Love & Desire at the National Gallery

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Canberrans are so lucky to have the National Gallery of Australia. It’s one of the best galleries you’ll find anywhere, and we have some of the best special exhibitions.

At the moment, that special exhibition is Love & Desire – a collection of many of the world’s most famous Pre-Raphaelite works, visiting Canberra from all over (but mostly from the Tate Britain) for several months. We went to see it on Sunday, (and then we walked along the lake to the National Library for lunch on the terrace – it’s still really warm, considering it is mid-autumn here, as in summer-dress warm).

Something I didn’t learn until yesterday was how much William Morris stuff the gallery here actually owns.

Also, it was great to see some of the most famous Ballet Russes costumes out of storage and on display on the way in (we had the common sense to buy them all up before anybody else in the world realised their value. Now, if you want to see – say – Nijinsky’s most famous costumes, you have to come to Canberra!).

Here are a few of the famous works in the exhibition:

John William Waterhouse The Lady of Shalott 1888

John William Waterhouse The Lady of Shalott 1888

John Everett Millais Ophelia 1851-52

John Everett Millais Ophelia 1851-52

William Holman Hunt The awakening conscience 1853

(This is supposed to be a Victorian mistress waking up to how she shouldn’t be living in sin!)

William Holman Hunt The awakening conscience 1853

Ford Madox Brown The last of England 1864-66

(This is MUCH smaller than I always imagined it!)

Ford Madox Brown The last of England 1864-66

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Ecce ancilla domini! (The Annunciation) 1849-50

(This one is amazing and before its time, as it depicts the Virgin Mary being told she will give birth to Jesus as a terrifying moment.)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Ecce ancilla domini! (The Annunciation) 1849-50

National Pet Day

Henry the Chatsworth dog. 16th february 2019.

Henry at Chatsworth

So, apparently today is National Pet Day – I’m going to guess it’s a US day, because I can’t find anything linking it to other countries. Where are all the other pet days?!

Anyway, in honour of the event, I’d like to recommend a Twitter account to follow: Henry, the official dog of Chatsworth House. (Images from my visit to the estate last year.)

As historical romance fans will know, the Chatsworth estate is at the heart of many a period drama, and it is mentioned in Pride and Prejudice, when Elizabeth Bennet visits with her aunt and uncle (but no, it’s not Pemberley, as commonly misreported).

It is also arguably England’s most famous stately home.

Anyway, here’s Henry in the snow this past January, and you can follow his adventures HERE.

henry the chatsworth dog in the snow

And a bonus picture, just because he’s cute:

Henry, the official dog of the Chatsworth estate.

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!

 

‘I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds’: can book piracy be stopped?

Theft is theft is theft. It’s disgusting that people think it’s okay to steal someone else’s income, and stealing books is a crime. Almost always, authors are making considerably less than the book pirates assume.

Here’s an article from The Guardian about the issue:

‘I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds’: can book piracy be stopped?

As publishers struggle with ‘whack-a-mole’ websites, experts, authors and Guardian readers who illegally download books, assess the damage.

And here is author Rachel Cane’s response to it:

Rachel Caine Book Piracy.