Monday Thoughts

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I got a bit mad in the comments of a few blog posts in the past week, but I can’t take it back now!

Basically, I’m a little bit frustrated with the power bestselling authors have over their readers, and that certain authors post some absolute nonsense online – with no facts to back their stories up – and everyone believes them. One blog I’ve been following for years posts lengthy history posts a few times a week, and not once have they ever provided a link to show their posts are based in fact.

Please, if you’re posting something that will get your readers commenting: ‘Wow! I never knew that! Thanks for sharing!’…?

Then, please, please link to at least one thing to prove what you’re saying is true.

We live in the age of Trump, Putin, and far-right Facebook memes. Everyone (including me) can and should do better.

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Royal Wedding

12 October 2018 Newlyweds Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank leave following their wedding at St George_s Chapel in Windsor, England. © Getty Images +

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I’m no royal watcher, and have no interest whatsoever in the Harry-and-Meghan show, but I did watch the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Friday night (Australian time), and loved every minute of it.

Firstly: how beautiful did everybody look! All those gorgeous jewel colours, all that sapphire blue and emerald green (and those gigantic actual emeralds in the tiara!).

Secondly: this wedding was seriously romantic. Give me the goofy groom who can’t stop crying, looks like he’s going to faint half the time, and then puts the dorkiest glasses in the world on to watch his bride come down the aisle over the other royal grooms any day!

I doubt the dorky-English-groom trope is ever going to take off in romantic fiction, but it ought to.

My other favourite royal wedding was when (Australian) Mary Donaldson married the Crown Prince of Denmark, because he cried through that one, too!

1 Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack Brooksbank curtesy to The Queen as they leave St George_s Chapel in Windsor Castle following their wedding. 12 October 20182 Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack Brooksbank curtesy to The Queen as they leave St George_s Chapel in Windsor Castle following their wedding. 12 October 2018

Bowing to the Queen

And, thirdly, this was such a royal wedding, with all the beauty and class and traditions. Windsor looked absolutely gorgeous.

And boo to the downright rude Australian journalists who devoted their entire time covering the wedding to insulting Eugenie, her sister, her parents, and comparing it to the last one! Thank God the Royal Family has an official YouTube channel, and thank God they had a gorgeous livestream, sans terrible commentators!

The Week: 8th – 14th October

Sunny spring days in Canberra.

This week started out gorgeous, had some weird weather in the middle, and involved a trip to the city to pick up my passport for my next trip!

Plus, there was a gorgeous (and very sweet) royal wedding to watch on Friday night (our time). I’m not into the royals usually, but this one…

How is October already half over? It’s nearly time to start thinking about Christmas!

Most of my posts this week were about sexual assault, and how the topic is handled (or dismissed in some quarters) in romance publishing. I’m utterly disgusted by recent events in the United States, and by how these things have an effect on women the world over.

Romance authors, misogyny, and conservative conversations about men.

Russian Orthodoxy – GONE!

China…

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Easy by Tammara Webber

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Breaking the Silence by Katie Allen

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Breakable by Tammara Webber

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

No, I’m not American, but the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Brett Kavanaugh – and the subsequent misogynistic victim-blaming movement emerging out of it – is reverberating around the world.

So, I’ve moved all my scheduled posts for the week, and instead will be recommending some books that deal with the reality of what women are up against when it comes to sexual harassment and assault.

Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

Whispering Rock (Virgin River #3) by Robyn Carr

A decorated U.S. Marine reservist, LAPD officer Mike Valenzuela was badly wounded in the line of duty, but has found hope and healing in Virgin River. When he agrees to become the town’s first cop, he does so knowing it’s time he settled down. Twice divorced and the lover of too many women, he secretly longs for the kind of commitment and happiness his marine buddies have found—a woman who can tie up his heart forever.

He finds that woman in Brie Sheridan, a Sacramento prosecutor who understands his drive to protect and serve. Virgin River becomes a safe haven for Brie after nearly losing her life at the hands of a crazed criminal. Though tough and courageous, she’s got some fears she can’t escape—but now she has someone who will show her just what it means to trust again. Mike will do anything to help Brie free herself from painful memories. Passionate, strong and gentle, he vows to give back to her what she’s so selflessly given him—her heart, and with it, a new beginning.

Russian Orthodoxy – GONE!

ANDRIY BARANSKYY

The Lavra in Kyiv

In a centuries’ overdue move, and one that is going to lead to more Russian aggression in Ukraine, the Constantinople Patriarchate approved Ukraine’s split from the Russian Orthodox Church overnight. It is being called the biggest split in all of Christianity in a thousand years.

Russian Orthodoxy was forced on Ukrainians over several centuries, finishing with the forced conversion of my family’s Ukrainian Catholic villages in the west of the country when Churchill gifted the country to Stalin after the Second World War (thanks for that, Winston!).

What will happen now? Well, in anticipation of this move, the Russian military has already stepped up attacks in Ukraine’s east, with people being killed in record numbers again. It has to be understood that Russia’s Church – in the past decade or so – has become a weaponised political party that effectively runs the country, behind only Vladimir Putin.

Additionally, experts are predicting staged attacks on Russian churches, so that Putin can blame them on “fascist Ukrainians”, and attack and invade even more.

What I’m worried about is attacks on the thousand-year-old Orthodox monasteries and cathedrals in Ukraine, such as the Lavra complex in Kyiv. I sure hope they’ve stepped up security at those locations.

This move removes a major aspect of Russian colonialism from Ukraine.

I’m not sure why Russia never comes up alongside the likes of France and Britain and Spain in discussions about colonialism and cultural appropriation (because people think Russia is romantic?). The Russians were just as brutal as anybody else (see the Holodomor). And – unlike other nations – their behaviour is ongoing (see the annexation of Crimea, the invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine, the ongoing invasion and occupation of one-fifth of Georgia, and the illegal occupation of Moldova).

The next few weeks are going to be chaotic for Eastern Europe.

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Breakable by Tammara Webber

No, I’m not American, but the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Brett Kavanaugh – and the subsequent misogynistic victim-blaming movement emerging out of it – is reverberating around the world.

So, I’ve moved all my scheduled posts for the week, and instead will be recommending some books that deal with the reality of what women are up against when it comes to sexual harassment and assault.

Breakable by Tammara Webber

Breakable (Contours of the Heart, #2) by Tammara Webber

Breakable is a retelling of Easy. Here is the blurb for Easy:

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life. Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night – but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound. When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

No, I’m not American, but the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Brett Kavanaugh – and the subsequent misogynistic victim-blaming movement emerging out of it – is reverberating around the world.

So, I’ve moved all my scheduled posts for the week, and instead will be recommending some books that deal with the reality of what women are up against when it comes to sexual harassment and assault.

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is an urban fantasy series that – a few books in – begins to deal sensitively with the aftermath of sexual assault. There is a great deal more to the series than that storyline, but Briggs’ handling of that plot really impressed me.