Q&A With Author Fiona McArthur!

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Fiona McArthur! Fiona discusses her newest novel Heart Of The Sky which is available now! Welcome to Talking Books Blog Fiona! 😀


How many hours a day do you write?

The more consistent I write the easier it is to get the words – I only aim for 500 words and fionamcarthurthat seems to be the perfect brain stream length for me for a new scene. That can take one to two hours. I’m happy to get up after that and go to my day job. Closer to deadlines I spend a lot more time polishing, re-reading, expanding all those 500 word episodes until I get lost in the whole thing. But I still work as a midwife 28 hours a week so I can’t write then.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut in your latest novel?

Thank you. I laughed at this question. Can I! I had a wedding in THE HOMESTEAD GIRLS at the end and it had to be cut. So I tried to start HEART OF THE SKY with it. But it had to be cut. I loved that scene. Did you want to read it 🙂

What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?heartofthesky_fionamcarthur_penguinaus

Reminding myself that I can’t be too brief. Too staccato. That’s how my mind works and I need to slow my pace so other people can see the picture I can see.

On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Apparently 160 days –(I kept a record of every day I wrote and how many words this time) So 160 spread over six months. If I’m a good girl. 🙂

What can readers expect next from your writing?redsandsunrise_fionamcarthur

After HEART OF THE SKY, I have Sienna’s story. She was the least mentioned sister in RED SAND SUNRISE. The city obstetrician who solves medical mysteries. That’s what I’m polishing at the moment and I’m seriously loving it. I hope everyone else does too.

Thanks for reading my book and letting me drop in to chat – I wish you all a 2017 filled with wonderful stories xx Fi


About Heart Of The Sky by Fiona McArthur

heartofthesky_fionamcarthur_penguinausA year after a tragic accident changed her life forever, Tess Daley is in desperate need of a change. When she is offered a position with the Flying Doctor Service, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start. Yet once she arrives in remote Mica Ridge she feels like an outsider, unable to connect with her patients and unsure if she’ll ever fit in with this outback community.

Station owner Soretta Byrnes has grown to love the company and chaos that comes with living in a house filled with boarders. So with tenants moving out and bills piling up, it’s a welcome relief to have Tess and new pilot Charlie Fennes arriving in town and looking for somewhere to stay.

As they share life’s triumphs and challenges, it isn’t long before everyone at the station feels like family. But Charlie has yet to reveal his motive for coming to Mica Ridge and his secret will change the life of someone in the house forever …

Heart Of The Sky is available now and is published by Penguin Random House Australia, RRP $32.99.

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Angus & Robertson  *  iBooks  *  Amazon Australia  *  Google Play


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About Fiona McArthur

Fiona McArthur has worked as a rural midwife for many years. She is a clinical midwifery educator, a mentor to midwifery students and is involved with obstetric emergency education for midwives and doctors across Australia.

Fiona has been nominated for Romantic Book of The Year with Romance Writers of Australia and the US-based CataRomance Readers Award. She has sold over 2 million books, in twelve languages.

Fiona’s passion for rural fiction titles grew from her admiration of Australia’s outback pioneers, the community spirit within these towns and the medical staff who care for them.

She lives on an often swampy farm in northern New South Wales with her husband and any children and grandchildren who drop in.

Author Social Media Links

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Q&A With Author Penelope Janu!

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Penelope Janu! InpenelopeJanu_author At The Deep End by author Penelope Janu is available now.  Welcome to Talking Books Blog Penelope!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to think of yourself as a writer even though you are only imagining your characters, and not actually writing anything down. But make sure that one day, when the time is right, you do actually write something down …

What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

inatthedeepend_penelopejanu_harlequinausI’d like to say a lot but … not terribly much. In the early stages of writing I think up my characters, and then I work out what they’re passionate about. I find a voice for the main character. Then I make sure the character has an interesting story to tell. That’s when the research kicks in!

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing In At The Deep End?

Good question! I wanted Harriet (outgoing) and Per (aloof) to dance together. But the scene was only sketched and didn’t quite fit in anywhere so I hit delete (sob!). However … in my next novel there is a dance scene between my characters early on, and it is crucial to the plot in so many ways. The scene very different to the one Harriet and Per would have had, but it’s a dance scene nonetheless!

What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?

I don’t plot my novels, so it is often difficult to assess ‘where I am going’ and ‘will I ever get there.’ Time is the other thing – I love writing and am so lucky that I now have the opportunity to write many days of the week.

But writing is also hard work and you have to dedicate time to it. A lot of time!

How many hours a day do you write?

I try to write for an hour early in the morning before the house wakes up. On the weekend I stretch this out to two hours. In the evening I try to write for another two hours. And whatever I can squeeze in during the day (at lunchtime if I’m at work, on public transport, wherever). It would probably be more efficient (and easier on my family) if I only wrote five days a week, but I don’t feel I get enough hours done that way. My characters clamour for attention seven days a week!

What can readers expect next from your writing?

My next novel is another lighthearted book, and the heroine has an interesting backstory, just like Harriet does. The novel is very much stand alone, but the hero is Per’s twin brother Tør, a Norwegian diplomat (he is a fantastic dancer, by the way).


About In At The Deep End by Penelope Janu

A quick-witted, contemporary romance about losing your cool.

inatthedeepend_penelopejanu_harlequinausWhat woman doesn’t love a real-life hero? Harriet Scott, for one. The fiercely independent daughter of famous adventurers, she grew up travelling the world on the environmental flagship The Watch. So when Harriet’s ship sinks in Antarctica and she has to be rescued by Commander Per Amundsen, an infuriatingly capable Norwegian naval officer and living breathing action hero, her world is turned upside down.

Like their namesakes, the original Scott and Amundsen who competed to reach the South Pole first, Per and Harriet have different ways of doing things. Per thinks Harriet is an accident waiting to happen; Harriet thinks Per is a control freak. But when Harriet realises that Per is the only one who can help her fund the new ship she desperately wants, she is forced to cooperate with him.

Per refuses to assist unless Harriet allows him to teach her to swim. But there is more to Harriet’s terrible fear of water than meets the eye. Can Harriet face her fears and come to terms with the trauma and loss of her past? And will she begin to appreciate that some risks are well worth taking—and that polar opposites can, in fact, attract?

Purchase Links

Harlequin Books Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Amazon Australia  *  iBooks



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Book Blitz Spotlight Post! Deputy Laney Briggs Series by Jodi Linton


Get ready to lasso a cowboy…

“Author Jodi Linton creates characters that are challenging, strong, imperfect yet adorably sweet and alluring to readers. An entertaining series with characters that are laugh-out-loud hilarious throughout.” ~Talking Books Blog



prettyreckless500Folks say I’m reckless. I suppose loading a Texas Ranger in the ass with buckshot in my fit of jealousy earned me more scrutiny than the preacher’s wife at a Sunday potluck.

Now I work as a deputy, and the pistol on my hip is registered. I’m finally moving past all the tongue wagging about my youthful escapades. That is until Gunner Wilson, the object of said target practice,struts his cowboy boots back into town. Now he keeps showing up everywhere with that sexy grin of his.

All I want to do is solve this latest case then kick the cocky, tattooed lawman to the curb. But Gunner has gotten under my skin. And hell, that’s a problem, because I’ve made a new life in Pistol Rock, one that doesn’t include my hotter than hell ex-boyfriend. Except now I need his help…and asking a favor from Gunner might cost me more than just a pair of panties…

Pretty Reckless, 99¢ for a limited time!

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whatchagonnadowithacowboy500There’s something about a cowboy, right? Exhibit A: Gunner Wilson–Pistol Rock’s resident gunslinger. He’s broad-chested, inked, with a devilish swagger that could make a nun to recant.

He moved back into my life quicker than a cold snap comes and goes in Texas. I should be concerned since Mr. Sexy Texas Ranger has put me in hot water more times than I can count. Yet we can’t keep our hands off each other.

Folks in town say he’s bad news. I beg to differ. He’s changed. They think I should give him the boot. Rid my life of more trouble. But what they don’t know is–

I’m the one welcoming trouble into our small town. And sometimes a reformed bad boy is the only thing standing between a girl and some-not-so-very-good men.

Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy, 99¢ novella!

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talkdirtytomecowboy500Give me tight Wranglers. Stetsons. And a grin that would make the devil green with envy.

Give me Gunner Wilson. I’m his. And he’s mine. We’ve been given a second chance, and I have every intention of showing my cowboy how much he means to me.

Tonight, he has my kisses, my desire, and my focus. It’s date night, and I’m bringing the big guns–

My red cowboy boots.

Talk Dirty to Me, Cowboy, FREE novella!

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prettyshameless500The second I ran into Gunner Wilson and his outrageously cocky attitude at my cousin’s shooting range, I considered us a team. Then he played dumb about a duffel bag full of money, my cousin’s whereabouts, and the freaking case he’d been working.

Now,I’d bet my britches (and everything else I’m wearing) that my sexy, hot-assed Texas Ranger is lying about my cousin’s real involvement in the local gun smuggling ring.

I know just how damned distracting Gunner can be. Trust me. The pure,unadulterated want between us has never been stronger–and it seems Gunner is pulling all the punches to drive me crazy. He’s good, I’ll hand him that.

But as they say–“You can’t pick your family”–and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let one of them take heat for a crime they didn’t commit.

This case means war.

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Happily ever afters are for wimps. At least that’s what I tell myself. Although, when you expect a proposal from your longtime boyfriend and instead watch him arrest your best
friend–diamond size becomes a moot point.

This time not even that sinfully delicious swagger will be enough to save Gunner Wilson from my shit list.

Yep,Laney’s gonna have my hide. Especially when she finds out how much I’ve been keeping from her.

Mafia?Check. Corrupt cops. Check. Fake arrests. Check. Check.

It looks bad. I know.

But I love my girl. I’ve made some mistakes. Damn right, I have. But everything I’ve done was to protect her.

I’ll break every rule in the book to prove to Laney I’m the best man for the job.

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About The Author

Jodi Linton is the author of the Deputy Laney Briggs Series and the Dirty Sinners Motorcycle Club. She lives in Texas with her husband and two kids. When she’s not writing about sassy females and dirty talking heroes, she enjoys long walks and family time down at the river.

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Guest Post by Author Teri Anne Stanley – A Shot With You Virtual Blog Tour

Today’s feature guest post is part of the virtual blog tour for A Shot With You by author Teri Anne Stanley.


Whiskey Sour by Teri Anne Stanley

Most true bourbon aficionados would say that you should only drink Kentucky’s best with a little water, if you have to add anything at all. Some wouldn’t even condone ice. But seriously…how many people can drink straight whiskey without making that face? You know the one. The “HOLY CRAP, MY ENTIRE BODY’S GOING TO CATCH ON FIRE!” face.

And if the bourbon industry turned their nose up at the cocktail mixers of the world, they wouldn’t sell much liquor, would they?

Besides, there are so many awesome cocktails that include bourbon, that it would be very wrong to ignore them.
There’s the Old Fashioned, which is made with whiskey, bitters, simple syrup, a twist of orange and a cherry. The Manhattan, which has bourbon, vermouth (bleh!) and a cherry (I detect a theme!). Don’t forget about the Mint Julep…mint, sugar, bourbon…

And my old family favorite, the Whiskey Sour. I remember getting to have a tiny bit of this on special occasions when I was younger. It was sure better than the beer we’d maybe possibly try to sneak out of the garage refrigerator! The traditional recipe calls for fresh lemon juice, sugar, and whiskey, but here’s the Big Dick version (Big Dick was my dad, Richard. Not a commentary on the character or man parts of anyone):
1 can of frozen lemonade
Dump the contents of the can in to a blender
1 can of bourbon
Use the lemonade can. It will help rinse all the lemonade into the blender.
Add a bunch of ice and grind the heck out of everything, until you have a slurry.
1 can of Sprite
Give it a quick mix.

You gotta do that part last, because 1), if you add the Sprite after the bourbon, you’ll be sure to rinse out any residual liquor that would otherwise go to waste stuck to the inside of the can, which would be wrong, and 2) the fizzy in the Sprite would go whizzy if you added it before you blenderized it.
Pour into glasses, give to guests, and watch Mom start to act silly.


About A Shot With You by Teri Anne Stanley

One more will never be enough…

Bourbon is in Brandon Morgan’s blood. His family owns the best bourbon brand in the ashotwithyou_teriannestanley_entangledpubcountry—or it will be with his marketing genius. And after meeting the fiery daughter of a tequila distillery owner, he’s never been more sure.

His barrels, her tequila. It’s a match made in heaven. But only if he can keep his hands off the owner’s daughter…and his secrets to himself.

Lesa Ruiz will do anything to keep Little Possum afloat, but one look at Brandon’s gorgeous dimples and Lesa knows two things for sure: forever is not in the cards with this man and he’s way too sexy to resist for long.

Well, three things… Brandon is hiding something, and she’ll need to get a lot closer to figure it out and save her family’s legacy. Shots, anyone?

Purchase Links

Entangled Publishing  *  Amazon US  *  Kobo  *  iBooks  *  Booktopia  *  Amazon Australia


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The Bourbon Brothers Series

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About The Author

terriannestanley_authorTeri Anne Stanley has been writing since she learned to hold a crayon. Though her handwriting hasn’t improved, her spelling is a little better now. She spends her days as an evil genius’s sidekick in a research lab, and her nights weaving tales of heroic hunks and sassy, smart women. When she’s not at work, Teri, Mr. Stanley, and the Stanlettes enjoy spending time at their weekend estate, located in the thriving metropolis of Sugartit, between Beaverlick and Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.

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Q&A With Author Joy Callaway, Author Of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society.

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Joy Callaway! Joy’s latest novel The Fifth Avenue Artist’s Society is available now and published by Allen & Unwin Australia RRP $29.99.

Welcome to Talking Books Blog Joy!

joycallaway_author_allenandunwinausCan you tell us a bit about your newest release The Fifth Avenue Artists Society.

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society is a book especially close to my heart as it’s based on the lives of my great-great grandmother and her artistic siblings living in the Gilded Age Bronx, New York, on the fringes of New York high society. It’s a story of secrets and family and love and history. Pitched as Edith Wharton-meets-Little Women, my main character, Ginny Loftin (my great-great aunt in real life), is an aspiring novelist caught between the boy next door and a mysterious author who inducts her into Manhattan’s most elite artistic salon. Glitter and glamour aside, the story is really about what it means to be both a woman and an artist, and sounds the emotional depths Ginny is willing explore to protect her art, her family, and her chance at love.

What was the most difficult scene to write in the story?

I can’t answer this question in depth, because that would spoil some things :), but there was a point in the story where I had to decide whether to remain true to a painful family rumor or alter it for the sake of a more comfortable scene. I ended up telling it as I’d heard thefifthavenueartistssociety_joycallaway_allenandunwinit. It was quite difficult.

Which character was the most challenging to write about?

All of the characters had their challenges. I wanted to portray the family as accurately as I could with the resources I had (letters, photos, documents, etc.), but my keepsakes didn’t necessarily tell me everything I needed to know about their daily lives or their personalities, so I had to guess as best I could from the tone and content in the letters. We know the least about Bess and Franklin, so they were the most challenging members of the family to write, and then outside of the family, I wanted to make sure that the fictional characters seemed just as realistic.

What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always been a creative person. As a child I loved to write plays and stories, but then I grew up and although I still loved writing, I sort of forgot about the creative side. I think a lot of people do that–sort of abandon what they loved as children for the sake of practicality. So, I wound up getting degrees in marketing and working in that field for a while, and then one summer, after reading about a zillion books on vacation, I wondered why I’d never tried writing a novel. The rest is history, I suppose! I never plan to stop. It’s my dream job.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on several projects right now, but my next novel is called Secret Sisters, a historical novel based on the founding of America’s first sororities.


About Joy Callaway

Joy Callaway’s love of storytelling is a direct result of her parents’ insistence that she read books or write stories instead of watching TV. Her interest in family history was fostered by her relatives’ habit of recounting tales of ancestors’ lives. Joy is a full-time mother and writer. She formerly served as a marketing director for a wealth management company. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from Marshall University and an M.M.C. in Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina. She resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband, John, and her children, Alevia and John. THE FIFTH AVENUE ARTISTS SOCIETY is her first novel.

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About The Fifth Avenue Artist’s Society by Joy Callaway

The Bronx, 1891. Virginia Loftin, the boldest of four artistic sisters in a family living in thefifthavenueartistssociety_joycallaway_allenandunwingenteel poverty, knows what she wants most: to become a celebrated novelist despite her gender, and to marry Charlie, the boy next door and her first love.

When Charlie instead proposes to a woman from a wealthy family, Ginny is devastated; shutting out her family, she holes up in her room and turns their story into fiction, obsessively rewriting a better ending. Though she works with newfound intensity, literary success eludes her-until she attends an elite salon hosted at her brother’s friend John Hopper’s Fifth Avenue mansion. Among painters, musicians, actors, and writers, Ginny returns to herself, even blooming under the handsome, enigmatic John’s increasingly romantic attentions.

But just as she and her siblings have become swept up in the society, Charlie throws himself back into her path, and Ginny learns that the salon’s bright lights may be obscuring some dark shadows. Torn between two worlds that aren’t quite as she’d imagined them, Ginny will realise how high the stakes are for her family, her writing, and her chance at love.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia * Booktopia * iBooks * Amazon Australia


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