The Week: 24th – 30th April

Gorgeous Friday afternoon in Canberra.

Autumn colours this week.

Autumn Flowers Garden Canberra Australia After the Rain Sonya Heaney 26th April 2017 Nature

After the rain. Wednesday afternoon. We have autumn flowers everywhere all of a sudden.

Autumn FINALLY hit us this week. So annoying that Tuesday – Anzac Day – was not a nice day, when we’d been having summer weather until now. We apparently had 38 000 people at the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra, thousands more than other cities with populations six or more times ours. Not a bad effort!

Christopher Heaney Australian Army Vietnam War 1968 1969 IMG_0078My father in Nui Dat (Vietnam) in the 1960s.

We went to lunch with my war veteran father, who’d been planning to march this year (he never does), but then changed his mind. The place we chose was almost completely booked out for a reunion of military intelligence people – so many men and women with their medals! My father impressed them, however. One actually commented he was a “real” veteran because of all the combat he’d seen.

On Saturday evening I went to buy some wine – and got asked for ID again (or “carded”, as I believe Americans say). Now, I’m closer to forty than thirty, and the legal drinking age here is eighteen. I first worked in a bar in the year 2000. Exactly what point in time are people going to stop asking me if I’m older than schoolchildren?! People keep saying: take it as a compliment. But… Especially when it’s a teenager at the cash register! I think: I am literally old enough to be your mother!

The bombed car on the back of a truck after the attack.

This week an American citizen was killed in a Russian car bomb in Ukraine. (RT News – the Kremlin’s English-language propaganda channel – was on the scene within three minutes of the bombing, because that’s NOT suspicious in any way!!). Whereas Donald Trump was all over Twitter about the American killed in the Westminster terror attack, calling him a hero and all of that, there was deafening silence from the US government over what was essentially a political assassination in Ukraine.

I guess the president only values some Americans…

My review of Blindsided (Men of Steele #3) by Gwen Hernandez

Anzac Day – Recommended Reads

Lisa Kleypas Interview

Vintage War Romance

Free read over at Harlequin

The Handmaid’s Tale Premieres

A note on something that happened last week.

Vintage War Romance

Tomorrow is the forty-second anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t all that long ago authors like Suzanne Brockmann were still using Vietnam veterans as their romantic heroes!

There’s an idea that romances from decades ago were all doctor/nurse, boss/secretary power plays, but I came across Vietnam Nurse the other day.

I actually think this one, from 1966 and now fifty-one years old, sounds interesting. I wish more authors were brave enough to use current events in their stories (most military books I’ve read recently have involved totally made-up situations).

Vietnam Nurse by Della Field released September 1966

Natalie Knight of the Navy Nurse Corps had come a long way from Oregon to the battle-torn plains and jungles of Vietnam. But it was a journey of love and devotion. She was looking for Tom, her Green Beret fiancé. He had been reported as missing, but Natalie did not give up hope. She knew that Tom, and hundreds like him, needed her…

The Week: 17th – 23rd April

Yesterday in Canberra

It is so gorgeous here at the moment. I have no idea why it’s still so warm, when we’re about two-thirds of the way through autumn. The autumn colours are really late this year. I can only find a handful of trees with autumn leaves – this is just a photograph from a set of steps on my street!

So, this happened this week. My mother was in the middle of it. Bizarrely, neither the police nor the media reported it for 2.5 days after it happened. Then they were “seeking witnesses”? It’s a bit late after all the witnesses have #1 – stopped checking the news, and #2 – forgotten all the important facts!

The-Christmas-Cowboy-Hero-by-Donna-Grant-300

When there are Christmas books already being advertised – and you’re still getting over Christmas!

I have something to say about trust in writers, bizarre attitudes to politics, and an author I respected watching a propaganda film and then calling a Putin ally “a hero of our generation”, but I need a day or two to get over my anger and incredulity first!

My review of The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #1) by Janna MacGregor

Not-So-Contemporary Romance: The Paradox of Disenfranchised Heroines

Coming Up for Anne Gracie

Because enough time has passed…??

Because enough time has passed…??

Two Lifetimes, One Love A Novel of Reincarnation. by Thea Thaxton

There have been a few books with a romance at the centre of them out recently that have been troubling me – books that involve a woman falling in love with a Nazi.

More than that, most of the books I’ve come across with this theme involve a romance between a Nazi and a JEWISH woman.

I’m… not really okay with this.

I’ve been getting the sense recently that people are viewing the Second World War as something that was so long ago it’s now okay to romanticise it. From the under-twenty-fives blogging on Tumblr who frequently mention that Hitler actually had some good ideas and was just a little misguided, to movies that focus on the Average Joe just trying to make ends meet in Nazi Germany – to the likes of Trump and Putin, I’m getting the sense people have started softening their attitudes towards the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s.

True, nobody ever holds Soviet Russia up for the scrutiny it deserves, a regime that killed million-for-million the same numbers as the Nazis. They’ve always got away with it, and there’s no shortage of books romanticising it.

However, two wrongs don’t make a right.

Perhaps I should read some of these books, and give them a chance before dismissing them straight off.

It’s just that I never thought I’d see romances and romantic women’s fiction with swastikas on the covers. I guess it’s a sign of our times it is so normalised now nobody asks any questions.