Congratulations Fiona McArthur
on the release of
Heart of the Sky
Read an excerpt!
From the internationally bestselling author of The Homestead Girls and Red Sand Sunrise comes this heartfelt story of friendship, forgiveness and love.
A 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 …
Excerpt from Heart of the Sky by Fiona McArthur
Coffs Harbour. NSW
Tess Daley barely recognised the vibrant blonde grinning from her office door. The pen clattered on her desk as she stood up. ‘Sissy Garling?’
The blonde collided with Tess half way across the room, laughed, and as they stepped back Tess shook her head. ‘You look like a million dollars!’
My word she did, Tess thought. The last time Tess had seen Sissy she’d been drawn, thin, and her beautiful swathe of hair had fallen out beneath the white turban. Same smile though. The thought brought a beam of pure happiness to Tess and she hadn’t felt that for a long while.
‘Just come from Beauty and Hair.’ Sissy twirled and brushed the glorious wave of blonde off her sun-browned forehead. ‘After travelling in a motor home for almost a year I needed a good grease and oil change to celebrate coming home.’
A year. Tess’s frozen heart lurched as she remembered that Sissy belonged to her old life. Had waved goodbye on her recovery mission with her husband in their Winnebago after her last visit to Tess.
Sissy conjured a gift from her bag and dramatically slapped it on Tess’s desk. ‘I’ve brought you a calendar. Our last big stop was Broken Hill. Love that place. We’re going back. You and your husband should go.’
Tess stared at the glossy photograph of the white RFDS aircraft against a red paddock. Saw the patient on the stretcher. Felt the crack in the wall she’d so successfully soldiered on behind for all this time and wondered if she’d actually fall to the floor. She put her hand out and leant on the desk and swallowed. For the first time she wondered if this pretending to be alive thing was working?
Then she heard her own voice. As if nothing had happened. Could even feel her mouth pull into that smile she hid behind every day. ‘Gorgeous. Thank you. And how is Stan? How was the holiday.’
Sissy enthused and laughed and Tess heard her as if at the end of a long tunnel. Eventually she stopped talking. Sissy waved and left and Tess felt as if she were pushing through jelly as she made her way to the door and pushed it shut.
It had been a Friday then as well.
On Fridays, Victor would bring home gourmet pizza and a bottle of Margaret River red and they’d feast and maybe watch an episode of that Scottish historical. Vic would tease, and say she had the hots for the hero, when they both knew she had the hots for Vic. Afterwards she’d snuggle into the luxurious sheets Vic insisted on while he’d leave her to mark his papers for the university, and promise to shut the blinds before he came to bed again.
If she shut her eyes she could still see the police car parked outside her house and the officer climb out that fateful Friday. Behind the closed door in her office her heart began to thump loudly in her chest. She didn’t think she could do the first anniversary in this town where every corner seemed to hold a memory of her and Vic.
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