Behind the Scenes of a Harlequin Cover Shoot

I always share these articles when I come across them. My experiences growing up in the theatre, with a mother who was a wardrobe mistress, make me fascinated with all things “behind the scenes”.

You can read the whole article here: Go Behind the Scenes of a Harlequin Cover Shoot

I just love the picture below. Sometimes the most basic techniques are the best answers!

Go Behind the Scenes of a Harlequin Cover Shoot Falling for the Wrong Brother,


The Week: 12th – 18th November




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


Armageddon Seventy Years On

Another Book Community Gone?

Romance University

Today Romance University goes on hiatus. The site is a trove of information about the genre, and – until now – had regular posts from authors and others in the industry, about the romance genre, and also about publishing in general.

In this case “hiatus” seems to mean they’re leaving the site forever. They are keeping the old posts up for a while, but the community itself will be no more.

I do understand that the people running RU put in a huge amount of time and effort, and I can understand stepping away, but it’s yet another book community gone.

The more the internet takes over everything, the deader online book groups seem to become. Goodreads groups are practically a wasteland now, and most popular book forums and blogs have been shut down (e.g. Harlequin’s decision to move all their discussion over to awful Facebook, where nobody gets any anonymity).

Twitter? Useless. All the authors and bloggers moved over there, but all anybody discusses on Twitter now is Donald Trump. There’s very little in the way of meaningful discussion about books to be found.

I’ll be sorry to see Romance University go.

Romance Novels Celebrate Women

Romance Books Category Romance

Great article over at The Messenger, a newspaper from Kentucky, USA:

Romance Novels Celebrate Women

Yes, it’s ridiculous that these pieces need to keep being written, but I can’t see the need for them going away any time soon!

Here are some excerpts:

‘I volunteered to sort, label, and shelve our library’s collection in order to create a browsable romance aisle. Why? Because romance novels are one of the few, if not the only, form of media which enthusiastically celebrates women. No other entertainment industry places as high a value on female agency, empowerment, happiness, and personal fulfillment like romance publishing.

There can be no doubt, the romance publishing industry is a juggernaut of commercial and financial success. However, the stigma surrounding these books has only exploded over the years. We are laughed at for reading “formulaic” stories, despite the fact that every book follows a formula; without formula the concept of genre ceases to exist. Likewise, Happy Ending stories are dismissed for being “predictable,” despite the fact that every action story concludes with the good guy winning, and mystery novels never end unsolved.

Sometimes our stories are set in a futuristic dystopia, sometimes they’re on an 1800s frontier, or on a planet far far away, or in a Regency London ballroom, or in China during the Tang Dynasty, or on a 17th century pirate ship, or among a coven of demons. No other genre can boast of such vast variety.

So There. 🙂 🙂

Romance Novels Are Not Your Junk Food

Sarah Mayberry Julie James Contemporary Romance Book Covers

This is an article from over at Book Riot a few days ago, addressing some longstanding stereotyping and insults that are routinely hurled at the romance genre.

Romance Novels Are Not Your Junk Food

Of course, it’s been said before, but this piece addresses the “junk” and “trash’ labels we hear all the time, and is a response to a highly ignorant piece written about the genre by Sadaf Ahsan.