From the Shadows

The Australian War Memorial here in Canberra, (which is actually a big military museum, not just a “memorial”), currently has an exhibition about the Special Forces: From the Shadows. As Monday was a public holiday we thought we’d better go and see it before we forget and it closes!

When we arrived, the brand new Army recruits were on a visit from Kapooka, and lined up outside for a group photograph.

The first two images are from the Special Forces part. The third is from the Vietnam War section of the building (my father is a veteran, and there are exhibits dedicated specifically to where he lived in Vietnam, and to a major battle he fought).

The fourth photograph is the view down ANZAC Parade from the War Memorial entrance. You can’t see it, but at the end of the road is Lake Burley Griffin, and then Australian Parliament is in the background.

ANZAC Parade is the street where people honour Australia’s military, and where parades happen. Both sides of the street are lined with monuments to military events (e.g. the First and Second World Wars, Vietnam, and beyond).

Look at the spectacular blue sky! According to the national news, it was cloudy and raining in Canberra. Uh…

IMG_20180312_175846_799 From the Shadows Special Forces Exhibition Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces

IMG_20180312_180202_131 Vietnam War Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces

IMG_20180312_180445_236 Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces ANZAC Parade Parliament House


Next Lisa Kleypas Book

There’s no cover yet, but the fifth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series now has a blurb.

The book is about the daughter of the characters from The Devil in Winter.

Unfortunately, it isn’t due out until 2019!


Phoebe’s late husband Henry went to boarding school with West, who browbeat him and made his school years a misery. Now Henry is gone, and Phoebe is facing a new life as a widow with two very young sons. She’s about to move to the Clare estate in Sussex, but first she has to attend her brother’s wedding. And she’s dreading it—because her brother is marrying into the Ravenel family, and she’s just about to meet West, the man she’s loathed ever since childhood.

On this day: a Ballet Premiere



The romantic ballet La Sylphide premiered in Paris on the 12th of March, 1832. The ballet was created by Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni as a showcase for his ballerina daughter Marie, the dancer generally credited with being the first to ever dance en pointe.

As the original production was lost, French choreographer Pierre Lacotte used old records and images to recreate a new production for the Paris Opera in the 1970s.

This promotional photograph by Francette Levieux is from the revival. It features Michaël Denard as James and Ghislaine Thesmar in the title role. Thesmar is the wife of Lacotte.

The Week: 5th – 11th March

Sunny Autumn Afternoon Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 8th March 2018 Blue Sky Sunshine Garden Nature

Blue skies and sunshine for Canberra in autumn.

Another week, another lot of world news on repeat (Russian assassinations, American mass shootings, more political drama). It’s a long weekend here, with summer temperatures in the thirties predicted at least until next weekend. Yesterday was spent at the lake, and at some point this weekend we’re planning to finally get to the Special Forces exhibition at the Australian War Memorial.

At some point I have to get more reading done. I’m so behind with my review books!

My review of Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

Recommended Winter Sport Read

Treacherous Slopes by Terri Reed

Make A Date With Harlequin: Highlander

Harlequin Publishing Logo

ANU Library Update

Ruined books ANU's Chifley Library Canberra 2018

Happy International Women’s Day!

australian-suffragettes Australian suffragettes in London in 1911

Book Dress

Sylvie Facon has created a dress made from the spines of books 😍 Wow

Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

Make-Believe Marriage

When newborn twins are dropped on Charles Wanlass’s doorstep—along with a note begging him to protect them—he knows he needs help to give them a proper home. The only solution: entering a marriage of convenience with mail-order bride Willow Granger. But soon the handsome pastor longs for their make-believe family to become real…

Willow will do whatever it takes to keep her missing friend’s babies safe. She’s drawn to Charles’s steadfast caring and honesty, but she’s sure she doesn’t have the proper background or courage to ever be a worthy wife or mother. But as danger closes in, she and Charles will risk everything to face down their fears—and turn their temporary home into a lifetime of love.

Accidental Family (The Bachelors of Aspen Valley) by Lisa Bingham

A note about the cover: There are endless comments about how tiny this heroine compared to the hero. Not so much in this image!

This is a sweet little read, a little bit Christian, but mostly just an 1870s-set historical romance.

The book opens immediately on hero and heroine being forced to marry after they both claim ownership of abandoned newborn twins.

Now, this bit didn’t make much sense to me. They all live in close quarters, snowed in and trapped for the winter. And yet a woman we’re constantly told is tiny manages to convince everyone SHE was pregnant with twins? And nobody thought the babies might have belonged to the pregnant woman who was murdered? It made no sense to me.

There are a lot of characters, and we meet most of them right away. I assume this is a series that will be going for a while (or, at least until Harlequin discontinues the Love Inspired line at the end of this year).

This is one for fans of the Love Inspired (sweet, Christian) line.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 26th February – 4th March

The National Library of Australia in Canberra last night, on the first night of the Enlighten festival. It was a gorgeous night, and I have never seen crowds like this at the event before.

Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery near Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 28th February 2018 Blue Sky end of Summer

Visiting my grandparents’ graves on the last day of summer.

Kangaroos Queanbeyn Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 28th February 2018

Canberra’s kangaroo plague – a blurry picture from the car window!

Summer ended this week, but the temperatures haven’t dropped. Many people say autumn is the best season in Canberra – warm, but not too hot, and with all the autumn colours.

I cannot believe all the snow in Venice. this time a year ago we were sitting out in the piazzas in the sunshine, drinking wine. What a difference!

Russia Annexes Crimea Ukraine 2014 little-green-men russian special forces

This week marked the fourth anniversary of Russian Special Forces invading and overtaking Ukraine’s Crimea. Putin waited until his showcase event – the Sochi Olympics – was done, and then sent his troops in. Four years now, and the Crimean Tartars are experiencing the sort of persecution they suffered under Stalin, and the Russians are pulling down historic palaces on the peninsula.

My review of Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

50th Anniversary of Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet 1968

The Flooded Library

 The RUC at Turner was drenched in floodwater on Sunday Canberra Flood 25th February 2018

Release Day for Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas