The Week: 29th July – 4th August

 

Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery New South Wales Australia near Canberra Australian Capital Territory Sonya Heaney 2nd August 2019 2

Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery New South Wales Australia near Canberra Australian Capital Territory Sonya Heaney 2nd August 2019 1

A trip to the cemetery in Queanbeyan, just before the border with Canberra, on Friday afternoon (my grandparents are buried there). If you ever wonder what landscape inspires my writing, take a look at it.

Sonya Heaney Library Books Santa Montefiore Christy Reece Sophie Barnes Historical Costume

Sonya Heaney Library Books Mary Balogh Julia Quinn Lisa Kleypas USSR Ukrainian Costume

I visited the library again on Monday. After figuring out the scary returns scanner, I sent two (of six) books back, and came home with eight more!

Yes, I’ve already read Marrying Winterborne, but I wanted a look at the hardcover version. I’m going to return it for someone else to borrow at the start of next week.

The USSR book is actually a 1980s encyclopaedia of Eastern European costumes, and the section about Ukraine was so fantastic (and strangely accurate, considering Russian propaganda – the only information crossing the Iron Curtain to get to the west – was [and still is] so anti-Ukrainian) I just had to borrow it. I actually want to buy it!

Flock of Galahs Australian Birds Queanbeyan near Canberra Australia 2nd August 2019 Sonya Heaney Grey Pink

Lunchtime at my aunt’s house in Queanbeyan the same day I visited the cemetery.

Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Blue Winter Sky Sunny Warm Afternoon Sonya Heaney 30th July 2019

My amazing writing view in sunny Canberra this week.

New Cover for Lisa Kleypas

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

Happy 201st Birthday, Emily Brontë!

Emily_Brontë_by_Patrick_Branwell_Brontë_restored Emily Brontë, as painted by her brother Patrick Branwell Brontë (died 1848), from a portrait with her sisters.

My review of Consequences of a Hot Havana Night (Passion in Paradise #6) by Louise Fuller

Consequences of a Hot Havana Night (Passion in Paradise #6) by Louise Fuller

The Week: 22nd – 28th July

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

This was actually last Sunday afternoon, when I walked to the local shops. The mountains around Canberra are beautiful.

This was a supremely busy week. I’ve been trying to get a new manuscript written in an impossible space of time (in addition to the other books I’ve been working on). From mid-morning on Tuesday to the early hours of Sunday I managed to type just under 30 000 words – about a third of a book!

I did, however, go into the city last night to see The White Crow, a movie about Rudolph Nureyev (and starring a few Ukrainians!). That was followed by an amazing dinner at Morning Glory.

The White Crow is the only ballet movie I’ve seen that is realistic. It also did a good job of reconstructing life in the Soviet Union. In fact – as someone with family and friends from one end of Ukraine and Russia to the other – it depicted life as it still is for many.

I hope to write a post about it soon, but I’m guessing that I’ll be too busy to remember!

Oh, and my publisher sent me this:

thumbnail_landownerssecret

What I did today.

Books Library Julia Quinn Miranda Neville Josephine Moon Jennifer McQuiston Lisa Kleypas Stephanie Laurens Sonya Heaney 22nd July 2019

Book Feature: Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3) by Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3) by Theresa Romain

What I did today.

I had a “startling” revelation a few weeks ago: I live in walking distance of one of Canberra’s biggest public libraries! Now, this is definitely a revelation I should have had years ago, but I hadn’t actually used a library since I was at university, and so here I was, happily walking to and from the nearest shopping centre every week, and forgetting I could have access to seventy-gazillion books and magazines and newspapers.

So, last Monday I finally went in and got myself a new card ($3 for library access definitely seems fair), and today I walked back (blue sky, sunshine, and temperatures in the mid-teens – not bad for mid-winter!) and took a look at everything I’ve been missing out on all this time.

My timing could have been better. It’s the first day of semester two in Canberra, which means there were teenagers everywhere (it also functions as a college library). However, I was in Heaven all the same!

Now I’ve figured out that the fancy new laser-scanner devices you have to use to check your books out are actually ten times easier to use than an ATM, I’ll go back and pick up another stack of books.

For now, here’s my stash:

Books Library Julia Quinn Miranda Neville Josephine Moon Jennifer McQuiston Lisa Kleypas Stephanie Laurens Sonya Heaney 22nd July 2019

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!

Library and Information Week

For Australia, this week is Library and Information Week, which you can read about HERE.

Below is a picture the National Library (which is here in Canberra) shared on Twitter. It’s the interior of the Hume Repository, which I drive past about half a dozen times a week. From the outside it’s just a big shed opposite a farm, and I had NO idea what it looked like inside until now. SO many shelves of books!

Library and Information Week National Library of Australia Canberrra Hume Repository 2018

Fund in honour of Miranda Neville

You may remember that well-respected historical romance author Miranda Neville died in October last year.

Now a fund has been set up in her (real) name: the Frances Mallary Memorial Fund. You can donate through the link above; I’ve posted the full information about the fund at the bottom of this post.

 

Miranda Neville Frances Mallary Historical Romance

On October 26th, 2017, Frances “Fanny” Mallary, also known as Regency romance novelist Miranda Neville, lost her two year battle with colon cancer. Her death left a hole in many communities, from the tiny village where she grew up in Southern England, to Romancelandia (where her future novels and witty tweets are sorely missed), to her champion trivia team, to her adopted hometown of Newbury, Vermont. 

Fanny was easy to love—in no small part because of her charm, wit, and her breadth of knowledge that seemed to touch on almost every subject—and we all miss her every day. That’s why we’re asking you to help us create a lasting tribute to her at the Tenney Memorial Library in Newbury, where she was a board member.

Anyone who knew Fanny knows that she loved books. Not just romance novels like the ones she wrote, but all books—children’s books, young-adult books, mysteries, gigantic non-fiction tomes, 19th century historic novels (come on, did anyone love Jane Austen more than Fanny?), and everything in between. Which is why we felt there should be a way to keep her name, and her spirit, and her passion for great books, alive in her Newbury community.

We’re establishing the Frances Mallary Memorial Fund, which will allow the Tenney librarian to purchase books, audio books, or e-books in Frances’ name with a particular focus on the genres she loved most like history, historical fiction, and romance.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 by what would have been her sixty-third birthday, August 26, 2018. Reaching this figure would allow the Frances Mallary Memorial Fund to become an endowment—a self-financing vehicle that will continue to buy books in her name for as long as the endowment survives.

So please, think about how much you loved Fanny, how much Fanny loved books, and how much a fund in her name would have meant to her. We’d love for you to contribute as much as you can by making a tax-deductible donation here, or by mailing your donation, designated for the Mallary Fund, directly to the library: Tenney Memorial Library PO Box 85, Newbury, Vermont 05051

We all loved Fanny, and we all miss her. The Frances Mallary Memorial Fund is just a small way of paying some of that love back.