Want to Read: The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks: Life and Death Under Soviet Rule by Igort and Jamie Richards (Translator)

This book looks fascinating (in a horrible way). When the word “genocide” is mentioned in relation to the 20th century, people think of the Holocaust, and very occasionally of Rwanda. What they never remember is the genocides committed in the name of communism, such as Stalin’s genocides in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and the genocide in Cambodia.

The book is also a look at the atrocities being committed by Putin in (and outside) present-day Russia.

This looks to be an important read.

The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks Life and Death Under Soviet Rule by Igort and Jamie Richards (Translator)

The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks: Life and Death Under Soviet Rule by Igort and Jamie Richards (Translator)

Written and illustrated by an award-winning artist and translated into English for the first time, Igort’s The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks is a collection of two harrowing works of graphic nonfiction about life under Russian foreign rule.

After spending two years in Ukraine and Russia, collecting the stories of the survivors and witnesses to Soviet rule, masterful Italian graphic novelist Igort was compelled to illuminate two shadowy moments in recent history: the Ukraine famine and the assassination of a Russian journalist. Now he brings those stories to new life with in-depth reporting and deep compassion.

In The Russian Notebooks, Igort investigates the murder of award-winning journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkoyskaya. Anna spoke out frequently against the Second Chechen War, criticising Vladimir Putin. For her work, she was detained, poisoned, and ultimately murdered. Igort follows in her tracks, detailing Anna’s assassination and the stories of abuse, murder, abduction, and torture that Russia was so desperate to censor. In The Ukrainian Notebooks, Igort reaches further back in history and illustrates the events of the 1932 Holodomor. Little known outside of Ukraine, the Holodomor was a government-sanctioned famine, a peacetime atrocity during Stalin’s rule that killed anywhere from 1.8 to twelve million ethnic Ukrainians. Told through interviews with the people who lived through it, Igort paints a harrowing picture of hunger and cruelty under Soviet rule.

With elegant brush strokes and a stark color palette, Igort has transcribed the words and emotions of his subjects, revealing their intelligence, humanity, and honesty—and exposing the secret world of the former USSR.

The Week: 4th – 10th November

Friday afternoon writing view Sonya Heaney Author Coke Cat Coffee Canberra Australia Book 8th November 2019

Friday afternoon writing view: Coke, cat, coffee, Lisa Kleypas book – and the table runner bunched up because a certain grey feline likes to attack it …

My oh-so neat, easy-to-understand, high-tech way of plotting a book! Sonya Heaney Author Historical Romance 7th November 2019

I’m working on a new book! And my plotting process is a mess! This comes after sending my next book off to my editor at the start of the week.

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Remember (2019 Westcott series #7) A novel by Mary Balogh

Premiere Date for Virgin River

Cover Love

The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

Premiere Date for Virgin River

Virgin River TV Series

The premiere of the Netflix adaptation of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River books is the 6th of December.

I’m sorry, but even though I think the Mel actress looks great, every time I see this guy as Jack I think he looks worse (and worse and worse). So much for Mr Crew Cut Marine! On the other hand, I do really like the actor in other things, so I’ll reserve judgement until I actually see him acting the part. My biggest casting surprise ever was with someone I thought was HORRIBLE for a role, and then I loved them when I saw them perform onstage.

There have been some major changes to other characters from the books. I anticipated a lot of the alterations (e.g. some much-needed diversity, though I never thought they’d age Paige and Preacher by 15-20 years!). We’ll see how ardent fans react …

#Amwriting!

Here’s how my day is going: this is my oh-so neat, easy-to-understand, high-tech way of plotting a book! A printer, scissors and sticky tape; what more do you need?!

I’m actually really excited about this book. It’s not for my current series, and it’s going to be BIGGER in many ways. It’s also not going to be seen by anyone outside my publisher for a long time. (If you couldn’t tell by this mess …)

My oh-so neat, easy-to-understand, high-tech way of plotting a book! Sonya Heaney Author Historical Romance 7th November 2019

Cover Love

Christian historical romance continues to come up with innovative cover ideas!

The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

The Earl’s Betrothal by Karen Tuft

Out of the war and into another, Captain Lord Anthony Hargreaves finds the politics of romance to be as uninviting a battle as the one that nearly cost him his life in Badajoz, Spain.

Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he’s not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony’s dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly sends Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother’s stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.

But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?

Release Day for Mary Balogh

I’m really excited about this, the seventh book in Mary Balogh’s Westcott family series. Someone to Remember must be close to a first from a major publisher of historical romance: the characters are in their fifties.

Balogh has been doing some amazing things with her current series.

Here are the US and UK/international covers:

Someone to Remember (2019 Westcott series #7) A novel by Mary Balogh

Someone to Remember (2019 (The seventh book in the Westcott series) A novel by Mary Balogh

And here’s what the book is about:

It’s never too late to fall in love in this enchanting new novella in the Westcott series from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh.

Matilda Westcott has spent her life tending to the needs of her mother, the Dowager Countess of Riverdale, never questioning the life of solitude she has spun for herself. To Matilda, who considers herself the ageing spinster daughter, marriage is laughable–love is a game for the young, after all. But her modest, quiet life of order unravels when a dashing gentleman from her past reappears, threatening to charm his way into her heart yet again.

Charles Sawyer, Viscount Dirkson, does not expect to see Matilda Westcott thirty-six years after their failed romance. Moreover, he does not expect decades-old feelings to emerge at the very sight of her. When encountering Matilda at a dinner hosted by the Earl of Riverdale, he finds himself as fascinated by her as he was the first day they met, and wonders if, after all these years, they have a chance at happiness together. Charles is determined to crack the hard exterior Matilda has built for over three decades or risk losing her once again…

Book = Sent!

One year after submitting The Landowner’s Secret to the publisher I eventually sold it to, I sent off edits for my next book this morning.

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

It was a marathon to get it done (hence this neglected blog!). I started work at 11pm last night and worked through to 9am without a break. Now I’m sort of wandering around the house, sending random emails and eating biscuits!

It’s 1:45pm here on Monday afternoon and I’m starting to get tired. What a strange way to start the week!

Recently Reread: Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

When Elizabeth Middleton, twenty-nine years old and unmarried, leaves her Aunt Merriweather’s comfortable English estate to join her father and brother in the remote mountain village of Paradise on the edge of the New York wilderness, she does so with a strong will and an unwavering purpose: to teach school. It is December of 1792 when she arrives in a cold climate unlike any she has ever experienced. And she meets a man different from any she has ever encountered — a white man dressed like a Native American, tall and lean and unsettling in his blunt honesty. He is Nathaniel Bonner, also know to the Mohawk people as Between-Two-Lives.

Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

As someone who had a very healthy(!) obsession with The Last of the Mohicans after the movie came out, it felt like Christmas morning when – years ago – my aunt handed me her copy of a book she’d just read: Into the Wilderness.

It was like reading the movie, but the – lengthy – book gave me so many more hours of entertainment. I remember not being able to put it down, to the extent I completely stopped studying for my university exams so that I could finish it!

The good thing about putting a book aside for a few years before picking it up again is that so much of it feels new during a reread. I enjoyed it just as much this time round.

Author Sara Donati has done some incredible research to recreate Georgian-era colonial America, especially when it comes to the Native American characters and cultures. The wild setting means the book is one big adventure from start to finish, an adventure we see through the eyes of the English heroine, for whom the world she now lives in is as new as it is for the reader.

Book Feature: Her Outback Surprise by Annie Seaton

Note: I am featuring some of the review books I’ve had for a while, but run out of time to do a review for. That’s not to say I’m not going to read them; it’s just that I’ve fallen behind, and think the authors deserve an appearance here!

her outback surprise by annie seaton

Her Outback Surprise by Annie Seaton

Angie Edmonds is content with life in her small town. Being alone doesn’t bother her. Really. Until Liam Smythe, the man who broke her heart, shows up at her vet clinic with an injured puppy. Unfortunately, he’s just as irresistible as she remembers. In an attempt to prove to him that she’s moved on, somehow a little white lie begins…

When Liam returns to help run the family farm, his enjoyment of the slow life in Spring Downs surprises him. After all, he’s used to the thrill of chasing the next big story. Running into the girl he’s never been able to forget is unexpected, and he’s shocked to learn she’s getting married–to someone who’s not him. She’s off-limits, but Liam can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous vet and what could have been. But convincing her he’s changed will be harder than finding a needle in a haystack.