The Week: 5th – 11th June

Canberra Australia Winter Evening Lake Burley Griffin Sonya Heaney 11th June 2017 National Carillon Reflection Nature SunsetIMG_2045

Sunday afternoon on the lake in Canberra. That’s Defence on the other side of the water, with the American Eagle statue.

Enjoying the winter sunshine on Tuesday morning.

The neighbour’s cat has basically moved in now. So much for her being timid!

The trip from Queanbeyan to Canberra on Friday anfternoon.

I read a couple of good books this week (not reviewed here yet). One was a contemporary story about the daughter of an overly ambitious US Republican family, and the other was set in 1825 London – but not about aristocrats. However, I’m really struggling to take books about American politics seriously now, considering what is going on at the moment.

Terrible week in the aftermath of the London Bridge attacks. I honestly don’t understand how a man can just walk up to some innocent young woman (or older man – you know what I mean) and murder her like that. Donald Trump’s childish, ignorant responses only added to the disgust we outside the US feel for him.

The anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba

My review of A Tailor-Made Husband (Texas Grooms/Turnabout Book #9 (Love Inspired Historical) by Winnie Griggs

My review of The Second Seduction of a Lady (The Wild Quartet 0.5) by Miranda Neville

Another Behind the Scenes Cover Video

Oh, the subtlety!

 

 

 

The Week: 8th – 14th May

This photo is not edited. THAT is how blue the sky was when this photo was taken!

Such a gorgeous week in Canberra! I kept putting on nearly-winter clothes, getting hot, and having to change.

I would like to point out EVERYONE should note that Eurovision is happening right now in KYIV – the correct name for Ukraine’s capital city. Please – for the love of God – stop calling it by the Russian name, “Kiev”! Look at the official image above!

I was actually in Kyiv (not “Kiev”!) last year when Ukraine won. I was the only person in the building still awake, but I was not watching, because the corruption disgusted me. However, I turned on the computer, and there was the news: Ukraine won, despite everything. I danced around, and then woke everyone up!!

I am guessing Kremlin voting mills have been established throughout Europe (and maybe Australia, as we are now contestants). Whatever result it is, I guarantee you the Russians have influenced it.

I am NOT watching Eurovision this year.

Spent half a day early this week trying to rescue our neighbour’s cat. She is over eighteen (very old for a cat!), TOTALLY blind, almost totally deaf, and still insists on going on adventures every day (most of them in our garden). But she became completely disoriented that day, got stuck on top of a metal fence a few metres high, and it took several hours to rescue her (because she sometimes panics when people get close, due to her blindness). She did get a big piece of chicken as a present from me, however!

I had my 2000th post on this blog yesterday. 2000!

Happy Mother’s Day for people who celebrate it today (like we do). We are heading out to lunch in Braddon. Is it really late this year, or am I imagining things?

My review of An Unlikely Mother by Danica Favorite

Watching The Americans

Struggling Genres

Don’t Call Me Honey

The death of Winnipeg the bear.

 This Cover!

The Week: 8th – 14th August

Monday Winter Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 8th August 2016 Sky Garden Clouds Nature

Winter Sunset

And another one:

Winter Sunset Canberra Australia. 12th August 2016. Sonya Heaney. Sky Clouds Nature.

King Parrot Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 9th August 2016 Winter Flowers Garden Nature 2

King Parrot Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 9th August 2016 Winter Flowers Garden Nature 3

This week we discovered why all of the flowers out the back keep getting demolished! We’ve had petals everywhere for a few weeks!

And all our other birds have started turning up – it’s nearly spring, and they come to the door for snacks. On Wednesday we had magpie visitors for the first time this season.

It is very sunny here every day, and I’m starting to feel the allergies coming, but I can’t wait! 🙂

Because I’m often up really late at night, and because we are nearly a full day ahead of the Americas, I have been watching some of the Olympics live in the middle of the night. I can’t believe how many drug cheats there still are. While the US is at (verbal) war with Russia in the pool, we are being attacked by China (and hacked, and abused in their media) because one of our swimmers called a drug cheat… a drug cheat. Who says sport isn’t political!

“Medals over Morals” was what an official said about the Russian doping program. I like it. 🙂

Russian military convoy in Kerch yesterday evening http-liveuamap.com-en-2016-7-august-russian-military-convoy-in-kerch-yesterday-evening … via @HromadskeRadio

What has been happening while the world has been watching Rio. X

While everyone is watching the sport, and obsessing over Trump (WHAT a guy), Putin has been moving MASSIVE conveys of tanks and missiles to the Ukrainian border. He invaded Georgia after the Beijing Olympics. He first invaded Ukraine immediately after the Sochi Olympics. And he is about to invade other parts of Ukraine as soon as the Rio Olympics finish.

But – hey – sport!

World Cat Day

Jemima Cat

Rio’s most amazing athlete.

Oksana_Chusovitina_(vault)_04-2011

Unleashing Mr Darcy

Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson

My review of Wolf Creek Wife (Wolf Creek #5) by Penny Richards

Wolf Creek Wife (Wolf Creek #5) by Penny Richards

My review of Marriage Made in Hope (The Penniless Lords #4) by Sophia James

Marriage Made in Hope (The Penniless Lords #4) by Sophia James

 My review of The Inscription (The MacAlpins #1) by Pam Binder

The Inscription (The MacAlpins #1) by Pam Binder

The week: 25th – 31st July

Winter Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 30th July 2016 Sky Clouds Nature 1IMG_0518

Saturday sunset in Canberra.

Winter Lake Burley griffin Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Seagulls Telstra Tower Black Mountain Sun Nature 30th July 2016

On Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra yesterday afternoon.

Friday Winter Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 29th July 2016 Sky Clouds Nature

Friday’s sunset in Canberra – taken on my blurry old camera.

Queanbeyan to Canberra Australia Winter Sky Clouds Driving Sonya Heaney 29th July 2016 Nature

The sky two hours before the sunset above!

Flags fly at half-mast at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics after two were killed and 111 injured in a bombing for an anti-abortion and anti-gay agenda.

This week marked the twentieth anniversary of the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics – when a man went and blew up Olympic Park because he didn’t want women to have abortions. Seriously. Ugh.

Cat missing for eight years found 280 miles away in Paris Cat missing for eight years found 280 miles away in Paris Moon Uint

My favourite story of the week. This cat went missing in London eight years ago, and turned up as a stray in PARIS.

Now Google is on Putin's payroll. They have redone Google Maps to change Ukrainian place names into the Russian names. Crimea.

Now Google is on Putin’s payroll. They have redone Google Maps to change Ukrainian place names into Soviet Russian names. This is just… sickening. Is there anyone Moscow isn’t capable of buying? If it was anywhere other than Ukraine, the world would care.

Ukrainian GYmnast Lilia Podkopayeva 1995 World Champion 1996 Olympic Champion

Back when gymnastics was gorgeous! Actual artistic gymnastics. That’s the 1996 Olympic champion.

I am not at all excited about the upcoming Olympics. So many drug cheats. So many other issues with the venue. The Australian part of the athletes’ village just caught on fire, and then they were robbed while they were being “saved”!

The maintenance staff were smoking (the village is allegedly a non-smoking location). The Brazilian officials turned off the fire alarms, so…

And the sport I have been following (and was for a while, very closely involved with) my whole life – gymnastics – I am not that interested in anymore. The sport is supposed to be artistic gymnastics, but now it’s just not. This former ballet dancer thinks gymnastics is an ugly, messy sport these days (thank you, new scoring system that pushes big, poorly executed tricks over technique or finesse!).

Anyway, I thought I’d get my Olympics-related rant out now, before the competition begins! 🙂

The anniversary of Pride and Prejudice

PrideundprejudicePoster for the 1940 film Pride and Prejudice.

So – how did they go?

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

My review of Willow Springs (Destiny Series #5) by Toni Blake

Willow Springs (Destiny Series #5) by Toni Blake

My review of Good For You by Tammara Webber

good-for-you-by-tammara-webber

My review of Taming the Highland Rogue (The MacLerie Clan #4.6) by Terri Brisbin

Taming the Highland Rogue (The MacLerie Clan #4.6) by Terri Brisbin

The Week: 11th – 17th July

Winter Snow Canberra Australia 13th July Morning 2016 Sonya Heaney.

We all got super excited about the possibility of snow on Wednesday. It’s not something we ever see! However, despite being able to see some on the mountains in and around Canberra, this was the best effort nature made at our house, early in the morning (it was gone soon after).

The same day, we had lunch for my cousin’s eighteenth birthday – Catholic families – the youngest and eldest first cousins on my father’s side vary in age nearly thirty years! We were all laughing at ourselves for the excitement over all our pictures of the “snow”. The one above was ten times more snow than anybody else saw.

Winter Blue Sky Sun Trees Canberra Australia 15th July 2016 Sonya Haeney.

Other than the snow thing, we’ve had some gorgeous weather! This was Friday afternoon.

I could talk about Nice. I could talk about Turkey. I could talk about the fact Russian gangs are again going around desecrating Ukrainian graves OUTSIDE Eastern Europe… But you can look that up on your own. On the other hand:

I love you, Canada. This story went a teeny way to relieve my anger about some other things…

Trudeau condemns Russia’s annexation of Crimea, vows ‘Canada will always stand by Ukraine’.

Canada’s leader was in Kyiv, Ukraine and visited the genocide memorial, and also the memorial where Ukrainians were killed by pro-Russian and actual Russian snipers on the 20th of February, 2014 (above and below). Many of those shots were fired by snipers in the hotel in the background. I was there a few weeks ago, when they were setting it up:

Building the memorial to the Ukrainians killed by pro-russian and russian dsnipers in Kyiv. Sonya Heaney OKsana. 2016.

Rex the cat left on Thursday. I will miss him so much. Here he is having one final sleep on my bed (maybe now I will be able to make it before the sun sets!):

Rex the Cat

Lisa Kleypas’ Upcoming Book

Devil in Spring (2017) (The third book in the Ravenels series) A novel by Lisa Kleypas

Oh, the subtlety!

Romance Cover Man

True Blood – the Musical?

fp2396-true_blood

Romance + Bull Riders

 My review of Where You Are by Tammara Webber

where-you-are-by-tammara-webber

My review of Possessed by the Highlander (The MacLerie Clan #3) by Terri Brisbin

Possessed by the Highlander (The MacLerie Clan #3) by Terri Brisbin

The Week: 1st – 7th February

Rex the Burmese Cat Sleeping in Summer

Rex’s tough week!

I’m lazy this week, (and it’s my birthday – after my mother’s, and ANOTHER lunch with Ukrainian embassy staff on Wednesday), so here are some links instead:

Let the ironic male tears fall The “make rape legal” guys cancel meetups because they don't feel safe

Let the ironic male tears fall: The “make rape legal” guys cancel meetups because they don’t feel safe

Aurélie Dupont in Don Quixote

Aurélie Dupont Is Named Director of Paris Opera Ballet

(This makes me very happy, because Natalie Portman’s husband was given the job, and he was totally wrong for it! He lasted fifteen months!)

Need some drama in my book? I’ll rape the heroine (or hero)!

Shades of Gray by Maya Banks

Book Adaptation: Bitten 1×01 to 1×04

Bitten - Season 1

My review of Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong

My review of Bound to Darkness (Midnight Breed #13) by Lara Adrian

Bound to Darkness (Midnight Breed #13) by Lara Adrian

My review of The Best Laid Wedding Plans (Magnolia Brides #1) by Lynnette Austin

The Best Laid Wedding Plans (Magnolia Brides #1) by Lynnette Austin 

 

The Week: 4th – 10th January

Saturday Summer Sunset Sonya Heaney 9th January 2016 Sky Clouds Garden Nature

Saturday’s summer sunset. So orange!

So, Merry Christmas – again (NOT just Orthodox Christmas!). And New Year again next week.

Making Varenyky Canberra Australia Ukrainian Christmas Sonya Heaney 5th January 2015

Until now, every year of my life our Christmas cooking has been done at my grandmother’s house. However, as she died in May, this year there were only two of us (usually there’re four or five) doing the cooking: me with my mother. And she has a nasty burn and a bandaged arm from a few days before the other Christmas.

So, we didn’t remember to take any pictures until the very end!

This is just about the only one we have. It is of varenyky (dumplings, these made with potato, but they can be made with anything). We made dozens and dozens, but I didn’t take a picture until the last few were about to be cooked.

Ukrainian Christmas starts with kutia, which is a wheat and honey soup-thingy. Then borscht (which is Ukrainian, not Russian, despite what everyone thinks). You are supposed to have twelve dishes, but I can’t eat that much, so I count the bread and butter and everything as a “dish”!

The other great thing that happened this week was that ANOTHER cat has adopted us. However, this one has a collar and a tag, so he must have a responsible owner.

IMG_6039 - Copy

It’s just that he is here almost all day and all night! I already love him so much.

Our heatwave is back, which is sort of… difficult to live through…

My #1 book wish for 2016

Wicked White by Michelle A. Valentine

My review of A Time for Everything by Mysti Parker

A Time for Everything by Mysti Parker

Another Cover Shoot Video

Romance Book Cover Shoot

Cover Love

Manor of Secrets (2014) by Katherine Longshore

 

The Year: 2015

Canberra Australia Sunset Sonya Heaney 18th November 2015 Sky Spring Clouds Garden Nature

I had a long and detailed post typed and ready to use, but I’ve decided instead to use some pictures.

Sophia Jacyszyn

Obviously, the most significant things that happened for me this year were the deaths of a few people. My grandmother’s death had a massive impact on all of our lives, and we’re still finding our feet with the centre of our family gone.

Cat 3 Queanbeyan Australia Sonya Heaney 19th September 2015

Then we had our creatures.

Our gorgeous stray cat, Sophia (named in honour of my grandmother, as we found her at Baba’s house after she died), had to go on to a new home. As did her kittens. I still miss her.

We had our crazy magpies move in.

11th February russian shelling in Ukraine - 2015

#Russian terrorists in #Ukraine. 5th April 2015.

Russia continued to invade Ukraine, and the world continued to do absolutely nothing to stop it. I hate people sometimes.

Dawn St Kilda Melbourne Australia 16th March 2015 Sonya Heanaey Oksana Heaney 1

Coolangatta Gold Coast Queensland Australia Beach Sonya Heaney 18th December 2015

2015 was one of the few years I didn’t travel overseas. This was a conscious decision for us, as we had our grandmother’s care to take into consideration.

I did, however, manage to make it on a few interstate trips.

Other things happened this year, but these were the significant ones for me.

The Week: 10th – 16th November

 The Australian Ballet performs La Bayadère Kingdom of the Shades

What a waste of a week! The heat probably didn’t help with my lack of motivation! This weekend is all about our trip to Sydney to see The Australian Ballet perform La Bayadère.

Stop Russia Stop Vladimir Putin G20 Brisbane 2014

There was a big anti-Putin protest in Brisbane, but unfortunately it’s a protest I had to miss.

A discussion on the Word Wenches blog this week, about places people want to set more romances, constantly turned up one place: Russia. I do find it really upsetting that no matter what Russia does to its neighbouring countries, and no matter how many thousands (millions!) of their neighbours they slaughter, they always seem to get a free pass because they’re “exotic”. Nobody affords that same kind of love to – say – Nazi Germany. I bet authors in 1939 weren’t rushing to write more romances set in Germany! It makes me sick how little people care about Eastern Europeans.

 Sunset Tuggeranong Canberra Australia 13th November 2014 Sonya Heaney

Another week of pretty Canberra skies.

A stupid court summons (don’t worry, I’m not a murderer!) came in the mail, so there goes my Christmas season and my family trip to the Gold Coast. Sooooo annoyed about that! I can’t even begin to explain how mad I am… This is more than likely the last chance I have to travel with my grandmother (who is in her nineties and struggling both with mobility issues and dementia) and because of the stupid court, it isn’t going to happen.

Kittens Queanbeyan Australia 12th November 2014 Sonya Heaney

Something that did occupy quite a bit of my time this week was our shed full of stray cats! Gradually things are being sorted out with them. The kittens are learning to eat (notice the one hiding in the back corner!), and have started venturing out. There’re privately-run charities that are willing to help with everything from vet’s fees to placement for them when they’re old enough to be on their own.

I’ve not had that much to do with pets for years and years, so it’s been nice to learn so much and come across such helpful people in the region.

Misogyny in book reviews.

Outlander 1x06 The Garrison Commander Claire Ending Sonya Heaney Sceenshot

My review of Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian

Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian

My review of Dove by Juliette Miller

Dove by Juliette Miller