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?

Book Adaptation for Christmas

Sarah Morgan‘s St. Piran’s: Prince on the Children’s Ward has been made into a movie in time for Christmas.

Retitled Christmas With A Prince, here is what it is about:

Paediatric specialist Tasha Miller is focused on keeping the kids in her ward as healthy as possible. But when the handsome Prince Alexander Cavalieri breaks his leg on a nearby ski-slope, Tasha is forced to allow him to secretly get well on her floor, and she’s furious that a spoiled Royal is interrupting the precious healing time her kids need. Soon, however, Tasha learns that some tough love and a lot of Christmas spirt could turn this royal pain into a knight in shining armour.

And the trailer is here:

The Week: 12th – 18th November

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Some pictures from the Great Wall near Beijing, Jinan, and the Zibo district in China last week.

These past few months have been crazy. From winter to like-winter weather in Europe, to warm weather, to a heatwave in Canberra, to freezing China, to another heatwave in Canberra. I’m so confused where I am and what season it is! Now I’ve done my Christmas shopping (just in case things didn’t arrive in time), I sort of feel like it’s time for the year to end!

My review of A Holiday by Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by Gaslight A Victorian Christmas Novella by Mimi Matthews

Another Book Community Gone?

A Jane Austen Christmas

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Silver Version 2

Poppies for Remembrance Day – 100 Years

Thousands of Poppies First world War One Sonya Heaney 11th November 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra.

Long Tan Cross

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Armageddon Seventy Years On

A Jane Austen Christmas

Is anyone thinking about Christmas yet? I am – in fact I’ve already got most of my presents sorted!

May I draw your attention to these (real) gold and silver foil Christmas cards for sale, available to be shipped worldwide, featuring a Christmas quote from the final pages of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

Gold and White

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Gold Version 1

Silver with Brown Paper

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Silver Version 2

Gold with Grey Paper

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Gold Version 2

Silver and White

Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Foil Christmas Card Sonya Heaney In the Past Zazzle Shop Silver Version 1

And, if you’re not sure how shiny they’ll actually be in real life, here are some other Christmas cards from the same supplier I have bought in the past. (English Christmas cards and Ukrainian Christmas cards.)

English Christmas Cards Silver Sonya Heaney Zazzle Products

English and Ukrainian Christmas Cards Silver Sonya Heaney Zazzle Products

It’s Christmastime Again…?

The Christmas review books are here!

The other day I was startled to see Boston Ballet advertising tickets for its Christmas season of The Nutcracker, and now – as of yesterday – I’ve started seeing Christmas books being promoted.

I don’t think I need to point out it’s only April. Are you as freaked out by this as I am?

Anyway, if you’re interested, the first one I saw – The Christmas Sisters – looks so nice:

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

From award-winning USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan comes this heartwarming, emotionally rich new novel, brimming with her trademark Christmas sparkle!

The McBride sisters all have different reasons for finding the holiday season challenging, but their adoptive mother is determined this year will be different. As the countdown to Christmas Day begins, arguments, connections and secrets start bubbling. The McBride family was made, not born—but will they be able to make this the magical family Christmas their mother has always dreamed of?

The Week: 8th – 14th January

Wednesday summer sunset in Canberra

Another week, another mess in the world… Today is “New Year” by the old calendar, if you need a reason to celebrate something this weekend.

Two stories out of Russia this week that I think are newsworthy!:

Russian man steals armoured tank, rams shop, steals one bottle of wine.

Russian man steals tank, rams shop, steals one bottle of wine.

Russian man steals tank, rams shop, steals bottle of wine..

And, more importantly:

Fewer than one in five Russians are okay with gay sex.

In fact, only 8% of Russians support homosexuality in any form:

Previous surveys showed that the number of Russians against gay sex has progressively increased, from 68 percent in 1998 to 76 percent in 2008.

This year, only 8 percent of respondents said there was nothing objectionable about sexual relations between adults of the same gender.

This is what happens when you let the church run your society and heavily influence your government. This sort of thing is happening in a number of former communist countries at the moment.

Coming Up for Brynn Kelly

Isle of Shadows A Risk Worth Taking the third book in Brynn Kelly‘s Legionnaires series

My review of Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

Thomas Hardy’s Early Career

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, influenced both in his novels and in his poetry

Meet the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan

Meet the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan

The Week: 1st – 7th January

First Sunset of 2018 Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia Sky Clouds Summer Garden Nature

The first Canberra sunset of 2018

Ukrainian Christmas Eve Canberra Australia Ukrainian Embroidery Ukrainian Culture Sonya Heaney 6th January 2018

Happy Ukrainian Christmas! It’s HOT here – 39 degrees today, and we’ve had high temperatures most of the week.

I’ve been working my way through a good book or two, but haven’t had as much time to read as I need to finish any of them yet!

Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Christmas Candles Ukrainian Christmas Sonya Heaney Zazzle Store

Cooking for Ukrainian Christmas

Varenyky Ukrainian Food Christmas Ukraine Canberra Ausrealia Sonya Heaney 5th January 2018

Wish List for 2018

Books HD

Fancy running a bookshop for a week?

Wigtown_Market_Square_-_geograph_org_uk_-_212447 Wigtown Market Square Scotland UK Book Town

My review of The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

The Husband Hunter's Guide to London (Husband Hunters #1) by Kate Moore

My review of Montana Groom of Convenience by Linda Ford

Montana Groom of Convenience (Big Sky Country) by Linda Ford