Happy 20th Birthday to Notting Hill!

NottingHillRobertsGrant Movie Poster

Iconic romantic comedy movie Notting Hill had its premiere in the United Kingdom on the 21st of May, 1999.

I moved to Notting Hill – the real place in London – in 2001, and the movie’s impact was everywhere. I’d be heading off to the laundrette with bags of washing, only to run into American tourists (and their long-suffering boyfriends!) searching my street for “Hugh Grant’s blue door”. While Portobello Road Market was always popular, things had got totally out of control, and they’d started assigning police officers to the exit of Notting Hill Gate Tube station to do some crowd control, and to help lost tourists with directions.

I’m not much of a romantic comedy movie viewer, but this one is special to me.

Eurovision

I’m not planning on watching Eurovision this year, but seeing as it’s Eurovision weekend (as well as election weekend in Australia!), here’s the best performance in the whole history of the competition: Ukraine’s Verka Serduchka in 2007.

The event took place in Helsinki, Finland that year, and I was actually in the city with my brother at the time. We are in the footage they broadcast from the city’s main square.

 

Oh, Sri Lanka…

Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo

I’m sorry that this is supposed to be a book blog, but it has recently become a blog about so many other things.

However, I just CAN’T ignore the terror attacks in Sri Lanka today – Easter Sunday.

I’ve lost count of how many Sri Lankan stamps I have in my passports, but there are MANY. I used to stay there before and after every trip I made to India to visit my parents (they used to live there).

Sri Lankans are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Even when the civil war was still on, and there were sandbags and machine guns everywhere, and the airport staff raided your suitcases before they even let you into the building, they were always so nice about it.

I always tell this story, but one time I checked into a resort in Negombo (where over a hundred people were killed in the terror attacks), the elderly gardener saw me carrying a tiny bag up to my room, and came running to help.

I thought he’d want a tip, but by the time I’d got into my room, and turned around to tip him, he was long gone. He literally just wanted to help me. In the hotel world, this is not a normal experience…

Sri Lankans are just like this. Amazing people.

I am so upset about these attacks, and I’m so upset they won’t matter much according to the world’s news.

So: My Big News

Sonya Heaney Book Contract 2019

^^That’s Mine^^

This is what has been happening in my personal life over the past few months. It turns out there are a few people in the world who think my writing isn’t awful – in the space of a few days I received two offers from two publishers to write historical romance, but only a crazy person turns down Harlequin!

It was really stupid to wait so long before submitting anything. I finally got around to it at the end of last year, and by the end of February/beginning of March it was all happening, and now contracts have been signed, cover design information has been submitted etc. I know how lucky I am that it happened so fast.

This is why I am many, many, MANY months behind with my book reviews. I’ve been trying to get my own books written behind the scenes! I’ve hardly had any time to read.

I AM going to review my remaining ARCs (that aren’t exactly *Advance* Review Copies now!), but it’s going to be very unethical to keep reviewing historical romance books after that. I will continue to post HR book news, however.

After seven years, there’s no way I’m ending this blog, but I will be making some old posts private.

My new website is HERE (sonyaheaney.com), but it’s not properly designed yet. One thing at a time…

Oh, and I have a Facebook page, but there’s not much there yet, seeing as the first book is still in the editing stage!

 

So…

I accidentally got logged out of this blog earlier, and when I saw my site the way other people do, I was horrified!

The generated ads were awful! I had all these pictures of someone with a weird leg disease.

I’ve paid for an upgrade so that doesn’t happen anymore. Sorry!!

April Fools’ Day

It’s the first of April, which means April Fools’ Day. There’s one prank South Africa’s Kruger National Park pulled last year that has been driving me insane ever since, because millions of people around the world fell for it, and it’s still turning up in my social media feeds.

In fact, I saw it all over Facebook on the weekend – and someone had elaborated on the original (fake!) story:

The elephant carrying a lion cub.

This. Did. Not. Happen!

The folks at Kruger posted a story on their Twitter account last year. It was so farfetched, but few seemed to think that – or notice the date:

Elephant_side-view_Kruger april fool's day prank lioness cub kruger national park south africa 2017

Here is the original image (from Wikimedia Commons), which – yes – IS from Kruger National Park, but – NO! – does not include any tired lions needing elephant assistance!

800px-Elephant_side-view_Kruger april fool's day prank lioness cub kruger national park south africa 2017