Don’t Microwave Your Library Books!

Americans Microwaving Library Books Coronavirus Pandemic

Apparently people are microwaving their library books in an attempt to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

I can’t believe anybody needs to say this, but don’t microwave your library books!

“Temple Terrace and all Hillsborough County Library Cooperative libraries quarantine all materials for 72 hours after they are returned. Please do NOT attempt to microwave library materials as the RFID tags, located inside, will catch fire. Stay safe out there.”

The Landowner’s Secret in the Library

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Just a reminder that you can request your library to order in books that aren’t already in their catalogue. I requested an ebook version of The Landowner’s Secret for Libraries ACT and only just remembered to check if they’d bought it – they had!

There seem to be A LOT of stories about book piracy at the moment, but remember it costs nothing to join a library and you can have access to pretty much anything you want!

The Chilwell Disaster Anniversary

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War-__Q30023Women at work during the First World War- Munitions Production, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, England, UK, c 1917 1918 explosion disaster W

The factory in 1917.

Today is the 102nd anniversary of the Chilwell munitions factory explosion, when 134 people were killed and another 250 injured in England during the First World War.

Chilwell became known for its “Canary girls“, women who worked in dangerous conditions constructing TNT shells for the British military. Photographs of the women were used to promote the British war effort.

Women_at_work_during_the_First_World_War-__Q30023Women at work during the First World War- Munitions Production, Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, England, UK, c 1917 1918 explosion disaster W


Eight tons of TNT blew up in the disaster, and the explosion was heard twenty miles away. Because so few victims were identified a mass grave now stands nearby.

The site of the factory became a military installation, which will close in 2021.

Cover Love

Got to love this wonderful, atmospheric cover for the latest Victorian mystery from Tessa Harris!


The streets of Victorian London are clothed in shadows and secrets in Tessa Harris’s gripping new mystery featuring flower seller Constance Piper …
London, July 1889. Eight months have passed since the horrific murder of Mary Jane Kelly. The residents of Whitechapel have begun breathing easy again—daring to leave windows open and walk about at twilight. But when old Alice McKenzie is found dead, throat slashed from ear to ear, the whispers begin once more: Jack the Ripper is back.
Constance Piper, a flower seller with a psychic gift, was a friend to both women. With the supernatural help of her late mentor, Miss Emily Tindall, and her more grounded ally, police detective Thaddeus Hawkins, she uncovers links between the murders and a Fenian gang. The Fenians, committed to violence to further their goal of an independent Ireland, are also implicated in a vicious attack in which the Countess of Kildane’s uncle was killed. Could the Whitechapel murders be a ruse to make the British police look helpless?
Soon, Constance is called upon for help. But there are spies everywhere in the city, and a bomb plot intended to incur devastating carnage. And as Constance is fast discovering, the greatest evil may not lurk in the grimy alleys of the East End, but in a conspiracy that runs from Whitechapel to the highest office in the land …

Goodbye, old friend.

Rest in peace, old laptop with your cracked screen and broken cable. You were ugly, but you had character, and congratulations on keeping all your keys until the very end.

I’m sure whatever documents I lost were rubbish anyway. 😂

The first and second books I sold to Harlequin were written on it.


Stealing books isn’t a basic human right!

There’s been a big drama in the publishing world recently, involving an “internet archive” that has been lending pirated books to readers:

The lawsuit, filed June 1, does not just object to the National Emergency Library but to the way Internet Archive has long operated. Traditional libraries pay publishers licensing fees, and agree to terms that restrict how many times they can lend an e-book. Internet Archive, by contrast, takes books that have been donated or purchased, scans them and posts them online.

Now they’ve finally been stopped the internet has exploded …

… with people who are FURIOUS they can’t get all their books for free. Well I’m also furious.



The outraged book pirates on Twitter are trying to frame this as a human rights issue. It’s not. Arguments like this are beyond selfish and stupid:

book piracy defenders 1

book piracy defenders 2

Supporting Local Bookshops

shop-front Books 'R' Us Tuggeranong HYperdome Canberra

I have always deliberately bought books from multiple sources, in an attempt to support multiple businesses. (Yes, I buy plenty of books from Amazon, too, but it’s SO important to support other sellers.)

Since this pandemic began I’ve been more aware of this than ever, but until a few days ago it didn’t even occur to me to check my local, family-owned bookshops to see if they sold online.

My mother bought a book at a private Canberra shop yesterday, and apparently they could do with some help. And, to my surprise, they have online shopping, and within an hour of me placing an order it had been sent.

If you’re in the south of Canberra, here’s a shop you can check out (in the picture above) before checking out the big retailers. If you go in person their range is HUGE – much bigger than their online offerings. However, there are places like this everywhere, so perhaps consider them next time!

No pubs, no kissing, no flying: how Covid-19 is forcing authors to change their novels

A few weeks ago a certain author who will remain unnamed (and forever on my “Do Not Read” list!) attacked me for suggesting the pandemic will have an effect on contemporary fiction. (Remember Covid-19? There’s so much going on now I’m worried a lot of people have forgotten.)

The author took particular exception with some of us suggesting contemporary romances might change, and that some authors and readers might struggle with the reality of books set “now” where everyone behaves like we did before the virus. The argument was that romance should NEVER reflect the real world and always be a total fantasy, which was one of the most breathtakingly narrow-minded things I’ve ever heard.

These days I’m regularly wondering how books set and released a year or two from now will fare. At this point we have no idea how or when things like international travel will resume or work. It’s a very uncertain future at the moment.

And so it was with a lot of interest that I read this article in The Guardian:

No pubs, no kissing, no flying: how Covid-19 is forcing authors to change their novels

It seems that upcoming books have *already* been pulled or rewritten to take into account what’s happening.

Here’s one of the quotes I found interesting, but the whole piece is worth a read:

“I’m trying to work out where we might be. Might there be a vaccine? Will getting on a plane feel wildly anachronistic? Will journalists working from an office seem weird? How interesting can a book actually be when everyone is sitting in their sitting room in their pyjamas?” Watt asks. “It feels odd to be writing about people hopping on trains or popping to the pub, but focusing on Covid might make it date hideously. But if you don’t mention it, it is the massive elephant in the room.”