The Week: 29th January – 4th February

Wednesday summer sunset in Canberra

One of our (still fluffy!) young magpies hanging out on Friday afternoon.

Who Gets A Happily Ever After In 2018?

jemima-khan-impersonates-melania-trump-for-halloween-2016

My review of His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands #5) by Candace Camp

My review of Honor-Bound Lawman by Danica Favorite

Honor-Bound Lawman (Love Inspired Historical) by Danica Favorite

Rereading Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber

Formula One (finally!) gets rid of “grid girls”

Formula One Race Podium Melbourne Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 20th March 2016 Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg Sebastian Vettel F1

For Chinese New Year

Chinese-themed Book Sculpture

 

Formula One (finally!) gets rid of “grid girls”

Formula One Race Podium Melbourne Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 20th March 2016 Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg Sebastian Vettel F1

Formula One has just announced they won’t be using so-called “grid girls” anymore, and all I can think is: about bloody time.

These young women are employed to wear skimpy clothes and parade around with signs and such at the races, and then get doused in champagne on the podium at the end.

As the (male) BBC journalist put it:

‘Society is living through a defining moment in sexual politics. It is the time of #MeToo, and revelations of sexual harassment and worse by powerful men.

Some will see this decision as tokenistic and unnecessary. But the likelihood is that the vast majority of those people will be men.

In that context, it feels like an appropriate decision for the times, and one that F1 had to make.’

I have attended countless Formula One races – my father used to be heavily involved in motorsport – and I sat in some expensive seats.

And, you know what? The men around me, who were willing to fork out thousands of dollars to attend the races – men with a bit of grey at the temples and with children under ten beside them, and fully grey men with their wives in the next seat – turned into animals when the young women were paraded out onto the track.

Every time I sat in those stands, surrounded by reasonably affluent, allegedly classy men, I felt sick. They’d break out into wolf whistles and lewd comments and just generally be repulsive. It didn’t matter they had daughters and wives with them.

Good riddance to this horrendous practice.

These days Formula One has female team managers, and female drivers are making inroads (actually, the first female drivers were generations ago).

This is also the case with MotoGP, which is essentially the motorbike version of Formula One. Over there they have teenage girls riding, and yet they still parade the grid girls around the track. And, over in MotoGP, some of the young women are essentially dressed in fetish wear!

I know many men are going to be very upset about this. But, guess what? They’ll get used to it.

The Week: 14th – 20th March

EDIT: Updated below the original post.

I will be in Melbourne, attending the Formula One Grand Prix when this post goes up. I might update when I get back!

Below is the view from the seats we have every year. It’s the podium at the end of the race.

Romance readers! Susan Mallery used the guy on the right as the inspiration for one of her heroes – even though she is from the only country in the world that doesn’t follow F1.

Sonya Heaney Formula One Melbourne 2012

We had some truly crazy weather  Melbourne, including wind so strong it destroyed buildings and made it impossible to go for a walk! And then we had an equally crazy Formula One race to see. Crashes and fires and restarts – a mess!

That thing on the left used to be a car:

alonso_crash_630_Melbourne 2016

Happy Canberra Day!

Enlighten Canberra Australia 12th March 2016 Sonya Heaney National Science and Technology Centre Questacon.

New Harlequin Promotion

In the past few weeks, harlequin has been launching a bunch of promotional things. They seem to still be offering seventeen free reads over at their site.

Happy Birthday to Fabio!

Fabio Retro Romance Book Covers

My review of Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs International Cover

My review of The Study of Seduction (Sinful Suitors #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

The Study of Seduction (Sinful Suitors #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

My review of A Duke by December (A Year Without A Duke #5) by Sabrina Darby

A Duke by December (A Year Without A Duke #5) by Sabrina Darby

The Week: 13th – 19th July

Canberra MH17 Service 26th July 2014

It has been one year since Russian terrorists shot down MH17. So much has happened since then, and since we organised and hosted the service for all the ambassadors and politicians. I can’t believe it has already been a year, and at the same time I can hardly believe it has already been a year.

Amber+Lounge+Fashion+Monaco+JPp_EMOvc1Ol

RIP to Formula One driver Jules Bianchi, who died at the beginning of the weekend. I was watching the race from Barcelona in October last year when he had his horrific crash, which eventually led to his death. I have never seen such a frightening crash.

I typed 36 000 words of a manuscript this week – Monday to Friday. 36 000 words! I think that was a little too much for five days.

As far as reading went this has been a pretty lacklustre week. I started a number of very “blah” books, and even searching all over NetGalley I was having trouble finding anything to get excited about. Maybe the August – October time period isn’t the best for new books… I still seem to be reading a lot of Western historicals, which is nothing like my usual fare. Maybe I need the change.

These aren’t ads, they’re screenshots!

Irritatinggooreadsads1Irritatinggooreadsads

I’m finding Goodreads unusable at the moment. While I know you can use software to block annoying ads, I don’t see why I should have to for this ONE site. These ads above are animated, meaning the creepy-looking women move nonstop in them, and they are on EVERY page. It makes Goodreads look like some dodgy torrent site, and it’s too distracting to post there.

High quality ads, too. Because we *totally* use the word “Mom” here in Canberra. Yeah, sure.

Those “Strong Heroines”

US Navy SEAL Training.

Cover Love

Sugar Creek by Toni Blake

My review of Shadow of a Doubt (The Tangled Ivy Trilogy #2) by Tiffany Snow

Shadow of a Doubt (The Tangled Ivy Trilogy #2) by Tiffany Snow

My review of Outlaw Hearts (Outlaw Hearts #1) by Rosanne Bittner

Outlaw Hearts (Outlaw Hearts #1) by Rosanne Bittner

My review of Beauty and the Rake (The Rookery Rogues Book 3) by Erica Monroe

Beauty and the Rake (The Rookery Rogues Book 3) by Erica Monroe

My review of A New Hope (Thunder Point #8) by Robyn Carr

A New Hope (Thunder Point #8) by Robyn Carr

This Week

Sonya Heaney Formula One Melbourne 2012

Our view of the podium in 2012

Another week where I’m not around! My flight to Melbourne was on Thursday morning, and my flight home is on Monday afternoon. It’s that time of the year again: Grand Prix weekend, the start of the Formula One season, and as always I’ll be in the fancy seats undercover on the Start-Finish line, and spending four nights at an apartment in St Kilda.

Once upon a time all my trips to Melbourne were to train at the Australian Ballet. My trips these days are a little bit different!

I don’t really have anyone I’m following this year (have well and truly dumped my old team: Red Bull, now it’s being fuelled by Russian corruption – I already hated the team owner anyway!). Fernando Alonso is injured and not racing…

I guess I’m there for the spectacle this year. I just hope the weather is more consistent than the forecast! So far I’ve heard everything from fourteen degrees and rain to mid-twenties and bright!

The Week: 7th – 13th October

I sure hope nobody saw my embarrassing spelling mistake before I changed it!

AUTO-PRIX-ESP-MARUSSIA-ACCIDENT-FILES

R.I.P María de Villota

Fire Mission – The Diary of a Firing Sergeant in Afghanistan by Craig Douglas is still FREE

Fire Mission - The Diary of a Firing Sergeant in Afghanistan by Craig Douglas

My review of Protecting His Witness by Katie Reus

Protecting His Witness (Red Stone Security #7) by Katie Reus

The Defiant Lady Pencavel by Diane Scott Lewis is still FREE

The Defiant Lady Pencavel by Diane Scott Lewis

My review of Garrison’s Creed by Cristin Harber

Garrison’s Creed by Cristin Harber

Formula One in Melbourne

Melbourne F1 2013 Sonya Heaney

We’re back in clean, sunny Canberra after a freezing and wet (they had to cancel qualifying, it rained so much!) but great Formula One race in Melbourne. Good thing we fork out extra hundreds of dollars for premium seats that have a roof over them!

 Formula One Melbourne 2013 Alonso Kimi Sonya Heaney

I could have done without Vettel on the podium (hate his petulance and arrogance), and also without Sutil back driving (after being convicted of grievous bodily harm, for Heaven’s sake!), but other than that, I was very happy with the results. Two of my favourites going one-two!

 Safety Car Melbourne Sonya Heaney 2013

We stayed in the same place as last year, in a top floor apartment overlooking the National Theatre. It’s within walking distance of shabby St Kilda Beach and – most importantly – the track.

 St Kilda March 2013 Sonya Heaney

Sonya Heaney St Kilda March 2013

From our apartment (in a few seconds of sun in the morning!).

Two of my favourite ballet dancers – Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev – were dancing in Melbourne over the weekend. I’m so mad I found out too late to get tickets!

 Sonya Heaney Formula One Melbourne 2013

I have two things to request of Melbourne before next year (well, apart from NO RAIN next time!). Firstly, please, please, please change your smoking laws. It’s hard to appreciate the city’s famed cafes when you’re dying in a cloud of second-hand smoke! Secondly, the newspapers are so disheartening. So right-wing and sexist. Why do misogynistic bigots like Andrew Bolt even exist? Stop printing that kind of misinformation and hate. Please.

If you do, I promise I won’t even complain if you rain on me in 2014!

One Final Step by Stephanie Doyle

I’m starting One Final Step in the morning. This one has me very intrigued. And stick the term Formula One in a book and I’ll read it (being someone who attends F1 races every year).

However… the main guy is a felon turned Formula One driver? He must be pretty good (and rich!) to skip the junior driver development programs! And karting!

Apparently this book deals with something you don’t see in other books – but nobody’s saying what it is, so I guess I’ll have to read it for myself.

I promise not to be too picky about the F1 details – just as I try to overlook things in books about ballet!

Who said moving forward is easy? Car thief turned race car driver, Michael Langdon has worked hard to build his image. Now to take it to the next level and become a successful manufacturer, he needs to kick that image up a notch. Enter Madeleine Kane, a genius at adjusting public perception. With her in charge, he’s guaranteed to look better while keeping his darkest secrets where they belong—in the past.

Doesn’t take long, however, for his ambition to change and the campaign to become personal. Because he wants Madeleine—as beautiful as she is talented and smart. First, Michael must overcome her reservations about crossing professional boundaries and persuade her he’s worth the risk…without revealing those buried parts of himself. Good thing he’s very persuasive.

Mark Webber wins the British Grand Prix!

I wish I could be celebrating for two Australians today, but naughty Casey Stoner screwed up his MotoGP race.

However, that leaves me with Mr Mark Webber, who won the British Formula One Grand Prix last night.

To be honest, I would have been happy with either Webber or Fernando Alonso winning, but it’s kind of nice to have someone who grew up down the road from me (and who has been photographed embracing members of my family!) win the race.

Plus, we hear the Spanish anthem so often in motorsport these days, so hearing the Australian one made for a nice change!

I hope the British organisers realise that those new ideas they brought to the celebrations were stupid. Interviewing the drivers while they stood on the podium = the most idiotic thing I have ever seen. Having pictures of flags on some weird mechanical device, instead of actual flags = equally as idiotic!

CNN’s atrocious reporting, and some amazing Book Craft

I was just reading a news update about Formula One test driver Maria de Villota, whose horrific accident I mentioned here. I never had much faith in CNN’s terrible reporting (more than two decades after the Soviet Union fell, they still use Russian names for all of the Ukrainian cities – talk about ignorance!).

However, their story on de Villota was bad even by their standards.

They declared de Villota to be the first woman to ever drive in Formula One.

To the morons at CNN: type “female Formula One drivers” into Google.

This is the result you’ll get:

 

It’s very sad that these so-called journalists are paid to research their stories.

Moving on from that, I found this wonderful creation on Tumblr: