The Week: 18th – 24th February

Australian Grey Butcher Bird Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 16th February 2019 Bird Birds Nature Cute 1

Steve, our little resident grey butcherbird, hanging out on the back deck.

This week saw the fifth anniversary of the massacre in Kyiv, Ukraine, and revealed a massive plagiarism scandal affecting dozens of authors. A strange week all around.

Summer is nearly over here. As usual, the year is moving too fast!

Out Now: Devil’s Daughter

My review of Devil’s Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas

Devil's Daughter (Ravenels #5) by Lisa Kleypas

Courtney Milan Plagiarised

Plagiarism Update

Here's an updated list of the authors who've reported being plagiarised by Cristiane Serruya or had recipes stolen from their books.

Coming Up for Mary Balogh

A Title to Make You Groan

it's getting scot in here (wild wicked highlanders, #1) by suzanne enoch

No, it’s not Christmastime yet!

Ukrainian Christmas Eve 6th January 2018 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney Canberra Australia Silver Christmas Tree Silver Blue Gold Decorations

No, it’s not Christmastime yet!

So. Last week I got my first email advertising a Christmas book, and I’d just like to say something to authors:

Please don’t do that! Not in February!

I get it: you’re excited about your upcoming releases. I also get it: books are in the works a long, long time before they’re published.

However, the levels of panic that email caused! It’s FAR TOO EARLY to be talking about Christmas yet. It’s bad enough when the Christmas review books start turning up in June. And, because I also celebrate the old calendar Christmas season through January, we have literally only just taken down the decorations!

Please give us a few weeks to get into the new year before we start talking about the end of it!

Cover Love

Just in time for Christmas – if you actually have time for any reading at the moment! This cover is gorgeous, and so lovely and wintry, which is very appealing to me as we have temperatures of 35-39 degrees (Celsius!) forecast for the coming week.

A Christmas Courting by Jennifer Moore, Chalon Linton, Jen Geigle Johnson and Heidi Kimball.

A Christmas Courting by Jennifer Moore, Chalon Linton, Jen Geigle Johnson and Heidi Kimball.

This holiday season fall in love, with heartwarming tales of Christmases past in A Christmas Courting, an enchanting collection of Regency romances.

Love and Joy Come to You by Jennifer Moore

Lord Covington has planned a quiet holiday with his grieving mother but finds his plans rudely disrupted when lovely Cassie Weatherby and her young siblings are invited for Christmas. Despite his reservations, however, he begins to recognize in Cassie a kindred spirit.

A Christmas Courting by Chalon Linton

When obligations keep her in London, Keturah Hensley sadly anticipates missing the festivity of Christmas at her family’s country home and the company of her best friend, Christopher Shepherd. When she learns that Christopher will be joining her family in London for Christmas, she is delighted–but her elation is short-lived. Christopher is coming to Town to court the woman of his dreams, and Keturah fears she may have lost the chance to win his love.

Mistletoe Memories by Jen Geigle Johnson

From childhood, Patrick, Duke of Montrose, knew he’d found his perfect match in Lady Alice Tarrington. When he’s sent on a grand tour, Patrick is confident he’ll marry his sweetheart upon his return. But when he receives word that Alice is to marry another, will he be too late to claim her heart?

Second-Chance Christmas by Heidi Kimball

Francie and Gerard have been friends since childhood, but their friendship ended when she declined his heartfelt proposal of marriage. However, when her interactions with Gerard’s holiday houseguests provoke in Francie unexpected jealousy, she realises she must fight for Gerard’s affections or risk losing him forever.

Recommended Christmas Read: A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

I reviewed Mimi Matthews’ A Holiday by Gaslight last month. Set in the Victorian era, it is a great little read for the Christmas season.

A Holiday by Gaslight A Victorian Christmas Novella by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Mimi Matthews

A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

Christmas Reads: Christmas at Hope Cottage by Lily Graham

Christmas at Hope Cottage by Lily Graham

Christmas at Hope Cottage by Lily Graham

In the little village of Whistling, with its butterscotch cottages and rolling green hills, snow is beginning to fall. Christmas is coming, and Emma Halloway is on her way home.

When thirty-year-old food writer Emma Halloway gets dumped then knocked off her bike, she’s broken in more ways than one, and returns to her family’s cosy cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Emma hasn’t been back in some time, running from her crazy relatives and her childhood sweetheart, Jack Allen.

Emma’s grandmother is determined to bake her back to health and happiness, as the Halloways have done for generations. Surrounded by old friends and warm cinnamon buns, Emma starts to believe in her family’s special talents for healing again. But then in walks Jack with his sparkling hazel eyes, stirring up the family feud between them.

As the twinkly lights are strung between the streetlamps, Emma remembers just why she fell for Jack in the first place… and why a Halloway should never date an Allen.

The infuriating new lodger, Sandro, doesn’t believe anyone should have to choose between love and family. With a little bit of Christmas magic, can Emma and Jack find a way to be together, or will Emma find herself heartbroken once more?

An utterly gorgeous Christmas romance about the importance of family, freshly baked biscuits, and learning to trust your heart. Perfect for fans of Phillipa Ashley, Debbie Johnson and Debbie Macomber.

Book Adaptation for Christmas

Teresa Southwick‘s Christmas With a View has been made into a movie in time for Christmas. (Netflix keeps mining the romance genre for movie ideas!)

Here’s what it’s about:

This Christmas, Thunder Mountain Ski Resort is abuzz when celebrity chef Shane Roarke is named the new head chef. Clara Garrison isn’t as excited and is instead focused on getting resettled after her failed attempt at opening a restaurant in the city. With their paths constantly crossing, will their shared passion for cooking bring them together or will secrets keep them apart?

Christmas Reads Feature: A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt

A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt

A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt

Welcome to Thornwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings happen and surprises are in store for the four Holley sisters…

Anna Holley, the third of four sisters, has always felt a little bit forgotten. A family tragedy when she was a child had her retreating deep into shyness, and social anxiety kept her on the fringes of the cozy chaos of the busy vicarage.

After several years away from home, Anna returns for Christmas… and an important announcement from her father. As much as she once loved the village, coming back is hard and puts Anna’s social capabilities to the test.

Avoiding her sisters’ bossy questions, she heads out to the local pub one night, and meets a handsome stranger nursing a pint. Somehow, unburdened by expectations, Simon seems like the perfect person to spill all her secrets to—including a hopeless, long-held crush on her sister’s boyfriend. Confident she’ll never see him again, Anna returns home… only to discover the next day that Simon is actually her father’s new curate!

Anna is beyond mortified, but Simon won’t let her retreat into her usual shyness—and for once Anna is forced to confront the past, and all the fears and feelings she’d tried so long to hide. But with his own heartache that needs to heal, can Simon help Anna to make this the most magical Christmas either of them have known?

The Week: 3rd – 9th December

Bright blue summer skies in Canberra.

How is it the ninth of December already?! It’s been a crazy-hot weekend in Canberra; inland it’s a good ten degrees warmer than in the cities on the coast.

I went to the sale at the National Library yesterday. If I have time I’ll write a post about it!

Twentieth Anniversary of Shakespeare in Love

Bad Sex Writing Awards 2018

Recommended Christmas Read

Out Now: The Story of Us by Lana Kortchik

Book Adaptation for Christmas