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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Holly's Heart (Outback Brides Book 4) by Fiona McArthur - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Holly is back in Wirralong after a devastating loss. She’s a doctor, but can’t imagine practicing medicine while being responsible for her sister’s twin sons. She’s running the local coffee shop instead. Ben was Holly’s teenage crush, but she never gave him a chance to become more than just a friend. He’s back in town to work as the local doctor. Holly can’t imagine he’d like to spend time with her after she rejected him many years ago, but the opposite is true. He's nothing but kind and supportive. Will Ben be able to break down her walls this time?

Ben is surprised Holly is back in Wirralong. There's never been another woman for him and he’s glad he has the chance to get to know her as an adult. Holly’s situation is complicated, she’s taking care of her nephews and is trying to get over the death of her beloved sister. She isn’t looking for love and if Ben wants to form a connection with her, he has to tread carefully. Will he have enough patience not to chase Holly away and can he convince her that they are made for each other?

Holly’s Heart is a moving romantic story. Holly’s been through a lot and needs all the support she can get. She’s a strong and capable woman, but she’s also traumatized and needs help facing the demons of her past. Ben’s lightheartedness and gentle and caring nature have a healing effect on her and I loved how deeply he cares about her. Fiona McArthur shows her readers exactly what her main characters are feeling and I liked that a lot. It made me feel close to Ben and Holly and I was incredibly curious about what would happen to them. Ben and Holly are made for each other and I really enjoyed watching their relationship flourish. 

Fiona McArthur writes about the tragic parts of life in an amazing empathic way. She combines this with hope, plenty of unconditional love and beautiful friendship, which is a terrific mix. I loved Holly’s Heart. It’s a story filled with warmth and compassion. I loved that there’s happiness after devastation and I liked that the power of love conquers all. I enjoyed this fantastic compelling love story from beginning to end.

Advice

If you love reading about doctors and like romance set in small towns Holly's Heart would be a perfect choice. It's the fourth book in the Outback Brides series, but could easily be read as a standalone.

About Fiona McArthur


Fiona McArthur has worked as a midwife for thirty years. She is the clinical midwifery educator inner rural maternity unit and teaches emergency obstetric strategies while working with midwives and doctors from remote and isolated areas.

Fiona has written more than thirty romances, which have sold over two million copies in twelve languages. She has been a midwifery expert for Mother and Baby magazine and is the author of Aussie Midwives. She has also written the novels Red Sand Sunrise, The Homestead Girls and Heart of the Sky. She lives on a farm in northern New South Wales.

Links


Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m a mum and grandmum living on a farm in Australia with my husband and have been published in women’s fiction for the last eighteen years. In the past I fitted my writing early in the day (before everyone else gets up) between my day job as a midwife and my family. Writing is one of the most satisfying adventures and I love that I can travel and use writing as an excuse to have a great time. Travelling really does make my brain whirl with ideas and I love to meet and celebrate how ordinary people do such extraordinary things.

2) Where did the idea of the Outback Brides series come from?

The series came from four authors sitting around talking about outback brides – so it was always going to turn out well. The concept could have been helped by the name on a wine bottle, and the fact that we all knew of country settings we could combine and turn into a fabulous fictitious town saved by an outback wedding venue. When you put such amazing women as Kelly Hunter, Victoria Purman and Cathryn Hein in the mix it was always going to be a collection of fun stories with plenty of heart in the characters.

3) How was it to write a series with several other authors?

It was such fun to dream up the place and people and then shoot emails back and forth, be excited by the other’s books, and be able to find secondary characters in the other’s stories. I’d have no hesitation doing more in this series or another series, again.

4) Your main characters often have medical professions, what do you like the most about writing about this topic?

I love writing about the medical profession. Especially midwives in Australia because often they are the primary carers and the dynamics with doctors are often tricky and fun with confident midwives looking after the healthy women while doctors tend to look from a viewpoint of risk. It’s easy to find something heroic about people who care about other people. Medical themes have so much drama and emotion, because we all know what it is like to be worried about the health of others, and how much we rely on the doctors and nurses who care for them.

5) You have a medical profession yourself, how does it inspire and/or influence your stories?

I was a passionate midwife for more than thirty years, and only recently retired, so birth is another amazing adventure which changes all who come in contact with the experience. Women are incredible. I’ve always been an advocate for a woman seeing how amazing she is. My books follow that theme.

6) Where does your passion for rural romance come from?

Rural romance is the perfect setting for me. I love the Australian outback, the coastal areas and the farmlands, and the diversity of Australia allows a diverse range of books. I have written about other places around the world, the one that springs to mind is my book set on the Orient Express, but mostly I write Australian settings, about medical challenges in small country towns, and isolated places. Romance is my first love, because I believe I love, have been married to my hero for almost forty years and my five sons are romantics.

7) How did your writing journey start?

When my children were little, I decided I needed an income to help me do the extra things I wanted to do, and hoped writing for pleasure and profit could achieve that. I didn’t know it would take me ten years to be accepted for publication. Or that I would become addicted to meeting fictional characters on their life’s journeys. My boys tell me I taught them that if you want something badly enough you can achieve anything – which is something I truly believe.

8) Which key features should a good happy ending have and what does true love mean to you?

A happy ending should give that outward breath of relief, that sigh of delight and a curved smile for the reader. It should reinforce that life, and people, and most of all love are all wonderful and worth celebrating. True love is when you bring out your best because you want to be that for your love. They deserve it. A true love makes you feel good about yourself and is your haven in the storms of life as you are for them.

9) You live on a farm, what’s the most magical thing about this and how does your home life influence your books?

Magic is in the sunrise, the sunsets, and the mists. There’s magic in the stars and moon on a clear night because we don’t have street lights and only the occasional car drives past to shed extra light. I get up every morning in the dark before writing and go outside and look at the stars. That’s magic. I love the wildlife and birds too, and the cows and their calves are quirky and sweet, but I’d have to say it’s the limitless expanse of the sky that captures me.

10) What are your plans for the future?

More books, more reading, more adventures on the page and off it. I’m blessed with the promise of new roads and new skies and now that I’m retired I suddenly have extra time to share new adventures with the man I love and my readers.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback OR digital copy of Holly's Heart (Outback Brides Book 4) by Fiona McArthur (winner's choice).


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

38 comments:

  1. Holly's Heart sounds like a heartwarming, second chance romance and a great addition to the Outback Brides series.

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    1. Thanks Solange, I really hope you get a chance to enjoy Ben and Holly. They are good people who deserve happiness. :) warm regards Fi

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  2. I love reading Fiona's books 💖

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    1. Ah, thanks Jo, makes me want to get back into this next book xx Fi

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  3. I love romances set in the Aussie outback. Thank you for sharing them.

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    1. I think you'll love this series, Judy. Have you heard of Red Sand Sunrise, another of mine, I just love the red of the soil outback xx Fi

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  4. I love books set in Australia, I have only been to Sydney but loved it - I might add it was freezing (-25 C) here! I do wish that I'd been able to visit more places but I was there to babysit grandchildren. Your book would help to transport me there instead. :-)

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    1. Waving to Eliza. Sydney is beautiful and I do hope you get a chance to see more in Oz. Anything under 5 degrees celsius is freezing for me. I'm writing about Uluru (Ayers Rock) at the moment. I love that about writing when it means I get to see all these amazing places as research. :)

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  5. Love this kind of romantic book - gives me tingles when they're written well xx

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    1. I do hope you love Holly, Ruth. She was very real to me. Warmest regards Fiona

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  6. Big book reader here and got introduced to aussie outback romance books recently. Cant put them down.

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    1. Hi there Trish. I loved the Outback Brides series, because we all had our own version of what we saw in our minds. You would enjoy The Homestead Girls, about the Flying Doctors outback and there is a sequel if you want more :) xxFi

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  7. Holly's Heart sounds like an awesome romance. Thanks for the opportunity to win. I hope to visit Australia some day

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    1. I really hope you do get to visit one day, Sandy. It's a fun place with a big heart and a big sky. Hope you enjoy The Outback Brides. warm regards Fi

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  8. As an Australian I do enjoy books set in my backyard - as it were.

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    1. I think settings are as important as another character and I do enjoy setting books to highlight somewhere very Australian, Mary. I love settings outback though I live on a farm near the coast. I'm reading books set in Montana at the moment and I'm loving that too. How cool are books and you can travel anywhere from your own home? Hope you love the Outback Brides xx Fi

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  9. The story sounds lovely and being set in Australia, makes me want to read it even more.

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    1. Thank you, Irma, I di hope you enjoy it. warmest regards Fiona

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    1. Thanks so much, Janine, I hope you get the chance, warmest regards Fiona

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    1. Thank you, Jana, that's lovely of you to take the time to let me know. You've given me a big smile
      warm regards Fiona

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    1. Warmest wishes to you, Melanie, cheers Fiona

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  13. I love that you're both a midwife and an author!

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    1. Thanks Naomi, I do too. :) I've certainly been blessed with my passions, warmest regards Fiona

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    1. Thanks Sheri, I do hope you get to read it, warmest regards Fiona

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  15. I find it really interesting that you choose to write about midwives, they do such an amazing job.

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    1. Thanks Angela, and easy for me because I believe so much in the strength in women and love sharing that belief in my books. warmest regards Fiona

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  16. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

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    1. Thanks Adrian, I wish everyone could win :) warm regards Fiona

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  17. Love the idea of this. I remember meeting my "school crush" (it was all through the school years until he left because he was in the year above me) 10 years after we had left. He was even more gorgeous than he had been at school and I was sat in the pub waiting for my bf (ex-bf now) to finish. Came over and asked if I remembered him and we got chatting in general but when he announced that he liked me in school and still did! Typical, he said he had been too shy to ask me out at school. Talk about lousy timing as 3 weeks later I realised what an "idiot" (could write a huge chapter on that man's stalkerish tendencies) and split up with him. Unfortunately I've not seen Phil since that day...

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    1. Ah, the twists and turns of life. So glad you lost the negative man and fingers crossed you find your Phil, Tracy. I do believe that wonderful things happen and wish it for you xx Fiona

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  18. Dear, wonderful, commenters. I do hope I've managed to catch up with everyone, my sincerest apologies if I have missed you, (I have been away for nearly a week and out of service). Thank you so much for all the good wishes from this blog. I've really enjoyed being a guest at With Love For Books and I hope you LOVE our Outback Brides. All the very best in the draw to you all
    with warmest wishes
    Fiona

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  19. This sounds like something I need to read. I love the cover too!

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  20. I love the cover, too, Nina. And I hope you do get read the Holly's story. I bet it would make you smile. with warmest regards Fi

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  21. It's nice when an author takes the time to read all our comments - thank you Fiona!

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