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.

 

The Week: 4th – 10th November

Friday afternoon writing view Sonya Heaney Author Coke Cat Coffee Canberra Australia Book 8th November 2019

Friday afternoon writing view: Coke, cat, coffee, Lisa Kleypas book – and the table runner bunched up because a certain grey feline likes to attack it …

My oh-so neat, easy-to-understand, high-tech way of plotting a book! Sonya Heaney Author Historical Romance 7th November 2019

I’m working on a new book! And my plotting process is a mess! This comes after sending my next book off to my editor at the start of the week.

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Remember (2019 Westcott series #7) A novel by Mary Balogh

Premiere Date for Virgin River

Cover Love

The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

The Week: 7th – 13th October

Back to normal here – crazy cat is still crazy…

So, here I am, back home from Europe. Even though my unpacking still hasn’t been completely successful, I already feel like I’ve been here for a year!

Now the “fun” begins. I’m doing some huge edits on my next book, which at the moment my editor and I are calling “The Landowner’s Secret 2” (because I don’t want to come up with a title, and she hasn’t yet, either!). I plan to add several thousand words into the manuscript to expand on a few things, which is going to be a big task to have done over the next two weeks.

I also have the third book to finish, and I want that done before Christmas (which is frighteningly close now!).

Harlequin’s Free Reads

Recently Reread: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Book Feature: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

silver silence (psy-changeling trinity, #1; psy-changeling, #16) by nalini singh

HOME!!!!

So, I’m back in Canberra, and the sun is shining (strongly), all the birds I’ve known since they were babies have reappeared on the front and back decks and have been looking at me desperately for food (it’s baby season in the Southern Hemisphere, and they had to eat CHEESE until I could get them some raw mince), and two paperback copies of The Landowner’s Secret were waiting for me on my front doorstep!

It was a fantastic decision to end the overseas trip in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital – and where I’d been only a few weeks ago – because it’s such a friendly city, full of great food, lots of culture, and some great cats!

Sonya Heaney Author Tbilisi Georgia Black Cat Saturday 5th October 2019

I made friends with this half-grown black kitten. I wanted to adopt him! This is me with him on our front balcony in Tbilisi two afternoons ago. Also: check out the steep streets in the old town!

The trip home was partially great, but largely full of the kind of people I want to – and probably will – base nasty characters on in the future. It’s so disheartening when you do nothing wrong, but people just choose to be horrid to you anyway. I came home shaking mad, but a glass of wine or three will fix that!

I’ll say this, though: major kudos to the African guy at security in Doha, Qatar, who was so wonderfully blasé about the whole thing! (88% of the city’s residents are expats.) He made the trip home for me. Also, the Qatar Airways staff are always great.

I have major, MAJOR work to do. One book to finish edits on by the end of October, and two more I want to have finished by the end of December. I planned to start tomorrow, but I’ve already done some work – in my jetlagged state!

The Week: 5th – 11th August

This has been… quite a week. So many good things happened (I’d love to share NOW, but can’t) that I’m worried there’s a disaster on the horizon!

We had t-shirt weather for the first half of the week, and then on Friday night it snowed. I am so mad I didn’t see it, because (and despite nasty stereotypes about Canberra) we NEVER get snow. A little bit settled on the mountains, but by Saturday morning the sun was back. It’s going to be around 17 degrees (about 63 Fahrenheit) by the end of next week, so I guess that’s winter finished.

I spent the second half of the week stalking the Romance Writers of Australia conference (in Melbourne this year) online. I really should go in 2020.

Crazy Cat Canberra Australia Thurday 8th August 2019 Sonya Heaney Cats Cute Grey Cat

Someone broke the cat!

P. L. Travers’ 120th Birthday

australian p. l. travers in the role of titania in a production of a midsummer night's dream, c. 1924 state library of new south wales. mary poppins

Cover Love

Then Comes Seduction (Huxtable Quintet #2) by Mary Balogh

The Week: 11th – 17th March

Happy St Patrick’s Day! (And happy birthday to my uncle, whose middle name is – you guessed it – Patrick!).

What a terrible week for New Zealand. I don’t think there’s anything that can be said about it that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over. Since I first visited Christchurch nearly a decade ago they have had a really rough time with earthquakes, and now a terror attack.

Canberra Day and Canberra Kangaroos

kangaroo-dog-and-man-810x520 ‘Only in Canberra’ Bizarre stand-off between kangaroo and dog caught on video

New Cover for Mary Balogh

My review of St. Patrick’s Journey by Calee M. Lee

Browser the Library Cat

Out Now: Toxic Game by Christine Feehan

Remember “Romantica”?

Browser the Library Cat

I’ve just seen this story making the rounds of social media, and decided it was important to share it here!

Here is Browser(!) the library cat from Texas.

Bng-rMHc Browser Library Cat

He is a rescue cat, and a few months ago a grumpy councilman who wasn’t allowed to bring a dog to work tried to get the cat fired from his job as the library’s pest control officer.

Browser got his job at a Texas library when he was just a kitten. Library Cat

In the end, the councilman lost his job in the next election, and Browser stayed!

Curious Zelda in a Book!

Curious Zelda The Cat

There are plenty of people who try to make their pets “social media famous”, but few are as fantastic as Curious Zelda, the black and white cat from London. Owner Matt Taghioff runs a funny and clever Twitter account, and it has got publishers’ attention.

It has now been announced that Zelda is going to have her own book. Unfortunately it won’t be out in time for this Christmas, but will be released in 2019.

This Cover…

I’m not into “hot firefighter poses with insert-cute-thing-here” images. Not on calendars. Not on book covers.

However… The other day I downloaded this book to review without even reading what it was about because of the cat.

I’ll be starting In Love with the Firefighter soon. The cat had better be a big part of the book!

In Love with the Firefighter (Cape Pursuit Firefighters #1) by Amie Denman

The Week: 5th – 11th February

Friday sunset in Canberra

Australian Parliament all wrapped up in scaffolding for refurbishment yesterday afternoon.

2018 Winter Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

2018 Winter Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

Kim Yuna lighting the Olympic torch.

Misty – and the end she didn’t deserve

Blind Calico Cat Canberra Australia 26th May 2017 Sonya Heaney Cute 1

We’re not a country??

Flags across the country have been lowered to honour one of Australia's former governors-general, Sir Ninian Stephen, who died on October 29. Parliament House Canberra 8th November 2017

My review of The Marquess Tames His Bride by Annie Burrows

The Marquess Tames His Bride (Brides for Bachelors) by Annie Burrows

My review of Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare for Children Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Must monsters always be male?

Cinderella Disney.

Cover Love

Carrying the Gentleman's Secret by Helen Dickson