The Week: 2nd – 8th December

It’s nearly Christmas, and I really think I need another month to get organised! The fires here have got worse and worse. The fire has burnt all the way to the sea, and there’s really hot weather on the way in the coming days.

After the strife superstar author Christine Feehan got in, first for filing to trademark common words, and then for defending her actions, she seems to have pulled the application. However, it seems everyone writing vampire fiction could do with reading this:

Hey, Christine Feehan! You don’t own the Carpathians!

Huculy_1933,_Verkhovyna_district Hutsuls Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains

And this Tweet pretty much sums up the situation:

KJ Charles Twitter Christine Feehan Trademark Carpathian

Virgin River Premiere!

Virgin River TV Series

My review of Someone to Honour (Westcott family #6) by Mary Balogh

Someone to Honour Someone to Honor (Westcott #6) by Mary Balogh

Someone to Honour (Westcott family #6) by Mary Balogh

Someone to Honour Someone to Honor (Westcott #6) by Mary Balogh

First appearances deceive in the newest charming and heartwarming Regency romance in the Westcott series from beloved New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh . . .

Abigail Westcott’s dreams for her future were lost when her father died and she discovered her parents were not legally married. But now, six years later, she enjoys the independence a life without expectation provides a wealthy single woman. Indeed, she’s grown confident enough to scold the careless servant chopping wood outside without his shirt on in the proximity of ladies.

But the man is not a servant. He is Gilbert Bennington, the lieutenant colonel and superior officer who has escorted her wounded brother Harry home from the wars with Napoleon. He’s come to help his friend and junior officer recover, and he doesn’t take lightly to being condescended to – secretly because of his own humble beginnings.

If at first these two seem to embody what the other most despises, they will soon discover how wrong first impressions can be. For behind the appearance of the once grand lady and once humble man are two people who share an understanding of what true honour means, and how only with it can one find love.

Someone to Honour (Westcott family #6) by Mary Balogh

I started Someone to Honour on my Kindle several months ago, ran out of time to finish it before I went overseas, and then finished it in paperback this week, so my experience with the book was a little … odd …

I’ve been enjoying all the unconventional pairings in this series, though this one (despite both the hero’s and heroine’s illegitimacy) is a more standard romance. It’s a quieter book, for the most part, tightly focused just on the main pair and the heroine’s brother, though people who are new to the series will be confused by all of the many, many past characters who appear at the start.

Balogh has played with the legal issues of the time for a few books now (e.g. children weren’t “adopted” in the Regency era), but I had trouble overlooking the historical liberties taken here.

It is inconceivable that the illegitimate son of a washerwoman could pop up to London to pick up a special licence to marry. It was almost impossible for anyone to obtain one, and even though Regency romance authors often have their aristocratic characters do such things, when regular old soldier Gil did it I had to set the book aside for a while.

The other issue with the plot is the battle for Gil to regain custody of his daughter – it’s not how things happened at the time. He was the father! Children and wives were the man’s property back then, which means the entire plot (and the marriage) made no sense whatsoever. (Additionally, there were some Americanisms in the legalese that distracted me.)

I do love Mary Balogh’s books, and I’ve reread all the others in the series, but I struggled to suspend my disbelief for this one.

The Week: 4th – 10th November

Friday afternoon writing view Sonya Heaney Author Coke Cat Coffee Canberra Australia Book 8th November 2019

Friday afternoon writing view: Coke, cat, coffee, Lisa Kleypas book – and the table runner bunched up because a certain grey feline likes to attack it …

My oh-so neat, easy-to-understand, high-tech way of plotting a book! Sonya Heaney Author Historical Romance 7th November 2019

I’m working on a new book! And my plotting process is a mess! This comes after sending my next book off to my editor at the start of the week.

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Remember (2019 Westcott series #7) A novel by Mary Balogh

Premiere Date for Virgin River

Cover Love

The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

Cover Love

Christian historical romance continues to come up with innovative cover ideas!

The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

The Earl’s Betrothal by Karen Tuft

Out of the war and into another, Captain Lord Anthony Hargreaves finds the politics of romance to be as uninviting a battle as the one that nearly cost him his life in Badajoz, Spain.

Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he’s not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony’s dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly sends Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother’s stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.

But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?

Release Day for Mary Balogh

I’m really excited about this, the seventh book in Mary Balogh’s Westcott family series. Someone to Remember must be close to a first from a major publisher of historical romance: the characters are in their fifties.

Balogh has been doing some amazing things with her current series.

Here are the US and UK/international covers:

Someone to Remember (2019 Westcott series #7) A novel by Mary Balogh

Someone to Remember (2019 (The seventh book in the Westcott series) A novel by Mary Balogh

And here’s what the book is about:

It’s never too late to fall in love in this enchanting new novella in the Westcott series from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh.

Matilda Westcott has spent her life tending to the needs of her mother, the Dowager Countess of Riverdale, never questioning the life of solitude she has spun for herself. To Matilda, who considers herself the ageing spinster daughter, marriage is laughable–love is a game for the young, after all. But her modest, quiet life of order unravels when a dashing gentleman from her past reappears, threatening to charm his way into her heart yet again.

Charles Sawyer, Viscount Dirkson, does not expect to see Matilda Westcott thirty-six years after their failed romance. Moreover, he does not expect decades-old feelings to emerge at the very sight of her. When encountering Matilda at a dinner hosted by the Earl of Riverdale, he finds himself as fascinated by her as he was the first day they met, and wonders if, after all these years, they have a chance at happiness together. Charles is determined to crack the hard exterior Matilda has built for over three decades or risk losing her once again…

Recently Reread: Provocative in Pearls by Madeline Hunter

Provocative in Pearls is a book I reread every so often. I’m a big fan of Madeline Hunter, and especially like the way she captures the power men of the English aristocracy had in the past.

I also really, really enjoy the way she creates both male and female friendships for her various characters.

I reviewed this book in 2013, and feel pretty much the same way about it now as I did then.

Provocative in Pearls (The Rarest Blooms #2) by Madeline Hunter

Provocative in Pearls (The Rarest Blooms #2) by Madeline Hunter

The Earl of Hawkeswell has been living in limbo for two years, ever since his bride, heiress Verity Thompson, disappeared on their wedding day. As she hasn’t been declared deceased, Hawkeswell cannot legally remarry and cannot access his wife’s funds — either of which would settle his dire financial crisis.

Coerced into marrying Hawkeswell by her duplicitous cousin, Verity fled London for the countryside. With no interest in the earl’s title or status, she was willing to forfeit her inheritance in exchange for her freedom. Now that her ruse has been discovered, Verity is forced to return to a loveless marriage.

Hawkeswell strikes a bargain with Verity: In return for three kisses a day, he will not insist on his conjugal rights. But Verity discovers there are kisses … and then there are kisses … as she begins to learn the true meaning of seduction at the hands of a master.

The Week: 5th – 11th August

This has been… quite a week. So many good things happened (I’d love to share NOW, but can’t) that I’m worried there’s a disaster on the horizon!

We had t-shirt weather for the first half of the week, and then on Friday night it snowed. I am so mad I didn’t see it, because (and despite nasty stereotypes about Canberra) we NEVER get snow. A little bit settled on the mountains, but by Saturday morning the sun was back. It’s going to be around 17 degrees (about 63 Fahrenheit) by the end of next week, so I guess that’s winter finished.

I spent the second half of the week stalking the Romance Writers of Australia conference (in Melbourne this year) online. I really should go in 2020.

Crazy Cat Canberra Australia Thurday 8th August 2019 Sonya Heaney Cats Cute Grey Cat

Someone broke the cat!

P. L. Travers’ 120th Birthday

australian p. l. travers in the role of titania in a production of a midsummer night's dream, c. 1924 state library of new south wales. mary poppins

Cover Love

Then Comes Seduction (Huxtable Quintet #2) by Mary Balogh