The Week: 30th July – 5th August

At Lake Burley Griffin in the centre of Canberra on Saturday’s sunny afternoon.

Kangaroos near the Royal Australian Mint Canberra Australia Night Christopher Heaney July 2018

Kangaroos near the Royal Australian Mint Canberra Australia Night Christopher Heaney July 2018 2

We have a slight kangaroo problem in Canberra. This is in the grounds of the Royal Australian Mint – not out in the suburbs!

I am pretty busy at the moment because I’m flying to Ireland in a few weeks, and I have heaps of things to finish first. From now until mid-November I’m not going to have a lot of time to get anything done (as I am also going on trips to England and China).

Authors who I owe reviews: I promise they’ll be up before then!

New Cover for Lisa Kleypas

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

Happy 200th Birthday, Emily Brontë!

Yes, we need libraries.

Rosanna Leo Libraries Romance Author

Tasmania is part of Australia!

Map of Australia

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New Cover for Lisa Kleypas

The US covers for Lisa Kleypas’ excellent Victorian-era Ravenels series have… left a lot to be desired historical-accuracy-wise. E.G.

However, the gold on this one (and the slightly closer to Victorian gown – even if it’s the wrong decade of the era!) are eye-catching. I can’t wait for this book.

The blurb is beneath the cover.

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

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire…not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent – the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil’s daughter knows…

The Week: 12th – 18th March

IMG_20180312_180445_236 Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces ANZAC Parade Parliament House

View from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Monday afternoon.

Australian Parliament from the back of the car yesterday afternoon (I had to dodge heads and arms etc. to take the picture!).

Canberra Australia Sunset Autumn Tuggeranong Sonya Heaney 15th March 2018 March Garden Sky Nature

Thursday Sunset

This week began with a public holiday in Canberra. It was such a gorgeous long weekend, and the temperatures are still into the thirties even though the autumn colours are coming out.

This week marked the fourth anniversary of the sham referendum Putin forced on Crimea. In the picture above, Russian Special Forces soldiers in unmarked outfits (at this time they were pretending they weren’t Russian) stand in front of a Ukrainian military base in Crimea during the takeover.

The West basically did NOTHING, and only now are people getting upset with Russia because of the recent assassination attempts and assassinations in Britain.

My reading has fallen even more behind than a week or two ago, so I’m a little short on reviews at the moment. I haven’t read much historical fiction for a few weeks, but recent news about the next Lisa Kleypas book has got me picking up some old favourites.

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Irish Reads

‘Women are having different fantasies’: romantic fiction in the age of Trump

Women's_March_on_Washington_(32593123745) 21 January 2017 Trump Feminism

From the Shadows

IMG_20180312_175648_151 From the Shadows Special Forces Exhibition Sonya Heaney Oksana 12th March 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra Australian Army Australian Armed Forces

On this day: a Ballet Premiere

michac3abl-denard-james-et-ghislaine-thesmar-la-sylphide-entourc3a9s-des-c2ab-filles-de-l_air-c2bb-lors-du-tournage-du-ballet-en-1971-c2a9-francette-levieux-onp

Next Lisa Kleypas Book

There’s no cover yet, but the fifth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series now has a blurb.

The book is about the daughter of the characters from The Devil in Winter.

Unfortunately, it isn’t due out until 2019!

~~~~

Phoebe’s late husband Henry went to boarding school with West, who browbeat him and made his school years a misery. Now Henry is gone, and Phoebe is facing a new life as a widow with two very young sons. She’s about to move to the Clare estate in Sussex, but first she has to attend her brother’s wedding. And she’s dreading it—because her brother is marrying into the Ravenel family, and she’s just about to meet West, the man she’s loathed ever since childhood.

The Week: 26th February – 4th March

The National Library of Australia in Canberra last night, on the first night of the Enlighten festival. It was a gorgeous night, and I have never seen crowds like this at the event before.

Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery near Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 28th February 2018 Blue Sky end of Summer

Visiting my grandparents’ graves on the last day of summer.

Kangaroos Queanbeyn Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 28th February 2018

Canberra’s kangaroo plague – a blurry picture from the car window!

Summer ended this week, but the temperatures haven’t dropped. Many people say autumn is the best season in Canberra – warm, but not too hot, and with all the autumn colours.

I cannot believe all the snow in Venice. this time a year ago we were sitting out in the piazzas in the sunshine, drinking wine. What a difference!

Russia Annexes Crimea Ukraine 2014 little-green-men russian special forces

This week marked the fourth anniversary of Russian Special Forces invading and overtaking Ukraine’s Crimea. Putin waited until his showcase event – the Sochi Olympics – was done, and then sent his troops in. Four years now, and the Crimean Tartars are experiencing the sort of persecution they suffered under Stalin, and the Russians are pulling down historic palaces on the peninsula.

My review of Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

50th Anniversary of Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet 1968

The Flooded Library

 The RUC at Turner was drenched in floodwater on Sunday Canberra Flood 25th February 2018

Release Day for Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

The UK/Australian cover.

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas US cover stepback

^^^^

The trashy pink 1980s disaster poor Americans got!

Dr Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Hello Stranger, the fourth instalment in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series, is a highly anticipated read for many. Garrett, England’s first female doctor, and Ethan, mysterious and with curious ties to the Ravenel family, have been background characters in the past two books.

This is a book that builds and builds. The two characters have met a few times before the story begins, but there’s not a lot of background you’ll be missing out on if you start the series here.

The first half is concerned with the growing relationship. What is so good about this one is that these are lower class characters than the others in the series, and so we get to see Victorian London as the commoners saw it as well as the more upper class areas.

Just past the halfway point something terrible happens to one of them, and from there the pace changes.

I liked how unique these characters were. In fact, all the heroes and heroines in this series have been so distinctive.

Maybe I’m imagining things, but I’m pretty sure Lisa Kleypas is doing more and more research with every book. Every page of this book shows SO MUCH research has gone into it. From the medical details – historically accurate medicine for the time, to the local foods, to recent (for the book) political and social changes, there aren’t many authors who will make you feel as though you’re really there in 1870s London.

I have enjoyed every instalment in this series. When you read as many books in this genre as I do, it’s hard to remember most of them after you’re done. I not only remember the Ravenels, but go back for rereads every so often.

Hello Stranger is such an unusual, unique read.

Release Day for Lisa Kleypas

What has to be one of the most anticipated historical books of 2018, Lisa Kleypas’ Hello Stranger is out now.

I received the book early last week, and am enjoying it so far, even with the AWFUL cover!

Hello Stranger (Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas

A woman who defies her time

Dr Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumoured assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.