Skip to content

Guest blogger: Fiona Marsden

28 March 2021

Warm hearts in a cold country

For most of the world, Australia is portrayed as a place of sun and surf, or painted with the rich colours of the outback. The idea that it might snow and that frosts can be a daily occurrence in winters that boast a clear blue sky is often received with surprise.

I’ve lived on the Granite Belt in southern Queensland for two-thirds of my life and the outback for much of the rest. I’ve become used to beautiful frosty mornings and have experienced snow more often than you’d think for the Sunshine State.

The Granite Belt is on a plateau on the edge of the Great Dividing Range and has a different climate in every direction. It makes for a diverse and attractive region. Cattle properties to the east, sheep to the west, stone fruit and apples and the wineries and accompanying grape vines. It’s also home to several national parks with large stone monuments and rocky gorges. It’s a popular tourist destination, less than three hours from Brisbane.

No surprise that three local(ish) romance authors have chosen to make this the setting for rural romances with that cold country difference. Calling ourselves the Granite Belt Romance Writers, our group comprises emerging authors Dakota Harrison and myself, and new author Louisa Duval.

Dakota Harrison and I are working on a series for Tule set in the fictional town of Kurrajong Crossing, with many elements common to our hometown. Dakota has two books out so far and my first entry to the series will be released mid next year. My book features a country singer and a chef who were teenage sweethearts. Dakota’s next book has an amnesia plot, which I’m looking forward to. Working with her has been a great experience and we enjoyed ‘building’ our town together. It took me back to years ago, playing SimCity on the computer. I guess building imaginary places was always in my blood.

On 4 July this year, Escape is releasing my first book with them, a series starter set in the same region, but a smaller town. I had so much fun creating quite a different town, a lot smaller than Kurrajong Crossing, with its own history. A Matter of Trust is my take on a rural doctor and nurse romance with the complications of a small community and some untold history. It takes advantage of the climate, with a winter festival, and it may even snow. There is also a gossipy old lady called Beryl who is named after my husband’s aunt who passed away recently in her nineties. His aunt was much nicer of course.

The third member of our little group is Louisa Duval. Her first novella, Whisky and Sunshine, is set in Scotland (another cold country), but she’s also created a tiny little community called Ballydoon she used for a short story in the RWAus Sweet Treats anthology coming out in August 2021. I take total credit for her success, due to my encouragement to enter the competition. She is also planning to have a new book set in Ballydoon out later this year. In the meantime, if you sign up to her newsletter, she has Memories of Ash, a novella set in the same community, as a giveaway.

A writer’s life can often be a lonely one, sitting at a computer creating people and worlds. Having a writer’s group where you can collaborate and share the trials and tribulations makes a great difference. Our favourite part though, is seeing people enjoying our stories. Without our wonderful readers, it would be a case of screaming into the void. Thank you so much for your support.

You can find Fiona here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

A Matter of Trust

Twelve years is a long time to hide a secret … or two.

Forced from his self-imposed exile, Doctor Morgan Cavanaugh must face his demons and confront the girl he left behind. Becca Walters became a woman in that time with life altering revelations of her own.

Becca fought her way to respectability, but it came at a cost. With Morgan’s return she must face the consequences of long-ago decisions, made without his knowledge.

Together they have to face the past; in order to make a future.

A moving contemporary romance about facing past regrets and the search for belonging from a fabulous new talent. Perfect reading for anyone who loves Mandy Magro.

A Matter of Trust is now available on Amazon for pre-order but will be available on other sites closer to the release date of 4 July 2021. Find the pre-order links here.


  1. Jan VanEngen permalink
    29 March 2021 10:48 am

    Congrats on your achievements, Fiona.

  2. 28 March 2021 10:32 am

    What a lovely early morning read, Fiona. We have two of your books to look forward to this year – so exciting! Great to hear about Dakota and Louisa’s new books too.

  3. 28 March 2021 9:36 am

    Well done, Fiona.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: