The Week: 6th – 12th May

Busy week this week. I have edits to do on my book (which has a new title, but I won’t share it until everything is confirmed), and I was editing a book for someone else. Plus something weird happened to my email and I lost some important things, while other important emails (i.e. from my publisher, HarperCollins!) started going to my junk folder and I missed them!

Storm Cursed Out Now

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Recently Reread: Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, was published on the 28th of January 1813. Here is the front page from a first edition copy of the book.

This Cover

Unleashed by Caitlin Crews

Storm Cursed Out Now

Storm Cursed, the eleventh book in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series, is out now.

I’m nowhere near caught up with these books, but do love the earlier instalments.

One day soon…!

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In this new instalment in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves . . .

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.

The Week: 8th – 14th October

Sunny spring days in Canberra.

This week started out gorgeous, had some weird weather in the middle, and involved a trip to the city to pick up my passport for my next trip!

Plus, there was a gorgeous (and very sweet) royal wedding to watch on Friday night (our time). I’m not into the royals usually, but this one…

How is October already half over? It’s nearly time to start thinking about Christmas!

Most of my posts this week were about sexual assault, and how the topic is handled (or dismissed in some quarters) in romance publishing. I’m utterly disgusted by recent events in the United States, and by how these things have an effect on women the world over.

Romance authors, misogyny, and conservative conversations about men.

Russian Orthodoxy – GONE!

China…

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Easy by Tammara Webber

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Breaking the Silence by Katie Allen

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Breakable by Tammara Webber

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

Books to Counter Kavanaugh – the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

No, I’m not American, but the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Brett Kavanaugh – and the subsequent misogynistic victim-blaming movement emerging out of it – is reverberating around the world.

So, I’ve moved all my scheduled posts for the week, and instead will be recommending some books that deal with the reality of what women are up against when it comes to sexual harassment and assault.

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is an urban fantasy series that – a few books in – begins to deal sensitively with the aftermath of sexual assault. There is a great deal more to the series than that storyline, but Briggs’ handling of that plot really impressed me.

Shadow Reaper (Shadow #2) by Christine Feehan

Shadow Reaper (Shadow #2) by Christine Feehan

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan continues her new series, as the Ferraros—a Chicago crime family—use their power as shadow riders to protect their empire and the ones they love…

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood – but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own…

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her – a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She’s someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco’s embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them…

Shadow Reaper (Shadow #2) by Christine Feehan

I hardly read any paranormal books anymore, but Christine Feehan is pretty much the queen of the genre. This is a second book in a series with a totally new “world” (no vampires, werewolves etc.) but I think it isn’t a series you can dive into at any place.

This is trademark Feehan – a little more updated than the earlier series that made her famous – with all the powerful male characters and engaging plotlines.

However, I had no idea what was going on!!

It’s a pity I read this out of order, as I could really get into this world. I assume it was explained well in book one, but book two is the review book I received. I wish we’d been given a little more information about who and what these people are. I didn’t need it all, but I did need *some*!

With MANY male characters (and a woman) who all look to be having books of their own in the future, it seems this is a series that will go for some time.

I did struggle with all the violence (and some of the super-long scenes). As I read so little in the paranormal genre now, I’m not sure if the violence is getting worse, or if I’m just not used to it anymore. Maybe my tolerance for unnecessary scenes that exploit horrible things is waning.

Did I really need to read about entire families being cut and killed with swords? Women being raped? Children being stomped on to have their bones broken?

I think the fact it was gratuitous is what got to me. In the real world terrible things *do* happen, but in a made-up world it is the author’s choice to include these things.

I also didn’t need the scene with the token “slutty waitress” trying to come onto the hero. WHY is this scene in so many books?

I know I’ve mainly stuck to the negatives, but I had *issues* even though I was enjoying it!

On the plus side… There are plenty of pluses.

Feehan’s writing is the same – and also not. The basics are familiar, such as her larger-than-life men, but there is a new humanity in her work. These felt more like real people than her previous characters. Just little touches: a hand gesture, a dish cooked.

I also like the way she writes power. You got a real sense these people were important.

Basically: read the first book first!

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Happy Belated Birthday, Canada!

National Science and Technology Centre Canberra Australia for Canada Day 150 1st July 2017 Sonya Oksana Heaney Canadian Colours Night

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That’s the National Science and Technology in Canberra on Saturday night.

I should be talking about the United States, but while we wait for whatever fresh new insanity Donald Trump will bring the world for Independence Day, allow me to backpedal a few days!

Over the weekend, Canberra lit up national monuments and city landmarks – and the Canadian High Commission – in Canadian colours for the 150th birthday celebrations.

I am really struggling to come up with many books I’ve read that are set in Canada. In know there’re the classics, and there’re the books that inspired shows like Murdoch Mysteries and When Calls the Heart

I know a lot of Canadian authors set their stories in the United States, and that sometimes they have to – such as when Harlequin rebranded the Western line as “American Romance”.

There have been a few Canadian-set category romances I remember enjoying, though I’d have to go digging to find them!

An Infamous Marriage by Susanna Fraser has characters coming and going from Canada, even though we never actually visit on the page. This book is a favourite of mine (even with the cheating storyline – all that drama!).

Of course, there’s Kelley Armstrong’s super-popular Women of the Otherworld series.

And Kaylea Cross’ first romantic suspense series is occasionally set in Vancouver (that would be because the author is Canadian)!

I feel as though there should be a lot more Canadian-themed books.

The Week: 6th – 12th March

Bright Blue Sky Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Autumn 6th March 2017

First day back home. Blue sky, sunshine, summer temperatures – and half a new deck!

We went to Canberra’s Enlighten festival last night. The national buildings (National Library – above, National Science and Technology Centre, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Old Parliament House etc.) are lit up. There are also bars and food stalls and opera performances and a whole lot of things.

I will find some better pictures tomorrow.

This possum has moved in (not our first one, but the smallest so far), right outside my bedroom window. The night-time fights with other animals kept me awake all night a few nights ago!

It has been absolutely gorgeous in Canberra this week. Temperatures up around thirty degrees, bright blue skies, sunshine. It feels more like summer than autumn most of the time.

Chris Miller 11th March 2017 Russia invaded Ukraine

A timely reminder from a very respected journalist in Europe.

A Ukrainian woman is behind bars in the United Arab Emirates at the moment because doctors found out she is pregnant to her fiancé. They are “testing” her to find out how long she has been sexually active, which sounds like an appalling abuse of a woman’s basic rights.

You’re not allowed to have premarital sex in the UAE, and women are imprisoned for reporting rapes. Please be aware that just because Dubai and Abu Dhabi look shiny and tourists love them doesn’t mean it isn’t an Islamic country with some terribly restrictive laws – especially for women.

I have to travel through there are few more times this year, and I really wish I wasn’t. Qantas sends their flights through there a lot now, and codeshares with Emirates, which is one of the worst airlines I have ever experienced.

Also on my list of “things that annoyed me this week”, this article:

Pope may allow married Catholic men as priests

The reason it annoys me? Ukrainian Catholic men – married, soon to be married, planning to be married – have ALWAYS been able to become priests. For centuries. Most of the priests I’ve ever known have been married – with children.

This is allegedly such a groundbreaking idea, but once again people totally ignore the fact this is already, and always has been, a thing.

Nobody knows anything about Ukraine, but you’d think a journalist or two might mention this extremely relevant fact!

And then there’s:

Muhammad Ali’s son detained at US airport for second time

He’s a flipping US citizen! What is wrong with Trump’s version of America??!

My review of Outback Cowboy (Hot Aussie Heroes Book 1) by Margareta Osborn

My review of Devil in Spring (Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas

My review of A Temporary Family by Sherri Shackelford

Patricia Briggs’ New Book

Excuse me, cover designers…