AWW Feature: What Fiona McArthur, author of Red Sand Sunrise, is reading…



I am pleased to welcome Fiona McArthur to Book’d Out today to celebrate the publication of  Red Sand Sunrise.

Fiona has written more than thirty romances, which have sold over two million copies in twelve languages. She has been a RWA Romantic Book of the Year finalist and American Cataromance Readers Choice finalist. She is a midwifery expert for Mother and Baby magazine and the author of the non-fiction work, The Don’t Panic Guide To Birth. The mother of five sons, Fiona lives in NSW with her husband of thirty three years, juggling her successful writing career with her work as a rural midwife and clinical educator.

Red Sand Sunrise is Fiona’s first fiction title published with Penguin Australia, and celebrates the strength of family ties, the renewing power of love, and the passion of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things.

“When the father she barely knew dies suddenly, midwife Eve Wilson decides she owes it to him to go to the funeral and meet her stepfamily in Red Sand. She doesn’t expect to be so completely charmed by the beautiful remote township in far west Queensland – or by local station owner, Lex McKay.

After disappointment and heartbreak in Sydney, Dr Callie Wilson doesn’t hesitate to move home and spend some time with her grieving mother. When she is approached to oversee the establishment of the area’s first medical clinic, it seems the perfect opportunity. And Callie is keen to involve Eve, the sister she’s just getting to know.

Melbourne-based obstetrician Sienna Wilson can’t understand why anyone would want to bury themselves in the outback, but when her hospital sends her north to research the medical mystery affecting women in Red Sand, it seems fate is intent on bringing the three sisters together.  And when disaster strikes, they must each decide if being true to themselves means being there for each other . . .”


You can read my thoughts about Red Sand Sunrise by clicking here. In the meantime, please read on to find out what Fiona McArthur is reading…and who with!


Thanks for asking me, loved your back story about libraries and your innovative ways of keeping up with reading. That was me, avid reader nodding vaguely to my poor children as the ‘other world’ engrossed me, mostly from the library. That was a lifetime ago, actually thirty-three of my own books ago, and I really need to re-carve a niche in my week to at least read one book a week. Every writer should.

This was brought home to me recently when I went to Italy with two other writers. I shouldn’t have gone really because I didn’t have the money but karma came through in the nick of time, I had some long service leave, and I REALLY wanted to go. So we did it on shoestring. Actually, I should have done it on a shoestring and didn’t, but that’s another story.

This story is about Eloisa James saying if we were attending her ten day writing workshop in Tuscany we had to read a book list of books before we went. Different types of books. Books I might never have picked up because there are so many other books I’d like to read if I had time, and groaned about having to read her choices. I know you want to know what books she made us read so have included at the end. No cheating! Nah…Cheat if you want. See list at end.

Now, prior to the course I was a tad busy. I had two medical romances for Mills and Boon to write because I’d put them off to write RED SAND SUNRISE for Penguin and my M&B editor is a doll. I wouldn’t dream of letting her down. I had a 28hr a week job as a midwifery educator I was still finding my feet in but loved, I had the revisions and galleys for RSS, and a little thing called family in crisis. So how was I going to read these flipping books? Push comes to shove then reading is out.

Ah ha! I seriously love Audio books. I listen to them in the car on the way to work. It’s only twenty minutes but it’s amazing what you can get through with consistency. I have a monthly deduction for one audiobook on Audible and I download to my phone and play it in my car. My problem with audio is I can’t skim the bits I would rather skim.

Like the blood and guts and explicit detail in Ilona Andrews’ MAGIC BITES. I tiptoed past the vampire ooze, winced at the munched bones, did I tell you I’m a sweet writer, but despite the gore (thankfully not because of it) – I LOVED THAT BOOK! I would never have read it except for EJ telling me to and now I have ordered more of the same.

Then there was Kristin Higgins. Had never read one of hers. American small town, yawn, have my own small town, but OMG! Kristin Higgins rocks. I bought all of hers too. There were some authors I found that were a little harder to get into that the other participants adored. Some of the books I wondered why they were there but actually, when you sat down and studied them, they all had something in common. They grabbed you. Gave more than a few reader pleasure moments that stayed with you and statistically made it to the big time. And you can learn and absorb the nuances that shimmer in great writing.

Fiona and Eloisa

Fiona and Eloisa

Now home from the course my kindle is crammed. We talked about everyone’s favourite books, another time I could share them, and most of them I hadn’t heard of. So I downloaded them. Holding pattern. I will get around to reading them. One book a week. BTW Did I tell you I LOVED Eloisa James Three Weeks With Lady X?

Here is the list suggested by Eloisa James

Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

Alternate World:
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

When Falcone’s World Stops Turning by Abby Green

Classic Romance:
After the Night by Linda Howard

Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

Small Town Contemporary:
The Best Man by Kristan Higgins


Red Sand Sunrise is available to purchase at

Penguin I boomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

Amazon AU I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. trishmorey
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 10:10:19

    What a fabulous bunch of books to have to read! Like being back in school again and probably a good exercise because I know I go for reads I’m guaranteed to love – I’ve become a very safe reader and maybe it’s a good thing to step outside one’s comfort zone from time to time.
    That said, I KNOW I’m going to love Red Sand Sunrise. Cannot wait to snaffle my copy!

    Love and hugs




  2. brendat59
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 11:48:58

    Great post Shelleyrae 🙂 I loved Red Sand Sunrise! Beautifully written Fiona, I found it an unputdownable read 🙂



  3. AnneGracie
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 14:50:36

    Loved the blog post, Fiona — have read most of those books, except the Ilona Andrews — and have one of them here. Three Weeks with lady X is my favourite Eloisa James novel now, outing her When Beauty Tamed the Beast.

    And having been lucky enough to read Red Sand Sunrise in its draft form, I can tell people they’re in for a fabulous read. 🙂



  4. Trackback: Review: Red Sand Sunrise by Fiona McArthur | book'd out
  5. mysm2000
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 22:49:00

    I’m not really into Kindle (yet?) but some of these titles sound really interesting. Thanks for sharing!



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