The Week: 10th – 16th February

I SO badly wanted to share my new book cover this week, but I’m still waiting on the high-quality, official version. It’s very, VERY pretty!

I was in two articles for Valentine’s Day:

We asked Romance Authors how they like to spend Valentine’s Day

Romance Authors give their Recommendations for Valentine’s Day Reads

Despite the world’s (and half of Australia’s) media reporting that all the fires in this country are now out, as of yesterday afternoon there were still twenty-four bushfires in my region.

Below is a map from a few hours ago. The grey bits with the blue fire symbols are fires (duh!). The little section with the green ambulance crosses is my city. And I live on the southern side!

It *is* much better, but I’m sick of hearing how great it is that this nightmare summer is over when I still have firefighting aircraft over my house day and night … “Contained” is good news, but “extinguished” would be much better.

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And now the Canberra region has had a landslide! What’s next?!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cover Love

Harlequin’s Free Reads

The Week: 3rd – 9th February

DC-10 American Water Bombing Air Tanker Canberra Bushfires Gowrie Tuggeranong Australia Sonya Heaney 3rd February 2020

Namadgi National Park Canberra Australia Bushfire Smoke Haze Canberra Australia Tuggeranong Sonya Oksana Heaney Afternoon 3rd February 2020 Smoke

A huge change in a couple of hours on Monday: the American DC-10 firefighting plane over my house just before the smoke hit – again.

Canberra Australia Bushfire Moon Sonya Heaney 3rd February 2020

And a bushfire-coloured moon on Monday night.

Big week! My mother’s birthday on Monday, and mine on Friday, and all the dramas of our endless fires and storms thrown in the middle.

This week I got my first look at the cover for The Artist’s Secret (I love it!), and I hunkered down and got to work finishing the third book, which doesn’t have a name yet.

I’ve appeared in a few articles in recent weeks.

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Chasing Cassandra Excerpt

Chasing Cassandra (Ravenels #6) (2020) (The sixth book in the Ravenels series) A novel by Lisa Kleypas US Cover 2019

My review of Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Cover Love

The Gentleman's Deception by Karen Tuft

January Roundup

Namadgi National Park Southern Canberra Tuggeranong Bushfire Brindabella Range Mountains Sonya Oksana Heaney Evening of 28th January 2020

Bushfire view from my back deck. Flames crossing the ridge.

I’ve avoided writing weekly summaries for a while now because so much has been happening, and Canberra has been hit by natural disaster after natural disaster (which have been routinely knocking out the internet). We’ve had two freak hailstorms that destroyed large parts of the city, and fire after fire after fire. My brother was trapped in Canberra Airport a few days ago, when a fire burnt into the city from the east.

It’s been frightening to spend the last few nights watching flames coming into our valley – and it brings back memories of the horrific firestorm that hit us in 2003.

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My apartment view in Brisbane.

I was also in Brisbane for a while – how strange to be in a part of Australia where there’s no evidence of fire when your own region is burning!

In Canberra we’ve had record-breaking, relentless heat, smoke, and waterbombers flying over the house all day and all night. Seeing the giant American DC-10 water tanker flying low over your house is surreal and scary.

EDIT. The DC-10 from Alabama flying over my house just before 3pm today:

Water Bombing Aeroplane Surveillance Namadgi Bushfire Smoke Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 29th January 2020

A plane dumping fire retardant flies over my house, back from the fires. It looks like the evening, but that’s the middle of the afternoon.

My local library is now an evacuation centre as a massive fire sweeps in towards Canberra. Today is expected to be catastrophic, and the army is door-knocking in my area to prepare people for what’s to come.

None of us know what’s going to happen over this weekend …

Currawong Bushfire Smoke Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 29th January 2020

The Landowner’s Secret for $1.99!

The Landowner's Secret Sonya Heaney Summer of Love Promotion

Summer of Love Promotion

SUMMER OF LOVE_1080X1080 - The Landowner's Secret Sonya Heaney Summer of Love Promotion

Writing Inspiration: Victorian Queanbeyan

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney. John Bull's Store, Queanbeyan Australia, c. 1883. From Queanbeyan–Palerang Libraries Historical Photos.

Happy 207th Birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, was published on the 28th of January 1813. Here is the front page from a first edition copy of the book.

My review of Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

Book Feature: The Perfect Wife by Katherine Scholes

the perfect wife by katherine scholes

Regency Ostriches

Lord Avery's Legacy by Allison Land

The Week: 6th – 12th January

Another week of extreme heat, bushfires and smoke. I’m guessing this is our new normal in Australia now …

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Merry Christmas – again. Ukrainians celebrated on Monday and Tuesday, according to the old calendar. It was a weird one this year. How do you celebrate when your entire region burns?

The Landowner’s Secret for $1.99!

The Landowner's Secret Sonya Heaney Summer of Love Promotion

Regency is NOT Victorian – which is NOT Edwardian!

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Rereading Favourites

Books HD

The Week: 30th December – 5th January

Canberra Australia Bushfire Smoke 5th January 2019 Sonya Heaney Nature Natural Disaster 1

Canberra Australia Bushfire Smoke 5th January 2019 Sonya Heaney Nature Natural Disaster 2

Yesterday Canberra had its hottest day on record. And now, mid-morning, the bushfire smoke (above) is worse than it has been since the 2003 firestorm. Because the air conditioning just brings in the smoke I ended up sleeping on the couch last night, where it was cooler.

This has been an extraordinary and tragic week for Australia. There’s nothing that has happened in any other country that is comparable to the scale of this disaster.

Goodbye, 2019.

Canberra Australia Summer Heatwave Sunset Sonya Oksana Heaney Smoke Bushfire 30th December 2019 1

2020 Begins

1st January 2020 Canberra Worst Air Quality in the world Bushfires.

2020 Begins …

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I was in a little hamlet near the Victorian town of Bright for a week – with no Wi-Fi – and that area now has bushfires everywhere. And now I’m home the fires keep knocking out the phone lines and the internet.

My city, Canberra, currently officially has the worst air quality in the world, thanks to the smoke from the bushfires. The southern part of the city is the worst, and the reading for the worldwide worst air is being taken a few streets from my house. We’re covered in smoke and brown dust.

1st January 2020 Canberra Worst Air Quality in the world Bushfires.

Before and after:

Walk to the shops Tuggernanong Valley Brindabella Range Canberra Australia Winter Sunshine Blue Sky Sonya Heaney 21st July 2019 Sunny Warm Afternoon

Severe world-record bushfire smoke Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Tuggeranong 2nd January 2020

The national parks around me are being evacuated as I type because they’re worried the fire is going to hit us. And the holiday I’m supposed to soon go on the to NSW South Coast, to research for an upcoming book, is in doubt as Mogo – the gold rush town I wanted to visit – burnt down on New Year’s Eve:

Mogo Bushfire Destruction

When I returned home from Victoria I discovered that the neighbour hadn’t fed his cat in recent memory, and the little sore on his chin had grown to the point he no longer has any fur on his chin, neck or ears – just red-raw sores.

Here he is before he was sick:

Stinky the Cat

I’ve taken control of the cat at the moment, and my time these days is taken up with emergency visits to and phone calls with the vet, and battles with the poor guy to try and get medicine in him and medicinal cream on the wounds – he hates it. I’ve at least managed to get the infection to stop stinking, and he’s gained a bit of weight.

I’ve had a charity approach me to try and help with his recovery, and his owner, who refuses to pay for any medical treatment, needs to be in prison.

I got a lot of typing done while I was in Victoria, but it’s been hard to work since, with our whole region on fire. I can’t even work on a few of my manuscripts, because the locations I was using no longer exist!

This is an extraordinary way to begin the year. It’s horrifying, and it has only just begun.

 

Goodbye, 2019.

The only thing on many Australians’ minds as the year comes to an end is that our entire country is on fire. Canberra is finishing the year blanketed in smoke and suffering through a severe heatwave, and for some of the day we had an out of control bushfire five minutes from us.

The New South Wales South Coast, where many (most?) Canberrans either have holiday homes or have visited many times, is ablaze, with people evacuated to the beaches and the entire landscape burnt away.

We need a miracle for 2020.

Canberra Australia Summer Heatwave Sunset Sonya Oksana Heaney Smoke Bushfire 30th December 2019 1

The Week: 9th – 15th December

Bushfire sunset in Canberra

Merry Christmas! I know it’s too early, but we’re celebrating today because we’re going away next week.

Canberra Smoke Heatwave Bushfires December 2019

The bushfire haze in Canberra has been horrendous. It’s hot, and for days there was smoke in your eyes and your throat even if you stayed inside. I live surrounded by mountains, and the smoke was so thick I couldn’t see them anymore. Now the west of the country is on fire, too.

The volcano disaster in New Zealand dominated the news here this week because the majority of the people killed and injured were Australian. It’s horrific.

Virgin River Episodes 1-3

Virgin River Robyn Carr Books Netflix Adaptation

Cover Love

HOLIDAY HOMECOMING SECRETS by Lynette Eason

How’s this for a neighbourhood library?!

Woman Transforms Rotting Tree In Her Yard Into Charming Neighbourhood Library Winter

The Week: 25th November – 1st December

Bushfires approaching Canberra on Friday night. Credit and bigger versions HERE.

It was a scary week for the Canberra region, with out of control bushfires everywhere. On Thursday the air filled with smoke at sunset, and when I went outside to look the entire valley was inundated. Our city has burnt before, and as we’re 100% surrounded by mountains and bushland, these times are terrifying for us.

Trailer for Virgin River!

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Cover Love

The Goodbye Café (The Hudson Sisters #3) by Mariah Stewart