Welcome back to another blog tour. Not just a blog tour but one with an excerpt, and we all know how reading before buying is something us book lovers love to do. I could write a hundred words for this but I won't, I'll just let you read it.
A heart-warming, poignant and engaging tale about the doctors, nurses and patients of the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital, and their friends and neighbours.
A Country Practice follows the dramas, loves, secrets and dilemmas of the people in an Australian small country town. There is romance, humour and tragedy for the medical staff of the local hospital, and the rural community it serves.
A desperate woman arrives at the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital in the final stages of labour. Can Dr Terence Elliott overcome his demons to save both mother and baby?
Simon Bowen, the newest doctor in town, is frustrated at being seen as an outsider by the tight knit country people. Will he succeed in winning them around ‒ especially young vet Vicky Dean?
Vicky’s mum, Sister Shirley Dean, is courted by widowed police sergeant Frank Gilroy. But is he the man for her?
Young married couple, Brendan and Molly Jones arrive in Wandin Valley. Are they prepared for the realities of country life?
Meanwhile, a teenager in love clashes with her father and a serious car accident reveals a surprising secret about two of the town’s residents.
Based on the award-winning, international hit television serial A Country Practice, this new series of novels follows the lives and loves of the rural community of Wandin Valley, South-Eastern Australia. Set in the early 1980s it is a nostalgic look at country life, yet with all the same joys and problems we face today.
Doctor Simon Bowen has his heart set on the local vet, Vicky Dean, but she isn’t so impressed! She’s a down-to-earth country girl, and thinks the wealthy young doctor from the city is a bit too big for his boots. But he’s willing to try anything to spend some time with her, including borrowing a dog to take to her vet’s surgery!
As Elaine left she passed Simon Bowen dragging the sheepdog in through the front door. She rather liked young Dr Bowen. She sensed his frustrations with this small town only too well and understood them even better.
‘Are they getting used to you yet?’
‘Not really, Elaine.’
‘It’ll happen,’ she said. ‘Patience.’
They parted company and Vicky called Simon in.
‘Good evening,’ he said brightly, ‘I think I’m the last.’
‘Dr Bowen. How nice.’
Simon tried to haul the dog in behind him. ‘I’ve got a bit of a problem with my dog. With Butch.’
‘What is it?’
‘He doesn’t want to come in.’ He pulled hard on the lead again. The dog edged into the room.
Vicky gave him the once over. ‘That’s your dog.’ It wasn’t really a question. More a statement of disbelief.
Simon already knew he was losing but he wasn’t ready to give up. ‘Yeah. And he wants you to come out to dinner tonight. Just the three of us.’
When Vicky had stopped laughing she suggested that Butch could do with a good wash and Simon might like to help. This was not what Simon had had in mind but he could see no way out of it.
‘You might like to borrow an apron, that’s a nice suit. Italian?’
Vicky just smiled and lathered Butch up.
‘There’s something wrong with Italian suits?’
‘Not at all. Very smart.’
Not what she said, Simon thought, but the way she said it. They got on with washing Butch, or rather Vicky did while Simon held him.
‘So what about dinner? Just between friends?’
‘I’m not sure it’s such a good idea, Dr. Bowen.’
‘What’s this “Doctor Bowen” thing? And tell me what I have to do?’
Vicky ignored the question. ‘How long have you had Butch?’
‘Oh, years and years.’
Simon gave up. ‘Alright, yes I am. He belongs to an acquaintance.’
Vicky grinned. ‘I know. Butch and I are old mates.’
Simon threw his hands in the air. ‘I had to do something to get your attention!’
‘Accept it. You’re not my type.’
‘You barely know me!’
‘Poor little rich boy, isn’t that you? Never took anything seriously in your life.’
‘Oh, I see, a bit of class warfare. I was born with a silver spoon through no fault of my own and that’s no good for a working country girl.’
‘You said it.’
‘It wasn’t that easy, you know. Imagine having a father and a grandfather who were both famous surgeons and you can’t even manage to graduate in the top ten percent! So you end up sharing a practice in some hick country town …!’
Vicky somehow stayed calm but a distinct chill descended. ‘You’d better go. I’ll finish Butch off.’ Simon stalked to the door then thought better of retreat.
‘No,’ he said. ‘You’re quite wrong about me. I do think it’s a hick town but that doesn’t mean the people aren’t nice. And it doesn’t mean I don’t take them seriously. I also worry that no-one accepts me here, that they all rush to judgement on what sort of person I am.’
‘You haven’t been here long.’
‘Four months. It’ll still be the same in four years. Drop Butch back for me, would you, he doesn’t like me either. Just send me the bill.’ He strode to the door and was nearly through it before Vicky relented.
He turned and she chucked him the towel. ‘You finish Butch off and I’ll get us a drink. But friends. Nothing else.’
‘If that’s what you want.’
‘It is.’ Simon gave her a grin and hid his disappointment. At least it was a start.
Judith Colquhoun was born in Queensland and grew up in Sydney. She studied production at the National Institute of Dramatic Art and soon after graduating, love and a job took her to Melbourne. Later, she lived in London for a time, spent many years in country Victoria and long enough in Italy to fall in love with the Mezzogiorno. She is now back in Melbourne and may even stay there.
She started writing when she was six and from the age of twenty-three has always earned her living from it in one way or another. She was a scriptwriter for far too long, writing countless hours of television for many of Australia’s most popular shows, including Neighbours and Home & Away. Her output included one hundred episodes of A Country Practice.
Judith has worked as an editor and script producer, and in Italy was a script consultant on the serial Un Posto Al Sole. She has won five Awgie Awards and in 2007 was made a Life Member of the Australian Writers’ Guild.
In 2009 she finally gave up scriptwriting to attempt a novel. Thicker Than Water, which is largely set in southern Italy, was published in 2014. It was Highly Commended in the Fellowship of Australian Writers 2014 National Literary Awards.
She has written three novels based on the stories and characters of A Country Practice – New Beginnings, To Everything a Season and Silver Linings.
Judith is married with two children and three grandchildren.