Historicals in 2020

I randomly discovered my next book appearing in this article (linked below) today. Am I the only one who didn’t know they did a remake of West Side Story?

This is the first time I’ve been in a promotional piece where The Landowner’s Secret wasn’t the book featured. I feel a little sad that it’s time to move on to the next one!

The Artist's Secret (Brindabella Secrets #2) by Sonya Heaney

Love all things Historical? Here are the historical movies, TV shows and books we’re most looking forward to in 2020.

One Year

Today is the one-year anniversary of Harlequin making me an offer for the manuscript that would become The Landowner’s Secret. A lot has happened since then, and in that time I’ve worked on a number of other books. So much has changed in the past twelve months.

thumbnail_landownerssecret

Just in case you’re interested, here’s the book’s information again:

The Landowner’s Secret

New South Wales, 1885

When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.

It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.

What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.

Read the first two chapters.

HarperCollins AU US UK

Amazon AU US UK CA IN

The Artist’s Secret Cover!

I was waiting to get a file from my publisher before I put this up, but The Artist’s Secret, the second book in what is now named the Brindabella Secrets trilogy, has started to appear online for preorders, so I’m sharing it!
I LOVE this cover. It was supposed to be an orangey-red colour, but was changed to blue, and I couldn’t be happier. The scenery in the background looks just like the region the story is set.
I’ll share more preorder links in a few days, but the book’s page on romance.com.au links to Amazon etc.
So, here it is (and the blurb is beneath it):

The Artist's Secret (Brindabella Secrets #2) by Sonya Heaney

Despite their growing attraction, both Peter and Elizabeth have secrets that will come between them.
New South Wales, 1887

Peter Rowe’s life is in the city, but his soul is in Australia’s southern tablelands-a place he’s never seen. Taking the new land manager’s position on the thriving estate of Endmoor is the chance he needs to discover what happened to the family he has never met. What he doesn’t expect to find in the bush is his employer’s talented, beautiful sister.

Elizabeth Farrer’s world is changing rapidly. An artist whose work has begun to gain acclaim, her brother’s marriage has made her redundant in her own home and she intends to leave the country and make a life of her own. Her plans would take her far from her beloved New South Wales, but with the arrival of Endmoor’s newest employee-a man unlike any other she has met-she discovers there might just be a reason to stay right where she is.

Just as they conquer their most difficult obstacles, old prejudices rise up and threaten to keep them apart …

 

Final Days to Buy The Landowner’s Secret for $1.99

Readers in Australia and New Zealand! The Landowner’s Secret is on sale for only $1.99 until the end of the month!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

New South Wales, 1885
When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.
It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.
What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.

The Week: 10th – 16th February

I SO badly wanted to share my new book cover this week, but I’m still waiting on the high-quality, official version. It’s very, VERY pretty!

I was in two articles for Valentine’s Day:

We asked Romance Authors how they like to spend Valentine’s Day

Romance Authors give their Recommendations for Valentine’s Day Reads

Despite the world’s (and half of Australia’s) media reporting that all the fires in this country are now out, as of yesterday afternoon there were still twenty-four bushfires in my region.

Below is a map from a few hours ago. The grey bits with the blue fire symbols are fires (duh!). The little section with the green ambulance crosses is my city. And I live on the southern side!

It *is* much better, but I’m sick of hearing how great it is that this nightmare summer is over when I still have firefighting aircraft over my house day and night … “Contained” is good news, but “extinguished” would be much better.

20200215_174949

And now the Canberra region has had a landslide! What’s next?!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cover Love

Harlequin’s Free Reads

The Week: 3rd – 9th February

DC-10 American Water Bombing Air Tanker Canberra Bushfires Gowrie Tuggeranong Australia Sonya Heaney 3rd February 2020

Namadgi National Park Canberra Australia Bushfire Smoke Haze Canberra Australia Tuggeranong Sonya Oksana Heaney Afternoon 3rd February 2020 Smoke

A huge change in a couple of hours on Monday: the American DC-10 firefighting plane over my house just before the smoke hit – again.

Canberra Australia Bushfire Moon Sonya Heaney 3rd February 2020

And a bushfire-coloured moon on Monday night.

Big week! My mother’s birthday on Monday, and mine on Friday, and all the dramas of our endless fires and storms thrown in the middle.

This week I got my first look at the cover for The Artist’s Secret (I love it!), and I hunkered down and got to work finishing the third book, which doesn’t have a name yet.

I’ve appeared in a few articles in recent weeks.

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Chasing Cassandra Excerpt

Chasing Cassandra (Ravenels #6) (2020) (The sixth book in the Ravenels series) A novel by Lisa Kleypas US Cover 2019

My review of Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Cover Love

The Gentleman's Deception by Karen Tuft

Interviews Everywhere!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

HarperCollins website Romance.com.au has featured my books (and me!) in several articles in the last few weeks. And today – my birthday – I was happy to discover I was in *two* pieces, alongside a bunch of amazing authors.

Below are links to the three most recent pieces, and I’m due to be in two more in the next few weeks.

11 historical romances to read while you wait for Outlander season 5

We asked Romance Authors how they like to spend Valentine’s Day

Romance Authors give their Recommendations for Valentine’s Day Reads

For the last article I recommended Never Deny a Duke by Madeline Hunter – reviewed HERE.

January Roundup

Namadgi National Park Southern Canberra Tuggeranong Bushfire Brindabella Range Mountains Sonya Oksana Heaney Evening of 28th January 2020

Bushfire view from my back deck. Flames crossing the ridge.

I’ve avoided writing weekly summaries for a while now because so much has been happening, and Canberra has been hit by natural disaster after natural disaster (which have been routinely knocking out the internet). We’ve had two freak hailstorms that destroyed large parts of the city, and fire after fire after fire. My brother was trapped in Canberra Airport a few days ago, when a fire burnt into the city from the east.

It’s been frightening to spend the last few nights watching flames coming into our valley – and it brings back memories of the horrific firestorm that hit us in 2003.

IMG_20200125_083820_329

My apartment view in Brisbane.

I was also in Brisbane for a while – how strange to be in a part of Australia where there’s no evidence of fire when your own region is burning!

In Canberra we’ve had record-breaking, relentless heat, smoke, and waterbombers flying over the house all day and all night. Seeing the giant American DC-10 water tanker flying low over your house is surreal and scary.

EDIT. The DC-10 from Alabama flying over my house just before 3pm today:

Water Bombing Aeroplane Surveillance Namadgi Bushfire Smoke Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 29th January 2020

A plane dumping fire retardant flies over my house, back from the fires. It looks like the evening, but that’s the middle of the afternoon.

My local library is now an evacuation centre as a massive fire sweeps in towards Canberra. Today is expected to be catastrophic, and the army is door-knocking in my area to prepare people for what’s to come.

None of us know what’s going to happen over this weekend …

Currawong Bushfire Smoke Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 29th January 2020

The Landowner’s Secret for $1.99!

The Landowner's Secret Sonya Heaney Summer of Love Promotion

Summer of Love Promotion

SUMMER OF LOVE_1080X1080 - The Landowner's Secret Sonya Heaney Summer of Love Promotion

Writing Inspiration: Victorian Queanbeyan

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney. John Bull's Store, Queanbeyan Australia, c. 1883. From Queanbeyan–Palerang Libraries Historical Photos.

Happy 207th Birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, was published on the 28th of January 1813. Here is the front page from a first edition copy of the book.

My review of Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

Book Feature: The Perfect Wife by Katherine Scholes

the perfect wife by katherine scholes

Regency Ostriches

Lord Avery's Legacy by Allison Land

Writing Inspiration: Victorian Queanbeyan

Queanbeyan, New South Wales lies just over the state border from Canberra (about a fifteen-minute drive from where I live). It serves as inspiration for my town in my book, The Landowner’s Secret (on sale now!), which is set in the 1880s. (I don’t use the same place name, however.)

I’ve spent a lot of time in Queanbeyan over the years because I’ve always had family who lived there, and so I know the place very well. I was christened and made my first communion there, in the Ukrainian church my refugee grandfather helped to build. We also have a bit of a family tradition of Friday or weekend lunch at one of the old pubs in town.

However, being able to track down some images of the town from the Victorian era, of the buildings that the reckless developers pulled down in the 1970s, has been invaluable.

Here is John Bull’s Store, circa 1883:

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney. John Bull's Store, Queanbeyan Australia, c. 1883. From Queanbeyan–Palerang Libraries Historical Photos.

X

Here is the old post office, built between 1879 and 1880:

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney. Built 1879-80. Post office in Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia. From the Queanbeyan Museum.

X

And here is Monaro Street, which is still Queanbeyan’s main street, circa 1880. It’s a faded old photo, but I notice the town’s transformation over the 1880s, as the population grew and the railway arrived (in 1887), and I have tried to incorporate that into the series:

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney. Monaro Street, looking East, Queanbeyan c. 1880. From Queanbeyan–Palerang Libraries Historical Photos.

X

More images can be found on the book’s Pinterest board.

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

The Landowner’s Secret

New South Wales, 1885

When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.

It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.

What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.

Brisbane!

I’m in Brisbane for a few days. We were late arriving last night because – after Canberra Airport was closed the day before because it was surrounded by bushfires – yesterday planes from Sydney were diverted to Canberra because of a storm!

We flew around that storm on the way up to Queensland, and it was pretty spectacular sering all that lightning from the sky.

Here’s this morning’s view from my apartment.

IMG_20200125_083820_329