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…

Patricia Briggs’ New Book

silence-fallen-mercy-thompson-10-by-patricia-briggs-cover

Silence Fallen, the tenth book in Patricia Briggs’ hugely popular Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series, is due out now.

Briggs is one of my favourite urban fantasy authors, and if you haven’t tried her books yet, I’d highly recommend going back to the beginning of the series and starting there. This is a complex world with ever-evolving characters and a strong relationship at the centre.

silence-fallen-mercy-thompson-10-by-patricia-briggs

Coyote shapeshifter Mercy Thompson is attacked and abducted in her home territory. Fighting off a crazed werewolf, she manages to escape, only to find herself alone in the heart of Europe, without money, without clothing and on the run from the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world.

Unable to contact her pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, but first she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy needs to be at her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves – and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise. . .

Laurell K. Hamilton on research in Ireland

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Laurell K. Hamilton shares how a research visit to Ireland threw her off her game at first

It has been many years since I read a book by Laurell K. Hamilton, but I thought this interview about her research trip to Ireland was pretty interesting (even if she manages to offend a bunch of people in a few sentences!).

laurell-k-hamilton-shares-how-a-research-visit-to-ireland-threw-her-off-her-game-at-first-guns-etc

If that shocked her, she’d be very surprised by Britain and New Zealand and other places, too!

It is a perfect example of people basing their books on assumptions and stereotypes and then having their eyes opened to a totally different version of a country when they actually visit.

The Week: 22nd – 28th August

Queanbeyan to Canberra Australia ACT border Sky Clouds Blue Sky Sonya Heaney Winter 26th August 2016

Gorgeous Friday afternoon. With a dirty windscreen!

Sonya Heaney Norcia Italy June 2016

Poor Italy – we were just saying the Norcia region was due for another earthquake.

When something terrible happens everyone has an “I’m connected to it” story. I was actually staying in Norcia, the epicentre of the earthquake, in June, and we drove through some of the towns that have been destroyed. The church above – in Norcia – has been damaged, and it is a very important church and allegedly the birthplace of Saint Benedict.

Bagan's temples were built between the 10th and 14th centuries

There was also a deadly earthquake in Myanmar (or Burma, depending on if you want to go with the dictatorship name or not!). The famous temples have been badly damaged, but this earthquake isn’t really making the news.

Pierce Brosnan Ukrainian Church London 22nd August 2016

Pierce Brosnan hanging out with Ukrainian activists in London at the start of the week. Tuesday was Ukraine’s national flag day, and Wednesday was Independence Day – a significant and sadly ironic holiday at the moment. We flew the flag in our house, but I was too busy to make it to the function at the embassy here in Canberra.:

Ukrainian Flag Day Tryzub Canberra Australia Sonya OKsana Heaney 23rd August 2016Ukrainian Flag Day Tryzub Canberra Australia Sonya OKsana Heaney 23rd August 2016DSC06712

Kalashnikov (as in the assault rifle manufacturer) now has a shop at the airport in Moscow.

Moscow airport shop sells model Kalashnikov guns

Call me crazy, but is this not the opposite of airport security?? WTF is going on in Putin’s Russia?

Currawong Canberra Australia 25th August 2016 Sonya Heaney DSC06725

In other news, all the birds here are going crazy, running around with twigs and getting ready for spring. Here’s the currawong, and the magpie, the two birds who hang around our front and back doors all day now! The magpie (below) stands beak-to-glass at the back half the day!

Magpie Canberra Australia 25th August 2016 DSC06735

What a poser!

Romance is Trashy, and Other Things You Need to Stop Saying.

Category Romance. No more home renovation. No more ageing parents going into homes. No more bakers. No more etc. etc. etc.

Coming Up for Patricia Briggs

31356099 Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs

My review of A Vow of Seduction: Hot Night in the Hamptons by Nana Malone and Seduced Before Sunrise by Jamie Pope

A Vow of Seduction Hot Night in the Hamptons by Nana Malone and Seduced Before Sunrise by Jamie Pope

The twenty-fourth anniversary of The Last of the Mohicans

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Cover Love

Our Own Country by Jodi Daynard

Coming Up for Patricia Briggs

I really love Patricia Briggs urban fantasy/paranormal romance books. True, the last instalment in the Mercy Thompson series was a little too heavy on the magic for me, but I still cannot wait for this new book.

With a release date currently set as the 9th of March 2017, we still have a bit of a wait for Silence Fallen.

I much prefer the second cover!

silence_fallen_layout.indd31356099 Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

So – how did they go?

 I have finished all of the books I listed or discussed as my most anticipated reads of 2016. It was never a comprehensive list, as I tend to read what comes up for review rather than keep track of favourite authors’ newer releases.

Now I have read all of those I mentioned either here or separately – was I disappointed? Not really. Even though I was excited about all of the books below, some I was aware were going to be a little bit of a let-down; it was the series rather than the individual book I was excited about.

There were some great reads, however.

Now, what books are being released in the second half of the year that I have forgotten all about?!

Review: Marrying Winterborne (Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas

Marrying Winterborne (2016) by Lisa Kleypas

Review: Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

Review: One with You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day

One With You by Sylvia Day

Review: The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy #3) by Madeline Hunter

The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy #3) by Madeline Hunter

Review: The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters #4) by Anne Gracie

The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters book 4) by Anne Gracie

Review: Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs

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

Review: The Many Sins of Cris de Feaux (Lords of Disgrace #3) by Louise Allen

The Many Sins of Cris de Feaux (Lords of Disgrace #3) by Louise Allen UK Cover

Review: The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (Lords of Disgrace #4) by Louise Allen

The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (Lords of Disgrace #4) by Louise Allen mills and Boon Cover

True Blood – the Musical?

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Yes, I thought it was a joke. But apparently not. True Blood is being made into a musical.

I gave up on the television adaptation of Charlaine Harris‘ Southern Vampire series soon after the second season began; it took something I really enjoyed and ruined it (though season one was great – even if there was FAR too much sex!).

Daed UNtil Dark Sookie Stackhouse Book One Charlaine Harris

What really annoys me is the way the news stories don’t even mention this story was a (very popular) book series first, not something created in Hollywood!

I really don’t think I’ll ever be going to see True Blood, the musical if it ever comes to the stage, but now I’m trying to imagine singing vampires!

Coming Up for Lara Adrian

Defy the Dawn (Midnight Breed #14) by Lara Adrian

I haven’t read all of the books in Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, but I have read the first half dozen, and the one that comes before this one.

Book #14: Defy the Dawn is due to be released next month.

An immortal warrior must decide between loyalty to his people and desire for a beautiful Breed female determined to bring a powerful enemy to justice at any cost, in this new novel in the “steamy and intense” (Publishers Weekly) Midnight Breed vampire romance series from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian.

Release Day for J.R. Ward

The Beast is out today. It is the second Black Dagger Brotherhood book featuring (my favourites) Rhage and Mary.

Initially I thought I might not read it, but early reviews are suggesting that it is a big change from recent books (such as the one where she killed the heroine!). Apparently this is going to be very much focused on Mary and Rhage, and is going to be very romantic.

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14) by J.R. Ward

Buy links:

The Book Depository (with free shipping).

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect – or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand – or control – the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him – as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities – and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from…

The Week: 21st – 27th March

Easter 2015 Sonya Heaney.

Happy Easter! This is not “our” Easter; Ukrainian Catholic (and Orthodox) Easter is on the first of May. I will be in my grandmother’s village in Ukraine on the day, so I doubt I’ll be getting a post up then!

We just booked another trip to Europe. It sounds like an insane thing to do when we’re leaving on the other trip in a month, but if we wanted our preferred flights and accommodation, we had to do it now.

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We will be in Venice for the duration of Carnival 2017 (in February – winter!), and then spend the better part of a week in London on the way home. I used to know every nook and cranny of central London, having lived there for years, but I haven’t visited for a while and have been desperate to go back (must be all those historical romances I’ve read!).

We went to the Tom Roberts exhibition at the National Gallery yesterday (because it’s always a good idea to wait until the last days of a months-long exhibition to visit!). It was very warm and sunny, despite being almost halfway through autumn. Here was Parliament House on the way home:

Parliament House Canberra Australia 26th March 2016 Sonya Oksana Heaney.

Coming Soon: The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14)

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14) by J.R. Ward

A series to look out for.

Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club 0.5) by Joanna ShupeMagnate (The Knickerbocker Club #1) by Joanna Shupe

My review of Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club 0.5) by Joanna Shupe

Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club 0.5) by Joanna Shupe

My review of The Unforgettable Hero: A Playful Brides Story (Playful Brides #4.5) by Valerie Bowman

The Unforgettable Hero A Playful Brides Story (Playful Brides #4.5) by Valerie Bowman

My review of The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers #1) by Danelle Harmon

The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers #1) by Danelle Harmon New Cover