The Landowner’s Secret in the Library

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Just a reminder that you can request your library to order in books that aren’t already in their catalogue. I requested an ebook version of The Landowner’s Secret for Libraries ACT and only just remembered to check if they’d bought it – they had!

There seem to be A LOT of stories about book piracy at the moment, but remember it costs nothing to join a library and you can have access to pretty much anything you want!

No pubs, no kissing, no flying: how Covid-19 is forcing authors to change their novels

A few weeks ago a certain author who will remain unnamed (and forever on my “Do Not Read” list!) attacked me for suggesting the pandemic will have an effect on contemporary fiction. (Remember Covid-19? There’s so much going on now I’m worried a lot of people have forgotten.)

The author took particular exception with some of us suggesting contemporary romances might change, and that some authors and readers might struggle with the reality of books set “now” where everyone behaves like we did before the virus. The argument was that romance should NEVER reflect the real world and always be a total fantasy, which was one of the most breathtakingly narrow-minded things I’ve ever heard.

These days I’m regularly wondering how books set and released a year or two from now will fare. At this point we have no idea how or when things like international travel will resume or work. It’s a very uncertain future at the moment.

And so it was with a lot of interest that I read this article in The Guardian:

No pubs, no kissing, no flying: how Covid-19 is forcing authors to change their novels

It seems that upcoming books have *already* been pulled or rewritten to take into account what’s happening.

Here’s one of the quotes I found interesting, but the whole piece is worth a read:

“I’m trying to work out where we might be. Might there be a vaccine? Will getting on a plane feel wildly anachronistic? Will journalists working from an office seem weird? How interesting can a book actually be when everyone is sitting in their sitting room in their pyjamas?” Watt asks. “It feels odd to be writing about people hopping on trains or popping to the pub, but focusing on Covid might make it date hideously. But if you don’t mention it, it is the massive elephant in the room.”

Cover Love

I really do love the Australian/UK covers for historical romances. Pretty clothes and less nudity!

The book’s blurb is beneath the image.

What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1) by Lenora Bell

Wanted: Governess for duke’s unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won’t be quite so easy to control. And there’s something else she can’t seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she’s the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

Final Weekend of the Sale!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Just a reminder that The Landowner’s Secret is $1.99 in Australia and New Zealand until the end of this weekend.

Kindle Australia

Kobo Australia

Kobo New Zealand

Read the first two chapters.

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 Landowner’s Secret is still only $1.99!

Just a reminder that readers in Australia and New Zealand can buy The Landowner’s Secret (Brindabella Secrets book #1) for only $1.99 on Kindle and Kobo (AU/NZ) until the end of the month!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Read the first two chapters.

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.

 

Rereading Old Favourites

Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry

I know I’m not the only one who’s been rereading a lot of favourite books in the past few, pandemic-stricken months.

One book I picked up (well, opened on my Kindle!) is Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry, which was published ten years ago, and which is the book that convinced me to read more category romances.

The book is due to be rereleased in a few months.

A recent discussion amongst authors showed the general consensus is the Superromance line was amazing and should never have been discontinued. Australian author Mayberry and Kiwi author Karina Bliss were two of my absolute favourites, writing realistic, complicated characters.

Her Best Friend is about a woman who stayed in her hometown to pursue her dream of buying and restoring an Art Deco theatre. It used to belong to her family and is now under threat from developers. Amy has been in love with her best friend for sixteen years, but he married another woman from town and moved away to live in the city and have a big, flashy legal career.

Cue angst!

What makes this book stand out is how real the characters feel – from their conversations to their choices to their mistakes. I’ve read more books than I can count, but this one still resonates with me.

My only complaint: how heavily the editors Americanised the language and terminology. There’re a lot of words (and systems of measurement!) we don’t use here!

Writing Inspiration: Victorian Queanbeyan

The Landowner's Secret and The Artist's Secret by Sonya Heaney Brindabella Secrets Series Covers

Thanks to Nichole Overall, an author and historian of the Canberra and Queanbeyan region, I’ve finally seen a Victorian-era photograph of The Dog and Stile, the pub that is in the background of my Brindabella Secrets series (book one is currently on sale for $1.99 for readers in Australia and New Zealand!).

The Dog & Stile Inn of 1841, oldest surviving building in Queanbeyan (officially that's The Oaks of 1838 in Oaks Estate, now Canberra), on Macquoid St (named for Supreme Court Sheriff Thomas Macquoid owner of Tuggeranong H

The photograph is from the mid-1800s, and the building still stands in Queanbeyan, New South Wales (but no longer operates as a public house). You can see what it looks like now at the link to Nichole’s account.

Mary Balogh Series Information

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All right, so I’m VERY late to this party, but during one of my procrastination sessions yesterday afternoon I came across a blog post from Regency romance author Mary Balogh that explains in quite a lot of detail what is going on with her current Westcott family series, and her plans for future books. It also explains her motivation behind the novella she published last year.

(On a side note, the model on this cover looks a bit like the woman on my cover for The Artist’s Secret!)

I thought it was an interesting read for Balogh fans.

You can read the post HERE.