women she encounters. So, to go into the draw, tell us the woman or women you most admire. It could be anyone from Michelle Obama to Mother Theresa, a wonderful friend or maybe it’s your own mum. Share and we’ll pop you into to the giveaway.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEDT, 3rd February 2017. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Fiona and her (many!) books, please visit her website.


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35 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday!

  1. Avatarlesley McIntosh

    The headmistress of my secondary school was an inspiration to me and really inspired women to achieve and that was 50 years ago !

    1. AvatarFiona

      Hello Lesley, thanks for your comment, headmistresses are certainly inspiring. My first one took a small group of us to New Guinea as ten year olds, billeting with Australian families and I’ve never forgotten that. Truly awesome ladies. xxFiona

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        How wonderful you had a headmistress like that, Lesley. Isn’t it amazing how influential people like her can be. Their inspiration can last a lifetime.

        Thanks for sharing and good luck!

  2. AvatarCrystal Glossop

    My Mum is the woman I most admire for so many reasons but mainly for the amount of love and care she gives to everyone around her. I have recently introduced her to the Lyrebird Lake series which she is enjoying. This new book is out in time for her birthday which is February 3rd.

    1. AvatarFiona

      Waving to Crystal, and congratulations on your awesome mum. I’m so pleased she is enjoying Lyrebird Lake, I love that series. And her birthday is the day after my husband, those Aquarians are certainly wonderful people. Warmest regards and happy birthday to your mum, I really hope she enjoys Heart Of The Sky. xxFiona

  3. AvatarMelissa Woods

    The woman who inspired me the most is my Nan. She is no longer here anymore, however even with all her health issues, she lived alone and did everything herself. She taught me to be independent and strong.

    1. AvatarFiona

      Good morning Melissa, and your Nan sounds fabulous. It’s so important to have such role models who remind us we can do anything and stand on our own if we need to. I love hearing about strong women and admire them so much warm regards xx Fiona

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        That’s a wonderful thing to be taught, Melissa. It’s sad that your nan is gone now but she’s left you with a special legacy, and I’m sure some very precious memories.

        Thanks and good luck!

  4. AvatarJanine Kimberley

    I would have to say Ita Buttrose is such an inspirational woman. Such an intelligent, elegant person who is still working and helping people to support dementia. And there aren’t many people who have had a song written after them!

    1. AvatarFiona

      I agree, Janine. Inspirational Ita and integrity go hand in hand, just like the song, and she is such a classy lady. I’d never actually read the words before, made me smile. Thanks for your comment. warmest regards xxFiona

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        The moment I saw the name Ita I thought of the song too, Janine! I don’t know if that makes me horribly shallow but it is a pretty iconic song which suits, because she’s an iconic woman.

        Good luck!

  5. AvatarMary Preston

    Has to be my mother. She raised us to believe that we could achieve anything we put our minds to. I am living proof.

    1. AvatarFiona

      Thank you, Mary. Your mum sounds wonderful and a strong woman. My mother was a little woman, could do anything, and ruled my boys with a rod of iron if she had them at her house. You remind me we need to show our children they can do anything. We are very fortunate in our mothers. xx Fiona . Thank you for your comment.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        That’s so great to hear, Mary. Believing in ourselves is something all of us need to be taught.

        Thanks for sharing and good luck in the giveaway.

  6. AvatarFiona

    More on wonderful mums.. someone reminded me today of that quote, ‘whenever you feel overwhelmed remember whose daughter you are and straighten your crown.’ Made me think of the posts this morning . Thank you xxFi

  7. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    I’ve been so busy I nearly missed this. Cathryn, I think I missed your last Teaser Tuesday, they come around so fast.

    I don’t know if this counts but I admire my friend, Lisa, for the last 10 years she has been bedridden with CRPS which is a condition she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life and is incurable. Also known as the suicide disease. She’s in horrific pain 24/7 which never lessens. I admire her for never giving up, always a smile on her face, looks after her 14 year old son who has aspergers although he is her carer. As well as living with CRPS she has other serious health issues. I feel I’ve learnt so much from her she truly is an inspiration.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, your poor friend, Sue. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must be like for her and the people who love her. But her bravery sounds incredible. Absolutely an inspiration.

      Good luck!

      1. AvatarFiona

        Gentle sincere hugs on her incredible strength, Sue. People such as LIsa, and her son, are truly an inspiration. You are fortunate to have her as a friend as she is you, warmest wishes to both of you xx Fi

  8. AvatarMary Platt

    My mother. She worked hard to earn a living. She taught me how to be economical, to make my own clothes, how to can and freeze food so the family was well fed. She also encouraged us to follow our dreams and gave us the wings to fly.

    1. AvatarFiona

      Thank you for adding your thoughts, Mary. Your mother must have been an inspiration to you and your siblings, and encouragement to children is such a gift. What a wonderful woman and mother. We can forget how difficult it was in the past to have enough food, let alone the luxury of fast food, and the gourmet offerings we have now. My mother had a dripping pan in the fridge, and the kids would have no idea what that even was 🙂
      Though I bet Lorna, one of the women in Heart Of The Sky, would know.
      warmest regards Fiona

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I love that, Mary – giving you wings to fly. It’s such a beautiful thing to be gifted.

        Thanks so much for sharing and good luck in the draw.

        PS. I love reminder about canning. I have such fond memories of my mum and grandmother slaving over the old Fowlers Vacola. It was one of the metal ones, green I think. My Vacola is plastic. But I still have mum’s jar tongs!

  9. AvatarSarahmary

    My best friend. She’s been through hell and back but she’s the happiest person i know and it all comes down to her incredibly positive outlook on life.
    Her attitude is inspiring.

    1. AvatarFiona M. Simpson

      Love your comment, Sarahmary, thank you for posting. I seriously admire people who celebrate the best in life despite the curve balls that come their way. Being happy is the trait I would wish my children to have the most. Kudos to your friend and to you for treasuring her xxFi

  10. Avatardeebebbington

    I am inspired by my seven daughters. We had some tough times while they were growing up, one of which was financial. they all helped out in a twenty-four hour business we ran and after they finished secondary school all worked two and three jobs and put themselves through university. Today they are fine upstanding young women. They are all financially independent and work hard at their chosen professions. The only thing we had to give them was love and emotional support. I believe we are very blessed.

    1. AvatarFiona

      Thanks so much for dropping by, D, wow, your daughters are a fabulous success story as are the parents who gave them the most important gifts and the lessons in life to help them. There is so much reinforcement in my belief that the world is filled with aspirational people and stories. I’m gaining so much from listening and learning and really appreciate the time everyone is taking to share those who inspire them. warmest regards Fi

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        SEVEN daughters, Delores? Wow. It’s great that you find them an inspiration but I can’t help feeling more impressed by you and the fact you brought up such wonderful people!

        Thanks for sharing and good luck.

    1. AvatarFiona

      Thanks for sharing with us, Melanie. Hugs on your mum’s breast cancer diagnosis, it’s so hard to see the ones we love going through the demands of a disease, and the treatment they have to subject their bodies to. That’s why I was so motivated to write about the Breast Cancer Nurses, even though they can only care for that arm of the disease, they fill such an amazing and supportive role. Having you there, I’m sure, is a big part of why your mum and your friend are so inspirational, and I do send love and wish healing to you all on the journey. Thank you xxx Fi

  11. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    What a fantastic response! Thanks to you all for sharing the inspirational women in your life. Both Fiona and I enjoyed your answers hugely.

    It was so hard to choose a winner that in the end we left it up to the universe and chose via a random draw. Congratulations to Janine who has won a paperback copy of Heart of the Sky. There’ll be happy reading times ahead for Janine.

    Thanks again for your participation and keep your eye out for Heart of the Sky, in bricks and mortar and online stores now.

  12. AvatarFiona

    Thanks so much for hosting, Cathryn, and congrats Janine, I do love Ita.
    Thank you everyone and much admiration to all your inspiring women xx Fi

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